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Philadelphia priest says church’s ministry to gays is expanding

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Catholic News Service

WARRINGTON, England — The Catholic Church’s pastoral ministry to gays is rapidly developing and expanding as Western societies become more secular, said a U.S. priest at the forefront of working with gay people.

Father Philip Bochanski, associate director of Courage International, is pictured in a Feb. 2 photo. The Catholic Church's pastoral ministry to gays is rapidly developing and expanding as Western societies become more secular, said Father Bochanski. (CNS photo/Simon Caldwell)

Father Philip Bochanski, associate director of Courage International, is pictured in a Feb. 2 photo. The Catholic Church’s pastoral ministry to gays is rapidly developing and expanding as Western societies become more secular, said Father Bochanski. (CNS photo/Simon Caldwell)

Father Philip Bochanski, a Philadelphia priest who serves as associate director of Courage International, said increasing numbers of people who “experience same-sex attraction” but who wished to live chaste lives were turning to the church for help. Read more »

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Parishioners help stranded motorists on turnpike during blizzard

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Catholic News Service

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. — It didn’t take long into 2016 for St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Bedford to put into practice Pope Francis’ request for people to respond with compassion to those in need during the Year of Mercy.

At the start of snowstorm that pummeled much of the Northeast Jan. 22-23, Father Donald W. Dusza, pastor of St. Thomas, was probably wondering how many people might venture out to attend the scheduled 4 p.m. Mass that Saturday, Jan. 23.

Father Patrick Behm of Le Mars, Iowa, checks out his cellphone during Mass Jan. 23 at an altar constructed of snow alongside the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The group from the Diocese of Sioux City, Iowa, was returning home from the annual March for Life rally in Washington when Winter Storm Jonas consumed the East Coast.A parish in Bedford, Pa., helped stranded motorists on the Pa. Turnpike during the storm. See story.  (CNS photo/courtesy Carolyn Von Tersch)

Father Patrick Behm of Le Mars, Iowa, checks out his cellphone during Mass Jan. 23 at an altar constructed of snow alongside the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The group from the Diocese of Sioux City, Iowa, was returning home from the annual March for Life rally in Washington when Winter Storm Jonas consumed the East Coast.A parish in Bedford, Pa., helped stranded motorists on the Pa. Turnpike during the storm. See story. (CNS photo/courtesy Carolyn Von Tersch)

“I actually was heading to the church around 3:30 p.m. when I got a call from a group of travelers from the Sioux Falls Diocese of South Dakota looking for lodging,” he said. The group was returning home after attending the annual March for Life in Washington when they became stranded on the Pennsylvania Turnpike where a tractor-trailer had jackknifed and traffic had been at a standstill while the accident was cleared.

The priest said the group, mainly high-school and college-age students, was welcome to stay overnight in the school gym. He then immediately telephoned Railitsa Diehl, who is in charge of the school kitchen.

“She was a real trouper,” said Father Dusza in a telephone interview with The Catholic Register, newspaper of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. “She worked really hard, by herself, to get a pasta meal together for the weary young people,” who had spent the previous night in their buses.

“I can’t say enough about her effort, and the sacrifice she made by coming out in the middle of a storm. The students and their chaperones really appreciated her efforts.”

As the highways began to clear a bit the next night, Father Dusza received another request for shelter from more pro-life marchers on their way back to the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska. The group had been in touch with the South Dakota chaperones. So, that night, St. Thomas Parish hosted a big sleepover for about 160 pilgrims. Some of the travelers found blankets on their buses and they all slept on the gym floor.

Things became a little more hectic later that evening when Father Dusza received another call, this time from officials traveling with the Archdiocese of Omaha, Nebraska. “They said they were able to find shelter in the hotels around Bedford, but were looking for a place to celebrate Mass,” he said. The caravan was comprised of five buses with more than 300 people.

“I told them we just had a small church building that only accommodated about 250 people. Along with my parishioners, it would be beyond capacity.” Luckily, the group had two priests with them. Father Dusza told them they were welcome to celebrate Mass in the school gym, which they accepted.

By Sunday morning Jan. 24, most of the buses continued their return home.

Celebrating its bicentennial this year, St. Thomas the Apostle Parish is an official Jubilee Year of Mercy pilgrimage site for the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, where the faithful may gain the jubilee year indulgence.

But for hundreds of weary travelers, that indulgence was expressed in a very practical way.

“It was an interesting weekend,” Father Dusza said with a laugh. Providing the stranded marchers with shelter was “easily done and we were certainly glad to help,” he added.

By Bruce A. Tomaselli

Tomaselli is manager of The Catholic Register, newspaper of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.

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Parishioners help stranded motorists on Pa. turnpike during blizzard

By

Catholic News Service

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. — It didn’t take long into 2016 for St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Bedford to put into practice Pope Francis’ request for people to respond with compassion to those in need during the Year of Mercy.

At the start of snowstorm that pummeled much of the Northeast Jan. 22-23, Father Donald W. Dusza, pastor of St. Thomas, was probably wondering how many people might venture out to attend the scheduled 4 p.m. Mass that Saturday, Jan. 23.

“I actually was heading to the church around 3:30 p.m. when I got a call from a group of travelers from the Sioux Falls Diocese of South Dakota looking for lodging,” he said. The group was returning home after attending the annual March for Life in Washington when they became stranded on the Pennsylvania Turnpike where a tractor-trailer had jackknifed and traffic had been at a standstill while the accident was cleared.

The priest said the group, mainly high-school and college-age students, was welcome to stay overnight in the school gym. He then immediately telephoned Railitsa Diehl, who is in charge of the school kitchen.

“She was a real trouper,” said Father Dusza in a telephone interview with The Catholic Register, newspaper of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. “She worked really hard, by herself, to get a pasta meal together for the weary young people,” who had spent the previous night in their buses.

“I can’t say enough about her effort, and the sacrifice she made by coming out in the middle of a storm. The students and their chaperones really appreciated her efforts.”

As the highways began to clear a bit the next night, Father Dusza received another request for shelter from more pro-life marchers on their way back to the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska. The group had been in touch with the South Dakota chaperones. So, that night, St. Thomas Parish hosted a big sleepover for about 160 pilgrims. Some of the travelers found blankets on their buses and they all slept on the gym floor.

Things became a little more hectic later that evening when Father Dusza received another call, this time from officials traveling with the Archdiocese of Omaha, Nebraska. “They said they were able to find shelter in the hotels around Bedford, but were looking for a place to celebrate Mass,” he said. The caravan was comprised of five buses with more than 300 people.

“I told them we just had a small church building that only accommodated about 250 people. Along with my parishioners, it would be beyond capacity.” Luckily, the group had two priests with them. Father Dusza told them they were welcome to celebrate Mass in the school gym, which they accepted.

By Sunday morning Jan. 24, most of the buses continued their return home.

Celebrating its bicentennial this year, St. Thomas the Apostle Parish is an official Jubilee Year of Mercy pilgrimage site for the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, where the faithful may gain the jubilee year indulgence.

But for hundreds of weary travelers, that indulgence was expressed in a very practical way.

“It was an interesting weekend,” Father Dusza said with a laugh. Providing the stranded marchers with shelter was “easily done and we were certainly glad to help,” he added.

By Bruce A. Tomaselli, manager of The Catholic Register, newspaper of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.

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Catholic Charities agency helping Flint, Mich., residents during water crisis

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FLINT, Mich. — Following the discovery of lead in the city of Flint’s drinking water, relief organizations have been working day and night to provide safe water to those living and working in the community.

Standing at the front of the battle is Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genesee Counties in the Lansing diocese. The agency that provides assistance to people in need, including counseling, substance abuse treatment, foster care and adoption services.

Vicky Schultz, president and CEO of Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genessee counties in Flint, Mich., hands diapers and bottled water to Deborah Nettles Jan. 19. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said he has failed Flint residents but pledged to take new steps to fix the city's drinking water crisis, starting with committing millions in state funding. (CNS/Jim West)

Vicky Schultz, president and CEO of Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genessee counties in Flint, Mich., hands diapers and bottled water to Deborah Nettles Jan. 19. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said he has failed Flint residents but pledged to take new steps to fix the city’s drinking water crisis, starting with committing millions in state funding. (CNS/Jim West)

Vicky Shultz, CEO of Catholic Charities, said the health and safety issues continue to be a “major crisis,” and the organization is distributing bottled water and gallons of water, as supplies allow, to families and individuals in need. Community members across the diocese are urged to provide aid in the form of donating cases or gallons of water, water filter kits and replacement filters, or monetary donations.

Water “is a basic need we have as human beings,” said Schultz. “We’re already dealing with poverty, huge unemployment in the city of Flint, and now we have water that’s not suitable to drink.

“The first population (affected) we know is babies. So when people come to our Community Closet asking for diapers … we’re making sure that everyone who leaves who has a child has the gallon jugs of water,” she said.

Lansing Bishop Earl A. Boyea said the city of Flint “has undergone many trials in recent years.”

“Often, its people have faced the temptation to lose hope, to surrender to despair. The water crisis again presents that temptation, but again the answer must be to find strength in the love of God and the support of men and women of good will,” he said in a statement.

“In this Year of Mercy,” he continued, “I also urge Catholics, and all people of goodwill, to continue praying for the people of Flint. With prayer and fasting, let us call down the power of God on this city.”

In April 2014, when the city was under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager, the city’s water source was switched from Detroit’s supply to the Flint River to save money.

According to the Detroit Free Press and other news accounts, the water from the river contains eight times more chloride than Detroit’s water and that the chemical, which is corrosive to metals, ate away at old lead-lined service pipes that connect to residents’ homes. It allowed lead to enter people’s water supply because officials put no controls in place to prevent that from happening.

Last fall, Schultz said, Catholic Charities, which is in the heart of Flint, knew the city was facing problems because the water not only changed colors, but smelled foul.

“We were being told … everything was safe,” she said, adding that because of what residents were told, they continued to use the contaminated water to make drinks and food, increasing their exposure to lead.

Residents also were exposed to chemical byproducts, E. coli and Legionnaires’ disease in the water. In mid-October, Flint reconnected to the Detroit water supply.

About 40 percent of Flint’s residents live in poverty; the average household income is $25,000.

The three soup kitchens run by Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genesee Counties served more than 185,000 meals last year alone, according to Chrissy Cooper, the agency’s development specialist.

“It’s something I don’t think anybody expected it to be as big as it is now,” Cooper said, referring to the water crisis. “Now, we’re trying to understand all the consequences, and I don’t think we have yet quite grasped everything that’s going to come out of this problem.

“We want to make sure people who want to donate know how thankful we are and the people who need the water know how to get it,” she said.

When the lead scandal came to light, Catholic Charities switched to bottled water. Filters were then installed at its facilities. Schultz said it was disheartening to hear the news of the lead because Catholic Charities had been working with the city and the Salvation Army to help pay citizens’ expensive water bills. Prior to learning about the lead, the agency also was assuring hundreds of clients and employees that the water was safe.

“I think we’re just very disappointed that somebody really didn’t figure this out. It took a doctor having to do a blood test,” she added.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder declared a state of emergency for Genesee County Jan. 5, and on Jan. 12, Snyder activated the National Guard to assist with distributing supplies at established water resource sites in the city. According to Shultz, the number of phone calls from people wanting to help has increased, but so have the number of calls from concerned clients.

“We’re all children of God, and we’re supposed to look out for one another,” she said.

By Cari Ann DeLamielleure-Scott, who

writes for FAITH magazine, a publication of the Diocese of Lansing.

 

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Social ministers are the face of God’s mercy, says bishop

By

Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — Sometimes addressing human needs means having the ability to recognize the unique suffering of women. Other times, it means being patient when someone is putting little green soldiers on the altar.

Those were two of the lessons delivered during the annual Catholic Social Ministry Gathering in Washington Jan. 23-26. It went on as scheduled despite the onslaught of Winter Storm Jonas that hit the Washington region.

Bishope Nelson J. Perez spoke at the Catholic Social Ministry gathering in Washington, D.C., Jan. 23-26. (CNS file  photo/Gregory A. Shemitz, Long Island Catholic)

Bishope Nelson J. Perez spoke at the Catholic Social Ministry gathering in Washington, D.C., Jan. 23-26. (CNS file photo/Gregory A. Shemitz, Long Island Catholic)

Jonathan Reyes, executive director of the U.S. bishops’ Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development, knew just how to greet the conference’s blizzard-depleted audience Jan. 24: “Good morning, faithful remnant.”

Many speakers and attendees had to cancel, but the conference moved on with the help of video links and livestreamed sessions.

This year’s theme, “Called to Live Mercy in Our Common Home,” took its inspiration from Pope Francis’ “Laudato Si’” encyclical of 2015, which addressed protection of the environment and worldwide economic inequality.

Mentioning the pope’s often-repeated warning of a “throwaway culture,” Reyes added, “If we’re going to change this culture, it’s going to have to be through witness.”

Auxiliary Bishop Nelson J. Perez of Rockville Centre, New York, reminded the gathering, in his keynote remarks Jan. 23: “The work of charity and the Gospel, proclaiming the Gospel, is messy. And part of learning how to deal with the mess is, it’s part of the growth.

“Christ is the face of mercy, but we’re the face of Christ, right, so we’re the face of mercy, too.”

He gave examples from his own ministry.

“At my first assignment, there was this person who was mentally ill. And so the person would write these long, long letters, gibberish and stuff. He went to every daily Mass and disrupted every daily Mass. And I think God, on purpose, makes sure that every Christian community has a couple of them,” he continued.

“This person once put little green soldiers on the altar. And I’m trying to figure out how to deal with this. They didn’t teach us this in the seminary, trust me. So what’ll I do? So I just let this person be,” Bishop Perez said.

“It was tough. It got everybody on edge all the time,” he said. “But I learned early on in that experience that sometimes doing the work of the Lord is mercy. It’s mercy. And there aren’t easy answers.”

In Bishop Perez’s first pastorate, “there was a perpetual adoration chapel where the homeless would come and sleep at night. All the time I was at that place as pastor … this woman basically lived in that little chapel. She slept there every night. She sometimes screamed at statues. But she was always there.”

The reaction of other parishioners, he observed, “was interesting. Some people helped her, supported her, and I had a pretty big contingent of people who were in my face about this all the time, (saying), ‘This is not a homeless shelter, Monsignor. This is a place of reparation.”

“And I was thinking about her today because one night, it was a lot like this,” the bishop recalled. “Already there was seven or eight inches of snow out there.”

Following the Mass, “this lady gets up, and this couple gets up, and they said, ‘Monsignor, she shouldn’t be there. What you’re doing is wrong. She needs to get out of there now.’”

His response to the couple was: “So what time do you want me to drop her over at your house? Because you don’t want me to tell this human being (I can do it) because you don’t like her.”

“We don’t do it as a church because we’re nice people,” said Bishop Perez, who is chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee for Hispanic Affairs and a member of the Subcommittee for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.

“That’s not why the church has that preferential option for the poor. The church doesn’t do it because it’s nice. (Pope) Benedict taught us that it is implicit in our Christian faith,” he added.

On Jan. 24, Dominican Sister Kathleen McManus, who teaches systematic theology at the University of Portland, Oregon, called the global suffering of women “an ethical imperative of the church.”

“Wherever human beings suffer violence, poverty, discrimination … the women among them bear the brunt of that suffering as they struggle to maintain life in death-creating circumstances,” as well as suffering sexual violence, she observed.

At the margins of society, “there Christ is waiting to be known, and to make known the path of salvation,” she said.

Sister McManus compared the suffering of women in Third World countries to the account in the 13th chapter of the Gospel of St. Luke, in which Jesus healed a crippled woman so she could stand straight.

As examples of “hunched-overness,” she cited women who “procure water for their families as the expense of education and their development. Women in India who are pregnant with female children who are unwanted because of the need to provide a dowry.” Abuse from their male relatives includes torture and forced abortions, she noted.

In Luke’s account, “Jesus is teaching, and suddenly that woman appears. Really? Perhaps she was always there.”

The attention she receives from the synagogue official “is witheringly dismissive,” and he represents “the definition of fundamentalism in any religion.”

 

She compared that to patriarchal theology. “To say that our church is embedded in a patriarchal epistemology … is, I think, to state the obvious. It’s not conscious, it’s not intentional, and it’s not all men’s fault. It’s the result of centuries of conditioning.”

Turning professor, Sister McManus referenced eco-feminist epistemology, which teaches, “Experience begins in our embodied selves.”

“Feminism is about working for the mutual relationship, the equality and the interdependence of women and men. …” In ‘Laudato Si,’’ Pope Francis emphasizes over and over that everything is connected, everything is related.”

Jesus, she explained, “in his parables and his images of God’s reign, is constantly drawing lessons from the concrete realities of everyday life.”

The woman in Luke’s Gospel was “in her sacred space of worship. We know it was the power of divine light that sustained her throughout her steadfast resistance. She embodies in her being the glory of God.”

The Catholic Social Ministry Gathering is organized by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development in collaboration with several other USCCB departments and 16 national Catholic organizations, including Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Relief Services, the Roundtable Association of Diocesan Social Action Directors, the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, the National Association of Black Catholic Administrators and the Catholic Labor Network.

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March for Life marks 43rd anniversary of Roe decision legalizing abortion

January 26th, 2016 Posted in Featured, National News Tags: , ,

By

Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — Catholic admonitions about inclusion mixed with strong political language before the March of Life got underway Jan. 22 in Washington.

Pro-life supporters walk in the snowfall up Constitution during the March for Life Jan. 22, the 43rd anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion in U.S. The snowfall was the start of a two-day historic storm in the nation's capital. (CNS/Gregory L. Tracy, The Pilot)

Pro-life supporters walk in the snowfall up Constitution during the March for Life Jan. 22, the 43rd anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion in U.S. The snowfall was the start of a two-day historic storm in the nation’s capital. (CNS/Gregory L. Tracy, The Pilot)

At a Jesuit-sponsored Mass for life at St. Aloysius Gonzaga Church that morning, Father Paddy Gilger’s homily reminded a small group of students that because Jesus made an effort to be inclusive when he chose his disciples, they, too, should be respectful of others’ opinions.

“As we join in the fight against the scourge of abortion, our differences remain, and that’s OK,” he said.

Father Gilger also told the students to combine prayer and penance to create a culture of life. “Our efforts are to be able to create the same amount of space for people to change their hearts.”

Later, at the March for Life rally at the Washington Monument, attended by nearly 50,000, Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, stuck to her standard political stump speech.

She drew loud cheers with her claim, “You can bet that I will win this fight against Hillary Clinton.”

Fiorina reminded the audience that the next president “will have the awesome responsibility to pick up to four Supreme Court justices who will decide issues of life and religious liberty. … Make no mistake, ladies and gentleman, this election is a fight for the character of our nation.”

They grew quiet when Fiorina said the issue before them was “whether we, as a nation believe, as the Democrat platform says that a life isn’t a life until it leaves the hospital. Yes, that is the Democrat platform, that a life isn’t a life until it’s born. And they call us extreme. It is Democrats, the pro-abortion industry, that is extreme.”

Silent symbols of religious liberty, however, got a roar. A group of Little Sisters of the Poor who work at the order’s nursing home in Washington drew a sustained ovation when they were introduced.

The Denver-based order is fighting a mandate from the Department of Health and Human Services that requires employers, including most religious employers, to provide contraceptive coverage to its employees under the Affordable Health Care Act even if they have moral objections to doing so.

Their Supreme Court case,  Zubik v. Burwell, will be heard in March. The order is facing $70 million in fines per year if it does not comply.

In her remarks, Fiorina also expressed her continued support for the series of videos released last summer by David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress that purport to show California representatives of Planned Parenthood discussing the sale of parts of aborted fetuses.

A lawsuit against Daleiden and the center over the videos has reached the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, with the National Abortion Foundation and Planned Parenthood accusing him of misrepresenting his organization and illegally taping without permission, and aiding in violent threats against abortion clinics and the women who go there.

Planned Parenthood officials claim the videos were edited to manipulate the interviews and any mention of money for tissue and body parts is related to customary handling fees. But Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress stand by its videos.

Patrick Kelly, the Knights of Columbus vice president for public policy, said opponents of the pro-life movement, “insist on dividing and bullying those who disagree with them by speaking of a fictional war on women. Our movement, the movement to protect human life, is different. It is built by you, the grass roots. … We come her to show that we cannot be intimidated.”

Rep. Chris Smith, R-New Jersey, co-chairman of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, praised efforts by state legislatures. “The gains have been historic — 282 pro-life laws have been enacted since 2010 including laws to stop dismemberment abortions, require a 72-hour waiting period, and informed consent.”

Smith, a Catholic, said the House override vote of President Barack Obama’s recent veto of a bill removing all federal funding from Planned Parenthood was scheduled for next week.

The rally was the evangelical community’s first formal involvement in the annual March for Life, which is held on the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion virtually on demand in the U.S.

“We are grateful for your leadership on the culture of life,” said Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family. “It’s taken us time to come to the party, but we are here with you!”

Daly also was headlining the first major pro-life conference for evangelicals to be held in conjunction with the March for Life. He was joined at the conference and the rally by Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.

In the days leading up to the March for Life as forecasters announced the impending blizzard headed for Washington, organizers of the annual event said it would not be canceled.

It drew “what appeared to be tens of thousands” of participants, according to an estimate from Jeanne Monahan-Mancini, president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund.

“The world may think that we’re a little bit crazy to be here on a day like today, but those that are standing here know that there is no sacrifice too great to fight the human rights abuse of abortion,” Monahan-Mancini told the crowd.

After the rally, participants marched up Constitution Avenue to the U.S. Supreme Court as snow began to fall, the beginning of what turned into a major blizzard and left more than 2 feet of snow in Washington, with outer suburbs receiving even more.

 

A related video can be viewed at https://youtu.be/z4t88lZ5jCA.

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Bishop at March for Life Mass in D.C. calls for pro-lifers to ‘connect the dots’ on life issues

By

Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — Bishop David A. Zubik of Pittsburgh urged Massgoers preparing to rally in Washington for the annual March for Life to “connect the dots” linking all manner of life issues.

Bishop David A. Zubik of Pittsburgh walks with his crosier during the closing Mass for the National Prayer Vigil for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington Jan. 22. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

Bishop David A. Zubik of Pittsburgh walks with his crosier during the closing Mass for the National Prayer Vigil for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington Jan. 22. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

At a Jan. 22 Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Bishop Zubik invoked his fifth-grade teacher, Sister Mary Richard, who “taught me how to be a pro-lifer.”

The nun “did it in an interesting and an unexpected way,” he said. “If you have any hopes of getting to the sixth grade,” he remembered her saying, “you’d better know more than just the Hail Mary. You’d better know the prepositions,” at which point Bishop Zubik reeled off a string of prepositions in alphabetical order, from “above” to “with.” “Needless to say,” he added, “I made it to the sixth grade.”

But prepositions, he said in his homily during the Mass, “give sentences their meaning.” He added, “Every one of us is called by God to be prepositions in life.”

Bishop Zubik said that while people engage in fasting, often interpreted as giving up something valuable to them, God has no interest in that. Instead, the bishop added, one has to go to the root of the word “sacrifice,” in Latin, “sacrum facere,” or to make holy.

The way to do that, Bishop Zubik said, is to “connect the dots” of life issues as prepositions connect the key words and phrases in a sentence.

“To connect the dots in 2016 takes on its own flavor,” he said, “to make holy all of life, by connecting the dots to every single person,” from the unborn to the born to the elderly, to those “suffering from human trafficking” and those “exploited by pornography,” and “to the unemployed and the underemployed, looking not so much for a hand out as a lift up.”

Connecting the dots to all persons is what God intended, Bishop Zubik said, “to see each other as God sees us all.”

He lamented the Supreme Court decisions of Jan. 22, 1973, that legalized abortion virtually on demand, as it “opened the door” to a host of other legal, legislative and proposed initiatives that reduce the sanctity of human life.

He suggested twice, during the homily and in a post-Communion reflection, that Massgoers think about the people who brought them to Washington on the anniversary date. “Not by wheels and wings” to come to Washington, Bishop Zubik said, but by their example and formation.

Bishop Zubik offered as one such example, his mother, who he said “taught me to get down on my knees” to pray at bedtime each night, and upon waking, “to get down on my knees again” at the same bedside. He also exhorted them to “make sure you’re very careful”as threatening weather approached.

Fears of a storm system dumping a foot or more of snow in the Washington area kept attendance down for the closing Mass as it had for the Jan. 21 Mass that started the overnight vigil. For this Mass, many pews were not packed shoulder-to-shoulder with people, and even a few pews in a far transept were empty.

Even so, the size of the national shrine’s upper church ensured that there were thousands of people attending.

Msgr. Walter Rossi, rector of the national shrine, in welcoming remarks shortly after the Mass began, said, “We are pleased to have so many of you who have braved the threat of Winter Storm Jonas.”

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Newborn left in a New York City manger a sign of a culture of life, says cardinal

By

Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — A baby in a manger is proof enough for Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York that Americans can express a culture of life.

And it wasn’t the Christ child. Instead, it was a newborn infant left by his mother in the crib of a manger scene at a parish in the New York City borough of Queens.

People pray prior to the opening Mass of the National Prayer Vigil for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington Jan. 21. The all-night vigil is held before the annual March for Life, which this year marked the 43rd anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion across the nation. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

People pray prior to the opening Mass of the National Prayer Vigil for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington Jan. 21. The all-night vigil is held before the annual March for Life, which this year marked the 43rd anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion across the nation. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

Calling it “a sad but gripping tale” in his homily during the opening Mass Jan. 21 of the National Prayer Vigil for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, Cardinal Dolan, said, “No one knew where the baby had come from, or who left him there … until, a week later, the sobbing mother, a young Mexican woman, remaining anonymous, told her story to a journalist.”

Cardinal Dolan, who is chairman of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life committee, recounted the mother’s words, noting the irony that the woman had left her baby at Holy Child Jesus Church:

“I was so afraid, and, all alone in the house, suddenly went into labor. I must have been in excruciating pain for at least two hours. I started pushing because, each time I did, the pain would let up. I pushed for 15 minutes and finally the baby, a boy, finally came out. He didn’t cry at first, so I was afraid he was not all right. I didn’t know what to do, so I left the umbilical cord on. I wrapped him in a clean towel and started to look for some place safe and warm.

“I’m very religious,” the woman had continued, “so right away I thought of my church, Holy Child Jesus (in the Brooklyn diocese). I go there a lot, and the priests and people are so good. I just knew if I left him in God’s hands, my baby would be OK. So, I ran into my church and put him in the empty crib. Then he started crying. I just hoped he was warm enough. I hid in the back of church, knowing Father would find my baby and the people would care for him. They did.”

“True story,” Cardinal Dolan said, “and I submit it to you, the jury, this evening, as Exhibit A in our case for promoting the culture of life.”

He added, “It’s not far-fetched to imagine another scenario, what might have happened: that mother’s legitimate and understandable apprehension and isolation could have led her to Planned Parenthood.

“She could have been going to a parish which she found cold, unwelcoming and, impersonal, where she did not feel safe, and where she would not have been inclined to turn in her crisis,” Cardinal Dolan said. “Or, in those fretful minutes after her baby’s birth, she might have run to a church only to find it bolted-up, with a sign on the outside telling her, probably in English, to come back during office hours. Thank God that scenario remains only a ‘might-have-been.’”

He said later, “We are summoned to be such agents of conversion.” The way to do that, Cardinal Dolan said, was “by imitating those priests and people of Holy Child Jesus Parish in New York City, by acknowledging that Jose, that abandoned newborn baby (named for St. Joseph, Jesus’ foster father), Jose was nowhere more at home than in the empty manger of their parish nativity scene, because he, too, is a child of God.”

Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington, in introductory remarks, welcomed “the many, many, many young people” at the Mass, as they serve as “a reminder for every generation” that all are “called to show respect for the gospel of life.”

The prospect of a major storm carrying heavy snow and high winds made the national shrine slightly less impossibly crowded. Compared to the 11,000 who were packed in for the opening mass of the National Prayer Vigil for Life last year, 9,000 were on hand Jan. 21, according to Jacquelyn Hayes, a shrine spokeswoman.

Clergy turnout was similarly smaller for the Mass. Unlike the entrance processions in recent years, which lasted a half-hour, the Jan. 21 procession took 20 minutes.

 

 

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Seattle archdiocese lists names of accused from 1923 to 2008 in transparency effort on sexual abuse

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SEATTLE — The Archdiocese of Seattle has published a list of clergy and religious accused of sexual abuse of a minor who have served or resided in Western Washington.

The individuals named on the list posted to the archdiocesan website, www.seattlearchdiocese.org, have allegations that are either admitted, established or determined to be credible, according to a news release.

“I express my deepest apologies for the actions of those who were in positions of trust and who violated that sacred trust by abusing the vulnerable in their care,” Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain wrote in a letter posted with the list of names.

In announcing publication of the list Jan. 15, the archbishop said publishing the list builds on the Archdiocese of Seattle’s long-standing efforts at transparency, accountability and urging victims to come forward.

The news release said the list had been in development for about two years and was put together with the involvement of independent consultants and the Archdiocesan Review Board, which is a group of professionals who advise the archbishop on sexual abuse of minors.
The list includes 77 names of clergy and religious who have served or lived in Western Washington between 1923 and 2008. Among those listed are 30 archdiocesan and 16 religious priests, 14 religious brothers, one religious sister, two deacons and 14 priests from other dioceses.

 

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High bidder can drive home a new Fiat, slightly used by 78-year-old man on one weekend

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Catholic News Service

PHILADELPHIA — The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is auctioning off one low-mileage car, in mint condition, used slightly by one owner.

Two of the dark gray, four-door Fiat 500 L sedans used to shuttle Pope Francis around the Philadelphia area during his visit to the city last September will be available for public viewing and at least one of them will be auctioned off during the Philadelphia Auto Show, running Jan. 30 to Feb. 7 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

The Fiat 500 L "urban utility vehicle" used by Pope Francis sits outside St. Charles Borromeo Seminary Sept. 27 in Wynnewood, Pa. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is auctioning off two of the same model cars used to shuttle Pope Francis around the Philadelphia area during his visit to the city last September. (CNS photo/Joshua Roberts)

The Fiat 500 L “urban utility vehicle” used by Pope Francis sits outside St. Charles Borromeo Seminary Sept. 27 in Wynnewood, Pa. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is auctioning off two of the same model cars used to shuttle Pope Francis around the Philadelphia area during his visit to the city last September. (CNS photo/Joshua Roberts)

Proceeds from the auction will benefit ministries of the archdiocese, with 50 percent directed toward the annual Catholic Charities Appeal, and one-third each to Casa del Carmen social service agency in North Philadelphia, Mercy Hospice for homeless women and children in the city and the archdiocese’s schools of special education.

Speakers at a news conference at the convention center Jan. 20 hoped the symbolism of the simple car used by the humble pope may make it an attractive item for a car collector.

Millions saw the pope through the windows of the car as he was driven to and from Philadelphia International Airport, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary and center city during his Sept. 26-27 visit.

Chrysler Fiat provided two of the cars for the Philadelphia leg of his U.S. visit, and the company recently reached out to the Philadelphia archdiocese to donate them back, said Donna Crilley Farrell, executive director of the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.

Calling the cars “an icon of the papal visit,” Farrell recounted what for her was still an emotional moment, even four months later. After Pope Francis’ plane landed in Philadelphia and he was about to depart for center city and a Saturday morning Mass, he ordered his Fiat to stop, and stepping out on the tarmac, he walked over to kiss and bless a boy with cerebral palsy.

As the car auction will raise “much-needed funds for ministries to the most marginalized people,” Farrell said, the gesture is “exactly what Pope Francis would have wanted us to do.”

Car buffs will have the chance to bid at a public auction for one of the cars the night before the car show opens with 700 vehicles on display.

The other car may be auctioned later.

The auction starts at 8:45 p.m. Jan. 29 at the Black Tie Tailgate event at the convention center. The auction will accept bids from visitors to the event and online as video will be streamed live on the Internet, according to Max Spann Jr., president of the firm running the auction. The firm’s website is www.maxspann.com.

The Black Tie Tailgate is a fundraiser for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, raising $6.3 million since it began in 1986. Tickets start at $225.

The Philadelphia Auto Show, now in its 115th year, also benefits Philadelphia charities by donating $2 from each $14 per adult ticket sale.

None of the officials involved with the auction speculated on how much money they hoped to raise from the sale of the Fiat used by Pope Francis.

But it’s a safe bet that the final bid will well exceed the car’s $19,345 manufacturer’s suggested retail price once the gavel comes down with the word “Sold.”

 

Gambino is director and general manager of CatholicPhilly.com, the news website of the Philadelphia archdiocese.

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