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Pope Francis prays with 50,000 Catholic charismatics in Rome

June 2nd, 2014 Posted in Featured, Vatican News Tags: , , , ,


Catholic News Service

ROME — Meeting more than 50,000 Catholic charismatics in Rome’s Olympic Stadium, Pope Francis admitted he was not always comfortable with the way they prayed, but he knelt onstage as they prayed for him and over him by singing and speaking in tongues.

“In the early years of the charismatic renewal in Buenos Aires, I did not have much love for charismatics,” the pope said June 1. “I said of them: They seem like a samba school.”

Pope Francis arrives for an encounter with more than 50,000 Catholic charismatics at the Olympic Stadium in Rome June 1. The pope knelt onstage as the crowd prayed over him by singing and speaking in tongues. During the event the pope acknowledged he had once been uncomfortable with the charismatic movement. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Little by little, though, he came to see how much good the movement was doing for Catholics and for the church, he told a gathering organized by the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services and the Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowships.

50th anniversary in 2017

Pope Francis invited the crowd, which included charismatics from 55 countries, to come to St. Peter’s Square for Pentecost in 2017 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the movement. The Catholic charismatic movement traces its origins to a retreat held in 1967 with students and staff from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.

“I expected all of you, charismatics from around the world, to celebrate your great jubilee with the pope at Pentecost 2017 in St. Peter’s Square,” the pope said.

The celebration in Rome’s Olympic Stadium began with the song, “Vive Jesus, El Senor,” (“Jesus, the Lord, Lives”) a Spanish-language song which Pope Francis, who claims he is tone deaf,  joined in singing with his hands open like many in the crowd. The pope said he likes the song, which charismatics in Argentina also sing.

“When I celebrated the holy Mass with the charismatic renewal in the Buenos Aires cathedral, after the consecration and after a few seconds of adoration in tongues, we sang this song with such joy and strength,” he said.

At another point, when the crowd prayed that the Holy Spirit would fill Pope Francis, he knelt on the bare floor of the stage, while they sang with their hands raised toward him. After the song, many in the crowd kept their hands raised as they prayed in tongues, speaking in unfamiliar languages.

Responding to a married couple, who spoke about the renewal’s positive impact on their family life, Pope Francis said the family is the domestic church, the place where Jesus’ presence grows in the love of spouses and in the lives of their children. “This is why the enemy attacks the family so hard; the devil doesn’t like it, and tries to destroy it.”

“May the Lord bless families and strengthen them during this crisis when the devil wants to destroy them,” the pope prayed.

‘A current of grace’

In a speech, Pope Francis told the charismatics that they their movement was begun by the Holy Spirit as “a current of grace in the church and for the church.”

He pleaded with charismatic groups not to try to organize everything or create a bureaucracy that attempts to tame the Holy Spirit.

The temptation “to become ‘controllers’ of the grace of God” is a danger, the pope said. Group leaders, sometimes without even meaning to, become “administrators of grace,” deciding who should exercise which gifts of the Holy Spirit. “Don’t do this anymore,” Pope Francis said. “Be dispensers of God’s grace, not controllers. Don’t be the Holy Spirit’s customs agents.”

From the beginning, he said, charismatics were known for their love of and familiarity with the Scriptures; the pope asked those who lost the habit of carrying their Bible with them everywhere to “return to this first love, always have the word of God in your pocket or purse.”

Pope Francis also said Catholic charismatics have a special role to play in healing divisions among Christians by exercising “spiritual ecumenism” or praying with members of other Christian churches and communities who share a belief in Jesus as lord and savior.

A related video has been posted at http://youtu.be/xWcujx1II2w

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Morning homily: Pope blames ‘culture of well-being’ for intentionally childless marriages


Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis blamed a “culture of well-being” and comfort for convincing married couples that a carefree life of world travel and summer homes was better than having children.

He said married couples should look at how Jesus loves his church to learn how to be faithful, perseverant and fruitful in their vocation.

About 15 married couples celebrating their 25th, 50th or 60th anniversaries joined the pope June 2 for his early morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where he lives.

In his homily, Pope Francis said fidelity, perseverance and fruitfulness were the three characteristics of God’s love for his church and should be the same three pillars of a Christian marriage.

Just as the church is fruitful by generating new children in Christ through baptism, marriage should be open to new life, the pope said in his homily, according to a report by Vatican Radio.

“In a marriage, this fruitfulness can sometimes be put to the test, when children don’t come or when they are ill,” he said.

Couples who deal with infertility or loss can still look to Jesus and “draw the strength of fruitfulness that Jesus has with his church.”

However, “there are things that Jesus doesn’’t like,” he said, such as married couples “who don’t want children, who want to be without fruitfulness.”

The pope blamed “this culture of well-being” for convincing married men and women to intentionally remain childless.

This culture of comfort, he said, “has convinced us that ‘it’s better to not have children. It’s better. That way you can see the world, be on vacation, you can have a fancy home in the country, you’ll be carefree.’”

People think it is better or easier “to have a puppy, two cats, and the love goes to the two cats and the puppy. Isn’t this true or not? Have you seen this?” he asked the people in the congregation.

“In the end, this marriage will end in old age in solitude, with the bitterness of bad solitude.”

The pope said Jesus is always faithful to his church – “his bride: beautiful, holy, sinner, but he loves her just the same.”

Jesus is always faithful, even to those who sin and deny him; and “this fidelity is like a light” that shines on marriage, showing what “the faithfulness of love” looks like, he said.

In addition to always being faithful, love also must be “untiring in its perseverance,” he said.

Just as Jesus forgives his church, spouses must ask each other for forgiveness so that “matrimonial love can go on,” he said. “Perseverance in love” must endure, in good times and bad, “when there are problems, problems with the kids, money problems, problems here and there.”

“Love perseveres,” he said. “It keeps going, always seeking to resolve things in order to save the family.”


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Our Lady of Haste: Mary is always ready to help, pope says

June 2nd, 2014 Posted in Featured, Vatican News Tags: , ,


VATICAN CITY — Standing before a replica of the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes from France, Pope Francis told Vatican employees and other guests that Mary is a mother who never makes her children wait for a response to their prayers.

A statue of Mary overlooks the grounds of St. Jude Church in Mastic Beach, N.Y.(CNS fileo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

“She is the virgin of readiness, Our Lady of Haste,” the pope said May 31 at the end of a rosary procession and prayer service marking the feast of the Visitation and the end of May, the month traditionally devoted to Mary.

As darkness fell and those participating in the procession held candles in the Vatican Gardens, Pope Francis noted how in the Gospel of Luke’s description of Mary visiting her cousin Elisabeth, it says Mary went “in haste.”

“She did not lose time; she went right away to serve,” the pope said.

Mary is always “ready to come to our aid when we pray to her, when we ask her help, her protection over us,” Pope Francis said. “In the many moments of life when we need the help of her protection, remember that she will not make us wait: she is Our Lady of Haste.”


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‘Maleficent’ seeks understanding for wicked fairy godmother

June 2nd, 2014 Posted in Movies Tags: , ,


Catholic News Service

Even an iconic villainess may not be all bad. That’s the message of “Maleficent.”

Angelina Jolie stars in a scene from the movie “Maleficent.” The Catholic News Service classification is A-II — adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG — parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.(CNS photo/Disney)

This live-action, feminist retelling of the Magic Kingdom’s 1959 animated feature “Sleeping Beauty” seeks to rehabilitate the original film’s thoroughly wicked fairy godmother.

Along with its moral shadings, however, director Robert Stromberg 3-D fantasy introduces other novelties that may not sit well with romantics or with those committed to the traditional family. His picture also has enough dark imagery and bloodless battling to make it unsuitable for the smallest moviegoers.

Angelina Jolie takes up the title character once voiced by Eleanor Audley. As opening scenes show us, Maleficent, portrayed in youth by Isobelle Molloy, was initially a good sprite. In fact, she served as the principal protectress of her enchanted homeland, The Moors, a territory bordered by and under constant threat of conquest from a human kingdom full of aggressive warriors.

But an unlikely romance with Stefan (Toby Regbo), a solitary human intruder into The Moors, was to end in a cruel, ambition-fuelled betrayal that would change Maleficent’s whole character, leaving her bitter and vengeful.

Maleficent’s opportunity to mete out her longed-for retribution comes when Stefan (now Sharlto Copley), whose act of treachery toward her has placed him on the throne of the human realm, becomes the father of a baby girl.

At the infant’s christening, Maleficent places a curse on the child, dooming her to fall into an endless slumber on the day before her 16th birthday. Only “true love’s kiss,” a phenomenon Maleficent believes does not exist, will be able to awaken the lass.

Yet, as Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning) grows up, her grace and innocent goodness melt Maleficent’s heart. So much so, that aided by Diaval (Sam Riley), the shape-shifting crow who serves as her assistant and scout, the repentant Maleficent strives to thwart the fulfillment of her own malediction.

As scripted by Linda Woolverton, “Maleficent” can be viewed as an honorable conversion story warning against a hunger for power and a thirst for revenge. Yet it startlingly subverts its source material in a way that can’t be specified for fear of a spoiler but that registers as vaguely anti-male and anti-marriage.

The film contains some harsh action violence. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II, adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG, parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.



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Cape Henlopen pulls upset to win boys lacross title and end Sals run


For The Dialog


BEAR — A standing-room crowd at Bob Peoples Stadium at Caravel Academy witnesses a tightly contested state championship boys lacrosse game Saturday night, and in the end, second-ranked Cape Henlopen had pulled off perhaps the season’s biggest upset, defeating No. 1 Salesianum, 9-7.

The loss ended Salesianum’s 46-game in-state winning streak and was the first defeat to a Delaware school since the 2010 state championship against Tower Hill. Read more »

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Caravel takes state baseball title with shutout of St. Mark’s


For The Dialog


WILMINGTON — Caravel Academy managed a measure of revenge against St. Mark’s High School, defeating the Spartans, 8-0, to win the DIAA baseball championship Sunday afternoon at Frawley Stadium. St. Mark’s, looking for its third straight title, beat the Buccaneers in last year’s final.

St. Mark’s, which was the top-seeded team in the tournament, had base runners on most of the game but could not get a timely hit off Caravel’s senior left-hander, Cory Hart. The Spartans left 12 men on base, including six in the first two innings. Read more »

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Auks advance to girls soccer final, will meet Caravel on Monday


For The Dialog


BEAR – Two halves of soccer weren’t enough. Two overtime periods solved nothing. Archmere, the top-seeded team in the Division II girls soccer tournament, needed penalty kicks to outlast Wilmington Friends in a semifinal-round match Friday night at Caravel Academy. The final score was 1-1 (4-2 PK).

The Auks (16-1) will meet Caravel, which shut out St. Georges, 2-0, Friday night in Dover. The game will be Monday at 5 p.m. at Smyrna High School. That will be followed by the Division I final, which pits second-seeded Padua against No. 4 Caesar Rodney. The Pandas defeated Sussex Tech, 6-0, Friday night in Dover. Read more »

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Spring Clerical appointments

May 30th, 2014 Posted in Our Diocese Tags:




Bishop Malooly has announced the following appointments.


Retirement from ministry

Rev. Edward Aigner, at his request, has been granted retirement from the pastorate of St. Francis de Sales Parish, Salisbury, Md., and active ministry, effective June 25.

Rev. Robert Coine, at his request, has been granted retirement from the pastorate of SS Peter and Paul Parish, Easton, Md., and active ministry, effective June 25.

Rev. Paul Mast, at his request, has been granted retirement from active ministry, effective June 30.




Rev. Msgr. George Brubaker is appointed canonical pastor of St. Paul Parish, Delaware City, effective June 25. This appointment is in addition to Msgr. Brubaker’s ministry as pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Parish, New Castle, and judicial vicar for the Diocesan Tribunal.

Rev. Mark Kelleher is appointed pastor of Holy Family Church, Newark, effective June 25.

Rev. Christopher LaBarge is appointed pastor of St. Francis de Sales Parish, Salisbury, Md./ Holy Redeemer, Delmar, Md., effective June 25.

Rev. James Nash is appointed pastor of SS Peter and Paul Parish, Easton, Md. / St. Joseph Mission, Cordova, Md., / St. Michael Mission, St. Michael, Md., effective June 25.

Rev. Clemens Manista is appointed pastor of Our Mother of Sorrows Parish, Centreville, Md. / St. Peter’s Mission, Queenstown, Md., effective June 25.

Rev. Hilary Rodgers is appointed pastor of Holy Spirit Church, New Castle, effective June 25.



Rev. John Gabage is appointed administrator of St. Benedict Parish, Ridgely, Md. / St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Denton, Md., effective June 25.


Associate Pastors

Rev. Jones Kukatla is appointed associate pastor of Holy Cross Parish, Dover, and hospital chaplain at Kent General Hospital, Dover, effective June 1.

Rev. David Murphy is appointed associate pastor of St. Elizabeth Parish, Wilmington, effective June 25.

Rev. John Solomon is appointed associate pastor of St. Francis de Sales Parish, Salisbury, Md. / Holy Redeemer, Delmar, Md., effective June 25.



Deacon Michael Truman is re-appointed coordinator of prison ministry for the Diocese of Wilmington, effective immediately for a three-year term.

Deacon Wilbur L. Pinder Jr. has requested and been granted retirement from diaconal ministry with the Diocese of Wilmington, effective June 11.




Most Rev. W. Francis Malooly

Bishop of Wilmington

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Bishops lobby members of Congress on immigration after Mission for Migrants Mass


Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — As a half-dozen bishops celebrated Mass at a church on Capitol Hill before beginning a day of lobbying members of Congress on immigration reform, the event itself gave a sense of the many layers of effort they were undertaking.

Miami Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski speaks during a news conference May 29 after celebrating the “Mission for Migrants” Mass at St. Peter’s Catholic Church on Capitol Hill in Washington. Also pictured are Kevin Appleby, director of migration and public affairs for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Seattle Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio L. Elizondo, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ migration committee, Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson, Ariz., and retired Bishop Ricardo Ramirez of Las Cruces, N.M. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

Songs were led by a multicultural choir in a half-dozen languages. The preaching was in English. The congregation consisted largely of people who work for organizations involved in advocacy for immigration reform and included three high-level White House staff members. And the majority of reporters at a news conference afterward were from religious or Spanish-language media.

The bishops were scheduled to meet with House members from their home districts, among others, and to conclude their day with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

Boehner has said he would not bring an immigration reform bill passed a year ago by the Senate onto the House floor unless it had the support of a majority of Republicans. Advocates believe there are enough Republican supporters of the bill for it to pass, along with the votes of nearly all House Democrats, although there is not the majority Boehner seeks within the Republican caucus on its own.

In his homily, Miami Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski compared the current immigration law to the British taxation that led patriots to toss tea into Boston Harbor; to the civil disobedience of Rosa Parks, who broke the law that required her to give up her bus seat to a white man; and to Jesus’ response to those who accused him of breaking Jewish law by healing people on the Sabbath. “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath,” Jesus said, according to the Gospel of Mark.

“When laws fail to advance the common good, they can and should be changed,” Archbishop Wenski said.

“Outdated laws, ill adapted to the increasing interdependence of our world and the globalization of labor, are bad laws,” he said. But, he warned, substitutes for bad laws are no improvement if they fail to take into account both human dignity and national interest.

Archbishop Wenski further compared the immigration situation to that in Victor Hugo’s 19th-century novel “Les Miserables,” which tells, the archbishop said, “how pride and neglect of mercy represented in the bitterly zealous legalism of Inspector Javert ultimately destroys him. Today, modern-day Javerts, on radio and TV talk shows, fan flames of resentment against supposed law breakers, equating them with terrorists intent on hurting us.”

He continued: “However, these people only ask for the opportunity to become legal and have a chance for citizenship, to come out of the shadows where they live in fear of a knock on their door in the dead of night or an immigration raid to their work place.”

The Mass at St. Peter Catholic Church, a couple of blocks away from the Capitol, was concelebrated by six bishops and another half-dozen priests. Most of the bishops had participated in a Mass at the Mexican border in April, held in support of immigration reform, in memory of migrants who have died, and in solidarity with families torn apart by deportations and immigration policies.

At a news conference after the Mass, Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson, Arizona, talked about the kind of lesson the bishops learned from their visit to the border and what they would communicate to the members of Congress they were to meet.

In addition to the Mass at the border fence in Nogales, in Bishop Kicanas’ diocese, while they were in Arizona the bishops walked through the desert along a route used by migrants. They also met with the Border Patrol, served dinner at a soup kitchen for people who’ve been deported, met with deported women in a shelter in Mexico and toured the office of the Pima County medical examiner who tries to identify bodies found in the desert.

“When someone meets a migrant and hears his story, listens to his struggles, it has a powerful effect on changing one’s thinking,” Bishop Kicanas said.

Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio L. Elizondo of Seattle, who chairs the U.S. bishops’ migration committee, said he had just returned from meeting with bishops of Latin America, many of whom expressed their concern for the treatment of their countrymen as they try to better their lives by getting to the United States, and for the families broken apart when someone is deported.

At St. Peter Church, one question put to the bishops was “is it immoral to disagree with you?” The reporter suggested a different position on immigration reform was “a matter of prudential judgment.”

The morality of the bishops’ approach to immigration comes from the Gospel, Archbishop Wenski said. “I was a stranger and you welcomed me,” he quoted Jesus saying. “The prudential part comes in how we act on that.”

Bishop Kicanas said the approach taken with people who disagree is key. “It’s important not to demagogue people who are fearful or angry” about immigrants. “It’s important to be with them, and to help them see the Gospel message.”

Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, N.M., who also was at the border Mass, told Catholic News Service after the news conference that the experience at the border added a sense of urgency to addressing immigration reform.

In his diocese, he said Catholic Charities deals all the time with families who are divided by someone’s deportation. But the walk the bishops took through the desert “was very powerful” in illustrating what risks people are willing to take to escape poverty and violence in their home countries.

“People are not coming because it’s going to be easy,” he said. Especially with the increased border security of the last decade, it’s almost impossible to cross the border illegally on one’s own, Bishop Cantu said, and the human smuggling industry is now controlled by the drug cartels. “It really puts lives in danger.”

A related video has been posted at http://youtu.be/rQZ0h1WC24c.

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Jesus promises joy, but life’s not always a party, Pope Francis says

May 30th, 2014 Posted in Vatican News Tags: , , ,


Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — While Jesus promises great joy, being a Christian doesn’t mean that life will become all sunshine and roses, Pope Francis said.

The joy Jesus promises comes from knowing there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and receiving the strength and hope needed to get through the hard times, the pope said.

“We have to tell the truth: not every part of Christian life is a party. Not all of it,” the pope said May 30 during his early morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where he lives.

Challenges such as illness, having troubles with a family member, a paycheck that doesn’t cover expenses or defaulting on a mortgage and losing one’s home are not uncommon, he said in his homily, according to a report by Vatican Radio.

There are “many problems, we have many. But Jesus tells us, ‘Do not be afraid.’”

The pope said there are two kinds of sadness or grief: one that leads to despair, and one that is at peace with joy in hope.

There is “the sadness that happens to all of us when we head down a path that is no good,” such as when we try to “buy joy, worldly happiness,” he said, but “in the end, there is an emptiness in us, a sadness.”

“This is the sadness of bad happiness,” he said, while the happiness that comes from Christ “is a joy in hope that will come.”

The pope said Jesus describes “the sadness that turns into joy” in the day’s reading from the Gospel of St. John (16:20-24) when Jesus told his disciples that “you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.”

He said Jesus explains how life’s difficulties and trials can be endured with a peaceful heart by using the example of a woman in labor, who experiences a suffering that leads to the joy felt with the child finally in her arms.

That final joy is “the joy of Jesus, a purified joy” that can never be taken away, Pope Francis said.

“The sign that we have this joy in hope” is a soul at peace, despite life’s trials and difficulties, he said.

“If you are at peace, you have the seed of this joy that will come.”

This “is the message of the church today: Do not be afraid,” he said, and “be courageous in suffering.”

“Think about what comes after with the Lord; afterwards comes joy, after the darkness comes the sun.”


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