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Queen Elizabeth to visit Pope Francis at Vatican on April 3


Catholic News Service

The Queen of England will visit Pope Francis at the Vatican in April, Buckingham Palace announced.

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II waves from a carriage as she leaves the Palace of Westminster after a lunch to mark her diamond jubilee in London last June.

A Feb. 4 statement said Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, will meet the pope on April 3.

The queen and prince will visit Rome at the invitation of Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, the statement said.

It said the royal couple would attend a private lunch hosted by the president at the presidential palace, then would have an audience with the pope at the Vatican.

The 87-year-old queen, who has reigned since 1952, was the first British sovereign to welcome a pope to England when she greeted Blessed Pope John Paul II in London in 1982.

In 2010, Queen Elizabeth also welcomed Pope Benedict XVI to Britain when he arrived in Edinburgh, Scotland, on the first stop of a tour that concluded with the beatification of Blessed John Henry Newman.

The visit to Rome will be the first overseas trip for the royal couple for three years, a period in which Prince Philip, 92, has been troubled by ill health.

The queen is the constitutional head of the British state and is also the supreme governor of the Church of England.

The London-based Daily Mail newspaper, which broke the story ahead of the announcement by Buckingham Palace, speculated that the royal visit would strengthen ties between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion.

It also said Pope Francis would not receive the queen and the duke in the Vatican state apartments but in the three modestly furnished rooms that the pontiff occupies in the Domus Sanctae Marthae guesthouse.


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After yet another weather delay, high school basketball resumes Tuesday


Last week was an exciting week of games for the boys that saw No. 2 Salesianum beat No. 1 Sanford, and St Marks split a pair against Catholic schools. This week has the potential to be better. So let’s take a look at this week’s boys games.

Tuesday: St. Elizabeth at Archmere, 6:15 p.m. The Auks are looking for revenge against the Vikings, who handed Archmere its only in-state loss, 68-60, on Jan. 23. The Vikings (4-9) come in off a win over Smyrna in which they scored 93 points. Archmere is 13-2 and looking to extend a four-game winning streak. Read more »

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Delaware Catholic high schools announce scholarship winners


The seven Catholic high schools in Delaware have announced which eighth-grade students have earned scholarships for the 2014-15 academic year. All information has been provided by the schools.


St. Thomas More Academy


Holy Cross: Nicole Pinera, Guilia Randazzo

Jefferson: Alya Lahiff

Sussex Academy: Ryan Anderson, Elise Conlin

Smyrna Middle: Ryan Dean



Most Blessed Sacrament: Caroline Pasquariell, Michaelson Capuano, Chloe Sass


Ursuline Academy


Ursuline: Hannah Ali, Yara Awad, Maxon Blow, Lauren Chua, Maggie Connolly, Mary Goodridge, Dominique Kendus, Annelisa Lyles, Erin McGrellis

St. Mary Magdalen: Madelyn Heck, Nicole Kelly, Rita Offutt, Anna Zdunek

Christ the Teacher: Amber Owens

St. John the Beloved: Emily Sardo

Immaculate Heart of Mary: Sadie Ward

Independence: Riley Beck, Natalie Comer, Cameron Johnson, Esha Mishra, Sophia Riveros, Amy Thomson

Springer: Chelsea Gbemudu

St. Anne’s Episcopal: Madison Larmore

P.S. DuPont: Emma Lucey, Hannah Ward

Cab Calloway: Giavanna Mariano, Annie Nguyen

H.B. DuPont: Alexis Ward



St. Philomena: Elizabeth Brutsche

Kennett Middle: Theodora Elliman, Jasmine MacFarlane,


New Jersey

Woodland Country Day: Olivia O’Donnell



Patterson Mill: Kathryn Perrault


St. Mark’s High School


St. Mary Magdalen: Liam Lehane, Anna Gallo, William Hoffman

St. John the Beloved: Grady McPeak Timothy Rubini, Mollie Russell, Connor Daniel, Rachel Staib, Erin Derick

Christ the Teacher: Lorenzo Alafriz, Nicole Kirk, Jessica Lawless, Corey O’Donnell, Patricia Ortega, Conner Bolinski, Emily Sipko, Joshua Venti

Immaculate Heart of Mary: Maria DiStefano, Brendan Wilhelm

Holy Angels: Heather Little, Marigrace Ferrill, Juliana Stape, Nicholas Kayatta

St. Elizabeth: Evelyn Welsh

All Saints: Brandon Dongfack, Eric Hendrixson, Katherine Husbands, Meaghan Kane

St. Ann’s: Callie Freda

St. Anthony: Christina Molloy

St. Peter: Mikayla Purnell

Serviam: Alicia Wilson

Independence: Cameron Johnson, Andrew Koense, Esha Mishra, Maggie Myers, Samuel Myers, Maya Sitaran, David Suddard

St. Anne’s Episcopal: Madison Larmore

Layton Prep: Austin Lin

H.B DuPont: Erin Michalcewicz (SP?), Madelyn Vanhorn

Redding Middle: Keerthana Chintalapati

Alfred G. Waters: Matthew Gray

P.S. DuPont: Jesse Li, Francesca Sedlacek

Tower Hill: Eric Jansson



Mount Aviat: Grace Liberatore, Max Classen, Caitlin Marsilii

Immaculate Conception: Clare Estes, Hannah Schepers



Assumption BVM: Evan Gutherman

Avon Grove: Justin Sarver


New Jersey

Penns Grove: Abigail Hamilton


Salesianum School


St. Mary Magdalen: Lucien Peach, Francis Fanning

Christ the Teacher: Lorenzo Alafriz, Matthew Balbierer, Owen Fink, Corey O’Donnell, Conner Bolinski

St. Edmond’s: Jackson Whallon, Owen King, Jack deBruin

St. Ann’s: Charles Klous

St. Peter the Apostle: Matthew Knotts

St. John the Beloved: Grady McPeak, Nicholas Saponaro, Joseph Fassano

Immaculate Heart of Mary: Benjamin Myers, Michael McGowan, Brendan Wilhelm

Independence: Ryan Law, Sanath Patil, Matthew Ryan

Newark Charter: Joseph Wesselman

Alfred G. Waters: Noah Carpe

P.S. DuPont: Patrick Taylor

Layton Preparatory: Austin Lin

Cab Calloway: Michael Hemphill



St. Agnes: Frank Byrd, Daniel Redmond, Jonathan Schiltz, Nicholas Fanelli

Ss. Simon and Jude: John Simonelli, Patrick McConologue, Brendan Manning, David Angelo

Ss. Peter and Paul: Gerald Wilmer, Nicholas Slachta

St. Cornelius: Joseph Rizzo

Malvern Prep: Timothy McLaughlin

Assumption BVM: Christian Trowbridge

Notre Dame de Lourdes: Ryan Whelan

St. Mary Magdalen: Nicholas Palermo

Holy Family: Evan Mader

Waldron Mercy: Raymond Cobb

Garnet Valley: Cooper Urban

C.F. Patton: William Prysock



Mount Aviat: Max Classen


New Jersey

Mullica Hill Friends: Alexander Gulea


Archmere Academy


P.S. DuPont: Alisa Yakovenko, Francesca Sedlacek, Helen Laster, Grace Zhang, Brant Wesley, Connor Smeader, Natasha Gengler, Emily Zheng, Jiawei Miao, Kevin Khov, Nicolas Larson, Jake Collins, Peter Liu, Talya Speak, Sophie Friedman, Sarayu Sivaram

St. Edmond’s: Jack Whallon, Jack deBruin, David Bondi

St. Mary Magdalen: Anna Zdunek, Grace DiGiovanni, Anna Gallo, Francis Fanning, Liam Lehane, Evan Callaghan

Immaculate Heart of Mary: Gillen Curren, Benjamin Myers, Emily Rosato, Francis Doran, Sarah Weir

St. John the Beloved: Rachel Staib

Ursuline: Lauren Chua, Mary Spadaro, Mary Goodridge

All Saints: Eric Hendrixson

St. Elizabeth: Evelyn Welsh

St. Ann: John Prosceno

Sanford: Evan Sabini

Independence: Sophia Riveros, Adeline Davis, Amy Thomson, Grace Gong, Sohan Shah, Pooja Kaji, Karna Nagalla, Meera Garg, Ryan Law, Andrew Koense, Ashish Mahuli, Rajeswari Kambhamettu, Sanath Patti, Esha Mishra, Maya Sitaram, Anna Suh, Theodore Fairfield, Kristina Giakas, Blaine Seifert, Kyra Giakas

Tower Hill: Isabelle Pilson

Newark Charter: Michael Chen

H.B. DuPont: Shinny Sun, Annie Wu, Ria Ahuja, Bertran Yang, Elena Hu

Redding: Keerthana Chintalapati, Cassandra Paterson

St. Anne’s Episcopal: Madison Larmore

Springer: Connor Alabrudzinski

Wilmington Friends: Ryan Nowaczyk, Jacob Morris, Siena Ballotta Garman

Skyline: Arushi Tayal, Matthew Cho, Justin Sharpe



Ss. Colman-John Neumann: Patrick Beck

Holy Family: Evan Mader, Juliana Testa

St. Maximilian Kolbe: Anna Martino, Joseph DiGregorio

Ss. Simon and Jude: Nikoleta Testa, Brendan Manning, David Angelo

St. Cornelius: Samuel Linton, Victoria Anderson, Charles Sanders

Villa Maria: Alexa Clarke, Christina Cramer, Maryanna Gattuso

St. Francis de Sales: Travis Gaskill

Notre Dame de Lourdes: Ryan Whelan,

St. Patrick: Eileen Piombino

St. Mary Magdalen: Connor Ruggieri

St. Thomas the Apostle: Brittany Knob

St. Agnes: Jonathan Schiltz

Our Lady of Angels: Sean Kelly

Northley: Devon Linn, Rebecca Gomes, Shreyas Parab

Avon Grove Charter: Justin Sarver

Garnet Valley: Cooper Urban, Amanda Denning, Alexa Conner, Elena Taylor, Connor O’Brien

Patton: Daphne Ho, Madyson McDougal

Media Providence Friends: Daniel Marcolongo

Chichester: Melanie Dempsey

Westtown: Thomas Hogan

Stetson: Kathleen Griffith

Haverford Friends: James Radomile


New Jersey

Mullica Hill Friends: Alexander Gulea, Magdalen Lind, Nicholas Martorelli, Kyle Rowe

Kingsway: Lauren Formanski, Madison Ambrose

St. James: Dara Dawson, Juliana Wallgren



Mount Aviat: Max Classen


St. Elizabeth High School


All Saints: Brandon Dongfack, Danielle Eckton

Christ the Teacher: Lorenzo Alafriz, Matthew Balbierer, Colby Corrozi, Isabel Durnan, Owen Fink, Joel Hafycz, Nicole Kirk, Rebecca Miller, Corey O’Donnell

Holy Angels: Nicholas Kayatta

Immaculate Heart of Mary: Francis Doran, Matthew Hurst, Brendan Wilhelm

St. Edmond’s: Dylan Kirk

St. Elizabeth: Alena Boyer, Rebecca Gonzalez, Irene Hu, Emily Marvel, Abigail Thompson, Evelyn Welsh

St. John the Beloved:  Ava Stratton

St. Mary Magdalen: Karl Bryan, Liam Lehane

St. Peter the Apostle School: Reiley Bond

H.B. duPont: Sarah Kunkle

Alfred G. Waters: Matthew Gray, Emily Gray

P.S. duPont: Sarayu Sivaram

Independence: Adair Bartram, Eric Ziegler



Northley: Rebecca Gomes

St. Philomena: Elizabeth Brutsche



Padua Academy


All Saints: Danielle Eckorn, Lauren Freebery, McKenna Rybaltowski

Christ the Teacher: Ursula Dzik, Elena Ikeocha,Rebecca Miller, Patricia Janae Ortega, Amber Owens, Emily Sipko

Holy Angels: Marigrace Ferrill, Heather Little, Peyton Sikes, Julianna Stape

Immaculate Heart of Mary: Claire Bisson, Maria DiStefano, Madelyn Phillips, Emily Rosato

St. Ann: Callie Freda, Annika Sernyak

St. Elizabeth: Alena Boyer, Emily Marvel

St. John the Beloved: Mary Shannon Dougherty, Lauren Hilger, Sarah Manno, Ava Stratton

St. Mary Magdalen: Grace DiGiovanni, Anna Gallo, Anna Zdunek

Ursuline: Victora Millsap

C.F. Patton: Madeline Maier

Alfred G. Waters: Emily Gray

H.B. DuPont: Erin Dolan, Sarah Kunkle, Madelyn Van Horn

P.S. DuPont: Emma Lucey, Francesca Sedlacek

Springer: Siobhan Mangan

Independence: Adair Bartram, Esha Mishra, Sophia Riveros, Lauren Schafer, Maya Sitaram, Amanda Stull, Anna Suh



Holy Family: Juliana Testa

Notre Dame de Lourdes: Anne Bohnenberger

St. Thomas the Apostle: Kathleen Melia

St. Cornelius: Victoria Anderson

St. Maximilian Kolbe: Caroline McColgan, Anna Martino

St. Philomena: Elizabeth Brutsche, Katherine Giardinelli

Sacred Heart: Gianna Vitelli

Fred S. Engle: Sydney Przywara

Kennett: Jasmine MacFarlane

Northley: Rebecca Gomes, Devon Linn



Mount Aviat: Olivia Giannetta, Grace Liberatore, Kaeley Willemsen


New Jersey

St. James: Molly Mausolf

St. Margaret: Sarah Philbin

Kingsway: Lauren Formanski, Kayleen Italia

Penns Grove: Abigail Hamilton

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The church without religious sisters is ‘unthinkable,’ pope says


Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — A church without religious sisters would be “unthinkable,” Pope Francis said, honoring the contributions consecrated men and women make to the church and society.

Nuns sing during a prayer service for men and women religious at St. Anthony High School in South Huntington, N.Y. CNS file

“Every consecrated person is a gift to the people of God on pilgrimage,” he said Feb. 2, reciting the Angelus with visitors in St. Peter’s Square. The pope had just finished celebrating Mass for the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, which the church marks as the World Day for Consecrated Life.

“There is such a great need for their presence, which reinforces and renews the commitment to spreading the Gospel, Christian education, charity for the neediest, contemplative prayer, the human and spiritual formation of the young and families, and the commitment to justice and peace in the human family,” the pope said.

Straying from his prepared text, Pope Francis told people gathered in the square: “Think what would happen if there weren’t any sisters, if there weren’t any sisters in the hospitals, no sisters in the missions, no sisters in the schools. Think what the church would be like without sisters. No, that’s unthinkable.”

Consecrated life is a gift that moves the church forward, he said.

“These women who consecrate their lives to carrying forward the message of Jesus — they’re great,” he added.

Pope Francis asked all Catholics to pray “that many young people would respond ‘yes’’ to the Lord when he calls them to consecrate themselves totally to him.”

The earlier liturgy for the feast of the presentation, once widely known as “Candlemas,” began with dozens of sisters, brothers and religious priests carrying lighted candles into St. Peter’s Basilica ahead of the pope.

In his homily, he urged religious to allow the joy of the Holy Spirit to guide both their observance of their communities’ rules and their willingness to be prophetic.

Religious must “never be rigid or closed, but always open to the voice of God who speaks, who opens and who leads and invites us to go out toward the horizon,” he said.

Within religious communities, the pope said, the elderly should communicate their wisdom to the young and the young should accept “this patrimony of experience and wisdom and carry it forward, not to preserve it in a museum — no, no, no — but to continue it and bring it to bear on the challenges that life poses.”



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Pope Francis call for promotion of life at every stage

February 3rd, 2014 Posted in Vatican News Tags: , , , ,


Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis called on all Catholics to welcome, serve and respect life, whether still unborn or approaching its natural end.

He asked that everyone, each in his or her own “particular role and sphere, feel called to love and serve life, to welcome it, respect it and promote it, especially when it is fragile and needs attention and care, from the mother’s womb to its end on this earth.”

The pope’s remarks came after reciting the Sunday Angelus with people gathered in St. Peter’s Square Feb. 2, which was designated in Italy as the Day for Life.

The pope encouraged all associations and movements involved in “the defense and promotion of life” to continue their work.

He also quoted a statement by Italian bishops that “every child has the face of the Lord, lover of life, a gift for families and society.”

He thanked those in the Diocese of Rome who organized the annual Day for Life celebration, as well as university professors who organized seminars and conferences on “current difficulties linked to childbirth.”


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Pope’s morning homily: Temptation is a fact of life; no one is immune to sin

January 31st, 2014 Posted in Vatican News Tags: , , , , ,


Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Temptation is a normal part of life’s struggle, and anyone who claims to be immune from it is either a little angel visiting from heaven or “a bit of an idiot,” Pope Francis said.

The biggest problem in the world, in fact, isn’t temptation or sin, rather it is people deluding themselves that they’re not sinners and losing any sense of sin, he said Jan. 31 during his early morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where he lives.

“All of us are sinners and all of us are tempted; temptation is our daily bread,” he said, according to Vatican Radio.

“If someone tells us, ‘Well, I have never been tempted,’” that person is either “a cherub or a bit of an idiot, right?” he said.

The battle against sin and temptation “is normal in life,” he said, because the devil is always up to something “and he wants victory.”

The pope reflected on the day’s reading from the Second Book of Samuel, in which David commits adultery with Bathsheba and then has her husband, Uriah the Hittite, killed in battle as a last resort to avoid trouble with Uriah for having impregnated Bathsheba.

“The most serious problem in this reading isn’t so much the temptation and the sin” of adultery, the pope said, “but how David behaves.” He doesn’t see what he’s done as a sin, but as a problem to fix, the pope said.

In the “Our Father,” Christians pray to the Lord “thy kingdom come,” he said. But when people lose all sense of sin, he said, they also lose the sense that God, his glory and kingdom must be at the center of their daily life.

What emerges instead is a vision of man as “super powerful, in which ‘I can do anything.’”

“Salvation will not come through our cunning, our shrewdness” or savvy in wheeling and dealing, he said. “Salvation will come from the grace of God” and praying daily for that grace.

Many people like Uriah end up paying a high price for other people’s pride and for Christians who are too self-assured to see and confess their sin, he said.

“This human pride, also when I see the danger that it’s happening to me, the danger of losing the sense of sin, it’s good for me to think about the many Uriahs throughout history, the many Uriahs who today suffer from our Christian mediocrity when we lose the sense of sin and let the kingdom of God fall,” the pope said.


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Church must always protect children against abuse, pope says


Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Children and young people must always be protected against sexual abuse and always find adequate support in the church community, Pope Francis told the Vatican doctrinal office dealing with suspected cases of sexual abuse by clergy.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith should also look at ways to collaborate with a new papal advisory commission on abuse, which, the pope said, he wants to be an exemplary model for child protection.

“I want to thank you for your dedication to dealing with the delicate set of problems concerning the so-called most grave crimes, in particular cases of sexual abuse of minors by clerics,” Pope Francis said in a written speech Jan. 31.

He called on the congregation, which was given exclusive jurisdiction over a number of these most serious crimes in 2001, to focus on “the well-being of children and young people, who in the Christian community must always be protected and supported in their human and spiritual growth,” he said.

The pope asked the doctrinal office to also study ways it could cooperate with the special commission for the protection of young people he established in December.

While the pope has yet to name who will be on the new advisory commission, he said in his speech that he wants the new body to be “exemplary for everyone who is charged with promoting the well-being of children.”

Less than a month after his March 13 election, Pope Francis met with the congregation’s prefect, Cardinal-designate Gerhard Muller, reaffirming the importance of continuing “to act decisively concerning cases of sexual abuse,” according to a Vatican statement.

The pope wanted the congregation to continue promoting measures to protect children; to offer care and help for victims; to implement necessary procedures against those found guilty; and to have bishops’ conferences formulate and implement appropriate directives for child protection, the statement had said.

The pope’s meeting and speech Jan. 31 addressed Cardinal-designate Muller and members, advisers and other people taking part in the congregation’s plenary assembly.

Pope Francis asked the congregation to work in such a way that “the criteria of faith prevail in the words and practice of the church.”

The faith needs to shine “in its simplicity and original purity,” he said, so God may appear in all his glory and bring people to Christ.

Unfortunately there has always existed “the temptation to interpret doctrine in an ideological sense or to reduce it to a collection of abstract and crystallized theories,” he said.

Instead, “doctrine has the sole aim of serving the life of the people of God and is meant to ensure our faith has a sure foundation.”

However, the temptation is still great for people to “to appropriate for ourselves the gifts of salvation that comes from God, to domesticate them, perhaps also with good intentions, according to the views and spirit of the world.”

Safeguarding the purity and integrity of the faith is “a very delicate task” and must be done in collaboration and with a spirit of communion with local pastors and the doctrinal offices of the world’s bishops’ conferences, he said.

The congregation tries to maintain “constructive, respectful and patient dialogue” in its work, the pope noted. If truth demands fidelity, he said, fidelity “always grows in charity and brotherly assistance for those who are called to mature or clarify their convictions.”

Dialogue, communion and collegiality with all parties are key, he added.

“I am certain that the more collegiality will be the actual way we work, the more the light of our faith will shine before the world,” he said.

He also noted the plenary reflected on an issue retired Pope Benedict XVI had designated for further study: the need to look more closely at people’s faith and the sacrament of marriage.

In a January 2013 speech to the Roman Rota, the now-retired pope asked for closer reflection on the impact a person’s lack of faith in God could have on the validity of marriage.


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Sals power past St. Elizabeth behind career-high 32 from O’Neill


Staff reporter


WILMINGTON – Brian O’Neill continued his dominating inside play, scoring a career-high 32 points as Salesianum defeated St. Elizabeth, 74-66, Thursday night at home. O’Neill followed up Tuesday’s 15-point, 18-rebound performance against Sanford with another monster game, hitting 15 field goals against the Vikings to go along with two free throws for the No. 2 Sals, who improved to 12-2.

The 6-7 senior served notice early on that this was his night. After St. Elizabeth took a 2-1 lead on free throws by freshman Malik Curry, O’Neill scored the next two buckets. The Vikings retook the lead on baskets from Curry and Brandon Gautier, but the Sals would score the next 13 points, taking an 18-6 lead they would never relinquish.

O’Neill said the team stayed with its normal routine and game plan after the win against Sanford. “We were pretty aware that we had just come off a big game and we didn’t want to have any letdowns.”

Salesianum extended its lead to 22-9 on the first field goal of the second quarter when Donte DiVincenzo followed a missed basket with a rebound jam, drawing loud cheers from the Salesianum students in front of him. The lead was 12 when O’Neill went to the bench with 2:40 to go in the half, and St. Elizabeth responded with a 7-1 run and trailed by just six, 37-31, at the half. St. E’s senior Joseph Piekarski led the charge, scoring nine of his 16 points in the second.

Any doubts about the outcome were erased in the third, as the Sals began the quarter with an 8-0 run that included a steal and dunk by DiVincenzo, plus another steal and fast-break layup by Shane Clark. Salesianum would lead, 63-46, at the end of three, and all five starters would be on the bench before it ended.

DiVincenzo returned in the fourth as St. Elizabeth cut the deficit to single digits, but the outcome was never in doubt. O’Neill returned for a few minutes and added his final five points. DiVincenzo, who finished with 23 points, said it is important to get everybody on the roster some meaningful minutes.

“It’s very important because every day at practice they work hard and push us, and a couple of them are juniors so going forward for next year, it’s going to benefit them,” he said. “They got the opportunity to play tonight, and they did well.”

O’Neill had five field goals in the first and third, three in the second and two in the final quarter. He scored off offensive rebounds and on passes he was fed down low. He demurred when asked if he is playing his best basketball since arriving at Salesianum. The sole focus, he said, is the team.

“I like to think our team’s playing the best basketball since I’ve been here. That’s the goal, to get better every game. Our trend line has been going up since the beginning of the season as a team, and that’s the most important thing, without a doubt. Our goal is to win a state championship. If we keep taking steps like we did tonight and the last couple days, we should be in pretty good shape,” he said.

Curry led the Vikings with 19 points. He was joined in double figures by Gautier, with 17, and Piekarski, who had 16.

The Sals begin a busy week with their next game, which is Monday at 5:15 p.m. at A.I. DuPont. They also play next Thursday and Saturday. St. Elizabeth, which fell to 3-9, returns to action Saturday at home at 1:30 p.m. against Smyrna.

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‘Open Your Heart to Christ’ in Annual Catholic Appeal


For The Dialog


Christine Smith has her pride as well as her needs.

“I don’t come unless I need help,” she said in a low voice recently at the Seton Center in Princess Anne, Md. “Sometimes you get low on food.”

When Smith does need assistance, she is not afraid to call upon the staff of Seton Center, an arm of Catholic Charities.

“I feel comfortable here. They treat you good here,” she said. “They treat you like a family member.”

Smith’s encounter with Seton Center staff provides a nutshell view of what the Annual Catholic Appeal is all about. This year’s theme is “Open Your Heart to Christ,” based on John 9:1-41. Catholics who open their hearts to Christ and donate to the Appeal enable the staff at Seton Center to open their hearts and services to those in need. Read more »

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Thieves confess, but relic of Blessed John Paul II still missing

January 30th, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized Tags: , , ,


Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Less than a week after a relic of Blessed John Paul II disappeared from a country chapel east of Rome, Italian police arrested two men for the theft, but the venerated piece of fabric stained with the late pope’s blood was still missing.

A broken glass of a display case where the reliquary with the blood of Blessed John Pail II was located is seen next to a painting of the late pontiff in the church of San Pietro della Ienca, near the city of L’Aquila, Italy, Jan. 28. (CNS/Reuters)

Italian media reported Jan. 30 that police had found an empty iron reliquary, along with a stolen cross, buried on the grounds of a drug treatment facility in the city of L’Aquila, about 75 miles east of Rome. Two men in their early 20s, who were being questioned in connection with another crime, confessed they had stolen the objects and then revealed their location to police.

But the men said they had discarded the relic itself, reportedly a piece of the clothing Blessed John Paul was wearing when he was shot May 13, 1981, by throwing it into some bushes near the facility. Members of Italy’s specialized scientific police were searching the grounds.

The relic and the cross were first reported missing from the church of San Pietro della Ienca over the weekend of Jan. 25-26. The church, where Blessed John Paul often prayed, is located 13 miles north of L’Aquila, in the mountainous Abruzzo region where the late pope frequently went on brief vacations.

Polish Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow, who served as Blessed John Paul’s personal secretary during his pontificate, gave the relic to the chapel in recognition of the late pope’s many visits.


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