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Pope appeals for peace in Iraq, announces plans to visit Albania

June 16th, 2014 Posted in Featured, Vatican News Tags: , ,

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis expressed his fears over increasing violence in Iraq and prayed for peace, security and reconciliation in the country. He also announced he would be visiting Albania Sept. 21 to encourage the Catholic minority there and the people “who long suffered as a result of the ideologies of the past.” Read more »

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Pope announces six to be made saints

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis formally announced six men and women would be made saints Nov. 23, the feast of Christ the King. He made the announcement during a morning “ordinary public consistory,” a meeting of cardinals and promoters of the sainthood causes that formally ends the sainthood process.

The same day, June 12, he advanced the sainthood causes of eight men and women, including Mother Magdalen Taylor, an Anglican convert and British foundress of a religious order.

After signing the decrees in April recognizing the miracles needed for their canonizations, the pope announced before cardinals gathered that the new saints would be:

• Kuriakose Elias Chavara, the Indian founder of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate, a Syro-Malabar Catholic order.

• Euphrasia Eluvathingal, an Indian Carmelite sister and member of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church.

• Nicholas of Longobardi, an Italian friar of the Minim order.

• Giovanni Antonio Farina, an Italian bishop of Vicenza and the founder of the Teaching Sisters of St. Dorothy.

• Ludovico of Casoria, an Italian Franciscan priest who founded the Grey Franciscan Friars of Charity and the Grey Franciscan Sisters of St. Elizabeth.

• Amato Ronconi, a 13th-century Italian lay Franciscan and founder of a hospice for the poor, which is now a home for the elderly in Rimini, Italy.

After the morning consistory, the pope then met privately with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes.

The pope signed decrees recognizing the miracles needed for the future beatifications of:

• Louis-Edouard Cestac, a French priest who founded the Congregation of the Servants of Mary.

• Irene Stefani, an Italian member of the Consolata Missionary Sisters, who assisted the wounded in Kenya and Tanzania during World War I. She died in Kenya in 1930.

The pope also recognized the heroic virtues of:

• Mother Magdalen Taylor, then Frances Taylor, volunteered to join Florence Nightingale in helping wounded soldiers in Turkey during the Crimean War. An Anglican, she joined the Catholic Church while serving in the Crimea and later founded the Poor Servants of the Mother of God. She died in 1900.

• Uberto Mori, an Italian engineer, professor and businessman, who also started a local television station for evangelizing. He died in 1989.

• Maria Giuseppa Scandola, a member of the Comboni Missionary Sisters, who died in what is now South Sudan in 1903.

• Luigi Savare, an Italian priest who worked with young people and died in 1949.

• Eugenio Reffo, an Italian priest and co-founder of the Congregation of St. Joseph. He died in 1925.

• Itala Mela, an Italian laywoman and Benedictine Oblate who died in 1957.

 

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Pope to Spanish daily: World’s economic system produces war to enrich itself

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis said the world economic system inevitably promotes military conflict as way to enrich the most powerful nations.

Pope Francis greets the crowd during his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican June 11. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

He also condemned religious fundamentalism, defended the controversial record of Pope Pius XII and said he does not worry about his personal security because, “at my age I don’t have much to lose.”

Pope Francis’ words appeared in a wide-ranging interview published June 12 in the Spanish daily La Vanguardia.

“We are in a world economic system that is not good,” Pope Francis said. “A system that in order to survive must make war, as great empires have always done. But since you cannot have a Third World War, you have regional wars. And what does this mean? That arms are made and sold, and in this way the idolatrous economies, the great world economies that sacrifice man at the feet of the idol of money, obviously keep their balance sheets in the black.”

Yet the pope reiterated one of his signature themes, that globalization’s failings are not only material but cultural, since it “cancels differences.” He called for an economic system that preserves each person’s “particularity, richness, identity.”

The pope also addressed the question of religiously inspired violence, noting that Christians had committed such violence in the past, for example during the 17th-century Thirty Years’ War.

Christianity, Judaism and Islam all “have our fundamentalist groups, small in relation to the rest,” he said. “A fundamentalist group, even if it doesn’t strike anyone, is violent. The mentality of fundamentalism is violence in the name of God.”

The interview with correspondent Henrique Cymerman was conducted June 9, the day after Pope Francis presided over an “invocation for peace” at the Vatican with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The pope said that event took place in spite of skepticism from his own subordinates.

“It was not easy,” the pope said. “Here in the Vatican, 99 percent said it would not happen and afterward the 1 percent grew.”

Pope Francis said Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s decision to attend the invocation was a “risky move” since it left him open to reproaches from other Orthodox Christians, “but he had to extend this gesture of humility.”

The pope also said opening Vatican archives relating to the Holocaust “will shed much light” on that subject, particularly the record of Pope Pius, who critics argue did not say or do all he could to oppose the Nazi genocide.

“They have dumped everything on poor Pius XII. But you have to remember that once he was seen as the great defender of the Jews,” he said. “I am not saying that Pius XII did not make mistakes, I myself make a lot, but you have to interpret his role in the context of the time. Was it better, for example, that he not speak in order to avoid the killing of more Jews, or that he speak?”

Pope Francis voiced irritation at what he characterized as a double standard for judging the wartime pope: “Sometimes I get a slight case of existential hives when I see that everybody has it out for the church and Pius XII, and they forget the great powers,” who failed to bomb the train lines leading to the Nazi death camps.

Reflecting on the Jewish origins of Christianity, the pope said “you cannot live your Christianity, you cannot be a true Christian, if you do not recognize its Jewish root.”

He characterized anti-Semitism as generally a phenomenon of the political right rather than the left, though not as a “strict rule.”

Pope Francis also discussed his priorities and leadership style as pope.

“I don’t have any personal agenda that I carried in under my arm, simply because I never thought they were going to leave me here, in the Vatican,” he said. “What I am doing is carrying out” the recommendations made by cardinals prior to the March 2013 conclave. Among those recommendations, the pope said, was greater consultation with outside advisers, which prompted his establishment of an international, eight-member Council of Cardinals.

Asked how he would like history to remember him, the pope said:  “‘He was a good guy, he did what he could, he was not so bad.’ I would be happy with that.”

Admitting he still acts like a parish priest in some ways, for instance by turning off lights to save money, the famously informal Pope Francis insisted he takes his august role seriously.

“One shouldn’t play at being a papal parish priest. It would be immature,” he said. “When a chief of state comes, I have to receive him with the dignity and protocol he deserves. It’s true that I have my problems with protocol, but one has to respect it.”

The pope acknowledged that his accessibility to crowds, such as during his 2013 visit to Brazil, has left him vulnerable to attacks, but said his safety “is in God’s hands.”

“I cannot greet a nation and tell it that I love it from inside a sardine can, even one made of glass. For me that is a wall,” he said. “It’s true that something can happen to me, but let’s be realistic, at my age I don’t have much to lose.”

Asked about the World Cup, which opened in Brazil June 12, the soccer-loving pope said with a laugh that he had promised Brazilians his neutrality, because of their traditional rivalry with his native Argentina.

 

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Refresher course: ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’

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Catholic News Service

Making eexcellent use of 3-D technology, the 2010 animated adventure “How to Train Your Dragon” earned two Oscar nominations and a large payoff at the box office.

Although it may seem like an eternity to eager young fans, four years is not an overly long time to wait for a sequel given the painstaking nature of the animation process, even when fully computerized.

Astrid rides her faithful dragon in a scene from the movie “How to Train Your Dragon 2.” Catholic News Service classification, A-I — general patronage. Motion Picture Association of America rating, PG — parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children. (CNS photo/DreamWorks Animation)

The team behind “How to Train Your Dragon 2” — which is adapted, like its predecessor, from a series of children’s books by Cressida Cowell — used the interval to create more outstanding visuals. Time spent on the script is less in evidence.

The follow-up is pleasing to the eye, mildly amusing and occasionally poignant. But saddled with promoting an ecologically correct agenda, the dialogue often sounds clumsy.

To recap the original film, after rescuing a wounded dragon whom he dubbed Toothless, Viking teen Hiccup (voice of Jay Baruchel) proved to his fellow residents on the Island of Berk that dragons are not to be feared. Now his community lives in harmony with their former adversaries.

Thus at the outset of the sequel, riders are seen racing the happily domesticated creatures in a game that involves sheep and resembles Quidditch from the “Harry Potter” films.

Twenty-year-old Hiccup does not participate, to the dismay of his father Stoick the Vast (voice of Gerard Butler) who is anxious for his son to succeed him as Berk’s chief. Instead, Hiccup and Toothless are out exploring the world.

Joined by Astrid (voiced by America Ferrera), they encounter a dragon trapper named Eret, Son of Eret (voice of Kit Harington) who is helping the malevolent Drago Bludvist (voice of Djimon Hounsou) assemble a dragon army.

The movie kicks into gear during a thrilling sequence in which Hiccup, soaring high above the clouds astride Toothless, sees a masked figure atop its own magnificent mount. This mysterious individual, who turns out to be someone very close to Hiccup, takes him to a secret sanctuary where an array of colorful dragons, many injured or endangered, are protected by a gigantic, ice-breathing alpha dragon.

In due course, Hiccup and his peers must defend both the sanctuary and Berk against the dragons controlled by Drago.

Overseen by writer-director Dean DeBlois, the animation of the various dragon species is worth the price of admission. The wobbly screenplay, which insists, none too subtly, that respect for all creatures is a moral imperative, needs shoring up.

Cate Blanchett, Kristen Wiig and Jonah Hill are among the actors asked to deliver lines such as: “We will change the world for all dragons and make it a safer place.” “Dragons are kind, amazing creatures that can bring people together.” And, finally, “You have the heart of a chief and the soul of a dragon.”

As these quotes suggest, the movie comes close to elevating dragons above mankind. We are warmongering brutes, whereas they are innately gentle creatures, incapable of evil.

There’s justification for such a view, including the assumption that dragons, like actual animals, do not possess reason or genuine free will and are not tainted by original sin. And it’s no surprise the movie has an ecological message when it seems as if every family-oriented Hollywood movie must do so in order to get made. Still, the theme is taken so far and is expressed in such bald terms that viewers may find it unsettling.

Conversely, when Hiccup is anointed chief at the end, a medicine woman marks his forehead with a dark, cruciform sign that Catholics can interpret as both a nod to Ash Wednesday and as an instructive reminder of the pagan origins of many more ancillary Christian rituals.

While a “How to Train Your Dragon” trilogy is planned, no doubt there will be a wait-and-see period before the third installment gets the final go-ahead. Without compromising their commitment to first-rate animation, the filmmakers would be wise to spend that time honing their script.

Small children may be spooked by some of the imagery, but the episodes in which the dragons behave ferociously are relatively short-lived.

The film contains several scenes with mildly scary fantasy action, one instance of potty language and a single demeaning epithet. The Catholic News Service classification is A-I, general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG. Some material may not be suitable for children.

 

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Avoid the loathsome movie at ‘22 Jump Street’

June 12th, 2014 Posted in Movies Tags: , , ,

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Catholic News Service

Chaotic, foul-mouthed and ultimately loathsome, “22 Jump Street” tries to have it both ways with the subject of homosexuality, alternately snickering at it and defending it.

Male bonding between schlubby undercover cop Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and his partner, dimwitted muscular Jenko (Channing Tatum), is shown with a romantic subtext. But when a skinhead bad guy discovers the two of them in the library stacks and uses a hateful term, Jenko suddenly becomes hugely self-aware and shouts out a lecture on hate speech.

This sequel to 2012′s “21 Jump Street, like its predecessor, a spoof of the Fox series first broadcast in 1987, has a couple of expertly staged action sequences strung together by obscenities.

Co-directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller signal their intentions early on with droll advice from Deputy Chief Hardy (Nick Offerman): “Do the same thing as last time. Everyone’s happy.”

In this installment, Schmidt and Jenko graduate from posing as high school students to infiltrating the fictional Metropolitan City State College where they pretend to be brothers. Their target is a drug dealer who has introduced “Why Phy” to the campus. This imaginary, cocaine-like substance gives young people an instant boost in concentration and energy, but ultimately leads to paranoia and death.

A tiresome parade of crotch-level gags ensues as the two pledge a fraternity; Jenko becomes a star on the football team, and takes gay sexual punning to a new level with quarterback Zook (Wyatt Russell), Schmidt romances Maya (Amber Stevens), who turns out to be the daughter of their perpetually angry commander, Capt. Dickson (Ice Cube); and various students insult them while seeing through their charade.

As in the first movie, the covert program operates in an abandoned church once used by Korean-Americans, only this time, Dickson refers to a large statue of Christ he previously dubbed “Korean Jesus” as “Vietnamese Jesus.” This ugly combination of religious flippancy and mild racism fortunately doesn’t go any further.

The film contains frequent gun and physical violence, much sexual humor, a drug theme, inadvertent narcotics use, a few instances of profanity and pervasive rough and crude language. The Catholic News Service classification is O, morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R, restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

 

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Bishops vote to continue religious liberty work three more years

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Catholic News Service

NEW ORLEANS — The U.S. Catholic bishops June 11 unanimously approved by voice vote a three-year extension of the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty, a proposal for a limited revision of their quadrennial statement offering guidance for election decisions and to continue to use current guidelines for permanent diaconate formation.

The votes came on the first day of the bishops’ June 11-13 annual spring assembly in New Orleans.

To keep down costs, especially since they had only three items requiring a vote, the bishops did not use electronic voting but simply expressed “ayes,” and in this case, no “nays.”

Prior to the vote about extending the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Freedom for three years, Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori, the committee chair, compared the body’s work to the “humble beginnings of the pro-life movement.”

He noted that the March for Life, which began a year after the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, was initially a small gathering and now is the “largest pro-life march in the world.”

Organizers of these initial efforts, he said, didn’t expect changes overnight, but are now seeing shifts in opinion on abortion, especially as polls show how “young people are more pro-life than their parents.”

That effort, he said, has taken a lot of hard work in building bridges, policy work and teaching with pastoral sensitivity about the value of life.

“We find ourselves in a comparable situation with religious freedom,” he said.

Although the ad hoc committee was formed in 2011, the “need for its sustained work is at least as great as when it started,” Archbishop Lori told the bishops.

He noted it has gotten “off to a good start, but there is more work to be done.”

In a question-and-answer period, bishops voiced their support for the ad hoc committee. Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle said that to stop it would “send a bad message to our own” and to those who oppose its work.

Others said the ad hoc committee’s efforts, particularly through materials it provides to dioceses, have been helpful. One bishop pointed out how lay Catholics have gotten behind the issue of religious liberty and hoped the momentum would continue.

For the U.S. church, chief among threats to religious liberty is the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ mandate that most employers provide insurance coverage for contraceptives, sterilization and some abortion-inducing drugs.

Another item the bishops passed was the vote for a limited revision of their quadrennial statement offering Catholics guidance for election decisions and drafting a new introductory note for it. The most recent iteration, in 2007, is called “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States.”

The revision and draft will be presented to the U.S. bishops at their annual fall assembly in November.

The introduction to the current statement on political responsibility reminds Catholics that some issues “involve the clear obligation to oppose intrinsic evils which can never be justified,” while others “require action to pursue justice and promote the common good.”

Since 1976, the Catholic bishops have issued a quadrennial statement linking church teachings to political responsibility. In October 2011, the bishops issued a new introduction to the document.

A note in the 2011 introduction clarifies that the document “does not offer a voters’ guide, scorecard of issues or direction on how to vote.” Instead, it “applies Catholic moral principles to a range of important issues and warns against misguided appeals to ‘conscience’ to ignore fundamental moral claims, to reduce Catholic moral concerns to one or two matters, or to justify choices simply to advance partisan, ideological or personal interests.”

Nine bishops’ committees: pro-life, migration, education, communications, doctrine, domestic justice, international justice and peace, cultural diversity, and laity, marriage, family life and youth are weighing in on the document signed by the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the chairmen of these committees.

In asking bishops to consider revising the document, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, the USCCB’s vice president, noted that to do nothing to the document would leave out the magisterium of Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis and to start from scratch on a new version of the document would fail to acknowledge the work that went into the 2007 version.

The cardinal proposed a limited revision of the 2007 document, which the bishops unanimously approved. He also recommended the drafting of a new introductory note that would be submitted to the general assembly for possible approval. The bishops unanimously approved of that decision as well.

The bishops also voted to permit the USCCB Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations to seek a renewal of Vatican approval, or “recognitio,” for the National Directory for the Formation, Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States. Vatican approval would be for another five-year period.

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A parish gathers together: Members of Salisbury’s St. Francis de Sales build community with a new outdoor space

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For The Dialog

 

SALISBURY, Md. — The value of a new, outdoor gathering space for St. Francis de Sales parishioners became apparent quickly after Father Ed Aigner blessed the circular area on June 1.

“May this space bring us closer together as we come together as a community of Christ,” Father Aigner prayed during the blessing. “Pray that this space will build community among us.”

“We’re showing that it’s doing what they hoped it would,” Helen Darmetka said later as she sat on a bench with fellow parishioners Jim and CC Rosenfelder.

“We didn’t even know each other” before meeting on the bench, said Jim Rosenfelder. Read more »

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Italian Festival missing one familiar face

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Dialog reporter

 

WILMINGTON – The familiar sights, sounds and smells filled the streets surrounding St. Anthony of Padua Church and School as the Italian Festival rolled in Tuesday night. Families listened to music in three locations while young people hopped on the rides or played games in the midway. And whether it was pizza, sausage and peppers, or funnel cake, it was impossible not to get a whiff of the festival fare.

Not too much has changed at the festival from past years, but there was an unmistakable void for those who have been attending for decades. This is the first festival since the death last August of St. Anthony’s longtime pastor, Oblate Father Roberto Balducelli. Read more »

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Murderous attack on two Phoenix priests stuns parish, community

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PHOENIX — The Diocese of Phoenix is “stunned and deeply saddened” about the “tragic assault” on a downtown Phoenix church that took the life of one priest and left a second priest critically injured.

Father Kenneth Walker, 28, died of a gunshot wound. Father Joseph Terra, 56, survived the June 11 attack and remained hospitalized in critical but stable condition.

Police tape and vehicles are seen outside Mater Misericordiae (Mother of Mercy) Mission in Phoenix the morning after a priest was killed and another critically injured during an attack at the mission the night of June 11. Sgt. Steve Martos of the Phoenix Police Department said police received a 911 call at about 9 p.m. reporting a burglary. (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec)

“The police are still gathering information and trying to sort through the details of this senseless act of violence,” the diocese said in a statement. “We ask that people offer prayers for both priests, the religious community, their families and the parish.”

The priests, members of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, served at Mater Misericordiae (Mother of Mercy) Mission, where they were attacked during a nighttime burglary.

Father Walker was pronounced dead at the hospital. A police spokesman described Father Terra’s injuries as severe and said that it appeared he was beaten by intruders.

At a news conference at the Phoenix Police Department the morning of June 12, Police Chief Daniel Garcia asked the community for assistance in solving the crime. He remained tight-lipped about the attack and would not comment as to whether the murder took place in the church itself or the rectory.

Father Terra made the 911 call, Phoenix police say, shortly after 9:30 p.m. June 11.

“We have an extensive investigation underway as of last night,” Garcia said. “The Phoenix Police Department will exhaust its resources to bring to justice the individuals who have committed this crime.”

“Our city lost a young priest,” said Mayor Greg Stanton. “Although we don’t know who did this, be assured that our very capable police department is working around the clock.”

Father Fred Adamson, the diocese’s vicar general and moderator of the curia, also spoke at the news conference. Phoenix Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted was in New Orleans for the U.S. bishops’ spring general assembly June 11-13.

The vicar general said Father Terra administered last rites to Father Walker in spite of his own suffering.

“They (the two priests) have been there four year years and felt it was a safe place to live,” Father Adamson said when asked whether there were security problems with the church being close to the state Capitol grounds.

Father Terra is “a pretty strong man, he’s not afraid of anybody, and if anyone came in there and asked him, he would give them the shirt off his back. That’s the type of priest he is, a real servant of God,” Father Adamson said.

Both priests were known for their stalwart efforts on behalf of the unborn. Bishop Olmsted, in comments he made in New Orleans, said the two priests often participated in prayer vigils at abortion clinics.

“Every time that I went to pray during the ‘40 Days for Life’ at the abortion places, (Father Walker) was there with Father Terra,” he said, calling them “faithful priests, joyfully serving their people.”

Father Walker, a priest since 2012, was parochial vicar at Mater Misericordiae. Father Terra, a priest since 1989, was the pastor. Both were ordained for the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter. The order is dedicated to celebrating the Mass in the extraordinary form, commonly known as the Tridentine rite.

“They loved their people. It couldn’t be something they provoked,” Bishop Olmsted said of the attack. “There has to be some other reason this violence happened.”

Despite the tragedy, the bishop offered words of hope. “We need to keep in mind that we’re people of hope, because death is not the last word, ever.”

Bart Tesoriero, a Mater Misericordiae parishioner, is a longtime technician with Radio Family Rosary and recently recorded a number of radio programs with Father Walker.

“I am really saddened,” Tesoriero told The Catholic Sun, Phoenix’s diocesan newspaper. “Father Walker was a very pure young man who was devoted to his priesthood. He was a beautiful person.”

Catholics were quick to react to the news of the attack on social media. “Horrible!” one woman posted on Facebook. “Our place of peace so horribly violated. Lord be with us all.”

Crosier Father Robert Rossi, presided at a noon Mass at the diocesan pastoral center June 12. A group of staff members had gathered before the Mass for a rosary on behalf of the two victims.

“We’re gathering at this table with great sadness,” Father Rossi said. “It’s a tragedy for our church and for our friends.”

He told diocesan staff the Gospel selection for the day’s Mass, Chapter 5, Verses 20-26 of St. Matthew’s Gospel, was particularly poignant in light of the attack because it mentioned murder and pointed to the importance of about being reconciled.

“Jesus called us to ask where does anger take root,” Father Rossi said. “The person who pulled the trigger must have been a very angry person and that anger built up. It’s a wake-up call for all of us.”

Members of Mater Misericordiae, many of the women wearing chapel veils, crowded into the Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral for a prayer vigil June 12.

Clarissa Quiring, who moved to the Phoenix area in December and joined Mater Misericordiae, attended the prayer vigil.

“They are men of profound prayer, with a deep respect for the Eucharist,” Quiring said of the two priests. “They understand that the Eucharist is central to the spiritual life and to our life in general.”

In his homily, Father John Lankeit, cathedral rector, described the two priests as courageous.

He, too, referred to how Father Terra, though badly beaten in the attack, administered last rites to Father Walker.

“In that moment facing darkness, he brought a soul into the hands of Jesus. He needs our prayers,” Father Lankeit said. “He has our admiration.”

 

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At Rio’s Christ statue, a light and sound display welcome World Cup teams

June 12th, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized Tags: , , ,

By

Catholic News Service

SAO PAULO — Hours before the kickoff of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the statue of Christ the Redeemer, one of the main symbols of Brazil, welcomed the 32 teams competing in the event with a special light and sound program.

Rio’s Christ the Redeemer Statue glows green to help kickoff the 2014 FIFA World Cup. (CNS photo/Daniel Coelho, RIOLUZ)

From one of the highest mountains overlooking Rio de Janeiro, the statue was “dressed up” with the colors of the flags of the 32 national teams while playing part of each country’s national anthem. The program was promoted by Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro and city officials.

The welcoming ceremony included a small prayer by Father Omar Raposo, rector of the Christ the Redeemer Sanctuary.

“Sports always give us a chance to witness the beauty of the brotherhood that exists among the different nations,” said Father Raposo.

He said everyone should heed the words of Pope Francis.

“He said that to belong to a sports team means to reject all forms of selfishness and isolation; it is an opportunity to meet and be with others, to help each other, to compete in mutual esteem and grow in brotherhood.”

The archdiocese also said that the Christ the Redeemer statue would be illuminated with Brazil’s flag colors, green and yellow, every time the Brazilian team plays. Brazil kicks off the games June 12 in Sao Paulo, playing Croatia.

The World Cup will be in 12 host cities and run through July 13, when the finals will be in Rio de Janeiro.

 

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