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The best wedding gifts you can give the bride and groom

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It’s wedding season, and clergy are tweaking and tuning their homilies. Most preachers will remind newlyweds about Christ’s promise to remain with them throughout the ups and downs of marriage. Many will also remind the guests about their responsibility to support the bride and groom, especially during the critical early years of their marriage.

Perhaps you’ve heard this challenge yourself. As a family member or friend, you may have wondered how you can offer personal support to the couple. What practical things can you do to affirm their marriage as both a natural gift from the Creator and a supernatural blessing? How can you encourage them to develop the skills and behaviors necessary for a holy and happy union? Read more »

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Pope: New attitude of ‘evangelical service’ must take hold at Vatican

May 2nd, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis told his new economic oversight council that it must be “courageous and determined” in its critical role of helping the church not waver from its real mission of bringing the Gospel to the world and helping those most in need.

The church has a duty to use its assets and manpower responsibly in promoting its spiritual mandate, and “a new mentality of evangelical service” must take hold throughout the Vatican, the pope said May 2.

The pope’s comments came the same day the new Vatican Council for the Economy met for the first time since the pope established the council in February. Read more »

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Cardinal O’Connor’s mother was convert from Judaism, research shows

May 2nd, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized Tags: ,

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Catholic News Service

NEW YORK (CNS) — Cardinal John J. O’Connor, who as archbishop of New York cultivated and cherished his strong ties with the Jewish community, was born of a mother who was born Jewish.

It is not known whether he knew that his mother, Dorothy Gumple O’Connor, was born Jewish. She converted to Catholicism before she met and married Thomas O’Connor, the late cardinal’s father.

Mary O’Connor Ward, the cardinal’s sister, told Catholic New York, newspaper of the New York Archdiocese, that her mother never spoke about having belonged to another faith. Read more »

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Parish installs Marian shrine to bring comfort to those with addictions

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Catholic News Service

DARBY, Pa. (CNS) — Just about every Catholic Church has at least one and often several images of Mary, and that is certainly the case at Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Darby.

It is an old church, built in 1930, but one shrine to Mary is new. It was installed just last October and is unique among the Philadelphia Archdiocese’s 235 parishes.

A large icon painted especially for the church was executed by celebrated artist Brother Michael (Mickey) O’Neill McGrath, an Oblate of St. Francis de Sales, who also gave a reflection at the parish. It is titled “Our Lady of Light, Help of the Addicted.” Read more »

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Opinion: Where have all the kind people gone?

May 2nd, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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Catholic News Service

I don’t know what’s going on — maybe it’s the long, lingering winter or the rising gas prices — but everyone seems testy and rude, visiting nastiness and annoyance on their fellow human beings: The guy in line yesterday at the sandwich place who called the new kid behind the counter an “idiot” or the woman who growled “get a job” to the homeless person panhandling on the corner this morning.

Sure, when you’re annoyed, frustrated or angry, it’s hard to be nice. It’s easier to listen to the fight-or-flight response that calls us to bite and scratch. But we don’t live in the annals of prehistory: This is 2014, and we should have learned by now that being kind is the way to go in life. Read more »

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Vatican statistics report church growth remains steady worldwide

May 2nd, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The number of Catholics in the world and the number of priests, permanent deacons and religious men all increased in 2012, while the number of women in religious orders continued to decline, according to Vatican statistics.

The number of candidates for the priesthood also showed its first global downturn in recent years. Read more »

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Students touch the future by planting trees

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Staff reporter

 

WILMINGTON — The weather might have forced them inside, but the third, fourth and fifth grades still managed to celebrate Arbor Day at St. Anthony of Padua School on April 29.

Students from those three classes, along with some young visitors from Mom’s House, learned about the importance of trees from visitors representing the city of Wilmington, the Delaware Center for Horticulture, the Delaware Forest Service and local tree service and landscaper Kerns Bros. Read more »

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Baptismal prep at St. Jude’s: Parish team teaches parents and godparents their duties

May 1st, 2014 Posted in Featured, Our Diocese

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For The Dialog

 

LEWES — Tiffany Shirley views her 6-year-old twins’ first Communion next year as much more than a milestone in their own faith lives.

If all goes according to plan, the day will mark a major milestone in her life as well. “I’m going to make my first sacraments at the same time as the twins receive their first Communion,” she said.

Several things have to happen to make that possible. Shirley musat go through the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, a formation program for those interested in the faith. And the twins, Braden and Aralyn, need to be baptized.

So one Saturday morning last month Shirley attended a baptism preparation workshop for parents and godparents at St. Jude Church. Read more »

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Seton Center celebrates 30 years of helping people

May 1st, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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Dialog Editor

PRINCESS ANNE, MD — One way to tell the story of Catholic Charities’ Seton Center here, is through numbers.

The multi-purpose community center was founded by the Sisters of Charity 30 years ago in Somerset County.

At its 30th anniversary event on April 25, Bishop Malooly counted the numbers of people helped by Seton Center since he has led the Diocese of Wilmington:

“Just in the six years since I arrived in the diocese, over 12,700 households have received assistance through our basic needs program, which includes financial assistance and food distributions; over 3,000 households received some type of family strengthening help, and 470 individuals came for behavioral health counseling. Many of these individuals would have nowhere else to turn for help, if not for the Seton Center.” Read more »

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Catholic Charities agencies helping storm-damaged southern U.S.

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Catholic News Service

Catholic Charities agencies were on the ground assessing damage after a series of storms with deadly tornadoes and massive floods swept through the southern United States April 27-29.

Patsy Reno searches through the rubble of her home for mementoes April 30 in Vilonia, Ark., after a tornado swept through the area April 27. Catholic Charities agencies were on the ground assessing damage after a series of storms with deadly tornadoes and massive floods swept through the southern United States April 27-29, killing at least 35 people. (CNS photo/Carlo Allegri, Reuters

The storms killed 35 people and left thousands without power while razing homes and businesses.

Arkansas and Mississippi were the hardest hit, but deaths also were reported in Oklahoma, Iowa, Alabama and Tennessee. Georgia residents lost power, and the Carolinas and Florida experienced flash floods.

In areas hit by tornados, thousands of people forced out of their homes sought temporary shelter while the National Guard, local police and residents sifted through the rubble searching for victims.

Patricia Cole, communications director for Catholic Charities USA, said its disaster response operations team has been coordinating with local Catholic Charities agencies in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Florida and Alabama “where conditions on the ground are changing by the hour.”

She said Catholic Charities USA had received requests for grants for financial assistance and is staying in close contact with Catholic dioceses and agencies in the damaged areas as they assess the needs in their communities.

Patrick Gallaher, executive director of Catholic Charities of Arkansas, posted updates on the agency’s website, noting that the search and rescue phase of the relief effort finished April 30. He also said the overflow of donations made it impossible to store any other contributions until new collection points were established.

“The immediate need of survivors is being met,” he said.

St. Joseph Church in Conway, Ark., initially was used as an American Red Cross shelter, but the shelter was closed April 29 because not enough people were using it. Parishes in the Little Rock Diocese have been conducting their own drives to mobilize and collect donated materials.

Gallaher said the local Catholic Charities agency continues to coordinate with other agencies to provide support during the cleanup phase and is gathering case managers for the rebuilding effort that will come in the months ahead.

“The long-term relief effort will take months as we assist people in obtaining replacement housing, furniture, clothing and counseling,” he said. “As needs crystallize, we shall seek help from among our parishes.”

Greg Patin, executive director of Catholic Charities in Jackson, Miss., told Catholic News Service April 30 that staff members would begin to assess local needs May 1 after the first responders were finished their work.

Once needs are assessed, he said, “we will begin to provide what assistance we can,” but he also noted that the agency has limited staffing resources and will need volunteer assistance.

The agency has reached out to the Knights of Columbus for help and is looking for monetary donations because it cannot accept donated goods at this time.

To support Catholic Charities’ disaster relief effort, visit their website at https://support.catholiccharitiesusa.org, call 1-800-919-9338, or mail a donation to Catholic Charities USA P.O. Box 17066, Baltimore, Md., 21297-1066.

 

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