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January 24 is the feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of the Diocese of Wilmington

January 24th, 2017 Posted in Featured

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“Do everything calmly and peacefully. Do as much as you can as well as you can. Strive to see God in all things without exception, and consent to his will joyously. Do everything for God, uniting yourself to him in word and deed. Walk very simply with the Cross of the Lord and be at peace with yourself.”

St. Francis de Sales

1567 – 1622

St. Francis de Sales (CNS)

St. Francis de Sales (CNS)

Born in the Duchy of Savoy (now France), Francis studied at Annecy, Paris and Padua, and was ordained in 1593. He spent four years reconverting Catholics who had become Calvinists, writing many tracts to explain basic tenets of the faith. In 1602 he became bishop of Geneva, which he reorganized and reformed. He also famously preached in Paris and wrote two devotional books that are still widely read. A 20-year friendship with St. Jane Frances de Chantal led to their founding the Order of the Visitation. Canonized in 1665 and declared a doctor of the church in 1877, Francis is the patron saint of journalists, authors and the deaf.

New poll shows Americans strongly support abortion restrictions

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — A few days before the annual March for Life, a new national poll indicated shifting public attitudes, crossing party labels, in favor of increased restrictions on abortion.

“When you ask Americans what they think of abortion … you get very, very strong numbers in favor of restrictions,” said Andrew T. Walther, vice president of communications of the Knights of Columbus, during a Jan. 23 news conference.

Participants carry a banner during the annual annual Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco Jan. 21. (CNS photo/Jose Aguirre, Walk for Life West Coast)

Participants carry a banner during the annual annual Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco Jan. 21. (CNS photo/Jose Aguirre, Walk for Life West Coast)

The Marist survey of 2,729 adults was conducted in December and sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. It contains breakdowns by political affiliations and ethnicity but not religious beliefs, so there was no information on how many respondents were Catholics.

Fifty-two percent of the respondents indicated that they thought of themselves as “pro-choice,” while 42 percent self-identified as pro-life. But when the questions became more detailed on abortion policies, the numbers shifted.

Across political and ethnic lines, overwhelming majorities of respondents indicated they would like “significant restrictions.” That included 91 percent of those who called themselves supporters of President Donald J. Trump, and 55 percent of those who identified themselves as Hillary Clinton supporters. The poll further showed that 79 percent of both African-American and Latino respondents favored significant restrictions.

Further, 74 percent said they wanted the Supreme Court to rule on these restrictions, indicating support for overturning the court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, which legalized abortion virtually on demand.

Eighty-three percent said abortion should be allowed only to save the life of the mother, while 77 percent said it should not be permitted under any circumstance.

In line with Trump’s new executive order reinstating what’s called the Mexico City Policy, which bans tax dollars from funding groups that promote or perform abortion overseas, 83 percent opposed that use of tax money in other countries, and 62 percent opposed the use of tax money generally.

Fully half the respondents thought abortion “has a negative, long-term impact on a woman’s life,” while 19 percent were unsure.

Fifty-nine percent believe that abortion limits were either “important” or an immediate priority, and the same percentage agreed when asked if they thought abortion was morally wrong.

The same level of support was expressed for an abortion ban after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and 60 percent believed that medical professionals with moral objections should not be legally required to provide abortion services.

The 44th annual March for Life, which draws thousands to Washington to commemorate the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe decision, will be held Jan. 27.

Trump reinstates policy banning U.S. funds for abortions in other countries

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — President Donald J. Trump issued an executive order Jan. 23 reinstating the “Mexico City Policy,” which bans all foreign nongovernmental organizations receiving U.S. funds from performing or promoting abortion as a method of family planning in other countries.

The action was hailed by pro-life leaders.

“President Trump is continuing Ronald Reagan’s legacy by taking immediate action on day one to stop the promotion of abortion through our tax dollars overseas,” said a Jan. 23 statement from Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List.

U.S. President Donald J. Trump holds up his executive order reinstating the "Mexico City Policy" banning federal funding of abortion-providing groups abroad after he signed it Jan. 23 in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (CNS /Kevin Lamarque, Reuters)

U.S. President Donald J. Trump holds up his executive order reinstating the “Mexico City Policy” banning federal funding of abortion-providing groups abroad after he signed it Jan. 23 in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (CNS /Kevin Lamarque, Reuters)

“President Trump’s immediate action to promote respect for all human life, including vulnerable unborn children abroad, as well as conscience rights, sends a strong signal about his administration’s pro-life priorities,” she said.

“By redirecting taxpayer dollars away from the international abortion industry, President Trump has reinstituted life-affirming protections for unborn children and their mothers,” said a Jan. 23 statement by Rep. Chris Smith, R-New Jersey, co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus. “There is political consensus that taxpayer dollars should not fund abortion and the abortion industry.”

“Now we see pro-life fruits of the election unfolding as President Trump has taken immediate action to reinstitute President Reagan’s Mexico City Policy,” said Father Frank Pavone, head of Priests for Life, in a Jan. 23 statement. “Poll after poll shows that Americans do not want their tax money to pay for abortions. Stopping funding to foreign pro-abortion groups is a powerful first step toward doing the same domestically.”

Named for the city that hosted the U.N. International Conference on Population in 1984, where Reagan, then in his first term as president, unveiled it, the Mexico City Policy has been the textbook definition of a political football. Adopted by a Republican president, it has been rescinded when Democrats sat in the White House, only to be restored when Republicans claimed the presidency.

In 1993, President Bill Clinton’s revocation of the policy was made so quickly following his inauguration that some participants in the March for Life, conducted two days after the inauguration, carried “Impeach Clinton” signs.

Just as Clinton had rescinded the policy two days after taking office, so did President George W. Bush reinstate it two days into his presidency, expanding it to include all voluntary family planning activities. President Barack Obama rescinded the policy Jan. 23, 2009.

Court challenges to the policy resulted in rulings in 1987 and 1988 that limited its application to foreign NGOs.

The executive order “makes clear that Trump intends to carry out with his promised pro-life agenda. Taxpayer funding for abortions, whether here or overseas, is unpopular with voters and is plain wrong,” said a Jan. 23 statement by Ashley McGuire, a senior fellow with the Catholic Association.

“It amounts to subsidizing the violent victimization of women and children, in particular poor and minority women who feel they have no choice but to have an abortion,” McGuire said. “Redirecting those funds to health centers that offer women real choice and hope is the right policy moving forward.”

 

Follow Pattison on Twitter: @MeMarkPattison.

Though snubbed by Women’s March, pro-life groups still participate

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — After being removed from a list of partner organizations for the Women’s March on Washington, members of a pro-life group based in Texas decided they still would take to the streets Jan. 21 to take part in the historic and massive event. And they said it was a good decision.

“Overall, it was an amazing experience,” said Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa, of New Wave Feminists, one of the groups removed as a march sponsor.

Mary Solitario, 21, center, a Catholic from Virginia, joins a pro-life demonstration outside the U.S. Supreme Court prior to the Women's March on Washington Jan. 21. (CNS/Bob Roller)

Mary Solitario, 21, center, a Catholic from Virginia, joins a pro-life demonstration outside the U.S. Supreme Court prior to the Women’s March on Washington Jan. 21. (CNS/Bob Roller)

“We were prepared for confrontation and instead were supported by so many women,” said Herndon-De La Rosa told Catholic News Service.

The group posted photos on their Facebook and Instagram accounts of their participation, holding signs that read, “I’m a pro-life feminist.”

“They kept coming up and telling us how glad they were that we were there and how, even though they didn’t necessarily agree on the abortion issue, they thought it wrong that we were removed as partners,” said Herndon-De La Rosa. “It was very cool.”

Women like Herndon-De La Rosa marched for a cause. In her group’s case, they are concerned about President Donald J. Trump’s changing position on abortion and say they wanted him to know they’d be watching what he does on pro-life issues such as abortion, the death penalty and violence.

Others marched to voice disapproval of the new president. Many came from places near and far and after filing past the streets near Washington’s most important institutions, they filled the area near the White House where its newest residents have a direct line of view toward the Washington Monument.

They were hoping the newly minted president would hear or see them and consider what they had to say.

Margie Legowski, a parishioner at Washington’s Holy Trinity Catholic Church, said she took to the streets “in support of values that I don’t see in this administration.” Those values include equality for women and also caring about immigrants who need help.

“I want to take a stand. I don’t want to be passive about it,” she said. “In our faith we’re called to solidarity.”

That means standing up against wealth inequality and defending the vulnerable, she said. It’s a means of building the kingdom of God on earth and she doesn’t see that as a priority for the new president.

Like a lot of women attending the march, she hosted other female friends, nieces and a sister-in-law who lives in Germany, all of whom felt enough conviction to travel to Washington and lend their presence to the numbers of participants.

Jean Johnson, another Holy Trinity parishioner, attended the march with 11 nieces and four grandnieces. They arrived in Washington from around the country, some driving long distances and picking up other family members along the way. She said she felt pride in her large group, particularly because they adopted the values of her Irish Catholic immigrant parents and are concerned about the common good, for women and for others.

She wasn’t marching against a cause or person, but rather marching for women’s dignity, she said.

“I went to a Catholic school where the nuns told me I’m a temple,” she said. “The march is for that dignity.”

She was excited to share that moment with a new generation in her family, she said.

Some women who attended said they didn’t feel president Trump valued that dignity, particularly after a leaked recording was aired during the campaign in which he was heard making lewd comments about women to an entertainment reporter.

Jack Hogan, who once worked for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the U.S. bishops’ domestic anti-poverty program, said he was attending the march with neighbors and friends because he feels that what Trump has said goes against Catholic social teaching. He said he was hoping other Catholics, as organizations and groups, as well as church leaders, would speak up more forcefully for the poor and vulnerable at this time.

He said worries about the new president’s stance on climate change, on the poor and other issues that seem to go against what Pope Francis, as the leader of the Catholic Church, says are important. He said he feels Trump lives and espouses the opposite of what the church values, including family.

As a citizen, “what (Trump) stands for is not what our participatory democracy stands for,” Hogan said, adding that he could not celebrate his inauguration. Ever since Trump was elected, Hogan said he has participated in various protests and prayer events with other organizations because he worries about what will happen to the vulnerable in society. The Women’s March was one of those instances, he said.

While organizers said the event was to “promote women’s equality and defend other marginalized groups,” some pro-life groups that wanted to be partners in the march were either removed as official sponsors days before the march or their application to be a sponsor was ignored.

In an interview before the march, Herndon-De La Rosa told CNS no one contacted her group to give them the news they were taken off a roster of sponsors, but they found out after a flurry of stories about it. The groups And Then There Were None and Students for Life of America also were denied or taken off the Women’s March roster.

However, many members of those organizations attended the march.

 

Follow Guidos on Twitter: @CNS_Rhina.

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Church must accompany couples before, after marriage, pope says

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — To ensure engaged couples are entering into a fully Catholic marriage and remain committed to their vows for life, they must be prepared properly beforehand and supported afterward, Pope Francis said.

Addressing members of the Roman Rota, a tribunal handling mostly marriage cases, the pope said the church cannot ignore that there is a “widespread mentality” that is convinced eternal truths do not exist and, therefore, that many young people approaching the church for marriage do not understand what the sacrament is and that it is for life.

Pope Francis talks with Msgr. Pio Vito Pinto, dean of the Roman Rota, and Father Maurice Monier, pro-dean, during a meeting inaugurating the judicial year of the Roman Rota at the Vatican Jan. 21. The Roman Rota is the highest appellate court in the Catholic Church; it mainly handles marriage cases. (CNS photo L'Osservatore Romano, handout)

Pope Francis talks with Msgr. Pio Vito Pinto, dean of the Roman Rota, and Father Maurice Monier, pro-dean, during a meeting inaugurating the judicial year of the Roman Rota at the Vatican Jan. 21. The Roman Rota is the highest appellate court in the Catholic Church; it mainly handles marriage cases. (CNS photo L’Osservatore Romano, handout)

“Such a context, lacking religious values and faith, cannot help but condition matrimonial consent,” one of the essential conditions for a Catholic marriage to be valid, the pope told the Rota members Jan. 21.

The response of the Catholic Church, he said, must be to provide serious preparation for engaged couples and support that would help newlyweds mature in their vocation.

“The objective of this preparation consists in helping engaged couples to know and live the reality of the marriage they intend to celebrate so that they may do so not only validly and lawfully, but also fruitfully,” he said.

Citing Pope Benedict XVI’s last address to the Roman Rota, in which he highlighted the relationship between love and truth, the pope said some seeking marriage participate actively in the church while others “are guided by a more generic religious sentiment.”

Educating young people so they rediscover marriage and family life according to God’s plan, he said, is a first “remedy” to situations where sufficient preparation is lacking.

“In this spirit, I would like to reiterate the need of a ‘new catechumenate’ for marriage preparation,” he said.

Pope Francis explained that, just like a catechumenate period in preparation for baptism as an adult, “marriage preparation can become an integral part of the whole sacramental procedure of marriage, as an antidote that impedes the growth of null or inconsistent matrimonial celebrations.”

A second remedy, he continued, is the church’s presence and formation after marriage to encourage newlyweds in their lives together.

The Christian community is “called to welcome, accompany and help young couples” and care for their spiritual life through the parish’s pastoral ministry, he said.

“Often times, young couples are left to themselves, perhaps for the simple fact that they are seen less in the parish; this is especially true after the birth of children,” the pope said.

It is in those “first moments of family life,” he said, that the church must be even closer to young couples so they “may strive for the beauty of the Christian family, despite the destructive traps of a culture dominated by the ephemeral and the provisional.”

“As I have said several times,” the pope said, “great courage is needed to be married in the times in which we are living. And those who have the strength and the joy of fulfilling this important step must feel the love and concrete closeness of the church near them.”

Prior to their meeting with Pope Francis, the members of the Roman Rota celebrated Mass with Archbishop Angelo Becciu, a top official in the Vatican Secretariat of State, to inaugurate the Vatican court’s judicial year.

In his homily, Archbishop Becciu said that like Jesus, the court officials are surrounded by real people who want to be listened to and who have had an “experience of failure, of pain.”

“The ministry you fulfill in the pope’s tribunal puts you daily in contact not just with letters, but with people marked by human and marital failure; they are awaiting answers of truth and justice by the church,” the archbishop said.

 

Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.

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‘We must wait and see,’ pope says of President Trump

January 23rd, 2017 Posted in Featured, Vatican News Tags: , ,

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — As President Donald Trump was being sworn in, Pope Francis told an interviewer it would be “reckless” to pass judgment on the new president before he had a chance to do anything.

“We must wait and see,” the pope told two reporters from the Spanish newspaper El Pais during a 75-minute interview Jan. 20.

The interview was published late Jan. 21 in its original Spanish with an English translation.

Asked if he wasn’t worried at least about some of the things Trump said before his election, the pope responded, “I’m waiting. God waited so long for

U.S. President Donald Trump greets Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington during an interfaith prayer service at the National Cathedral in Washington Jan. 21, the day after Trump's swearing-in as the country's 45th president. (CNS photo/Kevin Lamarque, Reuters)

U.S. President Donald Trump greets Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington during an interfaith prayer service at the National Cathedral in Washington Jan. 21, the day after Trump’s swearing-in as the country’s 45th president. (CNS photo/Kevin Lamarque, Reuters)

me, with all my sins.”

“Being afraid or rejoicing beforehand because of something that might happen is, in my view, quite reckless,” the pope said. “We will see. We will see what he does and then we will judge, always on the concrete. Christianity either is concrete or it is not Christianity.”

El Pais asked another question about Trump and populists in the United States and Europe who, the interviewer said, “capitalize on fear in the face of an uncertain future in order to form a message full of xenophobia and hatred toward the foreigner.”

“”Crises provoke fear, alarm,” the pope said. “In my opinion, the most obvious example of European populism is Germany in 1933. After (Paul von) Hindenburg, after the crisis of 1930, Germany is broken, it needs to get up, to find its identity, a leader, someone capable of restoring its character, and there is a young man named Adolf Hitler who says: ‘I can, I can.’”

“Hitler didn’t steal the power, his people voted for him, and then he destroyed his people,” Pope Francis said.

In times of crisis, he said, large segments of the population think, “Let’s look for a savior who gives us back our identity and let’s defend ourselves with walls, barbed-wire, whatever, from other peoples who may rob us of our identity. And that is a very serious thing.”

Obviously, Pope Francis said, nations have a right and duty to control their borders, especially under the threat of terrorism, but “no country has the right to deprive its citizens of the possibility of talking with their neighbors.”

The El Pais reporters also asked Pope Francis about his hopes for improved diplomatic relations with China. As he has done in the past, the pope reported that a Vatican-Chinese committee has been meeting regularly for years and the dialogue continues.

“Are you ready to go to China?” he was asked.

“When they invite me,” he replied. “In China the churches are full. One can practice one’s religion in China,” he added, without mentioning the fact that religious practice is tightly controlled by the government.

El Pais also asked the 80-year-old pope if he expects to resign like Pope Benedict XVI did.

“That I don’t know. That is for God to decide,” he said. “When I feel that I cannot go on, my great teacher Benedict taught me what to do. And, if God takes me before that, I will see it from the other side, hopefully not from hell.”

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David Hazelton Jr. of St. Elizabeth finishes four years as two-way standout

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Dialog reporter

 

WILMINGTON — Four years ago, David Hazelton Jr. was a student at Conrad School of Sciences and playing Catholic Youth Ministry basketball for St. Elizabeth, trying to decide where he would go to high school. He could have stayed at Conrad for high school, or perhaps the Charter School of Wilmington.

His father suggested he look at St. Elizabeth High School, although the younger Hazelton was not really interested. Read more »

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Archmere’s Patrick Udovich Jr. joins his father as DeLucia Award recipient

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Dialog reporter

 

CLAYMONT – When the all-state football teams were announced a month ago, a familiar name from Archmere Academy returned to the first team. There, among the best players Delaware high school had to offer was Patrick Udovich Jr.

That may have brought a sense of deja vu for longtime high school football fans. Thirty-two years ago, Udovich’s father, Patrick Sr., was also a first-team all-state selection on offense, defense and special teams. The younger Udovich was happy to keep the family legacy going, getting the honor for his work at fullback, but prouder about what it says about Archmere football. Read more »

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Holy Angels student begins blood drive for dad

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Dialog reporter

 

Honor Society project was personal mission to support those with rare blood disease

NEWARK – When Ryan Colasanti needed a service project for the Junior National Honor Society, the Holy Angels School eighth-grader made an ambitious decision. After all, not one student at the school will be allowed to participate.

Ryan is spearheading a blood drive to help people like his father, Ralph. The elder Colasanti lives with a type of thalassemia, or Cooleys anema, a group of blood disorders affecting the red blood cells. Ralph said it is similar to sickle cell anemia, but his red cells do not deform. His body produces red cells at a rapid pace, but they die quickly. Read more »

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Solid second half, strong free-throw shooting carry Sals past Spartans

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Dialog reporter

 

MILLTOWN – Down a point to St. Mark’s at halftime, the Salesianum boys basketball team felt pretty good about how they were playing and just needed some shots to start falling. That is precisely what happened in the third and fourth quarters as the Sals grabbed a road victory over the Spartans, 56-39, on Jan. 20.

The Spartans held an 18-17 advantage at the break, but that didn’t last long. Salesianum forward Paul Brown took the opening possession of the third quarter and converted an old-fashioned three-point play to give the Sals the lead for good. Brown wasn’t done, making two free throws and a field goal in the first minutes of the second half to push the Sals’ lead to 24-18. Those six points were part of a 13-2 run to open the third as the advantage grew to 30-20. Read more »

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