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Spartans find offense in second half to spoil Auks homecoming


For The Dialog


CLAYMONT – Sixth-ranked St. Mark’s scored 28 second-half points to break open a close game and spoil homecoming for the fifth-ranked Archmere Auks, grabbing a 35-7 win on Sept. 30. Read more »

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Balanced Sals cruise in football home opener


For The Dialog


WILMINGTON – Salesianum, ranked second in the state in Division I by 302Sports.com, finally got to play at home after three long weeks on the road, and they didn’t disappoint their fans in a 42-0 win over Urbana (Md.) on Sept. 30. Quarterback Zach Gwynn threw for three touchdowns while fullback Garret Million and wide receiver Sean Regan found the end zone twice. Read more »

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Archmere uses multi-pronged attack, 21 aces to turn away Red Lion


Dialog reporter


CLAYMONT – Archmere had watched Red Lion’s volleyball team turn an eight-point deficit into a win in the third set of the team’s match on Sept. 29, and the Auks may have had a sense of deja vu when the Lions headed down the same path with a three-point run midway through the fourth. This time, however, the Auks clamped down, scoring 12 of the final 15 points for a 3-1 Diamond State Athletic Conference win on homecoming weekend.


The set scores were 25-22, 25-13, 25-27, 25-11. Archmere improved to 5-2 and handed the Lions their first loss after seven wins to open the season. Read more »

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Disturbing, shameful: Bishops join opposition to reported U.S. refugee limit


WASHINGTON — The U.S. Catholic bishops and other faith groups are objecting to reports that the Trump administration will limit the number of refugees the United States accepts to 45,000 for the upcoming fiscal year.

A severely malnourished child is seen as Rohingya refugees wait to receive aid Sept. 25 at a camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Immigrants and refugees need to be respected and assisted, not treated like an enemy, a panel said during a Sept. 27 news conference at the Vatican launching the Caritas “Share the Journey” campaign. (CNS photo/Cathal McNaughton, Reuters)

It would be the lowest admission level for persons fleeing persecution that the U.S. has accepted since the executive branch was allowed to set the caps in 1980 under the Refugee Act, signed into law by President Jimmy Carter.

“We are disturbed and deeply disappointed by the proposed presidential determination number of 45,000,” said Bishop Joe S. Vasquez of Austin, Texas, who is chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration.

“While the Catholic bishops, Catholic Charities, and Catholic communities across the country join in welcoming all of those refugees to American communities with joy and open arms, we are gravely concerned for the tens of thousands of extremely vulnerable refugees left behind by this decision,” he said in a Sept. 29 statement.

“As I have stated before, this decision has very severe human consequences — people with faces, names, children and families are suffering and cannot safely or humanely remain where they are until the war and persecution in their countries of origin gets resolved,” Bishop Vasquez said.

“These people include at-risk women and children; frightened youth; the elderly; those whose lives are threatened because of their religion, ethnicity or race; and refugees seeking family reunification with loved ones in the United States,” he added.

David Robinson, executive director of Jesuit Refugee Service, called the 45,000 figure a “shamefully low number.”

Robinson said in a Sept. 27 statement that setting such a low goal “is a retreat from global leadership and undermines both our interests and our values. Our faith calls us to be compassionate, and this unprecedented policy is in direct opposition to the belief that we should welcome the stranger, especially the victims of war, terror and oppression.”

The limit comes at a time when one in every 113 people in the world is facing displacement from their home country because of conflicts, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, or UNHCR. Last year, the agency said 65 million people around the world suffered that type of displacement.

“With historically high numbers of innocent people fleeing violence worldwide, the United States response cannot be to welcome a historically low number of refugees into our country,” Bill O’Keefe, vice president for government relations and advocacy for Catholic Relief Services, said Sept. 27.

Bishop Vasquez said the U.S. Catholic bishops are urging the Trump administration “to welcome and resettle every one of the refugees eventually authorized” for fiscal year 2018. “Looking ahead, we strongly urge the administration next year to return to the level of resettling at least 75,000 refugees annually to the United States,” he added. “We can and must do better.”

Other faith groups, including the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, the second-largest refugee resettlement agency in the U.S., said it was “profoundly disappointed” at the reduction.

When the Refugee Act of 1980 went into effect, the U.S. set the cap at over 231,000 refugees. Though it has declined steadily since then, the country has accepted between 70,000 to 80,000 displaced persons each year for almost two decades. President Barack Obama set the cap for fiscal year 2017 at 110,000 during his last year in the White House.

In his first executive order as president, Donald Trump, set the cap at 50,000 and said any more than that “would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.”

Just as they did then, many faith communities still disagree with the president.

“Churches and communities, employers and mayors are heartsick at the administration’s callous and tragic decision to deny welcome to refugees most in need,” said Linda Hartke, president and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.

“We are not afraid of our new neighbors and are not fooled by cruel and false claims that refugees are a threat to our safety,” she said Sept. 27. “The American legacy of welcoming refugees has made us stronger and better, and the government’s own research proves that refugees bring economic benefit to our country through their hard work.”

In his statement, Bishop Vasquez noted that “each refugee that comes to the United States is admitted through an extensive vetting system. Many of these refugees already have family in the United States, and most begin working immediately to rebuild their lives; in turn contributing to the strength and richness of our society.

“God has blessed our country with bounty and precious liberty,” he continued, “and so we have great capacity to welcome those in such desperate need, while ensuring our nation’s security.”

Bishop Vasquez noted that on Sept. 27, when the Trump administration released its recommendation for the 45,000-cap on refugees, that same day Pope Francis “exhorted us to ‘reach out, open your arms to migrants and refugees, share the journey.’”

At the Vatican, the pope launched the two-year “Share the Journey” campaign of Catholic charities around the world to promote encounters between people on the move and people living in the countries they are leaving, passing through or arriving in.

“We urge the administration to move past this period of intensified scrutiny and skepticism of the U.S. refugee program, which serves as an international model,” Bishop Vasquez said. “This is a moment of opportunity to restore America’s historic leadership as a refuge for those fleeing persecution.”

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New stained-glass windows shed light on St. Mary’s history


Dialog reporter


St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Hockessin dedicated its 12 new stained-glass windows on Sept. 17, completing a project that had been a longtime ambition. The most current effort to get the windows lasted for four years. Bishop Malooly celebrated 9:30 a.m. Mass with the pastor, Father Charles Dillingham.

Seven of the 12 windows present different images from the life of Mary. The most prominent of those is the Assumption. That window has been placed in the choirloft at the main entrance. Read more »

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Starting a tradition, leaving a legacy


Dialog reporter

Seniors at St. Elizabeth High School envision transforming classroom for younger counterparts


WILMINGTON — When the current senior class at St. Elizabeth High School was approached about giving a gift to their soon-to-be alma mater, the Class of 2018 jumped right on board with the idea. But the students wanted to make sure that whatever they presented to St. Elizabeth was not only long-lasting, but would have an impact on others.

The seniors’ gift will not be something very apparent to visitors, unless they happen to step inside a first-grade classroom during open house. The class hopes to renovate one classroom in the elementary school, transforming it from vintage early 1970s into a modern learning environment. They want to redo lighting, flooring, storage, desks, you name it. Read more »

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‘Get close to the poor and excluded,’ Salesianum students told


Dialog reporter

Attorney, social-justice activist Bryan Stevenson talks injustice and how to make changes in Del. visit


WILMINGTON — To make a difference in bringing social justice to the world, today’s young people must be prepared to take certain actions, a prominent attorney and social-justice activist said at Salesianum School on Sept. 15.

Bryan Stevenson, a Delaware native who now lives and works in Montgomery, Ala., returned to his home state to speak to students, local officials and members of the Salesianum board of trustees. This year, Salesianum students are using Stevenson’s acclaimed 2014 memoir, “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption,” for the school’s “One School, One Book” project. Read more »

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No. 1 Raiders use big hitting, superb defense to overcome St. Mark’s


Dialog reporter


WILMINGTON – Two of the state’s best volleyball teams met Sept. 28, and they did not disappoint. Ursuline hosted St. Mark’s in a Catholic Conference showdown, and the host Raiders left with an entertaining, hard-fought 3-1 win in front of a spirited crowd.

Set scores were 25-19, 19-25, 25-17, 25-15. Read more »

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Pandas’ field hockey persistence pays off with late win vs. Concord


Dialog reporter


NEW CASTLE – Brianna Niggebrugge usually plays quarterback for the Padua field hockey team’s offense, but she has found the scoring touch in recent games. Her latest goal, which came with 1:27 to play in the Pandas’ showdown with Concord on Sept. 28, provided the winning margin in a 2-1 win over the Raiders at Kirkwood Soccer Club.

Padua is ranked first in Division I by 302Sports.com, and the Raiders are right behind them at No. 2. Read more »

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A week after surviving hurricane, Puerto Ricans beg for help


More than a week after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, much of the island remained without communication and in desperate need of humanitarian aid.

A woman carries bottles of water and food during a distribution of relief items Sept. 24 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, days after Hurricane Maria. (CNS photo/Alvin Baez, Reuters)

News programs have been broadcasting about long lines of travelers, who have little food or water, and are desperate to get off the island at the San Juan airport to no avail. 

But the scene of destruction outside the airport is even more stark: An island whose dense tropical landscape, along with its infrastructure, towns and cities, has been greatly stripped by winds that reached 155 mph.

Catholic Church groups have mobilized to send help. Some organizations, however, have reported problems mobilizing the aid out of airports and into the places and people who need them.

Officials say Hurricane Maria left 16 dead in Puerto Rico, 27 dead in Dominica and one in the U.S. Virgin Islands. But accurate information has been hard to come by since cellphone service and electricity, along with access to water and fuel, have been knocked out. Many roads into rural areas still are blocked by debris, making it difficult to access those who live there.

Many Puerto Ricans in the mainland U.S. have been making desperate pleas on social media to see if others can give them information about relatives or conditions in town or cities where their relatives live but which remain without communication.

President Donald Trump is set to visit Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory of 3.4 million, as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands on Oct. 3. He has largely been criticized for what some perceive as a slow humanitarian response and for spending time tweeting against athletes as Puerto Rico suffered. But when he got around to tweeting about the island’s misery, he also offended many by bringing up its debt, including debt to Wall Street, as well as the island’s pre-existing failing infrastructure.

It took a week for the U.S. to send a plane carrying 3,500 pounds of water as well as food and other supplies to the island, but the president said, “It’s on an island in the middle of the ocean. … You can’t just drive your trucks there from other states.” A hospital ship also has been sent.

Scarcity of food, water and fuel is rampant. The deaths of two patients in intensive care at a San Juan hospital were blamed on lack of fuel.

On Sept. 27, the Trump administration said it would not waive shipping restrictions to get fuel and supplies to island, angering politicians such as U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, who asked the Department of Homeland Security to waive the restrictions known as the Jones Act.

Many, such as New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, are in the meantime offering Masses as well collecting donations to help in a long recovery ahead for Puerto Rico.

Cardinal Dolan will celebrate a Mass in Spanish at St. Patrick’s Cathedral Oct. 8, to “express prayerful solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico and Mexico, and their relatives and friends in New York, in the wake of the natural disasters that have ravaged both lands this month,” according to an article in the archdiocesan newspaper, Catholic New York.

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