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Living Our Faith: Easter

April 10th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized

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Easter sets the tone for all Christian living.

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Ablestock

The resurrection is like the break of dawn.

Christ is light, just as he is life — new life.

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Catholic leaders in Syria criticize U.S. missile strikes

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WASHINGTON — Two prominent Catholic leaders in Syria criticized the U.S. missile strikes against their nation, wondering why they occurred before investigations into the origins of chemical attacks reported April 4.

Iranian men shout anti-U.S. slogans after Friday prayers in Tehran, Iran, April 7, following U.S. missile strikes in Syria. (CNS photo/Abedin Taherkenareh, EPA)

Iranian men shout anti-U.S. slogans after Friday prayers in Tehran, Iran, April 7, following U.S. missile strikes in Syria. (CNS photo/Abedin Taherkenareh, EPA)

But U.S. President Donald Trump said Syrian President Bashar Assad “launched a horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians” and “choked out the lives of helpless men, women and children.”

“No child of God should ever suffer such horror,” he said April 6, announcing that he had ordered the strike against the air base from which he said the chemical weapons attack was launched.

Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph Younan called the attack an aggression and told Catholic News Service: “It is a shame that the United States administration didn’t wait until an honest United Nations investigation was thoroughly made into what is said to be a chemical air strike in Khan Shaykun.”

“The agglomerate media and the supremacist policy of the USA just want the killing and destroying conflict in Syria to continue, and this primarily to kill whatever attempt to resolve the bloody crisis,” added Patriarch Younan, who was born in Syria and served for 14 years as bishop of the New Jersey-based Diocese of Our Lady of Deliverance for Syriac Catholics in the United States and Canada.

Bishop Georges Khazen, who serves Latin-rite Catholics in Aleppo, told the Rome-based Fides news agency that he was baffled by “the speed with which it was decided and carried out, without any adequate investigation into the tragic massacre with chemical weapons which took place in Idlib province.”

He said the attack “opens new disturbing scenarios for all.”

The U.S. launched 59 missiles from the USS Ross and USS Porter in the Mediterranean early April 7 local time. U.S. officials said they targeted Shayrat Air Base’s airstrips, hangars, control tower and ammunition areas.

In his statement, Trump said, “There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons, violated its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and ignored the urging of the U.N. Security Council.”

The president said it was vital to U.S. security interests “to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons,” and he called on other nations “to join us in seeking to end the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria and also to end terrorism of all kinds and all types.”

“Years of previous attempts at changing Assad’s behavior have all failed and failed very dramatically,” Trump said. “As a result, the refugee crisis continues to deepen and the region continues to destabilize, threatening the United States and its allies.”

“We ask for God’s wisdom as we face the challenge of our very troubled world. We pray for the lives of the wounded and for the souls of those who have passed, and we hope that as long as America stands for justice, that peace and harmony will in the end prevail,” he said.

Syrian officials called the attack a “blatant aggression,” and the General Command of the Syrian army said it “confirms the continuation of the wrong American strategy and restricts the counterterrorist operation that the Syrian army is conducting.”

The Syrian state news agency SANA reported nine civilians, including four children, were killed in the U.S. attack. SANA said the civilians died in villages near the airbase and that seven more people were wounded.

It was not clear whether this figure included any of the six dead announced by the Syrian army earlier.

Patriarch Younan, who said he passed Shayrat Air Base after the strike, en route to celebrate a funeral in Hafar, noted the U.S. was accusing Syria, a U.N. member, of using chemical weapons, but had not investigated the charge.

“The Syrian army was fighting successfully to end the bloody conflict going on for long. It did not need any military intervention that would be condemned by international agencies, such as using chemicals,” he said. He added that Christians would suffer the consequences, and the final results of displacement and persecution would not be known for decades.

After the chemical attack was reported, Chaldean Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo told Fides that although he understood things were not always what they seemed, he could not imagine the Syrian government “is so naive and ignorant to be able to do such ‘errors.’”

He said the Syrian government and opposition continued to blame each other for the 2013 chemical attack in the suburbs of Damascus.

“Two days ago, U.S. President Donald Trump said that Assad is part of the solution of the Syrian problem. Now he makes statements that say the contrary,” Bishop Audo told Fides. “There are interests of regional powers involved in the war. We should always take this into account, especially when certain things are repeated with similar dynamics, and trigger the same reactions and the same effects already experienced in the past.”

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Saint of the Week: Magdalen Canossa

April 6th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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Saint Magdalen Canossa

Feast Day: April 10

 

This foundress, born to a noble family in Verona, Italy, lost her father at age 5 and was abandoned by her mother when she remarried.

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Saint Magdalen Canossa

Choosing religious life over an advantageous marriage, Magdalen first joined the Carmelites, but left when she saw that their strict rules of enclosure would prohibit her charitable works.

She began a new community, the Canossian Daughters of Charity, in 1799 by bringing two poor girls into her own home. The institute spread throughout Italy, and Magdalen helped found an order of priests and a third order for laypeople.

Canossians minister today in Italy, Latin America and the Philippines. Magdalen, who was canonized in 1988, famously said, “Those who love are never tired, since love knows no burden.”

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Sunday Scripture readings, April 9, 2017

April 6th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

 

Gospel at the Procession With Palms: Matthew 21:1-11

            1) Isaiah 50:4-7

            Psalm 22:8-9, 17-20, 23-24

            2) Philippians 2:6-11

            Gospel: Matthew 26:14-27:66

 

What is the difference between Peter and Judas, both of whom denied Jesus? One becomes the rock upon which the church is founded, our first pope and a great saint. The other becomes synonymous with personal betrayal by a kiss and famous as history’s ultimate traitor.

When someone is mad at me, I don’t like it. Why? Truth be told: I don’t like the guilt of being “guilty” … busted, exposed, vulnerable, sinful. Read more »

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Cardinal Dolan praises State Department decision to defund U.N. Population Fund

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WASHINGTON — The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life committee and other prominent pro-life leaders cheered the U.S. State Department’s April 3 announcement that it would no longer contribute to the U.N. Population Fund because of the agency’s involvement in China’s Population and Family Planning Law, long known as the “one-child policy.” Read more »

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Counting world’s 1.28 billion Catholics, Brazil has the most

April 6th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Taken together, the 10 countries with the most Catholics account for almost 56 percent of the world’s Catholic population, the Vatican reported.

People attend Mass in 2013 at the cathedral in Sao Paulo. Brazil is one of 10 countries with the most Catholics that account for almost 56 percent of the world's Catholic population, the Vatican reported.(CNS photo/Sebasti o Moreira, EPA) See CHURCH-STATISTICS-VATICAN April 6, 2017.

People attend Mass in 2013 at the cathedral in Sao Paulo. Brazil is one of 10 countries with the most Catholics that account for almost 56 percent of the world’s Catholic population, the Vatican reported.(CNS photo/Sebasti o Moreira, EPA) See CHURCH-STATISTICS-VATICAN April 6, 2017.

People attend Mass in 2013 at the cathedral in Sao Paulo. Brazil is one of 10 countries with the most Catholics that account for almost 56 percent of the world's Catholic population, the Vatican reported.(CNS photo/Sebasti o Moreira, EPA) See CHURCH-STATISTICS-VATICAN April 6, 2017.

People attend Mass in 2013 at the cathedral in Sao Paulo. Brazil is one of 10 countries with the most Catholics that account for almost 56 percent of the world’s Catholic population, the Vatican reported.(CNS photo/Sebasti o Moreira, EPA) See CHURCH-STATISTICS-VATICAN April 6, 2017.

The 2017 “Annuario Pontificio,” or Vatican yearbook, and a new edition of the Vatican Statistical Yearbook report that the countries with the most Catholics are, in order: Brazil, Mexico, Philippines, United States, Italy, France, Colombia, Spain, Congo and Argentina.

The number of baptized Catholics grew 1 percent in a year to reach 1.285 billion as of Dec. 31, 2015, the date to which the statistics in both books refer.

Looking at the period 2010-2015, the global Catholic population increased by 7.4 percent, the Vatican said. Africa continued to be the continent with the largest percentage growth, increasing by 19.4 percent over the same five-year period. The increase in Africa outpaced the growth of the general population.

In Europe, the Americas and Asia, generally speaking, the statistical growth or decline of the Catholic population coincided with the growth or decline of the population as a whole over the five-year period, according to the Central Office for Church Statistics.

Of the world’s 1.285 billion Catholics, it said, almost 49 percent live in North or South America, including the Caribbean. Europe is home to 22.2 percent of the global Catholic population; 17.3 percent are in Africa; 11 percent are in Asia; and just under 1 percent are in Oceania and the South Pacific.

At the end of 2015, it said, there were 670,320 professed women religious in the world, 415,656 priests, 54,229 religious brothers, 45,255 permanent deacons and 5,304 bishops.

Fewer priests, more bishops

The number of bishops and of permanent deacons were the only two of those categories to experience growth from 2014 to 2015. Potentially stalling a trend of annual growth that began in 2000, the number of priests in the world dropped by 136 during 2015. The increased number of diocesan and religious-order priests in Africa could not make up for the strong drop in Europe, which lost 2,502 priests in one year.

Looking at a statistically more relevant period, 2010-2015, the number of diocesan priests globally rose, while the number of priests belonging to religious orders fell.

The impact on Catholics in the pew is obvious, the Vatican said. In 2010 there were an average of 2,900 Catholics for every Catholic priest in the world; in 2015, the ratio had climbed to 3,091 Catholics per priest.

The number of seminarians in the world, the office said, “touched a maximum in 2011” and has since experience “a gradual contraction. The only exception remains Africa, which for the moment does not seem to be touched by the vocations crisis and can be confirmed as the geographical area with the greatest potential.”

 

Follow Wooden on Twitter: @Cindy_Wooden.

 

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Pandas rally to force extras, but fall to No. 1 Caravel in softball

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For The Dialog

 

PIKE CREEK – The Padua Pandas’ softball team found itself trailing top-ranked Caravel, 6-0, after an inning and half on April 5. They rallied to tie it at eight but fell, 10-8, in eight innings at the Midway Softball Complex.

Grace Walker, who was 3 for 5 on the day, drove in the winning runs for Caravel with a single in the top of the eighth inning. The Buccaneers (2-1) scored two in the first as Walker reached on a two-out infield single. She stole second and scored on a single by Amanda Stull. Stull got home on a single by Amanda Ladzinski. The Bucs plated four runs in the second as Emily Proffitt hit a grand slam over the left-field fence. Read more »

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Advertising Sales Representative

April 4th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized

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EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY • DIOCESE OF WILMINGTON

Advertising Sales Representative

The Diocese of Wilmington is seeking a full-time advertising professional to sell and service advertising accounts for The Dialog, special supplements and sections, and the Diocesan Directory.

The special sections of advertising include: Education  and Careers; Senior Living and Health: Education – Back to School, Catholic Schools Week and Graduation; Bridal; Vocations and Grief Ministry.

Salary plus commission and benefits package.

The successful candidate will meet the following criteria:

  • Proven sales experience

  • Familiarity with all aspects of print and digital advertising

  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat programs

  • Ability to address client needs and provide excellent customer service

  • Ability to travel regionally

To apply, email resume and letter of interest with salary requirements to jobs@cdow.org  

Please reference Ad Sales Rep in the subject line. 

No telephone calls will be accepted. EOE

Extended application deadline: May 12, 2017

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Maryland’s bishops denounce human trafficking, set information sessions

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The Catholic bishops of Maryland issued a joint statement against human trafficking April 3 and have announced information sessions to be held in the state to address the issue.

The information session on trafficking scheduled for the Diocese of Wilmington will be at St. Francis de Sales Parish in Salisbury, Md., April 22, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in English and Spanish. Read more »

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Look it up: Hosanna in the highest

April 3rd, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized

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Catholic News Service

The liturgy on Palm Sunday begins differently from most Masses. In most Catholic churches, people gather outside or in the vestibule where they hear a reading from the Gospel according to Matthew (21:1-11) about Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Palms are then blessed and the congregation processes into the church together.

While all four of the Gospel accounts tell basically the same story of what happened that day in Jerusalem, only Matthew uses these words: “Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; hosanna in the highest” (21:9). What exactly does the word “hosanna” mean and why would the crowd shout it about Jesus at this time? Read more »

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