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Saint of the Day: Boniface I

September 4th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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Saint Boniface I

Feast Day: September 4

A priest and son of a priest, this humble Roman who became pope undertook several trips to Constantinople for Pope Innocent I during 401-417.

When Pope Zosimus died in 418, some Roman deacons and priests elected Archdeacon

St. Boniface I (Wikimedia Commons)

Eulalius as pope.

Other Roman clergy and laity simultaneously elected the now elderly Boniface.

When each was told to leave Rome pending the decision of a synod, Boniface obeyed but Eulalius did not, earning himself banishment and the papacy for Boniface.

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Bishops’ Labor Day statement sees threat of ‘excessive inequality’

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Catholic News Service

“Excessive inequality” threatens cooperation among all people in society “and the social pact it supports,” said Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, in the U.S. bishops’ annual Labor Day statement.

Tires leave the curing presses in Union City, Tenn., in this file photo. (CNS photo/Goodyear via EPA)

In the message, Bishop Dewane cited the words of Pope Francis, who told factory workers in Genoa, Italy, “The entire social pact is built around work. This is the core of the problem. Because when you do not work, or you work badly, you work little or you work too much, it is democracy that enters into crisis, and the entire social pact.”

Dated Sept. 4, the federal Labor Day holiday, the statement was released Aug. 30.

Bishop Dewane, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, pointed to a “twisted understanding of labor and laborers” that fosters deepening inequality.

In Genoa, the pope “acknowledges that ‘merit’ is a beautiful word,” Bishop Dewane said, “but the modern world can often use it ideologically, which makes it ‘distorted and perverted’ when it is used for ethically legitimizing inequality.”

“Wages remain stagnant or are decreasing for the vast majority of people, while a smaller percentage collect the new wealth being generated. Economic stresses contribute to a decline in marriage rates, increases in births outside of two-parent households and child poverty,” Bishop Dewane added. “Economic instability also hurts the faith community, as Americans who have recently experienced unemployment are less likely to go to church, even though such communities can be a source of great support in difficult times.”

He said, “When a parent working full time, or even working multiple jobs beyond standard working hours, cannot bring his or her family out of poverty, something is terribly wrong with how we value the work of a person.”

“Pope Francis has said it is ‘inhuman’ that parents must spend so much time working that they cannot play with their children. Surely many wish for more time, but their working conditions do not allow it.”

He quoted St. John Paul II’s encyclical “Centesimus Annus”: “Profit is a regulator of the life of a business, but it is not the only one; other human and moral factors must also be considered which, in the long term, are at least equally important for the life of a business.”

“A culture that obsesses less over endless activity and consumption may, over time, become a culture that values rest for the sake of God and family,” Bishop Dewane said.

He added, “Our Lord’s ‘gaze of love’ embraces men and women who work long hours without rest to provide for their loved ones; families who move across towns, states, and nations, facing the highest risks and often suffering great tragedy in order to find better opportunities; workers who endure unsafe working conditions; low pay and health crises; women who suffer wage disparities and exploitation; and those who suffer the effects of racism in any setting, including the workplace.”

Bishop Dewane suggested several approaches to right the imbalance brought by inequality.

“Worker-owned businesses can be a force for strengthening solidarity, as the Second Vatican Council encouraged businesses to consider the active sharing of all in the administration and profits of these enterprises in ways to be properly determined,” he said. “The Catholic Campaign for Human Development has helped in the formation of many employee-owned companies which provide jobs in communities where work opportunities may be scarce.”

Workers’ legal rights to “a just wage in exchange for work, to protection against wage theft, to workplace safety and just compensation for workplace injuries, to health care and other benefits, and to organize and engage in negotiations, should be promoted,” he added.

“Workers must be aided to come to know and exercise their legal rights. As an example, CCHD has supported the Don Bosco Workers in Westchester, N.Y., which has launched a successful campaign to combat wage theft. Persons returning from prison also need support to understand their legal rights as they seek new employment. CCHD has helped the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Cincinnati and elsewhere as they work with returning citizens to find stable and meaningful jobs.”

Labor unions play an important role in this effort, according to Bishop Dewane, as he quoted from Pope Francis’ remarks in June in an audience with delegates from the Confederation of Trade Unions: “There is no good society without a good union, and there is no good union that is not reborn every day in the peripheries, that does not transform the discarded stones of the economy into its cornerstones.”

“Unions must retain and recover their prophetic voice, which ‘regards the very nature itself of the union, its truest vocation. The union is an expression of the prophetic profile of society,’” he said, quoting further from Pope Francis, who added, “The union movement has its great seasons when it is prophecy.” Bishop Dewane added that unions should “resist the temptation of becoming too similar to the institutions and powers that it should instead criticize.”

Bishop Dewane said, “Unions are especially valuable when they speak on behalf of the poor, the immigrant, and the person returning from prison.”

     

Follow Pattison on Twitter: @MeMarkPattison.

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Saints of the Day: The Martyrs of September

September 2nd, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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The Martyrs of September

Feast Days: Sept. 2 & 3

Detail from Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris. (Thinkstock)

These 191 martyrs of the French Revolution died in four locations in Paris Sept. 2 and 3, 1792.

Most were members of the clergy.

A 1790 document of the Constituent Assembly declared French clerics to be public servants and required them to swear an oath of allegiance.

Those who took the oath were called “assermentes”; those who would not were “refractaires” or “insermentes.”

Pressure steadily increased for people to take the oath; it finally erupted in the carnage of September 1792, when 1,400 in all were killed by gangs and thugs.

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In new book, pope discusses traditional marriage, sins of the flesh, psychoanalysis

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — By virtue of its very definition, marriage can only be between a man and a woman, Pope Francis said in a new book-length interview.

“We cannot change it. This is the nature of things,” not just in the church, but in human history, he said in a series of interviews with Dominique Wolton, a 70-year-old French sociologist and expert in media and political communication.

Pope Francis (CNS file/Max Rossi, Reuters)

Published in French, the 417-page book, “Politique et Societe” (“Politics and Society”) was to be released Sept. 6. Catholic News Service obtained an advance copy, and excerpts appeared online.

When it comes to the true nature of marriage as well as gender, there is “critical confusion at the moment,” the pope said.

When asked about marriage for same-sex couples, the pope said, “Let’s call this ‘civil unions.’ We do not joke around with truth.”

Teaching children that they can choose their gender, he said, also plays a part in fostering such mistakes about the truth or facts of nature.

The pope said he wondered whether these new ideas about gender and marriage were somehow based on a fear of differences, and he encouraged researchers to study the subject.

Absolution after abortion

Pope Francis also said his decision to give all priests permanent permission to grant absolution to those who confess to having procured an abortion was not mean to trivialize this serious and grave sin.

Abortion continues to be “murder of an innocent person. But if there is sin, forgiveness must be facilitated,” he said. So often a woman who never forgets her aborted child “cries for years without having the courage to go see a priest.”

“Do you have any idea the number of people who can finally breathe?” he asked, adding how important it was these women can find the Lord’s forgiveness and never commit this sin again.

Pope Francis said the biggest threat in the world is money. In St. Matthew’s Gospel, when Jesus talked about people’s love and loyalty being torn between two things, he didn’t say it was between “your wife or God,” it was choosing between God or money.

“It’s clear. They are two things opposed to each other,” he said.

When asked why people do not listen to this message even though it has been clearly condemned by the church since the time of the Gospels, the pope said it is because some people prefer to speak only about morality.

“There is a great danger for preachers, lecturers, to fall into mediocrity,” which is condemning only those forms of immorality that fall “below the belt,” he said.

Sins of the flesh

“But the other sins that are the most serious: hatred, envy, pride, vanity, killing another, taking away a life … these are really not talked about that much,” he said.

“The most minor sins are the sins of the flesh,” he said, because the flesh is weak. “The most dangerous sins are those of the mind,” and confessors should spend more time asking if a person prays, reads the Gospel and seeks the Lord.

One temptation the church has always been vulnerable to, the pope said, is being defensive because it is scared.

“Where in the Gospels does the Lord say that we need to seek security? Instead he said, ‘Risk, go ahead, forgive and evangelize.’”

Another temptation, he said, is to seek uniformity with rules, for example, in the debate concerning his apostolic exhortation on the family, “Amoris Laetitia.”

“When I talk about families in difficulty, I say, ‘Welcome, accompany, discern, integrate …’ and then everyone will see the doors open. In reality, what happens is you hear people say, ‘They cannot receive Communion.’ ‘They cannot do this and that.’”

That temptation of the church to emphasize “no, no and no” and what is prohibited is the same “drama Jesus (experienced) with the Pharisees.”

‘Fundamentalist mindset’

This closed, fundamentalist mindset like Jesus faced is “the battle I lead today with the exhortation.”

Jesus followed “another logic” that went beyond prohibitions as he did not adhere to customs, like not touching lepers and stoning adulterers, that had become like commandments, he said.

Church leaders are used to “frozen norms” and “fixed standards,” but when they ask, ‘“Can we give Communion to divorcees?’ I reply, ‘Speak with the divorced man and woman, welcome, accompany, integrate and discern,’ which opens a path and a way of communication to lead people to Christ.”

Encountering Christ is what leads people onto a path of living a moral life, he said.

When asked about the church’s “just-war” theory, the pope said the issue should be looked into because “no war is just. The only just thing is peace.”

Concerning the persecution of Christians, particularly in the East, and the question of why God would allow such tragedy, the pope said, “I do not know where God is, but I know where man is in this situation. Men make weapons and sell them.”

It is easy for people to question God, he said, but “it is we who commit all this” and allow it to happen; “our humanity is corrupted.”

Speaking about women, the pope said they have an important role in society because they help unify and reconcile people.

Some people mistake women’s demands to be represented and heard in the world with a kind of “machoism in a skirt,” but machoism is a form of “brutality” and does not represent what women should be.

He said with the reform of the Roman Curia, “there will be many women who will have decision-making power,” not just roles as advisers.

While he said he believes he will succeed in opening up more positions to women in the curia, it will be difficult and there will be problems, not because of misogyny, but because of “the problem of power.”

Psychoanalysis

When Pope Francis and the French interviewer talked about differences between the Argentines and the French, the pope said, “Argentines are quite fond of psychoanalysis.”

The pope praised those psychoanalysts who are able to be “open to humanism and to dialogue with other sciences,” particularly medicine and homeopathy.

“Those whom I have known have helped me a lot at one point in my life when I needed consultation,” he said, describing how met with a Jewish psychoanalyst once a week for six months when he was 42 “to clear up certain things.

“She was very good. Very professional as a doctor and psychoanalyst” and “she helped me so much.”

Follow Glatz on Twitter: @CarolGlatz.

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Saint of the Day: Boniface I

September 1st, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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Saint Boniface I

Feast Day: September 4

A priest and son of a priest, this humble Roman who became pope undertook several trips to Constantinople for Pope Innocent I during 401-417.

When Pope Zosimus died in 418, some Roman deacons and priests elected Archdeacon

St. Boniface I (Wikimedia Commons)

Eulalius as pope.

Other Roman clergy and laity simultaneously elected the now elderly Boniface.

When each was told to leave Rome pending the decision of a synod, Boniface obeyed but Eulalius did not, earning himself banishment and the papacy for Boniface.

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Saints of the Day: The Martyrs of September

September 1st, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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The Martyrs of September

Feast Days: Sept. 2 & 3

These 191 martyrs of the French Revolution died in four locations in Paris Sept. 2 and 3, 1792.

Detail from Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris (Thinkstock)

Most were members of the clergy.

A 1790 document of the Constituent Assembly declared French clerics to be public servants and required them to swear an oath of allegiance.

Those who took the oath were called “assermentes”; those who would not were “refractaires” or “insermentes.”

Pressure steadily increased for people to take the oath; it finally erupted in the carnage of September 1792, when 1,400 in all were killed by gangs and thugs.

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‘Hear the cry of the earth,’ pope and patriarch urge in ecology message

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Environmental destruction is a sign of a “morally decaying scenario” in which too many people ignore or deny that, from the beginning, “God intended humanity to cooperate in the preservation and protection of the natural environment,” said the leaders of the Catholic and Orthodox churches.

Women carry children as they make their way through a flooded area Aug. 20 in Bogra, Bangladesh. (CNS photo/Mohammad Ponir Hossain, Reuters)

Marking the Sept. 1 World Day of Prayer for Creation, Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople issued a joint message.

They urged government and business leaders “to respond to the plea of millions and support the consensus of the world for the healing of our wounded creation.”

Looking at the description of the Garden of Eden from the Book of Genesis, the pope and patriarch said, “The earth was entrusted to us as a sublime gift and legacy.”

But, they said, “our propensity to interrupt the world’s delicate and balanced ecosystems, our insatiable desire to manipulate and control the planet’s limited resources, and our greed for limitless profit in markets — all these have alienated us from the original purpose of creation.”

“We no longer respect nature as a shared gift; instead, we regard it as a private possession,” the two leaders said. “We no longer associate with nature in order to sustain it; instead, we lord over it to support our own constructs.”

Ignoring God’s plan for creation has “tragic and lasting” consequences on both “the human environment and the natural environment,” they wrote. “Our human dignity and welfare are deeply connected to our care for the whole of creation.”

The pope and the patriarch said prayer is not incidental to ecology, because “an objective of our prayer is to change the way we perceive the world in order to change the way we relate to the world.”

The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople established the World Day of Prayer for Creation in 1989. In 2015, shortly after publishing his encyclical on the environment, “Laudato Si’,” Pope Francis established the day of prayer for Catholics as well.

The object of Christian prayer and action for the safeguarding of creation, the two leaders wrote, is to encourage all Christians “to be courageous in embracing greater simplicity and solidarity in our lives.”

Echoing remarks Pope Francis made Aug. 30 when the pontiff announced he and the patriarch were issuing a joint message, the text included a plea to world leaders.

“We urgently appeal to those in positions of social and economic, as well as political and cultural, responsibility to hear the cry of the earth and to attend to the needs of the marginalized,” they wrote. No enduring solution can be found “to the challenge of the ecological crisis and climate change unless the response is concerted and collective, unless the responsibility is shared and accountable, unless we give priority to solidarity and service.”

Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew also highlighted how “this deterioration of the planet weighs upon the most vulnerable of its people,” especially the poor, in a more pronounced way.

“Our obligation to use the earth’s goods responsibly implies the recognition of and respect for all people and all living creatures,” they said. “The urgent call and challenge to care for creation are an invitation for all of humanity to work toward sustainable and integral development.”

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Saint of the Day: Giles

September 1st, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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Saint Giles

Feast Day: September 1

Stories of this saint made him a well-loved figure in the Middle Ages.

Closeup of work titled “Saint Giles and the Hind”, oil on oak, National Gallery. (Wikimedia Commons)

Saint-Gilles in southern France, where he built a monastery, was a popular place of pilgrimage.

Legend says Giles was Athenian by birth, generous with his family’s wealth, cured a sick beggar by giving him his cloak, and lived as a hermit.

After his death he was celebrated for many miracles and named patron of the lame, beggars and blacksmiths.

He is one of the 14 Holy Helpers, saints known for response to prayers of petition, especially for the sick.

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Family ties still strong at Golden Hill’s 250th anniversary

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For The Dialog

 

GOLDEN HILL, Md. — The scene at St. Mary Star of the Sea Church on Aug. 27 was reminiscent of 250 years earlier when members of the Applegarth, Gootee, Stapleforte, Tubman and Meekins families gathered for Mass in the small chapel across the street.

Then, early settlers of southern Dorchester County celebrated their new church, built on land donated by the Tubman family. Sunday, their descendants celebrated the legacy of their Catholic presence on the Delmarva Peninsula. Read more »

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Catholic Schools: Believe, learn, serve, lead, succeed

September 1st, 2017 Posted in Featured, Our Diocese Tags: ,

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As we begin a new school year, allow me to quiz what you remember about grammar in English Language Arts.

Q1 – What are the eight parts of speech?

A1 – If you remember at least five parts of speech, you’re doing okay. The ones you probably recall are noun, pronoun, verb, adjective, and adverb. (If you read to the conclusion of this essay, you’ll learn the missing three parts of speech.)

Q2 – What is a verb?

A2 – A verb is an action word. Right! Everyone should have this answer.

As you glance back at the title of this essay, you will see that the five words describing what Catholic Schools do are all verbs. Catholic schools are about actions. Let’s look a bit more deeply into the “verbs of Catholic schools.” Read more »

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