Note: Following a brief hiatus, the Angelus Online will return Monday, March 19.
No diocesan wide events March 14-18
Readings for March 14-18
First Reading: Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 147:12-13, 15-16, 19-20
Gospel: Matthew 5:17-19
First Reading: Jeremiah 7:23-28
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9
Gospel: Luke 11:14-23
First Reading: Hosea 14:2-10
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 81:6-8, 8-9, 10-11, 14, 17
Gospel: Mark 12:28-34
First Reading: Hosea 6:1-6
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 51:3-4, 18-19, 20-21
Gospel: Luke 18:9-14
First Reading: Joshua 5:9, 10-12
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
Second Reading: Second Corinthians 5:17-21
Gospel: Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
Today’s Headlines from Catholic News Service
New Sons of Adam group to support men touched by abortion
OLD HICKORY, Tenn. (CNS) — The focus of nearly every discussion of abortion is on the woman or her unborn child. Often hidden in the abortion issue is its impact on the man. “There is always a father,” said Father Steve Wolf, pastor of St. Stephen Catholic Community in Old Hickory. “Their role or lack of role in the decision can create a stream of consequences that may accompany the man through the rest of his life.” Father Wolf is starting a discussion group called Sons of Adam for men who are suffering from an experience of abortion. “Because men are told they have no say in the abortion decision — that it is about a woman and her choice — they later struggle with the questions they pose to themselves and the emotions they feel,” Father Wolf told the Tennessee Register, newspaper of the Nashville Diocese. Those emotions may take numerous forms, including rage, a sense of impotence or grief over the loss of fatherhood, he explained. Some men react self-destructively, by turning to alcohol, drugs or other risk-taking behaviors. Others experience nightmares and suicidal thoughts. Father Wolf hopes talking about their experience with abortion will help men avoid such problems.
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Alumni of Chicago high school seminary come for one last goodbye
CHICAGO (CNS) — March 11 was a bittersweet day for Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary and its community of faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends, said Father Peter Sneig, the school’s president and rector. It was the day of “The Great Goodbye,” hosted by Quigley to give everyone an opportunity to visit the Chicago archdiocesan high school seminary one last time. It will close in June after 102 years of educating young men considering the priesthood. In his homily at an evening Mass in St. James Chapel, Chicago Cardinal Francis E. George spoke of the importance of relationships — people’s relationships with God, but also with the people who teach them about God. Such relationships endure to eternity, when everything else falls away. “We look at the closing of this building as a school and its transition to something new, and it’s sad,” said the cardinal who, though a Chicago native, attended St. Henry Preparatory Seminary in Belleville. “But the relationships forged here will last forever.” The day included a morning Mass celebrated by Cardinal Edward M. Egan of New York, who graduated from Quigley in 1951 and was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1957. There also was an afternoon concert. Throughout the day, the building was open to alumni and friends, who came in and searched out their class pictures on the corridor walls and met up with classmates.
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‘March Music Madness’ mimics NCAA basketball tournaments
PORTLAND, Ore. (CNS) — Just like the “March Madness” that characterizes the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, Oregon Catholic Press’ “March Music Madness” seeks the best Catholic contemporary song — but without a play-in game for the 64th and final spot. It is, in a sense, a “playoff,” as voters can listen to songs before voting for their favorites. This is the fourth year Oregon Catholic Press’ contemporary music division, Spirit and Song, has administered the competition on its Web site, http://www.spiritandsong.com. To start narrowing down the field from the site’s “Super 64,” the first round of voting began March 12 and was to continue through March 15. The second round was to be conducted March 17-20. Voting for the “Sweet 16” was scheduled for March 22-25, and for the “Elite Eight” March 27-30. The March Music Madness “Final Four” was slated for April 1-3, with the championship set for April 5.
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Episcopal ecumenists hopeful about Catholic-Anglican future
WASHINGTON (CNS) — There are good signs in Anglican-Catholic relations, despite current tensions between the two churches and within the Anglican Communion over women bishops and an openly gay Episcopal bishop, two Episcopal bishops said during a break in a meeting of the Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue in the United States. Bishop C. Christopher Epting, chief ecumenical officer of the U.S. Episcopal Church and retired bishop of Iowa, and Bishop Edwin F. Gulick Jr. of the Episcopal Diocese of Kentucky, Anglican co-chairman of the dialogue, spoke with Catholic News Service during the ARC-USA dialogue’s March 8-10 meeting at the North American Paulist Center in Washington. Tensions within either church have an impact on the dialogue, but not necessarily a negative one, Bishop Gulick said. Bishop Epting said the question of the Episcopal Church’s decision in 2003 to ordain Bishop Gene Robinson, who is living in an openly gay relationship, as bishop of New Hampshire has been part of the dialogue agenda “for the last several years in one way or another.” The question for the dialogue, he said, is “not so much the issue of homosexuality or human sexuality, but the issue of ecclesiology that all of this raises: Who makes decisions for the church and how, and how are they received, and what is a communion-dividing or a church-dividing issue and what is of second tier in importance?”
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Vatican diplomat expresses hope for normalizing relations with China
COLUMBUS, Ohio (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI’s top diplomat at the United Nations said the Vatican wants to normalize relations with China, which it sees as a major way of advancing religious freedom and fostering unity among Chinese Catholics. Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Vatican’s U.N. nuncio, expressed hope that a papal letter to Chinese Catholics to be released around Easter will be seen as proof of the Vatican’s good will and pave the way for Vatican talks with Chinese officials that could lead to diplomatic relations and resolution of differences over the church’s status in the Asian nation. Other church officials have said that the letter will be translated into Chinese and sent to the Chinese government several days before its publication. “We have never severed our ties with the Chinese people,” said Archbishop Migliore, at a March 2 news conference before giving a speech at St. Charles Preparatory School in Columbus. At the same time, he said, the Vatican is hoping that a formula can be found to maintain ties with Taiwan while opening diplomatic relations with China. The Chinese government has required severing diplomatic ties with Taiwan as a prerequisite for establishing diplomatic relations with the Vatican. “We are ready to go back to Beijing without abandoning Taiwan,” the archbishop said, without specifying whether future contacts with Taiwan would include diplomatic relations. Archbishop Migliore said the Vatican’s main differences with China involve continued recognition of Taiwan, freedom to worship and appointment of bishops.
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Phoenix parish marks 20 years of perpetual adoration
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (CNS) — In the wee hours of the morning, Mary Kay Longo wipes the sleep from her eyes and drives to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church. She passes people coming home from a night on the town on her way to spend an hour before the Blessed Sacrament. “You see kids getting arrested. It’s so sad,” she told The Catholic Sun, newspaper of the Phoenix Diocese. “So I go and pray for them.” Longo is one of nearly 300 parishioners dedicated to perpetual adoration. Over the last two decades, the parish has logged more than 300,000 hours before the Eucharist. “God always answers us, one way or another,” said Ed Curtis, the adoration coordinator for more than 15 years. “We don’t always understand it, but he answers.” Phoenix Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted recently celebrated a Mass to recognize these parishioners. Even when Catholics come to perpetual adoration with heavy hearts, they do not leave the same, he said in his homily. “Adoration fills us with awe and wonder in the presence of a love that words cannot capture,” said the bishop, who spends an hour before the Blessed Sacrament each day.
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Pope reflects on Eucharist, makes concrete suggestions for Mass
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Catholics must believe in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, celebrate the liturgy with devotion and live in a way that demonstrates their faith, Pope Benedict XVI said. “The celebration and worship of the Eucharist enable us to draw near to God’s love and to persevere in that love,” the pope said in his apostolic exhortation, “Sacramentum Caritatis” (“The Sacrament of Charity”). The 131-page document, a papal reflection on the discussions and suggestions made during the 2005 world Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist, was released March 13 by the Vatican. When Jesus instituted the Eucharist at the Last Supper, he did not simply thank God for the ways he had acted throughout history to save people, the pope said. Rather, Jesus revealed that he himself was the sacrifice that would bring salvation to fulfillment. “The institution of the Eucharist demonstrates how Jesus’ death, for all its violence and absurdity, became in him a supreme act of love and mankind’s definitive deliverance from evil,” Pope Benedict wrote. Celebrating the Eucharist, he said, “the church is able to celebrate and adore the mystery of Christ” who is present in the bread and wine through the power of the Holy Spirit. In addition to offering a spiritual reflection on the meaning of the Eucharist, the liturgy and eucharistic adoration, Pope Benedict made several concrete suggestions for further study and for celebrating the Mass in the Latin rite.
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CRS-sponsored HIV/AIDS programs help clear stigma in southern India
WARANGAL, India (CNS) — When K. Balalakshmi returned home after several days of attending to her HIV-positive widowed daughter in the hospital, the elderly woman was surprised to find that Manchupahad villagers had stopped using the village well. Balalakshmi learned that the villagers stopped because she had washed her daughter’s clothes near the well. Abettu Krishna, a church outreach worker, said he had tried “to explain to them that AIDS could not be infected in such a way” but that “they would not believe me at all. Krishna works with the Warangal Diocese’s home-based care program, which is supported by Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. bishops’ international relief and aid agency. Andhra Pradesh, the south Indian state where the diocese is located, has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in India. About 2 percent of the state’s population is HIV-positive. Krishna, who is HIV-positive, told Catholic News Service during an interview at the Jangaon office of the diocese’s social agency, the Multipurpose Social Service Society, that he eventually brought in Dr. Jarupula Sunil Kumar, Warangal district coordinator of the government’s Andhra Pradesh AIDS Control Society, to the village to fix the well problem. Finally, after the media covered the doctor drinking from the well as Krishna pumped, the villagers used the well again. “There is lot of fears about AIDS among the people,” said Krishna, 33, whose wife was taken away from him by her parents four years ago when they discovered he was HIV-positive. “But gradually, awareness is growing.” He shuttles between remote villages around Jangaon, reaching out to dozens of people affected by HIV/AIDS.
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Ecuadorian bishops call for calm, unity amid political crises
LIMA, Peru (CNS) — The Ecuadorian bishops’ conference has called for “calm and the unity” amid recent violence and a political crisis in the Andean country. “Ecuador does not deserve and cannot accept this situation,” the bishops said. “The time has come to show that we love the country, that we are and feel ourselves to be brothers and sisters, and that we cannot resign ourselves to disappearing as a country and becoming easy prey for power and bad politics,” the bishops said in a statement released March 8. The bishops called on the courts to “save democracy and the stability of the country’s institutions.” Police and fired opposition legislators scuffled as the legislators forced their way into Congress March 13, one lawmaker was injured in the clash. In a similar conflict March 8, at least one legislator and one protester were injured. The recent political crisis stemmed from President Rafael Correa’s campaign pledge to rewrite the country’s constitution. A referendum on whether to call a constitutional assembly was scheduled for April 15, but Correa and Congress sent the Supreme Electoral Court different proposals for the referendum. When the court sided with the president’s referendum, 57 opposition members of Congress tried to start impeachment proceedings against four of the court’s seven members. The court in turn dismissed the legislators. The country’s constitutional court may now rule on the issue, but Correa, who took office in January, said the referendum and assembly were on an irreversible course.
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Catholic educators told school choice is becoming less partisan issue
WASHINGTON (CNS) — “School choice is becoming less and less a partisan issue,” Morgan Brown, an assistant deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, told a group of Catholic education leaders gathered in Washington for congressional advocacy days. The Bush administration “is the most pro-school-choice administration we’ve ever had at the federal level,” said Brown, who heads the Education Department’s Office of Innovation and Improvement. About 70 educators from more than 20 states came to Washington March 11-13 to discuss current federal legislative issues that may affect Catholic education and to lobby members of Congress on behalf of measures that would provide more equal participation of private school students and teachers in federal programs. “Much of the real action on school choice is in the states,” Brown acknowledged. But he said the federal government can “create incentives” for states to improve school choice possibilities by providing “seed money” in the way of programs that include participation by those in private schools. The federal government can also serve as a “bully pulpit” to make the case to the American public that parents should have a choice in what schools their children attend, he said.
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Betty Hutton, star of top films in ’40s and ’50s, dies at age 86
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. (CNS) — Actress Betty Hutton, who starred in many top film comedies and musicals in the 1940s and ’50s, has died at age 86 in Palm Springs. No date of death was disclosed, nor a cause of death given. The Associated Press March 13 reported that a friend, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed her death. Hutton, featured in such movies as “Annie Get Your Gun,” “The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek,” “The Greatest Show on Earth” and “Here Come the Waves,” joined the Catholic Church in 1973 after being befriended by a Rhode Island priest, Father Peter Maguire, while she was undergoing treatment in the state for addiction to sleeping pills. She credited the priest with saving her life. After not having appeared in films or television for nearly a decade, she made headlines in 1974 when it became known she had become Father Maguire’s cook and housekeeper at the rectory of St. Anthony Church in Portsmouth, R.I. She left the rectory job after suffering an emotional breakdown later that year. Known as “The Blonde Blitz” for her exuberant performances, Hutton, who left school after ninth grade, lamented her lack of formal education. Father Maguire made contact with officials at Salve Regina College (now University) in Newport, R.I. The school admitted her, and gave her credit for life experience — and an honorary doctorate in 1984. She earned a bachelor’s degree in 1986, and a master’s degree in liberal studies in 1986. School officials later gave her a job teaching acting at Salve Regina.