This Weekend in the Diocese
Friday-Saturday — Relay for Life, San Angelo, 7 p.m.
Saturday — Confirmation, St. Joseph, Odessa, 7 p.m.
Sunday — Confirmation, St. Mary’s, San Angelo, 1:30 p.m.
This Weekend’s Readings
Acts 2:44-47 or Colossians 3:12-17
Psalm 47:2-3, 8-10
Psalm 47:2-3, 6-9
Ephesians 1:17-23 or Hebrews 9:24-28; 10:19-23
Today’s Catholic News Service Headlines
Arrest made in arson fire at historic Indiana church
NEW CASTLE, Ind. (CNS) — Five weeks after fire destroyed historic St. Anne Church in New Castle during the early morning hours of Holy Saturday, Henry County authorities arrested William L. Abbott, 33, of New Castle on felony charges of arson, burglary and theft. County prosecutor Kit Crane said Abbott was arrested May 10 and charged with three felony counts of arson for endangering the lives of others, setting fire to a house of worship and causing a loss greater than $5,000. New Castle firefighter Jack Thurman injured his back while battling the April 7 blaze that gutted the 83-year-old brick church and county landmark. Abbott, a convicted felon with an extensive criminal history, is being held at the Henry County Jail. The probable cause affidavit said investigators determined the fire was caused by “open flame ignition to available materials.” The affidavit also noted that Abbott’s fingerprints were identified on a full bottle of altar wine taken from a locked cabinet in the church and discarded in a dumpster. Not-guilty pleas were entered on Abbott’s behalf May 11. His trial is set to begin Sept. 11.
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Cardinal: Latin American bishops stress need to adjust pastoral work
APARECIDA, Brazil (CNS) — The changes which have occurred in Latin America in recent years are so profound that they require fundamental changes in the way the church approaches pastoral work, said a cardinal from Honduras. “We need a pastoral conversion,” Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa said. “If these are difficult times, new disciples are needed — disciples who are able to respond to the difficulty, to resist the cultural storms that we are experiencing.” After listening to presidents from Latin American and Caribbean bishops’ conferences describe the problems the church is facing in their countries, Cardinal Rodriguez told reporters, “The question is how to respond to the new situations in Latin America.” That will be the key issue for bishops participating in the May 13-31 Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean. The second full day of the meeting May 15 featured a seven-minute presentation from each country’s bishops’ conference.
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Zambian bishops express dismay over delay with new constitution
LUSAKA, Zambia (CNS) — Zambia’s Catholic bishops have expressed “great dismay” over the government’s delay in reviewing and enacting a new constitution. “The people are tired of the slow pace” of the constitutional review process, said the Zambian bishops’ conference in a May 16 statement. The bishops urged the government “to desist from excessive legalism” and said that Zambia “can no longer afford the luxury of procrastination, which has characterized the government’s approach” to the process. Zambia, where a British-drafted constitution has been used since the former colony’s independence in 1964, “is in dire need of an inclusive constitution that will not only stand the test of time but also empower” Zambians to face challenges, they said. The bishops said they are convinced Zambians “have unambiguously made up their minds that they want a new constitution, not mere amendments to the current one.” They also said a new constitution must be in place before the 2011 presidential and parliamentary elections.
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Middle Eastern diplomats learn Vatican’s unique, complex global role
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — In early May, the Vatican opened its doors to 18 diplomats from Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries with significant Muslim populations. The young diplomats were attending a May 7-27 introductory course on the Vatican, Vatican diplomacy and the Vatican’s approach to Catholic-Muslim and intercultural dialogue. “We saw beautiful rooms in the Vatican that even my ambassador has not seen, and they allowed us to ask so many questions,” said Deniz Kilicer, a career diplomat currently serving at the Turkish Embassy to the Holy See. The diplomats spent a morning in the Vatican Secretariat of State, meeting top officials in the conference room and touring the frescoed offices and halls of the Apostolic Palace. They also received a flow chart reflecting the two distinct, but related parts of the course title, “The Catholic Church and the International Policy of the Holy See.”
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Walter Hubbard dies; was head of National Office for Black Catholics
SEATTLE (CNS) — A funeral Mass was celebrated May 12 in a chapel at Seattle University for Walter Hubbard Jr., a national African-American Catholic leader who had headed the Seattle-based National Office for Black Catholics since 1970. Hubbard, 82, died May 5 in Seattle. No cause of death was given. He had served for two decades on Jesuit-run Seattle University’s board of regents. Born in New Orleans Oct. 19, 1924, he worked as a skilled cloth-cutter in the garment industry. He later became active in the trade union moment, serving as president of local unions in Seattle that represented garment workers and liquor store clerks, before becoming an insurance company executive. After fighting against the Nazis with the Army in Europe during World War II, Hubbard returned home to fight multiple enemies in racism, bigotry and discrimination. From 1966 to 1970, he was executive director of Project Caritas, a youth and adult education program in Seattle. In the 1970s he worked for the Washington State Human Rights Commission as a contract-compliance specialist responsible for enforcing a federal court order opening work in the building trades to blacks and women.
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Emory unveils correspondence of Catholic author Flannery O’Connor
ATLANTA (CNS) — Catholic author Flannery O’Connor and Elizabeth “Betty” Hester first began corresponding in 1955 when Hester wrote a letter to O’Connor commenting on her work. Hester’s initial letter was a comment that she thought the author’s collection of short stories, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” were about God. O’Connor quickly responded, seeking more information about the stranger who understood her writing so well. It was the beginning of a friendship that lasted nearly a decade, with O’Connor and Hester exchanging written communication almost weekly until O’Connor’s death from lupus in 1964 at age 39. Hester donated the letters to Emory University in 1987 with a stipulation that they remain sealed for 20 years. Now, after two decades, the university unveiled the 274 letters to the public May 12. Edited versions of some of the letters were published, with Hester referred to only as “A” in “The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O’Connor” in 1979, but this is the first time researchers will be able to view all the letters in their entirety.
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Deacon’s book introduces deaf, hearing children to Bible stories
NORTH MASSAPEQUA, N.Y. (CNS) — Deacon John Audia, a chaplain with the Diocese of Rockville Centre’s pastoral ministry with the deaf, has written a book called “The Creation Story in Words and Sign Language” to introduce children to stories from the Bible and to bridge the gap between the deaf and hearing cultures. “I have no deaf family members,” explained Deacon Audia, who was ordained in 2002 and is a parishioner at Maria Regina Church in Seaford. He did, however, have an interest in sign language and felt he could make a contribution to “a ministry that really helps people.” Starting from scratch, he bought some instructional books on sign language and every day he taped the televised noon Mass at St. Agnes Cathedral, which has a deaf interpreter, so he could pause the tape and learn each sign “word for word,” he said. He also received help from friends in the Sign of the Cross Council, the first deaf council of the Knights of Columbus, which he joined.