Today (06.13.07)

Events in the Diocese 

   SAN ANGELO — Barrio Mass, 6:30 p.m., within boundaires of St. Mary’s parish.


   Rev. David Espitia (2003)

Today’s Readings

Wisdom 7:7-14 or Ephesians 4:7, 11-15
Psalm 40:3-4, 10-11, 17
Mark 16:15-20

Today’s Headlines from Catholic News Service

Knoxville bishop named to succeed Archbishop Kelly in Louisville WASHINGTON (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Thomas C. Kelly of Louisville, Ky., and named Bishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Knoxville, Tenn., to succeed him. The changes were announced June 12 by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States. Archbishop Kelly, a Dominican who turns 76 on July 14, has been a bishop since 1977 and head of the Louisville Archdiocese since 1982. Archbishop Kurtz, a 60-year-old priest of the Diocese of Allentown, Pa., was named bishop of Knoxville Oct. 26, 1999. In a statement posted on the Archdiocese of Louisville’s Web site, Archbishop Kurtz said he hoped to demonstrate “the same pastoral charity and affection to the people of Louisville as (Archbishop Kelly) has shown, always respecting the dignity of each of the faithful.” He was to be installed as archbishop of Louisville on Aug. 15, the feast of the Assumption and the 30th anniversary of Archbishop Kelly’s episcopal ordination.– – –

Bishop Ricard joins religious leaders for service focusing on hunger

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Religious leaders, including Bishop John H. Ricard of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Fla., gathered at the Washington National Cathedral June 11 to reaffirm their mutual commitment to end hunger. Representatives from Islam, Judaism, Christianity and other faiths joined together at the second Interfaith Convocation on Hunger to declare their religions’ intent to fight hunger and recruit others to join in the effort. Bishop Ricard delivered the opening prayer, calling on the nearly 1,000 people present to “make a deeper commitment to ending poverty on our planet.” The need to address this problem of poverty was echoed by religious leaders and anti-hunger activists through songs, readings and talks during the two-hour service. The Rev. David Beckmann, the president of the Christian anti-hunger group Bread for the World, said he was stunned by the diversity of the top religious leaders present. He said they have realized that, no matter what their faith, they cannot connect with their God if they walk away from those who are hungry. And because religious leaders have overcome their differences, solving the problem of hunger is within their collective grasp, he said.

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Theological society head warns against publicly criticizing church

LOS ANGELES (CNS) — In his presidential address to the Catholic Theological Society of America, theologian Daniel K. Finn warned the society against issuing public statements critical of church policies or church authorities. “The problem is that these statements become the public face of the CTSA for nearly everyone who doesn’t attend our conventions,” he said. “Taken together, they present us as individuals who come together as a group primarily to defend ourselves against hierarchical authority. We insiders know this is only a small part of what we are up to,” he added. “But no group can control its public image completely, and in my opinion we have done too little thinking about this.” Finn, who teaches theology and economics at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., spoke on the final day of the society’s June 7-10 annual convention in Los Angeles.

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Survey notes attitudinal differences in heavy, light TV watchers

WASHINGTON (CNS) — A newly published survey shows notable differences in the attitudes of heavy TV watchers and light TV watchers on several social and political issues. According to the survey’s findings, heavy TV viewers — defined as those who watch four hours or more each evening — are less likely to volunteer their time or to make charitable contributions than light TV viewers, defined as those who watch an hour or less each night. The heavy TV viewers are also less likely to go to church, less likely to place limits on the availability of divorce, and less likely to describe themselves as pro-life than those who are light TV viewers. They also are more likely to believe the government should be responsible for providing retirement benefits to Americans, more likely to prefer government health care to private health care, and more likely to say they would cheat a restaurant that underbilled them — but less likely to believe the media are harming America’s moral values. The survey was conducted by telephone with 2,000 respondents in March by the Culture and Media Institute, a new program of the Media Research Center, a media watchdog group based in the Washington suburb of Alexandria, Va.

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Segment of Maryknoll-sponsored radio show honored with Gracie Award

MARYKNOLL, N.Y. (CNS) — A segment of “Voices of Our World,” the weekly radio program produced by Maryknoll, has been honored with a Gracie Award by American Women in Radio and Television. “The Oppressed Majority,” which traces the history of prejudice against women and its effects on humankind, was named an outstanding public affairs program in the annual competition recognizing excellence in programming by, about or for women. “This segment deals not only with public battles against sexism, but also how the process begins, for example, when antiquated beliefs are passed down to young girls by their families,” said Kathy Golden, “Voices of Our World” executive producer, in a statement. The program, heard on more than 100 stations across the United States and internationally, has received four other Gracie Awards since 2002. The awards, established in 1975 and named for the late comedian Gracie Allen, honor programming and individuals in all facets of radio, television, cable and Web-based media.

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Pope: Adults owe youths values that give foundation for their lives

ROME (CNS) — Adults have a debt to pay to today’s young people; “we owe them real values that will provide them with a foundation for their lives,” Pope Benedict XVI said. In a June 11 evening address to participants in the Diocese of Rome’s annual pastoral convention, the pope said all Catholic adults have a role to play in addressing the “education emergency” found in Italy and in other developed nations. For parents, teachers and religious educators “a growing difficulty is encountered in transmitting to new generations the basic values of existence and of correct behavior,” he said. “It is an inevitable emergency in a society and culture that too often makes relativism its creed. Relativism becomes a dogma in such a society. The light of truth fades, or in fact it is considered dangerous to speak of truth,” because a claim of truth is seen as “authoritarian” or intolerant, he said. In response to such claims, the pope said, many schools and universities focus on transmitting information and technical skills while many parents seek to ensure their children’s happiness by giving them material goods and pleasant experiences.

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British cardinal urges Muslims to join Catholics in fight for freedom

LONDON (CNS) — A British cardinal said Muslims should join Catholics in fighting for “genuine religious freedom.” Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor of Westminster said that since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States public opinion in Great Britain has become suspicious of religion and Islam in particular. He said religious communities are vulnerable to restrictive laws that are being “made in a time of perceived crisis.” The cardinal said it was currently necessary for Catholics and Muslims to unite to uphold religious freedom as a “natural right of every human being to be respected by every government.” “There are times when we may all feel that we are not exactly muzzled or silenced, but we are most certainly not free to express our deeply held convictions, sometimes simply for reasons linked to so-called ‘political correctness,'” said Cardinal Murphy-O’Conner in a June 9 address to the Muslim Council of Wales at Cardiff University in Wales.

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Expert: Digital media pose risks, opportunities for evangelization

SHERBROOKE, Quebec (CNS) — A “digital revolution” is transforming today’s mass media in ways that pose both risks and opportunities for evangelization, said a Quebec communications expert. Bertrand Ouellet, director of Communications and Society, a Montreal-based agency funded in part by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, argued that there is no longer a mass media, but “masses of media” which are creating multiple audiences with different needs. “What is really happening is that a tsunami is going through all media culture,” he said June 7 at the triennial congress of the International Union of Catholic Journalists held at Bishop’s University in Sherbrooke. “Christian communities have to present a series of experiences,” to tell the good news to modern audiences, he said. He observed that the multimedia nature of the Internet is especially attractive for the Catholic Church, which is rich in symbol, ritual, music and word.

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Church in southern Indian state helps fight against deadly disease

KOTTAYAM, India (CNS) — The Catholic Church in Kerala state has launched a campaign against viral fever which has killed dozens in southern India. Father Thomas Valummel, director of the Palai Diocese’s social service agency, said the diocese has “distributed free food packets and groceries among the poor,” and put together three medical camps to provide treatment for and raise awareness about viral fever and diseases associated with it. “Thousands of people in our diocese are down with viral fever and chikungunya,” he said. The viral attacks have forced the diocese, which has 161 parishes, to close its schools, he told UCA News, an Asian church news agency, June 12. “Even Sunday Mass attendance has declined, as most families suffer from the attacks,” he added. Chikungunya is a mosquito-born form of viral fever from eastern Africa, spread by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which breeds in fresh water. The Swahili name of the illness translates as “that which bends up,” a reference to the positions victims take to relieve joint pains.

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Demonstrators silently protest abductions, killings in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (CNS) — Hundreds of local and international nongovernmental activists, wearing black cloths over their mouths as gags, staged a silent protest at Colombo’s central train station. The approximately 400 demonstrators were denouncing the recent abduction and killing of two Red Cross workers, Shanmugalingam Kandiah, 32, and Mahadevan Chandramohan, 27, who were abducted from the same station days before the June 6 protest. Holding the black cloth away from his mouth, Father Terrence Fernando of St. Anne’s Church in Negombo told UCA News, an Asian church news agency: “Nobody can give their life back. It is terrible.” Father Fernando said the government should take responsibility for the killings. He added that although the church has expressed concern about the violence in Sri Lanka religious leaders need to take more action.

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Arkansas first Communion class of 1942 is reunited 65 years later

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (CNS) — Joe Miller, a showman, has spent his life being goofy and making people smile during his career as a circus clown and a carnival-ride owner. So when he proposed a serious idea, most people just laughed. Miller, who lives outside Lafayette, La., wanted to relive one of the happiest days of his life and reunite with his classmates from his first Communion at St. Patrick Church in North Little Rock. He dubbed it a Communion Reunion, and for the two months leading up to the June 3 event, Miller became part detective and part party planner to organize the Mass and reception for his former classmates. If that wasn’t enough, the 74-year-old lives seven hours away and had to travel to central Arkansas a couple of times to organize the event. He also had to find people he hasn’t seen in more than 60 years. On April 14, 1942, pastor Father Joseph Burns distributed Communion for the first time to 14 first- and second-graders from St. Patrick School.

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U.S. missionary devotes himself to children’s health in Bangladesh

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (CNS) — For 32 years, Maryknoll Father Bob McCahill has lived among the poor in Bangladesh, riding his bike through the streets and helping the sick to get the care they need. The 69-year-old priest, who has been called “the Mother Teresa of Maryknoll,” encourages families to seek medical treatment for their sick children and often accompanies them to hospitals to make sure their children are admitted. During a break from his mission work earlier this spring, he spoke to many groups in the St. Cloud Diocese about his ministry. His visit was arranged by the St. Cloud Diocesan Mission Office in conjunction with the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers. Upon his return to Bangladesh, he said he would continue to serve the poor but in a different village. For the last 20 years he has moved to a new place about every three years. “I want them to see this can be done,” Father McCahill said, referring to the medical services he arranges for the Bangladeshi people, especially children.

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St. Augustine joins the ranks of MySpace users

WASHINGTON (CNS) — St. Augustine of Hippo just got a whole lot hipper. The fifth-century doctor of the church, perhaps known best for “Confessions,” an autobiographical account of his conversion to Christianity, now has a MySpace page. Michael Dolan, the director of communications for the Augustinians of the Province of St. Thomas of Villanova, said he started the page on St. Augustine’s behalf as an engaging way to introduce visitors to St. Augustine and the Augustinians. “The focus of the page is to give people a deeper sense of who Augustine was, but also to get them engaged in Augustinian spirituality,” Dolan told Catholic News Service in a telephone interview. The popular social networking Web site allows users to post pictures and information about themselves on their personal pages. All users — and now St. Augustine — can add other users to their list of friends. St. Augustine’s Myspace profile can be viewed at



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