Today (06.27.07)

No events in the diocese today.

Today’s Readings

Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18
Psalm 105:1-4, 6-9
Matthew 7:15-20

Today’s Headlines from Catholic News Service

U.S.

Chaldean bishop in Michigan calls for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq

DETROIT (CNS) — U.S. troops should withdraw and let Iraqi factions fight it out, the bishop for most Iraqi Catholics in the United States said June 19. “Let the Iraqis kill each other, but let the occupying power get out, because they are not killing each other because they are Sunni or Shiite, but because they are with the Americans or against the Americans,” said Chaldean Catholic Bishop Ibrahim N. Ibrahim. The head of the Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle made the comments in an impassioned sermon at a special Mass at Mother of God (Chaldean) Cathedral in the Detroit suburb of Southfield, where the eparchy has its headquarters. The Mass, which drew close to 1,000 people, was celebrated to memorialize recently slain Chaldean Father Ragheed Aziz Ganni and the three subdeacons who were killed with him, as well as to pray for all those who have died in the fighting in Iraq, including U.S. troops, and for the safety of Iraq’s remaining Christians.

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60 deacons ordained for Los Angeles Archdiocese

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (CNS) — The Archdiocese of Los Angeles ordained 60 men to the permanent diaconate June 16. It was the largest group of deacons ordained at one time in the history of the archdiocese and possibly in the country. Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Thomas J. Curry, who is in charge of the archdiocese’s Santa Barbara pastoral region, oversaw the formation process of the deacons since they began in 2002. He delivered the homily at their ordination and described the event as “one of the most glorious days of my 40 years of priesthood.” The ordination Mass was celebrated at Santa Barbara City College’s La Playa Stadium one week after the ordination of seven priests in Los Angeles. The deacons’ ordination showed the success of pastors in the Santa Barbara pastoral region, which covers Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, to draw forth more men to ordained ministry. At the start of the celebration, the 60 men, along with the wives of the 56 married candidates, processed into La Playa Stadium to the sounds of “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee,” in front of more than 3,000 cheering family, friends and parishioners from around the region.

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Cardinal urges Filipinos in U.S. to use culture as leaven in society

SAN FRANCISCO (CNS) — In a homily at a San Francisco church, Cardinal Guadencio Rosales of Manila, Philippines, underscored the deep faith, generosity and hospitality of the Filipino culture and urged Filipinos living in the United States to use their cultural heritage as a leaven in U.S. society. A Mass June 21 at St. Anne of the Sunset Church and a reception afterward were the final events of the cardinal’s three-day visit to the Bay Area. His U.S. trip included a stop in Washington, where he presided at a June 23 Mass for the feast of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. In a June 19 interview with Catholic San Francisco, the archdiocesan newspaper, the cardinal cautioned the United States about its social development aid in the Philippines and expressed excitement about the impact of Pondo Ng Pinoy, a foundation he helped launch to aid the poor in his homeland three years ago.

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Minnesota diocese creates online community to educate on abuse

WINONA, Minn. (CNS) — The Diocese of Winona has launched an interactive online learning community to educate people in the diocese about recognizing and reporting child abuse. The project — a collaboration of the diocese and the Professional Learning Board, which creates online training programs — allows adults who are regularly involved with minors to take online courses to complete the training required by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Moving the program from the classroom to the Internet will help the diocese reach its large rural audience, said P.J. Thompson, chancellor of the diocese. “An online learning community is the best way we have found to reach virtually all of the people in our diocese that work with children in a religious, education or volunteer capacity,” Thompson said in an announcement about the program, available through the “Safe Environment” link on the diocesan Web site, http://www.dow.org.

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New glossary seeks to improve Catholics’ literacy about their faith

WASHINGTON (CNS) — From “Abba” to “zucchetto,” a new glossary provides definitions and background for more than 1,300 words that may arise in the Catholic vernacular. St. Mary’s Press Glossary of Theological Terms, composed by Holy Cross Father John T. Ford, evolved from a survey conducted by St. Mary’s Press that indicated professors at Catholic colleges noticed a lack of Catholic literacy among their students, said John McHugh, the director of college publishing for St. Mary’s Press in Winona, Minn. In student focus groups conducted either before or concurrently with the release of the glossary in September 2006, students frequently cited undefined terms as a barrier to their grasp of the Catholic faith. Minnesota professors Marian K. Diaz, from the College of St. Benedict, and Miguel H. Diaz, from St. John’s University, began the work of compiling terms and writing out definitions, then Father Ford became the principal author in the summer of 2005, McHugh said in a phone interview with Catholic News Service. St. Mary’s Press Glossary of Theological Terms can be ordered for $15, plus shipping and handling, on the St. Mary’s Press Web site at: http://college.smp.org.

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Human trafficking activists testify about reality of modern slavery

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Slavery is something most Americans read about only in history books, but British actress and U.N. Goodwill Ambassador Julia Ormond has met the victims of modern slavery — vulnerable men, women and children sold by traffickers for sex or labor. In her work on human trafficking for the United Nations, Ormond visited Ghana, where she learned that young boys were enslaved on boats to perform the dangerous task of untangling fishing nets. The large number of children’s bodies washing ashore alerted authorities to this instance of human trafficking. With the cheap purchase price of the children, the slaveholders could afford to throw the bodies of the dead or dying overboard, Ormond said. “We assume that slavery, while horrible, is in the past,” Ormond said, but added that in the course of her travels to other countries she saw that human trade is still a thriving business. Ormond was part of a June 20 panel to discuss what one Congressional Caucus on Human Trafficking co-chair, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., described as the “cruel business” of the trafficking of humans.

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WORLD

Bishop says Kenyan church needs to do more to fight HIV/AIDS

NAIROBI, Kenya (CNS) — The Catholic Church has gone to great lengths to help the 1.3 million Kenyans with HIV/AIDS, but more needs to be done, said the chairman of the bishops’ Catholic Health Commission. “We need to learn better ways of rolling out programs even faster to all who need our assistance,” said Bishop Philip Sulumeti of Kakamega. “We need to challenge ourselves to build our capacities to provide ever more excellent services. We need to rededicate ourselves to provide services with ever greater compassion. We have come a long way, but we need to go even further.” The bishop addressed more than 600 Catholic workers involved in fighting HIV/AIDS June 25 at the kickoff of a four-day conference on AIDS. Twenty-six dioceses were represented at the conference, which marked 20 years of the church’s involvement in the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The four-day national conference was organized by the Kenya Catholic HIV/AIDS Taskforce, K-CHAT, on behalf of the bishops.

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Pope says two-thirds majority always needed to elect pope

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI has stipulated that a two-thirds majority always is required to elect a new pope, undoing a more flexible procedure introduced by Pope John Paul II. In a one-page document released June 26, the pope said the two-thirds-majority rule cannot be set aside even when cardinal-electors are at an impasse. Instead, the pope instructed that if the cardinals are deadlocked after 13 days, runoff ballots between the two leading candidates will be held. A papal election will continue to require a majority of two-thirds of the cardinals present. In 1996, Pope John Paul introduced a change in the conclave procedure that allowed cardinal-electors to move to a simple majority after 13 days, when 33 or 34 ballots had been held. Pope Benedict said there had been significant requests for a return to the old rules, under which a two-thirds majority was always required. The pope effected the change by replacing two paragraphs of his predecessor’s apostolic constitution, “Universi Dominici Gregis” (“The Lord’s Whole Flock”), a document that defined conclave procedures.

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PEOPLE

Baltimore cardinal leaves hospital after brain surgery

BALTIMORE (CNS) — Following his June 25 release from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Cardinal William H. Keeler is back at his downtown residence and will undergo outpatient rehabilitation at Mercy Medical Center, according to archdiocesan spokesman Sean Caine. The cardinal’s seven-day hospital stay following June 18 surgery to drain an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid from his brain prevented him from attending the June 23 ordination of four priests. But he was able to send an audio greeting to the men. He also sent a message to those receiving papal honors at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore June 24. “The cardinal is feeling fine,” said Auxiliary Bishop W. Francis Malooly of Baltimore following the presentation of the papal honors. “He’s recovering quickly.” Caine described the cardinal, who is 76, as being “in very good spirits” and said he has resumed some work.

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At 73, nun in Kazakhstan finally has chance to live in convent

IVANOVKA, Kazakhstan (CNS) — Sister Vladislava Veslavska, 73, has spent the past 30 years in Ivanovka, but few if any other residents besides her sister know she is a Catholic nun. Wearing a simple blue dress with a white kerchief around her head, she looks like any other elderly woman in Ivanovka, about 600 miles south of Astana, the Kazakh capital. The 30 years she has spent apart from her Sacred Heart of Mary community in Ukraine followed an almost equal span of time during which she and the other nuns could meet only furtively and did not live together, reported UCA News, an Asian church news agency. Now, close to 60 years since she took her vows as a religious, Sister Vladislava has an opportunity to live in a convent for the first time. “I’m a Catholic nun, but I’ve never lived in a convent because the communists didn’t allow me to do it,” she told UCA News. “Only now, when Incarnate Word nuns are to open a community (in Kazakhstan), do I have a chance to openly join a religious congregation.”

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