Today (07.17.07)

No diocesan-wide events today

Today’s Readings

Exodus 2:1-15
Psalm 69:3, 14, 30-31, 33-34
Matthew 11:20-24

Today’s Headlines from CNS


Archdiocese reaches agreement with more than 500 abuse claimants

LOS ANGELES (CNS) — The Los Angeles Archdiocese July 15 announced the largest church settlement of sexual abuse lawsuits to date, agreeing to pay more than 500 alleged victims a total of $660 million. Before noon the next day, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Haley Fromholz had approved the settlement, calling it “the right result.” He said settling the cases was “the right thing to do.” Los Angeles Cardinal Roger M. Mahony again offered his personal apology to every victim of sexual abuse by a priest, religious, deacon or layperson in the archdiocese. “It is the shared hope of everyone in our local church that these victims, many of whom suffered in silence for decades, may find a measure of healing and some sense of closure with today’s announcement,” he said in a statement July 15. “Although financial compensation in itself is inadequate to make up for the harm done to the victims and their families, still this compensation does provide a meaningful outreach to assist the victims to rebuild their lives and to move forward,” he said.

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New York Archdiocese says pope to address U.N. next spring

NEW YORK (CNS) — The Archdiocese of New York said it was delighted that Pope Benedict XVI “will be addressing the United Nations here in New York this coming spring.” A statement issued July 16 by Joseph Zwilling, New York archdiocesan communications director, was apparently the first official indication that such a visit would take place in the spring. Earlier reports only had the pope possibly coming sometime next year. Zwilling told Catholic News Service July 16 that unnamed sources said the pope would be visiting in the spring instead of late September, when the new session of the U.N. General Assembly opens, because of next year’s presidential elections. The mid-July news reports on the possible papal trip to New York were triggered by comments by the Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi. He told reporters in Lorenzago di Cadore, Italy, where the pope was vacationing in July, that in addition to the planned papal trip to Australia next summer for World Youth Day, the Vatican also is looking at other possible trips next year, including a U.N. visit.

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Musicians gather to reflect on their ministry, worship together

INDIANAPOLIS (CNS) — Nearly 3,000 liturgical musicians from across the country gathered in Indianapolis July 9-13 to improve the skills of their craft, ponder the relationship of their ministry to the broader life of the church and grow in their life of faith through concerts and common worship. The event was the 30th annual convention of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, commonly known as the NPM. Many of the people who traveled to Indianapolis have been involved in pastoral music for decades. One of them was Steven Warner. He has ministered in liturgical music at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana for more than 25 years, most notably as the leader of its folk choir. On the convention’s first day, Warner, in a keynote address, invited his vast audience to consider how they, through their music ministry, will lead “generations yet to come” to an encounter with Christ, which he said can occur in a “life-giving song.” One way that he suggested pastoral musicians do this is to deliberately focus on Christ in their ministry.

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To follow Jesus is to put him first in ‘word, deed,’ archabbot says

INDIANAPOLIS (CNS) — A Benedictine archabbot told a national gathering of pastoral musicians that “for every Christian, the heartfelt desire to follow Jesus Christ means that he is to have first place in whatever we do, in word or in deed.” Though everyone knows this to be true, Archabbot Justin DuVall noted, the little voice in the dark corner of the heart continues to whisper, “What’s in it for me?” “It’s only natural to wonder what we will get for what we’ve given up,” said Archabbot DuVall, of St. Meinrad Archabbey in St. Meinrad, in a homily July 11. “Peter wondered the same thing when he put his question to Jesus, and Jesus had an answer for Peter: ‘A hundred times more — and eternal life to boot.’ The promise of something better: That’s what a disciple gets.” The archabbot delivered the homily at a Mass celebrated on the feast day of St. Benedict during the National Association of Pastoral Musicians national convention in Indianapolis. More than 3,000 people attended the July 9-13 convention, which had as its theme “That all may be one,” from Chapter 17, Verse 21, of St. John’s Gospel.

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Liturgy center creates online resource on church art, architecture

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The Georgetown Center for Liturgy has launched a new online interactive resource to explore the relationship among art, architecture, liturgy and spirituality in the Catholic tradition. Jesuit Father Lawrence Madden, director of the center, said the EnVisionChurch Web site,, is meant for everyone, but will be especially useful as a forum for pastoral leaders involved in building or renovating places of worship, commissioning artwork or planning liturgical ministries. According to an announcement on the site, EnVisionChurch will periodically spotlight artists and architects who have created noteworthy sacred spaces. Articles regarding new developments in church design and new resources for the improvement of liturgical celebration will be posted along with a directory of sacred space design professionals. Plans are under way to create a digital library of more than 10,000 images of artwork and sacred space.

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New diocesan Web site gives Tulsa Catholics interactive, virtual home

TULSA, Okla. (CNS) — With the launch of its new Web site, Catholics in the Diocese of Tulsa as well as visitors to eastern Oklahoma can now find information online about local parishes and diocesan events. The Web site,, has been up and running since June 11. Users of the site can register at one of the 78 parishes located within the diocese and can access links to other Catholic Web sites. They also can learn about upcoming events and submit events to be included in the calendar. The site also features the full, up-to-date version of the Eastern Oklahoma Catholic, the official newspaper of the diocese. An online submission form allows visitors to submit relevant news and information for distribution through the paper and the site. The diocese can send out electronic newsletters in the case of breaking news or to provide event information.

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Pope says vacations should be time of prayer, growth in love

LORENZAGO DI CADORE, Italy (CNS) — Greeting some 1,500 people crowded around the Mirabello Castle in Lorenzago di Cadore, Pope Benedict XVI said vacations should be a time of relaxation, prayer and growth in love. The pope recited the Angelus prayer at noon July 16, the first public appointment of his July 9-27 vacation in the Alps of northeastern Italy. “Love is the heart of the Christian life,” he told the crowd, commenting on the day’s Gospel story of the good Samaritan. “In fact, only love, increased in us by the Holy Spirit, makes us witnesses of Christ.” Pope Benedict said the role of the Holy Spirit in increasing one’s love for others and in making Christians true witnesses of Christ will be the focal point of the message he will release July 20 in preparation for the celebration of World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney, Australia. Thanking the Catholics of Australia for their work in preparing for the July 15-20, 2008, event, Pope Benedict asked young people to use the message to begin their own preparations.

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In Cuba, CELAM drafts plan to implement conclusions from Aparecida

HAVANA (CNS) — The Latin American bishops’ council has drafted a more than 100-point plan to implement conclusions in the final document of the Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean, said the council’s newly elected president. Archbishop Raymundo Damasceno Assis of Aparecida, Brazil, president of the council, known by its Spanish acronym as CELAM, said the church in Latin American must continue to respond to the “scandalous gap” between rich and poor in the region, attract lapsed Catholics back to the church and engage in pastoral work based on the conclusions of the conference held in Aparecida in May. Some 70 delegates, including five cardinals, represented their bishops’ conferences at the July 10-13 meeting at San Juan Maria Vianney house in Havana. Such meetings are held every two years, while general conferences, such as the one in Brazil, are held less frequently. During the assembly, the bishops officially released the final version of the conclusions of the Aparecida conference. The document, which was approved by Pope Benedict XVI, calls for the church to be “in a permanent state of mission” and evangelization.

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Head of National Religious Retirement Office dies at age 65

BALTIMORE (CNS) — Precious Blood Sister Andree Fries, 65, director of the National Religious Retirement Office in Washington, died early July 14 at Good Samaritan Hospital in Baltimore from complications following knee surgery four weeks earlier. A memorial Mass for Sister Fries was scheduled for July 18 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. A funeral Mass was set for July 21 at the motherhouse of the Sisters of the Most Precious Blood in O’Fallon, Mo., followed by burial in the cemetery at the motherhouse. Sister Fries had been director of the National Religious Retirement Office since 2000, and for two years prior to that had been the office’s project director for retirement services. The office is responsible for the annual Retirement Fund for Religious collection, conducted in most U.S. parishes in early December. The collection is held to offset a combined $7 billion unfunded retirement liability for elderly nuns, brothers and priests in religious orders.

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Pope names assistant secretary as coadjutor archbishop in Ukraine

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI has named his assistant personal secretary, Msgr. Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki, to be coadjutor archbishop of the Latin-rite Archdiocese of Lviv, Ukraine. Msgr. Mokrzycki, 46, served as assistant personal secretary to Pope John Paul II from 1996 until the pope’s death and returned to the Apostolic Palace as assistant personal secretary to Pope Benedict. In addition to running the pope’s private office, his personal secretaries live in the papal household, concelebrate Mass with the pope each morning and eat their meals with him. Archbishop-designate Mokrzycki was born March 29, 1961, in Majdan Lukawiecki, Poland, and studied theology at the Catholic University of Lublin. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1987 by then-Archbishop Marian Jaworski, a close friend of Pope John Paul II and the Poland-based apostolic administrator of Lviv. When the Latin-rite Archdiocese of Lviv was re-established in the newly independent Ukraine in 1991, then-Father Mokrzycki formally became a priest of the archdiocese.

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Composer Bernadette Farrell recovers from breast cancer

GREENWICH, England (CNS) — One of the Catholic Church’s best-known English liturgical musical composers, Bernadette Farrell, has been successfully recovering from a yearlong fight with breast cancer. Farrell, 50, composer of more than 80 popular compositions, including “Christ Be Our Light,” “Unless a Grain of Wheat” and “God Beyond All Names,” recently received negative results from a series of tests designed to determine if the cancer was still in her body. She will continue follow-up treatments for at least another five years with regular checkups. “She’s coping pretty well with the side effects of the medication on which she remains and is hoping to be back at work full time in the autumn,” said her husband, Owen Alstott, 60, former publisher of Oregon Catholic Press, now known as OCP. The couple, parents of 10-year-old Joanna, live in historic Greenwich. Farrell was diagnosed with cancer last summer. She underwent surgery and chemotherapy treatments.


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