Today (07.19.07)

No diocesan events today


Rev. Msgr. Arnold A. Marthaler (1984)

Today’s Readings

Exodus 3:13-20
Psalm 105:1, 5, 8-9, 24-27
Matthew 11:28-30

Today’s Headlines from Catholic News Service

Bishops to discuss efforts to end war in Iraq with House DemocratsWASHINGTON (CNS) — The U.S. bishops have agreed to meet with a group of Catholic House Democrats to discuss how to pursue the goal of a “responsible transition” to end the war in Iraq. They also reiterated their call for members of Congress and the Bush administration to break the political stalemate in Washington and “forge bipartisan policies on ways to bring about a responsible transition and an end to the war.” “The current situation in Iraq is unacceptable and unsustainable,” wrote Bishop Thomas G. Wenski of Orlando, Fla., chairman of the bishops’ Committee on International Policy, in a July 17 letter to Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio. A copy of the letter was released July 18 by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Bishop Wenski’s letter was a response to a June 28 letter Ryan wrote to Bishop Wenski and Bishop William S. Skylstad of Spokane, Wash., USCCB president. Ryan’s letter, sent on behalf of himself and 13 other Catholic House Democrats, urged the bishops to increase their involvement in efforts to end the war in Iraq.

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Families, human rights report tell stories behind deportations

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Children wearing T-shirts reading “Born in the USA, Don’t take my mommy, daddy away” talked knowledgably about deportation to reporters on the plaza at the Supreme Court July 17, explaining what happens when family members are sent away to another country. The same day, Human Rights Watch issued a report estimating that 1.6 million children and adults, including perhaps 540,000 U.S. citizens, have had a family member deported since a 1996 law reclassified many minor crimes as deportable offenses and eliminated judicial discretion in waiving the penalty. Others at the event urged Congress to pass legislation such as the Child Citizen Protection Act, which would give immigration judges more discretion in deciding when deportation is not in the best interests of children who are U.S. citizens. They also asked the Bush administration to stop immigration raids and deportations. The Supreme Court and the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights both have pending cases about the rights of U.S. citizen children of immigrants who are in deportation proceedings.

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Speaker at black congress sees cyberspace as new evangelization tool

BUFFALO, N.Y. (CNS) — Yvette Wilson-Gardner’s parents helped build Chicago’s Holy Name of Mary Church, the first black parish to construct its own building in the Archdiocese of Chicago. Now she wants to build a new, digital church to reach out to today’s young, digital generation. Wilson-Gardner said the parish Web site’s information on the parish’s youth ministry is bare-bones and needs help to expand it. She picked up several ideas from a July 13 workshop at the 10th National Black Catholic Congress on “Communication, Education and Evangelization Through Modern Technologies.” At the workshop, Christopher Boudy of St. Joseph the Worker Parish in New Orleans who is co-author of the soon-to-be-released “Technology in Youth Ministry: Guidelines for Effective Communication and Evangelization” said today’s young adults and youths are building entire communities of friends online, including people they have never met.

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Conference reaches out to black youths with workshops, musical acts

BUFFALO, N.Y. (CNS) — The 10th National Black Catholic Congress helped further its goal of getting youths involved in the church by offering a variety of workshops and other events geared toward young people. Ansel Augustine, who coordinates black youth and young adult ministry in the Archdiocese of New Orleans and works with campus ministry at Xavier University of Louisiana, presented the workshop “Keeping Your Hustle Holy” to teach teens how to live their daily lives according to God’s plan. He used a game involving more than 100 crumpled balls of paper. The game’s goal, he said, was to get rid of the balls of paper by tossing them to the other side of the room. The difficulty was that the teens on the other side of the room had the same goal. At the end of five minutes, time was called. Augustine told the teens that the pieces of paper represented problems. As a teen handled one problem, several more showed up to take its place. That’s when he told the teens to unroll the papers. On each were listed the priorities of faith, finances, family, friends, feelings and fitness. Augustine told the teens that instead of focusing on problems, they should concentrate on these priorities. He drew on his own experience as a survivor of Hurricane Katrina to illustrate the point.

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Speaker: Black worship should incorporate hip-hop, other new styles

BUFFALO, N.Y. (CNS) — Kevin Johnson had one hand on a piano keyboard as the other guided a room full of participants through seamless key changes from one gospel song to another. “I could go on and on playing just song after song,” said Johnson, associate professor of music and chairman of the music department at Spelman College in Atlanta, as he led participants in “African-American Catholic Worship” through the greatest hits of that worship. The July 13 workshop was part of the 10th National Black Catholic Congress, held July 12-15 in Buffalo. Although innovation, musical evolution and songwriting have not stopped, few publishers are producing new black Catholic music, Johnson said during his workshop. To inject new life into Masses at black Catholic parishes, he suggested parishioners seek out new music and new directions in music, such as hip-hop or rhythm-and-blues influences, to reflect what is popular among today’s youths and young adults.

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Pope appoints Bishop Zubik of Green Bay to head Pittsburgh Diocese

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI has named Bishop David A. Zubik of Green Bay, Wis., to head the Diocese of Pittsburgh, where he once was an auxiliary bishop. The appointment was announced in Washington July 18 by Msgr. Martin Krebs, charge d’affaires of the Vatican nunciature. Auxiliary Bishop Paul J. Bradley has been administrator of the Pittsburgh Diocese since June 2006. He was elected to the post after then-Bishop Donald W. Wuerl was installed to head the Washington Archdiocese. “I was truly honored to serve the wonderful people of Green Bay,” Bishop Zubik said in a statement. “Green Bay became my new home. Now Pittsburgh is my home again,” he said. “I love the church of Pittsburgh. I love being a part of the presbyterate of Pittsburgh once again. I love the people of Pittsburgh. It is a wonderful church — very much alive in Christ.” Bishop Zubik, born Sept. 4, 1949, in Sewickley, Pa., received an undergraduate degree at Duquesne University in 1971 and continued his studies at St. Mary Seminary and University in Baltimore, where he earned a degree in theology.

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High school students from across U.S. spend week at United Nations

WASHINGTON (CNS) — More than 100 high school students from across the United States met in New York July 11-15 to tour the headquarters of the United Nations and learn more about the work and spirituality of the Sisters of St. Joseph. The “Love of God and Neighbor Without Distinction” conference at St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn, N.Y., focused on the work of the Sisters of St. Joseph as a nongovernmental organization with consultative status to the United Nations. In all, 115 students from 13 high schools sponsored or founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph in California, New York, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts were there to learn about the charism and world mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph. The students toured U.N. headquarters July 13 and discussed how they could make international goals for justice and equality a part of their daily lives. As a nongovernmental organization, the Sisters of St. Joseph advise the United Nations on issues involving economic and social development around the world.

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Pope offers prayers for victims of Brazilian air crash

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI offered his prayers for the victims of the July 17 crash of a passenger jet in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and offered his condolences to the relatives and loved ones of the victims. Brazilian officials said July 18 that the number of dead could exceed 200. The plane, which slid off the rain-drenched runway after it landed, carried 176 people, all of whom were presumed dead. The plane crossed a highway and crashed into an office building and a gas station before bursting into flames. It was not immediately known how many people on the highway, in the building or at the gas station were killed. A telegram of condolence was sent in the pope’s name to Archbishop Odilo Scherer of Sao Paulo by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state. The cardinal said the pope was saddened by the large number of victims, offered his condolences to those in mourning and promised his prayers for the repose of the souls of the deceased.

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Scottish prelates ask prime minister to reconsider embryo legislation

LONDON (CNS) — Scotland’s two most senior Catholic leaders have asked the newly appointed British prime minister to reconsider proposals to deliberately create children without fathers. Cardinal Keith O’Brien of St. Andrews and Edinburgh and Archbishop Mario Conti of Glasgow have written to Gordon Brown, who replaced Tony Blair as prime minister June 27, to criticize the lack of sufficient public consultation over the Draft Human Tissue and Embryology Bill. “To proceed in haste with regard to issues of such grave importance is both improper and dangerous,” the archbishops said in their joint letter, released to the press July 17. “We ask you now to act with some urgency to ensure that these very important considerations are given the time they merit,” they added. The bill, which will be introduced into Parliament in the fall, includes the abolition of the requirement for fertility clinics to consider the need for a father when deciding on treatment. This means that the clinics would no longer be able to deny treatment to lesbians and single mothers. In certain circumstances, a gay male couple would be able to apply for a parental order in surrogacy cases.

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Romanian court orders halt to construction next to Bucharest cathedral

BUCHAREST, Romania (CNS) — A county-level court ordered a halt to construction of a 19-story office tower being built about 30 feet from the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Bucharest, but a representative of the U.S. company that is investing in the project said it had not received the order. The mid-July court ruling affirmed the petition of the Archdiocese of Bucharest that construction stop until the development’s legality is established. The ruling came after a year of parishioner hunger strikes, protest marches, appeals to the Romanian president and Vatican statements of support for the archdiocese. A representative from the legal department of Miller Global Properties in Denver told Catholic News Service, “We’ll comply with this court order — when we’re properly served.” He refused to give his name. A hearing is scheduled for early September to review the legality of construction permits issued by the Bucharest City Hall.

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Irish archbishop calls for summit to address new culture of violence

DUBLIN, Ireland (CNS) — Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin has called on the Irish government to hold a community summit to address what he called “the revolting new culture of violence” in Irish society. “The levels of violence and the repetitions of killings are reaching levels which are truly close to an emergency for our society,” Archbishop Martin said July 15 during a Mass in Dublin. “I appeal to the government to convoke a summit of a wide range of leaders in society — not just those involved in the important work of law enforcement — but of all those in society who are in a position to forge a new national consensus to address the roots of this violence. “We must take a stand as a society. Too many lives have been wasted, too many families shattered,” said the archbishop. “We have had three people killed in violent attacks in Ireland in one weekend,” he said, referring to the July 13-15 murders of three men in the area.

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Zimbabwean archbishop’s lawyer calls adultery charges ‘orchestrated’

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (CNS) — The lawyer for Zimbabwean Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo said his client will deny in court allegations of adultery that are part of a “well-orchestrated campaign” to discredit him. The lawyer, Nicholas Mathonsi, said the fact that at least 12 people — including state newspaper reporters and television crews from the capital, Harare — accompanied court officials to serve the charges against the archbishop July 16 indicates “a big operation that involves the state.” Charges in Zimbabwe “are never served like this, in the presence of the media,” Mathonsi told Catholic News Service in a July 18 telephone interview from Bulawayo. Archbishop Ncube, an outspoken opponent of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, told CNS by telephone that the allegations of a two-year adulterous relationship with a parish secretary have caused “a lot of sensation.” He said he has been advised not to comment on the allegations. Mathonsi filed a notice to challenge the charges in Bulawayo’s civil court.

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Ex-college president ‘transformed’ by experiences teaching in Africa

BALTIMORE (CNS) — When Sister Kathleen Feeley was an English professor and president of the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, getting around the leafy Baltimore campus involved little more than a leisurely stroll from the convent. Now that she’s a professor at Catholic University College of Ghana in Sunyani, the sprightly 78-year-old School Sister of Notre Dame confidently navigates dirt roads in a large open-back truck for the 30-minute daily round-trip commute to the university. She learned to work the gears soon after arriving in Africa. “The roads are not good,” said Sister Kathleen. “When it’s the rainy season and you have ruts and water streaming through, it’s not easy to drive.” While Ghanaian main streets are paved, the side streets are not, she added. Sister Kathleen isn’t complaining. She likes a challenge. That’s why she’s in Africa. In an interview while on a three-month break from her teaching duties overseas, Sister Kathleen told The Catholic Review, Baltimore archdiocesan newspaper, that her view of Catholicism has expanded, and she has been inspired by working with young people who have a tangible thirst for knowledge.

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Sacraments have universal meaning, Nigerian archbishop tells congress

BUFFALO, N.Y. (CNS) — Such common themes as the nourishing nature of the Eucharist and the cleansing of baptismal waters convey universal meaning to believers of many cultures, a Nigerian archbishop told participants in the 10th National Black Catholic Congress. Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria, delved into the symbolic nature of the seven sacraments during his July 13 keynote address. The symbols of the church not only convey universal meaning but also the presence of Christ in our lives, said the archbishop, who has served as co-president of the African Council of Religious Leaders. “To be Catholic is to really believe that Jesus is at work in his church,” he said. He said the sacraments are the outward signs of the inward grace Christ has given to believers. Referring the audience to the Catechism of the Catholic Church for its discussion of the sacraments, Archbishop Onaiyekan spoke about each.

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96-year-old priest who met pope describes him as ‘like an angel’

LORENZAGO DI CADORE, Italy (CNS) — Father Armando Durighetto has seen a lot of popes in his time, but says Pope Benedict XVI is special. “With his smile, he seems like an angel,” he told Vatican Radio July 18, three days after his bishop introduced him to the vacationing pontiff in Lorenzago di Cadore. “I love the pope,” he said. Father Durighetto — pastor of the parish in Caposile, not far from Lorenzago di Cadore — is the oldest active parish priest in Italy. He was born 96 years ago and was ordained to the priesthood 71 years ago. Father Durighetto said the pope told him he prayed he would have even more years of ministry “because you can still do so much good.” After meeting the pope, the priest said, “I again thank the Lord for everything, for my 71 of years of Masses; I’ve celebrated 36,495. I’ve always thanked the Lord for this, and I can say I’ve never regretted being a priest.”

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Sudanese refugees face harsh passage from Egypt to Israel

JERUSALEM (CNS) — Grace’s eyes were cool and revealed no emotion as she described how she was kidnapped by a Muslim man as a young girl during the war in Sudan. “I would run away to the church for comfort, and he would be very angry,” said Grace, a 24-year-old Catholic from southern Sudan and now the mother of three young girls. Grace — who, like the other refugees interviewed, asked that her real name not be used for fear of reprisals — was among a group of 45 Sudanese who camped in front of the Israeli parliament building in mid-July, seeking asylum from the Israeli government. Eight years ago she met her husband, Anthony, and the two escaped to Egypt, where she was reunited with a younger sister and her mother. Anthony had been left in the care of an uncle at the age of 11 after his parents and the rest of his family died in the war in southern Sudan. He said he left Sudan a few years later, once his friends started being kidnapped and killed. Grace said that “there is no hope in Sudan, and life in Egypt is very difficult.”

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Catholic uses experiences in Belfast as part of Israeli photo project

JERUSALEM (CNS) — A Catholic photographer familiar with conflict used his childhood experience in Northern Ireland as background for a photo display on the Israeli separation wall. Frankie Quinn was 3 years old when conflict broke out in Northern Ireland. During his childhood, he watched as Belfast became a quilt of patchwork communities as the 49 different “peace lines,” as the separation walls were called, were erected to separate Catholics and Protestants. Quinn was one of eight photographers from four regions with a history of separation walls that turned almost 200 feet of the Israeli barrier at Abu Dis, West Bank, into a life-size screen for the Challenging Walls project. Some 300 Palestinians and Israelis watched the 20-minute display of 640 photographs projected on both sides of the wall July 11-12, portraying the daily lives of people in Cyprus, Germany, Northern Ireland, Israel and the Palestinian territories. Quinn’s tiny, all-Catholic community of Short Strand was surrounded completely by walls in 1985, and one of his long-term projects has been to document life by the wall.



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