This Weekend in the Diocese
Saturday — Rite of Candidacy for Deacons, 1 p.m., Sacred Heart Cathedral, San Angelo
Sunday — Organ Dedication, 7:30 p.m., St. Ann’s, Midland
Sept. 8 — Rev. Vincent Daugentic (1990 )
Micah 5:1-4 or Romans 8:28-30
Matthew 1:1-16, 18-23 or 1:18-23
Psalm 90:3-6, 12-13, 14-17
Philemon 9-10, 12-17
Today’s Headlines from Catholic News Service
Hunger, development key to foreign aid, says joint letter to Senate
WASHINGTON (CNS) — In a joint letter to members of the Senate, the head of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Policy and the president of Catholic Relief Services called increased funding for hunger relief and development grants key in an upcoming foreign aid bill. “The persistence of abject hunger, poverty and disease in God’s world is a significant moral challenge,” said the Sept. 5 letter from Bishop Thomas G. Wenski of Orlando, Fla., and Ken Hackett, CRS president. “Reliable programs that have proven results in combating or reducing poverty and disease deserve the full support of the U.S. Congress.” The Senate, back in session after a four-week August recess, was to consider the 2008 foreign aid bill, formally known as the State/Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill. Bishop Wenski and Hackett argued for the upgrade of Millennium Challenge Corporation funding to at least $1.8 billion, the level approved by the House. The Senate version as written calls for a cut in funding to $1.2 billion. Last year’s foreign aid bill had appropriated $1.9 billion. President George W. Bush had asked for $3 billion.
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Omaha archbishop voices support for Creighton president, mission
OMAHA, Neb. (CNS) — The relationship between the Archdiocese of Omaha and Creighton University remains strong, despite some media accounts that called the cancellation of a speaker at Creighton part of a “growing rift” between the university and the archdiocese. “I would like to reiterate, in view of recent events, that the Archdiocese of Omaha and Creighton University have an excellent working relationship,” said Omaha Archbishop Elden F. Curtiss Aug. 30 in a statement to the media. “I am supportive personally of (Creighton president Jesuit) Father John Schlegel and the mission of the university.” The recent events to which the archbishop referred revolved around Creighton’s decision to cancel a speech by best-selling author Anne Lamott as part of a women’s health lecture series sponsored by the Center for Health, Policy and Ethics at the Creighton University Medical Center. University officials withdrew the invitation when they learned that in a book published this spring Lamott wrote about helping a friend with cancer die. She also is an advocate of keeping abortion legal.
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Richmond Diocese sets new requirements for marriage preparation
RICHMOND, Va. (CNS) — Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo of Richmond has approved a new diocesanwide marriage preparation process that will require engaged couples to take a premarital inventory, a full course in natural family planning and an educational program on Pope John Paul II’s “theology of the body.” The changes came at the urging of a committee formed to review and recommend enhancements to the diocese’s existing marriage preparation process. Engaged couples still will begin their marriage preparation process by meeting with their parish priest or deacon. Under the new structure, however, that meeting will be followed by a premarital inventory to assess the couple’s strengths and areas that need further exploration. Additional components of the marriage preparation process will include a new catechetical program on marriage and sexuality called “God’s Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage” and instruction in one of the many natural family planning methods taught in the diocese.
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Notre Dame teaching program is in its second generation
WASHINGTON (CNS) — The University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education program has been placing college graduates as volunteer teachers in Catholic schools since 1994. That means the current participants were in elementary school when the program started and could have been taught by ACE teachers. Colleen Knight Santoni was a sophomore at Notre Dame in Indiana, studying Spanish and getting ready for medical school when she decided in 1994 to be a volunteer teacher through the ACE program. When she graduated from Notre Dame in 1996, she joined ACE and taught at All Saints Catholic School in Fort Worth, Texas. During a visit to Notre Dame, she ended up bringing one of her students, Patricia Salazar, along with her. The trip obviously made an impression on Salazar who joined ACE last year after graduating from The Catholic University of America in Washington. This spring, she finished her first year in the program, teaching religion, social studies, science and language arts to the third- and fourth-grade classes at Sacred Heart, a dual-language Catholic school in Washington. ACE trains young Catholic adults as teachers and places them in Catholic schools. Participants receive a small stipend from the schools where they teach and also earn master’s degrees in education after two years of teaching and intensive summer training.
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Pope meets Israeli president, expresses hope for Mideast peace
CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI met with Israeli President Shimon Peres and expressed hope that new diplomatic moves can bring peace in the Middle East. After 60 years of suffering endured by the peoples of the region, it is imperative to make “every effort” to find a just settlement, the Vatican said after the Sept. 6 meeting. Following his 35-minute private audience with the pope, Peres held separate talks with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state, and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the Vatican’s top foreign affairs official, to discuss the Middle East and church-state relations in Israel. The encounters came as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert were preparing to renew negotiations. Meanwhile, diplomats were setting the stage for a U.S.-sponsored international conference on the Middle East in November. The Vatican statement said the prospect of an international conference raised new hopes and created a “particularly favorable context” for progress.
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New e-mail scam targets Catholics, church institutions
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (CNS) — A new spam scam targeting Catholics and church institutions promises recipients that they are among 100 people worldwide chosen at random to receive $650,000 from the Catholic Church in Italy “for your own personal, educational and business development.” The grants are supposedly designed “to make a notable change in the standard of living of people all around the universe.” Recipients are urged to contact “the church executive secretary”– sometimes named as Sister Abrielle Gallo, at other times a Miss Mary Pepe — to receive “your donation pin number, which you will use in collecting the funds.” No such grant program exists, and the church does not allocate donations randomly or by lottery, as the e-mail suggests. An almost identical e-mail purports to be from the “eglise catholique en France,” the Catholic Church in France. According to the Web site http://www.hoax-slayer.com, such communications are “bait used by scammers to trick victims into replying to the e-mail.”
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Pope says prisons must not be centers for torture
CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (CNS) — Prisons must not be centers for torture and other degrading forms of punishment, but must help rehabilitate detainees so they can “conduct upright and honest lives within society,” said Pope Benedict XVI. Jails and correctional facilities “must contribute to the rehabilitation of offenders, facilitating their transition from despair to hope and from unreliability to dependability,” the pope said in a Sept. 6 audience with prison chaplains at his summer villa in Castel Gandolfo. The chaplains were participants in a Sept. 5-12 international meeting on the pastoral care of prisoners. “Public authorities must be ever vigilant” in creating conditions that help prisoners regain “a sense of worth” and in “eschewing any means of punishment or correction that either undermine or debase the human dignity of prisoners,” he said. More than 200 religious and laypeople participated in the 12th International Commission of Catholic Prison Pastoral Care. Its focus this year was “Discovering the Face of Christ in Every Prisoner.”
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Hong Kong Diocese asks its flock to vote on worst rights abuses cases
HONG KONG (CNS) — The Diocese of Hong Kong has asked parishioners to vote on the 10 worst human rights abuses since Hong Kong was transferred from Britain to China 10 years ago. “There has (been) no improvement in human rights after 1997. Many people (have) suffered,” said Jackie Hung, an official of the diocese’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission. “We should review the past to encourage people to care for the society,” Hung told Catholic News Service Sept. 5. She expressed hope that the campaign would raise awareness among parishioners and let them view human rights issues in light of Catholic social teaching. The commission listed 50 human rights abuses occurring in the last 10 years, as well as the relevant Catholic social teachings and international conventions that safeguard corresponding rights. The commission invited parishioners to vote for the 10 most serious cases. The deadline is Oct. 15.
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U.S. rabbi: Pope’s theological expertise helps relations with Jews
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI’s theological expertise will help bring Catholic-Jewish dialogue to a deeper level, said a U.S. rabbi. Rabbi Eugene Korn, executive director of the Center for Christian-Jewish Understanding at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., said that with Pope Benedict “we have a great man now who can blaze the theological trail” left behind by his predecessor, Pope John Paul II. Rabbi Korn, together with Anthony J. Cernera, the president of Sacred Heart, presented the center’s “Nostra Aetate” award to the pope at the end of his Sept. 5 general audience to mark his contribution to Jewish-Christian relations. The award presentation was part of the center’s Sept. 1-8 prayer and study tour in which a group of rabbis and bishops traveled from the United States to Poland’s Auschwitz death camp and to Rome for meetings with Vatican officials. Rabbi Korn said that when he told the pope the group had visited Auschwitz “I saw in his eyes how important that was to him.”
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Bishops in Sierra Leone condemn violence before presidential runoff
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (CNS) — Catholic bishops in Sierra Leone have condemned the violence leading up to the presidential runoff election. “We condemn all persons who by their acts or conduct foment sentiments of tribalism and regionalism as a means of gaining political power,” the bishops said. They said the elections were a testing ground to see how much the nation had cultivated a culture of peace, nonviolence and respect for the law. “Riotous acts of indiscipline, retaliation, destruction, violence and disrespect for the rule of law are sinful and inadmissible practices,” they added. The bishops urged the people of Sierra Leone to “submit to God,” strive for unity, show respect for each others’ rights and disregard divisive ethnic sentiments. They called on people to pray for a “God-fearing president and Parliament.” Of seven political parties in the Aug. 11 elections, two emerged with the highest votes. Since no candidate got at least 55 percent of the vote as required by law, a runoff was scheduled for Sept. 8.
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Staley retires; Lucero takes helm of Green Bay, Wis., diocesan paper
GREEN BAY, Wis. (CNS) — Sam Lucero, former associate managing editor of the Catholic Herald in Milwaukee, is now the news and information manager for the Green Bay Diocese and editor of the diocesan newspaper, The Compass. He replaces longtime editor Tony Staley, who retired in August. Prior to his work in Milwaukee, Lucero was editor of the Catholic Herald in Superior. He also worked at other Catholic newspapers, including the Intermountain Catholic in Salt Lake City and the Southern Cross in San Diego. “I’ve found working in the Catholic press enables a person to practice not only a profession, but to turn it into a vocation, and I think it’s something we’re privileged to experience,” he said. Lucero, who is also an award-winning photographer, updated the Catholic Herald’s Web site where he posted weekly audio news slide shows with his photographs. “I’m looking forward to the challenge of managing a newspaper, of taking it in a new direction,” he said, referring to a diocesan decision to emphasize the paper’s Web site and other electronic means.
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Virginia layman who headed charitable Loyola Foundation dead at 75
ARLINGTON, Va. (CNS) — Albert Gregory McCarthy III worked as a lawyer, a real estate developer and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University in Washington. But the essence of his 75 years, his family and friends said following his Aug. 28 death, was wrapped up in the Loyola Foundation, a charitable organization that gave away more than $40 million over the past 50 years. McCarthy, who died of pancreatic cancer at his Arlington home, served as secretary and then executive director of the foundation since its founding. The foundation has assisted some 5,000 Catholic missions overseas since then with annual grants ranging from $100 to $100,000. This love of the church and its missions stemmed from her husband’s Catholic upbringing and education, said Jane McGinnis McCarthy, his wife of 26 years, in a Sept. 4 interview with the Arlington Catholic Herald, diocesan newspaper. “He was brought up with Jesuits at the dinner table,” she said. “That gave him his appreciation for service.”
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Priest sees rise in ‘spiritual enthusiasm’ at Boy Scout summer camps
WASHINGTON (CNS) — As a priest for 52 years and a Boy Scout for 65, Msgr. John B. Brady says he has never experienced the “youthful spiritual enthusiasm” he witnessed this summer as a chaplain at the Goshen Scout Reservation in Goshen, Va. “Scouts of every faith attended religious services in record numbers,” Msgr. Brady said in a report on his experiences with the more than 7,000 Scouts and leaders who attended the six camps at Goshen this summer. “Jewish and Islamic services, Buddhist meditations, all-faith Scouts’ own services, nondenominational Christian services and daily Catholic Masses reported significant increases in attendance,” he added. The summer of 2007 marked the 100th camping season for the Scouts since Lord Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the world Scouting movement, oversaw the raising of the flags at the world’s first Scout encampment at Brown Sea Island off the coast of Southampton, England, Aug. 1, 1907. A retired priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, Msgr. Brady said the 10- and 11-year-old Scouts he met were “excited and enthusiastic” about attending Mass.