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Pope names apostolic visitor to Medjugorje

05/31/2018 - 1:45pm

IMAGE: CNS photo/Paul Haring

By Junno Arocho Esteves

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis has named as apostolic visitor to Medjugorje the Polish archbishop he had initially sent to the town as his personal envoy to study the pastoral needs of the townspeople and of the thousands of pilgrims who flock to the site of the alleged Marian apparitions.

The pope appointed Archbishop Henryk Hoser, the retired archbishop of Warsaw-Praga, Poland, to be apostolic visitor to Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, for an indefinite period, the Vatican announced May 31.

“The mission of the apostolic visitor has the aim of assuring a stable and continuous accompaniment of the parish community of Medjugorje and of the faithful who go there in pilgrimage, whose needs require special attention,” the Vatican announcement said.

Greg Burke, director of the Vatican press office, told journalists that Archbishop Hoser “will reside in Medjugorje” and that his mission does not involve investigating the authenticity of the alleged apparitions.

Archbishop Hoser’s mission “is strictly pastoral and not doctrinal,” Burke said.

The Polish archbishop was appointed in February 2017 as the pope’s special envoy to study the pastoral situation in Medjugorje.

At a news conference following his first visit, Archbishop Hoser said that although he has no authority or expertise to discuss the authenticity of the alleged apparitions, it was clear that “there is a special spiritual climate” in Medjugorje.

“The biggest miracle of Medjugorje are the confessions” of hundreds of people each day, Archbishop Hoser told reporters in April 2017

In 1981, six young people claimed that Mary had appeared to them. Some of the six say Mary still appears to them and gives them messages each day, while others say they see her only once a year now.

Diocesan commissions studied the alleged apparitions in 1982-1984 and again in 1984-1986, and the then-Yugoslavian bishops’ conference studied them from 1987 to 1990. All three commissions concluded that they could not affirm that a supernatural event was occurring in the town.

In 2010, retired Pope Benedict XVI established a papal commission to study the alleged apparitions; the commission was chaired by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, retired papal vicar of Rome.

The commission’s report has not been made public, although some of its points were revealed after Pope Francis spoke about the commission’s work.

Pope Francis acknowledged that pilgrims to the Marian site deserve spiritual care and support, but he also expressed doubts about claims of the continuing apparitions of Mary in Medjugorje.

During his flight to Rome from Fatima, Portugal, in May 2017, the pope told journalists that, regarding the Medjugorje commission’s work, “three things need to be distinguished.”

“About the first apparitions, when (the ‘seers’) were young, the report more or less says that the investigation needs to continue,” the pope said, according to the English translation posted on the Vatican website.

“Concerning the alleged current apparitions, the report expresses doubts,” he said. Furthermore, “personally, I am more ‘mischievous.’ I prefer Our Lady to be a mother, our mother, and not a telegraph operator who sends out a message every day at a certain time — this is not the mother of Jesus.”

Pope Francis said his “personal opinion” is that “these alleged apparitions have no great value.”

The “real core” of the commission’s report, he said, is “the spiritual fact, the pastoral fact” that thousands of pilgrims go to Medjugorje and are converted. “For this there is no magic wand; this spiritual-pastoral fact cannot be denied.”

After the pope made his remarks, Servite Father Salvatore Perrella, a member of the commission, told Catholic News Service, “The commission did not make a definitive pronouncement.” However, he said, in discussing the apparitions that supposedly began June 24, 1981, and continue today, the commission opted to distinguish between what occurred in the first 10 days and what has occurred in the following three decades.

“The commission held as credible the first apparitions,” he said. “Afterward, things became a little more complicated.”

The Medjugorje commission recommended that Pope Francis lift the ban on official diocesan and parish pilgrimages to Medjugorje and that he designate the town’s parish Church of St. James as a pontifical shrine with Vatican oversight, the Servite said.

Such decisions would be “an intelligent pastoral choice,” Father Perrella said, and they could be made whether or not the church officially recognizes the apparitions as “worthy of belief.” Allowing pilgrimages and designating the church as a shrine would be a recognition of the prayer, devotion and conversion millions of people have experienced at Medjugorje.

At the same time, he said, it would ensure that “a pastor and not a travel agency” is in charge of what happens there.

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Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.

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Copyright © 2018 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

Millennial Corner: Dating Podcast Part II

05/31/2018 - 11:14am

A few weeks ago, Luke Carey, the Director of the Office for Young Adult Evangelization & Discipleship, gave a Theology on Tap talk called, ‘Dating: It Doesn’t Have to Suck (But It Probably Will).’ Luke recorded a podcast with author and speaker Arleen Spenceley to explore the remaining questions from the Q & A session.

 

For Part I click here

Luke Carey (Courtesy Photo)

 

Arzobispo Schnurr, Junio

05/31/2018 - 12:35am

Los estadounidenses están orgullosos de las libertades que garantizan las primeras diez enmiendas a nuestra Constitución, conocidas colectivamente como la Declaración de Derechos. Y la libertad de religión se cita primero: “El Congreso no hará ninguna ley respecto a el establecimiento de una religión o que prohíba el libre ejercicio de la misma… “

Sin embargo, es importante recordar que la Primera Enmienda no crea ni otorga un derecho único en los Estados Unidos. El derecho a la libertad religiosa pertenece a todos porque proviene de Dios, no del gobierno. El Concilio Vaticano II lo afirmó en su Declaración sobre Libertad Religiosa.

La Iglesia Católica en los Estados Unidos destacará ese derecho a fines de este mes con la celebración de la Semana de la Libertad Religiosa. La semana comienza con las Fiestas de Santo Tomás Moro y San Juan Fisher el 22 de Junio y termina con la solemnidad de los Santos Pedro y Pablo el 29 de Junio. Todos esos santos fueron martirizados por vivir su fe, la fe que compartimos.

La Semana de la Libertad Religiosa reemplaza las dos semanas de Quincena por la Libertad, que la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los Estados Unidos lanzó en el 2012. El período de tiempo más corto no debe dar la impresión de que las amenazas a la libertad religiosa preocupan menos a los obispos.

En otras tierras, los cristianos aún son discriminados, se les impide celebrar su liturgia e incluso se les martiriza. La Arquidiócesis de Cincinnati y varias parroquias Católicas de Rito Oriental, junto con una parroquia Ortodoxa Antioque, formaron el Comité de Una Iglesia de Misericordia hace dos años para llamar la atención sobre esta situación internacional continua y para promover la libertad religiosa para todos.

En los Estados Unidos, la libertad de culto ha sido un hecho. “Pero la libertad religiosa, por su naturaleza, trasciende los lugares de culto y la esfera privada de individuos y familias”, como dijo el Papa Francisco en la el Salón de Independencia en el 2015.

En otras palabras, esto no se limita a las paredes de iglesias, mezquitas, sinagogas y hogares. También se extiende a la plaza pública, donde los católicos estamos llamados a actuar según nuestras creencias en el discipulado misionero. Ese aspecto de la libertad religiosa está bajo amenaza en nuestro país, ya que las personas que viven su fe están siendo marginadas. En un ejemplo claro, un senador de los EE. UU. le preguntó a un candidato para un juzgado federal: “¿Se considera usted un católico ortodoxo?”

La hostilidad detrás de esta pregunta proviene del enfoque contracultural de la Iglesia hacia el matrimonio, la familia y la sexualidad humana. Es revelador que 22 senadores de EE. UU., hayan considerado necesario patrocinar la Primera Enmienda de la Ley de Defensa, que prohíbe al gobierno federal emprender acciones adversas contra personas o instituciones en función de su definición de matrimonio o creencias sobre sexo prematrimonial. Los obispos Católicos de los Estados Unidos han apoyado este acto.

La comprensión de la Iglesia sobre el matrimonio, ya sea sacramental o civil, como la unión de un hombre y una mujer es importante para las personas de todas las religiones y personas sin fe. La familia es la unidad básica de la sociedad. Al mismo tiempo, a la familia también se la ha llamado “la iglesia doméstica”. Al acercarse el Día de los Padres, quiero señalar el papel de los padres poco apreciado en este contexto.

Como dije en la Conferencia de Hombres de Cincinnati en Abril, estudios han demostrado que el testimonio de un padre a la fe toca profundamente la fe de sus hijos. Uno de estos estudios, realizado por el gobierno de Suiza, encontró que los hijos de padres que practican y dan testimonio de la fe tienen 16 veces más probabilidades de participar regularmente en Misa que los hijos de padres que no lo hacen. ¡Los padres de familia son obviamente esenciales para transmitir la fe!

Oremos, entonces, para que todos los padres y padrastros tengan la sabiduría, el coraje y la fuerza para ser discípulos misioneros en sus propios hogares y la libertad de hacerlo en público.

Archbishop Schnurr’s letter for June

05/31/2018 - 12:30am

Americans are justly proud of the freedoms secured by the first ten amendments to our Constitution, collectively known as the Bill of Rights. And freedom of religion is cited first: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . .”

However, it is important to remember that the First Amendment does not create or bestow a uniquely American entitlement. The right to religious liberty belongs to everyone because it comes from God, not government. The Second Vatican Council affirmed that in its Declaration on Religious Freedom.  

The Catholic Church in the United States will highlight that right later this month with its observance of Religious Freedom Week. The week begins with the Feasts of St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher on June 22 and ends with the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul on June 29. All those saints were martyred for living their faith, the faith we share.

Religious Freedom Week replaces the two-week Fortnight for Freedom, which the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops launched in 2012. The shorter time-period should not give the impression that threats to religious liberty are any less of a concern to the bishops.    

In other lands, Christians are still discriminated against, prevented from worshipping, and even martyred. The Archdiocese of Cincinnati and several Eastern Rite Catholic parishes, along with an Antiochian Orthodox parish, formed the One Church of Mercy Committee two years ago to draw attention to this continuing international plight and to promote religious freedom for all.

In the United States, freedom of worship has been a given. “But religious liberty, by its nature, transcends places of worship and the private sphere of individuals and families,” as Pope Francis said at Independence Hall in 2015. 

In other words, it is not confined to the walls of churches, mosques, synagogues, and homes. It also extends into the public square, where Catholics are called to act on our beliefs in missionary discipleship. That aspect of religious freedom is under threat in our country as people who live their faith are being marginalized. In one blatant example, a U.S. senator asked a nominee for a federal judgeship, “Do you consider yourself an orthodox Catholic?” 

The hostility behind this question comes from the Church’s counter-cultural approach to marriage, family, and human sexuality. It is telling that 22 U.S. senators found it necessary to sponsor the First Amendment Defense Act, which prohibits the federal government from taking adverse action against individuals or institutions based on their definition of marriage or beliefs about premarital sex. The Catholic bishops of the United States have supported this act. 

The Church’s understanding of marriage, whether sacramental or civil, as the union of one man and one woman is important for people of all faiths and no faith. The family is the basic unit of society. At the same time, the family has also been called “the domestic church.” With Fathers’ Day approaching, I want to note an often-underappreciated role of fathers in this context. 

As I told the Cincinnati Men’s Conference in April, studies have shown that a father’s witness to the faith profoundly affects the faith of his children. One such study, conducted by the government of Switzerland, found that the children of fathers who practice and witness to the faith are 16 times more likely to participate in Mass regularly than are the children of fathers who do not do so. Fathers are obviously crucial in passing on the faith!  

Let us pray, then, that all fathers and stepfathers have the wisdom, courage, and strength to be missionary disciples in their own homes and the freedom to do so in the public square. 

Hawaii parishioners displaced by lava ask for prayers

05/30/2018 - 7:25pm

IMAGE: CNS photo/Marco Garcia, Reuters

By Anna Weaver

HONOLULU (CNS) — Paul and Rose Utes, members of Sacred Heart Parish in Pahoa, had to leave their home when lava from the Kilauea eruptions moved into their section of the Leilani Estates subdivision in Puna on the Big Island.

At the time they heard the mandatory evacuation order, the couple, who own Black Rock Cafe in Pahoa, were prepping to cater food for Honolulu Bishop Larry Silva’s parish visit that first weekend in May.

While the Utes were at their house retrieving their belongings, a fissure opened up across the street, sending a lava fountain shooting into the air. They later returned to get some of their dogs that had run off after the fissure explosion and a few more things. But with the road to their home fairly inaccessible, they haven’t been back recently.

“It’s just frustrating not knowing what’s going on around your house,” Paul said May 23 in a telephone interview with the Hawaii Catholic Herald, Honolulu’s diocesan newspaper.

Yet Paul said they haven’t accepted much relief support beyond temporarily staying in a friend’s home because they feel there are other people who need it more. Their business hasn’t been much affected by the eruptions so far. And they have insurance, though they still have to pay the mortgage on a house they can’t live in.

The Utes, who have lived in Leilani Estates since 1991, now need to find a long-term place to stay.

“I don’t want these houses. I want my house,” Paul recalled his wife saying sadly as they drove around looking at potential rental properties that would allow their six dogs.

“If everybody could just keep all the people affected in their prayers,” Paul asked. “I know a lot of people that lost their houses and need help. And they’re devastated. And I know quite a few people who didn’t have insurance and lost their houses.”

Sacred Heart parishioners Richard and Nancy Robbins also live in Leilani Estates, but are four or five streets north of the current lava activity.

“God has looked out after us,” Richard said.

According to Hawaii County Civil Defense, 82 structures to date have been destroyed by lava in this latest outflow from Kilauea Volcano, erupting continuously since 1983. Lava so far has covered more than 2,223 acres.

While Hawaii County issued an evacuation order to subdivision residents, some residents like the Robbinses have gone back to living in their homes. They moved from Miami to Hawaii 19 years ago and love Leilani. Now they regularly drive around the subdivision checking on the homes of friends and neighbors.

“It’s one thing hearing about it, one thing seeing pictures on TV,” Richard said, but another to be there. “We got halfway down a street and we realized that (the rest of the) street didn’t exist anymore.”

Richard said fellow parishioners have been wonderful. One couple offered their deployed son’s home as a temporary residence. The parish food bank asked if they needed food. A non-Catholic local friend has also offered their home further away on the island for Richard and Nancy if and when they might need to leave Leilani again.

“We aren’t in any need, but it’s nice to hear people ask you, even if you don’t need it,” Richard said.

“Leilani is a very, very tight community,” he added. “I’m just hoping we can survive. I don’t want to have to leave Hawaii.”

At Sacred Heart Parish in Pahoa town, you might not know there’s major volcanic activity going on just a few miles away if not for the busy parking lot full of news crews and aid workers, said Lindbergh Marzo, Sacred Heart’s pastoral council president.

The parish, which is 3.5 miles from the eruption, has allowed media and relief workers to use the church’s lot and office bathrooms. At one point the parish hall was a temporary crisis information center. Other parishes have been dropping off donations there as well.

St. Joseph Parish in Hilo filled a 15-person passenger van with food, water, blankets, pillows, clothing, gift cards and other items for Puna evacuees and dropped it off at Sacred Heart May 22. Parishioners also raised a $3,224 cash donation for a local relief fund.

Father Paul Li, vicar forane of the diocese’s East Hawaii vicariate, said the parishes in the vicariate took up a second collection for volcano aid during Masses May 19 and 20, which was Pentecost Sunday.

Father Li’s parish of St. Theresa in Mountain View, which is about 18 miles from Pahoa, and Holy Rosary Mission in Keaau collected $1,164 in their second collection and also delivered blankets, tarps, towels and other items to Sacred Heart for distribution to those displaced residents that need them.

“Some people are grateful for where they are and some people have a lot of anxiety,” Marzo said of the people he knows displaced by the volcano activity.

Leilani Estates is a rural subdivision with large lots on a 22-mile grid. The smaller nearby Lanipuna Gardens also is affected. At least 24 fissures have opened up since May 3, spewing molten rock on what used to be a quiet subdivision, forming a lava lake, sending magma to the ocean and expelling poisonous sulfur dioxide gas.

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Editor’s Note: The Honolulu Diocese’s three social service agencies — Office of Social Ministries, HOPE Services Hawaii and Catholic Charities Hawaii — are helping those affected by the volcanic activity. For information on how to donate to the agencies go to http://hopeserviceshawaii.org or https://www.catholiccharitieshawaii.org.

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Weaver writes for the Hawaii Catholic Herald, newspaper of the Diocese of Honolulu.

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Copyright © 2018 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

Mass of support planned for Maryland town hit hard again by massive flood

05/30/2018 - 4:50pm

IMAGE: CNS photo/Jim Lo Scalzo, EPA

By Paul McMullen

BALTIMORE (CNS) — For the second time in three years, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore will celebrate a Mass at St. Paul Church in the historic town of Ellicott City, where residents are again taking stock after another devastating flash flood.

Weekend worship for the feast of the Most Holy Trinity had concluded by the afternoon of May 27, when sustained, torrential rains turned Main Street below the church into a raging river that washed away automobiles, buildings and human life — just as it had July 31, 2016.

Archbishop Lori will celebrate Mass June 2 at St. Paul, which was established in 1838, 66 years after the mill and railroad town was founded at was then a strategic location along the Patapsco River.

St. Paul is situated relatively safely above the Main Street thoroughfare, which once again produced reminders of the destructive power of nature, documented on social media as many prepared to observe Memorial Day.

A courthouse that dated to 1840 was among the structures destroyed in the historic town, which is part of the Baltimore metropolitan area and the county seat of Howard County.

Eddison Hermond, a National Guardsman from Severn, was enjoying lunch with friends when he went to the aid of a woman and was washed away, toward the Patapsco. Two days later, search and rescue teams located his body on the Baltimore County side of the river.

After the flash flood of 2016, St. Paul served as an emergency shelter. According to Father Warren Tanghe, pastor, the loss of water to all of its buildings and power in some of them precluded it from serving that function this time.

“Our facilities are not suitable for community service,” Father Tanghe said May 28 in an interview with the Catholic Review, Baltimore’s archdiocesan news outlet.

A day later, he reported that “all our buildings now have power and water, and our electronics are up.”

St. Paul is being used as a staging area for Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. crews that are restoring utilities.

The flood was felt at Resurrection-St. Paul School, north of old Ellicott City. According to Karen Murphy, principal, one of her teachers “lost” his residence on Main Street.

“I have eight other staff members and dozens of families who bailed out basements this weekend, but are grateful that’s all they had to do,” Murphy said. “Our theme this year has been ‘Be Strong, Be Courageous.’ … That’s appropriate for right now.”

To the north of downtown Ellicott City, the Our Lady’s Center Marian Shrine was closed Memorial Day for what a message on its website described as “some cleaning of debris,” but noted that it “escaped damage” thanks to improvements made to its grounds after the 2016 flood.

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McMullen is managing editor of the Catholic Review, the news website and magazine of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

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Copyright © 2018 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

Serra Club membership skyrockets

05/30/2018 - 4:01pm
Thirteen new members, the largest group to join in several decades, were inducted into the Serra Club of Cincinnati on May 22. (Courtesy photo)Thirteen new members, the largest group to join in several decades, were inducted into the Serra Club of Cincinnati on May 22. (Courtesy photo)

More than a dozen people were inducted into the Serra Club of Cincinnati at a ceremony May 22, “by far the largest number in many years, probably since the 70s,” said President Wayne Topp.

Serra International is a lay apostolate that promotes vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life. Members of local chapters pray for vocations at home and together, but also hold or assist at events. Among its other activities, the Serra Club of Cincinnati hosts the reception after the annual ordination Mass, holds a dinner for the priests who participate in the spring Chrism Mass, and holds a yearly Bible Reading Novena.

“The energy for vocations seems to be moving with the increased number of seminarians!” said Topp, who is also associate vocation director for the archdiocese.

At the ceremony, hosted by the Little Sisters of the Poor in Clifton, Bishop Joseph R. Binzer celebrated Mass for the members and spoke at their annual banquet.

The Serra Club meets twice a month after 11:30 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains, and members commit to pray for priestly and religious vocations every day. Guests are welcome at all meetings. For more information or for an application to join, see the club;s website: Cincyserravocations.org.

he new members of the Cincinnati Serra Club:
• Beth Dobrozsi
• Doug Dobrozsi
• Debbie Feist
• Mary Freudiger
• Kelly Geoppinger
• Jane Hoffman
• Bruce Russo
• Sharon Russo
• Michael Schaefer
• Julie Van Hoose
• Julianne Wernke
• Lori and Steve Lutz

Father Endres for June: Does the Holy Spirit have a gender?

05/30/2018 - 2:47pm

 

Q: A friend of mine refers to the Holy Spirit as “she.” I have heard the theory that the Holy Spirit is a feminine manifestation of the divine. Is this consistent with Catholic teaching?

A: God transcends gender, which is to say that the divine is neither male nor female. However, God is a person, not an “it” and so it seems appropriate to refer to, relate to, and image God in terms of gender. 

But what about each of the persons of the Trinity? Can each be individually considered as male or female? God the Son, Jesus, took on flesh as a male, biologically, which is to say that God entered time and space as a man. And though without gender, the Godhead was called by Jesus “abba” (a familiar term for father). Jesus taught His followers to begin their prayer to God using the words, “our father.”

While it is less common to ascribe any gender to the Holy Spirit, the Spirit has been viewed by some as feminine, at least partly because of the gender of the word for the Spirit. The Greek word for the Spirit, “pneuma,” is neuter. The Latin word, “spiritus,” is masculine. But the Hebrew and Syriac words, “ruach” and “rucha,” are feminine. 

When Jesus revealed to us the Trinity, as in Matthew 28: 19 (baptize “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”) it is only the last person of the Trinity who seems not to be assigned a gender. Yet Jesus himself spoke of the Holy Spirit in masculine terms when He said to His disciples, “When he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth” (John 16:13).

The members of the early church frequently used masculine pronouns to describe each of the persons of the Trinity, including the Spirit. Acknowledging the theological difficulties, they did not think of the Trinity as being composed of two males and one female or two males and one neutered person. Most often in early Christian theology, because the Spirit proceeds “from the Father and the Son,” the Spirit, too, was thought of as male. Since the Trinity’s members share a common substance, are coeternal, and coequal, it is difficult to argue for the Spirit’s manifestation in feminine terms if the other persons are conceived of as male. 

The practice of the church, in its use of language for teaching and worship, follows this understanding. The Catechism teaches that we cannot properly assign a gender or genders to the divine, but the text retains masculine pronouns in speaking about God: “He is neither man nor woman; he is God” (239). But when in our use of language, God must be assigned a gender, the Holy Spirit is referred to in masculine terms.

Though the Holy Spirit is not feminine, this does not mean that we cannot consider both masculine and feminine images of God, especially as we relate to the divine in terms of paternal and maternal qualities. As the Catechism relates, “The language of faith thus draws on the human experience of parents, who are in a way the first representatives of God for man.” This allows us to image God as “father,” acknowledging Him as “origin of everything and transcendent authority” and also relate to the maternity of God which emphasizes “God’s immanence, the intimacy between Creator and creature” (239).

God is neither male nor female, yet at the same time, we can draw closer to God by relating to and imagining God through gender as long as we recognize the limitations of our understanding and use of language in describing the divine.

Father Endres is dean of Mount St. May’s Seminary of the West and the Athenaeum of Ohio. Send your question of faith to strosley@CatholicCincinnati.org.

The Catholic Telegraph Bucket List for June

05/30/2018 - 12:00pm

This month’s bucket list takes you to the more of the archdiocese’s oldest places, and one of the church’s most storied public celebrations:

  • The 500-acre Precious Blood motherhouse in Celina/Carthagena
  • The churches honored with an Ohio Scenic Byway
  • An Old World, Saturday evening Corpus Christi procession
Go: Visit St. Charles Center in Carthagena

2860 U.S. Rte. 127
Celina, Ohio 45822
(419) 925-4516
St-charles-cpps.org
Saintcharlesseniorliving.com

Recommended by former Dayton resident Josh Danis, now national director of Alpha USA for Catholics: “It’s beautiful!” This former seminary of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood (CPPS) has been converted to a senior living community, while still serving as the Congregation’s motherhouse. Its Romanesque-style Assumption Chapel was built in 1905 and renovated in 1961. Its altar, gold mosaic and historic Holtkamp organ are popular with visitors, as is the Missionaries’ Heritage Room mini museum in the Gothic Revival-style main building, which houses artifacts from the countries where the Missionaries serve. The 500-acre site includes a farm and tree preserve, a cemetery, and two lakes. 

The chapel is open to the public from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., except during special events, and hosts daily Mass. Call to check for a conflict, or to schedule a tour.

 

 

 

Do: Tour “The Land of the Cross-Tipped Churches”

DOT.state.oh.us/OhioByways/

Recommended by reader Jeanne Schlagetter. Ohio’s Land of the Cross-Tipped Churches Byway is a 38.4-mile scenic route through Shelby, Auglaize, and Mercer Counties. Find a map and a photo tour of the many eponymous churches (such as St. Francis in Cranberry Prairie, shown above) at the ODOT website.

Cyclists can enjoy the sixth annual Steeple Chase Bike Tour on June 30, part of the annual St. Henry Community Picnic community festival. It takes participants on their choice of a 15-, 20-, or 30-mile course through the St. Henry area of the region. For information and registration, click here.

Hikers can find a downloadable map for an 11.3-mile walking route from St. Henry Church to the Maria Stein Shrine of the Holy Relics at the Pilgrimage of Faith hiking route website, PilgrimageofFaith.org.

 

Worship: Corpus Christi at Emmanuel Church

149 Franklin St.
Dayton, Ohio  45402
(937) 228-2013
Emmanuelcatholic.com

Recommended by St, Albert the Great (Kettering) parishioner Gloria Falcao Dodd, at the International Marian Research Institute: “It’s a wonderful procession with the street decorated with colored wood chips.” Dayton’s oldest parish, founded in 1837, celebrates the Old-World tradition of making outdoor “carpets” from dyed wood chips. Common in Italy, Spain, and Latin America, this tradition is rare in our region. Parishioners spend all day Saturday setting up geometric and figurative patterns on the street around the church, then gather for an evening Eucharistic procession over the carpeted ground.

The Feast of Corpus Christi celebrates the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Processions are held in more than a dozen area parishes between Thursday (the calendar date of the feast) and Sunday. The 17th annual Corpus Christi procession at Emmanuel Church will follow 5:15 Mass on June 2

 

Click here to download a Bucket List page to print out: Bucket List 6 2018
For the January Bucket List click here
For the February Bucket List click here
For the March Bucket List click here
For the April Bucket List click here
For the May Bucket List click here.


Suggest an item for our Bucket List! Email your suggestions to gfinke@catholiccincinnati.org.

Archbishop Schnurr and Bishop Foys lead Catholics in a walk to celebrate life

05/30/2018 - 10:43am


Thousands of Catholics from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and the Diocese of Covington will come together for a family festival and a walk across the Purple People Bridge to celebrate the beautiful gift of human life, at all its stages, regardless of age, ability or disability. The 13th annual Cross the Bridge for Life will take place on Sunday June 3rd in Newport, KY. The Most Reverend Dennis Schnurr, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and the Most Reverend Roger Foys, Bishop of the Diocese of Covington, will both take part in the festival and walk.

The family festival will begin at 1 P.M. at Riverboat Row, in Newport. The event is being held rain or shine. Any changes to the schedule will be posted, the day of, on the event Facebook site https://www.facebook.com/CTBforLife/. The festival will include live bands, free face painting and balloon artists. Free water, fruit and t-shirts will be available. Food trucks will also be on site.

At 2 P.M. a 20-minute program is planned. It will include an opening prayer and remarks by Bishop Foys, comments by Bobby Schindler, President of the Terri Schaivo Life & Hope Network, and remarks and a closing prayer by Archbishop Schnurr. From there, bagpipers from the Ancient Order of Hibernians will lead walkers across the Purple People Bridge. Those participating will include Archbishop Schnurr, Bishop Foys, dozens of priests, religious sisters and thousands of families.

What: 13th Annual Cross the Bridge for Life
When: Sunday June 3rd; 1 P.M. Festival Begins; 2 P.M. Brief Program then Walk
Where: River Front Row (festival area) Newport, KY – Purple People Bridge
Who: More than 3,000 participants

More information about the event can be found at www.CrossTheBridgeForLife.com.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati is the 44th largest Catholic diocese in the country, with more than 450,000 Catholics, and has the fifth largest Catholic school system in terms of enrollment with more than 40,000 students. The 19-county territory includes 211 parishes and 111 Catholic primary and secondary schools.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington is comprised of more than 90,000 Catholics with 47 parishes and 38 Catholic primary and secondary schools. Within the diocese more than 14,500 students are under Catholic instruction.

Priest: ‘Ninja’ show a way to proclaim Gospel using his God-given talents

05/29/2018 - 7:56pm

IMAGE: CNS photo/Aprille Hanson, Arkansas Catholic

By Aprille Hanson

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (CNS) — An Arkansas Catholic priest is taking his ninja name “Father Flex” national as a contestant on the new season of the NBC reality show “American Ninja Warrior,” debuting May 30.

Father Stephen Gadberry, pastor of St. Mary Church in Batesville and St. Cecilia Church in Newport, applied last December to be on the show, which allows everyday “warriors” to show off their skills in a series of challenging obstacle courses.

Competitors advance from city qualifying and finals to regional finals and finally national finals in Las Vegas. The grand prize winner receives $1 million.

Father Gadberry, 32, received a call in mid-February to compete in Dallas for a spot as a contestant. Tryouts were held during Holy Week.

On Palm Sunday, March 25, the priest was running, jumping and launching through the air on an obstacle course. Surrounded by friends, family and fellow religious, including sisters and brother priests, Father Gadberry and other ninja hopefuls competed from 10 p.m. until 7:45 a.m. the next morning.

“Hold on tight, breathe, concentrate, focus. Really in the heat of the moment it’s just survive. Just keep moving forward one more step, one more step, that’s what was going through my mind, just one more step,” he told the Arkansas Catholic, newspaper of the Little Rock Diocese.

“It was crazy, but it fed in perfectly into Holy Week,” he said. “On the obstacle course, you have to identify the obstacle, you’ve got to plan to attack it and to go on knowing that it’s going to be kind of hard, but knowing that there’s an end in sight.

“It’s the same with the Triduum — recognizing the struggle of sin and death but knowing that that’s not the end, facing it and go walking with the Lord to Easter. So it was a good spiritual shot of caffeine.”

His passion for CrossFit, as both an exercise regimen and now as a certified trainer, prepared him well.

The priest’s parishioners think it’s fun that he tried out for the show, but it’s more about “sharing the joy of being Catholic,” he said.

“What they’re excited about is that the church that they’re a part of is doing things that people usually wouldn’t imagine. So their church is going to the peripheries is what Pope Francis says,” he said.

“They’re telling all these other people of different faiths and denominations that ‘my church is not one that is stuck in a box. My church is one that can go and do crazy stuff. Come check it out,'” Father Gadberry added.

He said the camaraderie with his fellow competitors was a highlight, along with meeting Sean Bryan, known as the “Papal Ninja” from season nine of “American Ninja Warrior.” The two first met on social media and met a few times in Dallas. Bryan offered the priest some tips and advice.

“His greatest tip was just to have fun. And that helped me to stay calm through it,” Father Gadberry said.

Confirmation students at St. Mary Church eagerly offered up various nicknames for his time on the show. Father Gadberry said his favorite was “Father Flex.” It fits nicely with his often-used hashtag “jesusismyhomie” on Instagram.

“Father Flex is not just muscles. ‘ With all this stuff I want to invite people to take it to the next level, go to the spiritual level,” he said.

“We can flex our spiritual muscle too whenever you really got to lift some heavy spiritual weights and love somebody that you don’t want to love or forgive somebody you don’t want to forgive,” he added. “Or really walk a walk with somebody that’s very challenging. Very much the same way spiritually, you’ve got to build that muscle up.”

Father Gadberry has no intention of becoming a reality star. It’s all about using a larger platform — last year the show averaged 6 million viewers per episode – to “proclaim the Gospel using the talents that God has given me.”

Part of spreading the Gospel is breaking the priest stereotype.

“So many of my brother priests have amazing talents,” from music to athleticism, “so anyone reading this, their pastor has an amazing talent or two or three. Ask them about it, because it reveals the human side of us,” he said.

“We are really the image of Christ in the church and it’s easy to think of God as this being who is way out there,” he continued, “but Jesus came to be like one of us so hopefully the priest can be somebody at the altar who people look up to, but at the same time be one of the people, and that’s what it means to be Christ as a priest.”

For him, physical and spiritual well-being are parallel. Little Rock Bishop Anthony B. Taylor encourages all priests to “always be learning and he really supports all of us studying things that we’re passionate about,” Father Gadberry said.

“The spiritual life is important, but the soul needs a body. And that body must be a stable place where the soul can reside. We have to take care of our body; it’s the temple of the Holy Spirit as Paul says. This is just a way of continuing my education/formation so then I can be better equipped to catechize people through that hobby of mine,” he said.

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Hanson is associate editor of Arkansas Catholic, newspaper of the Diocese of Little Rock.

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Copyright © 2018 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

Teaching on all-male priesthood is definitive, cardinal-designate says

05/29/2018 - 6:50pm

IMAGE: CNS/Paul Haring

By Cindy Wooden

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — That only men can be validly ordained to the priesthood is a truth that is part of the Catholic faith and will not and cannot change, said Cardinal-designate Luis Ladaria, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

“It gives rise to serious concern to see that in some countries there still are voices that put in doubt the definitive nature of this doctrine,” the cardinal-designate wrote May 29 in the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano.

St. John Paul II, confirming the constant teaching and practice of the church, formally declared in 1994 that “the church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the church’s faithful.”

Cardinal-designate Ladaria said some people continue to question the infallibility of St. John Paul’s declaration in the document “Ordinatio Sacerdotalis” because “it was not defined ‘ex cathedra'” or formally, solemnly proclaimed as infallible. The argument, the cardinal-designate wrote, is that “a later decision by a future pope or council could overturn it.”

But “sowing these doubts creates serious confusion among the faithful not only about the sacrament of orders as part of the divine constitution of the church, but also about how the ordinary magisterium can teach Catholic doctrine in an infallible way,” he wrote.

A teaching of the church is infallible not only when it is solemnly pronounced by a council or by a pope speaking “ex cathedra,” he said. A teaching is recognized as infallible also when it is “the ordinary and universal teaching of bishops spread throughout the world when, in communion among themselves and with the pope, they propose Catholic doctrine that is to be held definitively.”

That is what St. John Paul did, he said. “He did not declare new dogma, but with the authority conferred on him as successor of Peter, he formally confirmed and made explicit — to remove any doubt — that which the ordinary and universal magisterium had considered as belonging to the deposit of faith throughout the history of the church.”

“Christ willed to confer this sacrament on the 12 apostles — all men — who, in turn, communicated it to other men,” Cardinal-designate Ladaria wrote. “The church always has seen itself as bound to this decision of the Lord, which excludes that the ministerial priesthood can be conferred validly on women.”

In response to questions, he said, the doctrinal congregation “has repeated that this is a truth belonging to the deposit of the faith.”

That a candidate for the priesthood must be male, he said, belongs to the “substance of the sacrament” and cannot be changed because the sacrament was instituted by Christ.

Just because women cannot be ordained, he said, does not imply “subordination, but a mutual enrichment.”

The exalted role of Mary in the church, even though she was not one of the 12 apostles, shows the importance of both the feminine and masculine in the church, he said, which is a challenge to modern culture that “struggles to understand the meaning and goodness of the difference between man and woman.”

Cardinal-designate Ladaria noted that Pope Francis also has reaffirmed the teaching on an all-male priesthood.

In “The Joy of the Gospel” in 2013 he wrote, “The reservation of the priesthood to males, as a sign of Christ the spouse who gives himself in the Eucharist, is not a question open to discussion.”

And, responding to a reporter’s question on a trip to Sweden in 2016, he said, “As for the ordination of women in the Catholic Church, the last, clear word was given by St. John Paul II, and this holds.”

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Copyright © 2018 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

Welcome to the job, Father Williams!

05/29/2018 - 4:14pm
Ordained a priest in 2016, Father Jason Williams (shown here at First Communion Mas for St. Cecilia Church in Oakley this spring) was a Navy submarine reactor operator before discerning his vocation. He will take up the M.C. position on July 1. (Courtesy photo/Egner Photography)

 

A shorter version of this article appeared in our print edition:

“Welcome to the job, Father Williams” – current M.C.s share thoughts

By Gail Finke

Father Jason Williams doesn’t know what to expect when he becomes the next Master of Ceremonies for Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr.

Ordained two years ago, the priest is still acting as parochial vicar for St. Cecilia, St. Margaret-St. John, and St. Anthony Parishes.  He will become the new M.C. on June 1  and will also join the formation team at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West. “I didn’t know the position was open” when he got the call from the archbishop’s office, he said. “I haven’t had a lot of time to even talk about it yet.”

Father Williams, who grew up in Massilon, Ohio (Diocese of Youngstown), and whose experience before ordination included six years as a Navy submarine reactor operator and several years with the Legionaries of Christ, said he will miss parish life. “I’ve loved it,” he said. “It’s going to be tough to leave, but I’m excited to visit so many places in the archdiocese, and about the chance to work with the archbishop, to get to know him and his vision for the archdiocese, and to help him as I can.”

Deacon Francis Wagner, who is retiring as M.C. after 15 years, said the job is one of service. He advised that Father Williams to attend to the details, such as where the bishop he’s working with likes to have things placed on the altar, and to remember that the job calls for diplomacy and discretion.

“Archbishop Pilarcyzk was an academic and, at the time I worked with him, the Chair of the Worship Commission for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. We would often eat dinner before Masses and solve all the problems of the archdiocese,” he joked. “Archbishop Schnurr is an administrator, and Chair of Finance for the USCCB. He doesn’t eat out much, because of food issues, but we talk about business. Whoever you’re with, you need to respect their need for confidentiality.”

Father Ryan Stenger, the current M.C. for Covington’s Bishop Roger Foys, said that attention to detail, love for the liturgy, humility, and a sense of humor are the qualities a master of ceremonies needs.

“There are many details involved in the celebration of a pontifical liturgy and the master of ceremonies is ultimately responsible for all of them, even if he delegates the actual execution to others in certain cases, “ said Father Stenger, who has acted as M.C. for Bishop Foys since 2016. “The master of ceremonies has to love the liturgy enough to take that responsibility seriously.  At the same time, I think it’s important that he have humility and a sense of humor.  Things will inevitably go wrong–often in ways never before imagined–and he can’t let that become a source of stress or anxiety, but instead he should trust that the Lord is pleased with our sincerity and effort and acknowledge that even the most perfectly celebrated liturgy still falls short of the glory due Him.”

Father Stenger, who also has a number of other positions at the Diocese of Covington, suggested that Father Williams see the role of M.C. as a blessing. “A liturgy that is celebrated with dignity and beauty is able to raise our minds and hearts to God, so that we may be more closely united to Him,” he said, and so being part of such liturgies means bringing others closer to God. 

Father Stenger’s predecessor, Father Dan Schomaker, served as Bishop Foys’s M.C. for eight years. “Whenever we do God’s will through our obedience to our bishop, it’s a blessing,” he said, but Father Williams can also expect the special blessing of getting to know the archdiocese as few others do. “You have a unique perspective on the local church no other priest has. I have been to all the Covington parishes but two, and I know every priest.”

Father Schomaker, who is now the diocese’s vicar of episcopal celebrations and holds several other positions, as well as being a pastor, said the role of M.C. is pastoral, but in a different way from parish work. “One of the M.C.’s jobs is to bring forth the beauty the Roman liturgy has,” he explained. “’’Sacrosanctum concilium’ said the Eucharist is ‘the source and summit of our being,’ and in a pontifical Mass people can experience the fullness of God’s beatitude, as far as worship is concerned. It already exists – the M.C. doesn’t make it happen – but it’s his job to bring it forth.”

In his 15 years as M.C., Deacon Wagner said he has visited all but 10 parishes in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and has participated in blessings, anniversaries, funerals, weddings, and events of all sorts.

M.C.s, he said, are “workers in the vineyard.” He would tell any M.C., what he plans to tell deacon candidates at the seminary next year: “They are being ordained for service. And when you’re an M.C., that’s service to the archbishop, and to the people of God.”

What is a Master of Ceremonies?

The term “Master of Ceremonies,” or M.C., originated in the Catholic church, and referred to an official who took care of Masses and other liturgies for the pope. Today, bishops have M.C.s, as do parishes that celebrate the Tridentine Latin Mass. The main role of the M.C. is to coordinate the priests, deacons, servers, and other people involved in a Mass or other liturgy. An M.C. for a bishop or archbishop travels with him to liturgies outside the cathedral, goes over the plans for them beforehand, and works with the servers, priests, deacons, and other people participating in those liturgies on the day they occur.

For our story about Deacon Francis Wagner’s 15 years as M.C., click here.

 

After nearly 15 years as M.C., Deacon Francis Wagner retires

05/29/2018 - 4:05pm
Deacon Francis Wagner can be seen in this 2011 “Telegraph” photo, walking behind bishop Joseph R. Binzer in the procession that begins the transitional deacon ordination Mass. (CT photo/E.L. Hubbard) “Traffic cop” lays down his badge

By Gail Finke

Francis Wagner never expected to be a deacon, much less the Master of Ceremonies for two archbishops. 

A graduate of Holy Family and Elder schools, he went on to Xavier University, Harvard (where he earned a degree in Russian economics) and Indiana University (another degree, this time in urban economics). He spent five years at Arthur Anderson in Chicago before returning to Cincinnati for what he thought would be a short-term job with the city. Instead, three decades in urban finance led him to numerous high-profile positions, including Income Tax Commissioner, Director of Purchasing, and City Treasurer. 

For most people, that would have been enough public service for a lifetime.

But a brochure from the seminary, and a push from his wife, led the man who likes to think of himself as “basically a bookkeeper” to pursue ordination as a permanent deacon. And that led to 15 years of helping archbishops and bishops celebrate Mass across the archdiocese.

At first, he said, he worked at the city while serving at Masses, baptizing, celebrating weddings and funerals, and helping with annulment cases at St. Michael Parish. Then, in 2003, Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk called.

“I’d only been ordained for a few months,” he said. “He asked me to be his Master of Ceremonies, and to eventually be his administrative assistant. I retired from the city after almost 33 years and told the city manager I was going to work for a higher power.”

In addition to acting as M.C. at Masses, Deacon Wagner (second from right) also helped at many other events, such as the 2010 blessing of Pregnancy Center East. (CT photo/Tony Tribble)

 Although he never did become the archbishop’s administrative assistant, Deacon Wagner said, he has been called on for many special projects over the years, from helping to select a healthcare plan for employees and a payroll system to serving on search committees. “To me, that was fun,“ he said. “Requesting RPFs for systems, evaluating and selecting them, hiring, motivating – that wasn’t work. I enjoyed all of it.”

 The real work, he said, was helping with Masses and other liturgies. In a typical year, the archbishop and bishop each attend 60 or more confirmation Masses, as well as parish anniversary Masses, funeral Masses, school Masses, and a variety of other celebrations. While Mass with a bishop isn’t much different from a typical Mass, it’s different enough that most priests and servers need help with where to stand and sit, what to do with the mitre and crozier, and a number of other details.

 An M.C.’s job, Deacon Wagner explained, is to “make the archbishop look good when he is celebrating Mass, and make the people feel good when their shepherd is with them celebrating Mass.

 “Archbishop Pilarczyk said the M.C. is the traffic cop, and that’s exactly what it is. You tell people what to do, when to do it, and where to go.” Sometimes those people are young servers, who are terrified that they will make a mistake in front of the whole parish. And sometimes they are experienced priests who are used to celebrating Mass, not concelebrating with a bishop.

At a recent funeral, for instance, “had 16 priests, all of them used to being the celebrant,” he said. “So I had to tell each of them where to go and designate someone to distribute the Precious Blood. Priests are used to distributing the Body of Christ. They all have experience distributing the Precious Blood, but for some of them it hasn’t been since their deacon days.”

Striving to be noticed as little as possible, Deacon Wagner has stood next to bishops and archbishops for 15 years. (CT photo/Greg Hartman)

 The job also requires diplomacy. Parishes request the archbishop or bishop as much as a year and a half in advance, he said, and are given planning sheets to fill out with the music and readings. Sometimes, they have to be reminded to return them. Sometimes, the plans have to be changed.

 “I have to make the suggestions in a way that doesn’t offend anyone,” Deacon Wagner said, whether that means moving hymns to before or after Mass, or completely changing plans. Either way, the M.C.’s job is to make the Mass appropriate to the occasion and the parish happy to have it that way.

Although Deacon Wagner is retiring, he’s not about to stop working for the church. “They’re exploring asking Rome to consider making the cathedral a basilica,” he said. “So I’ll be working on that and a few other projects. My wife, June, is very active at All Saints, so there are some projects out there for me too. And I’ll be teaching a course for permanent deacons at the seminary.”

He also plans to enjoy his Evendale home and his 52 nieces and nephews, and to swim with June in the Senior Olympics as well as accompany her when she competes in the upcoming Pan Am Games (“She’s the athlete,” he said, ”I just swim”) He’s scheduling visits to the 10 remaining parishes in the archdiocese that he has never been to, so that he can be one of the few residents who have been to Mass at all of them.

 In his years with the archdiocese, Deacon Wagner said, he’s come to see first-hand how hard the offices work for the people. “It’s evident that the people feel we’re doing something right,” he said. “The mind-boggling enrollment expansion at the seminary, the archbishop’s really clear effort to be out at high school and grade school Masses, the increase in religious vocations and religious orders requesting to move here all say that. I see it in people’s faces at Mass – especially children’s faces – their responsiveness during prayers and singing.”

Though not the cause of any of those things, Deacon Wagner said he has been blessed to be part of them. “I like to say that I was a beer and pretzel kind of guy, and that my goal has been to become a cold beer and salted pretzel kind of guy,” he said. “I hope that when I die, I’m able to convince St. Peter that I’ve played a little part in the Lord’s plan for His kingdom.”

Click here for our companion article about the new Master of Ceremonies,  Father Jason Williams, who will begin the position July 1.

An M.C. coordinates servers and priests, such as the many priests at the 2017 Rural-Urban Mass held at Sts. Peter and Paul in Newport. In this photo Deacon Wagner can be seen directly preceding Archbishop Dennis Schnurr. (CT photo/Greg Hartman)

Corpus Christi Processions

05/29/2018 - 2:13pm
The Corpus Christi procession concluded with Benediction at the Chapel of St. Gregory the Great (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)The Corpus Christi procession concluded with Benediction at the Chapel of St. Gregory the Great (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)

Throughout the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, there are several Corpus Christi Processions to celebrate the The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. You’re invited to participate on this sacred day.

Thursday May, 31, 2018

Holy Family Church (Dayton, OH)
140 S. Findlay St., Dayton OH 45403
Thursday May 31, 2018
Mass with Procession at 7:00 p.m.

Old St. Mary’s Church (Over-the-Rhine)
123 E. 12th St., Cincinnati OH 45202
Thursday , May 31, 2018 after Solemn High Mass at 7:00 p.m.
This annual procession on the street to the parish’s courtyard has been held longer than anyone in the parish can remember.

Sacred Heart Cincinnati
2733 Massachusetts Ave., Cincinnati OH 45225-2224
Thursday May 31, 2018 following 7:00 p.m. Mass
Procession begins following 7:00 p.m.. Mass

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Emmanuel Catholic Church (Dayton, OH)
149 Franklin St., Dayton OH 45402-2598
Saturday, June 2, 2018
The Annual Corpus Christi Procession will take place June 2nd during the 5:15 p.m. Mass. All are invited to participate in the beautiful old tradition which takes our Lord out to the world, as well as the dessert reception which follows!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains
325 W 8th St., Cincinnati OH 45202
Sunday, June 3, 2018
On Sunday, June 3, the Cathedral will celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, commonly called Corpus Christi. At the end of the 11:00 am Mass on June 3, there will be a procession during which the Blessed Sacrament will be carried through the Cathedral, followed by the congregation, and concluding in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

Guardian Angels Church (Mt. Washington/Cincinnati)
6531 Beechmont Ave., Cincinnati OH 45230
Sunday June 3, 2018 following the Noon Mass
The Corpus Christi procession at Guardian Angels will begin at Guardian Angels and proceed down Beechmont Avenue to the chapel of St. Gregory the Great at The Athenaeum of Ohio/Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West

Holy Rosary St. Marys 
511 E. Spring St., St. Marys OH 45885-2388
Sunday, June 3, 2018 Corpus Christi Procession following the 11:00 a.m. Mass

Old St. Mary’s Church (Over-the-Rhine)
123 E. 12th St., Cincinnati OH 45202
Sunday June 3, 2018 Between the Novus Ordo (current rite) Latin Mass Mass at 9:00 a.m.
This annual procession on the street to the parish’s courtyard has been held longer than anyone in the parish can remember.

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church (Dayton, OH)
2300 S. Smithville Rd., Dayton OH 45420
Sunday June 3, 2018 after 11 am Mass
The annual procession on parish grounds to the parish shrine to Our Lady of Belmonte and back is open to all.

Our Lady of the Rosary Greenhills
17 Farragut Rd., Cincinnati OH 45218-1401
Sunday June 3, 2018 around 12:15 p.m.
Held on Sunday, June 3 around 12:15 pm, the procession will begin immediately following the 11:30 am Mass. Participants will process from Our Lady of the Rosary and around the Greenhills Commons (the grassy field in front of the Church) carrying the Blessed Sacrament in a monstrance. We will stop to pray at the gazebo before concluding with Benediction in the church. All first Communicants are invited to process in their first Communion clothes.

Our Lady of Victory Cincinnati
810 Neeb Rd., Cincinnati OH 45233-4695
Sunday June 3, 2018 Procession begins after the 11:00 a.m. Mass (around Noon)

Sacred Heart Cincinnati
2733 Massachusetts Ave., Cincinnati OH 45225-2224
Sunday June 3, 2018 Following 9:00 a.m. Mass
Procession begins following 9:00 a.m. Mass

St. Ann Cincinnati
2940 W Galbraith St., Cincinnati OH 45239
Sunday June 3, 2018 following the 11:30 a.m. Mass
Procession will begin around 12:30 p.m. in the parking lot at St. Ann Church.

St. Boniface / St. Mary Piqua
310 S. Downing St., Piqua OH 45356
Sunday, June 3, 2018 after 11:00 a.m. Mass
Procession leaves St. Boniface after the 11:00 a.m. Mass traveling through the streets of Piqua to St. Mary Church, where there will be Benediction

St. Cecilia (Oakley, OH)
3105 Madison Rd., Cincinnati OH 45209-1392
Sunday June 3, 2018 following the 10:00 a.m. Mass
Join St. Cecilia as they take Christ out into the streets and marketplaces of Oakley with a Eucharistic procession and benediction following the 10 AM Mass. Everyone is encouraged to participate in this beautiful, centuries-old tradition. There will be music and time for prayer and meditation in the church for those unable to make the walk.

St. Clement (St Bernard Ohio)
4536 Vine St., Cincinnati OH 45217
Sunday June 3, 2018 following the 10:30 a.m. Mass
The Procession will begin with incensing the Blessed Sacrament in the church, then pass through the doors of the church, cross Vine street, and process through the streets, stopping once at a temporary altar. First Communicants, altar servers, neophytes, members of the Knights of St. John and Knights of Columbus will participate.

St. Gertrude the Great Church and Priory (Madeira, OH)
7630 Shawnee Run Rd., Cincinnati OH 45243
Sunday June 3, 2018 Immediately following 12:30 pm Mass
Corpus Christi Procession and Solemn Benediction will follow the 12:30pm Mass

St. Julie Billiart Church (Hamilton, OH)
224 Dayton St., Hamilton OH 45011-1634
Sunday June 3, 2018 9:15 a.m.
First Communicants are asked to come dressed in their special outfits on Sunday, June 18 at 9:15 am to help lead the Corpus Christi Procession. Come and Honor the Body and Blood of Christ! Bring the family to praise God. Meet outside the main entrance of church at the steps.

St. Louis Church
210 N Broadway., Owensville OH 45160
Sunday June 3, 2018 1:00 p.m.
Father Cordonnier will lead the Eucharistic Procession from St. Louis Church to Gauche Park, returning to the church beginning at 1:00 p.m.

St. Remy Church (Russia, OH)
108 E. Main St., Russia OH 45363-9701
Sunday June 3, 2018 following the 11:00 a.m. Mass
Immediately following the 11:00 Mass. Corpus Christi Procession, following the 11:00 a.m. Mass.

St. Teresa Church / St. William Church (Price Hill/Cincinnati)
4108 W. 8th St., Cincinnati OH 45205-2098
Sunday June 3, 2018
St. William and St. Teresa parishes will celebrate our annual Corpus Christi Event. A shuttle bus will transport people to St. Teresa’s beginning at 1:00pm. The Prayer Service at St. Teresa begins at 2:00pm. The procession follows down the side streets (Overlook to Rapid Run to St. Lawrence) to St. William Church. The Blessed Sacrament will be carried in procession. The bus will be last in line, transporting those who have a difficult time walking. Dave Allen and the choirs of St. William and St. Teresa will lead us in music and song. The celebration will close with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at St. William.

The large contingent began making their way down Beechmont Ave. toward the Athenauem of Ohio (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)The large contingent began making their way down Beechmont Ave. toward the Athenaeum of Ohio (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)

Voters in Ireland pave way for abortion on demand

05/26/2018 - 5:41pm

IMAGE: CNS photo/Alex Fraser, Reuters

By Michael Kelly

DUBLIN (CNS) — Voters in Ireland have opted to remove the right to life of the unborn from the country’s constitution, paving the way for abortion on demand up to 12 weeks.

With votes counted from 30 of Ireland’s 40 constituencies, results from the nationwide referendum showed that 67.3 percent of citizens opted to remove the Eighth Amendment from the constitution, while 32.7 percent voted to retain it. Turnout was 64.5 percent.

Voters inserted the original amendment in the constitution in 1983 by a margin of 2-1, and it “acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.”

That text will now be deleted and replaced with an article stating that “provision may be made by law for the regulation of termination of pregnancy.”

Minister for Health Simon Harris has said he would introduce legislation that would allow abortion on demand up to 12 weeks, up to 24 weeks on unspecified grounds for the health of the mother, and up to birth where the child is diagnosed with a life-limiting condition that means he or she may not live long after birth.

An exit poll conducted by the Ireland’s national broadcaster RTE asked voters what motivated them to opt for either “yes” or “no.” Among “yes” voters, the most important issues were the right to choose (84 percent), the health or life of the woman (69 percent), and pregnancy as a result of rape (52 percent).

Among “no” voters, they cited the right to life of the unborn (76 percent), the right to live of those with Down syndrome or other disabilities (36 percent), and religious views (28 percent).

John McGuirk, spokesman for Save the Eighth, which campaigned for a “no” vote, described the outcome as “a tragedy of historic proportions.”

“The Eighth Amendment did not create a right to life for the unborn child — it merely acknowledged that such a right exists, has always existed and will always exist,” he said, insisting that “a wrong does not become right simply because a majority support it.”

“We are so proud of all of those who stood with us in this campaign — our supporters, our donors, our families and our loved ones,” he said. “This campaign took a huge personal toll on all of us who were involved, and we have been so grateful for their support.”

Insisting that pro-life campaigners will continue their efforts, McGuirk told Catholic News Service: “Shortly, legislation will be introduced that will allow babies to be killed in our country. We will oppose that legislation. If and when abortion clinics are opened in Ireland, because of the inability of the government to keep their promise about a (general-practitioner-led health) service, we will oppose that as well.

“Abortion was wrong yesterday. It remains wrong today. The constitution has changed, but the facts have not,” he said.

Ruth Cullen of the LoveBoth campaign insisted that the organization will try to ensure that the Irish prime minister, or Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, is true to his pledge that the government will work to ensure that abortions are rare.

“We will hold the Taoiseach to his promise that repeal would only lead to abortion in very restrictive circumstances. He gave his word on this, now he must deliver on it. No doubt many people voted for repeal based on the Taoiseach’s promises in this regard,” she said.

Commenting on the campaign, Cullen said: “We are immensely proud and grateful to all our volunteers throughout the country who worked tirelessly over recent months to ensure unborn babies would not be deprived of legal protections.

“The campaign to protect unborn babies will endure,” she said.

Eamonn Conway, a theologian at Mary Immaculate College in Limerick, told Catholic News Service he was “greatly saddened” by the result. However, he pointed out that “the truth is that the Irish Constitution merely recognized the right to life that is antecedent to all law. This most fundamental of all human rights is not extinguished or diminished because our constitution no longer acknowledges it. What is diminished is our constitution,” he said.

Conway said he believes “the task facing the Catholic Church now is to ensure that it makes every effort to accompany with the healing compassion of Christ everyone caught up in the tragic circumstances that surround an abortion … from grieving parents to medical practitioners.”

Archbishop Eamon Martin, primate of All-Ireland, was expected to address the referendum outcome during a homily at the country’s national Marian shrine at Knock, County Mayo, May 27.

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Mercy Friday: Pope surprises students rehearsing after school

05/25/2018 - 6:35pm

IMAGE: CNS photo/Vatican Media

By Cindy Wooden

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Continuing his occasional series of “Mercy Friday” visits, Pope Francis surprised the students at a school renamed in March in honor of a student who died of leukemia at the age of 11.

For the visit May 25 to the Elisa Scala Comprehensive School, which includes students from the age of 3 to 14, the pope also brought books for the school library. The Vatican did not provide the titles of the books or give any other details about them.

Before the city of Rome and the Italian department of education allowed the whole school to be named after Elisa, the library was. Her parents, Giorgio and Maria, said their daughter loved to read and, after she died in 2015, they started the library, which now holds more than 20,000 volumes, all of which were donated.

The couple gave the pope a guided tour of the shelves.

Pope Francis arrived at the school after classes had ended for the day. But more than 200 students were there preparing for a year-end show featuring dance, sport and theater. After five months of rehearsals, they sang for the pope.

The pope began the “Mercy Friday” initiative during the Holy Year of Mercy in 2015-16 to highlight the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Among other places, the visits have taken him to hospitals and rehabilitation centers, a group home for children, a L’Arche Community, a halfway house for women inmates with small children and a home for women rescued from forced prostitution.

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Copyright © 2018 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

Abortion doesn’t protect women’s human rights, Vatican official says

05/25/2018 - 3:15pm

By Carol Glatz

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — It is a contradiction to claim that promoting access to safe abortions is somehow protecting the human rights of women and girls, a Vatican representative said.

“In fact, abortion denies the unborn child his or her most basic right — to life itself,” said Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, Vatican observer to U.N. agencies in Geneva.

As Pope Francis has said, “Human life is sacred and inviolable. Every civil right rests on the recognition of the first and fundamental right, that of life, which is not subordinate to any condition, be it quantitative, economic or, least of all, ideological,” the archbishop said.

Archbishop Jurkovic spoke May 25 at the World Health Assembly, a meeting of the member states of the World Health Organization to set W.H.O. policies and programs.

He was addressing one of the agenda items of the May 21-26 meeting, specifically on the global strategy for the health of women, children and adolescents.

The Vatican delegation “shares many of the concerns and observations” in the W.H.O. director-general’s report, he said, including: the importance of universal health coverage; improving specific data on health; ending violence against women and children; and revising child health policies and programs so they cover from infancy to 18 years of age.

However, he said, the Vatican delegation had serious concerns about the inclusion of an item “on so-called ‘safe abortion’ in this report and in the global strategy in general.”

“The Holy See does not consider abortion or abortion services to be a dimension of reproductive health or reproductive health care,” Archbishop Jurkovic said.

The delegation was also “immensely concerned” about the W.H.O. being part of an open-access “Global Abortion Policies” database launched by several U.N. departments and programs. The database summarizes every country’s laws and policies concerning abortion with the aim, according to the W.H.O., “to promote greater transparency of abortion laws and policies, as well as to improve countries’ accountability for the protection of women and girls’ health and human rights.”

“The Holy See does not endorse any form of legislation that gives legal recognition to abortion and, thus, firmly objects to any and all efforts by the U.N. or its specialized agencies to promote national legislation that permits the taking of the life of an unborn child,” the archbishop told the assembly.

“Moreover, the Holy See cannot accept the contradictory claim that promotion of so-called ‘safe abortion’ is a means to ‘protect’ the human rights of women and girls, when, in fact, abortion denies the unborn child his or her most basic right — to life itself,” he said.

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Copyright © 2018 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

Veterans found ‘life-changing,’ ‘healing’ experience at Lourdes

05/25/2018 - 3:03pm

IMAGE: CNS photo/Tamino Petelinsek, courtesy Knights of Columbus

By Zita Ballinger Fletcher

Veterans taking part in the 2018 Warriors to Lourdes pilgrimage to France said the journey has positively influenced their lives and benefited those around them.

Maj. Jeremy Haynes, a first-time spiritual pilgrim and Lourdes visitor, said he is a changed man since visiting the shrine, where Mary appeared to St. Bernadette Soubirous in a series of visions in 1858.

“The trip has been life-changing for my wife and me,” Haynes told Catholic News Service. “With faith as our compass, we remain committed to moving forward.”

Haynes was shot four times in Afghanistan and sustained injuries that have left him struggling to overcome the physical constraints of paralysis. It has been a difficult journey. He also seeks healing for wounds in his family life that occurred prior to his physical injury.

“With a minimum emphasis on faith, my family life was a disaster and divorce was imminent. After being shot multiple times, I recall sinking into a dark place,” said Haynes. “Despite being a sinner, God showed mercy by sparing my life and allowing me to witness the birth of my son. Taking part in this spiritual journey has cleansed my soul and created a stronger connection with my wife.”

Haynes previously served within the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), 82nd Airborne Division, and the American Red Cross national headquarters. He commanded a parachute rigger company, served as an aide de camp, and taught at the Army Logistics University. He is currently assigned to the Walter Reed National Medical Center and soon will retire from the military. He has been awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Combat Action Badge, Jumpmaster, Parachute Rigger Badge and Air Assault Badge.

Haynes, who went on the Lourdes trip to seek healing “mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally,” said he was honored to visit Lourdes with military from around the world. The Warriors to Lourdes trip — sponsored by the Archdiocese for the Military Services and the Knights of Columbus — occurred in late May, during the 60th annual International Military Pilgrimage to the Marian shrine in France.

“We broke bread together, worshipped together, and promoted peace together. Although we speak different languages, faith connected us,” Haynes said. “I experienced the power of prayer as being a universal language that led me to encounter awesome individuals.”

The Rev. Steven Rindahl, an Anglican priest and U.S. Army veteran, took part in the pilgrimage and said he believed the journey benefited all who participated in it.

“There have been people who have been touched in so many different ways. It would be difficult to make a list to encompass all the different blessings people have received while they’ve been here,” said Rev. Rindahl, a retired U.S. Army chaplain who has served in duty stations in many states, including Texas, New York and Georgia.

Rev. Rindahl, who has ministered to active-duty soldiers and veterans, has worked with veterans afflicted by post-traumatic stress disorder as an “extensive piece” of his total ministry. In addition to emotional stress, people exposed to combat often suffer from a condition he refers to as “moral injury,” which he describes as a conflicted conscience resulting from complex or traumatic wartime experiences.

“War is an unnatural thing. They get this sense of guilt or shame,” said Rev. Rindahl, who believes this condition can be treated successfully with a faith response, particularly the sacrament of reconciliation.

“The great thing about Lourdes is that it is a known place for healing. Regardless of what your injury is — whether it’s physical, emotional or damage to your soul — when a person says, ‘I want to go to Lourdes,’ they’re going specifically with a heart and mind open to receiving God’s grace and what God has in store for them,” said Rev. Rindahl.

Retired U.S. Army Capt. Gary M. Rose said the 2018 Lourdes journey helped a friend recently suffering from severe PTSD connected with “a very bad, horrible battle” that happened in 1966. Rose said there has been a “noticeable improvement in his demeanor” since their return.

“Every single person that I know that went on that trip has come back much better than they were when they left for Lourdes,” said Rose, a Catholic. “Even me — I feel a lot better. My outlook is far better than it was a week or 10 days ago.”

Rose said while visiting the shrine he was often asked by others whether he believed the Mary was present.

“I got asked, ‘Do you think Mary is here?’ I don’t know. I can’t personally say, ‘Mary is here,” said Rose. “But I can personally say that there is some entity in the Lourdes shrine area that spreads nothing but good and seems to improve the demeanor and the psychological aspects of everybody that I associated with that went to Lourdes with me last week.”

Haynes said he is extremely grateful to all those who sponsored the opportunity and who volunteered at it — and also expressed a special thanks to organizers for allowing his wife to take part in the journey with him.

“Thank you for equipping me with the tools to become a better God-fearing man, husband, father, and citizen,” said Haynes.

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Fletcher is a correspondent for Catholic News Service.

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Copyright © 2018 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

A picture says a thousand words: celebrating the feast of St. Rita

05/25/2018 - 2:18pm

On May 22, St. Rita School for the Deaf held a Mass for the Feast of St. Rita.

The school received a beautiful gold altar frontal from St. Cecilia Parish in Oakley as a gift and they used it for the first time during the special mass.

(Courtesy Photo) (Courtesy Photo) (Courtesy Photo) (Courtesy Photo) (Courtesy Photo)(