Holy Name of Jesus - Saint Gregory the Great Parish

Browsing News Entries

Browsing News Entries

At the Vatican, big-tech and interfaith groups team up to protect minors on the web

A coalition of big-tech companies and institutions meeting at the Vatican starting Thursday (Nov. 14) seeks to create a safe environment for children on the internet through cooperation and concrete actions.

Bishops hear follow-up Encuentro report, OK writing new pastoral plan

The U.S. bishops, aware of the growing numbers of Catholics in the country who are of Hispanic origin, voted to write a new pastoral plan for Latino Catholics that would be produced sometime between 2021 and 2024.

Pope Francis urges dialogue in face of ongoing jihadist violence in Burkina Faso

Vatican City, Nov 14, 2019 / 07:10 am (CNA).- Pope Francis urged interreligious dialogue in Burkina Faso Wednesday as ongoing violence by jihadist groups has killed more than 750 people in the West African country this year. 

“I address a special thought to dear Burkina Faso, who for some time has been tried by recurrent violence,” Pope Francis said in St. Peter’s Square Nov. 13.

At least 38 people died and 60 were injured in an attack on Canadian mining company convoy, Semafo, Nov. 6.

“I entrust to the Lord all the victims, the wounded, the numerous displaced persons and those who suffer from these tragedies. I appeal for the protection of the most vulnerable,” the pope said.

Violence involving jihadist groups -- some affiliated with al Qaeda or the Islamic State -- has killed at least 755 people in Burkina Faso between January and October 2019, according to Reuters.

Attacks on Burkina Faso’s gold mines have provided the armed groups with new sources of funding.

Following the most recent attack, Pope Francis appealed to civil and religious authorities “to multiply their efforts, in the spirit of the Abu Dhabi Document on Human Brotherhood, to promote interreligious dialogue and harmony.”

In May 2019, ten Catholics were murdered by gunmen in one week. During Mass, attackers shot and killed five men, including the priest, and then burned down the Catholic church in Dablo. The following day,  gunmen killed four more Catholics during a religious procession and then burned the Marian statue.

Following the wave of violence against Catholics this year, Bishop Laurent Birfuoré Dabiré of Dori, Burkina Faso told the papal charity Aid to the Church in Need of an attack that occurred on July 27, 2019:

“When the people of the village of Bani had gathered together to speak among themselves, the Islamists arrived and forced everybody to lie face down on the ground,” he said. “Then they searched them. Four people were wearing crucifixes. So they killed them because they were Christians.”

The bishop said this was the fifth attack against Christians in Burkina Faso in 2019.

“Today their main target appears to be the Christians and I believe they are trying to trigger an inter-religious conflict,” he said.

“If the world continues to do nothing, the result will be the elimination of the Christian presence in this area and quite possibly in the future from the entire country,” Bishop Dabire said.

Pope taps fellow Jesuit as Vatican's finance minister

Pope Francis on Thursday appointed a fellow Jesuit to be the Vatican's finance minister, filling a crucial position left vacant for more than two years after Cardinal George Pell left Rome to stand trial on sex abuse charges in his native Australia.

Abortion preeminent issue, global warming not urgent, say bishops

Global warming is an important issue but not urgent, said the leader of the U.S. Catholic bishops. Abortion, on the other hand, is their preeminent priority. 

Pope Francis names Spanish Jesuit head of Vatican's economy secretariat

Vatican City, Nov 14, 2019 / 04:47 am (CNA).- Pope Francis Nov. 14 appointed Spanish Jesuit Fr. Juan Antonio Guerrero Alves as prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, following the expiration of Cardinal George Pell’s term in February.

From Merida, Spain, Guerrero, 60, will begin his term as prefect in January 2020.

Pope Francis established the Secretariat for Economy in 2014 as part of his financial reform of the Vatican. Its task is to oversee the financial aspects of both the Roman Curia and the Vatican City State administration, including a review of financial reports.

The position of prefect of the economy secretariat has been empty since Feb. 26, when Pell was confirmed to no longer hold the position via a tweet from Alessandro Gisotti, then-interim Holy See press office director.

Pell, who is in a prison in the Australian state of Victoria following his 2018 conviction on five counts of sexual abuse, was the first prefect of the Secretariat for Economy. The cardinal took a leave of absence as prefect starting in June 2017, when he returned to Australia to face trial.

Pell’s five-year-term as prefect was to have expired in February 2019. His resignation was not noted in the Vatican’s daily news bulletin, so it is believed his term lapsed and was not renewed, and he was not removed from office.

Guerrero, who has been a Jesuit since 1979, has a degree in economics from the Autonomous University of Madrid, as well as degrees in theology and in philosophy and letters.

Ordained a priest in 1992, since 2017 Guerrero has been in Rome serving in the positions of general counsellor and delegate of the superior general for the interprovincial houses and works of the Jesuits.

From 2014-2017, he was treasurer and project coordinator of the Jesuits in Mozambique.

“This call was something completely unexpected. Initially, it filled me with anxiety, and I felt quite numb,” Guerrero said in an interview with Vatican News published Nov. 14.

“But I welcome it with humility, with confidence in the Lord and in the team that is already working in the Secretariat for the Economy. I will collaborate in the service of this mission by offering the best of myself.”

According to Vatican News, Guerrero, who speaks Italian, English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish, asked Pope Francis to not require his ordination as a bishop, so that after his term as prefect he can return to normal religious life.

“I come to this task from outside the Vatican Curia, and I will be entering a new world,” the priest said. “I thank the Holy Father for allowing me to carry out this mission as a Jesuit, so that I can continue to remain a Jesuit when this service ends.”

“I hope to contribute to the economic transparency of the Holy See, and to help to use efficiently the goods and resources that are at the service of the important evangelizing mission of the Church,” he told Vatican News.

 

Cardinal urges New York bishops to find solace in St. Peter's example

IMAGE: CNS photo/Paul Haring

By Cindy Wooden

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- With rumors swirling around about two of their members, the bishops of New York state reached the centerpiece of their "ad limina" pilgrimage to Rome: the tomb of St. Peter.

The bishops' early morning Mass in the grotto of St. Peter's Basilica Nov. 14 came the morning after media reports that Bishop Nicholas A. DiMarzio of Brooklyn has been accused of sexually abusing a minor in the 1970s -- a claim he strongly denied -- and rumors that Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo would step down after an apostolic visitation of his diocese amid claims of his mishandling of abuse allegations.

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York was the principal celebrant and homilist at the Mass for the group's visit "ad limina apostolorum," meaning "to the threshold of the apostles."

The New York bishops' Vatican visit began Nov. 11 and was to conclude Nov. 15 with a group meeting with Pope Francis and the celebration of Mass at the Basilica of St. John Lateran.

"To be here at the tomb of the first pope and tomorrow to be in the presence of his living successor in many ways is the goal or trophy" of the "ad limina" visit, Cardinal Dolan said in his homily.

Especially in a time of "difficulty," the cardinal said, St. Peter's life offers encouragement to the bishops because of his unwavering love for Jesus despite not always understanding exactly what Jesus meant and what he was calling his disciples to.

"He was always a bit confused by Jesus; he never completely 'got it,' never completely comprehended the teaching of Jesus," Cardinal Dolan said.

The descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost helped St. Peter, like it helped the other apostles, but as St. Peter's disputes with St. Paul show, "he was a tad stubborn" and not always a quick study, the cardinal said. "And aren't we all that way? We're all that way."

Cardinal Dolan said he often has wondered "if the moment when it all made sense for St. Peter, the moment it all came together is when his life was literally turned upside down, when he was crucified upside down."

"I wonder if then he said, 'Ah, now I get it.'"

Crucified on Vatican hill, St. Peter would have seen symbols of the Roman Empire and its "power and clout and prestige and authority and worldly success," Cardinal Dolan said, and he would have known that "none of it amounted to a hill of cold polenta."

After the Mass and prayer at the tomb of St. Peter, many of the bishops went to pray at the nearby tomb of St. Paul VI.

Coincidentally, it was the day after the 55th anniversary of Pope Paul setting his tiara on the altar of St. Peter's Basilica and renouncing the earthly power and prestige it symbolized. The pope ordered the tiara to be sold to raise money for the poor; eventually it was given to Cardinal Francis J. Spellman of New York and now is on display at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington.

 

- - -

Copyright © 2019 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 [email protected]

Catholic group to start holistic addiction recovery home in Kentucky 

Lexington, Ky., Nov 14, 2019 / 03:12 am (CNA).- A Kentucky diocese is leasing a tenantless building to a Catholic charity to create a holistic recovery program for people in the area struggling with drug addictions.

“It's an exciting possibility,” said Jenny Ramsay, co-founder and director of Catholic Action Center (CAC), the homeless service agency in Lexington which will be helping run the new program.

“Our [clients] need it so desperately … This place is welcoming, and it includes the holistic approach with environmental sustainab[ility],” she told CNA.

The Diocese of Lexington announced Friday that the Catholic Action Center is beginning a three-year lease on the Cliffview Retreat and Conference Center in Lancaster. The facility will be known as Divine Providence Way at Cliffview, and CAC will have an opportunity to purchase the property at the end of the lease.

The Catholic Action Center will be in charge of developing a holistic environment for the addiction recovery center. This will include recreational therapy, such as music and art. The medical side of the recovery efforts will be run by Mountain Comprehensive Care, a mental health and addiction center based in eastern Kentucky that has partnered with CAC for the past two years.

The program will also offer job training through Bluegrass Community and Technical College, which will take place at a specific satellite campus for the beneficiaries. There, the clients will have access to educational opportunities including culinary art, sustainable living, building and maintenance, and information technology.

Ramsay said the building and maintenance program will focus on skills like carpentry and solar panel installation. She said the IT program will teach some basic coding and other entry-level IT skills.

The program will be environmentally sustainable, Ramsay said, relying on green energy from solar panels and incorporating beehives, chicken coops, and greenhouses.

“We are creating the environment at Cliffview, which will include sustainable agriculture. Holistic care of the people includes the fact that their environment needs to be something that renews them,” she said.

“We're human beings and we all have different brokenness, but we all relate and can be healed through [a holistic approach] … We're not going to say that one size fits all, but when we engage with the earth and engage the mind, body, and spirit, then changes happen,” she added.

The idea for Divine Providence Way was developed after staff members at the Catholic Action Center witnessed a need for greater addiction care among the homeless population.

The initiative comes amid an ongoing opioid crisis in the United States. Kentucky has been among the states hit hardest by the epidemic. From 2012-2017, more than 6,700 overdose deaths were reported in the state, according to data from the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy. In 2017,  Kentucky had a drug overdose rate of 37.2 deaths per 100,000 people, the fifth-highest in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We see the individuals, we see the overdoses, we see the challenges,” said Ramsay, when asked about the opioid crisis.

Founded in 2000, the Catholic Action Center is an initiative inspired by Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement. According to its website, the organization has served more than 5.5 million meals and distributed over 2.5 million items of clothing. The agency has also covered 90 funerals for clients who had no families.

Ramsay stressed that it is a Christian’s duty to care for all people, even those struggling from addiction and currently abusing drugs. She said it is an example set by Christ.

“As Catholic Christians, we're called to address [this] and to...help those in need,” she told CNA. “Knowing that we may have the opportunity to help others in a unique situation, we couldn't turn our back on [them].”

“Jesus said feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty. He didn't say feed the hungry who are sober,” she added.

Five ways to observe Advent

Advent begins Dec. 1 this year. It can be easy to miss out on this liturgical season because of the hectic nature of the holidays. Here are five ways to observe these important weeks before Christmas. Make a Jesse tree Create your own Jesse tree in the same way that you set up a Christmas […]

The post Five ways to observe Advent appeared first on Catholic Digest.

Links for 11/14/19

Michael Sean Winters rounds political news and commentary: Synodality as a means to address "crisis of democracy"; "Remain in Mexico" policy needs attention; centrist wisdom afflicts Democratic Party; impeachment proceedings continue