Papal envoy: Francis donated $1 million to Iraqi refugees

This is a syndicated post from CNA Daily News. [Read the original article...]

Vatican City, Aug 22, 2014 / 01:19 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis has given $1 million as a personal contribution to help Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq who have been forced from their homes, according to his personal envoy to the country.

Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, visited Erbil as Pope Francis' envoy from Aug. 12-20.

Erbil, where more than 70,000 Christians have fled from the Islamic State, is the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan and is within 50 miles of territory held by the Islamic State.

Cardinal Filoni met in private with Pope Francis the day after he returned to Rome, and spoke to CNA Aug. 22.

Cardinal Filoni said he had carried with him one tenth of the Pope's contribution, and that “75 percent of the money was delivered to Catholics, and the remaining 25 percent to the Yazidi community.”

The Islamic State is a recently established caliphate that has persecuted all non-Sunnis in its territory, which extends across swaths of Iraq and Syria.

“Pope Francis gave me a humanitarian mission, not a diplomatic mission, and this is what I always emphasized to Iraqi authorities,” Cardinal Filoni said.

The Pope's decision to send a personal envoy to Iraq, the cardinal said, “meant to me that if he had been able to go, he would have.”

Cardinal Filoni recounted that Pope Francis entrusted him with letters for Kurdish president Masoud Barzani and Iraqi president Fuad Masum presenting him “as his personal envoy and expressing his concern for what Christians and minorities in general are suffering, because they have been uprooted from their lands and persecuted.”

The Islamic State has forced more than 1.2 million Christians, Yazidis, and Shia Muslims from their homes in Iraq, under threat of death or heavy fines if they do not convert.

In the face of such violence, Cardinal Filoni said intervention to stop the aggressor is a legitimate option.

“The Church does not back any war. The right to defend one's self is legitimate. But our Christians in Iraq have no arms. Therefore, it is necessary that someone – in this case the legitimate authorities of the country – should defend minorities, especially those most in danger.”

He suggested that “in an international framework, the United Nations should decide” whether to intervene or not, but added that “the Church will not tell the United Nations what they have or they do not have to do.”

Cardinal Filoni recounted that he heard displaced Christians say, “if the international authorities provide a protected zone for us around our villages, our territory, we should go back there.”

The Pope's envoy also emphasized that in his meetings with Iraqi authorities, he had always been accompanied by representatives of the local Churches.

“At every meeting, I was accompanied by Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako, the Syriac Catholic Archbishop of Mosul Youhanna Moshe, and the apostolic nuncio to Iraq, Giorgio Lingua, as well as others.”

Cardinal Filoni said their meetings addressed concrete issues such as that of the children unable to take their final exams so as to pass to the next year of their schooling.

“The Church deals with the concrete needs of people, but it has to continue caring for the moral and spiritual assistance of our Christians, as well.”

“As long as our Christians remain in the region, we cannot abandon them. As long as even one only Christian lives in Iraq, we will be there.”

“This is Pope Francis line,” he said. “That we, as shepherds, should carry our sheep on our shoulders and lead them, but we also must walk with them.”

“We must walk in front of them to lead them, walk among them to spur them, walk behind them to encourage them.”


Technology Teacher – St. Joseph School (Bronxville, NY)

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Education: Elementary, PT Employee
St. Joseph School (Bronxville, NY)

St. Joseph School, a Catholic elementary school in Bronxville, NY, is looking for a Technology teacher for 3 – 5 mornings a week for the 2014-2015 school year. The educator would teach classes in the computer lab for Kindergarten through Grade 8 students and assist with the implementation of an iPad program in Grades 6-8.

The teacher needs to possess the following qualifications:
Extensive experience using computers and interactive white boards in an educational setting
Expertise in an Apple environment and a working knowledge of appropriate educational apps
Positive teaching experience
Expertise with Microsoft Office, computer graphics, and internet for research
Strong collaboration and communication skills

Salary is based on qualifications and experience. (11)

Despite Setback, Jindal Continues Opposition to Common Core

This is a syndicated post from The Daily Register. [Read the original article...]

By CHARLOTTE HAYS | NEW ORLEANS — Although Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s battle against Common Core education state standards lost ground with Tuesday’s court ruling lifting his suspension on the standards, Anna Arthurs, a founder of Louisiana… (7)

Director of Music – Holy Innocents Catholic Church (Duvall, WA)

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Music Ministry, PT Employee
Holy Innocents Catholic Church (Duvall, WA)

Job Opening: Music Director

Holy Innocents Church in Duvall is seeking a part-time (10 hours per week) Music Director. Responsibilities include developing and overseeing the parish music program. Vocal, keyboarding, and choral directing skills desired. For application form, call 425-788-1400 or email [email protected] Application deadline is September 19. (11)

Coordinator of Youth Ministry – St. Elizabeth of Hungary (Pflugerville, TX)

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Youth Ministry, FT Employee
St. Elizabeth of Hungary (Pflugerville, TX)

The Coordinator of Youth Minister will be capable of administrating programs and events related to middle school and high school Youth Ministry in addition to formulating and directing a comprehensive sacramental preparation program specific to confirmation. These responsibilities are executed in conjunction with the goals, objectives, and policies determined by the Pastor and the Diocese of Austin. This position will work collaboratively with and under the direction of the Associate Pastor and DRE to ensure the needs of the youth served at St. Elizabeth are met. This person will be a professional, full-time salaried member of the parish staff and should be experienced in the areas of lay ministry, catechetical education, formation, and youth ministry. Ideally, this person holds an undergraduate or graduate degree in theology, religious education, pastoral ministry, or a related field. Bilingual capabilities are highly encouraged but a willingness to include all parishioners is required.

The Coordinator of Youth Ministry is expected to perform daily tasks with limited supervision. However, it is also expected that this position will regularly consult and have contact with the Associate Pastor and DRE concerning the curriculum and overall direction of the program.

Specific Qualifications:
• Must be a fully initiated and practicing Catholic who lives their faith in accord with Catholic morality and teaching
• Must possess a background or degree in theology, religious education, pastoral ministry, or related field (Significant ministry experience will be taken into consideration.)
• Possess at least four (4) years of relevant and documented experience in Youth Ministry or a related field
• Possess working knowledge of Vatican II theology and current Church doctrine in addition to working knowledge of the USCCB document Renewing the Vision: A Framework for Catholic Youth Ministry
• Possess the skills, abilities, and experience for effective teaching of methodologies and catechesis
• Literacy in commonly utilized computer programs (i.e.: Word, Publisher, Excel, Power Point, etc.)
• Possess bilingual capabilities in Spanish and English and/or the willingness to include and reach out to all parishioners with Youth Ministry Programs
• Other tasks as assigned by supervisor

General Responsibilities:
• Formulate programs encompassing the vision, values, goals and objectives of comprehensive youth ministry as defined by the USCCB and the Diocese
• Produce and manage direct service programming for middle school and/or high school youth
• Formulate and direct a comprehensive Sacrament preparation program specific to confirmation
• Provide leadership / direction for the parish on matters pertinent to comprehensive Youth Ministry
• Consult and collaborate with other ministries regarding catechesis, programming, training and resources
• Represent the Parish at local, regional, and national meetings, conferences and seminars relating to youth ministry

Specific Responsibilities:
Direct Service to Youth (70%)
• Plan, organize and implement parish level opportunities and events for middle school and/or high school youth to socialize, worship, learn and serve (i.e.: catechesis, retreats, rallies, community building, service projects, sports programs, etc ) as defined in Renewing The Vision
• Coordinate the response of the entire faith community to the needs of young people.
• Develop a sense of collaboration, teamwork and community among the youth ministry and parish community
• Develop, communicate, implement and evaluate a parish vision of youth ministry
• Coordinate comprehensive youth ministry programs within the parish (retreats, youth group meetings, Religious Education, etc.)
• Prepare and implement a program specific to Confirmation including the Confirmation Retreat
• Coordinate classes, catechists, facilitators, and volunteers for the Confirmation preparation program
• Assist and collaborate with the DRE regarding catechesis, programming, training and resources that will benefit the parish youth
• Collaborate with local, diocesan and regional organizations in providing supplemental programming

Direct Service to Parents and Volunteers (5%)
• Provide clear communication to parents regarding programs/events/activities, and create a welcoming environment in the Religious Education offices
• Foster parent participation and involvement in the ongoing faith formation of their adolescent children by providing resources and support as needed
• Recruit, train, and support adult volunteers and youth leaders
• Pastoral and professional care of adult volunteers and youth leaders working in youth ministry
• Provide ongoing training and support for leaders and volunteers in including but not limited to opportunities for personal, professional, and spiritual development
• Coordinate training and education relevant to certification for adult volunteers including Ethics and Integrity in Ministry (EIM) compliance

Administrative Responsibilities (20%)
• Formulate and administer an annual budget in collaboration with the Pastor/ Associate Pastor/ DRE / Business Manager
• Manage the activities and responsibilities of volunteers and other staff related to Youth Ministry
• Coordinate, plan, and execute fund raising activities to benefit the youth ministry and its purpose through parish and community activities
• Coordinate with Business Manager for use of buildings and equipment to support the Youth Ministry programs
• Advise Business Manager and maintenance department of issues encountered with use and maintenance of facility equipment
• Prepare reports of deposits and expenses derived from fundraising and/or other activities
• Communicate to parish community youth ministry events through website, bulletin, and social media
• Attend scheduled staff meetings and other events as needed

Professional Development (5%)
• Obtain Diocesan catechetical certification relevant to Youth Ministry within first two years of employment
• Participate in one year of ongoing mentorship with an experienced youth minister of the Pastor’s choice. (There will be a minimum of one meeting per month)
• Participate in local, regional and national organizations relevant to youth ministry
• Participate in educational and training opportunities for growth and development related to ministry
• Continue to gain knowledge, education, and experience in youth ministry by participating in opportunities offered by the Diocese, and on the regional and national levels
• Participate in an annual retreat, or similar experience, for spiritual growth (9)

How Do You Fulfill The Commandment to “Honor Your Father & Mother” When They Abuse You?

This is a syndicated post from Aggie Catholics. [Read the original article...]

Q – How does the commandment “Honor your father and your mother” apply to people with abusive parents? If they remain unrepentant, how far do obligations to such parents extend?

A - Thank you for the question. Abuse is always a horrible thing, esp. when the innocent are abused. No child deserves any kind of abuse and yet many children still believe they brought it on themselves. This is simply not the case. The one who is abusive is the guilty party.

But, there is always the great blessing of our heavenly Father, who will never let us down. He is the one we should always have absolute faith in.

With this being said, the Catechism spells out the duties of children to their parents. I will emphasize certain parts.

2217 As long as a child lives at home with his parents, the child should obey his parents in all that they ask of him when it is for his good or that of the family. “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.” Children should also obey the reasonable directions of their teachers and all to whom their parents have entrusted them. But if a child is convinced in conscience that it would be morally wrong to obey a particular order, he must not do so.
As they grow up, children should continue to respect their parents. They should anticipate their wishes, willingly seek their advice, and accept their just admonitions. Obedience toward parents ceases with the emancipation of the children; not so respect, which is always owed to them. This respect has its roots in the fear of God, one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

In other words, we cannot allow anyone, including a parent, to abuse us. If this means cutting off the relationship from a completely cruel parent, we must. If it means involving the authorities, then we ought to. We can still fulfill the commandment by acknowledging they gave us life and we can still pray for them and hope for the best for them without bearing a grudge or wanting revenge. This is still honoring abusive parents.

We are called to love our enemies, even when they are our parents. Yet, love means choosing what is best for them regardless of what it costs me. Sometimes what is best for another is to put some distance between yourself and others, so there is no more abuse.

When a parent abuses a child, they are not acting with the authority God gave them to parent the child. Thus, the child need not stay in the situation in order to honor them.

Should you still honor your abusive parents? Yes. But, with on the condition that you understand that honoring them may mean some of the following may have to happen:

  • reporting abuse to seek justice and protect others.
  • maintaining a safe distance to avoid abuse – up to the point of ending the relationship if needed.
  • pray for them.
  • not hold on to hatred / grudges / revenge.
  • acknowledge the gift of life they gave you.
  • helping their children (you).
  • never give up hope that God can change them, even if you have to end having a relationship with them.

I hope this helps.
I ask all of our readers to pray for victims of abuse and those that abuse others. (10)

Obama administration announces new HHS mandate rules

This is a syndicated post from CNA Daily News - US. [Read the original article...]

Washington D.C., Aug 22, 2014 / 10:33 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Department of Health and Human Services issued on Friday new rules regarding its contraception mandate, which address both non-profits and closely held for-profit entities.

The new rules create a new way for non-profit groups to voice their objections to the required coverage, prompting their insurance company to offer the coverage free-of-charge. For closely held for-profit companies such as Hobby Lobby, the federal department said it is asking for ideas on how to extend the same accommodation offered to non-profits.

Sylvia Burwell, HHS secretary, said Aug. 22 that the new rules will ensure access to free contraception, “while respecting religious considerations raised by non-profit organizations and closely held for-profit companies.”

The HHS department has issued a mandate under the 2010 Affordable Care Act which requires employers to offer health insurance covering contraception, sterilization and some drugs that can cause early abortions.

It has been particular burden for Catholics and others with pro-life religious and moral convictions. Non-compliance with the mandate is punished by severe fines.

While the mandate includes a narrow religious exemption for houses of worship, non-profit organizations had been offered an “accommodation,” under which a religious employer would sign a form authorizing another company or third party to provide payments for the products they find objectionable.

The new rules announced Friday “are in response to recent court decisions,” the HHS stated.

For non-profits, the newly issued rules “lay out an additional way for organizations eligible for an accommodation to provide notice of their religious objection to providing coverage for contraceptive services,” the Health and Human Services department stated Aug. 22.

“The rule allows these eligible organizations to notify the Department of Health and Human Services in writing of their religious objection to providing contraception coverage. HHS and the Department of Labor will then notify insurers and third party administrators so that enrollees in plans of such organizations receive separate coverage for contraceptive services, with no additional cost to the enrollee or the employer.”

“The interim final rule solicits comments, but goes into effect upon publication.”

Regarding closely held for-profits, such as Hobby Lobby, the HHS said it is “issuing a proposed rule soliciting comments on how it might extend” to them “the same accommodation that is available to non-profit religious organizations.”

“Under the proposal, these companies would not have to contract, arrange, pay or refer for contraceptive coverage to which they object on religious grounds. The proposal seeks comment on how to define a closely held for-profit company and whether other steps might be appropriate to implement this policy.”

On June 30, the Supreme Court ruled that closely held for-profit corporations – such as Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Services – are protected against the mandate by the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The two closely-held businesses, run by Protestant and Mennonite owners, objected to aspects of the HHS rule that require them to provide coverage for drugs that they believe can cause abortions.

The ruling quickly led to the introduction in the Senate of a bill aiming to thwart the Supreme Court's decision, co-sponsored by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.).

The HHS department's Aug. 22 release noted that the Obama administration “continues to encourage Congress to act to ensure that women affected by the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision have access to the same coverage options offered to others.”

At least 100 lawsuits filed by more than 300 plaintiffs have challenged the constitutionality of the HHS mandate. In the wake of the Hobby Lobby ruling, the closely-held entity Mersino Management Company won an injunction against the mandate from the Sixth Circuit Appeals Court, and the Supreme Court granted a similar injunction to Wheaton College, a Protestant liberal arts college in Illinois.


Chemistry Teacher – Catholic Central High School (Burlington, WI)

This is a syndicated post from [Read the original article...]

Education: Middle/High School, PT Employee
Catholic Central High School (Burlington, WI)

Teach courses pertaining to the chemical and physical properties and compositional changes of substances.

1. Plans a science program on topics such as organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, and chemical separation, involving demonstrations, lectures, discussions, and student experiments.
2. Organizes and supervises students’ laboratory activities for optimal learning.
3. Establishes and maintains student behavior for a productive learning environment during class sessions, laboratory sessions, and field trips.
4. Evaluates each pupil’s growth in knowledge and skills in course being taught.
5. Provides for safe storage and proper use of materials, equipment, selects and requests books, instructional aides and maintain inventory records as required.
6. Identifies pupil’s needs and cooperates with other professional staff members in helping pupils solve health, attitude, and learning problems.
7. Evaluate and grade students’ class work, laboratory performance, assignments, and papers.
8. Compile, administer, and grade examinations.
9. Maintain student attendance records, grades, and other required records.
10. Prepare course materials such as syllabi, homework assignments, and handouts. (8)

Director of Youth Ministry – Diocese of Tyler (Tyler, TX)

This is a syndicated post from [Read the original article...]

Youth Ministry, FT Employee
Diocese of Tyler (Tyler, TX)

Director of Youth Ministry – Diocese of Tyler
Work in collaboration with the Priest Chaplain for Youth and priests in the diocese to coordinate youth ministry in the Diocese of Tyler, empowering parishes to develop and strengthen a comprehensive Catholic model of youth ministry for their junior and senior high school youth. Must be able to articulate the visoin, values, goals, and objectives of comprehensive ministry to youth and those who minister to them.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities of the Position
Administrative Duties
• Supervise the Office of Youth Ministry
• Facilitate visioning and planning for youth ministers in the Diocese
• Guide the development and approve departmental programs, guidelines and procedures
• Oversee planning, designing and evaluations of programs and services
• Support and attend local, regional and national conferences and meetings on youth and young adult ministries
• Be an active member of the National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry and Region 10 Youth Ministry Directors
• Exercise responsible stewardship of human and material resources
• Formulate and administer an annual budget

General Responsibilities
• Provide leadership for the Diocese of Tyler on matters pertaining to youth
• Provide adult leaders of youth ministry vision, leadership and professional standards
• Provide educational, spiritual and ministry formation along with consultation to support a comprehensive model of youth ministry in the parishes
• Communicate and collaborate with all other Diocesan offices
• Promote and encourage a multicultural and diverse ministry within cultures, settings and environments
• Serve as a resource for learning opportunities
• Develop opportunities for community building events in collaboration with local youth leaders as well as long range planning at regional, deanery and diocesan events (Conferences/rallies)
• Promote the family context/perspective of youth development
• Provide training opportunities for prayer and retreat experience as well as knowledge of adolescent spiritual development

Position Requirements

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
• Understanding of ministry and theology
• Training in adolescent and young adult development stages
• Strong leadership, collaborative, interpersonal and pastoral skills
• Knowledge of family systems and how it affects healthy formation of young people
• Bilingual and/or multicultural sensitivity
• An active spiritual life; practicing Catholic with the tradition of Vatican II
• Must be open to continued professional growth and development
• Familiarity and working knowledge of Church documents relating to youth and young adult ministries

Education and Experience
• Masters Degree in Theology or related field and National Certificate in Youth Ministry Studies or equivalent certification.
• Minimum of 5 years parish experience in the field of youth ministry
• Open to continuing professional growth and development (9)

Marquette professor recalls James Foley as ‘bright light’

This is a syndicated post from CNA Daily News. [Read the original article...]

Milwaukee, Wis., Aug 22, 2014 / 10:06 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Executed journalist James Foley was fearless in his quest to advance justice in the world, and his courage inspired many students at his alma mater, a professor at his former university reflected.

“We are a campus in mourning. He was a bright light,” Marquette University journalism professor William Thorn told CNA Aug. 21.

The professor said Foley was “offended by social injustice, poverty, and related problems.”

“He thought that his video documentaries on the problems that these people faced in war-torn areas, the injustices, would lead to change. That was his whole agenda. He wanted to be a journalist to change the world,” Thorn said.

The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant – known as ISIS or ISIL – on Aug. 19 released a video titled “A Message to America” showing Foley’s beheading by a member of the militant group. The group said the execution was in retaliation for U.S. airstrikes against its military insurgency, which has killed religious minorities and displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians.

Foley, a resident of New Hampshire, was 40 years old. He had been in Syria reporting on its civil war when he was kidnapped by armed militants in November 2012.

He was a 1996 graduate of Wisconsin’s Marquette University, run by the Society of Jesus. He returned to the university in 2011 to speak about his 44-day imprisonment in Libya by loyalists to Muammar Gaddafi.

Foley’s appearance at Marquette was “electric,” Thorn recalled.

“He was quite the celebrity on campus because we had had prayer vigils when he was held prisoner in Libya,” the professor explained.

“He was a friendly, cheerful guy, a friend to everybody he met,” Thorn continued. “But he came back a bit different. He was much more reflective. He had this internal confidence in what he was doing.”

“He said that being imprisoned in Libya made him a man of prayer. That was where he learned the value of saying the rosary, on his knuckles, because he didn’t have beads.”

Thorn said students peppered Foley with questions: “What was it like in prison? How did you survive? Why do you want to go back? Why should we care?”

“He kept talking about the injustice he saw, and the ability of a journalist to make a difference,” Thorn said.

“He was unafraid,” the professor recalled. “His heart went out to the people who were suffering in the villages, who were getting bombed out or shelled out, who didn’t have food or clean water. That was his focus.”

“He was right there in the middle of it. And unafraid. That’s one of the things that his former student friends have said. The guy just had no fear.”

“He was motivated to do the right thing. For him, that was exposing the problems that came from, in Libya, the civil war that people were suffering there. I think it was the same in Syria.”

The Marquette professor said that as a student, Foley followed the advice of the university leadership to become involved in social justice work, “whether it is a meal program or tutoring immigrant kids.”

Foley taught at a Milwaukee public middle school down the block from Marquette. He worked on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota and in Mississippi though Jesuit programs.

“He said, ‘I never realized how privileged I was until I got involved in those activities. Then I decided to do something about it’,” Thorn recounted.

“He said Marquette changed him. When he came back, he told the students that they could expect to do a lot of hard work, that this was not an easy life, but they could make a big difference in the world.”

Thorn said a teacher at Marquette asked Foley, “Are you sure you want to go back and risk your life?”

According to Thorn, Foley replied “I’m strong, I don’t worry about it.”

“It was Marquette that really strengthened his faith,” continued Thorn, his voice cracking with sadness. “And it was in prayer that he found confidence and was able to survive the prison. He wasn’t really worried about going back.”

The professor said Foley’s death was “brutal” and “shouldn’t have happened.”

“He was a pawn in an international political ploy. Those Jihadists know their media. They know how to get attention. I think they used him,” Thorn said.

“They got the attention that they wanted. Their goal, of course, is to put pressure on Obama to stop the bombings, and to prove that they are powerful.”

The militant group is believed to be holding captive at least one other American journalist and two Italian reporters.

Marquette University will host a prayer vigil for Foley at 6 p.m. Aug. 26 at the Chapel of the Holy Family at the Alumni Union building.

Thorn said Foley’s death has “cast a pall” over the start of the new school year, and “has just dominated all the conversations.” The students who heard Foley as freshmen in 2011 are now seniors.

The professor explained that Foley’s life of service is an example of how Marquette hopes its students will become involved in social ministry and “become a man for others.”

Foley spoke of his Libyan imprisonment and his gratitude for prayer in a fall 2011 letter in Marquette Magazine.

“If nothing else, prayer was the glue that enabled my freedom, an inner freedom first and later the miracle of being released during a war in which the regime had no real incentive to free us,” the journalist wrote. “It didn't make sense, but faith did.”

Thorn said he believes Foley’s family is doing well, despite facing unimaginable pain. “They understand that he is now in eternal life. They are grieving their loss, as the university is.”

The journalist’s parents, John and Diane Foley, voiced their pride in their son and gratitude for his life in an Aug. 20 press conference.

“It's not difficult to find solace in this point in time” John said. “We know he is in God's hands, and we know he’s done God’s work.”

“Jim would never want us to hate or be bitter. We’re praying for the strength to love like he did,” Diane stated.


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