Bishops Farrell and Vann Voice Support of UD Conference

April 29, 2009

Dioceses Join UD in Premier Ministry Conference

Dallas, TX (MetroCatholic) - The Third Annual University of Dallas Ministry Conference is scheduled for October 23-24, 2009 at the Dallas Convention Center. As the date was announced, the bishops of both the Diocese of Dallas and the Diocese of Fort Worth pledged to help the university make the ministry conference one of the premier events of its kind in the country.

“The University of Dallas is a wealth of knowledge and the Diocese of Dallas is blessed to have this valuable Catholic resource so close to home. I am sure Catholic ministry leaders in Texas and the entire southwest can receive valuable tools to help more effectively further the Church’s evangelizing and catechetical mission,” said Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas.

Bishop Kevin Vann of Fort Worth added, “I join Bishop Farrell in the hope that this event will become one of the preeminent ministry events in the country. We are asking our respective staffs to assist the university in order to make this happen.”

The University of Dallas Ministry Conference will be the only ministry conference held in the dioceses of Dallas and Fort Worth. Diocesan ministry offices along with the Catholic schools and Catholic Charities in the dioceses will assist with and attend the October event.

The event will feature several notable speakers. On Friday, Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl of Washington, D.C. will deliver the opening keynote address and musical artist John Michael Talbot will perform an evening concert. Saturday is designed with the lay “Catholic in the pew” in mind and will feature John Allen, Senior Vatican Analyst for CNN. Breakout sessions will include Spanish, Vietnamese and English presentations.

There will also be more than 60 exhibitors, a display of religious artwork and ample networking opportunities. “This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more, listen to excellent speakers, and celebrate faith. We hope you will mark your calendar now for this exciting, faith filled event Oct 23-24, 2009 at the Dallas Convention Center.” said Sister Theresa Khirallah, Director of Ministries for the Diocese of Dallas and a member of the conference planning committee.

Those interested in more information and registration should visit www.udallas.edu/ministry/conference.cfm or call (972) 265-5809.

Bishop Farrell Sends Pastoral Letter Regarding Precautions Against Swine Flu

April 29, 2009

Dallas, TX (MetroCatholic) - Bishop Kevin Farrell has written the following letter to the people of the Diocese of Dallas to view this letter please click here.

Father Michael Dugan, Director of the Office of Liturgy for the Diocese of Dallas, offers the following reminders and recommendations.

Sunday Obligation: The Obligation to attend Mass on Sunday other Holy Days of Obligation, (Canon 1247) is the ordinary expectation of Catholics. Obviously, extraordinary circumstances such as sickness, travel, or bad weather excuse the faithful from this obligation. If you are not feeling well, especially during this time of concern, please stay at home and do not risk spreading infection to others. Please stay at home and do not attend Mass.

Sign of Peace: Members of our congregations should not be offended at this time if someone chooses not to shake the other person’s hand at the sign of peace. If you are ill, the appropriate response to someone extending a sign of peace might be to bow to them and say, “Peace be with You,” to avoid bodily contact or one might wave slightly at the other person.

Reception of Holy Communion: It is the teaching of the Church that the Fullness of the Body and Blood of Christ are contained in the Holy Eucharist, under the form of the Host that is distributed at the Mass. The Church has extended the privilege to receive at communion the Blood of Christ in the form of wine. We highly encourage the following practices during this time. If you are feeling sick, please receive communion in the hand, and refrain from receiving communion under the form of the Blood of Christ.

Persons with Compromised Immune Systems: Persons who have been directed by their medical advisors that they are particularly susceptible to infection may choose to refrain from any practices by which they might become sick, including shaking hands, receiving Holy Communion on the tongue, drinking from the Precious Blood, etc.

The Liturgy Office of the Diocese of Dallas with the Secretariat for Divine Worship will continue to monitor closely the situation and provide the best advice possible to the parishes and institutions and people of the Diocese of Dallas.

Sebelius Confirmed by Divided Senate

April 29, 2009

WASHINGTON DC (MetroCatholic) - Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius was confirmed as Secretary of Health and Human Services today in the U.S. Senate after hours of debate, by the vote of 65 to 31.

Senators Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts of Kansas both voted to confirm Sebelius over the strenuous objections of pro-life, conservative groups.

Most Senators who rose in opposition to Sebelius during the sometimes tedious debate voiced concern for her connections to late-term abortion George Tiller and her lack of candor over campaign contributions she received from him.

Dr. Tom Coburn, Senator from Oklahoma said today that late-term abortion is “barometer for the soul of our nation,” and that Sebelius “lacks part of the moral clarity” needed to lead our nation.

Religious Liberty Coalition Urges Senators to Oppose Extreme Judicial Nominee

April 29, 2009

He ordered the Speaker of the Indiana House to stop prayers in the name of “Jesus” or “Christ,” yet concluded that prayers in the name of “Allah” were okay.

WASHINGTON, DC (MetroCatholic) - A coalition of groups representing hundreds of thousands of Americans around the country sent a letter to senators today opposing the nomination of Judge David Hamilton to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Judge Hamilton’s understanding of the religious protections embodied in the First Amendment has been greatly criticized because of a bizarre 2005 decision where he ordered the Speaker of the Indiana House to stop prayers in the name of “Jesus” or “Christ,” yet concluded that prayers in the name of “Allah” were okay.

“Our Founders would have a hard time finding a more fundamental principle of liberty than that every man should be free to pray according to his beliefs,” said the coalition in the letter.

Hamilton also disregarded Supreme Court precedent to prevent the state of Indiana from enforcing an informed-consent law that required abortionists to inform women about the risks of abortion.

The coalition, which includes Concerned Women for America, the American Family Association, Focus on the Family, Family Research Council and Liberty Council among others, made clear that “No Senator in good conscience should vote for this nominee.”

A hearing on the nomination of Judge Hamilton is scheduled for Wednesday, April 29, 2009, at 2:00 p.m.  The thousands of members represented by this coalition will be carefully watching to see if Senate Judiciary members are really paying attention to those they claim to represent.

For complete text of the letter, click here.

Concerned Women for America is the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization.

Text of Glendon Letter to Notre Dame Declining Award

April 29, 2009

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (MetroCatholic) -  The following text is made available by Susan Norton, assistant to Mary Ann Glendon:
April 27, 2009
 
Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., President
University of Notre Dame
400 Main Building
Notre Dame, IN 46556
FAX 574-631-2770
 
Dear Father Jenkins,
When you informed me in December 2008 that I had been selected to receive Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal, I was profoundly moved. I treasure the memory of receiving an honorary degree from Notre Dame in 1996, and I have always felt honored that the commencement speech I gave that year was included in the anthology of Notre Dame’s most memorable commencement speeches. So I immediately began working on an acceptance speech that I hoped would be worthy of the occasion, of the honor of the medal, and of your students and faculty.
 
Last month, when you called to tell me that the commencement speech was to be given by President Obama, I mentioned to you that I would have to rewrite my speech. Over the ensuing weeks, the task that once seemed so delightful has been complicated by a number of factors.
 
First, as a longtime consultant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, I could not help but be dismayed by the news that Notre Dame also planned to award the president an honorary degree. This, as you must know, was in disregard of the U.S. bishops’ express request of 2004 that Catholic institutions “should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles” and that such persons “should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.” That request, which in no way seeks to control or interfere with an institution’s freedom to invite and engage in serious debate with whomever it wishes, seems to me so reasonable that I am at a loss to understand why a Catholic university should disrespect it.
 
Then I learned that “talking points” issued by Notre Dame in response to widespread criticism of its decision included two statements implying that my acceptance speech would somehow balance the event:
    “President Obama won’t be doing all the talking. Mary Ann Glendon, the former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, will be speaking as the recipient of the Laetare Medal.”
    “We think having the president come to Notre Dame, see our graduates, meet our leaders, and hear a talk from Mary Ann Glendon is a good thing for the president and for the causes we care about.” 
A commencement, however, is supposed to be a joyous day for the graduates and their families. It is not the right place, nor is a brief acceptance speech the right vehicle, for engagement with the very serious problems raised by Notre Dame’s decision-in disregard of the settled position of the U.S. bishops-to honor a prominent and uncompromising opponent of the Church’s position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice.
 
Finally, with recent news reports that other Catholic schools are similarly choosing to disregard the bishops’ guidelines, I am concerned that Notre Dame’s example could have an unfortunate ripple effect.
 
It is with great sadness, therefore, that I have concluded that I cannot accept the Laetare Medal or participate in the May 17 graduation ceremony.
 
In order to avoid the inevitable speculation about the reasons for my decision, I will release this letter to the press, but I do not plan to make any further comment on the matter at this time.
 
Yours very truly,
Mary Ann Glendon

CWA Applauds the Supreme Court’s Decision to Protect American Families

April 29, 2009

Broadcasters could face fines for even a single curse word

WASHINGTON DC (MetroCatholic) -  The Supreme Court ruled today that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is authorized to regulate “fleeting expletives.”  The decision overturns a ruling by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a case initiated after broadcast networks aired the “F-word” and “S-word” from live events.  Concerned Women for America (CWA) agrees with the Supreme Court’s determination that the FCC’s ban on profanity was “neither arbitrary nor capricious.”

Penny Young Nance, former policy Advisor to the Federal Communications Commission on indecency issues and current CWA board member, stated:

“Today’s Supreme Court decision in Fox v. FCC is a huge victory for American families.  Once again the Supreme Court has reaffirmed that the government does have a role in protecting children.  Justice Scalia said the FCC’s policy to ban fleeting expletives is entirely rational.  American families understand that the public airwaves, like public parks, are owned by all of us.  The networks do not have the right to pollute the airwaves with the ‘F-word’ at will.”

CWA President Wendy Wright said, “Broadcasters have the ability to bleep out offensive and crude language, but networks refused to act responsibly.  Today the Supreme Court recognized that the FCC has the right to step in to protect viewers, especially young viewers, from offensive material.  This is a step in the right direction to once again make television a safe form of entertainment.”

Concerned Women for America is the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization.

Ordination of nineteen deacons of Diocese of Rome

April 29, 2009

VATICAN CITY, 28 APR 2009 (VIS) - At 9 a.m. on Sunday 3 May, Benedict XVI will preside at Mass in the Vatican Basilica and confer priestly ordination on nineteen deacons of the diocese of Rome.

Pope Benedict: Solidarity is a highly civic and Christian sentiment

April 29, 2009

VATICAN CITY, 28 APR 2009 (VIS) - At midday today, the Pope arrived at the courtyard of the training school of the “Guardia di Finanza” in Coppito near the Italian city L’Aquila, where he met with people affected by the earthquake of 6 April, and with rescue and aid workers (volunteers, the Italian Civil Protection, firemen, soldiers, etc.).

“Here I am in this square”, said the Holy Father in his address, “which almost from the first moment functioned as a headquarters for the rescue operations. This place, consecrated by the victims’ prayers and tears, represents a symbol of your tenacious determination not to give way to discouragement.” Quoting then the motto of the “Guardia di Finanza” - “Nec recisa recedit” - he pointed out that it “seems to well express what the mayor defined as your firm intention to rebuild the city, with that constancy which characterises you people of the Abruzzo region”.

This same square, Benedict XVI went on, in which Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. officiated at the funeral of the many victims of the tremor, “is today occupied by the forces involved in helping L’Aquila and Abruzzo to rise from the rubble of the earthquake. … My visit among you, which I wished to make from the first moment, is intended as a sign of my closeness to each one of you, and of the fraternal solidarity of the entire Church.

“The truth is that as a Christian community we are a single spiritual body”, he added, “if one part suffers, all the others suffer too; if one part struggles to arise, all share in that effort. I must tell you that expressions of solidarity have reached me from all sides. Many high-ranking figures of the Orthodox Churches have written to assure me of their prayers and spiritual solidarity, also sending economic aid”.

The Pope continued by underlining “the value and importance of solidarity which, though chiefly demonstrated at moments of crisis, is like a fire hidden under the embers. Solidarity is a highly civic and Christian sentiment, a measure of the maturity of a society. In practical terms it is expressed in aid work, but it not merely an efficient organisational machine; it has a soul and a passion which arise from the great civil and Christian history of our people, whether it takes an institutional form or is expressed through volunteer work.

“The tragic earthquake calls the civil community and the Church to profound reflection”, said the Holy Father. At Easter, he went on, “we celebrated the death and resurrection of Christ, bringing your pain to our minds and hearts, and praying that those affected would not lose their trust in God and their hope. The civil community must also undertake a serious examination of conscience, and ensure it always shoulders its responsibilities. On this basis L’Aquila, though wounded, will arise once more”.

Benedict XVI concluded his words by invoking the protection of Our Lady of Roio, much venerated in the local area, for “all localities affected by the earthquake” and, having sung the Regina Coeli, placed a golden rose at the foot of her statue.

His visit concluded, the Holy Father returned to the Vatican by car.

Pope: The Abruzzo region will rise again

April 29, 2009

VATICAN CITY, 28 APR 2009 (VIS) - This morning Benedict XVI travelled by car to the Italian region of Abruzzo to visit people affected by the 6 April earthquake which left 300 dead and thousands injured. The Pope had been due to travel to the area by helicopter but was forced to change his plans due to poor weather.

The first stage of his visit took him to the village of Onna, “one of the places that paid a high price in terms of human lives”, said the Holy Father in his address there to people living in temporary shelters, having lost their homes in the quake.

“I was close to you from the first moment”, he went on. “I followed the news with great concern, sharing your disbelief, your tears for the dead, and your anxious concerns for what you lost in an instant. Now I am here among you; and I would like to embrace you affectionately, each one. All the Church is here with me, accompanying your sufferings, participating in your pain for the loss of relations and friends, and desirous to help you rebuild the homes, churches and businesses that collapsed or were seriously damaged in the tremor. I have admired and continue to admire the courage, dignity and faith with which you face this serious trial, showing great determination not to give way to adversity”.

“I am well aware that, despite the solidarity forthcoming from all sides, there are many daily discomforts involved in living outside your homes, in cars or tents, especially because of the cold and rain. … My poor presence among you is intended as a tangible sign of the fact that the crucified Lord is risen and does not abandon you. … He is not deaf to the anguished cries of so many families who have lost everything: houses, savings, work and sometimes even human lives. Of course, His tangible response comes though our solidarity, which cannot be limited to the initial emergency but must become a stable project over time. I encourage everyone, institutions and companies, to ensure that this city and this land may arise again”.

The Holy Father then pronounced “some words of comfort” concerning the people killed in the earthquake. “They are alive in God”, he said, “and await from you a testimony of courage and hope. They hope to see the rebirth of their land, which must once more adorn itself with houses and churches, beautiful and solid. … Love remains, even beyond the river-crossing of this our precarious earthly life, because true Love is God. Those who love overcome death in God, and know that their loved ones are not lost”. The Holy Father then concluded his remarks by reading as special prayer for the victims of the earthquake.

He then travelled to the basilica of Collemaggio in L’Aquila where he pronounced a brief prayer in front of the casket containing the remains of Pope St. Celestine V, one of the few things to have survived the earthquake in the basilica. As a sign of his spiritual participation, Benedict XVI left on the casket the pallium with which he was vested at the beginning of his own pontificate.

He then moved on to the student hall of residence, where a number of young people were killed by the earthquake, and greeted university students who used to reside there.

At midday the Holy Father arrived at the courtyard of the training school of the “Guardia di Finanza” where, having greeted mayors and pastors from the 49 communities most affected by the tremor, he pronounced an address to those present.

April 29 2009 - Daily Mass Readings

April 29, 2009

Memorial of Saint Catherine of Siena,
virgin and doctor of the Church

Reading 1
Acts 8:1b-8

And at that time, there was raised a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem. And they were all dispersed through the countries of Judea, and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men took order for Stephen’s funeral and made great mourning over him. But Saul made havock of the church, entering in from house to house: and dragging away men and women, committed them to prison.

They therefore that were dispersed went about preaching the word of God. And Philip, going down to the city of Samaria, preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord were attentive to those things which were said by Philip, hearing, and seeing the miracles which he did. For many of them who had unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, went out. And many, taken with the palsy, and that were lame, were healed.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 66:1-3a, 4-5, 6-7a

R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Shout with joy to God, all the earth,
Sing ye a psalm to his name;
give glory to his praise.
Say unto God, How terrible are thy works, O Lord!
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Let all the earth adore thee, and sing to thee:
let it sing a psalm to thy name.
Come and see the works of God;
who is terrible in his counsels over the sons of men.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Who turneth the sea into dry land,
in the river they shall pass on foot:
there shall we rejoice in him.
Who by his power ruleth for ever
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Gospel
Jn 6:35-40

And Jesus said to them: I am the bread of life. He that cometh to me shall not hunger: and he that believeth in me shall never thirst. But I said unto you that you also have seen me, and you believe not. All that the Father giveth to me shall come to me: and him that cometh to me, I will not cast out. Because I came down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him that sent me. Now this is the will of the Father who sent me: that of all that he hath given me, I should lose nothing; but should raise it up again in the last day. And this is the will of my Father that sent me: that every one who seeth the Son and believeth in him may have life everlasting. And I will raise him up in the last day.

————————————————————————————

The readings on this site are not official for the Mass of Roman Rite of the Catholic Church in the USA, but are from The Challoner Douay Rheims version of the Sacred Bible, a source free from copyright and entirely in the public domain.

The Challoner Douay Rheims version was prepared by Bishop Richard Challoner, about A.D. 1749-1752, by revising the original Douay Rheims version and by comparing it to the Latin Vulgate version of the Bible.

Official Readings of the Liturgy at – http://www.usccb.org/nab/today.shtml

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