Catholic Communication Campaign Collection Keeps Catholics Connected Through Digital Media

April 30, 2010

WASHINGTON DC (MetroCatholic) - “Help Us Connect the World with God’s Word!” is the theme of the 2010 collection for the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC). The CCC Collection funds a variety of communications projects and this year’s campaign highlights efforts in digital and social media.
           
“The Catholic Communication Campaign provides essential funding for the Church to engage in using new communication technology in its evangelization efforts,” said Archbishop Dennis Schnurr, chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on CCC. “Many Catholics turn to their mobile devices to find the world. The Church needs to be in that world.”
           
The CCC supports the use of modern media, especially the Internet, but also radio, television and print, in proclaiming the Church’s message. CCC-funded projects connect parishioners and parish communities to the Word of God and the universal Church.
           
Half of the funds collected each year remain in the diocese to support local Catholic communication projects. The remaining 50 percent goes to the national office to fund Catholic media projects including Catholic newspapers, radio and television programming, and public service announcements, as well as Web resources such as the daily liturgical readings and Scripture, podcasts and videos on YouTube.
           
Some recent grants distributed by the Subcommittee on CCC to support Catholic media projects include the creation of an adult Catechism video/DVD, a documentary distributed by ABC on the oppression of women religious under communism in Central and Eastern Europe called Interrupted Lives, and the production and broadcast of Christmas Day Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception celebrated by Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington.
           
The 2010 CCC Collection is slated nationally for the weekend of May 15-16, although local dioceses may choose to take up the collection on a different date.
           
For more information about the Catholic Communication Campaign and examples of recently funded projects go to http://www.usccb.org/ccc/.

POPE BENEDICT XVI’S PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR MAY

April 30, 2010

VATICAN CITY, 30 APR 2010 (VIS) - Pope Benedict’s general prayer intention for May is: “That the shameful and monstrous commerce in human beings, which sadly involves millions of women and children, may be ended”.

His mission intention is: “That ordained ministers, religious women and men, and lay people involved in apostolic work may understand how to infuse missionary enthusiasm into the communities entrusted to their care”.

TELEGRAM FOR THE DEATH OF CARDINAL MAYER

April 30, 2010

VATICAN CITY, 30 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father has sent a telegram of condolence to Fr. Notker Wolf, abbot primate of the Benedictine Confederation, for the death today at the age of 98 of Cardinal Paul Augustin Mayer O.S.B., president emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

The late cardinal, writes the Pope, “leaves the indelible memory of an industrious life spent with mildness and rectitude in coherent adherence to his vocation as a monk and pastor, full of zeal for the Gospel and always faithful to the Church. While recalling his knowledgeable commitment in the field of the liturgy and in that of universities and seminaries, and especially his much appreciated service to the Holy See, first in the preparatory commission for Vatican Council II then in various dicasteries of the Roman Curia, I raise fervent prayers that the Lord may welcome this worthy brother into eternal joy and peace”.

POPE MEETS WITH VISITATORS OF LEGIONARIES OF CHRIST

April 30, 2010

VATICAN CITY, 30 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today met with the five visitators of the Legion of Christ: Archbishop Charles Joseph Chaput, O.F.M. of Denver, U.S.A.; Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati Andrello S.D.B. of Concepcion, Chile; Archbishop Ricardo Blazquez Perez of Valladolid, Spain; Bishop Ricardo Watty Urquidi M.Sp.S. of Tepic, Mexico, and Bishop Giuseppe Versaldi of Alessandria, Italy.

ECONOMIC LIFE SHOULD BE ORIENTED TO THE COMMON GOOD

April 30, 2010

VATICAN CITY, 30 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received participants in the sixteenth plenary assembly of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, which is meeting between 30 April and 4 May to discuss the world economic crisis in the light of the ethical principles enshrined in the Church’s social doctrine.

“The worldwide financial breakdown has”, said the Holy Father addressing the group in English, “demonstrated the fragility of the present economic system and the institutions linked to it”.

He continued: “Rather than a spiral of production and consumption in view of narrowly-defined human needs, economic life should properly be seen as an exercise of human responsibility, intrinsically oriented towards the promotion of the dignity of the person, the pursuit of the common good and the integral development - political, cultural and spiritual - of individuals, families and societies”.

“In my Encyclical ‘Caritas in veritate’, I observed that ‘the current crisis obliges us to re-plan our journey, to set ourselves new rules and to discover new forms of commitment’”.

The Pope explained how “the Church, based on her faith in God the Creator, affirms the existence of a universal natural law. … As part of the great heritage of human wisdom, the natural moral law, which the Church has appropriated, purified and developed in the light of Christian revelation, serves as a beacon guiding the efforts of individuals and communities to pursue good and to avoid evil, while directing their commitment to building an authentically just and humane society”.

“Among the indispensable principles shaping such an integral ethical approach to economic life must be the promotion of the common good, grounded in respect for the dignity of the human person and acknowledged as the primary goal of production and trade systems, political institutions and social welfare. In our day, concern for the common good has taken on a more markedly global dimension. It has also become increasingly evident that the common good embraces responsibility towards future generations; intergenerational solidarity must henceforth be recognised as a basic ethical criterion for judging any social system.

“These realities point to the urgency of strengthening the governance procedures of the global economy, albeit with due respect for the principle of subsidiarity”, added the Holy Father. “In the end, however, all economic decisions and policies must be directed towards ‘charity in truth’”.

This, Benedict XVI concluded, is because “without truth, without trust and love for what is true, there is no social conscience and responsibility, and social action ends up serving private interests and the logic of power, resulting in social fragmentation”.

CONCERT FOR FIFTH ANNIVERSARY OF PONTIFICATE

April 30, 2010

VATICAN CITY, 30 APR 2010 (VIS) - Yesterday evening in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall Benedict XVI attended a concert marking the fifth anniversary of his pontificate offered by Giorgio Napolitano, president of the Italian Republic. The concert, played by the Italian Youth Orchestra which is part of the Fiesole School of Music, included pieces by Giovanni Battista Sammartini, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven.

“The study of music”, said the Pope at the end of the concert, “has great value in the process of educating the person, in that it has positive effects on the development of individuals, favouring their harmonious human and spiritual growth”.

Praising the many years of experience of the Fiesole School of Music, he then observed how, “in the current social context, all educational efforts seem more arduous and problematic. Parents and teachers often speak of the difficulties they encounter in imparting the basic values of life and correct behaviour to new generations. This problematic situation affects both the school and the family, as well as the various agencies that operate in the field of education”.

“Young people, though they live in different environments, share a sensibility towards the great ideals of life but face many difficulties when they seek to put them into practice”, said the Holy Father. “We cannot ignore their needs and expectations, or the obstacles and threats they encounter. They feel drawn to authentic values such as the centrality of the person, human dignity, peace and justice, tolerance and solidarity. They also seek, sometimes in confused and contradictory ways, spirituality and transcendence in order to find balance and harmony.

“In this context”, he added, “I am happy to observe that it is music that can open minds and hearts to the spiritual dimension and lead people to raise their eyes to heaven, to open themselves to absolute Goodness and Beauty which have their ultimate source in God. Likewise, the festive nature of song and music are a constant invitation for believers, and for all men and women of good will, to work so that humankind has a future rich in hope. Furthermore, … the undertaking not ‘to play alone’, but to ensure that the various ‘colours’ of the orchestra - each maintaining its own characteristics - fuse together; the shared search for the best expression; all this is an excellent exercise, not only artistically and professionally, but also in overall human terms”.

The Pope concluded his remarks by reiterating his thanks to the president of the Italian Republic for the concert, and asking everyone to pray that, “beginning the sixth year of my pontificate, I may always carry out my ministry as the Lord would wish”.

The Official vs. the Unofficial Story of the Early Retirement of Miami’s Archbishop

April 30, 2010

By John-Henry Westen

MIAMI, April 29, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Miami Archbishop John Favalora announced an early retirement on April 20, only eight months before he was set to reach the normal episcopal retirement age of 75. Despite the fact that the Vatican usually only accepts early resignations for serious illness or another “grave cause,” the official explanation given by Archbishop Favalora himself says he is in “good health,” and presents no other “grave reason” for the unexpected retirement.

Meanwhile, a group of lay Catholics in the archdiocese has revealed communications that they have had with the Vatican regarding an alleged gay cabal of priests that the group claims is veritably running the archdiocese, and suggests that this situation is the real cause of the early retirement. The group says that the Vatican has investigated its claims, and found them to be well-founded.

The archbishop’s April 20 resignation notice ran simply, “I was permitted to tender my resignation and I receive the Holy Father’s blessing in accord with canon 401, § 2.

“While I reiterate that I still enjoy good health, I also recognize that I no longer have the stamina and spirit of earlier years. Moreover, I recognize that the current challenges facing the Archdiocese now could benefit from new eyes and fresh insights and energies.”

However, Eric Giunta, one of the researchers that formed the group Christifidelis, a lay “watchdog” organization in the diocese, says that the sudden retirement is almost certainly the consequence of a document that his group submitted to the Vatican in 2006. That document was “an exhaustive report (hundreds of pages of text, documentation, and eye witness accounts) detailing and documenting” what he calls a “culture of sodomy and theological heterodoxy” on the part of as many as a majority of priests of the Miami Archdiocese.

Giunta reports that Sharon Baroussa, an attorney and a member of Christifidelis, represented a priest, Rev. Andrew Dowgiert, in a lawsuit filed against the archdiocese in 2005. “Fr. Dowgiert, on loan from a Polish archdiocese and soon to be incardinated in Miami, alleged that he was ‘fired’ from active ministry in the Miami Archdiocese after whistle-blowing on homosexual activity by several pastors of the Archdiocese,” he says.

That lawsuit served as the launchpad for the investigations during which Christifidelis gathered the information that it included in its lengthy report submitted to the Vatican.

Giunta says that after the group submitted its report on the alleged corruption in the Miami archdiocese, Baroussa, “was contacted by a Vatican monsignor, who met with her in person and assured her that the Holy See would be investigating each and every one of the allegations presented in the report.”  He adds that in the fall of 2006, “this monsignor contacted her again, informing her that our allegations had all been vindicated, and that Rome was going to act on the report.”

With the early retirement of Archbishop Favalora, claims Giunta, “Rome has finally acted, and in doing so has vindicated” the faithful Catholics who in exposing the scandals, “suffered tremendous persecution and ostracization for defending the integrity of the Catholic Church’s doctrine, liturgy, and moral witness.”

* See Giunta’s full report

Urgent Request From CPLC

April 29, 2010

From the Catholic Pro-Life Committe:

BD_2010_05We of the Catholic Pro-Life Committee warmly thank all who joined us to celebrate “The Splendor of the Gospel of Life” And to those who shared generously to further the work of the CPLC, we’re delighted to have your partnership in our ministries.

Because we know how much our life-saving work means to you, we feel that we can come to you to share our situation today.  We fell $16,000 shy of our goal for the matching gift, and we urgently need your help – especially if you haven’t made a donation this year to the CPLC, the Respect Life Ministry of the Diocese.

Please pray about what gift you can give for this ministry this year.

What’s at stake?  Well, let’s consider.  What if, instead of growing, or even maintaining, we actually had to cut back on our outreach?

Who will stand every day outside the abortion centers to offer love, hope and a way out to desperate moms praying for a sign?  Who will give those precious babies a final chance at life?  I just got a report that our sidewalk counselors helped 49 mothers turn away from the Dallas abortion centers last month, with another 53 “hopeful turnaways.”  That’s the most we’ve ever helped turn away from abortion in a single month! 

Who will take those moms who choose life by the hand, in friendship, for the challenging weeks and months to come?  To provide emotional, spiritual, material and even vocational support for a happy, healthy motherhood?  To present the adoption option effectively and prayerfully?

Who will embrace the mother who made the wrong choice that she can speak of to no one, that haunts her, that wakes her up at night hearing babies cry?  Who will help restore her hope?

Who will support Catholic parents by sharing with their children the Church’s clear and dignified message of chastity?  Who will train these youth to take pro-life into the future?

Who will bring the startling facts about abortion and contraception, and the beautiful truths of life and marriage, to the Spanish-speaking community targeted by the culture of death?

Who will encourage our pastors and enliven our parishes with the Gospel of Life?

Who, if not the CPLC?

We in the CPLC are committed, and through our nine ministries, we’re doing these things each and every day, and much more.  Each one of our staff and volunteers is called to this ministry, and we rejoice in the daily successes, the hearts touched and changed, for life.  We know it’s working.  We feel God’s blessing.  We can’t stop.  Not now.  This is the first time in 37 years that more American people say they are opposed to abortion than are for it.  Now is not the time to pull back, but to keep moving forward. 

Please make a donation today to help us raise the $16,000 we urgently need to keep moving forward.

God bless you. 

In Christ, For Life,

Karen Garnett
Executive Director
    

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Hats off to all who made the event a success!

Thank you to our auction supporters, exhibitors and Pro-Life Partners

A keepsake of the evening that can help save lives 

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Whimsical Satire on ‘God - The Biggest Loser’ Shoots up Amazon Charts

April 29, 2010

‘The Loser Letters’ impresses many with witty satire and biting criticism

SAN FRANCISCO, (MetroCatholic) — The newest release from Catholic- publisher Ignatius Press is surging to the top of the Amazon charts. The Loser Letters, written by popular social critic Mary Eberstadt, currently sits in slot number 660 for bestselling books on Amazon.com and is ranked 2nd in both the Christian Fiction and Christian Apologetics categories alongside classic titles by authors such as C.S. Lewis and G.K. Chesterton.

Critics and readers alike are raving about the creative nature of this wickedly witty satire. “This is a wise, funny and winning book,” Michael Novak, renowned author and theologian said.

Published by Ignatius Press, Director of Marketing Anthony Ryan is not surprised by the book’s success. “Mary has written a unique and fitting book for our time,” Ryan said. “The Loser Letters is a pro-religion book written from the perspective of a worldly, but troubled twenty-something young woman. Many in our culture today can identify with The Loser Letters’ protagonist, A.F. Christian and I think many readers will be enlightened by her thoughts in the letters that comprise the book.”

The Loser Letters chronicles the conversion of a young adult Christian to atheism. With modern humor rivaling that of the media lampooning The Onion, A.F. Christian’s open letters to the likes of Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens explain her reasons for rejecting God and the logical consequences of that choice.

The Loser Letters is the first major satirical work of Christian apologetics since C.S. Lewis wrote The Screwtape Letters. Written in an appealing writing style coupled with the discussion of many modern, relevant topics, Eberstadt, writing as A.F. Christian, tackles the argument between theism and atheism that is simultaneously a rollicking good read. The Loser Letters is truly unique: a black comedy about life, death and what we dare to believe or not believe.

Mary Eberstadt is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and a consulting editor to Policy Review. She is the author of “Home-Alone America,” and the editor of “Why I Turned Right: Leading Baby Boom Conservatives Chronicle Their Political Journeys.” Eberstadt has written widely for various magazines and newspapers, including the Weekly Standard, First Things, the American Spectator, Los Angeles Times, London Times and The Wall Street Journal.

For more information about The Loser Letters: A Comic Tale of Life, Death and Atheism or to schedule an interview with Mary Eberstadt, please contact Christine Schicker at 404-610-8871, with The Maximus Group.

God gives us signs on the path to our vocations, Pope teaches

April 29, 2010

Vatican City  (CNA/EWTN News).- Focusing his Wednesday catechesis in St. Peter’s Square on a pair of priests from the last two centuries, Pope Benedict underscored the importance of charity, the “love of God and love to God.” The Holy Father also spoke of how “signs” can signal the road to our vocations.

Today’s teaching is the latest in a series on the priesthood, which the Pope decided to do as the end of the Year for Priests approaches on June 19. For his address today, the Holy Father chose two saints who lived in Turin, Italy as models of the priesthood.

Speaking first of St. Leonard Murialdo, the founder of the Congregation of Saint Joseph who was canonized 40 years ago, Pope Benedict XVI highlighted the joy with which he welcomed his vocation. After a “profound existential and spiritual crisis” in his adolescence, at 17 years old he decided to become a priest following a general confession during which he rediscovered the “immense mercy of God.”

The Holy Father underlined the “central nucleus” of Fr. Leonard’s spirituality as the “conviction of the merciful love of God: an always good, patient and generous Father, that reveals the greatness and immensity of his mercy with forgiveness.”

The Pope added later,”highlighting the greatness of the mission of priests, ‘who must continue the work of redemption … Fr. Leonard always recalled, both to himself and his confreres, the responsibility of living a life coherent with the Sacrament received.”

Benedict XVI pointed out that “Love of God and love to God” were “the force of his path to sainthood, the law of his priesthood, the most profound significance of his apostolate among poor young people and the source of his prayer.”

The Congregation of St. Joseph continues to be dedicated to the formation of youth, especially the disadvantaged, tending to them as members of a family.

It was with the same spirit of charity as St. Leonard, added Benedict XVI, that the second priest, Joseph Benedict Cottolengo, lived. After experiencing the unfortunate death of a pregnant woman, he prayed to know the meaning of the suffering. Divinely inspired, he went on to dedicate all of his efforts to support those most in need, said the Pope.

Observing the importance of the experience, the Pope said, “The Lord always places signs on our path, guiding us according to His will to what is truly good for us.”

Giving himself up completely to the Lord’s will, he founded the “Little House of Divine Providence” through which, with the help of many collaborators and volunteers, he was able to provide assistance to address the particular needs of the day.

The Holy Father cited the words of St. Cottolengo in explaining his mentality: “I am a good-for-nothing and I don’t even know what I’m doing with myself. Divine Providence, however, certainly knows what it’s doing. It’s up to me to go along with it.”

“Forward ‘in Domino,’” he said, “forward in the Lord.”

The “Little House” founded by Fr. Cottolengo still exists in Turin and will be visited by the Holy Father on his visit to the city for the exposition of the Shroud this coming Sunday. His influence is also seen in similar houses throughout the world today which often are known simply by the name “Cottolengo.”

More than 16,000 people were on hand to hear the Pope’s teaching and visit the See of Peter. Among the diverse group were ecumenical delegations from the Lutheran Church of Norway, the Church of England and a group of Jewish leaders visiting with the Pave the Way Foundation, which has worked to put the Vatican archives regarding the pontificate of Pope Pius XII online.

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