Over 100 Catholic clergy attend exorcism training in Baltimore

November 17, 2010

Baltimore, Md. (CNA) — Despite the intrigue and attention given to the topic of exorcism, the primary work of the Devil lies in daily “temptation,” Bishop Thomas Paprocki said, following a successful exorcism training weekend hosted by the U.S. bishops in Baltimore.

The Conference on the Liturgical and Pastoral Practice of Exorcism took place Nov. 12-13, just before the bishops’ annual fall assembly. According to Bishop Paprocki, who chairs the Bishop’s Committee on Canonical Affairs, the program came about after an increasing number of inquiries from priests in the U.S.

Because only a “small number” of priests have undergone exorcism training, the conference was held “really to provide some guidance for bishops,” he said.

He explained that exorcism training falls under the jurisdiction of the canonical affairs committee because of the requirement in canon law that says a priest needs permission from his bishop to perform an exorcism.

Over 100 bishops and priests attend the two day conference, which Bishop Paprocki said they described as “very helpful.”

He went on to say that “the reality is that an exorcism is really rare. It’s really something rather extraordinary because possession – a person being possessed by a devil or demon – is also very rare.”

“Given the fact that possession and exorcisms are rare, people tend to think that that’s the only activity of the Devil,” and they mistakenly think that “if I’m not possessed, I don’t need to worry about the Devil,” he said.

However, it’s “quite the opposite,” he explained. “The ordinary work of the Devil is temptation and everybody has to face that everyday.”

“The ordinary response to dealing with temptation” can be found in “the ordinary means of spiritual life that the church offers: the Sacraments, going to Confession, receiving Holy Communion, saying prayers and devotions, the Rosary, blessings, Holy Water, things like that,” he said.

“And in fact, I would go so far as to say that the Sacrament of Penance is more powerful than an exorcism.

“An exorcism is a type of blessing in effect – it’s a sacramental – whereas the Sacrament of Penance is actually a sacrament,” the bishop explained.

“So if we live a good life, a good spiritual life that’s sound, we don’t need to worry about that.”

Bishop Paprocki smiled as he clarified that exorcism is ”sensationalized in the movies,” and that demonic possession “is not contagious.”

Usually it’s needed “because people have willingly and freely opened the door to the Devil, looking for that kind of involvement and enjoying the pleasures that the Devil has to offer,” he said.

“It’s a relationship – a relationship between a human person and a fallen angel – a devil.”

“Exorcism,” he explained, “is breaking that relationship,” and it “starts with the person renouncing Satan.”

Primarily, it “involves getting a person to renounce that relationship,” and “secondly, for a priest to intervene and invoke the power of Christ to break that relationship.”

Speaking on what determines the need for an exorcism, Bishop Paprocki said that “we use the principle that you have to exclude all the natural explanations before you resort to the supernatural.”

“That means getting a medial exam” and a “psychiatric assessment” first, he clarified. If a person is mentally unwell, bringing up the suggestion that he or she is possessed would undoubtedly make the situation worse.

“That’s why a careful screening and permission from the bishop is needed,” he explained.

Bishops to Elect Conference President, Vice President at November Meeting

November 1, 2010

WASHINGTON (MetroCatholic) — The U.S. bishops will elect their president and vice president at their annual Fall General Assembly, November 15-18, in Baltimore.

The new president will succeed Cardinal Francis George, OMI, of Chicago, who completes his three-year term at the meeting. His successor assumes the presidency at the end of the meeting. Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson, Arizona completes his term as vice president at the November meeting.

The slate of candidates for president and vice president follows:

Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans
Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM, Cap., of Denver
Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York
Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson, Arizona
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky
Bishop George Murry, SJ, of Youngstown, Ohio
Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien of Baltimore
Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit
Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City

Conference by-laws provide that the election of the president will take place first from among the list of 10 candidates. Following the election of the president with at least 50 percent of the vote, the vice president is elected from the remaining nine candidates. In either election, if a candidate fails to win over 50 percent of the vote, a second vote is taken. If a third vote is necessary, only two names appear on the ballot.

The bishops will also vote for a new treasurer-elect and the chairmen-elect of six committees at the November meeting, as well as a new general secretary, the priest who oversees the day-to-day operations of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
For more information about the election of the treasurer-elect and chairmen-elect, visit www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2010/10-160.shtml. For more information about the election of the general secretary, visit www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2010/10-167.shtml.

Coverage of the Fall General Assembly of the USCCB is open to credentialed media. The meeting is at the Baltimore Waterfront Marriott. Sessions open to the media will be Monday, November 15, and Tuesday, November 16. Media conferences will follow all open sessions. Reporters seeking to cover the meeting can download a credential application form at www.usccb.org/comm/credentialform.pdf and submit it by November 5, by fax (202-541-3173) or mail to:

November Meeting Credentials
Office of Media Relations
3211 4th St. NE
Washington, DC 20017-1194

2010 Care Net National Conference to Pregnancy Centers: ‘This is the Time’

September 8, 2010

GRAPEVINE, Texas (MetroCatholic) — With an unexpected overflow attendance, the 2010 Care Net National Pregnancy Center Conference kicks off Wednesday in Grapevine, Texas from September 8-11th at the Gaylord Texan Resort. Pregnancy center leaders from across North America will be challenged by the conference theme that “this is the time” to expand their ministries of compassion, reach the underserved, and lead the pro-life movement.

“Everyone facing an unplanned pregnancy needs to know that there is hope, help, and alternatives to abortion,” said Care Net President Melinda Delahoyde. “Until that day, pregnancy centers — this amazing, nationwide movement of compassion — must expect, plan, and pray for ministry expansion. Our conference theme, ‘this is the time,’ was truly inspired by the fact that doors of opportunity are opening all over the country for pregnancy centers to do just that.”

Who better to speak into this message than Dr. Bruce Wilkinson, author of The Prayer of Jabez? Dr. Wilkinson will be one of the many powerful conference keynote speakers, including: Patrick Lencioni, author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team; Kay Coles James, founder and president of The Gloucester Institute; Elisa Morgan, former CEO of MOPs International; Fr. Frank Pavone, president of Priests for Life; Norm Miller, chairman of Interstate Batteries; Chet McDoniel, an amazing man with an inspiring testimony of faith; and Melinda Delahoyde, Care Net president.

The more than 1,300 conference attendees will be trained by some of the nation’s top pro-life and non-profit leaders in over 63 workshops session on best practices, legal issues, board governance, client marketing, spiritual leadership, underserved outreach, fundraising, and other topics.

Additional Care Net conference highlights include:

  • A “National Care for Life Forum” hosted by Care Net and EvanTell for select national leaders to discuss strategies to advance the Gospel and the life-saving work of pregnancy centers.
  • A forum for African American pastors on opening pregnancy centers in underserved areas and a tour of a local Dallas pregnancy center opened by Pastor Tony Evans and Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship.
  • A screening of “Maafa 21,” a chilling documentary on the eugenics movement and abortion.
  • An event to launch a new program to mentor and dialogue with Generation Y pregnancy center leaders.

All media must acquire a Care Net conference media badge for on-site coverage. Contact Care Net with name, media outlet, and day/time requested.

CFR Father Andrew Apostoli will be in North Texas next week for three special speaking events

July 14, 2010

CFR Father Andrew Apostoli
will be in North Texas next week
for three special speaking events

Event # 1

A free talk called ‘Getting to Know the Holy Spirit in Your Daily Life’

Thursday, July 22nd    7pm at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Keller
(2016 Willis Lane Keller, TX 76248)

* This event is sponsored by the Guadalupe Radio Network in North Texas.*

(a free will offering will be accepted)

Event # 2

A free  film and a talk called ‘Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen: Servant of All’

Friday, July 23rd    7pm at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Keller

* These two events will both be held at the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Formation and Ministry Center Auditorium next (just south) to the main church.

For additional information on these two events, click on the link below

Fr. Apostoli

Event # 3

Immaculate Heart of Mary Home School and Parent Conference

Friday, July 23rd and Saturday, July 24th

Grapevine Convention Center
1209 South Main Street
Grapevine, TX 76051

* Father Apostoli will be one of the many wonderful speakers at this conference. For more information this the conference, please click on the link below*


Hope you’re able to make some or all of these events. God bless you!

Dave Palmer
Guadalupe Radio Network
North Texas

Tune in to ‘The Good News‘ each Monday from 12 noon - 1pm on KATH 910 AM for more information on this and other Catholic events in South Texas.

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Women Deliver 2 Conference Calls for Billions More for Abortion

May 13, 2010

(NEW YORK – C-FAM) By Samantha Singson Next month in Washington, DC, abortion advocates will team up with UN agencies and corporate sponsors to host the Women Deliver 2 conference. A follow-up to the first conference held in London in October 2007, next month’s meeting is shaping up to be a bigger money grab than its predecessor.  According to the conference website, “There is just enough time, if the world commits funding now, to achieve MDG 5,” which they claim requires an “additional US$10 billion annually by 2010 and US$20 billion by 2015.”

Women Deliver argues while donor funding for maternal, newborn and child health has increased significantly in the past few years, from US$2.1 billion in 2003 to almost US $3.5 billion in 2006, it remains far below the total funding needs.  Women Deliver organizers are stressing that the $30 billion is needed from governments and the international community “to provide essential services to all women in developing countries to meet MDG 5 (Improve Maternal Health) by 2015.”

Originally founded as an initiative of the abortion advocacy group Family Care International (FCI), Women Deliver has morphed into a separate organization, though still based at FCI headquarters in New York.

The first Women Deliver conference was billed as a conference focused on maternal, child and newborn health and reducing maternal mortality, but participants were overwhelmed by the conference’s abortion focus. The agenda was organized by Frances Kissling, former president of Catholics for a Free Choice, and the majority of discussions focused on securing funding and harnessing political will for “reproductive rights,” a term that has been interpreted by UN committees to include abortion on demand.  One organizer bluntly told C-FAM’s Susan Yoshihara that the Women Deliver conference was a “pro-choice conference.”

Women Deliver 2 is maintaining its focus on abortion. According to the organization, the third of the “three pillars” to save women’s lives is access to abortion. Nearly one-quarter of the 110 breakout sessions will focus on abortion, “reproductive rights” or family planning.  Apart from the abortion focus, there are over a dozen sessions that take aim at obstacles to the “reproductive rights” agenda – namely, religion and existing laws.

The organizing committee of Women Deliver 2 reads like a who’s who of the abortion industry. Abortion advocacy groups on the conference committee include: the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the Center for Reproductive Rights, Human Rights Watch, the International Women’s Health Coalition, Marie Stopes International, Ipas, and abortion advocates from across the globe.   Corporate sponsors include ExxonMobil and pharmaceutical industry giants GlaxoSmithKline and Tibotec.

The UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Bank are listed as both conference partners and conference donors.  While these agencies have partnered with conference organizers, critics stress that Women Deliver is not a UN conference, despite the traction it has gained amongst some high level UN officials, like Thoraya Obaid of UNFPA, who has been regularly promoting Women Deliver 2 in her recent speeches and statements.

Women Deliver 2 will take place in Washington, DC from June 7-9.

Powerhouse pro-life conference this weekend in Irving

April 13, 2010

Irving, TX (MetroCatholic) - As a member of the Priests for Life Family, you are invited to join me and our Executive Director, Janet Morana, at the 2010 Hope for Life Conference, Dallas Airport Marriott, 8440 Freeport Parkway, Irving, TX 75063. For information and registration see http://www.operationoutcry.org/pages.asp?pageid=78926.

The conference is April 15-18. I will celebrate Mass on Saturday, April 17 from 7:30-8:30am and Sunday, April 18 from 8-9am. I will also be the keynote speaker on Saturday, April 17 at 12 noon. Janet Morana and Georgette Forney will do a presentation on “Pro-Life Toolbox” on Saturday, April 17 from 1-1:30pm.

I will also be at All Saints Church, 5231 Meadow Creek Dr at Arapaho Rd Dallas, Texas 75248. On Saturday, April 17, I will celebrate the 5pm Vigil Mass followed by a talk at 7:30PM. On Sunday April 18, I will celebrate Mass at 11:00am at All Saints.

Be sure to invite a friend.

Thank you for your continued support of our work!

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director


Stupak Stripped of ‘Defender of Life’ Award

March 22, 2010

WASHINGTON, (MetroCatholic) - In response to Rep. Bart Stupak’s announcement that he and other self-labeled “pro-life” Democrats will vote in favor of Healthcare reform legislation with the addition of an Executive Order from the White House to address concerns about abortion funding, Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund President Marjorie Dannenfelser offered the following statement:

“This Wednesday night is our third annual Campaign for Life Gala, where we were planning to honor Congressman Stupak for his efforts to keep abortion- funding out of health care reform-we will no longer be doing so. By accepting this deal from the most pro- abortion President in American history, Stupak has not only failed to stand strong for unborn children, but also for his constituents and pro-life voters across the country.

“Let me be clear: any representative, including Rep. Stupak, who votes for this healthcare bill can no longer call themselves ‘pro-life.’ The Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund will not endorse, or support in any capacity, any Member of Congress who votes for this bill in any future election. Now through Election Day 2010, these representatives will learn that votes have consequences. The SBA List Candidate Fund will work tirelessly to help defeat Members who support this legislation and make sure their constituents know exactly how they voted. We will actively seek out true pro-life candidates to oppose Members who vote ‘yes’ on this bill, whether it be in general or primary elections. For these Members, it will be a quick downhill slide to defeat in November.

“The executive order on abortion funding does absolutely nothing to fix the problems presented by the health care reform bill that the House will vote on this evening. The very idea should offend all pro-life Members of Congress. An executive order can be rescinded at any time at the President’s whim, and the courts could and have a history of trumping executive orders. Most importantly, pro-abortion Representatives have admitted the executive order is meaningless.”

Last night, Rep. DeGette told The Huffington Post, “If there was an executive order saying they weren’t going to use federal funds in the bill to pay for abortions that would be fine with me.”

Today, Rep. Wasserman Schultz admitted to Fox News’ Megyn Kelly that “an executive order cannot change the law.”

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops pointed out today that “only a change in the law enacted by Congress, not an executive order, can begin to address this very serious problem in the legislation.”

The Susan B. Anthony List has been leading the fight against abortion funding in health care reform for over a year, spending nearly $2 million on a grassroots campaign of targeted television and radio ads, 1.3 million automated calls, 70,000 patch-through constituent calls, 1.2 million letters and petitions to Congress, two media and grassroots tours in pro-life Democratic districts, television ads in six districts and comprehensive polling in 20 pro-life Democratic districts.

The Susan B. Anthony List is a nationwide network of Americans, over 280,000 residing in all 50 states, dedicated to mobilizing, advancing, and representing pro-life women in politics. Its connected Candidate Fund increases the percentage of pro-life women in the political process.

Leaders Invited to Work Toward Total Parish Renewal at “Keys to Vibrant Worship”

February 25, 2010

PORTLAND, OR (MetroCatholic) - On April 16 and 17, 2010, parish leaders, pastors, liturgists, choir directors and other church professionals will gather for Keys to Vibrant Worship, presented by OCP. The conference, hosted at Holy Family Parish in San Jose, was developed to give parish teams the skills and strategies to lead a total renewal of their communities.

Whether it’s a single worship leader or an entire parish staff attending, the format of Keys is designed to foster a sense of unity and common purpose. Participants will not only hear new ideas and acquire skills from the conference team, but they will also serve as experts themselves by sharing wisdom and experiences.

“In my work with youth, young people often say that good, dynamic liturgy is important and draws them into their faith and church,” said John Rinaldo, Director of Youth Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose. “This conference will equip parishes to continue to refine and refresh liturgy so that all parishioners, young and old, will truly look to it as the source and summit of their faith!”

Keys begins with a day of formation led by an experienced ministry team. The day will feature prayer, presentations and opportunities for personal and small group reflection to explore how spirituality, community and culture guide worship.

Following morning prayer on day two, Father Ricky Manalo’s keynote address will serve as a springboard to interactive workshops and group discussions. Manalo, a presbyter in the Paulist order, specializes in ritual music, liturgical inculturation and spirituality. Among the others lending their talents to the Keys conference team are Diana Macalintal, Director of Worship for the Diocese of San Jose; Pedro Rubalcava, Director of Hispanic Ministries for OCP; and Tom Tomaszek, Director of Artists and Repertoire for OCP.

The breakout sessions following Manalo’s keynote will apply the concepts introduced on day one, while offering guidance and practical ideas for celebrating our rites and liturgies. Special attention will be given to the intergenerational and multicultural diversity of our parishes.

Because the goal of Keys is to lead total renewal in worship communities, churches are encouraged to bring their entire parish team. Detailed information on registration and pricing—as low as $99 per person—is available at www.ocp.org/keys .

About OCP
OCP, a not-for-profit publisher of liturgical music and worship resources based in Portland, Oregon, has been in operation for more than 80 years. Worship programs produced by OCP are used in two-thirds of Catholic churches in the United States and are distributed worldwide. More information is available at 1-800-LITURGY (548-8749) and www.ocp.org .

Priests Gather for Annual Conference

July 1, 2009

STEUBENVILLE, OH. (MetroCatholic) — “The priesthood is the love, the heart, of Jesus,” said Bishop Robert Baker of Birmingham, Alabama, addressing over 180 priests from across the U.S. To inflame that love with even greater pastoral devotion, Bishop Baker said he hoped the lay faithful would “engage themselves in prayer and action for our priests” during the recently announced Year for Priests.

His remarks came at the 35th annual Priests, Deacons, and Seminarians Conference held at Franciscan University of Steubenville, June 15-19, where Bishop Baker received the University’s Shepherd’s Award “in recognition of the ways he has helped God strengthen and raise up faithful loving shepherds for his flock.”

“Bishop Baker has a real heart for the people and a great pastoral care for his priests, and places a priority on the promotion of vocations to the priesthood and religious life,” said University Chancellor Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, who presented the award on June 15.

Installed as bishop of the Diocese of Charleston in 1999 and then for the Diocese of Birmingham in 2007, Bishop Baker recently co-authored with Father Benedict J. Groeshel, CFR, When Did We See you, Lord? His latest book is The Questioner’s Prayer. He received a standing ovation upon receiving the award for his many contributions within the Church.

Bishop Baker gave his fellow priests practical strategies to incorporate in their ministries. He encouraged them to never miss daily Mass and to schedule a holy hour every week, if not every day. He recommended that they offer their intentions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus every morning, advising that each priest re-consecrate himself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus every month.

The award ceremony was one highlight of the five-day conference that has become an annual retreat for many participants with daily workshops and talks on a wide range of theological and pastoral topics. The men also find renewal through the sacrament of reconciliation, daily Mass, praise and worship, and eucharistic adoration while enjoying the fraternity of other priests, deacons, and seminarians.

Father David Toups, associate director for the U.S. Bishops’ Office of Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations celebrated the 12th anniversary of his vows during the conference. In his workshop, “Character Produces Hope,” he urged his brother priests to take annual retreats and seek spiritual direction.

Drawing from his recent book, Reclaiming Our Priestly Character, Father Toups spoke of the grave dangers that surface when a man does not comprehend his priestly identity. He introduced prayers for both priests and laity to support the priesthood. “The future of the Church is jeopardized when we don’t live in accordance with the great calling we have received,” he said.

He called on his listeners to demonstrate outstanding moral character and to live with integrity. “You must be credible witnesses so the people may believe in Jesus Christ. When we lay down our lives it brings hope to the world and joy to the people of God,” he said referencing the conference theme, “Strengthened in Hope.”

Newly-ordained Father Mark Rutherford of the Diocese of Lansing, Michigan, exemplified contagious hope when he shared the testimony of his journey to the priesthood. “I fell down on my knees and gave Jesus my life,” he said of his ordination just two days earlier.

At age 14, Father Rutherford attended a Franciscan University summer youth conference that changed his life forever. He recalled the eucharistic adoration that had a profound effect on him during the conference saying, “Jesus slowly unveiled his presence and power. It blew my heart away.

“Jesus put it into my heart to be a priest. And here I am. Praise be Jesus Christ,” he said to resounding applause.

In his workshop, “Mary: Star of Hope,” Father Leo Patalinghug, director of Pastoral Field Education at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, gave contemporary perspectives into Marian theology.

“The Blessed Mother is more than a statue and more to us than a simple set of prayers we say on a bunch of beads.” Every saint, he explained, had a devotion to the Blessed Mother. “Mary is the great sign of hope. She points to our salvation at the foot of the cross.”

Father Patalinghug, who received an advanced license degree from the Pontifical Marianum Institute, called on the priests to portray Marian virtues such as compassion, humility, and obedience. “We’re in an age where disobedience is popular and obedience is irrelevant,” he said. He spoke of the Christological virtues, saying, “We must convert the sinner, instruct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful, comfort the sorrowful, bear wrongs patiently, forgive injuries, and pray for the living and the dead.”

He acknowledged cultural adversity but persisted, “Be proud of your Catholic identity.” He left his audience with words of wisdom: “Remember to always look towards Mary as the ‘Star’ pointing you to the right direction.”

“It was a contemporary rediscovery of the roots of the Marian devotion,” said Father Michael Madden from Bloomfield, Indianna describing Father Patalinghug’s workshop. “I learned that she plays a pertinent role in my ministry. She is more than just a tradition.”

In the final evening talk, “A Royal Priesthood: Hope for the Church and the World,” Diane Brown, University trustee and founder of Our Lady of Divine Providence House of Prayer in Clearwater, Florida, noted that without priests the laity would have no sacraments and ultimately no Church or salvation. She expressed her gratitude to priests who are “of more value to mankind than the entire material universe.”

She encouraged her audience to preach the truth with courage by seeking the Holy Spirit and leading strong lives of prayer. “Pray and don’t stop praying,” she said. “A world without God is a world without hope. You, my brother priests, are what the world needs.”

The conference was co-hosted by Father Scanlan and Father David Pivonka, TOR, director of Post-novitiate Formation for the Sacred Heart Province of the Third Order Regular superior at St. Louis Friary in Washington, D.C.

The Priests, Deacons, Seminarians Conference is one of six summer conferences for adults at Franciscan University. Other upcoming conferences include the St. John Bosco Conference (July 22-26) for Catholic educators and the Defending the Faith Conference (July 31-Aug 2) which focuses on Catholic apologetics. For more information, including a complete list of conferences for adults and youth, go to www.franciscanconferences.com.

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