Lumen Christi means “Light of Christ” and “is the light in all things and gives life to all things.
Legacy giving ‘an expression of faith’
Lumen Christi means “Light of Christ” and “is the light in all things and gives life to all things.
A gunman opened fire inside a Brazilian church, killing four people and injuring four others before turning the gun on himself, police said.
The shooting occurred Dec. 11 just as parishioners from Our Lady of the Conception Cathedral in Campinas, near Sao Paulo, were leaving a midday Mass.
"I conducted the Mass at 12.15, at the end of the Mass a person came firing and made some victims, nobody could do anything, or help at all," said Father Amauri Thomazzi in an emotional video posted on his social media account hours after the incident.
Last year, the U.S. bishops gave Catholics a heads-up about the back-to-back Sunday and Christmas liturgies 10 months in advance in a newsletter issued by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Divine Worship. It also referenced what would occur this year and will recur when Dec. 8 falls on a Monday.
In a Dec. 6 statement, the Vatican said the pope will "participate in the International Interfaith Meeting on 'Human Fraternity'" after receiving an invitation by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi.
"The visit will take place also in response to the invitation of the Catholic Church in the United Arab Emirates," the Vatican said.
The trip Feb. 3-5 will take place less than a week after Pope Francis returns from his Jan. 23-28 visit to Panama for World Youth Day.
The Advent calendar with one tab or box to open each day for 24 or 25 days taps into something people really like: countdowns. It also highlights the anticipation that is at the heart of the four-week liturgical season of Advent.
These calendars, which are religious in nature, hence always with the name Advent, also at times can take the religious theme and run with it, sometimes leaving the biblical manger scene in the dust with daily surprises of anything from whiskey, cosmetics, toys, chocolates, books, coffee, and for pets, daily treats.
Pam Watkins and her family travel 30 minutes each way to attend Mass at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament (OLBS). There are other parishes nearby, but they make the longer journey to worship where they feel they fit. Besides her Polish ancestry, Watkins appreciates that the tabernacle is located in the center of the church, not in a separate chapel.
“That has significant meaning for us because we believe that Christ should be in the center of his Church, not stashed away somewhere else,” Watkins said, “The tabernacle helps all of us remember why and who we are there to worship.”
The cardinal spoke about the “law of gradualism,” in which one’s relationship with God is an ongoing, gradual process. While noting that it was introduced in St. John Paul II’s apostolic exhortation “Familiaris consortio,” Cardinal Cupich said it was not a new concept, but rather part of “our spiritual heritage,” as seen in the lives of St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. John of the Cross and St. Theresa of Avila.
A few blocks down the hill, near the church, was St. Mary Hospital, founded in 1948 by the Glenmary priests. It was run by the Sisters of the Poor Servants of the Mother of God who knew that Sandt and her siblings could use some attention. Their convent next to the hospital soon became the children’s second home.
“We felt so loved there,” said Sandt, who felt especially mothered by Sister Anne Christina, the hospital administrator. “They made sure we ate and did our homework.”
In a region where Catholics were, and sometimes still are, regarded with suspicion, Sandt said, it was remarkable how the nuns were accepted by the community.
In her time at the helm, the agency expanded its services throughout the Diocese of Richmond, improved its financial stability, re-established the Richmond offices to a building that is better able to serve clients and staff, and saw the completion of a chapel in that building.
No one is on this earth forever; everyone's life will come to an end, he said, and God will want to see what has been harvested — “the quality of our life.”
“This a critical moment for the universal Church in addressing the sexual abuse crisis,” Cardinal O’Malley said, and the February meeting “will be an important moment for developing a clear path forward for dioceses around the world.”
It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and this to open doors of hope.
With that in mind, may our liturgical year open the doors to hope.
Apparent good Samaritans turned out to be nothing of the sort after allegedly stealing Christmas presents from two Little Sisters of the Poor outside the Costco in Columbia near Baltimore Nov. 26.
Mother Superior Joseph Caroline Beutler and Sister Bernadette Mary Wilson, who care for the elderly poor at St. Martin's Home for the Aged in Catonsville, were taking advantage of holiday sales to purchase $510 worth of items, including blankets and socks they intended to give as gifts to the employees of St. Martin's at an upcoming Christmas party.
From the beach town of New Smyrna, Florida, just a stone’s throw away from Daytona Beach, Rich Varano never imagined his unique talent of sculpting sand would take him to the heart of Christianity.
Varano is the artistic director of the “Sand Nativity,” a massive 52-foot-wide sculpture made of sand imported from Jesolo, an Italian seaside resort town roughly 40 miles north of Venice. It will be the centerpiece of the Vatican’s annual Nativity scene on display in St. Peter’s Square.
With the Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections, the demographic dividing lines among voters who identify as religious have become more pronounced.
White Catholics, according to data from the Pew Research Center, still skew Republican, while Hispanic Catholics trend Democratic. And white evangelicals are more dependably Republican than they've ever been.
"I'm struck by the continuity," said Gregory Smith, Pew's associate director of research, at a panel discussion at Georgetown University Nov. 19. The event, "Faith and the Faithful in the Midterm Elections," was co-sponsored by the university's Initiative on Catholic S
The Catholic organization leaders host what they believe to be the largest food pantry in the Midwest, if not in the country, giving out groceries to 3,000 families each week.
A visit to the food pantry during one of their busiest times — the week before Thanksgiving — did not reveal any miraculous loaf-dividing. Rather, the nonprofit showed that the unbelievable becomes possible with a combination of organization, resourcefulness, generosity, sheer volunteer power and faith.
A devout Catholic who fully embraces both her faith and her Cherokee heritage, Red Feather noted that many Native Americans do not observe Thanksgiving for several reasons.
Gratitude, continuously expressed, is already integral to American Indian cultures, so a single — and often highly commercialized — commemoration is regarded as a "false celebration," she told CatholicPhilly.com, the news outlet of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
In addition, the U.S. holiday's origins recall the deeply conflicted history of relations between American Indians and immigrant settlers.
The constant flow of alerts only fuels our addiction to our phones. How are we supposed to “be alert” for the coming of Christ when we are constantly inundated with alerts? Does Christ not become at best just another ping, another alert or, at worst, the wolf in the story of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” completely missed due to so many other useless and superfluous alerts?
As of Nov. 19, 150,000 acres had been scorched and 12,794 structures destroyed by the Camp Fire. Containment of the fire was 65 percent to date and full containment was expected Nov. 30.
"The tremendous loss from the Camp Fire ravaging parts of the diocese is devastating," said Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento. "The families in Paradise and the surrounding communities affected by the fire can rely on the support of our prayers."
The entire population of Paradise of about 30,000, was forced to evacuate Nov. 9; the town was destroyed.
At a time when small Catholic parishes often find their membership and resources dwindling, a cluster of three parishes in southwest Virginia cooperated, with support from the Diocese of Richmond, to build the rectory for their priest. Beside St. Joseph, a parish of 200 families, the cluster includes Risen Lord, Stuart, with 40 families, and All Saints, Floyd, with 25 families. The project began in May and was completed in September.
With a son with autism herself, she knows how crucial this program is for both children and parents. Nathan has difficulty being away from his mother, and Outreach in Love gave them the opportunity to be involved in the faith community together.
“We’re going to have a revival, and it is going to begin with women."
Over several months, Bishop Knestout, along with Deacon Paul Mahefky, director of real estate for the diocese, and others, looked at several properties, including the bishop’s residence at the Cathedral, which the bishop termed “ideal.”
“It is well-suited in terms of design and plan for what a bishop does and for the expectations of his office,” said Bishop Knestout, noting that if a different house had been purchased, extensive renovations would have been required in order to accommodate the bishop, especially with an eye toward his official duties.
“Both the type of audit being carried out, as well as the audit instrument itself must be changed, ensuring that the audit is more than simply a compliance review,” Cesareo said. “The audit must also include a review of parishes and Catholic schools to ensure that the data they submit is accurate.”
A primary topic of discussion was the hiring of a director for the Office for Black Catholics. Comboni Missionary Sister Inma Cuesta, director of the diocese’s Office of Hispanic Ministry, has been serving as interim director of the office since July when the director, Pam Harris, left to take a position with the Diocese of Columbus, Ohio.
Sister Bowman, a Mississippi native and the only African-American member of her order, the Wisconsin-based Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, was a widely known speaker, evangelizer and singer until she died of cancer in 1990 at age 52. She even made a presentation at the U.S. bishops' spring meeting in 1989, moving some prelates to tears.
Sister Bowman was a trailblazer in almost every role: first African-American religious sister from Canton, Mississippi; the first to head an office of intercultural awareness; and the first African-American woman to address the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The document, “Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love — A Pastoral Letter Against Racism,” passed 241-3 with one abstention. It required a two-thirds vote by all bishops, or 183 votes, for passage.
“Despite many promising strides made in our country, the ugly cancer of racism still infects our nation,” the pastoral letter says. “Racist acts are sinful because they violate justice. They reveal a failure to acknowledge the human dignity of the persons offended, to recognize them as the neighbors Christ calls us to love,” it adds.
On the eve of the fall assembly, the Vatican Congregation for Bishops asked the USCCB to not take a vote on the protocols until the presidents of the bishops' conferences around the world meet in Rome in February.
While crediting the bishops for efforts to reduce child sexual abuse and to implement the charter, Cesareo said their response to the abuse crisis "has been incomplete."
"Specifically, current events reveal a continued lack of transparency about past cases of abuse and the way they were handled, as well as a lack of accountability for bishops," he said.
The U.S. bishops took the first steps toward approving a pastoral letter against racism with the document's introduction Nov. 13 during their annual fall general meeting.
The proposed pastoral letter, "The Enduring Call to Love: A Pastoral Letter Against Racism," has been in the works for four years, although its issuance was put on the front burner following the September 2017 "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
When Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the conference, made the announcement within the opening minutes of the meeting, the entire room — bishops, staff and journalists — were gobsmacked.
This, after all, was the meeting when the bishops were going to get their own house in order following the latest wave of sex abuse stories — Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick, the Pennsylvania grand jury report, and the subsequent flood of subpoenas and investigations and self-published lists of priest offenders.
Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, USCCB president, informed the bishops as they opened their fall general assembly Nov. 12 that the Vatican wanted the bishops to delay any vote until after a February meeting with the pope and presidents of the bishops' conferences around the world that will focus on addressing clergy abuse.
Affected are proposed standards of episcopal conduct and the formation of a special commission for review of complaints against bishops for violations of the standards.
Cardinal DiNardo said he was disappointed that no action would be taken during the assembly, but that he was hopeful that the delay "will improve our resp
Thirteen people, including the suspected gunman and a 29-year veteran of the Ventura County Sheriff's Department, died in shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill on what was college night, with lessons on country two-step dancing.
The pope underlined the importance of viewing possessions and wealth from the Christian perspective of gift and generosity, saying "what I truly possess is what I know how to give."
Parishes throughout the Diocese of Pittsburgh will take up a special collection for the three Jewish congregations that worship at the Tree of Life Synagogue, which was attacked by a gunman.
40 Days for Life
By the start of Advent, Sunday, Dec. 1, the Diocese of Richmond will launch a competition for the design of the bicentennial logo and composition of the bicentennial hymn. Details will be available on the diocesan website www.richmonddiocese.org.
It’s a long way from Fallujah to the peaceful countryside surrounding Benedictine. Staying on the sidelines in either place was — and remains — not an option for the school’s headmaster.
Father John Joseph Dorgan
St. Benedict Parish, Richmond, will conduct a pilgrimage to Mount Calvary Cemetery on Saturday, Nov. 10.