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News/Latest News
Author:Admin2
On Sunday, Dec. 19, Nativity Council 2976 presented Seminarian Sean Moore with a check for $2,146.41, which was collected by the council through the generosity of the parishioners of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish. Pictured from left are John Brady, Grand Knight, Nativity Council; Moore; Father Joseph Capella, pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe; and John DiMeo, chancellor, Nativity Council.
Thursday, 06 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
News/Latest News
Author:Admin2
Photo by James A. McBride Seminarian Kevin Mohan performs during Mass at the annual Seminarian Mass and Reception, held on Tuesday, Dec. 28, at St. Pius X Spiritual Life Center in Blackwood. Bishop Joseph A. Galante met with the 14 seminarians in the Diocese of Camden before the start of the new year.
Thursday, 06 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
News/Latest News
Author:Peter G. Sånchez
St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Pleasantville was sold last month to the Maronite Catholic Church to serve its worshippers in Atlantic County. St. Peter was established as a Roman Catholic parish in 1913 to accommodate the Catholic populations in Pleasantville, Northfield, Linwood and Absecon. The current church was erected in 1958. Last May, it was announced that St. Peter’s would merge with St. Bernadette Church, Northfield, to create St. Gianna Beretta Molla Parish, whose seat is the Northfield church. Founded by St. Maron in the 4th century, the Maronites have always been in communion with Rome. Having no counterpart among the separated Eastern churches, the patriarchate dates back to the 8th century, and was confirmed by Pope Innocent III in 1216. Its liturgical language is Arabic, Aramaic and English. With Lebanese origins, the Maronite Catholic Church currently has dioceses in the Middle East, Argentina, Brazil, Australia, Canada, Mexico and two in the United States. In Atlantic County, the Maronite Catholic Mission has been active since 2002, borrowing space from St. Peter’s Church and St. Bernadette, Northfield, for weekly worship, before acquiring the St. Peter property, which includes the church, rectory, and school. for $1 million in November. The 70-75 Maronite Catholics worshipping in Atlantic County include those of Jordanian, Syrian, Palestinian, Egyptian and Iraqi heritage. As part of the Eparchy of St. Maron of Brooklyn, the church will be called Our Lady Star of the East- St. Peter’s Maronite Catholic Church. Now with a permanent home in Atlantic County, the Maronite Church can focus on “communicating about, learning about Jesus, spreading the news all over,” said Ghada Zumot, secretary for the new church. “The (faithful) are very excited to have a home,” she said. Weekly services will be Sundays at 12:30 p.m. Other activities include community gatherings, religious education classes, and Arabic language classes. Msgr. Maroun P. Asmar, a retired priest from New Brunswick, has been leading Sunday services.
Thursday, 06 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
Sports/Sports News
Author:Admin2
In high school boys’ basketball action, the St. Augustine Prep (Richland) Hermits handily defeated the Sacred Heart (Vineland) Lions and St. Joseph (Hammonton) Wildcats, in games held last week during the St. Augustine Christmas Classic. On Dec. 29, St. Augustine defeated Sacred Heart by a score of 76-41. The next night, the Hermits defeated St. Joseph, 81-53, while Sacred Heart came back from the previous night’s loss to beat Westampton Tech, 57-50. At left, the Hermits’ Charlie Monaghan dunks over Sacred Heart’s Umberto Bifulco. Below, Isaiah Morton of St. Augustine, the school’s all-time leading scorer, hits a reverse layup against St. Joseph’s Andrew Ordille. Photos by Alan M. Dumoff
Thursday, 06 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
Sports/Sports News
Author:Admin2
In high school girls’ basketball action, the Holy Spirit (Absecon) Spartans won its first two games of the season, defeating the Wildwood Catholic Crusaders 62-22 on Dec. 21, and the St. Joseph (Hammonton) Wildcats 46-32 on Dec. 23. Left, Holy Spirit’s Maria Mazur scores on a break-away layup, despite the best efforts of the Crusaders’ Kaci Youschak. Right, Holy Spirit’s Tenisha Mobley hits a long jumper over the outstretched hand of St. Joseph’s Jade Howard. Photos by Alan M. Dumoff
Thursday, 06 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
Columns/That All May Be One
Author:Father Joseph D. Wallace
I would like to share with you two excellent interfaith initiatives that will be coming up this month offered by our local Catholic-Jewish Commission and our Tri Faith Dialogue Group. The first is an educational offering for our high school students that will be held on Tuesday evenings from 8:15-9:15 p.m., from Jan. 25 to May 17, at the Katz Jewish Community Center, 1301 Springdale Rd, Cherry Hill. This series of classes is titled “Children of Abraham: An Exploration of the Traditions of Judaism, Islam and Catholicism.” Local scholars will present and explore with local high school students from all three faith traditions a comprehensive overview of the history and major teachings of Judaism, Islam and Catholicism over a 15 session course of study. Class sizes are limited and pre-registration is required. The fee is only $25 and scholarships are available if needed. A commitment to regular attendance is required. For more information or to register call 856-751-9500 ext. 1235. Our three teachers, Dr. David Rabeeya, Dr. M. Rafey Habib and Gloria Mazziotti, will be exploring the following topics over the course of study: Basic Understanding of Judaism, Islam and Christianity, Three Faith Traditions—Their Similarities and Differences, Concept of God-Prophecy and People-hood, Group Diversities within the Three Faiths, Places of Worship and Spiritual Leadership, History of the Three Faith’s Development and Course Feedback and Accomplishments. This in-depth study of the three main monotheistic religions is an excellent opportunity to learn and interact with youth from all three great faith traditions. We hope this educational opportunity for our young people will expand their understanding of other faith traditions and help them to discover the interconnectedness and differences of our faith traditions. Another great opportunity for learning for people of all ages and religions is the showing of the film, “Irena Sendler: In the Name of Their Mothers.” This film tells the true story of a network of young Polish women, led by Irena Sendler, a Catholic social worker, who outfoxed the Nazis for five years during World War II and saved the lives of thousands of Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto. This film will be shown on the United Nations Holocaust Commemoration Day, Thursday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m. at the Katz Jewish Community Center, 1301 Springdale Road, Cherry Hill. Admission is $10 in advance and $12 at the door. It is cosponsored by the Catholic-Jewish Commission, the Jewish Community Relations Council, Camden County College’s Center for Civic Leadership and Responsibility and the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education. This program is open to the entire community and we welcome members of all faiths to attend. For more information and early registration please call 856-751-9500 ext. 1117. Irena Sendler for most of her life kept silent about her wartime efforts to save Jews. In the last long interviews she gave before she died, she revealed the truth about a daring conspiracy of women in occupied Poland, some barely out of their teens. Irena was a 29-year old-social worker when the Nazis invaded Poland. When the city’s Jews were imprisoned inside the Warsaw ghetto without food and medicine, Irena and her friends smuggled in aid and began smuggling orphaned children out – hiding them in convents, orphanages and private homes. By 1943, they had managed to smuggle over 2,500 Jewish children to safety outside the ghetto. Over the next two years, they would care for them, disguise their identities and move them constantly to keep them from being discovered and killed by the Nazis. In October of 1943, Irena Sendler was captured by the Gestapo, imprisoned and tortured for almost three months. When she refused to divulge anything about her co-workers or her organization, she was sentenced to death. She escaped on the day she was to be executed, when the Polish Underground bribed a German guard. With a new false identity, she continued with her work until the end of the war. After the war, Soviet authorities who took over Poland silenced Irena Sendler and her companions because of their connection to the Polish Resistance. Many of the women endured Soviet prisons or were forced into exile. Finally, their stories long kept silent by the Communist regime in Poland are being told. I do hope you will be able to take advantage of these two wonderful interfaith opportunities. Father Joseph D. Wallace is coordinator, Ecumenical and Inter-religious Affairs, Diocese of Camden.
Thursday, 13 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
Columns/On Behalf of Justice
Author:Father Robert J. Gregorio
Coming from any source other than a pope, the following teaching on the common good risks being dismissed out of hand by a society as ruggedly individualistic as ours. Even at that, I read recently that the Catholic left generally ignores the written guidance of popes while the Catholic right scrupulously studies it to see how well it conforms to the right’s agenda. But with the hope that the mainstream Catholic readership will consider Pope John Paul II a reliably authentic teacher on social justice, I offer these citations from his Catechism of the Catholic Church. The technical definition of the common good appears in paragraph 1909: “the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily.” It has three essential elements: respect for the person, the social well-being and development of the group itself (with civil authority seeing to the universal availability of “food, clothing, health, work, education and culture, suitable information, the right to establish a family, and so on,” 1908), and finally, peace, defined as “the stability and security of a just order” (1909). Technical this is. It means that besides the personal good to which every person, rich or poor, is entitled, there is something beyond that which considers what people deserve in community, whether that community is one’s hometown or nation or world citizenship. Further, “it is in the political community that its most complete realization is found. It is the role of the state to defend and promote the common good of civil society, its citizens, and intermediate bodies” (1910). Pope John Paul saw government as the means of attaining the good of the community. It is to be a servant, not an overlord. It exists for the people, not vice versa. Lincoln famously described the ideal as being of, by and for the people. He saw a great usefulness of political governance to preserve the union, threatened by divisive calls for the purported state right to enslave. If ever there were an instance of economic individualism run wild, this was it. Did you notice the list of civil rights above? It borrows from the 1948 United Nations’ Declaration of Human Rights, which the United States and most other nations ratified as the minimum to which everyone is entitled. They are very specific rights which governments must work to deliver. Legislation and the attendant taxation to fund it are duties of governments on all levels. But since taxation has to be progressive, with the richest paying proportionately more, they tend to resist empowering government to do its most basic job, providing for the common good. This makes us ask whether Jesus meant this when he said that the rich have a decided disadvantage, given the narrowness of the needle’s eye. The inherent danger of greed is to clutch onto resources to which the rich no longer have title because of the prior right of the poor to minimal living standards. This in turn makes individualists, when discussing things like universal health insurance, for instance, draw parallels between the common good and communism, perhaps because of the word similarity. But communism calls for the elimination of private property while the common good demands respect for each person’s own property, something clearly demanded above. In point of fact, western Europe has long espoused many government-supplied services, like health insurance, unknown in the U.S. The average taxation to pay for this is a breath-taking 45 percent on average. We, however, are used to 28 percent on all levels—federal, state, county and municipal together—of our income. I do not suggest that we have it easy, especially if we are saddled with medical bills that we have to pay on our own, without European-style help. In the past I have occasionally suggested that we redirect the huge percentage given to national defense toward more socially useful goals, like those above. But whatever party controls whatever branch, we Americans demand that our mammoth military govern the world. And hegemony costs a bundle. Now that we are safely delivered from raucous and raw political campaign ads, it is timely to urge caution when the next onslaught grabs us by the throat and shouts that we must be good individualists and reject anyone sounding remotely concerned about the common good. Chances are, he or she is not a communist intent on seizing the means of production or agitating to have the proletariat overthrow capitalism’s order.
Thursday, 13 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
Columns/Growing in Faith
Author:Michael M. Canaris
People of the Book- Simeon and Anna Although the liturgical season of Christmas technically ends with the celebration of the baptism of the Lord on the Sunday after the Epiphany, let us focus our attention this week on two figures that touch the young infant’s life. The Latin church celebrates the presentation of the Lord in the Temple 40 days after Christmas (which, of course, commemorates an event that occurred well before his baptism as an adult). The feast is traditionally called Candlemas and marks the remembrance of Mary following the custom of reentering the Temple in accord with the Mosaic law of ritual purity, and dedicating her firstborn infant to God in the first solemn Jewish religious ceremony of his life. The biblical accounts of this event include two fascinating figures, Simeon and Anna. Luke recounts that the devout Jew Simeon had been told by God that he would not die until he saw the Savior of Israel during his lifetime. Candlemas celebrations all over the world remember Simeon’s prayer as he takes the newborn Light of the World into his aging arms, reciting what is traditionally called the Nunc Dimittis: “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel” (Luke 2:29-32). Luke here uses the masculine of the same word for “servant” (doulos) which he places on Mary’s lips at the annunciation, which we in her case most often translate today as “handmaid.” Simeon goes on to prophesy that this child “is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted.” (The “rising” here is described by Luke with the word anastasis — the same Greek term used in the “rising up” from the dead of the Resurrection account). He also informs Mary that a sword will pierce her heart, of course predicting the unimaginable suffering she will one day undergo at the foot of the Cross and the demanding (and thus divisive) message of Jesus which will rend “a household of five, three against two and two against three” (Luke 12:52). The image of a heart pierced by one or seven swords is in Christian iconography associated with Mary as the mater dolorosa, the Mother of Sorrows, to which Simeon here alludes. Also present in this narrative is Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She is described by Luke with the quite specific age of 84, and interestingly called a “prophetess,” the only person in the New Testament so named. After her initial prayer of thanksgiving to God, she “spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem” (2:38). She is then the first Lucan proselytizer, spreading the Good News to those she encounters in the Temple, where the widow had remained constantly praying and fasting for years. We see in the parallelism of Simeon and Anna Luke’s penchant for placing women on equal footing with men, at least relatively speaking. Luke’s writings manifest an egalitarian respect for the sexes in a manner which surpasses other writers in the patriarchal society of the time. The sentiments of closing out “the most wonderful time of the year” as the song puts it, are embodied in Robert Herrick’s poem, “Ceremonies for Candlemas Eve,” which in describing the taking down of Christmas decorations, calls to mind both the upcoming feast of the Presentation and the eschatological life of each Christian, focused on the rising eternal Sun that dispels the darkness forever: Down with the rosemary and bays, down with the mistletoe/ Instead of holly, now upraise, the greener box for show. Green rushes then, and sweetest bents/ with cooler oaken boughs/ Come in for comely ornaments/ to re-adorn the house. Thus times do shift; each thing his turn does hold/ New things succeed, as former things grow old.” As with the biblical assertion of Ecclesiastes 3 (made famous in the song by the Byrds), there is a season and place for every activity, and we now liturgically turn our attention from the remembrance of the Lord’s conception, birth and infancy to his ministry and teaching in the rather extraordinary and lengthy period of Ordinary Time. Michael M. Canaris of Collingswood is an administrator at Fairfield University’s Center for Faith and Public Life and is on the faculty for the Department of Philosophy, Theology, and Religious Studies
Thursday, 13 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
Photos of the Week /Photos of the Week
Author:Admin2
Rock star Jon Bon Jovi poses for a photo with Hopeworks ’N Camden students when he visited in September. The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation has lent its support to Hopeworks.
Thursday, 13 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
Sports/Sports News
Author:Admin2
In recent high school girls’ basketball action, the Holy Spirit (Absecon) Spartans defeated the Our Lady of Mercy Academy (Newfield) Villagers, 39-33, on Monday, Jan. 3. The Spartans’ Tenisha Mobley led all players with 11 points, while the Villagers’ Karli Ernst and Bridget Dandrea both scored 10 points for their team. On Thursday, Jan. 6, the Camden Catholic (Cherry Hill) Irish beat Paul VI (Haddon Township) by a score of 54-35. On Friday, Jan. 7, Our Lady of Mercy was defeated by the Sacred Heart (Vineland) Lions 54-38. Sacred Heart’s Brittany Harden scored a game-high 13 points. Left photo: Camden Catholic’s Addy Crenny fights off Paul VI defenders on her way to 2 points. Bottom right: Our Lady of Mercy Academy’s Karli Ernst scores over Sacred Heart’s Alexa Pitt. Bottom left: Holy Spirit’s Sarah Markos scores, despite the best efforts of Our Lady of Mercy Academy’s Anne Brewer (50) and Ali Dandrea (5). Photos by Alan M. Dumoff
Thursday, 13 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
Catholic Schools/Catholic School News
Author:Admin2
Camden Catholic High School, Cherry Hill, recently honored the Pilarz and DiStanislao families with the dedication of The Pilarz and DiStanislao Performing Arts Center. The newly renovated performing arts center includes a main office, a state of the art dance studio and storage space for all instruments. Still to be completed is a recording studio. Scott Pilarz ’77 and Robert DiStanislao ’78 donated to the renovation. Family and friends of the Pilarz and DiStanislao families gathered in the new music room for the dedication ceremony last month. After cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, the guests enjoyed the music of opera singer Barbara Dever ’69 and friends. Accompanying Dever were Phil Travaline ’55, conducting a string quartet and the Camden Catholic choir and band.
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Catholic Schools/Catholic School News
Author:Admin2
Catholic school students have been leaving the classrooms often lately to sing for appreciative audiences. Left: student members of the Paul VI High School SADD Club (Students Against Destructive Decisions) sing for residents of Rohrer Towers II, Haddon Township. Pictured from left are Claudia Gargano, Jillian D’Amico, Donna McKeon, Allison Calabria, Madeline Bonder, Helen Fox, Erica Perrone, Katie Vettrone, and Suzanne Parker Center: the Glee Club of St. Stephen School, Pennsauken, sings at the Stonegate Christmas party on Dec. 14. Right: The junior and senior choirs of Bishop McHugh Regional Catholic School travelled to Haven House, a Diocesan Senior Apartment Complex in North Cape May where they entertained the residents. Also, the senior choir and the executive board from the school’s Team Mercy recently travelled to McAuley Convent Retirement Facility in Merion, Pa., to entertain the Sisters of Mercy.
Thursday, 13 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
Youth & Young Adult/Youth and Young Adults News
Author:Rich Luongo
CAMDEN — The CRIB (Community Responding In Belief) program of Hopeworks ’N Camden has been benefiting from the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, established by recording artist Jon Bon Jovi. In fact, according to Mimi Box, executive director of the foundation, Hopeworks was provided with start-up funds for CRIB that allowed the project to open its doors to its first residents last September. Without any publicity or reporters present, on Sept. 15, 2010, Bon Jovi toured the CRIB site at 517 State St. in North Camden with staff members while also talking to the youth at Hopeworks. Mimi Box said, those young people who are able to earn a job through Hopeworks and who are pursuing an associate degree at Camden County College, may live at The CRIB and share meals. The program provides a steady environment for those youngsters who have come from a disruptive background. Hopeworks offers two programs for the youth in the city involving technology training and job opportunities. In conjunction with this there are academic support and formation. Day Training program is held Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. The program for in-school youth meets from 3:45-6 p.m. Monday-Friday throughout the school year. Call 856-365-4673 to find out how to apply for either of these programs plus learn about Hopeworks’ other projects. Additionally, a video was produced that highlights what the Soul Foundation was able to accomplish since its founding in 2006 and after teaming up with Hopeworks and other organizations. Hopeworks uses a curriculum that teaches youngsters how to build websites for clients. Once completing this training, students can get jobs in Hopeworks’ web business. But the main goal is to have students continue their education which includes learning to produce videos for clients.
Thursday, 13 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
Columns/Office of Stewardship
Author:Rich Luongo
Photo by James A. McBride Father Tony DiBardino, pastor of the Catholic Community of the Holy Spirit, stands with, from left, Tony and Kathy Puchowski and Beth Sinclair, three individuals who helped in the merging of three parishes into the Catholic Community of the Holy Spirit. MULLICA HILL — Beth Sinclair and Kathy and Tony Puchowski believe good will come from the merging of three parishes into the Catholic Community of the Holy Spirit. Beth, secretary of the core team, believes in the treasure aspect of stewardship and gives funds to her church “with a grateful heart,” she said. Stewardship for Tony is helping to welcome new members to new or expanded ministries. The parishes of Holy Name of Jesus in Mullica Hill, St. Joseph in Woodstown, and St. Ann in Elmer were the three parishes in the merger. Both Mullica Hill and Woodstown are worship sites. Beth has worked for Subaru for 35 years and marketing is her talent. “I’m a good organizer and a good typist,” she said. “As secretary I organized the meetings, took notes, and made sure everything that had to be done was done.” Father Tony DiBardino, pastor of the Catholic Community of the Holy Spirit, noted that Beth was a key part of the meetings. “I’ve worked with her for awhile,” said the pastor. “In addition to the core team, she’s our coordinator of adult faith formation in the parish. She’s also one of the most organized people I’ve ever seen. As secretary she kept exceptional records which are good compilations of things done.” Beth said she was approached by Father DiBardino — at that time pastor of Holy Name of Jesus — to be the recorder at deanery meetings. “I went for one meeting and I stayed for the rest of them,” she said. “Now that the merger is finished, we must consider the next phase, which is how do we build a vibrant community and a vibrant parish?” When Bishop Joseph Galante first came to the Diocese of Camden, he made it a priority to visit the parishes. “He spoke to us about building vibrant parishes,” said Beth. “This is a lifetime process. Our relationship is a life-growing experience and it’s never ending.” She believes the entire merger process “was very, very painful for a lot of people. Some went through a grieving process because they were losing their community, their family, especially parishioners from St. Ann because the site was closed.” “But people already were seeing benefits,” she averred. “Mullica Hill and Woodstown are the worship centers. We’re hoping someday to build a church.” The Masses alternate each Sunday at both locations. According to Beth, who has been a lector for 25 years, youth groups are beginning to see plenty of benefits with the merger and meetings are being held to expand the RCIA. “There’s really a good solid process in Mullica Hill,” Beth noted, “and we’re now using this process for Woodstown.” Scripture study through the Camden Biblical Institute is being offered in two places. “Another area that’s blending in,” she pointed out, “is the music ministries. Groups are coming together and making beautiful music.” Beth said she is happy about the development of the laity. “I went through a diocesan parish leadership program years ago,” she explained. “It was a huge benefit for me. It’s also wonderful to see the lay ministry formation program.” Tony Puchowski’s situation is similar to Beth’s. He wasn’t an official core team member but, instead, was a volunteer on a subcommittee. “It was the communications committee,” he said. “Letters had to go out, press releases had to be sent to newspapers, and announcements had to be made. Anything to get the word out. Each member of the team was responsible for certain areas. My wife, Kathy, was responsible for liturgy. Communications was under that.” Kathy Puchowski said she was running the transitional committee for the merger and her husband joined in. He helped but was not an official member of the core team. Kathy was in charge of the transitional liturgy committee for the team. “Wherever the liturgy was celebrated,” she said, “I would recommend the scheduling for all liturgical services at the worship sites,” noting that it was a “great job” giving recommendations to the parish and “even to myself.” The two worship sites, Mullica Hill and Woodstown, allow people to decide which place to go for Mass, she said, and pointed out that parishioners will alternate between the two sites. “We don’t have one site big enough for everybody,” Kathy said. “Mullica Hill seats 550 people and Woodstown, 350. And both sites have their own cemeteries; Holy Name of Jesus at Mullica Hill and St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Woodstown.” Right now Kathy is chairwoman of the parish finance council. “That’s a new job for me,” she noted. While on the core team, Kathy used to help Father DiBardino with the Weston Team retreat to Weston, Vt. “We would plan that all year long,” she said. “Ten of us would go and we’d take about 40 people with us. This was in October but I didn’t go this year.” In Weston, Vt. the people would stay at a priory of the Benedictine monks and each person was assigned a condo, Kathy said, with one large condo for meetings. This year only team members from St. Ann and St. Joseph went to the retreat. Kathy is a member of the parish women’s guild and Tony is a fourth degree Knights of Columbus, an organization he’s been with for 15 years. Kathy was president for three years of the women’s guild “but I really couldn’t do much because of my work with the core team. Right now my focus is on the finance council.” Kathy had been a lector and Eucharistic minister but when Father DiBardino became pastor of Holy Name of Jesus Parish he suggested she focus on one area. “So I took Eucharistic ministry,” she said. “And I’m still doing that and enjoy it very much.” Tony was a member of the pastoral council until the merger, then a new council was formed but he opted not to move on. He joined the Stewardship Committee. “Basically the committee is kind of a feeder for other ministries,” he pointed out. Committee members recently put cards in the pews asking people to fill them out and join a ministry where they can use their time, talents, and treasure. “We will call these people,” Tony said, “and invite them to come to a meeting. Our job is to find the right people for ministries. We’re hoping to have a fair this year after the Masses so people can see what the ministries are all about. And we’ll even serve doughnuts.” For more information on stewardship contact Deacon Russell Davis, Office of Stewardship, at 856-583-6102.
Thursday, 13 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
Catholic Schools/Catholic School News
Author:Admin2
Pictured are students from St. Joseph Religious Education Program in Sea Isle City at the annual Epiphany prayer celebration. During the celebration, children present their gifts to Jesus at the manger and bless their classrooms by writing symbols above the doorways and praying. The highlight of the evening is the cupcakes, three of which contain a little plastic baby. The students who find the baby are crowned “kings of the night” and receive a small prize.
Thursday, 13 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
News/Latest News
Author:Sister Mary Ann Walsh
The violence in Tucson is one more wake-up call to an increasingly violent U.S. society. While no one knows what made a man decide to spray bullets at a simple political event for U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Jan. 8, one only has to read newspapers, listen to talk radio, surf the Web and watch “reality television” to come away concerned about the violent imagery and demonization of so-called enemies that have entered into public discourse. How does an ordinary citizen deal with this situation? Part of the answer may lie in Scripture, where we learn that we are all children of God, and brothers and sisters to one another. Cain and Abel are not our role models. The answer lies in the image of Jesus, who boldly said to love your enemies. It lies in New Testament images which herald caring figures, such as the Good Shepherd and Good Samaritan, not Rambo or mass murderers. On a practical level, are there things we can do as individuals to reduce violence overall? Perhaps we can promise to not participate in violence even as an observer. We can eschew, for example, the verbal sparring on TV where the rule is take a one-sided position and ridicule the opposition, without being open to the fact that even a scintilla of truth may lie in another’s view. We can ignore the talk radio hosts who are more famous for put downs than intelligent commentary. A drop in their audiences would be a message to be heeded by media management and advertisers. We can refuse to follow blogs that demean individuals and toss about half-truths and lies. We can educate ourselves in modern media. The Web that gives everyone access to the masses is not necessarily a great equalizer, unless you consider the informed and ignorant to be on a par. With nearly everyone having access to the Web, editors and fact-checkers are in short supply. That means users have to bring skepticism to what they read. If it seems unbelievable, it probably is. We can protect the young. Bullying has been a part of young lives for as long as we can remember. Now, with the Web, it has a huge impact. Someone making fun of you to a few people when you’re a teen is troublesome; having someone bad mouth you to half the world via Twitter and Facebook is overwhelming. The huge impact of such bloodless violence calls for stepped up protections, perhaps safeguards or monitoring for the Web. Parents and educators need to assert themselves in this regard. Just as they wouldn’t permit children to beat one another to a pulp on the front lawn, they have to be sure their children aren’t pummeling one another in cyberspace. In the entertainment realm, parents also may be called to act against violent video games, movies and so-called reality shows, which de-sensitize us to violence overall. Surely the more we expose ourselves to disrespectful treatment of others even in the make-believe world, the less horrified we will be of violence in ordinary life. Remember when saying “damn” was shocking? Now we’re so used to bad language that only the vilest seems to disturb us. Remember when young men settled things with a punch? Now a response to feeling dissed seems to be a gun. Another way to combat violence is to look at our own attitudes toward those with whom we disagree. When faced with such a person can we pause to see if he or she has a point? Can we dismiss the impulse to disregard someone and try to understand what life is like in his or her shoes? Can we bring a voice of reason to what may seem like an unreasonable situation? The violence in our society affects all of us. We can’t hide from it. It behooves us to see what we can do to tone it down. Sister Mary Ann Walsh is director of media relations for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Thursday, 13 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
News/Latest News
Author:Admin2
Msgr. James Tracy, pastor of St. Charles Borromeo, Sicklerville, concelebrates Mass to commemorate his 50 years as a priest on Dec. 11. With his encouragement, the parish has begun efforts to foster vocations. Guided by a celebrated priest’s words, St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Washington Township is starting a parish-wide priesthood vocation campaign, “Ten In Ten,” aiming to get 10 vocations to the priesthood in the next 10 years. This past December, parishioners asked Msgr. James Tracy, pastor of St. Charles Borromeo, how he wanted to commemorate his 50 years as a priest and remember his service to the diocese of Camden. Wanting to share his joy and passion for the priesthood with the entire parish, recalling that it’s been “a wonderful life” for him, he asked members of the pastoral council to center his 50th anniversary on future vocations, with a Mass held at St. Charles Borromeo and the “Ten In Ten” campaign. On Dec. 11, a procession of flag-carrying school children, the Knights of Columbus, and 30 priests into the church, and then Msgr. Tracy, who celebrared Mass. In his homily, Msgr. Tracy likened himself to an instrument that was given over the Lord, and he expressed his confidence that God was at that moment speaking to young men in the parish. He said he hoped that these planted seeds will be supported by family and friends in creating a new generation of priests. “Take that first step — I promise — it’s truly a wonderful life!” he implored. The parish initiative, “Ten In Ten,” is being promoted by various ministries at St. Charles. The Communication group has gotten the word out through e-mail, newsletters, website and bulletin inserts, while the Liturgy group focused on guest speakers, such as Father Thomas Kiely, diocesan vocation director, and seminarian Kevin Mohan, coming to speak at Masses. Involving the 900 students in religious education, the education group had each grade level focus on a different aspect of the priesthood, from learning about St. Charles Borromeo, patron saint of seminarians, and St. John Vianney, patron saint of priests, to tracking the steps to priestly ordination, to a Q & A session with Kevin Mohan and eighth graders. The Family Life group has been preparing seminary tours and a communion breakfast with various speakers for parents, and an ongoing Vocation Cross and Chalice project invites eighth graders and their families to take home a crucifix or chalice each week as a reminder to pray each day for vocations in the parish and diocese. At the age of 13, after attending St. Cecilia School in Pennsauken, Msgr. Tracy entered Mother of the Savior Seminary in Blackwood, followed by college at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, and studies at the North American College in Rome. After being ordained in December 1960 in Rome by Blessed Pope John XXIII, his first assignment was at St. Ann’s, Wildwood. Throughout his 50 years, he has been a vice principal and principal, Superintendent of Schools for the diocese, and Secretary of Education. He was also the first director of Priest Personnel, as well as diocesan director of RCIA.
Thursday, 13 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
3918. Gala Night
News/Latest News
Author:Admin2
Photo by Alan M. Dumoff Children dance during the Gala Night sponsored by St. Monica Parish, Atlantic City, and held Dec. 18 at the Hilton Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City.
Thursday, 13 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
News/Latest News
Author:Admin2
Registrations are now being accepted for the Church Ministry of Camden, a new lay ministry formation available to Catholics in the Camden Diocese. The program was initiated in September, 2010 for Spanish-speaking Catholics. In September, 2011, this three year non-credit certificate program will be available in English and in Spanish. The program provides a foundation in theological studies, pastoral skills and spiritual development, integrated with preparation for ministry and service. Each of the 14 courses is six weeks in length and is followed by an evening of theological reflection. Special features of this program include opportunities for mentoring, retreats, spiritual book sharing, ministry visits and a ministry project within the participant’s parish. Church Ministry Institute classes will be held in several locations around the diocese. For more information and an application call Linda K. Robinson at 856-583-6116 or e-mail linda.k.robinson@camdendiocese.org
Thursday, 13 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
News/Latest News
Author:Linda K. Robinson
Bishop Joseph A. Galante offers a blessing at the end of Mass for participants and faculty in the Camden Diocesan Lay Ministry Formation Program and their family and friends. The Mass was celebrated Jan. 9 in Holy Family Church, Sewell. On Sunday, Jan. 9, on the feast of the Baptism of Our Lord, 140 participants of the Lay Ministry Formation Program, together with their families, gathered for a 2 p.m. Eucharistic celebration at Holy Family Church in Sewell. Bishop Joseph Galante presided at this second annual gathering of student-participants in the Lay Ministry Formation Program. The feast of the Baptism of the Lord was chosen as the day for this celebration in order to deepen the laity’s awareness of their rights and responsibilities in the church given them by baptism. The nearly 300 participants in the Lay Ministry Formation Program have accepted the invitation to obtain the education and formation necessary to become qualified, competent lay ministers. Each of these individuals is an active member of their parish and is, or will be, assisting their pastors and pastoral staffs to further the pastoral priorities so they take root in and flourish within their parish communities. During the Mass, speaking in English and in Spanish, the bishop thanked those gathered for their commitment and service to their parishes, and spoke of the importance of having well-formed lay ministers serving God’s people now and into the future in the parishes of South Jersey. The formation of lay ministers is one of the six pastoral priorities named by Bishop Galante as a direct result of the parish “Speak-Ups” conducted between March 2005 and May 2006. Lay Ministry Formation is integral to Lifelong Faith Formation, an integrated journey of the entire Catholic Christian community in response to the baptismal call to holiness as members of the Body of Christ. It is the growing awareness of God’s self-revelation and personal response in which one is drawn more deeply into relationship with Jesus Christ and his church. Those women and men studying in the Lay Ministry Formation program seek to understand the Story and Mission of Jesus in order to place the Truths and Tradition of the Catholic faith at the service of God’s people. Intellectual, pastoral and spiritual formation of the Lay Ministry Formation Programs is accomplished through a variety of diocesan certificate and college certificate and degree programs in virtual and hybrid learning communities, and in satellite locations around the diocese. Since the program’s beginning in January 2009, the diocese has formed partnerships with Georgian Court University, College of St. Elizabeth, Neumann University, University of Dayton, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, and the Center for Ministry Development. Most partnerships allow for a 50 percent discount in tuition with the balance divided equally among parish, diocese and student. Recently, a diocesan certificate program has been created for those seeking to study but who do not desire a credit-bearing academic program. (See related article, Church Ministry Institute of Camden.) New partnerships continue to be explored to create a diversity of learning opportunities for Catholics in the Camden Diocese. Individuals who are discerning the call to ministry must seek the recommendation of their pastors or principals but may be self-initiated. Most who are accepted into the program are already engaged in parish ministry. Applications to the Lay Ministry Formation program are accepted year round. For further information about the programs, visit the diocesan website www.camdendiocese.org and click on the icon for Lay Ministry Formation at the bottom of the page. Additional information can be found on the site Harvesting God’s Gifts, also on the diocesan web page, or by contacting Linda K. Robinson at linda.krobinson@camdendiocese.org or at 856-583-6116. Linda K. Robinson is director, Lay Ministry Formation, Diocese of Camden.
Thursday, 13 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
Español/Spanish/Español/Spanish
Author:Bishop Dennis J. Sullivan
La semana pasada, se publicó en la Internet un video profundamente inquietante de una mujer que filmó su propio aborto en una clínica de Cherry Hill. Este video se extendió rápidamente por todo el país y ha recibido una amplia publicidad. Ya que el vídeo se originó aquí en el área de la diócesis, creo que es un momento especialmente importante para que reflexionemos sobre nuestra creencia católica en la santidad de toda vida humana. Esta creencia tiene sus raíces en el primer capítulo de la Biblia, cuando leemos en el libro del Génesis que Dios creó al hombre y a la mujer a su imagen y semejanza. En otras palabras, cada persona humana lleva la marca de Dios de una manera única y hermosa. Cada persona es una creación amada de nuestro Padre Celestial - desde el momento inicial de la vida en adelante. Nuestro Santo Padre Francisco habla con frecuencia sobre lo que él ha llamado "el inestimable valor de toda vida humana". El verano pasado, en un mensaje a los católicos de Gran Bretaña, el Papa escribió: "Incluso los más débiles y los más vulnerables, los enfermos, los ancianos, los no nacidos y los pobres, son obras maestras de la creación de Dios, hechos a su propia imagen, destinados a vivir para siempre, y merecedores de la máxima reverencia y respeto." Trágicamente, es evidente que vivimos en un mundo donde frecuentemente no existe la reverencia hacia los más vulnerables. "Nuestra fe está en marcado contraste" con esta triste realidad, según lo proclama la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de Estados Unidos en el documento titulado Comunidades de Sal y Luz. "En una época de individualismo rampante, estamos a favor de la familia y la comunidad. En un tiempo de intenso consumismo, insistimos que lo que cuenta no es lo que tenemos, sino cómo nos tratamos unos a otros. En una época que no valora la permanencia ni el luchar duro por las relaciones, creemos que el matrimonio es para siempre y que los niños son una bendición, no una carga." Como discípulos, imitamos el amor de Dios por cada persona cuando ponemos estos valores en acción, construyendo lo que San Juan Pablo II llamó una "cultura de vida." Construimos una cultura de vida cuando apoyamos los centros de crisis de embarazo y las agencias de adopción. Construimos una cultura de vida cuando damos la bienvenida a una nueva vida, sin importar las circunstancias. Construimos una cultura de vida cuando abogamos por políticas públicas que apoyen a las familias que luchan por alcanzar los medios para vivir. Durante este tiempo de Pascua, la celebración de la Resurrección de Cristo nos recuerda que somos un pueblo de esperanza. Aun en medio de las tinieblas y el pecado, la Luz de Cristo resplandece Que el poder del amor de Dios sobre la muerte inspire a todas las personas de buena voluntad a trabajar hacia una cultura de vida en nuestra diócesis y más allá.
Thursday, 15 May 2014 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
Columns/Growing in Faith
Author:Michael M. Canaris
People of the Book: Daniel An important biblical text for both Jews and Christians is the Book of Daniel. This apocalyptic work not only describes the “end times” (Greek eschaton) in vivid fashion, but is quoted by Jesus in his own prophecy about the trials and tribulations which will face the blossoming Christian movement (Mt 24: 15). The prophet Daniel stands as a witness to God’s coming justice and the inauguration of the Messianic Age. Daniel, whose name literally and fittingly means “God is my judge” in Hebrew, lived during the 6th century B.C. under the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar during the Jewish exile in Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar is widely viewed as a typological antichrist figure, the supremely evil tyrant who forces his people to worship the state religion under penalty of death. Interestingly Roger Williams, the Baptist founder of Rhode Island, likened the Massachusetts Bay Colony of the early seventeenth century to such a dangerous marriage of civil and religious authority. He viewed himself as a latter-day Daniel protesting such a monolithic religious civilization and likened his followers to the prophet’s companions who were persecuted and locked in a fiery furnace because of their unwillingness to adopt the religion imposed by the State. Daniel was familiar with the astrological studies of the Chaldeans, those residents of modern-day Baghdad some of whose descendants would one day adopt Christianity and face persecution even until our own day. (Pope Benedict XVI has repeatedly condemned a recent spate of violence against the longstanding Chaldean Christian community in the Middle East). When brought before Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel was able to interpret one of the king’s terrifying dreams, as none of the other wise men of the period could. He relayed to the ruler that the statue made of clay feet, iron legs, brass thighs and belly, silver arms, and golden head from Nebuchadnezzar’s vision represented various worldly kingdoms of different eras. The stone which “smote the image, breaking it to pieces to become like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors, carried away by the wind” (2:35) and afterward itself becoming an all-encompassing mountain, foretold the coming eternal Messianic kingdom, which will have no end and whose power will supersede that of every nation before establishing itself as the eternal reign of God. Later in his life, Daniel’s powerful enemies influenced the successor to the throne, Darius the Mede, to prohibit supplications and displays of homage to anyone other than the king. When they intentionally spied on Daniel praying toward Jerusalem to praise God, they incited Darius to exert the capital punishment he had promised for the “crime,” despite the king’s hesitancy to do so. After Daniel was cast into the lion’s den by the executioners, God protected his servant by sending an angel to cleave together the mouths of the lions because of the prophet’s innocence. In response, Darius had the Lord of Israel proclaimed throughout the land, “For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions” (6:26-8). In the typical retributive justice of such a narrative, his transgressors are then cast into the den to be devoured. Daniel of course serves as a model of trust and fidelity to God despite the prowling forces of doubt, selfishness, and pride which hem us in from every side in our daily lives. But perhaps even more importantly, he eschatologically points forward to the last days, when the “multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever” (12:2-3). There is then an ever-present challenge in reading the Book of Daniel, a call to better ourselves and to stand firm in our faith in the face of evil, in the effort to lead others to the God who has so profoundly protected our lives and saved us from imminent physical, emotional, and spiritual harm. Michael M. Canaris of Collingswood is an administrator at Fairfield University’s Center for Faith and Public Life and is on the faculty for the Department of Philosophy, Theology, and Religious Studies
Thursday, 20 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
Columns/The Catholic Difference
Author:George Weigel
February 6 is the centenary of the birth of Ronald Wilson Reagan, one of the most intriguing public figures of our time. Clark Clifford, the ultimate Washington “insiders,” dismissed him as an “amiable dunce.” Yet Reagan’s posthumously published diaries and speech notes show a man of considerable insight and intelligence, who was shrewd enough to understand that the contempt of the elites was a political asset in securing the loyalty of the electorate and in getting what he wanted out of Congress and the federal bureaucracy. He was feared by arms controllers and the foreign policy establishment as a man likely to blunder into a nuclear Armageddon. Yet recent studies by Martin and Annelise Anderson demonstrate that, unlike the liberal poobahs of deterrence, Reagan never learned to live with the bomb and bent every effort to rid the world of nuclear weapons, through both disarmament and the development of effective strategic defense. His anti-communism was derided as primitive, unsophisticated, and a danger to world peace. Yet the historical record shows that his “simplistic” prescription for ending the Cold war—“We win; they lose”—turned out to be the key to the victory of imperfect democracies over a pluperfect tyranny. Few great public figures of late modernity have been so misunderstood in their lifetime or revered at their death — with the exception of another man who was never supposed to become the titanic figure he became, Pope John Paul II. And, as I try to show in “The End and the Beginning: Pope John Paul II—The Victory of Freedom, the Last Years, the Legacy,” these two unexpected giants of the late 20th century had strikingly parallel biographies, despite the obvious differences in their backgrounds and interests. They were both orphaned young: the future pope, literally; the future president, virtually, given the alcoholism of his father. They were both men of the theater, whose extensive acting experience gave them both crucial skills and a conviction: that the word of truth, spoken clearly and forcefully enough, could cut through the static of evil’s lies, rally hearts and souls, and create possibilities where only obstacles were apparent. Their understanding of, and loathing for, communism came to both of them early: Reagan, through his battles with Hollywood communists for control of the Screen Actors Guild; John Paul II, through his experience of the brutalitarian period of Polish communism after World War II. Both knew that the crucial battle with communism was in the realm of the human spirit, for communism proposed a false, yet seductive, view of the human future that could best be matched by a nobler vision of human freedom. They were both dismissed as “conservatives” by pundits for whom “conservative” was a polite placeholder for “reactionary.” Yet the truth of the matter was that both were radicals: Reagan, in his convictions about ridding the world of nuclear weapons; John Paul, in the depth of his Christian discipleship. There was no “holy alliance” between them, as some overly imaginative reporters have alleged. But there was deep mutual respect. Shortly before Christmas 2001, John Paul II asked me, “How is President Reagan?” As it happened, I had just run into former attorney general Edwin Meese, who had told me a story that I shared with the Pope. Meese had gone to the christening of the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan earlier that year, and had brought the former president (whose illness prevented him from attending) the typical ship’s baseball cap, emblazoned “U.S.S. Ronald Reagan CV-76,” that had been given out on the occasion. Reagan, a gentleman to the end, responded, “Thank you, Ed. That’s very kind. But why would anyone name a ship after me?” Twelve years after leaving office, the most consequential president since Franklin Roosevelt had no memory of having led his country, and the free world, for eight years. John Paul II, who could not imagine the unreflected-upon life, was saddened by my tale, and asked that I get word of his solidarity in prayer to Mrs. Reagan. It’s a comfort to imagine these two happy warriors now, in different circumstances, beyond the reach of either misunderstanding or sorrow. George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.
Thursday, 20 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
Columns/Spiritual Life
Author:Ronald Rolheiser
The past several weeks have been some of the most pressured weeks in my life. I have been trying to balance the pressures of teaching a three-hour-a-day Intersession course, my duties as an administrator, a series of emergencies to do with the deaths of a couple of close friends, along with trying to sustain some kind of prayer life, all the time nursing a nasty viral cold. It’s been a pressured time. We’ve all had similar seasons in our lives, sometimes lasting for years, not just for a couple of weeks. Sometimes the pressures of life simply put us on a treadmill from which, for awhile at least, there is no stepping off. What happens at those times is that we tend to beat ourselves up for getting caught in that situation. Frequently too friends and spiritual directors join in, berating us for not taking better care of ourselves, for not saying no to more things, and for not having the discipline to schedule regular prayer, exercise, and leisure into our lives. Their challenge is not without value. We do need to take care of ourselves and it is not always a virtue to respond to every need that presents itself. But, that being said, it also needs to be said that sometimes, perhaps most of the time, the pressures of life, those duties and demands that rob us of leisure and rest and time for formal prayer, are not necessarily a bad thing. There is a fasting and prayer too, by conscription. Jesus, the Gospels tell us, once went into the desert for 40 days and 40 nights, taking no food and no nourishment. He fasted. In essence, what this says is that he deprived himself of the normal comforts and supports of ordinary human life. He voluntarily submitted to an asceticism designed to help move him to a deeper level of understanding, love, and maturity (the purpose of all voluntary asceticism). He actively sought out the desert. Sometimes, however, the desert finds us. Whenever a season of our life is so full of pressure so as to deny us the normal comforts and supports of ordinary life, then we too are in the desert and afforded the opportunity to use that deprivation as an asceticism that can help move us to a deeper level of understanding, love, and maturity; except in our case the asceticism is conscriptive rather than freely chosen. Former spiritualities tried to teach this through a concept they called living out our duties of state. In an oversimplification, the idea was this: God puts us on this earth not just for leisure and enjoyment, but also to serve others and to give our lives over in unselfish duty. Our private happiness, and indeed our private sanctity, is not our highest goal. Once we accept this and begin to give our lives over in service, the duties innate within marriage, family, vocation, church, society, and the needy will, at times, consume us in ways that can for long periods of time take away our freedom, our leisure, our rest, and even our time to pray as we ideally should. But that response to duty is also a healthy asceticism, albeit a conscriptive one, which can do for us the very things that private prayer and voluntary fasting can do, namely, push us beyond a self-centered life. Biblically, this is captured in Jesus’ remark to Peter at the end of John’s Gospel: After Peter had three times affirmed his love and commitment, Jesus turned to him and said: Up to now, you have gird your belt and walked wherever you wanted to go, but now, after this commitment, others will put a belt around you and take you where you would rather not go. What Jesus is telling Peter is that the duties that will now follow upon his commitment of faith and love will rob him not just of his leisure and his own plans for his life, but ultimately too they will rob him of his freedom and his very life. Duty can do that, and often does. I know a woman whose children are now grown who once confessed to me that, while her children were toddlers, she sometimes went through long periods when she could not even carve out sufficient time for herself to go to the bathroom, not alone find time for leisure or time to pray or sit in solitude. Today she is one of the most unselfish and prayerful persons I know. Obviously her time in the desert of her own home, her feet held to the fire by duty, fasting by necessity from ordinary leisure, did for her what the desert did for Jesus and what the conscriptive rope did for Peter. Unwelcome pressure, tiredness that we haven’t the luxury to address, and duties that take us beyond our own agendas, if accepted without resentment, can function as God’s conscriptive, ascetical hook, taking us, as if against our own will, to deeper and more mature places. Oblate Father Ron Rolheiser, theologian, teacher, and award-winning author, is President of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas. He can be contacted through his website www.ronrolheiser.com
Thursday, 20 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
News/Latest News
Author:Admin2
CAMDEN — In anticipation of coming changes to the national healthcare system, Lourdes Health System is acquiring Associated Cardiovascular Consultants (ACC), one of Southern New Jersey’s largest medical practices with seven offices and 31 cardiologists. A significant result of the acquisition will be the formation of a clinical co-management arrangement in which ACC and other Lourdes cardiologists will manage hospital-based cardiac services jointly with the medical center. The model differs from conventional hospital/physician joint ventures in that the hospital maintains ownership of the clinical service line and resulting revenue stream, while physicians gain greater participation in planning, budgeting, clinical program development, quality oversight and improved patient experience. “In the future, we believe hospitals and physicians will increasingly be paid for value and quality rather than volume,” said Alexander J. Hatala, Chief Executive Officer for Lourdes Health System. “Our partnership with ACC in a clinical co-management Arrangement will allow us to increase quality, reduce cost, avoid duplication of services and increase coordination of care. This model is similar to the ideal promoted by forward-leaning organizations such as the Mayo Clinic and Geisinger Health System,” he said.
Thursday, 20 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
News/Latest News
Author:Rich Luongo
CAMDEN — The second annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Community Organizing attracted more than 80 people on Jan. 17 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. to a workshop at St. Anthony of Padua Church, sponsored by Camden Churches Organized for People (CCOP). “There were many groups around the nation holding a day of service to commemorate Dr. King’s birthday,” said Father Jud Weiksnar, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua, “but we were the only place in the country to hold a day of Community Organizing.” Father Weiksnar said those in attendance included community organizers, college students, immigrants, students from St. Anthony School, parishioners, and clergy from all around Camden. Marion Jones, CCOP co-chairwoman, said the workshops looked at the man and what he did to get his ideas across and how he influenced people. According to Father Weiksnar, the main point of the day of community organizing was that “community service is a good thing, but if it is the first thing that we associate with Martin Luther King, then we are doing his legacy a grave disservice.” “Younger generations especially,” the pastor continued, “might think of King only in terms of getting a day off from school to volunteer at a soup kitchen, and never know of King’s message of radical nonviolence, and his challenging of unjust structures.”   Churches respond to layoffs On Dec. 4 CCOP held a press conference on the steps of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral asking the governor, Mayor Dana Redd, and the municipal unions to show leadership during the city’s financial crisis and to avoid the layoffs of the police and firefighters. At 1:30 p.m., near the end of the MLK workshop, a press conference was held on the steps of St. Anthony of Padua Church, mirroring one that was held on Dec. 4 in front of Immaculate Conception Church when the governor, Mayor Dana Redd, and the municipal unions were asked to show leadership during the city’s financial crisis to avoid the layoffs of the police and firefighters. Marion Jones said at the time that she wanted the governor “to sit down with the mayor and with the unions to discuss public safety and how it applies to the people of Camden. We cannot put Camden and its people in jeopardy.” But the layoffs went through and nearly half of the police department and more than 60 firefighters and some 100 non-uniform employees were laid-off to help plug a hole in the city budget. “We still need to talk to the mayor and the governor,” said Jones after the lay-offs were carried out. “Nobody seems to be thinking about us with this triangle of the union, administration, and the people. Are we, the people of Camden, expendable because we’re poor? It looks that way.” “Our position is that the people of Camden need to be assured of adequate public services and public safety,” Father Weiksnar said, “and that the city, state, and public employee unions have had plenty of time to come up with a plan that will protect the people of Camden, which is already the poorest and second most dangerous city in the nation. While Martin Luther King fought for our civil rights, Camden is still beset by civil wrongs.” Jones said she felt that if there is a plan to lay-off a good percentage of the public safety personnel in the city then what is the backup plan? “There’s supposed to be a plan,” she said. “What is it? If you cut police and fire you have to have a Plan B. Will there be other law enforcement agencies coming into the city?” Rosa Ramirez, a former chairwoman of the CCOP, said people pulled together to tell city and state officials that Camden was in a crisis. “Officials are going to have to come up with something to help this city,” she said. “We are scared. If you live and/or work in Camden you have a right to be scared. We don’t know what’s going on with our police and fire departments. We are the second most dangerous city in the country yet the moves our city officials are making don’t make sense. We have to come up with a plan. We haven’t given up yet because we need a plan. We have to find ways to improve our city. We need a plan to improve the city. There’s still hope for it.” Jones said a meeting must be held with the governor and the mayor to discuss other issues, besides public safety. She wants to know how funds can be generated for the city. “We were under state control at one time,” she said. “But we have nothing to show for it. You’d think things would be better for us if the state was running us at one time. And don’t forget those arrested in drug busts, for example, are not from the city. The majority of the poor in Camden are not from Camden.”
Thursday, 20 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
News/Latest News
Author:Admin2
Bishop Joseph A. Galante has appointed new deans as part of a revised deanery reconfiguration for the Diocese of Camden. Deaneries provide a structure for bringing together parishes to coordinate church activity within a region, including collaborating with shared ministry leaders. The nine new deaneries encompass the diocese’s 70 parishes and two missions in six counties of South Jersey. Forged via collaboration with the Pastoral Planning Office, Office of the Vicar General, Office of the Chancellor, the Episcopal Council, and the Presbyteral Council, the new deanery configuration brings together the diocese’s ethnic and socioeconomic diversity. The deaneries will assist pastoral leaders in implementing responses to six pastoral priorities of the diocese: compassionate outreach, liturgy, lifelong formation, youth and young adults, lay ministry, and priestly vocations. The new deaneries and deans are: Deanery 1 Dean: Rev. Joseph T. Szolack, Infant Jesus Parish, Woodbury Heights Parishes: Parish of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Camden; St. Josephine Bakhita, Camden; St. Joseph (Polish), Camden; Sacred Heart, Camden; Immaculate Heart of Mary/Transfiguration, West Collingswood (which will merge to become Most Precious Blood); Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, Collingswood; St. Aloysius/St. Vincent Pallotti, Haddon Township (which will merge to become St. Andre Bessette); Emmaus Catholic Community, Mt. Ephraim; St. Mary, Gloucester City; Annunciation/St. Maurice/St. Anne, Bellmawr (which will merge to become St. Joachim); Holy Angels, Woodbury; Infant Jesus, Woodbury Heights. With 18,507 registered households and 12 parishes, and one of the Korean Catholic missions, Deanery 1 has its northernmost point in the Cathedral parish, and continues east in Camden County as far as Westmont and Haddon Heights, and continues south into Gloucester County, as far as Woodbury Heights. With a large amount of diversity, both socioeconomically and ethnically/racially, with large Hispanic and African-American populations, Deanery 1 aligns the poorest urban parishes with wealthier suburban parishes. Deanery 2 Dean: Rev. Thomas A. Newton, Catholic Community of Christ Our Light, Cherry Hill Parishes: St. Joseph Pro-Cathedral, Camden; St. Anthony of Padua, Camden; Mary, Queen of All Saints, Pennsauken; St. Peter, Merchantville; St. Stephen, Pennsauken; Catholic Community of Christ Our Light, Cherry Hill; Christ the King, Haddonfield; Holy Eucharist, Cherry Hill; St. Mary, Cherry Hill; St. Thomas More, Cherry Hill. With 16,915 registered households and 10 parishes, Deanery 2, like Deanery 1, aligns the poorest urban areas with wealthy suburban areas, creating a large amount of socioeconomic and ethnic/racial diversity. Mostly urban in the west, the deanery becomes more suburban in the east. As with Deanery 1, there is a large Hispanic and African-American population in Deanery 2. Deanery 3 Dean: Rev. Raymond P. Gormley, Holy Child Parish, Runnemede Parishes: St. Rose of Lima, Haddon Heights; St. Rita, Bellmawr, Holy Child, Runnemede; Our Lady of Guadalupe, Lindenwold; St. Andrew the Apostle, Gibbsboro; St. Simon Stock, Berlin; and Mater Ecclesiae Mission, Berlin Comprised entirely of parishes in central Camden County, mostly along the Rt. 30 corridor, but extending northeast to the Burlington County line, Deanery 3 has 19,577 registered households with six parishes and one mission. Representing a socioeconomically diverse population, which ranges from urban/dense suburban areas to rural areas, Deanery 3 includes a significant Hispanic population. Deanery 4 Dean: Rev. Robert E. Hughes, Holy Family Parish, Sewell Parishes: Our Lady of Hope, Blackwood; Holy Family, Sewell; Our Lady of Lourdes/Our Lady Queen of Peace, Glassboro (which will merge to become Mary, Mother of Mercy); Saints Peter and Paul, Turnersville; St. Charles Borromeo, Sicklerville; St. Bridget, Glassboro; St. Michael the Archangel, Franklinville With 19,044 registered households and seven parishes, the socioeconomically diverse deanery includes a growing Hispanic population and a growing university. Deanery 4 ranges from densely populated suburban areas to rural areas. Deanery 5 Dean: Rev. Anthony R. DiBardino, Catholic Community of the Holy Spirit, Mullica Hill Parishes: St. Clare of Assisi, Gibbstown; Catholic Community of the Holy Spirit, Mullica Hill; St. Gabriel the Archangel, Carneys Point; Incarnation, Mantua With 10,569 registered households and four parishes, there is a large diversity represented, with denser populations along the 130/295 corridor extending from Paulsboro to Salem City, and less dense populations east into rural Salem County. At least two communities in this area have significant Hispanic populations. Deanery 6 Dean: Rev. Cadmus D. Mazzarella, Our Lady of Peace Parish, Williamstown Parishes: Christ the Redeemer, Atco; Our Lady of Peace, Williamstown; Our Lady of the Lakes, Collings Lakes; St. Mary of Mt. Carmel, Hammonton With four parishes and 12,274 households, the deanery covers northeastern Gloucester County, eastern Camden County, and western Atlantic County. Suburban and rural, Deanery 6 includes a larger-than-average African-American population in the Sicklerville and Williamstown areas, with Hispanics and Asians expected to be the fastest growing ethnic groups. Deanery 7 Dean: Rev. Msgr. Victor S. Muro, Divine Mercy Parish, Vineland Parishes: Queen of Angels/St. Rose of Lima/St. Mary, Newfield (which will merge to become Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament); St. Padre Pio, Vineland; Divine Mercy, Vineland; Sacred Heart/St. Isidore, Vineland; Holy Cross, Bridgeton; All Saints, Millville With six parishes and 11,519 registered households, Deanery 7 covers a large area, including most of Cumberland County and parts of Atlantic and Gloucester Counties. There is a sizeable Hispanic population in the Vineland and Bridgeton areas, as well as a substantial African-American population in the Bridgeton area. Deanery 7 has three urban areas, as well as suburban and rural areas, and a socioeconomic diversity much like Deaneries 1 and 2. Deanery 8 Dean: Rev. Joseph A. Perreault, St. Joseph Parish, Sea Isle City Parishes: Our Lady Star of the Sea, Cape May; St. John Neumann, North Cape May; Notre Dame de la Mer, Wildwood; Our Lady of the Angels, Cape May Court House; St. Brendan the Navigator, Avalon; St. Joseph, Sea Isle City; Resurrection/St. Casimir, Marmora (which will merge to become St. Maximillan Kolbe); St. Augustine/St. Frances Cabrini/Our Lady of Good Counsel, Ocean City (which will merge to become St. Damien). Deanery 8, with eight parishes and 13,720 registered households, includes the shore parishes and mainland parishes of Cape May County. Some areas are urban in nature, while others are in rural areas. A diversity of wealth, a changing population from summer to winter months, a growing Hispanic community, and a large senior population also characterize this deanery. Deanery 9 Dean: Rev. John J. Vignone, St. Katharine Drexel, Egg Harbor City Parishes: Our Lady Star of the Sea, St. Michael, and St. Monica, Atlantic City; Holy Trinity, Margate; St. Nicholas of Tolentine, Atlantic City; St. Thomas, Brigantine; St. Vincent de Paul, Mays Landing; St. Katharine Drexel, Egg Harbor City; St. Joseph, Somers Point; Our Lady of Sorrows, Linwood; St. Gianna Beretta Molla, Northfield; St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Absecon; Assumption/St. Nicholas, Galloway (which will merge to become Our Lady of Perpetual Help). Covering most of Atlantic County, Deanery 9 includes 19,381 registered households, 13 parishes, and one of the Korean missions. Pairing parishes in poor urban areas with wealthier parishes, the deanery’s population is diverse, ranging from urban to rural, poor to wealthy, and includes Hispanics, Asians and African-Americans. It is the most linguistically diverse deanery, with Mass being said in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Haitian/Creole, Korean and Polish on a weekly basis.
Thursday, 20 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
Front Page of Newspaper/Latest Front Page Images
Author:Admin2
Thursday, 20 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
Photos of the Week /Photos of the Week
Author:Admin2
Photo by Alan M. Dumoff On Saturday, Jan. 15, high rollers came to Assumption School in Atco, for Casino Night. Playing such games as blackjack, roulette, and poker, attendees were also treated to hors d’oeuvres, dessert, and great prizes. Top, Jerri Stokos, Maureen Kayate, Karen Karbach, Gene Konravs, Lisa Scaffidi, Gabrielle Purvis, Tiffany Piro, Brian and Jeanie Kraus, and Ray Newman give the “21” game their best shot.
Thursday, 20 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
Catholic Schools/Catholic School News
Author:Admin2
Father Michael Romano, class of 1999, celebrates Mass for Paul VI freshman and sophomores on Thursday, Jan. 13, during Vocation Awareness Day at the Haddon Township High School. In addition to Father Romano, alumni of Paul VI who have gone on to priestly and religious vocations include Msgr. Dominic Bottino, Class of 1970; Father Timothy Byerley, ’72; Deacon Peter Powell, ’74; Sister Donna Cicalese, SSJ, ’77; Sister Alicia Perna, SSJ, Class of 1979; Father Christopher Bakey, Class of 1979; Father Robert Hughes, ’81; Father Joseph Byerley, ’82; Father Brian Frain, SJ, ’82; Msgr. James Checchio, ’84; Sister Lesley Draper, MPF, ’93; Father Robert Yetman, ’96; Father Christopher Markellos, ’97; and Sister Laurie Power, OP, ’99. Photo by Alan M. Dumoff
Thursday, 20 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
Letters to the Editor/Latest Letters to the Editor
Author:Carmela Malerba
The Star Herald welcomes letters to the editor. Letters for publication should be addressed to Carl Peters, editor, 15 North 7th St., Camden 08102 or sent via email to cpeters@camdendiocese.org. Please enclose a daytime phone number where you can be reached. To be eligible for publication, letter writers should limit themselves to 300 words or fewer and address issues raised in the Star Herald. It is fine to express strong opinions, but a respectful tone is required. Please avoid comments on other published letters. Preference will be granted to those writers who respond to stories published in the Star Herald. All material is subject to editing. Printed letters do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Catholic Star Herald or the Diocese of Camden.
Friday, 21 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
Letters to the Editor/Latest Letters to the Editor
Author:Frank Malloy
Re: “Interfaith support for nuclear arms treaty,” That All May Be One, (Dec. 24). Father Joseph Wallace’s column is a vivid reminder of all that is wrong with ecumenism, when he writes of various faiths support of a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). He forgets Our Lady of Fatima’s warning that, unless her requests are fulfilled (the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart), we risk the “annihilation of many nations”; as well as her warning at Akita, Japan in 1973 that, “fire will fall from the sky”! Father Wallace just doesn’t get it! He fawns over various other religions in his attempt to show how “all may be one” without realizing that what Mary said at Fatima was anti-ecumenism. Did Our Lady come to Fatima to proclaim Christian unity through ecumenism? Of course not! Ecumenism denies her messages given at Fatima where she reinforced Catholic dogmas and traditions with emphasis on heaven, hell, purgatory, the last judgment and her Son's Real presence in the Eucharist. In the book, “Ecumenism,” written by a freemason, we find these words, “The goal is no longer the destruction of the church, but rather to make use of it by infiltrating it.” According to the freemason magazine, “Le Symbolisme,” published in 1962, “Freemasonry wants to be a super-church which will bring all churches together in her bosom.” In 1908, the Catholic Dictionary made no mention of ecumenism; yet, by 1965, there were seven pages on the ecumenical movement. Exactly as (St.) Pope Pius X had warned! While it's great that Bishops like Hubbard and Dolan are on board with a new START treaty, wouldn’t it be more meaningful if they called on all the bishops to do heaven’s will and ask the pope to make the consecration of Russia, as asked for by Our Lady of Fatima, in order to bring about true peace? I'll give the final say to Mikhail Gorbachev, with whom Father Wallace is so enamored, “There must be no letup in the war against religion, because as long as it exists, Communism cannot prevail. We must intensify the obliteration of all religions wherever they are practiced or taught.” Sounds somewhat ecumenical, does it not? Frank Malloy Bellmawr
Friday, 21 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
News/Latest News
Author:Admin2
It should be noted in today’s world, among other rights, the right of economic initiative is often suppressed. Yet it is a right which is important not only for the individual but also for the common good. Experience shows us that denial of this right, or its limitation in the name of an alleged “equality” of everyone in society, diminishes, or in practice absolutely destroys the spirit of initiative, that is to say the creative subjectivity of the citizen. …This provokes a sense of frustration or desperation and predisposes people to opt out of national life, impelling many to emigrate and also favoring a form of “psychological” emigration. On Social Concerns, par.15. Pope John Paul II. 1987. Explanatory Note: Not only Third World individuals but even Third World nations are sometimes deprived the right to determine their own economic, political, social, and cultural life.” Joseph Donders, John Paul II: The Encyclicals in Everyday Language. The Racial Justice Commission of the Camden Diocese embarked on a year-long mission entitled, “Many Faces in God’s House” to foster appreciation for the cultural differences within our parishes and to encourage our church family to focus on God’s love for each of us and his call for each of us to love one another. Another goal is to share with the faithful of the Diocese Catholic social teaching on racial justice and immigration.
Thursday, 20 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
Front Page of Newspaper/Latest Front Page Images
Author:Admin2
Friday, 28 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
Columns/On Behalf of Justice
Author:Father Robert J. Gregorio
In this frightening era of house foreclosures, we appreciate our homes a lot these days. Granted half the foreclosures are strategic, meaning that the property value is less than what the owner owes. But who of us wants to be reduced to living in a car, or in one of those paupers’ camps featured in the paper? What would it take for New Jersey or the United States to have what many other industrialized countries have had for generations—no, not universal health insurance or handgun prohibition or a ban on executions or a national discretionary budget that does not annually award two thirds-plus to arms? What do we need for everyone to have affordable housing? The answer is simple. But it depends on whether we are willing to share a reasonable amount of our hard-earned income for the common good simply by changing zoning laws to allow builders to put up lower-cost housing if population density is high enough, or whether we prefer to hoard it. Be ready to be called a Marxist even by Catholics if sharing seems best to you, even if it has been Catholic social doctrine since before Marx was born. Imagine if we legislated for housing the way New Jersey does for car insurance. It requires it of all vehicle owners. It does not permit good drivers to escape it. I do not suggest that it is cheap. But with everyone taking part, the burden is spread wide so that it is affordable across the board. If government required all cities and towns to make available developable land for a fair percentage of low-income housing, no one place would regress into what so many fear when they hear the phrase “affordable housing:” a slum. No one wants the value of a property to decline because of how negligent neighbors live. All of New Jersey’s 566 municipalities are required to zone a small amount of land for this, with a ceiling set so that too high a concentration of decent, cheaper homes does not become a ghetto. Low-income residents are positively influenced by more advantaged neighbors who take care of their property. Their children are in public and private schools with a majority of children from better off families. This process usually induces all children to more acceptance of racial and ethnic diversity. RCAs, or regional contribution agreements, would be kept illegal. They are the side-steps used since the nationally famous Mount Laurel decision of the high court said we had to provide for all income people. Poorer cities and towns used to take payoffs from wealthier places to build the required low-income housing all were supposed to have. This made for guaranteed larger slums, the kind we see in Camden, Trenton, Newark and some other cities and towns. On June 3, 2010, the N.J. bishops told state legislators, “With concern for the dignity of every human person, we recognize the fundamental importance of fair housing policies as a matter of justice. Thus we have supported efforts to combat discrimination in housing against racial and ethnic minorities, people with special needs, and families with children. We believe that the exclusion of the poor and lower-income households through a local government’s zoning policies is no less pernicious than the more blatant discrimination that offends our consciences and that our laws prohibit.” State government now stands ready to shut down the Council on Affordable Housing and has little to replace it. This can be read as a refusal to act for the common good, even as government acting to injure the poor. Currently state law specifies the number of affordable housing units to individual municipalities. The Assembly has passed a proposal to require these to provide either 8 or 10 percent of their housing stock as affordable inventory over the next several decades. It reminds me of the auto-repair ad: pay me now or pay me later. We may think we can delay that oil and filter change indefinitely, only to have the engine seize up. We may think we can continue to cram people of color and other diverse people into ghettos far from here to maintain the whiteness of suburban neighborhoods. But it will come back to bite us. Blighted and blasted cities will have to be rescued by Trenton the way Camden has been, at taxpayer expense. In sum, we can provide the right to housing that every citizen has by joining to have all towns and cities make available small amounts of land for affordable housing. Or we can pay much more for more prisons, desperation-driven drug and alcohol addiction, food banks—and more city rescues.
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Columns/On Behalf of Justice
Author:Father Joseph D. Wallace
Christians throughout the world will be gathering in the upcoming week to pray for the unity of the Church that Christ desired in order for the world to believe. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity was first observed in January 1908 in the chapel of a small Atonement Franciscan Convent of the Protestant Episcopal Church on a remote hillside fifty miles from New York City. The Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Atonement could never have imagined that this simple gathering would blossom into a worldwide observance involving many nations and millions of people. Here in South Jersey, we will gather at Grace Episcopal Church, 19 Kings Highway East, Haddonfield, this Sunday, Jan. 30 at 2 p.m. Parking is available in the back of the church. Through the kind invitation of Bishop George Councell of the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey, Bishop Joseph A. Galante and other Christian judicatory heads and representatives will gather to celebrate at Grace Church. The homily will be delivered by Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar, leader of the United Methodist Church in New Jersey. All are welcome to attend and light refreshments will be offered in the parish hall. We would like to thank Father Pat Close, rector of Grace Church, for his kind hospitality and welcome. I would also like to thank Mrs. Patricia Sandrow and the Ecumenical Commission for all your planning and service to unity. The theme of this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is taken from Acts 2:42, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of the bread and the prayers.” The call for unity this year comes to churches all over the world from Jerusalem, the mother Church. The 2011 prayers for the week of prayer were prepared by Palestinian Christians in Jerusalem. The theme is a call back to the origins of the first church in Jerusalem; it is a call for inspiration and renewal, a return to the essentials of the faith; it is a call to remember the time when the Church was still One. Within this theme four elements are presented which were marks of the early Christian community and which are essential to the life of the Christian community wherever it exists. Firstly, the Word was passed on by the apostles. Secondly, koinonia (fellowship) was an important mark of the early believers whenever they met together. A third mark of the early church was the celebration of the Eucharist (the breaking of the bread), remembering the New Covenant which Jesus has enacted in his suffering, death and resurrection. The fourth aspect is the offering of constant prayer. The Christian community in the Holy Land chose to give prominence to these basic essentials as it raises its prayers to God for the unity and vitality of the church throughout the world. The Christians of Jerusalem invite us to join them in prayer as they struggle for justice, peace and prosperity for all people of the Holy Land. At present in Jerusalem today there are 13 churches with an episcopal ministry: the Greek Orthodox Church, the Latin (Catholic) Church, the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Syrian Orthodox Church, the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, the Greek Catholic (Melkite) Church, the Maronite (Catholic) Church, the Syrian Catholic Church, the Armenian Catholic Church, the Chaldean (Catholic) Church, the Episcopal Evangelical Church and the Lutheran Evangelical Church. As Christians we all turn to the Holy Apostles as the standard of faith and orthodoxy. They were the first charged with keeping the holy unity of the church. To their successors falls the divine command to restore unity to the church. The church in Jerusalem finds itself in a political climate that is in many ways similar to the life of the early Christian community. Palestinian Christians have become a small minority facing serious challenges that threaten their future in many ways, while they are longing for freedom, human dignity, justice, peace and security. They call us to pray for Christian unity, as we lift up our voice as one family of faith to God in anticipation and hope for itself and the world so that all may be one in our faith, in our witness and in our love. Please come out and join us this Sunday 2 p.m. at Grace Church in Haddonfield to pray for that unity that Christ so ardently desires of us so that the world may come to believe. Father Joseph D. Wallace is coordinator, Ecumenical and Inter-religious Affairs, Diocese of Camden.
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Columns/Growing in Faith
Author:Michael M. Canaris
People of the Book - Philip and Bartholomew Philip and Bartholomew (or Nathanial) are paired together throughout the New Testament. While the synoptic Gospels call the latter Bartholomew (from the Aramaic for “son of the furrows” and thus a ploughman or farmer), the Gospel of John refers to this figure by what is believed to be his given name, Nathanial. These two close friends provide a glimpse into the life of Christ and teach us some rather dense theological truths. We know that Philip was from Bethsaida on Lake Tiberias in Galilee, as were Peter and Andrew. He was a follower of John the Baptist and, with Bartholomew, is always numbered among the Twelve (Mt 10:3, Mk 3:18, Lk 6:14, etc.). The day after the more famous call of Peter from his nets to be a fisher of men, Jesus approaches Philip and asks him to “Follow me” (Jn 1:43-6). His response is to find his close friend Nathanial and tell him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law and about whom the prophets spoke.” It is this act of faith in the coming Anointed One (or Christ) that frees Philip to unhesitatingly leave the comforts of his familiar life to follow the Lord. Nathanial is not so easily convinced. He quips, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” to which Philip replies, “Come and see.” After the latter (perhaps skeptically) gives in to his friend’s notions of grandeur about Israel’s recently arrived savior and goes to investigate, Nathanial is recognized by Jesus, whom he has never met. The Lord tells him, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Nathanial is obviously thunderstruck by such a claim, and professes Jesus the Son of God and the King of Israel. Jesus’ calm but incisive reply continues to resound down through the centuries: “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that. Truly I tell you, you will see heaven open and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” This is, of course, an allusion to Jacob’s ladder, the patriarch’s dream recorded in Gen 28:12 predicting the one who would serve as the gateway to the Father, and upon whom heavenly graces would descend and humanity ascend into the very life of the divine. Jesus’ statement would not have been lost on the pair of devout Jews well-versed in the Torah. This notion of the mediatorship of Jesus between God and humanity is reiterated in Christ’s conversation with Philip at the Last Supper. He tells Philip, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on you do know him and have seen him” (Jn 14 6-9). To which the pragmatist Philip requests, “Master, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus’ response is one of the most profound lines in all of Scripture. His gentle but incredulous words resonate with us each time we look back upon the wandering paths of our lives: “Have I been with you for so long a time, and yet you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” This is one of the clearest and yet most intellectually challenging notions of the entire Gospel, the mystery of the eternal co-indwelling of the Godhead which we call the Trinity and his tangible presence with us his handiwork. After the Resurrection, Philip travelled north to relay to others his experiences with the Christ. He died violently, like so many of Jesus’ followers, being buried at Hierapolis, today Pamukkale, in modern Turkey. Nathanial, on the other hand, traveled east to India and eventually Armenia, where he was martyred by being flayed alive. In Michelangelo’s famed painting of the Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel, St. Bartholomew’s glorious risen body holding the sagging skin that serves as remnant of this world’s tribulations is said to contain the artist’s self-portrait in the drooping folds of flesh. Both apostles are memorialized in Rome — Bartholomew at San Bartolomeo all’Isola, a basilica on an island in the Tiber which was once a temple to the Greek god of healing Asclepius (famously mentioned in Socrates’ dying words in Plato’s Phaedo); Philip at the Basilica Santi Dodici Apostoli, which was originally named for him and St. James, before being rededicated to all 12 apostles in the Middle Ages. Michael M. Canaris of Collingswood is an administrator at Fairfield University’s Center for Faith and Public Life and is on the faculty for the Department of Philosophy, Theology, and Religious Studies at Sacred Heart University.
Friday, 28 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
News/Supplements
Author:Carmela Malerba
csw_supplement_2011-part_1.pdf
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News/Latest News
Author:Admin2
Sister Cecilia Maloney, MSC, 101, who ministered at Mater Dei Nursing Home in Newfield, died Friday, Jan. 21. Born Mary Ellen Maloney in Ballymore, Moate, County Westmoath, Ireland, Sister Cecilia entered the Mother House of the Marianites of Holy Cross at Precigne, France on July 7, 1927, and made her final profession of vows at French Hospital, New York City, on April 25, 1932. She received a nursing degree in nursing education and also License Nursing Home Administration from the State of New Jersey. In addition to Mater Dei, she ministered at French Hospital, New York City; St. Francis Hospital, Trenton; Our Lady of Princeton, Princeton; and St. Mary of the Lakes, Medford. She also taught at St. Louis Academy in New York. In January 2004, Sister Cecilia became a resident at McAuley Health Care Center. Watchung, N.J. She is survived by numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins in the United States, Ireland, and England. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Tuesday, Jan. 25. in the Chapel at McAuley Health Care Center, Watchung. Burial took place in Our Lady of Princeton Cemetery, Princeton. Memorial contributions may be made to the Mission Fund of the Marianites of Holy Cross, 1011 Gallier Street, New Orleans, LA 70117.
Friday, 28 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
News/Latest News
Author:Admin2
Sister Joan Marie Cherasaro, a member of the Daughters of Our Lady of Mercy, Villa Rossello, Newfield, died on Jan. 20 at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, after a brief illness. She was 62. Sister Cherasaro was born in Hazelton, Pa., daughter of the late Nicholas and Helen Fatula Cherasaro. Having entered the Congregation of the Daughters of Our Lady of Mercy, in Newfield in 1966 she professed her vows on Aug. 15, 1969. She received her B.A. in elementary education at Glassboro State College and a B.A. in music education/liturgy from Immaculata College, Pa. Totally dedicated to her religious vocation, Sister Joan Marie’s life was characterized by her spirit of persevering prayer and outstanding zeal as an educator as well as in her most recent pastoral ministry to the elderly and shut-ins of Most Precious Blood Parish, Hazelton, Pa. Sister Joan Marie taught various schools in New Jersey: Berkeley Heights, St. Mary’s in E. Vineland, St. Francis of Assisi, Vineland, St. Mary Magdalene, Millville, and at Our Lady of Mercy Academy, Newfield from 1985-2002 as a religion and music teacher. Sister Joan Marie was an excellent singer and used her gift of song especially at liturgies. Her singing brought joy and comfort to many as she shared her talent. Sister Joan Marie is survived by the members of her religious community; brothers Nicholas Cherasaro of Troy, Michigan and Robert Cherasaro of Deltona, Florida; and sisters, Judi Monek of Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Donna Zampella of Piscataway, NJ. Also surviving are an aunt, Rita Yanovick of Piscataway, NJ and an extended family of cousins, nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews. The Mass of Resurrection was celebrated by Rev. Louis Grippe, pastor at Most Precious Blood Church, Hazelton, PA on Monday, January 24 at 11 a.m. The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at Villa Rossello Chapel, Newfield, by Father Louis Grippe on Jan. 25 followed by burial at Pieta Cemetery on the grounds of Villa Rossello. Memorial contributions may be made to the Daughters of Mercy, Villa Rossello, 1009 Main, Road, Newfield, NJ 08344.
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News/Latest News
Author:Admin2
Sophie Maguire (nee Gulay), of Barrington, a secretary for 52 years at St. Francis de Sales School in Barrington, died Jan. 17 at the age of 92. She was the beloved wife of the late Michael J., and devoted mother of Patricia Lubonski (Joseph) and Dorothy Henshall (Bob). She was the loving grandmother of Jennifer Schneider (Larry), Stephanie Longo (Peter), David Lubonski (Michelle), Jonathan Lubonski, Thomas Lubonski, Bobby Henshall (Donna), Amy Moore (Chris), Michael Henshall (Jillian) and Matthew Henshall, and great-grandmother of Caleb, Sophie, Caedran, Peter, Joseph, Nicholas, Stephen, Natalie, Jacob, Ethan, Aidan, Sadie, and Macie. She was also the sister of Stephanie Donals and the late Mary, Josephine and Helen. She is also survived by Dee Dee, and many nieces, nephews, and friends. In her youth, Mrs. Maguire was a semi-professional bowler and women’s softball player. In addition to her work at St. Francis de Sales School, she was active in her community and church. A funeral Mass was celebrated Jan. 22 at St. Rita of Cascia Parish, St. Francis de Sales Church, Barrington. Donations may be made to Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, 424 E. Browning Road, Bellmawr, NJ 08031.
Friday, 28 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
Youth & Young Adult/Youth and Young Adults News
Author:Melissa Pileiro
Photo by Alan M. Dumoff Left photo: Father Kevin Nadolski speaks to young adults on the topic, “Does God have a plan for me?” during a Theology on Tap session held Jan. 19 at the Landmark Americana Tap and Grill in Glassboro. For many young people beginning to settle into adulthood, the transition into post-academic life can be overwhelming. Suddenly, no one is dictating the next step to take, and they are left to choose for themselves. Where to work? Who to love? The questions are endless and often stressful. On Jan. 19, about 85 young adults from around the Diocese of Camden met at the Landmark Americana Tap and Grill in Glassboro to ask one question in particular: “Does God have a plan for me?” The gathering was held as part of Theology on Tap, a movement that reaches out to young adults with the message of Christ in a casual setting. This was the fourth meeting for the South Jersey TOT, which launched in September of last year. The speaker for the evening was Father Kevin Nadolski of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. Father Nadolski spent seven years as a director of vocations and is deeply familiar with the struggles that come with discerning God’s call. “Your career is how you make money, but your vocation is how you make a difference,” Nadolski said, explaining that many small decisions work together to form each person’s unique calling. Through personal reflection, prayer and the support of others, discovering God’s plan doesn’t have to be panic-inducing. Father Nadolski offered nine tips for anyone discerning their next step in life. 1) Start with the end in mind. God calls us from heaven, which should be our ultimate goal. 2) Define your preferred lifestyle and “love style.” Figuring out the best way to love others – in marriage, singlehood or religious life – is a large part of discovering our vocation. 3) Do the next “best” thing. Life isn’t meant to be planned in full, but by making the best decisions we can in the present moment. 4) Seek a trusted friend and/or spiritual director. Other people who know us well can point out strengths and weaknesses we may overlook. Wise advice is a crucial resource. 5) Listen to your head and your heart. Some people can be excessively rational, while others are emotionally driven. Making good decisions calls for a healthy balance of both. 6) Make no decision in crisis. Difficult situations can prevent us from thinking clearly. 7) Mourn what we say no to. Choosing one vocation is to turn down another. Can we live without the things we’re sacrificing? 8) Serve the common good. No matter what we decide, our choice should serve the needs of all people, especially the less fortunate. 9) Jesus is the model. “The first vocation is to be fully human, and we were saved by one who was fully human,” Father Nadolski said. We can’t go wrong imitating Jesus. More information about Theology on Tap — South Jersey is available by calling Andres Arango at 856-583-2876, or on Facebook.com. Melissa Pileiro is a freelance writer and senior journalism major at Rowan University, Glassboro.
Friday, 28 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
Youth & Young Adult/Youth and Young Adults News
Author:Kieran M. McGirl
Left photo: On Monday, Jan. 24, 50 students of St. Augustine Preparatory School, Richland, accompanied faculty members Brother David Graber and Brendan Towell to the annual Right to Life Rally in Washington, DC. The students were among many from the Diocese of Camden who made the trip to Washington. They are pictured on the steps of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, where they gathered for prayer before the march. Thirty-eight years ago on Jan. 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case of Roe vs. Wade legalized abortion, and every year for the past 38 years people have gathered in our nation’s capital to protest this decision. On Monday, Jan. 24, as this anniversary occurred, 24 students and group leader, Father Charles Colozzi, from the campuses of Gloucester Catholic and Camden Catholic high schools were among the young people from the Diocese of Camden who made the trip down to Washington D.C. to march in support of the pro-life movement and defend those who are never given the chance to defend themselves. The group, consisting of freshman to seniors, and accompanied by two chaperones, departed from Gloucester Catholic High School at about 8:15 a.m. The group arrived in our nation’s capital at around 12 noon at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on the campus of The Catholic University of America. “The building was among the most beautiful I have ever seen, and it was packed with people who were all in support of life as I and my friends were. Knowing that all these people were there for the same reason made the cause so much more real,” said Gloucester Catholic senior Damon Kreiner. After touring the magnificent shrine and praying in the many open chapels within the shrine, our group re-boarded the bus and departed for the formation site to take part in the march. After a short bus trip up Michigan Avenue we arrived at the stage where the speakers were and where the march would begin, right behind the Washington Monument. The final speaker ended with the Lord’s Prayer and at that moment all of the 300,000 who had gathered to march harmoniously prayed in the words our Father gave us. “They say through prayer all things are possible, and that the power of prayer is among the most powerful. As all those people said ‘Amen,’ I felt empowered that we were doing the right thing and standing up for what was right” said group chaperone and Camden Catholic alumnus, Dana Albano. The march began at the Washington Monument, followed up Constitution Avenue and ended on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court Building. As our group and the many other pro-lifers made their way through the march, cheers and chants were echoed throughout such as, “Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Roe v. Wade has got to go!” which seemed to be a favorite of the Camden Catholic and Gloucester Catholic group. Camden Catholic senior Zach Hensinger summed up the day best when he said “I’ve been to this march many times and all we can do is pray, pray, and pray that our government can see this for the atrocity it is and stop this modern day holocaust of the unborn.” Kieran M. McGirl is a senior at Gloucester Catholic High School, Gloucester City and is president of the Pro-Life Club there.
Friday, 28 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
Photos of the Week /Photos of the Week
Author:Admin2
Photo by Alan M. Dumoff St. Mary School, East Vineland, held its wine and chocolate social Jan. 21 at Merighi’s Savoy Inn, Vineland. The evening featured handmade chocolates by Barbera’s Chocoate on Occasion and music by Frank Marone and the Italians Band. Pictured are Cynthia Gerbillit, Gina Merlino, Gina Guilani, Amy Barbera and Anita Calabrese.
Friday, 28 January 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
News/Latest News
Author:Admin2
Two projects of the Diocesan Housing Services Corporation of the Diocese of Camden, Inc. have been recognized for "Outstanding Achievement' by the Middle Atlantic Regional Council of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO). The Village at St. Peter's (VASP) Senior Housing in Pleasantville was recognized under the "Program Innovation" category for combining the HUD-202 program with 4 percent tax credits to close the funding gap when the market collapsed in 2008 and other state sources evaporated. "The lessons we learned from VASP made it possible for us to finance Benedict's Place with a similar structure," said Curtis H. Johnson, Jr., Housing Services executive director. Benedict's Place Senior Housing in Cherry Hill was recognized under the "Innovative Solutions" category. "NAHRO acknowledged our ability to work through the Diocese of Camden to find an alternative site in another municipality when this project's HUD-202 fund award was threatened with recapture because of environmental disagreements between the municipality and state at the initial site caused delay," explained Johnson.
Thursday, 15 May 2014 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
News/Latest News
Author:Admin2
Robert W. Deaton, 88, former director of Finance and director of Long-Term Care for the Diocese of Camden, died May 8. A graduate of St. Aloysius Academy, West Chester, Pa.; Camden Catholic High School, Cherry Hill; and Rutgers University, Mr. Deaton served in the U.S. Navy during World War II as a radio operation on a PT boat in the South Pacific. He was general manager of Kenney's Restaurants in the late 1950s and 1960s, and later became the general manager of the Cherry Hill Lodge. In 1964, Mr. Deaton was named the director of finance for the Diocese of Camden, and was one of the founders of NJANPHA, The New Jersey Association of Non-Profit Homes for the Aging, now Leading Age of NJ. He spent the balance of his career as director of Long Term Care for the diocese and retired in 1997 after 33 years of service. Mr. Deaton was an avid golfer and an ardent Notre Dame fan, and will be remembered as a quiet man that was respected and loved by all that met him. He was the husband of 66 years of Dorothy (nee Fitzgerald); father of Robert W. Deaton, Jr., Dorothy Deaton-Young (Stuard) of Havertown, PA; brother of Elizabeth Bogucki of Elsmere, Del.; grandfather of Claire Young. He is also survived by his nephew Edmund Makel and his wife Charlotte, of West Deptford, and niece Patricia Fitzgerald of Haddonfield. Mr. Deaton was a resident of St. Mary's Catholic Home, Cherry Hill. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated May 13 at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, Moorestown. Entombment was at Calvary Cemetery, Cherry Hill. Condolences may be offered at www.lewisfuneralhomemoorestown.com.
Thursday, 15 May 2014 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
Front Page of Newspaper/Latest Front Page Images
Author:Admin2
Thursday, 03 February 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
Photos of the Week /Photos of the Week
Author:Admin2
Photo by Alan M. Dumoff Miss America, Teresa Scanlan from Gering, Neb., poses for a photo with kindergarten students of Holy Family Regional School, Ventnor, on Jan. 28. The 17-year-old was crowned just two weeks before, on Jan. 15. Holy Family was her first stop on a national speaking tour, and her visit served as a kickoff for Catholic Schools Week.
Thursday, 03 February 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
Columns/Growing in Faith
Author:Michael M. Canaris
People of the Book – Job One of the most profound books of the entire Bible is that of Job. Its didactic poetry is a reflection on the reality of evil and suffering in the infralapsarian (“after the Fall”) human experience and is largely recognized as a literary masterpiece, even by nonbelievers. It is a reflection on the problem of how a good God can allow evil, called in technical terms “theodicy” (From the Greek theos “God” and dike “justice”). One would seem to think either he is not all-good, and has a mean streak which likes to see us suffer; or he is not all-powerful, since he is obviously too weak to prevent or circumvent the pain we experience. In this framework, logically something has to give. The Book of Job seeks to reflect upon, but perhaps not solve, this conundrum. The work opens with a fascinating exchange between God and the “adversary” or “accuser,” which is translated into English as Satan. The “blameless and upright” Job fears God and lives righteously, but the adversary claims such faith is easy to understand when God has surrounded him with good things. “But now put forth your hand and touch anything that he has, and surely he will blaspheme you to your face.” The inscrutable will of God, “whose ways our not our ways and whose thoughts are not our thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8), is recognized in his response to Satan’s challenge. God “allows” Satan to test Job in a series of increasingly horrific experiences. Job’s livelihood is taken away, his 10 children are killed in one fell swoop, he is reduced to poverty and begging. Yet his faith remains steadfast: “Naked I came forth from my mother’s womb and naked shall I go back again. The Lord has given and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” The celestial prosecutor Satan returns and raises the ante, requesting that God touch Job’s very “bone and his flesh,” and so the good and upright man is covered with painful boils and wracked by illness for years. Yet, he still refuses to criticize God’s will for him. His friends and wife offer various interpretations of why he is in the condition he is, whether the sufferings he endures are punishment for his sins or those of his parents. Job continues to maintain his innocence, until finally his frustration and desperation overtake him. He curses the day of his own birth, metaphorically placing “God in the dock” of the defendant, and (like so many of us) parading his ills before the jury box and demanding that God justify his actions to us. God’s answer to Job is simply breathtaking in its magnificence and should be read by every philosophically-minded person during his or her lifetime, for it speaks to the depths of what it means to question the frailty of the world around us, our neighbors, and ourselves. God explodes “out of the whirlwind” and rhetorically asks on what authority Job questions the will of the Almighty. “Who is this that obscures the divine plans with words of ignorance? Were you there when I laid the foundations of the earth? ... Will we have arguing with the All-Powerful One by the critic? Let him who would correct God give the answer.… Would you refuse to acknowledge my right? Would you condemn me that you may be justified?” The answer, which goes on for chapters, traces God’s power over nature, the cosmos, and human existence. Job is understandably awestruck by God’s response; he disowns his criticisms and repents in dust and ashes, recognizing God’s authority to guide our lives and the entire universe as he sees fit. Job is then eventually rewarded, both materially and spiritually, for his fidelity. As the philosophers have noted, God at his most intimate core is Being, Goodness, Fidelity, Trustworthiness and Love itself. And despite the hardships of life, this Ultimate Love continues to providentially steer the ship of the universe. Creation has a steady hand at its rudder, even if we in the tempest sometimes fail to understand or appreciate the One who, as St. Augustine puts it, “is more intimate to us than we are to ourselves.” We, like Job, should recognize God’s plan and unique care for each of us and continue to live out the sentiments of the 19th-century Baptist hymn: “My life goes on in endless song/ above life’s lamentations/ I hear the real, though far-off hymn/ that hails a new creation./ No storm can shake my inmost calm,/ while to that rock I’m clinging./ Since Love is lord of heaven and earth,/ how can I keep from singing?” Michael M. Canaris of Collingswood is an administrator at Fairfield University’s Center for Faith and Public Life and is on the faculty for the Department of Philosophy, Theology, and Religious Studies at Sacred Heart University.
Thursday, 03 February 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report
Columns/Spiritual Life
Author:Ronald Rolheiser
Margaret Laurence’s novel, “A Jest of God,” tells the story of two sisters: One of them, Rachel, single still and childless at mid-life, is a gifted, elementary school teacher. The other is a stay-at-home-mother, dedicating herself full-time to caring for her children. As the years go by and Rachel finds herself still without children of her own, her frustration grows. She works with children all day, every day, but they are not her children. They come into her classroom, learn from her, pass through her life, but then move on to other classrooms and to a life away from her. She suffers deeply from this transience, this lack of possession. Most everything inside her screams for children of her own, children who will not simply pass through her life. One day she shares this frustration with her sister, confessing how painful it is to have children pass through your life, a different group every year, and never have any that are really your own. Her sister is less than fully sympathetic. She tells Rachel, in effect, that it is no different being a parent. Your children also pass through your life and move on to their own lives, away from you. They also are never really your children, someone you possess. Children are never really yours, irrespective of whether you are their natural parent, their foster parent, or their teacher. They have their own lives, lives that you do not own. There are some important truths in that: Children are never really our own. They are given to us, in trust, for a time, a short time in fact, during which we are asked to be their parents, their teachers, their mentors, their pastors, their uncles, their aunts, their guardians, but they are not, in the end, our children. Their lives belong to them, and to God. That’s both challenging and consoling to realize. The challenge is more obvious: If we accept this then we are less likely to be manipulative as parents, teachers and guardians. We are less likely to see a child as a satellite in our own orbit or as someone whose life must be shaped according to our image and likeness. Rather, if we accept that they are their own persons, we will be able to offer our love, support and guidance with less strings attached. The consolation is not as obvious, but is my main point here: If we accept that our children are really not our own, then we will also realize that we are not alone in raising them. How so? Our children are not ours, they are God’s children. In the end, we are only their guardians, all of us. God is the real parent and God’s love, care and anxiety for them will always be in excess of our own. You are never a single parent, even if you are doing the parenting alone. God is alongside, loving, caring, cajoling, worrying, trying to instill values, trying to awaken love, worrying about what company they are keeping, concerned about what they are watching on the internet, and spending the same sleepless nights that you are. God’s worry exceeds our own. Moreover, God has the power to touch the heart of a child and break through to a child in a way that you, as a parent, often cannot. Your children can refuse to listen to you, turn their backs on you, reject your values, and walk away from everything you stand for; but there is always still another parent, God, from whom they cannot walk away. God can reach into places, including hell itself, into which we cannot reach. God is always there, with a love more patient and solicitousness more fierce than is our own. From that we can draw courage and consolation. Our children are surrounded always by a love, a concern, an anxiety, and an invitation to awaken to love, that far exceeds anything we can offer. God is the real parent and has powers we don’t have. This particularly important and consoling if we have ever lost a child tragically, to an accident that might have been prevented, to suicide, to drugs or alcohol, or to a set of friends and a lifestyle that ended up killing them and, as a parent or guardian, you are left feeling guilty and second-guessing: Why did I fail so badly in this? How much am I to blame for this failure? Again, it is helpful to remind ourselves that we were, and are, not the only parents here and when this child died, however tragic the circumstances, he or she was received by hands far gentler than our own, was embraced by an understanding far deeper than our own, and was welcomed into the arms of a parent more loving than we. Our child left our foster care and our inadequacy to provide everything, to live with a mother and a father who can give him or her the protection, guidance and joy that we could never quite fully provide. Oblate Father Ron Rolheiser, theologian, teacher, and award-winning author, is President of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas. He can be contacted through his website www.ronrolheiser.com
Thursday, 03 February 2011 | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report


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