Archives for March 2014

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http://nfpc.org/uncategorized/692/

NFPC This Week #561

Featured Speakers:

Most Rev. Wilton Gregory
Archbishop of Atlanta

John Allen, Jr. Associate Editor – The Boston Globe

Arturo Chavez
President – Mexican American Catholic College

Rev. J. Michael Joncas
Theologian, AuthorComposer – University of St. Thomas

Please select from the following sections for more information on attending and participating at the 2014 NFPC Convocation.

Convocation Overview Convocation Schedule
Priest-Labor Workshop Overview Exhibitor/Sponsor Overview
Convocation Registration Hotel Room Reservations

 

New Ulm Diocese Takes Legal Action Against Irish Diocese in Priest Transfer

An Associated Press story appearing on the St. Cloud Times web site (March 27, 2014) reported that the Diocese of New Ulm, Minn. has sued the Diocese of Clogher, Ireland because it failed to warn New Ulm diocesan leaders of allegations of sexual abuse of against a priest it transferred to New Ulm in 1981.

The report notes that, Fr. Francis Xavier Markey was ordained in Ireland 1952. Documents in several court cases show he was accused of sexually abusing boys as early as the 1960s. The documents also show he had gone to treatment before coming to the US and also received treatment at a Servants of the Paraclete facility in New Mexico. He arrived in New Ulm in 1981 and did some temporary parish work. He left the diocese seven months later. He died in 2012 while awaiting trial on child rape charges in Ireland, the report states.

The New Ulm Diocese’s lawsuit, which according to the report was filed in February, stems from a claim filed last year by a man who says Markey groped him and his two brothers at their family home in 1982, when Markey was filling in at rural churches in the diocese.

For the entire AP report, click here.

Galveston-Houston & Owensboro Council Notes

The following priests were elected chairman and secretary at the February meeting of the Galveston-Houston Council:

  • Fr. Thomas Rafferty – Chairman, two-year term
  • Fr. Reginald Samuels – Secretary, one-year term
  • The Ongoing Formation of Priests Committee gave a presentation on priests’ compensation.
  • The Committee recommends salary increase every three years. The last increase was in 2011. In the past the increase was 10 percent every three years.
  • The Committee suggests increasing the education allowance and the auto depreciation allowance.
  • Recommends the annual retreat allowance remain the same.
  • Recommends the Account Reimbursable Plan increase slightly.
  • Council suggests stole fees be increased for priests who work as chaplains or in Archdiocesan Offices.
  • Senior Priests compensation will be mutually agreed on between pastor and senior priest.
  • Policy governing service of Senior Priests still under consideration.
  • The Clergy Convocation will take place May 5-8 in Galveston. Topic will be Sacrament of Penance.  – Finally, plans are underway to replace the Pope John XXIII Priests’ Retirement Center with a new center to be named for Archbishop Fiorenza. It will contain 24 units consisting of a living room, kitchenette, bedroom, bath, and private patio. There will be a common living and dining areas as well as a chapel. A lead monetary gift has already been received.

The February meeting of the Owensboro Council began with a presentation by Fr. Paul Check, national chaplain of the Courage apostolate. Afterwards members determined it would be beneficial to have a Courage presentation at a future Presbyteral Day.

  • The diocesan Chief Financial Officer answered questions from members about payroll procedures in the Administration office.
  • Finally, Bishop Medley asked members to set aside June 19 for a Holy Hour and Benediction followed by a cookout at the Bishop Cotton Apartments.

Pope forms Pontifical Commission for Protection of Minors

On March 22, Pope Francis announced the launching of a new Pontifical Commission to protect minors. He named Boston archbishop, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, four women, including a survivor of clerical sex abuse––two Jesuit priests and an Italian lawyer as the first eight members of the commission. O’Malley is also one of the eight on the Council of Cardinals advising Pope Francis on the reform of the Roman Curia and governance of the church.

According to the Catholic News Service (March 24, 2014), Cardinal O’Malley said the new commission would take a pastoral approach to helping victims and preventing abuse, given that much of the Vatican’s attention thus far had been on implementing policies and legal procedures for investigating allegations of abuse and punishing guilty priests.

The cardinal said the commission would look at programs to educate pastoral workers in signs of abuse, identify means of psychological testing and other ways of screening candidates for the priesthood, and make recommendations regarding church officials’ “cooperation with the civil authorities, the reporting of crimes.”

For the CNS report, click here.

For a commentary by John Allen, Jr., associate editor of the Boston Globe, (March 2, 2014) click here.

For a commentary by Fr. Thomas Doyle, National Catholic Reporter, (March 25, 2014), click here.

Pope compares Sacraments of Holy Orders and Matrimony

In his general audience on Wednesday, March 26, compared the Sacraments of Holy Orders an Matrimony stating that both are signs of the great mystery of love that brings one along the path towards the Lord.

The pope said that ordained ministry is at the “service of the community.” Quoting scripture: “‘whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant and whoever wants to be first must be your slave’” ne noted “A bishop who does not serve his community does not do good; a priest or a curate who does not place himself at the service of his community does not do good, he is mistaken.”

In various languages, the pope asked people to pray for the church’s ministers so that they may be more holy, generous, authentic and merciful and especially to pray for those who are “most in need of our prayers” — those who are experiencing difficulties or feeling discouraged.

The pope also encouraged young men to listen carefully to God’s call to pursue a religious vocation. Priesthood cannot be sold, he said. There are no admission tickets. God makes the first move, a calling to the individual asking him to become a priest.

For the Catholic News Service (March 26, 2014) report, click here.

For the Vatican Information Service (March 26, 2014) posting, click here.

German “bling” bishop’s resignation accepted

Catholic News Service (March 26, 2014) reported Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg, Germany who was at the center of a controversy over expenditures for his residence and a diocesan center. Media dubbed him the “bling bishop.” The controversy involved spending over 31 million euro ($43 million US) for the remodeling and building project in Limburg. The National Catholic Reporter (March 26, 2014) noted that at the same time the bishop was reducing salaries for diocesan staff in the name of financial austerity. Media reports note that the bishop will be reassigned to a “different role in due course.”

The pope had placed Bishop van Elst on an administrative leave in October after allegations surfaced that he was overspending and leading a lavish lifestyle. At the time a commission was established to look into the matter. The result was the Wednesday Vatican communiqué, which stated in part, the German diocese came to a “situation that impeded the fruitful exercise of the ministry” of the bishop.

For the Catholic News Service report, click here.

For the Vatican Information Service (March 26, 2014) communiqué, click here.

For the National Catholic Reporter summary, click here.

Tools for Rebuilding: 75 Really, Really Practical Ways to Make Your Parish Better

Rebuild_ToolsTools for Rebuilding: 75 Really, Really Practical Ways to Make Your Parish Better, by Father Michael White and Tom Corcoran is a sequel to Rebuilt: Awakening the Faithful, Reaching the Lost, and Making the Church Matter; Father White’s and Mr. Corcoran’s acclaimed volume which we reviewed last year. In their new volume the team gives practical helps and suggestions on how to revitalize the parish. The book is divided 14 specific “tools” beginning with Strategic Tools and ending with Overall Tools. In between are Preaching Tools, Weekend Tools, Kid and Student Tools, Money Tools, etc. There are several stories in each “tool.” Priests and parish ministers will surely recognize themselves in these pages. A truly eye-opening read. Highly recommended. Available for $16.95 from Ave Maria Press, P.O. Box 428, Notre Dame, IN  46556-0428. Tel:(800) 282-1865. Fax: (800_ 282-5681. E-mail: [email protected]. Web site: www.avemariapress.com.

Common Sense Catechesis: Lessons from the Past, Road Map for the Future

Common_SenseCommon Sense Catechesis: Lessons from the Past, Road Map for the Future, by Father Robert Hater is very helpful guide for catechists and parish ministers alike. He focuses on an important point:  “… without theological or ecclesial jargon, Fr. Hater introduces his readers to the contextualizing catechetical factors that unraveled over the past 60 years … With pastoral ease he guides his readers through each phase with three key points: 1. The Historical Perspective; 2. His Personal Catechetical and Pastoral Experiences; 3. Trends and Results of the Period. The third point is key as it offers readers both clues and challenges for avoiding pitfalls of the past. Here’s how he divides the periods:

  • Vatican II, 1962-1965- Systematic-Memorization Period
  • Late 1960s to 1980: Eclectic-Chaotic Period
  • 1980s-1990s: Experiential-Systemic Period
  • 1990s to Present: Systematic-Experiential Period.

Available for $16.95 from Our Sunday Visitor Publishing, 200 Noll Plaza, Huntington, IN 46750. Tel: (800) 348-2440. Fax: (800) 498-6709. E-mail: [email protected]. Web site: www.osv.com.

Deathbed Conversions: Finding Faith at the Finish Line

DeathbedDeathbed Conversions: Finding Faith at the Finish Line, by Karen Edmisten is a book about 13 people who recognized God found them near the end. Perhaps it’s not quite that dramatic. But the stories of some of the famous actors, actresses, playwrights, and lesser-known people make for rather compelling reading. The volume begins with a tale about W.C. Fields holding a Bible on his deathbed and quipping to those around him, “I’m looking for loopholes.” If readers don’t follow the “stars”, the lives, deaths, and relationship of Patricia Neal and Gary Cooper is quite absorbing. Other lives and deaths include, actor John Wayne, playwright Oscar Wilde, Nobel laureate Alexis Carrel, gangster Dutch Shultz, entertainer Buffalo Bill (William Frederick Cody) and more. Available for $13.95 from Our Sunday Visitor Publishing, 200 Noll Plaza, Huntington, IN 46750. Tel: (800) 348-2440. Fax: (800) 498-6709. E-mail: [email protected]. Web site: www.osv.com.