Archives for August 2014

NFPC This Week, #580 – 8/24-8/30/2014

Of Note This Week – 

A happy and restful Labor Day Weekend to our subscribers and readers!


Owensboro Council

The first action taken at the May meeting of the Owensboro Council was to give approval to name the new lodge at the Gasper River Catholic Camp and Retreat Center in honor of Ursuline Sister Joseph Angela Boone. Minutes note Sister Joseph Angela retired May 30 and was cited for her many years of service to the diocese.

  • Members endorsed a diocesan presentation by the founders of the Chastity Project – Minutes note donors came forward with funding for the presentation provided that Bishop Medley supports it.
  • Following a discussion and suggestion for amendments, a motion was made, seconded, and passed to approve the new/updated Permanent Diaconate Policy Manual.
  • Finally, minutes note nominations for new Deans for six deaneries took place in June.

Philadelphia auxiliary bishop named to head the Toledo diocese

Bishop Daniel Thomas. Photo courtesy Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Bishop Daniel Thomas. Photo courtesy Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Philadelphia auxiliary bishop named to head the Toledo diocese

Pope Francis named Philadelphia Auxiliary Bishop Daniel E. Thomas as the next bishop of Toledo, Ohio. He succeeds Archbishop Leonard Blair who was appointed archbishop of Hartford in October 2013.

Bishop Thomas, 55, a native of Manayunk, Penn, was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 1985. He earned a Master of Arts degree from St. Charles Borromeo, Seminary and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University.

After ordination then Father Thomas served in a variety of pastoral and administrative assignments. From 1990-2005 he was assigned as an Official of the Congregation for Bishops and served concurrently as Adjunct Spiritual Director at the Pontifical North American College Seminary in Rome.

In 2006 he was named an auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia. Bishop Thomas serves on the US bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee on Catechism; the Committee for Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations; and the Committee on Divine Worship. He is also a member of the Episcopal Advisory Board for the Catholic Leadership Institute, the National Advisory Council for St. John Vianney Center, and the Episcopal Advisory Board of the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors. His will be installed on Oct. 22 at Toledo’s Holy Rosary Cathedral.

For the USCCB Media Release, go to:

For the Catholic News Agency (Aug. 26, 2014) summary, click here.

Rochester, Minn. priest calls Pope Francis a “real pastor”

Rochester, Minn. priest calls Pope Francis a “real pastor”

The pastor of a parish that includes the Mayo Clinic referred to Pope Francis as a, “‘real pastor’ who, through taking risks and reaching out, teaches priests ‘how to pastor better.’”

In an interview with Zenit news agency (Aug. 29, 2014), Monsignor Gerard Mahon, pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Rochester said, “Jesus was always wanting to meet someone where they were at, to give them a face, a voice of compassion, of comfort, of love, of mercy,” and he underscored how Pope Francis is doing just that.

Msgr. Mahon spoke at the annual meeting of Communion and Liberation in Rimini, Italy. Communion and Liberation is an ecclesial movement in the Church that’s composed of laymen and women, priests and consecrated men and women. It was founded in the 1950s in Italy by the late Fr. Luigi Giussani. Its adherents believe that a personal encounter with Christ can transform one’s life.

In the interview, Msgr. Mahon expresses how Pope Francis makes him a better pastor. “He’s not afraid to reach out and take the risk, and he also understands profoundly, it seems to me, this simple touch, this simple voice, this simple telephone call, or his way to reach out to something matters. He’s a real pastor because in my experience in a parish is that, it’s not like you come in with big answers.”

In the interview, Msgr. Mahon talks about his parish and its connection to the Mayo Clinic. He says that he has met so many people who come to the clinic for second opinions. “What I discovered is that once they realize that nothing more that can be done for them, they find their way to our Church very often and they are really searching for a deeper experience of: ‘Who is God?’ ‘Who am I?’ ‘What does this mean?’ ‘What gives meaning to my life?’ And what’s amazing for me is how available they are to discover more about Christ, more about God in that moment because they are so powerless and they’re just so open to meet someone, visit with someone and even in the midst of tears, in the midst of tremendous drama, they are filled with hope because they are bridging, in some ways, life and life eternal.  It’s a profound experience to stay with them.”

For the entire interview, click here.

Louisville province seminarians meet for fun and fraternity

Louisville province seminarians meet for fun and fraternity

About 120 seminarians from the seven dioceses that make up the province of Louisville gathered on Aug. 11-13 at Barren River Lake State Resort Park in south central Kentucky for some fraternity that included sporting events, social time, liturgies, meetings and a bit of formation. The group also included six bishops and vocation directors. A report of the gathering appeared in The Record (Aug. 21, 2014), the Louisville archdiocesan newspaper.

The idea for the gathering is the brainchild of Bishop David Choby, bishop of Nashville. During his time in Nashville he has seen a tremendous growth in vocations. According to The Record report, he ordained nine men to the priesthood earlier this summer.  He said he spoke to the province’s bishops about having the seminarians meet.

Bishop Choby said it seemed to him the when individual groups of men were given the opportunity to realize how many other men were preparing to be priests, it would be a source of support, affirmation and inspiration for them.

Deacon Adam Carrico, who is in his last year of formation said it was inspiring simply to see so many men in formation in one place.

The Archdiocese of Louisville has 16 seminarians in formation including four who are in their final year. Because they attend seven different seminaries, there are very few opportunities to get together. That’s why Tony Cecil, who is in college seminary enjoyed times at the gathering when the Louisville seminarians gathered privately.

Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, said of the gathering, “What a great gift just to see them (the seminarians) all in one room for Mass, for meetings and for meals. It’s chance for them not only to know each other within their own diocese, but to know each other within the province and I think it builds a spirit of fraternity, an espirit de corps, so to speak, that we are working together.”

For the entire Record report, click here.

Human trafficking focus of 2015 World Peace Day

Peace_DayHuman trafficking focus of 2015 World Peace Day

Pope Francis’ has chosen the theme “Slaves no more, but brothers and sisters” for the January 1, 2015 observance of the World Peace Day. The announcement for the 48th annual observance was made on August 21st by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

Pope Francis has called human trafficking “a crime against humanity” and “an open wound on the body of contemporary society, a scourge upon the body of Christ,” according to a report from the Catholic News Service (Aug. 21, 2014).

In describing why Pope Francis chose trafficking as the theme for World Peace Day 2015, a statement from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace said, “Many people think that slavery is a thing of the past,” but “this social plague remains all too real in today’s world” with child labor, forced prostitution, trafficking for organs and a variety of forms of forced labor.

World Day of Peace was initiated by Pope Paul VI in 1967 and is celebrated on New Year’s Day. The Holy Father’s Message is sent to all the world’s Foreign Ministers and also indicates the Holy See’s diplomatic line for the coming year.

For the CNS report, click here.

For the Vatican Radio posting (Aug. 21, 2014), click here.

Ex-Vatican official may be extradited

Ex-Vatican official may be extradited

Former Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, who up to August 2013 served as the papal nuncio to the Dominican Republic may be extradited to that country after the canonical appeal process is concluded that removed him from the clerical state.

In responding to an Aug. 23rd front page article in the New York Times, which criticized the Vatican for “secretly recalled (Wesolowski) to Rome last year before he could be investigated, and then invoked diplomatic immunity for Mr. Wesolowski so that he could not face trial in the Dominican Republic,” Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, head of the Holy See’s press office released a statement noting the former diplomat was recalled from his post last summer and “moved without delay and correctly in light of the fact that former nuncio Wesolowski held the position of a diplomatic representative of the Holy See.” The statement went on to note, “Far from any intention of a cover-up, this action demonstrates the full and direct undertaking of the Holy See’s responsibility even in such a serious and delicate case, about which Pope Francis is duly and carefully informed and one which the pope wishes to address justly and rigorously.”

A Catholic News Service (Aug. 25, 2014) report on the situation stated that Wesolowski was removed from the clerical state and “would face a criminal trial under the laws of the Vatican City State.” The report further notes that Wesolowski appealed the laicization and that process would be judged “over the course of the coming weeks most likely in October 2014.” Criminal proceedings will ensue “as soon as the canonical sentence becomes definitive.”

According to a Religion News Service (Aug. 27, 2014) report, Poland is considering a request that Wesolowski face trial in his homeland.

For the CNS report, click here.

For a Religion News Service (Aug. 25, 2014) summary, click here.

For the New York Times report, click here.

For a Religion News Service (Aug. 27, 2014) report on Poland’s extradition request, click here.

Cardinal George’s Labor Day message

LaborDay_2014Cardinal George’s Labor Day message

In his Labor Day message posted on the Catholic New World (Aug. 24-Sept. 6, 2014) web site, Chicago archbishop, Cardinal Francis George, OMI expands on the US bishops’ Labor Day statement that criticizes an “economy of exclusion” especially as it affects many unemployed young adults in the US.

He cites statistics bearing out the fact that the real income for the poorest one-fifth of Americans continues to decline “now reaching below the level it was when the war on poverty was declared in 1968.” He goes on to note, “The average income of working-class Americans has fallen 6.5 percent in the last 13 years. The decline of middle class incomes is similar, as are the incomes for women and for African-American and Hispanic households.”

Three elements of Catholic social teaching are required to be just and contribute to the common good of all. They are dignity of the individual and security and stability of individuals and families. Cardinal George goes on to state dignity often doesn’t necessarily equate to great wealth as Catholic social doctrine provides no formula for economic success. The economy itself is in the hands of workers and business people. If government regulation is needed, it becomes a political issue with outcomes decided by voters.

The challenge of our time then becomes how to align all the elements to provide a dignified sustainable living wage for all those able to work an ensure a safety net for those unable to participate in the work force. Human dignity continues to be undermined by unemployment and underemployment.

For Cardinal George’s entire column, click here.

Interfaith Worker Justice

IWJ_Lab_Day-2The Interfaith Worker Justice web site has posted resources for Labor Day services for Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhist traditions.
Issues include and Campaign Specific Resources include:

  • Minimum Wage Bulletin insert
  • Support for Teachers
  • For Dignity & Respect at Walmart
  • Comprehensive Immigration Reform
  • Stop Wage Theft!
  • Worker Issues – Study Guide

For the specific portal – Celebrate Labor Day in the Pulpit/on the Bimah/in the Minbar, click here.

Interfaith Worker Justice web site –


Scripture: God’s Handbook for Evangelizing Catholics

Script_HdbkScripture: God’s Handbook for Evangelizing Catholics, by Stephen J. Binz is comprised nine chapters under three main headings: I – Recovering the Evangelical Dimension of Catholicism, II –  Evangelization at the Heart of Sacred Scripture, and III – Evangelizing the Church and the World through Sacred Scripture. For Binz Biblical study is key to the New Evangelization. He uses terms, “frequent reading” and “expectant reading,” which is informed by lectio divina. As he states in the Preface, it is through learning to read Scripture “that transforms lives” and we become evangelized Catholics. Binz writes about “hero evangelizers” like St. Paul and his missionary journeys the Little Flower, St. Therese of Lisieux. The goal here is to share the “Joy of the Gospel” with others. The volume is an excellent resource for private reading and small faith group formation. Available for $13.95 from Our Sunday Visitor Publishing, 200 Noll Plaza, Huntington, IN 46750. Tel: (800) 348-2440. E-mail: [email protected] Web site: