Council Notes from Owensboro (September 2017)

– Bishop Medley reported 16 men were ordained to the permanent diaconate. He thanked members for their role in recruiting and forming them.

–  Rainbow Mass celebrated on Sept. 28. Young people from Catholic schools  participated.

– Disciples Response Appeal underway.

– Members heard an update on Scripture Sunday- a tie-in with the New Evangelization and praying with Scripture, especially using lectio divina.

Other plans include a year of prayer for the Diocese, beginning with a Eucharistic Holy Hour at all parishes,

A day of reflection led by the bishop for priests, deacons, parish staffs, McRaith Catholic Center Staff, and Catholic school principals.

– A discussion took place on the re-wording of the Parish Assessment Policy concerning charitable contributions. Bishop will review the issue and make a final determination.

– Members reviewed drawings for the Bishop Cotton apartments planned refurbishing.

– Minutes contained notes from NFPC president Father Tony Cutcher’s Bishop and Priests in Council Workshop conducted on Sept. 18.

Capuchin Franciscan Father Solanus Casey to be beatified this weekend

Photo Courtesy of the Capuchin Franciscan Order of St. Joseph in Detroit via Catholic News Agency

Venerable Father Solanus Casey, OFM Cap. will be beatified on Saturday, Nov. 18 at Ford Field in Detroit. The stadium holds 60,000 people

Born in Wisconsin in 1870, the sixth of sixteen children to Irish immigrants, Fr. Solanus, known as Bernard then, led a life of powerful simplicity. He struggled in minor seminary and was eventually encouraged to become a priest through a religious order.

He still struggled, but in 1907 was ordained by the Capuchin’s Detroit province a “sacerdos simplex” – a priest who can say Mass, but not publically preach or hear confessions.

It didn’t matter because he was very close to the sick and was highly sought-after throughout his life, in part because of the many physical healings attributed to his blessings and intercession. He was also a co-founder of Detroit’s Capuchin Soup Kitchen in 1929.

For 21 years he was porter at St. Bonaventure Monastery in Detroit.

Fr. Casey died of a skin affliction in 1957 at the age of 87.

For the National Catholic Reporter (Nov. 16, 2017) summary,click here.

For the Catholic News Agency (Nov. 8, 2017) report, click here.

For the NCR (Nov. 13, 2017) summary of Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Vatican nuncio to the US’s remarks on Fr. Solanus and Blessed Fr. Stanley Rother, click here.

Summary of US bishops’ 2017 fall assembly

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops met in Baltimore Nov. 13-14 for their annual fall assembly. The Conference website has links to News Releases covering all activities at the meeting including reports on the chairmen-elect of following committees:

Communications – Bishop Michael Burbidge (Arlington)
Cultural Diversity in the Church – Bishop Nelson Perez (Cleveland)
Doctrine – Bishop Kevin Rhoades (Fort Wayne-South Bend)
National Colections – Bishop Joseph Cistone (Saginaw)
Pro-Life Activities- Archbishop Joseph Naumann (Kansas City, KS)
Religious Liberty – Archbishop Joseph Kurtz (Louisville)

Secretary – Archbishop Allen Vigneron (Detroit)

For a summary of Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State’s address to the US bishops (America magazine, Nov. 13, 2017), click here.

For a summary of USCCB president, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo’s first address to the US bishops (America magazine, Nov. 13, 2017), click here.

For a complete list of USCCB and Catholic News Service releases, click here.

For a list of the USCCB Fall Assembly video’s on-demand, click here.

Spiritualizing psychological problems

Catholic News Agency (Oct. 10, 2017) contributor, Mary Rezac writes on “The dangers of spiritualizing your psychological problems.”

The article quotes Dr. Gregory Botarro, a Catholic clinical psychologist at CatholicPsych Institute –, who said he has “found the over-spiritualization of psychological issues to be a persistent problem, particularly among devout Catholics.”

He goes on to say that this over-spiritualization is “usually the direct consequence of  Cartesian Dualism.” It is Decartes, the philosopher, who said, “I think therefore I am,” thus separating the thinking self from the bodily self … Acting as if the body doesn’t matter when considering our human experience is just as distorted as acting like the spirit doesn’t matter,” he said.

Bottaro goes on to note, “We shouldn’t think any less of getting help for mental health than we do for physical health. There are fields of expertise for a reason, and just as we can’t fix every one of our own physical wounds, we can’t always fix every one of our own mental wounds. It is virtuous to recognize our need for help” … And “praying away” problems more than likely won’t work.

For the entire CNA article, click here.

Fitness an important part of seminary life at NAC

Serving God’s people takes a lot of energy, so “we need to have bodies that are prepared for it,” said Andrew Auer, a seminarian from the Archdiocese of St. Louis in his third year at North American College in Rome.

Another seminarian, Joseph Caraway from the Diocese of Lake Charles, agrees. “The Catholic Church is a real supporter of both body and soul … Sometimes we can get so caught up in focusing on the soul and our prayer, which is incredibly important, but we also need to take care of our physical bodies,” he went on to say.

Caraway knows of what he speaks. He did graduate studies in physiology before entering the seminary.

With his experience and background in graduate school, Caraway has found some very concrete ways to help his brother seminarians, developing “diet programs and exercise programs to help them become more physically fit and just learn how to exercise correctly.”

Fitness and sports is a good way to build camaraderie among the seminarians. In fact the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend will feature the Spaghetti Bowl, a long–standing tradition involving a flag football game between first–year students and the and the rest of the college, and serves to help integrate students into the daily life of the seminary.

For the entire Catholic News Service (Nov. 16, 2017) posting, click here.

Professional Development Webinar Series presents – Addiction Recovery: A Catholic Solution

Ave Maria Press in partnership with NFPC, NALM, NCCL, and NACFLM presents a free Webinar, Addiction Recovery: A Catholic Solution

When – Tuesday, Nov. 21 – 3:00-4:00 pm EST

Presenter – Scott Weeman, founder of Catholic in Recovery, will share personal examples of how an active recovery ministry can bring new life into the culture of your parish. .

For more information and to register, click here.

Essential Catholic Social Thought [2nd Edition]

Essential Catholic Social Thought [2nd Edition], by Bernard V. Brady could be considered a very fine text for delving into Catholic social teaching. In the Introduction, the author writes, “[t]his book is a study of official Catholic social teaching as well as the broader Catholic social tradition. It presents the teaching of the church in relation to other sources in the Catholic tradition.” Relevant documents are presented in an abridged and clarified form. Each chapter includes study-discussion questions and reflections, plus materials from the teachings of Pope Benedict XVI and Pole Francis. The 378-page volume is ideal for a one-semester textbook or for use in a survey course. Available for $44.00 from Orbis Books, P.O. Box 302, Maryknoll, NY 10545. Tel: (800) 258-5838. Fax: (914) 941-7005. E-mail: [email protected]. Web site:

Father Tony Cutcher talks about the importance of National Vocations Awareness Week on Mater Dei Radio

In an interview with Dina Marie Hale, program director at Mater Dei Radio on Nov. 6, Father Tony Cutcher talks about significant moments in his call to the priesthood.

Fr. Tony shares his story and insights as the Church in the US observes National Vocations Awareness Week.

Click here for the entire interview.

Faith leaders navigate church security

In light of the killing of 26 worshippers in a Baptist church in South Texas on Nov. 5, some faith leaders in the Chicago area are sizing up their security measures, if, in fact they have any.

A front-page report in Chicago Tribune (Nov. 7, 2017) notes that St. Peter’s Church in the Loop already has a security desk. According to Franciscan Father Kurt Hartrich, pastor, parishioners must cross two thresholds and pass muster with security guards before they can enter the worship space at the church.

In the past year, the report notes, hundreds of congregations have joined a coalition called Secure Church Chicago, a regional working group of Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish clergy volunteers who want to take a proactive, professional, and pastoral approach to church safety.

For the entire report, click here.

US bishops to meet in their annual fall assembly, Nov. 13-14

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops will meet in their annual fall assembly on Nov. 13-14.

The assembly will be live streamed on the Internet both days. The live stream will be available at:

During the assembly, the bishops will elect a new secretary for the Conference and Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston, will also give his first address to the body of bishops as President of the USCCB as he completes the first year of his three-year term.

The bishops will also vote for new chairmen-elect of the following five USCCB committees: Committee on Communications, Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church, Committee on National Collections, Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Committee on Doctrine. They will also vote for a new Chairman for the Committee for Religious Liberty.  Bishop nominees for the board of directors for Catholic Relief Services (CRS) will also elected.

For more information about Internet coverage of the meeting, click here.

For more general information and links to other USCCB News Releases concerning the meeting, click here.