Editor’s Note: Father Don Piraro

Editor’s Note: Father Don Piraro, a priest of the Diocese of Lake Charles, LA wrote to tell us that the Prayer for Hurricane Season, posted last week in NFPC This Week, was composed by Bishop Maurice Schexnayder, the second bishop of Lafayette, LA.  He wrote the prayer in response to Hurricane Audrey, which killed about 600 people in Cameron Parish in 1957. Thank you Fr. Don.

Father Stanley Rother – reflections from those who knew him

Fr. Stanley Rother. Photo courtesy of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City

A story on the Catholic News Agency (Sept. 13, 2013) website tells of the family history and recollections of Father Stanley Rother by two close relatives. Fr. Rother will be beatified on Sept. 23 in Oklahoma City.

One of the storytellers is Sister Marita, Fr. Rother’s sister and the other, Father Don Wolf, his second cousin.

Fr. Rother was martyred on July 28, 1981 in Guatemala.  It is the story about an unlikely priest, from an unlikely place, to take on an unlikely task, and die an unlikely death, now on an unlikely path to become a canonized saint.

Sr. Marita is a religious sister of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. Fr. Don is a priest of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City and pastor of St. Eugene Parish in Oklahoma City. He is past-president of NFPC (1997-2000).

For the entire CNA report, click here.

Monterey priest to receive Lumen Christi award

Fr. Enrique Herrera. Photo courtesy of the Catholic Extension Society

Father Enrique Herrera, a priest of the Diocese of Monterey and pastor of Holy Trinity Church in Greenfield, Calif. will received the Catholic Extension Society’s 40th anniversary Lumen Christi Award. He will receive the award at a Mass at his parish on Dec. 10.

In announcing the award, Father Jack Wall, president of Catholic Extension, said, “The Lumen Christi Award shines brightly to honor and give recognition to people who are great missionaries in our country. Father Herrera is a great example. He has stood up as a shepherd for his flock and raised them up. He is a ‘voice for the voiceless,’ but he is also helping people to find their own voice, helping them to aspire and to dream. He is a true missionary.”

According to the National Catholic Reporter (Sept. 13, 2017), since arriving at Holy Trinity in the Salinas Valley, Father Herrera saw that parishioners were struggling to feed their families and had few opportunities for a brighter future, he decided that his parish would become a beacon of hope.

Together with his parishioners, he started new programs focused on strengthening faith, education and community.

“Hearts were opened. Individuals started changing. Families started changing. Neighborhoods started changing. Classrooms started changing. The Police Department, Fire Department, school officials, City Council and mayor all got on board.”

A city of 16,000, Greenfield is in the heart of the Salinas Valley. It is comprised mainly of immigrants who come to harvest lettuce, broccoli, grapes and strawberries. Half of the city’s population is under age 21. The average income there is almost 40 percent below the national poverty level.

Fr. Herrera is a member of the Monterey Presbyteral Council.

For the Catholic Extension Society posting on the Lumen Christi Award, click here.

For the NCR report, click here.

Pope speaks to newly appointed bishops

In an address to a class of new bishops on Thursday, Sept. 14, Pope Francis told them, “I invite you … to cultivate an attitude of listening, growing in the freedom to renounce your own point of view when it is shown to be partial and insufficient in order to assume God’s point of view.”

The pope told them their job is to “humbly — without attention-seeking or narcissistic behavior — offer your own concrete witness of union with God, serving the Gospel that is cultivated and helped to grow in that specific situation.”

Authentic discernment,” the pope said, “although definitive at every step, is always an open and necessary process, and can be completed and enriched.”

Although Francis did not make any direct reference on Thursday to the controversy surrounding his document on the family, Amoris Laetitia, and its cautious opening to allowing divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion, many of the new bishops in his audience may have heard an echo of those debates at several points.

Pope Francis was speaking Sept. 14 at the end of several days of meetings at the Vatican for priests appointed as bishops for the first time, hosted by the Congregations for Bishops and the Oriental Churches and commonly referred to as “new bishops’ school.”

For the National Catholic Reporter (Sept. 14, 2017) summary, click here.

For the Crux (Sept. 14, 2017) report, click here.

For the Crux report from Sept. 9, 2017, click here.

Council of Cardinals talk about ongoing reform of the Curia

In meeting for the 21st time from Sept. 11-13 at the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace, one of the key talking points of the Pope’s Council of Cardinal’s was the selection of personnel in the Roman Curia, with an emphasis on making it more international, and with a higher number of young people and women and ongoing reform of the Roman Curia

In a briefing about the meeting, Vatican spokesman, Greg Burke, said the group’s reflection included Pope Francis’ December 2016 address to the Roman Curia and his October 2015 address on the role of the Synod of Bishops in the church.

Burke called the latest meeting of the council, the group’s 21st since its creation in 2013, a “pause for reflection” led by Honduran Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, its coordinator.

The next meeting is scheduled for Dec. 11-13.

For the Catholic News Agency report posted on the Crux website (Sept. 14, 2017), click here.

For the National Catholic Reporter (Sept. 13, 2017) summary, click here.

SLIconnect presents Human Formation in the Propaedeutic Year, Nov. 30

Tasha Dorsey

SLIconnect, the education resource of St. Luke Institute, presents, Human Formation in the Propaedeutic Year.

When – Thursday, Nov. 30 – 1:00-2:00 pm EDT

Presenter – Rev. David Songy, OFM Cap. S.T.D., Psy.D. will examine this introductory phase of seminarian formation, which identifies benchmarks for spiritual, psychological, and emotional development. Developing specific goals and objectives for human formation in the propaedeutic stage can provide a solid foundation for growth throughout initial formation.

Cost – $25.00 [Includes unlimited access to the on-demand recording and resource materials.]

For more information and to register, go to:


I Have Learned From the Least: My Life, My Hopes

I Have Learned From the Least: My Life, My Hopes, by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, is a 127-page paperback that could be described as a memoir. It’s done in the form of an interview that traces his upbringing in humble circumstances, his early vocation to the priesthood followed by theological studies in the United States, service on the International Theological Commission, and his surprising rise in the hierarchy of the Philippine Church and on the world stage. The questions are posed by Gerolamo and Lorenzo Fazzini, editors and journalists. The Contents page list the chapters as:

  1. Son of the People
  2. One Less Doctor, One More Priest
  3. Priests to Learn form the Poor
  4. Theology, a Second Love
  5. Manila, Philippines
  6. Asia Today and Tomorrow
  7. Ecology and the Vindication of Laudato Si’

Available for $20.00 from Orbis Books, P.O. Box 302, Maryknoll, NY 10545. Tel: (800) 258-5838. Fax: (914) 941-7005. E-mail: [email protected]. Web site: www.orbisbooks.com

Pope gives bishops’ conferences more leeway on liturgical matters

In a motu proprio (on his own initiative) titled Magnum Principium released on Sept. 9, Pope Francis wrote in part, that the “Apostolic See …. publish liturgical books, recognise adaptations approved by the Episcopal Conference according to the norm of law, and exercise vigilance that liturgical regulations are observed faithfully everywhere.” (Bold indicates change.)

In a note accompanying the motu proprio’s release, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments states the confirmatio process “leaves responsibility for the translation, presumed to be faithful, to the pastoral and doctrinal munus of the bishops’ conference.”

The document has references to Canon 838, which is the canon that was altered to give the world’s bishops’ conferences more say in the translations.

In a commentary for America by Father Michael Ryan, a priest of the Archdiocese of Seattle, who stated, “And for every priest and every person in the pews who has struggled for the past six years through awkward, convoluted, overblown, “sacral” prayers, this is a happy day,” click here.

For the America magazine report and links to the document and accompanying notes, click here.

For Fr. John Baldovin, SJ’s commentary, click here.

For the National Catholic Reporter (Sept. 9, 2017) summary, click here.

US bishops issue statement clarifying position on advocacy and care for migrants and refugees  

The Chief Communications Officer for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement on Sept. 8, calling a claim of the former chief strategist for the Trump administration that the US bishops support undocumented immigrants in order to fill churches and make money, “preposterous,” “outrageous,” and “insulting.”

The former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, made the claim to “60 Minutes” host Charlie Rose in a segment scheduled to be aired nationally on Sunday, Sept. 10.

The statement by James Rogers, the bishops’ communications chief, notes in part, “It is preposterous to claim that justice for immigrants isn’t central to Catholic teaching. It comes directly from Jesus Himself in Matthew 25, ‘For I was hungry and you gave me food…a stranger and you welcomed me.’ Immigrants and refugees are precisely the strangers we must welcome.”

The statement goes on to note, “The witness of the Catholic bishops on issues from pro-life to pro-marriage to pro-health care to pro-immigration reforms is rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ rather than the convenient political trends of the day. We are called not to politics or partisanship, but to love our neighbor  …. Our pro-immigration stance is based on fidelity to God’s word and honors the American dream. For anyone to suggest that it is out of sordid motives of statistics or financial gain is outrageous and insulting.”

For the entire USCCB statement, click here.

For a summary from the National Catholic Reporter (Sept. 7, 2017), click here.

For a report from the Catholic News Agency (Sept. 7, 2017), click here.


Links to stories and commentaries about Pope Francis’ trip to Columbia

Below is a list of links to stories and commentaries about the pope’s six day trip to Columbia gathered from the following websites: National Catholic Register, National Catholic Reporter, and Crux.