Participating in the March for Life? There’s an indulgence for that

(Photo: Pixabay)

JANUARY 7, 2018 – The Archdiocese of Washington and the Diocese of Arlington have announced that Catholics participating in the 45th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. on January 19 will be able to receive a plenary indulgence for doing so.

A letter singed by Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington and Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington on December 20 states that an indulgence could be awarded to those who “take part in the sacred celebrations, along with the great assembly of people, throughout the whole course of the annual event that
is called ‘March for Life.”

The March for Life is an annual rally held by pro-life groups to mark the Supreme Court’s January 22, 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade. It is the most prominent rally held in the U.S. by anti-abortion groups to mark the Roe v. Wade decision and is usually accompanied by smaller protests nationwide.

For more information via the Catholic News Agency, click here.

Why some priests leave

(Photo: Pixabay)

This article by Msgr. Stephen Rossetti offers insightful commentary on the important issue of priest resignation:

DECEMBER 18, 2017 – Dean Hoge’s 2002 study The First Five Years of the Priesthood: A Study of Newly Ordained Catholic Priests found that young priests were not leaving the priesthood in exceptionally large numbers, despite rumors. Rossetti, who published his own study in 2009 (Why Priests Are Happy: A Study of the Psychological and Spiritual Health of Priests), found that in that year only 3.1% of priests were considering leaving the priesthood. This represented a decline compared to Rossetti’s similar study in 2004.

However, Hoge compared those priests who did leave within the first 10 years of their ministry to those who did not, and drew the lesson that those priests who quit did so because they felt “lonely or unappreciated.” A feeling of disconnect, not necessarily tied to celibacy, but to a difficulty in adapting to the personal challenges of the priesthood, lay at the heart of their decision to leave.

Hoge’s study found that the vast majority of resigned and active priests (90%) enjoyed their religious ministry, but those who resigned cited personal problems as a main factor.

Rossetti suggests that exploring ways to build relationship skills in seminary formation could prove useful, as could more in-depth psychological evaluations of potential seminarians.

While personal satisfaction among priests remains high, a small minority every year are plagued by challenges and opt to resign. The numbers suggest the current system may be sound, but it could always use improvement.

For the full article in The Priest Magazine, click here.

A New Year Begins by Fr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Fr. Dennis Lewandowski

In this first newsletter of 2018, we have received an essay from Fr. Dennis Lewandowski of Naperville, Illinois. In it, he writes about New Year’s resolutions and planning. Click on the link below to view a PDF of his essay.

A New Year Begins – Father Dennis Lewandowski

NFPC This Week, #741 – 12/31/2017-1/6/2018

Weekly Update #741

Here is your NFPC This Week for December 31, 2017 to January 6, 2018:

SUBMISSIONS

A New Year Begins by Fr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

PRIESTS IN THE NEWS

Jesuits issue letter to defend Honduran priest

Bishop Curlin laid to rest in Charlotte

Catholic parishes assist after Bronx fire

NEWS BITES

FEMA to allow aid for religious groups

EVENTS

National Migration Week

Share the Journey Campaign: Highlights and Reflections webinar

Living the Eucharist: Great Ideas for Your Parish for Lent 2018

FEMA to allow aid for religious groups

JANUARY 3, 2018: In a reversal of earlier rulings, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced on Tuesday (January 2, 2018) that houses of worship will be eligible to receive federal disaster relief funds that were previously limited to private non-profit organizations with no religious affiliation.

FEMA Administrator Brock Long wrote to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, stating that “Effective for any major disaster declared on or after August 23, 2017, private nonprofit organizations operating a house of worship are now eligible under the FEMA Public Assistance Program.”

Three Texas churches had filed a lawsuit against FEMA in September 2017 after being denied federal relief funds in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, arguing that their eligibility for disaster relief could not be denied solely because of their religious status due to the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. Hurricane Harvey dealt tens of billions of dollars of damage to Texas and Florida in late August 2017.

As the Catholic News Agency reports, “Now, FEMA will permit houses of worship damaged during the hurricane to retroactively apply for aid, and any other church damaged in a storm in the future will also be eligible for these funds.”

For the article via Catholic News Agency, click here.

Catholic parishes assist after Bronx fire

JANUARY 3, 2018: Two Catholic parishes have been at the forefront of New York City’s charitable response to the fire which killed 12 people in the Bronx on December 28. Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St. Martin of Tours parishes helped organize a food/clothing drive for victims of the fire. While originally slated to last three days, the drive was called off after only one due to the tremendous outpouring of support. On January 2nd, Father Jonathan Morris, pastor of Mount Carmel, led an interfaith service in conjunction with neighborhood denominational leaders. At St. Martin of Tours, Father Cosme Fernandes paid special tribute to a former parishioner and Army National Guard soldier who died helping others escape the fire.

Additionally, New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan visited the scene of the fire on December 31st and ate lunch with the firemen who responded to the blaze. He went on to praise the first responders for their “solidarity, support and charity.”

For the Crux story, click here.

Bishop Curlin laid to rest in Charlotte

Bishop William G. Curlin of the Diocese of Charlotte was 90 (Photo: Diocese of Charlotte)

JANUARY 3, 2018: William G. Curlin, Bishop of Charlotte from 1994 to 2002 and who passed away on December 23, 2017, was laid to rest on January 3, 2018. Over 600 people attended Bishop Curlin’s funeral Mass in Charlotte’s St. Gabriel Church presided over by Baltimore Archbishop William Lori. Curlin served 60 years with the Church, and died at the age of 90. He was buried at Belmont Abbey, just west of Charlotte.

For the Crux story on the bishop’s funeral, click here.

For the National Catholic Reporter story on his death, click here.

Jesuits issue letter to defend Honduran priest

Father Moreno at a protest in 2016. (Photo: America and Radio Progreso)

JANUARY 2, 2018: The Jesuit provincials in Latin America and the Caribbean have issued an open letter denouncing threats against Father Ismael Moreno, S.J. Father Moreno, or “Padre Melo” as he is popularly known, is a Honduran Jesuit who is the director of Radio Progreso, a national radio station with an audience of 1.5 million listeners. He also oversees the Reflection, Investigation and Communication Team – “a Jesuit social action and analysis center.”

On November 26, 2017, Honduran president Juan Orlando Hernández was reelected in a contentious vote that resulted in protests and at least 30 fatalities. Padre Melo’s radio station has been critical of the election and of the protests. A recent flyer circulating on social media accuses him and eight other regional leaders of connections to criminals, drug cartels, and violence. While no explicit threat was made, Jesuit officials worry about the implied threats against the priest. The Society of Jesus vowed to hold the government “responsible for the safety and physical and moral well-being” of Father Moreno.

For the America article, click here.

NFPC This Week, #740 – 12/24-12/30/2017

Of Note This Week –

Father Donald Cozzens on clericalism

The Dec. 26, 2017 edition of US Catholic magazine posted an essay by Father Donald Cozzens titled “Don’t put priests on a pedestal.” In the article he contends that clericalism is a “cancer crippling the Catholic world—from local communities to Vatican offices—is so deeply embedded in our past and present church fabric that we need a careful presurgery examination. So pull on your surgical gloves and join me in the pre-op room.”

In 2004 Fr. Cozzens wrote A Faith that Dares to Speak, (Liturgical Press) in which he delves into the clerical culture.

Fr. Cozzens received NFPC’s Touchstone Award earlier this year.

For the entire US Catholic essay, click here.