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Jan 302017
 

by Fr. Robert J Carr

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Cardinal O’Malley preaching at Sacred Heart Shrine, Columbia Heights, Washington, DC

Columbia Heights, Washington, DC–Cardinal Seán O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston, celebrated Mass at the Sacred Heart Shrine in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC on Friday to kick off the Archdiocese’s participation in the annual March for Life in the United States’ Capital.

Proclaiming that “Every life is precious,” the Boston Archbishop and member of the Pope’s group of Cardinal advisors called for a community rooted in solidarity. Approximately, one thousand parishioners from Massachusetts listened as the beloved Capuchin friar built upon a theme of caring for all at birth and death. He described the recent celebration of the Sacrament of the Sick with one of the founders of the Ice Bucket Challenge who is in the last stages of ALS, commonly known in the US as Lou Gehrig’s disease and he used the experience to call to reject assisted suicide.

“Hitler,” the Cardinal said “promoted mercy killing.” He added that it sends a dangerous signal that those with disabilities are better off dead.

“We need each other at the beginning and end of our lives.” he emphasized. “This is why we are here.”

“Mercy and compassion are not the acts of ending the suffering person’s life,” He said. “Mercy and Compassion are really taking care of people and letting people take care of us.”

Suffering, he explained, is a call for all to care for those with disabilities and for the yet to be born. The prelate countered that in a country where extreme individualism is a virtue, caring for others at their birth and at their death is the call of solidarity.

The Cardinal said that according to Cardinal Carlo Martini the once archbishop of Milan who died in 2012, the Gospels show that Jesus had a higher priority for caring for the suffering than he did for preaching.

He ended his talk by citing three people that had inspired him greatly, Nellie Gray, the founder of the March for Life in Washington, DC. The first march was by about twenty-thousand people, according to Cardinal O’Malley, since then, he explained, it has reached over a half a million.

Mother Theresa whom he said  “touched the lives of thousand and thousands of people.”through the order she founded.

Finally, he spoke about Dorothy Day, whom he met at the Catholic Worker House in Washington, DC when he was a young priest. Day who is a declared Servant of God, the first step toward canonization, was a a convert to Catholicism who had both an abortion and later a child out of wedlock, but who came to the Catholic faith and became devout a great advocate of social justice. Day, a journalist and one-time contemporary to US playwright Eugene O’Neil, embraced the corporal and spiritual works of mercy as the guide to Catholic action.

Citing these three, the prelate stated that each one of us can make a difference.

“At the beginning and end of life we need each other.” he said.

“Our task is to turn the crowd into the community.” he proclaimed speaking of the powerful effect of caring for others.

“My hope and my prayer for us today is that we know that God has put us here for a purpose.”

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Fr. Matt Williams surrounded by marchers on the March for Life in Washington, DC

The mass began with Boston Archdiocesan Youth Ministry Director, Father Matt Williams, teaching that “Witness to life starts with the Eucharist.” He added “the first aspect of being pro-life is being fully alive with the life you have been given.”

The march, which took place later in the day, had hundreds of thousands, if not over a half a million, participants who marched from the far end of the Washington Mall, not far from the White House, to the US Supreme Court. The march memorializes the decision of the US Supreme Court to legalize abortion in January of 1973. Among those who spoke at the pre-march rally was Vice-President of the United States Mike Pence, a Catholic and former governor of the US state of Indiana. Pence is the first Vice-President to speak to the marchers. No president has spoken at the rally.

This was 44th march.

SIDEBAR

BOSTON STRONG: WE CHOOSE LIFE!

by Fr. Robert J Carr

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Mother Olga and Daughters of Mary of Nazareth, with Boston marchers in front of theUS Supreme Court Building, Friday

Washington, DC–Members of the Archdiocese of Boston’s contingent to the March for Life in Washington, DC, came up with a chant for the event. Led by youth ministry  director Fr. Matt Williams, who began yelling: “Boston Strong.” Participants, including hundreds of youth, responded: “We Choose Life.”

“Boston Strong,” a slogan common in the New England city, began in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks that hit that community on Patriot’s Day 2013 at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The event is dramatized well in the recently released movie Patriot’s Day. “Boston Strong” remains the slogan for the city.

The Boston group contained about one thousand participants of various ages and walks of life, from Cardinal Seán O’Malley, Archbishop to adult laity, priests, bishops, nuns, brothers and sisters and hundreds of youth and young adults and even a teen with Down’s Syndrome. Among the participants was Mother Olga, a convert to Catholicism and a native Iranian who formed her own order the Daughters of Mary of Nazareth now based in Quincy, Massachusetts. She and Fr. Matt Williams led a prayer in front of the Supreme Court building for the nation and a call for an end to abortion here in the US. They included a prayer for the intercession of St. Frances Cabrini (interred in New York City) St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (interred in Emmitsburg, Maryland) and all of the American saints. The prayer was the culmination of the Archdiocese’s participation in the event in Washington for 2017.

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500 of the 1000 marchers from the Archdiocese of Boston on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, prior to the March for Life

Photo credits: George Martell, Archdiocese of Boston

 Posted by at 01:01
Jul 042016
 

 

A Blessed US Independence Day

In celebration of our Catholic Faith in the Americas

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

Pictured Top: The Basilica Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, patroness of the United States, Washington, D.C.

Basílica Aparecida

Pictured Bottom: The Basilica Shrine of Nossa Senhora de Aparecida, patroness of Brazil, Aparecida, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

 Posted by at 01:01
Oct 212015
 

ROME—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will meet, November 16-19, in Baltimore for their annual Fall General Assembly. The bishops will hear addresses by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, USCCB president, and Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganó, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

The bishops will discuss and vote on revisions to the proposed USCCB strategic priorities for USCCB’s next planning cycle. The priorities, if approved, will inform the writing of the Conference’s next strategic plan, which will cover 2017-2020. The bishops discussed and provided input on a draft version of these priorities at their Spring General Assembly in St. Louis.

The bishops will also discuss and vote on a new introductory note and a limited revision to their quadrennial statement on political responsibility, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.” The revised statement, which is reissued the calendar year before a U.S. presidential election, will feature new language around issues of public concern for Catholics. The revisions are the result of a working group led by Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, USCCB vice president.

The bishops will discuss and vote on a proposed formal statement, “Create in Me a Clean Heart: a Pastoral Response to Pornography,” and discuss and vote on the inclusion of Excerpts from the Roman Missal: Book for Use at the Chair in dioceses of the United States. They will also discuss and vote on a proposed one-time national collection to fund the completion of the Trinity Dome in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

The bishops will vote for USCCB treasurer-elect and the chairmen-elect of six USCCB committees: Catholic Education, Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations; Divine Worship; Domestic Justice and Human Development; Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth; and Migration. They will also elect the next general secretary, and episcopal board members of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC).

The bishops will hear reports including one by the chairmen of collaborating committees on recommendations for the Jubilee of Mercy; an update by Bishop Frank J. Caggiano of Bridgeport, Connecticut, on World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow; and an update by Cardinal Séan P. O’Malley, OFM Cap., of Boston on diocesan Project Rachel Ministry on post-abortion healing. Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services will present on increasing the number of Catholic priests ministering to the Catholic faithful in the Armed Forces of the United States. There will also be a report and update by the Bishops’ Working Group on the Life and Dignity of the Human Person on communications research and convocation planning.

CRS chairman Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City and CRS President Carolyn Woo will present on how CRS programming is responding to Laudato Sí, Pope Francis’ encyclical on ecology. Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty, will introduce a trailer to a movie on Dignitatis Humanae, the Second Vatican Council’s document on religious freedom. Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, New York, chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, will report on marriage and family life ministry. Dominican Sister Donna Markham, executive director of Catholic Charities USA, will also make a presentation.

The bishops will participate in the canonical consultation of three causes for canonization: Rev. Aloysius Ellacuria, CMF, Sister Ida Peterfy, SDSH, and Antonia Cuipa and 81 companions. This is a step in the Catholic Church’s process toward declaring a person a saint.

The agenda also includes a report by the Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America on the 50th anniversary of the Collection for the Church in Latin America; a report from the National Advisory Council; discussion and vote of the 2016 Conference budget; and discussion and vote of the 2017 diocesan assessment.

Source: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)

 Posted by at 01:01
Jul 192015
 

Time to Wake UpThere is an ancient tradition in the Church that reminds the shepherds that they better take their job seriously. You know theLatin word shepherd is where we get the word Pastor and yes, bishops and priests are called to be good shepherds. St John Chrysostom who became a powerful bishop was terrified of the responsibility and never wanted to be even a priest for that reason, but he became both a powerful priest and bishop. He later said that when shepherds took their roles lightly it had terrible effects on the flock, hence his famous words “The road to Hell is paved with the skulls of bishops.”
However, bishops and priests are not the only shepherds. At your baptism, you entered Christ’s ministry of Priest, Prophet and King each and everyone of you is part of what is  known as the priesthood of the laity. It is different from the priesthood of the ordained. However, it is a special role where you have a call to be a source of Jesus’ light in the world around you.
We can all often take that responsibility for granted and even misunderstand the role of priesthood of the laity and priesthood of the ordained. What is worse is when we misunderstand it and feel that it is no longer necessary. Then our ministry of shepherding others as priests or parents or neighbors or leaders or politicians or public servants, etc becomes weak. Normally that would not be a problem if there was no God and all that we believe was just silliness. However, everyday I live, I come to understand that fortunately everything we believe is true and unfortunately, everything we believe is true.
You see the ancient teachings of the saints were that without God, we are left to our own devices and our inclination to sin turns utopia into disaster, every time. We are incapable on our own of building a society without God, because when we do, we create a world where the powerful exploit the powerless, making the powerful more powerful and the powerless more powerless until there is a radical change and society collapses only to start again.
Pope Paul VI explained that  the reason why this happens is because what we believe is true, including there is a personal reality of evil that seeks to undermine and destroy everything. He also  explains that this is why we know such a reality exists, whom we call the devil. If the atheists were right, we could build a perfect society. Yet every time people walk down that path, something undermines it which does not fit into the equation and he explains that is the evidence of the reality of his existence.
In the TV and Movie series Star Trek, the Utopian society is achieved. In fact, money does not even exist in that world, everyone works for the good of the other. That is fiction, in the real world the perfect utopian society falls apart due to some human embrace of sin. Star Trek is no where near as realistic as is Jurassic Park, built on that principle that I just explained.
When the shepherd is weak, that evil reality becomes strong, until only through a divine intervention is the evil put to rest. That is demonstrated many times in the bible, the most famous is when Aaron helps the people build a golden calf in the absence of Moses. That is also what Sodom and Gomorrah is all about. There were no shepherds in that village anymore and no righteous people. There were just people corrupted by evil and that evil was growing exponentially. Ten righteous people could have changed their fate. There were none but Lot.
That is why we all must take seriously our role as shepherd, me as pastor and you as participants in the ministry of Christ as indicated by your baptismal promises. Do you want proof?
You probably saw in the news this week that an abortion provider was accused of selling the organs of unborn babies. It was even explained that the unborn baby had to be handled to ensure the organs were not damaged in the abortion so that they could be used by those who pay to receive them.
The provider denied nothing in that edited interview except that they sold such organs, they explain that they donate them. The recipient research agency need only pay for shipping and handling. They admitted freely being in the work of supplying organs of unborn children aborted in their franchised facilities for scientific research.  This is funded by grants which fund the institutions themselves some of which have been diligently working to silence us because we reject the whole enterprise.
It has long been suspected that there is a market in the research and commercial worlds for parts of aborted children. Now the news has come out and the abortion provider admits it, although it does not admit there is any selling going on, just paying for shipping and handling. That makes aborted children as potentially marketable a commodity as rice and beans. Congress wants hearings.
This is the kind of evil that happens when the shepherd is asleep and we are the shepherds. Remember that is not the world that you grew up in, but it is the world that is shepherding your children and grandchildren as long as the shepherd remains asleep.
We can no longer afford to be asleep. we need to wake up: everyone of us, and be the Church Christ calls us to be. For when we are asleep, the road to hell becomes paved and lighted with fancy billboards and pretty trees and bushes that hide its true evil.
It is time for the shepherd to wake up.
Go home and pray, commit to daily prayer, consider also the rosary and bible study, continue therefore in 1 and 2 Peter this month and be strong in your Catholic faith as you lead others through those doors.
I cannot emphasize enough the need to be part of our parish novena on weeknights starting on August 6-14. We truly need to be awake, sober and alert Words you will find in the fifth chapter of the First Letter of Peter.
God Bless You,
Fr. Robert J Carr
Fr. Carr is an alliance member of the New Song Community (Canção Nova). He is the pastor of Holy Trinity Quincy, MA and is the editor of this blog. He is the author of several books, blogs and hundreds of videos all of which you may find on Youtube. He also has a regular radio program on WebRadio Canção Nova. Which he podcasts on Mixcloud and here on Catholicismanew.
You can follow him on twitter as @frbobcarr and on Google Plus as +Fr. Robert Thoughts, comments on the homily? Let us know at Facebook
 Posted by at 01:01
May 192015
 

A Statement of the Roman Catholic Bishops of Massachusetts on the Death Penalty:

The Boston Marathon Bombing trial is a painful reminder of the harm that impacts many people even beyond those who are killed or maimed by violent criminal acts. Given that the defendant, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is being tried in federal court with the possibility of capital punishment, and that the Bishops have testified against capital punishment in the past, we feel it is fitting to clarify the Church’s teaching regarding the use of the death penalty.

The Church has taught that the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity are “rare, if not practically nonexistent.”[Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) § 2267] The Church’s teaching is further developing in recognition of the inherent dignity of all life as a gift from God. As Pope Francis has recently stated, “[The death penalty] is an offense against the inviolability of life and the dignity of the human person. When the death penalty is applied, it is not for a current act of oppression, but rather for an act committed in the past. It is also applied to persons whose current ability to cause harm is not current, as it has been neutralized – they are already deprived of their liberty.” [His Holiness Pope Francis, Remarks to the International Commission Against the Death Penalty, March 20, 2015.]

The defendant in this case has been neutralized and will never again have the ability to cause harm. Because of this, we, the Catholic Bishops of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, believe that society can do better than the death penalty. As the Bishops of the United States said in their 2005 statement A Culture of Life and the Penalty of Death, “no matter how heinous the crime, if society can protect itself without ending a human life, it should do so.” We believe these words remain true today in the face of this most terrible crime.

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, OFM, Cap. Archbishop Archdiocese of Boston

Most Reverend Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V. Bishop Diocese of Fall River

Most Reverend Mitchell T. Rozanski Bishop Diocese of Springfield

Most Reverend Robert J. McManus Bishop Diocese of Worcester

 Posted by at 01:01
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