Archive for November, 2012

https://i0.wp.com/www.dioceseofbmt.org/navigation-home/images/content/homepage/advent-2012.pngWASHINGTON—Daily suggestions for prayer, reflection and action during the Advent and Christmas seasons will be available online beginning the first Sunday of Advent, Dec. 2. The content is presented in a clickable calendar format, with each click opening “doors” to a page of suggestions and links for that date.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops provides these online resources, which will be posted at www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/liturgical-resources/advent/ and www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/liturgical-resources/christmas/.

New this year are audio retreats in English and Spanish for the four Sundays of Advent and the three Sundays of the Christmas season, which concludes on Jan. 13, 2103, with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. The retreats, produced by Franciscan Media and made possible by funds from the Catholic Communication Campaign, feature music and a Scripture reflection from a different bishop each week. (more…)

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By Dennis Sadowski Catholic News Service

A girl holds a hand of a fighter as Congolese rebels prepare to withdraw from Karuba, near Goma, Congo, Nov. 28. As rebels initiated their partial withdrawal, Catholic organizations said the region’s civilians remained either on the run or terrified that their community would be the next target for a rebel attack. (CNS photo/Goran Tomasevic, Reuters)

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The sound of exploding shells near Goma, Congo, was minimal, but it was enough for Catholic Relief Services staffer Brenden Williams to know it was time to leave.

Packing up a few belongings and coordinating with the rest of the CRS international staff, Williams, his wife and 19-month-old daughter left their home outside of Goma Nov. 19 and made their way to Gisenyi, Rwanda, a few miles away. After three days, the CRS operation relocated to the Rwandan capital of Kigali, about 100 miles from Goma.

Williams, program quality manager for CRS, has since spent his days helping coordinate relief in the face of a growing rebel uprising in the mineral-rich region of eastern Congo. M23 rebels gained control of Goma Nov. 20.

“On Monday morning, we heard shelling coming across the border and decided to evacuate,” Williams told Catholic News Service Nov. 29. “It was more preventative.”

Since Williams and his family left, thousands of Congolese have fled their homes in Masisi, northwest of Goma, relocating to five camps around the city. Williams said he kept in touch with Congolese working for CRS who stayed behind in Goma to help in whatever way they could. (more…)

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Hands on history

It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to be in the presence of something that was possessed by Jesus or his mother Mary. It’s an opportunity that many Southeast Texans were able to fulfill Nov. 26 at St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica, Beaumont.

Father Carlos Martins, a curator of relics, is touring the Diocese of Beaumont this week with an exhibit of more than 150 relics of saints. A relic is an object, notably part of the body or clothes, remaining as a memorial of a departed saint. (more…)

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By Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way Nov. 26 for a federal appeals court to take up a Christian college’s challenge to the Affordable Care Act, reopening one of several lawsuits filed by religious and other groups who oppose elements of the law.

The court ordered the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to hear the argument of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., that the health care law infringes on the Christian school’s religious freedom. The court had rejected an earlier challenge by the university, made prior to the Supreme Court’s June ruling upholding the health care law. The university appealed again, asking for its challenge to be considered in light of the June Supreme Court ruling. (more…)

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Treasures of the saints

Just weeks after celebrating the Solemnity of All Saints the faithful of Southeast Texas have the opportunity to see the sacred relics of those women and men.

Father Carlos Martins, a curator of relics, will journey to the Diocese of Beaumont this month with an exhibit of more than 150 relics of saints canonized by the Catholic Church. A relic is an object, notably part of the body or clothes, remaining as a memorial of a departed saint. (more…)

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By Carol Glatz and Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service

The English version of Pope Benedict XVI’s new book, “The Infancy of Jesus,” is seen among copies in other languages during a press conference for the release of the book to journalists at the Vatican Nov. 20. The book is the third and concluding volume of his work, “Jesus of Nazareth.” It will be released to the public Nov. 21 in 20 languages. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Nativity story, like the whole story of Christ, is not merely an event in the past, but has unfolding significance for people today, with implications for such issues as the limits of political power and the purpose of human freedom, Pope Benedict writes in his third and final volume on the life and teachings of Jesus.

“Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives” is only 132 pages long, yet it includes wide-ranging reflections on such matters as the significance of the Virgin Birth and the distinctive views of nature in ancient pagan and Judeo-Christian cultures.

The book was formally presented at the Vatican Nov. 20, and was scheduled for publication in English and eight other languages in 50 countries Nov. 21.

In the book, Pope Benedict examines Jesus’ birth and childhood as recounted in the Gospels of Sts. Matthew and Luke. His interpretation of the biblical texts refers frequently to the work of other scholars and draws on a variety of academic fields, including linguistics, political science, art history and the history of science.

The book’s publication completes the three-volume “Jesus of Nazareth” series, which also includes “From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration” (2007) and “Holy Week: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection” (2011). (more…)

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By Dennis Sadowski Catholic News Service

Maryknoll Father Roy Bourgeois is pictured in Rome during a media conference in this Oct. 17, 2011, file photo. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has dismissed him from the priesthood because of his participation in the invalid ordination of a woman and simulated Mass, the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers announced Nov. 19. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

WASHINGTON (CNS) – The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has dismissed Roy Bourgeois from the priesthood because of his participation in the invalid ordination of a woman and “a simulated Mass,” the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers announced Nov. 19.

The order said in a statement the canonical dismissal came Oct. 4.

Citing Bourgeois’ participation in the invalid ordination in Lexington, Ky., Aug. 9, 2008, the Maryknoll statement said, “With patience, the Holy See and the Maryknoll Society have encouraged his reconciliation with the Catholic Church.”

Bourgeois could not be immediately reached for comment.

“Instead, Mr. Bourgeois chose to campaign against the teachings of the Catholic Church in secular and non-Catholic venues,” the statement said. “This was done without the permission of the local U.S. Catholic bishops and while ignoring the sensitivities of the faithful across the country. Disobedience and preaching against the teaching of the Catholic Church about women’s ordination led to his excommunication, dismissal and laicization.”

The church holds that it has no authority to ordain women. This year at his Holy Thursday chrism Mass at the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI reaffirmed the church’s ban on women priests.

The Maryknoll statement said, “Mr. Bourgeois freely chose his views and actions, and all the members of the Maryknoll Society are saddened at the failure of reconciliation. With this parting, the Maryknoll Society warmly thanks Roy Bourgeois for his service to mission and all members wish him well in his personal life.

“In the spirit of equity and charity, Maryknoll will assist Mr. Bourgeois with this transition,” the statement concluded.

Maryknoll spokesman Mike Virgintino declined further comment in a brief interview with Catholic News Service. (more…)

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