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SOUTH BURLINGTON (AP) – Some of the residents of a long-closed Vermont orphanage want the Catholic Church to pay for therapy as they continue to recover from what they have described as abuse of the part of the nuns and priests who were supposed to take care of them.

The youngest members of the group called The Voices of St. Joseph’s Orphanage are in their fifties. The oldest grow 80.

They held a meeting Thursday at a South Burlington hotel where they looked for ways to continue their recovery from the abuse many say they suffered at the hands of staff.

St. Joseph Orphanage in Burlington:Vermont bill informed by abuse of orphanage would end time limit for filing civil lawsuits

“It has been a long and often painful process to get some of the healing in our lives and to feel that we are making a difference in our society,” said Brenda Hannon, 68, of Williston who lived at the orphanage from 1959 to 1968. “One of our greatest accomplishments is that we are now visible to all of you and now believe in what has been done to us.”

Michael Ryan, from Buckingham, Va., Brenda Hannon, from Williston, Vt. And John Magnago, from Miami, left to right, pose in South Burlington, Vt., During an orphan reunion at St. Joseph's South Orphanage Burlington, VT, Thursday, September 16, 2021. Some residents of the long-closed Vermont orphanage want the Catholic Church to pay for therapy as they continue to recover from what they considered to be the abuse. most of them took place over half a century ago.

At a press conference, some of the former residents called on the church to do more to help them recover, including paying for their therapy. They said that in some cases the diocese was willing to pay for therapy, but only with therapists chosen by the diocese.

In a statement released Thursday, the diocese said its officials, including Bishop Christopher Coyne, have met with former residents of St. Joseph’s Orphanage one-on-one and will continue to do so.

“Each meeting is unique, each person’s story is unique and the help we offer each former resident is unique to them,” the statement said. “If the person thinks they would be helped with advice, we would work with them as needed.”

The group was formed following a 2018 Buzzfeed News report about the Burlington orphanage that included allegations that a boy was thrown from a window when he died, a girl forced to slap himself 50 times and children locked in an attic. There were also allegations of sexual abuse.

Orphanage abuse:“People don’t make up those kinds of details”

The article prompted the Vermont law enforcement community to investigate the allegations. Last year Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan said the investigation found no evidence of murder. But he found that children were abused at the orphanage, which closed in 1974, and that the Vermont law enforcement community failed to protect the children who lived there.

Over the years since its founding, the orphanage group has held meetings where they shared stories and learned that many of them had similar experiences. They published an anthology of their experiences which was on sale at the meeting.

Debi Gevry-Ellsworth, of Pomfret, Connecticut, who lived as a child at St. Joseph's Orphanage, holds a book of poems and essays Thursday, September 16, 2021, in South Burlington, Vermont.  Gevry-Ellsworth attended a reunion of former residents of the closed Vermont orphanage, where former residents gathered to seek ways to recover from the abuse many say they suffered at the orphanage.  Gevry-Ellsworth said writing her part of the book has helped her move forward.

“Before joining this group, I never really thought about what had happened, I buried everything, the only thing I knew was that I was in pain and I was not sure why”, a said Debi Gevry-Ellsworth, now of Pomfret, Connecticut, who arrived at the orphanage at the age of 2 in 1964 and lived there until 1974.

Following:Saint-Joseph orphanage investigation reveals no crime, but abuse has taken place

“He just screamed for attention”:St. Joseph Orphanage Abuse Reports

She has a poem in the book called “Bricks and Mortar” that begins with “If the bricks were scales and flames of mortar, this monstrosity of a building would be a dragon burning children who do not carry a cross.”

The group also urged the Vermont legislature to pass legislation earlier this year to eliminate the statute of limitations in civil child abuse cases.

When it opened in the mid-1850s, the orphanage was run by a Canadian religious order, and then until its closure by Vermont Catholic Charities, part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington.


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Karla J. Bellinger, MA, DMIN, has been appointed Founding Executive Director of the Institute for Homiletics at the University of Dallas, located in Irving TX, with the aim of improving preaching in the Catholic Church. The Institute is a collaboration of the Catholic Foundation and the University of Dallas.

In his new role, effective immediately, Bellinger will work to strengthen the preaching of Catholic priests, deacons and seminarians so that they flourish in their ministry of the Word. Beginning with the Diocese of Dallas, then extending to the Church at large, the Institute will build a vision of preaching whose purpose is to bring the people of God to an encounter with the living God.

The Institute will combine homiletics and evangelization, for a gradual growth in the improvement of preaching can lead to an exponential growth in the renewal of the Church.

Bellinger was recently Associate Director of the John S. Marten Program for Homiletics and Liturgy at the University of Notre Dame. She is the current vice-president and rising president (2022) of the Catholic Association of Professors of Homiletics (CATH), the professional guild of those who teach preaching.

At 21, Bellinger and her husband, Daniel, joined the Catholic Church when they were students in the Diocese of Raleigh, North Carolina. A mother of five grown children and five grandchildren, Bellinger pioneered Catholic listening studies, especially with young people, starting with her doctoral thesis Are You Talking to Me? A study of the connection of young listeners with Catholic Sunday preaching. Bellinger is also a Certified Lay Church Minister in the Diocese of Cleveland, where she served for many years. Bellinger is also the author of Reflection for the publication’s current three-year liturgical cycle, Living the Word, published by GIA Publications.

Bellinger received his doctorate in preaching from the Aquinas Theological Institute, an MA in Systematic Theology from the University of Notre Dame, and a BS in Forestry from North Carolina State University. She is a reader and Eucharistic minister at the Parish of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Niles, Michigan, in the Catholic Diocese of Kalamazoo. She also serves in the same liturgical roles at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the Notre-Dame campus.

“It is vital that we continually strive to improve our preaching in the Catholic Church so that the people of God look upon the Lord not only during Mass, but every day of the week,” said the Bishop Edward J. Burns.

“I am so happy that we are creating the Homiletics Institute in the Diocese of Dallas and grateful to the donors who have contributed funds that make this initiative possible. The extraordinary knowledge and wisdom that Karla has accumulated from knowing how homiletics and evangelism come together provides the Institute with a proven leader, ”adds Burns. “Through her work, with the grace of God, Karla will help our priests and deacons here in the Diocese of Dallas and beyond to improve their preaching in ways that positively transform lives and create deeply rooted encounters with Christ. “

In his book Connecting Pulpit and Pew: Breaking Open the Conversation about Catholic Preaching, Bellinger says that effective preaching stems from the spiritual life of a homilist. She says that if preachers have a deep relationship with Jesus and have given their lives in the service of God, it shows in what they say. She notes, however, that the responsibility of an encounter with God through preaching also involves the receptivity of the listener.

“Listeners crave inspiration,” says Bellinger. “People in the benches want to hear a message that brings them to life. The clergy thirst for their congregation to meet Jesus Christ and want to inspire them and see the fruit of a Christian life.

Describing her one-on-one coaching of nearly 100 preachers – bishops, priests and deacons – at the John S. Marten Program for Homiletics and Liturgy at the University of Notre Dame, she often posed this challenge to them as they worked. on their Sunday homily: “I hope to help you get an A in your homilies, but more importantly, I hope your homilies will help your people get an A in life.

“So many people have given up on preaching as a tool of evangelism. We cannot give up. The value of the liturgy is that it is not only the body of Christ that nourishes us. It’s the music. It’s the community. It’s preaching, ”she adds. “The purpose of the liturgy is to bring people together as a community and to help them come out and change the world for the better.

“The holiness and skill of the preacher and the receptiveness of the people must go hand in hand if we are to renew the Church,” says Bellinger. “There is no greater joy for a preacher than to hear, ‘You helped me find God. And that made all the difference in my life. Let’s see what we can do to make this happen more often. “

The Institute for Homiletics will operate in the space provided by the University of Dallas on its Irving campus.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Bellinger to the University of Dallas and we are grateful for our partnership with the Catholic Foundation for the establishment of the Institute for Homiletics at UD,” said the president of the UD, Jonathan J. Sanford, PhD. “Welcoming the Institute as a member of the UD community reflects our desire to support and advance the new evangelization within our diocesan home, and it is perfectly aligned with one of the key pillars of our strategic plan – to deepen our commitment to the Church and the country. “

We hear people on benches all over the country complaining about Catholic preaching. Donors from the Diocese of Dallas have come together to do something and invest in better Catholic preaching.

Funding to support the new institute will come from the Bishop Tschoepe’s Institute for Homiletics and Communication Fund of the Catholic Foundation – created in 1985 – as well as the Catholic Foundation’s Homiletics Fund created by Jim Moroney in 2019 in the aim to create a permanent endowment that will support the annual operations of the Institute. Currently, including the Bishop Tschoepe Fund, $ 8 million of the $ 10 million goal has been raised. Fundraising continues and the $ 10 million endowment will be a continuing source of funding for the Institute’s annual operations. Permanent funding will allow the executive director to focus on improving preaching rather than constant fundraising.

“The generous response we have seen from donors will ensure the sustainability of the program,” said Matt Kramer, President and CEO of the Catholic Foundation which manages the funds. “The creation of the Homiletics Institute and the support of donors for the implementation of the program is a game-changer.

“Donors can make contributions to the Funds anytime and anywhere,” adds Kramer. “We believe there will be a strong interest among people in becoming donors given the tremendous impact that devotees will feel when they benefit from pulpit messages that not only fuel their faith but help them to go out and announce it. Gospel of the Lord. “

About the Catholic Foundation

The Catholic Foundation is a vehicle of trust for the Catholic community. Established in 1955, the Foundation was founded by a group of dedicated lay Catholics with a vision that went well beyond the charitable needs of the moment. The Foundation has spent decades building a strong community, helping donors achieve their charitable goals, and preserving the founders’ vision and philanthropic legacy. Over time, the Foundation has awarded more than $ 226 million in grants to religious, charitable and educational organizations. Today, it manages approximately $ 285 million in assets and is home to more than 490 charitable funds and trusts. For more information about the Catholic Foundation, call 972-661-9792 or visit catholicfoundation.com.

About the Diocese of Dallas

The Diocese of Dallas covers an area of ​​7,523 square miles spanning the counties of Dallas, Collin, Ellis, Fannin, Grayson, Hunt, Kaufman, Navarro, and Rockwall. Its 74 parishes and 36 Catholic schools serve approximately 1.2 million Catholics and a larger North Texas community of over four million people. Most Reverend Edward J. Burns is the eighth bishop of the Diocese of Dallas. He is assisted by Monsignor Greg Kelly who serves as auxiliary bishop. The Diocese of Dallas was established in 1890 and once spanned an area of ​​120,000 square miles. Over time, the Dioceses of El Paso, Lubbock, Amarillo, Tyler and Fort Worth were carved out of the Diocese of Dallas.

About the University of Dallas

Located in one of the largest and fastest growing metropolitan areas in the United States, the University of Dallas is a nationally recognized Catholic liberal arts university with campuses in Irving, Texas. , and Rome, Italy. Known for the academic rigor of its core undergraduate program, rooted in the great works of Western civilization and Catholic intellectual tradition, the University of Dallas also offers flexible graduate degrees in commerce, liberal arts and ministry, all taught by exceptional and dedicated teachers. in pursuit of wisdom, truth and virtue. For more information, visit udallas.edu.


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The announcement did not disclose the number of claims from each of the six dioceses, but reports show that the Catholic Diocese of Fresno has been named in several lawsuits for employing sexually abusive priests since 2003, when the California legislature opened. a year, retroactive window for child abuse survivors to file civil complaints against perpetrators and the institutions that covered it up. The Diocese of Fresno was one of 16 Catholic dioceses in the United States that had neglected to publish a list of clergy credibly accused until last month, when it released a list with information on 37 priests , deacons or members of a religious order, of whom 24 were priests incardinated with the Diocese of Fresno, seven were external priests (those who were ordained in one diocese but later worked in another), and six members of the orders religious, groups that take vows of poverty and live with their religious brothers, such as a monastery or a convent. A separate list of 29 clerics and members of religious orders is named who have no allegations of sexual abuse of a minor while serving in the Diocese of Fresno, but it has been determined that allegations against them stand produced in other dioceses and are listed on other sources.

All of the names on the list are members of the clergy whose assignments in the Central Valley date back to 1940 and 2020.

The ICP has received complaints from a total of 929 people who recently declared themselves victims registered on the ICP website, www.CaliforniaDiocesesICP.com. A total of 580 claims were settled and a total of $ 23,970,000 in compensation was paid by all dioceses to 197 people.

“I am delighted that the ICP has embarked on a process that treats all victims / survivors, regardless of their citizenship or immigrant status, with dignity and compassion,” said Maria Contreras-Sweet, former administrator of the US Small Business Administration. “It was especially important that the ICP process provided victims / survivors with a sense of justice and validation for the inexcusable trauma they endured. “

Sweet is a member of the Independent Oversight Committee, formed to oversee the claims process handled by the church’s own program, whose members also include former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and former Governor Gray Davis.

The program was led by two nationally recognized mediators and administrators of private compensation programs, Kenneth R. Feinberg and Camille S. Biros. The directors of the PKI were vested with absolute and independent discretion to determine the eligibility and offer of settlement of each victim / survivor. Although the participating dioceses cooperated with the administrators of the ICH, neither the participating dioceses nor the IOC had the power to overrule the administrator’s decisions. Participation in the ICP was confidential and voluntary, and participants were not required to have a lawyer. However, those who did not have a lawyer were given one for free to make sure they each understood before agreeing to the terms of the settlement.

“No single regulation will ever correct the pain or injustice of childhood sexual abuse. The victims deserve to be held accountable, ”said former California Governor Gray Davis, who signed a law in 2003 reopening the civil statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse. The state extended and reopened the civil statute of limitations in 2020, resulting in more claims.

“It was particularly important that we came up with a program that offered victims / survivors of sexual abuse a viable, non-adversarial and confidential alternative to a long and protracted litigation process,” said former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.


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As the nation prepares for a return to church services, the Catholic Church has said its priests, waiters, choir members and others attending services are vaccinated against COVID-19, however, there is no mandate for participants to be vaccinated.

In an update with guidance before resuming in-person services, the Church said:

Following the sound advice of public health professionals, this is the mandate of the Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of Port of Spain, that the following members of our congregations are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before exercise their respective functions in the church:

  • Celebrant, i.e. priest, deacon
  • Eucharistic ministers or anyone distributing Holy Communion
  • Members of the host team, including those who check off participants who pre-recorded
  • Choir members
  • Readers

These people, that is, the ordained ministers, the commissioned ministers and the laity, are the hosts to the congregation during Holy Mass. Their varied roles require movement throughout the building with multiple points of contact, i.e. multiple interactions with a number of faithful and among themselves.

Vaccination of these key members adds a layer of physical protection that benefits all parties. In summary, this policy has been put in place out of excess of caution for all and for the common good. “

The Church said, however, that it continues to advocate for members to be vaccinated, and as such, it is not mandatory for members to be fully vaccinated to attend Mass:

“Our Church continues to advocate for the population to be vaccinated against COVID-19 virus as clear evidence that the vast majority of those who die or have became seriously ill as a result of infection with the virus, were not vaccinated.

“Therefore, except as noted above, it is not mandatory to be fully immunized to attend Mass.”

For the full list of guidelines see here: https://bit.ly/3yRihnH


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Reverend Jonathan Goodall steps down as Bishop of Ebbsfleet

The Anglican Bishop of Ebbsfleet leaves the Church of England after deciding to join the Catholic fold.

The Right Reverend Jonathan Goodall has served as Bishop of Ebbsfleet for the past eight years. He was opposed to female bishops and had acted as a “flying bishop” for congregations that felt the same.

He seeks full communion with the Catholic Church after what he describes as a time of prayer but “of trial”.

“I came to the decision to leave my post as Bishop of Ebbsfleet, in order to be received in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church, only after a long period of prayer, which was one of the most important periods. most trying of my life “, says the bishop.

“Life in the fellowship of the Church of England has shaped and nurtured my disciple life as a Catholic Christian for many decades. It was there that I first received – and for half of in my life I have exercised, as a priest and bishop – the sacramental grace of Christian life and faith, and I will always cherish and be grateful for it.

“I trust you to believe that I have made my decision to say yes to God’s current call and invitation, and no to say no to what I have known and experienced in the Church of England, to whom I owe so much a deep debt. “

The Archbishop of Canterbury said he accepted his resignation “with regret”.

“I am deeply grateful to Bishop Jonathan for his ministry and his many years of faithful service. My prayers go with him and [his wife] Sarah, both for her future ministry and for the direction in which they are called on their continued journey of dedicated service to Christ, ”he said.

“With respect to the Ebbsfleet seat, we will begin a process of consultation with colleagues and others – including the parishes in which Bishop Jonathan is ministering – to determine what the next steps will be.”


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Sometimes I blink in amazement at today’s American political world.

Our first Catholic President, John F. Kennedy, won the 1960 election by pledging to ignore any Catholic pope, bishop or priest who attempted to dictate policy.

Now our second Catholic president, Joseph Biden, is being warned by Catholic leaders that they can punish him if he does not comply with their political dictates. They would deny Biden access to communion, and some Protestant leaders are encouraging them.

Talk about a political boost.

Anti-Catholic sentiment – even prejudice – was a powerful force in the 1960 campaign. Leaflets, newspaper columns, and speeches by Protestant leaders may not have been broadcast on social media, but they did. still reached millions of people with the message that Kennedy would bow down to his church.

Part of that sentiment was undoubtedly sincere, and part of it was simply political for conservatives who feared Kennedy’s liberal Democratic agenda.

Kennedy was worried enough to accept an invitation to speak to a large group of Protestant leaders and face the accusations head-on:


“I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant, nor Jewish; when no public official requests or accepts instructions of public order from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; when no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly on the population in general or on the public acts of its officials; and where religious freedom is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all, ”he told the Greater Houston Ministerial Association on September 12, 1960.

Here we are, 60 years later, in a very different world. Religious leaders and organizations are openly political actors these days. Not only are they doing well, but they are thriving.

Part of this change has to do with the issue of abortion, which was not on the political radar in 1960. When the United States Supreme Court in 1972 legalized abortion, religious groups and allies conservatives began to organize against abortion.

This fall, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will consider a draft Eucharist document that could result in Biden being denied access to Communion unless he works to put U.S. law on it. abortion in accordance with the Catholic bishops.

Interestingly, this potentially aggressive religious political action comes at a time when the American people as a whole appear much less religious. Ten years after Kennedy’s election, only 11% of Americans said they had never been to church. By the end of the last decade, it was up to 27 percent.

Despite the importance of Catholic bishops and the evangelical religious right, religious leaders may have less real influence on public spirit than they did a half-century ago. For example, polls consistently show that a majority of American Catholics believe abortion should be legal in most or all cases, and a quarter of American women who have an abortion are Catholic.

Kennedy told ministers: “Whatever question comes before me as president – on birth control, divorce, censorship, gambling or whatever – I will make my decision … in accordance with this. that my conscience tells me to be the national interest, and without regard to external pressures or religious dictates.

This is the idea that the Catholic bishops seem to dispute. Do they really think Americans are okay with bishops and popes telling presidents, senators and governors what to do? What if the rabbis told the story? And the ministers? And the imams?

Peter Slocum of Keene is a former Albany political journalist and public health advocate.


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CARY, NC (RNS) – The outdoor mass at Green Hope High School is informal. People casually dressed in shorts and sandals stand or sit on folding camp chairs. At 8:30 am, it’s already hot outside.

But this group of hardy Catholics is not a second wave COVID-19 workaround. The Mother Teresa Catholic Church, technically still a missionary church, has been meeting outside or in the auditorium of a public high school for more than two decades.

Those who gathered on a recent summer morning could have chosen the air-conditioned benches of the Archangel Saint Michael, a brick juggernaut with 4,257 member families, a school, a gymnasium, a conference center, sports fields. and a columbarium. But Mother Teresa’s devotees prefer their more relaxed and intimate makeshift settings, even when they’ve had to repair an altar around a student production of “Tarzan,” the musical.

Mother Teresa’s devotees prefer their more relaxed and intimate makeshift settings, even when they’ve had to repair an altar around a student production of “Tarzan”, the musical.

“These are people who have chosen not to enter the big church because they appreciate the smaller nature of the community,” said Reverend Dan Oschwald, the pastor.

North Carolina’s Catholic population, though still small compared to many states in the North and Midwest, has exploded over the past 50 years, especially in urban areas of the state. He greeted the influx by building large churches.

The largest in the diocese of Raleigh, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, has 4,765 registered families. But many others, like the church near Mother Teresa in Cary, a suburb of 174,721 people, are of comparable size.

Named after the Albanian nun who served the poor in the slums of Kolkata, India, Mother Teresa has 669 low-income families, for a total of 1,936 people.

Four years after the congregation began celebrating Masses at Green Hope High School, the diocese purchased land in Cary for a future church. But the families of Mother Teresa, originally the overflowing faithful of Saint Michael the Archangel, came to appreciate the simple and warm atmosphere which they lovingly called “Our Lady of Green Hope”. In 2016, she was finally baptized Mother Teresa Catholic Church.

This name was intended to appeal to the nationalities and heritage of its participants. The church attracts many American Indians and many Filipino, Indonesian, Vietnamese and other Asians Catholics. Wake County, home of the suburban town of Cary, is 8.6% Asian, according to the recent census.

The church attracts many American Indians and many Filipino, Indonesian, Vietnamese and other Asians Catholics.

“We had a hard time finding a home church,” said Anjela John Xavier, an Indian-American software engineer who attends church with her husband, son and daughter. “We have been to so many churches. We couldn’t find the connection. When we walked into Green Hope High School, we said, “This is our home. “

The Diocese of Raleigh is now celebrating 200 years since the founding of the first Catholic congregations in the state. The diocese itself is much more recent. Created in 1924, it initially covered the entire state. In 1971, the Diocese of Charlotte was divided into 46 counties in the western half of the state.

The two are roughly equal in size with around 750,000 Catholics statewide. This number includes a large number of unregistered Catholics, mostly Hispanics.

The explosive growth over the past 50 years has come from two directions: Rust Belt Catholics migrating to the Sun Belt, and a wave of Hispanic Catholics moving to the state for jobs in agriculture and construction. .

Over 20 years ago, the then bishop, Joseph Gossman, demanded that all priests be able to celebrate mass in Spanish. Today, Bishop Luis Rafael Zarama is himself Hispanic, an immigrant from Colombia.

Construction of new churches has slowed down a bit since the 1980s and 1990s, when many of the larger churches were built in major cities. Today the diocese has 80 churches and 17 missions.

One of the main reasons is the lack of priests. The diocese has 147 diocesan and religious priests, or about one priest for every 2,000 Catholics.

“Adapting to the expansion of the parish in the growing metropolitan areas of the Diocese of Raleigh, while a good problem in comparison, presents a number of challenges,” said Russell Elmayan, financial director of the diocese.

Most important, he said: “We had to take into account that we have a limited number of priests to endow new and existing parishes.

“My hope is to try to make the church grow small,” he said. “It goes against what is happening in the region. This will require the construction of more churches to meet the growing needs. “

In June, Mother Teresa broke new ground in a church building five miles from Green Hope High School. In a change from past practice, the congregation decided to build a $ 9 million multi-purpose building first. The shrine will come later. The move is scheduled for next fall.

In the meantime, in-person Masses have resumed in the school auditorium as well as outside. About 50% of church members have returned in person, Oschwald said, and he is confident more will follow. But he does not want the new community of Mother Teresa to lose its privacy.

“My hope is to try to make the church grow small,” he said. “It goes against what is happening in the region. This will require the construction of more churches to meet the growing needs. “

Brian Irving, a member of the congregation, said he liked the size of Mother Teresa. When he retired from the US Air Force and returned to North Carolina from Florida, he said, he did a bit of “parish shopping.”

He found what he called the “great Yankee churches” overwhelming.

Irving, whose wife Lisa is of Filipino American descent, said Mother Teresa’s ethnic diversity and relatively small size reminded her of the small chapels the Air Force organized for Catholics.

“I don’t mind meeting in a high school auditorium,” he said. “I like a small congregation where you can get to know people. “


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by Emell Adolphus

Contributor to the EDGE Media network

Friday, August 27, 2021
Originally posted Aug 27, 2021

The Roman Catholic Church is once again in hot water after claiming that several priests are using the Grindr gay hookup app, The New York Times reported.

According to a blog post by The Pillar, a conservative Catholic media organization, priests from several churches and the Vatican were caught browsing the app after analyzing cell phone data.

“The first report, released late last month, resulted in the resignation of Bishop Jeffrey Burrill, the former secretary general of the American Bishops’ Conference,” reports the NY Times. “The second, posted a few days later, made allegations about the use of Grindr by anonymous people in unspecified parsonages in the Archdiocese of Newark.”

But it doesn’t stop there. A third report, released days after the second report, “claimed that in 2018 at least 32 mobile devices transmitted dating app data signals from areas of Vatican City that are closed to tourists.”

So far, there has not yet been a public mea culpa from the American Catholic Church or the Roman Catholic Church. Vatican officials reportedly met with representatives of the blog in June and currently have no plans to respond to the reports’ allegations.

But the information claimed in the reports is sure to leave some priests clinging to their rosaries.

John Gehring, director of the Catholic program of Faith in Public Life, a progressive rights group, said: “When there are reports that claim to expose such activities in parishes across the country and also on Vatican land , it’s a five-fire alarm for church leaders, there’s no question about it. “

The whole situation puts the Catholic Church in a difficult position when it comes to the use of technology, the NY Times reported. And there are still many questions such as how the cell phone data was collected in the first place.

The reports have also been criticized for making vague attempts to link homosexuality to pedophilia.

“This confusion between homosexuality and pedophilia is part of a long-standing effort by Catholic conservatives to blame the church’s sexual abuse crisis on the presence of homosexuals in the priesthood,” reports the NYT. “The reports raised a host of questions: How did The Pillar get the data from the cell phone? How did it analyze the data, which is commercially available in an anonymous form, to identify users of individual applications? What is the extent of the use of dating apps among Catholic priests, and what has The Pillar been able to learn about specific individuals? “

Much to wonder. Even more to discover.


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Nigeria’s Catholic Bishops, CBCN, have taken a stand on rising insecurity, the electronic transmission of results and the call for the break-up of Nigeria.

The Catholic bishops, in a statement released at the end of the second plenary meeting of the Nigerian Catholic Bishops’ Conference (CBCN), Enugu, called on the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to adopt the inclusion of all ethnic groups in the decision making and policies of the nation to avoid a disruption.

The clergy urged Nigerians and the government to follow the path of unity and dialogue in order to unite the nation and not cause a rift.

The CBCN also demanded that the government ensure a fair and equitable trial of the main actors arrested in the struggles to limit the cases that trigger new preventable unrest and call for a breakdown.

Part of the statement read: “We urge the government and citizens to work for a nation in which everyone and every party, regardless of tribal, religious or political affiliation, will have a sense of belonging. We reiterate that the struggle for the “soul” of Nigeria, which is currently underway, will not be won by ethnic cleansing, nepotism, kidnappings and banditry, but by love, justice and fairness. , the common good and patriotism.

“We therefore urge the government and all Nigerians to follow the path of justice and conciliatory dialogue and to see themselves as agents of peace and development in order to ensure a harmonious and united nation.

“We are thankful that God still exists as a nation. This despite various agitations and struggles for self-determination. We observe that the turmoil and tensions are mainly due to poor governance, injustice, inequity and injustice in the appointments and distribution of resources in some parts of the country. We recognize the rights of peoples to self-determination; however, we stress that the exercise of these rights must be done within the limits of the rule of law.

“As a church, we take a keen interest in the political situation in our country. Although the Church does not support any political party, it supports all governments that prioritize the well-being of citizens.

The Church has also condemned government policies that do not promote development and the common good.

They called for fair and credible elections in 2023, calling on the National Assembly to overturn its decision against electronic transmission of results, stressing that this would create room for vote rigging.

“We stress that there is an urgent need for a fair and credible electoral process, through which our political leaders emerge. Therefore, we declare loud and clear that the recent National Assembly vote against electronic transmission of election results will create an opening for further manipulation of electoral votes and lay the groundwork for further conflicts in future elections.

“We call on the National Assembly to reconsider its position in the light of global best practices,” the statement added.


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The original St. Peter’s Church on Barclay Street in New York City was the first Catholic church built in the city and state of New York. The church was built in 1786 for Irish immigrants and surprisingly the bell that had called them to prayer since 1806 still survives.

There are now plans to display the bell inside today’s St. Peter’s Church, a chance to connect today’s devotees with their ancestors.

It is known that in the early 19th century, County Cork-born priest John Power was a familiar sight in New York rowing the East River to say mass before the Brooklyn Bridge was built. Trained at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, that major seminary of Irish Catholicism, Power ministered at St Peter’s Church on Barclay Street which was built in 1786 and later destroyed when part of the roof collapsed in 1836. He probably got massive mass bell funding.

Today, nothing remains of this church, except the bell which, for more than thirty years, called the Catholics of this region to prayer. The bell contains the names of Reverend William O’Brien and Reverend Matthew O’Brien, pastors of the church, Thomas Stoughton, John Sullivan, Michael Roth, Francis Cooper, John Byrne, Andrew Morris and Cornelius Heeney, benefactors of the church and bell.

The current Saint-Pierre church and the original Saint-Pierre church. Danny leavy

Carried out under the direction of Charles Sherry in Nantes on June 30, 1806, it is remarkable that the bell has survived given the many vicissitudes that the building has undergone. Nestled in the attic of the new Saint-Pierre, built after the disaster of 1836, the bell has remained there ever since. That was until Danny Leavy, a resident director in New York City, began researching the career of one of the church’s benefactors.

Cornelius Heeney (1754-1848) was perhaps New York’s most successful Catholic in the first half of the 19th century.

Born in Ireland, he immigrated to the United States at the age of thirty and despite a shipwreck in the process, he amassed a considerable fortune, most of which he donated for religious and charitable purposes. Indeed, the Brooklyn Benevolent Society which he helped establish in 1845 still exists today and continues the work begun by Heeney. The inscription on the memorial to Heeney located in front of the New York State Supreme Court building in Montague and Court Streets gives an indication of this remarkable Irishman:

CORNELIUS HEENEY / 1754-1848 / IRISH IMMIGRANT, EXEMPLARY AMERICAN / CATHOLIC PATRIOT, PIONEER, PHILANTHROP, / STATEMAN, COMING INTO POVERTY, INCREASING BY / INDUSTRY, STILL SHARING IN GENELINS / AMEROSIS, DES ORVES FROM BROOKLY. / DEDICATED OCTOBER 27, 1977 / BROOKLYN BENEVOLENT SOCIETY / FOUNDED MAY 10, 1845

In researching the career of this remarkable Irishman, Leavy, who lived and worked in New York for almost 30 years, teamed up with Dr Ciarán Reilly, an Irish historian from Maynooth University, who is himself on the Heeney’s footsteps for almost fifteen years. They hope to write a book in the near future on Heeney’s life and times, and in so doing, draw attention to his history in the United States and Ireland.

Before that, however, plans were in place for the old bell of St. Peter to be removed from the attic and displayed to the public outside the church. According to Leavy, the bell remains an important part of Catholic history in New York and the United States as it was erected at a very difficult time for the Church in America. “It’s an incredible artifact of Irish Catholic history,” he says. This is something we want to make the Irish American community aware of. Jarlath Quinn who has been very helpful in this proposed project in recent months.

Almost twenty years ago, the roof of St. Peter’s Church was badly damaged on September 11 in the attack on the World Trade Center. Today, the repair area can still be seen on the roof of Saint-Pierre. As we come together on the 20th anniversary of September 11, it is hoped that the bell of St. Peter, which has survived wars, famine and depressions intact, could also be a symbol of both freedom. religion, tolerance and hope in America. “When that bell rang it brought everyone together in a simple prayer, it’s a powerful image in itself,” Levy said. “He even survived September 11. “

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