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 May 23, 2011   •   VOL. 49, NO. 10   •   Oakland, CA
News in Brief

Ready for World Youth Day
Young people gather for a Mass and concert May 8 at an arena in Madrid, marking 100 days until the start of World Youth Day 2011. Preparations for the international event are heating up and organizers are promising a “fiesta,” adding a Spanish flavor to traditional opportunities for prayer, friendship, music and religious education.
CNS photo/courtesy of World Youth Day 2011

Catholic runs across U.S. to encourage trust in God
SMITHTON, Pa. — Jeff Grabosky, 28, dipped his hands in the Pacific Ocean Jan. 20, then started running toward the East Coast where in late May, he plans to jump into the Atlantic Ocean. In early May, his 3,700-mile solo journey was stalled in Virginia while he waited for his injured legs to heal. The whole time, he prayed. Grabosky, 28, carries a rosary ring and prays for people he knows and people he never met. “If it weren’t for prayer, I wouldn’t be here,” he said in an interview as he passed through Smithton. “I am running to encourage people to pray and to put their trust in God. It’s amazing what we can do with our lives if we do.”

Agencies say DHS slows entry by refugees

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The number of refugees taking shelter in the United States has slowed to a trickle following new security measures put in place by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Meanwhile, Catholic refugee resettlement offices across the country are left waiting, uncertain when the flow of refugees will begin again — and when it does, how many refugees may be allowed to enter the country.

‘Rerum Novarum’ panel says it’s needed now too

WASHINGTON — At a time when workers continue to struggle for decent wages and rights, panelists at a conference marking the 120th anniversary of the encyclical “Rerum Novarum” made clear that the letter on labor and the rights of workers holds important contemporary lessons. After a daylong series of panel discussions May 2 at The Catholic University of America about the historic and contemporary context of the 1891 encyclical that is considered the groundwork for the Church’s social teaching, a final session put the previous discussions into context.

Boehner to students: humility, patience, faith

WASHINGTON — House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio told commencement attendees at the Catholic University of America May 14 to focus on the values of humility, patience and faith as qualities for which the graduates should strive. He recounted his own Catholic education, including the example of his high school football coach, Gerry Faust, who taught his players that “life is a precious gift from God” and that “there’s nothing in life you can’t achieve if you’re willing to work hard enough and make the sacrifices necessary to succeed.” A few days prior to graduation, more than 80 Catholic scholars from across the country sent Boehner, also a Catholic, a letter organized by Catholic University professors that challenged him to uphold Catholic social justice teachings and criticized his record on government programs serving the poor, particularly programs affected in the 2012 budget cuts. Some faculty members sitting up front at the graduation ceremony did not applaud Boehner while he received his honorary degree or join in the standing ovation at the end of his speech.

Pelosi drops objection to Jesuit as House chaplain

WASHINGTON — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has dropped her objections to House Speaker John Boehner’s intended nomination of an Oregon Jesuit priest as the next chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives. Jesuit Father Patrick J. Conroy, who received his master of divinity degree from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley in 1983, said Boehner was a Xavier University graduate who wanted a Jesuit to be among the chaplain candidates. Father Conroy was picked, but Pelosi was concerned that Father Conroy belongs to the Oregon province of the Society of Jesus, which agreed in March to pay about $166 million in settlements to 500 people who have sought damages for abuse they said they suffered under Jesuits at schools and parishes in the Northwest. Father Conroy has not been accused of any involvement in the sexual abuse of minors or any cover-up of such abuse. A spokesman for Pelosi said late May 11 that based on answers to her questions of him, “the Leader sees no obstacle to him being named chaplain.”

Parish ‘resurrects’ tree by making crosses

READING, Pa. — St. Margaret Parish in Reading long enjoyed the shade of its 125-year-old giant elm tree. Although the tree was diagnosed with Dutch elm disease in 2006 and later taken down, it has remained part of the parish “landscape” through individual crosses designed from its wood.

African bishops need help forming vocations

WASHINGTON — Although African vocations are flourishing, the continent needs people to form those vocations, and African bishops visited Washington looking for such help. Tanzanian Cardinal Polycarp Pengo said the major regional seminary in his city, Dar es Salaam, has 192 students and only 10 formators. Cardinal Pengo, president of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar, said he would like to see U.S. seminary professors spend time teaching in Africa. He said he would like to send seminarians to the United States, where some could remain for a while after graduation while others would return to Africa to teach.

New Mass translation is ecumenically harmful

ROME — Because the Roman Catholic Church was a driving force behind the development of a common English translation of basic prayers used by many Christian churches for 40 years, more recent Vatican rules for translating Mass prayers “came as a bombshell,” said an Anglican liturgist. “I do not contest for a moment the prerogative of churches to change their liturgical texts,” said the Rev. David Holeton, a professor at Charles University in Prague. But he said other Christians were “both stunned and dismayed” when the Vatican abandoned the English texts of prayers Catholics had developed with them since the Second Vatican Council and when the Vatican discouraged Catholics from consulting ecumenically on the new translations.

—Catholic News Service


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