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 January 9, 2012   •   VOL. 50, NO. 1   •   Oakland, CA
News in Brief

Snow church
in Bavaria

A Catholic priest walks inside a church made of snow Dec. 28 in the Bavarian village of Mitterfirmiansreut, near the German-Czech border. The snow church is likely to become a tourist attraction until the beginning of spring.
CNS photo/Petr Josek, Reuters

New bishop for U.S. ordinariate

WASHINGTON — Pope Benedict XVI has established a U.S. ordinariate for former Anglicans who wish to become Catholics and named a married former Episcopal bishop to head it. The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter — functionally equivalent to a diocese, but national in scope — will be based at a parish in Houston. It will be led by Father Jeffrey N. Steenson, the former Episcopal bishop of the Rio Grande who was ordained a Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, N.M., in February 2009. More than 100 former Anglican priests have applied to become Catholic priests in the ordinariate and 1,400 individuals from 22 communities have expressed interest in joining.

Cardinal Levada marks 50th anniversary

Cardinal William J. Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and former archbishop of San Francisco, celebrated a Mass marking the 50th anniversary of his priesthood in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Dec. 20. Among the clergy concelebrating with Cardinal Levada were two classmates — retired Archbishop John C. Favalora of Miami and Archbishop John G. Vlazny of Portland, Ore. — also ordained priests exactly 50 years ago at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter’s Basilica.

Retired Marquette bishop dies at 88

DEPERE, Wis. — Retired Bishop Mark F. Schmitt of Marquette, Mich., died Dec. 14 at the Ingrid Ming Hospice Residence in DePere after a brief illness. He was 88. Bishop Schmitt was the 10th bishop of Marquette, serving from his installation May 7, 1978, to his retirement Nov. 11, 1992.

New Hampshire bishop installed

MANCHESTER, N.H. — On the feast of the Immaculate Conception, the day when he said the “whole church recalls God’s invitation to life,” Bishop Peter A. Libasci was installed as the 10th bishop of Manchester. The former auxiliary bishop of Rockville Centre, N.Y., delivered the homily during the two-hour installation Mass Dec. 8 in Manchester’s St. Joseph Cathedral.

Cardinal Foley, press dean, dead at 76

U.S. Cardinal John P. Foley, a dean of the Catholic press in the United States, died Dec. 11 in Darby, Pa., after a battle with leukemia. He was 76. Cardinal Foley spent more than two decades leading the church’s social communications council and later worked for the Church in the Middle East.

Retired Louisville Archbishop dies at 80

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Archbishop Thomas C. Kelly, who led the Archdiocese of Louisville from 1982 until his retirement in 2007, died peacefully in his sleep on the morning of Dec. 14 at his home on the campus of Holy Trinity Church. He was 80. Archbishop Kelly, a Dominican, possessed of twinkling Irish eyes and a comforting presence, led the archdiocese through periods of both triumph and tragedy. He was proud of the spiritual growth of the archdiocese, especially the Renew process that began in the 1980s shortly after he came to Louisville. He also took pride in the development of a strategic planning process.

Internet policy sets rules for youth work

CHARLESTON, S.C. — The revised sexual abuse prevention policies of the Diocese of Charleston clearly spell out how church personnel can and cannot use modern technology in their work with youths. The 76-page document signed by Charleston Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone Dec. 12 highlights the need for church personnel to carefully monitor their use of the Internet from emails, blogs, online social networks and online games. It prohibits church personnel from using personal e-mail to contact children and also prohibits them from playing online games with minors late at night.

Nurses avoid abortion rule

NEWARK, N.J. — A group of 12 nurses who sued the University Hospital in Newark over a policy requiring them to care for patients before and after abortions can no longer be compelled to assist in these procedures, under an agreement reached in federal court. The nurses in the same-day surgery unit of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey can remain in their current jobs and will only be required to help patients with abortions in a life-threatening emergency when no other nonobjecting staff members are available and only until someone can be brought in to relieve them, according to the Dec. 22 agreement.

Appeal eyed for closed-captioning

WASHINGTON — Ten U.S. dioceses are considering whether to appeal a Federal Communications Commission order lifting the waiver they had earlier been granted that had permitted the dioceses to not use closed-captioning for the programs they produce. Most of the dioceses produce a weekly televised Mass.

More than 200 Burmese settle in Dubuque diocese

WATERLOO, Iowa — The newest group of Catholic immigrants to come to the Dubuque Archdiocese won’t take for granted the opportunity to attend Mass in public. Since May 2010, more than 200 refugees from Myanmar (also known as Burma) have moved to Waterloo and its surrounding areas. They are being recruited to work at the Tyson Fresh Meats packaging plant.

Nun “no longer excommunicated”

PHOENIX — A Mercy sister who was automatically excommunicated because of her role on the ethics committee that allowed an abortion to be performed at a Catholic hospital in Phoenix in 2009 is back in good standing in the Catholic Church. In a Dec. 8 statement, the hospital said Sister Margaret McBride has since “met the requirements for reinstatement with the church and she is no longer excommunicated. She continues to be a member in good standing with the Sisters of Mercy and is a valued member of the St. Joseph’s executive team.”

— Catholic News Service

Sainthood advances for Kateri Tekakwitha, Marianne Cope
Pope Benedict XVI advanced the sainthood causes of Blessed Marianne Cope of Molokai (left) and Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha (see below). During a meeting Dec. 19 with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, the pope signed the decrees recognizing the miracles needed for the canonizations of Blesseds Marianne and Kateri. Blessed Marianne, who worked as a teacher and hospital administrator in New York, spent the last 30 years of her life ministering on the Hawaiian island of Molokai to those with leprosy. Blessed Kateri, known as the Lily of the Mohawks, was born to a Christian Algonquin mother and a Mohawk father in 1656 in upstate New York along the Mohawk River.
CNS graphicS/Emily Thompson



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