Snow completely surrounds a church in this Jan. 23 photo taken above
the village of Jenisberg near the mountain resort of Davos, Switzerland.
CNS photo/Arnd Wiegmann, Reuters\
ABOVE: Miss America
Miss Wisconsin, Laura Kaeppeler, poses at a
news conference after being crowned Miss America 2012 at Planet Hollywood
Resort & Casino in Las Vegas Jan. 14. The 23-year-old Catholic
attends St. Therese Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and is a fourth-grade
teacher at Kenosha’s St. Joseph Academy’s lower campus.
CNS photo/Steve Marcus, Reuters
LEFT: Our Lady of Lourdes
Our Lady of Lourdes is depicted in a modern
painting by Stephen B. Whatley, an expressionist artist based in London.
The feast of Our Lady of Lourdes is Feb. 11, marking Mary’s
first appearance to St. Bernadette Soubirous in the small town in
CNS photo/Stephen B Whatley
Detroit bishops blog about visit
DETROIT — Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron and his four auxiliary
bishops are the latest group of U.S. bishops to give Catholics back home
an up-close look at their “ad limina” visit to the Vatican
through blog postings. Bishop Vigneron was formerly Bishop of Oakland.
Early in January, the Archdiocese of Detroit started a blog — http://aodonline.wordpress.com
— to collect a “spiritual bouquet” for the intentions
of Pope Benedict XVI.
Catholic organization promotes rosary
FORT WORTH, Texas — A new Catholic organization — www.knightsoftheholyrosary.com
— is aiming to live and spread the message of Fatima through recitation
of the rosary and the wearing of clothing and patches as an indirect way
to evangelize. The Knights and Dames of the Holy Rosary seeks to promote
Catholic faith and morals not only by the prayers requested by Our Lady
of Fatima in 1917 but also by bearing public witness to their faith through
the wearing of Knights and Dames clothing and patches.
Two women accused of stealing $1M each
WASHINGTON — Employees of the New York and Philadelphia archdioceses
are accused of stealing $1 million each in church funds over the past
decade. In New York, archdiocesan spokesman Joseph Zwilling said Jan.
30 that Anita Collins, who had worked for the archdiocese since 2003,
allegedly stole about $1 million before she was fired Dec. 6. Collins
used “a sophisticated fraud to manipulate the accounts payable system
in the Department of Education Finance Office,” Zwilling said.
In Philadelphia, Anita Guzzardi, who was named chief financial officer
of the archdiocese July 1, 2011, was terminated from employment later
in July when alleged “financial accounting irregularities”
were discovered. Although an investigation by the Philadelphia District
Attorney’s Office was continuing, sources said the amount involved
is nearly $1 million. No criminal charges have been filed against Guzzardi.
Same-sex marriage issue comes up in states
WASHINGTON — The same-sex marriage issue will be facing lawmakers
and voters in several states this year. Democratic-controlled legislatures
in Washington state, Maryland and New Jersey are considering legislation
that would legalize same-sex marriage, while Maine voters will vote on
a same-sex marriage referendum in November. Voters in North Carolina and
Minnesota will consider constitutional amendments defining marriage as
between a man and a woman. In New Hampshire, the Republican-controlled
legislature is gearing up to vote on a bill that could reverse that state’s
same-sex marriage law.
Catholic Healthcare West no longer “Catholic”
SAN FRANCISCO — Catholic Healthcare West announced a restructuring
Jan. 23 that will make it no longer an official ministry of the Catholic
Church, while keeping it “rooted in the Catholic tradition.”
Under the new governance structure, Dignity Health, as Catholic Healthcare
West will now be known, will be a nonprofit organization under which its
Catholic hospitals “will continue to be Catholic, directly sponsored
by their founding congregations and adhering to the Ethical and Religious
Directives for Catholic Health Care Services,” said the statement
announcing the change.
Dolan: Natural law dictates all life sacred
NEW YORK — Natural law is a concept of objective truth, not religious
preference, and reliance on natural law and human rights will move the
culture and its laws in the direction of authentic respect for human life,
Cardinal-designate Timothy M. Dolan of New York said in an address Jan.
24. Cardinal-designate Dolan, speaking on “Law & the Gospel
of Life,” gave the inaugural talk in a lecture series sponsored
by the Institute on Religion, Law and Lawyers’ Work at Jesuit-run
Fordham University School of Law.
Altoona-Johnstown bishop eulogizes Paterno
ALTOONA, Pa. — Although Joe Paterno will be remembered as “a
legend throughout our region and throughout our country,” Bishop
Mark L. Bartchak said the iconic football coach will be best remembered
in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown as “a good Catholic, a family
man and a friend to many.” Bishop Bartchak made his comments Jan.
22 at a news conference at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona,
prior to a prayer service celebrating Respect for Life. Paterno, 85, died
that morning at Mount Nittany Medical Center in State College, just 10
weeks after the Nov. 18 announcement that he was suffering from lung cancer.
That announcement came nine days after Paterno’s 61-year career
at Penn State University was terminated in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky
child sex abuse scandal.
Life, liberty at ‘core of our national character’
WASHINGTON — Americans “as a people are pro-life” because
life and liberty “are intertwined and form the core of our national
character,” House Speaker John Boehner told the crowd gathered on
the National Mall Jan. 23 for the 39th annual March for Life. “God
who gave us life gave us liberty,” said the Ohio Republican, who
is a Catholic. He added that his pro-life stand isn’t political,
“it’s just who I am.”
Language immersion seen as ‘win-win-win’
SEATTLE — Teaching half the school day in English and half in Spanish
could be a boon for Catholic education in the United States, according
to a Hispanic educator. Luis Ricardo Fraga, a professor of political science
at the University of Washington and director of its Diversity Research
Institute, said such a program, called “two-way immersion,”
could provide a superior education, increase educational opportunities
for Hispanic Catholics, increase enrollment and prevent school closures.
Starting two-way immersion programs in Catholic schools would be a “win-win-win,”
New foreign policy threat to religious liberty
QUINCY, Mass. — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s announcement
in December that respect for gay rights is now a factor in the Obama administration’s
foreign policy decisions is on a collision course with religious freedom,
said an official with the Becket Fund. “This administration clearly
wants to elevate certain rights over others. And unfortunately it seems
that religious freedom is never prioritized in their foreign policy as
it should be,” Tina Ramirez told The Anchor, newspaper of the Fall
River Diocese. Ramirez is director of government and international relations
for the Becket Fund, which seeks to protect the free expression of all
Bishops to use Olympics to renew interest in faith
MANCHESTER, England — British bishops plan to use the 2012 London
Olympic Games to renew interest in the Catholic faith, with initiatives
ranging from fighting human trafficking and homelessness to promoting
youth ministry and ecumenical dialogue. The Bishops’ Conference
of England and Wales is also preparing resources for liturgies and holy
hours and will post them on the Internet before the July 27-Aug. 12 games.
After independence, South Sudan struggling
CAPE TOWN, South Africa — The Church in South Sudan and its partners
in the U.S. are frustrated that their efforts to build peace in the infant
country are threatened, but they have not given up, Catholic officials
said. A serious political deadlock between South Sudan and its northern
neighbor, Sudan, over the split of oil revenues “could lead to a
declaration of war,” said Auxiliary Bishop Santo Loku Pio Doggale
of Juba, capital of South Sudan.