|'Terrible blow' to Eastern Seaboard
DA steady stream of volunteers and donations of goods arriving from around the country for victims of Hurricane Sandy on the Eastern Seaboard are meeting the short-term needs of many residents, but there is still a long road of recovery ahead.
Volunteers grill food Nov. 8 for people affected by Hurricane Sandy in Staten Island, N.Y.
"It's a terrible blow to our parish," said Joan Paolino, a Staten Island resident who often meets fellow parishioners at St. Charles Catholic Church before daily Mass to pray the rosary. Three parishioners died in the storm. More than 40 lives were lost overall.
The damage from the wind, rain and flooding brought by Hurricane Sandy "is almost overwhelming," said Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York. "We're reaching out to parishes and getting them to directly assist those in critical need — they know their own people and their neighborhoods."
Catholic Charities USA is accepting cash donations online at the Catholic Charities USA website at www.catholiccharitiesusa.org. Donations also can be made by dialing toll-free 800-919-9338 or by mail to P.O. Box 17066, Baltimore, MD 21297-1066. The Alexandria, Virginia, agency has begun working with state and local government disaster response agencies and charitable groups to meet emergency needs in communities in New Jersey and New York devastated by the late October storm.
Archbishop of Canterbury
The newly appointed Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, smiles during a news conference at Lambeth Palace in London Nov. 9. The 56-year-old, a former oil executive who has been influenced by both Benedictine and Ignatian spirituality, will be become the 105th archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the world's 80 million Anglicans.
Karl Kumodzi, an advocate for the homeless, for racial justice and for access to education, is the winner of the 2012 Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award presented by the U.S. bishops' Catholic Campaign for Human Development. Kumdozi, a student at Stanford University, was a refugee from Togo and grew up in Las Vegas.
Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Msgr. Robert Deeley, vicar general of the Boston Archdiocese, as an auxiliary bishop for the archdiocese. The appointment was announced Nov. 9 in Washington by the apostolic nuncio to the United States.
Catholic online presence
WASHINGTON — Catholics, just like the rest of society, are using online social media, but they aren't necessarily going to Catholic sites, according to a study by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University. The study, "Catholic New Media Use in the United States, 2012" was released Nov. 11. According to the report, 62 percent of adult U.S. Catholics, representing an estimated 36.2 million people, have a profile on Facebook; that number climbs to 82 percent among Catholics born since 1982. Fifty-eight percent of Catholics age 30 and under post information at least once a week on social media.
Watching Nevada case
RENO, Nev. — Pro-lifers are paying close attention to a Nevada court case involving a mentally incapacitated pregnant woman. The Nevada Supreme Court Nov. 6 allowed a lower-court judge to continue to conduct a hearing about the pregnancy. After the court's OK, Washoe County District Judge Egan Walker continued hearings begun Nov. 2 into the matter. The 32-year-old woman's parents, who are Catholic, are her legal guardians. They want their daughter to be able to continue the pregnancy, now believed to be in its 13th week. They fear that the judge will order an abortion for the woman, who has the intellectual capacity of a 6-year-old.
Threats are a 'concern'
WASHINGTON — In a Nov. 4 speech at the University of Notre Dame, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the apostolic nuncio to the United States warned that the "menace to religious liberty is concrete on many fronts" today particularly "within your own homeland." He said threats to religious liberty in the United States may not be as obvious as the religious persecution in other countries, but he stressed that the "not so obvious" threat often "appears inconsequential or seems benign but in fact is not."
Same-sex marriage OK'd
WASHINGTON — Voters in Maine, Washington state and Maryland approved ballot measures legalizing same-sex marriage Nov. 6. In Minnesota, voters rejected a state constitutional amendment to define marriage as only a union between a man and woman. The Catholic bishops in each state had urged voters to uphold the traditional definition of marriage between one man and one woman and warned that religious liberties could be threatened by legalizing same-sex marriage. Thirty other states have passed laws prohibiting same-sex marriages. Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, former bishop of Oakland and chairman of the U.S. bishops' Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, said Election Day was a disappointing one for marriage. "The meaning of marriage, though, cannot be redefined because it lies within our very nature. No matter what policy, law or judicial decision is put into place, marriage is the only institution that unites a man and a woman to each other and to any children born of their union," he said. "It is either this, or it is nothing at all."
Cardinal offers prayers
WASHINGTON — Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, congratulated President Barack Obama on his re-election in a Nov. 7 letter. "The people of our country have again entrusted you with a great responsibility," Cardinal Dolan said. "The Catholic bishops of the United States offer our prayers that God will give you strength and wisdom to meet the difficult challenges that face America."
Aid to understanding
WASHINGTON — The pro-life issue "is one of most important issues our culture faces" and "we thought the time had come for someone to take it as serious as math or science or English," said one of the developers of a new curriculum with that aim. Camille Pauley is co-founder and president of Healing the Culture, a Seattle organization that has developed an ethics and philosophy pro-life curriculum called "Principles and Choices." Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle gave the imprimatur ("let it be printed") for the curriculum, which will be sent to 15 schools across the country in November. The four-part curriculum for private schools focuses on philosophy, theology and ethics as a foundation for pro-life views.
Md. to aid immigrants
WASHINGTON — The immigration status of Maryland students will no longer be an obstacle to those receiving lower tuition rates available to other in-state residents, after 59 percent of voters approved a referendum Nov. 6. The Maryland Catholic Conference and other church leaders were among supporters of the law, likened to the federal DREAM Act, which has languished in Congress.
Dispute over water bill
JERUSALEM — A dispute over an unpaid water bill reportedly running to $2.3 million could threaten the daily functioning of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, one of Christendom's most holy sites. The dispute stems from a unilateral cancellation of a long-term agreement — dating to Turkish rule — that exempted the Church of the Holy Sepulcher from paying for the water it used. An official at the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate told the British news agency Reuters that the patriarchate was willing to pay water bills from now on but that the accumulated debt "would be problematic."
— Catholic News Service
People exchange signs of peace through a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border during simultaneous Masses held near Anapra, New Mexico, Nov. 2. The annual Dia de los Muertos — All Souls Day — observance was held as a sign of solidarity and in remembrance of migrants who have died making their way across the border. The Masses were celebrated by U.S. Bishop Ricardo Ramirez of Las Cruces, New Mexico, and Mexican Bishop Renato Ascencio Leon of Ciudad Juarez.