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November 18, 2013   •   VOL. 51, NO. 20   •   Oakland, CA
News in Brief

Pope calls for aid for people hit by deadly Philippines typhoon


Young residents in Cebu, Philippines, hold signs asking for help and food along the highway Nov. 11 after Super Typhoon Haiyan hit.
Charlie Saceda/Reuters, cns

Pope Francis led prayers for people hit by a deadly typhoon in the Philippines and surrounding region, and asked that concrete aid be sent soon.

During the Angelus with pilgrims in St. Peter's Square Nov. 10, the pope expressed his concern and prayers for the estimated tens of thousands of people dead and others affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated parts of the central Philippines Nov. 8.

In response to the tragedy, Pope Francis made an initial donation of $150,000 for the relief efforts through the Pontifical Council Cor Unum.

The money, sent through the local churches hardest hit by the storm, was earmarked to support "assistance for the displaced and those impacted by the flooding," the Vatican said in a written statement.

Caritas Internationalis, the Vatican-based confederation of humanitarian agencies of the Catholic Church, reported Nov. 11 that more than 9.5 million people are in need of aid and 600,000 people have been forced from their homes.

 
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Catholic Relief Services
P.O. Box 17090 Baltimore, MD 21297-0303
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Catholic Relief Services officials committed $20 million in emergency aid for survivors of Super Typhoon Haiyan, expecting that the funds will come from a second collection the agency asked U.S. bishops to take in their dioceses before the end of the year.

"Our goal is to serve 100K families, about a half million people," CRS president Carolyn Woo, told the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Nov. 11, the first day of their annual fall general assembly in Baltimore.
Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson, Ariz., chairman of the CRS board, said the collection could be taken in dioceses the weekends of Nov. 16-17 or Nov. 30-Dec. 1.

Father Edwin Gariguez, executive secretary of Caritas Philippines, said, "Despite the precautions, this was beyond all expectations. We couldn't image a storm of this size hitting the Philippines."

Representatives from Caritas Philippines and the U.S. bishops' Catholic Relief Service reached Leyte by boat Nov. 10 to assess the most urgent needs, Caritas reported.

Father Gariguez said: "The casualties are increasing day by day. There are dead bodies everywhere. People are traumatized. The most urgent needs are for food and water."



Jose Luis and Ana Claudia Aguayo are the recipients of the 2013 Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award given by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.
cns
Bishops urged to support CCHD

WASHINGTON — The Catholic Campaign for Human Development deserves the full support of the U.S. bishops because of its success in fighting poverty, said a group of Catholics on the eve of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' fall general assembly Nov. 11-14 in Baltimore.

In a letter addressed to all of the bishops, 47 Catholic leaders, including three retired bishops and former USCCB staff members, urged the prelates to "redouble your commitment to social ministries that lift people out of poverty," especially CCHD.

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The letter was prompted by continuing criticisms of CCHD, the bishops' domestic anti-poverty arm, from a small number of organizations that claim local anti-poverty agencies funded by the program have worked in coalitions that include members that do not share church teaching on issues, such as its opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage. The letter writers pointed to "well-funded groups" that "attack CCHD and pressure" the bishops to withdraw from such coalitions. They added that they do not believe that such collaborative efforts tarnish the church's reputation, but uphold biblical tenets upholding social justice.


Sainthood cause

BALTIMORE — The sainthood cause for the founder of a U.S. religious order devoted to person-to-person ministry can move forward with the approval of the U.S. bishops Nov. 11.

In a voice vote on the first day of their fall general assembly in Baltimore, the bishops agreed to a request from New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan to proceed with the next step in the canonization process for Mother Mary Teresa Tallon, a Holy Cross sister for 33 years, who founded a new order in 1920, the Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate, as a community focused on contemplation and door-to-door, personal ministry. She particularly wanted to reclaim lapsed and uninstructed Catholics.




Youths venerate relic

MIAMI — Catholic students and faculty convened in Miami Nov. 5 to venerate what is considered a "first-class relic" of Blessed John Paul II and used the occasion to reflect on the life and impact of the late pope, who along with Blessed John XXIII will be canonized April 27 at the Vatican. About 1,500 students from some 15 Catholic elementary and high schools in South Florida joined at a youth rally and Mass for Blessed John Paul II at St. Thomas University in Miami. On display for the students to touch and pray with was what the archdiocese described as the "Official Relic of the Postulation of Blessed John Paul II" — a vial of the late pontiff's blood.




Pope names bishop

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has named Bishop Salvatore R. Matano of Burlington, Vt., to head the Diocese of Rochester, N.Y. He succeeds Bishop Matthew H. Clark, who retired in September 2012. Bishop Matano, 65, has headed the Burlington Diocese since November 2005. Named coadjutor of the diocese in March of that year, he automatically succeeded Bishop Kenneth A. Angell when he retired. His installation Mass will be Jan. 3 at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Rochester.




Court weighs prayer

WASHINGTON — In considering a New York town's practice of opening council sessions with a prayer, the Supreme Court Nov. 6 raised questions about whether the situation is adequately covered by previous rulings allowing legislatures to open with prayers. The Rochester suburb of Greece was sued by two residents who argued that the town council's tradition of opening sessions with prayers offered by local clergy violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the Constitution. Although the town allows the prayer to be offered in any faith tradition, and has made some effort to include a variety of faiths, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found the practice unconstitutional. It found that the vast majority of the prayers were specifically Christian.




Prayers for new bishop

NEWARK, N.J. — In one of America's largest gothic cathedrals, more than 2,000 clergy, religious and lay Catholics gathered Nov. 5 with four cardinals and bishops from six states to welcome Coadjutor Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda to his new see during a two-hour Mass. In self-effacing and humorous remarks, Archbishop Hebda, 54, noted he had just completed the draft of a three-year pastoral plan for the Diocese of Gaylord, Mich., when he received the call from the apostolic nuncio to the United States two months ago that he had been appointed to Newark.




Sainthood candidate

OMAHA, Neb. — The prayers of two religious sisters born in the Archdiocese of Omaha were key elements of the Vatican-approved miracle that led the way to the upcoming beatification of their order's foundress, Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration. In April, the order announced she would be beatified Nov. 10 in Paderborn, Germany. The announcement followed the Vatican's recognition of a miracle attributed to her intercession that occurred in Colorado Springs, Colo., nearly 15 years ago.

— Catholic News Service

 

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