||Manila Basilica renovated
The Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, the Manila cathedral, is shown as it reopened April 9 after a two-year, $1 million-plus renovation. Built in 1571 by Spanish conquistadors, the cathedral is located in Manila's historic walled city known as the Intramuros.
Father Paul J. Fitzgerald
Michael R. Lovell
Conrado M. Gempesaw
|Trio of new university leaders|
The University of San Francisco board of trustees has elected Jesuit Father Paul J. Fitzgerald as the college's 28th president. He will assume office Aug. 1. Father Fitzgerald, elected April 8, currently serves as senior vice president for academic affairs at Jesuit-run Fairfield University in Connecticut. Father Fitzgerald grew up in Los Gatos, was graduated with a bachelor's degree in history at Santa Clara University and joined the Society of Jesus two years later. Father Fitzgerald has lived, taught and studied overseas. He replaces Jesuit Father Stephen A. Privett, who held the post for 14 years. The board of trustees of Jesuit-run Marquette University in Milwaukee unanimously elected Michael R. Lovell as the school's 24th president, effective Aug. 1. Lovell will be Marquette's first lay president. St. John's University trustees elected Conrado M. Gempesaw, a longtime university administrator and the provost of Miami University in Ohio, as its 17th president.
||Philadelphia sells paintings
This 1903 painting of James A. Flaherty by Thomas Eakins is one of five portraits by the artist that will be sold by St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, Pa., in the Philadelphia archdiocese. Funds from the sale, being handled by Christie's in New York, can go toward the costs of consolidation and renovation at the seminary. The archdiocese, which has struggled with financial difficulties, also had to adjust lower results of its Heritage of Faith-Vision of Hope capital campaign. It launched in February 2009 and sought pledges through June 2010 with the hopes of raising at least $200 million. Audited statements show the final goal at $185 million after many pledges weren't fulfilled and others were double-counted.
Archbishop to sell home
ATLANTA — Atlanta Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory announced April 5 that he will vacate the archbishop's residence in early May and move into another available archdiocesan property. He said that he has decided to sell the property and "invest the proceeds from that sale into the needs of the Catholic community." The announcement was his latest action after public and media criticism about the new $2.2 million residence.
Alum donates $1.5M
BALTIMORE — Some 65 years after his graduation at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore, Gordon Erberts plans to support his old school with a donation of $1.5 million, to be distributed among several mission and ministry initiatives. "Loyola did something for me, and I want to do something for them," Erberts said. A chemistry and modern biology major, Erberts thanked the school for the rigorous Jesuit education he received, which led to his success.
MURRYSVILLE, Pa. — Stunned by an early morning tragedy, the Murrysville community gathered at Mother of Sorrows Church April 9 and asked God to send his Holy Spirit into their community to dispel the darkness and fear and lead them into the light. The parish held a candlelit service on the evening of a violent incident at nearby Franklin Regional Senior High School, Murrysville, where 21 students and an adult security guard were stabbed in a knife-wielding rampage, according to Westmoreland County Department of Public Safety spokesman Dan Stevens.
WASHINGTON — A survey of attitudes among priests and lay parish leaders about the revised Roman Missal found just under half dislike the changes to the Mass introduced in the U.S. in 2011, and 75 percent think the language is "awkward and distracting." Priests, more strongly than laypeople, dislike the liturgical changes, the survey said, with 52 percent saying they don't like the new texts. Among the lay leaders, 29 percent said they dislike the texts. Three quarters of the survey participants agreed that the language of the new text is "awkward and distracting," and half said the translation "urgently needs to be revised." Just 23 percent said they were confident "that the views of priests will be taken seriously in future decisions about liturgical translation."
$24.5M for typhoon aid
WASHINGTON — U.S. dioceses raised $24.5 million in the special collection taken for relief, recovery and rebuilding efforts in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan. The amount collected includes $6.4 million specifically designated for humanitarian aid, which will be sent directly to Catholic Relief Services, reported the U.S. bishops' Office of National Collections. The bishops' Administrative Committee agreed to divide the remaining $18.1 million equally between humanitarian aid and long-term church reconstruction and other programs.
Chicago cardinal ill
CHICAGO — Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago has resumed his chemotherapy that had been delayed because of an infection he incurred in late March, according to an archdiocesan statement. Upon the advice of his doctors, the cardinal has decided to remain in Chicago and not travel to Rome for the April 27 canonization of Blesseds John Paul II and John XXIII, as he had originally planned, the April 8 statement said
Hilton Foundation helps
WASHINGTON — One of hotelier Conrad N. Hilton's wishes in his final will was to support Catholic sisters all over the world, and in its 70 years, his foundation has helped accomplish this. "Conrad had this lifelong respect and admiration for the sisters," Steve Hilton, the foundation's current president and CEO, said. Hilton, Conrad's grandson, announced March 25 that he will retire next year, and whoever his successor will be, he expects the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to keep pursuing its mission to help Catholic sisters.
High school to close
RYE, N.Y. — In the end, the declining numbers trumped the best efforts of enthusiastic alumnae and parents, committed staff and a religious congregation to save a New York school founded by an immigrant saint, but the 115-year legacy of Mother Cabrini High School will live on. The all-girls college preparatory school in the Washington Heights section of northern Manhattan will close at the end of the 2013-14 academic year. The decision was made by the school's board of trustees and approved by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which sponsors the school. St. Frances Xavier Cabrini founded the congregation in 1880 and established the high school in 1899. Increased costs and diminishing revenue made it impossible to continue operations. There are 305 students enrolled, down from 455 in 2004.
Reframing view of poverty
WASHINGTON — Concerned with widely held negative perceptions about people who live in poverty, advocates attending the National Poverty Summit pledged to reframe how Americans see their poor neighbors and to work to build stronger relationships across economic classes. The advocates from several national organizations said April 2 it was unrealistic to characterize the 46 million people living in poverty as unwilling to work while preferring to live in a cycle of dependence on government programs. They also pledged to collaborate more closely when delivering social services and speak with a unified voice to shape public policy when it comes to state and federal support for programs that lift people out of poverty. It's time, said Susan Dreyfus, president and CEO of the Alliance for Children and Families, to view people in poverty as neighbors and see that in a prosperous society, poverty is unacceptable.
Prayers for Fort Hood
WASHINGTON — Once again, the people at Fort Hood "are at the center of national attention and the focus of our prayers," Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services said in response to the April 2 shooting at the Texas military base. The archbishop said he had been in touch with the Catholic priests who serve at Fort Hood to "assure them of the solidarity and the prayerful support" the military archdiocese after a shootout from the base which left three people dead and wounded 16 others. The shooter, later identified as Ivan Lopez, then killed himself.
JERUSALEM — Repeated references to persecution of Christians, "usually referring only to what Christians suffer at the hands of criminals claiming to be Muslims, plays into the hands of extremists," said Catholic leaders in the Holy Land. "In the name of truth, we must point out that Christians are not the only victims of this violence and savagery. Secular Muslims, all those defined as 'heretic,' 'schismatic' or simply 'nonconformist,' are being attacked and murdered in the prevailing chaos," said a statement from the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries in the Holy Land, posted on the website of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem April 3.
OXFORD, England — A Ukrainian Catholic bishop warned his church could lose its legal status in Crimea under Russian rule and pledged to use "all possible means in the international arena" to defend it. "Greek Catholic communities like ours are denied rights in the Russian Federation, which we see as a violation of freedom of conscience and religion," said Bishop Bohdan Dzyurakh, secretary-general of the Ukrainian Catholic Synod of Bishops.
— Catholic News Service
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