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October 27, 2014   •   VOL. 52, NO. 18   •   Oakland, CA
News in Brief

Rosary rally in San Francisco

A large crowd processes through the streets of San Francisco during the fourth annual rosary rally Oct. 11.
Dennis Callahan/Catholic San Francisco,cns

SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone carried the exposed Eucharist in a monstrance through the streets of San Francisco, as more than a thousand Catholics processed in a public display of faith from St. Mary's Cathedral to United Nations Plaza for the fourth annual rosary rally Oct. 11.

"Pope Francis prays three rosaries a day," said keynote speaker Father Andrew Apostoli, co-founder with the late Father Benedict Groeschel in 1988 of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, urging the about 2,000 people gathered in the Indian summer sun at the noon rally to pray the rosary daily.

"The key to world peace is to be praying the rosary," said Father Apostoli, an expert on the Marian apparitions seen by the three children at Fatima, Portugal, in 1916. The day's events began with 10 a.m. Mass in Spanish for Hispanic Ministry Day at the cathedral, followed by a procession past City Hall to the rally at U.N. Plaza.

"Our Lady's great concern was to save souls from being lost," Father Apostoli told rally participants, urging all to pray the rosary daily as Mary told the children in each of her six appearances. "She even let those three children see a vision of hell so that they could tell us hell was a real thing and we don't want to go there." The rosary rally, held near San Francisco's City Hall, is a renewed tradition aimed at bringing public expressions of faith back to the Bay Area. In 1961, Father Patrick Peyton's Rosary Crusade drew a half million people to Golden Gate Park.

Peruvians celebrate 'Lord of the Miracles'
Women chant during the procession marking the "Lord of the Miracles" in Lima, Peru, Oct. 19. Peru's largest religious festival is associated with a colonial-era painting of a black Jesus and protection from earthquakes.
Enrique Castro-Mendivil/Reuters, cns

Youth rally in Southern California
Maria Cahill, an inspirational speaker and Miss Delaware 2011, snaps a selfie Oct. 14, with Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles and actor David Henrie in front of a packed stadium of students at StubHub Center in Carson. More than 6,000 students attended the event designed to inspire students to respect all walks of life.
Victor Aleman/
Archdiocese of
Los Angeles, cns

$4.2M for legal aid

WASHINGTON — For the first time, federal funding will help pay for unaccompanied minor immigrants to get legal assistance, including through Catholic agencies that will receive a little more than half of $4.2 million in grants for this fiscal year. An additional $4.8 million will be allocated for the legal program for the 2015 fiscal year. The Obama administration also announced plans in early October to allow minors to apply for refugee status from within El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, intended to prevent them from making the dangerous trek to enter the United States illegally.

Abortion ruling coercive

SAN FRANCISCO — The California Catholic Conference has filed a federal civil rights complaint protesting a state ruling mandating the inclusion of voluntary direct abortion — including gender selection and late-term abortion — in California health insurance policies. "This is a coercive and discriminatory action by the state of California," said Auxiliary Bishop Robert W. McElroy of San Francisco, who is chair of the Institutional Concerns Committee of the California Catholic Conference, the public advocacy arm of the state's bishops.

JPII writings debated

WARSAW, Poland — Less than six months after St John Paul II was canonized, questions are being raised about a book of lectures he penned as a young priest in his Polish homeland. The two-volume "Katolicka Etyka Spoleczna" ("The Catholic Social Ethic") has never been officially published. But it could, some observers said, affect interpretations of the future pope's philosophical development, highlighting a youthful commitment to radical change which sounded, at times, close to Marxism

Father Groeschel dies

TOTOWA, N.J. — Father Benedict J. Groeschel, who was a founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, a leading pro-life figure and popular author, retreat master and preacher, died Oct. 3 at St. Joseph's Home for the elderly in Totowa after a long illness. He was 81.

Properties sold for $56M

PHILADELPHIA — The Archdiocese of Philadelphia's finances took a major step toward good health with the announcement Oct. 2 of agreements of sale for three archdiocesan properties collectively worth an estimated $56.2 million. Proceeds from the latest transactions along with the $53 million initial payment from long-term leasing of the 13 archdiocesan cemeteries completed last May and the sale of the archdiocesan nursing homes, projected to net $95 million after closing costs, will address three underfunded obligations of the archdiocese, collectively $340 million.

Health insurance

WASHINGTON — A Catholic group is launching an alternative to health insurance that enables people to pay their medical expenses without being part of a health insurance plan they feel compromises their religious beliefs. "We have to find new ways to protect conscience rights in health care," said Mike O'Dea, one of the co-founders of the new program, Christ Medicus Foundation CURO, http://cmfcuro.com.

New Maryknoll sisters

WASHINGTON — Three women who recently took final vows as Maryknoll sisters after a lengthy discernment process said they were drawn to the order by a lifestyle of simplicity, its international presence and the diversity of its mission work. Sister Abby Avelino, Sister Julia Shideler and Sister Anastasia Lee took their final vows Sept. 28 during a Mass attended by nearly 250 people in Westchester County, New York. As Maryknoll sisters, they are part of an international order with approximately 500 members serving in 25 countries.

$10 million settlement

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph said Oct. 14 that it hoped that a $9.95 million settlement it reached on abuse claims "can bring about some closure to those hurt by abuse in the past. The diocese also prays for a healing which can bring peace to the hearts of all of those hurt by child sexual abuse," it said in a statement. The agreement settles 30 claims filed over nearly a four-year period, between September 2010 and February 2014, diocesan spokesman Jack Smith said in a statement.

Catholic News Service


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