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 September 7, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 15   •   Oakland, CA
News in Brief

Peace service
in Ferguson

Franciscan Sisters Elizabeth Rupert and Sarah Sykes sing during the "United Prayer for Peace" service Aug. 9 at the Pallottine Retreat Center in Florissant, Mo. The service marked the first anniversary of the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, the African-American teenager who was shot and killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo., in 2014.
Lisa Johnston/
St. Louis Review, cns

Judy Chang provides an eye test to a woman in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. A mission team of Chinese American Catholics from the San Francisco area also works in the Philippines and the San Joaquin Valley.
Catholic San Francisco

Catholic group helps needy people see

SANTA CLARA — Dr. Kelly Kao is no longer making a top salary as a Silicon Valley optometrist and researcher for Google Glass. Instead, Kao and her friends, motivated by their Catholic faith, are using their skills to help poor people see in the Far East and the San Joaquin Valley. In the past three years, the Catholic nonprofit See the Lord has brought eyeglasses, and vision health care to thousands of poor people in rural areas of Taiwan, the Philippines and Sanger. "I walked away knowing that God had a different path for me, knowing I was called to do missionary work at that point in my life," said Kao, now 30. Kao decided the day her mother died in February 2011 after a nine-year bout with cancer that she had to "love big" with her life. "There were a lot of people trying to talk me out of it," she said. When she quit all her jobs at age 28 in 2012, Kao was in full-time private practice, teaching at the University of California, Berkeley School of Optometry, and doing research for Google. See the Lord is staffed almost entirely by volunteers, young professionals who became friends through their faith and involvement in the San Jose Chinese Catholic Mission in Santa Clara. Kao, the only one who works full time for the organization, receives a small stipend as chief executive officer.

Cardinal William J. Levada

DUI arrest for cardinal

Cardinal William J. Levada, the former archbishop of San Francisco and of Portland, Oregon, and the retired prefect for the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is pictured in a 2010 photo. Cardinal Levada was arrested about midnight Aug. 19 in Kailua-Kona, on the island of Hawaii, for driving under the influence of alcohol. Cardinal Levada, 79, was released after posting a $500 bond. He is due to appear in court Sept. 24.

Priest faces charge

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Kentucky priest was arrested in Florida on a federal charge of accessing pornographic images of children online. Father Stephen Pohl, who resigned as pastor of St. Margaret Mary Church in Louisville Aug. 20, was arrested in Florida a day later. The priest was placed on administrative leave Aug. 12, when the Archdiocese of Louisville learned he was under investigation by the FBI.

Teachers OK pact

SAN FRANCISCO — A new labor agreement between the Archdiocese of San Francisco and the union representing teachers at the four archdiocesan high schools states that Catholic teachings must remain paramount in the classroom and that teachers are accountable for personal conduct that could negatively affect their ability to serve the Catholic mission. Marin Catholic High School president Tim Navone said the agreement, which follows months of contention that made national headlines, brings the focus back on teaching. "I am most excited that our teachers are going to be able to be fully focused without distraction on what they are going to do best, and that is teaching," he said Aug. 20.

Courts divided

WASHINGTON — Two federal appeals courts acted Aug. 21 in cases related to the contraceptive mandate for employee health insurance. One court said the Little Sisters of the Poor and fellow plaintiffs need not comply with its July ruling against them while the sisters appeal to the Supreme Court. The second court ruled against Michigan and Tennessee Catholic Charities agencies, Aquinas College and other church-run institutions, saying that their religious rights are not substantially burdened by a process created by the federal government for opting out of providing contraceptive coverage due to religious objections.

Spike in vocations

PHILADELPHIA — The largest incoming class of seminarians in a decade has arrived at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, even before the Archdiocese of Philadelphia launches a major new initiative in the fall to drive up priestly vocations. Auxiliary Bishop Timothy C. Senior, who is rector of St. Charles, said Aug. 19 that of the 52 "new men" — those who for the first time are entering seminary to study for the priesthood — 20 will be studying for the Philadelphia Archdiocese at its seminary. "That is the highest number in more than 10 years," he said

Milwaukee settlement

MILWAUKEE — The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has reached a $21 million settlement with about 330 abuse survivors, according to an Aug. 4 announcement. The settlement is part of an agreement on a reorganization plan reached by the archdiocese and the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, which has sought compensation for victims/survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

Scottish bishop apologizes

GLASGOW, Scotland — The president of the Scottish bishops' conference offered a "profound apology" to victims of child abuse following a national review of church safeguarding procedures. Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow, conference president, said the Catholic bishops were "shamed and pained" by abuse suffered at the hands of anyone in the church.

Europe's awake call

VIENNA — Austrian church leaders, reacting to the discovery of dozens of dead refugees on a truck near Vienna, said they hoped it would increase awareness of the plight of migrants. "Such refugee suffering should awaken us, like a bolt from the blue, to the need for more generous attitudes and courageous decisions. The joint handling of the refugee tragedy in the face of such inhumanity is a test for European values," Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, president of the Austrian bishops' conference, said Aug. 28.

Catholic News Service


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