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June 27, 2016   •   VOL. 54, NO. 12   •   Oakland, CA
News in Brief

Orthodox council open
Orthodox Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens and all of Greece lights a candle as he enters St. Mena Cathedral in Heraklion, Greece, June 19. The Great and Holy Council of the Orthodox Church opened June 19. Although intended to be the first council of all the Orthodox churches in more than a millennium, the gathering opened with the absence of representatives from four Orthodox churches.
Sean Hawkey/cns

Fifth Fortnight for Freedom
A large American flag is seen hanging from the bell tower of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington July 4, 2015. The U.S. bishops' fifth annual Fortnight for Freedom, "Witnesses to Freedom," opened June 21.
Bob Roller/cns

Sainthood cause advances
Joan Sheen Cunningham, 88, niece of the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, prays with her family during a 2009 memorial Mass for her uncle at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. The family of Archbishop Sheen petitioned the Supreme Court of New York state on June 13 to allow the transfer of the sainthood candidate's remains from a crypt at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City — where Archbishop Sheen was entombed after his death on Dec. 9, 1979 — to Peoria for interment in a crypt at St. Mary's Cathedral. Archbishop Sheen's beatification and canonization cause had been suspended for nearly two years after the Archdiocese of New York denied the request to move the body to Peoria. The beatification could be celebrated shortly after the arrival of the remains in Peoria and with the approval of Pope Francis.
Gregory A. Shemitz/cns

Msgr. Boyle dies
PALO ALTO — A funeral Mass was celebrated May 31 at Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Palo Alto for Msgr. Eugene Boyle, a longtime activist on social justice matters, who died May 24 at age 94, three weeks short of the 70th anniversary of his priestly ordination. Msgr. Boyle may have been best known for being in a photo in which he gave Communion to United Farm Workers president Cesar Chavez at an Easter Sunday Mass in 1968 during which Chavez broke his 25-day water-only fast in support of a boycott of table grapes. As pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in San Francisco in the late 1960s, he allowed the Black Panthers to use the church hall for their free breakfast program, and later led the Newman Center at Stanford University.

Lane Graves

Parish reaches out
OMAHA, Neb. — Members of St. Patrick Parish in Elkhorn prayed June 16 for Lane Graves, a 2-year-old boy killed in an alligator attack in Florida, his father and mother, Matthew and Melissa, and sister, 4-year-old Ella, during a regularly scheduled morning Mass and special rosary. The Graves are members of the parish in Elkhorn, and Ella attended preschool at St. Patrick School.

Religious life appealing
WASHINGTON — Religious life is appealing to young people because "it fills a spiritual need," offers "a relationship with God" and "gives people a sense of importance," said the superior general of a Midwest-based order of women religious. Sister Cecilia Ann Rezac, of the Marian Sisters of the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, made the comments in a phone interview with Catholic News Service after the release of results of a membership survey by the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious. The 2015 survey showed that the average age of women in the religious communities represented by the council is below the average age of women in religious communities nationwide. Overall, the average age of women in the council's member communities is 57. The average age of postulants is 27; novices, 29; temporary professed, 32; and perpetually professed, 63.

Gordie Howe

'Mr. Hockey' dies
DETROIT — Family, friends and fans crowded into the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament June 15 to pay tribute to the life of "Mr. Hockey," Detroit Red Wings legend Gordie Howe. Howe, a hockey Hall of Famer and one of the most celebrated athletes of his generation, died June 10 at the age of 88. The memorial Mass at Detroit's cathedral drew dozens of NHL dignitaries.

Helen Chavez dies
BAKERSFIELD — Helen Chavez, whose late husband, Cesar, co-founded the United Farm Workers union, died June 6 at a Bakersfield hospital after battling an unspecified infection. She was 88. Born Jan. 21, 1928, in Brawley to parents who fled Mexico at the time of the Mexican Revolution, Helen Fabela started working in the fields herself at age 7. She met Cesar Chavez when he was working as a migrant in the fields in Delano — the epicenter of early farmworker struggles — and they married there.

Jesus' tomb restoration
JERUSALEM — For the first time in 200 years, experts have begun a restoration of the Edicule of the Tomb in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where, according to Christian tradition, Jesus was laid to rest after his crucifixion. The project, which began in early June, is expected to take up to one year to complete and will include sorely needed damage repair and reinforcement of the structure. The work is being carried out by experts from the National Technical University of Athens.

Sacraments for disabled

ROME — No matter how complicated it is to do, all children have a need and a right to religious education and access to the sacraments, said a priest who was born deaf and became blind 16 years ago. Opening the Jubilee Year of Mercy celebration for the sick and persons with disabilities, Redemptorist Father Cyril Axelrod insisted sign language, tactile sign language and body language are "gifts of the Holy Spirit" meant to help Christians share the Gospel with all people.

Dachau priest dies
BONN, Germany — Father Hermann Scheipers, the last surviving priest who was imprisoned in the notorious Dachau prison camp, died June 2 in his North Rhine hometown of Ochtrup, Germany, at age 102. He was arrested in October 1940 by German authorities because of his staunch Catholicism and taken to Dachau, near Munich, five months later.

— Catholic News Service


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