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Catholic Voice

November 6, 2017   •   VOL. 55, NO. 19   •   Oakland, CA
News in Brief

Wahlberg's faith journey leaves impression
Actor Mark Wahlberg and Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago discuss faith and the life of young adults during a re(ENCOUNTER) event at the UIC Pavilion Oct. 20. Wahlberg left an impression on the hearts of many young adults. "It's powerful for a celebrity to feel that way about religion," said Omar Lopez, 21, from St. Gall Parish. "For me, when I think about a celebrity, I think cockiness, selfishness, but to hear an artist say that he takes time to just pray, that's an incredible feeling."

Puerto Ricans' spirit
Maria Santiago works with her prekindergarten students at Good Heart of Mary Catholic School in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Oct. 26, more than one month after Hurricane Maria devastated the island. Above all material and financial considerations after Hurricane Maria's severe damage in Puerto Rico, one must highlight the brotherly spirit shown by the island's people during the ongoing recovery period, said the island's top Catholic pastor. Although the church's financial burden has obviously become heavier as it strives to meet the increased emergency material needs of the faithful, it is the people's "huge capability for solidarity" that shines through in this disaster, Archbishop Roberto Gonzalez Nieves of San Juan told Catholic News Service Oct. 25. Due to slow government response to Hurricane Maria's victims in Puerto Rico, there has been an increase in church and neighborhood or town groups banding together to clear remote unpaved roads, remove fallen trees and debris, and provide material aid to the neediest.

Haley visits Congolese bishops
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is seen at the White House in Washington Sept. 15. She praised Congo's bishops for their efforts for peace and democracy in the embattled country. During a visit to the bishops' conference headquarters Oct. 27, Haley thanked the bishops for mediating peace talks between the government and opposition after political violence last December. The bishops helped both sides sign a Dec. 31 agreement that said President Joseph Kabila would remain in office, but elections would be held before the end of 2017.
Mercy sister laureate
DENVER Sister Marilyn Lacey, RSM, of Burlingame, truly had a "once in a million" experience on Oct. 11, she was named the prestigious 2017 Opus Prize Laureate that includes a $1 million award as part of the honor. Sister Marilyn founded Mercy Beyond Borders in 2008 to bring dignity to women and girls in South Sudan and Haiti through education and job training. To date, Mercy Beyond Borders has helped more than 1,400 women and girls in South Sudan and Haiti recognize their inherent worth and unique talents. In front of an audience of students, alumni, faculty, staff and members of the greater Denver community, Jesuit Father John P. Fitzgibbons, president of Regis University, presented the award.

French priest honored
WASHINGTON An Oct. 26 ceremony on Capitol Hill honored French priest Father Patrick Desbois for his work for nearly two decades in researching and telling the story of genocides past and present. But the event also challenged the audience to be vigilant and to take more responsibility for the world around them. "We have an obligation to follow the path of Father Desbois," said Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Maryland, noting that the French priest continuously proved every human life matters and that everyone should speak up for human rights.

Regrettable abortion
WASHINGTON The head of the Susan B. Anthony List said the pro-life organization "was deeply saddened to learn that Jane Doe's child has been aborted," referring to an immigrant teen from Central America in federal detention in Brownsville, Texas. The American Civil Liberties Union supported an abortion for the 17-year-old, who is in the country illegally and identified only as Jane Doe. The Trump administration challenged the ACLU and the case ended up in the courts, ultimately making its way to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The full court ruled 6-3 Oct. 24 that the teen should be able to have an abortion, and the next day she had the procedure.

Posthumous honors
OPELOUSAS, Louisiana Father Joseph Verbis Lafleur, a World War II chaplain who gave his life while saving others on a Japanese prison ship, was honored posthumously with the Distinguished Service Cross and Purple Heart in a ceremony in Opelousas. Congressman Ralph Abraham, R-Louisiana, presented the two military medals to Father Lefleur's nephew and his wife, Richard and Carol Lafleur, at St. Landry Catholic Church, where Father Lafleur celebrated his first Mass following his ordination in 1938.

Commandments display
WASHINGTON The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal about an order to remove a Ten Commandments display outside City Hall in Bloomfield, New Mexico. The refusal to hear the case, announced Oct. 16, lets the lower court ruling stand. In 2014, a U.S. District Court judge ruled that Bloomfield City Hall must remove the outdoor display because it violated the establishment clause of the First Amendment.

Priest arrested
WASHINGTON A priest arrested for protesting a natural gas pipeline being built through land owned by the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in Pennsylvania said he acted because he agreed with the sisters that the project is desecrating the earth. "We just want to support them and symbolically stop the pipeline and put our lives on the side of justice," Father Bill Pickard, 70, a retired priest of the Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania, said Oct. 23, two days after the protest.

Ryan dinner speaker
NEW YORK "Everyone looks great tonight," House Speaker Paul Ryan told the crowd of women in ballgowns and men in white tie and tails at the 72nd Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in New York Oct. 19. "We feel right at home. This looks just like our dinner parties in Janesville, Wisconsin," the Republican said in his keynote speech. "Amazing, I don't think I've seen this many New York liberals and Wall Street CEOs in one room since my last visit to the White House," the Catholic congressman quipped.

Bishops' assembly
WASHINGTON In November, the U.S. bishops are scheduled to elect the next secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, a religious liberty committee chairman and chairmen-elect for five committees, as well as hear an update from the bishops' working group on immigration. They will gather for their fall general assembly Nov. 13-14 in Baltimore.

Refugees fearful
NEW DELHI Fear gripped Muslim Rohingya refugees in India following a hardening of New Delhi's insistence that Myanmar take them back. While the majority of 600,000 Rohingya fleeing a military crackdown in Myanmar over the past two months have gone to Bangladesh, some have traveled to countries such as India and Nepal, reported ucanews.com.

$900,000 after quakes
SAN LUIS POTOSI, Mexico The Mexican bishops' conference and Caritas Mexico announced the charitable agency had raised more than 17.3 million pesos (US$900,000) to assist with relief and rebuilding after twin earthquakes struck the country in September. The money will be used to build relief centers and shelters for those who were left homeless or displaced.

Radio network stalled
MANILA, Philippines The Philippine House of Representatives has not renewed the license of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines to operate dozens of radio stations across the country. The bishops lodged an application to renew the license in January, because their previous one was due to expire Aug. 7, reported ucanews.com. The application, which sought the extension of the license, or franchise, for another 25 years, remains stuck at the committee level of the Lower House of Congress.

Catholic News Service


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