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The 'What's Happenin' Nuns

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National Public Radio, like most media, find the Nashville Dominicans and their cohort of other traditional sisters, simply irresistable. The Nashvillians come gift wrapped in nostalgia and fading stereotype: flowing white habits, communing together like a spiritual summer camp, endlessly mirthful and dedicated to ideals that reporters are glad to see that a few, at least, are preserving.

Harvey, founder of Courage, dies

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Fr. John F. Harvey, founder and executive director of the Courage, an officially sanctioned ministry to Catholics with same-sex attractions, died Dec. 27 in Elkton, Md. He was 92 and had been an Oblate of St. Francis de Sales for 73 years.

A Mass of Christian Burial is scheduled for tomorrow (Dec. 31) at 11:15 a.m. at St. Anthony of Padua Church, Wilmington, Del. Interment will be at he Oblate Cemetery in Elkton, Md.

On this day: St. Egwin

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On this day in 717, St. Egwin, the third bishop of Worcester, died at Evesham Abbey.

The life of St. Egwin included kings and their children, a vision of the Virgin Mary, two pilgrimages to Rome, and miraculous animals -- a sow whose secret place for giving birth became the site of Evesham Abbey and a fish that carried a key in its belly from the Avon to the Tiber.


R. O felix Egwine, jam de tua gloria secure, nostris miseriis amans impende per Christum; excusa mala fecimus, et obtine bona quæ poscimus.
V. Ut cruciatus infernorum evadere possimus, et Dei aspectu tecum gaudere.

--from Matins for Dec. 30, Feast of the Deposition of St. Egwin

Click here to see a picture of St. Egwin with the fish, the fetters, and the key.

Facing financial scandals, pope creates new Vatican watchdog

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New law also criminalizes environmental pollution

Against a backdrop of criminal probes related to alleged financial misconduct both in the Vatican Bank and at the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the Vatican’s wealthy missionary department better known as “Propaganda Fide”, Pope Benedict XVI today created a new in-house watchdog to promote compliance with international rules against financing terrorism, money-laundering, insider trading and market abuse.

Catholic faces at Mass

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On Christmas Day, my family and I visiting relatives in the San Francisco Bay area attended Mass at Holy Spirit Church in Fremont. We have done so on previous Christmases. This is a nice suburban church partly reconstructed a few years ago so that Mass is celebrated in the round.

We sat in the new part looking toward the older part of the church. But what really impressed me on this visit was the significant ethnic diversity of this parish.

On this day: Wounded Knee

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On this day, 120 years ago, the massacre at Wounded Knee took place.

"In the morning, to facilitate the disarming of the Indians, [Colonel James W.] Forsyth ordered that the Indian men be assembled on a council ground between the Indian camp on the south and the military camp to the north. Dismounted cavalry troopers surrounded the Indians on all sides, and mounted cavalry encircled the outer perimeter, which also included the Indian camp where the women and children remained. Following standard military field practice, a battery of four Hotchkiss guns were placed on a vantage point, Cemetery Hill, 200 yards to the west. Forsyth's command totaled about 500 soldiers armed with single-shot Remington rifles; some had Colt pistols as well."

--from At Standing Rock and Wounded Knee: The Journals and Papers of Father Francis M. Craft, 1888-1890, edited by Thomas W. Foley.

Parish books (said to have been) fiddled with

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Brooklyn parish claims "someone" fudged books to justify parish closing

Parishioners at a Brooklyn church that defied both its bishop and a powerful politician over a local development scheme say someone exacted revenge on them by fudging their books to justify the diocese shutting the house of worship down.

Juan Ramos and other worshipers say the decision to shutter Our Lady of Montserrat Church in Bedford-Stuyvesant by the end of January and combine operations with nearby All Saints Church is "payback" by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio for crossing Brooklyn Democratic Boss Vito Lopez and publicly opposing the nearly 1,900-unit Broadway Triangle housing project Lopez is pushing.

Diocese of Brooklyn spokesman Shane Kavanaugh, however, said the Vernon Avenue church is being closed because it’s a money pit and "the decision wasn’t politically motivated" – despite DiMarzio and Lopez’s longtime alliance.

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In This Issue

July 17-30, 2015

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