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Faith & Parish

Oklahoma earthquake fells Catholic university turret

WASHINGTON -- A turret fell from the main building at St. Gregory's University in Shawnee, Okla., during a rare earthquake the night of Nov. 5.

The 5.6-magnitude quake also damaged the other three turrets that sat atop the 98-year-old building. All of the turrets will have to be taken down, said university president D. Gregory Main.

Classes were canceled Nov. 7, as most of the classrooms at the 500-student school are in that building, Main added. The building also houses the college's library, administrative offices, president's office, and admissions and registrar offices. Classes were to resume Nov. 8.

"We are scrambling to find other places on campus" to conduct classes, Main told Catholic News Service in a Nov. 7 phone interview.

Main was calling from outside the university's cafeteria because the building was closed to protect students and staff from getting injured. "Any of those (turrets) could fall down at any time," Main said.

He added the turrets stand 24 feet in height from the roofline. "And they are masonry construction. There's no reinforcement. That's why it fell," Main said.

Ministering to, ministering as 'the marginalized' theme of conference

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Updated with video

MILWAUKEE -- Words from keynote speaker Jamie Manson describing a church on the margins fired up attendees at the annual Call to Action national conference this past weekend in Milwaukee.

"The margins of the church are a place to be embraced," Manson said Friday night to an audience of some 2,000 people. "Why? Because very often this is where we often see most clearly the face of God."

Archbishop: Help turn tragedy of abortion to grace

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WAUWATOSA, Wis. -- Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kan., challenged and encouraged post-abortion caregivers to see those who seek their help "as the Lord sees them -- beyond their weakness -- and to call them to wholeness."

He made his remarks during an Oct. 28 keynote address at the 13th annual Healing Vision Conference in Wauwatosa. Organizers characterized the Oct. 26-29 event as "a think tank conference of academics, medical professionals, mental health experts and caregivers gathered to share resources and research, and (to) network."

The National Office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation organized the conference, which was sponsored by Our Sunday Visitor, the Knights of Columbus and Marquette University.

Archbishop Naumann, 62, employed personal stories and biblical passages as he urged his audience to help clients, "pained and in anger" after undergoing or being otherwise involved in abortions, to:


  • Experience God's mercy and be able to forgive themselves.

  • "Be empowered to forgive others" who might have been instrumental in their abortions.

Maryknoll's yearlong centennial celebration ends

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NEW YORK -- Maryknoll is the gift of mission that the church in America gave to the universal church, and will continue to give, Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick told more than 1,800 participants at a festive Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral Oct. 30.

The Mass celebrated the centennial of the group formally known as the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America.

"The church in the United States is a generous one, not because we give generously of our funds, but because we give generously of our faith," he said.

Cardinal McCarrick said the men and women of Maryknoll recognize that when you have something as precious as the Gospel of Jesus Christ, you can't keep it to yourself. The gift of mission is meant to be given to one another.

Cardinal McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, was the main celebrant of the Mass that marked the official end of Maryknoll's yearlong centennial commemoration. He was joined by 56 priests and eight bishops in a two-hour service rich with symbolic reminders of the lands catechized by Maryknoll missioners since 1911.

Judge denies injunction to evict church protesters

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Saying that he "cannot conclude that the condition of the steeple presents an emergency such that immediate court intervention is necessary," a Massachusetts Superior Court judge has denied a motion that would have evicted protesters from a former Catholic church in the Diocese of Springfield.

Ruling on an Oct. 4 motion filed by the diocese, Judge C. Jeffrey Kinder decided that a preliminary injunction that would have allowed law enforcement officials to remove occupiers protesting the closure of Mater Dolorosa Church in Holyoke so that repairs could be made to its damaged steeple was not necessary.

Reacting to the judge's ruling, diocesan spokesman Mark E. Dupont said: "Clearly we were disappointed that the court failed to rule on the central issue in this matter upholding our trespassing claim."

However, he stressed that, "as the judge clearly states, he has offered no ruling or decision on the basic merits of the trespassing case, simply that he will not issue a preliminary injunction at this time.

Cardinal urges seminarians to look to Blessed John Paul for inspiration

WASHINGTON -- The Archdiocese of Washington marked the first feast day of Blessed John Paul II in a special way, as Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl dedicated the archdiocese's new Blessed John Paul II Seminary in Washington Oct. 22 with a Mass in the seminary's chapel.

Cardinal Wuerl prayed that God will "bless this house and all who study here so that the vision, the dream and the legacy of Blessed John Paul II will long continue at the service of God's holy church."

He encouraged the seminarians to look to their patron for guidance and inspiration as they study for the priesthood. The first group of 20 seminarians now call Blessed John Paul II Seminary home, and many assisted at the Mass, serving at the altar, singing in the choir and afterward giving tours of the seminary.

Currently, 72 men are studying for the priesthood for the Washington Archdiocese, including the Blessed John Paul II seminarians taking classes at the nearby Catholic University of America. Msgr. Robert Panke, the new seminary's rector, was among the concelebrants at the dedication Mass.

What if the 'good guys' apologized?

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The intense focus on the authoritarianism and harshness of some American bishops runs the risk of distracting from the reality that among the American hierarchy are a number of outstanding bishops who are authentic shepherds, committed to justice and charity, and whose first response to any issue is compassion. We tend to ignore their presence, not just because of their more outspoken colleagues, but because they tend to remain silent.

'Doctrinal Responsibilities': evenhanded, open and fair

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VIEWPOINT

After the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine had delivered its criticism of Quest for the Living God: Mapping Frontiers in the Theology of God by St. Joseph Sr. Elizabeth Johnson, theologians and boards of theological societies in the United States contested the content of the criticism and protested the manner of its formulation (NCR, April 15). In particular, the regret was widespread that the committee had ignored the protocols of “Doctrinal Responsibilities,” a set of guidelines approved by the U.S. bishops in 1989 on how to handle doctrinal disputes with theologians. This regret was answered by the president of the Catholic bishops’ conference, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, who contended that it was in its expectations “somewhat inaccurate.”

Deaf Catholics prepare for new missal

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Editor’s note: This article is one in an occasional series about the new missal translation that NCR will publish in the run-up to the translation’s official release in November.

In the U.S., English isn’t the only language into which the new Roman Missal will be translated.

Across the country, deaf and hard-of-hearing Catholic communities and their interpreters are preparing for the November changes thanks to free online resources.

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