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Faith & Parish

Faith and community get a lift in a parish in India

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FIRST PERSON

AMBOLI, ANDHERI, MUMBAI, India -- I belong to a parish in a densely populated suburb of Mumbai, India, a parish, I am happy to report, that is functioning quite well.

Records indicate that St. Blaise parish dates back to around the year 1560 when Portuguese Franciscans came here and constructed a chapel. A parish, as it might have been viewed then, came some 25 years later -- around 1585. The number of Catholics then, according to records, was 1,637 adults and 400 children. Today the parish claims a membership of more than 14,000.

If you look at our parish church, with its pantheon of apostles on the roof top, it is distinctive -- and in other ways it is much like the other buildings near a junction of two heavily traveled crossroads. The area is generally noisy, with the sounds of motorcars; taxis; motorbikes and rickshaws; and buses filling the air.

Musical settings for new Roman Missal can begin in September

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BELLEVUE, Wash. -- Instead of requiring that implementation of all parts of the new Roman Missal wait until the first Sunday of Advent, bishops who head dioceses can authorize the gradual introduction of the musical settings of the people's parts of the Mass beginning in September.

Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Divine Worship, announced that decision June 16 at the USCCB spring general assembly near Seattle.

New Chicago auxiliaries born in Mexico, Poland

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WASHINGTON -- Two Chicago pastors -- one born in Mexico, the other in Poland -- have been named auxiliary bishops in the Archdiocese of Chicago by Pope Benedict XVI.

The appointments of Father Alberto Rojas, pastor of Good Shepherd Parish, and Father Andrew Wypych, pastor of St. Francis Borgia Parish, were announced in Washington June 13 by Msgr. Jean-Francois Lantheaume, charge d'affaires at the apostolic nunciature.

Baptism, not bishops or pope, unites the church

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DETROIT -- "Baptism unites the church, not ordination," theologian and author Anthony T. Padovano told more than 1,800 reform-minded Catholics gathered June 10-12 at Detroit's Cobo Hall.

Addressing the inaugural national meeting of the American Catholic Council June 11, he said, "The pope does not unify or sanctify the church and make it catholic or apostolic. This is the work of the Spirit and the community. The pope is an institutional sign of a unity already achieved by the faithful. The pope does not create a community of believers or validate baptisms or make the Eucharist occur."

Read the full report here: Baptism, not bishops or pope, unites the church

Bishops to discuss Johnson's defense of her 2007 book

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Update: The U.S. bishops' committee for doctrine, which severely criticized a popular theology book as "undermining the gospel," is expected to discussion the author-theologian's response to their criticism when the bishops meet June 15-17 near Seattle in Bellevue, Wash., Capuchin Franciscan Fr. Thomas Weinandy, executive director of the U.S. bishops Secretariat for Doctrine told Catholic News Service June 8.

Johnson letter to U.S. bishops' Doctrine Committee

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To the Committee on Doctrine of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Washington DC
Bishop Leonard Blair, Toledo OH
Archbishop Daniel Buechlein, Indianapolis IN
Archbishop José Gomez, Los Angeles CA
Bishop William Lori, Bridgeport CT
Bishop Robert McManus, Worcester MA
Bishop Kevin Rhoades, Fort Wayne - South Bend IN
Bishop Arthur Serratelli, Paterson NJ
Archbishop Allen Vigneron, Detroit MI

In the cover letter to the U.S. Bishops on March 30, 2011 that accompanied the Committee on Doctrine’s criticism of my book Quest for the Living God, Cardinal Donald Wuerl stated that the Committee was always open to dialogue with theologians and would welcome an opportunity to discuss my writings with me. In my one public statement on the matter, released April 1, 2011, I also expressed a willingness to dialogue over these matters.

Bishops' committee reaches out to Catholic scholars

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In what appears to be a reconciliatory move by the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Doctrine towards church scholars who took issue with the committee’s sharp critique of a book by a prominent Fordham University theologian, the committee executive director has written it never meant to question the “dedication, honor, creativity, or service” of the author.

New Chinese Catholic school opens in San Francisco

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SAN FRANCISCO -- While urban Catholic schools across the country are closing or consolidating, a new state-of-the art elementary school opened yesterday (May 2) in San Francisco’s Chinatown.

One hundred students of St. Mary’s School and Chinese Catholic Center, led by their famed St. Mary’s Drum and Bell Corps, marched from their parish church to their new school, located next to the Hilton Hotel and adjacent to a 15-story low-income housing tower also built by the parish.

San Francisco’s Auxiliary Bishop Robert McElroy was there to meet them and bless the nine classrooms, which will have student and teacher computers and are wired for other high-tech capabilities.

The school has been at a temporary site since 1994 when the original 80-year-old buildings were determined to need high-cost renovations for earthquake safety. Instead of retrofitting the old buildings, the community, under the leadership of Paulist Father Daniel McCotter, raised funds for a new six-level school that includes a rooftop playground and a community center.

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November 21-December 5, 2014

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