National Catholic Reporter

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Faith & Parish

Dominican program explores, expands lay spirituality

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- As a student at Aquinas College in the 1980s, David Lincoln was on track to become a priest. While those pastoral aspirations were later rerouted, Lincoln still wanted to serve God in the world.

“I started to see the role of the laity was becoming incredibly important, and that’s when I felt a different calling and felt at home with that calling,” said Lincoln, now 43.

He started going to various churches around the Grand Rapids area, but “for some reason I did not feel I was being adequately fed.”

As bishop leaves diocese: 'I suspect Jesus was not all that popular'


Prior to becoming Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger sympathized with the notion of a smaller, more orthodox Roman Catholic church. In his decade as bishop of the Baker diocese in Oregon, Robert F. Vasa in effect implemented Benedict’s idea, generating deep reactions of support as well as dissent.

Vasa left Baker earlier this month to become coadjutor bishop of Santa Rosa, Calif.

Center tries to lure lapsed Catholics back into fold


MADISON, N.J. -- A small bucket filled with bottles of cold beer sat on the floor, down the hall from the chapel, as about a dozen young adults lounged around on comfortable couches.

They weren’t there to pray or preach -- just to enjoy one another’s company at St. Paul Inside the Walls: the Catholic Center for Evangelization at a former high school.

Parents push Catholic school to resume paddling

NEW ORLEANS -- For the past 60 years, teachers and administrators at St. Augustine High School in New Orleans have wielded an 18-inch-long wooden paddle -- euphemistically called "the board of education" -- to administer corporal punishment to students for tardiness, sloppy uniform dress or other minor rules infractions.

When Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond and Josephite Father Edward Chiffriller, his order's superior general and head of the school's board of trustees, ordered the practice stopped following an intensive review process, their decision was met with outspoken opposition from parents, alumni, students, the school's board of directors, and both current and former administrators.

That disagreement played out during a three-hour, 50-minute "disciplinary town-hall meeting" Feb. 24 at the St. Augustine gym. About 600 people attended.

As Archbishop Aymond and members of the Josephites' board of trustees sat at a table and listened, speaker after speaker -- including Josephite Father John Raphael, St. Augustine's president -- passionately explained why they supported the use of corporal punishment and asked that the moratorium be lifted.

First Indianapolis auxiliary since 1933 ordained

INDIANAPOLIS -- A witness to mystery.

That is how Indianapolis Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein described Bishop Christopher J. Coyne in a homily that he delivered just minutes before he ordained the Boston archdiocesan priest as the first auxiliary bishop for the church in central and southern Indiana since 1933.

"In a secularized world that believes only in what it sees, by your consecration and by what you do, Bishop Coyne, you will be a witness to mystery," Archbishop Buechlein said during the March 2 liturgy at St. John the Evangelist Church in Indianapolis. "The very life and identity of a bishop -- and of priests -- are rooted in the order of faith, the order of the unseen and not in the secular order of values."

In a sense, the 1,000 people who filled the oldest Catholic church in Indianapolis also witnessed mystery during the two-hour ordination Mass.

Former president of Villanova dead at 87


VILLANOVA, Pa. -- Augustinian Fr. John M. Driscoll, the former president of Villanova University for whom the school's College of Nursing building is named, died March 2 at the age of 87.

Driscoll, who headed the university from 1975 to 1988, had lived at St. Thomas Monastery in Villanova from 1995 until his death. No cause of death was announced.

An evening funeral Mass was scheduled for March 7 in the St. Thomas of Villanova Church, with burial on campus the next morning.

Augustinian Father Peter Donohue, current Villanova president, said Father Driscoll "led a period of tremendous growth and advancement at the university," with expansion of the campus and the construction of new dormitories and other buildings.

"That same period saw an increase in the university's academic reputation as the student body grew more select and geographically diverse, the academic curriculum more innovative and challenging, and the faculty more distinguished," he added.

Born Sept. 14, 1923, in Philadelphia, John Michael Driscoll joined the Augustinian order in 1943 and professed solemn vows Sept. 10, 1947.

Bishops strip the Bible of its 'booty'


Catholic bishops have kicked the “booty” out of the Bible.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has ordered up a new translation of the Bible, one it says is more accurate, more accessible and more poetic.

Now “booty,” a word that sets off snickers in Sunday school, will be replaced by the “spoils” of war when the newest edition of the New American Bible, the English-language Catholic Bible, comes out on Ash Wednesday (March 9).

“We needed a new translation because English is a living language,” says retired auxiliary bishop of Milwaukee Richard Sklba, part of the review and editing team.

A team of 50 scholars and translators, linguistics experts, theologians and five bishops spent 17 years on the project. They were immersed in original manuscripts, the Dead Sea Scrolls and archaeological findings unearthed since the current text was published in 1970.

While Catholics may read from any of two dozen English translations, the New American Bible is the one owned by U.S. bishops for prayer and study. It can take decades for the Vatican to approve the Scriptures read during Mass.

Some of the changes:

    Every day the church should give birth to the church


    Theologian Richard Gaillardetz will be leaving the University of Toledo, Ohio, to take up the Joseph Chair of Catholic Systematic Theology at Boston College in the fall. On Jan. 27, he delivered his final Murray/Bacik lecture at the University of Toledo titled “The State of the Church, 2011.”

    Gaillardetz outlined some of the major changes that have transpired in the U.S. church following the Second Vatican Council, and discussed the ongoing tensions between the early reception of Vatican II and the legacy of Pope John Paul II.

    In asking where the church goes from here, Gaillardetz outlines two major challenges facing the church today — the flight of Catholics from the church and the use of authority by the hierarchy.

    An edited version of this talk appeared in the March 4 NCR. Following is the full text.


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