National Catholic Reporter

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Faith & Parish

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.

    In religious education, actions speak louder than words


    Our family didn’t do the traditional First Friday Devotion when I was a kid. Instead we had First Wednesdays.

    On the first Wednesday of every month, we loaded our car with donated hot dishes (Midwest-speak for casseroles), Jell-O salads and cakes, and headed to St. Ben’s, a parish in inner-city Milwaukee that operated a soup kitchen for the poor and homeless. What had started as a first Communion service project became a monthly ritual for our family, one my parents continue to this day.

    As a kid, I didn’t mind the long drive, or serving the meals to the guests, or even eating hamburger-rice hot dish for dinner. But my parents insisted our family go and sit among the guests while we ate. That was pretty uncomfortable for a suburban girl who only saw African-American people at the mall.

    But it’s also what I remember most.

    Alumni defend paddling at Catholic school


    NEW ORLEANS -- One by one, alumni of St. Augustine High School took the microphone Feb. 24, recalling one paddling at the hands of a St. Augustine teacher that turned them around and taught them a lesson.

    The 60-year-old tradition of corporal punishment at St. Augustine—believed to be one of the few remaining Catholic schools in the country that still paddles—faces a potential end.

    Alumni aimed their impassioned defense of corporal punishment at New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond, whose concern about the policy prompted the Josephite order that founded the school to suspend paddling for the current school year.

    The priests overruled objections from the local board of directors that runs daily operations at St. Augustine, a historically black, all-boys school that has furnished generations of New Orleans political and business leaders.

    Aymond told reporters he had listened carefully to the crowd, but reiterated his concern about injuries reported by parents, and his own unease. Yet plenty of people argue that the paddle had an undeniable role in lending St. Augustine its high reputation.

    New auxiliary bishop for Pittsburgh


    WASHINGTON -- Pope Benedict XVI has named Fr. William J. Waltersheid, secretary for clergy and consecrated life of the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pa., as auxiliary bishop of Pittsburgh.

    The appointment was announced in Washington Feb. 25 by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

    A native of Ashland, Pa., Bishop-designate Waltersheid, 54, has held his current post in the Harrisburg Diocese since 2006. He also has been a parochial vicar, a pastor and vice rector of the Pontifical North American College, 2000-2003, and before that the college's director of pastoral formation.

    His episcopal ordination is scheduled for Easter Monday, April 25, at St. Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh.

    Bishop David A. Zubik of Pittsburgh issued a statement of welcome for the new auxiliary for his diocese.

    "These are days of growth in the church of Pittsburgh," he said.

    While Bishop-designate Waltersheid " will be a particular blessing to the entire church of Pittsburgh, I am especially grateful for all that he will do to be of support to the very dedicated and hard working priests of this diocese and the growing number of seminarians," Bishop Zubik said.

    Traditionalists add spice to the Catholic stew


    If ever an object lesson were needed in the complexities of running the universal Catholic Church, a recent interview with Bishop Bernard Fellay, the Swiss head of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X, offers it in living color. It may be an especially apposite read for liberals, both inside and outside the church, who sometimes struggle to grasp that there’s actually Catholic life to the right of the pope.

    Granted, although its bishops are no longer excommunicated, the Society of St. Pius X -- which broke with Rome in 1988, when the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre ordained bishops in defiance of the pope -- has no formal standing in the church. Granted, too, we journalists probably pay more attention to the traditionalists than their real-world following might justify, largely because they often say and do inflammatory things that make great copy.

    Even with those stipulations, the climate of opinion represented by the Society of St. Pius X nonetheless remains an important part of the broader Catholic conversation.

    US Catholic parishes growing in size and diversity


    WASHINGTON – In just 10 years U.S. Catholic parishes have become considerably bigger and more diverse, the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate reported as part of a major new study on Catholic parish life.

    In 2000, just one-quarter of the nation’s parishes had more than 1,200 registered households. By 2010 that had grown to one-third. At the lower end, parishes with fewer than 200 registered households dropped from one-fourth of the nation’s total in 2000 to barely more than one in seven a decade later (24 percent to 15 percent).

    Catholic activists to Congress: Don't put deficit on backs of poor


    WASHINGTON -- When 300 leaders in Catholic social ministry went to Capitol Hill Feb. 15, their basic message to Congress was simple and direct: It is just plain immoral to put the heaviest burden of U.S. deficit reduction on the backs of the poor.

    And they had fact sheets to show that is exactly what legislators are currently proposing.


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    In This Issue

    March 27-April 9, 2015


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