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Faith & Parish

'Youth of the church are here to help back you up'


KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Amid the cacophony of noise and boisterous activity in the massive exhibit hall of the National Catholic Youth Conference here Nov. 21, two teenagers had settled at a table with two Sisters of Charity. All four heads were bent over a craft project: knitting strips of discarded plastic shopping bags into sturdy reusable bags.

The Sisters of Charity Federation had chosen the activity for their booth as a way to engage young conference participants, giving them a chance to sit and talk while learning a skill. In the case of Rebecca Hardy, 16, and Samantha Savich, 17, both youth group members at St. John Vianney Parish in the Detroit archdiocese, both bags and conversation had drawn them in.

Welcoming Anglicans not new for this parish


KANSAS CITY, MO. -- For St. Therese Little Flower Parish here, news of a new process for welcoming Anglicans into the Catholic church is not some distant idea. It’s something parishioners experience every time they come to church.

The Vatican last month announced the creation of new ecclesiastical structures to absorb disaffected Anglicans wishing to become Catholics. The structures will allow those Anglicans to hold onto their distinctive spiritual practices, including the ordination of married former Anglican clergy as Catholic priests.

NOLA archbp meets with disaffected Catholics


NEW ORLEANS -- Newly installed Archbishop Gregory Aymond has been in quiet talks with a city pastor and representatives of two closed parishes in hopes of healing a bitter rift that erupted last year over a downsizing plan.

Parishioners, meanwhile, hope the dialogue may also produce a compromise on the occasional reopening of their churches. After two sessions, no decision is near.

George questions role of independent Catholic media



Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said Nov. 16 that Catholic publications, universities or other organizations that insist on complete independence from their bishops are “sectarian, less than fully Catholic.”

In his presidential address at the opening session of the fall USCCB general assembly in Baltimore, George announced that the bishops “have recently begun discussions on how we might strengthen our relationship to Catholic universities, to media claiming to be a voice in the church, and to organizations that direct various works under Catholic auspices.”

According to NCR sources, those issues were to be the main topic of discussion in a three-hour executive session the afternoon of Nov. 18, when the bishops were slated to meet alone behind closed doors, with all reporters and observers and virtually all USCCB staff excluded.

George placed his comments in the context of the bishops’ role in governance as promoters and guarantors of church unity.


Teachers, students see religious inquiry fading


Catholic News Service

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA -- Many college students are wandering around campus -- spiritually, that is.

Historically, many students have found college a place to explore life’s spiritual issues. But more and more young adults are arriving on campus without any experience or language of faith, and they appear to express little interest in finding the ultimate truth.

A study on religious affiliation by researchers at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., found that the number of American adults who do not identify with any particular religious group has almost doubled -- to 34 million -- since 1990.

The study found about 22 percent of young adults -- those 30 and younger -- identify themselves as “nones,” a group that includes the irreligious, unreligious, antireligious and anticlerical. Increasingly, people in that category report having had no formal religion as a child.

This modern phenomenon is evident in the student bodies of Alaska Pacific University, a private liberal arts institution in Anchorage, and the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Ohio Catholic clergy meet to bolster marriage

Nearly 700 Ohio Catholic priests and bishops are gathering in Columbus Nov. 5-6 in an unprecedented attempt to bolster marriage, which they see as an imperiled institution.

The two-day conference is in response to soaring divorce rates, people living together without marital commitments and the growing trend of same-sex unions, said Dan Andriacco, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

Liturgy needs not 'sacred language' but pastoral language


WASHINGTON -- There is much good in the new English translation of the Roman Missal, but "there is much more that still needs improvement to make the text grammatical and accessible to the people," Bishop Donald W. Trautman of Erie, Pa., said Oct. 22.

"The present text still contains improper syntax, incomplete sentences, archaic and obscure words and idioms, lengthy and incomprehensible sentences and fails to respect the natural rhythm and cadences of the English language," he said.

He also criticized Rome's decision to try to create a "sacred language" for worship, so that in the new version of the Nicene Creed, "born of the Virgin Mary" becomes "incarnate of the Virgin Mary" and "one in being with the Father" becomes "consubstantial with the Father."

The new translation introduces words "like 'ineffable,' 'consubstantial,' 'incarnate,' 'inviolate,' 'oblation,' 'ignominy,' precursor,' 'suffused' and 'unvanquished,' " he said. "This vocabulary is not readily understandable by the average Catholic."

'Slavishly literal' translation of missal criticized


WASHINGTON -- Bishop Donald W. Trautman of Erie, Pa., former chairman of the U.S. bishops' liturgy committee, sharply criticized what he called the "slavishly literal" translation into English of the new Roman Missal from the original Latin.

tHe said the "sacred language" used by translators "tends to be elitist and remote from everyday speech and frequently not understandable" and could lead to a "pastoral disaster."

Autism, the Mass and religious education


Mission Management

How does the Catholic church respond to children with an autism disorder and to their families, especially when many parents fear that their child may act out during Mass, causing the family to experience rejection by other parishioners?

Autism is a complex developmental disability linked to neurological disorders in the brain. It typically appears during the first two years of life and affects boys more than girls. Symptoms include repetitive behaviors and difficulty with communication and social interaction.

When you're mentally ill, no one brings you a casserole


Dorothy Coughlin tells the story of a man whose son had left college after being diagnosed with schizophrenia. “The dad was with friends who were all talking about their children, the degrees they were getting and what they planned to do after college.” He said nothing about his son.

The man came to Coughlin distraught. “He said to me that he just hated the thought that he felt so ashamed.”



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In This Issue

November 21-December 5, 2014


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