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Murdered priest recalled for strong relationships

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BATON ROUGE, La. -- A Louisiana Dominican priest who was found shot to death July 11 at his order's Mississippi retreat house "was a good priest and a good preacher" who "drew the best out of people," said an official of the late priest's province.

Father Edward Everitt was murdered while he was staying at a weekend retreat house owned by the Dominican friars in Waveland, Miss.

He was pastor of Holy Ghost Church in Hammond and Our Lady of Pompeii Church in Tickfaw in the Diocese of Baton Rouge.

"It is tragic, but he preached hope for other people and we are going to continue that legacy," said Father Dave Caron, vicar provincial for the Dominican Province of St. Martin de Porres. He said Father Everitt often spent his days off at the house in Waveland.

According to a statement on the province's website, the retreat house was rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina.

On July 12, police arrested Jeremy Wayne Manieri, 31, of Waveland for Father Everitt's murder. He was apprehended in Polk County, Fla., southwest of Orlando, and had his first court appearance July 13.

US-born archbishop dies at age 86

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Retired Archbishop Charles A. Schleck, former assistant secretary of the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and president of the Supreme Council of the Pontifical Missionary Works, died July 12 at age 86.

He died at Holy Cross House, a health care facility for aged members of Congregation of Holy Cross on the edge of the campus of the University of Notre Dame, which is a Holy Cross institution.

A funeral Mass for Archbishop Schleck was to be celebrated July 18 at Sacred Heart Basilica at Notre Dame. Burial was to follow at Holy Cross Cemetery on the Notre Dame campus.

Born July 5, 1925, in Milwaukee, Charles Schleck joined the Holy Cross order in Indiana in 1943. He was ordained a priest in 1951.

He was an instructor in theology at Notre Dame for the academic year 1953-54, then a professor of dogmatic theology and spirituality at Holy Cross College in Washington from 1954 to 1961.

For the next two years, he was dean of studies at Holy Cross College in Rome and a visiting professor of theology at St. Mary's College in Notre Dame, and at the Notre Dame institute for local religious superiors.

Priest celebrates 75 years of ministry

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HARRISBURG, Pa. -- On the day of his birth, July 28, 1912, Vincent Topper was expected to die. The newborn, suffering from tuberculosis, was baptized by a parish priest as his parents prepared to lose yet another child to the dreaded disease.

But God had plans for Vincent, namely that he serve the Catholic Church of Harrisburg as a priest, a ministry he has faithfully fulfilled for 75 years.

At age 98, Msgr. Topper is the diocese's oldest and longest-serving priest. He resides at St. Catherine Laboure Parish in Harrisburg, where he continues to celebrate Mass and administer the sacrament of reconciliation.

"People ask me what's my secret. My secret to a long life is to get baptized on the day you're born because you're supposed to die, and you'll live to be 100," said the priest quipped in an interview with The Catholic Witness, Harrisburg's diocesan newspaper.

Msgr. Topper's early childhood was filled with the reality of death. His mother and three siblings died, and his father nearly succumbed to the influenza epidemic of 1918. Those harsh realities led young Vincent to consider the priesthood by the time he was in second grade.

Corapi: I won't leave Montana to live with order

WASHINGTON -- Father John Corapi said he will not follow the order of his religious superior to leave his home in Montana to live in community with his fellow priests.

In a posting on his website July 7, Father Corapi also said he was told to support himself and his ministry financially by Father James Flanagan, the founder of his congregation, the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity.

Father Corapi, who lives near Kalispell, Mont., also denied committing sexual improprieties with a female former employee whose allegations in letters to church leaders nationwide prompted officials of his religious community to place him on administrative leave in March.

The statement from the widely popular speaker on Catholic catechetical and contemporary issues came in response to a July 5 press release from the society outlining transgressions related to Father Corapi's lifestyle that it said were uncovered during an investigation by a three-member fact-finding panel appointed by the religious order.

Church takes steps into social media

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When it comes to social networking, some Catholics are slow to click the “like” button. To read recent headlines, you might think the church is sticking to stone tablets: “Facebook and Christianity a bad mix, parish warns” and “Alabama church bans social networking with minors.”

But for every St. John Cantius Church, a Chicago parish whose leaders warned of the dangers of Facebook in its bulletin in April, there is an Old St. Patrick’s, a Chicago parish that uses Facebook and Twitter to alert more than 2,000 followers to its upcoming summer festival and other events. And though policies against teachers and students “friending” one another are becoming common at both Catholic and public schools, even Pope Benedict XVI has his own YouTube channel to connect with young Catholics.

Order 'saddened' by Father Corapi's decision to leave priesthood

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WASHINGTON -- The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity said it was "saddened" that Father John Corapi, one of the most visible members of its order, has decided to leave the order and the priesthood.

Father Corapi, 64, declared June 17 in a YouTube video and a blog posting on one of his websites, that he was leaving because he could not get a "fair hearing" on misconduct allegations that were lodged against him in March and which included what the priest said were sexual abuse charges.

The order, commonly referred to as SOLT, was in the midst of investigating the allegations when Father Corapi made his announcement. "Although the investigation was in progress, the SOLT had not arrived at any conclusion as to the credibility of the allegations under investigation," said the statement, issued June 20 by Father Gerry Sheehan, the order's regional priest-servant and Father Corapi's superior.

Charism of administration among theologians

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At this year’s recently concluded Catholic Theological Society of America convention in San Jose, California, the Pentecost liturgy was celebrated June 11 in that city’s grandly renovated cathedral. Theologians from the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe who gathered in great arcs of seats around the high altar will remember much from the inspiring Eucharist, but perhaps nothing more than seeing Dee Christie, the executive director of the society who retires on June 30, and Mary Jane Ponyik, her successor, bringing the gifts to the altar.

Feuerherd, NCR editor in chief and publisher, dies

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Joseph Feuerherd, NCR editor in chief and publisher, died this morning after an 18-month battle with cancer. He was 48. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Feuerherd died at 8:41 a.m. Eastern time at the Montgomery Hospice's Casey House in Rockville., Md. His family was at his side.

Following is an appreciation of Feuerherd written by Arthur Jones, who as Washington correspondent hired Feuerherd as an editorial intern in 1984. Their professional and personal lives were closely entwined since.

The kid climbing over the fence to get into the Belmont Park racetrack in Long Island, N.Y., was betting first on not getting caught, next on finding some adult who'd place his bet for him, finally, that he'd win. And every now and again, Joseph Anthony Feuerherd, age 13, did bring home the proceeds from his exacta. From then on, whenever he had a bit of money in his pocket and couldn't get into the park, there was always the local off-track betting office.

Dangers of hero worship

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When author Greg Mortenson visited Aurora University in Illinois this spring, he spoke to a sold-out crowd crammed into the university’s largest auditorium and overflowing into a second theater, where a video streamed the event live. But even those of us who had to watch it the following week on our computer screens could make out the backdrop of banners proclaiming the school’s core values, including the word “Integrity” right behind Mortenson’s head.

Pfleger back at St. Sabina; transition plan agreed upon

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He's back!

Chicago's St. Sabina Church (capacity 1,200) was packed to overflowing Sunday, May 22, and the praise and worship portion of the liturgy which leads off the 11:15 Mass was even more buoyant and uninhibited that usual. The predominantly black congregation was overjoyed to have their pastor, Fr. Michael Pfleger back in action after serving a three-week suspension imposed by Cardinal Francis George.

The cardinal had been greatly offended by remarks Pfleger made on the Tavis Smiley show on National Public Radio, and many believed he would at last remove Pfleger from the pastorate at St. Sabina he's held for almost 30 years. During that broadcast in April, Pfleger said that if he had to choose between moving to the presidency of a local high school as the cardinal wished or being forced out of the priesthood, "then I would have to look outside the church" (for ministry opportunities). In his letter of suspension, George said he regarded Pflger's words as a threat. "If that is your attitude," he said, "you have already left the Catholic Church and are therefore not able to pastor a Catholic parish."

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