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Br. Louis has sought 'to live the message I was trying to teach'


KANSAS CITY, MO. -- After 28 years of dedicated leadership serving the economically impoverished here, a local icon -- known by many by his white beard and seemingly constant stream of flannel shirts -- has left the Catholic Worker community that he sometimes single-handedly sustained for the past three decades.

Peter C. Phan receives John Courtney Murray award


Georgetown professor of theology, Peter C. Phan, is the recipient of the 2010 Catholic Theology Society of America’s John Courtney Murray Award, which is the highest honor bestowed by the society on a theologian. It is named after John Courtney Murray, the great American theologian known for his work on religious liberty.

The award was announced at a CTSA banquet here June 12.

He was the first person of non-European descent to serve as president of the CTSA.

Phan, a native of Vietnam, emigrated as a refugee to the U.S.A. in 1975. He was profiled in NCR in February, 2000.

(More 2010 CTSA convention converage can be found at NCR Today.)

He obtained three doctorates, the Doctor of Sacred Theology from the Universitas Pontificia Salesiana, Rome, and the Doctor Philosophy and the Doctor of Divinity from the University of London. He has also been awarded an honorary Doctor of Theology from Chicago Theological Union.

Mother Teresa sainthood needs another miracle

New Haven, Conn.-- Father Brian Kolodiejchuk of the Missionaries of Charity, postulator for the sainthood cause of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, told a gathering at the Knights of Columbus Museum in New Haven June 1 that her cause is "still waiting for one more miracle" for her to be declared a saint.

With worldwide events now under way to mark the 100th anniversary of her birth Aug. 26, Kolodiejchuk was in New Haven to talk about her life and mission as part of a current exhibit at the museum, "Mother Teresa: Life, Spirituality and Message."

"So far, that hasn't been one case that is strong enough to pass the medical board" of the Vatican Congregation for Saints' Causes, he said. "But we're still hoping and praying."

Kolodiejchuk also serves as superior general of the Missionaries of Charity Fathers, the religious order of priests founded by Mother Teresa in 1984 and now based in Tijuana, Mexico.

"Someone has to ask Mother Teresa's intercession, then Mother Teresa has to intercede, God has to (perform) the miracle, someone has to report the miracle ... and then we can continue with the process," he said of the canonization process.

Thomas J. Olmsted: Portrait of a 'policy-driven' bishop


When Wichita Bishop Eugene Gerber delivered his homily at the 1999 ordination of his new coadjutor bishop, Thomas J. Olmsted, he addressed prescient words directly to Olmsted.

The crucifixion-resurrection paradoxes of Christianity, he said, “will both raise you up and weigh you down in ways you have never experienced, I suspect. They will cause you both to rejoice and to weep with the deepest emotion, like Christ himself.”

Olmsted may have experienced some of that whiplash pressure in his four years in Wichita, where he eventually served as bishop, but nothing like what he’s going through now as bishop of Phoenix.

“I’m sure he’s lost some sleep over this,” says Msgr. Robert Hemberger, who served Olmsted in Wichita as chancellor and later as vicar general, his current position.

Denomme had a few weeks as a priest, a lifetime of service


Janine Denomme only lived five weeks as a priest, but her entire life was one of ministry and service, say those who knew her. Denomme, 45, died May 17 in Chicago of cancer. She had been ordained April 10 by the Roman Catholic Womenpriests organization, which claims apostolic succession and has ordained more than 100 women worldwide.

Archbishop Borders of Baltimore, dies at 96

BALTIMORE -- Archbishop William D. Borders, who retired in 1989 as the 13th archbishop of Baltimore, died April 19 at Mercy Ridge Retirement Community in the Baltimore suburb of Timonium.

He was 96 and had been battling colon cancer. He was the fourth-oldest living Catholic bishop in the United States at the time of his death.

Renowned for his commitment to collegiality, social justice and a pastoral approach to leadership, Archbishop Borders led the archdiocese from 1974 to 1989. He continued to reside in Baltimore throughout his retirement, maintaining an active priestly ministry well into the last year of his life.

"Archbishop Borders was a man of deep faith, great humility and great love for God, the church and this archdiocese," said Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien, the current archbishop of Baltimore. "As a result, he was universally loved by the people of this local church, by his brother bishops and priests, and by all who were blessed to call him Archbishop, Father, teacher, brother and friend."

Funeral arrangements were incomplete.

Priest, keeper of the Word, risk-embracer


I wrote Daniel Berrigan’s obituary the other day. The Jesuit priest, writer, teacher, dramatist, peacemaker, war resister and truth-teller who lives in New York City isn’t dead, of course, nor is he even close to being ill as he nears his 89th birthday this spring. The obituary editor at The Washington Post, my old paper, said he wanted an expansive piece written unhurriedly beforehand rather than risk a quickie dashed off under deadline pressure. In the newspaper world, advance obituaries are usually reserved for the giants -- presidents and popes. Which explains why Berrigan gets one: He is a giant.

Remembering Oscar Romero



About six months before Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero was killed on March 24, 1980, I spent three days with him, traveling to rural towns and the urban slum of La Chacra. As Latin American correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter at the time, I had frequently interviewed Romero and listened to his Sunday homilies. However, these three days marked the first time I had seen the archbishop outside of a formal setting.



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September 12-25, 2014


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