Church Priest – Obotafumeiro Fri, 24 Sep 2021 17:10:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Church Priest – Obotafumeiro 32 32 Spiritual symbiosis: what it takes to be a good priest Fri, 24 Sep 2021 16:42:20 +0000

By Dr Jeff Mirus (bio – articles – email) | Sep 24, 2021

i just finished reading Revive the gift of God by Fr. Roch A. Kereszty, O. Cist. Ignatius Press recently published this “manual of priestly life” to help priests who for whatever reason need to refocus on the source of their priesthood and on the basic elements that can make their priesthood both effective and efficient. fulfilling. Now, I was a layman before I entered seminary at 19, and I was still a layman when I left seminary at 20. And while my wife and I (married 50 next May, if we’re successful) still sometimes “admit” that we’ve missed our vocations, it’s just a little marital humor.

So why did I read this book? The answer is surprisingly simple: we lay people need good priests. We cannot afford to let a single one slip off the harness before God calls it home. And we cannot afford to have even one being convinced that he is a failure unless and until he hears it from Jesus Christ after his death. Being a good priest is a matter of symbiosis with those of us who have not received the sacrament of Holy Orders. You are not sure about this? Read on.

In a sense, of course, the key to being a good priest is exactly the same as to being a good lay Catholic or a good deacon or a good religious: to conform to Jesus Christ, who suffered willingly and joyfully in life. effort to help those entrusted to his care to recognize and embrace the love of his Father. But each particular vocation has its own intrinsic parameters, its own clear channels of prayer and action, its own kinds of grace, its own triumphs of love and responsibility, its own particular forms of loss and failure, and its own particular forms of loss and failure. own temptations to inaction. and even despair. This means that each vocation can experience its own slump – periods of slow, aimless drift, with no sense of progress or accomplishment.

At such times, in any vocation, we can be like the bruised reed that (says Isaiah) Christ will not break or, more precisely in this case, like the smoking wick, than Christ will extinguish. not. Indeed, Christ will not do it, but we can allow it to happen in ourselves, and in fact it cannot happen without our inner consent. This is exactly what makes Fr. Kereszty’s title so very appropriate. Each vocation has its own special character and its own special trials. How then does the priest who sees himself brooding “rekindle the gift of God”?


Certain vocations transform our being even along lines similar to baptism, but with their own specificity. The man and woman who, before the witness of the Church, have conferred the sacrament of marriage on one another appear as people endowed with new and more specialized capacities rooted for new and more specialized purposes. They have been restored, so to speak, for the purposes of marriage, to be fruitful for God, for one another and for the community of which they are a part, by the particular power of the matrimonial form of the sacramental life, lived as fully. and as faithfully as possible. They are now called to make sacramentally focused use of all the natural and supernatural gifts that Our Lord has given them.

It is obviously the same for priests. By the sacramental power of Christ conferred in Holy Orders, every priest is transformed into a man who acts in persona Christi capitis, “In the person of Christ the head”, that is to say the head of his mystical body, which is the Church. A whole book could also be written on the resonance of marriage with Holy Orders, since Saint Paul teaches in his Letter to the Ephesians that the husband-wife relationship in marriage is a sign of the relationship between Christ and the Church: the mystery is profound, and I say it relates to Christ and to the Church ”(Eph 5:32). This means, among so many other things that deserve to be said, that each time a man fails in his marital engagement, this failure teaches us, at the ecclesial level, something about the bruised reed and the smoking wick (or worse) of a priest or tempted.

This bruising and brooding in both vocations comes from corresponding types of weariness, or slip of the tongue, or betrayal of the infinite but divinely focused fruitfulness of Christ. It can help a priest “in the doldrums” of his vocation to recognize this parallel, just as it can help a man or a woman, “in the doldrums” of their conjugal vocation, to recognize the parallel in reverse. It is often easier to spot a problem in a form somewhat removed from our daily personal anxiety or dissatisfaction. Holy Orders and Marriage are undergoing a transformation. It is the task of priests, as of married couples, to constantly emphasize it: to pray, reflect and enrich their daily mission with the particular counting necessary so that each vocation bears its sure fruit.


Indeed, Father Kereszty’s beautiful book has three important characteristics which make it useful not only to priests but to all Catholics. The first feature is that the book (oddly enough) begins with a section titled “Discerning a Vocation” (which, after all, the targeted priestly audience has already done). In reviewing the characteristics that are generally essential to an authentic priestly vocation, however, we explore the personality traits that apply in different ways to any Christian vocation. Likewise, in terms of vocational growth and liveliness, the section “Prayer and the Priest” cannot fail to be useful to all the priestly people of God.

The second characteristic is the emphasis on the essential sacramental ministry of the priest. Lay people too can baptize according to need, and they are ministers of marriage, but as a general rule the life of the laity is marked by, and depends strongly in the order of grace, on the sacramental ministry of the priest. This is very often true in baptism and preparation for marriage, and always true in the Eucharist, Confession, Confirmation and Anointing of the Sick, not to mention the supreme worship rendered to the Father and the supreme graces received by all. through the re-presentation of the sacrifice of Christ at each Mass. To the extent that priests need to increase their sense of the astonishing vitality of their sacramental ministry, it is because their people, including mainly the laity, receive the mysteriously magnificent and surprisingly effective connection of each priest with the Christ. .

Bro. Kereszty does not focus on this secular side of things; it is not a layman who reads this book that he wrote for priests. But the third feature of the text which makes this connection with the laity is that about thirty percent of the book is devoted to the ministry of the priest’s confessional and to the centrality of questions relating to marriage and sexuality. Under these headings, the author’s advice on how priests can be most helpful is the same good advice that somehow and at one time or another every layman needs to hear.

As one might expect, of course, the book gives pride of place to the “Mystery of the Priest”, his personification of both Christ Head and the suffering Christ Servant. Thus Fr. Kereszty describes the fullness of the ordained identity as priest, prophet and king (or, as he lists them backwards: shepherd, prophet and teacher, and sacramental minister). There is also a chapter on priestly life, which deals with celibacy, community life and the need for a certain poverty – a real worldly detachment – which must be associated, in different ways, with diocesan priests and priests. of a religious community. First of all, I would add, priests have a particular reason for living in a way which proves to all the truth of Christ’s words: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of God is theirs”. Not that the kingdom of God will be theirs, but that he is already.

Finally, in the chapter on prayer and the priest, we find a section on “humility and boldness” and another on “prayer, mission and reform”, both of which have special significance in the Church. priestly life. The explorations of all these topics are clearly calculated to “rekindle the gift of God” in the priest.


But again, precisely as a layman, I found this book important and spiritually engaging enough to read to the end. I was motivated in part, of course, by the importance of knowing whether the book is worth recommending to priests (it is). But a paradoxically more interested truth is that I continued to learn how being a priest is all on me. I say this with irony, of course, but in the deepest sense, it is quite faithful to God’s plan. We must obviously pray for our priests, and support them as we can. But lay people just don’t exist for priests in the same way that priests exist for lay people. Priests serve as direct, personal, grounded and transformed representatives of Jesus Christ to us at every stage of life. We have to pray for them as if our lives depended on it, because they do.

The priest who grasps this vital reality, and who succeeds in conforming to the love of Christ in the exercise of Christ’s authority, will bear enormous fruit even if he cannot see the fruit he bears. After all, in this inability to see he is simply reflecting his Lord and Savior in the garden and on the cross, who has accepted for himself the loss of this consolation in his sacred passion: “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” “ This cry fulfilled a prophecy, but it expressed a feeling of abandonment no less real. Likewise, every priest can become an indestructible union with Christ, even in times of desolation. So let us all strive to rekindle the gift of God, not only in ourselves, but in our priests.

Besides, I thought that in my own response to God’s call to marriage and the lay apostolate, I would soon set the world on fire. Some new priests may think the same. But then I did not understand the difference between “my results” and the gifts of God. Truly, unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain, and he pours out gifts on his beloved while they sleep (Ps 127: 1-2). Yet my title asks what it takes to be a good priest. Fortunately, our own prayers and sacrifices can serve as the ignition for such a gift, such a conflagration of love.

Bro. Roch A. Kereszty, O. Cist., Revive the gift of God. Ignatius Press, 2021. 247 pp. Paper $ 15.26; EBook $ 11.67. Bulk discounts available

Jeffrey Mirus holds a doctorate. in Intellectual History from Princeton University. Co-founder of Christendom College, he was also the pioneer of Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and See the full biography.

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The festival brings Padre Pio to the people and the people to God – Catholic Philly Thu, 23 Sep 2021 23:21:36 +0000

A Bucks County parish recently honored a beloved Italian saint with a lavish two-day festival that brought “many, many blessings” to hundreds of attendees.

St. Bede the Venerable Parish in Holland and the Knights of Columbus Council 15478 hosted the sixth annual Padre Pio Festival on September 18-19, drawing worshipers from across the Archdiocese as well as participants from New York, New Jersey and of Delaware.

“We had a whole bunch of people from Staten Island,” said Bishop. John Marine, parish priest of Saint-Bède and creator of the festival. “We ran out of holy cards at one point. “

The weekend gathering – which celebrated devotion to Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, a 20th-century Capuchin priest from southwest Italy known for his holiness and miraculous intercession – featured an array of activities for the soul and the body. Masses, confessions, Eucharistic adoration, healing service, spiritual talks and relic veneration were complemented by shows, games, raffles, children’s activities, vendors and many Italian desserts.

Born Francesco Forgione in 1887, the future Padre (“Father”) Pio entered the Capuchin order at the age of 15 and was ordained a priest in 1910. Eight years later he received the Stigmata, the first priest to do so in the history of the Catholic Church. Church. In the midst of a life of physical and spiritual suffering – compounded by austerity and long hours of prayer – he established the Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza, today a renowned national research hospital located in the town of San Giovanni Rotondo , in southern Italy. Padre Pio died in 1968 and was canonized in 2002 by Pope (and now Saint) John Paul II.

The parish hostesses in honor of the beloved saint. (Gina Christian)

After Sunday mass, a large statue of Saint-Pio was treated for about a mile through the residential area surrounding Saint-Bède. Seminarians from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood led the participants in a recitation of the Rosary, while the Verdi Band of Norristown, an Italian-American horn and drummer ensemble, provided accompaniment.

The statue itself was a testament to the saint’s Italian heritage, said liturgical artist and parishioner of St. Bede Ed Rogowski, who painted and altered the image made in Florence. To emphasize the saint’s notorious skills as a confessor, Rogowski added a clay stole to the statue, fashioning his sons with a kitchen gadget for cutting pasta dough.

“It was just great, because it was almost like Padre Pio was telling me what to do,” he said.

Rogowski also credits the saint with “pulling him through” when he nearly died from complications from a double knee replacement.

“I had 86% blood clots in my lungs,” he said. “My wife took care of me, but Padre Pio took care of me too.”

During the procession, Transitional Deacon Ryan Nguyen carried a reliquary with a set of gloves that Padre Pio wore to cover the wounds on his hands with his stigmata. A number of area residents worshiped the relics on the sidelines, with some visibly moved by the encounter.

The experience was a confirmation of the vocation of the future priest, said Mgr. Marine.

“Deacon told me later, ‘You know, seeing what a simple touch of blessing has done for the needs of the people, I look forward to being a priest,'” said the parish priest, who personally invited the youth and young adults of the parish to serve as bearers of statues for the occasion.

Sunday’s programming also included a Holy Hour for Youth led by Father Keith Chylinksi, Director of Counseling Services and Pastoral Psychology Instructor at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.

The youngest participants enjoyed their own “Padre Pio Children’s Pavilion”, in which the director of religious education of St. Bede, Shawn Tobin and his wife Kathleen, presented a short film on the saint, as well as craft projects emphasizing Padre Pio’s vibrant relationship with guardian angels.

Father Pio Mandato speaks with a participant in a procession on September 19 in honor of Padre Pio (Saint Pio of Pietrelcina), as part of a two-day festival organized each year by the parish of Saint-Bède on Venerable in Holland. (Gina Christian)

The multi-faceted festival was a fitting tribute to a saint whose message is more relevant than ever, said Father Pio Mandato, the principal celebrant and homilizer of the Sunday liturgy.

A Franciscan priest now living as a missionary hermit in the diocese of Scranton, Father Mandato himself was born in Pietrelcina, and his parents and grandparents were close to Padre Pio, from whom he was appointed – and from whom he received his first holy communion, just before his family emigrated to the United States. Ordained in 1985, Father Mandato celebrated his first mass in Pietrelcina on the same altar where his famous family friend had celebrated his first mass in 1910.

The deep union of Padre Pio with the passion of Christ allowed the saint to undergo “the transformation that can occur in suffering, if we leave the eyes of the Lord in our souls,” said Father Mandato. “Let Jesus watch you… that will change everything. “

Such a revival is the only viable option in the face of what are ultimately life’s only choices, “chaos or Christ,” said Father Mandato, citing 20th century British novelist Evelyn Waugh, who shocked literary circles by converting to Catholicism in 1930.

While “secular, political and anthropological chaos” is “endemic” in “a completely de-Christianized culture,” said Father Mandato, “the gaze of Jesus will set you free”.

St. Bede parishioner Theresa Agin, who ran one of the tables for religious items, said Padre Pio was a saint “at heart, a human person”.

“There is something in him; I pray to him and I can feel his presence, ”she said. “I pray for others, and they feel something but cannot explain it. I say, ‘Ah, it’s just Padre Pio. You will feel better.’

Agin credited Mgr. Marine – who heard of Padre Pio as a child at Holy Savior Parish in Norristown – for enriching the parish with her deep devotion to the saint.

Padre Pio “didn’t just talk; he has walked in so many different ways, ”said Mgr. Marine, adding that the saint would have been delighted to see how many festival-goers visited the confessional over the weekend.

For Joseph Sellecchia, who won a garden statue of Padre Pio at the festival, the saint is like a member of the family – and a source of consolation and hope.

“My father passed away in October and he was here two years ago since Padre Pio was his favorite saint,” said Sellecchia, a member of Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in Buckingham. “My aunt’s best friend’s family knew Padre Pio personally, and when my father started to fail, she blessed him with a tissue with Padre Pio’s blood on it.”

Holding the statue close to him as he left the festival grounds, Sellecchia said winning the image “meant the world” to him.

“I started to cry when I found out,” he said. “I spent $ 30 on chances. It is worth it for me.

Padre Pio’s call lies in his “great compassionate heart which extended its hand to people”, Mgr. said Marine.

Before his death, the saint said he planned to ask the Lord to allow him to stand at the gate of heaven – “with an outstretched hand towards my spiritual brothers and sisters, so that I can take them away”, a quoted Mgr. Marine.

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Catholic priest arrested for allegedly stealing church funds to pay for drug-fueled orgies Thu, 23 Sep 2021 10:43:56 +0000

A Catholic priest has been arrested on suspicion of stealing more than $ 117,000 from church funds to buy drugs for his gay parties.

Father Francesco Spagnesi, 40, a highly regarded priest from Prato, Italy, has been under house arrest while police question 200 people who have allegedly attended his lavish parties over the past two years.

He was arrested after the police were informed that his roommate had imported a liter of the “rape” drug GHB from the Netherlands, The temperature reports.

The pair are said to have used online dating sites to invite guests to their homes, where drugs were being consumed and sold. During the raid on Spagnesis’ apartment, police found bottles that were said to have been adapted for smoking crack cocaine.

Spagnesi is a former medical student who left the priesthood at the age of 26, claiming to have found “fullness and joy in making myself available to others”.

Suspicions were raised when a parish accountant discovered that Spagnesi had withdrawn more than $ 100,000 from the parish bank account. This activity prompted the local bishop to intervene and end the priest’s access to funds, which police believe he was using to buy drugs.

When Spagnesi was no longer able to withdraw money from the church account, he allegedly started withdrawing money from the collection plate and soliciting money directly from parishioners, to whom it has been said to raise funds for low income families.

Local journal La Nazione reports that the parishioners had “great faith in their bright, involved and refined young priest”, but have now taken legal action to recover their money. At least two fraud cases have reached the prosecutor’s office, according to the publication.

According to the Milan daily Corriere Della Sera, Spagnesi blamed a “cocaine vortex” for his actions and also revealed he was HIV positive.

“I don’t recognize myself anymore, the cocaine vortex has swallowed me up,” he said in tears in front of the lawyers. “Drugs made me betray my parishioners, they made me lie, they made me do things I am ashamed of. Now I am HIV positive… ”

Spagnesi added that he was taking antiretroviral drugs, which meant he could not transmit HIV.

He promised to return the money and sell everything he owns, even his house, to reimburse parishioners

“I beg everyone’s forgiveness,” he said.

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The Problem with Mother Angelica and EWTN (from 1995) Wed, 22 Sep 2021 18:31:53 +0000

The following article appeared in the August 12, 1995 issue of America. Click here to find other US EWTN coverage.

I run the risk, I know, of getting into trouble if I write something about Mother Angelica, the founder and guiding spirit of the popular Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). Last October, in an article on the Faith & Values ​​ecumenical network. I mentioned that the network often found itself vying for space with Mother Angélique. whom I qualified as “conservative”. Most of the article focused on the little disjointed F&V, with only around 100 words on Mother. But from the volume of mail we received, you would have thought that we had published a full scale 20 page attack on Mother Angelica. She has, it should be noted, many fans.

Either way, now is the time to talk about Mother Angelica. It is, after all, a television column, and EWTN is the nation’s largest religious cable station, reaching 40 million homes in the United States and in more than 20 countries abroad. It broadcasts 24 hours a day. Consider this: For some Americans, it represents the Catholic Church, not the local bishop, or the United States Conference of Bishops, or the last papal encyclical, or America or Commonweal or the St. Anthony Messenger. Mother Angelica is what a lot of people think of when they think of the American Catholic Church.

Consider this: For some Americans, Mother Angelica represents the Catholic Church, not the local bishop, or the United States Conference of Bishops or the last papal encyclical.

As you digest this last observation, let me now praise Mother Angelica. And when I speak of “Mother Angelica”, I am speaking of the whole EWTN phenomenon: the network, the broadcasts, the religious order, the masses, the whole Gestalt. Now praise: Here, sweet readers. is a woman who loves her church and is devoted to God. This may not be the kind of church you prefer St.-Louis Jesuit-singing, Matthew-Fox-reading. inclusive language types, empowering lay people, yet she is dedicated to her church nonetheless.

Second, Mother provides service to many Catholics who watch television. Admit it: are there many other cable shows nationwide that air Mass four times a day (and in Spanish on Sundays)? It might not be your kind of Mass, but Christ is there, isn’t He?

Third, unlike many other cable religious networks, Mother offers a wide variety of programming. Last month, she televised the proceedings of the meeting of the American Bishops’ Conference. Most days of the week, Bob and Penny Lord, the affably devout hosts of “The Miracles of the Eucharist,” serve as spiritual guides, guiding viewers to places such as Blessed Faustina’s home in Poland. There is also a liberal sprinkling of not-so-liberal scholars expounding the Scriptures, although most of the exegesis consists of a priest standing behind a podium, reading the Bible directly. (“And Mathew goes on to say ….”) Again, as a Jesuit friend likes to say, “For people who like that sort of thing, this is the kind of thing they like.”

Finally, for the imprisoned, Mother Angélique is undoubtedly a godsend. A Jesuit told me that his mother worshiped (the right word) what I will call EWTN’s “Rosary Shows”, one of which features a young girl standing on a misty hill reciting the Rosary for half a year. -time.

Mother Angelica, devout and well-intentioned as she is, has big problems.

The. It wasn’t that bad, was it? Now for the second part of our story: Mother Angelica, devout and well-meaning as she is, has big problems.

On the one hand, Mother seems to live in a black and white world. There is good and bad. There is good and bad.

Well, it’s true. The is good and bad and good and bad. Unfortunately, there are other things in the middle, where most Catholics tend to live.

“Thank God for the new catechism,” she said, slapping the book on her knees, because that will finally put an end to all those boring theologians who dare to criticize the magisterium. Now, I can think of a number of reasons to thank God for Sunday school, but keeping exuberant theologians in their place is not one of them. Too bad for theologians. (You will recall that St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Bonaventure, and St. Augustine were members of this unruly club.) So much for the continued development of theology, and more specifically. too bad for the Holy Spirit.

Mother also seems to be – and this is about as nicely as I can tell – more comfortable with the past than with the present.

Mother also seems to be – and this is about as nicely as I can tell – more comfortable with the past than with the present.

I recently spent two years working abroad. As EWTN does not broadcast in Kenya (where it would undoubtedly be very popular), I did not watch Mother Angelica. When I got back, I shot his show one afternoon. Could it be? His habit had become …dictu mirabile—more conservative than before Indeed, like most of the sisters who appear on EWTN, Mother Angélique favors the full dress. Priests and brothers, for their part, invariably sport office attire (with snow-white French cuffs) or, better yet, cassocks.

Now there is certainly nothing wrong with veils and collars and cassocks, but I am wondering if these are prerequisites for appearing on the net. I have met quite a few committed and devoted sisters in my time. Most of them choose to wear street clothes. So where on EWTN are all these sisters-in-law who don’t wear habits?

In other words, where is the rest of the church that Mother Angelica says she loves?

And these masses. What is the story? Did Vatican II take place? Was there another council that I missed that revoked the liturgical renewal of Vatican II? It’s understandable to yearn for the good old days, but these days aren’t all bad. This must make Catholics wonder why their own parishes aren’t doing the same thing they see on EWTN. Why can’t our parish be more like his? Hey, father. where are our sub-deacons?

It is also evident that, like many other American Catholics, Mother Angelica is angry. She is angry with the permissiveness of our society, against violence, the decline of sexual mores. the destruction of the family, all good things to be deplored.

She seems to reserve her greatest anger for her own church: theologians who lead us astray, disobedient lay people, liberal priests and sisters who favor women of the clergy, married priests, inclusive language ….

However, she seems to reserve her greatest anger for her own church: theologians who lead us astray, disobedient lay people, liberal priests and sisters who favor female clergy, married priests, inclusive language … you name it. And she lets them have it whenever she can.

Indeed, the level of vitriol she directs towards certain elements of the church would be called Catholic-bashing if it came from other quarters.

Fair enough. Everyone is mad at something in the church. It’s too liberal: it’s not liberal enough. There are no women priests; there are too many women around the altar. There is not enough inclusive language; there are too many of them, and that dilutes the beauty of the liturgy. Make your choice. But when your anger drives your ministry, then you are in trouble.

This is what bothers me the most about Mother Angélique. Of course, this is a completely subjective analysis. But after all, his ministry is television, and with television the image, not the intention, is the product. The medium is the ministry, so to speak. And the picture here says it all.

Despite all her dedication to church, she does not seem As that a lot. I mean the whole church – the great controversial, worldwide, extremely messy, post-Vatican II church struggling to find its way into the modern world.

Maybe it can even be forgiven. Perhaps Mother Angelica feels that she is rendering a service in the church with her righteous zeal, like Jesus in the temple. But here’s the problem: His anger is particularly harmful because it is this image of the church – bitter, uncompromising, defensive – that is a dominant image of the church on American television, in large part thanks to its influential network.

The Catholic Church, as projected by Mother Angelica, is one, holy, Catholic and apostolic. He is also extremely angry.

And this particular fruit of his television ministry is a disservice to the American church.

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Convicted Kentucky priest should be released from prison Tue, 21 Sep 2021 23:27:33 +0000

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – A Kentucky Catholic priest is set to be released from prison after serving nearly four years for sexual abuse in the 1970s.

R. Joseph Hemmerle testified during his 2016 trial in Meade County that he sometimes applied calamine lotion to the genitals of children at a religious summer camp, with their permission. He was convicted of one count of indecent or immoral practices with a child under the age of 15.

Hemmerle is expected to be released on October 1, according to the state’s Department of Corrections. He will be on probation for six to eight months.

The victim who testified against Hemmerle said the priest, now 79, should not be released.

“I’m afraid this guy is going away,” said Michael Norris WAVE-TV in Louisville. “He can show up next door and you will have no idea who this man is.” Your kids can get around it. I can tell you from my own experience that they don’t want to go through this.

Norris told a jury that at the age of 10, Hemmerle placed him on a stool without clothes and sexually assaulted him in the priest’s personal cabin. Norris said he went to see him for poison ivy treatment.

According to a statement from the Archdiocese, Hemmerle is no longer part of the Archdiocese of Louisville but is still a priest.

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The Pope condemns the critics who do “the work of the devil” Tue, 21 Sep 2021 12:30:56 +0000

Pope Francis was addressing a group of Jesuits on his recent trip to Slovakia.

CNS Photo / Vatican Media

Pope Francis condemned those who do “the work of the devil” by stirring up hostility against the Church. He referred to a “large Catholic television channel which does not hesitate to speak ill of the Pope constantly”.

He warned the Church against falling into the trap of a “turning back” ideology as he addressed traditionalist opposition to his pontificate.

Addressing a group of Jesuits on his recent trip to Slovakia, the 84-year-old Pope revealed that some “prelates” held meetings over the summer for a future conclave after Francis was hospitalized for bowel surgery. These prelates, the Pope said, believed his condition to be more serious than the “official version”.

While in central Europe, Francis said that parts of the Church wanted to go back and had become “afraid” to hear the “truth” from God’s people. This phenomenon, he said, can be observed in the reluctance to minister to “people of sexual diversity” or in a young priest who asks to celebrate the Old Rite soon after his ordination.

“We are experiencing this today in the Church: the ideology of retreat. It is an ideology which colonizes the spirits ”, declared François during a session of questions and answers in Bratislava on September 12 and published by La Civiltà Cattolica.

“It’s not really a universal problem, but rather specific to churches in certain countries. Life scares us. I will repeat something I said to the ecumenical group that I have met here before you: freedom scares us.

He continues: “It is the evil of this moment, namely to seek the way in the rigidity and the clericalism, which are two perversions.

Addressing his decision to restrict celebrations of the pre-Vatican II liturgy, a decision fiercely opposed by liturgical traditionalists, Francis said he was concerned about young people who wish to celebrate the Tridentine rite one month after their ordination. .

“It is a phenomenon which indicates that we are retreating,” he stressed.

He told the story of a cardinal who, when two young priests asked him to study Latin to celebrate the ancient rite, urged them to study Spanish and Vietnamese first since the diocese counted a large number of Hispanics and Vietnamese.

During the discussion in Bratlislava, the Pope condemned those who do “the work of the devil” by stoking hostility against the Church.

Asked about those who accuse him of not supporting Orthodox teaching or of viewing it with “suspicion”, the Pope spoke of a “large Catholic television channel that does not hesitate to continually talk about the evil of the Pope” .

He did not name any specific media organization.

EWTN (The Eternal Word Television Network) is a large Catholic television platform that has become a platform for opposition to this pontificate, including the broadcast of a mass where the priest attacked Francis during the homily, and a weekly show presented by Raymond Arroyo who is still hostile.

Francis said: “I personally deserve attacks and insults because I am a sinner, but the Church does not deserve them. They are the work of the devil. I also said that to some of them ”.

He continues: “Yes, there are also clerics who make nasty comments about me. I sometimes lose my patience, especially when they make judgments without entering into a real dialogue. I can’t do anything there. However, I continue without entering their world of ideas and fantasies.

Meanwhile, Francis also warned of the rise of gender ideology, saying the world has become a “civilization of ideologies,” which so often ignore the reality of a person’s experience.

“The ‘gender’ ideology you speak of is dangerous, yes,” he told a Jesuit. “As I understand it, this is so because it is abstract in relation to a person’s concrete life, as if a person could decide abstractly at will whether and when to be a man or a woman. Abstraction is still a problem for me. “

He stressed that this had “nothing to do with the homosexual issue” and that the Church should offer pastoral support to homosexual couples.

Francis urged the Jesuits in Slovakia to stay close to God, to each other, to the bishops, to the Pope and to the people of God.

“It is a fascinating time, a magnificent moment, even if it is that of the cross”, the Pope told them. “It is beautiful to advance the freedom of the gospel.

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At the funeral, Mgr. John Brady, “Father of Catholic Scouting”, honored by fellow priests and Scout leaders – Catholic Standard Mon, 20 Sep 2021 22:39:42 +0000

The mourners at the funeral mass of Mgr. John B. Brady Jr. reflected many of the key priorities of his priesthood and his life. People gathered to pray for him at this Mass on September 17 at St. Bartholomew Church in Bethesda, Maryland, comprising about two dozen priests, an equal number of uniformed Scout leaders, many people from the parishes in the area where he served and members of his family. .

Mgr. Brady, 92, died on September 9 after suffering health complications from COVID-19. During his 66 years as a priest in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, he served as pastor in southern Maryland, Washington, DC, and suburban Maryland, and at the time of his death he was the oldest and longest in the archdiocese. priest on duty.

Known as the “Father of Catholic Scouting” in the Archdiocese of Washington, Mgr. Brady was a Scout Chaplain for over six decades. In 1971 he was appointed Archdiocesan Chaplain for Scouting, and his service in that ministry included 49 years as chaplain at Goshen Scout Camp in Virginia.

Mgr. John Brady is pictured attending a 2005 National Scout Jamboree in Virginia, one of many he has served as a priest chaplain over the years. (CS file photo by Michael Hoyt)

Cardinal Wilton Gregory, Archbishop of Washington, was the main celebrant of Mgr. Brady’s Funeral Mass, and said they have come together to recommend to God “one of our beloved senior priests”.

In remarks after Communion, the cardinal noted that he had had a meeting with Mgr. Brady about a month after arriving as the new Archbishop in 2019, and the veteran priest had a spiritual program that he wanted the Archdiocese to embark on.

“He didn’t want to talk about yesterday. He wanted to talk about tomorrow, ”said Cardinal Gregory. “I think that’s one of the great tributes we can pay him. His priesthood was always turned towards the next day, which the Church could do for its future. Her heart was filled with joy for tomorrow, and we are filled with gratitude for her yesterday in the service of this local Church.

In his homily, Father Charles McCann, another retired priest who had served in recent years with Mgr. Brady at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Clinton, noted that their friendship spanned over five decades and began when he came to the Archdiocese of his native Ireland for his first mission, as parish vicar in Sanctuary of the Blessed Sacrament in Washington in 1969, and Mgr. Brady, who also held that role there, became his friend and mentor.

Father McCann recalled how, when he received his first call to anoint a dying person, Mgr. Brady accompanied him and anointed the man, demonstrating a prayer and spirituality that Father McCann said he had witnessed in his fellow priest on several occasions over the years.

“Everything he did he did for the Lord,” said Father McCann.

Noting Mgr. Brady’s long devotion to scouting, said the homilist: “He felt it was a wonderful opportunity to influence the minds of young boys at an important age.

The retired priest also underlined how Mgr. Brady, whether he chaplains in a Scout camp, travels to a foreign country or on a canoe adventure near the Arctic Circle, “always brought his mass kit with him and offered mass every day. “.

Father Jaime Hernández, now pastor of St. Gabriel Parish in Washington, who in recent years has served as pastor of St. John the Evangelist in Clinton where he served with Msgr. Brady, offered words of homage to the priest in Spanish during the funeral mass. In St. John’s, Mgr. Brady was taking Spanish lessons so he could serve the growing Hispanic community in that parish.

Mass concelebrants included Washington Auxiliary Bishops Mario Dorsonville and Roy Campbell Jr .; Father Mark Knestout, parish priest of Saint-Barthélemy; and Father Mario Majano, the new parish priest of St. John the Evangelist.

After his priestly ordination in 1955, Father Brady’s first assignment at the time was as Parish Vicar at Holy Redeemer Parish in Kensington. There he began serving as a Scout Chaplain and was also a Chaplain at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring. From 1966 to 1971, he was parish vicar at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Washington.

Mgr. John Brady, shown greeting a student at Holy Angels-Sacred Heart School on Avenue after a mass in 2005, retired as pastor of Holy Angels Parish that year. In the photo below, he is standing in front of the Holy Angels Church. (CS file photo by Michael Hoyt)

For more than three decades, Mgr. Brady served as a pastor in Southern Maryland from 1974 to 1985 at St. Joseph in Pomfret, then until 1994 as a pastor of St. John Vianney in Prince Frederick, then at Holy Angels in Avenue until his retirement in 2005 .

“He knew what his priorities were as a priest,” said Sister Marian Brady, a Providence sister and older sister who now lives at Bartholomew House in Bethesda.

Mgr. Brady’s survivors include his three siblings, Sister Marian Brady, former president of Immaculata College in Washington and former professor in the theology department of the Catholic University of America; Rubert Brady of Bethesda, a retired patent and trademark attorney; and Therese Brady Donohue of Amherst, Massachusetts, founder and former director of the Amherst Ballet Company. He is also survived by 10 nieces and nephews, 17 great-nieces and nephews and a great-great-nephew.

The son of the late John B. Brady and Mary Rupert Brady, Msgr. Brady grew up as a member of St. Anne’s Parish in Washington, where he was baptized, received his First Communion and the Sacrament of Confirmation, and celebrated his First Mass, and where, in his youth, he became member of Scout Troop 4, later becoming an Eagle Scout and Master Scout with this troop.

While parish priest of Saint-Joseph in Pomfret, Mgr. Brady recorded and sold tapes of Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s speeches to raise funds for the rebuilding of the historic church in this parish. At St. John Vianney in Prince Frederick, he oversaw the planning, fundraising and construction of the new parish center. Then, at Holy Angels in Avenue, he led the effort to renovate the church hall and school building. At Holy Angels, he founded a parish group of Sea Scouts.

The priest has also undertaken several notable adventures over the years, including a canoe trip in the summer of 1970 on the rivers of Canada’s upper Northwest Territories to the Arctic Circle, and he then retraced the route of the Gold Rush to Alaska from Canada’s Yukon Territory. .

For more than three decades of his 66 years as a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, Msgr. John Brady served as a pastor in Southern Maryland, first at St. Joseph at Pomfret, then at St. John Vianney at Prince Frederick, then at Holy Angels at Avenue. In the photo below, Mgr. Brady is pictured celebrating Mass in 1985, the year he left St. Joseph Parish to become Pastor of St. John Vianney Parish. (CS file photo by Michael Hoyt)

The scout leaders present at Mgr. Brady’s funeral mass included Dick Stevick, a member of St. Mary of the Mills parish in Laurel who serves as the lay coordinator for the Archdiocese of Washington Catholic Committee on Scouting, and Chris Murray, a member of St. Raphael in Rockville who serves as the Scout chair for this committee.

Stevick, who shared a copy of a booklet written by Mgr. Brady, “Higher Than Eagles,” who offered interfaith meditations for Scouts, noted that the priest was dedicated to Scouts and their chaplain celebrated Masses for them in small camps and at large Jamborees.

“No matter where he was, he was connecting with young people,” Stevick said. “They would always remember him, and they always wanted to help him and serve with him on the altar.”

This point was echoed by Murray, who said: “He was always there. Whenever you needed a priest, he was there.

Over the years, Mgr. Brady celebrated Masses for Boy Scouts at camps and retreats beside nearby lakes, rivers, forests and mountains, and he had the honor of serving as chaplain at National Jamborees.

“It’s (Scouting) really a vocations program,” he said in an interview. “It helps young people figure out what to do with their lives.

Each year, the Archdiocese of Washington Youth Ministry Office honors someone for outstanding service in Catholic Scouting by introducing them to Mgr. John Brady Award nominated for the priest.

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Anglican priest suspended for illegal sale of church land Mon, 20 Sep 2021 11:48:53 +0000

The Bishop of the Diocese of Namirembe, Wilberforce Kityo Luwalira, announced the suspension of. Sekiziyivu

An Anglican priest has been suspended for illegally selling church land.

Reverend Semei Sebina Sekiziyivu, St Andrews Parish Church in Kiteezi, has been suspended from his priestly duties pending investigations into charges of illegally selling church land. He has been replaced by the retired Reverend Eriya Kawooya.

Writing on behalf of the Bishop of the Diocese of Namirembe, Wilberforce Kityo Luwalira, the Secretary of the Diocese, the Reverend Canon Henry Segawa, announced the priest’s suspension.

“It has come to our knowledge that your handling of church land issues has not followed church procedures. You are hereby ordered to retire from the affairs of the ward and the land until you are recalled, ”read part of the letter dated September 3.

The suspension of Rev. Sekiziyivu followed complaints from Christians questioning the way he had handled and authorized the takeover of church lands without giving due consideration to church processes and procedures.

Reverend Sekiziyivu was suspended along with the Archdeacon of Gayaza, Reverend Herbert Nyanzi Kabanda who was his immediate superior.

Lay leader St. Andrews Church Julius Buwembo says Reverend Sekiziyivu has clashed with various people to take over church land under the guise of development.

The land which measures 2 acres is located in the village of Bamba. It is alleged that Reverend Sekiziyivu ordered the destruction of an avocado and coffee plantation to establish a new church in an area less than a mile from St. Andrews Church.

Buwembo also alleged that Sekiziyivu allowed Mary Namuddu to access and develop part of the land without the consent of Church leaders.

While claiming to have acquired the lease through the Diocese of Namirembe, Namuddu worked closely with Reverend Sekiziyivu who called in the police at the time of the resistance.

“While using false documents, Reverend Sekiziyivu granted Namuddu a lease and he used force on all land issues. In Kayanga village we have 50 acres but with squatters and what he did, on the remaining space he brought people over, ”Buwembo said.

According to Buwembo, the Kiteezi church is on the verge of losing its enclosure due to Sekiziyivu’s actions.

Rev. Can. Segawa commended the leadership of the diocese for the courage and sacrifice to save the church land.

Bishop Luwalira said the Church will investigate the complaints and present a report and recommendations.



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Skook News obituary: September 19, 2021 Mon, 20 Sep 2021 01:32:00 +0000

Skook News obituary: September 19, 2021

Obituaries posted in the Schuylkill County area.

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Paul A. Stansbury, 66, of Primrose, Cass Township, passed away peacefully at Lehigh Valley Hospital, Cedar Crest, on Saturday, with his loving wife and daughter by his side.

Born in Pottsville, he was the son of the late Anna Reed and attended Minersville High School. Paul was a jack of all trades and worked in building construction and maintenance for over 20 years.

If you knew Paul, or Stans as he was called, he liked to laugh. But more importantly, he loved making others laugh. From his quick wit lines to his knack for finding an unexpected gift to put a smile on your face, Paul has made the most of life and accompanied you on the ride. For these qualities, and so many others too numerous to mention here, Stans will be sorely missed.

He was predeceased by a brother, Alfred Stansbury.

Paul is survived by his wife of 42 years, former Roseanne Dunleavy; his daughter, Alicia L. Stansbury, New York, New York. He is also survived by his in-laws Laine and Karen Gehres, Branchdale; Mike Dunleavy and his family, Minersville; Vince and Beth Dunleavy, Minersville; Jaime and Scott Gehres and their two children Cody Gehres and Jordyn (JJ) Gehres, Lancaster, who represented the world to him.

Interment will be at the convenience of the family in Saint-Vincent-de-Paul # 2 cemetery, Branch township. The Dutcavich funeral home is in charge. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made at the Lehigh Valley Health Network.

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Father George Bujnak, retired Passaic Eparchy priest and Amity Village resident Hazleton fell asleep in the Lord on September 16, 2021 at Lehigh Valley-Hazleton Hospital following a brief illness. Prior to his retirement he was pastor at St. Michael’s Byzantine Catholic Church in McAdoo.

Father George was born in Coaldale on March 6, 1935, the son of Andrew Bujnak and Mary Trudich. After graduating from Lehighton High School, he entered the Byzantine Catholic Seminary of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Pittsburgh, to pursue studies for the priesthood. He graduated from Duquesne University in 1961 with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy.

After graduation he continued his theological studies at Sts. Byzantine Catholic Seminary Cyril and Methodius. He received the Order of the Reader on February 2, 1963, at St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church, Pittsburgh, by Bishop Nicholas T Elko; the Order of the Subdeacon on December 29, 1963, at St. Michael the Archangel Cathedral, Passaic, NJ by Bishop Stephen J. Kocisko; the Order of the Deacon August 30, 1964, at St Mary Byzantine Catholic Church, Trenton, NJ by Bishop Stephen J. Kocisko. He was ordained to the priesthood of Jesus Christ on March 21, 1965, at St. Michael the Archangel’s Cathedral in Passaic, NJ, by Bishop Stephen J. Kocisko.

After his ordination in 1965, Father George was appointed assistant pastor at St. John Byzantine Catholic Church, Hazleton. In 1969 he was appointed pastor of the Byzantine Catholic Church of St. Mary, Saint Clair, and administrator of St. Mary, Brockton. During his priestly ministry he served the parish communities of St. Michael’s Byzantine Catholic Church, Pittston, and St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church, Nesquehoning. He was also a member of the National Federation of Christian Living Communities, Hazleton District. In 2001 he was appointed pastor of St. Michael’s Byzantine Catholic Church, McAdoo, where he remained until he moved to his current residence in Amity Village in Hazleton in 2016.

The Funeral of a Priest, Parts 1 and 2, will be held at St. Michael’s Byzantine Catholic Church, 17 East Blaine St., McAdoo on Thursday, September 23, 2021 at 6 p.m. Tours start at 3 p.m. A Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with Panachida and Pouring Oil will be celebrated by Bishop Kurt on Friday September 24, 2021 at 10 a.m. Tours will start at 8:30 am. Interment will follow at St. John the Baptist Cemetery in Summit Hill.

Damiano Funeral Home, Inc., McAdoo, assists with arrangements.

Condolences can be entered and information is available at

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Gay Swedish priest refuses to marry straight couples in protest against church bigotry Sun, 19 Sep 2021 08:02:19 +0000

As Swedish priests are not obliged to marry a couple if they are morally opposed, Lars Gårdsfeldt uses this right to fight against ecclesiastical bigotry.

The tables have been turned in Sweden where a 56-year-old priest takes a stand against discrimination against same-sex couples in the church by refusing to marry opposite-sex couples.

All priests in the Church of Sweden can refuse couples if they object to the union. Throughout history, the law has primarily been used to deny same-sex couples, although same-sex couples have been able to legally marry in church since 2009.

“I want to show the absurdity, the theological and ethical wrongdoing, to deny marriage to two consenting adults,” said Lars Gårdsfeldt P4 Gothenburg.

The protest precedes religious elections in Sweden on Sunday, where a debate erupted over whether it should be possible for newly ordained priests to refuse to marry same-sex couples.

Besides Gårdsfeldt, several Swedish parties also want to cancel the right of priests to refuse people of the same sex to ensure that there is no discrimination.

Swedish bishops should crack down on homophobia

Gårdfeldt has publicly spoken out against the lack of LGBTQAI + rights in Swedish churches, stressing that the responsibility for solving this problem lies with the bishops.

In an interview with P4 Göteborg, he calls for the protection of the rights of queer people by denying queerphobic priests to be part of Swedish churches.

“We should not ordain new priests who convey the idea that homosexuals are inferior people. I cannot understand why it is so important for bishops and archbishop to continue ordaining homosexual priests. He told P4 Göteborg.

Of Sweden’s 10 million people, around 5.8 million are members of the Church of Sweden, making it the largest religious body in the country.

Gårdfeldt himself went to Canada to legally marry his partner in a church in 2006, as at that time same-sex marriage was not legal in Sweden.

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