Archive for February, 2009

Maybe you’ve drifted away from church. Washington Archbishop Donald Wuerl invites Catholics back to Mass.

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Feb. 25 – Ash Wednesday
Mar. 15 – DC Hood vs. Pats – Vocations Basketball
Mar. 24 – Parish Social Ministry Quarterly Gathering – PG County
Mar. 27-28 – A Conference on the Teaching and Mission of St. Paul
Mar. 28 – Catholic Marriage and Parenting Workshop
March 29 – Little Flower/John Carroll Society Lecture
June 7 – Jubilarian Mass
Aug. 9-12 – Quo Vadis Vocation Retreat

News and Announcements

REMINDER: Order your directory now! – The new archdiocesan directory arrives this week! Order your directory now using the attached order form. The new directory is in a handy, binder format (similar in size to the 2004 directory) and includes updated and newly organized information on archdiocesan staff, parishes, schools, clergy and religious, and Catholic organizations. Order this indispensible reference now! Just $28 each (shipping & handling is $8 per total order or save on shipping by picking up your directory at the archdiocesan offices (target date: Feb. 18)). Questions? Call 301-853-4517 or email directory@adw.org.

Longing for Something? Maybe it’s God – Parish resources for this archdiocesan-wide Lenten initiative, including bulletin announcements, homily hints, logos and more are online. Visit the Parishes Only page of the archdiocesan website, http://www.adw.org, or visit http://www.maybe-its-God.org. Also online is a video message from Archbishop Wuerl. Additional printed invitations are available by contacting the Office of Communications at communications@adw.org or 301-853-4517. We also have available a limited quantity of the pamphlets on Reconciliation that were used for our past Lenten initiative.

CUA “In Service” for The Year of St. Paul – The Catholic University of America’s School of School of Theology and Religious Studies is holding an all day symposium March 20 on St. Paul. All pastoral professionals, including clergy, principals and parish staffs, are invited. This event is free to CUA students; non-students are $25. See the attached flyer for details or visit http://trs.cua.edu/yearofpaul to register.

Celebrate Global Solidarity – To commemorate the anniversary of the Papal visit last spring, parishes across the Archdiocese are invited to celebrate our solidarity with our brothers and sisters around the world between April 18 and May 15. If your parish would like to be involved, the Archdiocesan Global Solidarity Committee and Department for Social Concerns can send a “tool kit” of ideas and resources answer questions and provide guidance. Ideas include special liturgies, sale of fairly traded products, lectures, twinning celebrations and events to kick-off new ministries. Contact Catherine Albornoz at Catherine.albornoz@gmail.com or 301-512-1043.

Shroud of Turin Exhibit – The Msgr. Wells K of C Council #13008 (St. Andrew Apostle parish) has arranged to make available to local parishes a Shroud of Turin Exhibit that includes a full-size replica of the shroud in a portable display case and video. The exhibit is free, with delivery and pick-up provided, and is available through Divine Mercy Sunday. For information, please contact Eileen Mooney, 301-460-7582.

REMINDER (SEE REVISED DATE): Lourdes Anointing Mass on March 21 -Please invite parishioners who are sick and/or elderly and their family and caregivers to the fourth annual Lourdes Anointing Mass on Saturday, March 21. The Mass is sponsored by the Order of Malta. A bulletin announcement with details and contact information is below.

Bulletin Announcements

Don’t Miss It! DC Hood vs. Pats – Join us for The Basketball Showdown of the Year on March 15, 2009, 1:30 p.m., at the Verizon Center. DC Hood is a team of Catholic priests and seminarians who are dedicated to promoting vocations to the priesthood and religious life. PATS are the Washington principals and teachers. Get your tickets now by ordering online at www.verizoncenter.com/wiz/dchood. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Office for Priest Vocations.

Attention Parish Social Ministry Volunteers – Leaders and volunteers in parish social ministry to the poor and needy, in justice ministries and in programs that promote the life and dignity of the human person are invited to our quarterly gathering. This is a time for volunteers to get to know each other, learn from each other and grow in support of one another. Sponsored by the Archdiocese of Washington Department for Social Concerns. For information, contact Tony Bosnick, 301-853-5340 or DSC@adw.org.

Prince George’s County: March 24, 7:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m., St. Francis Center for Deaf Ministries, 7202 Buchanan St. Landover Hills, MD 20784

Catholic Marriage and Parenting Workshop – St. Peter’s on Capitol Hill and the Archdiocesan Office of Family Life are sponsoring a Marriage and Parenting workshop on March 28, 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Topics include Protecting Your Children on the Internet, Talking to Your Children about Chastity, Family Prayer and Living the Sacrament of Marriage in Daily Life. There will be time for confession and Mass following the workshop. Free; childcare available for $10/child. To register, contact the Office of Family Life at 301-853-5337 or flm@adw.org.

Celebrate the Year of St. Paul – Pope Benedict XVI has named this the Year of St. Paul to commemorate the 2,000th anniversary of this early evangelizer. Learn more about this early saint or visit one of our archdiocesan pilgrimage churches and gain a plenary indulgence. Materials online at http://www.adw.org. Click on “Year of St. Paul 2009.”

The Gospel according to St. Paul: A Conference on the Teaching and Mission of St. Paul – This two-day conference on St. Paul, to be held on March 27-28 at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, MD, features popular speakers, Dr. Scott Hahn and Dr. Brant Pitre. Deepen your understanding about what made St. Paul such a unique and powerful witness to Christ. Seating is limited. Cost is $20 per person (includes lunch). Register by March 18 at www.msmary.edu/stpaul.

Annual Little Flower/John Carroll Society Lecture – Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl will deliver the fifth annual Little Flower/John Carroll Society Lecture on Sunday, March 29, 3:00 p.m. at the Church of the Little Flower, 5607 Massachusetts Avenue, Bethesda. He will reflect on the recent Synod of Bishops in which he participated and the importance of the Word of God in the world today. This talk is free. For more information, call 301-320-4538.

Annual Jubilarian Mass – The annual Jubilarian celebration of marriage honoring couples married 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50 and 50+ years will be held Sunday, June 7, 2009, 2:00 p.m. at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Archbishop Wuerl will be celebrant. Please call the parish office or use the sign up forms in the back of Church to register. Names of Jubilarians need to be turned into the Archdiocese before April 27, 2009.

What Have You Done for Your Marriage Today? – The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has developed a website for married couples and those considering marriage. Visit http://www.foryourmarriage.org for daily marriage tips, “Grade your marriage,” “Bumps in the road,” recommended books, Church teaching on marriage, a marriage preparation blog and much more.

Retrouvaille – A lifeline for marriage, Retrouvaille helps couples through difficult times in their marriages, including couples considering separation or who are separated or divorced. It is designed to provide the tools to help get your marriage back on track. For confidential information call 301-468-6764 or 410-647-0350 or visit the web site at http://www.HelpOurMarriage.com.

Christ in the City (for Young Adults) – Christ in the City is a ministry of the Office of Young Adult Ministry that focuses on spiritual growth and provides an opportunity to establish a relationship with Christ truly present in the Eucharist. On the second Thursday of each month, young adults from across the city congregate at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 10th and G Streets, NW, Washington, DC to pray and worship. Stop in for a few minutes or join us for the entire service. Either way, your prayer life will be enriched by the experience.

The evening starts with a 7:00 p.m. Rosary. From 7:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., there will be Eucharistic Adoration, Praise and Worship, Confession available and Reflection. St. Patrick’s is Metro accessible via Metro Center’s 11th Street exit or Chinatown’s 9th Street exit. Free parking at the garage on 10th Street between G and H. Bring your ticket to the sacristy for validation. Upcoming dates: March 12, May 7 and June 11.

New to Christ in the City? Join us for dinner afterward at Gordon Biersch, 9th and F Streets, just around the corner!

Lourdes Anointing Mass with Order of Malta – The Federal Association of the Order of Malta cordially invites the sick, disabled and elderly of the Washington metropolitan area to a Lourdes Anointing Mass on Saturday, March 21, 10:00 a.m., at Our Lady of Mercy Church, 9200 Kentsdale Drive, Potomac. The church is completely accessible and has plenty of free parking. Members of the Order of Malta will be present to help people throughout the morning. There will be an anointing and a blessing with Lourdes water for the sick, disabled and elderly in attendance.

Family, friends and caregivers are also invited, and a light luncheon reception will be offered to everyone after Mass in the Parish Hall. There is no charge. Those wishing to attend are asked to call Michele Bowe at 301-951-6427 or michelebowe48@yahoo.com by February 25.

Little Sisters of the Poor Discernment Retreat – Everything Through Love. Are you open to exploring the possibility of a religious vocation? Join the Little Sisters of the Poor for a weekend of intense prayer and joyful service on March 13 (evening)-March 15 (early afternoon). Open to young, single Catholic women, age 18-35 years. For information contact Sr. Julie, 202-269-1831 or vocwashington@littlesistersofthepoor.org.

High School Young Men: Quo Vadis – Where are You Going? – Legend tells us St. Peter asked Jesus this question on the outskirts of Rome. We know where Jesus went in response to His Father’s will. He knew that only by doing what the Father asked of him would there be true joy and fulfillment in this life.

Where are you going? What is the Father’s will for you? Want to learn more? Find out August 9-12. Quo Vadis Days will give you the opportunity to learn more about discernment of your vocation. A five-day camp for high school young men, activities will include prayer, hiking, games, sports, talks and lots of great food. Sign-up now as space is limited. For more information, please contact Fr. Rob Walsh, assistant director for priest vocations, rwalsh@adw.org and 301-853-4580.

10th Annual All-Catholic High School Choral Arts Festival – On Tuesday, March 3, 7:30 pm, singers from six area Catholic high schools will gather for an evening of music at St. Aloysius Church, adjacent to Gonzaga College High School, 900 block of North Capitol Street, NW, Washington, DC. Choirs from Gonzaga, Stone Ridge, St. John’s, DeMatha, Good Counsel and Seton will perform individually and as a combined chorus under the direction of Dr. Aaron Smith, director of choral activities at the US Naval Academy. Music will include Rachmaninoff, Willberg and Burleigh. Suggested donation of $5/adult or $3/HS student w/ID (under age 12, free). For information, contact Jeremy Young at jyoung@gonzaga.org. Free parking adjacent to church.

“Moral Life: Living with Hope within Us” – Msgr. Peter J. Vaghi continues his series of lectures on “Moral Life: Living the Hope Within Us” on Thursday, March 5, 7:00 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Church of the Little Flower, 5607 Massachusetts, Bethesda. The sixth of a nine-part series, this lecture is entitled “The Sixth Commandment: Sex, Marriage and Purity of Heart.” The morning lecture (with breakfast) will be in the Rectory Meeting Room following the 6:30 a.m. Mass and the evening lecture in the Music Room of Little Flower School. Admission is free. For information, call 301-320-4538.

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RUPERT: I have a couple of questions for you. The Latin traditionalists oppose the Vatican II stress on Ecumenism. Is Ecumenism really Catholic or just a break from the long-standing tradition and teachings of the faith? It seems to me that Ecumenism, especially the so-called anonymous Christian business of the theologian Karl Rahner did much to undermine evangelization and missionary outreach. Is this not so?


Father Rahner’s “anonymous Christian” has to do with people who sincerely seek to do God’s will, even as they suffer severe ignorance about his revelation to men. The mission mandate remains the same. Such ignorance should be dispelled so that all men and women might know the Lordship of Jesus Christ and his holy Church.

Vatican II Decree on Ecumenism – “It is through Christ’s Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help toward salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained. It was to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, that we believe that our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant, in order to establish on earth the one Body of Christ into which all those should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the People of God” (3 #5).

One of the reasons why there is no perpetual teaching about Ecumenism is because the vast fracturing of the Christian communities is largely an event of the last quarter of the Catholic Church’s existence. Ecumenism was originally a word used to describe the unity between particular churches within Catholicism. Today it has to do with dialogue and cooperation with Christian faith communities that exist at varying degrees of separation outside the visible Catholic Church. I am somewhat at a loss in answering because it is not clear what you mean by Ecumenism.

Modern transport and communication has made the world a smaller place. By necessity the Church must have a more diplomatic and nuanced stance toward non-Christian religions, giving a special place of respect to Judaism. As for a fragmented Christendom, the Orthodox churches of the East and the Catholic Church of the West have valid sacraments. The singular defect of Orthodoxy is the denial of the full authority of the Holy See. The problem becomes more serious in regard to Protestant faith communities or those which are spin-offs of Christianity like the Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, Unitarians, Quakers, and others.

I suspect that many traditionalists are upset with a poorly disguised religious indifferentism that masquerades as Ecumenism. All churches and religions are not the same. Elements of the truth exist and are taught by non-Catholic faith communities; but these are often partial truths mixed with serious errors. In reference to Protestantism, these elements of saving truth were taken with them from their Catholic source. Notable among these elements is a faith in the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the Bible, although the latter is edited down from the Catholic version.

If anyone can be saved no matter what the religion or if truth is subjective, then the need to evangelize would be seriously compromised. While we leave the ultimate judgment of others to God, we believe that the Catholic Church is the great mystery or sacrament of salvation. That is the essential meaning of the dogma that there is no salvation outside the Church. We cannot save ourselves. Only Jesus Christ is the redeemer and Saviour. The Church is his Mystical Body. The Church makes Christ present in his person and in his saving activity. Pope Benedict XVI refused to back down about this when certain Jewish leaders took offense at prayers that they should be enlightened to know Christ and to accept him. But he argued that we could not abrogate the heart of the Gospel. Many had unfortunately misconstrued statements of ecumenism from Pope John Paul II. Adding to the confusion has been the policy positions from various bishops, quite a few in the U.S., who have imprudently told their clergy not to evangelize or catechize potential Jewish converts.

When it comes to other Christian communities, we can dialogue so to better understand each other; however, Catholic teachings are not negotiable. We can work together for issues of justice and the needs of the oppressed and the poor. We have certain common faith elements and even orations, like Our Lord’s Prayer. But Catholics cannot take an active part in the rituals and services of Protestant communities. Similarly, while non-Catholics are welcome to attend Mass and even to make a spiritual communion, they cannot receive the Eucharist until or unless they are formally received into the Catholic Church.

It is important to remember that Jesus only founded ONE Church. That is the Catholic Church. The apostles were the first bishop-priests of the Church. St. Peter was the first Pope. While it sounds offensive to those who disagree, true ecumenism can never water down our conviction that Roman Catholicism is the TRUE Church.

Apologetics has sometimes been effective with certain more intellectual Protestant ministers like Scott Hahn. Of course they need humility to hear the Catholic position fairly. However, this form of debate is often missing or brushed aside by certain ecumenists. Ecumenical language tends to emphasize those things upon which there is consensus or agreement. However, it may be dangerous to ignore the crucial issues and practices that divide Catholics and Protestants.

The Catholic Church believes that the end of any debate or faith discussion is ultimately fixed. That is why Pope Benedict could speak to non-Christians about a dialogue where religious people in search of the truth can assist one another. He argues for clear reasoning and objectivity. He is not afraid because he firmly believes that genuine truth will bring sincere seekers to Jesus Christ and to the Catholic Church. He believes that only the Catholic Christian faith has the answers that most satisfy our longing for truth and meaning.

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marcielFr. Marcial Maciel Degollado (March 10, 1920 to January 30, 2008) was a Mexican Catholic Priest who founded the Legion of Christ and the Regnum Christi movement.

Pope Benedict XVI disciplined him in 2006, inviting him to “a reserved life of prayer and penitence.” This was followed by Maciel’s resignation in January of 2006. He had been charged with incidents of pedophilia which he vehemently denied.

The Legionaries made the statement that he had “accepted the instruction with faith, total calm, with a clear conscience knowing that it is a new cross which God, merciful father, has allowed him to suffer”. The statement compared him to the falsely convicted Christ, and having pled his innocence he resolved himself to follow “the example of Jesus Christ, [and] decided not to defend himself in any way.”

Despite the mounting evidence the Legion and Regnum Christi members remained adament that their founder had been falsely maligned.

But among those charging him were an ex-priest and an active priest. Over a half-dozen men came forward and labeled him an abuser. I am sorry, I thought from the beginning there had to be some substance to their charges. But menton a word about this too his supporters and they were all over you.

Given the many testimonies of abuse and impropriety, even toward those who became priests, I was thankful that Pope Benedict XVI compelled Fr. Maciel to retreat to a life of prayer and penance. The latest news about his out-of-wedlock offspring (hija ilegítima) just compounds the scandal. Previously, there was a resistence among the Legionnaries to accept or even to investigate the charges against their founder. A number of purported victims claimed that this victimized them anew as liars or deviants. Yes, I believe there has to be a reckoning and probably a change from the manner in which the Legion of Christ usually operates. The criticisms of certain bishops and others may now be treated seriously. Among these concerns are the following: a general air of secrecy, a lack of cooperation with local parishes, the clandestine targeting of certain diocesan priests (usually young) for affiliation with them, and an overly rigid formation of seminarians and later priests that causes a dissolution of ties to family and former friends in favor of loyalty to the Legion. It is being argued that this systemic secrecy and control found in the Legionnaries may have found its initial source in the need to protect and enable the secret life of its founder. If that is true, the apple will have to be peeled to its core with the rotten pieces stripped away.

Let us pray for the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi.

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paintedreldogA Baptist preacher and his wife decided to get a new dog. Ever mindful of the congregation, they knew the dog must also be a Baptist. They visited kennel after kennel and explained their needs. Finally, they found a kennel whose owner assured them he had just the dog they wanted. The owner brought the dog to meet the pastor and his wife.

“Fetch the Bible”, he commanded. The dog bounded to the bookshelf, scrutinized the books, located the Bible, and brought it to the owner.

“Now, find Psalm 23”, he commanded. The dog dropped the Bible to the floor, and showing marvelous dexterity with his paws, leafed through and finding the correct passage, pointed to it with his paw. The pastor and his wife were very impressed and purchased the dog.

That evening, a group of church members came to visit. The pastor and his wife began to show off the dog, having him locate several Bible verses. The visitors were very impressed. One man asked, “Can he do regular dog tricks, too?”

“I haven’t tried yet,” the pastor replied. He pointed his finger at the dog. “HEEL!,” the pastor commanded. The dog immediately jumped on a chair, placed one paw on the pastor’s forehead and began to howl. The pastor looked at his wife in shock and said, “Good Lord! He’s Pentecostal!”

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At 3 PM on July 27, 2008, Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life conducted a funeral for three aborted babies at Mother Angelicas Shrine in Hanceville, AL. These are excerpts of the ceremony.

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TEACHER: Maria, go to the map and find North America .

MARIA: Here it is.

TEACHER: Correct. Now class, who discovered America ?

CLASS: Maria.

***** ***** *****

TEACHER: John, why are you doing your math multiplication on the floor?

JOHN: You told me to do it without using tables.

***** ***** *****

TEACHER: Glenn, how do you spell ‘crocodile?’


TEACHER: No, that’s wrong

GLENN: Maybe it is wrong, but you asked me how I spell it.

***** ***** *****

TEACHER: Donald, what is the chemical formula for water?


TEACHER: What are you talking about?

DONALD: Yesterday you said it’s H to O.

***** ***** *****

TEACHER: Winnie, name one important thing we have today that we didn’t have ten years ago.


***** ***** *****

TEACHER: Glen, why do you always get so dirty?

GLEN: Well, I’m a lot closer to the ground than you are.

***** ***** *****

TEACHER: Millie, give me a sentence starting with ‘I.’


TEACHER: No, Millie… Always say, ‘I am.’

MILLIE: All right… ‘I am the ninth letter of the alphabet.’

***** ***** *****

TEACHER: George Washington not only chopped down his father’s cherry tree, but also admitted it. Now, Louie, do you know why his father didn’t punish him?

LOUIS: Because George still had the axe in his hand.

***** ***** *****

TEACHER: Now, Simon, tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating?

SIMON: No sir, I don’t have to, my Mom is a good cook.

***** ***** *****

TEACHER: Clyde , your composition on ‘My Dog’ is exactly the same as your brother’s. Did you copy his?

CLYDE: No, sir. It’s the same dog.

***** ***** *****

TEACHER: Harold, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested?

HAROLD: A teacher.

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