Peruvians begin to put tragedy behind
Aug 24 2007
ICA, Peru – The evening before his 12th birthday, Denis Sulca stood near the end of a line of more than 100 children, hoping for a ration of milk. Eight days earlier, Aug. 15, a magnitude 8 earthquake destroyed the adobe house where his family lived in a shantytown in this city of about 300,000 people on Peru’s southern coast.
“We’re sleeping in a tent in the street,” said Denis, the oldest of six children. “My little brothers are sick.”
Maintenance supervisor cares for his parish like his home
Aug 23 2007
John E. Berg pointed into the distance ahead of him where the “old” cemetery could be seen on the slope of a hill on the 45-acres that encompass the parish of St. Joseph in Fullerton.
“My great-grandparents are buried there,” said St. Joseph’s maintenance supervisor who, together with three full-time staff members, cares for the buildings and grounds of one of the largest parishes in the archdiocese with a membership of some 4,500 households.
In the foreground lies the newer cemetery, and it is there that Mr. Berg’s grandparents and parents are buried.
“And I’ll be buried there too,” he said. “My wife, Lois and I have plots here.”
Trafficking victim reunited with son
Aug 22 2007
NEWARK, N.J. – Through the work of the Archdiocese of Newark’s Catholic Charities’ refugee resettlement and human trafficking programs, a former trafficking victim was reunited with her 9-year-old son July 26 at Newark Liberty International Airport after more than four years of forced separation.
Church helps Peruvian quake victims
Aug 21 2007
LIMA, Peru – When it comes to dealing with disasters like the powerful earthquake that struck Peru’s southern coast Aug. 15, the Catholic Church has an advantage – the pastors know the people.
In responding to an emergency, “you build on your strengths,” said Aaron Skrocki, South American emergency program manager for Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. bishops’ overseas humanitarian and development agency. “Having a local (parish) community in place that knows the people better than any local government official does makes it much easier to get a response effort up and running.”
Skrocki arrived in Peru the night after the earthquake and traveled Aug. 17 to Chincha, Pisco and Ica, the three cities nearest the epicenter.
Page by page, Guatemala’s past is uncovered
Aug 19 2007
GUATEMALA CITY – Church leaders say 80 million pages of secret police records being reviewed by the government promise Guatemalans a rare chance to rewrite the history of their violent land.
The moldy records were found by accident in 2005 in an abandoned section of a police compound in Guatemala City. Some of the records date back more than a century, their faded pages describing the daily bureaucracy of repression employed for decades by Guatemala’s government.
Of most interest to investigators are records from 1975 to 1985, the most violent period of Guatemala’s civil war, during which 160,000 people were killed and 40,000 disappeared.
Priest’s new project aims to unite families over food
Aug 17 2007
ARLINGTON, Va. – What began as a joke in the kitchen will become a published cookbook this fall and possibly a TV cooking series next fall, said Father Leo Patalinghug, the break-dancing, martial-arts guru who also happens to be a skilled cook.
The media project, “Grace Before Meals,” aims to bring families together around the table, said Father Patalinghug, a Baltimore priest who recently was appointed to serve as director of pastoral field education at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg.
Although there is an undeniable novelty about watching a priest host a cooking show, Father Patalinghug said what is most important is the effort to get families to come closer together.
The cookbook and the show are simply the vehicle to make that happen and to “strengthen families,” because families are the “domestic church,” he said.
The show, in which the priest will visit families and cook with them, will air on PBS next year if the production company is able to find enough sponsors, said Father Patalinghug, who said family meals are essential to the integrity of the family.
“It’s a movement before a TV show,” he said. “It’s God’s movement to bring God’s family to his table.”
The cookbook, subtitled “Recipes for Family Life,” will be published this fall. Each recipe is linked to a feast day in the liturgical year, a family milestone or even disappointments. Cooking gives families a reason to come together, said Father Patalinghug.
Bill to make motherhood easier for college students
Aug 16 2007
As the debate rages on about whether abortion should be restricted or made more available, Feminists for Life sees clearly that abortion is a choice that no woman wants to make.
Members of the organization were on Capitol Hill Aug. 14 to explain their support for the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pregnant and Parenting Student Services Act of 2007, which was reintroduced to both houses of Congress this year.
Father Wood faces joys and challenges in Iraq
Aug 16 2007
The first time Father Tyson Wood went on a ground convoy after arriving in Iraq earlier this summer, a roadside bomb exploded nearby. No one was hurt and no significant damage was sustained, but the incident was a sudden and sobering reminder that the 40-year-old military chaplain’s ministry would be one of his most challenging ever.
Father Peterson celebrates 60th anniversary
Aug 15 2007
In his 60 years as a priest, the ministry Father Casimir Peterson said he most enjoyed was his 12 years serving patients with mental illness at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, D.C.
Cristo Rey opens for business
Aug 14 2007
While many Baltimore-area students were enjoying swims in the pool or other summertime delights during a sweltering early August, the inaugural class at the new Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Fells Point was getting down to business.
Father Carrion celebrates 25 years of priesthood
Aug 13 2007
In Father Patrick Carrion’s family, the religious life was always viewed as a genuine vocation. Growing up, he saw examples of religious life from his uncle, a priest, and his great aunt, a sister. Later, his older brother, Michael, would also become a priest.
Struggle by indigenous to regain land in Brazil is deadly serious
Aug 11 2007
DOURADOS, Brazil – In Brazil, the struggle by indigenous people to regain their right to the land once inhabited by their ancestors is deadly serious.
Ortiz Lopes, a member of the Guarani Kaiowa indigenous group who was murdered by a gunman July 8, was the 20th Guarani leader killed so far this year in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, according to the Catholic Church’s Indigenous Missionary Council, known by its Portuguese acronym as CIMI.
Cardinal Bertone stresses role of laity in keynote speech to Knights
Aug 11 2007
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Catholic laypeople must put their faith into action by saying “yes” to Christ, said Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state, during an Aug. 8 keynote address to the Knights of Columbus.
“This ‘yes’ is quite simply the ‘yes’ of faith,” he said, stressing that it is a “full, unmitigated acceptance of Jesus as Lord and our commitment to follow him as master and teacher.”