IMAGE: CNS photo/Marie Mischel, Intermountain CatholicBy Marie MischelOGDEN,
Utah (CNS) -- Each year for the past decade, a group of Boy Scouts in Ogden have
spent a day walking from house of worship to house of worship, learning how the
Ten Commandments are put into practice in different faith traditions.
the very beginning, the idea was to build an awareness of an ecumenical
spirit," said Deacon Herschel Hester, one of the four original organizers of
the Ten Commandments Walk.
most of the Scouts have never been exposed to a faith outside their own, "the
whole idea is for these young men to be introduced to a larger (faith)
community than just theirs," he told the Intermountain Catholic, newspaper of
the statewide Diocese of Salt Lake City.
has nothing to do with a merit badge, but it all has to do with living out the
12th point of the Scout Law: A Scout is reverent," said Deacon Hester, who is a
member of the diocese's Committee on Scouting and a member of the executive
board of the Boy Scouts Trapper Trails Council.
who belong to the council's member troops take part in the event, which took
place this year May 12.
walk also helps emphasize the Scout oath, which promises duty to God, the deacon
Scouts participated in the inaugural walk. This year more than 300 boys walked
the 6.6-mile route that took them to Ogden's Second Baptist Church, Emmanuel
Church of God in Christ, the Salvation Army, the Episcopal Church of the Good
Shepherd, St. Joseph Catholic Church, Elim Lutheran Church, the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints' Fourth Ward, Hope Resurrected Church, First Church
of Christ, Scientist, First Presbyterian Church and Congregation Brith Sholem.
the final stop, Rabbi Ben Stern chanted the Ten Commandments in Hebrew from the
synagogue's Torah scroll.
someone reads Torah, the most important thing is to be accurate on their reading,"
he said, and explained that generally on the Jewish Sabbath the person reading
or chanting from the Torah uses a book rather than the handwritten scroll
because the book is easier to read.
book is held by a person other than the reader, and the person holding the book
will correct the reader if there is a mispronunciation, Rabbi Stern said. "If
you get something wrong, they have to stop you. It's required."
Stern also answered questions such as why yarmulkes are worn, how long the
Jewish worship services are, and the concept of kosher.
night before the hike, the Scouts camped out at Marshall White Center Park.
That evening, they heard from Charles W. Dahlquist II, the national
commissioner of Boy Scouts of America and past Young Men general president of the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
is a world organization of people who care about each other and who care about
duty to God and faith in God, and who not only believe what they have learned
but they practice what they preach and they practice what they believe," said
urged those present to learn about the different faith practices they would
hear about the next day "because understanding brings peace."
was invited to speak to the gathering by Jacques Behar, a member of the
National Jewish Committee on Scouting and president of the Ogden synagogue.
of Dahlquist's closest friends are people of faiths different from his own, he
said. "There is much more that joins us than separates us. We live in a time
when we need to be joined more than ever before."
who has been an adult Scout leader for 32 years, said in an interview that he
is pleased young men of many faiths participate in the hike because afterward
"it's interesting to have them walk away and say, 'Gee, I didn't realize how
close we all are.'"
I always tell them that if you would just concentrate on the 85 percent that
we're all alike, and not so much on the 15 percent that we're not, the world
would be a much better place," he said.
Crezee, an Eagle Scout from St. James the Just Parish's Troop 293 who served as the
master of ceremonies for the evening, said the opportunity the Ten Commandments
Walk gives for Scouts to learn about different people's faith is important,
"especially today where everything is just very polarized. ... I think that makes
us better people as a society."
is editor of the Intermountain Catholic, newspaper of the Diocese of Salt Lake
City. - - -Copyright © 2018 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMAGE: CNS photo/Tyler OrsburnBy Mark PattisonWASHINGTON (CNS) -- This year's
National Catholic Prayer breakfast took on a decidedly Kansas flavor, as
Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City and Sam Brownback, a former House and Senate
member and governor of Kansas, addressed nearly 1,000 gathered at a Washington
hotel May 24.
Also speaking was outgoing Speaker
of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, who was a staffer for Brownback in the
latter's early days in Congress.
"We support the right to
religious freedom," said Brownback, now the U.S. at-large ambassador for international
religious freedom. It is not because that right appears in the Constitution or the
U.N. Declaration on Human Rights, he said, but "because it's a God-given right.""No government
has the right to infringe upon a God-given right. No government has the right
to do that," he added to applause.
"It's important to us because it's
important to God," Brownback said. The right to religious freedom is "not in
our DNA, but it's in our souls," and all humans have that right "even if we
disagree with their path or destination."
Despite this, "more people are
being persecuted for their faith right now than at any other time in human
history," according to Brownback. "God knew before he made us that we would
mess it up -- and he created us anyway."
Brownback began his remarks by
congratulating those in the audience who "fought and fought and fought" for the
right to life. He said that during his six years as Kansas governor, which
ended with his February confirmation to the ambassadorial post, he had "signed
19 pro-life bills, and we had 17,000 fewer abortions in Kansas in those six years
than we had in the prior six years."
Ryan, who is not running for re-election,
thanked those in attendance "for what do you on this excellent journey."
He lamented the political
culture in Washington. "'Survival of the shrillest' is what some people call us
these days," he said. It seems, he added, as if everything is viewed "always in
survival mode" and people find intrigue in things "that frankly aren't all that
In Washington politics, Ryan
said, "optics" is what counts. "That is a word I will not be missing," he said
He recommended Catholic social
teaching, sometimes calling it "Catholic social doctrine," as "the perfect antidote
to what ails our society."
"As Catholics, there is nothing
more fulfilling than fulfilling our mission with passion, with prayer and with
joy," Ryan said.
He lauded the twin principles of
subsidiarity and solidarity as the best approach to dealing with issues, rather
than relying on government to solve every problem. With those principles in
hand, Ryan said, "people and problems are not treated as if they're distractions,"
In his remarks, Archbishop
Naumann, who begins a three-year term in November as chairman of the U.S.
bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, warned that the nation's most
serious crisis is "a God-crisis -- a crisis of faith."
looked askance at "the large number of millennials who profess atheism or, even
more commonly, identify themselves as spiritual, but not religious. This
nonreligious spiritualism is a new paganism, where God is not the God of
revelation who makes himself known to us, but a god or gods that are fashioned
in our own image to reinforce our own desires."
Naumann said, "It is this loss of a sense of God that also leaves us vulnerable
to losing sight of the innate value of each and every human being." It promotes
a culture in which "human life becomes just another thing in a world of things.
Materialism reigns and breeds utilitarianism; our value is determined by our
usefulness," he said.
"We are called to renew our
nation, not primarily by enacting laws, but by announcing the joy and hope of
the Gospel of Jesus to individuals in desperate need of its good news. It is
our task to reclaim our culture -- one mind, one heart, one soul at a time," Archbishop
To do so, he added, we need
Jesus. "Jesus defeats humanity's twin enemies, sin and death, by walking
through death to eternal life. We believe in a God who died but is far from
dead. The triumphant, risen Lord is still animating the lives of those who open
their hearts to encounter his love. Thus for the Christian, we are never
without hope," the archbishop said.- - -Follow Pattison on Twitter: @MeMarkPattison- - -Copyright © 2018 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at email@example.com.
IMAGE: CNS photo/Paul HaringBy Paul HaringBERGAMO, Italy (CNS) -- Accompanied by Bishop Francesco Beschi of Bergamo
and escorted by both Italian and Vatican police officers, the glass coffin
containing the body of St. John XXIII left the Vatican early May 24 for a 370-mile drive to Bergamo.
The route taken for the trip north was kept secret for
When the procession reached Bergamo's central Vittorio
Veneto Square, Bishop Beschi told thousands of people gathered there that it
was "with great joy and emotion that I accompanied to our diocese, our
city, the urn with the mortal remains -- now relics -- of John XXIII, which
return for a few days to the land of his birth."
St. John, who opened the Second Vatican Council, was born Nov. 25, 1881, in Sotto il Monte, a town near
Bergamo. After his ordination as a priest and years of service in the Vatican
diplomatic corps, he was appointed patriarch of Venice in 1953. He was elected pope Oct. 28, 1958, and died five years later.
The pilgrimage with his remains was meant to mark the 60th
anniversary of his election and the 55th anniversary of his death.
Maria Calagari was in the square with her sister and some
friends to welcome St. John's remains. "We are fortunate because we saw
him when he was pope, we saw him die and we just saw him now -- 55 years later
as a saint here in Bergamo," she said. "We are fortunate."
In connection with the pilgrimage of St. John's relics, Pope
Francis gave an interview to L'Eco
di Bergamo, the area's main daily newspaper, which is owned by the
Diocese of Bergamo.
In the interview, Pope Francis described St. John as "a
saint who did not know the word 'enemy,'" but "always sought what
would unite people."
For St. John, he said, "the church is called to serve
human beings, not just Catholics, and to defend always and everywhere the
rights of the human person and not just of the Catholic Church."
Pope Francis said the pilgrimage was meant to be "a
gift and an occasion" to renew one's faith and to remember the great pope.
It is a special opportunity for the elderly, the sick and the poor, who have
not been able to go to St. Peter's Basilica to pray at his tomb.
The visit to the Diocese of Bergamo included a stop at the
city's prison, where 180 prisoners -- including 35 Muslims -- asked permission
to enter the internal courtyard where a truck carrying the remains was to stop.
The prison yard was the first place in Bergamo where people
were allowed to touch the glass coffin. The prisoners were given a square of
either yellow or white fabric to touch to the glass; most of them touched the
glass with their hands, then used the fabric to wipe the glass clean.
Vincenza, one of the inmates, told the local television
station that it was amazing to have the saintly pope's remains stop in the
prison at the beginning of the pilgrimage "because usually, especially for
important events, prisoners are the last ones people think about."
From the prison, the relics were to be driven to the
diocesan seminary named after Pope John XXIII. The priests of the diocese were
to escort the remains to the cathedral later in the day.
Teens and young adults of the diocese planned a prayer vigil
in the cathedral May 25, and the remains were also to be present the next
morning as new priests were ordained for the diocese.
After a Mass with the poor May 27, the body was to be moved
to the hospital named after the late pope, then transferred to
the Shrine of St. John XXIII in Sotto il Monte.
Pilgrims can pray before the saint's remains at the shrine
until June 10, when Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, will
celebrate Mass and the body will be returned to the Vatican.
Cardinal Angelo Comastri, archpriest of St. Peter's
Basilica, told Vatican Media that "this is the first time -- it's never
happened before -- that the remains of a pope make a return visit to his home,
to his roots."- - -Contributing to this story was Cindy Wooden at the Vatican.- - -Copyright © 2018 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMAGE: CNS photo/Paul HaringBy Junno Arocho EstevesVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis will meet with five priests who suffered
abuse by Chilean Father Fernando Karadima or his followers, the Vatican said.
The pope will meet June 1-3 with "five priests who were
victims of abuses of power, of conscience and sexual abuse," the Vatican
said in a statement May 22.
priests who have accompanied the survivors "in their juridical and
spiritual journey" and "two laypeople involved in this
suffering" also were
invited by Pope Francis, the
statement said. They will all be guests at the Domus Sanctae Marthae,
the Vatican residence where Pope Francis lives.
The pope will celebrate a private Mass with the group June 2
and will meet with members of the group together
and individually, the statement said. In late April, Pope Francis had hosted three laymen who
were sexually abused by Father Karadima.
"With this new meeting, planned a month ago, Pope
Francis wants to show his closeness to abused priests, accompany them in their
pain and listen to their valuable opinion to improve the current preventative
measures and the fight against abuses in the church," the statement said. The
day after the Vatican's announcement, three Chilean priests who will take part
in the meeting read a statement on behalf of all nine, confirming their
participation in the meetings with Pope Francis.
a May 23 news conference in Santiago, Chilean Fathers Francisco Astaburuaga
Ossa, Alejandro Vial Amunategui and Eugenio de la Fuente Lora thanked the pope
for his invitation, which they said they hope would "re-establish justice
and communion, particularly within our Archdiocese of Santiago and its
statement was signed by the three priests, as well as Fathers Javier Barros Bascunan
and Sergio Cobo Montalva.
four other members of the group, the statement said, wished to remain
also expressed the "hope that our experience may give a voice to many
others who have suffered abuses or have accompanied abused persons."
Chilean priests also asked journalists to respect the "confidentiality and
the privacy" of the meetings and that there will be "no more public
statements until our return to Santiago."
The Vatican said the priests were abused by Father Karadima
and his followers in the parish of Sagrado Corazon de Providencia, also known
as the community of "El Bosque" ("The Forest").
Known as an influential and charismatic priest, Father
Karadima founded a Catholic Action group in the wealthy Santiago parish and
drew hundreds of young men to the priesthood. Four of Father Karadima's proteges went
on to become bishops, including Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno.
However, several former seminarians of "El Bosque"
revealed in 2010 that the Chilean priest sexually abused them and other members
of the parish community for years. One year later, Father Karadima was
sentenced by the Vatican to a life of prayer and penance after he was found
guilty of sexual abuse.
Chilean survivors have also alleged that Bishop Barros --
then a priest -- as well as other members of Father Karadima's inner circle had
witnessed their abuse by his mentor.
The pope, who initially defended his 2015 appointment of
Bishop Barros as head of the Diocese of Osorno, apologized after receiving a
2,300-page report from Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta.
In a letter released April 11, Pope Francis said he had been
mistaken in his assessment of the situation in Chile, and he begged the
forgiveness of the survivors and others he offended. He invited three survivors
-- Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton and Jose Andres Murillo -- to Rome in late April and called all
of the Chilean bishops to the Vatican for meetings May 15-17.
In a document leaked by Chilean news channel Tele 13 before the meeting with the
bishops, Pope Francis said he was concerned by reports regarding
"the attitude with which some of you bishops have reacted in the face of
present and past events."
The document's footnotes included several details from the
investigation made by Archbishop Scicluna, which confirmed that, in some
instances, the bishops deemed accusations of abuse as "implausible."
But Pope Francis said he was "perplexed and
ashamed" after he received confirmation that undue pressure by church
officials was placed on "those who carry out criminal proceedings"
and that church officials had destroyed compromising documents.
Those actions, he said, "give evidence to an absolute
lack of respect for the canonical procedure and, even more so, are
reprehensible practices that must be avoided in the future."
After the three-day meeting, most of the Chilean bishops
offered their resignations to the pope.
Back in Chile, bishops -- including Bishop Alejandro Goic of Rancagua, president of
the Chilean bishops' commission for abuse prevention -- continue to face
a backlash over
their handling of cases of abuse.
Goic suspended 14 of the diocese's 68 priests May 19 after an
investigative report by Tele 13 alleged there was a sex-abuse ring made up of clergy and known as "La
Cofradia" ("The Brotherhood").
According to the report, "La Cofradia" had its own
structure and carried out, as well as covered up, the sexual abuse of minors by
members of the
The report also alleged that although Bishop Goic was informed and presented
with evidence of the group's existence by Elsa Fernandez, a local youth
minister, he refused to act.
she contacted the Chilean bishops' conference in January to inform them of the abuses
committed by "La Cofradia." However, she said, she was informed in an email that the
conference "does not formally receive complaints."
interview published on the Tele 13 website May 22, Bishop Goic said he had thought
people talking about "La Cofradia" were speaking "in jest"
and said he "never received a formal complaint that seriously said this
After the report's broadcast, Bishop Goic acknowledged that
he had met with
Fernandez, and he apologized
for his failure to act "with the appropriate agility in the
investigation" of the
priests allegedly involved
in the sex abuse ring.
"I must admit that personally, as a Christian and a
pastor, I find myself very affected by this difficult situation that hurts and
embarrasses me," the bishop said. "I pray that the truth, the whole
truth, may come to light in these cases and in any other situations that threaten
the Gospel of Christ's love."
- - -Follow Arocho on
Twitter: @arochoju- - -Copyright © 2018 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at email@example.com.
IMAGE: CNS photo/courtesy Natalie BattagliaBy Dennis SadowskiWASHINGTON
(CNS) -- A year into his priesthood, Father Matt O'Donnell was named a pastor.
his 27th birthday in 2013, Father O'Donnell arrived at St. Columbanus Parish in Chicago's South Side Park Manor neighborhood and since then has embraced his ministry to the African-American community.
take long for the young priest who grew up at St. Fabian Parish in the Chicago suburb of Bridgeview
to become a leading figure in the neighborhood.
O'Donnell, now 31, went about getting to know residents and parishioners and learning
what they thought the community needed. From that, Father O'Donnell recruited volunteers
in spearheading the creation of a variety of services and ministries that has cemented
St. Columbanus as an anchor in Park Manor.
starters, there's the parish food pantry that serves more than 500 people 49
of 52 Wednesdays a year, the building of a new playground that gives kids a
safe space to be kids and an athletic center that gives older kids an
alternative to gang life. The parish also is the site of Augustus Tolton Catholic Academy,
an acclaimed elementary school focusing on science, technology,
religion, engineering, arts and math.
opens its doors to the wider community, hosting its popular "Pop Up
Clergy" program from time to time in front of the church, complete with a
grill for barbecuing. The event brings neighbors and police together to foster
friendship and understanding. The most recent in early May attracted 150
people (at the parish) are very grateful that I'm young and have inexhaustible
energy," he told Catholic News Service.
his efforts, Father O'Donnell was named the 2018 Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award by the
Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the U.S. bishops' domestic
anti-poverty and social justice program.
The award is to be presented June 13 at a reception
during the spring assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Fort
Chicago Cardinal Blase J. Cupich in a
statement called Father O'Donnell's work of building a parish "a living
example of Pope Francis's vision of a field hospital church that exists to
serve humankind and spread the Gospel of a loving God."
his caring presence, his limitless energy for good works and his compassionate
ministry, he has made St. Columbanus a beacon of hope in its community and an
example of faith in action far beyond its borders," he said.
nominating Father O'Donnell for the award, Olivia Silver said she wanted to call attention to
the "good things that were happening at the parish and the good things
that Father Matt was doing."
Silver, a member of Chicago's Holy Name Cathedral and a St.
Columbanus volunteer, called the priest an "innovative pastor who gives
his entire heart to his parish, his community and his loved ones."
"He is doing such great stuff
there," she said.
O'Donnell takes little credit for the parish's accomplishments, citing instead
parish staff for the success of the many ministries. He said he strives to
"empower the people in the parish to take the responsibility to run the
different aspects of the ministry that we have."
thanked parishioners for being "forgiving and patient with me."
O'Donnell also credited the "good priests around me to give me on-the-job
training" in the work of a pastor.
priest has long held an interested in serving in the African-American
community. His internships before ordination were in other South Side parishes
where he "fell in love with the liturgy, the music, the preaching"
and discovered that the hospitality of the neighborhoods was "very giving."
A period spent at
the Institute for Black
Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans
strengthened his desire for his chosen ministry.
interest convinced then-Cardinal
Francis E. George to appoint Father O'Donnell as pastor. "Cardinal
George said he would rather have me because I have the desire to serve the
black community than to have somebody who had more experience but didn't have
the desire," Father O'Donnell recalled.
As for the
future, Father O'Donnell has eyes on opening a community service center to help
residents prepare for the GED test and apply for work. He has even thought of
opening a coffee shop "to create some jobs in the area."
acknowledged Park Manor is going through changes, like many other Chicago
neighborhoods: longtime residents have either moved away or died; violence has
increased; locally owned businesses have closed; and poverty is growing.
factors motivate Father O'Donnell to do his best while partnering with others
interested in building an inclusive, welcoming community.
Columbanus has been here since 1909 and has been an anchor in in Park
Manor," he said. "We're trying to figure out what more we can be
doing to better the life of the neighborhood."
- - -
Follow Sadowski on Twitter: @DennisSadowski- - -Copyright © 2018 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at firstname.lastname@example.org.