Program #0320 for Thursday, June 14, 2012: Dallas Charter 10th anniversary; Stand Up for Religious Freedom; Pastoral Planning; Fathers for Good; Eucharistic Congress

June 14, 2012

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Dallas Charter 10th anniversary; Stand Up for Religious Freedom; Pastoral Planning; Fathers for Good; Eucharistic Congress

Dallas Charter 10th anniversary; Stand Up for Religious Freedom; Pastoral Planning; Fathers for Good; Eucharistic Congress

Summary of today’s show: On our Thursday show, Scot Landry, Susan Abbott, Fr. Roger Landry, and Antonio Enrique considered the news headlines of the week as they appear in The Pilot and The Anchor newspapers, including a Mass of Thanksgiving on the 10 anniversary of the Dallas Charter; Stand Up For Religious Freedom rally; National Review Board reports to US bishops; Priests meeting on pastoral planning; Fathers for Good; and International Eucharistic Congress

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Today’s host(s): Scot Landry and Susan Abbott

Today’s guest(s): Fr. Roger Landry, executive editor of The Anchor, the newspaper of the Fall River diocese; and Antonio Enrique, editor of The Pilot, the newspaper of the Boston archdiocese

Links from today’s show:

  • The Anchor
  • The Pilot
  • Some of the stories discussed on this show will be available on The Pilot’s and The Anchor’s websites on Friday morning. Please check those sites for the latest links.

Today’s topics:

1st segment: Scot and Susan talked about baseball to start the show and the perfect game pitched by San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain. Scot said some say it was the best 9-inning pitching performance of all time. A perfect game is where a batter never reaches base, whether through walk, hit, hit by pitch or any other means. Fr. Roger said the best pitching performance was Scot’s no-hitter that he caught for Scot in senior league. Scot said Kerry Woods’ 20-strickeout, 1-hit performance for the Chicago Cubs.

Antonio said he’d rather speak about the Euro 2012 Cup in soccer. He’s hoping that his native Spain will win the Euro Cup, especially since they won the last World Cup and Euro Cup. Scot said Germany is the most frequent pick among the pundits. Scot recommends the Euro Cup for those who aren’t soccer fans, but are sports fans.

2nd segment: Scot said Cardinal Sean celebrated Mass this past Sunday to mark the 10th anniversary of the charter for the protection of children. It was a Mass of Thanksgiving for all those who have worked in child protection. Susan said Cardinal Seán did a wonderful job of integrating this message with the Feast of Corpus Christi. She said the children’s choir at Our Lady Help of Christians in Newton was terrific. She said there was a sense that this was ongoing and the work would continue.

Scot said it’s an anniversary we wish we didn’t have to celebrate because it recalls a very dark period, but it’s important to mark such events and the progress we continue to make. Antonio said the purpose was mostly a recognition that the Church has listened and has acted in reaction to what happened. Also, to give thanks to all the volunteers who made the choice to get involved after learning of the scandal and who have implemented all these programs over the past 10 years.

Scot said on the agenda of the US Bishops meeting being held in Atlanta this week was a report from the National Review Board. Fr. Roger said the secular media is only covering the Church when there’s bad news to report. This report notes the real progress made in the Church in the past decade. He said the religious freedom angle has been getting a lot of attention, with people concerned over the impact this will have on the presidential election. But the bishops have said this is not a partisan effort or has an intention to affect the election. Fr. Roger thinks this focuses Catholics in the US on religious freedom and how that will affect how they vote.

Scot said the other big front-page story in the Pilot this week is the convocation of priests for pastoral planning. A lot of the article covers the experience of Bishop Richard Malone in the Diocese of Portland, Maine, where they implemented similar changes for the sake of shoring up evangelization efforts. Antonio said Bishop Malone said you cannot make changes in the structure of the diocese without having a focus on evangelization. Bishop Malone said this is an opportunity to evangelize both those in the Church and those who are far away from Christ. Whenever people come back to the Church, they land in the parishes, so it’s important to have a welcoming parish infrastructure.

Scot said Bishop Malone’s talk, which is available on Planning2012.com along with the other main talks, has two main points:

“It is so important to have the lamp of the New Evangelization shining brightly on all the aspects of this pastoral planning process.” he said. “May your work together going forward, guided by the Holy Spirit, be for you and all you serve even with the challenges and all of that what John Paul II, in ‘Novo Millennio lneunte: called an exciting work of pastoral revitalization. Think of that, pastoral revitalization, our work involving all of us.” the bishop said.

And

“I do want to affirm how crucial your role is. Nothing good will come of this project without the highest quality of
pastoral leadership offered by each one of you.” he told the priests.

Susan said his comments about the crucial role of pastoral leadership connect to the experience of parishes where there is already great collaboration among pastoral leaders.

Antonio said Bishop Malone said the unity of the presbyterate was vital got moving forward.

Fr. Roger said he wasn’t surprised that closing parishes was not very popular. A lot of hard work has gone into this. There’s no easy way to do this. You need to move slowly. He was thrilled to see how so many of the comments were incorporated into the process. He also liked to see how priests can see whether their own opinions were outliers or whether they were in the mainstream. He thinks the big picture gives hop not just to the Archdiocese of Boston, but also gives hope to other dioceses who will go through the similar effort in the future.

Antonio said at the most recent meeting showed how much the commission is listening. He also notes how the tone of immediacy has been dialed back. Now they are talking about phasing in by region and having pilot parishes to observe over a longer period of time. He said it’s impressive how the people have complained about proposal to remove every pastor and have all new pastors. Scot said the idea was that if one of the parishes in a cluster kept its own pastor, there would be favoritism. But in the consultations they learned that no one liked that idea. Now the mantra is that they will find the best priest, whether a current pastor or another priest from outside.

Susan said the nine key findings show that this process is not a rubber stamp and they are listening. She said she’s heard from several parishes who are willing to go forward in the pilot process.

A couple of official appointments this week: Fr. Paul Clifford has been named a new pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Braintree. It’s former pastor was named Secretary for Parish Life and Leadership. This is pending Fr. Hamilton’s successor being appointed at St. John the Evangelist in Hopkinton. In Lynnfield, Fr. John Farrell at Our Lady of the Assumption has been granted Senior Priest retirement status.

Also the Standup for Religious Freedom Rally took place in Boston, along with those in 160 other cities in the US, last Friday. Ray Flynn, Janet Benestad, and Don Feder were among the speakers. Fr. Roger said this is citizens taking back their country from the elites running it, like with the Tea Party and Occupy movements. It builds a certain dynamism. What has happened is that Catholics have been a sleeping giant and now recognizing that we are to be salt and light in the world. We are recovering that flavor of Catholicism that helped make our country great. Ordinary citizens are saying “this is what we stand for, this is what we believe.”

Antonio said he was impressed by Don Feder, who is Jewish, and it was very telling about his grandfather coming to the US where he found his human rights. He talked about the dangers of the overreach of government. Susan said Don has been a friend to the pro-life movement for many years. Susan said Janet Benestad’s background was in political science and she noted that June 8 was the anniversary of the introduction of the Bill of Rights in the constitutional congress.

Fr. Roger said these rallies encourage everyone to say that there’s strength in numbers. The biggest thing for the Fortnight for Freedom is for Catholics to get together and pray about this, educate ourselves within the context of history, embolden ourselves and get ready for a long-term cultural education effort. He said some Catholics on the Cape have been standing on the sides of some roads educating people about the issues.

Scot said the Knights of Columbus have a website called Fathers for Good. Fr. Roger said men and women need continual formation in the faith. Parishes can provide much, but not everything. One of the best organizations to form men to be real men of God is the Knights of Columbus. Fr. Roger has contributed some of this writings to Fathers for Good. He profiled it in the Anchor to educate men about this free resource and to lift up the work of the Knights to buttress them with a real fraternity that is very patriotic and helps many parishes. Fr. Roger said every man should consider becoming a Knight of Columbus.

Susan noted from the article about Brian Caulfield who runs the site who spoke about the difficult birth of his son:

“The first time I saw that beautiful little face lying in the incubator, I knew the great joy that God was sharing with me, and the great responsibility.” he said. “It struck me that this was for keeps – there would never be a moment for the rest of my life when I would not want to know how my son was doing, where he was going, and what I could do to help. I held him in my arms that day and walked around the neonatal unit praying softly in his ear. It was the start of a new life for me too, a life given for the good of another.”

In Dublin right now is the International Eucharistic Congress. Scot said Ireland is going through tough times and he hopes the Congress will begin to create a stronger Church in Ireland. Antonio noted that so many missionaries have gone out from Ireland in the past. It’s been a beacon of hope in Europe for being stalwart in faith, but sthe sex abuse crisis has injured that. He said hopes this Congress is an opportunity for renewal.

Antonio said we turn to the Lord who renews, heals, and strengthens his people. Scot said we pray that publicity for the congress will renew people in their appreciation for the gift of the Eucharist.

Fr. Roger said that during the Eucharistic Procession on Corpus Christi Thursday, Pope Benedict talked about the misconception that Eucharistic adoration was downplayed by Vatican II. Pope Benedict tells us we need to adore the Lord before, during, and after we receive Him. If we don’t adore the Lord, we aren’t really receiving him worthily. The connection between Communion and adoration was always meant to be there. He acknowledged that adoration is making a comeback in many places and he hopes it will continue.

Fr. Roger said the more we love the Lord in the Holy Eucharist, the more we will care for every single part of the mystical body, the children of the Lord.

Scot said the website Any Given Sunday is a great site with a fantastic video Why Go To Church.

3rd segment: This week’s benefactor card raffle winner is Mary Adams from Stoneham, MA

She wins Hiking the Camino: 500 Miles with Jesus by Fr. Dave Pivonka, TOR.

If you would like to be eligible to win in an upcoming week, please visit WQOM.org. For a one-time $30 donation, you’ll receive the Station of the Cross benefactor card and key tag, making you eligible for WQOM’s weekly raffle of books, DVDs, CDs and religious items. We’ll be announcing the winner each Wednesday during “The Good Catholic Life” program.

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