Friday, October 30, 2020


How do we keep great feasts of the year in the midst of a pandemic, which seems to be on the rise worldwide? The Church helps us by giving new regulations  to help us stay safe.

Plenary or full indulgences traditionally obtained during the first week of November for the souls of the faithful in purgatory can now be gained throughout the entire month of November, the Vatican said.

                                                       All Souls Day - Jakub Schikaneder- Czech (d. 1924)

Traditionally, the faithful could receive a full indulgence each day from Nov. 1 to Nov. 8 when they visited a cemetery to pray for the departed and fulfilled other conditions, and, in particular, when they went to a church or an oratory to pray Nov. 2, All Souls' Day.

Also, those who are ill or homebound and would not be able to physically visit a church or cemetery in the prescribed timeframe still will be able to receive a plenary indulgence when meeting certain conditions, the Apostolic Penitentiary, a Vatican tribunal that deals with matters of conscience, said in a notice recently released.

The new provisions were made after a number of bishops asked for guidance as to how the faithful could perform the works required for receiving a plenary indulgence given the ongoing pandemic and restrictions in many parts of the world limiting the number of people who can gather in one place.

Bishops' conferences in countries where large numbers of faithful traditionally go to confession, attend Mass and visit cemeteries during the week had asked how the faithful could be accommodated given COVID-19 restrictions or in the case that a member of the faithful was ill, in isolation or in quarantine, the cardinal said.

Those who cannot leave their homes or residence for "serious reasons," which includes government restrictions during a pandemic, he said, also can receive a plenary indulgence after reciting specific prayers for the deceased or reflecting on a Gospel reading designated for Masses of the dead before an image of Jesus or the Blessed Virgin Mary, or by performing a work of mercy.

In all cases, one also must fulfill the normal requirements set by the church for all plenary indulgences, which demonstrate a resolve to turn away from sin and convert to God. Those conditions include: having a spirit detached from sin; going to confession as soon as possible; receiving the Eucharist as soon as possible; praying for the pope's intentions; and being united spiritually with all the faithful.

“Have we any right to take it strange, if, in this English land, the spring-time of the Church should turn out to be an English spring, an uncertain, anxious time of hope and fear, of joy and suffering,—of bright promise and budding hopes, yet withal, of keen blasts, and cold showers, and sudden storms?”

                                             St. John Henry Newman, Second Spring Sermon, 1852


Tuesday, October 27, 2020



The last couple of years have seen a bit of a boom in American saint making. Before the beatification of Bl Stanley Rother in September 2017, no American-born man had yet risen to the distinction of Blessed in the Catholic Church. But with Father  McGivney's beatification, he will become the fourth American-born male Blessed (or fifth depending on when Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s beatification takes place!).

Our Mother Therese (past Prioress) was born and raised near Hartford, Connecticut, so has always had a devotion to FATHER MICHAEL McGIVNEY.

We relate to so many Knights of Columbas in our area, that we all feel we too  have a personal connection to this soon to become blessed priest.

A devoted parish priest of the Archdiocese of Hartford, Father McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus 138 years ago in order to serve the spiritual and material needs of Catholic men and their families.

“Father McGivney was ahead of his time in enhancing the laity's role in the Church and inspiring the laity to put their faith into action in countless ways,” Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson said. “Today, his spirit continues to shape the extraordinary charitable work of Knights as they continue to serve those on the margins of society as he served widows and orphans in the 1880s.”

“By permission of our Rt. Rev. Bishop, and in accordance with an Act of the Legislature of the State of Connecticut, we have formed an organization under the name of the Knights of Columbus,” he wrote in April 1882 to a long list of parish priests in Connecticut. He saw the fledgling Order as addressing a pressing need of the Catholic Church in America, and concluded with an earnest request: “that you will exert your influence in the formation of a Council in your parish.”

In May of 2020, following extensive investigations by Vatican medical experts and theologians, Pope Francis confirmed that Mikey Schachle, an unborn child with Down Syndrome, was miraculously cured of fetal hydrops, an uncommon and typically fatal condition, after the intercession of Father McGivney.

 The recognition of this miracle led the way to his beatification, which will occur on October 31.

Friday, October 23, 2020


We all know the plight of the great city of Detroit.  Friends told us that in the past few  years things have been looking up, more building, more repairs, more business moving in, more jobs, but the pandemic has changed this forward movement. At present the city needs all the help it can get  and a possible  intercessor is FATHER  GABRIEL RICHARD, a 19th century priest who wrote Detroit's official city motto: Speramus meliora; resurget cineribus ("We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes.")

The Basilica of Ste. Anne de Detroit has started the process toward sainthood for  him and a guild that will study the life and materials of Father Richard has started, which hopefully will find sufficient evidence for his cause to be opened.  

Archbishop Allen Vigneron has said: "Fr. Richard was a zealous pastor whose missionary heart guided all that he did. At a time when we in the Archdiocese are coming to a renewed awareness of our missionary vocation, I am grateful that we are able to raise up Fr. Richard as a model and inspiration for our mission today."

"It is particularly poignant now, amid the difficulties of the pandemic, to be starting on this journey studying the life of a beloved pastor who died while caring for the sick," said Monsignor Charles Kosanke, current rector of the Basilica of Ste. Anne. "Father Gabriel Richard left an indelible mark on all of Michigan, from the life-saving ministries of his parish to the immeasurable contributions of those who have attended and taught at the University of Michigan."

Gabriel Richard was born in La Ville de Saintes, France (1767)  and entered the seminary in Angers in 1784 and was ordained on 15 October 1790. In 1792, he emigrated to Baltimore, Maryland. He taught mathematics at St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore, until being assigned by Bishop John Carroll  (First Bishop of the US) to do missionary work to the Indians in the Northwest Territory. He was first stationed in what is now Kaskaskia, Illinois, and later in Detroit, Michigan. Fr. Richard was a priest of the Society of Saint-Sulpice.

Fr. Richard organized the shipment of food aid to the city from neighboring farms in order to alleviate a food crisis following the loss of the city's supply of livestock and grain.

 Together with Chief Justice Augustus B. Woodward, Father Richard was a co-founder of the Catholepistemiad of Michigania (which would later be renamed the University of Michigan), authorized by the legislature in 1817. He served as its Vice-President from 1817 to 1821. Following the reorganization of the University in 1821, he was appointed to its Board of Trustees and served until his death, while ministering to the sick during a cholera epidemic. Not only a good intercessor for Detroit, but for all of us in this pandemic mess!

(Bust- Tim Hinkle)   

Wednesday, October 21, 2020



CARLOS ACUTIS,  who was beatified in Assisi Oct. 10, is an example of a teen who used the internet to “influence” people to draw closer to God, his mother, Antonia Salzano, said.

“Carlo was able to use social media and especially the internet as an ‘influencer’ for God.”

 Carlo  (see Blog  De. 2013) was 15 when he died from leukemia in 2006. He was a computer whiz who taught himself how to program and created a website cataloging the world’s Eucharistic miracles.

Growing up in the center of Milan, Carlo had a deep love for the Eucharist. He never missed daily Mass and adoration. He also prayed the rosary frequently and went to confession every week.

From age 11, he started helping out teaching catechism to kids at his parish, and he was always helping the poor and homeless in his neighborhood.

His mother said Carlo lived ordinary things in an extraordinary way.

“Obviously, being a boy of our times, he experienced what all the young people of his generation have -- so, computers, video games, football, school, friends...” These things might feel common to us,  “he managed to transform it into the extraordinary.” 

Like many teens, Carlo liked to play video games. His mom said he could teach young people today about how to properly enjoy them and other technology, without falling prey to the pitfalls of internet and social media use.

“Because he understood that they were potentially very harmful, very dangerous, he wanted to be the master of these means, not a slave,” she said. Her son practiced the virtue of temperance, she explained, so he “imposed on himself a maximum of one hour per week to use these means of communication.”

“So for Carlo, for sure the first point is to teach young people to have temperance, that is, to understand the need to maintain the proper autonomy and the need to be always able to say ‘no, enough,’ to not become a slave.” 

“Carlo reminds us of what is most important. The most important thing is to put God in the first place in our life.”   May he be as big an influence on the youth of today as is Bl. Georgio Frassati.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020



The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life. The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward It. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ Himself, our Pasch.

 The Eucharist is the efficacious sign and sublime cause of that communion in the divine life and that unity of the People of God by which the Church is kept in being. It is the culmination both of God’s action sanctifying the world in Christ and of the worship men offer to Christ and through Him to the Father in the Holy Spirit.

Finally, by the Eucharistic celebration we already unite ourselves with the heavenly liturgy and anticipate eternal life, when God will be all in all. (CCC  1324-26)

 Svitozar Nenyuk- USA

Saturday, October 17, 2020



Bryan Bustard

According to the Vatican, the number of Catholics worldwide increased by almost 16 million in a year to 1.33 billion. 

The figures, shared by the Fides News Service Oct. 16, showed that there were 15,716,000 more Catholics at the end of 2018 -- the most recent year where numbers are available -- compared to 2017. 

The growth was spread across all inhabited continents, with an increase of 94,000 in Europe, 9.2 million in Africa, 4.5 million in the Americas, 1.8 million in Asia, and 177,000 in Oceania

Fides noted that this was the third successive year that the number of Catholics in Europe had risen.

Fides, the information service of the Pontifical Mission Societies since 1927, presents the statistics annually ahead of World Mission Sunday, which takes place this Sunday, Oct. 18.

The figures also indicated that the number of priests worldwide fell in 2018 to 414,065, with Europe registering the largest decrease, followed by the Americas. Africa, Asia, and Oceania all reported higher numbers of priests. 

Overall, there was a modest increase in the number of diocesan priests and a drop in the number of religious priests. The number of Catholics per priest increased slightly, with a global average of 3,210.

Permanent deacons continued to increase, reaching a total of 47,504, with the biggest rises recorded in America and Europe.

The number of young men attending a minor seminary decreased for the third consecutive year, to 100,164. But the number attending major seminaries rose to 115,880. 

Friday, October 16, 2020


In this year marked by the suffering and challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic, the missionary journey of the whole Church continues in light of the words found in the account of the calling of the prophet Isaiah: “Here am I, send me” (6:8). This is the ever new response to the Lord’s question: “Whom shall I send?” (ibid.). This invitation from God’s merciful heart challenges both the Church and humanity as a whole in the current world crisis. “Like the disciples in the Gospel we were caught off guard by an unexpected, turbulent storm. We have realized that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, each of us in need of comforting the other. On this boat… are all of us. Just like those disciples, who spoke anxiously with one voice, saying ‘We are perishing’ (v. 38), so we too have realized that we cannot go on thinking of ourselves, but only together can we do this” (Meditation in Saint Peter’s Square, 27 March 2020). 

We are indeed frightened, disoriented and afraid. Pain and death make us experience our human frailty, but at the same time remind us of our deep desire for life and liberation from evil. In this context, the call to mission, the invitation to step out of ourselves for love of God and neighbour presents itself as an opportunity for sharing, service and intercessory prayer. The mission that God entrusts to each one of us leads us from fear and introspection to a renewed realization that we find ourselves precisely when we give ourselves to others. The mission, the ‘Church on the move’, is not a program, an enterprise to be carried out by sheer force of will. It is Christ who makes the Church go out of herself. In the mission of evangelization, you move because the Holy Spirit pushes you, and carries you” (God always loves us first and with this love comes to us and calls us. Our personal vocation comes from the fact that we are sons and daughters of God in the Church, his family, brothers and sisters in that love that Jesus has shown us.

 All, however, have a human dignity founded on the divine invitation to be children of God and to become, in the sacrament of Baptism and in the freedom of faith, what they have always been in the heart of God. Mission is a free and conscious response to God’s call. Yet we discern this call only when we have a personal relationship of love with Jesus present in his Church. Let us ask ourselves: are we prepared to welcome the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, to listen to the call to mission, whether in our life as married couples or as consecrated persons or those called to the ordained ministry, and in all the everyday events of life? 

Are we willing to be sent forth at any time or place to witness to our faith in God the merciful Father, to proclaim the Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ, to share the divine life of the Holy Spirit by building up the Church? Are we, like Mary, the Mother of Jesus, ready to be completely at the service of God’s will (cf. Lk 1:38)? This interior openness is essential if we are to say to God: “Here am I, Lord, send me” (cf. Is 6:8). And this, not in the abstract, but in this chapter of the life of the Church and of history.
Understanding what God is saying to us at this time of pandemic also represents a challenge for the Church’s mission. Illness, suffering, fear and isolation challenge us. The poverty of those who die alone, the abandoned, those who have lost their jobs and income, the homeless and those who lack food challenge us. Being forced to observe social distancing and to stay at home invites us to rediscover that we need social relationships as well as our communal relationship with God.

 Far from increasing mistrust and indifference, this situation should make us even more attentive to our way of relating to others. And prayer, in which God touches and moves our hearts, should make us ever more open to the need of our brothers and sisters for dignity and freedom, as well as our responsibility to care for all creation. The impossibility of gathering as a Church to celebrate the Eucharist has led us to share the experience of the many Christian communities that cannot celebrate Mass every Sunday. In all of this, God’s question: “Whom shall I send?” is addressed once more to us and awaits a generous and convincing response: “Here am I, send me!” (Is 6:8). 

God continues to look for those whom he can send forth into the world and to the nations to bear witness to his love, his deliverance from sin and death, his liberation from evil (cf. Mt 9:35-38; Lk 10:1-12). The celebration of World Mission Day is also an occasion for reaffirming how prayer, reflection and the material help of your offerings are so many opportunities to participate actively in the mission of Jesus in his Church. 

The charity expressed in the collections that take place during the liturgical celebrations of the third Sunday of October is aimed at supporting the missionary work carried out in my name by the Pontifical Mission Societies, in order to meet the spiritual and material needs of peoples and Churches throughout the world, for the salvation of all. 

 May the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of Evangelization and Comforter of the Afflicted, missionary disciple of her Son Jesus, continue to intercede for us and sustain us. 

 Pope Francis

Thursday, October 15, 2020


The Archdiocese of Seattle and University of Washington have a great reading list for the Catholic History of the Northwest.  I am showing only the works of Father Wilfred Schoenberg, SJ as he was so prolific in his research and his book  Paths to the Northwest reads like an adventure novel in the first half.

Father Peter De Smet
     The purpose of this bibliography is to list several resources currently in print and        on  film regarding Catholic Northwest history. Included are publications, audiovisual      materials, and manuscripts. While some of the materials listed may only contain          limited references to a particular topic, these are often the only references available.     Additionally, books regarding national Catholic history that will assist a researcher in     placing local events into national context, are listed at the end of the Publications         section. 94


  AA = Archdiocese Archives (non-circulating)

  MC = Archdiocesan Library (circulating)

 UW = University of Washington- Seattle

Schoenberg, Wilfred P., S.J.. A Chronicle of Catholic History of the Pacific Northwest, 1743-1960. Gonzaga Preparatory School, 1962. Location: AA, LMC, UW A chronicle of Catholic missions in the Northwest during 1743 to 1960.

Schoenberg, Wilfred P., S.J.. A Pictorial History of the Catholic Church in the Pacific Northwest. Knights of Columbus, 1996. Location: AA, LMC

Schoenberg, Wilfred P., S.J.. Bishops of the Nesqually. St James Historical Society. [n.d.] Location: AA, LMC Brief histories of the first three bishops of the Archdiocese of Seattle.

Schoenberg, Wilfred P., S.J.. Gonzaga University: Seventy-Five Years, 1887-1962. Gonzaga University, 1963. Location: AA, UW

Schoenberg, Wilfred P., S.J.. A History of the Catholic Church in the Pacific Northwest, 1743- 1983. The Pastoral Press, 1987. Location: AA, LMC, UW A compiled history of the Catholic Church in the Pacific Northwest from 1743-1983.

Schoenberg, Wilfred P., S.J.. Jesuit Mission Presses in the Pacific Northwest: A History and Bibliography of Imprints, 1876-1899. Portland, Oregon, 1957. Location: UW

Schoenberg, Wilfred P., S.J.. Paths to the Northwest: A Jesuit History of the Oregon Province. Loyola University Press, 1982. Location: AA, UW A history of the Province history from its pioneer beginnings to the building of parishes, high schools and universities.

Monday, October 12, 2020


Years ago we read a wonderful book  (Paths to the Northwest,  Wilfred Schoenberg, SJ)  on the arrival of the Jesuits in the Pacific Northwest.  If other missionaries were mentioned, I don’t remember, but recently I came across one of the very first.  Catholic missionary EUGENE CASIMIR CHIROUSE, Oblates of Mary Immaculate (O.M.I.), traveled from his native France to Oregon Territory with four Missionary Oblates and, after an arduous trip, arrived at Fort Walla Walla on October 5, 1847 -- only a month before the Whitman Massacre.

 By the time the Oblates of Mary Immaculate arrived in the Oregon Territory, fur trappers, the military, Protestant missionaries, and Catholic bishops had preceded them. Traveling from Canada with parties of the Hudson’s Bay Company, Father Francois  Blanchet (1795-1883) and the Rev. Modeste Demers (1809-1871) arrived at Fort Vancouver in 1838, the first Catholic priests to establish themselves in what eventually became Washington.

 Much of the missionary passion to Christianize the West is attributed to one event. In 1831, four Indians (possibly Nez Perce) traveled from west of the Rocky Mountains to St. Louis to meet with explorer William Clark (1770-1838), Superintendent of Indian Affairs. They asked to learn more about the white man’s religion.

He was ordained with Charles M. Pandosy (1824-1891) at Fort Walla Walla on January 2, 1848, the first Catholic ordination in what would become the state of Washington. Father Chirouse lived and worked among the Yakamas from 1848-1856 and for a short time was missionary to the Cayuse tribe. The Oblates attempted peacemaking during the tensions that culminated in the Yakama Indian War, but in 1857 were transferred to Olympia for their safety. 

Father Chirouse was assigned to oversee Puget Sound tribes and lived on the Tulalip (very close to our island) reservation from 1857 to 1878. Here he established a school and church, the Mission of St. Anne, and helped to build missions on the Lummi (even closer and we have many friends from that tribe) and Port Madison reservations.

Father Chirouse was a master of Salish dialects, translating the scriptures, authoring a grammar and a catechism, and creating an English-Salish/Salish-English dictionary. In his advancing years, the well-loved priest was transferred to a post in British Columbia, despite protests from his Tulalip parishioners. He returned to Tulalip many times to visit friends and to perform weddings and baptisms. Father Chirouse died in British Columbia in 1892.

In a long letter addressed to Father Fabre, in 1892 (Missions OMI, 1893, pp. 129-161, Father Émile Bunoz gave an account of the funeral of Father Chirouse which took place on May 31, during a mission being preached to several hundred Amerindians in the mission of Sainte Marie.

 “A humble apostle of the poor and the unlettered, he well deserved to be accompanied to his last resting place by the disinherited ones of the earth. Our valiant missionary was one of our first pioneers in those early days on the Pacific coast. Having arrived in Oregon in1846 (1847) he carried his tent to all the native encampments of that vast province. In the end he settled for many long years in Tulalip. 

He endured all the privations of those early days. He suffered from hunger and thirst, lived for a long time without bread, and was content to eat the most vulgar food. More than once, to protect himself against the rigours of the cold, his priestly hands had to take up the axe to cut down the trees of the forest and build himself a hut. He could truly say with Saint Paul: these hands have been used to answer my needs and those of the people around me. Certainly his kind­heartedness was never at fault but his body must have suffered and he developed illnesses that accompanied him until his death, sad and glorious memories like those of a war veteran… He cooperated in the conversion of the Lamys and the Snohomish; he visited the Yougoultas, baptized a great number of pagans everywhere and, finally, he founded a school in Tulalip which today is under the direction of the United States government. Therefore he has passed through doing good; his work lives on and his name is blessed everywhere.”

The story of Father Chirouse and other early missionaries to the Northwest area reads like fiction. It is hard for us today to imagine their hardships, courage and faith to persevere for the sake of others.

Friday, October 9, 2020



On October 8 the Holy Father  in speaking to members of the Women’s Consultation Group of the Pontifical Council for Culture taking part in a webinar praised St. Hildegard of Bingen.

He compared the 12th-century visionary to St. Francis of Assisi, the inspiration for his new encyclical, “Fratelli tutti.”

Like St. Francis of Assisi, she composed a harmonious hymn in which she celebrated and praised the Lord of and in creation. Hildegard united scientific knowledge and spirituality. For a thousand years, she has masterfully taught men and women through her writings, her commentaries and her art.”


 “She broke with the customs of her time, which prevented women from study and access to libraries, and, as abbess, she also demanded this for her sisters. She learned to sing and compose music, which for her was a means of drawing nearer to God. For Hildegard, music was not only an art or science; it was also a liturgy.”

The pope highlighted the central role of women in Christianity. “In the history of salvation, it was a woman who welcomed God’s Word. Women too kept alive the flame of faith in the dark night, awaiting and then proclaiming the Resurrection. Women find deep and joyful fulfillment in precisely these two acts: welcoming and proclaiming.” 

“They are the protagonists of a Church that goes forth, listening and caring for the needs of others, capable of fostering true processes of justice and bringing the warmth of a home to the various social environments where they find themselves.” 

“Listening, reflection and loving activity: these are the elements of a joy ever renewed and shared with others through feminine insight, the care of creation, the gestation of a more just world, and the creation of a dialogue that respects and values differences.”

This certainly fits with the Holy Father’s intention for the month of October: The Laity’s Mission in the Church, especially  that women may participate more in areas of responsibility in the Church.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020



BLESSED OLINTO MARELLA was an Italian Roman Catholic priest who exercised his pastoral service in the Archdiocese of Bologna. The new blessed was a classmate of Pope St. John XXIII in Rome and the pope held him in high esteem and supporting his pastoral initiatives.

He was proclaimed to be Venerable on 27 March 2013 after Pope Francis recognized that he had lived a life of heroic virtue. Pope Francis confirmed a miracle attributed to him on 28 November 2019 and Padre Marella was beatified in Bologna on 4 October 2020.

Olinto Giuseppe Marella was born on 14 June 1882 in Pellestrina, one of three children to Luigi Marella and Carolina de' Bei. His father died when he was  ten in 1892 and his brother Ugo died in 1902. His other brother was Tullio. His uncle - Archbishop Giuseppe Marella - took care of his education.

 Olinto Marella studied in Rome and was a classmate of Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli - the future Pope John XXIII. Cardinal Aristide Cavallari ordained him to the priesthood in 1904 and he was assigned to teach in seminaries in Chioggia. He taught humanities as well as philosophy and theology.  

 In 1909 his pastoral assignments were suspended after he allowed the excommunicated Romolo Murri (Priest and politician, one of the founders of social Christianity in Italy, he was excommunicated in 1909, which was revoked in 1943.)  into his home. He did not protest the decision and accepted it with a humble heart. Cardinal Giovanni Nasalli Rocca di Corneliano later rehabilitated him in 1925.

 He worked with the poor and homeless in Bologna, collecting funds for shelters and chapels. Padre Marella would make it his business to sit on a stool on the side of the street and would preach to those who came to him to listen. 

Other priests objected to his work as being too evangelical but it did not matter for he had the support of Pope John XXIII who considered Marella to be a "dear friend".

   Padre Olinto Marella also  tried to stimulate the innovative principles of Pope Leo XIII and Rerum Novarum

He also knew (St.) Gianna Beretta Molla - (Catholic pediatrician who refused both an abortion and a hysterectomy while pregnant with her fourth child despite knowing that her refusal could result in her own death, which did later occur)  and (Bl) Maria Bolognesi (lay mystic and stigmatic who died in 1980).

Bl. Olinto Marella died on 6 September 1969 with hundreds attending his funeral.  His feast day will be September 6.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020


Pope Francis's new encyclical FRATELLI TUTTI (Brothers All) is very relevant for the crises in our own country today regarding racial tensions, which are overwhelming.  Archbishop Gomez of Los Angeles wrote:

“Pope Francis’ teaching here is profound and beautiful: God our Father has created every human being with equal sanctity and dignity, equal rights and duties, and our Creator calls us to form a single human family in which we live as brothers and sisters. 


God’s plan for humanity, the Pope reminds us, has implications for every aspect of our lives — from how we treat one another in our personal relationships, to how we organize and operate our societies and economies.


In analyzing conditions in the world today, the Holy Father provides us with a powerful and urgent vision for the moral renewal of politics and political and economic institutions from the local level to the global level, calling us to build a common future that truly serves the good of the human person.


For the Church, the Pope is challenging us to overcome the individualism in our culture and to serve our neighbors in love, seeing Jesus Christ in every person, and seeking a society of justice and mercy, compassion and mutual concern.


I pray that Catholics and all people of good will reflect on our Holy Father’s words here and enter into a new commitment to seek the unity of the human family.”

Monday, October 5, 2020



Some interesting statistics, and one wonders why these numbers don’t hold true in our public schools?


                                                         Children at Play- Rockville Md  Mural

“A Black or Latino child is 42% more likely to graduate from high school, and two-and-a-half times more likely to graduate from college if he or she attends a Catholic school,” wrote Bishops Michael Barber of Oakland, California, Joseph Perry of Chicago and Shelton Fabre of the Houma-Thibodaux Diocese in Louisiana.

 At the National Catholic Educational Association, there’s acute concern about the closures’ consequences.

“Catholic schools have a very profound impact on young people of low-income backgrounds, students of color, kids from single-parent homes,” said the NCEA’s chief innovation officer, Kevin Baxter “That makes it all the more tragic if we lose the Catholic schools that serve those populations.”

Other studies have repeatedly shown the benefits of attending Catholic schools for minority children. Minority children in Catholic schools often have better educational outcomes and fewer behavioral issues (Greeley, 1982). Black students are considered to benefit most from attending Catholic schools (Brinig & Garnett, 2014), as they have been shown to have higher grades than their White Catholic school counterparts and their Black public school counterparts (Aldana, 2014; Hoffer, 2000; Polite, 2000). Furthermore, the closing of Catholic schools has impacted the educational outcomes of minority students and the overall social quality of the neighborhoods in which these schools were located (Brinig & Garnett, 2014). 

When I was doing my PhD, I took a course on suicide in the young given by a brilliant  professor who happened to be Hispanic.  I will never forget his own story, in which he told of being thrown out of public school in the 7th grade. His mother was able to enroll him in a Catholic school nearby, and the nun who taught him made such an impression on him, that many years later he was able to choose the better path, which “saved his life”.

Like many youth in his neighborhood, and perhaps due to their influence, he veered towards the wrong road, doing drugs and generally getting into all kinds of trouble.  When he was 22 he had a major choice to make in how he would live the rest of his life.  The seed that 7th grade nun planted in him gave him the knowledge and courage to choose another path, leading to where he is today.

                                                       The Library- Jacob Lawrence  1960

Catholic schools are transforming the lives of thousands of poor black and Hispanic children, many of whom are not Catholic, while often public schools trivialize the curriculum, abandoning their standards in the name of multiculturalism. Catholic educators more often try to remain committed to the ideal that minority children have a real place in the heritage of our country and our Church.