Couples need help forming, following their consciences

By Cindy Wooden
VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Marriage and family life are blessings for individuals and for society, but both are filled with difficult choices that Catholic couples must be helped to face prayerfully and in the light of their consciences, Pope Francis said.
Unfortunately, too many people today confuse a rightly formed conscience with personal preferences dominated by selfishness, the pope said in a video message to an Italian meeting on “Amoris Laetitia,” his exhortation on the family.
“The contemporary world risks confusing the primacy of conscience, which is always to be respected, with the exclusive autonomy of the individual” even when the individual’s decisions impact his or her marriage and family life, the pope said.
Repeating a remark he had made to the Pontifical Academy for Life, Pope Francis said, “There are those who even speak of ‘egolatry,’ that is, the true worship of the ego on whose altar everything, including the dearest affections, are sacrificed.”
Confusing conscience with selfishness “is not harmless,” the pope said. “This is a ‘pollution’ that corrodes souls and confounds minds and hearts, producing false illusions.”
The conference sponsored by the Italian bishops’ conference was focused on “conscience and norm” in Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation.
Diagnosing problems in the church’s outreach to married couples and families, Pope Francis had written, “We have long thought that simply by stressing doctrinal, bioethical and moral issues, without encouraging openness to grace, we were providing sufficient support to families, strengthening the marriage bond and giving meaning to marital life.”
“We also find it hard to make room for the consciences of the faithful, who very often respond as best they can to the Gospel amid their limitations, and are capable of carrying out their own discernment in complex situations,” he wrote in “Amoris Laetitia.” “We have been called to form consciences, not to replace them.”
In his message to the meeting Nov. 11 in Rome, Pope Francis said the Catholic Church must strengthen its programs “to respond to the desire for family that emerges in the soul of the young generations” and to help couples once they are married.
“Love between a man and a woman is obviously among the most generative human experiences; it is the leaven of a culture of encounter, and introduces to the present world an injection of sociality,” he said.
Marriage and family life are “the most effective antidote against the individualism that currently runs rampant,” he said, but it does not do one any good to pretend that marriage and family life are free from situations requiring difficult choices.
“In the domestic reality, sometimes there are concrete knots to be addressed with prudent conscience on the part of each,” he said. “It is important that spouses, parents, not be left alone, but accompanied in their commitment to applying the Gospel to the concreteness of life.”
Conscience, he said, always has God’s desire for the human person as its ultimate reference point.
“In the very depths of each one of us, there is a place wherein the ‘Mystery’ reveals itself, and illuminates the person, making the person the protagonist of his story,” he said. “Conscience, as the Second Vatican Council recalls, is this ‘most secret core and sanctuary of a man. There he is alone with God, whose voice echoes in his depths.’”
Each Christian, the pope said, must be “vigilant so that in this kind of tabernacle there is no lack of divine grace, which illuminates and strengthens married love and the parental mission.”

U.S. bishops take on immigration, racism at fall assembly

By Carol Zimmermann (CNS)
BALTIMORE – At the start of their annual fall assembly in Baltimore Nov. 13, U.S. Catholic bishops faced some big issues – immigration and racism – straight on and zeroed in on how to raise the national level of discussion on these topics starting in the church pews. Bishop Joseph Kopacz attended the meeting and his reflection is on page 3.
They acknowledged the current polarization in the country and divides within the Catholic Church and stressed their responsibility as church leaders to promote immigration reform, educate parishioners on justice issues and listen to those affected by “sins of racism.”
On immigration, Bishop Joe S. Vasquez of Austin, Texas, who is chairman of the Committee on Migration of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said there needs to be a “path to legalization and citizenship for the millions of our unauthorized brothers and sisters who are law-abiding, tax-paying and contributing to our society.”
The bishops responded with applause and an agreement by voice vote to issue a statement calling for comprehensive immigration reform.
The bishops were keenly aware that their defense of immigrants was not necessarily the view of the U.S. church at large. For example, Chicago Bishop Blase J. Cupich spoke of dangers of Catholics falling prey to and believing “poisoning rhetoric” about immigrants that demonizes them.
“There’s something wrong in our churches, where the Gospel is proclaimed, and yet people leave our worship services, our Masses on weekends, with that rhetoric still echoing in their hearts,” he said.
Several bishops also brought up the notion of prudential judgment – referring to the view Catholics could take on immigration that differs from the bishops – since it is not a specific matter of church teaching.
The bishops who spoke on the floor didn’t buy that argument and said Catholics can’t use it to push aside the need to care for immigrants. Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco took this a step further saying prudential judgment can’t be “taken lightly” on a “justice issue like immigration.”
Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami said the bishops’ defense of immigrants, as brothers and sisters, not problems, is not only right for immigrants but “for our society as a whole.”
“We can make America great, but you don’t make America great by making America mean,” he added, referring to a slogan of President Donald Trump without naming him.
On racism, Bishop George V. Murry of Youngstown, Ohio, head of the bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, said the church must recognize “and frankly acknowledge” its failings. He said the issue has found a “troubling resurgence” in recent years, referring particularly to white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, this year where he said racial hatred was “on full display.”
“Racism isn’t going to be conquered by speech but by actions,” said Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Atlanta, adding that this was a watershed moment where the church could play a leadership role.
He spoke about discussions happening at diocesan and parish levels, and several bishops commented about them as well noting that these discussions are not easy, but so necessary to bring about healing.
Other key issues of the day where church leaders are responding include health care, taxes and abortion, mentioned by Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston in his first address as USCCB president. He took office at the close of last year’s fall assembly.
“We are facing a time that seems more divided than ever,” Cardinal DiNardo said. “Divisions over health care, conscience protections, immigration and refugees, abortion, physician-assisted suicide, gender ideologies, the meaning of marriage and all the other headlines continue to be hotly debated. But our role continues to be witnessing the Gospel.”
He explained that the National Catholic War Council, created by the U.S. bishops in 1917 in the response to the world refugee crisis that emerged from World War I and the forerunner to the USCCB, was formed to address great national and international needs at a time not unlike today.
The cardinal emphasized other modern challenges such as recent natural disasters and mass shootings.
But the problems of the day should not overwhelm church leaders who should recognize signs of new hope in the church, mentioned by the papal nuncio, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, who addressed the bishops at the start of the meeting and encouraged them to make time for prayer amid “burdens of the office.”
He told them to be adventurous in the “new frontier of faith” and to make a strong effort to accompany young people who often question their faith.
The bishops also heard from the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, at a Nov. 12 Mass where he was the main celebrant and the homilist, and at a dinner celebrating the USCCB’s 100th anniversary.
The cardinal told the U.S. bishops that the church needs them today to “bring not only material assistance but also the spiritual balm of healing, comfort and hope to new waves of migrants and refugees who come knocking on America’s door.”
He also urged them to follow the pope’s call to accompany the modern church.
Prior to the Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a few protesters held placards or placed them on the sidewalk, calling on the U.S. bishops to embrace pacifism.
Also in the lobby of the hotel where the bishops were meeting, a protester sought dialogue with church leaders to urge them to offer sanctuary to immigrants facing deportation, and another voiced displeasure with church leaders he said support war.
The second public day of meetings did not tackle major societal issues but examined ways the bishops can continue to uphold the Catholic faith from specific wording in the baptismal rite, a review of catechetical materials and a pastoral plan for marriage and family life that will give Catholic couples and families resources to enable them to live out their vocation.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, delivers the homily during Mass Nov. 12 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore on the eve of the fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

As part of the business side of the meeting the bishops elected Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit as the next secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He’ll take office next November. Votes also were cast for a new chairman of the bishops’ Committee for Religious Liberty and chairmen-elect for the committees on Communications, Cultural Diversity in the Church, Doctrine, National Collections and Pro-Life Activities.
They highlighted past events such as the Convocation of Catholic Leaders in Orlando, Florida, this summer and previewed upcoming events such as the U.S. Catholic Church’s Fifth National Encuentro, or “V Encuentro,” next September in Grapevine, Texas, and World Youth Day Jan. 22-27, 2019, in Panama City, Panama.
The bishops identified key issues they are addressing with Congress including health care, the federal budget and tax reform, and concluded their assembly by mentioning the impact of recent disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires.
Bishop Curtis J. Guillory of Beaumont, Texas, a region hard hit by Hurricane Harvey, said often when tragedies occur “you just feel very much alone and wonder how you are going to move forward.”
He thanked the bishops for their support, in prayers, phone calls and donations, which he described as a “wonderful sign of solidarity” and sign of unity of our faith. This will be a long and costly recovery, he noted, but added that “people have deep, deep faith.”
(Contributing to this story was Rhina Guidos, Dennis Sadowski, Mark Pattison and Julie Asher. Follow Zimmermann on Twitter: @carolmaczim.)

War brings only death, cruelty, pope says at U.S. military cemetery

By Carol Glatz
NETTUNO, Italy (CNS) – “No more, Lord, no more (war)” that shatters dreams and destroys lives, bringing a cold, cruel winter instead of some sought-after spring, Pope Francis said looking out at the people gathered for an outdoor Mass at a U.S. war memorial and cemetery.
“This is the fruit of war: death,” he said, as the bright Italian sun lowered in the sky on the feast of All Souls, Nov. 2.
On a day the church offers special prayers for the faithful departed with the hope of their meeting God in heaven, “here in this place, we pray in a special way for these young people,” he said, gesturing toward the rows of thousands of graves.
Christian hope can spring from great pain and suffering, he said, but it can also “make us look to heaven and say, ‘I believe in my Lord, the redeemer, but stop, Lord,” please, no more war, he said.
“With war, you lose everything,” he said.
Before the Mass, Pope Francis placed a white rose atop 10 white marble headstones; the majority of the stones were carved crosses, one was in the shape of the Jewish Star of David.
As he slowly walked alone over the green lawn and prayed among the thousands of simple grave markers, visitors recited the rosary at the World War II Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial site in Nettuno, a small coastal city south of Rome.
In previous years, the pope marked All Souls’ Day by visiting a Rome cemetery. This year, he chose to visit a U.S. military burial ground and, later in the day, the site of a Nazi massacre at the Ardeatine Caves in Rome to pray especially for all victims of war and violence.
“Wars produce nothing other than cemeteries and death,” he said after reciting the Angelus on All Saints’ Day, Nov. 1. He explained he would visit the two World War II sites the next day because humanity “seems to have not learned that lesson or doesn’t want to learn it.”
In his homily at the late afternoon Mass Nov. 2, Pope Francis spoke off-the-cuff and said people do everything to go to war, but they end up doing nothing but destroying themselves.
“This is war: the destruction of ourselves,” he said.
He spoke of the particular pain women experience in war: receiving that letter or news of the death of their husband, child or grandchild.
So often people who want to go to war “are convinced they will usher in a new world, a new springtime. But it ends up as winter – ugly, cruel, a reign of terror and death,” the pope said.
Today, the world continues to head off fiercely to war and fight battles every day, he said.
“Let us pray for the dead today, dead from war, including innocent children,” and pray to God “for the grace to weep,” he said.
Among the more than 7,800 graves at the Nettuno cemetery, there are the remains of 16 women who served in the Women’s Army Corps, Red Cross or as nurses, as well as the graves of 29 Tuskegee airmen. Those buried or missing in action had taken part in attacks by U.S. Allies along Italy’s coast during World War II.

Pope urges Christians to think about what they say in the Our Father

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – To pray the Lord’s Prayer and believe what one is reciting takes real courage, Pope Francis said.
One must be bold “to truly believe that God is the father who accompanies me, forgives me, gives me bread, is attentive to everything I ask,” Pope Francis said in a filmed conversation about the Our Father.
The Italian bishops’ television station, TV2000, was to begin airing a nine-part series Oct. 25 featuring Pope Francis’ conversation with Father Marco Pozza, an Italian prison chaplain and theologian. A long trailer for the program was released Oct. 18.
The original idea for the project was that Father Pozza would explain the Our Father phrase by phrase and discuss its meaning and implications with a handful of famous Italians from the world of culture and entertainment.
But, the priest told reporters at a news conference, when he told one of the prisoners in Padua about it, the man said, “If he knew about it, Pope Francis would participate, too.”
“At first, I didn’t take it that seriously,” Father Pozza said, “but then I wrote to the pope.” A few days later the pope phoned him and the project was transformed.
In the program’s trailer, Pope Francis ponders whether most people who recite the Our Father really believe any of it.
“We say that we are Christians, that we have a father, but we live – I won’t say like animals – but like people who don’t believe either in God or in humanity,” the pope says. Not only do people act as if they have no faith, but “we live not in love, but in hatred, competition and wars.”
Pope Francis asked if believers really could say that God’s name is “hallowed” in “Christians who battle each other for power” or who “don’t care for their own children?”
Christians pray the Lord’s Prayer and do so together – saying “our” even when they pray alone – because they know the effort required to truly believe and to try again each day to demonstrate their belief, the pope said. “That is why it is so beautiful to pray together, because we help each other to try.”
In addition to the television program, Pope Francis’ conversation with Father Pozza will be published as a book, which will be released in Italian in late November.
In the preface, the pope writes that Jesus gave his disciples the Lord’s Prayer not simply as a formula for addressing God, but also so they would learn how to live as God’s children and as brothers and sisters to one another.
“Jesus shows us what it means to be loved by the Father and reveals to us that the Father wants to pour out on us the same lo

Youth invited to pre-synod meeting

By Junno Arocho Esteves
VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Pope Francis has invited Christian and non-Christian young people from around the world to a meeting in preparation for the Synod of Bishops on youth in 2018.
Before concluding his weekly general audience, the pope said the March 19-24, 2018, pre-synod meeting will be an opportunity for the church to listen to the hopes and concerns of young men and women.
“Through this journey, the church wants to listen to the voices, the sensibilities, the faith as well as the doubts and criticisms of young people. We must listen to young people,” Pope Francis said Oct. 4.
The theme chosen by the pope for the Synod of Bishops, which will be held in October 2018, is: “Young people, faith and vocational discernment.”
The general secretariat of the synod said the initiative “will allow young people to express their expectations and desires as well as their uncertainties and concerns in the complex affairs of today’s world.”
Young people attending the meeting will represent bishops’ conferences, the Eastern Catholic churches, men and women in consecrated life and seminarians preparing for the priesthood, the general secretariat said.
The gathering also will include representatives from other Christian communities and other religions and experts in the fields of education, culture, sports and arts.
“The pre-synod meeting will enrich the consultation phase, which began with the publication of the preparatory document and its questionnaire, along with the launch of an online website containing a specific questionnaire for young people,” the synod office said in a statement.
Conclusions drawn from the meeting, the general secretariat added, will be given to members of the Synod of Bishops “to encourage their reflection and in-depth study.” Young people attending the meeting also will take part in the Palm Sunday Mass at the Vatican March 25, coinciding with local celebrations of World Youth Day.
(Editor’s note: Young people from the Diocese of Jackson are encouraged to take the synod survey: youth.synod2018.va/content/synod2018/it.html)

Silver Rose Pilgrimage

OXFORD – St. John the Evangelist Knights of Columbus Council 10901 participated in the international devotional to Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Patroness of North America, on September 7th at the Knights of Columbus meeting Room at St. John. At the conclusion of the Devotional, a Silver Rose was carefully packed in its travel box for it’s journey to the next Knights jurisdiction. This year, the Silver Rose was received from the Batesville Council and was carried to the Meridian Council by James Reid, the Coordinator for this year’s devotional.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Silver Rose Pilgrimage has been a tradition for 57 years and was started by a youth group associated with the Knights called the Columbian Squires in 1960. Six Silver Roses travel different corridors in the Western, Central and Eastern portions of North America, with Knights hand-carrying each in specially constructed boxes. Two of the six roses will end their journey at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Monterrey, Mexico, on December 12th, the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. (Photo by Gene Buglewicz)

Catholic Charities USA gives $2 million for hurricane relief

By Catholic News Service
SAN ANTONIO (CNS) — Catholic Charities USA presented a $2 million check Sept. 4 representing donations received to date for immediate emergency assistance for those impacted by Hurricane Harvey and its catastrophic flooding. Parishes in the Diocese of Jackson may take up a special collection for the effort the weekend of Sept. 16-17.
One hundred percent of the funds raised will go directly to immediate and long-term recovery efforts.

Evacuees who were rescued from the floodwaters of Tropical Storm Harvey wait to board school buses bound for Louisiana Aug. 31 in Vidor, Texas. (CNS photo/Jonathan Bachman, Reuters)

Making the presentation was Dominican Sister Donna Markham, president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, accompanied by Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of San Antonio, Bishop Brendan J. Cahill of the neighboring Diocese of Victoria, J. Antonio Fernandez, president and CEO of Catholic Charities for the Archdiocese of San Antonio, and Msgr. J. Brian Bransfield, general secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Catholic Charities USA’s Mobile Response Center vehicle, filled with emergency supplies, left Catholic Charities headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, for Texas and will remain there to assist Catholic Charities agencies with response efforts.
Diocesan Catholic Charities agencies have been hard at work in recovery efforts, trying to address difficulties as they arise.
In Houston, which has received the lion’s share of attention, there have been huge problems finding temporary housing. Apartments are flooded and hotels are not accepting payments from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. On top of that, the city is getting ready to shut down shelters.
In Victoria, relief efforts are just getting started, as Catholic Charities is trying to find a building to convert into a distribution center. Cleaning supplies are still needed to cope with the aftermath of flooding.
While most volunteers want to go to southeast Texas, which suffered significant damage, five counties in the Diocese of Austin were also hit by Harvey. Catholic Charities personnel have gone door-to-door to hotels in Bryan and College Station trying to find displaced people, then connecting them to United Way, as hotels in the area are full due to the college football season. Some businesses are offering paid time off for their employees to go to impacted areas and do volunteer work.
In Corpus Christi, Catholic Charities USA workers are on the ground with people and resources. The biggest challenges they face include trying to find places to store donated supplies and relocating residents with no affordable housing available.
Trucks are a big issue in Beaumont and San Antonio. In Beaumont, six 18-wheelers arrived fully loaded with donations, and up to 100 volunteers stayed until 2 a.m. on Sept. 5 to unload them.
Beaumont’s water supply has remained sketchy since the storm. Water service has not been restored to all areas and those who do have water must boil it first. With flooding still an issue, supply routes change daily and Catholic Charities faces the challenge of getting donations to the right places. They are also setting up food service for volunteers and survivors and looking for vehicles to deliver donations to outlying areas.
(Editor’s note: at press time, the path of Hurricane Irma was unclear. Look for relief efforts in the next edition.)

Pope defends traditional marriage in French book

By Carol Glatz
VATICAN CITY (CNS) – By virtue of its very definition, marriage can only be between a man and a woman, Pope Francis said in a new book-length interview.
“We cannot change it. This is the nature of things,” not just in the church, but in human history, he said in a series of interviews with Dominique Wolton, a 70-year-old French sociologist and expert in media and political communication.
Published in French, the 417-page book, “Politique et Societe” (“Politics and Society”) was to be released Sept. 6. Catholic News Service obtained an advance copy, and excerpts appeared online.
When it comes to the true nature of marriage as well as gender, there is “critical confusion at the moment,” the pope said.
When asked about marriage for same-sex couples, the pope said, “Let’s call this ‘civil unions.’ We do not joke around with truth.”
Teaching children that they can choose their gender, he said, also plays a part in fostering such mistakes about the truth or facts of nature.
The pope said he wondered whether these new ideas about gender and marriage were somehow based on a fear of differences, and he encouraged researchers to study the subject.
Pope Francis also said his decision to give all priests permanent permission to grant absolution to those who confess to having procured an abortion was not mean to trivialize this serious and grave sin.
Abortion continues to be “murder of an innocent person. But if there is sin, forgiveness must be facilitated,” he said. So often a woman who never forgets her aborted child “cries for years without having the courage to go see a priest.”
“Do you have any idea the number of people who can finally breathe?” he asked, adding how important it was these women can find the Lord’s forgiveness and never commit this sin again.
Pope Francis said the biggest threat in the world is money. In St. Matthew’s Gospel, when Jesus talked about people’s love and loyalty being torn between two things, he didn’t say it was between “your wife or God,” it was choosing between God or money.
“It’s clear. They are two things opposed to each other,” he said.
When asked why people do not listen to this message even though it has been clearly condemned by the church since the time of the Gospels, the pope said it is because some people prefer to speak only about morality.
“There is a great danger for preachers, lecturers, to fall into mediocrity,” which is condemning only those forms of immorality that fall “below the belt,” he said.
“But the other sins that are the most serious: hatred, envy, pride, vanity, killing another, taking away a life … these are really not talked about that much,” he said.
When asked about the church’s “just-war” theory, the pope said the issue should be looked into because “no war is just. The only just thing is peace.”

Eclipse a way to appreciate creation, Vatican astronomer tells audience

By Dennis Sadowski
HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (CNS) – A total solar eclipse is a rare event, something to appreciate and enjoy in the mind of Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno, director of the Vatican Observatory.

JACKSON – From left-to-right, Carolyn Callahan, Rebecca Harris, Charlene Bearden, Pam McFarland, Melisa Munoz, and Julia Williams, all members of the chancery staff, gathered on the roof of the chancery to watch the eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21, with the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle in the background. (Photo by Maureen Smith)

So as the first eclipse crossed the country from coast to coast in 99 years Aug. 21, Brother Consolmagno wasn’t going to do anything but take it in and think about the beauty and mystery of God’s creation.
The astronomer urged an audience in a packed Sts. Peter and Paul Church during a pre-eclipse program in this southwestern Kentucky town near the point of maximum eclipse to take the time to reflect on what the two minutes and 40 seconds of totality means to them.
“Pray for good weather,” he said to laughs. “But also pray for what God wants you to learn from the experience.”
Tens of thousands of people had descended on Hopkinsville, a city of 33,000 an hour northwest of Nashville, Tennessee, by late Aug. 20. Thousands more were expected the morning of the eclipse. Brother Consolmagno said he was as excited as anyone to view the blackening of the sun.
He also said that as a scientist and a person of faith, he is guided by inquisitiveness to explore the heavens and the desire to better understand how God put the universe together. There is no conflict between science the faith, he said.
“Being a scientist can be a way of worshipping God,” he said.
He repeated a similar message to reporters during a news conference before his presentation.
“We’re here not just to remind my fellow scientists who are used to me by now, but also to show religious people how important is it to be able to praise the Creator by studying creation, studying it honestly, finding out how God really created this place. There’s never going to be a shortage of marvels for us to discover or surprises for us to experience,” he said.
“We can come to know the Creator by seeing the things of his creation.”
He said the by understanding the cycle of solar eclipses – occurring about every 18 months and 11 days – people can see the rhythms of the universe and the continuing nature of creation and have an experience “that fills the soul with joy.”
Brother Consolmagno made the trip to Hopkinsville at the invitation of Father Richard Meredith, pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul Church. Father Meredith told Catholic News Service he contacted the Vatican Observatory soon after he learned a few years ago that the eclipse path would pass over the town.
Parishioners prepared for more than a year, having established a committee to welcome visitors and host Brother Consolmagno.
“Being a parish with a parochial school, we stress the unity of truth,” Father Meredith said. “This (eclipse) is a major opportunity to reflect that, as science and faith work together serving to manifest the Lord.
The eclipse is a wonder and these wonders praise the creator. This could very well be the only planet around the only star whose moon is at the right distance and size to give a total solar eclipse,” the priest said.
He introduced Brother Consolmagno with by reading from Psalm 19: “The heavens proclaim the glory of God; the sky proclaims its builder’s craft.”
“This isn’t only Catholic,” he told CNS. “This is a tradition inherited from God’s revelation in the Old Testament.”
(Editor’s note: Did you safely watch the eclipse? Send us your photos: editor@mississippicatholic.com.)

Expatriados salvadoreños marcan los 100 años del Beato Oscar Romero

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Berta Quintanilla, residente de Washington, dijo que su niño siempre había preguntado por el hombre mayor con gafas, cuya foto él veía en casa y a veces en eventos de la iglesia. “Quería saber de él, quién era”, dijo Quintanilla. Debido a la manera violenta en que murió en 1980 – muerto a tiros mientras celebraba misa – era difícil explicar toda la historia del beato Oscar Romero al joven Esaú Cruz, ahora 6, pero poco a poco, Quintanilla, comenzó a enseñarle: Él era un poco como Jesús. “Murió por nosotros”, y “no le gustó la injusticia”, le explicó.
Quintanilla, quien nació en El Salvador, llevó a Esaú el 15 de agosto a su parroquia de Washington, el Santuario del Sagrado Corazón, donde los feligreses compartieron pastel en honor del Beato Romero después de la fiesta de la Misa de la Asunción, que cayó sobre lo que habría sido el 100 aniversario del arzobispo salvadoreño. En todo el país, incluso en Dallas y Los Ángeles, las parroquias recordaban al amado arzobispo.
Cien años después de su nacimiento, el beato Óscar Romero sigue inspirándonos por su humildad y valor, por su amor de los pobres y su testimonio de solidaridad y servicio a los demás, hasta el punto de dar su vida”, dijo el arzobispo José H. Gómez de Los Ángeles, en una homilía del 13 de agosto durante una misa celebrando el nacimiento del arzobispo salvadoreño.
Pero la alabanza, e incluso el reconocimiento de la santidad de Romero por parte de los católicos, fue duramente combatida, dijo María de la Paz Amaya de Majano, de 51 años, que asistió a la reunión de Washington con su esposo, hija y nieto con la imagen del arzobispo. En su nativa El Salvador, una vez fue peligroso tener algo con su imagen, dijo, recordando los ataques de otros católicos. Es por eso que siempre ha sido importante decir la verdad sobre el arzobispo Romero, pero también para hablar de él como una familia, dijo.
Desde muy joven, enseñó a su hija Vilma Majano sobre el arzobispo, para contrarrestar lo que pudiera oír sobre él de otros.
Ahora como una familia que vive en los Estados Unidos, a menudo se encienden velas junto con un retrato del beato Romero colocado en su iglesia parroquial de Washington poco después de su beatificación 2015. Dijo que a menudo pide la intercesión del Beato Romero en asuntos relacionados con la juventud del mundo y para que su país natal pueda superar la violencia.
También está enseñando a sus nietos sobre su vida, cómo Romero siguió el ejemplo de Jesús.
“Fue una gran persona que dejó todo atrás, todo, incluso su sangre, para los pobres, para los que no tenían zapatos, para los que tenían hambre”, y para los pobres que eran atacados por las creencias religiosas, como su familia, dijo Amaya.
En familia, contaron historias sobre él después de la Misa mientras recordaban sus sacrificios. “La forma más importante de recordar al Beato Romero es continuar su trabajo por la justicia, pero a veces es el momento de celebrar lo que hicimos hoy en el contexto de María a la que Romero se refirió como el” ideal de la iglesia ” Cinnamon Sarver, uno de los organizadores del evento.
Para el parroquiano Quintanilla, fue otra oportunidad para ayudarla a enseñar a su hijo Esaú sobre otro “gran ejemplo” de humildad y santidad que la iglesia provee. Él era un buen ejemplo de paz, de fe, de amor a los demás, dijo. “Espero que le ayude a ser amable con los demás, ser humilde, ser bueno”, como el beato Romero, agregó.