No knocking at the cathedral door

The sanctuary of the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia is seen from the down its main aisle. (CNS/Nancy Wiechec)

The sanctuary of the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia is seen from down its main aisle. (CNS/Nancy Wiechec)

PHILADELPHIA — There will be no knocking on the door when Archbishop Charles J. Chaput arrives to the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia on the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The custom of knocking on the cathedral door, which has been done by some U.S. bishops when they were received at a new diocese, is not a practice that the church prescribes for such a ceremony.

What is called for in the church’s “Ceremonial of Bishops” is being followed closely for the reception of Archbishop Chaput, formerly of Denver, to Philadelphia.
According to Father Dennis Gill, director of worship for the archdiocese, here’s how the Sept. 8 service will go down.

Archbishop Chaput, accompanied by Cardinal Justin Rigali, will be received at the door of the cathedral by the rector, Msgr. Arthur E. Rogers, who will present a crucifix and holy water. The archbishop will kiss the crucifix and sprinkle himself and those present with holy water.

They process into the cathedral and after kissing the altar, Cardinal Rigali takes his place at the cathedra and Archbishop Chaput takes a seat across the sanctuary next to the ambo.

The apostolic letter announcing the appointment of Archbishop Chaput to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is presented and read.

Cardinal Rigali crosses the sanctuary and escorts Archbishop Chaput to the cathedra, the seat of the bishop.

The new archbishop is greeted by representatives of the local church; first by auxiliary bishops, then by clergy, women religious and lay people and lastly by civic officials and representatives of other faiths.

From this point, the Mass continues.

Archbishop Chaput has decided to give his first homily as archbishop of Philadelphia from the cathedra rather than from the ambo, according to Father Gill.

In giving media the rundown on the ceremony yesterday, the priest also mentioned that Archbishop Chaput had two special song requests for the installation service: “Gift of Finest Wheat” and “O God Beyond All Praising.” Both hymns are being included in the Mass.

After the Arab dictators fall, will democracy follow?

A big question on everyone’s mind since the Arab Spring began  and dictators from North Africa to the Arabian peninsula began falling like dominos is “what will take their place?” In some places — Egypt, Tunisia and Libya the most recent — the rebels prevailed. Yet the opposition is unorganized. Who will fill the power vacuums and what form of government will emerge are still largely guesswork. Western hopes always look to democracy, but there is no guarantee. None of these states has ever had anything remotely resembling a democracy. Can it work?

Another even more compelling debate is whether democracy can work in an Islamic culture. Can one of the oldest forms of government and one of the world’s largest religions exist in harmony? Recall that not so many years ago some wondered whether Christian principles and a secular democracy could go hand-in-hand.

In the July issue of One magazine, the official publication of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association, scholar John L. Esposito explores this issue in his article, “Is Islam Compatible with Democracy?” Esposito, a professor of international affairs and of Islamic studies, is the founding director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University in Washington. His conclusion: “The relationship of Islam and democracy remains central to the development of the Middle East and the Muslim world in the 21st century,” but it won’t be easy ironing it out. Moreover, the survival of ancient Christian communities in these lands may very well depend on a successful outcome.

Also check out the Alwaleed Center site for a video of Esposito discussing the future of Christian communities in the Middle East with pollster James Zogby.

What are your thoughts on the chances of democracy catching fire in these once oppressed nations?

Baltimore archbishop named to head Knights of Holy Sepulcher

By Nancy Frazier O’Brien
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI has named Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien of Baltimore as pro-grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem in Rome.

The appointment was announced in Washington Aug. 29 by Msgr. Jean-Francois Lantheaume, charge d’affairs of the Vatican Embassy to the United States.

Archbishop O’Brien, 72, succeeds Cardinal John P. Foley, 75, a former editor of The Catholic Standard & Times in Philadelphia and former director of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications at the Vatican, who retired in February after being diagnosed with leukemia and anemia.

Also known as the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, the order is a fraternal organization dedicated to supporting the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and responding to the needs of Catholics in the Holy Land.

The order is usually headed by a cardinal, and past Vatican protocol would call for Archbishop O’Brien’s title to become grand master once he is named to the College of Cardinals.

Born in New York, the archbishop has served as an auxiliary bishop of New York, 1996-97; coadjutor archbishop and then archbishop of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services, 1997-2007; and archbishop of Baltimore since 2007.

In Baltimore, Archbishop O’Brien has been outspoken against efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland and to place restrictions on crisis pregnancy centers. He recently sent a private letter to Maryland Gov. Martin J. O’Malley, urging the Catholic governor to refrain from promoting a redefinition of marriage in the state.

On the national level, he is chairman-elect of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace and would have become chairman in November.

A former seminary rector in Rome and New York, he also coordinated the Vatican-ordered visitation of U.S. seminaries, which concluded in a 2009 report that U.S. Catholic seminaries and houses of priestly formation were generally healthy, but recommended a stronger focus on moral theology, increased oversight of seminarians and greater involvement of diocesan bishops in the formation process.

Born April 8, 1939, in New York, Edwin Frederick O’Brien describes himself as a typical “Bronx Irish Catholic” whose schooling, sports and social activities centered on Our Lady of Solace Parish there. He attended St. Joseph’s Seminary outside New York, where he received a bachelor’s degree in 1961, a master’s of divinity in 1964 and a master’s of arts in 1965.

“There wasn’t a day in my life that I didn’t want to be a priest, and not a day in my life that I’ve regretted it,” he said at a news conference after his appointment in Baltimore. He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of New York on May 29, 1965.

For his first five years as a priest, he was a civilian chaplain at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., as associate pastor of the academy’s Catholic Chapel of the Most Holy Trinity. He became an Army chaplain in 1970 and over the next three years served in Fort Bragg, N.C.; Vietnam; and Fort Gordon, Ga.

From 1973 to 1976, he studied at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, earning a doctorate in theology. On his return to New York he was named archdiocesan vice chancellor and assistant pastor of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Appointed archdiocesan director of communications in 1981, he helped launch Catholic New York, the archdiocesan newspaper. Two years later, he was named secretary to New York Cardinal Terence Cooke, who was succeeded in 1984 by Archbishop John J. O’Connor, who was made a cardinal in 1985.

Then-Msgr. O’Brien was made rector of St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie, N.Y., in 1985 and rector of the Pontifical North American College in Rome in 1989. On his return to New York in 1994, he was again made rector of St. Joseph’s Seminary.

He was named an auxiliary bishop of New York on Feb. 6, 1996, and ordained a bishop March 25. He was named coadjutor archbishop of the military archdiocese in April 1997. He took up the post in May and became head of the archdiocese in August when Archbishop Joseph T. Dimino resigned for health reasons.

As head of the military archdiocese, he directed a worldwide archdiocese that includes 1.5 million Catholics serving in military installations around the world or at Veterans Affairs hospitals in the United States, as well as the approximately 300 Catholic military chaplains who minister to them.

He was named to the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education in 2007.

A member of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars and the Canon Law Society of America, Archbishop O’Brien also has chaired the board of trustees of the Pontifical North American College and served on the boards of St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington.

Healing and teaching go hand-in-hand for Sister Diana

Religious orders of women are known far and wide for two important apostolates, education and healing. Teaching and nursing sisters and brothers are legendary around the world. Take a moment to meet a Dominican sister who unexpectedly found herself the lone medical practitioner in a community of teachers.

Vanderbilt Medicine, the alumni publication of the Vanderbilt School of Medicine, this issue profiles an alumna, Dominican Sister Mary Diana Dreger, a Long Island, N.Y., native who entered Cornell University as a pre-med student. After taking a year off and falling in love with teaching, she became a high school math and science teacher. Then she had a serendipitous encounter in Virginia with some Dominican sisters from Nashville, Tenn. The next thing she knew she was in the novitiate in the motherhouse of the Dominicans’ St. Cecilia Congregation.

A few years later, after Sister Diana took her final vows and was still teaching, the prioress general said, “I’m thinking of sending you to medical school.”

“Teach. Pray. Heal.” by Kathy Whitney is a great story of faith, commitment, trust and a bit of the unexpected from the hand of God and Mother Superior.

Catholic colleges, universities among US schools with largest education endowments

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports in its annual Almanac Issue 2010-2011 that 16 Catholic colleges and universities hold some of the largest endowments in North America. The Chronicle ranked 217 schools who participated in the survey by the 2010 National Association of College and University Business Officers.

Fordham among schools with largest endowments. (Photo/Fordham University)

Endowments are important to both public and private schools. Endowments provide two ready sources of funding for schools: interest on the endowment’s investment or cash from the endowment itself. Admittedly, schools are reluctant to spend down endowments they have worked so hard to build. Funds from endowments are used for scholarships, teaching, research, faculty salaries and infrastructure, and a host of other uses. A healthy endowment does not always ensure a quality education — there are a host of other factors that measure quality — but it never hurts.

The 16 Catholic colleges and universities with their rankings, locations and endowments are:

14. University of Notre Dame, Indiana, $5,234,841,000

37. Boston College, Massachusetts, $1,479,700,000

61. Georgetown University, District of Columbia, $1,009,735,760

88. St. Louis University, Missouri, $708,345,000

104. Santa Clara University, California, $603,617,774

120. College of the Holy Cross, Massachusetts, $522,494,000

156. Fordham University, New York, $371,543,516

162. University of Dayton, Ohio, $346,581,897

168. Loyola Marymount University, California, $326,212,657

169. Marquette University, Wisconsin, $326,003,000

171. Creighton University, Nebraska, $317,824,000

180. St. John’s University, New York, $303,057,055

183. Villanova University, Pennsylvania, $297,684,473

187. University of St. Thomas, Minnesota, $294,007,718

196. DePaul University, Illinois, $284,017,288

215. University of San Diego, California, $259,994,000

Who hit the number one spot on the list? As always, Harvard University with over $27 billion in endowment, the largest by a magnitude. Yale, Princeton, the University of Texas system and Stanford round out the top five.

Souvenirs of WYD

By Sara Angle
One in a series

MADRID — While memories and new friends from across the world will remain as important reminders of pilgrims’ experiences in Madrid, tangible souvenirs were also flying off the shelves at the city’s retailers.

Official merchandise outposts were constantly crowded with pilgrims picking up things like T-Shirts, key chains, coffee mugs, hats, flags, bracelets, scarves, pins and books. Likewise, the souvenir shops were overflowing as WYD attendees rummaged through postcards, magnets, Spanish fans, Spanish flag paraphernalia, castanets and bullfight paraphernalia.

For myself, I bought an official “JMJ” (WYD) scarf and bracelet to add to my collection of bracelets from places I’ve travelled to. The scarf also doubled as a blanket on my chilly flight home from Madrid! I couldn’t resist getting a WYD coffee mug for my dad, (sorry to ruin the surprise, dad!) I also bought some traditional Spanish candies at the supermarket, to share with friends and family.

The tradition of trading things at WYD continued in Madrid, so many pilgrims are going home with an assortment of pins, bracelets, flags and other small trinkets from the week. The best souvenir, though, is the gift of faith that each pilgrim took home.

Sara Angle, 21, is a senior at Villanova University and has written for CNS from Rome and Washington. She enjoys traveling and soaking up the culture of her surroundings, be it through food, fashion or faith, and looks forward to covering WYD for CNS — from the big events to the off-beat adventures. Sara loves reading and writing (but not arithmetic) and dancing like no one is watching. You can also follow her on Twitter @CatholicNewsSvc. She’ll be using the hashtag #SaraInMadrid.

Pastor reports ‘everyone fine’ in Virginia community at epicenter of quake

Today’s magnitude 5.8 earthquake centered in Virginia rocked communities up and down the East Coast, but Father Michael Duffy,  pastor of St. Jude Church in Mineral, Va., told Catholic News Service a couple of hours later that “everyone is fine here. No one is  injured.”

Mineral is in Louisa County, Va., the quake’s epicenter.

Father Duffy said he felt the quake in the rectory, while he had been meeting with an insurance  adjuster about another matter. “The whole house shook,” he said.

He said there appeared to be no structural damage, but “a lot  of messy damage” at the church and rectory. He said that the area’s older  mission church, Immaculate Conception in Bumpass, Va., also appeared to be fine. It was built in 1876.

At St. Jude, holy pictures fell off the walls and smashed and holy oils fell out of the ambry, the priest  said. He said also said there were cracks in the plaster, a broken water pipe and some damaged light fixtures.

Father Duffy said he was surprised when  someone told him later that the town of Mineral was the epicenter of the quake.

“Why are we having earthquakes here,” he said he asked himself. “Nothing happens in Mineral, Virginia. No one even knows we exist here…. Now they’ll know.”

The pastor said some parishioners called  after the quake to find out if he was OK. He said no one called to report any  injuries. He did say that he was concerned about nearby nuclear power plant  especially after this year’s devastating earthquake in Japan.

“Both our churches are near a nuclear power  plant and many parishioners work there. This is a big concern.” He did say he found out that the reactors at the plant were taken offline.

There are two nuclear reactors at the North Anna Power Station, located near the
epicenter, and a press release from the office of Gov. Bob McDonnell confirmed that the reactors were “automatically taken offline by safety systems.” The governor’s office also said that in Louisa,”the middle school and high school suffered damage. Crews were checking bridges and government buildings statewide.”

Elsewhere in the region, safety inspections were taking place to evaluate any damage to buildings, roads and infrastructure. A major concern was potential damage to gas lines in homes and workplaces, with civil authorities urging people to check their status, and that if they had any doubt about their condition to evacuate immediately and call emergency responders.

As the region tried to get back to normal after the first major earthquake to hit Virginia in a hundred years, transportation around the District of Columbia and to most of the suburbs remained difficult for some time with highways clogged, subway trains slower than usual and some traffic lights on city streets out of commission.

Notes on papal meeting with special nun; behind the scenes at the vigil

MADRID — Pope Benedict XVI’s trip to Spain did focus on young people, including young religious women, but it wasn’t an exclusive focus.

Yesterday afternoon Pope Benedict met briefly with Cistercian Sister Teresita, who just turned 104. But what is even more interesting, she entered the Cistercian cloister on the very day Joseph Ratzinger, the pope, was born: April 16, 1927. With the exception of a few hours during Spain’s Civil War in the 1930s, Sister Teresita has spent the last 84 years inside the convent at Buenafuente del Sistal.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, told reporters that also present at the meeting was a younger consecrated woman, a sister of the Sacred Heart, who retired back to Spain after working with then-Cardinal Ratzinger at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He did not give her name.

On another note, Father Lombardi also spoke a bit about what happened last night, during the storm that hit Cuatro Vientos airfield just after the pope arrived.

Pope leading Eucharistic adoration. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

He said the pope “was very decisive” about remaining with the young people and leading them in Eucharistic adoration even when the sound system failed. Father Lombardi said Msgr. Guido Marini, papal master of ceremonies, went to the pope several times and suggested that the evening be cut short. The pope decided not to read the bulk of the speech he prepared, but he said, “No,” to the idea of leaving.

While the pope was waiting for the worst of the storm to pass and for the sound system to come back on, firefighters lowered a big screen on the altar platform because it was a danger in the wind, Father Lombardi said. But other than that, he said, the pope was safe the whole time.

Father Lombardi also asked people to read the full text of the speech the pope had prepared and “take it as if it were delivered,” especially because the vigil was the World Youth Day appointment where the pope planned to speak about the importance of the vocation of marriage.

Here is the Vatican translation of that section of the prepared text:

During this prayer vigil, I urge you to ask God to help you find your vocation in society and in the Church, and to persevere in that vocation with joy and fidelity. It is a good thing to open our hearts to Christ’s call and to follow with courage and generosity the path he maps out for us.

The Lord calls many people to marriage, in which a man and a woman, in becoming one flesh (cf. Gen 2:24), find fulfillment in a profound life of communion. It is a prospect that is both bright and demanding. It is a project for true love which is daily renewed and deepened by sharing joys and sorrows, one marked by complete self-giving. For this reason, to acknowledge the beauty and goodness of marriage is to realize that only a setting of fidelity and indissolubility, along with openness to God’s gift of life, is adequate to the grandeur and dignity of marital love.

Christ calls others to follow him more closely in the priesthood or in consecrated life. It is hard to put into words the happiness you feel when you know that Jesus seeks you, trusts in you, and with his unmistakable voice also says to you: “Follow me!” (cf. Mk 2:14).

Dear young people, if you wish to discover and to live faithfully the form of life to which the Lord is calling each of you, you must remain in his love as his friends. And how do we preserve friendship except through frequent contact, conversation, being together in good times and bad? Saint Teresa of Jesus used to say that prayer is just such “friendly contact, often spending time alone with the one who we know loves us” (cf. Autobiography, 8).

Madrid 11 comes to a close, but Rio 13 on the horizon

By Sara Angle
One in a series

MADRID — I left the vigil early last night and planned on going to a stadium in west Madrid this morning to watch the closing Mass on their giant screen with many other pilgrims that could not get to Cuatro Vientos, or had left the vigil. Unfortunately, they canceled it! I’ve been watching on TV from my hotel…a better view anyway! I’ve actually heard from some other pilgrims that they are doing the same thing…

Even though we are not at the airbase with the 1 million + people, there is still a sense of community and togetherness I feel by watching the Mass on TV, just as I expect Catholics all over the world who are following WYD from home to feel in communion with those of us here in Madrid.

Yesterday, I finally spotted the symbol of Madrid: The Bear and the Strawberry Tree!

After all, WYD is all about coming together, no matter where you are from or where you are going if your life. We are all one in Christ.

I’m hoping to get into Mass at Almudena Cathedral today…say a prayer for me that I can make it!

Next stop after Madrid? Maybe Rio ; )

Sara Angle, 21, is a senior at Villanova University and has written for CNS from Rome and Washington. She enjoys traveling and soaking up the culture of her surroundings, be it through food, fashion or faith, and looks forward to covering WYD for CNS — from the big events to the off-beat adventures. Sara loves reading and writing (but not arithmetic) and dancing like no one is watching. You can also follow her on Twitter @CatholicNewsSvc. She’ll be using the hashtag #SaraInMadrid.

At WYD vigil, pope encourages young people to use prayer to find their life’s vocation

By Gretchen R. Crowe
Catholic News Service

A pilgrim smiles even as rain falls during the World Youth Day prayer vigil with Pope Benedict XVI at Cuatro Vientos airfield in Madrid Aug. 20. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

MADRID (CNS) — Hours after firefighters doused overheated pilgrims with much-needed jets of water, the heavens added to their efforts by driving rain and wind onto the more than 1 million young Catholics camping at Cuatro Vientos airbase Saturday night for the World Youth Day vigil.

But the rain didn’t dampen the spirits of the pilgrims, who sang and chanted all the louder for Pope Benedict XVI, who entered the airbase to cheers and applause.

(full story)

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