Drive to canonize Blessed Damien takes major step

A major step toward the canonization of Blessed Damien de Veuster of Molokai, the famed minister to Hawaiian leprosy patients, was taken last month, reports the Hawaii Catholic Herald. A medical commission of the Vatican’s Congregation for Saints’ Causes said the healing of a woman from cancer more than 10 years ago was “unexplainable according to available medical knowledge,” the Herald reported this week.

Oakland’s soaring new cathedral to be dedicated next year

Construction of the soaring new Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland, Calif., is 75 percent complete, and so diocesan officials have set the date for its solemn dedication for next September, reports The Catholic Voice, Oakland’s diocesan newspaper.  Among the links included in the story is one to a column by Bishop Allen H. Vigneron of Oakland, who calls the cathedral a great soaring vault designed to display natural light as a symbol for the light of Christ that fills our world. The new cathedral is a replacement for a previous structure that had to be torn down after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

This week in Origins

Another edition of Origins CNS Documentary Service is online and in the mail. Here’s what’s in the new edition dated Nov. 8:

  • The “new evangelization” demands that the church first cover the psychological and sociological distances that separate it from the pluralistic postmodern world to which it is sent. This will undoubtedly bring death to a certain way of being church, to a certain identity, but “a missionary church must not nourish nostalgia for the past,” says Bishop Claude Champagne, auxiliary of Halifax, Nova Scotia. (Subscribers: Click here)
  • Cardinal Avery Dulles traces the development of five catechetical models and contrasts their different emphases. (Subscribers: Click here)
  • Those who would reject the natural moral law and base civil law on majority rule alone ignore the lessons of history and put basic human rights at risk, says Pope Benedict XVI. Only natural law provides the foundation for a universal ethic and true guarantee that each person may live in freedom, have his dignity respected and be protected from manipulation and abuse by the stronger. (Subscribers: Click here)
  • Bishop Randolph Calvo of Reno, Nevada, discusses the role of mercy in the justice system. Mercy not only tempers justice, it expands our awareness of those in need and “widens the scope of our concern beyond our individual rights and special interests to seek the common good and to promote social justice,” he says. (Subscribers: Click here)

Bishop’s podcast explores prayer in daily life

Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City has a new podcast available, courtesy of our friends at the Intermountain Catholic, his diocesan newspaper. The subject this time: Prayer, and how to integrate daily prayer into our busy lives.

Have a happy ‘Día de los Muertos’

Today is “Día de los Muertos,” or Day of the Dead, and The Catholic Sun in Phoenix has an excellent explanation of what the day means for Latin American cultures. The lead paragraph of J.D. Long-García’s story sums it up: “Some cultures fear death. Others laugh at it.”