14-hour day a snapshot of an archbishop’s routine

Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory stands outside Sacred Heart Church in Atlanta, Sept. 25 as the 2008 Red Mass prepares to get underway. (CNS/Michael Alexander, The Georgia Bulletin)

Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory stands outside Sacred Heart Church in Atlanta Sept. 25 as the 2008 Red Mass prepares to get underway. (CNS/Michael Alexander, The Georgia Bulletin)

Ever wonder what makes up the day of a bishop or archbishop? Sure, we have our ideas, but do we really know all that goes into the typical day of a diocesan leader?

Wonder no more.

In its current issue, The Georgia Bulletin, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, offers a glimpse into a single day of the life of Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory. Writer Andrew Nelson followed the archbishop around for the day –14 hours at that — and offers wonderful insight into the man’s personality and warmth.

Coincidentally, Archbishop Gregory became a bishop 25 years ago in Chicago and he shared his reflections on a quarter century as a leader in the church with the newspaper. Writer Mary Anne Castranio had the chance to sit down with the archbishop on the occasion of the anniversary to learn more about one of the country’s most prominent and respected Catholic clerics.

The newspaper offers a package of stories and sidebars that portray a church leader who is widely respected and appreciated not only for his enormous in his clerical role but as a human being as well.

Story highlights bishop’s membership in Facebook

(From Arkansas Catholic)

(From Arkansas Catholic)

The Arkansas Catholic has a story in its current edition about Little Rock Bishop Anthony B. Taylor’s membership in Facebook, where he has more than 800 “friends” on the social networking site.

We’ve blogged here before about Facebook and how some members have set up “fan clubs” on Facebook for certain bishops, such as Cardinal Anthony N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston. And the Arkansas Catholic story reveals that it was a nephew of an Arkansas priest who, after attending Bishop Taylor’s ordination ceremony last June, got the ball rolling with the Bishop Taylor fan club that led to the bishop joining Facebook.

(And in the shameless plug department, don’t forget that Catholic News Service has a page on Facebook that you can visit even if you’re not a member.)

Jail sentences loom for four peace witnesses

Jesuit Father Steve Kelly and Franciscan Father Louis Vitale talk with soldiers at Vandenberg Air Force Base just prior to their May 19, 2007 arrest for trespassing. (CNS/Los Angeles Catholic Worker)

Jesuit Father Steve Kelly and Franciscan Father Louis Vitale talk with soldiers at Vandenberg Air Force Base just prior to their May 19, 2007, arrest for trespassing. (CNS/Los Angeles Catholic Worker)

Four peace witnesses were convicted of trespassing at Vandenberg Air Force Base in a Dec. 4 trial in U.S. District Court in Santa Barbara, Calif. Their crime: stepping two feet across a green line on a roadway limiting where protesters can gather.

Jesuit Father Steve Kelly, Franciscan Father Louis Vitale, Dennis Apel of the Guadalupe Catholic Worker in Guadalupe, Calif., and Jeff Dietrich of the Los Angeles Catholic Worker were found guilty in verdicts handed down by Magistrate Rita Coyne Federman.

The case against a fifth defendant, L.A. Catholic Worker Mike Wiskiewski, who was photographing the encounter, was dismissed. Coyne Federman ruled prosecutors failed to prove he was given a warning to move back across the line before his arrest. The others were given the warning, hence the guilty verdicts.

The arrests came during an Armed Forces Day vigil May 19, 2007, according to Dietrich. He said Apel originally wanted to talk with the base soldiers about their role in carrying out military orders that have led to the maiming and killing of innocent civilians, especially in Iraq. When he refused to step back across the line, the others joined him in support and also were arrested.

Father Kelly told Catholic News Service the defendants had built their defense around their religious convictions and on international law that prohibits the development of weapons of mass destruction. However, Coyne Federman prohibited such testimony after the federal prosecutor objected.

The group faces sentencing March 12. Because all are long-time protesters and have been tried and found guilty of similar charges in the past, they face up to six months in jail.

Vandenberg has been the site of monthly prayer vigils organized by Apel and others concerned about the development work being done at the base on a space-based missile defense system.

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