Category: Josephite News

The Sin of Racism

By Cardinal Blase J. Cupich Catholic News Service

8.28.2017 2:20 PM ET

Editor’s note: This guest commentary on the recent race-related violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, was written by Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago and provided to Catholic News Service.

Over the past few weeks at Mass, we have been reading from the prophet Isaiah. He reminds the people that while they are the chosen race, from the beginning, God desired the unity of all peoples. While humanity is divided by culture, heritage and language, God created us to be one human family, one race — the human race.

This reminder of our fundamental unity as a people could not come at a more necessary time as our nation continues to roil from the violence and hatred displayed by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, and beyond. Racism is our country’s original sin, a wound that forever requires tending. There can be no equivocating. Racism is a sin. White supremacy is a sin. Neo-Nazism is a sin. We know this.

Yet here we are in 2017 mourning the death of Heather Heyer, killed by a vehicle driven into a group of people in Charlottesville protesting hate. Here we are mourning the deaths of two Virginia state troopers, Berke Bates and Jay Cullen, whose helicopter went down while monitoring the chaos. How many of our young people went to war to fight the ideology of hate we know as Nazism? How many sacrificed and toiled to support the effort to resist that evil? We call them the Greatest Generation. What will this generation be called?

Of course, we find easy excuses to live in tribal ways. Focus on our differences and the aspects we find objectionable or even threatening to our way of life. We exclude the other, hold fast to the comfort of the familiar. As a result, tensions and divisions arise, hostilities erupt and hatred paralyzes society into hopelessness.

The Gospel texts that have accompanied the Hebrew Scriptures in our worship recently challenge us to search for what we share in common with others. Take, for example, the story of the Canaanite woman who begged Jesus to cure her possessed daughter. The followers of Jesus ask him to discard her, to separate her from them as an alien. She was pagan, after all, and belonged to a tribe known for being superstitious and for their historical hostility to the Jewish people. When Jesus dismisses her request by ignoring her, she persists, repeatedly insisting that Jesus heal her suffering child.

Yet Jesus saw something in her the disciples missed: her great faith and her great love for her daughter. This is clear from her willingness to humiliate herself by making repeated requests of Jesus. She also seems to have a good sense of humor to respond to Jesus’ remark about not giving the food of the children to dogs: “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” Jesus then stuns his disciples and the onlookers by calling her a woman of great faith. I wonder what Peter thought about that, especially after he was chastised for his little faith, failing to trust in Jesus who called him to walk toward him over the stormy waters.

In response to the terrible events in Charlottesville, Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent a letter to his employees in which he decried terrorism in all its forms, including both the white-supremacist march in Virginia and the attacks in Spain for which ISIS claimed responsibility. Terrorists mean to divide us, he wrote. “The challenge and best response is to speak out, to give hatred no place to fester and to unite around the values we share,” he continued. “It’s often hard for people to find common ground and to work out the best ways to counter the swelling tide of hatred and terrorism. But history has shown we must try.”

When we come across people who are different from ourselves, too often we are tempted to look for those things that validate our fears and our prejudices, convincing ourselves that we are justified in excluding them from our group, our tribe, our family. It has been observed that when mining for gold, tons of dirt and rock have to be cleared away to find an ounce of gold. Miners don’t go into the mine looking for dirt; they go in to find the gold. The Gospels in these summer weeks provide us with the timely message that instead of looking for the dirt, we should get about the task of looking for the gold in each person, thereby treasuring the differences among us as gifts that enrich us all.

God didn’t make us all the same. God made our differences. And it is in those enriching differences that we experience the abiding truth which we must proclaim in word and deed: We are all made in God’s image. Believing that has consequences. It means knowing that together we all form one human family. And that we owe each other what all members of the same family deserve: love. Because, as Heather Heyer’s mother put it so powerfully just hours after her daughter was killed, “Hate cannot fix the world. Hate only creates more hate.”

As bearers of God’s image, all of us share in the responsibility of breaking that cycle, and that work must begin now.

Quotes from 1979 Pastoral Letter ‘Brothers and Sisters to Us’

By Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Here are some quotes from the U.S. bishops’ pastoral letter “Brothers and Sisters to Us: U.S. Bishops’ Pastoral Letter on Racism in Our Day,” approved Nov. 14, 1979, by the bishops:

“Racism is an evil which endures in our society and in our church. Despite apparent advances and even significant changes in the last two decades, the reality of racism remains. In large part it is only external appearances which have changed.”

– – –

“We wish to call attention to the persistent presence of racism and in particular to the relationship between racial and economic justice. Racism and economic oppression are distinct but interrelated forces which dehumanize our society. Movement toward authentic justice demands a simultaneous attack on both evils.”

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“Mindful of its duty to be the advocate for those who hunger and thirst for justice’s sake, the church cannot remain silent about the racial injustices in society and its own structures.”

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“Racism is the sin that says some human beings are inherently superior and others essentially inferior because of race.”

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“Racism is apparent when we note that the population is our prisons consists disproportionately of minorities; that violent crime is the daily companion of a life of poverty and deprivation; and that the victims of such crimes are also disproportionately nonwhite and poor. Racism is also apparent in the attitudes and behavior of some law enforcement officials and in the unequal availability of legal assistance.

“Finally, racism is sometimes apparent in the growing sentiment that too much is being given to racial minorities by way of affirmative action programs or allocations to redress long-standing imbalances in minority representation and government-funded programs for the disadvantaged. At times, protestations claiming that all persons should be treated equally reflect the desire to maintain a status quo that favors one race and social group at the expense of the poor and the nonwhite.”

– – –

“Racism has been part of the social fabric of America since its European colonization. Whether it be the tragic past of the Native Americans, the Mexicans, the Puerto Ricans or the blacks, the story is one of slavery, peonage, economic exploration, brutal repression and cultural neglect.”

– – –

“Crude and blatant expression of racist sentiment, though they occasionally exist, are today considered bad form. Yet racism itself persists in convert ways. Under the guise of other motives, it is manifest in the tendency to stereotype and marginalize whole segments of the population whose presence perceived as a threat.”

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“Today’s racism flourishes in the triumph of private concern over public responsibility, individual success over social commitment, and personal fulfillment over authentic compassion.”

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“The new forms of racism must be brought face-to-face with the figure of Christ.”

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“How great, therefore, is that sin of racism which weakens the church’s witness as the universal sign of unity among all peoples! How great the scandal given by racist Catholics who make the body of Christ, the church, a sign of racial oppression! Yet all too often the church in our country has been for many a ‘white church,’ a racist institution.

“Each of us as Catholics must acknowledge a share in the mistakes and sins of the past. Many of us have been prisoners of fear and prejudice. We have preached the Gospel while closing our eyes to the racism it condemns. We have allowed conformity to social pressures to replace compliance with social justice.”

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“Let the church speak out, not only in the assemblies of the bishops, but in every diocese and parish in the land, in every chapel and religious house, in every school, in every social service agency and in every institution that bears the name Catholic.”

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“Let the church proclaim to all that the sin of racism defiles the image of God and degrades the sacred dignity of humankind which has been revealed by the mystery of the Incarnation. Let all know that it is a terrible sin that mocks the cross of Christ and ridicules the Incarnation. For the brother and sister of our brother Jesus Christ are brother and sister to us.”

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“Racism is not merely one sin among many; it is a radical evil that divides the human family and denies the new creation of a redeemed world. To struggle against it demands an equally radical transformation, in our own minds and hearts as well as in the structure of our society.”

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“We strongly urge that special attention be directed to the plight of undocumented workers and that every effort be made to remove the fear and prejudice of which they are victims.”

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“For a century and a half the church in the United States has been distinguished by its efforts to educate the poor and disadvantaged, many of whom are not of the Catholic faith. That tradition continues today in — among other places — Catholic schools, where so many blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Asians receive a form of education and formation which constitutes a key to greater freedom and dignity. … No sacrifice can be so great, no price can be so high, no short-range goals can be so important as to warrant the lessening of our commitment to Catholic education in minority neighborhoods. More affluent parishes should be made aware of this need and of their opportunity to share resources with the poor and needy in a way that recognizes the dignity of both giver and receiver.”

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“Domestically, justice demands that we strive for authentic full employment, recognizing the special need for employment of those who, whether men or women, carry the principal responsibility for support of a family. Justice also demands that we strive for decent working conditions, adequate income, housing, education, and health care for all. Government at the national and local levels must be held accountable by all citizens for the essential services which all are entitled to receive. The private sector should work with various racial communities to ensure that they receive a just share of the profits they have helped to create.”

Racism ‘Remains Pre-Eminent Sin of Nation, Church,’ Says Brooklyn Bishop

By Ed Wilkinson Catholic News Service

8.25.2017 3:32 PM ET

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (CNS) — Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn is forming a new commission to study the effects of racism in the Catholic Church and on the Brooklyn Diocese.

He made the announcement Aug. 24 at a specially called Mass for Solidarity and Peace to counter recent display of racism in demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia.

He said, “I am establishing a diocesan commission for social justice. … In the coming months, we will design our commission to deal with the social and religious problems that racism — in all of its forms — presents to us.”

He said that the commission would be named for Msgr. Bernard Quinn, a white Brooklyn pastor who established parishes and services for African-American Catholics in the first half of the 20th century. His cause for sainthood is currently before the Vatican Congregation for Saints’ Causes.

Bishop DiMarzio pointed out that only a day before, the U.S. bishops had set up an ad hoc committee that will “challenge the sin of racism,” listen to those “suffering under this sin,” and encourage coming together in the love of Christ.

He specifically mentioned the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, alt-right, white supremacists and anti-Semites, as groups that have their roots in racism and need to be rejected.

“Racism remains the pre-eminent sin of not only our nation, but also of our church,” said Bishop DiMarzio. “We should not tolerate monuments to people who were racists or tried to destroy our democracy. We in the United States have our own particular original sin. It is called racism.”

He explained that racism has its origin in a “sense of inferiority. This flies in the face of our God-given knowledge that we are all created as children of God, and, as we profess in our country, we are all created equal. We have yet to put into practice what God teaches us and what our nation professes.”

He invoked the intercession of St. Peter Claver, the 17th-century Jesuit priest who labored on the docks of Colombia baptizing literally thousands of slaves and ministering to their physical and spiritual needs.

“If he could have changed slavery, he would have done so. Instead, Peter Claver did whatever he could to alleviate the pain and suffering that came from the innate racism that allowed for slavery and changed the face of the United States,” he explained.

He also pointed out that Msgr. Quinn had been the target of KKK groups on Long Island. His life was threatened several times by the group that also twice burned down Little Flower Orphanage for black children that he founded before it was established as a presence in the then-Diocese of Brooklyn.

“Our real home is in heaven,” said Bishop DiMarzio. “And it is only there that we will be free from original sin, that of our first parents, and that of our nation. But in the meantime, while we live in exile, we can look to this evening’s Gospel, for an answer.”

That reading was about the beatitudes and the bishop said, “Jesus calls us to be people who are blessed, blessed as we put into practice the revolutionary teaching that he gave to us.”

Bishop DiMarzio was joined at the altar by five auxiliary bishops of Brooklyn, and 20 priests and deacons. A little more than 100 people attended the hastily called liturgy that was requested by Father Alonzo Cox, director for African-American ministry in Brooklyn and Queens.

During the liturgy, prayers also were offered for the victims of the recent terrorist attacks in Barcelona, Spain.

Angela Brandt of St. Therese of Lisieux Parish in East Flatbush, said she was pleased with the Bishop’s announcement about a commission to study racism.

“We need to acknowledge that there is a problem,” she told The Tablet, Brooklyn’s diocesan newspaper. “I had to explain to my son who is now the generation out there dealing with this that I have dealt with this my whole life. I am very proud of the younger generation and seeing so many young people responding to what is happening in America.

“The recent events are touching so many people’s lives,” she said, “so we need to come together tonight and pray. We are all here together on this one planet and we can’t destroy one another.”

Father Daniel Kinsley, a parochial vicar at St. Martin De Porres Parish in Bedford-Stuyvesant, expressed shock and horror at recent events in the country.

“The church has a prophetic voice to address the issues that our society faces and also being that witness in the world,” he said. “I believe the bishop’s commission is a step in the right direction and it is my hope to be the beginning of something great.”

Jeremy Lagverre a student at Long Island University Brooklyn, also felt that the diocesan commission was a step in the right direction.

“Father Alonso told me about this Mass and once I heard, I knew I wanted to be a part of it and help out any way I could,” he said.

“Seeing the events that have taken place over the last few weeks I have been waiting to see how the church would react because I knew the Catholic Church had to do something and make its stand,” Lagverre added.

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Wilkinson is editor of The Tablet, newspaper of the Diocese of Brooklyn. Matthew O’Connor of The Tablet staff contributed to this story.

San Diego Bishop Denounces Racist Beliefs, Actions As ‘Blasphemies’

By Denis Grasska Catholic News Service

8.24.2017 4:22 PM ET

SAN DIEGO (CNS) — Denouncing racist beliefs and actions as “blasphemies” against God, Bishop Robert W. McElroy of San Diego joined with several other faith leaders from the area to speak out against bigotry.

He joined dozens of religious leaders brought together by the San Diego Organizing Project for a news conference Aug. 18 in the courtyard of St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral.

The event was held in response to what took place Aug. 11-12 in Charlottesville, Virginia, where hundreds of white supremacists staged a rally against the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee; the rally ultimately turned violent, leaving one counterprotester dead and more than 30 other people injured. Two state troopers also were killed when the helicopter they were in to monitor the crowd crashed.

In opening remarks, Kathleen Owens of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego said the interfaith gathering was intended “to send a clear message that the faith community of San Diego will not be silent in the face of racism, bigotry and hatred.

Before delivering the opening prayer, the Rev. Penny Bridges, dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral, described the event as a “declaration of our united and unconditional condemnation of racism and white supremacy.”

Beginning with Auxiliary Bishop John P. Dolan of San Diego and concluding with Bishop McElroy, several speakers took to the stage outside the cathedral to reflect on the Charlottesville rally and its aftermath.

Speakers included Imam Taha Hassane, Islamic Center of San Diego; Bishop George McKinney, 2nd Jurisdiction Church of God in Christ; Pastor Tania Marquez, First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego; Rev. Mary Sue Brookshire, Pioneer Ocean View United Church of Christ; Rabbi Devorah Marcus, Temple Emanu-El of San Diego; and Bishop Cornelius Bowser, Charity Apostolic Church.

In his remarks, Bishop Dolan contrasted the assembled faith leaders, whose message is one of communion, with many in the world who seem to be “hell-bent on a mission toward division.”

“We cannot allow division to be a part of this nation that God has blessed,” Bishop Dolan said. “Let us remember that communion is the only reason for us being together today. … Our communion is the only reason for our desire to be one people under one God.”

In especially poignant remarks, Rabbi Marcus reflected on how it felt as a Jewish person “to see Nazi flags being waved proudly, without embarrassment or shame, on our American streets,” and Bishop McKinney, who is African-American, recalled having grown up in the South during “a dark period in the history of our nation” and stressed the important role of prayer in overcoming racism.

“While we fight for justice, and righteousness, and peace,” Bishop McKinney said, “we must also remember that this is our Father’s world, and we must remember to join together across denominational and faith lines in praying that God would direct our steps and that God would bless America.”

A recurring theme in the speeches was that religious leaders themselves have not done enough to address racism.

“For too long, too many of us, especially white people, especially white clergy … have done too little,” said Rev. Brookshire. “We have fallen asleep, dreaming that our world is better than it is. We must wake up, we must stand up, and we must speak up against hatred in all its forms. But we must do so in a spirit of love, lest we become like those we oppose.”

Imam Hassane and Pastor Marquez both challenged their fellow religious leaders to denounce bigotry from the pulpit, and Bishop Bowser called on local and county law enforcement to make advanced preparations and develop public safety plans in case a demonstration similar to that in Charlottesville were to take place in San Diego.

The leadership of the San Diego Organizing Project believes the chances of that are not unlikely, as a recent report identified 79 hate groups active in California, the highest number in any state.

As the event’s final speaker, Bishop McElroy said, “I am proud to stand here today in solidarity with the religious leadership of San Diego to state categorically that the actions, the words and the beliefs of neo-Nazis, the Klan, white militias and all hate groups are blasphemies against the God who is the Creator of the whole human family and looks upon every man, and woman, and child as equal in dignity and in worth.”

The bishop lamented that “one of the most troubling elements” about the incident in Charlottesville was that so many of the participants were young people. He noted that this “puts to the lie” the belief that younger generations will not inherit the racism of the past, and he encouraged his fellow religious leaders to ask parents to discuss this issue with their children.

Bishop McElroy said he had already requested that the diocesan Office for Schools and the diocesan Office for Evangelization and Catechetical Ministry work together on designing an educational module “specifically about the Charlottesville moment” for children through young adults.

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Grasska is assistant editor of The Southern Cross, newspaper of the Diocese of San Diego.

Priest Asks Forgiveness for Having Been KKK Member Years Ago as Young Man

By Catholic News Service

8.23.2017 12:03 PM ET

ARLINGTON, Va. (CNS) — Writing in the Arlington Catholic Herald, Father William Aitcheson, a priest of the Diocese of Arlington, asked forgiveness for having been a member of the Ku Klux Klan years ago as “an impressionable young man.”

“As a young adult I was Catholic, but in no way practicing my faith,” Father Aitcheson, 62, wrote in an Aug. 21 op-ed in the diocesan newspaper. “The irony that I left an anti-Catholic hate group to rejoin the Catholic Church is not lost on me. It is a reminder of the radical transformation possible through Jesus Christ in his mercy.

“While 40 years have passed, I must say this: I’m sorry. To anyone who has been subjected to racism or bigotry, I am sorry. I have no excuse, but I hope you will forgive me,” he said.

In response Arlington Bishop Michael F. Burbidge said in a statement: “While Father Aitcheson’s past with the Ku Klux Klan is sad and deeply troubling, I pray that in our current political and social climate his message will reach those who support hate and division, and inspire them to a conversion of heart.

“Our Lord is ready to help them begin a new journey, one where they will find peace, love, and mercy. The Catholic Church will walk with anyone to help bring them closer to God,” he said.

The diocese said “no accusations of racism or bigotry” have been directed against Father Aitcheson “throughout his time in the Diocese of Arlington.” His article “was written with the intention of telling his story of transformation,” it said. The diocese added that it had approved his request “to temporarily step away from public ministry, for the well-being of the church and parish community.”

Father Aitcheson’s article was published with the headline “Moving from hate to love with God’s grace” and also posted on the newspaper’s website, http://catholicherald.com/home.

Here is the full text:

In the course of one’s life, there are seminal moments that humble us and, in some cases, even bring shame. For the past several decades, I have been blessed with the opportunity to serve as a Catholic priest. Originally ordained for (what was then) the Diocese of Reno-Las Vegas, I transferred to my home area here in the Diocese of Arlington.

What most people do not know about me is that as an impressionable young man, I was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. It’s public information but it rarely comes up. My actions were despicable. When I think back on burning crosses, a threatening letter, and so on, I feel as though I am speaking of somebody else. It’s hard to believe that was me.

As a young adult I was Catholic, but in no way practicing my faith. The irony that I left an anti-Catholic hate group to rejoin the Catholic Church is not lost on me. It is a reminder of the radical transformation possible through Jesus Christ in his mercy.

While 40 years have passed, I must say this: I’m sorry. To anyone who has been subjected to racism or bigotry, I am sorry. I have no excuse, but I hope you will forgive me.

The images from Charlottesville brought back memories of a bleak period in my life that I would have preferred to forget. The reality is, we cannot forget, we should not forget. Our actions have consequences and while I firmly believe God forgave me — as he forgives anyone who repents and asks for forgiveness — forgetting what I did would be a mistake. Those mistakes have emboldened me in my journey to follow the God who yearns to give us his grace and redemption.

The images from Charlottesville are embarrassing. They embarrass us as a country, but for those who have repented from a damaging and destructive past, the images should bring us to our knees in prayer. Racists have polluted minds, twisted by an ideology that reinforces the false belief that they are superior to others.

Christ teaches something different. He teaches us that we are all his creations and wonderfully made — no matter our skin color or ethnicity. Realizing this truth is incredibly liberating. When I left my former life, I did a lot of soul-searching. God humbled me, because I needed to be humbled. But abandoning thoughts of racism and superiority gave me the liberation I needed.

We must condemn, at every opportunity, the hatred and vile beliefs of the KKK and other white supremacist organizations. What they believe directly contradicts what we believe as Americans and what we, as Catholics, hold dear.

If there are any white supremacists reading this, I have a message for you: you will find no fulfillment in this ideology. Your hate will never be satisfied and your anger will never subside. I encourage you to find peace and mercy in the only place where it is authentic and unending: Jesus Christ.

I ask that you pray for the victims of racism and bigotry. Pray that they would never feel like anything less than children of God, bestowed with dignity and love.

Pray also for those who perpetuate racist beliefs and wrongly believe they are superior to others. God forgives everyone who truly repents. Nobody is outside of his loving grasp. With conversion in Christ, they can find new life in the truth.

Book Collects John Paul II’s Notes from 41 Years of Spiritual Retreats

By Agostino Bono Catholic News Service

8.18.2017 11:15 AM ET

“In God’s Hands: The Spiritual Diaries of Pope St. John Paul II” by Pope St. John Paul II. HarperCollins (New York, 2017). 482 pp., $34.99.

St. John Paul II was a churchman known for his public activism and as a major world figure during the latter part of the last century.

As a priest, bishop and cardinal in communist-ruled Poland, he learned how to deal with an authoritarian atheist regime, helping to keep faith alive and flourishing in the historically Catholic country. As pope, he was instrumental in the fall of the Soviet empire and the end of the cold war, chipping away at the Iron Curtain with his constant calls for religious liberty and respect for human rights.

As head of the Catholic Church, St. John Paul updated Catholic social teachings, especially concerning such politically hot-button issues as protecting the environment, economic and political globalization and support for democracy as a form of government.

Yet underneath all of this was a very spiritual man, the spirituality driving his insertion of the Catholic Church into the post-Second Vatican Council modern world. Only nine years after his death, he was declared a saint. This book aims to explain the pope’s spirituality in his own words, but it falls short.

Although the subtitle describes the book as the pope’s “spiritual diaries,” it is not. The book is a collection of notes the pope jotted down during years of spiritual retreats (1962-2003) as a Polish clergymen and then as pope during the annual Lenten retreats he took at the Vatican.

Some of the notes are labeled meditations and are several paragraphs long. But much of the book is composed of isolated sentences and phrases, things people jot down to jog their memories later on; and it is unclear whether these notes reflect the pope’s thinking or are a quick recording of the retreat master’s thoughts. The pope, in his will, requested that these notes be burned but they were saved by his personal secretary, Msgr. Stanislaw Dziwisz — later the cardinal-archbishop of Krakow, Poland — who saw them as glimpses into the pope’s spirituality.

The most important glimpse, perhaps, was the pope’s ability to shut out his worldly concerns while on retreat to concentrate on his inner life. Except for a few simple references to the need for world peace and the threats posed by Marxism, communism, atheism and secularism to the church’s work in the modern world, the notes are devoted to spiritual issues.

Key among them is the pope’s devotion to Mary, the mother of God, exemplified in his motto “totus tuus,” Latin for “entirely yours,” taken from a Marian prayer. He shows interest in understanding her relationship to Jesus as her son and as God. During his life, he often referred to her as being responsible for saving his life during the assassination attempt in St. Peter’s Square May 13, 1981. However, he only alludes to this once by naming his would-be assassin, Mehmet Ali Agca, in a brief section on forgiveness. The pope did visit Agca in prison and forgave him.

Another interesting point is his conviction, from his early years as a bishop, that the primary role of the episcopate is pastoral. While the notes may help scholars understand some of the spiritual issues important to the pope, it does not provide an in-depth look. Such a book has yet to be written.

Father James Albert Hayes, Josephite priest, dies at age 92

REQUIESCAT IN PACE

FATHER JAMES ALBERT HAYES, SSJ

December 19, 1924 – July 13, 2017

In his 62nd year as a Josephite priest, Father James Albert Hayes passed to a new life at St. Joseph Manor, Baltimore, MD, on July 13, 2017. He had been retired for 15 years and in the past year experienced a serious illness. He recently celebrated his 92nd birthday.

Father Hayes was born December 19, 1924, in Presque Isle, Maine, one of three sons and one daughter of Albert and Verna (O’Brien) Hayes. He served with the Army Air Corps in World War II and graduated from Holy Cross College, Worcester, MA, in 1950. Motivated by the mission of the Josephites, he then entered their formation program and was ordained in his home parish church in Presque Isle on June 4, 1955.

His parochial assignments as a priest were limited to two St. Joseph churches, one in Jackson, TN, for the month of July, 1955, and the other in Wilmington, DE, in August of the same year. For the rest of his priesthood, he was associated with the Josephite seminaries in Newburgh, NY, and Washington, DC.

From September of 1955 to September of 1984, he was on the staff of Epiphany Apostolic College in Newburgh, NY. He served as as faculty member teaching Religion, English and the Humanities. In addition, he had been Prefect of Discipline, Director of Athletics, Principal of the High School and Rector of the College and overseer of the building until its final sale in the mid-’80s. During this time, Father obtained a Master’s Degree in the Humanities from St. Bonaventure University in Olean, NY.

During his time at Newburgh, Father Hayes became interested in and studied painting and sculpture and held several exhibits of his work of over 100 pieces of art, some of which adorn several Josephite houses.

In 1985, he was assigned to St. Joseph’s Seminary as assistant director and supervisor of its custodial care as well as assistant to the Pastoral Center. He also had five more exhibits of his art work. In 2001, he retired to Maine on sick leave and ten years later entered St. Joseph Manor.

Father Hayes is predeceased by his parents; sister, Mary and brothers, Jack and Father Pat of the Portland, Maine, Diocese. He is survived by several nieces and nephews including Father William Shaughnessey, an Opus Dei priest.

His funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Joseph Manor, Baltimore on Thursday, July 20, 2017. Burial will be at the Josephite plot in New Cathedral Cemetery, Baltimore. May he find the peace and joy of the Lord which he sought to express in his art.

Celebrate the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus on June 23!

Do you know why the Josephites are called Saint Joseph’s Society of the Sacred Heart?

It’s because, inspired by Saint Joseph, the Josephites have a very special devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

This year the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart is June 23, which is 19 days after Pentecost. The Josephites lead an annual “Sacred Heart of Jesus Novena of Reparation for the Offenses Against Life.” You are invited to join us in this special novena. The Novena begins on June 23, the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The Josephites lead this novena with special confidence because a devotion to the Sacred Heart is part of our name: The Society of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart has been ministering in the United States for more than 140 years. Please join us in this unique mission of evangelization.

The Josephites are Pro-Life and Pro-Family. Saint Joseph protected his family when they fled to Egypt as the Holy Innocents were being slaughtered in Nazareth. Today more than ever, we need this protection against the attacks against family life. And you can help!

As you know, there are many attacks against life – abortion, euthanasia, immoral stem cell research – that take place every day. During the month of June, you are invited to join the Josephites in prayer to make reparation for these sins against life. Every life is sacred. Every human life is made in the image and likeness of God. Every human life deserves our respect and protection. With your help, we can build a culture of life.

In June, the Josephites will pray in Reparation for Offenses Against Life. We will pray that the unjust acts against life – “God’s most precious gift” – will stop. You can add your prayer intentions to ours as we make reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by visiting www.josephite.org/prayer-requests.

May good Saint Joseph intercede for you and all your special intentions. You can be assured that we Josephites will be praying through the intercession of the Sacred Heart of Jesus for all your special needs and intentions.

A life of service

St. Luke parish in Washington honors long-serving staff for commitment

By Ariana Cassard

Successful parishes need a dedicated staff. At St. Luke Church in Washington, D.C., two men were recently honored for more than four decades of service to the parish community.

John Quarles joined the staff at St. Luke Church over 40 years ago. As director of St. Luke’s Community Center, Mr. Quarles showed up every day to care for the center and the programs that take place there.

St. Luke’s Community Center is the social arm of the parish. It is home to a number of community programs, such as youth basketball, social activities, Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous programs, and CSOSA, a program run by the U.S. Justice Department to re-integrate those returning home from incarceration. Mr. Quarles cared for each of these activities.

“He lifts up his Catholic faith and understands the meaning of service,” said Josephite Father Cornelius Ejiogu, pastor of St. Luke Church and personal friend to Mr. Quarles.

When Father Cornelius began his pastorate at St. Luke, Mr. Quarles was one of the first men he met. The other was Eugene Russell.

Mr. Russell is described as a quiet, dedicated man who has devoted his life to doing the background work at St. Luke.

Mr. Russell began working in maintenance at St. Luke 23 years ago, as an assistant to the maintenance supervisor. By the time of his retirement, he had been promoted to maintenance engineer.

His duties included ensuring the church is properly taken care of both on the inside and outside, as well as welcoming groups at the church for parties and meetings. Father Cornelius praised Mr. Russell’s dedication to the church, saying he cared for it as he would his own home.

Mr. Russell told The Harvest that in his retirement, he misses the parishioners the most. “I love interacting with the parishioners of the church. It was very helpful for me with my job,” he said.

The legacy of these two men was celebrated with a retirement party in the church hall in January. Over 300 parishioners, friends and family members gathered for a Mass of Thanksgiving, followed by a luncheon in St. Luke Center. Each retiree was awarded a plaque in appreciation of their years of service.

Both Mr. Quarles and Mr. Russell will be remembered for the impact they had on St. Luke Church. “These men loved St. Luke with all their heart, and I think that’s the genesis of all their sacrifice,” said the pastor.

While they have retired from their duties, Father Cornelius said he would not miss these men, because he will still see them at Mass every Sunday.

‘Thank you St. Joseph for leading us to the Josephites’

Four priests honored for 220 years of ministry

By John Powers

A jubilant congregation of Josephites and friends gathered in the chapel at St. Joseph Seminary on May 2 to celebrate the lifetime of ministry provided by four Josephite priests.

Father John Filippelli, Father Frank Hull and Father Charles Moffatt were honored by 60 years of priestly service. Father Robert Zawacki was recognized for 40 years of ministry.

Superior General Father Michael Thompson, SSJ, principal celebrant at the jubilee Mass, noted that the four had collectively offered 220 years of ministry in the African American community.

“We offer you our warmest love for your service and dedication,” he said at the conclusion of the Mass.

He said that stories of their early ministry in rural areas of the south, missionary territory for Josephites, were overwhelming. “But God gave you the grace to do saintly and extraordinary things. Now we take up the mantle and continue in the missionary spirit that you have shown throughout your years of priestly service.”

Father Filippelli, a former superior general, gave the homily, which recounted Josephite history and challenges that racism posed both inside and outside the church.

“The most important work in the church today is fulfilling an obligation to African Americans.”

Speaking from a wheelchair, Father Filippelli preached about the virtues of St. Joseph. “It was Joseph who taught Jesus to speak and to work. Listening to Jesus is like listening to Joseph.”

He described an effort by Pope John XXIII who, at the Second Vatican Council, aimed to increase awareness of St. Joseph as patron of the church. But when the saintly pope died as the Council began, the St. Joseph campaign was stalled. “It took 50 more years before St. Joseph’s name was added to the Eucharistic prayer,” he said.

Describing the role of St. Joseph as the “first missionary,” Father Filippelli recalled how the founder of the Josephites, Cardinal Vaughn, was instructed to start his missionary work. “He was told to go to the United States and to respond to the needs of the recently emancipated people there. And we give thanks for the good work that they did.”

He said that after World War II, there were a quarter of a million African American Catholics mostly due to the work of the Josephites. “Why didn’t we have more,” he asked. “Because we didn’t understand racism.”

Father Filippelli indicated that there was racism inside the church as well as in society. “The greatest challenge is to continue the missionary work among the African American community. The most important work in the church today is fulfilling an obligation to African Americans.”

Reflecting on his life as a Josephite, Father Filippelli said, “Each and every Josephite who has given a permanent commitment has received the gifts of joy and peace that come from serving in the African American community. This permanent commitment is a special gift from God. We all can say thank you to St. Joseph for leading us to the Josephites and the African American community.”

A celebratory luncheon was held at the seminary at the conclusion of Mass.