Catoir.pdf

My interview with Mr. Fred Rogers

Posted August 30, 2019 at 12:00 am

Fred Rogers was a good friend for many years. He entertained and educated children for more than a generation, and died on Feb. 27, 2003.  

When he came to New York we often had dinner together. It’s my privilege to introduce him to you again today. Children still love him and parents trust him.  

The theme song of his TV Show, “Mr. Rogers’s Neighborhood,” contained the words, “Won’t you be my neighbor?” When I did my TV show with him I began with this question: 

JC: Why did you choose that opening?  

FR: When I hear words like those, I think the person speaking them cares about me. And I want them to know that I care about

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    Carville.pdf

    What to save of Notre Dame?

    Out of great tragedies come great lessons. Six days before Easter the Cathedral of Notre Dame, “Our Lady” as the French think of it, almost completely burned to the ground. The roof and its steeple entirely burned to ash, along with almost the entire inside of the cathedral. However, the front towers and the exterior walls with their beautiful stained glass windows were saved by some very brave firefighters. In his Easter homily, Archbishop Michel Aupetit of Paris praised those firefighters and their priest chaplain, Father Jean-Marc Fournier, who

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    Rolheiser.pdf

    The double message of Christmas 

    I’ve never been happy with some of my activist friends who send out Christmas cards with messages like: “May the Peace of Christ Disturb You!” Can’t we have one day a year to be happy and celebrate without having our already unhappy selves shaken with more guilt? Isn’t Christmas a time when we can enjoy being children again? Moreover, as Karl Rahner once said, isn’t Christmas a time when God gives us permission to be a happy? So why not?

    Well, it’s complex. Christmas is time when God gives us permission to be

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    Doyle.pdf

    Become Catholic to marry?/ Luminous mysteries

    Q I was browsing the internet today, ran across your column and have a question. I am in a long-term relationship with my partner, and we are planning on getting married next year. But we are having some conflict as to where (i.e., in what church) we are going to celebrate our wedding. 

    My family are all born-again Christians and actively participate in many church activities and ministries. My partner, though, is a devout Roman Catholic and wants me to become a Catholic.

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    Carville.pdf

    Who really were those Magi?

    The Gospel of St. Mark begins with Jesus being baptized by St. John the Baptist as a grown man who will soon begin his own ministry. St. John begins with Jesus as God’s divine word through whom he creates the universe. It is this word who becomes man and lives among us having the “glory of the Father’s only Son.” Again there is no description of Jesus’ birth or youth. Only St. Matthew and St. Luke begin their Gospels with infancy narratives. Their narratives, however, focus on different

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    Doyle.pdf

    Can Lutheran receive Catholic Eucharist?/ Possible to confess online?

    Q One of my sisters who is Lutheran recently moved to an area where there is no Lutheran church, so she started attending Mass at a nearby Catholic parish. She has been receiving the Eucharist at Mass even though she is not Catholic. She says that she asked the Catholic pastor and he said that it was OK. Is it? 

    I find this completely wrong because when I converted to the Catholic faith 30 years ago, I was required to complete RCIA classes.

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    Carville.pdf

    Fatima, a message of prayer for peace

    On Nov. 8, I returned from a three-week trip to Portugal, Spain and Liberia, Africa. It began with plans of parishioners of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Prairieville to go to Fatima to see the shrine to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Two couples in the group and I sponsor children in an orphanage in Liberia. We decided to tack on an extension of the trip to Africa when the rest of the group returned home. Liberia Mission Inc. includes the orphanage and a school for the orphans plus

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    Doyle.pdf

    Is annual confession mandated?/ Can’t understand priest

    Q Could a person go to daily Mass and receive Communion without having gone to confession in four years? (Batesville, Indiana)  

    A The answer, technically, is yes. If the person had committed no serious (mortal) sins over that four-year period, he or she could go to Mass and receive Communion every day. Strictly speaking, the obligation of annual confession applies only to those in serious sin.  

    The church’s Code of Canon Law reads this way: “After having reached

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    Rolheiser.pdf

    Dual citizenship

    I live on both sides of a border. Not a geographical one, but one which is often a dividing line between two groups.  

    I was raised a conservative Roman Catholic, and conservative in most other things as well. Although my dad worked politically for the Liberal party, most everything about my upbringing was conservative, particularly religiously. I was a staunch Roman Catholic in every way. I grew up under the papacy of Pope Pius XII (the fact that my youngest brother is named

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    Fanucci, Laura-FAITH AT HOME.pdf

    Use your words

    Two groups ask me often what they can do to help their children grow in faith: parents of toddlers and parents of young adults.

    Surprised? While their ages and stages of life may differ, the two groups are closer than you might think.

    When I write about faith at home, I often hear from new parents. They want to know what prayers or books they can use to make sure their child

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    Duca, Michael color.pdf

    Bishop Duca asks for prayers during difficult times

    It has been just ten weeks since I was received at St. Joseph Cathedral as the sixth bishop of Baton Rouge. As bishop, I would have liked my first column in The Catholic Commentator to be on a less serious subject but this moment in our lives as Catholics demands a different kind of reflection.

    On August 14, the “Grand Jury Report on the Sexual Abuse of Children in Six Dioceses in Pennsylvania” was published and once again cast world-wide

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    Ranzino 3.pdf

    Father Ranzino’s eulogy for Father Vavasseur

    Henry.

    Those who do not believe in a Higher Harmony will balk when told an accident crunched in the parking lot at the very moment the altar boy’s nose began to bleed. He bled on the surplice, the cassock, the candle, the other altar boy, and the priest’s unlaced shoe which bulgingly carried an Ace-bandaged ankle. The priest was stuffing a purificator up the boy’s nose, damming the blood into his eyeballs, when the Lector asked “how do you pronounce E-L-I-S-H-A?

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    Doyle.pdf

    Where do ‘single Catholics’ fit?/ Donations to Doctors Without Borders

    Q Where do single people “rank” within the Catholic Church? Many times we are asked to pray for those who are married or who have followed a calling to the religious life but how many times has anyone in any parish been asked to pray for those who are single?  

    Are we singles shut out, are we to be ignored until we follow one of the other life paths? What if the single person truly believes that his or her calling is to

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    Doyle.pdf

    Judas and his fate/ Divorce and friendship

    Q There’s a question that has occurred to me from time to time, and I would appreciate your answer. I was always led to believe that suicide is a mortal sin, so someone who takes his own life cannot go to heaven.   

    It makes me wonder what fate awaited Judas when he hanged himself after turning Jesus in. Is he condemned to hell, or would he be forgiven for the role that he played, since Jesus had to be betrayed to save mankind?

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    Carville.pdf

    Archbishop Romero, a saint for El Salvador, Pope Francis and even LSU

    On Sunday, Oct. 14 Pope Francis declared Archbishop Oscar Romero a saint and a martyr.  While still the Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis had told a confidant that, if he became pope, he would make Archbishop Oscar Romero a saint. Popes often are making a statement through those they choose to promote for sainthood.  Archbishop Romero was a man after Pope Francis’ own heart.  Now his life and death are offered to the entire world as examples of the Gospel values Pope Francis cherishes and has so often preached and written

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    Catoir.pdf

    My early days as a priest

    After serving as a priest for 58 years, I’m often by asked by people who knew that I was a native New Yorker, how I became a priest of the Diocese of Paterson, NJ? I was born in Manhattan, raised in St. Joan of Arc Parish, Jackson Heights, Queens, and I graduated from Fordham University in 1953. The Korean War was still winding down and I was drafted into the U.S. Army, serving my first year as a military policeman, and my second year as a chaplain’s assistant.

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    Carville.pdf

    Finding Jesus in the breaking of the bread

    A mother sent her two sons to college, and as sometimes happens, she discovered a few years later that they were no longer going to church. To her questions they only answered, “We don’t get anything out of it; it is not important in our lives now.” She prayed and prayed, and one Sunday, without warning, they sat down next to her at Mass. “What made you come back?” she asked later that evening. They told her the story. 

    A few weeks before,

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    Doyle.pdf

    Thoughts while praying the rosary/ Should Sunday Mass be obligatory

    Q I would appreciate your help with a question I’ve had for a long time. When I am saying the rosary, should I be thinking of the words to the Hail Mary or about the particular mystery I am then on? (Morrilton, Arkansas)

    AI think it’s a matter of personal choice. Whatever best helps to make these moments a time of prayer and of peace, whatever makes you more aware of the presence of God and his love, that is the way

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    Rolheiser.pdf

    The search for an indubitable truth

    In a book, “12 Rules for Life – An Antidote to Chaos,” that’s justifiably making waves in many circles today, Jordan Peterson shares about his own journey towards truth and meaning. Here’s that story:

    At one point in his life, while still young and finding his own path, he reached a stage where he felt agnostic, not just about the shallow Christianity he’d been raised on, but also about most everything else in terms of truth and trust. What really can we believe in? What’s ultimately to be trusted?

    Too humble

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    Doyle.pdf

    Divorced and Communion/ Missing Mass and mortal sin

    Q I am in my 50s and have now been divorced for three years. I was married in the Catholic Church and have always attended Sunday Mass regularly and received Communion. But I have begun to wonder whether I should still take Communion. 

    I asked a priest recently in confession, and he said that it was OK, but I still feel unsure about it. (Also, I have kept my marriage vows so far; but if I were to become involved with someone else,

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    Carville.pdf

    Finding God

    If you are a long-time fan of Colbert, you may remember Father James Martin SJ. He was Colbert’s chaplain on his former late-nite show. Today Father Martin is editor at large of America, the national Jesuit review of faith and culture which recently won the 2018 Catholic Press Association Magazine of the Year award. Before joining the America staff, Father Martin was also chaplain to actors and actresses on Broadway and the author of 15 books, including “The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything,” “A Jesuit Off-Broadway,” and “My Life

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    Rolheiser.pdf

    An ode to the church

    Carlo Carretto was an Italian monk who died in 1988. For many years he lived as a hermit in the Sahara Desert, translated the Scriptures into the Tuareg language, and from the solitude of the desert wrote some extraordinary spiritual books. His writings and his faith were special in that they had a rare capacity to combine an almost childlike piety with (when needed) a blistering iconoclasm. He loved the church deeply, but he wasn’t blind to its faults and failures, and he wasn’t afraid to point out

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    Fanucci, Laura-FAITH AT HOME.pdf

    When hard conversations have to happen

    “I wish we didn’t have to talk about this.”

    What parent hasn’t thought or uttered these words, taking a deep breath before jumping into a hard conversation with their child? Whether a crisis at home, a conflict at school or an atrocity in the news, tough subjects are unavoidable in families.

    The recent sex abuse scandals that are rocking our church are no exception.

    Much

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    Doyle.pdf

    Dementia and the sacraments/Proper attire for eucharistic ministers

    Q I bring holy Communion to a local nursing home. Of the 66 Catholics there, many of them have no visitors. Those with dementia are asked whether they would like to receive the Eucharist, and if they say yes, I give them the host.  

    It saddens me that Jesus suffered to give us his mercy in confession and in anointing, and yet I don’t feel that I can ask a priest to bring these sacraments because I don’t know whether the people were

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    EDITORIAL: Confusing times

    Anger. Hurt. Sorrow. Confusion. Misleading. Distrust. Disillusionment.

    Emotions many Catholics around the world are likely experiencing, and one could argue with good reason.

    Once again, allegations of clergy abuse are rocking the Catholic Church, and although this is not the first such scandal, perhaps none have been as far reaching, from affecting nearly an entire state to landing high in the church’s hierarchy.

    In mid-June, allegations of abuse to a minor implicating then-Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick were found to be credible. He submitted his letter of resignation from the Cardinalate to the Vatican on July 27,

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    Carville.pdf

    #Me-too moment for abused Catholics

    The Catholic Church is only a short time behind the entertainment industry. Revelations of retired Cardinal Archbishop Theadore McCarrick’s many years as a sexual abuser, together with a 10-year delayed report on clergy sexual abuse in six Pennsylvania dioceses have captured headlines on media outlets around the United States and the world. Catholics have found themselves shocked, shamed and bewildered once again, having gone through a similar experience 10 years ago, after a similar exposé in the Boston Globe newspaper. People all over the nation have been calling

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    Bishop Muench.pdf

    Bishop Muench’s statement on clergy abuse

    Recently reported abuses by some clergy from other Catholic dioceses in our country leave us heartbroken and sickened. As the Church continues to address the issue of sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults, news of the horrendous and inexcusable offenses committed by a former cardinal and revelations of the decades of criminally and morally reprehensible abuse contained in the report of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury reveal a spiritual crisis in our Church. 

    Our shame is intensified by the sometimes failure of Church

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    Rolheiser.pdf

    Beautiful stoics

    There’s a rich literature being written today by some highly intelligent, sensitive men and women who might best be described as agnostic stoics. Unlike some of their atheistic counterparts whose one-sided attacks on religion suggest that they “doth protest too much,” this group doesn’t protest at all. They don’t attack faith in God; indeed they often see salient religious doctrines like belief in the incarnation in Christ, belief in original sin and belief in a resurrection as helpful myths that can be invaluable for our self-understanding, akin to

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    Doyle.pdf

    Washing hands at Mass/The ‘poor in spirit’

    Q One of the parishes that we sometimes attend does not have the “lavabo” (the washing of hands) during Mass. The priest has been asked about it, and he simply says that we don’t do it at this parish. But isn’t the lavabo a standard part of every Mass? (It’s done everywhere else that I’ve been.) (Albany, New York) </span id=”0″>

    A Yes, you are right: The lavabo is, in fact, a standard part of every Mass and has been so since the

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    Rolheiser.pdf

    Why I believe in God

    Some of my favorite authors are agnostics, men and women who face life honestly and courageously without faith in a personal God. They’re stoics mostly, persons who have made peace with the fact that God may not exist and that perhaps death ends everything for us. I see this, for example, in the late James Hillman, a man whom I greatly admire and who has much to teach believers about what it means to listen to and honor the human soul.

    But

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