Category Archives: Columns

Kids’ Connection: Guardian Angels

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Vocations View: A Day in the Life of a Seminarian

The Notre Dame Seminary flag football team at their annual game against St. Benedict's. Duncan is pictured back left. (Photo courtesy of Notre Dame Seminary).

by Nicholas Duncan, Seminarian

I often encounter people who have no idea what a seminary is or how it functions. People are left to ponder what a typical day is like at a seminary. Are we working and praying all day like Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act? Is it like shipping off to basic training, or is it like going to a trade school where you live in an apartment somewhere and have a job on the side?

The seminary I happen to attend is essentially a boarding school for grown men. Instead of a covenant or monastery like you would see in The Sound of Music, it is more like the X-mansion from the X-men film franchise. But instead of young mutants learning to control their powers so they can protect the world from evil, the men at seminary have heard a calling from God and undergo formation so they can bring Christ to the people of God; thus also protecting the world from evil.

Notre Dame Seminary is the biggest house on Carrollton Avenue in the uptown district of New Orleans. We have about 140 seminarians and 10 priests that live in residence.
I’d like to share what a typical day is like for a seminarian at Notre Dame Seminary. I am writing this during my spring semester, and just like any other day at the seminary it is guided by the community horarium, Latin for “the hours,” which is the schedule of prayer that takes precedence over everything else. After this community prayer is our class schedule, followed by our personal horarium of prayer, work and leisure.

7:30     Morning prayer in the chapel.
7:45     Breakfast in the refectory; otherwise known as a cafeteria, but us Catholics love to give things weird names.
8:00     Most seminarians are off to class, but my group has a professor on sabbatical, so our schedule is a little different. I’m off to the library to work on a presentation for my class on evolution (PH 205) on how science and religion are compatible.
9:45     I move to classroom 7 for PH 203, political philosophy, where we studied the errors in Machiavelli’s The Prince and Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan.
11:15 After class I head over to classroom 2 to rehearse for the day’s Mass with the schola (ie, the choir).
11:45 Attend Mass.
12:30 Lunch in the refectory.
1:05 I run up to the NDS Store’s storage closet to get 20 pint glasses to give as gifts to the priests who have come as mentors for the diaconate internship orientation that was going on that day. Running the NDS Store is one of my house jobs.
1:30     I’m back in classroom 7, this time for PH 204, my Philosophy/Theology seminar class. I have already given my presentation on John Wycliff, but today three of my classmates are giving hour long presentations on Rene Descartes, Henry VIII/St. Thomas More/Erasmus, and Jean Jacques Roseau.
4:30     Formation Conference: Father J.D. Matherne gives a talk to my class on his first year as a priest.
5:45     Evening Prayer with the entire community in the chapel. I arrived early and prayed daytime prayer as well.
6:00     Dinner in the refectory.
6:45     I go back to the library to work on my Latin homework for the next day’s class.
8:30     I head up to my room straighten it up, sweep the floor, and change into workout clothes.
9:00     I head to the gym on campus to workout.
10:00 I go back to my room, shower and get everything ready that I will need for class the next day.
10:30 I go to the chapel on my floor and pray the Office of Readings and Night Prayer from the Breviary (Catholic for prayer book)
11:30 I return from the chapel and go to bed.

This a pretty typical day at the seminary, Mass is always at the center, as the Eucharist is the source of our faith, and the day is bookended by community prayer in the morning and evening. The class times may differ depending on how far along you are in your studies, and different guys choose to do their personal prayer and exercise at the times that best suit them.

But a typical day is not the norm here. There is always something going on; the relics of St. Padre Pio or St. John Paul II might be here, we could be having visitation services for the New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson, or perhaps a fancy dinner with some of our benefactors. We could be staging a play, or hosting a lecture for the community. They keep us very busy, but I love being here and feel blessed to have the opportunity to study for the Diocese of Shreveport.

Prayers: Our Spiritual Roadmaps

by Kim Long

This is a difficult time. In light of the recent clergy abuse allegations, many people have asked me a variety of questions in the past two weeks – questions perhaps you have considered or been called upon to answer. Questions like: How can I stay in the Church? When is the Church going to fix this mess? Ugh, I cannot cope. I’m just going someplace better. Do you think that will work? These questions were not born in a vacuum, they followed a dark tale, so how can I reply appropriately? How should a faithful Catholic respond both in word and practice? “Please, Lord, help me,” I thought.

When the news first began to break, three prayers I had not thought of in many years came to my mind. Without conscious thought, I had gathered my spiritual tools.

Guardian and Protector of the Church
The old prayer to St. Michael is something it took forever for me to learn all the way through. Recognized by the early Church Fathers as a guardian and protector of the Church and as the Prince of all Angels, St. Michael is a heavy hitter and I was glad to know he is praying not only for me, but for the entire Church. Thinking the phrases of the St. Michael prayer, and then speaking them aloud, I felt heartened that St. Michael was on the job. A powerful prayer was what I needed, and this one filled the bill. St. Michael pray for us.

The Kaddish
The Kaddish, an Aramaic prayer from the 5th century BCE, is recited by priests and lay people. Years ago I decided I wanted to learn Hebrew, the language of Jesus, and took a class on the subject. Our instructor laughed when the class voted to begin with this prayer. “It’s Aramaic, the language of Jesus.” I did not know it then, but it was a moment of deep connection, a sense that has remained with me.

At times I find myself praying the familiar, yet foreign words, imagining Jesus forming the words with me. This is a prayer of mourning, and right now we are mourning a loss of trust, a loss that has left a gaping hole in each one of us. The late Debbie Friedman sings a version of this prayer and she introduces it with these words, words which give me a great deal of comfort: “May the One who makes peace in the high places, make peace over us and over all of humanity and let us say Amen.”

As I pray these words, extolling God’s greatness, even in a time when nothing feels great, the connection to Jesus deepens and I feel we are truly praying together. As the prayer comes to a close, I welcome the beginning of healing and comfort.

The Divine Praises
The first time I heard the Divine Praises, I was in early days of my own conversion at an all-night prayer vigil sponsored by St. Mary of the Pines and The Blue Army. It was written in 1797 by Fr. Luigi Felici, a Jesuit priest, to make reparation for blasphemies against the Divine Name; blasphemies which encompassed speech, thought, and action.

Honestly, at the time, they did not resonate with me, but if ever there was a time this is it. Everywhere around me, doubt and confusion are swirling.

“Blessed be God. Blessed be His holy name. Blessed be God in His angels and in His saints.” These three statements are part of those praises and they are helping me remember my foundation, remember where I have put my hope, in the Lord.

We stay Catholic for all the best reasons: the Eucharist, Mary, the saints. We stay Catholic because when God called us, we answered. He hasn’t stopped, He hasn’t checked out on us, and these particular prayers, serving as my roadmaps, remind me of those things. Through them, God is assuring me that we will all survive these tough times and, in fact, that we will be revived.

Your roadmaps may be different prayers, mine may change as God offers me what I need, if I am open enough to accept it. Often we say, “All I can do is pray.” Our prayers cannot change the past; it cannot be rewound or undone. Our prayers can change us and help us handle these awful times, as well as whatever personal issues we are all encountering right now. They can assist us when we need strength to go on, when we need permission to mourn, and when we need assurance that God is where our hope lies.

Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:21-23 •

World Mission Sunday Collection

by Fr. Rothell Price

World Mission Sunday Collection

Collection Dates:  October 20th & 21st

Announcement Dates: October 7th & 14th

Together with young people, let us bring the Gospel to all.” This is the chosen theme for World Mission Sunday and Collection this year. World Mission Sunday is far more significant and personal than we may realize. Jesus’ great commission to his disciples after his resurrection was, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” Matthew 28: 19-20. By divine grace, each one of us is that particular disciple commissioned by the Lord to go forth as His personal agent of glad tidings. That is what World Mission Sunday is about. Every one of us, out of love for our crucified and risen Savior, is an evangelizer, a bringer/bearer of the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ. Participation in the World Mission Sunday Collection is a significant way that we fulfill our God-given mandate as a unique and particular disciple, and as a disciple joined in mission to all other disciples of the Lord.

Pope Francis encourages us to bring this Gospel to all people, together with our inspired and inspiring young people. In this time of heart-wrenching news of clergy sexual misconduct and ineffective decisions to correct those horrors, there is good news and good reason for us to keep moving forward. Jesus Christ and his Church is the healing and transformation that all of humanity needs. The World Mission Sunday Collection, along with our other second collections, shows the true face of our Savior and His Church. Our mandate is to heal and transform. To make use of a quote from Pope Francis, “For those who stand by Jesus, evil is an incentive to ever greater love…”

Especially in these troubling times: “Be a voice for mission in Latin America; Be a voice for mission in Europe; Be a voice for mission in Africa; Be a voice for mission in the Pacific Islands; Be a voice for mission in Asia.” And be a voice for the mission of Jesus Christ right here at home. Your steadfast and generous participation in this work of the Church, now, in these times, spreads the authentic Gospel of the Lord’s mercy and compassion. Your unflinching loyalty to Christ and his Church corrects the distorted doings of those who have gone astray. Through your contribution to the World Mission Sunday Collection, be the true face and voice of Jesus Christ, in the Church, in our nation and to the world. Please give generously to the World Mission Sunday Collection.

Domestic Church: Help Us, Lord! We’re Sinking!

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by Katie Sciba

My friend texted me, “Pleading for prayers for my husband,” she began, “All these scandals in the Church have shaken him up and he’s got one foot out the door of the Church.” Unfortunately it wasn’t the only message like this I received. Another friend called upset saying she knew an abuse victim in a diocese out of state; still another said her dear friend and favorite priest was removed from ministry to be investigated.

The present crisis in the Catholic Church is like a cancer; some way or another, it touches all of us in the Body of Christ.

My emotions have run all over the place: anger, disbelief, deep sadness, fear for what will happen to the remaining faithful. At times I’m sure that whatever the future holds, all will be well for the Church that’s been protected for 2,000+ years by the Holy Spirit; however, I have moments when my confidence is more like the disciples’ caught in a storm on the sea, “Help us, Lord! We’re sinking!”

Though the Lord lay sleeping, wasn’t He there with His frightened friends? While the scandals rock the Church at large, Jesus remains; only now the vessel caught in upheaval is the universal Catholic community, and Christ is still, yet present in the Eucharist.

I was in the grocery store when a young man, a stranger to me, approached and invited me to his church’s Bible study. Smiling, I declined saying I was already in one. His friendly expression fell when I told him I was Catholic. He was quick to ask if I had seen the news lately, and he reminded me of the deeply-rooted and widespread scandal in my Church. “You have to be looking for a new church home. How can you stay Catholic?” he asked, almost to himself. “I’m Catholic because of Jesus,” I replied.

God moves and loves us through others – especially through the leaders in our Church; still, though leaders fall or fail, though we may lose faith in people, it’s paramount that we keep our faith in Christ, who is after all, the very reason any of us are Catholic.

And in any moment when we struggle to trust in God’s wisdom, think back. Not only has He upheld the Catholic Church as a whole, He’s upheld us in personally trying circumstances. Psalm 143 says, “I muse on what your hand has wrought” — how has the Lord outstretched His hand and given grace the very minute we need it? How has He supported us each when we’re burdened? A mother of a young abuse victim told me that it was reading scripture, especially the words of Jesus, that kept her and her family in Mass.

The epic drama within the Catholic Church will not likely conclude quickly, but we can allow ourselves to be still and know God, who has forever upheld the Catholic Church, and will continue to do so. We can proceed bravely into the unknown armed with hope and certainty in the Eucharist. Above all we have to pray, offer sacrifices in the day, and penance for victims of abuse, for conversions of abusers, for faithful priests and laity to support the truth with humility and peace.

Faithful Food: Seeking Gifts Where They May Be Found

by Kim Long

Autumn, my favorite time of the year, in Louisiana is more often a state of mind than a meteorological fact, although that never prevents us from pumpkin spicing our way to Mardi Gras.

Each season brings lessons and gifts; autumn does not disappoint, offering the themes of abundance, harvest and the spring’s eventual promise.

August found me in Baton Rouge in a packed Cathedral, seated with the press corp. I was eager to see Bishop Duca take this next step, this transition, and in turn experience my own sense of transition. I was present when 10 years ago, he was ordained a bishop and installed in my adoptive Diocese of Shreveport. Now I was there, witness to the next step, another strand in the fabric of Catholic life which holds us all together.

A loud knock broke the silence. Bishop Duca stood at the threshold, literally and figuratively. We speak of Christian witnesses as they relate to the sacrament of baptism, but this day the assembled company witnessed a liminal moment, and if asked to give testimony to that we could. This is one way our faith is passed to us, by what we see and hear. A way our faith is passed to others is by what we do.

As the installation continued, the assembly seemed divided into those who were losing a bishop and those who were gaining one, merged into one people standing on the brink of what God has for them: harvest, abundance and the promise of spring and new life.

On the bus to the installation, I glanced at the program. Chef John Folse of legend, roux and renown was catering this event. I had to stay long enough to just taste his food!
Saturdays when my children were small found me rushing to make sure that laundry folding coincided with his time slot on the LPB lineup. As I folded towels, he worked his culinary powers on the natural bounty of Louisiana. Chef Folse, like those Saturdays of years past, had been tucked away in memory until June, when one of my sons surprised me on my birthday with a massive cookbook entitled, After the Hunt. I was eager to taste what I had watched him effortlessly prepare.

Arriving at the reception on what proved to be the first bus, I was able to ease into the space. I told myself I would have a couple of bites and then get on the road. In the serving line, I bumped into my seat mate from the ride over to the Cathedral. We greeted one another as though we were old friends. When I read her name tag, which neither of us was wearing when we met on the bus, I asked her if she were related to the family of that name in Natchitoches. She lit up, “Yes those are my cousins” – another strand of connection.
I fell in line to welcome Baton Rouge’s new bishop. Smiling I told him he didn’t need luck, he would be great. Jeanne, my seat mate, offered to snap a photo. I felt as though I had seen something through. I was there when he was ordained a bishop, and now I was among those seeing him move from strength to strength.

I savored the lingering memory of crawfish eutoufee, cheese grits and experiencing the ever widening understanding of being Catholic. In preparation for family dinner, I pulled out After The Hunt and found the recipe I needed. On Sunday nights when enough time has passed after supper, one of us makes the coffee to go with dessert. Tonight it would be Chef Folse’s version of cafe au lait, a perfect companion with apple cranberry pie.

Mike’s Meditations: Stop, Be Still and Breathe

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by Mike Van Vranken

In my June article, I explained the difference between reactions and responses. I had no idea how much I would depend on my own words just a couple of months later. Seething with the news of abuse, cover-ups, demands for heads to roll and the like, I became furious that, as a Church, we were not reaching out to victims; asking them to come tell us their stories so we could listen and minister to them. Yes, we began praying for them, and I hope we have communal prayers for them for many years to come. But they are hurting and alone and we were not begging them to come to us so we can say we are sorry; that God loves them; and so do we. We seem to be, like Pilate, washing our hands of any responsibilities here. My training finally kicked in and I took my very deep feelings and emotions to God, rather than to the public. There is a reason why Matthew 11:28 is never translated: “Come to Facebook, all of you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.”

The Pharisees asked Jesus about Moses’ law requiring a woman caught in adultery to be stoned to death. Instead of answering, he bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger (John 8:6). I’m confident he stopped, got quiet, and took his feelings and emotions to his Father in heaven. These people were trying to trick him. He was probably mad, offended and even self-righteous. But, he didn’t defend himself or even the woman right away. He stopped, got quiet, and took it all to God. Only when he heard from his Father could he respond. And, not with a “yes” or a “no.” He replied with words that made them examine themselves.

Another time, in a life or death situation, “the high priest rose and addressed him, ‘Have you no answer? What are these men testifying against you?’ But he was silent” (Matthew 26:62-63). He could have explained himself, but he waited. He would let his humiliating death and glorious resurrection be his explanation. Again, I’m certain he went to his Father, as he often did, and quietly discussed what was going on within him, and who his Father wanted him to be in this situation. To be a good leader, to be Christ-like, I knew this is also what I needed to do before responding to any of this.

As I took my pain, hurts and brokenness to God, I explained to Him how the Church needed to change so we could minister to the direct victims of this abuse. See, I once knew a priest who victimized young boys; around 25 of them. I am very close to people who were shattered when it was all made public. And their pain is passed on to friends, family, children, grandchildren and more. While I was letting God know what needs to be done, He gently and lovingly spoke to my heart in very specific words: “If you want to change the Church, remember two things: 1) you are the Church, and 2) the only person you can change, with my help, is yourself.” Ouch! This is not what I wanted to hear. But with His patience, and the grace of openness, my blindness was removed to see that it is true. If I want the Church to change, it begins with me.

We wonder how a change in one person can change the entire Church. He reminded me of the time when a whole lot of people were hungry, he took two fish and some bread and fed thousands (Luke 9:10-17). One other time He taught that if we plant good seed in good ground, the seeds would grow into fruit that was as much as 30, 60 and 100 fold (Mark 4:1-20).

A lot of energy has been used pointing fingers and lashing out. May I suggest that we take a very deep breath, be quiet, sit still and know that God is God (Psalm 46:10). Like Jesus did, like St. Ignatius Loyola taught, let’s spend time each and every day taking our feelings, hurts, shame, outrage and all we are experiencing to God. Ask Him where these movements within you are coming from. Are they coming from the enemy who wants us to hurt the Church and our relationship with God? Are they coming from our own inner self who loves to focus on others’ deeds rather than our own. Or, finally, are they coming from God who wants to reverently and lovingly help us change into new men and women in Christ; to be born again each day so we can continue to evolve into the saints He made us to be?

Please, spend 20 minutes a day taking all of this to God asking Him who he wants you to become. If you want to change the Church, remember two things: 1) you are the Church, and 2) the only person you can change, with God’s help, is yourself.

Review: God Isn’t Finished with Me Yet

God Isn’t Finished with Me Yet
by Barbara Lee

Reviewed by Marie Rinaudo

When you turn 80, it seems nobody listens to you any more and no one cares about your opinion. At least this is the sentiment that author Barbara Lee heard from an 86-year-old woman in a retirement home. In God Isn’t Finished with Me Yet, Lee, who is well over 80 herself and capable of attracting a lot of attention, wants to enable those who have reached, or are near reaching their eighth decade, not to despair; she is convinced there is still time for them to learn and still time to speak out.

When Lee retired from her career as an attorney and judge, still full of the energy that had kept her active for nearly 40 years, she set out on another path. First, she volunteered with the Ignatian ministry to the poor in New York, and shortly afterwards she began the natural next step –Ignatian Spirituality.

For three summers she, along with graduate students much younger than herself, studied Loyola’s spiritual exercises at Creighton University, the center for Jesuit Spirituality. At 86, she is now a practicing spiritual director.

Her book is a memoir on her retirement years as a volunteer and her experience as a director. But it is also a self-help book on understanding the aging process and how St. Ignatius’ spiritual exercises can be a great aid in coping with the frequently frustrating experience of growing old. Having found success and consolation in retirement, Lee hopes to offer assistance to others in doing the same.

In each chapter she applies the spiritual exercises to daily life in an effort to move the aging from a sense of loss and sadness for the past to a life filled with grace and a vision for the future.

Lee offers strategies in deciding what to do with the new-found free hours after retirement, how to change self-perception by asking “Who am I ?” rather than “What do I do?” She accomplishes her goal of leading the reader to spiritual maturity with multiple references to Ignatius Loyola’s exercises, providing practical guides to prayer and reflection.

She reflects on one of St. Ignatius’ methods, the process of discernment, and explores how listening for God’s voice can ultimately lead to making wise decisions on any action from decluttering to taking on new ventures. One of the most informative explanations she gives is on imaginative prayer and lectio divina, a method on how to pray with scripture – not just read it. As Lee completes each chapter, she closes with a prayer and relevant scripture passages.

Having recently completed a course of study on the spiritual exercises, I can testify to the significance of Lee’s work. She manages to put the 16th century language of the original work in readable and accessible modern prose. By clearly presenting the methods for prayer used by St. Ignatius, she reveals the mystery of the spiritual journey that set the souls of the early Jesuits on fire.

Today those who want to invigorate their senior years will find much to explore in this short but appealing volume. Each day they may be rewarded with the possibility of experiencing a close encounter with God.

Navigating the Faith: Gaudete et Exultate: Living Out Our Faith

by Fr. Mark Watson

As a young adult I spent much time figuring out the meaning of holiness. My understanding of this virtue has evolved over the years. Thus, I enjoyed reading the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis, Gaudete et Exultate, (Rejoice and Be Glad), which has helped me better understand this central virtue of our Christian faith.

Universal Call to Holiness: The pope states that all Christians are called to be saints. “We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves (GE, 14).” People live out this holiness in small ways, as when they decide to not gossip, when parents listen to their children, when families pray the rosary and when we say a nice word to the poor.

Holiness is experiencing, in union with Christ, the mysteries of his life, death and resurrection. It comes in constantly dying and rising with Christ. We are to identify with Christ and his will. Identifying with Christ in this way involves a commitment to build with him the kingdom of love, justice and universal peace. (GE, 25)

Enemies of Holiness: The pope discusses two subtle enemies of holiness. The first enemy is called Contemporary Gnosticism. By Contemporary Gnosticism he refers to those whose faith is focused on the understanding of knowledge. A person’s spiritual perfection is measured not by the information or knowledge they possess, but by the depth of their charity. “Gnostics do not understand this because they judge others based on their ability to understand the complexity of certain doctrines (GE, 37).” These Christians try to control God through their intellect.

A second enemy of holiness is Contemporary Pelagianism. In the history of the Church, the Pelagianists believed that Christians could earn salvation through their own efforts rather than through relying on the mercy of God. Contemporary Pelagianists “ultimately trust only in their own powers and feel superior to others because they observe certain rules or remain intransigently faithful to a particular Catholic style.” (Evangelii Gaudium, 94) Instead we should understand that none of us are perfect and we all need God’s grace to live faithfully. Our focus in life should be to live in love and to passionately communicate “the beauty and joy of the Gospel and seek out the lost among the immense crowds that thirst for Christ.” (Cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 95)

The pope states that in the beatitudes, Jesus explained with great simplicity what it means to be holy. In the beatitudes we are given a portrait of Jesus and our daily lives are to reflect his life. Each beatitude teaches us who is truly happy and holy.

The Beatitudes and Matthew: The beatitudes call us to a “radiant interior freedom” (GE, 69) in which we accept God’s will for us. Holiness is characterized in the beatitudes in the following ways: Holiness is dealing with others with a sense of meekness and humility. Holiness is suffering with others and reaching out to them in their suffering. Holiness is working for justice even if we do not see the fruit of our labor. Holiness is giving, helping and serving others as well as forgiving and understanding them. Holiness is freely living out love with our whole heart. Holiness is building peace in our relationships, our communities and in our world. And finally, holiness is accepting “daily the path of the Gospel even though it may cause us problems…” (GE, 94).

The pope then offers Matthew 25:31-46 as a second Gospel passage that is central to the meaning of holiness. Matthew 25:31-46 expands on the beatitude which calls one to be merciful. This scene calls us to care for those who are most in need. We are to not separate caring for those in need from our personal spiritual lives. We are to recognize, protect and cherish the dignity of all human beings. In short mercy is central to holiness.

Signs of Holiness: My favorite chapter is that in which the pope discusses the Signs of Holiness in today’s world. He sees these signs of holiness as being important given certain dangers and limitations present in today’s culture. The pope invites us to live out the following Signs of Holiness: 1) Perseverance, Patience and Meekness; 2) Joy and a Sense of Humor; 3) Boldness and Passion; 4) Living Holiness in Community; and 5) Living in Constant Prayer.

Discernment: The pope ends the document by calling us to prayerful discernment. Discernment refers to figuring out God’s will for us. We are called to listen to the Lord through Scripture, the Magisterium of the Church, others and reality itself. This discernment is to help us recognize and “better accomplish the mission entrusted to us in our baptism (GE, 174).”

May Gaudete et Exultate assist us in better living out the holiness to which God has called us. •

Second Collection for September

by Fr. Rothell Price

Collection Dates: September 1st & 2nd 

he second collection in the parishes and churches of our diocese this month is for The Catholic University of America. We ask the Catholic faithful of our diocese to join with the Catholic faithful across our country to make Catholic higher education possible. You may not have a child, grandchild or great grandchild at Catholic University, but every student at CUA is your son, daughter, grandchild, brother and sister in the family of our Catholic faith. When you make a gift to the students and faculty, academic and service programs, and foundation and operations at CUA, you empower The Catholic University of America community to grow and strengthen its capacity to offer a world class education unlike any other.

The Catholic University of America collection prepares and strengthens the current and next generation of apologists who explain the Catholic faith and social teaching to the rest of the world. Your gift supports scholarships for students who need financial assistance. Please support the next generation of Catholic leaders for our Church and nation – including those studying to become our future priests and religious men and women.

Since 1903, The Catholic University of America has been greatly blessed by the generosity of parishioners around the country through the National Collection. James Cardinal Gibbons, the first chancellor of CUA and ninth Archbishop of Baltimore, once called this collection, “the people’s endowment.” I ask you to take his words into your heart. Join your contribution to that of faithful parishioners across our country to spiritually and academically prepare this and future generations of students, particularly those who have financial need.

More than 12,000 priests and religious are proudly identified as alumni of CUA. Hundreds of priests and religious attend CUA each year, furthering their charge to engage in ongoing religious formation. The Catholic University of America’s mission centers on the discovery of knowledge and truth through excellence in teaching and research, all in service to the Church – a service that is greatly needed today. University faculty and scholars promote Catholic Social teaching and through their research and discourse, help form the Church’s response to challenging social issues of our time.

Please give generously to The Catholic University of America collection. Your heartfelt participation in the second collection is joined to the generosity of CUA alumni, friends, faculty and staff. Your donation strengthens the Catholic University’s mission and extends its reach. Your contribution helps our national university move forward, ensuring that current students and future graduates can continue to be God’s light in our world.

Learn more at collection.cua.edu. •