Fathers Dang, Davidson, McCaughey now diocesan priests



Fathers Dang, Davidson, McCaughey now diocesan priests
S E R V I N G T H E D I O C E S E O F B A T O N R O U G E S I N C E 1 9 6 3 May 30, 2012 Vol. 50, No. 9
Fathers Dang, Davidson, McCaughey now diocesan priests
By Laura Deavers
A full compliment of music
– choirs from St. Joseph Cathedral and St. Thomas More
Church, the cathedral organ
and various musicians – led in
glorious song those crowded
into the pews at St. Joseph
Cathedral for the ordination
to the priesthood of Father
Peter Ai Quoc Dang, Father Al
Michael Davidson and Father
Matthew Edward McCaughey
May 26.
Dozens of their fellow
priests from the Diocese of
Baton Rouge along with many
of their classmates from Notre
Dame Seminary in New Orleans attended the Mass to
show their support of these
new priests and to pray with
them and for them at this important juncture in their answer to God’s call to serve his
people in the special ministry
of ordained priest.
Bishop Robert W. Muench,
who ordained the three men
for the diocesan priesthood,
instructed them on some of
life’s pitfalls that they might
face – complacency, minimalism, superficiality, cal-
Bishop Robert W. Muench, center, ordained, from left, Father Peter Ai Quoc Dang, Father Matthew
Edward McCaughey and Father Al Michael Davidson to the priesthood at St. Joseph Cathedral May 26.
Photo by Laura Deavers | The Catholic Commentator
and being lukewarm. The
bishop reminded the three
men that like Peter they are
being called to feed and tend
the sheep; to be a good shepherd; to be the sign, symbol,
witness and instrument of Je-
sus Christ in the world.
The complete text of Bishop Muench’s homily is on
page 8 of this issue of The
Catholic Commentator.
With the introduction of
the Third Roman Missal last
fall, the words of the ordination rite have changed some,
enriching the sacrament and
its meaning to those who received it and those in attendance. For many of those at
the Mass, this was the first
ordination they had attended.
At the end of the Mass, before the final blessing, Bishop
Muench asked that each of
the newly ordained give him a
blessing. Then each new priest
went to his family members
who were seated in the first
pews of the cathedral and
blessed them.
Bishop Muench thanked
the musicians and said he
was happy that the choir loft
is sturdy enough to hold so
many. He also acknowledged
those attending the Mass who
are considering their call to
priesthood and announced
that seven men will enter the
seminary this fall to study for
the diocesan priesthood. The
bishop added that 50 others
are active prospects for the
See articles on pages 9 - 11
on the newly ordained priests.
Apostolate to the Deaf moving to Christ the King
By Laura Deavers
The diocesan Apostolate to the Deaf
is moving less than four miles from
its current location at St. Francis de
Sales Church and Catholic Deaf Center on Brightside Lane in Baton Rouge
to Christ the King Church and Catholic Center on the LSU campus. Bishop
Robert W. Muench visited the St. Francis de Sales parishioners May 20 to
personally let them know of the change
and to listen to their concerns and answer their questions.
Bishop Muench explained, that as
bishop, it is his responsibility “to over-
see the ministries of this local church,
to assess the needs and discern ways to
use our resources for these needs as effectively and efficiently as possible.”
Two years ago Bishop Muench called
for a committee to evaluate the needs
of the hearing-impaired community.
The committee recommended that the
deaf apostolate move to a new location,
which would provide new opportunities
for the apostolate to minister to those
who are already part of the community
and to attract more people to this special ministry.
The deaf apostolate will be a distinct
entity at Christ the King.
Members of St. Francis de Sales ex-
pressed concern that they would lose
the cohesiveness of their community
when they move to Christ the King on
July 1.
Bishop Muench and Carole Montgomery, executive director of the Apostolate to the Deaf and parish life coordinator at St. Francis de Sales, assured
those who had attended the 11 a.m.
Mass May 20 that arrangements are
being made so that they will have Mass
every Sunday at Christ the King as they
currently have with someone signing all
parts of the Mass, including the homily.
Montgomery was asked questions
about the time Mass would be and
whether they would be able to have time
for fellowship following Mass. “We will
have our own community at Christ the
King,” said Montgomery, “and our own
service.” She repeated that everything
would be beautiful – the place where
they would have Mass, the physical location for the apostolate, the additional
amenities available.
Though it was announced that the
Mass for the deaf apostolate would be at
2 p.m., the time might be changed because of issues that surfaced during the
session with the bishop. “The time of
Mass can be looked at,” Bishop Muench
Father Bob Stine, pastor of Christ
The Catholic Commentator
Catholic dioceses and institutions around the United States have
filed suit in federal courts to stop the
implementation of the Health and Human
Services mandate that would require them
to issue contraceptives and sterilizations
in their health plans. Church leaders state
that the 43 lawsuits display church unity in
defense of religious liberty. Page 4
Swiss Guardsmen make two-year commitment
Graduation Section
To show support of religious
freedom guaranteed in the First
Amendment of the U. S. Constitution,
citizens can attend a rally on the steps of
the Louisiana State Capital. Page 6
have special
prayers to
ask God’s intercession during
the hurricane
season. Page 7
The three newly ordained
priests for the Diocese of Baton Rouge
talk about their answer to God’s call to the
priesthood. Pages 9-11
| index
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Family Life
May 30, 2012
It is not so easy to be
a member of the Swiss
Guard, the brightly uniformed force that protects the pope.
Only unmarried, Roman Catholic men, who
are Swiss citizens and
between the ages of 19
and 30, may serve in the
Swiss Guard, according
to the Vatican website.
Applicants must be men
of “good moral ethical
backgrounds,” must have
attended military school
in Switzerland and have
a professional diploma
or a high school diploma.
And one other thing, they
have to be at least 5 feet
8.5 inches tall.
Swiss Guardsmen make a two-year
commitment when they join the guard,
taking an oath to “faithfully, loyally and
honorably serve the supreme pontiff
and his legitimate successors” and also
to dedicate themselves “to them with
all my strength, sacrificing if necessary
also my life to defend them.”
Known for brightly colored gold and
blue striped uniforms
Guard not only protects
the pope, but provides
ceremonial duties and
assists in crowd control
for public functions.
Each day two thirds of
the staff stands guard at
the entrances to the Apostolic Palace, in front
of the Secretary of State
offices and in the front
of the entrance to the
pope’s private apartment, as well as at the
external entrances to the
Vatican, including the
Petrine Gate, at the Arch
of the Bells, the Bronze
Door and the St. Anna Gate.
There is also a Swiss Guard band,
choir and soccer team, which plays
against other Vatican teams. Guardsmen also participate in table tennis and
take self-defense courses.
They eat in a kitchen run by the Albertine Sisters, Servants of God.
In an effort to boost recruitment,
see swiss page 3
| Pray for those who pray for us
Please pray for the priests, deacons and religious women and men in the Baton Rouge Diocese.
June 3
June 4
June 5
June 6
June 7
June 8
June 9
Rev. Charles R. Landry
Dcn. Edward J. Gauthreaux
Br. Malcolm Melcher SC
Rev. Charles Latour OP
Dcn. Steven C. Gonzales
Sr. Anne Meridier CSJ
Rev. Clyde H. LeBlanc SJ
Dcn. Richard H. Grant
Br. Tran Minh ICM
Rev. Keun-Soo Lee
Dcn. Esnard F. Gremillion
Sr. M. Nathalie MC
Rev. Msgr. Gerald M. Lefebvre
Dcn. Ronald J. Hebert
Sr. Ann Catherine Nguyen OSF
Rev. C. Todd Lloyd
Dcn. Clayton A. Hollier
Sr. Huong Nguyen ICM
Rev. John Dominic Logan OP
Dcn. William H. Holtman
Sr. Mary Noel OP
June 10
June 11
June 12
June 13
June 14
June 15
June 16
Rev. Matthew P. Lorrain
Dcn. Micheal J. (Shelley) Joseph
Sr. Georgeann Parizek RSCJ
Rev. P. Brent Maher
Dcn. John A. Jung Jr.
Br. Eugene Patin CSsR
Rev. Cayet N. Mangiaracina OP
Dcn. Robert J. Kusch
Sr. Johanne Pedersen CSJ
Rev. Samuel C. Maranto CSsR
Dcn. Thomas E. Labat Sr.
Sr. Anh-Tuyet Pham ICM
Rev. Robert G. Marcell
Dcn. Ronald D. LeGrange
Sr. Cecile Poitras SSJ
Rev. Gerard R. Martin
Dcn. Albert Levy III
Sr. Christine Pologa CSJ
Rev. Patrick J. Mascarella
Dcn. James A. Little
Sr. Penny Prophit OSF
t h e
C a t h o l i c
Bishop Robert W. Muench Publisher
Father Than Vu Associate Publisher
Laura Deavers Exec. Ed./Gen. Mgr.
Debbie Shelley Assistant Editor
Wanda L. Koch Advertising Manager
Penny G. Saia Advertising Sales
Lisa Disney Secretary/Circulation
Barbara Chenevert Staff Writer
The Catholic Commentator (ISSN 07460511; USPS 093-680)
Published bi-weekly (every other week) by the Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge,1800 South Acadian Thruway, Baton Rouge, LA 70808; 225-387-0983 or 225-387-0561. Periodical Postage Paid at Baton Rouge, LA.
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May 30, 2012
The Catholic Commentator
SLKF music teacher writes song for Louisiana’s bicentennial
By Barbara Chenevert
Staff Writer
The teachers at St. Louis King
of France School may love Gerald Duet’s song, but it is driving
them crazy. The students can’t
stop singing it!
Duet, the music director at
the school, wrote “Louisiana
200: A Bicentennial Theme” for
a school play, and the song has
caught on. “The students really
got into it. They sang it loud and
with a lot of enthusiasm,” he
The day after the play performance, Duet said the physical
education teacher was playing a
recording of the song in the gym
while the students were running
laps. And other teachers are telling him that the students just
keep singing the song throughout the day.
Each year the school puts on
a spring play with a patriotic
theme. Because it is the 200th
anniversary of statehood for
Louisiana, SLKF principal Mary
Clare Polito decided to use the
bicentennial as the theme. Polito
wrote the script, and Duet said
he was charged with song selection. He started looking around
for appropriate songs, but finding one was difficult, so he wrote
his own.
“I was strictly inspired by the
theme. I can write better if I have
a theme,” he said. “I get an idea
and it takes on a life of its own.
It’s easy to write a great song,
it’s harder to write a mediocre
one. I’m not saying this song is
great, but it’s good for what it is
intended to be.”
It was written as a show tune,
not a solo, Duet said, adding he
wrote it especially with the children in mind. It’s not so easy to
write something a prekindergarten can understand that does not
bore the eighth-graders, he said.
Duet, who plays both guitar
and keyboard, based his bicentennial song on the different
styles of music in Louisiana.
“Mardi Gras Mambo, carnival
time, the saints go marchin’ to
Students of St. Louis King of France School sing “Louisiana 200: A Bicentennial Theme,” a song written by music director Gerald Duet for the
school’s spring play. Photo provided by St. Louis King of France
a second line, swamp pop, doowop, fais do-do, come on baby,
we’ve got that soul! ...” goes one
of the verses, which is set to a
catchy meoldy.
“It was a dilemma. Obviously
we couldn’t do a play on all of
Louisiana history. It would have
been five hours long. So we limited it to the artistic areas of the
state, its music, art and food,” he
Duet said he has written
several songs before but only
for “internal use,” not for sale.
In fact he writes a new theme
song for each school year. But in
this case, he hopes other people
outside of the school will sing
his song. Already his wife and
brother-in-law are using the
song in the schools where they
teach. And the Diocesan Catholic Schools office is considering
posting the song on its website.
“It’s only good for a year, so I
want them to use it,” he said.
Duet, who evacuated to Baton
Rouge from New Orleans after
Hurricane Katrina, has a passion for music. He met his wife
of 25 years while they were both
in a contemporary music group
at their former church, St. Julian
Eymard in New Orleans.
the guard has recently launched
a new Facebook page, facebook.
com/gsp1506, and has a video
feed on YouTube at “The Corps
of the Pontifical Swiss Guard.”
Officials say they have seen a
slump in applications over the
Swiss Guardsmen take their
oath of office on May 6, a day
that commemorates the death
of 147 guardsmen killed during
the 1527 Sack of Rome.
He also plays in a rock band,
The Tricks, in New Orleans.
“I live two lives,” he said. New
Orleans doesn’t sleep, so sometimes on the weekends he can be
up to 6 in morning after a gig, he
Duet has been music director at St. Louis since 2007. He
taught a couple of years in Monroe after Katrina, but moved to
Baton Rouge because he found
Monroe “too country.”
Although his West Bank
house was spared in the hur-
ricane, Duet said his wife lost
her job when the public schools
closed down after the storm, so
they were forced to move.
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The Catholic Commentator
May 30, 2012
Federal lawsuits by Catholic dioceses, groups seek to stop HHS mandate
By Nancy Frazier O’Brien
Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON — Fortythree Catholic dioceses, schools,
hospitals, social service agencies
and other institutions filed suit in
federal court May 21 to stop three
government agencies from implementing a mandate that would
require them to cover contraceptives and sterilization in their
health plans.
“Through this lawsuit, plaintiffs do not seek to impose their
religious beliefs on others,” said
one of the suits, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana by the Diocese of
Fort Wayne-South Bend, diocesan Catholic Charities, St. Anne
Home and Retirement Community, Franciscan Alliance, University of St. Francis and Our
Sunday Visitor.
“They simply ask that the
government not impose its values and policies on plaintiffs, in
direct violation of their religious
beliefs,” it added.
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan
of New York, whose archdiocese
is among the plaintiffs, said the
lawsuits were “a compelling display of the unity of the church in
defense of religious liberty” and
“a great show of the diversity of
the church’s ministries that serve
the common good and that are
jeopardized by the mandate.”
“We have tried negotiations
with the administration and legislation with the Congress – and
we’ll keep at it – but there’s still
no fix,” the cardinal said. “Time
is running out, and our valuable ministries and fundamental
rights hang in the balance, so we
have to resort to the courts now.”
Cardinal Dolan also is president of the U.S. Conference of
Catholic Bishops, which is not a
party to the lawsuits.
Catholic organizations have
objected to the contraceptive
mandate since it was announced
last Aug. 1 by Kathleen Sebelius,
secretary of the U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services.
Unless they are subject to a narrow religious exemption or have
a grandfathered health plan, employers will be required to pay for
sterilizations and contraceptives,
including some abortion-inducing drugs, as part of their health
coverage beginning as soon as
Aug. 1, 2012.
In all, 12 lawsuits were filed
simultaneously May 21 in various U.S. district courts around
the country. The defendants in
each case were Sebelius; Labor
Secretary Hilda Solis; and Trea-
“We need to go to the court and say we
are a church institution, we are a provider
of health care and, according to the U.S.
Constitution, the laws must protect our
religious freedom.”
Most Rev. Allen H. Vigneron
Archbishop of Detroit
sury Secretary Timothy Geithner,
along with their departments.
Erin Shields, HHS director of
communications for health care,
told Catholic News Service May
21 that the department cannot
comment on pending litigation.
In addition to the Archdiocese
of New York and Diocese of Fort
Wayne-South Bend, the dioceses
involved are the archdioceses of
Washington and St. Louis and
the dioceses of Rockville Centre,
N.Y.; Erie, Pa.; Pittsburgh; Dallas; Fort Worth, Texas; Jackson,
Miss.; Biloxi, Miss.; Springfield,
Ill.; and Joliet, Ill. The Michigan
Catholic Conference, which provides medical benefits to more
than 1,100 Catholic institutions
and approximately 10,000 employees in the state, also is a
“We need to go to the court
and say we are a church institution, we are a provider of health
care and, according to the U.S.
Constitution, the laws must protect our religious freedom,” said
Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron. “We have a very particular case to make.”
Catholic universities joining in
the lawsuits included the University of Notre Dame, The Catholic
University of America and Franciscan University of Steubenville,
Ohio, as well as the University of
St. Francis in Indiana.
Holy Cross Father John I. Jenkins, president of Notre Dame,
said the decision to file the lawsuit “came after much deliberation, discussion and efforts to
find a solution acceptable to the
various parties.”
“This filing is about the freedom of a religious organization
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the freedom to follow the principles that define their mission,
then we have begun to walk down
a path that ultimately leads to the
undermining of those institutions.”
Our Sunday Visitor, a national Catholic newspaper based in
Huntington, Ind., said in an editorial that it “stands proudly with
our fellow Catholic apostolates
and with our bishops in resisting
this challenge.”
The newspaper asked readers “to stand with us – in charity, praying first and foremost
for conversions of heart; in civility, arguing the facts of this case
without recourse to bitter partisanship or political rhetoric;
and in solidarity, knowing that
whatever sacrifices we bear and
whatever challenges we endure,
we are only doing what is our responsibility as American citizens
practicing our faith in the public
Each of the lawsuits uses similar wording to make its case and
each asks for a jury trial.
Noting that the Founding Fathers agreed “that the mixture of
government and religion is destructive to both institutions and
divisive to the social fabric upon
which the country depends,” the
lawsuits contend that the U.S.
Constitution and federal law
“stand as bulwarks against oppressive government actions even
if supported by a majority of citizens.”
“Despite repeated requests
from church leaders, the government has insisted that it will not
change the core principle of the
U.S. government mandate – that
plaintiffs must subsidize and/or facilitate providing their employees
free access to drugs and services
that are contrary to plaintiffs’ religious beliefs,” the suits state. “If
the government can force religious
institutions to violate their beliefs
in such a manner, there is no apparent limit to the government’s
The suits were filed by Jones
Day, an international law firm with
more than 2,400 attorneys on five
Jones Day said in a statement
that the firm “looks forward to presenting its clients’ cases in court.”
May 30, 2012
The Catholic Commentator
Tasmans believe families must nurture their Catholic faith to thrive
By Debbie Shelley
Assistant Editor
Rob and Katie Tasman met as
graduate students in 2002 at Boston College while serving as peer
ministers. From that point, faith
and service have been the forefront of their family life.
The Tasmans have been
grounded and educated in the
Jesuit traditions. Katie Tasman, a
native of Baton Rouge, graduated
in 1997 from St. Joseph’s Academy, where she later returned to
serve as campus minister, and received her undergraduate degree
from Loyola University in New
Orleans, a Jesuit college. She recived her master’s degree in pastoral ministries at Boston College.
Rob Tasman graduated from
Don Bosco Preparatory Catholic High School in Ramsey, N.J.,
and received his bachelor’s degree
from Boston College, a Jesuit university. He received his master’s
in theology from Boston College
in 2004 and a law degree from
LSU in 2008.
Further more, Katie Tasman’s
great uncle, Father Paul Schott SJ,
officiated at the Tasmans’ wedding in 2005 at their church, St.
Aloysius Church in Baton Rouge,
Rob and Katie Tasman use daily life occurrences to teach the Catholic
faith to their sons, from left, Mack, Kevin and Joseph. Photo by Debbie Shelley | The Catholic Commentator
and baptized their sons, Mack, 4,
Kevin, 3, and Joseph, 18 months.
The Tasmans now serve the
church through their work. Rob
Tasman is the associate director
of the Louisiana Conference of
Catholic Bishops, which represents the Louisiana bishops at the
state legislative sessions concerning bills involving social justice,
pro-life and family life issues.
During this spring’s legislative
session, Rob Tasman is studying bills and speaking to legislators about the effects of education
reforms and state budget cuts on
the less fortunate. He said he enjoys giving a voice to the voiceless.
Also, Rob Tasman teaches
Ministry and Theology classes,
Catholic sexual morality classes,
a religion class at Catholic High
School and is a member of the
spiritual growth commission at
St. Aloysius.
Katie Tasman oversees the
confirmation program at St.
George Church in Baton Rouge.
According to Katie Tasman, a
highlight of the confirmation pro-
cess is a retreat at Louisiana State
Penitentiary at Angola, which
is presented by inmates who
completed the Foundations for
Ministry Program and are commissioned by the bishop. According to Katie Tasman, the Angola
retreat attendees receive strong
Christian formation through their
encounters with the marginalized of society.
The Tasmans said they work
hard to balance their daily demands by making sure their family is a priority. Katie Tasman takes
care of the children full time and
works from her home. She said
being a mother is one of her most
demanding, but fulfilling, roles.
She said her role model of a being a good mother is her mother,
Marylyn Dietz, who is religion coordinator at Sacred Heart School.
With three active boys and
busy lives, both parents have to
“share the load” to keep things going, the Tasmans said.
Both parents actively form
their children’s faith life as well.
The Tasmans tie in daily occurrences with spiritual lessons.
When a bird built a nest in the
family’s carport, the parents talked to their sons about the life of St.
Francis of Assisi.
The Tasmans also incorporate daily prayers and spiritual
routines and practices into their
lives. At night, the family has its
own examination of conscience
and talks about what each believes was the best part of their
day, which for the boys might be
riding their bikes, and what they
could do better. Rob and Katie
Tasman share some of the good
and bad moments of their day, so
the boys can see they are not perfect, but they strive to live their
faith. As their sons grow older,
the Tasmans will introduce them
to the sacramental and liturgical
elements of their faith.
According to the Tasmans,
their sons demonstrate their own
spiritual intuitiveness. When the
Tasmans saw a homeless man,
they talked to their sons about
homelessness. At that time, Mack
Tasman said, “We need to pray for
that man.”
The most important role the
Tasmans have is to guide their
children on paths that will help
them to be the best Christians
they can be. “I don’t want our
children to have a bad vision of
the world. I want them to have the
tools to go out and bring Christ to
the world,” Katie Tasman said.
Catholic marriages are exclusive unions between a man and a woman
hen I attempted to
explain to my gay
nephew, whom I love as
a son, that the right to marry was
not an absolute right for anyone,
not even heterosexual Catholics
in good standing, he was not
I told him that heterosexual
men and women are not permitted to marry in the Catholic
Church unless they intend a
permanent, exclusive union.
If they decide that they want
to “marry,” but not for life, only
for as long as the good feelings
last, we send them away. If they
want a union that is open to other
partners, we do the same thing.
Catholic marriages are meant to
be exclusive unions between one
man and one woman.
If Catholics of the same gender
come to us to marry, we respect
them, but we cannot marry them.
Under the 14th Amendment
of the U.S. Constitution, gay and
lesbian men and women can
claim equal rights, but they cannot rewrite the law or the legal
presumptions behind it.
For Today
Father John Catoir
Two things are in play: the
rights of others, and the separation of church and state.
It must be understood that
when a person’s legal rights conflict with the legal rights of another or others, the matter must
be adjudicated in a court of law
and it could be up to the Supreme
Court to decide, if necessary.
One example of this is the Occupy Wall Street protesters. They
have the constitutional right of
free speech and assembly, but it is
not an absolute right. If they disturb the peace or misuse public
property, which exists exclusively
for the common good, they lose
their license to assemble.
The marriage laws are equally
complex. What is a gay marriage?
Gays and lesbians differ in their
beliefs. Some believe in the right
to be polygamous; some demand
the right to be promiscuous;
some are committed to a lifelong
relationship; some are not.
Marriage laws must be applied
equally. All parties must accept
the same definition of the marriage contract.
The United States is a democracy, and we have the right to
oppose laws deemed unjust. In
the United States majority rules,
and the homosexual community
will not advance its chances of
gaining a majority vote to change
the law by political tactics, which
often alienate sympathetic observers.
If they won a majority vote,
creating an amendment to allow
gay marriage under the banner of
the 14th Amendment, there is the
issue of the separation between
church and state.
A U.S. law cannot be used
to make religious institutions
change their laws, which they
deem to be a divine precept:
the concept that marriage is a
contract between one man and
one woman.
All I can do for my nephew
and his long-standing partner,
both of whom are good and decent human beings, is bless them
and wish them good health, long
life and much happiness. But, I
cannot attempt to “marry” them
in the church or anywhere else
without violating church law. tell
them they have a right and a duty
to follow their conscience and
trust in God’s love.
FATHER CATOIR is chaplain of an
emergency assistance program
and writes on spirituality for
Catholic News Service.
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The Catholic Commentator
May 30, 2012
Citizens demonstrating to protect religious freedom
To demonstrate their support
of religious freedom, people in
Baton Rouge and surrounding
areas will be able to join with tens
of thousands of citizens across
the United States June 8 for the
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Rally. The local rally, which will
be the only one held in Louisiana,
will begin at noon on the steps of
the State Capitol.
The rally will have time for
prayer and public statements concerning protection of the First
Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that protects religious freedom
along with opposition to the Health
and Human Services Department
mandate forcing the inclusion in
health plans of free contraceptives,
sterilizations and abortion-inducing drugs, regardless of moral or
religious objections.
What should the elderly do, when they are
beginning to lose their
hearing, about the sacrament
of (reconciliation)? I can’t
always hear the priest from
behind the screen, and sometimes I’m not sure what my
penance is. Should I simply go
face to face? (Sabin, Minn.)
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a member of St. Thomas More
Church in Baton Rouge, are cochairs of the Baton Rouge rally.
“We believe the HHS Mandate
violates the First Amendment
of the U.S. Constitution which
protects and guarantees the free
exercise of religion,” explained
Deacon Walsh. “We believe that it
is essential for citizens to publicly
denounce and object to the HHS
Deacon Walsh added that the
rally is a peaceful way for people
to show their grievances concerning the HHS mandate. “It is time
we draw a line in the sand. This is
that time,” Deacon Walsh added.
“We are hoping for a large
crowd so we can send a message
that we are not going to sit still
because the HHS mandate violates a right that goes back to the
pilgrims,” Walsh added.
Clarifying the confusion that
many have about the rally and
the mandate, Deacon Walsh emphasized, “The rally is not about
contraceptives. It is much more
fundamental. It is an issue of our
religious freedom which is guaranteed by the First Amendment.
Reconciliation for those who cannot hear well
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The HHS mandate provides
a “religious exemption” so narrow that it excludes such religious ministries as educating
the young, caring for the sick
and feeding the hungry. Not only
does the federal government require employers to violate their
conviction, it claims the right to
decide for religious institutions
what constitutes their ministry,
according to the Stand Up for Religious Freedom website.
Deacon Pete Walsh, deacon
assistant at St. Patrick Church in
Baton Rouge, and Bob Breaux,
There are some church
parishes – a minority, to
be sure – that have an
assistive device for the hearingimpaired in the confessional.
Another option, as you mention,
is to walk around the screen and
sit face to face with the confessor.
If you can read lips or if you
and the priest are trained in
American Sign Language, you
will understand each other well.
But that, of course, removes the
option of anonymity, a choice
that must be respected.
There are other possibilities.
A hearing-challenged penitent
is allowed, for example, to write
sins or questions on paper, pass
the paper around the screen to
the priest, and the priest can
hand back a note with his advice
and a penance. (All of the written material, of course, should
be returned to the penitent or
disposed of properly.)
Canon 990 of the church’s
Code of Canon Law would even
allow for a sign-language interpreter. The interpreter could
stay behind the screen and sign
to the penitent the words of the
priest. The code specifies that
the interpreter is strictly bound
to secrecy by the inviolable seal
of confession.
I have always wondered
about the Catholic
practice of prohibiting
non-Catholics from receiving
holy Communion. If we believe
that the Eucharist is Jesus,
why wouldn’t we want to bring
the Lord to everyone? With
Christ present in non-Catholics
through the Eucharist, wouldn’t
that help their faith and, perhaps, lead eventually to their
Question Corner
Father Kenneth Doyle
conversion? (Simpsonville, S.C.)
Your sincere and faithfilled question is an
appealing argument for
intercommunion. It would carry
the day if the Eucharist were
intended only to foster Christian
unity. The theology of the Catholic Church, though, has always
seen the Eucharist as being not
only a source of unity but also a
sign of unity that already exists.
So, ordinarily, non-Catholic
Christians are not invited to
receive holy Communion when
attending a Catholic Mass.
The question of intercommunion is a delicate one because
the policy of the church is
sometimes seen as a claim of religious or moral superiority for
Catholics over other Christians.
It is by no means meant as such,
and each of us knows many
non-Catholics who are far more
Christ-like than some nominal
But today’s intercommunion
simply says that all those receiving the Eucharist are already of
one mind and one heart in their
allegiance to the doctrines and
practices of the Catholic faith
– while the reality is that there
is still a lot of hard work to do
before Christ’s Last Supper plea
for unity is realized.
There are, though, some exceptional circumstances under
which other Christians may be
permitted to receive holy Communion at a Catholic Mass.
For example, the Canon
844.4 of the Code of Canon Law
says it can happen with the permission of the diocesan bishop,
when a non-Catholic Christian
in a case of grave necessity and
no opportunity to approach a
minister of his or her own community, asks to receive, is properly disposed and manifests the
same belief about the Eucharist
as Catholics do.
Non-Catholics can also
receive holy Communion with
the approval of church authority, such as when members of
Orthodox churches present
themselves for Communion and
are properly disposed.
“These churches, although
separated from us,” says the
Catechism of the Catholic
Church, No. 1399, “yet possess true sacraments, above all
– by apostolic succession – the
priesthood and the Eucharist,
whereby they are still joined to
us in closest intimacy.”
Guidelines published by
the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops extend this same
permission to members of the
Polish National Catholic Church.
FATHER DOYLE is chancellor for
public information and a pastor
in the Diocese of Albany, N.Y.
Questions may be sent to him
at [email protected]
JMay 30, 2012
The Catholic Commentator
Catholics prepare for hurricane season through prayer
By Debbie Shelley
Assistant Editor
In anticipation of hurricane season,
June 1 through Nov. 30, the National
Hurricane Center provides information,
which can be found at weather.gov, on
how to plan for a hurricane, including
gathering emergency contact information and forming a plan of action that
includes care for pets and recovery. The
church emphasizes the importance of
spiritually preparing for hurricane season through praying.
Many Catholic faithful in the state
particularly seek the intercession of the
Blessed Mother under the name of Our
Lady of Prompt Succor, also known as
Our Lady of Quick Help, patroness of
Louisiana. Our Lady of Prompt Succor
has been credited with many miracles.
The seven Louisiana dioceses have
established a day of prayer and fasting
at the beginning of each hurricane season. Bishop Robert W. Muench will celebrate the seventh annual Day of Prayer
and Fasting for Hurricane Protection on
Friday, June 1, at noon, at St. Joseph Cathedral. This diocese issued a statement
encouraging people to, “implore God,
through the intercession of Our Lady of
Prompt Succor, patroness of Louisiana,
to preserve us from storms that might
wreak havoc on our state.”
Throughout hurricane season, Catho-
lics are encouraged to pray the Prayer for
Safety in Hurricane Season that Bishop
Maurice Schexnayder, second Bishop of
Lafayette, wrote and dedicated to the
victims of Hurricane Audrey in 1957.
Some people and church congregations recite established prayers that have
been modified to include petitions about
current circumstances.
Our Lady of Mercy Church in Baton
Rouge modified Bishop Schexnayder’s
prayer after the BP oil spill in 2010 to include natural and man-made disasters,
according to Randy Arabie, Our Lady of
Mercy liturgy director.
Peggy Sedotal, a member of St. Joseph the Worker Church in Pierre Part,
read a Prayer for Hurricane Season in
the New St. Joseph’s People’s Prayer
Book, added to it a request for protection from all disasters of nature and
introduced it to the “Come Lord Jesus”
prayer group she meets with at the home
of Barbara Theriot, who is also a member of St. Joseph the Worker.
Sedotal said because of the devastating tornados occurring in the south last
year, the group began praying the Prayer
for Hurricane Season in March this year.
She and Theriot agreed that when
praying, people should confidently give
their requests to God.
“We have to pray with faith, through
the Holy Spirit, to have enough confidence to accept whatever God gives us.
Prayer for Safety in Hurricane Season
“God, master of this passing world, hear the humble voices of your
The Sea of Galilee obeyed your order and returned to its
former quietude.
You are still the master of land and sea.
We live in
the shadow of a danger over which we have no control:
the Gulf, like
a provoked and angry giant, can awake from its seeming lethargy,
overstep its conventional boundaries, invade our land, and spread chaos and disaster.
During this hurricane season we turn to you, O loving father. Spare us from past tragedies
whose memories are still so vivid and whose wounds seem to refuse to heal with passing of time.
O virgin, star of the sea, Our beloved mother, we ask you to plead with your son in our behalf,
so that spared from the calamities common to this area and animated with a true spirit of
gratitude, we will walk in the footsteps of your divine son to reach the heavenly Jerusalem
where a
stormless eternity awaits us. Amen.”
Bishop Maurice Schexnayder
But we have to ask,” Theriot said.
Sedotal added, “Without prayer and
faith we are nothing. Without God we
are nothing.”
At St. Jules Church in Belle Rose, a
novena to Our Lady of Prompt Succor
is prayed at the conclusion of the 6 p.m.
Monday Mass during hurricane season.
As part of the novena, people pray for
Our Lady of Prompt Succor’s intervention in war, disasters, epidemics and illness.
Ivy Landry, who attends daily Mass
at St. Jules, said she ends her daily recitation of the rosary with a prayer for
protection from hurricanes. She also
belongs to a rosary group that prays for
safety in hurricane season. An image
of the Blessed Mother is present as the
group prays.
Gloria Falcon, a member of St. Francis of Assisi and Ascension of Our Lord
churches in Donaldsonville who attends
the Monday Mass at St. Jules, said different kinds of storms happen during
life, but people can be confident that
God is faithful and will do what’s best
for them.
“It’s reassuring to know that no matter what goes on, as long as we have
been faithful and pray, God will see us
through,” Falcon said.
How to distinguish between good and bad religion
ndrew Sullivan made
a comment in a recent
“Newsweek” article that
caught my attention.
“There is so much bad religion right now in this country
that I felt it was important as
a Christian to say, ‘This is not
what I believe,’” he wrote.
It raised the question: What
is bad religion as opposed to
good religion?
Over the past few years, the
news has reported a number
of outlandish statements made
by prominent religious leaders.
Some have called the president of the United States a
devil, bashed gays and labeled
Americans infidels.
Bad religion is employing
inflammatory words without
concern for their repercussions. It is the opposite of
Cicero’s admonition to his son
Marcus that we should always
try to speak harmoniously.
Provocative language divides;
it does not create harmony.
Bad religion is employing
incendiary rhetoric, creating
The Human Side
Father Eugene Hemrick
an atmosphere in which meaningful dialogue is impossible.
Bad religion is crusading
for a cause that is self-centered
and self-aggrandizing, not
altruistic and selfless.
In his book “Learning the
Virtues That Lead You to
God,” theologian Father Romano Guardini writes about
disinterestedness as a virtue.
He describes a proverb
from ancient China that says
the fewer interests a man has,
the more powerful he is. A
man not ruled by his interests
has no ulterior motives, he
Disinterestedness stems
from the genuineness of life,
the truth of thought, the will to
work and the sincerity of one’s
disposition. A person possessing the virtue of disinterestedness is his or her authentic
Possessing a will to work,
he or she will burn the midnight oil to better understand
the complexities of a problem.
Bad religion darkens the
dispositions of people by emphasizing the negative instead
of the positive and redemptive.
Bad religion is moralizing
to the point of destroying joy.
Defending ethics and morals
is needed. But when people become judgmental, domineering and arrogant, they lose
their powers of creating the joy
of progress.
Good religion is found in
persons who are passionate
about a cause but do not let
passions cloud the truth. It is
detected in persons who are
patient and study as many
sides of a problem as possible.
Good religion reverences
the nobility of language and is
cautious to use it carefully.
Most of all, good religion
is found in those who reflect
the loving heart of Christ. It
believes in fraternal correc-
tion, a principle quality of love,
but also in its other qualities:
mercy, beneficence, alms giving, joy and a desire for peace.
FATHER HEMRICK, a research
associate with the Life Cycle
Research Institute at The
Catholic University of America,
writes on issues pertinent to the
church and the human spirit for
Catholic News Service.
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The Catholic Commentator
May 30, 2012
The newly ordained, from left, Father Al Davidson, Father Matthew McCaughey and Father Peter Dang, join Bishop Robert W. Muench and their fellow priests at the altar during the
Eucharistic Prayer of the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist and the Rite of Ordination to the Priesthood May 26 at St. Joseph Cathedral. Photo by Laura Deavers | The Catholic Commentator
Bishop Muench’s homily for the Mass of Ordination to the Priesthood May 26, 2012
I heartily congratulate each of you ordinands: Peter,
Al and Matthew for your fervent response to the call of
God and the church to the ordained priesthood. Ten years
ago at the Mass of Installation here, like you today, I chose
John 21 for the Gospel. Now I was the one who proposed
1 Kings 18 for the first reading, and you ordinands, so
faithful to your promise of obedience, immediately accepted it. How wise of you to be so dutiful.
That reading highlighted the dramatic contest on Mt.
Carmel between the prophet Elijah and the pagan prophets. Cleverly outmaneuvering the false prophets, Elijah
proposed a contest first to the people, then addressed the
Baalist prophets with the rules already established.
In contrast to the contrived and torturous machinations of those prophets, Elijah prayed simply and confidently to God, who responded promptly and decisively.
I chose this reading to emphasize Elijah’s personal faith,
courage, heroism, reliance and confidence in God, and
its timely application to the growing contemporary secularism and godlessness with which we in the Church are
confronted. I do not suggest that we mimic Elijah’s tactics
of taunting and brashness, but I do invoke Jesus’ instruction to the original 12: “I am sending you like sheep in the
midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as
doves; for you will be led before governors and kings for
my sake as a witness before them and the non-believers.”
(Mt. 10:16, 18). While prudence and reason must always
guide our words and actions, the beliefs of our church and
our constitutionally-protected right to live by those beliefs
are always to be fearlessly affirmed.
Moving forward, the whole 21st chapter of St. John’s
Gospel focuses on Peter as the premier symbol of apostleship (and therefore priesthood). Biblical scholars commonly agree that this passage is the “reinitiation” or revalidation of Peter as head of the original 12 after his personal
denial of Jesus. John’s account demonstrates both what it
means to be an apostle (and correspondingly a priest), and
the intrinsic mutual relationship.
Jesus’ triply-posed, defining question to Peter (“Do you
love me?”) is asked today to you — Peter, Al and Matthew
— to me and to us all. Before we spontaneously and blithely respond, “Of course,” or basically react as Peter, “Lord,
you already know that; why ask?” Let us pause to recollect.
This question itself presupposes faith; it presumes
trust. Perhaps the question might best be answered in like
manner to the father of the demonically possessed son in
Mark 9, who implored Jesus for a cure by pleading:
“Lord, if there is anything you can do, please do it.”
When Jesus retorts, “Don’t you believe?,” the man so honesty replies, “Yes, Lord, I do believe, but not enough; help
my lack of belief” (Mark 9:23-24). WOW! What a great
Dare any of us evade Jesus’ question? Dare any of us
think we love Jesus enough? Dare any of us say we have
denied ourselves enough, sacrificed enough, been humble
enough, merciful enough, forgiving enough, compassionate enough, charitable enough, generous enough, prayerful enough, virtuous enough, holy enough? I plead with
you, my brothers to be ordained, and exhort each of us
present, to stop, reflect and sincerely pray, “Lord I do love
you, but not enough; help my lack of love.”
You candidates will lie dramatically prostrate in this
sanctuary before your ordination. We all must join you
in pledging self-control, confronting our own tendencies
to complacency, minimalism, superficiality, callousness,
comfortableness and lukewarmness. For each of us is
called to ongoing, daily conversion of heart and sanctity
of life. In the spiritual realm, there is no such thing as
merely maintaining the status quo — we either progress
or regress.
After receiving his response, Jesus specifically instructs Peter, “Feed my lambs. Tend my sheep” (John
21:15b, 16b, 17b). One of the unique characteristics of the
Gospel of John is Jesus’ frequent emphasis on his identity
and role as the Good Shepherd. As the Good Shepherd,
Jesus pointedly calls upon Peter and, by extension, those
of us who have received the imposition of hands and the
anointing of palms to be not only signs and symbols, witnesses and instruments, but even more to be Christ himself — in person, in life and in consecrated service of Word
and sacraments. Let us priests rededicate ourselves today,
as we do at every Chrism Mass. Let us be consciously immersed in Christ, permeated by his love, fortified by his
grace, infused with his spirit, identified with his call and
response, absorbed in his mission and focused on his ministry.
In John 21, this Good Shepherd image culminates in
Jesus’ command to Peter to tend the little lambs. Feeding the lambs is the heart of the priesthood. As Blessed
Pope John Paul II so eloquently wrote, “The priest fulfills
his principal mission and is manifested in all his fullness
when he celebrates the Eucharist and this manifestation
is more complete when he himself allows the depth of that
mystery to become visible, so that it alone shines forth in
people’s hearts and minds, through this ministry... The
Eucharist is the principal and central raison d’etre of the
sacrament of priesthood, which effectively came into being at the moment of the institution of the Eucharist. And
together with it … through our ordination – the celebration of which is linked to the holy Mass from the very first
liturgical evidence – we are united in a singular and exceptional way to the Eucharist.
“In a certain way we derive from it and exist for it. We
are also, and in a special way ... responsible for it – each
priest in his own community and each bishop by virtue
of the care of all the communities entrusted to him.”
(Dominicae Cenae #2)
The priest never tires of reminding the People of God
that the Eucharist is love incarnate, that the Eucharist is
the Divine Word prepared for consumption, that the Eucharist is the proof that Jesus forgives us, and that the Eucharist beckons us to the most intimate union and symbiotic bond between the divine and the human.
Recently Father Ron Knott led our annual Priests’ Continuing Formation, challenging us to be an Intentional
Presbyterate. He stressed that we diocesan priests are neither to be “lone rangers” nor members of tribal cliques, but
rather an “intimate sacramental brotherhood of service.”
We can’t be “priests in private practice,” just doing our own
thing, unconnected to Christ, the Church or one another.
I confidently brag about the presbyterate of our diocese,
including those members in consecrated life. From my
perspective this presbyterate has been intentional from
the time I first joined it, and has continued to progress in
that goal ever since. Unique in person, background, talent
and style, each priest diligently seeks the building up of
the Body of Christ on Earth. We see ourselves as special
extensions of Christ, brothers to one another, companions with our beloved and esteemed ecclesial ministers,
and servants of Christ to the extended Church and world.
We enthusiastically welcome you, our newest sacerdotal
members, with open arms, extended hands and a warm
embrace of peace.
Peter, Al and Matthew, we rejoice and celebrate with
you, your families, your brother seminarians, friends,
seminary personnel, our diocese and the Church universal. Surrender yourselves to God, entrust yourselves to his
holy will, accept the grace of this transforming sacrament
and rely always on the fidelity of God to enlighten, inspire,
fortify and guide you. “Give thanks to the Lord for he is
good; his love is everlasting” (Ps. 107:1).
May 30, 2012
The Catholic Commentator
Father Peter Dang
Ordination – May 26, 2012
By Barbara Chenevert
Staff Writer
ather Peter Dang
says he has
struggled through
poverty in Vietnam,
language barriers in
and out of the seminary
and cancer. But still he
has a wonderful gift to
bring to the priesthood:
a smile.
“I can smile and get
along with people. It
comes easy for me,” he
said. “In the seminary,
a priest told me to keep
smiling. I hadn’t recognized that as a gift until
then,” he said.
A native of Vietnam,
the 47-year-old Dang
said he is ready to serve
God and his people.
“A lot of things have
happened to me, but
God still loves me, and
he wants me to be a
priest,” he said referring to his family’s poverty, political struggles
in Vietnam and a bout with lymphoma. Father Dang
said he would be happy wherever he serves God. “I
was born a poor person in a poor country, so it is easy
for me to adapt to any situation. I can do without,” he
said. “ I just thank God for all that I have.”
Father Dang, who will be the parochial vicar at St.
Thomas More Church in Baton Rouge, said his time
serving as a deacon at St. John the Evangelist Church
in Plaquemine last year has given him a new confidence. “I was nervous in front of people before, but
when I was ordained (a deacon) I felt a power – that
God was with me. It was totally different. The Holy
Spirit worked in me,” he said.
Left, Peter Dang kneels in front of
Bishop Robert W. Muench and
promises respect and obedience
to him and his successors during
the Rite of Ordination to the Sacred Order of Priests May 26 at St.
Joseph Cathedral.
Bottom left, Father Cleo Milano,
pastor of St. John the Evangelist
Church in Plaquemine, hugs Father Dang after he and Father
Minh Phan invested Father Dang
with his stole and chasuble.
Standing behind Father Phan are
Father Dang’s parents, Phuong
Vu Dang and Quang Dang. Father
Dang served at St. John while he
was a deacon.
Below, Father Dang gives his first
blessing as an ordained priest to
Bishop Muench before the final
blessing of the Mass. Photos by Laura
Deavers | The Catholic Commentator
He said he looks forward to celebrating the sacraments and preaching homilies when he will have the
opportunity to bring God’s word to the people, to help
them recognize Jesus and apply God’s word to their
Also dear to him is the ministry to the sick, elderly
and homebound. Although language has often been
an obstacle for him, he said he learned in ministering
to those who often cannot attend Mass that you don’t
always need to say something. “I didn’t always have
to worry about talking. Sometimes just being present
to them is enough. You connect with them through
“Every night when I pray, I ask God for love. The
more I love God, the more good I can do. Through
God’s love I can love and serve his people,” Father
Dang said, adding if one trusts in God, he will protect
his people.
Father Dang said he first felt the call to priesthood as a young child when he would see the priest in
Vietnam give his food to hungry children. “That image
touched me and it has followed me. I decided I wanted
to do that.”
He entered the seminary, but the Communists
shut it down, and he was unable to continue studying. When he came to this country and settled in
Baton Rouge, he had to help his family financially, so
he again put off studying for the priesthood for many
years. Finally, after taking English courses at Divine
Word College in Iowa, he was able to return to Louisiana and enter Notre Dame Seminary in 2006.
“When I went to seminary and prayed, I could feel
God calling me. Everyday it became clearer to me that
I was being called” to priesthood.
Father Dang said he would like to counsel people,
whether it be young teenagers facing peer pressure,
people with cancer
or couples struggling with marriage. “I don’t know
if I have the ability
to do that because
of my language, but
I feel I have lots to
share with them,”
he said.
Father Dang
also hopes someone in his new
church parish has
a swimming pool
and will invite
him over. “I love to
swim. In the seminary I would swim
two or three times
a week.”
He also loves
nature, flower
arranging and
sewing. He said he had the opportunity to arrange
flowers for Christmas, Easter and special Masses at
the seminary.
Father Dang celebrated his first Mass of Thanksgiving on May 27 at Sts. Anthony of Padua and Le
Van Phung Church in Baton Rouge. He then left on a
four-week trip to Vietnam where he will visit family
and friends and celebrate Mass with them. He said
he will also try to help the poor by bringing them rice
and any donations he receives while he is there.
Father Dang is the son of Quang and Phuong
Dang. He has two brothers and three sisters.
The Catholic Commentator
May 30, 2012
Father Al Davidson
Ordination – May 26, 2012
By Barbara Chenevert
Staff Writer
rom wounded man to a mature spiritual soul;
from blue jeans and t-shirts to someone with
two college degrees, Father Al Davidson said the
transformation he has been through is one of the gifts
he brings to priesthood.
“My life experiences are probably my biggest asset,”
he said. “My sinful experiences and the experience of
God’s mercy and forgiveness allowed me to heal my
woundedness. Now, I can see that woundedness in
others, and can be the instrument to bring them to
Christ and allow them to be healed.”
At the age of 58, Father Davidson has had many life
experiences. Before deciding to enter the seminary, he
had been a carpenter and a business owner. He was in
an invalid marriage and away from the church.
“When you live as long as I have, you have baggage.
So before I can help someone else, I had to be healed,
and I could only do that through my personal relationship with Jesus Christ,” he said.
Father Davidson, who will be the parochial vicar
at St. Aloysius Church in Baton Rouge, says he sees a
new spirituality in the seminary which he attributes
to daily adoration of the Eucharist and participation
in the Institute for Priestly Formation, an intense 10week summer course that focuses on development of
the seminarian’s spirituality and prayer life.
“To be a priest today is very exciting,” Father
Davidson said. “I see it in my classmates and in the
morale in the seminary, and I don’t see anything
holding it back. We have brought fervor and a new
vitality to the existing priests when we spend time
with them,” he said. “It’s all positive. It’s filled with
the Holy Spirit.”
He said he felt this year’s graduating class, despite
diversity in age and culture, had strong unity that
had not existed in previous classes, especially since
Hurricane Katrina. “There had been division, a negativism, they never gelled,” he said of previous classes.
Hurricane Katrina had a physical, emotional and
Left, Deacon Al Davidson kneels before Bishop Robert W. Muench as the
bishop prays silently while laying his
hands on his head. This prayer precedes the prayer of ordination.
Bottom left, Monsignor Robert Berggreen, right, prepares to place the chasuble on Father Al Davidson, vesting
him with the garment that indicates
that he is an ordained priest. Father
Jeff Bayhi, left, also assisted with the
investiture of stole and chasuble. Monsignor Berggreen was pastor of St. Agnes Church in Baton Rouge, the church
Father Davidson attended. Father Bayhi lived at St. Agnes while he was diocesan vocation director.
Below, Deacon Davidson joins, from
left, Gayle and Wayne Hirschey, his
mother, Pat Davidson, his sister, Dale
Davidson and his father, Paul Davidson, at the beginning of the Ordination Mass.
Photos by Laura Deavers | The Catholic Commentator
spiritual effect on them. They lost everything” when
the seminary flooded.
Father Davidson said daily prayer has to become a
habit. “It is more important than (physical) nourishment to me. My day is not the same without prayer. If
we as priests can just bring that to the church parishes and raise the prayer life of parishioners, especially
in the outlying areas that need some rejuvenation
and young blood.”
Since Blessed Pope John Paul II began his new
evangelization effort, people are wanting more from
the church, he added. He said he sees it in young
people wanting to make a difference in the world and
wanting to do it in connection with the church.
Father Davidson said he is open to whatever the
people need. “They will bring
parishioners to me and allow
me to be an instrument to feed
them, whether they are newborns, those who have had a
long life and are about to return
to God or anyone in between.
After 25 years away from
church, I have seen division and
I can give a different view from
the outside. Now that I am on
the interior, my goal is to break
the division.”
He said he hoped to work
with those preparing for marriage as well as those in troubled
marriages to help them see that
God must be part of their relationship. But he also
looks forward to working with youth.
“I had never worked with children or young adults
before,” he said. But during his diaconate service at
Our Lady of Mercy Church in Baton Rouge last year,
he had the opportunity to work with 5- and 6-yearolds up to the high school youth group and young
adults. “I see the future of the church in them.” He
said he found young adults who were solid in their
faith, and discerning a vocation, whether in marriage
or a religious life.
A former member of St. Agnes Church, Father
Davidson is the son of Paul and Pat Davidson. He has
six sisters and a brother. He presided at his first Mass
of Thanksgiving at St. Agnes on May 27.
May 30, 2012
The Catholic Commentator
Father Matthew McCaughey
Ordination – May 26, 2012
Left, Father Matthew McCaughey says the
Eucharistic Prayer during the Celebration
of the Holy Eucharist and the Rite of Ordination to the Priesthood May 26 at St. Joseph Cathedral. Each of the three priests
ordained at the Mass read a part of the
prayer. Present with Bishop Robert W.
Muench at the altar are the priests who
participated in the Mass.
Bottom left, Father Matthew McCaughey
gives the Holy Eucharist to his mother, Dorothy McCaughey, as his father, Michael McCaughey, walks up to receive Communion.
Below, Father McCaughey blessed his
grandmother, Marie Bowers, seated, and
his aunt, Boots Oliphint, left, as a friend approaches to greet them.
Photos by Laura Deavers | The Catholic Commentator
By Barbara Chenevert
Staff Writer
ith a laugh, Father Matthew McCaughey
said, “When I graduated from LSU, I entered the seminary. Now that I’m graduating from the seminary, I am going back to LSU,” The
28-year-old McCaughey will begin his priestly ministry as parochial vicar of Christ the King Church and
Catholic Center on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge.
A positive attitude, a spirit of gratitude and a
desire for genuine community built on friendship in
Christ are the gifts that Father McCaughey says he
brings to the priesthood.
“I can never tire of giving thanks. My positive
attitude has given me a heart of thanksgiving. I can
spend my whole hour of prayer just giving thanks to
God,” he said.
Father McCaughey said he hopes to foster commu-
nity in the church parish and in the priesthood.
“There is power in community as Christ has told
us. There is a grace,” he added.
Father McCaughey said as a priest he is called to
give, and what he will receive in return will be God.
“I give of myself. God uses me as an instrument and
I hope to genuinely receive God’s love and the love
of the people. And I hope I am never too busy to appreciate it.”
Father McCaughey, who was among the top in his
graduating class, downplays his academic record.
“My strength in ministry lies not with knowledge, but
with compassion,” he said.
He is looking forward to serving at Christ the
King. “My role is simple – to be with the students.
It’s like a giant youth group all day, everyday. If they
want to go bowling, good, we’ll go. If they want to say
a rosary, good, we’ll do that.”
He said he hopes to bring the spirituality he experienced in the seminary to the church parish. “The
spirituality we witness in serving would be the goal
of any parish church: knowing the language of the
heart – how God speaks to us in the silence. We are
called to prayer both individually and in community,”
he said.
“We’re seeing more awareness of prayer in the
seminary, and that can be brought into any community,” he said, adding he experienced good liturgy and
academics at Notre Dame Seminary. Having good
liturgy helps the assembly enter into community, he
He said seminarians also worked to have unifying
social gatherings. “We tried to make them special
and unique. The effort we put into planning a gathering is a sign of our unity,” he said.
The son of Michael and Dorothy McCaughey of Baton Rouge, he said he hopes his degree in engineering
from LSU will help with the administrative aspects of
a church parish, while his love of music can enhance
other ministries. He said he often plays guitar when
visiting the sick, and that seems to bring them joy
and comfort. He also sang with the St. Joseph Cathedral choir for many years which he said “drew him
closer to the Eucharist” and kept him going to Mass
during his high school and college years.
Father McCaughey said he felt drawn to the priesthood for a long time before he entered the seminary,
but kept fighting it. “It was a wrestling match – a debate like in a courtroom. I said everything but Mary’s
yes,” to God’s call, he said.
While in South Carolina for a summer job at a
chemical plant, he said he looked on a vocation website and thought he might like to pursue it. When he
opened the door, he said “God just rushed in”, and he
was filled with a sense of peace.
The youngest of five children, Father McCaughey
attended St. Thomas More Elementary School, Baton
Rouge High School and LSU before enrolling in
Notre Dame. He celebrated his first Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Thomas More Church in Baton Rouge,
his home parish.
The Catholic Commentator
May 30, 2012
Chauvin to attend academy
The Louisiana Center for
Women and Government at
Nicholls State University recently selected St. Thomas Aquinas
High School sophomore Madison Chauvin to attend the Louisiana Girls Leadership Academy
in June. The academy attendees
have an opportunity to network
and learn from professional and
political leaders.
Drude named Young Hero
EXTRAORDINARY EUCHARISTIC MINISTERS – Thirty-four rising Catholic High seniors were commissioned during the last CHS school Mass of
the year on May 17 to serve as extraordinary ministers of holy Communion for school liturgies for the 2012-2013 school year. Students commissioned went through a training process which involved writing a reflection essay and logistical training. The new extraordinary eucharistic
ministers are: Joseph Angelloz, Daniel Bordelon, Stephen Colomb, Trey Core, Tyler Davidson, Connor Dizor, Jake Forshag, Wesley Freeburgh,
Brandon Fresina, Trey Fruge, Justin Guitreau, Ryan Harb, Troy Henderson, Matthew Herrera, Travis Jackson, George Jeha, Robert Kusch, Bryson
LeJeune, Ryan McGinty, Chuck Mock, Matthew Morgan, Jacob Oubre, Matthew Patterson, Trey Poché, Adam Prevot, Chris Ruth, Alex Say, Ben
Schexnayder, Bennett Sherman, Ryan Shore, Joseph St. Cyr, Avery Thibodeaux, Patrick Van Duzee and Evan Wampold. Photo provided by Catholic High
Meredith Drude, eighth-grade
student at Holy Ghost School,
received the Young Heroes
Award during a school assembly
on May 18. She was nominated
by Principal Tangee Daugereaux
and recommended by several of
her teachers for inspiring others
through her strength of character and showing courage in
the face of adversity. Drude is a
National Junior Honor Society
member and a cheerleader at
Give the best gift of all – yourself!
Every day there are people who are praying for a
miracle. Just an everyday miracle – like a hot
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decent pair of shoes. You can help.
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and offer guidance to homeless children at the
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GRANDPARENTS DAY – Ascension Catholic Elementary School fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders celebrated Grandparents Day May 2 by performing “Magnificat,” a shadow play based on the life of the
Blessed Mother, after which grandparents visited the students’ classrooms. Bennet Vega spends
time with his grandparents, from left, Cookie Vega and Peggy and George Alonzo. Photo provided by
Ascension Catholic Elementary School
BLESSING ROSARIES – In honor of the Month of the Blessed
Virgin Mary, Holy Ghost
School fourth-graders made
rosaries on May 11. Brother
Mauricio Salazar OP blesses
the students’ rosaries. Present during the blessing were,
from left, Mason Turner, Patrick Cody, Braeden Hallmark
and Angelina Mesa. Photo provided by Holy Ghost School
May 30, 2012
McCarthy to serve others in the Navy
By Debbie Shelley
Assistant Editor
Logan McCarthy, 18, a member of Immaculate Conception
Church in Denham Springs, will
leave July 3 to begin his training
in the Navy to become an explosive ordinance disposal (EOD)
technician. He said serving in the
military will help him provide
people, particularly those in Third
World countries, a better life that
is free of fear and oppression.
“I was born to help people. I
want to go overseas and defend
the people who cannot defend
themselves,” McCarthy said.
A recent honor graduate of
Walker High School, McCarthy
went through training classes
this past year to prepare to enter the Navy. When he told his
instructor his life-long dream of
becoming a Navy SEAL, the instructor advised McCarthy that
with his academic aptitude and
desire to become an engineer he
should train to be an EOD. After
serving in the military, McCarthy
plans to attend MIT and study robotics.
McCarthy recalls that when he
was a child he played with Legos
and K’nex building toys. One
year, McCarthy received Bionical
building toys for Christmas, and
his uncle came over to his house
and was unable to read the instructions and assemble them.
McCarthy took the Bionicals, and
without reading the instructions,
assembled them within seconds.
“I’ve always been building
things,” McCarthy said.
This also means building relationships with others and guiding them so they can carry on
Logan McCarthy, 18
Hometown: Walker
School: Walker High School
Church: Immaculate Conception Church, Denham Springs
the positive work going on in his
school, church and community.
As a member of the newly
formed Walker High School
Leadership Council, McCarthy
planned and organized meetings
and events to improve the quality
of his school’s clubs and organizations. The students serve as ambassadors to the school.
Through his working with the
Leadership Council, McCarthy
said he discovered how important the people he leads are to the
success of their endeavors. “They
can do without you, but you cannot do without them,” McCarthy
Additionally, McCarthy has
tutored students at school.
Within the Immaculate Conception Youth Group, McCarthy
organized the church’s youth
group activities including the
group’s annual Wash for Life, a
fund raiser for a local crisis pregnancy center; different educational classes and lock-ins. Dur-
ing one lock-in that was focused
on the mysteries of the rosary,
McCarthy wrote the commentary and directed the skits on the
sorrowful mysteries. He said he
learned a lot about the other mysteries of the rosary as he watched
the other youth present them.
Attending the March for Life
in Washington, D.C.. in January
was a life-changing experience
for McCarthy as he discussed
life issues with Father Andrew
Merrick, former parochial vicar
at Immaculate Conception. He
has also prayed outside an abortion clinic, listened to talks from
women who regretted having an
abortion and marched with thousands of his peers in support of
life. “I have a whole different concept about what it means to be
pro-life,” McCarthy said. “I knew
before I went that abortion wasn’t
right, but now I’m fully pro-life.”
Furthermore, McCarthy has
participated for the past several
years in the Abbey Youth Fest and
the Diocesan Youth Conference.
McCarthy, who plays the piano and drums, said he was drawn
to the music at Abbey Youth Fest
and thought that he might want
to become a musician. But it was
at a Diocesan Youth Conference
(DYC) that he discovered that he
was meant to be more directly involved with helping and guiding
people. He said he saw a young
person crying at DYC and he
hugged and comforted her.
“I realized then that all I had
done in my life was to assist people. I’m good at music, but not the
best at music. But people come
to me because they know I’ll be
straight with them and because I
care,” McCarthy said.
The Catholic Commentator
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COLOR THE WEATHER – Second- and third-grade students at St. Louis King of France School won WAFB’s
Color the Weather contest with their drawings of various weather conditions. WAFB showed their pictures
on their evening weather segment of the news and awarded the winners with a T-shirt. The students were
recognized at a school assembly. Wearing their new shirts are, from left, front row, Alexander Lu, Kathy Vu,
Cristine Vu, Jordan Smith, Madeline Matherne, La’Bron McClue, Alyssa Williams, and Avanté Givens;
row, Camille Trelles, Gabby Matkovic, Timothy Vu, Amanda Stewart, Karrington Hall and Kasey Williams.
Photo provided by St. Louis King of France School
Water lilies
13827 Coursey Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA
The Catholic Commentator
USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting
A-I – General patronage
A-II – Adults and adolescents
A-III – Adults
A-IV – Adults, with reservations
L – Limited adult audience
O – Morally offensive
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
(Fox Searchlight)
A gaggle of British retirees heads to India in search of enlightenment and excitement in this adaptation of Deborah Moggach’s 2004 novel “These Foolish Things,”
directed by John Madden. An ensemble of
stock characters are present: the sympathetic widow (Judi Dench); the unhappily
married couple (Penelope Wilton and Bill
Nighy); two randy seniors (Celia Imrie and
Ronald Pickup); a gay man (Tom Wilkinson) searching for his childhood lover; and
a mean-spirited bigot (Maggie Smith) who
needs a hip replacement. They all live in
a dilapidated hotel whose manager (Dev
Patel) brims with optimism. The film offers a mixed, and problematic, moral message about the twilight years, presenting
Motion Picture Association of America
G – General audiences; all ages admitted
PG – Parental guidance suggested; some
material may not be suitable for children
PG-13 – Parents are strongly cautioned
to give special guidance for attendance
of children under 13; some material may
be inappropriate for young children
R – Restricted; under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian
NC-17 – No one under 17 admitted
them as a time for forgiveness and reconciliation, but also for cutting matrimonial
ties and embracing hedonism. A benign
view of premarital sex and homosexual
acts, partial nudity, gruesome images of a
corpse, some sexual innuendo, occasional
rough language. O; PG-13
Men in Black 3
Moderately fun, but ultimately forgettable third round for the well-established
secret alien crime-fighting duo of Agents
J (Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee Jones).
In this outing, J wakes up in an alternate
timeline to find that an extraterrestrial
villain (Jemaine Clement) has killed K off,
and begun the enslavement of humanity.
So J must set the clock back – all the way
May 30, 2012
to 1969 – and dissuade a younger version
of K, played by Josh Brolin, from pursuing the course that would eventually lead
him to his doom. Director Barry Sonnenfeld delivers a slightly tired retread of the
comedy franchise, the premise for which
derives from Lowell Cunningham’s comic
book “The Men in Black.” And screenwriter Etan Cohen’s dialogue makes wholly
unnecessary forages into vulgar language
and profanity, putting this beyond the
pale for younger audiences. Frequent action violence, at least two instances of
profanity, occasional crude and crass language. A-III; PG-13
Feel-good nonsense about a rowdy naval officer (Taylor Kitsch) who has to grow
up fast when he’s called upon to save the
world from a seemingly invincible force of
invading aliens. He’s aided, initially, by his
steadier older brother and navy comrade
(Alexander Skarsgard) and later by the
shore-side efforts of his would-be fiancee
(Brooklyn Decker). She’s a physical therapist for wounded vets (most prominently
real-life Purple Heart-winner Gregory D.
Gadson) whose admiral father (Liam Neeson) takes a dim view of her relationship
with our hero. And music star Rihanna
gets thrown into the mix representing the
tough-as-nails distaff side of the duty roster. Director Peter Berg’s action adventure,
which is supposed to have something to
do with the titular Hasbro game, pulls out
every patriotic stop and waves every flag
within reach, offering a largely harmless,
if quickly forgotten, diversion for mature
viewers. Much action violence and some
painful slapstick, at least one use of profanity, about a dozen crude and a handful
of crass terms. A-III; PG-13
The Dictator
Foul language and gross-out sludge
predominate in director Larry Charles’
comedic portrait of a composite, but
Moammar Gadhafi-like tyrant (Sacha
Baron Cohen) from the fictional North African nation of Wadiya. After his scheming uncle (Ben Kingsley) uses his absence
on a state visit to the United Nations as the
opportunity to stage a coup, replacing the
outrageously bearded goof with a more
pliable imposter, the true leader finds
himself wandering the streets of Manhattan, whiskerless and penniless. Taking an
alternate identity, he befriends, and eventually romances, a hippy-dippy vegan
collective grocer (Anna Faris), muddles
his way into a job at her food store and
plots to retake his title. Besides the blatantly sexist and racist jokes in which the
script trades, there are gags playing on
such ripe-for-comedy subjects as rape,
pedophilia, prostitution, AIDS, abortion,
necrophilia, suicide and homosexuality.
Occasional violence, strong sexual content including pervasive sexual humor,
fleeting full nudity, a same-sex kiss and
an explicit endorsement of aberrant acts,
frequent rough and crude language. O; R
What to Expect When You’re Expecting
This fruitless reproductive comedy awkwardly juggles the stories of five expectant
couples (most prominently Cameron Diaz
and Matthew Morrison, Jennifer Lopez
and Rodrigo Santoro) as they prepare for
four deliveries and an Ethiopian adoption.
Director Kirk Jones’ fictionalization of Heidi Murkoff’s bestselling advice book veers
between vulgar humor and trite sentimentality and showcases misguided contemporary attitudes toward sexuality, pregnancy
and parenthood. Errant values, including
a benign view of cohabitation, out-of-wedlock pregnancy and in vitro fertilization,
pervasive sexual and biological humor,
some scatological humor, an implied aberrant sex act, brief rear and partial nudity,
a couple of instances of profanity, at least
one use of the F-word, much crude and
crass language. L; PG-13
For Greater Glory
(ARC Entertainment)
Powerful historical drama recounting
the persecution of the Catholic Church in
Mexico during the 1920s under the presidency of Plutarco Calles (Ruben Blades)
and the popular reactions —
­ both peaceful (led by Eduardo Verastegui) and violent (led by Andy Garcia) — it provoked.
As Garcia’s character, a religious skeptic,
becomes the unlikely commander of an
army of the devout, he gains inspiration
from a saintly adolescent volunteer (impressive newcomer Mauricio Kuri). Director Dean Wright’s epic — which also
features a brief turn from Peter O’Toole
as a wise and venerable priest — gets off
to a slow start. But once the initially varied story lines laid out in Michael Love’s
script converge, their outcome packs an
emotional wallop. The fact-based, faithquickening tale the movie tells is sufficiently valuable to warrant a younger
viewership than would normally be advisable for fare of this kind. Probably acceptable for mature adolescents. Considerable action violence with some gore, the
torture of a child and at least one mildly
vulgar term. A-III; R
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May 30, 2012
Moving toward change means recognizing our mistakes
I came up out of the water; Raised my hands
to the Father; Gave it all to him that day; Felt
a new wind kiss my face; Walked away, eyes
wide open; Could finally see where I was going; Didn’t matter where I had been I’m not
the same man I was then
I got off track, I made mistakes; Back slid my
way into that place where souls get lost; Lines
get crossed; And the pain won’t go away; I hit
my knees, now here I stand; There I was now
here I am; Here I am; Changed
I got a lot of “hey, I’m sorry;” The things I’ve
done, man, that was not me; I wish I could
take it all back; I just want to tell ‘em that
(Repeat refrain.)
I’ve changed for the better; More smiles, less
bitter; I’m even starting to forgive myself; Yes,
I am
I hit my knee, I’m here I stand; There I was now
here I am; Here I am, here I am, here I am; I’m
changed; Yes, I am; I’m changed for the better
Sung by Rascal Flatts | Copyright © 2012 by Big Machine Records
The Catholic Commentator
aving made millions
through the sale of
albums and downloads,
plus several songs that climbed
the music charts, the trio Rascal
Flatts clearly has made it in the
music business.
However, no matter how successful life is, it evolves. Front
man Gary LeVox expressed
his perspective on this as he
discussed Rascal Flatts’ new disc
and title single “Changed.”
“(We) thought that title of
that song really captures what
this new season of our career is
’cause everything in our professional career has changed.”
Being open to change keeps the creative spirit
vibrant and is likely to bring Rascal Flatts even
more success.
For the song’s protagonist, change occurs
when he faces the truth about his choices and
behaviors. He admits, “I got off track, I made
mistakes, back slid my way into that place where
souls get lost.” Now he is ready to announce:
“Here I am changed.”
The song does not say what happened, what
made him recognize his mistakes. Recognizing
mistakes sometimes begins by understanding
the consequences of our actions on others and
ourselves. Then, clarity emerges and we see that
we have amends to make.
All of this becomes possible through a rigorous acknowledgment of the truth. The song’s
character may not have reached this level of truth
because he says: “The things I’ve done, man, that
was not me.”
Wrong. It was you.
Honesty demands recognition of our mistakes. There are no excuses. Regrets may surface,
but truth demands accepting responsibility for
choices that have hurt others.
As this deeper and more genuine step of
honesty takes place, the real work for change can
begin. We have to look into ourselves and fearlessly name our hidden motivations. This is an act
of humility. Shame or guilt is not needed nor is it
Look at what it will take to instill lasting
change. Put together a plan. Most
likely, the song’s character will
need help to do this well. Such a
plan should integrate the truth
about one’s motivations and put
together a step-by-step process of
working toward new goals.
No one runs without first
learning to walk. Change is rarely
instant but often is the product of
desire backed by a willingness to
consistently seek the goal.
We often learn that achieving
change is not as easy as saying,
“Here I am changed.” If we have
gone back to old actions in the
past, we are just as likely to do
so in the present. But when this
happens, don’t throw out the plan for change.
Fine-tune it based on a new awareness of just
how difficult change can be.
The process for change requires patience and
perseverance. It also is helpful to talk to someone who knows your past, cares about you and
believes in the good that you will carry into the
Choose a trusted adult, someone who can
guide you in your truth-telling and your plan of
action. Seeking guidance from a professional
counselor also can aid this process.
Change requires sustained effort. Drawing
upon the love and healing power of God supports us as we move toward change. Ask God for
guidance toward those people and circumstances that can best lead you toward change.
After such a prayer, stay open-minded
because often God will lead you in surprising
The past is a teacher for all of us. If you can
see the truth in what has occurred, it will help
you to change. Ask God to lead the way. Then
you’ll be able to say with much gratitude and
humility, “Here I am, changed!”
On The Record
Charlie Martin
MARTIN is an Indiana pastoral counselor who reviews current music for Catholic News Service.
Your comments are always welcome. Please
write to [email protected] or 7125 West
Country Road 200 South, Rockport, IN 47635.
1 Commandment place
6 Church seats
14 Nut of an oak
15 Burn soother
16 Malarial fever
17 Type of prayer
19 US space agency
20 Where the Vatican is
21 Be emphatic
23 Small flute
27 Catholic singer who starred in
“White Christmas”
28 Two-time loser to Ike
29 Split in the Church
31 Distributed cards
33 Spanish hero
36 Tiered shelves
39 Continental money
40 North American deer
41 Native Japanese
42 This “On the Waterfront
“character is based on real-life priest, Fr. Corridan
43 ___ Uno
45 Disney’s Little Mermaid
46 Soaks up
49 Section in the Bible
51 The Mass is one
52 God, in ancient Rome
53 Highly excited
54 Gospel writer
60 Adriatic wind
61 Trigonometric function
62 “Lord, ___ us to pray” (Lk 11:1)
63 “Let it stand”
65 Find the answer
1 Abbr. for two OT books
2 Glass filler
3 This land is east of Eden (Gen 4:16)
4 Jackie’s “O”
5 At Mass, the entrance prayers or song
6 John was on this island
7 Writer Wiesel
9 Old-age affliction
10 Horse-drawn vehicle
11 Once more
12 Charlotte’s dessert?
13 Full of substance
18 On-line co.
23 Title for Pio
24 Standard of perfection
25 Quick sharp sound
26 Horseshoe spike
27 African country
30 Sacre ___
33 Administrative arm of the Catholic Church
34 Like some vbs.
35 Catholic creator of Sherlock
37 Most agile
38 Hydrocarbon suffixes
39 Big rabbit features
41 Distinctive quality
42 Hunting dogs
46 Middle Easterners
47 Intolerant person
50 Month of the Assumption
52 Northern European
55 Number of sacraments, in Roman numerals
56 There have been 13 popes with this name
57 Proverb suffix
58 ___1, papal license plate
59 Definite article
Solution on page 18
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The Catholic Commentator
Spirit has power to transform what God created
ears ago a missionary in China built a small
church for his new Christians. On an inside wall
of the church he drew a huge triangle to stand
for the Holy Trinity. In the first corner of the triangle
he drew an eye, symbolizing God the Father. In the
second corner of the triangle he drew a cross, symbolizing God the Son. In the third corner of the triangle,
he drew a dove, symbolizing God the Holy Spirit.
After he had finished the drawing, an old Chinese woman came up to him and said: “Honorable
father and his eye I understand: Honorable father
sees everything we do. Honorable son and his cross I
understand: Honorable son died on the cross for us.
But honorable Holy Spirit and his bird I do not understand.”
A lot of us are like that woman. We are familiar
with God the Father’s role in creation and sending
Jesus, his son. Jesus prayed to the father and taught
us to pray to him in the “Our Father.” We are familiar
with the life of Jesus and his role as our savior. But
we are not sure about the role of the Holy Spirit. The
images of the spirit most familiar to us from the New
Testament seem to suggest opposites: at the baptism
of Jesus, the spirit of God descends upon Jesus like a
dove; on the day of Pentecost (the feast we celebrated
this past Sunday), the spirit descends upon the apostles with a great wind in tongues of fire. Is the spirit
both as powerful as fire and as gentle as a dove?
Let’s take a look at how the Bible describes the spirit’s role in the history of salvation. All three persons of
the Trinity participated in creation. In Genesis, God
the Father decreed that creation take place. “Then God
said, ‘Let there be light.’” Through the son, God’s image, all things came to be: St. John in the prologue to
his Gospel writes, “In the beginning was the Word and
the Word was with God ... and through him all things
came into being.” But it was by the power of the spirit
May 30, 2012
that creation happened. Genesis says that the “spirit”
of God or the “power” of God was moving over the waters. It is obvious from John’s Last Supper scene that
this spirit is a distinct person, a “paraclete,” the Greek
word for an advocate or helper. After Jesus ascends
into heaven, this spirit will be the source of Jesus’ life
living in us: “I will give you another, the paraclete who
will be with you always.”
We are familiar with God the
Father’s role in creation and
sending Jesus, his son. ...
We are familiar with the
life of Jesus and
his role as our savior.
But we are not sure about
the role of the Holy Spirit.
We know in a human way what it is to live in the
spirit of another. It is fashionable for seminarians in
Rome these days to claim that they are “John Paul II
priests.” Franciscan priests and nuns live the spirit
of St. Francis. Under President John F. Kennedy, the
Peace Corps was established to send young people
to third world countries to continue the spirit of his
God’s spirit has the power to transform what he has
created. This is truly a divine spirit of power. Recall
how the angel Gabriel responded to Mary’s question
when she asked how
could she conceive Jesus.
The angel said, “The Holy
Spirit will come upon
you and the power of the
Most High will overshadow you.” The Acts
of the Apostles describes
the spirit on Pentecost as
hovering over the disciples like a strong wind.
Then suddenly, fire descended upon them, and
this group of frightened
followers of Jesus was
transformed into a group
of fearless witnesses to
God’s spirit is also a
spirit of wisdom and love.
This is why the “Honorable Bird” became a symbol
of the Holy Spirit. Before Jesus began his mission
of teaching love, God the Father made him and his
mission known to John the Baptist and John’s followers by declaring him his “Beloved Son” and sending
his spirit of love in the form of a dove upon him as a
symbol of divine love. This was at the beginning of
Jesus’ ministry. Toward the end, at the Last Supper,
Jesus also calls this same spirit, “the spirit of truth.”
He is the way Jesus remains with us and within us in
our world today and forever.
So we pray, “Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of
your faithful!”
Father John Carville
FATHER CARVILLE is a retired priest in the Diocese of Baton
Rouge and writes on spiritual matters for The Catholic
Motivation is key to academic success
s any parent knows, you can lead
a boy to homework but you can’t
make him think. How do you get
that engine started? How do you get the
wheels turning?
The school year now ending has been
successful for some, not so for others.
Why? Is native intelligence the answer?
I don’t think so. At least it is not an adequate explanation.
Is the quality of teaching the key to
student success? Good teaching helps,
but teaching alone won’t do it. There has
to be a willing recipient of good teaching,
not just an expert dispenser. But what
makes one willing to receive what great
teachers have to give?
Motivation comes as close as any other single factor in explaining why some
succeed and others fail in the academic
arena, why some take to the books with
enthusiasm and others don’t. Learning is
self-propelled activity. You have to want
to do it. But what is the source of positive,
productive self-motivation? Grades alone
can’t do it.
Ironically, vacation time may be the
best time to search for an answer to that
question, a time to look for the source
Motivation comes as close
as any other single factor
in explaining why some
succeed and others fail in
the academic arena, why
some take to the books
with enthusiasm and
others don’t. Learning is
self-propelled activity.
of motivation. We tend to do what we
like during vacation. And there is a lot
of evidence that what we like to do is not
necessarily easy. So the question becomes: Why do we do what we like to do,
what we freely choose to do, at work or
play, in school or during vacation?
Freedom has a lot to do with it. Vacation time might be viewed as a laboratory
for the use of freedom. Review summers
past to assess the quality
of choice in the use of
free time. Look at the
summer ahead and plan
to choose wisely in the
use of time, which, past
experience shows, seems
to evaporate in the summer months. We are all
free to use our freedom
wisely or not well. What
books will be read, what
skills acquired in the
months ahead?
Summer jobs, less
plentiful now than in
years past, motivate
some. The example of admirable adults met on the
job can raise the motivation of summer
job-holders to work harder when they
return to school to prepare themselves to
be similarly productive and professional
in later years. The experience of meeting,
through summer employment, unfulfilled and unproductive adults (Henry
David Thoreau’s “men living lives of
quiet desperation”) is sometimes enough
to help an adolescent discover the starter
button upon return to
But most important of
all in firing up a young
person’s motivation is,
I think, encouragement
from a teacher who convinces a student that he
or she has something to
offer. The elders – parents, teachers, neighbors,
uncles, aunts – have
to provide encouragement and example. The
youngsters – toddlers
through the teens – have
to receive the encouragement and connect with a
helping adult hand willing to guide them toward realizing their
The good teacher will be more than
willing; the wise parent must be willing
to be supportive and wait it out.
Looking Around
Father William J. Byron SJ
JESUIT FATHER BYRON is university professor
of business and society at St. Joseph’s
University, Philadelphia. Email: wby
[email protected]
May 30, 2012
Reader wants photo
to reflect priesthood
I write regarding the
viewpoint submissions in
The Catholic Commentator written by Father Ron
Rolheiser. I do not write
regarding the content of his
articles, but rather the photograph of Father Rolheiser.
I am deeply involved
in adult catechesis, evangelization and efforts to
make clear the teachings
of our Catholic Church.
Father Rolheiser should
wear a Roman Collar for
the photograph he submits
to a Catholic newspaper. To
dress otherwise can cause
confusion in the minds of
some readers. I am somewhat personally offended at
the photograph that Father
Rolheiser chooses to use,
and it quite frankly colors
my opinion of him and diminishes the value that I
place on his opinion. I have
to wonder why he would not
submit a photograph in his
clerics. If it is not important
to him that we see him as a
priest, why should it be important to me? Just asking.
I appreciate your consideration of my perspective.
Deacon Jodi A. Moscona
Baton Rouge, La.
Catholics should speak
against same sex marriages
I feel all Catholics and
Christians need to speak
out on the issue of marriage between a man and
a woman and against marriage between a man and
a man or a woman and a
woman. Your president
and vice president have
already taken a stand regarding this issue, so if you
the people don’t speak out
soon, everyone will think
gay marriages are acceptable for our society and our
father in heaven.
I say all our bishops,
cardinals, priests and even
our beloved Pope should
speak out on this matter
soon. I say we need to teach
our children that gay marriages are not acceptable
for our Lord, Jesus Christ,
inasmuch as he said marriage is between a man and
a woman. God had reason
for teaching that marriage
is between a man and a
woman, and that reason
was to go forth and bear
children to serve our father
in heaven for all eternity.
How do gay marriages satisfy that law of God and Jesus Christ? How does this
produce the children God
seeks to serve him for all
eternity? I cannot believe
every minister of God in all
Christian religions are not
out yelling this disobedience of God’s word. I also
feel it is a duty for every
Catholic to speak out on
this issue wherever he or
she goes in this wonderful
world that God gave us to
enjoy. I am asking in this
letter, that all Christians
and ministers, priests, cardinals and bishops speak
out from their pulpits every
day against gay marriages
because this thing is definitely against the word of
God from my knowledge of
our father’s word. Everyone
please adhere.
Sam J. Pigno
Tickfaw, La.
Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor should be typed and limited to 350
words and should contain the name and address of the
writer, though the address will not be printed. We reserve
the right to edit all letters. Send to: Letters to the Editor,
The Catholic Commentator, P. O. Box 14746, Baton Rouge,
LA 70898-4746, or to [email protected]
The Catholic Commentator
New Evangelization directed at Christians
ecently a new expression has
made its way into our theological and ecclesial vocabulary.
There’s a lot of talk today about the
New Evangelization. Indeed the Pope
has called for a Synod to meet this
year for a month in Rome to try to articulate a vision and strategy for such
an endeavor.
What is meant by New Evangelization? In simple terms: Millions of
people, particularly in the Western
world, are Christian in name, come
from Christian backgrounds, are
familiar with Christianity, believe that
they know and understand Christianity, but no longer practice that faith in
a meaningful way. They’ve heard of
Christ and the Gospel, even though
they may be overrating themselves in their belief that
they know and understand what these mean. No matter. Whatever their shortcomings in understanding a
faith they no longer practice, they believe that they’ve
already been evangelized and that their non-practice is
an examined decision. Their attitude toward Christianity, in essence, is: I know what it is. I’ve tried it. And it’s
not for me!
And, so, it no longer makes sense to speak of trying to evangelize such persons in the same way as we
intend that term when we are speaking of taking the
Gospel to someone for the first time. It’s more accurate
to speak of a new evangelization, of an attempt to take
the Gospel to individuals and to a culture that have
already largely been shaped by it, are in a sense overfamiliar with it, but haven’t in fact really examined
it. The new evangelization tries to take the Gospel to
persons who are already Christian but are no longer
practicing as Christians.
How to do that? How do
we make the Gospel fresh for
those for whom it has become
stale? How do we, as G. K.
Chesterton put it, help people
to look at the familiar until
it looks unfamiliar again?
How do we try to Christianize someone who is already
There are no simple answers. It’s not as if we haven’t already been trying to do
that for more than a generation. Anxious parents have
been trying to do this with their children. Anxious pastors have been trying to do this with their parishioners.
Anxious bishops have been trying to do this with their
dioceses. Anxious spiritual writers, including this one,
have been trying to do this with their readership. And
an anxious church as a whole has been trying to do this
with the world. What more might we be doing?
My own view is that we are in for a long, uphill
struggle, one that demands faith in the power and
truth of what we believe in and a long, difficult pa-
tience. Christ, the faith and the church
will survive. They always do. The stone
always eventually rolls away from the
tomb and Christ always eventually
re-emerges, but we, too, must do our
parts. What are those parts?
The vision we need as we try to
reach out to evangelize the already
evangelized will, I believe, need to
include these principles:
1. We need to clearly name this task,
recognize its urgency, and center ourselves in Jesus’ final mandate: Go out
to the whole world and make disciples.
2. We need work at trying to reinflame the romantic imagination of
our faith. We have been better recently
at fanning the flames of our theological imagination, but we’ve struggled
mightily to get people to fall in love with the faith.
3. We need to emphasize both catechesis and theology. We need to focus both on those who are trying to
learn the essentials of their faith and those who are
trying to make intellectual sense of their faith.
4. We need a multiplicity of approaches. No one approach reaches everyone. People go where they are fed.
5. We need to appeal to the idealism of people, particularly that of the young. We need to win people over
by linking the Gospel to all that’s best inside them, to
let the beauty of the Gospel speak to the beauty inside
of people.
6. We need to evangelize beyond any ideology of the
right or the left. We need to move beyond the categories of liberal and conservative to the categories of love,
beauty and truth.
7. We need to remain widely “Catholic” in our approach. We are not trying to get people to join some
small, lean, purist, sectarian
group, but to enter a house
with many rooms.
8. We need to preach both
the freedom of the Gospel and
its call for an adult maturity.
We need to resist preaching
a Gospel that threatens or
belittles, even as we preach a
Gospel that asks for free and
mature obedience.
9. We need today, in an
age of instability and too-frequent betrayal, to give a
special witness to fidelity.
10. We need, today more than ever, to bear down
on the essentials of respect, charity and graciousness.
Cause never justifies disrespect.
We need to work at winning over hearts, not hardening them.
In Exile
Father Ron Rolheiser
The new evangelization
tries to take the Gospel to
persons who are already
Christian but are no longer
practicing as Christians.
OBLATE FATHER ROLHEISER, theologian, teacher and awardwinning author, is president of the Oblate School of
Theology in San Antonio, Texas. He can be contacted
through his website ronrolheiser.com.
Mission Statement
The mission of The Catholic Commentator is to provide news, information and
commentary to the people of the Diocese of Baton Rouge, Catholics and their
neighbors alike. In doing so, The Catholic
Commentator strives to further the wider
mission of the Church: to evangelize, to
communicate, to educate and to give the
Catholic viewpoint on important issues of
the present day.
The Catholic Commentator
May 30, 2012
CDA Garage Sale – The Catholic Daughters of the
Americas Court Regina Coeli 2063 will have a garage
sale on Friday, June 1, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., and Saturday,
June 2, 7 a.m. - noon, at the St. Jude the Apostle Church
Activity Center, corner of Highland Road and Gardere
Lane, Baton Rouge. People are encouraged to drop
off their good usable furniture, housewares and other
items through Thursday, May 31, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., at the
St. Jude Activity Center. For information call 225-3351031 or email [email protected]
766-0649, 225-273-2152 or 225-276-4503.
Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally – A Stand Up for
Religious Freedom Rally will be held on Friday, June 8,
noon, on the steps of the State Capitol. Those who believe that the Health and Human Services Department
(HHS) mandate that all employers’ health plans include
free contraceptives, sterilization and abortifacients violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution are
encouraged to attend. For information call 225- 2411791.
Breakfast Honoring Fathers – The Baton Rouge Right
to Life breakfast honoring fathers will be held Saturday,
June 23, 9 a.m. - 11:30 a.m., at St. Thomas More Church,
11441 Goodwood Blvd., Baton Rouge. The speaker will
be Darrell White, Louisiana Family Forum co-founder.
Tickets are $30 per person or $200 per table of eight
and can be purchased by calling 225-749-8260 or 225667-7239.
Corpus Christi Procession – The Holy Name Societies
of Our Lady of Mercy, St. Thomas More and St. Agnes
churches in Baton Rouge will host a Corpus Christi procession and benediction on Saturday, June 9, following
the 4 p.m. Mass at St. Joseph Cathedral, Fourth and
Main streets, Baton Rouge. For information call 225-
July 9-12, 9 - 11:30 a.m. Five other courses will also be
taught: “Christian Conversion and Spirituality: Journey
Through Scripture;” “Evangelization, Catechesis and
Mission;” “Christology and the Sacraments;” “Morality
and Church History;” and “Pentateuch.” Registration
must be done online. For information call Michele Hall
at 225-336-8760 or email [email protected] or [email protected]
Cursillo Ultreya Meetings – Those who have attended
a cursillo weekend are invited to gather on the second
Wednesday of the month for a rosary at 6:10 p.m. and
meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the St. Gabriel Room of Our
Lady of Mercy Parish Activity Center, 444 Marquette
Ave., Baton Rouge. The next meeting is scheduled for
June 13. Those who have not made a cursillo are invited.
For information call 225-627-6448 or 225-273-2125.
Immaculate Heart of Mary Festival – Immaculate Heart
of Mary Church, 11140 Hwy. 77, Maringouin, will host
its annual family festival on Sunday, June 3. There will
be a raffle for $1,000, face painting and barbecue chicken dinners for $6 each from 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Bingo will be held Friday, June 1, 7 p.m., with refreshments
and social time starting at 5 p.m. For information call
RSI Classes – The Diocese of Baton Rouge and St. Joseph Seminary College will offer courses through the
Religious Studies Institute, an accredited college-level
religious formation program designed for lay Catholic
leaders who wish to make a long-term commitment
to church ministry. Application is due by July 14. For
information call the Diocese of Baton Rouge Office of
Evangelization and Catechesis at 225-336-8760 or
email [email protected]
New Summer Mat Courses – The Diocese of Baton
Rouge Office of Evangelization and Catechesis will offer
two new Ministry and Theology courses this summer:
“Canon Law: A Practical and Pastoral Application,”
taught by Father Jamin David, June 11-14, 9 - 11:30 a.m.,
and “Catholic Social Teaching: From Prayerfulness to
Contemplative in Action,” taught by Dianne Hanley,
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2 mausoleum crypts in St. George
Cemetery. $5500. Call 225-925-0642.
St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Mausoleum,
Livonia. South patio, crypts 203/204, tier
C. $7000. Call 225-757-9901.
Greenoaks Park Cemetery. 2 plots in
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May 30, 2012
The Catholic Commentator
Parochial vicar, religious order pastoral assignments announced
In accordance with the recommendations of the Clergy Personnel Board, Bishop Robert W. Muench has made known
the assignments for the parochial vicars
in the Diocese of Baton Rouge. These appointments were announced the weekend
of May 19-20 at the churches where these
priests will be reporting on Monday, July
Father Peter Ail Dang has been assigned parochial vicar at St. Thomas More
Church, Baton Rouge. Father Al Davidson
has been assigned to St. Aloysius Church,
Baton Rouge. Father Todd Lloyd will be
the parochial vicar at Our Lady of Mercy
Church, Baton Rouge. Father Brent Maher
has been assigned to the tri-parish cluster
of St. Michael the Archangel, Convent, St.
Joseph, Paulina, and Most Sacred Heart
of Jesus, Gramercy. Father Matthew McCaughey will be the new parochial vicar
at Christ the King Church and Catholic
Center on the LSU Baton Rouge campus.
Father Sylvester Minj IMS will become paThe Catholic
PO Box 3316
Baton Rouge LA 70821
HeLp WaNted
Father Brent Maher
Father Todd Lloyd
rochial vicar at St. George Church in Baton
This is the first assignment for Fathers
Dang, Davidson and McCaughey following
their ordination May 26.
Fathers Lloyd and Maher, who were ordained last year, have been the parochial
vicars at Christ the King and St. George
churches, respectively.
Father Minj has been parochial vicar
at the three-parish cluster of St. Joseph
Father Sylvester Minj IMS
Church in Grosse Tete, St. Francis Xavier Cabrini Church in Livonia and Immaculate Heart of Mary in Maringouin
for the past year. He has also served as
parochial vicar at St. John the Evange-
list Church in Prairieville.
In addition to the announcement of parochial vicar assignments, Bishop Muench
has also made known changes that will be
taking place in churches in the diocese that
are staffed by religious order priests.
On July 1, Father Eliseus Ibeh MSP will
become pastor of St. Benedict the Moor
Church in Napoleonville and St. Augustine Chapel in Klotzville, replacing Father
John Osom MSP, who is being assigned
to a church in the Diocese of Dodge City,
Kan., by the provincial of the Missionaries
of St. Paul.
Father Suchit Paul Parakathil IMS will
replace Father Minj as parochial vicar at
the churches of Immaculate Heart of Mary,
St. Francis Xavier Cabrini and St. Joseph.
For help placing your
ad, call 225-387-0983;
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HeLp WaNted
Bishop Robert W. Muench answers questions and concerns expressed by the members
of St. Francis de Sales Church about the move of the Apostolate to the Deaf to Christ the
King Church and Catholic Center, which will take place July 1. Photo by Laura Deavers | The Catholic
MOVE: Consideration given to easy accessibility
2012-13 Faculty and Staff Openings
Faculty Positions (English, Religion, PE, ESL,
Elementary Grades)
Positions in Maintenance and Facilities
Boarding School Staff
Director of Public Relations
Certification and/or experience preferred.
Resumes can be sent or emailed to:
Sr. Lynne Lieux, RSCJ, Headmistress
P.O. Box 310
Grand Coteau, LA 70541
[email protected]
Schools of the Sacred Heart does not discriminate on the basis of race,
color, sex, religion, or national origin.
the King said there will be challenges and
blessings that will come with the move.
Currently Christ the King has a Mass in
Spanish every Sunday and a Mass in Korean once a month, along with the 10 a.m.,
6, 8 and sometimes 10 p.m. Masses for the
LSU community. Having the deaf apostolate at Christ the King “will be enriching
for the students,” he added. Once this is
up and running, Father Stine said all of
those involved will be able to work things
out for the best interest of all.
In selecting a new site for the Apostolate to the Deaf, great consideration was
given to a location that would be easily accessible for all members of the apostolate,
including students at the Louisiana State
School for the Deaf on Brightside Lane,
Bishop Muench explained. It was also
noted that LSU students, who are hearing
impaired or are interested in becoming
proficient in American Sign Language,
will benefit by having the apostolate at
Christ the King.
“Change can be difficult,” Bishop
Muench said, “but change can also serve
as an opportunity for growth. I call upon
you to embrace this change, to allow the
Holy Spirit to do something new to bring
about increased vitality and excitement in
the deaf apostolate.”
The change that is coming will be primarily location since “all the services and
activities will continue, but even better,
in a place that has more resources to offer,” Bishop Muench said. He assured the
parishioners of his personal commitment
and that of the diocese to continue supporting the ministry to the deaf.
He said it is important to remember
what the deaf community has to offer the
people at Christ the King as well as what
Christ the King has to offer them.
The bishop reminded the people, “This
is the church. You are the church. The
church is not the building. We are the living stones of the church. The people are
the church, not the building or the facility.”
The Catholic Commentator
May 30, 2012
Anderson says Vatican bank fired president to increase transparency
By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY — Carl A. Anderson, head of the U.S.-based
Knights of Columbus and secretary of the Vatican bank’s board
of supervisors, said a commitment
to promoting transparency led the
board to fire Ettore Gotti Tedeschi
as bank president.
The board unanimously passed
a vote of “no confidence” in Gotti
Tedeschi’s leadership May 24 during a meeting in which the Italian
banker was allowed to speak “for
more than 70 minutes,” according
to a memorandum released by Anderson.
The board of the bank, formally
known as the Institute for the
Works of Religion, issued an unusually blunt statement through
the Vatican Press Office May 24,
noting that members had repeatedly expressed concern to Gotti
Tedeschi about the bank’s “governance,” but that the “situation has
deteriorated further.”
The board’s action was ex-
Our Lady of the Lake
Hospital in Baton Rouge
According to U.S. News and World Report,
Our Lady of the Lake is a ‘high-performer’ —
plained further in the memorandum to Gotti Tedeschi, which
informed him of the vote after he
“abandoned the premises without
notice,” the memo said.
Signed by Anderson, the memo
said the board acted based on the
president’s “failure to carry out basic duties” of the office; his failure
to “remain informed” of the bank’s
activities and to keep the board informed; abandoning or failing to
attend meetings; “exhibiting lack
of prudence and accuracy” when
talking publicly about the institute; and because of “progressively
erratic personal behavior.”
Also, board members said Gotti Tedeschi failed “to provide any
formal explanation for the dissemination of documents” last known
to have been in his possession.
The board did not mention the
so-called “VatiLeaks” scandal in
which private letters to Pope Benedict XVI, notes to his personal
secretary and encrypted cables
sent from Vatican embassies to the
Vatican Secretariat of State were
leaked to an Italian journalist beginning in January. The day before
Gotti Tedeschi was fired, Vatican
police arrested the pope’s butler
after discovering private papers in
his Vatican apartment.
In mid-May, dozens of confidential texts, including several
notes from Gotti Tedeschi to Msgr.
Georg Ganswein, the pope’s per-
sonal secretary, were published in
a book by the journalist who first
revealed the papers. The letters
from Gotti Tedeschi outline concerns about the impact of the global financial crisis on the church,
about discussions with Italian
government authorities over the
taxation of church properties and
about the Italian treasury police’s
seizure in 2010 of 23 million euros
(US$30 million at the time) that
the Vatican bank had deposited in
an Italian bank.
Gotti Tedeschi was placed under investigation at the time in a
money-laundering probe; Italian
authorities said the bank failed to
disclose information about banking operations as mandated by
Italy’s 2007 law against moneylaundering.
The funds were released in
June 2011, following a major reform of the Vatican’s banking laws.
A December 2010 Vatican law
defined financial crimes and established penalties – including
possible jail sentences – for their
violation. At the same time, Pope
Benedict instituted a new agency
called the Financial Information
Authority to monitor all Vatican
financial operations and ensure
they reflect the latest European
Union regulations and other international norms against moneylaundering and the financing of
capable of giving patients first-rate care,
even if they have serious conditions or need
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Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System
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