MEM 0115.indd - Catholic Diocese of Memphis



MEM 0115.indd - Catholic Diocese of Memphis
Faith West Tennessee / Jan./Feb. 2015 /
The Magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Memphis
Bishop J. Terry Steib, SVD, D.D
Suzanne Avilés
Angelica Beller
Jan. / Feb. 2015 • Volume 2: Issue 5
Kayla Simon
Carlson Productions | Tom Gennara
Dr. John Tyler (cover) | Philip Shippert
FAITH West Tennessee (ISSN #23299878)
(USPS No. 096070) is published monthly
10 times per year except for February and
August by the non-profit organization, FAITH
Catholic. FAITH West Tennessee is the
diocesan publication of the Catholic
Diocese of Memphis in Tennessee,
serving more than 65,000 Catholics
in West Tennessee. Periodical Postage
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offices. POSTMASTER: Send address
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Serviced by Catholic News Service - Faith
West Tennessee – March 15, 2012
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changes, call 901.373.1213
News/Ads: 901.373.1213
your life
your faith
your stories
7 work life
12 in the know with father joe
18 parish heritage
8 parenting journey
8 conflict resolution
9 your marriage
10 culture
14 spiritual fitness
16 special report
Follow-up on the
Extraordinary Synod on the Family 2014 Final Relatio.
The Catholic heart
of West Tennessee.
20 cover story
Fed by Christ:
Martin Johnson.
25 praying for
26 your community
Fax: 901.373.1269
[email protected]
Faith West Tennessee / Jan./Feb. 2015 /
from the bishop
This far by
erry Christmas,” we exclaimed as
we exchanged greetings and gifts.
“Blessed Christmas,” we said as we celebrated the birthday of Christ, the Savior.
And with child-like fervor, we came to the
manger like the shepherds and the Magi
to see, to pray, to adore. Christ manifested Himself anew to us in the celebration of
the Holy Family and in the celebration of
the feast of the Epiphany.
Bishop J. Terry Steib, SVD
And with the beginning of a New Year –
2015­ — the manifestation of Christ continues.
Christ is still manifesting His presence to the
world. And Christ makes Himself present
through you and me. We are the face of Jesus
in this new year of 2015. We bring Christ anew
to time and place and situation by imitating
Him, by being like Him in our faith and hope
and love.
So, let us begin anew by taking on the challenge of being the Works of Mercy in action.
Let us resolve to be more Christ-like in this year
of 2015. How can we take on this challenge to
be more Christ-like?
First, Jesus directed His apostles to feed the
hungry, not just in terms of theology, but in
fact. Working with His apostles, they fed more
than 5,000 people with fish and loaves. Each
of us can help in some way to make sure that
other people have enough to eat – even if we
are not apostles, farmers or fishermen. Experts
tell us that the planet has enough food, but
there are far too many problems distributing the food. People we know may not have
enough food because of unemployment and
illness. So, how will we meet the challenge to
do what we can to help everyone to eat?
Secondly, Jesus instructed His followers
to heal the sick as He Himself did on many
occasions. In the Acts of the Apostles (Chapters 2-6), we read about families and friends
who carried sick people to see the followers
of Jesus. The apostles in the name of Jesus
healed illnesses and afflictions, sometimes by
merely passing by and casting a shadow on the
suffering. We may not be medical professionals
or scientists, but each of us can help to heal
by being present to others like the apostles,
by being kind to others, by doing no harm
to others and by giving support within our
capacity. So, how will we meet the challenge
to heal the sick?
Thirdly, Jesus set the example for preaching and teaching. While most of us are not
preachers, neither were the early followers
of Jesus. Yet they preached the Gospel and
told everyone in earshot about Christ’s love,
forgiveness, death and resurrection. Today, we
enjoy the freedom to worship and to share our
faith openly. And through parish and diocesan
classes, our trained teachers can help us all
to prepare for the task of passing on the Faith
both now and for future generations. So, how
will we meet the challenge to teach and preach
the Word of God?
There is an old adage: “If He brings you to it,
He will bring you through it.” In other words, if
God gives us a challenge to care for others, God
will give us the means to do so. One of the best
examples of putting the Works of Mercy into
action was the Good Samaritan. In the story,
the generosity of one person helped to clothe,
feed, heal, comfort and give shelter to the
victim of a brutal crime. In this parable, Jesus
gave us an example of what is right and good
for us. Since we have called ourselves the Good
Samaritans between the rivers, may we fully fulfill the instructions of Jesus to feed the hungry,
to give drink to the thirsty, to clothe the naked,
to shelter the homeless, to visit the imprisoned,
to visit the sick and to bury the dead.
Faith West Tennessee / Jan./Feb. 2015 /
work life
My office mate
sometimes ap-
pears drunk at work, and
I’ve smelled the distinctive
odor of alcohol on him.
Should I do anything?
You should, but it
won’t be easy.
Drinking on the job is a
serious offense. As his peer,
you’re in a tough spot. I would
recommend you follow St.
Thomas Aquinas’ three-step
prudence formula – Counsel,
Judgment, Command (Ready,
Aim, Fire)
COUNSEL. Gather the facts
about what your best action
should be. Prudence always
reveres reality. Your first reality
check is company policy. Is
there an explicit or assumed
prohibition of drinking on the
job? What is the consequence
of violation? And what are the
obligations of fellow employees to report ethical misconduct? If there is a company
Employee Assistance Program
(EAP), you can suggest that he
contact them.
JUDGMENT. You’ve gathered information. Now seek
counsel, human and divine.
For human counsel, you may
want to call your diocesan
bishop’s Council on Alcohol
and Other Drugs and get
some advice about how you
should proceed in a way that
is respectful of your co-worker
and yet addresses your very
real concerns. You may also
want to contact a local Al-
Anon group. Pray to the Holy
Spirit for wisdom.
COMMAND. If, after you’ve
done your homework, you
realize you need to act, muster
your courage to do so.
If you’ve decided to suggest Alcoholics Anonymous,
your company EAP or other
assistance, approach your coworker with a tone of genuine
concern rather than accusation. Gather materials to
provide him and let him know
you are worried for him.
If that does not work, or
if you’ve decided that his
drinking is an imminent threat
to himself or others and you
need to report the situation
immediately, you may want to
use words like this with your
supervisor, “I’ve been hesitant
T. Gennara
My co-worker drinks on the job.
Jim Berlucchi is the
executive director of the
Spitzer Center, whose
mission is to build
cultures of evangelization
to raise a sensitive issue about
a co-worker. But my concern
for him and respect for company policy caused me to ask
for your help or counsel.”
At this point, you’ve responsibly referred the issue
to the appropriate authority.
They now have their own
responsible actions to take –
referring the employee to the
company’s EAP, taking steps
to protect clients or other actions. Those things are out of
your control, however.
You can’t control the outcomes, but you’ve controlled
yourself and done your best.
Who could ask for more?
parenting journey
conflict resolution
I don’t want my kids to
watch horror movies when
visiting my parents!
How can I get my
adult son to grow
up and move out of
the house?
My adult son does not want
to move out of the house.
Any suggestions about how I can get
him to grow up and move on?
Despite my objections, my parents
let our young kids watch
horror films when they visit.
How do I put my foot down
on this issue without making
my parents angry?
When I visit Disneyland and see the
Snow White ride, I think about
one of my own childhood responses to a scary movie. I misinterpreted
the scene in which the witch holds up an
apple that she had just dipped into poison. I thought she was holding up Snow
White’s heart! In my 4-year-old mind, I
had combined the story line of the hunter
coming back with Snow White’s heart
with this later scene. It was enough to
evoke nightmares for several nights. There
is no question that children interpret media differently than adults, even when the
content is targeted toward children. In the
case of horror films created for an adult
audience, the effects on children may be
quite intense.
Dr. Cathleen McGreal is a psychology professor and certified spiritual director.
Faith West Tennessee / Jan./Feb. 2015 /
S. Kendrick
Respect their point of view.
Your parents may be making the same
decisions with grandchildren that
they made when raising you, and “you
turned out OK!” Don’t argue about
mistakes you think they made as parents – focus on the current situation.
Although making different decisions
can lead to intergenerational tension, it
doesn’t need to lead to anger. Acknowledge their views, but be calm and clear
about your decision.
What if they respond by saying that
horror films are appropriate and they
have no plans to change? Decide on your
reaction before speaking to your parents.
Perhaps the visits will have to be limited
to your home. Or you may decide
to stay during the visits. Pray
to the Holy Spirit for guidance
before your conversation: “But
the Lord’s mercy is
from age to age, toward
those who fear him. His
salvation is for the children’s children. (Psalm
T. Gennara
Put your foot down! One version
of the origin of this phrase is that when
bicycles were invented, riders learned
to put a foot down to stop and change
course. The image of the bicycle
rider stopping to change course works
well as a metaphor for talking to your
parents. Since they have continued
to show horror films despite your
objections, it is time to stop and
decide on a new direction. What
is it about watching
these movies with the
children that interests
them? Talk to them
about how this goal
could be met through
an activity that you would support.
Would they be comfortable with the
grandchildren stopping at the library
before visiting so that they could bring
an age-appropriate DVD?
When discussing this issue it
is important to remember that
millions of adult children are still living at
home and, in today’s economy, it is likely
they are doing so for financial reasons.
Still, it can be challenging for both parties.
To begin, a positive and clear communication between parents and adult son must
take place. Parents need to explain to the
son that the transition from parents’ home
to his own place is an expression of his
own autonomy and a sign of his self-sufficiency and ability to take care of himself
in a responsible and independent way. It
is important for the parents to select their
words carefully to help him understand
that this is an opportunity to change – to
reach a new stage of his growth. Under
no circumstances should the son feel that
he is being pushed away from “his” family
home. Parents must be receptive to their
son’s response and help him to articulate
his hesitations, doubts and concerns.
Then, together, parents and son must
discuss the timetable for this important
rite of passage and the steps that everyone will follow. The Catechism of the
Catholic Church reminds us, “When they
become adults, children … should
assume their
new responsibilities …”
Dr. Gelasia Marquez is a
psychologist and family counselor.
“I don’t think
our daughter’s
wedding is valid.”
“She’s being
judgmental and
Terry says: I think Kathy is being
judgmental and over the top.
Of course we should attend our
daughter’s wedding, no matter what
the circumstances! I’m not sure I’ll
forgive Kathy if she doesn’t go to the
wedding with me.
Kathy says: Our daughter just informed us she is planning to marry
a young man out on the beach –
with some Internet-ordained “minister” conducting the ceremony. We
raised her as a Catholic, and I know this is
not a valid marriage. I’m not sure we should
even attend, but Terry disagrees.
do they do?
new addition to your family – gaining a son-in-law –
is a time to rejoice! But weddings can be a source
of stress, particularly when there are disagreements
about the nature and meaning of the ceremony.
Destination weddings (including those on the beach and outside
of a church) have become increasingly popular – just watch any
wedding TV show. But for Catholics, it is the norm for weddings
to take place during Mass, because of the connection of all the
sacraments with the paschal mystery of Christ. (CCC1621)
raised in the Church, would choose to
not accept the sacrament of marriage in
our traditional Catholic way?” “How does
it make us feel when our Catholic religious practices are not given due consideration?” “What is our understanding of
a sacramental marriage?” These are only
starter questions, of course, and should
be discussed in a non-threatening and
prayerful manner. It is more important at
this stage of the situation that Terry and
Kathy work toward a mutually acceptable
solution to their differences than make a
decision on attending the wedding.
Through prayer and a focus on
each other’s feelings, they will
find a solution.
In conversation with
other couples, it has
been our experience that
Catholic parents often do
not talk openly about the
your marriage matters
sacrament of marriage to their children,
believing they will just pick it up by
osmosis! Again, once Terry and Kathy
are in agreement, this is a perfect opportunity to share with their daughter
and fiancé how their marriage became a
sacrament and the part Christ played in
it – how Christ helped carry the heavy
load of their relationship when needed
and how it all started by having Christ
present at the beginning. Sharing their
story and the importance that God has
played in their relationship will not
only refresh their commitment to each
other, but may have a positive impact on
the decisions their daughter and
future son-in-law make. When
we witness to our children, in
word and action, God’s hand
at work in our daily lives
and in our marriage
relationship, it will
make an impact on
them, if not immediately, then in the
T. Gennara
Kathy has a right to be concerned, as
it appears their daughter has given very
little credence to – and/or does not have
a good understanding of – a sacramental
marriage. If Terry also disagrees with the
Catholic teaching on marriage, it will
complicate reconciling any differences
with Kathy. We are reminded of Proverbs
19:20, “Listen to counsel and receive
instruction, that you may eventually
become wise.”
Obviously, this is an opportunity for
Terry and Kathy to explain Catholic marriage practices and why they are important, but not before they reconcile their
own differences. We recommend Terry
and Kathy start by offering up a prayer
for guidance from the Holy Spirit and the
wisdom to resolve their differences. Then
they can share their deepest feelings with
each other, for example: “How does it
make us feel that our daughter, although
Deacon Tom Fogle and JoAnne Fogle help prepare couples for marriage.
S. Folkertsma
Faith West Tennessee / Jan./Feb. 2015 /
for the body and spirit
4 cups all-purpose flour (plus
extra for kneading)
1 package active dry yeast
uring the holidays, we can be prone to overindulging
between Christmas and New Year festivities. An excessive variety and quantity of food find their way to our
tables, making their flavorful contributions to our merriment. I mean, what would Christmas be without the
family feast? Ham? Eggnog? Pumpkin pie? Christmas cookies? Need
I go on? Well, ironically, it is often afterward, when our Lord’s birthday
has passed and we are in the uneventful doldrums of January and
February, that I find myself contemplating a healthier (physically and
spiritually) perspective on the role of food in our relationship with God.
1½ cups warm water (not hot)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive
oil (plus more for drizzling)
1 teaspoon kosher salt (plus
more for sprinkling)
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary (plus 1-2 whole sprigs for
topping off)
T. Gennara
In a drinking glass, dissolve yeast
and warm water and let stand for
about 10 minutes, or until a foam
appears. Combine flour, salt and
After the holidays, I typically suffer from what my husband labels “gut-rot.”
chopped rosemary in a large mixIt comes from having eaten too much rich food. You know you have it when you
ing bowl. Add extra virgin olive oil
find yourself craving salads and light soup, instead of more of the same rich
and the yeast mixture. Combine
food that seemed so tempting just days before. It is the gastronomic equivalent
by hand until dough is moist and
of guilt. Your stomach feels full, your body feels heavy and lethargic and your
elastic. If it is still too wet, add a
brain involuntarily starts imagining what the lining of your arteries must look
bit more flour. Knead for about
like. During those first few weeks of post-holiday hangover, our family enjoys
five minutes on a lightly floured
simple, light meals. Fresh-baked focaccia and a soup or a salad can be a great
surface and form into a ball. Place
antidote for gut-rot.
in a bowl with about a teaspoon of
But perhaps there is a spiritual dimension to this annual pattern, too. The First
olive oil and roll dough ball until
Commandment mandates, “I am the Lord your God, you shall not have any
completely coated. Cover bowl with
gods before me.” Like so many other worldly pleasures and distractions that
plastic wrap and let rise in a warm
steal our attention from Jesus during the holidays, food itself can become a
place until dough doubles in size.
substitute god. Does the food we prepare, eat and discuss with our friends and
Place dough on a cookie sheet or
relatives really help us honor and celebrate Christ’s arrival? Or is the holiday
jelly roll pan and press out to fit
that celebrates Christ’s arrival a convenient avenue for us to prepare, eat and
pan. Cover with plastic wrap for an
discuss the foods we love? Sometimes the simple, lighter meals that occupy
additional 20-25 minutes. Remove
the dinner table in January feel like the penance that is needed to “right the
wrap and use fingertips to press
wrong” of self-gratification.
dimples over the top of the pressed
Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with food in any form.
dough. Drizzle olive oil over the top
Indeed, our Lord turns Himself into food every Sunday. But I think
and sprinkle kosher
the notion of “daily bread” is an important one. We can use January
salt and rosemary (reand February to help us recall the importance and beauty of taking
moved from stems) all
precisely what we need, without consuming to excess. Remember
over as well. Let stand
that the manna God gave His chosen people provided exactly what
for an additional 15
they needed, when they needed it. I enjoy the challenge of preparminutes and bake at
ing simple, healthy and delicious meals that, rather than upstag425 degrees for 20-25
ing or distracting us from God, remind us of His providence and
minutes, or until light
message of moderation and sacrifice. Perhaps for certain meals
golden brown on top.
this January we can come to rejoice in a simple, light bread recipe
Using kitchen scisthe way Moses rejoiced when the Lord said to him after hearing the
sors, cut into squares.
murmurings of His people, “... in the morning you will have your fill
Michelle DiFranco is a
of bread, and then you will know that I, the Lord, am your God.”
designer and the busy mom
of two children.
Dear Father Joe:
Why does it say
‘catholic’ in the middle
of the creed in the
Methodist church I attended
recently for a wedding?
I’ve gotten no small amount of
“creed questions,” especially
since the release of the Mass
translations in 2011. Your
question will help us understand the
creed we say at Mass and the reasoning
behind some of the changes. Let’s start
with some history.
If you’d like to submit a
question for Father Joe
to consider in a future
column, please send it
to: [email protected]
Father Joe is unable to
personally answer questions.
The creed you heard at the Methodist Church was the exact same one you
say at Mass on Sunday. It’s one that is
said (or believed) by most Christian
churches. It’s called the Nicene Creed
and it has quite a history. There’s a lot
of bad information out there about this
series of events and I hope to present a
brief history that describes what actually
happened and how we got this creed.
We start in the year 313 A.D. Two
Roman generals, Constantine (soon to
become emperor) and Licinius (soon to
become dead), met in Milan and wrote
together a decree that is now called the
Edict of Milan. In it, the two agreed that
persecution of anyone for religious purposes needed to stop. Some people think
that this edict was all about Christianity,
but reading the edict shows that is not
the case. Christians got special attention
in this document because they had gotten
special treatment in a terrible way for
some time. This edict allowed Christians
to gather and be public about their faith
for the first time and was a source of great
joy to the early Christian community.
Either way, the idea that someone should
not be persecuted for their religious beliefs was rather revolutionary thinking for
the time. (Side note: Constantine did not
make Christianity the state religion of the
Roman Empire; the Emperor Theodosius
did that much later in 380 A.D.)
The result was that Christians, who had
been persecuted on and off for more than
200 years, came out of hiding. For the
Faith West Tennessee / Jan./Feb. 2015 /
first time in a long time, Christian communities from all over the Roman Empire
began talking to each other and, for lack
of a better term, compared notes.
The key thing to remember is this: Each
one of these Christians held his individual
beliefs while knowing it could get him
tortured and killed – no one was going to
“abandon ship” on beliefs they were willing to die for.
One of the beliefs that some Christians
held was an idea called Arianism. Arianism was named after a guy named (you
guessed it!) Arius, a bishop from Libya.
Arians taught that the Father (God) and
the Son (Jesus) were not of the same
substance — that there was a time the Son
didn’t exist and God created Him. This is
a complex point that we don’t have time
to get into, but, in a nutshell, it attacks the
doctrine of the Trinity, which, according
to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, is
the “central mystery of our faith.”
The arguing got really intense and the
Emperor Constantine (who was not a
Christian at this time) was driven nuts
by the constant bickering and hassles.
He called for Christian leaders to gather
at a place called Nicea (present-day Iznik
in Turkey) in order to articulate and put
to paper those things that the apostles
handed on to their successors. They
prayed, they argued, they fought, they
prayed some more and, in the end, they
wrote a creed which is now called the
Nicene Creed.
This creed is said by Christians of many
in the know with Father Joe
different stripes all around the world and
is held by many as a great gift given to
us by the Holy Spirit. So, what about the
word “catholic” in there?
The non-Catholics who say that creed
are referring not to the Roman Catholic
Church, but to the word “catholic” itself,
which, in Greek, means “universal.” They
are saying that they believe in “one, holy,
universal and apostolic Church.”
In the new translations, we use the
word “consubstantial.” I have no idea
what it means and don’t understand
why we use it.
Well, hopefully, from the above text, you’ll
get a sense of why we use it. To defend
Christianity against Arianism, the Church
Fathers at Nicea had to be clear that the
Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit were
all of the same substance — no one was
created. To reinforce this, they used the
word “consubstantial” in Latin. In the previous translations of the Mass in English,
we translated the Latin word “consubstantial” into the phrase “one in being.” The
people who gave us the new translations
worried that that phrase was too ambiguous, so they simply put the Latin word
right back in there!
An easy help to using the word “consubstantial” in our creed is this: When
you say consubstantial, think “of the same
stuff.” That’s what they are trying to make
sure we understand: the Father, the Son
and the Holy Spirit are “of the same stuff.”
I want to close with this encouragement
from Pope Benedict XVI. In 2010, he
stated that:
Many will find it hard to adjust to
unfamiliar texts after nearly forty
years of continuous use of the previous
translation. The change will need to
Q: What’s the
between a
guitar and a
A: You can’t tuna
be introduced with due sensitivity, and
the opportunity for catechesis that it
presents will need to be firmly grasped.
I pray that in this way any risk of confusion or bewilderment will be averted,
and the change will serve instead as a
springboard for a renewal and a deepening of Eucharistic devotion all over
the English-speaking world.
I think this is a good challenge for us.
Most people I know (me included!) are
still trying to figure out how to prayerfully
enter into the Mass when so much of it is
in phrases that feel awkward and wording
that is hard to understand. But the challenge is more than worth it. It is up to
us to learn what we can in humility and
obedience so that our prayer together is
a prayer that comes right from our hearts.
Don’t give up, the Mass is worth our
absolute best efforts, both intellectual and
Enjoy another day in God’s presence!
Illustration by Bob Patten
spiritual fitness
How do you
live like you’re a
Faith West Tennessee / Jan./Feb. 2015 /
ith the first Sunday of
Advent just over a month
ago, the Church began
its new year. Now, in January, we
begin a new year from a secular
framework. In both cases, we have
been given a golden opportunity
to take a look at our lives and ask
ourselves some important and
probing questions.
That’s why I offer the questions below.
Ask God for the grace to conform our lives
more to Him. As we do, He actually takes
up residence more and more in us – body,
mind and spirit.
Think of this: We have just celebrated
the reality that God loved us so much that
He gave us His only Son! His son took on
flesh, became like us in all things but sin.
He knows our pain, our suffering and our
losses. He knows!
He took on flesh and by that act would
show us how to live, would actually walk
with us on this earth that we might know
we have Emmanuel (“God with us”).
We are not orphans; we are not alone –
ever! By being born on this earth, by living
and suffering and dying a horrible death on
a cross for us, He broke the power of death
so that it would not destroy us forever. God
wants us to live with Him forever! We are
loved beyond price, brothers and sisters.
It is because of that love for us we seek to
live good lives as our act of thanksgiving!
• “Do you not know that your body is
a temple of the Holy Spirit within
you, whom you have from God, and
that you are not your own? For you
have been purchased at a price. Therefore
glorify God in your body.” (1 Cor 6:19-20)
Let’s use this
month to
examine our
lives simply and
• “Do you not know that you are the
temple of God, and that the Spirit of
God dwells in you? If anyone destroys
God’s temple, God will destroy that
person; for the temple of God, which you
are, is holy.” (1 Cor 3:16-18)
• “What agreement has the temple of
God with idols? For we are the temple
of the living God; as God said, ‘I will live
with them and move among them, and
I will be their God, and they shall be my
people.’” (2 Cor 6:16)
• In light of these Scriptures, what
does God ask of us? He asks us to take
seriously our call. He asks us to revere
Him by obeying what He asks because it
is for our eternal good!
1. Is God at the center (or coming
more to the center) of my
decisions, priorities and goals
in life? How can I call myself a
Christian, a Catholic, if He is not at
the heart of what I think and say and
do? Otherwise I am only paying lip
service to my faith.
2. Do I pray daily with the
Scriptures? If not, why not? How
can I do God’s will, let alone know
God’s will, unless I am seeking the
truth in His word? One way to get
started is to listen to my daily radio
program “Food for the Journey.”
It is a 15-minute commentary on
the Mass readings for the day. If
you don’t have Catholic radio in
your area, go to our website – – and you can
listen each day at your convenience.
Sister Ann Shields is
a renowned author and a
member of the Servants of
God’s Love. Questions can
be addressed to Sister Ann
Shields, Renewal Ministries,
230 Collingwood, Suite 240,
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Make sure you have a Bible and
make use of it.
3. Am I regularly going to the
sacrament of reconciliation?
When we are trying to change
our lives and priorities, it helps
so much to rid ourselves of those
sins that inevitably “pepper” our
lives. Remember that the more
we confess our sins, the more
strength we are given to avoid sin.
God wants to give us hope and He
is providing the means by which
real hope can grow. Please take
May God abundantly bless and lead
you in these next two months. May you
truly become more and more temples
of the living God. It is possible because
God has told us so.
special report
Extraordinary Synod on the
Family 2014 Final Relatio
The Extraordinary General Assembly was tasked with defining the “state of the question” and with collecting the bishops’
experiences and proposals “in proclaiming and living the Gospel
of the Family in a credible manner.” The Ordinary General Assembly, scheduled for October 2015, will next “seek working
guidelines” in the pastoral care of the person and the family.
The final report
On Oct.18, the synod released its much anticipated final
report. An earlier mid-term report had generated a great deal
of discussion and confusion both inside and outside the Church,
especially with regard to the topics of homosexuality and the
divorced and remarried. However, the final report clarified the
mid-term report on the aforementioned topics, incorporated
Scripture quotes (which were noticeably absent in the mid-term
report) and focused more on the positive contributions Christian families can make to society.
Each of the 62 paragraphs of the final report was voted on by
181 of the 193 synod fathers. According to a Catholic News Agency/EWTN report, all the paragraphs received a majority of votes.
However, not all claimed a supermajority of two-thirds of the
vote, which is required for official approval. The same report went
on to cite an October 18 press conference with Father Federico
Lombardi, director of the Holy See press office, as he explained
Faith West Tennessee / Jan./Feb. 2015 /
According to the Vatican
News, synod participants
came from five continents and
included: 114 presidents of
episcopal conferences, 13
heads of the sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches, 25
heads of the dicasteries of the
Roman Curia, 9 members
of the Ordinary Council of
the Secretariat, the secretary
general, the under-secretary,
3 nominees from the Union of
Superior Generals, 26 pontifical nominees, 8 fraternal
delegates, 38 auditors (including 13 married couples)
and 16 experts.
that, for the purposes of the
2015 synod, the paragraphs
that failed to gain official approval “cannot be considered
as dismissed, but primarily as
paragraphs that are not mature
enough to gain a wide consensus of the assembly.”
Ultimately, the final report of
the 2014 synod is not a definitive document. It is important
to note that, according to canon
law (Canons 342-344), the Synod of
Bishops consists of a group of
bishops chosen from different
parts of the world who meet
at fixed times in order to foster
unity, to offer counsel to the
pope in matters of faith and
morals, and to consider questions related to the activity of the Church in the world. The Synod
of Bishops is subject directly to the authority of the pope, and
is not charged with resolving questions or issuing decrees about
them unless the pope specifically endows the synod with deliberative power and then ratifies the decisions of the synod.
Consequently, the 2014 final report serves only to set the
stage for the 2015 synod, where it will function as that synod’s
working document. Then, the 2015 synod will report to Pope
Francis, who will issue a post-synodal apostolic exhortation that
will seek to help the Church face the challenges of the family in
today’s world.
The Third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod
of Bishops was held in the Vatican Oct. 5-19, 2014. The
theme for the assembly was “The Pastoral Challenges of
the Family in the Context of Evangelization.”
Ambrosius007 at English Wikipedia
Pope Francis presided at the beatification of Pope Paul VI on Oct. 19, 2014.
The ceremony was held at the conclusion of the Third Extraordinary General Assembly
of the Synod of Bishops. The beatification could not have come at a more appropriate
time given the fact that it was Pope Paul VI who permanently established the Synod of
Bishops on Sept. 15, 1965, in the apostolic letter, Apostolica Sollicitudo, as a way to
provide for frequent, regular opportunities of the kind of episcopal collegiality emphasized during the Second Vatican Council.
Our faith calls us to live in the tension that is the life of
Christian discipleship; that is the way of the cross. The “Great
Both … And …” of the Catholic faith helps us to do this by
reminding us to avoid reducing reality to the security of a partial
truth in order to escape from the possible tension of the fullness
of truth, who is an “indivisible” person, Jesus Christ.
Pope Francis used this principle in his concluding speech to
the synod on Oct. 18 as he described, for example, some of
the temptations that confronted the participants:
“One, a temptation to hostile inflexibility, that is, wanting to
close oneself within the written word, (the letter) and not allowing oneself to be surprised by God, by the God of surprises (the
spirit); within the law, within the certitude of what we know
and not of what we still need to learn and to achieve. From the
time of Christ, it is the temptation of the zealous, of the scrupulous, of the solicitous and of the so-called – today – ‘traditionalists’ and also of the intellectuals.”
The synod’s mid-term report
caused uproar when it referred
several times to the “law of
gradualness” in its discussion of divorced and remarried Catholics receiving the
sacraments of penance and
As it is used in Catholic
moral and pastoral theology, the “law of gradualness”
encourages people to grow
closer to God and His plan
for our lives from an initial
conversion to perfection in a
step-by-step manner rather
than in a single step.
However, this is not to be
confused with “gradualness of
the law.” Pope St. John Paul
II, in his apostolic exhortation
Familiaris Consortio, wrote:
“[Married people] cannot
however look on the law
as merely an ideal to be
achieved in the future: they
– Cardinal Vincent Nichols
of Westminster
“If there is not integrity in how we
pray, how we worship, what we believe
and how we provide pastoral practice,
it will break down. What I have called
for, in any amendments that I was
able to provide, was to make sure that
any creative pastoral practice being
considered would be firmly grounded
in good, solid theology.”
Then, Pope Francis immediately pointed to an equally
debilitating temptation:
“The temptation to a destructive tendency to goodness, that in the
name of a deceptive mercy binds the wounds without first curing
them and treating them; that treats the symptoms and not the
causes and the roots. It is the temptation of the ‘do-gooders,’ of
the fearful, and also of the so-called ‘progressives and liberals.’”
“You may have heard or
read that this synod has
been about changing the
teaching of the Church on
marriage, family life or sexual
morality. This is not true. It
was about the pastoral care
that we try to offer each
other, the ‘motherly love of
the Church’, especially when
facing difficult moments and
experiences in family life.”
– Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville,
president of the United States Conference
of Catholic Bishops
must consider it as a command of Christ the Lord to
overcome difficulties with
And so what is known as
‘the law of gradualness’
or step-by-step advance
cannot be identified with
‘gradualness of the law,’
as if there were different
degrees or forms of precept
in God’s law for different
individuals and situations.” (34)
The 1997 Pontifical Council
for the Family put it this way
in a handbook (Vademecum for
“The pastoral ‘law of gradualness’, not to be confused
with the ‘gradualness of
the law’ which would tend
to diminish the demands
it places on us, consists of
requiring a decisive break
with sin together with a
progressive path towards
total union with the will
of God and with his loving
demands.” (3:9)
By Doug Culp
The Catholic heart of
We s t Te n n e s s e e
Faith West Tennessee / Jan./Feb. 2015 /
St. Mary’s in downtown Memphis
St. Mary’s in downtown Memphis is more correctly known as St. Mary’s German Catholic
Church of the Immaculate Conception. During the middle of the 19th century, war in
Germany caused many to f lee to the United States. A large German community settled in
Memphis whose members longed for a church that celebrated Masses in the vernacular.
In 1860, the first Mass of the newly formed parish was celebrated in a small house at the
corner of Second Street and Market Avenue.
By 1864, the current site
special place, parishioner Malwas purchased. A wooden
colm Clingan leads tours of St.
structure was built to funcMary’s each Sunday following
tion as a church, school and
the 10:30 a.m. Mass. These
rectory. It would take several
tours include many “behind
years for the structure to be
the scenes” details that are not
completed and finally dedireadily visible on entering the
cated in 1870.
sanctuary. The tour includes
That same year, the Francisthe inner walls on both sides.
can Order took charge of the
On the south side is the renoparish and established a soup
vated portion of the building
kitchen, which continues to
that once served as the sacristy
thrive more than 140 years
and place of residence for the
later. The Franciscans also
Franciscan monks and priests.
utilized the craftsmanship of
On the north side is the still
many from their ranks who traveled about the country,
intact portion that served as the rooms for the Francisbuilding and improving the interiors of churches. Their
can nuns who lived there. This area remains as it was
work can still be seen in the carved pews, the wooden
in 1870, and has a most unusual drawing on one of
frames of the Stations of the Cross and the beautifully
the plaster walls. The work was drawn by a nun in the
embellished confessional.
1870s and depicts Our Lord on the cross. The artist
St. Mary’s is brimming with beauty in its statuary
died during one of the yellow fever epidemics just a
and stained-glass windows. Most unusual among the
few weeks after completing the drawing.
statues is one of Our Lord laid out on a
Several years ago, as tour guide
slab just before His body was prepared
Clingan was preparing to leave the
for burial. There is also a lovely renderchurch after Mass, he was aping of the Pieta. The original windows
proached by a man and his comwere of geometric design and two of
panions and asked for a tour. When
those remain, one on the south wall
the little group came to the Grotto,
and one on the adjacent east wall. The
the man commented on the state of
beautiful depictions of the life of the
disrepair and obvious water damage.
Blessed Mother were added to the rest
He offered to fund the repairs and
of the windows in 1904.
refurbishing, anonymously covering
There are other elements worth
the costly expenses. It can now be
mentioning. In the cry room, there is a
told that this generous man was the
stunning stained-glass window which
former owner of the Memphis GrizBeverly Pangle Scott has
represents the return of the prodigal
zlies, Michael Heisley.
written three books on matters
son. The Stations of the Cross are made
One other item of interest is the
of faith that are available on
of painted cast iron, each weighing 300
celebration of Oktoberfest each year
Amazon. A retired educator,
pounds. Finally, there is the beautito honor the parish’s German heritage.
she worked as a teacher and
ful Grotto dedicated to Our Lady of
The lovely garden area becomes a beer
guidance counselor. She and
garden with live music. The event
her husband of 40+ years have
If you would like to see this very
helps to support the parish.
two daughters.
Faith West Tennessee / Jan./Feb. 2015 /
“Bless us, Lord, as we prepare
to serve the poor, the
homeless, the less fortunate
and the mentally, physically
and spiritually ill in our
community. We pray that
You bless not only the food
they are about to receive,
but that You also bless them
according to Your will. We
pray You show us the way to
be Your face today.”
Faith West Tennessee / Jan./Feb. 2015 /
St. Mary’s is one of the longest-operating soup kitchens in the nation. It has
been operating since 1870 when Franciscan friars shared whatever they could
scrounge up from the back door of the
kitchen. Today, more than 92,000 meals
per year are provided at the same door.
At 6:30, Johnson and a staff of volunteers serve breakfast items, such as
oatmeal and fruit; at 7:30, Starbucks supplies coffee and pastries; and at 9:00, they
serve soup, two sandwiches and a snack.
They also partner with Catholic Charities to provide a clothing ministry. People
in need can shop in St. Mary’s beautiful
courtyard during soup kitchen hours.
Assistant director of the ministry, Johnson has been serving there for three years.
It’s a full-time job and, other than Sundays, the only day he takes off work each
year is Thanksgiving, when the Cannon
Center nearby hosts an event providing
food and clothing for thousands.
He found his calling at St. Mary’s
through praying with Scripture: “I was
going through a difficult time in my life.
I’ve always been Catholic – we grew up
at the Church of the Ascension – but I
had really gotten away from the Church.
I was trying to get closer to Jesus and was
reading Isaiah 58 about feeding, sheltering and clothing the poor. It really spoke
to me. Within about 30 minutes of sitting
with that Scripture, I found St. Mary’s soup
kitchen online and called the director, Ron
Bezon. He invited me to come down to
help the very next day, and I’ve been here
ever since. The first day, I knew this was
where I was supposed to be and how I was
supposed to help build God’s kingdom.”
Johnson is quick to point out that the
ministry cannot operate without volunteers and beams as he talks about how
the majority of St. Mary’s parishioners are
involved with the mission.
His parents, brother, wife and 6-year-old
daughter help him sort clothes and prepare
meals along with volunteer groups. “The
parishioners and volunteers are really the
ones who make this happen. I just happen
to be the lucky one to have gotten into this
position by God’s grace,” he says.
“I come all this way for Mass with my
family because here at St. Mary’s, we are
the hands and feet of Christ,” he says.
“Though we’re a poor parish, we’re not
solely focused on how we’re going to
survive. We’re right there in the middle
of what’s going on in our community.”
He notes that for the ministry to survive, the parish has to survive, and they
rely more than ever on financial gifts.
The soup kitchen is partnered with the
Food Bank, which allows them to get
food for 10 cents on the dollar, so donations through their website at go further than food
donations. And because they serve about
90 percent men and 10 percent women,
they’re always in need of men’s pants,
underwear, socks and shoes.
Whether it’s making sure people without
coats or gloves get them, driving people
to alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs or teaching Christ’s message of
hope to those at Greenlaw Community
Center, Johnson reaches out to serve
beyond the walls of St. Mary’s.
“One of the men at my Biblical Foundations class approached me afterward and
told me the message stuck on him and
that he wanted to volunteer here,” Johnson notes. “He’s here every day doing the
jobs I was originally doing for Ron.”
Stories abound about people who have
been helped and are now giving back. A
man who started Alcoholics Anonymous
at St. Mary’s, who was once homeless eating at St. Mary’s soup kitchen, painted
the church doors for the parish’s 150th
anniversary celebration this past November.
“While sometimes I do see an entitlement attitude and people working the
system, the large majority of those coming
are people such as a mother with three
children who just fell on hard times. They
tell me they had nowhere else to go and
thank us with swollen eyes,” Johnson says.
He adds, “So many people are just a
I’d say 70 to 80
percent have had a
catastrophe of some
sort, stumbled and
just ended up where
they are. They just
need a little bit of
help getting back up.
... I don’t know what their
situation is. I can’t spend
my life judging or worrying
about who’s deserving and
who’s not. That’s not my place.
That’s God’s place.”
week’s wage away from being out on
the streets. I’d say 70 to 80 percent
have had a catastrophe of some sort,
stumbled and just ended up where
they are. They just need a little bit of
help getting back up. I will never turn
anyone away, even if they drive up in a
Hummer. I don’t know what their situation is. I can’t spend my life judging
or worrying about who’s deserving and
who’s not. That’s not my place. That’s
God’s place.”
“They tell me they had nowhere else to go
and thank us with swollen eyes.”
Johnson explains that many of the
people who eat at the soup kitchen spend
the rest of the day filling out job applications. The best prospects are located near
the soup kitchens and missions that are
concentrated downtown. Occasionally
workers get bus passes to travel to the east
side of the city to try to find jobs, but they
have to get back downtown to eat and
spend the night at a shelter.
“I wake up every day and get on my
knees and thank God for everything that
I have, for everything that I am, for what
He has done for me, for what He will
do for me, for His mercy and grace in
my life,” Johnson says. “It’s so amazing I
can’t put it into words. The heavens have
opened over my life. It has all been by
His hand. It’s nothing
I’ve done. I’m not worthy of it.”
He continues, “Through
my search and desire
to make money and
become wealthy, I got
away from the most
important thing – my
relationship with God
through Christ. At many
points in my life He
tried to redirect me, but
I always somehow didn’t
listen and kept going my
own way. He humbled
Faith West Tennessee / Jan./Feb. 2015 /
me and brought me to a point where
there was no other way. I had gone as
far as I was going to go by myself and I
didn’t like the direction or the person I
had become. I had made it all about me
and what was important to me. None of
this world is about me. Jesus told me,
‘You can keep going that way, but it’s
just going to get worse. I will lead you
out of this if you want.’ I was stubborn
and thought I could do it on my own.
I thought I had all the answers and that I
could plan my own destiny. “Now I get to be the conduit of His
blessing to other people. It’s not all peaches and cream, because some people are
just mean – I just try to pray for them and
bless them – but I don’t let that negatively
affect me. My dad always told me that if
you have a job you truly love, you’ll never
work a day in your life. That’s how my job
is. I get to see God every day. My life is
completely blessed because of what I get
to do here. My cup runs over.”
P B & J D AY
don’t know that I can get it going on a national scale,
but I’ve got an idea that might catch on.
Who knows? These days, all sorts of craziness go viral!
I want to call it “PB&J Day.” Hallmark might even
come calling.
Heck, “Grandparents’ Day” caught on. Rightfully so, I might
add. That idea probably could — and definitely should — be
bigger than it is. I’m convinced Grams and Gramps everywhere
deserve their own day, (especially now that I am one.) For their
baby-sitting, for their bailing us out, for their wit, their wisdom
and all their “wows” when our kids did almost anything.
“Wow! He’s 18 inches long!”
But I don’t recall from whence the day came. I mean one year
we didn’t have it, the next year we did. Somebody had to get it
going, didn’t they?
There’s also a “National Smokeout Day.” In an effort to make
a dent in what we all believe to be a horrible habit, we encourage those who do … to don’t. Though I have many flaws, yucking up my lungs isn’t one of them. But somewhere out there at
least one cigarette smoker each year uses that day of inspiration
to forever change his life.
Good for that somebody; good for the idea.
Though I’ve never done it officially, I understand there is a
“Take-Your-Daughter-to-Work Day” as well. It just so happens
that my daughters and I travelled together to my work (and
their school) beginning when the oldest was seven. They probably would have thought I was cooler if I’d been a rock star.
Honestly, they would have much preferred a “Let-YourDaughter-Sleep-In Day” or a “Buy-Your-Daughter-a-Doughnut Day.”
But here’s the thing:
How does one go about getting on this national register of
“I’ve-Got-My-Own-Idea Day”? Because I think this is a good one.
PB&J Day — my idea was born like this.
At our school, as always, we held our annual holiday food
drive to help feed the hungry. The drive ran from mid-November through Thanksgiving, right up to semester exams.
Kids being kids, it’s actually easy for them to help with this
particular volunteer service idea because they need do nothing
more than raid their pantry at home. It doesn’t cost them one
personal penny.
A good many normal teens will rummage through the groceries that mom bought, find a few canned items (a good chance
they’ll pick beets and asparagus) and then drop them off in the
school lobby.
Good deed done!
To be honest, that’s what I always did. It bothered me about
me then; it bothers me about them now.
So this year, I’m encouraging PB&J Day.
I thought I’d encourage our students to get out of bed, make
themselves a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich and then
donate one day of their $5-chicken-tenders-and-tater-tots-lunchmoney to the cause.
Or better yet, actually take that saved $5 to the store and shop
for the people who cannot.
One sacrificial meal. One PB&J for the cause.
One national “Let’s-suck-it-up-for-those-kids” day.
Then it occurred to me that it’s not just about our students.
Or just about our school. As an adult, I’m just as guilty. Our kids
aren’t the only ones reaching into the pantry of “I won’t miss this.”
As the holidays came and went, we all got chance after chance
to do something for the less fortunate – Salvation Army, Catholic
Charities, Food Bank, Toys-for-Tots or the Angel Tree in your
But regardless of your choice, each required at least a little of
our money. So we can give from the pantries of our lives or we
can eat the symbolic PB&J. Reach further, dig deeper.
I know, it’s probably a stupid idea.
It’s unlikely to catch on in our cafeteria, much less across the
business lunch tables of corporate America.
It’s just that we have much to teach the young ones in our
care. And even more to model.
No matter what is believed about the homeless and how they
got that way – whether they’re lazy or irresponsible or victims of
a cruel fate – no matter what you think, they’re still hungry. And
their kids are hungry … and not a bit at fault for what’s not on
their table.
One PB&J won’t buy very
much, but does that matter?
Those who have should help
those who don’t.
Let’s teach them well.
Dear God – We can prepare for You by opening
our hearts. We can prepare for Your kingdom by
opening our arms. Amen.
George Valadie is president
of Notre Dame High School in
Chattanooga, Tenn.
The Bouquets of Hope initiative launched in
business contacts. The less visible aspect of the
October 2014 by Catholic Charities of West
initiative is job training for the individuals who
Tennessee is designed to bring hope, joy and
receive the flowers, then make and deliver the
promise. Readers of Faith West Tennessee will recall
arrangements. With the second goal in mind,
that the most visible aspect of the program is the
Bouquets of Hope can boast its first graduate,
delivery of flower arrangements to people staying
Kenneth Dotson, who landed a job as a dock
in hospitals, hospices and retirement facilities.
worker. Dotson is pictured at St. Peter Villa
The program is made possible by repurposing
on Sept. 29, 2014, where he helped to deliver 85
cut flowers donated by generous individuals and
bouquets and earned smiles from grateful residents.
Faith West Tennessee / Jan./Feb. 2015 /
At Resurrection Catholic School,
we are working to close the urban
schools achievement gap. We
provide students with extra opportunities for learning, which include
enrichment offered in the morning
and targeted programs in the afternoon. Morning enrichment focuses
on language arts and math through
the use of IXL, Scholastic Readers
and vocabulary flash cards. This
takes place every school day from
7:15 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. More than 80
of our students take part in morning
enrichment; some of the students
involved are shown in the photo.
One of our afternoon programs is
English Language Learners (ELL),
which provides extra help for students working on improving reading
and writing in English. ELL takes
place Tuesday through Thursday
during the school day and after
school, as well. A second program
offered in the afternoon is Title I
for students K-6th. Title I provides
extra tutoring in language arts and
math, Monday through Thursday
including after school. In addition,
a reading specialist helps students
improve reading skills through small
group instruction. The specialist
works with students on Tuesday,
Thursday and Friday.
principal at Resurrection Catholic
St. Ann Catholic
School in Bartlett
has posted its antibullying video on
its website, www. The
idea was sparked
when school Counselor Cathy Bird was
preparing for her
yearly anti-bullying
assembly for the
students. Mrs. Bird
asked Music Director
John Angotti and
John Angotti poses with students
Chorus Director
Chiquita Paulson to
help with a song for the
“It’s Cool to be Kind” was written by students Brianna Jones, Libbyclaire McGhee
and Andrew Mays; Mr. Angotti wrote the music. The video has a simple message of
promoting kindness.
Students learned about anti-bullying efforts at St. Ann and every classroom has written its own mission statement and “Constitution of Caring,” which are posted at their
classrooms. The awareness campaign also included “Sock it to Bullies Day” where
students wore crazy socks, as well as “Camo Cool Day,” Junior high students participated in group activities designed to help break down barriers between the children.
Thirteen students from Rhodes College and the University of Memphis spent a
November Friday night hanging out at a convent. Not just any convent, but the
Memphis home of the six Dominicans Sisters of St. Cecelia. The Sisters welcomed the
women for an evening of “Prayers and Pizza.” They began by praying Vespers during
Adoration and concluded with casual conversation about discernment and religious
life. The students all commented on how they came to the Sisters tired and stressed,
but they left them feeling rejuvenated and
at rest. Praise the Lord
for holy vocations!
VORPAHL, Catholic
campus minister for
University of Memphis
and Rhodes College
On Saturday, November 8, 2014, the
Catholic Diocese of Memphis held the first
class for training Ministers to the Sick in
Spanish. The class was sponsored by the
Department of Pastoral Life Ministries.
Thirty-seven participants came from
five parishes. Taught by Father Yoelvis
Gonzalez, Gladis Ortega and Carlos
Martin, the course prepares participants to
minister to the sick who are in hospitals,
nursing homes and homebound.
Christian Brothers High School
honored renowned surgeon
and educator Dr. Regis Haid
(CBHS class of 1974) as its
2014 Distinguished Alumnus
during the October 28 induction
ceremony in Heffernan Hall for
36 new members of the National
Honor Society.
Dr. Regis W. Haid, Jr., is
medical director of the Piedmont
Spine Center and Neuroscience
Service Line, Piedmont Hospital
in Atlanta, Georgia. After graduating from Notre Dame in 1978, he earned
an M.D. at West Virginia University in 1982 and completed neurosurgical
residency in 1988 at West Virginia University. A fellowship with Dr. Joseph
Maroon in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was performed in 1986. In 1988-89, he
was a clinical instructor at the University of Florida, where he also completed
a one-year fellowship in spinal surgery. He served in the U.S. Air Force
at Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, from 1989 to 1993.
He joined the faculty at Emory University in Atlanta in 1993 as associate
professor, and was promoted to professor in 2001. During that time, he
was director of the Spinal Fellowship Program. In 2003, he was a founding
partner of Atlanta Brain and Spine Care, a Spinal Research Foundation
Regional Center of Excellence. His patents include the first artificial
cervical spine disc joint cleared by the FDA. His implant designs for
spinal reconstruction are used worldwide.
Above: Dr. Regis Haid (CBHS ‘74), medical director of the Piedmont Spine
Center and Neuroscience Service Line, Piedmont Hospital, received the 2014
Distinguished Alumnus Award. This was presented by Brother Chris Englert,
FSC, and Kenny Myers ‘80, president, CBHS Alumni Association, at the NHS
induction on Oct. 28.
Faith West Tennessee / Jan./Feb. 2015 /
The St. Agnes Academy senior
class visited the Motherhouse in St.
Catharine, Ky., for the school’s annual
Heritage Trip. The seniors learned more
about the roots of the Dominican Sisters
who founded their school. Activities
included Centering Prayer, visits to the
sisters in Sansbury, a hay ride on the
grounds and a talk by the Dominican
Sisters on their work in Africa. The St.
Agnes students had lunch with the
sisters and enjoyed the opportunity to
learn more about the Dominican sisters
and their ministry.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School Green Team was one of ten
Tennessee schools to receive the Good Sports Always Recycle™ 2014 award and
a $1,000 grant. Since 2011, the team has helped to divert thousands of paper
and other recyclables from the OLPH dumpster. Green team sponsor Rhiannon
Harrison said, “I am so proud of the OLPH Green Team. This grant will allow
the recycling club to find newer, more efficient ways to make the environment
a better place and keep the earth clean.” Cody Costa and Tyler Kahle, UTK
students and OLPH Alumni Class of 2007, accepted the award on behalf of
the school at the UT versus Kentucky football game. Good Sports Always
Recycle™ is the nation’s largest stadium recycling program, sponsored by
Eastman Chemical Company, The University of Tennessee, Waste Connections
and Food City.
National speaker Jay Watts addressed the students at St. Benedict at
Auburndale High School in November on the topic “The Case for Life.” In his
presentation, Watts offered a positive case for the value of human life starting
out with the question, “What is the unborn?” He noted that the morality of the
unborn comes down to that one question. In his discussion of embryology, Jay
reminded the students that the unborn is living and is distinct from the mother
or father. His presentation is a step-by-step system of apologetics, using science
and philosophy to help the students from this pro-life school use indisputable
facts in their discussions on the immorality of abortion.
Watts is a speaker and writer for the Life Training Institute (LTI). He served as
coordinator at Cobb Pregnancy Services for three years, experiencing first-hand
the powerful impact pregnancy centers have on their communities. He started
with LTI as a full-time staff member in 2010 and lives in Atlanta. Jay speaks to
churches, youth groups, schools and others throughout the nation. He was the
second speaker from LTI. The group’s founder and president, Scott Klusendorf,
addressed SBA students four years ago.
For all who attended Magnificat Day of
Faith in Memphis, the question arises:
“What’s next?”
The team of Lumen Civitatis, who
helped to bring Magnificat Day to Memphis, has several works in progress for
2015. They are supporting the Men’s
Morning of Spirituality scheduled for
March 21, 2015, and have been helpful
in bringing Archbishop Peter Sartain to
speak at MMOS. Long-time residents of
Memphis will remember that Archbishop
Sartain was born and ordained here. A
second speaker tentatively scheduled
to visit Memphis at a later date is Archbishop Augustine Di Noia, OP, assistant
(adjunct) secretary of the Congregation
for the Doctrine of the Faith.
The leaders of Lumen Civitatis are
also taking a special interest in helping
college students to grow in their faith.
Scholarships were offered to area college students for the SEEK 2015 conference being held in Nashville Jan 1-5. In
addition, Lumen Civitatis is supporting
Christian Brothers University as school
officials explore new ways of strengthening CBU’s Catholic identity, specifically in campus ministry programs and
courses offered through the Religion
and Philosophy Department.
To stay informed about Lumen
Civitatis, go to www.lumencivitatis.
com. Tax-deductible donations are
accepted through the website and will
help to grow a culture of Catholicism
in the Memphis Diocese – known as
the diocese between the rivers. Lumen
Civitatis is a 501(c)3 nonprofit.
director of Communications & Sports Information
Have You Eaten
and Still Feel Hungry?
rowing up with an Italian mother, I was most fortunate to have never
felt hungry, particularly on Sundays when fresh pasta was abundant
and embellished with plenty of meatballs and desserts. As a very young
child, I was unaware that there were children like me in the world who, due
to their geographic situations, were constantly in need of nourishment.
Fortunately, when school began, the Sisters of St. Joseph made it clear to me
and my classmates that we were lucky that a lack of food was not an issue for
us, but that there was a world filled with hungry children. Hence, in spite of
our having adequate food nourishment, we were still hungry for the knowledge that was imparted to us by our teachers.
Although there are many stories in
to just listen to them, or to be made
the life of Jesus that refer to food, I am
happy by sharing a song or funny story.
convinced that Jesus used the simple
In fact, I wonder how often in our own
analogy of food’s ability to relieve
daily lives do we attempt to meet the
hunger to describe our lives where we
hunger needs of our colleagues and
hunger not for food, but for spiritual
friends who seem to have plenty to eat,
and emotional nourishment to relieve
but who are in desperate need of somethis hunger.
one just to listen to them to discuss
issues they are facing or to just provide
In the Scriptures, Jesus tells us in
nourishment by just being there in
John’s Gospel:
their presence? So as we are about
to write that check to a social service
“Amen, amen, I say to you, Moses
organization and feel good that we have
did not give you bread from heaven, but
done all we can do to feed the hungry,
my Father gives you the true bread from
let me suggest that we are surrounded
heaven. And so they said to him, “Lord,
by hungry people in every part of our
give us this bread always.” Then Jesus said
lives. We have the ability to satisfy that
to them: “I am the bread of life. Whoever
hunger by providing spiritual nourishcomes to me shall not hunger, and whoever
ment, so, as Jesus says, they will never
believes in me shall never thirst.”
be hungry again.
As a college president, I am surrounded by wonderful college students
who love to volunteer and give of their
time to help feed the hungry in our
community. They spend time in food
kitchens, host food drives and make
peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to
be distributed to individuals in need
of food. It is, however, my hope that
through these activities they will realize
that providing soup and sandwiches,
although a very noble start, may not
be enough. It is my wish that they will
clearly see that these “hungry” individuals may be hungry for more than
Dr. John Smarrelli, Jr.,
just food. They may need a person with
president, Christian Brothers
whom to tell their life stories, simply
Faith West Tennessee / Jan./Feb. 2015 /
Kaitlyn Greenwood joins a growing
list of Immaculate Conception
Catholic School
students who have
been honored for
academic excellence by The
Commercial Appeal.
In her senior year,
she holds a 4.5
weighted grade
point average
and scored 27 on the ACT. She has
consistently taken on challenges, including Advanced Placement classes
at ICCS and signing up for dual enrollment through Christian Brothers
University. Noted as a student with
strong leadership capabilities, she
is class president, Beta Club president, editor of the school newspaper,
student ambassador, co-president of
Teens for Life and vice president of
the French Club. She also is a member of Mu Alpha Theta, a national
honor society.
Rev. Enrique Granados Garcia.....01/14
Rev. Juan Antonio (Tony)
Rev. Richard Cortese...................01/27
Rev. Jolly Sebastian....................01/31
Rev. John Boll............................02/03
Rev. Robert Szczechura..............02/12
Rev. Jose C. Zapata....................02/15
Rev. Faustino Maramot................02/15
Msgr. Albert E. Kirk......................02/23
Rev. Thomas P. Thomas...............02/29
‘to feed the poor’
od is Mercy. Jesus tells us that we need to be like His heavenly Father. Therefore, we do works of mercy. The Catechism of the Catholic Church
states that “the works of mercy are charitable actions by which we come to the
aid of our neighbor in his spiritual and bodily necessities.” The Corporal Works
of Mercy are the seven practices of charity based on Jesus’ teaching in Matthew
Chapter 25. Jesus reminds us that whenever we perform these works of mercy,
we care for Christ Himself. The Jewish faith had a tradition of taking care of the
less fortunate of society that they called the “Anawim,” the widow, the orphan and
the sojourner. Torah (Law/Instruction) went so far as to restrict the crop that could
be gleaned in the field; leave the edges and any grapes that fall to the ground to
these poor ones. Catholic Social Teaching has continued that sort of care for the
oppressed and views such individuals as objects of preferential love.
We’ve recently concluded the Advent/Christmas season. This is a time that people seem
to be especially charitable toward others. But,
this charity can’t end with the last Christmas
carol. To feed the hungry seems rather simple. We can make donations to organizations like
the St. Vincent de Paul Society, or Catholic
Charities, or any number of other organizations. (The kettle drums of the Salvation Army,
for example) We can volunteer at local soup
kitchens and food banks. But, we need to do
more. We need to educate ourselves about the
problem of hunger in the world (food and water),
Father Russ Harbaugh,
pastor of St. Ann Catholic
Church in Bartlett.
and we can urge our elected officials (and vote
for the right candidates) to take actions at the
city, country, world-wide level to address hunger. We can support candidates who enact legislation to support clean water policies. Despite
what Cain says in Genesis (“Am I my brother’s
keeper?), we are our brother’s keeper. It is our
duty and obligation to care for our neighbor
through works of mercy like feeding the hungry, not just at Christmas, but all year long. As
my neighbor once told me: “It takes more than
food to feed the hungry ... it takes a giving heart
and a soul rooted in God’s love.”
Father Harbaugh’s blog is available at
The Catholic Diocese
of Memphis in Tennessee
5825 Shelby Oaks Drive
Memphis, TN 38134-7316