Tag Archives: young adults

Pope Addresses New York’s Bishops

Here at An Undivided Heart, we will be examining the statements of the Holy Father as he concludes his ad limina meetings with the U.S. bishops at the Vatican with an eye toward capturing the Pope’s thoughts on the subject of vocations.

Unlike the first ad limina address, Pope Benedict did not explicitly address the subject of vocations in his address to the bishops of region II, which includes the Catholic dioceses of New York.  However, he did discuss the need for re-evangelization and interior conversion, as well as the importance of engaging college students. Here are some excerpts from his address:

“[T]he seriousness of the challenges which the Church in America, under your leadership, is called to confront in the near future cannot be underestimated. The obstacles to Christian faith and practice raised by a secularized culture also affect the lives of believers, leading at times to that “quiet attrition” from the Church which you raised with me during my Pastoral Visit. Immersed in this culture, believers are daily beset by the objections, the troubling questions and the cynicism of a society which seems to have lost its roots, by a world in which the love of God has grown cold in so many hearts. Evangelization thus appears not simply a task to be undertaken ad extra; we ourselves are the first to need re-evangelization. As with all spiritual crises, whether of individuals or communities, we know that the ultimate answer can only be born of a searching, critical and ongoing self-assessment and conversion in the light of Christ’s truth. Only through such interior renewal will we be able to discern and meet the spiritual needs of our age with the ageless truth of the Gospel. . . .

“In the end, however, the renewal of the Church’s witness to the Gospel in your country is essentially linked to the recovery of a shared vision and sense of mission by the entire Catholic community. I know that this is a concern close to your own heart, as reflected in your efforts to encourage communication, discussion, and consistent witness at every level of the life of your local Churches. I think in particular of the importance of Catholic universities and the signs of a renewed sense of their ecclesial mission, as attested by the discussions marking the tenth anniversary of the Apostolic Constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae, and such inititiatives as the symposium recently held at Catholic University of America on the intellectual tasks of the new evangelization. Young people have a right to hear clearly the Church’s teaching and, most importantly, to be inspired by the coherence and beauty of the Christian message, so that they in turn can instill in their peers a deep love of Christ and his Church.

For the complete text, click here.

Vocations in the News

Some interesting vocation news items from this past week:

Founder of Vocationists is beatified (Zenit) Don Justino Russolillo formed “a religious family dedicated wholly to the formation and education of vocations to the ecclesiastical-religious state.”

African bishops say they need help forming flourishing vocations (Catholic News Service) We are well aware of the fact that vocations are flourishing in Africa, but they do have a “shortage” when it comes to having people qualified to form them. The African bishops have invited U.S. seminary professors to come teach in Africa. They also would like to send more seminarians to the United States, where some could remain for awhile after graduation, while others would return to Africa to teach.

Fr. Clemente Vismara, “Patriarch of Burma” to be declared blessed (Asia News) This new blessed was a missionary who lived for 64 years in the forests and mountains of Kentung.

KC young adult ministry offers many opportunities to deepen faith (Catholic News Agency/Catholic Key) Kansas City is known not only as the home of world-class barbecue and the AFC West champion Chiefs, but also for its fantastic outreaches to young adults that are making a difference for the good. Examples include City on a Hill, Catholic Challenge Sports, Theology on Tap, Tuesdays at the Boulevard, Reservoir (monthly holy hour for young adults), and Band of Brothers.

Opus Dei: The Good, the Bad, and the Albino (NCRegister blog)   Interesting discussion of real-life experiences (as opposed to Da Vinci Code-type caricatures) of Opus Dei, one of the most intriguing organizations in the Church today. By way of full disclosure, while not a member or “cooperator” of Opus Dei, I have benefited greatly from their ministry and everyone I know who is actively involved with it strives the best he or she can to be a faithful Catholic. Can’t ask for much more than that.

Relic of “Blessed” nun to return to Hawaii (Wall Street Journal) This week we celebrated the feast of St. Damien of Molokai, the “Leper Priest.” What many people don’t know is that shortly before his death Mother Marianne Cope and other Franciscan Sisters of Syracuse came to carry on his amazing work in the leper colony. Mother Cope herself was beatified just a couple years ago.

Preserving a way of life (Worcester Telegram) I suppose even Trappists have to make ends meet!

Catholic priest nominated as chaplain of the House of Representatives (Washington Post)  Jesuit Father Patrick J. Conroy was recently named to succeed another Catholic chaplain for the House, Fr. Daniel P. Coughlin. What seemed to be a non-partisan process got a little ugly, as Rep. Nancy Pelosi (a Catholic) and others opposed Fr. Conroy’s nomination for a time because his community has paid out a large sex abuse settlement. (Never mind that Fr. Conroy was not personally involved in the activity or any alleged “cover up” and in fact blew the whistle on one of the offending priests!) The issues have been resolved, however, and his nomination now looks secure. One does wonder how Fr. Conroy’s nomination can be opposed on moral grounds by the same people who are actively opposing efforts to cut government subsidies for Planned Parenthood. Mother of God, pray for us! 

The Mother of God is the defender of orthodoxy (Catholic Online)   Short, well-written article on Mary’s vocation as “Theotokos” by Fr. Dwight Longenecker.