20141121cm01588 webA poster announcing the pope's raffle is seen next to St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Nov. 21. (CNS photo/Alessandro Bianchi, Reuters)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Like many Catholic parishes, the Vatican has turned to a raffle to raise money; the difference is, though, the prizes are items originally given as gifts to Pope Francis.

20141117cm01483 webPope Francis leads his Sunday Angelus prayer in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Nov. 16. The following day, Pope Francis confirmed he will visit Philadelphia in September. (CNS photo/Alessandro Bianchi, Reuters)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Pope Francis said he would attend the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in September, making it the first confirmed stop on what is expected to be a more extensive papal visit to North America.

AlbertusProf SMSstudents-webBiology Professor Patricia Compagnone Post demonstrates materials for working with DNA to students from St. Mary School in Branford on Oct. 22 at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven.

BRANFORD – St. Mary School’s seventh and eighth graders are learning science and math from Albertus Magnus College faculty now as part of a new partnership.

The partnership is designed to improve the St. Mary students’ competitiveness in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields of study. The school’s STEM program aims to provide students with a dynamic, engaging series of educational experiences based on an innovative, in-depth and hands-on approach to science.

20101119cnsbr03533 webBishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, Calif., addresses the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops during its annual fall meeting in Baltimore Nov. 15, 2010. (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec) WASHINGTON – The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) annual collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) will be taken up in parishes nationwide on Nov. 22-23, the weekend before Thanksgiving. Echoing the teaching of Pope Francis, the collection focuses on the theme: “CCHD: Working on the Margins.”

“In the United States, many Americans continue to face the effects of a stagnant economy, debilitating unemployment, a dehumanizing cycle of poverty, and growing civic disenfranchisement,” said Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.

Mansell-blessing-web

Archbishop Emeritus Henry J. Mansell blesses a garden in the second floor waiting area of the St. Francis/Mount Sinai Regional Cancer Center in Hartford Nov. 1.

The garden is in memory of Nina Griswold Giorgio, a friend of St. Francis Care and a member of the St. Francis Auxiliary, who died of cancer in March.

20141105cnsbr6821 webYoung people take selfies with Pope Francis as he leaves his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Nov. 5. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – The world's bishops are called to be servants and shepherds who use their position to care for people and the faith, not to seek power and boost their pride, Pope Francis said.

The church has no place for men with a "worldly mentality" who are seeking a career, he said at his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square Nov. 5.

"It's sad when you see a man who seeks this office and who does so much to get there and when he makes it, he doesn't serve, but struts like a peacock, living only for his own vanity," the pope said.

carolyns-2014 7198-a-webArchbishop Leonard T. Blair talks to others at a table at the Carolyn's Place dinner Nov. 2 at La Bella Vista Restaurant in Waterbury.

WATERBURY – Over 300 people bundled into La Bella Vista Restaurant at the Pontelandolfo Club in Waterbury on a chilly Nov. 2, All Souls Day, to celebrate the 22nd annual awards dinner of Carolyn’s Place Pregnancy Care Center.

stjames robot-webHumanoid robot "Mixy" waits for St. James School third-grader Marion Patsalides to enter a command into the computer as Dr. Lin Lin supervises.

MANCHESTER – Second and third graders at St. James School met a Macarena-dancing robot named Mixy on Oct. 31 and learned about the future in the process.

Dr. Lin Lin, assistant professor and program coordinator of engineering science and computer engineering technology at Middlesex Community College, acquainted the students with a programmable humanoid robot named Mixy which introduced itself, walked, danced the Macarena and told jokes.

chapel StJohn Nov2014-249-webCardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, talks to some of the 250 friends and supporters of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist who were on hand for the blessing of a new chapel for the growing community on Nov. 1 on their Finch Avenue campus.

MERIDEN – Before a jubilant gathering of friends, benefactors and the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran dedicated the 6,000-square-foot Chapel of St. John and adjoining meeting room during a solemn Mass on Nov. 1.

A longtime friend of the Franc

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MsgrLiptak_TNEven "the Catholic Left" (the phrase is not mine) is expressing outrage about President Barack Obama’s "war on the Catholic Church." An op-ed piece in the 24 Jan. Wall Street Journal included the President of Notre Dame University, which awarded the United States President with an honorary degree not too long ago. He has reportedly manifested "alarm" for the way Mr. Obama is now "shamefully" treating "those Catholics who went out on a limb" for him.

Retired Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles wrote in his blog that he cannot "imagine a more direct and frontal attack on freedom of conscience."

The issue here is obviously most grave. Morality directly reflects doctrine, and Catholics especially affirm the truth of Sacred Scripture as read within the Church. No administration has ever dared to trample so overtly on the First Amendment, which in part safeguards the innate right of religious freedom.

George Washington’s unforgettable words are quoted by New York’s Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, in another recent (25 Jan.) WSJ op-ed article:

"The conscientious scruples of all men should be treated with great delicacy and tenderness; and it is my wish and desire that the laws may always be extensively accommodated to them."

The Archbishop also cites the great James Madison’s admonition:

"Conscience is the most sacred of all property."

Direct abortion, which is primarily a right-to-life topic, is, in Catholic doctrine, thoroughly evil; no justification is possible. To require a Catholic to help fund such a procedure is profoundly repugnant to her or him. Nor can such barbaric duress be tolerated by Constitutional reference. Indeed, the argument goes in the very opposite direction, as the U.S. Declaration of Independence proclaims in the first paragraph.

Mandatory insurance costs for sterilization and contraception, both birth prevention modalities, are also crude violations of religious freedom. Since when are Catholics required to pay for contraceptive procedures or means that are morally unacceptable in conscience?

Surely this "latest erosion of our [America’s] first freedom," argues Archbishop Dolan, "should make all Americans pause. When the government tampers with a freedom so fundamental to the life of our nation, one shudders to think what lies ahead."

How "ObamaCare" impacts religious liberty is an issue that will not – indeed, cannot – fade away; it is too explicit and deep an assault on human dignity. It is an assault about which faith and reason warn us many times over. That it could occur in a pagan society, wherein human dignity is minimized, is somewhat understandable. But for it to happen here, in the United States of America, is incomprehensible, especially since our great nation has a unique Constitution, which secures the God-given right of religious freedom.

What is especially disturbing about reported versions of "ObamaCare" is that the federal government itself is intruding into an area in which it totally lacks not only jurisdiction, but also competence. Many a martyr has been made by a similar intrusion; St. Thomas More, the Patron of Lawyers, is a classic example. Efforts to compel conscience, we tend to think, belong largely to the past, however; but certainly not within our great nation, many of whose original colonies were literally established as sanctuaries for conscience; e.g., Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland.

Again, though, isn’t America still a home where conscience is respected by the government; where, indeed, religion is at the base of our Way of Life? As Will Herberg argued in his highly influential book, Protestant-Catholic-Jew (1955), "German unity, it would seem, is felt to be largely racial-folkish, French unity largely cultural; but neither of these ways is open to the American people, the most diverse in racial and cultural origins of any in the world. Americans believe in religion in a way that perhaps no other people do. It may indeed be said that the primary religious affirmation of the American people, in harmony with the American Way of Life, is that religion is a ‘good thing,’ a supremely ‘good thing,’ for the person and the community."

Here the famed Professor Herberg (whose lectures I had once hoped to hear while working on a doctorate at a university in central New Jersey; he became ill and died shortly after my arrival there) cited President Dwight D. Eisenhower:

"Our government makes no sense unless it is founded in a deeply felt religious faith…" Eisenhower was convinced that the "three great faiths" of our land were really affirming the same thing about the "spiritual ideals" and "moral values" holding up, as it were, the "American Way of Life."

To threaten these noble ideals and values constitutes an unprecedented abomination.

As Archbishop Henry J. Mansell wrote in his column in our last issue, "the future of all of us and our country as well is at stake." (Feb. 2012, p. 2)

 

Msgr. David Q. Liptak is Executive Editor of The Catholic Transcript and censor librorum for the Archdiocese of Hartford.

Events Calendar

November 2014
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06:00 AM
WJMJ will conduct its semiannual radiothon from 6 a.m. Nov. 13 through 1 a.m. Nov. 16 and again from 6 a.m. to midnight Nov. 17. The goal is $115,000 ($105,000 for operations and $10,000 [...]
06:00 PM
Holy Apostles College and Seminary, Cromwell, Cromwell, United States
CROMWELL – Gary L. Krupp, founder and president of the Pave the Way Foundation, will speak at the 2014 Pope St. John Paul II Bioethics Lecture on Nov. 13 at Holy Apostles College and [...]
Date :  November 13, 2014
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06:00 AM
WJMJ will conduct its semiannual radiothon from 6 a.m. Nov. 13 through 1 a.m. Nov. 16 and again from 6 a.m. to midnight Nov. 17. The goal is $115,000 ($105,000 for operations and $10,000 [...]
07:30 PM
Trinity Episcopal Church, Hartford, Hartford, United States
HARTFORD – Concora professional choir will have its annual Bach ClavierFest at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 at Trinity Episcopal Churhch, 120 Sigourney St., Hartford. It is presented by the [...]
Date :  November 14, 2014
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06:00 AM
WJMJ will conduct its semiannual radiothon from 6 a.m. Nov. 13 through 1 a.m. Nov. 16 and again from 6 a.m. to midnight Nov. 17. The goal is $115,000 ($105,000 for operations and $10,000 [...]
08:00 AM
Mercy High School, Middletown, Middletown, United States
The entrance exam for the class of 2019 will be administered from 8-11:15 a.m. Nov. 15 at Mercy High [...]
08:30 AM
Fairfield Prep, Fairfield, Fairfield, United States
Fairfield Prep, a Jesuit, Catholic college preparatory school for boys in grades nine through 12, will [...]
Date :  November 15, 2014
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06:00 AM
WJMJ will conduct its semiannual radiothon from 6 a.m. Nov. 13 through 1 a.m. Nov. 16 and again from 6 a.m. to midnight Nov. 17. The goal is $115,000 ($105,000 for operations and $10,000 [...]
10:30 AM
Manchester, United States
Assumption School in Manchester will host two open houses for potential students and their families. They [...]
Date :  November 16, 2014
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06:00 AM
WJMJ will conduct its semiannual radiothon from 6 a.m. Nov. 13 through 1 a.m. Nov. 16 and again from 6 a.m. to midnight Nov. 17. The goal is $115,000 ($105,000 for operations and $10,000 [...]
Date :  November 17, 2014
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11:30 AM
Franciscan Urban Center, Hartford, Hartford, United States
The House of Bread, a ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph and one of the region's largest providers of food and housing for Hartford's poorest citizens, will hold its 29th Hunger Banquet on Wednesday, [...]
Date :  November 19, 2014
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05:30 PM
Manchester, United States
Assumption School in Manchester will host two open houses for potential students and their families. They [...]
06:00 PM
St. Thomas Seminary, Bloomfield
The Archdiocese of Hartford’s Vocation Office will hold Priesthood Discernment Evenings from 6-7:30 p.m. Nov. 20 and Dec 18 at St. Thomas Seminary, 467 Bloomfield Ave., Bloomfield. They [...]
07:00 PM
St. Timothy Middle School, West Hartford , West Hartford, United States
Open House at St. Timothy Middle School
Date :  November 20, 2014
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03:00 PM
Sacred Heart Academy, Hamden, United States
HAMDEN – The annual Holly Berry Festival, a juried arts and crafts fair benefitting the Retirement Fund [...]
05:00 PM
Sacred Heart Academy, Hamden, Hamden, United States
HAMDEN – There will be a pasta dinner from 5-7 p.m. Nov. 21 at Sacred Heart Academy. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. [...]
07:00 PM
St. Paul Catholic High School, Bristol, Bristol, United States
St. Paul Performing Arts will stage the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “The Miracle Worker,” Nov. 21 and Nov. 22 at 7 pm and on Nov. 23 at 2 pm at St. Paul Catholic High School Theater, Bristol. [...]
12:00 AM
Holy Family Retreat Center, West Hartford, West Hartford, United States
Holy Family Retreat Center will offer a Matt Talbot Women’s Recovery Retreat Nov. 21-23. Women in [...]
12:00 AM
Holy Family Retreat Center, West Hartford , West Hartford, United States
Holy Family Retreat Center willl have a women’s weekend retreat titled "Know Greater Joy" Nov. 21-23. The renewing weekend explores how to [...]
Date :  November 21, 2014
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07:00 PM
St. Paul Catholic High School, Bristol, Bristol, United States
St. Paul Performing Arts will stage the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “The Miracle Worker,” Nov. 21 and Nov. 22 at 7 pm and on Nov. 23 at 2 pm at St. Paul Catholic High School Theater, Bristol. [...]
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08:00 AM
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel-Hartford, Windsor Locks, United States
An East Coast conference against assisted suicide will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 22 at [...]
08:00 AM
St. Paul Catholic High School, Bristol, Bristol, United States
09:00 AM
St. Joseph's Residence, Enfield, Enfield, United States
St. Joseph’s Residence will have its annual annual Craft Fair and Bake Sale on Saturday, November 22, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at the residence, 1365 [...]
09:00 AM
St. Patrick Parish, Farmington, Farmington, United States
 St. Patrick Parish in Farmington will host its 11th annual International Bazaar from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 22 and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 23 in the church hall, located at 110 Main [...]
09:30 AM
Franciscan Life Center, Meriden, Meriden, United States
MERIDEN – A living crèche will be just one of the highlights of the annual Franciscan Christmas Fair, to be held from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Nov. 22 [...]
10:00 AM
Sacred Heart Academy, Hamden, United States
HAMDEN – The annual Holly Berry Festival, a juried arts and crafts fair benefitting the Retirement Fund [...]
10:00 AM
Christ the Redeemer Parish, Milford, Milford, United States
MILFORD – The Ladies Guild of Christ the Redeemer Parish at 325 Oronoque Road will have its annual Christmas bazaar from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 22. There will be many vendors, food, entertainment [...]
10:00 AM
St. Ann Parish, Bristol, Bristol CT, United States
 St. Ann Parish in Bristol will have a craft fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 22. More than 50 tables will have crafts for sale. It also will offer a bake [...]
11:00 AM
Our Lady of the Angels Convent, Enfield, United States
ENFIELD – The Felician Sisters’ annual Pre-Christmas Fair will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 22 at Our Lady of the Angels Convent, 1315 Enfield St., Enfield. Features will include craft [...]
12:00 AM
Holy Family Retreat Center, West Hartford, West Hartford, United States
Holy Family Retreat Center will offer a Matt Talbot Women’s Recovery Retreat Nov. 21-23. Women in [...]
12:00 AM
Holy Family Retreat Center, West Hartford , West Hartford, United States
Holy Family Retreat Center willl have a women’s weekend retreat titled "Know Greater Joy" Nov. 21-23. The renewing weekend explores how to [...]
Date :  November 22, 2014
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02:00 PM
St. Paul Catholic High School, Bristol, Bristol, United States
St. Paul Performing Arts will stage the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “The Miracle Worker,” Nov. 21 and Nov. 22 at 7 pm and on Nov. 23 at 2 pm at St. Paul Catholic High School Theater, Bristol. [...]
08:00 AM
St. Patrick Parish, Farmington, Farmington, United States
 St. Patrick Parish in Farmington will host its 11th annual International Bazaar from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 22 and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 23 in the church hall, located at 110 Main [...]
12:00 AM
Holy Family Retreat Center, West Hartford, West Hartford, United States
Holy Family Retreat Center will offer a Matt Talbot Women’s Recovery Retreat Nov. 21-23. Women in [...]
12:00 AM
Holy Family Retreat Center, West Hartford , West Hartford, United States
Holy Family Retreat Center willl have a women’s weekend retreat titled "Know Greater Joy" Nov. 21-23. The renewing weekend explores how to [...]
Date :  November 23, 2014
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10:00 AM
St. Michael Parish Center, Waterbury, Waterbury, United States
Knights of Columbus from several councils in greater Waterbury will distribute coats to children from 10 a.m. to noon Nov. 28 at its “Coats for Kids” drive at St. Michael’s Parish [...]
Date :  November 28, 2014
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09:00 AM
St. Gregory CCD Center, Bristol, Bristol, United States
The annual St. Gregory Christmas Craft Fair will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 29-30 at the CCD Center, located at 1043 Stafford Ave. The fair will feature over 40 crafters/vendors, an [...]
12:00 AM
Holy Family Retreat Center, West Hartford , West Hartford, United States
Holy Family Retreat Center willl have a women’s weekend retreat titled "Know Greater Joy" Nov. 21-23. The renewing weekend explores how to [...]
Date :  November 29, 2014
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09:00 AM
St. Gregory CCD Center, Bristol, Bristol, United States
The annual St. Gregory Christmas Craft Fair will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 29-30 at the CCD Center, located at 1043 Stafford Ave. The fair will feature over 40 crafters/vendors, an [...]
09:30 AM
Polish National Home, Hartford, Hartford, United States
HARTFORD – The Polish Cultural Club of Greater Hartford will hold its annual Szopka Festival from 9:30 [...]
Date :  November 30, 2014

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