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The Beacon Beacon April 14 2016 : Page 1

5 S I S TER S OF C HRI S TI A N C H A RITY REFLE C T ON GOD’ S MER C Y SUSSEX PASSAIC THE A W A RDWINNING NEW S P A PER OF THE R. C . DIO C E S E OF P A TER S ON, N.J. MORRIS APRIL 14, 2016 W ORLD D AY FOR C ONSECRATED L IFE The Catholic Center for Evangelization at Bayley-Ellard 8 A t annual diocesan celebration, S ister Mary Edward S pohrer receives papal honor By CECILE SAN AGUSTIN REPOR TER 2 WOMEN’ S C ONFEREN C E DR A W S MORE TH A N 200 TO EV A NGELIZ A TION C ENTER L A KE HOP A T C ONG P A RI S HIONER S PUT ‘F A ITH IN AC TION’ 8 9, 20 12 13-14 15-20 4 W HAT T O D O Y OUTH O BITUARIES V IEWPOINT C LASSIFIEDS CLIFTON Bishop Serratelli presi -ded at the annual diocesan cele-bration for World Day for Conse -crated Life in St. Philip the Apostle Church here April 10 with evening prayer. At the evening prayer service, Sister of Christian Charity Mary Edward Spohrer, provincial superi-or of the Sisters of Christian Charity in Mendham, who former-ly served the Diocese as chancel-lor/delegate for religious, received the papal award, Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, from Bishop Serratelli. Following the general intercessions and recitation of the “Our Father,” the conferral of the papal award to Sister Mary Edward took place. Bishop Serratelli spoke about Sister Mary Edward’s example of being an imitator of Christ, not only by PRO ECCLESIA ET PONTIFICE Sister of Christian Charity Mary Edward Spohrer, BEACON PHOTO | JOE GIGLI provincial superior of the Sisters of Christian Charity in Mendham and the diocese’s former chancellor/delegate for religious, holds the papal award she received from Pope Francis with Msgr. James Mahoney, vicar general and pastor of Corpus Christi Parish in Chatham Township, and Bishop Serratelli. her words but also by her deeds. “Today the Church of Paterson rejoices because our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has recognized our own Sister Mary Edward, whose life and work is a constant encour-agement to the rest of us,” the Bishop told the congregation, con-sisting of many of the religious or-ders that serve in the Diocese and family and friends of Sister Mary Edward. After having the papal medal-lion placed on her by the Bishop, Sister Mary Edward said, “I am deeply grateful and filled with joy because I’m accepting this on be-half of all the women and men re-ligious in the Diocese of Paterson and also the staff of the diocesan Pastoral Center. During the past 10 years of my life working I have come to know more intimately the wonderful, multi-splendid charisms of the 43 institutes of religious life that live and serve in the Diocese. We have more than 700 women and men in consecrated life. And for this, I am filled with joy and gratitude. The Diocesan Pastoral Center for the past 10 years has been sterling examples to me of ‘ecclesia,’ the reality of the Church as community and as working to-gether. The joy of that as I receive this award from our Holy Father, is for all those men and women, from the Bishop, vicar general, priests, religious, deacons, who I carry in my heart always. Thank you all for who you are.” Earlier in the Vespers service, lit candles were held by the religious as they made a renewal of com-mitment to their religious vows be-fore the Bishop. VESPERS SERVICE on 10 FROM THE VATIC AN DO NOT DELAY — TIME SENSITIVE NEWS ‘T HE J OY OF L OVE ’ VATICAN CITY Catholics who have divorced-and-remarried need the fullness of Church teaching. They also need a wise pastoral and com-munity response to their difficulties that can help them grow in the Christian life, Pope Francis wrote April 8 in “The Joy of Love: (“Amoris Laetitia”), his highly antic-ipated post-synodal apostolic exhor-tation on the gifts and challenges of family life. “The Church’s pastors, in pro-posing to the faithful the full ideal of the Gospel and the Church’s teaching, must also help them to No change in Church doctrine but Pope calls for better pastoral care thing by applying general rules or deriving undue conclusions from particular theological considera-tions.” The wide-ranging document in-cluded Biblical reflections on fami-ly, as well as discussion of the fam-ily as a place of faith and labor, celebration and tears. The Pope wrote about sexuality within mar-riage and on the sometimes devas-tating effects of poverty and migra-tion on families. He also touched on the importance of communica-tion within the family, the chal-‘AMORIS LETITIA’ on 6 treat the weak with compassion, avoiding aggravation or unduly harsh or hasty judgements,” the Pope wrote. The apostolic exhortation is the conclusion of a two-year synod process discussing both the beauty and challenges of family life today. Hosted at the Vatican in 2014 and 2015, these synods gathered hun-dreds of bishops from around the world. While much of the Western sec-ular media focused its coverage on homosexuality and the question of Holy Communion for the divorced-and-civilly remarried, actual topics discussed in the meetings were much broader, with synod fathers touching on themes such as do-mestic violence, incest and abuse within families, and marriage preparation. Pope Francis acknowledged the attention generated by the synods, saying, “The debates carried on in the media, in certain publications and even among the Church’s min-isters, range from an immoderate desire for total change without suf-ficient reflection or grounding, to an attitude that would solve every-

World Day For Consecrated Life

Cecile San Agustin

At annual diocesan celebration, Sister Mary Edward Spohrer receives papal honor

CLIFTON Bishop Serratelli presided at the annual diocesan celebration for World Day for Conse - crated Life in St. Philip the Apostle Church here April 10 with evening prayer.

At the evening prayer service, Sister of Christian Charity Mary Edward Spohrer, provincial superior of the Sisters of Christian Charity in Mendham, who formerly served the Diocese as chancellor/ delegate for religious, received the papal award, Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, from Bishop Serratelli. Following the general intercessions and recitation of the “Our Father,” the conferral of the papal award to Sister Mary Edward took place. Bishop Serratelli spoke about Sister Mary Edward’s example of being an imitator of Christ, not only by her words but also by her deeds.

“Today the Church of Paterson rejoices because our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has recognized our own Sister Mary Edward, whose life and work is a constant encouragement to the rest of us,” the Bishop told the congregation, consisting of many of the religious orders that serve in the Diocese and family and friends of Sister Mary Edward.

After having the papal medallion placed on her by the Bishop, Sister Mary Edward said, “I am deeply grateful and filled with joy because I’m accepting this on behalf of all the women and men religious in the Diocese of Paterson and also the staff of the diocesan Pastoral Center. During the past 10 years of my life working I have come to know more intimately the wonderful, multi-splendid charisms of the 43 institutes of religious life that live and serve in the Diocese. We have more than 700 women and men in consecrated life. And for this, I am filled with joy and gratitude. The Diocesan Pastoral Center for the past 10 years has been sterling examples to me of ‘ecclesia,’ the reality of the Church as community and as working together. The joy of that as I receive this award from our Holy Father, is for all those men and women, from the Bishop, vicar general, priests, religious, deacons, who I carry in my heart always. Thank you all for who you are.”

Earlier in the Vespers service, lit candles were held by the religious as they made a renewal of commitment to their religious vows before the Bishop.

Xaverian Father Carl Chudy, provincial superior of the Xaverian Missionaries at the Provincial House in Wayne, gave the reflection for the evening prayer service. “The role of consecrated life in today’s environment is extraordinarily important,” he said. “The mercy and compassion we bring is to listen and to accompany the disenfranchised, the alienated, the angry and the indifferent.”

Father Chudy spoke about his experiences as a missionary priest serving around the world and reminded the religious that the inspiration for Catholics is two words — Jesus Christ. “He died for every single human being on this Earth. It doesn’t matter what they believe or if they don’t believe; what language they speak or what culture they come from. Every single human being matters to God and therefore matters to the Church,” he said.

“When I think of the Cross, I think of the place where we share that Cross together. Where all of our lives as consecrated men and women are at the empty tomb once again. Where we gather around the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ,” Father Chudy said,

In closing, Father Chudy said, “When you line up to receive the Eucharist, and you open your hands and God is placed there, what do you do with that? I’ll tell you what us in consecrated life do — everything God gives us, we give it away.”

At the end of Vespers, the Bishop said, “Thank you to our religious. You make an immense difference to all that you serve. It is my prayer everyday that the Lord add to your numbers.”

Bishop Emeritus Frank Rodimer and Benedictine Abbot Richard Cronin also attended the Vespers service.

Read the full article at http://www.evergreeneditions.com/article/World+Day+For+Consecrated+Life/2455504/298117/article.html.

‘The Joy Of Love’

No change in Church doctrine but Pope calls for better pastoral care

VATICAN CITY Catholics who have divorced-and-remarried need the fullness of Church teaching. They also need a wise pastoral and community response to their difficulties that can help them grow in the Christian life, Pope Francis wrote April 8 in “The Joy of Love: (“Amoris Laetitia”), his highly anticipated post-synodal apostolic exhortation on the gifts and challenges of family life.

“The Church’s pastors, in proposing to the faithful the full ideal of the Gospel and the Church’s teaching, must also help them to treat the weak with compassion, avoiding aggravation or unduly harsh or hasty judgements,” the Pope wrote.

The apostolic exhortation is the conclusion of a two-year synod process discussing both the beauty and challenges of family life today. Hosted at the Vatican in 2014 and 2015, these synods gathered hundreds of bishops from around the world.

While much of the Western secular media focused its coverage on homosexuality and the question of Holy Communion for the divorced-and- civilly remarried, actual topics discussed in the meetings were much broader, with synod fathers touching on themes such as domestic violence, incest and abuse within families, and marriage preparation.

Pope Francis acknowledged the attention generated by the synods, saying, “The debates carried on in the media, in certain publications and even among the Church’s ministers, range from an immoderate desire for total change without sufficient reflection or grounding, to an attitude that would solve everything by applying general rules or deriving undue conclusions from particular theological considerations.”

The wide-ranging document included Biblical reflections on family, as well as discussion of the family as a place of faith and labor, celebration and tears. The Pope wrote about sexuality within marriage and on the sometimes devastating effects of poverty and migration on families. He also touched on the importance of communication within the family, the challenges of raising children in a technology-saturated world, and the witness of virginity.

Pope Francis devoted a substantial section of the document to the topic of educating children, observing, “The family is thus the place where parents become their children’s first teachers in the faith.” He also offered suggestions for improving marriage preparation programs, inviting engaged couples to consider a simple wedding and to set aside technological distractions.

In a world where many have lost respect for marriage and are delaying the union or choosing cohabitation instead, the Church must speak up, Pope Francis said.

“As Christians, we can hardly stop advocating marriage simply to avoid countering contemporary sensibilities, or out of a desire to be fashionable or a sense of helplessness in the face of human and moral failings,” he reflected. “We would be depriving the world of values that we can and must offer.”

At the same time, he said, “there is no sense in simply decrying present-day evils, as if this could change things. Nor it is helpful to try to impose rules by sheer authority. What we need is a more responsible and generous effort to present the reasons and motivations for choosing marriage and the family, and in this way to help men and women better to respond to the grace that God offers them.”

Pope Francis praised the “indissolubility of marriage,” saying that it “should not be viewed as a ‘yoke’ imposed on humanity, but as a ‘gift’ granted to those who are joined in marriage.” He added that “Divorce is an evil and the increasing number of divorces is very troubling.”

In addition, he said that “divorced people who have not remarried, and often bear witness to marital fidelity, ought to be encouraged to find in the Eucharist the nourishment they need to sustain them in their present state of life.”

In the document’s introduction, Pope Francis wrote that “everyone should feel challenged by Chapter Eight,” which is titled “Accompanying, Discerning and Integrating Weakness.”

That chapter, which describes the Church as “a field hospital,” discusses the pastoral care of the divorced-and-civilly- remarried, as well as those who cohabit and face other irregularities.

Pope Francis wrote that “it is a matter of reaching out to everyone, of needing to help each person find his or her proper way of participating in the ecclesial community.” He emphasized that the divorced-and-remarried “can find themselves in a variety of situations” and that this variety requires discernment and accompaniment on the part of pastors.

The Pope voiced agreement with the Synod Fathers’ observations that divorced-and-remarried Catholics need to be “more fully integrated into Christian communities… while avoiding any occasion of scandal.” He restated that the divorced-and-remarried are not excommunicated, and quoted the Synod Fathers, who had said that “language or conduct that might lead them to feel discriminated against should be avoided.”

Care for these persons is not a weakening of Christian faith and belief in the indissolubility of marriage, but is rather “a particular expression of its charity,” he said, again quoting the Synod Fathers.

While he affirmed the ideal of sacramental marriage in ministering to those in broken situations, the Pope also rejected a one-size-fits-all approach to individual cases.

Considering the “immense variety of concrete situations” that the divorced-and-remarried have put themselves in, he said, “it is understandable that neither the Synod nor this Exhortation could be expected to provide a new set of general rules … applicable to all cases.”

Instead, he said, what is possible is “a responsible personal and pastoral discernment of particular cases” which would recognize varying degrees of responsibility and therefore varying consequences or effects.

This is also the case with admission to the sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion, he wrote, due to mitigating factors that might reduce a person’s culpability.

“Hence it can no longer simply be said that all those in any ‘irregular’ situation are living in a state of mortal sin and are deprived of sanctifying grace,” Pope Francis said. “More is involved here than mere ignorance of the rule. A subject may … be in a concrete situation which does not allow him or her to act differently and decide otherwise without further sin.”

Someone in such a situation of objective sin but without full culpability can grow in charity with the help of the Church, and “in certain cases, this can include the help of the sacraments,” he noted. “I would also point out that the Eucharist is not a prize for the perfect, but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak’,” he added, quoting from his 2013 apostolic exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium.”

The Pope acknowledged the importance of fidelity to the Gospel, saying that “To show understanding in the face of exceptional situations never implies dimming the light of the fuller ideal, or proposing less than what Jesus offers to the human being.”

He called it “reductive” in discernment merely “to consider whether or not an individual’s actions correspond to a general law or rule.”

“A pastor cannot feel that it is enough simply to apply moral laws to those living in ‘irregular’ situations, as if they were stones to throw at people’s lives. This would bespeak the closed heart of one used to hiding behind the Church’s teachings.”

Pope Francis professed understanding for those who prefer “a more rigorous pastoral care which leaves no room for confusion.”

“But I sincerely believe that Jesus wants a Church attentive to the goodness which the Holy Spirit sows in the midst of human weakness, a Mother who, while clearly expressing her objective teaching, ‘always does what good she can, even if in the process, her shoes get soiled by the mud of the street.’ ”

— Catholic News Agency

Read the full article at http://www.evergreeneditions.com/article/%E2%80%98The+Joy+Of+Love%E2%80%99/2455507/298117/article.html.

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