Angelus News | November 13-20, 2020 | Vol. 5 No. 28

A divided country. A global pandemic. A crippled economy. With an end to 2020 in sight, uncertainty about the future lingers. On Page 10, Angelus contributor Elise Ureneck looks at the “big picture” of this moment in history through the lens of two new texts — one by a blogger, the other by a pope — to help understand what God is asking of American Catholics in times of political polarization and cultural change.

A divided country. A global pandemic. A crippled economy. With an end to 2020 in sight, uncertainty about the future lingers. On Page 10, Angelus contributor Elise Ureneck looks at the “big picture” of this moment in history through the lens of two new texts — one by a blogger, the other by a pope — to help understand what God is asking of American Catholics in times of political polarization and cultural change.

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SAINTS<br />

WANTED<br />

The way forward after<br />

the <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong> election<br />

<strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong> <strong>13</strong>-<strong>20</strong>, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong> <strong>Vol</strong>. 5 <strong>No</strong>. <strong>28</strong>


A divided country. A global pandemic. A crippled<br />

economy. With an end to <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong> in sight,<br />

uncertainty about the future lingers. On Page<br />

10, <strong>Angelus</strong> contributor Elise Ureneck looks<br />

at the “big picture” of this moment in history<br />

through the lens of two new texts — one by<br />

a blogger, the other by a pope — to help<br />

understand what God is asking of American<br />

Catholics in times of political polarization and<br />

cultural change.<br />


IMAGE:<br />

Michael “Mikey” McGivney Schachle, his parents,<br />

and several of his siblings stand with a relic<br />

during the Oct. 31 beatification Mass of Bl.<br />

Michael McGivney at the Cathedral of St. Joseph<br />

in Hartford, Connecticut. Michael, who is named<br />

after the founder of the Knights of Columbus,<br />

was given no hope of surviving a life-threatening<br />

case of fetal hydrops while still in the womb.<br />

His miraculous healing was attributed to the<br />

intercession of Bl. McGivney, and was approved<br />

by the Vatican as the miracle needed for the<br />

priest’s beatification.<br />


Contents<br />

Pope Watch 2<br />

Archbishop Gomez 3<br />

World, Nation, and Local <strong>News</strong> 4-6<br />

Scott Hahn on Scripture 8<br />

Father Rolheiser 9<br />

What is Cathedral High’s secret to producing vocations? 14<br />

John Allen: How Italian is the papacy nowadays? 18<br />

Kathryn Lopez remembers the heroic virtue of Andrew Walther <strong>20</strong><br />

Bishop Joseph Perry on ways to overcome racism 24<br />

Grazie Christie finds hope for <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong> in the saint of Auschwitz <strong>28</strong><br />

Kris McGregor: Julian of <strong>No</strong>rwich and the mystery of suffering 30<br />

Heather King: A locally grown new volume on saints 32



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<strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong> <strong>13</strong>-<strong>20</strong>, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong><br />

<strong>Vol</strong>. 5 • <strong>No</strong>. <strong>28</strong><br />

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Reform movements<br />

Ahead of the <strong>No</strong>v. 10 release of an<br />

internal review of documents and<br />

witness accounts detailing the rise to<br />

power of former cardinal and convicted<br />

abuser Theodore McCarrick, the Holy<br />

See announced a pair of important<br />

moves suggesting progress on the path<br />

to greater transparency.<br />

On <strong>No</strong>v. 5, news emerged that Pope<br />

Francis had requested that responsibility<br />

for financial funds and real<br />

estate assets, including a controversial<br />

London property, be transferred out of<br />

the Vatican’s Secretariat of State.<br />

The pope asked for the management<br />

and administration of the funds and<br />

investments to be given instead to<br />

APSA, which functions as the Holy See<br />

treasury and sovereign wealth manager,<br />

and also administers payroll and operating<br />

expenses for Vatican City.<br />

In an Aug. 25 letter to Secretary of<br />

State Cardinal Pietro Parolin made<br />

public <strong>No</strong>v. 5, the pope asked for<br />

“particular attention” to be paid to two<br />

specific financial matters: “investments<br />

made in London” and the Centurion<br />

Global investment fund.<br />

Pope Francis requested that the<br />

Vatican “exit as soon as possible” from<br />

the investments, or “at least dispose of<br />

them in such a way as to eliminate all<br />

reputational risks.”<br />

The Centurion Global Fund is managed<br />

by Enrico Crasso, an investment<br />

manager for the Vatican. He told an<br />

Italian newspaper last month that Pope<br />

Francis had asked for the fund’s liquidation<br />

last year after media reported its<br />

use of Vatican assets under its management<br />

to invest in Hollywood films, real<br />

estate, and utilities.<br />

The London property deal involved<br />

a building at 60 Sloane Ave. that was<br />

purchased over a period of years from<br />

a Vatican investment manager for a<br />

reported 350 million pounds. The Vatican<br />

lost money in the purchase, and<br />

concerns about potential conflicts of<br />

interest in the deal have been raised.<br />

The next day, the pope’s representative<br />

in Poland announced disciplinary<br />

measures on a 97-year-old cardinal<br />

following an 18-month investigation<br />

into abuse claims.<br />

The apostolic nunciature in Warsaw<br />

said that Cardinal Henryk Gulbinowicz,<br />

archbishop of Wroclaw from<br />

1976 to <strong>20</strong>04, would be prohibited<br />

from attending any celebrations or<br />

public meetings as well as using his<br />

bishops’ insignia.<br />

He will also lose the right to funeral<br />

and burial in the city’s cathedral, and<br />

was ordered to pay an “appropriate<br />

sum” to the St. Joseph Foundation,<br />

which assists abuse victims and coordinates<br />

abuse prevention and child<br />

protection.<br />

Accusations against the cardinal were<br />

made in a May <strong>20</strong>19 TV film, “Just<br />

Tell <strong>No</strong> One,” by a former Catholic<br />

student who said he was sent to the<br />

Wroclaw curia in 1989 by a local<br />

seminary rector.<br />

Father Rafal Kowalski, spokesman for<br />

the archdiocese, said the accusations<br />

had been referred to Rome in September<br />

<strong>20</strong>19, after a local prosecutor<br />

declined to investigate. He said other<br />

students and former associates of the<br />

cardinal also had submitted information.<br />

<br />

Reporting courtesy of Catholic <strong>News</strong><br />

Agency’s Hannah Brockhaus and<br />

Catholic <strong>News</strong> Service’s Jonathan<br />

Luxmoore.<br />

Papal Prayer Intention for <strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong>: We pray that the progress of robotics and<br />

artificial intelligence may always serve humankind.<br />

2 • ANGELUS • <strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong> <strong>13</strong>-<strong>20</strong>, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong>


OF FAITH<br />


<strong>No</strong> lasting city<br />

A long and divisive election season is<br />

winding down. As Catholics, we know<br />

that no party or candidate ever fully<br />

represents the Church’s vision of the<br />

human person and human society. To<br />

live in our secular society as a person of<br />

faith is to be always dissatisfied with the<br />

limitations of our politics.<br />

Jesus told us that his kingdom was<br />

not of this world. His first disciples<br />

described themselves as exiles and<br />

pilgrims on the earth.<br />

“For here we have no lasting city, but<br />

we seek the city which is to come,” we<br />

read in the Letter to the Hebrews. St.<br />

Paul said that our true citizenship is in<br />

heaven.<br />

This is true. We can never forget it.<br />

Politics today has become for many<br />

people a substitute for religious faith.<br />

But it cannot be that way with us.<br />

The truth is that we are here for a<br />

time. When that time passes away,<br />

we will meet Our Lord. And in the<br />

evening of our lives, as the saints tell<br />

us, we will be judged by our love.<br />

This does not mean that we abandon<br />

this world or withdraw from participating<br />

in the workings of our society.<br />

We are called to follow Jesus Christ<br />

and to live according to his commandments<br />

and teachings. Just living our<br />

faith has deep political and social<br />

implications.<br />

To live as a Christian means being<br />

guided in all things by love, by a<br />

sincere desire to see that our neighbors<br />

are treated as we want to be treated,<br />

with dignity and respect.<br />

Our faith is deeply personal. But it is<br />

never meant to be only a matter of our<br />

private beliefs and behavior.<br />

As Christians, we share in Jesus’<br />

mission. We are called to be apostles,<br />

missionary disciples who bring the love<br />

of Jesus to our neighbors and seek to<br />

build his kingdom on earth.<br />

The Gospel tells us that God is the<br />

Father of all peoples and that every human<br />

life is precious and loved by God<br />

and that we belong to one another, that<br />

we are meant to live together as one<br />

human family.<br />

Jesus taught us that every human life<br />

is sacred, because God created every<br />

person out of love and in his image.<br />

The whole Gospel depends on this<br />

truth — that God so loved each and<br />

every person, that he sent his only Son<br />

to die for our sake, so that we might<br />

live.<br />

These are religious claims. But if we<br />

accept and believe these claims, they<br />

will change how we live, and how we<br />

think about what makes a good society.<br />

For the Church, governments and<br />

economies, societies, and cultures<br />

should have only one purpose — to<br />

promote the dignity and flourishing of<br />

the human person.<br />

This is why the Church believes that<br />

the foundation of justice in society<br />

begins with protecting and promoting<br />

the sanctity of all human life, from<br />

conception to natural death.<br />

The Church considers marriage and<br />

family to be sacred, because these natural<br />

institutions are the “cradle” from<br />

which life proceeds, and the foundation<br />

of every human community.<br />

The Church also believes that government<br />

must protect freedom of religion<br />

and conscience as the first freedom.<br />

People must be free to believe and<br />

to order their lives according to their<br />

beliefs.<br />

From these foundations — the sanctity<br />

of the human person, the sanctity<br />

of marriage and the family, the right<br />

to conscience and freedom — the<br />

Church’s social doctrine builds.<br />

As Catholics, we are called to work<br />

for a society where the human person<br />

is loved and protected, especially the<br />

weakest and most vulnerable human<br />

lives. We want a society where all men<br />

and women are treated as children of<br />

God, with equality, liberty, and justice<br />

for all.<br />

Catholics must always be engaged<br />

in the great struggles in our society —<br />

over abortion, euthanasia, the environment;<br />

over gender and the family; over<br />

racism, criminal justice, immigration,<br />

and religious liberty.<br />

These are not only political “issues.”<br />

They are moral and religious. They go<br />

to the heart of the matter: Who is God<br />

and why has he made us? What are his<br />

intentions for the human person, for<br />

the world?<br />

We have no lasting city, as the Scriptures<br />

say. But we are each called to<br />

make our own contribution to building<br />

up God’s kingdom on earth. We do<br />

that by keeping our eyes on heaven,<br />

and trying to live as saints on earth.<br />

Let us rededicate ourselves to our<br />

vocation to holiness — to loving as<br />

Jesus loved, and serving God and one<br />

another in our daily lives.<br />

Pray for me this week, and I will pray<br />

for you.<br />

And let us ask the Blessed Virgin<br />

Mary, patroness of this great nation, to<br />

intercede for us. May she help us to<br />

work together to fulfill the beautiful<br />

vision of America’s missionaries and<br />

founders — one nation under God,<br />

where the sanctity of every human life<br />

is defended and freedom of conscience<br />

and religion are guaranteed. <br />

To read more columns by Archbishop José H. Gomez or to subscribe, visit www.angelusnews.com.<br />

<strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong> <strong>13</strong>-<strong>20</strong>, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong> • ANGELUS • 3

WORLD<br />

‘Deplorable’ terrorist attacks rattle Europe<br />

Former UK Prime Minister Theresa May in <strong>20</strong>17.<br />

UK: Former PM warns<br />

over church closures<br />

Another strict lockdown was issued<br />

this month by Prime Minister Boris<br />

Johnson in the United Kingdom,<br />

where coronavirus (COVID-19) cases<br />

are on the rise.<br />

But some members of Parliament,<br />

including Johnson’s own predecessor,<br />

Theresa May, expressed worry about<br />

the consequences of banning public<br />

worship.<br />

“My concern is that the government<br />

today making it illegal to conduct an<br />

act of public worship, for the best of<br />

intentions, sets a precedent that could<br />

be misused for a government of the<br />

future for the worst of intentions,” said<br />

May, who is Anglican, during a <strong>No</strong>v. 4<br />

debate on new lockdown restrictions.<br />

Despite similar concerns from other<br />

members of Parliament, the House of<br />

Commons approved the new lockdown<br />

the same day by a vote of 516<br />

to 38.<br />

Likewise, the Catholic bishops of<br />

England said in a statement they<br />

have “profound misgivings” about<br />

the restrictions, but urged Catholics<br />

to make use of churches for private<br />

prayer and stated that the restrictions<br />

are not an attack on religious belief,<br />

but a lack of understanding about the<br />

importance of faith. <br />


A pair of deadly attacks in Europe, including one inside a Catholic church, are<br />

being investigated as acts of Islamic terrorism.<br />

On Oct. 29, a 21-year-old Tunisian man with a knife entered the Basilica of<br />

<strong>No</strong>tre-Dame de Nice and killed three people before Mass, one of them “virtually<br />

beheaded,” according to French authorities. The man had just come from the<br />

Italian island of Lampedusa, where he had arrived as a migrant last month. He<br />

was arrested by police after the attack.<br />

Days later on <strong>No</strong>v. 3, at least five people were killed and 17 injured in a shooting<br />

spree in Vienna, Austria.<br />

The gunman started his attack outside a synagogue moved across six different<br />

locations before police shot and killed the attacker. The gunman had previously<br />

been jailed in April <strong>20</strong>19 for trying to join ISIS in Syria, according to the BBC.<br />

“I entrust to God’s mercy the people who have tragically passed away,” said Pope<br />

Francis at his <strong>No</strong>v. 4 General Audience, “and I express my spiritual closeness to<br />

their families and to all those who suffer as a result of these deplorable events.” <br />



After the <strong>No</strong>v. <strong>28</strong> consistory the College of Cardinals will have 1<strong>28</strong> electors.<br />


U.S. & Canada<br />

<strong>13</strong><br />

24<br />


Italy<br />

Latin America<br />

A graphic shows the breakdown of electors in the College of Cardinals after the <strong>No</strong>v. <strong>28</strong><br />

consistory, where Pope Francis will create <strong>13</strong> new cardinals. <br />

Africa: Retired cardinal kidnapped and released<br />

53<br />

Europe<br />

An elderly cardinal in Cameroon was released by kidnappers less than 24 hours<br />

after he was taken by gunmen from a separatist militia.<br />

The kidnapping of Cardinal Christian Tumi, archbishop emeritus of Douala,<br />

came amid growing conflict between the English- and the French-speaking parts<br />

of Cameroon.<br />

“Glory be to God. Cardinal Tumi has been freed by the separatist fighters. He is<br />

fine and in good health,” Bishop George Nkuo of the Kumbo Diocese announced<br />

on the afternoon of <strong>No</strong>v. 6. The cardinal also told the current archbishop of<br />

Douala, Archbishop Samuel Kleba, that he was questioned but not tortured,<br />

according to La Croix Africa.<br />

Taken with Cardinal Tumi was also Fon Sehm Mbinglo I, local leader of the Nso<br />

people, who was still in captivity as of press time. <br />

18<br />

Africa<br />

Oceania<br />

16<br />

United States Spain Canada Brazil France<br />

22 9 6 4 4 4<br />

Source: Catholic <strong>News</strong> Service<br />

©<strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong> Catholic <strong>News</strong> Service<br />

4<br />

Asia<br />

4 • ANGELUS • <strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong> <strong>13</strong>-<strong>20</strong>, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong>

NATION<br />

Portland chapel for the poor damaged<br />

Paper covers the smashed windows of St. André Bessette Church in Portland<br />

<strong>No</strong>v. 5, as a man walks to get in line for the free meals the parish serves.<br />

Election <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong>: Catholic voters split in half<br />

Protests in Portland,<br />

Oregon,<br />

which started as<br />

a “Defend Democracy”<br />

rally,<br />

turned into riots<br />

and vandalism<br />

of a Catholic<br />

church.<br />

St. André<br />

Bessette Church<br />

had its windows<br />

broken during<br />

the <strong>No</strong>v. 4 protests.<br />

In addition<br />

to celebrating<br />

the sacraments,<br />

the church,<br />

sometimes<br />

known as the<br />

“Downtown Chapel,” includes a drop-in center, kitchen, showers, and washing<br />

machines for the homeless. All services for the homeless, however, have<br />

been suspended until the damage is fixed and the building secured.<br />

Gov. Kate Brown activated the Oregon National Guard to suppress the riot.<br />

“They shattered the windows of a church that feeds Oregonians in need, a<br />

women-owned and operated business that raises money for immigrant and<br />

women’s rights, and many other storefronts,” Brown said <strong>No</strong>v. 5. “Indiscriminate<br />

destruction solves nothing.” <br />

People in Troy, Michigan, stand in line to vote at St. Joseph Chaldean Church <strong>No</strong>v. 3.<br />

According to polling done by AP VoteCast this election cycle, 50% of Catholics<br />

supported President Donald Trump’s bid for reelection while 49% favored Joe Biden.<br />

Demographic changes split the vote more starkly — white Catholics supported<br />

Trump 57%, whereas Hispanic Catholics supported Biden 67%.<br />

The polling data suggests the Catholic Church is as divided as our nation, said<br />

David Gibson, director of Fordham University’s Center of Religion and Culture.<br />

“If the Republican Party continues to try to amplify calls to white grievance and<br />

fear of immigrants in order to rally the white Catholic vote, that could create further<br />

problems for the Catholic Church itself as it seeks unity,” he told the Associated<br />

Press. <br />



Win, loss for pro-life laws<br />

Election day saw wins and losses for<br />

pro-life measures in Louisiana and<br />

Colorado.<br />

An amendment to the Louisiana Constitution<br />

passed almost 62% for to 37%<br />

against, which states that “nothing in<br />

this constitution shall be construed to<br />

secure or protect the right to abortion<br />

or require the funding of abortion.”<br />

However, in Colorado a proposition<br />

to ban abortions after 22 weeks was defeated<br />

by a similar margin: 59% against<br />

to 41% for.<br />

Katrina Jackson, the pro-life Democratic<br />

state senator who wrote the<br />

Louisiana amendment, said that the<br />

amendment isn’t an absolute ban on<br />

abortion.<br />

“Amendment 1 will make sure judges<br />

could never establish a right to taxpayer<br />

funding of abortion in Louisiana,”<br />

she wrote last month in The Advocate.<br />

“It simply keeps abortion policy in the<br />

hands of our legislators rather than<br />

state judges.” <br />

SCOTUS hears Catholic<br />

foster-care case<br />

The future of Catholic adoption<br />

agencies in Pennsylvania is now in the<br />

Supreme Court’s hands.<br />

The U.S. high court heard arguments<br />

on Fulton v. City of Philadelphia on<br />

<strong>No</strong>v. 4, a case which the country’s<br />

Catholic bishops warn could have large<br />

consequences for religious freedom.<br />

The court is asked to decide on<br />

the city of Philadelphia’s policy of<br />

no longer contracting with Catholic<br />

Social Services for foster-care placements<br />

due to the agency’s policy of not<br />

working with same-sex couples.<br />

“Essentially, we are being told that the<br />

Catholic Church must leave its faith<br />

at the door if it wants to serve those in<br />

need,” wrote Philadelphia Archbishop<br />

Nelson Perez in the Philadelphia<br />

Inquirer <strong>No</strong>v. 1. “But our faith compels<br />

us to do this work, and we have a right<br />

to conduct ourselves according to the<br />

tenets of our faith.” <br />

<strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong> <strong>13</strong>-<strong>20</strong>, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong> • ANGELUS • 5

LOCAL<br />

A ‘Trunk or Treat’ to remember<br />

Students handed out treats at the Bishop<br />

Alemany “trunk-or-treat” event.<br />


Coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns may have canceled Halloween parties across<br />

the state, but it couldn’t keep Bishop Alemany High School in Los Angeles from<br />

celebrating.<br />

For the last 30 years, the school has hosted a Halloween dance for developmentally<br />

disabled adults in local group homes. This year, with large indoor gatherings<br />

still banned in LA County, the school instead held an outdoor “trunk-or-treat”<br />

event for more than <strong>20</strong>0 adults.<br />

Faculty, students, and community members decked out the school parking lot<br />

and cars with spooky decorations, lights, and blow-up figures. Costumed and<br />

masked students passed out candy to guests, many of whom had been unable to<br />

participate in festivities this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. <br />

Voters decide on<br />

stem cells, criminal<br />

justice reform<br />

Californians voted by a narrow<br />

margin to continue funding stem<br />

cell research, despite concerns<br />

that it will result in the destruction<br />

of human embryos.<br />

Proposition 14, which passed by a<br />

51%-49% margin, allows California<br />

to borrow up to $5.5 billion to<br />

keep open the California Institute<br />

for Regenerative Medicine and<br />

expand its research capacity.<br />

California’s Catholic bishops<br />

opposed the measure, since that<br />

research includes the use of embryonic<br />

stem cells. Such research<br />

involves the destruction of embryos,<br />

which according to Catholic<br />

teaching equates to the destruction<br />

of human life.<br />

The fate of another measure,<br />

however, drew a warmer reaction<br />

from the bishops. Proposition <strong>20</strong><br />

would have increased penalties<br />

for certain property crimes and<br />

repeated parole violations, and<br />

make it more difficult for some<br />

convicted felons to qualify for early<br />

parole and release from prison. It<br />

failed by a roughly 24% margin.<br />

According to the California<br />

Catholic Conference website,<br />

“The Bishops of California<br />

opposed this measure, as it would<br />

have rolled back major criminal<br />

justice reforms.” <br />

Archbishop Gomez blesses altars at the Calvary Cemetery Día de los Muertos event.<br />

LA Catholics celebrate Día de los Muertos virtually<br />

At a virtual Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration on <strong>No</strong>v. 1,<br />

Archbishop José H. Gomez remembered the lives of those lost in the coronavirus<br />

(COVID-19) pandemic.<br />

“This year, we celebrate this beautiful feast of hope in a time of heavy sorrow,”<br />

he said at the outdoor prayer service livestreamed from Calvary Cemetery and<br />

Mortuary in East Los Angeles.<br />

“In this moment, I think that the church has a special duty to bear witness to this<br />

hope that has been entrusted to us,” said the archbishop. “Right now, in this time<br />

of sorrow, in this time when people are fearful and when many people are in the<br />

grips of despair, we need to reach out, we need to speak to their sorrow.”<br />

He blessed eight altars, or “ofrendas,” dedicated to victims of the pandemic, Kobe<br />

and Gigi Bryant, the homeless, first responders, and Vanessa Guillen, a soldier<br />

killed in Texas, among others.<br />

The celebration featured the pilgrim images of Our Lady of Guadalupe and<br />

St. Juan Diego, and a traditional sawdust carpet, or “tapete,” with the image of<br />

Bl. Carlo Acutis, the 15-year-old computer programmer who was beatified last<br />

month. <br />


6 • ANGELUS • <strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong> <strong>13</strong>-<strong>20</strong>, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong>

SUNDAY<br />



Prov. 31:10–<strong>13</strong>, 19–<strong>20</strong>, 30–31 / Ps. 1<strong>28</strong>:1–2, 3, 4–5 / 1 Thess. 5:1–6 / Mt. 25:14–30<br />

The day of the Lord<br />

is coming, Paul warns<br />

in Sunday’s Epistle.<br />

What matters isn’t the<br />

time or the season,<br />

but what the Lord<br />

finds us doing with<br />

the new life, the graces<br />

he has given to us.<br />

This is at the heart<br />

of Jesus’ parable in<br />

the Gospel this week.<br />

Jesus is the Master.<br />

Having died, risen,<br />

and ascended into<br />

heaven, he appears<br />

to have gone away<br />

for a long time. By<br />

our baptism, he has<br />

entrusted to each of<br />

us a portion of his<br />

“possessions,” a share<br />

in his divine life (see<br />

2 Peter 1:4).<br />

He has given us “The Last Judgment” (detail), by Viktor Vasnetsov, 1848-1926, Russian.<br />

talents and responsibilities,<br />

according to the measure of serve one another and his kingdom as<br />

our faith (see Romans 12:3, 8). We are good stewards of his grace (see 1 Peter<br />

to be like the worthy wife in Sunday’s 4:10).<br />

First Reading, and the faithful man we In this, we each have a different part<br />

sing of in the Psalm.<br />

to play. Though the good servants<br />

Like them, we should walk in the in the parable were given different<br />

“fear of the Lord” — in reverence, numbers of talents, each “doubled”<br />

awe, and thanksgiving for his marvelous<br />

gifts. This is the beginning of the same reward for his faithfulness —<br />

what he was given. And each earned<br />

wisdom (see Acts 9:31; Proverbs 1:7). greater responsibilities and a share of<br />

This is not the “fear” of the useless the Master’s joy.<br />

servant in Jesus’ parable this week. So let us resolve again in our Eucharist<br />

to make much of what we’ve been<br />

His is the fear of a slave cowering<br />

before a cruel master, the fear of one given, to do all for the glory of God<br />

who refuses the relationship that God (see 1 Corinthians 10:31); that we,<br />

calls us to. He has called us to be too, may approach our Master with<br />

trusted servants, fellow workers (see 1 confidence and love when he comes<br />

Corinthians 3:9), using our talents to to settle accounts. <br />

Scott Hahn is founder of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, stpaulcenter.com.<br />

Scott Hahn is founder of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, stpaulcenter.com.<br />


8 • ANGELUS • <strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong> August 16-23-30, <strong>13</strong>-<strong>20</strong>, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong> <strong>20</strong>19

IN EXILE<br />


Anchoring love, prayer, and service<br />

In his book “The Second Mountain”<br />

(Penguin Random House, $18), David<br />

Brooks suggests that a key to sustaining<br />

fidelity in any vocation is to “build a<br />

structure of behavior for those moments<br />

when love falters.” He’s right.<br />

Anybody who has made a commitment<br />

to be faithful for the long haul<br />

inside a marriage, a friendship, a faith<br />

community, or a vocation to serve others<br />

will need more than initial enthusiasm,<br />

bare-footed sincerity, affective<br />

energy, and good resolutions to sustain<br />

himself or herself on that road.<br />

It’s one thing to have a honeymoon<br />

with someone, it’s another to be in<br />

a marriage over many years. It’s one<br />

thing to be an enthusiastic neophyte<br />

on a spiritual journey, it’s another thing<br />

to remain faithful inside that journey<br />

for 70 or 80 years. And it’s one thing to<br />

serve meals to the homeless, it’s something<br />

else to be Dorothy Day.<br />

So the question is: How do we sustain<br />

our initial enthusiasm, sincerity,<br />

affective energy, and good resolutions<br />

through the boredom, heartbreak, misunderstanding,<br />

tiredness, and temptations<br />

all of us will undergo in our lives,<br />

whether that be in our marriage, our<br />

vocation, our church life, our prayer<br />

life, or our service to others?<br />

That question was put to me recently,<br />

speaking to a group of young seminarians.<br />

I shared that I had just celebrated<br />

48 years of ministry. The seminarians<br />

peppered me with questions: What’s<br />

the secret? How do you get through the<br />

rough times? How do you sustain good<br />

intention, goodwill, and good energy<br />

year after year? How do you sustain<br />

your prayer life over 40 or 50 years?<br />

I answered with an insight from<br />

Lutheran theologian Rev. Dietrich<br />

Bonhoeffer who, whenever he officiated<br />

at a wedding, would tell the couple:<br />

“Today you are very much in love<br />

and think your love will sustain your<br />

marriage. It can’t. But your marriage<br />

can sustain your love.” I advised the<br />

seminarians in the same way: Don’t<br />

trust your present enthusiasm and good<br />

energy to sustain your priesthood; let<br />

your priesthood sustain your enthusiasm<br />

and energy. What’s at stake here?<br />

A commitment in faith, love, or service<br />

becomes a ritual container, an ark,<br />

like <strong>No</strong>ah’s, that existentially locks you<br />

in. And the fact that you’re locked in<br />

is what makes the commitment work.<br />

You enter naïvely, believing that your<br />

good feelings and affective energies<br />

will sustain you. They won’t.<br />

Inevitably, they will be worn down by<br />

time, familiarity, boredom, misunderstanding,<br />

tiredness, wound, and new<br />

obsessions that emotionally tempt you<br />

elsewhere. So how can you sustain<br />

yourself in a commitment through<br />

periods of dryness? Brooks’ answer is a<br />

good one: “by building a structure of<br />

behavior for exactly those moments.”<br />

How do you do that? Through<br />

routine, ritual, and habit. Anchor your<br />

person and your commitment in ritual<br />

habits that steady and hold you beyond<br />

your feelings on any given day. Set<br />

rituals for yourself, which you will do<br />

regularly no matter how you feel.<br />

For me, as a priest, some of these are<br />

preset. As a priest, you are to daily pray<br />

the Office of the Church as a prayer<br />

for the world, no matter how you feel.<br />

You are to celebrate the Eucharist for<br />

others regularly, irrespective of whether<br />

or not this is personally meaningful to<br />

you on any given day.<br />

You are to do some private prayer daily,<br />

particularly when you don’t feel like<br />

it. The list goes on. These rituals give<br />

you structure and healthy routines, and<br />

they are needed because in the priesthood<br />

as in every other vocation, there<br />

are times of fervor when feelings are<br />

enough to sustain you; however, there<br />

are also desert times, bitter times, angry<br />

times, times when love falters. It’s then<br />

that a structure of behavior can steady<br />

and sustain you.<br />

The same holds true for marriage.<br />

Couples have to build a structure of<br />

behavior for those times when love<br />

falters. To name one such ritual: A wife<br />

and husband need to have some ritual<br />

expression of affection when they wish<br />

each other a good day as they part each<br />

morning, no matter their emotions and<br />

feelings on a given day.<br />

That ritual is a container, an ark,<br />

which locks them in and holds them<br />

together until a better season and better<br />

feelings return. Ritual can sustain<br />

love when it falters.<br />

In understanding this, we need beware<br />

of “Job’s friends,” that is, beware<br />

of the various books and gurus on<br />

spirituality, prayer, and marriage that<br />

give you the impression there’s something<br />

wrong with you if your enthusiasm<br />

and emotional affectivity are not<br />

the glue that daily sustains you in your<br />

commitment.<br />

Simply put, these are books written<br />

by spiritual novices and marriage<br />

manuals written by someone confusing<br />

a honeymoon for a marriage. Enthusiasm<br />

and good feelings are wonderful,<br />

but they can’t sustain you through a<br />

marathon. For a marathon you need to<br />

have long-practiced strategies to carry<br />

you through the long, tiring miles in<br />

the middle and at the end. <br />

Father Ron Rolheiser is a theologian, teacher, award-winning author, and president of the Oblate School of Theology<br />

in San Antonio, Texas. Find him online at www.ronrolheiser.com and www.facebook.com/ronrolheiser.<br />

<strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong> <strong>13</strong>-<strong>20</strong>, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong> • ANGELUS • 9

Resist or reach out?<br />

As we emerge from a contentious election, debates<br />

about what role the Church should play will surely<br />

follow. But one thing is clear: America needs saints<br />


A stained-glass window at Sacred Heart Church in Freeport, Minnesota, depicts the good Samaritan. The 2,000-year-old parable of the good Samaritan<br />

is the anchor of the encyclical “Fratelli Tutti” (on fraternity and social friendship).<br />


10 • ANGELUS • <strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong> <strong>13</strong>-<strong>20</strong>, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong>

Two published<br />

works released last<br />

month, one by a<br />

pope and the other by<br />

a blogger, describe and<br />

analyze ominous signs<br />

forewarning a large-scale<br />

breakdown of peace,<br />

order, justice, and the<br />

common good.<br />

These signs include<br />

fractious polarization,<br />

ideological colonization,<br />

widening social enclaves,<br />

and economies that<br />

discard society’s most<br />

vulnerable.<br />

The first of those texts,<br />

Pope Francis’ new<br />

encyclical “Fratelli Tutti”<br />

(on fraternity and social friendship)<br />

addresses those realities directly, calling<br />

for radical solidarity with the poor and<br />

marginalized and a reorientation of<br />

economies and lifestyles that contribute<br />

to the “throwaway culture.”<br />

The other is “Live <strong>No</strong>t By Lies: A<br />

Manual for Christian Dissidents”<br />

(Penguin Random House, $27) by<br />

conservative cultural critic Rod Dreher<br />

(formerly Catholic, now Eastern Orthodox),<br />

which draws parallels between<br />

contemporary America and Eastern<br />

Europe under Marxist communism.<br />

It offers readers disheartened by the<br />

cultural shift toward secular progressivism<br />

a “manual” on how to survive the<br />

difficult times to come.<br />

While Pope Francis and Dreher are<br />

two names that you won’t often find<br />

mentioned in the same sentence,<br />

both are offering a bird’s-eye view of<br />

the state of our world and what the<br />

Christian mission looks like at a critical<br />

moment in history. And they both<br />

articulate a similar warning to readers<br />

at this point in history: We cannot carry<br />

on as we have been. We need a drastic<br />

change of course.<br />

These warnings came just in time for<br />

the <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong> U.S. general election, seen by<br />

many as a chance to change course, at<br />

least at the political level.<br />

On <strong>No</strong>v. 3, Americans elected Democratic<br />

former Vice President Joe Biden<br />

to the presidency. The 77-year-old<br />

Catholic defeated President Donald<br />

Trump, whose record while in office<br />

on issues such as abortion and religious<br />

President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden in a composite photo.<br />

liberty elicited support among many<br />

Catholics, but whose crass brand of<br />

rhetoric, hardline stance on immigration,<br />

and nationalist approach to foreign<br />

policy has drawn direct criticism<br />

from others, including the pope, who<br />

just recently called his family-separation<br />

policy at the U.S.-Mexico border<br />

“cruelty of the highest form.”<br />

The aftermath of this election is<br />

expected to bring at least two of the<br />

things Pope Francis and Dreher<br />

warned about to the fore: on one hand,<br />

heightened political polarization and<br />

distrust of “the other” on a scale the<br />

modern world has not seen in decades;<br />

on the other, the advance of secular<br />

progressivism, championed by the media,<br />

cultural influencers, universities,<br />

and corporations.<br />

To be clear, Pope Francis’ encyclical<br />

is part of the Church’s ordinary magisterium;<br />

Catholics are obligated to<br />

strive to assent to its teaching. Dreher’s<br />

thesis does not carry with it that weight.<br />

And while the two texts look at our<br />

current crises through different lenses<br />

and speak to different audiences,<br />

they share some similar insights and<br />

worries, chief among them how fear,<br />

isolation, and individualism are shaping<br />

our geopolitical landscape as well<br />

as dividing families, neighborhoods,<br />

and the Church.<br />

For American Catholics, the<br />

post-election situation that awaits is a<br />

call to once again answer a timeless<br />

question: How can we live a life of<br />

holiness amid all this — mess?<br />


Dreher’s book is<br />

written through the lens<br />

of historical memory,<br />

that of Christians who<br />

resisted Soviet totalitarianism.<br />

He takes his title<br />

from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s<br />

counsel in “The<br />

Gulag Archipelago” to<br />

“never knowingly support<br />

lies” — to preserve<br />

one’s integrity, even if it<br />

comes at a great price.<br />

Dreher believes that<br />

U.S. soil is fertile for<br />

what he calls a “soft<br />

totalitarianism” to take<br />

root. He borrows his<br />

definition from German-born<br />

American<br />

political philosopher Hannah Arendt,<br />

who says that under totalitarian rule,<br />

“an ideology seeks to displace all prior<br />

traditions and institutions, with the<br />

goal of bringing all aspects of society<br />

under control. Truth is whatever the<br />

rulers decide it is.”<br />

Fidelity to a new ideology will not<br />

initially come from the government,<br />

Dreher argues. Instead, cultural elites<br />

and corporations will drive conformity.<br />

Dreher writes that all of this will be<br />

undertaken in the name of “social<br />

justice.” While he lauds an impulse<br />

toward care for the downtrodden,<br />

he says that it is divorced from the<br />

Christian tradition from which it was<br />

born. Today’s concept of social justice<br />

“depends on group identity and …<br />

achieving justice means taking power<br />

away from the exploiters and handing<br />

it to the exploited.” Anyone who stands<br />

in the way is to be removed.<br />

“Christians cannot endorse any form<br />

of social justice that denies biblical<br />

teaching,” Dreher writes, including<br />

sexuality, family, and the dignity of<br />

every human person, which are the<br />

building blocks of a just order.<br />

Dreher’s concern, and that of his anticommunist<br />

interviewees, is that embracing<br />

these goods in practice and in<br />

public is now characterized as hateful.<br />

Christians are losing jobs, livelihoods,<br />

and reputations for their commitment<br />

to their faith claims. <strong>No</strong>n-Christians,<br />

too, are worried; “cancel culture” is<br />

quickly spreading, and unlike Soviet<br />


<strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong> <strong>13</strong>-<strong>20</strong>, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong> • ANGELUS • 11

Author Rod Dreher speaks in <strong>20</strong>17.<br />

Russia, it takes no prisoners.<br />

Like Dreher, Pope Francis invokes the<br />

lens of historical memory as a way of<br />

looking at the “dark clouds” gathering<br />

over the world. He uses the example of<br />

St. Francis of Assisi, his namesake, to<br />

look at our present condition.<br />

“In the world of that time, bristling<br />

with watchtowers and defensive walls,<br />

cities were a theater of brutal wars<br />

between powerful families, even as<br />

poverty was spreading through the<br />

Father Tomislov Kolakavic<br />


countryside,” he writes.<br />

Pope Francis shares a number of<br />

Dreher’s concerns about economies<br />

of exclusion. He, too, worries about<br />

how digital platforms are changing<br />

communication, producing enclaves in<br />

which like-minded groups perpetuate<br />

groupthink and in which opponents<br />

are demoralized or eliminated.<br />

“Persons or situations we find unpleasant<br />

or disagreeable are simply deleted<br />

in today’s virtual networks; a virtual<br />

circle is then created, isolating us from<br />

the real world in which we are living,”<br />

he laments.<br />

The Holy Father likewise condemns<br />

the neoliberal deification of consumption<br />

and individual rights, and juxtaposes<br />

it with the universal destination<br />

of goods and radical hospitality. He<br />

warns against populist movements<br />

that appeal to people’s worst inclinations<br />

and fears, and calls politicians to<br />

remember their vocation to serve the<br />

common good.<br />

The antidote is a global commitment<br />

to treat every person as a brother<br />

or sister, loved by the same Father.<br />

According to Catholic writer Brandon<br />

McGinley, “The Holy Father envisions<br />

a free, open, tolerant, welcome,<br />

fraternal exchange of ideas and culture<br />

as the path to social peace based on<br />


truth.”<br />

He believes deeply what St. Paul says,<br />

that every person has the natural law<br />

written on their hearts. As Christians,<br />

we are to appeal to those inclinations<br />

by being good neighbors.<br />


Given this grim outlook, how is the<br />

Christian to proceed? Dreher encourages<br />

readers to engage in a threefold<br />

process of discernment made popular<br />

among Christian dissidents under<br />

Soviet rule by the Jesuit priest and<br />

anticommunist activist Father Tomislov<br />

Kalokavic: “See. Judge. Act.”<br />

“See meant to be awake to realities<br />

around you. Judge was a command to<br />

discern soberly the realities in light of<br />

what you know to be true, especially<br />

from the teachings of the Christian<br />

faith. After you reach a conclusion,<br />

then you are to act to resist evil.”<br />

The heroes in “Live <strong>No</strong>t By Lies”<br />

include Czesław Miłosz, the Polish<br />

poet and literary critic, who was exiled<br />

for his dissidence; Karol Wojtyla (later<br />

St. Pope John Paul II), who helped to<br />

preserve Poland’s cultural heritage and<br />

memory through underground gatherings,<br />

and ordinary men and women<br />

who lost material security for refusing<br />

to acquiesce.<br />

Though Dreher acknowledges that<br />

this has not yet come to pass, the fact<br />

Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio<br />

washes and kisses the feet of residents of a<br />

shelter for drug users during Holy Thursday<br />

Mass in <strong>20</strong>08 at a church in a poor neighborhood<br />

of Buenos Aires, Argentina.<br />

12 • ANGELUS • <strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong> <strong>13</strong>-<strong>20</strong>, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong>

that any shared understanding of<br />

and respect for liberal principles like<br />

equality, fraternity, and justice between<br />

Christians and those in power does<br />

not bode well. Christians must turn<br />

their effort to resisting the forthcoming<br />

aggression.<br />

This includes building up strong<br />

families and transmitting the faith to<br />

children. It involves preserving historical<br />

memory, which is essential for<br />

culture. And it means modeling moral<br />

courage at home and in public, no<br />

matter the cost.<br />

“Our cause appears lost … but we are<br />

still here,” Dreher concludes. “<strong>No</strong>w<br />

our mission is to build the underground<br />

resistance to the occupation to<br />

keep alive the memory of who we were<br />

and who we are, and to stoke the fires<br />

of desire for the truth God.”<br />


Incidentally, the “See. Judge. Act.”<br />

approach is one that the Holy Father is<br />

known to use: It is central to his vision<br />

of how to engage with the modern<br />

world and to some of his most important<br />

writings, from “The Aparecida<br />

Document,” whose drafting he oversaw<br />

at a meeting of Latin American bishops<br />

in <strong>20</strong>07, to his <strong>20</strong>15 encyclical on the<br />

environment “Laudato Si” (“Praise Be<br />

to You”).<br />

Pope Francis uses the parable of<br />


This fresco in the Shrine of La Verna in Italy depicts St. Francis of Assisi’s meeting with the Sultan<br />

of Egypt 800 years ago.<br />

the good Samaritan as our lens for<br />

discernment. In his view, the Church<br />

is still the field hospital, and we are to<br />

consider every person (particularly the<br />

marginalized) as the man left half dead<br />

on the side of the road, ignored by the<br />

people with the power to help him.<br />

These moments don’t call for resistance,<br />

or the perpetuation of an “us”<br />

versus “them” mentality. Instead they<br />

demand that we reach out our hands,<br />

even to those who consider themselves<br />

our enemies.<br />

The good Samaritan rose to the occasion<br />

not because he was not concerned<br />

with the question, Who is my neighbor?<br />

but rather, What kind of neighbor are<br />

you?<br />

It is clear to Pope Francis that a good<br />

number of people are in a great deal of<br />

pain. The polarization, isolation, and<br />

anger we see are symptoms of much<br />

deeper wounds, namely spiritual ones.<br />

They need the Savior, and Christians<br />

are called to make that introduction.<br />

“A worldwide tragedy like the COV-<br />

ID-19 pandemic momentarily revived<br />

the sense that we are a global community,<br />

all in the same boat, where one<br />

person’s problems are the problems of<br />

all,” he writes in “Fratelli Tutti.” “Once<br />

more we realized that no one is saved<br />

alone; we can only be saved together.”<br />

So which historical moment is more<br />

instructive? Which is the way forward?<br />

Are Christians in the United States<br />

called to resist cultural pressure by<br />

retreating into churches and homes,<br />

preserving and passing on the Faith in<br />

its fullness? Or should we reach out<br />

our hand to our neighbors and appeal<br />

to their natural instincts for good?<br />

Perhaps it’s best to take a “both/and”<br />

approach. As the dust settles from this<br />

fraught election and campaign season,<br />

we will be faced with opportunities at<br />

home, at work, in our parish, and on<br />

our social media platforms to discern<br />

how to speak, pray, and act.<br />

The Church has produced saints in<br />

all historical circumstances: St. Francis<br />

and St. Pope John Paul II lived in two<br />

different moments, and both responded<br />

to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.<br />

In a homily on All Saints’ Day a<br />

few years ago, Pope Francis said that<br />

like stained-glass windows, the saints<br />

allow the light of God to permeate<br />

the darkness of sin in the world. The<br />

Christian’s task in the days ahead is<br />

to determine how to best let the light<br />

shine through. <br />

Elise Italiano Ureneck is a contributor<br />

to <strong>Angelus</strong> and columnist for Catholic<br />

<strong>News</strong> Service writing from Boston.<br />


<strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong> <strong>13</strong>-<strong>20</strong>, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong> • ANGELUS • <strong>13</strong>

LA’s vocation<br />


Cathedral High School almost closed its doors 35 years ago. <strong>No</strong>w,<br />

graduates are known for showing the ultimate kind of generosity<br />


Cathedral High School in Los Angeles.<br />


What is immediately apparent<br />

when visiting the campus<br />

of Cathedral High School<br />

is the striking, panoramic perspective<br />

of downtown Los Angeles, skyscrapers<br />

seeming to rise out of one of the end<br />

zones of the school’s football field —<br />

go Phantoms!<br />

<strong>No</strong>t so obvious, at least to the outsider,<br />

is what the campus produces more<br />

of than any other Catholic school in<br />

town: exceptional numbers of young<br />

men who choose to pursue a religious<br />

vocation.<br />

<strong>No</strong>, for that, you need a perspective<br />

not of distance but time, so consider<br />

this: When Daniel Garcia was<br />

ordained a priest this summer at the<br />

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels,<br />

he became the seventh Cathedral<br />

alum (Class of 1992) to choose the<br />

religious life in just over a decade.<br />

Coming off of National Vocation<br />

Awareness Week (<strong>No</strong>v. 1-7) and the<br />

urgency to foster vocations at the<br />

local, national, and global level, it’s<br />

natural to ask: What is Cathedral’s<br />

secret?<br />

Turns out, the secret is there is none.<br />

In talking to some of the “Phantoms”<br />

who have answered God’s call,<br />

they made clear there are no magic<br />

words or gimmicks, but that what<br />

distinguishes Cathedral’s success is as<br />

apparent as its view of downtown.<br />

“In the last couple of decades, there’s<br />

always been at least four brothers and<br />

up to seven [on campus],” said Brother<br />

Chris Patiño, a Cathedral alum<br />

14 • ANGELUS • <strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong> <strong>13</strong>-<strong>20</strong>, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong>


(Class of <strong>20</strong>02), who later returned to<br />

teach at the school.<br />

“I know as a student this made a<br />

great impact on me. While most of<br />

the faculty and staff are laypersons,<br />

the commitment of the brothers to<br />

continue their presence at Cathedral<br />

is significant.”<br />

Indeed, at a time when religious<br />

men and women are fewer and far<br />

between at many Catholic schools<br />

and congregations, when their very<br />

presence is treated as an occasion as<br />

opposed to an everyday occurrence,<br />

the daily, consistent presence of the<br />

brothers, in habit, provides both modeled<br />

behavior as well as a constant<br />

reminder of what a religious life looks<br />

like and the very real-world effects it<br />

can have.<br />

In other words, Cathedral’s all-male<br />

student body knows that such a life is<br />

not only available, but attainable.<br />

“There were quite a number of<br />

Lasallian Brothers who were present<br />

on campus and always available to the<br />

needs of the students,” recalled Rev.<br />

Canon Joel Estrada (Class of <strong>20</strong>03),<br />

today a priest of the Institute of Christ<br />

the King Sovereign Priest and pastor<br />

of St. Patrick Church and Oratory in<br />

Waterbury, Connecticut.<br />

“[That] helps us remember the<br />

brothers’ commitment to their<br />

vocation in teaching and following<br />

the charism of St. John Baptist de La<br />

Salle.”<br />

St. John Baptist is credited with<br />

starting what we think of as modern<br />

Catholic education. The Christian<br />

Brothers, the order he started to<br />

educate working-class children, has<br />

operated Cathedral since its founding<br />

in 1925 by Archbishop John J.<br />

Cantwell. As with any institution that’s<br />

been around for almost a century,<br />

Cathedral has experienced its ups<br />

and downs, none further down than<br />

when the Archdiocese of Los Angeles<br />

announced it was closing the school<br />

in June 1985.<br />

Ultimately saved (in large part due to<br />

the efforts of then-Archbishop Roger<br />

Mahony), the school saw enrollment<br />

shrink to about 300 in the mid-’90s,<br />

before rebounding to a healthy 700<br />

young men today.<br />

Those young men, the religious will<br />

tell you, feel a kinship and connection<br />

to those who went ahead. Take<br />

Guillermo Alonso (Class of <strong>20</strong>14), a<br />

seminarian of the Archdiocese of Los<br />

Angeles currently studying for the<br />

priesthood at St. John’s Seminary in<br />

Camarillo. As a freshman, Brother<br />

Chris was his religion teacher. When<br />

Brother Chris attended Cathedral, he<br />

was close friends with Ryan Resurrecion,<br />

who would enter the Carmelite<br />

order and become Brother Ryan<br />

Resurrecion.<br />

“The school is without a doubt<br />

special, and the Lasallian spirituality<br />

and teachings of St. John Baptist that<br />

the brothers form us with have a lot<br />

to do with how young men there can<br />

see the religious life as a possibility,”<br />

Alonso told <strong>Angelus</strong>.<br />

To that end, when Brother Chris<br />

taught at Cathedral, he helped form<br />

a “vocations club” that allowed any<br />

student to listen to various vocational<br />

stories, religious or not. Brother Chris<br />

said being able to have a real relationship<br />

with the brothers was a key in<br />

drawing him to the religious life.<br />

“Seeing how the brothers lived out<br />

Cathedral High School alumni Brother Chris Patiño (right) with Brother Ryan Resurrecion (center)<br />

at Brother Resurrecion’s first vows as a Carmelite brother in <strong>20</strong>19.<br />


<strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong> <strong>13</strong>-<strong>20</strong>, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong> • ANGELUS • 15

the ministry of education became<br />

really attractive,” he said. “Of course,<br />

like many vocation stories, much of it<br />

had to do with the personal relationships<br />

I was able to establish with the<br />

brothers. During my time as a student,<br />

two brothers taught me, the president<br />

and principal were brothers, and for<br />

two years the campus minister/service<br />

coordinator was a brother. It was the<br />

latter who I really connected with and<br />

which provided a path to really coming<br />

to know the brothers’ community.<br />

“They were very intentional about<br />

inviting groups of us to dinner and<br />

prayer. Their availability it seemed<br />

was 24/7, and that also made a huge<br />

impression on me. I truly tried to live<br />

out this kind of spirit when I became<br />

a brother and was assigned to Cathedral<br />

High School years later. In short,<br />

being drawn to teaching, a desire to<br />

serve, and the dynamic presence of<br />

the brothers at Cathedral planted<br />

the seeds during high school toward<br />

religious life.”<br />

It is seeing the religious life lived,<br />

every day, that each man agreed<br />

helped give direction to their own<br />

lives. As Brother Rafael Rodriguez<br />

(<strong>20</strong><strong>13</strong>), a novice brother, pointed out,<br />

the religious at Cathedral do not only<br />

participate in religious matters but in<br />

all aspects of student life.<br />

Future priest Joel Estrada (left) with the future<br />

Brother Ryan Resurrecion at their graduation<br />

from Cathedral High in <strong>20</strong>03.<br />

Cathedral High School alumnus Danny Garcia with family after his diaconate ordination at the Cathedral<br />

of Our Lady of the Angels in <strong>20</strong>19. Garcia was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of<br />

Los Angeles this summer.<br />


“Students continue to be accompanied<br />

by these educators after school in<br />

sports, clubs, theater productions, but<br />

most importantly in the relationships<br />

that are cultivated by the students with<br />

one another,” he said. “The students<br />

are able to put into practice what<br />

they see being modeled by the adults<br />

around them with one another.”<br />

And it’s an interesting thing about<br />

that word “modeling.” Yes, it can<br />

mean behavior, but the men agreed<br />

it can also quite literally mean how<br />

one presents himself physically, that<br />

seeing the brothers in full habit daily<br />

reminded the students not only who<br />

these men were, but of the commitment<br />

they had made.<br />

“It’s unique in that amidst the world<br />

of modernism where many religious<br />

would forgo wearing their religious<br />

habit, the brothers at Cathedral wore<br />

their habit, which I believe is an important<br />

visible way of being a witness<br />

to Christ,” Father Estrada said.<br />

“It is not at all a sign of clericalism,<br />

but a sign that they are consecrated<br />

and set apart in order to fulfill their<br />

vocation in teaching others and lead<br />

others to Christ.”<br />

To illustrate his point, Father Estrada<br />

mentioned that, not too long ago, he<br />

was attending a diocesan-wide meeting<br />

with other priests. As usual, he<br />

wore his priestly blacks while chatting<br />

lightheartedly in a hotel lobby with<br />

other priests dressed in plain, casual<br />

clothes.<br />

“It was interesting to note that some<br />

other people who entered the lobby<br />

immediately walked toward me and<br />

asked which parish I belonged to, and<br />

that they were happy to see a priest in<br />

full habit,” he said.<br />

“They did not realize that there were<br />

other priests around me, which I later<br />

pointed out to them. Truly, a visible<br />

sign of our vocation helps speak a<br />

silent but powerful message to all<br />

who see our religious habit. I thank<br />

Cathedral High School and the brothers<br />

for helping me foster that holy<br />

example.” <br />

Steve Lowery is the arts and culture<br />

editor for the Long Beach Post and<br />

a parishioner at American Martyrs<br />

Church in Manhattan Beach.<br />

16 • ANGELUS • <strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong> <strong>13</strong>-<strong>20</strong>, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong>

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Sunday, <strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong> 15, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong> | 1:00pm - 2:30pm<br />

Grades 5-10 welcome<br />

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<strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong> <strong>13</strong>-<strong>20</strong>, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong> • ANGELUS • 17

St. Pope John Paul II laughs while<br />

speaking with Italian Cardinal Camillo<br />

Ruini on board a papal flight in 1991.<br />


The Italian job<br />

When it comes to the papacy, one country<br />

still may be more equal than others<br />


ROME — You know it’s a strange time when the pope<br />

gives an interview to a major news outlet, and arguably<br />

it’s not even the most interesting ecclesiastical<br />

Q&A of the month.<br />

Pope Francis spoke Oct. 30 to the Italian agency Adnkronos.<br />

Yet a few weeks earlier, legendary Cardinal Camillo<br />

Ruini, the once all-powerful vicar of Rome and president of<br />

the Italian bishops’ conference under St. Pope John Paul II,<br />

spoke to the Italian paper Corriere della Sera and offered<br />

possibly even tastier food for thought.<br />

<strong>No</strong>w a lion in winter as he nears his 90th birthday in<br />

February, Cardinal Ruini is seen as one of the leaders of the<br />

College of Cardinals’ conservative wing. In Catholic circles,<br />

the main headline from the interview thus was a comment<br />

from Cardinal Ruini about whether there’s an “international<br />

conservative front” against Pope Francis.<br />

“In some ways, it exists,” he said, “but it has various accentuations<br />

and facets. Only a few could truly be considered<br />

‘against’ Pope Francis; for example, not all of those who’ve<br />

formulated certain criticisms with a constructive intent.”<br />

18 • ANGELUS • <strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong> <strong>13</strong>-<strong>20</strong>, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong>


In Italy, the zinger was Cardinal Ruini’s flattery of Giorgia<br />

Meloni, who, Cardinal Ruini said, is “deservedly on the<br />

crest of the wave.” Meloni is the founder and leader of the<br />

Fratelli d’Italia Party, and she’s widely seen as the main<br />

challenger to populist Matteo Salvini as the leader of the<br />

center-right.<br />

However, Cardinal Ruini also had some interesting things<br />

to say about cardinals and popes, which merit unpacking.<br />

Here’s the relevant part of the<br />

interview.<br />

<strong>No</strong>t just Venice, Turin and<br />

Genoa, but even Milan, today<br />

don’t have a cardinal. Is this a<br />

sign of decline<br />

[for the Church in Italy]?<br />

“A hundred years ago, Italians<br />

were the absolute majority<br />

among cardinals. Internationalization<br />

began with Pope Pius<br />

XII, more in keeping with the<br />

catholicity and universality of<br />

the Church, which, with Pope<br />

Francis, is developing further.<br />

Naturally, there has to be a limit<br />

to this process, too. It wouldn’t<br />

be good if Italy were under-represented,<br />

also because Rome,<br />

the seat of the successor of Peter,<br />

is the capital of Italy.”<br />

Some foreign cardinals have<br />

said the weight of the Italians<br />

has to be reduced: “Better to<br />

come from Tonga than Milan.”<br />

Has it become a problem<br />

to be Italian?<br />

“I don’t think the Italian<br />

bishops perceive such a problem.<br />

Anyway, nationality, whether Italian or non-Italian,<br />

shouldn’t be either a handicap or a title of merit. That’s<br />

demanded by the very nature of the Church.”<br />

Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco in <strong>20</strong>15.<br />

We haven’t had an Italian pope for a half-century. Is<br />

being Italian by now a handicap for becoming pope?<br />

“I don’t think so. I’d say instead that it’s no longer an advantage,<br />

or at least a prerequisite, but it’s good that it’s no longer<br />

so. The one elected pope should be the person regarded as<br />

most worthy and suitable, independently of nationality.”<br />

Three takeaways occur.<br />

First, for anyone who knows the Vatican, the idea that Italians<br />

are being under-represented would seem almost silly.<br />

Despite decades of alleged internationalization, the Vatican<br />

remains an unalterably Italian institution, and under Pope<br />

Francis, it’s arguably more so than ever.<br />

Cardinal Ruini wasn’t talking about the Vatican but the<br />

College of Cardinals, but even so, the Italian imprint in that<br />

arena too remains sui generis. As of <strong>No</strong>v. <strong>28</strong>, when Pope<br />

Francis will create nine new cardinals under 80, Italy will<br />

have 22 cardinals eligible to vote for the next pope, and the<br />

United States will have nine.<br />

Italy, with about 60 million Catholics, has 23 cardinals,<br />

while Brazil, with 1<strong>20</strong> million, has four. Put differently, Italy<br />

gets a cardinal for every 2.6 million Catholics, while Brazil,<br />

the largest Catholic country in the world, gets one for every<br />

30 million.<br />

Let’s face it: The Italians in the<br />

College of Cardinals still are on<br />

their home field; everyone else<br />

is playing a road game.<br />

Second, Cardinal Ruini’s point<br />

seemed to be not just about<br />

numbers, but the intrinsic link<br />

between Rome as the capital<br />

of Italy and as the seat of the<br />

papacy. The implied argument<br />

is this: If Catholics believe in<br />

salvation history, then it’s not<br />

just an accident the center of<br />

government for the Catholic<br />

Church is in Italy. Italy is a<br />

culture uniquely shaped by Catholicism,<br />

warts and all, and to<br />

strip the Vatican or the College<br />

of Cardinals of its primarily<br />

Italian ethos would be to deny<br />

tradition and to risk identity.<br />

That argument may or may<br />


not hold water, but it would be<br />

very interesting to play out.<br />

Third, Cardinal Ruini asserts<br />

that being Italian is no longer<br />

an advantage in becoming<br />

pope, but I wonder.<br />

Granted, most cardinals<br />

probably begin with policy, not<br />

nationality. That is, cardinals<br />

who support the direction set by Pope Francis will want<br />

someone to continue it; those opposed will want someone to<br />

set a new course.<br />

However, suppose one of those in favor of continuity is<br />

choosing between Cardinal Pietro Parolin, secretary of state,<br />

and Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago. You don’t think he<br />

might give Cardinal Parolin the nod on the grounds that, as<br />

an Italian, he’ll know how to get things done?<br />

Conversely, suppose one of those seeking change is<br />

pondering Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, retired from Genoa,<br />

or Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for<br />

Divine Worship. Despite the inherent attraction of a “black<br />

pope,” one wonders if Cardinal Bagnasco might not have<br />

the edge as an Italian who knows where the bodies are<br />

buried.<br />

In other words, we are in an era in which all countries in<br />

the papal sweepstakes may be equal, but that doesn’t mean<br />

Italy still isn’t a little more equal than others. <br />

John L. Allen Jr. is the editor of Crux.<br />

<strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong> <strong>13</strong>-<strong>20</strong>, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong> • ANGELUS • 19

The saints who stalk us<br />

Making sense of<br />

the life and death of<br />

LA native Andrew<br />

Walther, a Catholic<br />

layman of heroic virtue<br />




I<br />

sometimes find myself stalked by<br />

saints.<br />

It’s not as spooky — or creepy —<br />

as it may sound. “Accompany” might<br />

be a more accurate verb, but “stalk”<br />

captures the drama.<br />

In New York, where I live, reminders<br />

of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St.<br />

Frances Xavier Cabrini, and Dorothy<br />

Day seem to pursue me at every turn<br />

(Archbishop José H. Gomez once said<br />

of Day: “I don’t know if she’s a saint,<br />

but I know she makes me want to be<br />

one”).<br />

They all lived here and poured out<br />

their hearts, souls, and minds for the<br />

love of God. The feast day of “Mother<br />

Cabrini” is <strong>No</strong>v. <strong>13</strong>, so she’s always<br />

especially on my mind this time of<br />

year, the same month the Catholic<br />

Church celebrates All Saints’ Day and<br />

All Souls’ Day.<br />

We are particularly blessed with<br />

many saints here in the northeast. The<br />

latest to be raised to the altars is a man<br />

who walked our streets and ministered<br />

to our ancestors here. Just a few hours<br />

after his beatification on the eve of<br />

All Saints’ Day, I visited the tomb<br />

of Father Michael McGivney, best<br />

known as the founder of the Knights of<br />

Columbus.<br />

He died at the age of 38 from a<br />

pandemic, but did not waste time in<br />

spending himself for the love of Christ<br />

and his people.<br />

On my knees at his tomb, I begged<br />

for a total healing for my friend,<br />

Andrew Walther, who was battling<br />

leukemia. A Los Angeles native, he<br />

had worked for the Knights for 15<br />

years, most recently as vice president<br />

for Communications and Strategic<br />

Planning, before joining EWTN <strong>News</strong><br />

as its president this year.<br />

It seemed wrong to be at a festival<br />

Andrew Walther, president and<br />

chief operating officer of EWTN<br />

<strong>News</strong> Inc., in an undated photo.<br />

He died from complications<br />

related to leukemia <strong>No</strong>v. 1.<br />

for Father McGivney’s beatification at<br />

St. Mary’s Church in New Haven —<br />

where we had prayed together before<br />

with his family — celebrating his<br />

friend and new “blessed” without him.<br />

Earlier in the day, before getting on<br />

the train to New Haven, I found myself<br />

hugging my copy of the authoritative<br />

illustrated history of the Knights of<br />

Columbus he and his wife, Maureen,<br />

had authored.<br />

It was the closest I had been to Andrew<br />

in a long time, due to the danger<br />

posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19)<br />

for someone undergoing chemotherapy<br />

and a bone-marrow transplant. In<br />

olden times, our frequent visits usually<br />

included a long meal and conversation.<br />

Some of those were lunches we<br />

would co-host to help bring people<br />

together around a cause, like helping<br />

Christians in the Middle East.<br />

Even before we became close friends,<br />

<strong>20</strong> • ANGELUS • <strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong> <strong>13</strong>-<strong>20</strong>, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong>

I was so appreciative of his personal<br />

mission at the Knights: to encourage<br />

real Christianity in the public square<br />

and in families for the protection of<br />

life. I was so honored to be his friend.<br />

And I was so proud of the grace he<br />

allowed God to give him in suffering.<br />

I told him not too long ago, “I love<br />

you too much to call you a saint, but if<br />

you stay on this path, Andrew, you will<br />

be one.” Well he sure did, until God<br />

amounting to genocide. The work<br />

would expand, and Andrew would<br />

find himself in different parts of the<br />

world, working to protect lives and the<br />

very existence of Christianity in those<br />

places.<br />

The ultimate behind-the-scenes strategist,<br />

with a servant’s heart and a passion<br />

for truth, he did more to advance<br />

the culture of life and civilization of<br />

love than those who frequently make<br />

he was moving from the Knights of<br />

Columbus, founded by a likely saint,<br />

to EWTN, also founded by a possible<br />

future saint, Mother Angelica. I saw<br />

firsthand how he trusted that they<br />

would keep him on the right path with<br />

their intercession.<br />

When he made the move, we<br />

thought God was preparing to help<br />

lead us in a time when the forces of<br />

evil were working overtime to cause<br />


A statue of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini,<br />

patron of immigrants, after its unveiling<br />

Oct. 12 in the Manhattan borough<br />

of New York City.<br />

took him home the next day.<br />

I wanted a miracle for Andrew, for<br />

his wife, Maureen, their beautiful four<br />

children, and their extended families.<br />

But if I’m honest, I also feared life<br />

without him.<br />

Under the leadership of Carl<br />

Anderson, the Knights of Columbus<br />

had already committed to helping the<br />

Christians and religious minorities<br />

of Iraq and Syria suffering a violent<br />

persecution from the Islamic State<br />

the headlines.<br />

He labored for the love of God. And<br />

he didn’t do it because he was a nice<br />

guy or because he wanted to have<br />

street cred for his next job, but because<br />

it was what God asked him to do. He<br />

was very clear about that, and he was<br />

relentless in building the kingdom of<br />

God in this mess of a world.<br />

That’s why his move to EWTN this<br />

year was such a big deal. By what<br />

clearly seemed to be God’s initiative,<br />

confusion and evil.<br />

When he got the leukemia diagnosis<br />

the same month he took the new job,<br />

we told ourselves that this was obviously<br />

to purify and strengthen him. We<br />

thought about the fight ahead. Instead,<br />

it seems it was to prepare him to die,<br />

to bring him to a final passion earlier<br />

than expected.<br />

I do not like when people say that<br />

someone who has died is in a better<br />

place (please, when I die, do not say<br />

<strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong> <strong>13</strong>-<strong>20</strong>, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong> • ANGELUS • 21

Baltimore Archbishop William E.<br />

Lori, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson,<br />

and members of the Schachle<br />

family pay their respects <strong>No</strong>v. 1<br />

at the sarcophagus near the entrance<br />

of St. Mary’s Church in New<br />

Haven, Connecticut, where the<br />

remains of Bl. Michael McGivney<br />

are entombed.<br />


that). We have to be prepared for heaven.<br />

But I can now add Andrew to the<br />

list of the saints who stalked me.<br />

He made me better. I look back now<br />

and realize that our conversations<br />

were about heaven. They were about<br />

being who God made us to be, so that<br />

we could be with him for eternity and<br />

bring as many people along with us as<br />

possible.<br />

In some of our final conversations,<br />

he was more detached than ever<br />

about what the future would hold,<br />

including who might win an election.<br />

He loathed the idea of his children<br />

and Maureen being without him, but<br />

he was at peace, believing that God<br />

knows what he is doing.<br />

I think that’s what I loved the most<br />

about Andrew. He was always solving<br />

problems with his brilliant mind, but<br />

when it came to the most important<br />

things, my amazing friend radiated<br />

humility.<br />

All of this brings me back to a passage<br />

from Mother Cabrini’s travel diaries,<br />

writing home to her sisters in Europe.<br />

She was talking about their congregation’s<br />

patron, St. Margaret Mary<br />

Alacoque, to whom Jesus gave the<br />

devotion of the Sacred Heart, when<br />

she wrote that “truly faithful and<br />

loving souls are not discouraged. Thus,<br />

our Margaret, knowing that the work<br />

she was chosen to establish came from<br />

heaven, lost neither her confidence<br />

nor her courage.”<br />

She continued:<br />

“Completely abandoned to the infinite<br />

mercy of her beloved Jesus ... she knew<br />

Inside the Chapel of the Revelation of Jesus Margaret Mary Alacoque in Paray Le Monial, France.<br />


22 • ANGELUS • <strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong> <strong>13</strong>-<strong>20</strong>, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong>

how to triumph over all obstacles and<br />

was rewarded by seeing the Sacred<br />

Heart of Jesus known, loved and glorified<br />

by a great number of devotees before<br />

her death. As a reward for such generous<br />

action, Blessed Margaret Mary<br />

now contemplates in heaven the beauty<br />

of the Divine Heart of Jesus, enjoying<br />

peace, joy, and sovereign delights. She<br />

can talk to Him openly at any moment,<br />

can implore and obtain even prodigious<br />

graces. She will certainly implore them<br />

for you if you honor her as your true<br />

protectress, but more so if you imitate<br />

her. From heaven, as she contemplates<br />

the sight of what your charity accomplishes<br />

in continuing the mission that<br />

she exercised on earth with immense<br />

benefit to souls, she will console you<br />

with her powerful intercession and present<br />

your fervent prayers to the throne of<br />

God. As a reward for your zeal, she will<br />

place all of you in the loving shelter of<br />

the Heart of Jesus and obtain for you<br />

the grace to live, as she did, a life of<br />

humility, meekness, obedience, sacrifice<br />

and love.”<br />

Andrew was God’s missionary who<br />

God is now rewarding.<br />

I think of the time Andrew and Carl<br />

Anderson worked to get the Obama<br />

administration to recognize the Islamic<br />

State’s campaign of persecution as<br />

“genocide.” We had the opportunity<br />

to celebrate a Chaldean Mass at the<br />

Catholic Information Center, the<br />

closest tabernacle to the White House.<br />

Days later, then-Secretary of State<br />

John Kerry declared ISIS guilty of<br />

committing genocide against Christians,<br />

Yazidis, and Shia Muslims.<br />

We saw it as a miracle. God had used<br />

faithful servants as instruments along<br />

the way.<br />

The only way I can make sense of<br />

Andrew’s death is in dying so young,<br />

we all have to pay more attention. This<br />

was a saint who lived among us. He<br />

had heroic virtue. We have to live this<br />

way, too. Andrew, I know you will help<br />

us! <br />

Kathryn Jean Lopez is senior fellow at<br />

the National Review Institute, editor-at-large<br />

of National Review magazine,<br />

and author of the new book, “A<br />

Year with the Mystics: Visionary Wisdom<br />

for Daily Living” (Tan Books, $44.95).<br />


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<strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong> <strong>13</strong>-<strong>20</strong>, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong> • ANGELUS • 23<br />

0708<strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong>_24-Hr Insurance_<strong>Angelus</strong>_Rect.indd 15/<strong>28</strong>/<strong>20</strong> 3:27 0806<strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong>_WorkersRights_<strong>Angelus</strong>_7-3_rect.indd PM<br />

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8:12 AM

Carol Rice, Deborah Reddy, and Joan Stine<br />

stand in solidarity during the closing song, “Let<br />

There Be Peace on Earth,” during a listening<br />

session on racism at <strong>No</strong>tre Dame of Maryland<br />

University in Baltimore April 29, <strong>20</strong>19.<br />

What can people of faith<br />

do to help end racism?<br />


One of the country’s few African American bishops has some ideas<br />


As one of the nation’s five active<br />

black Catholic bishops, people<br />

ask me all the time what they<br />

can do to confront the racial problems<br />

of our day.<br />

I take their questions as a signal of<br />

their sincere desire to live with the<br />

tone established for us by the savior<br />

Jesus Christ, a sincere desire to let his<br />

Gospel redeem us from the sins of fear,<br />

indifference, and racial and ethnic<br />

prejudice.<br />

The place to start, I believe, is in our<br />

own hearts and in our own little corners<br />

of the world. And the first concrete<br />

step we need to take is to courageously<br />

examine our consciences.<br />

Think about our thoughts and words,<br />

our actions or inactions. Do we detect<br />

expressions or subtle references to the<br />

inferiority of certain peoples?<br />

Have we picked up conscious or<br />

unconscious bias regarding peoples of<br />

color or other marginalized peoples<br />

from our homes and formative environments?<br />

How might this have influenced<br />

my worldview or determined<br />

my assumptions about certain types of<br />

people?<br />

Continuing this examination, we<br />

want to determine whether we avoid<br />

the experiences, the neighborhoods,<br />

or the viewpoints of people of color.<br />

Do I see people of color as a threat,<br />

or do I consider them beneath me or<br />

somehow making my life difficult? At<br />

the extremes: Do I get anxious or cross<br />

the street when I see a person of color<br />

walking toward me?<br />

We are believers in Jesus Christ.<br />

Our gestures and words should always<br />

indicate that we believe the Christian<br />

message: that every man, woman, and<br />

child has inherent dignity.<br />

In the Gospels, we find a definite<br />

pattern in the life of Jesus. He broke<br />

through the popular biases and prejudices<br />

that plagued the society of his day.<br />

As a Jew, Jesus was deliberate about<br />

his friendships and about including<br />

those who were excluded and at the<br />

margins of society and the religious<br />

community: the sick, those whose lives<br />

were morally compromised, the impoverished,<br />

Samaritans, Romans, officials,<br />

women.<br />

With his parable of the good samari-<br />

24 • ANGELUS • <strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong> <strong>13</strong>-<strong>20</strong>, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong>

tine<br />

ng, “Let<br />

ning<br />

ryland<br />


tan, in which he teaches us to see every<br />

person as our neighbor, and with his<br />

command to love even our enemies, he<br />

sets the tone for how we are to live as<br />

his disciples.<br />

Over the millennia, Jesus’ disciples<br />

have not always lived up to the teachings<br />

and example of their Master.<br />

Jesus called everyone to conversion<br />

of life. And he continues to call us to<br />

break through the hesitation and fear<br />

endemic to the human condition when<br />

we are faced with those who are different<br />

from us, whether those differences<br />

be racial, economic, or differences in<br />

wealth.<br />

From the example of Jesus, we can<br />

start to think about how we might make<br />

concrete changes in our homes and<br />

parishes to think and act more inclusively,<br />

with the same love and sensitivity<br />

that Jesus demonstrated.<br />

In our homes and parishes, we need<br />

to make spaces for our young people<br />

to be able to pray and reflect on racism<br />

and the social unrest we have been<br />

seeing.<br />

And as parents and Church leaders,<br />

Chicago Auxiliary<br />

Bishop Joseph N.<br />

Perry, the postulator<br />

for the sainthood<br />

cause of Father<br />

Augustus Tolton,<br />

speaks at the Dominicans’<br />

motherhouse<br />

in Nashville,<br />

Tennessee, Feb. 10,<br />

<strong>20</strong>19.<br />


we need to really listen to their experiences.<br />

What do they see happening<br />

in their schools with fellow students<br />

of different backgrounds, races, or<br />

ethnicities?<br />

We need to encourage our young<br />

people to be creative, to be ambassadors<br />

of friendship and goodwill. Young<br />

people have keen observations about<br />

what is fair, right, and wrong. We need<br />

to invite them to come up with action<br />

steps that are meaningful to them.<br />

In Catholic dioceses around the<br />

country, bishops have been strategic in<br />

trying to increase diversity in ministries,<br />

schools, liturgies, and diocesan<br />

administrations. This has taken a lot<br />

of energy, forethought, and education.<br />

It has also taken the humility to admit<br />

wrong and correct missteps.<br />

I know this work best in my own<br />

Archdiocese of Chicago. In the 1990s,<br />

we launched racial sensitivity workshops<br />

and other programs for pastors<br />

and administrators in our parishes and<br />

schools.<br />

More recently, Cardinal Blase Cupich<br />

has ordered the creation of a curriculum<br />

on race to be included in our<br />

elementary and secondary schools.<br />

These kinds of initiatives can make<br />

a difference for the next generation<br />

of Catholics, who will hopefully see<br />

things more clearly and do things better<br />

than we are doing now.<br />

Everywhere in the Church, we need<br />

to continue to study and explore how<br />

racism looks and how it is experienced<br />

by people of color. We need to continue<br />

to encourage pastors to preach<br />

against racism and to take personal<br />

responsibility to eradicate subtle traces<br />

of racism in parish life.<br />

The United States Catholic bishops<br />

have produced many resources to help<br />

us. Since 1958, the bishops have produced<br />

nearly a dozen major statements<br />

at the national level, most recently<br />

“Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring<br />

Call to Love — A Pastoral Letter<br />

Against Racism” in <strong>20</strong>18. Local bishops<br />

around the country have issued their<br />

own statements and pastoral letters.<br />

I recommend reading these materials<br />

and talking about them in your<br />

Bible studies or in small group settings.<br />

Broaden your awareness of how<br />

structural realities in our society affect<br />

minorities’ access to good schools,<br />

quality health care, fair paying jobs,<br />

and decent housing.<br />

I also encourage people to “schedule”<br />

diversity into their lives. We need to be<br />

intentional about seeking ways to diversity<br />

in our relationships, with co-workers,<br />

neighbors, our circles of friends and<br />

acquaintances.<br />

Again, it is good to ask: Who are the<br />

people you hang around with? Who<br />

are your children’s friends? Are they<br />

mostly or entirely of one ethnicity?<br />

One practical thing we can do is try<br />

to worship occasionally in a Catholic<br />

Church where the congregation is<br />

predominantly from a different ethnic<br />

group. This helps us imbibe a sense of<br />

the worth, the offerings of a people, the<br />

culture and beauty of a people.<br />

We need to continue to work to build<br />

bridges and break down barriers and<br />

try to link our parishes and ministries<br />

across racial and ethnic lines.<br />

Another idea might be to volunteer at<br />

a parish food pantry or meal program;<br />

especially bring your children along.<br />

Performing the corporal works of mercy<br />

deepens your awareness of the needs of<br />

<strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong> <strong>13</strong>-<strong>20</strong>, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong> • ANGELUS • 25

0910<strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong>_C<br />

n<br />


others, and how often race plays a part<br />

in people’s poverty.<br />

Single-race or predominantly ethnic<br />

parishes are not the ideal. Often,<br />

unfortunately, our parishes mirror the<br />

racial segregation patterns of American<br />

neighborhoods. We need to keep working<br />

on overcoming these racial divides.<br />

In our ministries we need to look for<br />

ways to partner and link our parishes<br />

across racial, ethnic, and cultural lines.<br />

Diocesan-wide events can also be opportunities<br />

to bring people together to<br />

Donna Hargens, superintendent<br />

of Catholic<br />

Schools for the Archdiocese<br />

of Baltimore,<br />

congratulates Sts.<br />

James and John School<br />

student Breanna Ervin,<br />

left, and Holy Angels<br />

School student Jaylah<br />

Golder, following their<br />

remarks at the <strong>20</strong>19<br />

groundbreaking of the<br />

Mother Mary Lange<br />

School in Baltimore.<br />

celebrate our diversity as a Church.<br />

The first Pentecost shows us the<br />

beautiful “weave” of the human race,<br />

with people from every nation, race,<br />

and language all gathered to hear the<br />

Gospel. Pentecost shows us that the<br />

Church is meant to be a universal<br />

community of people. It shows us that<br />

nationality, race, ethnicity, language<br />

— these uniquely identifying human<br />

marks — represent the imprint of a<br />

remarkably artistic and loving Creator<br />

upon us.<br />

We still have a long way to go in making<br />

that Pentecost template a reality in<br />

our Church and in our neighborhoods<br />

and society.<br />

But Jesus insists that we implement<br />

his teachings and that we be lights in<br />

the world and the salt of the earth. In<br />

other words, Jesus calls us to be the<br />

seasoning of life’s experience toward<br />

the better.<br />

And with him, and working together,<br />

we know that we can create more light<br />

for our darkness, more courage for our<br />

fears, more hope for our disappointments,<br />

more wisdom for our confusion,<br />

more love for our hate, and more peace<br />

for our turmoil.<br />

Much has been accomplished. And<br />

much more needs to be done for the<br />

honor of God. <br />

Bishop Joseph N. Perry is a native of<br />

Chicago and has served as an auxiliary<br />

bishop for the Archdiocese of Chicago<br />

since 1998. He is the diocesan postulator<br />

of the sainthood cause for Ven.<br />

Augustus Tolton, the first known black<br />

Catholic priest in the U.S.<br />


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26 • ANGELUS • <strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong> <strong>13</strong>-<strong>20</strong>, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong>

n<br />

Wednesday, <strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong> 18, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong> * 7:00 PM * Q & A to follow<br />

Sunday, <strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong> 22, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong> * 2:00 PM * Q & A to follow<br />

!<br />

tory<br />

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an<br />

e<br />

he<br />

1,<br />

and<br />

tes!<br />

ing<br />

ne<br />

¿Cuándo? Jueves 19 de noviembre, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong> * Hora: 7:00 PM<br />

O Sábado 21 de noviembre, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong> * Hora: 1:00 PM<br />

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llamando al 2<strong>13</strong>-637-7810.<br />

<strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong> <strong>13</strong>-<strong>20</strong>, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong> • ANGELUS • 27<br />

0910<strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong>_CatholicCemeteries_<strong>Angelus</strong>_<strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong>.indd 1<br />

10/26/<strong>20</strong> 4:<strong>13</strong> PM



The consolation of ‘Two Crowns’<br />

Adam Woronowicz in a scene from “Two Crowns.”<br />


Regardless of which side of the great American political<br />

divide one stands on, the view in <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong> is grim.<br />

Everywhere people are beset by a widespread feeling<br />

of impending doom, fueled by a fractured polity, a global<br />

plague, and the fierce ideological attacks on family and faith<br />

that increase in strength each day.<br />

While our difficulties are real, it is crucial to put them into<br />

perspective, both historical and supernatural. Historically,<br />

even just in our own young country, things have been much,<br />

much worse. And supernaturally, this is no war but more a<br />

simple skirmish.<br />

If you have trouble believing this, I recommend something<br />

that helped me enormously: Watch the recently released<br />

film “Two Crowns.”<br />

The 92-minute documentary combines interviews and<br />

well-acted recreations to depict the life of St. Maximilian<br />

Kolbe. Most Catholics today know about the sacrifice that<br />

lifted him, bounding, into the luminous ranks of the saints in<br />

heaven. Watching, you will see in all its pathos and humanity<br />

the famous moment when the Polish priest, already suffering<br />

intensely in the Auschwitz concentration camp, volunteers to<br />

die in the starvation cell.<br />

He takes the place of another camp inmate who cried out<br />

<strong>28</strong> • ANGELUS • <strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong> <strong>13</strong>-<strong>20</strong>, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong><br />

in despair, “My wife! My children!” when being chosen for<br />

random extermination.<br />

It’s the kind of heroism capable of inspiring us to do great<br />

things, if we let it. But there is another blinding lesson in the<br />

life of St. Maximilian.<br />

That slow starvation in the fetid cell that he turned into a<br />

chapel of grace — helping his friends die, agonizing one by<br />

one with hymns and songs of undying hope in the tender<br />

mercy of God — was only the end of his life. Before that he<br />

spent decades sowing seeds of faith, building castles of apostolate,<br />

growing forests of tall and splendid Christian men and<br />

women. He was doing all of this in his native Poland, with<br />

the exception of a brief stint in Japan.<br />

In those years leading up to the German invasion, the<br />

young priest did tremendous things. He founded a Catholic<br />

evangelization movement called the “Militia Immaculatae”<br />

(“Army of the Immaculate One”), centered around the total<br />

consecration of each human heart to the Virgin Mary.<br />

He built an apostolic center near Warsaw called the “City<br />

of the Immaculata,” where he was joined by more than 650<br />

friars in just 12 years. Living in poverty, St. Maximilian and<br />

his friars created a magazine that reached a monthly circulation<br />

of 1 million and a daily newspaper that reached more<br />

“ L<br />

a<br />

w<br />

S<br />

O<br />

R<br />

f<br />


than 230,000.<br />

The idea was to use print and radio in cities across the<br />

country to reach souls and draw them to Christ through<br />

Mary.<br />

Then in 1939 Poland went dark, swallowed by the German<br />

invasion. St. Maximilian continued his work bravely, knowing<br />

the risk he was running. He and the other friars not only<br />

hid more than 2,000 Jews, but continued their publishing<br />

ministry, announcing hope in the face of the tragedy. He was<br />

eventually arrested and sent to the Auschwitz death camp.<br />

It is clear that the man who sang hymns, comforted his<br />

fellow prisoners, and exhibited only calm acceptance in<br />

the face of the greatest torture was firmly grounded in the<br />

most perfect hope. And yet, where was his hope but in the<br />

purposes of God?<br />

Every single material accomplishment of his life was being<br />

ground to dust under the pitiless German boot. Whatever<br />

was left would, after his death, be blown away by the awful<br />

winds of decades-long Soviet oppression. Or would it?<br />

Here is the lesson for us.<br />

The faith of the Polish people, growing from seeds planted<br />

by St. Maximilian, still bears the fruits of this persecution<br />

today, even after a lifetime or two of dehumanization and<br />

de-Christianization. Policies for the protection of the unborn,<br />

of the family, of marriage, and of faith are thriving in Poland.<br />

Long after the saint’s death, it is the Catholic faith that he<br />

helped preserve and watered with his martyr’s blood that<br />

keeps the Polish people strong against the ideologies that<br />

seek to conquer them as the Nazis and the Soviets once did.<br />

In our own moment of darkness we can think of St. Maximilian<br />

and take heart.<br />

There is no act of faith,<br />

or apostolate, or charity,<br />

that does not bear fruit.<br />

There is no hope that<br />

is not fulfilled in good<br />

time. There is no fear<br />

that in the end is not<br />

perfectly relieved for<br />

the one who wants<br />

what God wants, and in<br />

just the way that God<br />

wants it, no matter how<br />

great our terror.<br />

If St. Maximilian<br />

could go to his death in<br />

perfect, faithful confidence,<br />

in the darkest historical moment and the most cruel<br />

place on earth, then we can proceed cheerfully. Whatever<br />

good we can do today will find its way to where it is needed,<br />

and all our hopes will be gratified. <br />

Screenings of “Two Crowns” have been suspended due to<br />

the coronavirus (COVID-19). To stay up-to-date with the<br />

latest developments concerning ways to watch the film, visit<br />

TwoCrownsMovie.com.<br />

Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie practices radiology in the Miami<br />

area, where she lives with her husband and five children, and<br />

serves on the advisory board for The Catholic Association.<br />

Like Sister de Lourdes and Sister Florence<br />

Kruczek (right), 91, some 30,000 senior<br />

Catholic sisters, brothers, and religious order<br />

priests have spent their lives doing the Lord’s<br />

work. Most served for little or no pay, and now<br />

their religious communities do not have enough<br />

retirement savings. Your gift to the Retirement<br />

Fund for Religious offers vital support for<br />

necessities, such as medications and nursing<br />

care. Please be generous.<br />

Roughly 94 percent of donations<br />

directly aid senior religious.<br />

“ Live with good humor<br />

and just do the Lord’s<br />

work,” says Franciscan<br />

Sister de Lourdes<br />

Okoniewski (left), 87.<br />

Retirement Fund<br />

for Religious<br />

Please give to those who have given a lifetime.<br />

Please give at your local parish<br />

December 7–8.<br />

To donate by mail:<br />

Archdiocese of Los Angeles<br />

Attn: Office of Vicar for Women Religious<br />

3424 Wilshire Blvd<br />

Los Angeles CA 90010-2241<br />

Make check payable to Archdiocese of Los Angeles/RFR.<br />

retiredreligious.org<br />

<strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong> <strong>13</strong>-<strong>20</strong>, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong> • ANGELUS • 29<br />

©<strong>20</strong>19 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC. All rights reserved.<br />

Photo: Jim Judkis

INSIDE<br />



Julian of <strong>No</strong>rwich:<br />

The statue of<br />

Julian of <strong>No</strong>rwich<br />

on the west<br />

front of <strong>No</strong>rwich<br />

Cathedral, in<br />

<strong>No</strong>rwich, <strong>No</strong>rfolk,<br />

England, made by<br />

the sculptor David<br />

Holgate in <strong>20</strong>14.<br />

A guide for<br />

hard times<br />

“If God is supremely good and wise, why do evil and<br />

the suffering of innocents exist?”<br />

Pope Benedict XVI asked this question in his<br />

audience on Dec. 1, <strong>20</strong>10. To answer, he cites the words of<br />

Julian of <strong>No</strong>rwich, a 14th-century English anchorite and<br />

mystic found in the The Catechism of the Catholic Church<br />

(cf. nn. 304-3<strong>13</strong>, 314).<br />

He recognized that “the Saints themselves asked this very<br />

question. Illumined by faith, they give an answer that opens<br />

our hearts to trust and hope: in the mysterious designs of<br />

Providence, God can draw a greater good even from evil,<br />

as Julian of <strong>No</strong>rwich wrote: ‘Here I was taught by the grace<br />

of God that I should steadfastly hold me in the Faith ... and<br />

that ... I should take my stand on and earnestly believe in ...<br />

that ‘all manner of thing shall be well’ ” (The Revelations of<br />

Divine Love, Chapter 32).<br />

I spoke with Veronica Mary Rolf, who has written two<br />

books on the life and teachings of this incredible woman,<br />

“An Explorer’s Guide to Julian of <strong>No</strong>rwich” (IVP Academic,<br />

$14) and “Julian’s Gospel” (Orbis Books, $26), which won<br />

the <strong>20</strong>14 Catholic Press Association Book Award.<br />


Kris McGregor: How did you come to know of Julian of<br />

<strong>No</strong>rwich?<br />

Veronica Mary Rolf: My deep, loving relationship —<br />

spiritual friendship really — with Julian goes back to my<br />

high school days at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in New<br />

York City. My theology teacher used to say to me whenever<br />

I was in crisis, “All shall be well, and all shall be well. And<br />

thou shalt see thyself that all matter of things shall be well.”<br />

Of course, those are Julian’s most famous words that she<br />

heard the Lord speak to her.<br />

30 • ANGELUS • <strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong> <strong>13</strong>-<strong>20</strong>, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong>

As I read her<br />

“revelations,” I<br />

came to know<br />

this woman,<br />

speaking to me<br />

of her experience<br />

of Christ on<br />

the cross, both<br />

suffering and<br />

transformed into<br />

glory. Her whole<br />

understanding of<br />

Christ’s unconditional<br />

love, of<br />

the total lack of<br />

blame, of the<br />

total lack of wrath<br />

or anger that she<br />

felt coming from<br />

Christ on the<br />

cross, it was all<br />

Veronica Mary Rolf<br />

about embracing<br />

and enfolding<br />

and cherishing us. And wow, that packed a wallop, and it<br />

still does.<br />

At the age of 30, Julian suffered a deathly illness. For one<br />

week she thought she was dying, and the priest brought a<br />

crucifix. She looked at it and suddenly she was healed, and<br />

she felt herself transported into an experience of deep, contemplative<br />

revelation. She saw Christ on the cross.<br />

She heard him speak to her, not through the lips, but<br />

interiorly, and these 16 revelations unfolded over the next 11<br />

hours. During this time, she asked Christ questions: What is<br />

sin? What is suffering? Does God really love us, or does God<br />

punish us? These are still the big questions we ask today.<br />

She even laughed out loud at one point, she said. And then<br />

finally, at the end of the revelations, she saw and felt Christ<br />

in her heart, sitting in her heart. And she was so touched that<br />

he was sitting, and not standing or leaving or coming. He<br />

was securely there forever.<br />

All of her revelations unfolded in this time period, but it<br />

took her the next 40 or 50 years to write about them. She<br />

wrote a “Short Text,” which many people love because it’s<br />

very simple, in probably the late <strong>13</strong>70s.<br />

She had her revelations in <strong>13</strong>73, but then in the <strong>13</strong>90s,<br />

she entered a very small anchorage. We speak of her as an<br />

anchorite, but that was only the last part of her life. She had<br />

already been a wife and mother, and probably lost a child in<br />

the plague, and she’d been a businesswoman.<br />

Her anchorage was attached to the side of the church. She<br />

could hear Mass and receive communion. We know she<br />

died sometime after 1416, so she was in the anchorage for<br />

about 25 years.<br />

McGregor: This was a period of extraordinary women.<br />

I’m thinking of St. Bridget of Sweden and St. Catherine of<br />

Siena. What a trio of women.<br />

Rolf: Yes, and yet very different in many ways. We know St.<br />

Catherine, although she had three years as a cloister in her<br />


own home, was a very political figure, as well as a mystic, as<br />

was St. Bridget.<br />

Julian was not like that. Julian was probably hardly known<br />

in her own time and for most of the 600 years since, until<br />

the early <strong>20</strong>th century. I feel she was saved for our time.<br />

Julian’s writings must’ve been scurried out of England by<br />

those who wanted to remain Catholic during the turmoil of<br />

the Reformation in England and held by the Benedictine religious<br />

women in France, and then copied. But they weren’t<br />

published. They weren’t well circulated.<br />

It wasn’t until the early <strong>20</strong>th century when the “Short Text”<br />

turned up, the so-called “Lost Text,” at Sotheby’s in 1910 at<br />

an auction.<br />

McGregor: Pope Benedict pointed out the importance of<br />

these women and that their voices had been underutilized in<br />

theology and needed to be heard, especially today.<br />

Roth: Absolutely. Julian became the first woman to write a<br />

book in the English language. She became the first female<br />

English theologian, and she has been lauded as this pioneer,<br />

but it took hundreds of years for it to get known.<br />

She also has such a positive, light-filled, hope-filled message,<br />

but she isn’t a Pollyanna. It isn’t an easy message. She<br />

came to that realization through her contemplative life and<br />

through the revelations, and as such it appeals to us because<br />

we know she is grounded in the very suffering we endure. It’s<br />

not like she was spared real life and the real sufferings, war,<br />

famine.<br />

She had to deal with the reality of sin in the world all<br />

around her, and the wars and brutality and viciousness of<br />

her time. And yet, she had to see how Christ was working<br />

transformation through it all.<br />

Unless we go through Calvary, we can’t really appreciate<br />

Easter Sunday morning. You can’t whitewash or obliterate<br />

the fact of our suffering, united with Christ suffering on the<br />

cross. Because if you do, you can’t experience the Resurrection<br />

and transformation.<br />

We mustn’t act as if it’s all going to be well tomorrow —<br />

wow, I’m going to get the job, I’m going to fall in love, win<br />

the lottery. It’s about our ongoing spiritual transformation. It<br />

gives us the mystical eyes, ears, and heart to see how Christ<br />

is working now and in eternity because Christ is looking at<br />

all of our suffering and already realizing how he is making it<br />

well.<br />

With God’s help, we can get through anything. We will<br />

not be overcome. And I think that was her mantra. It doesn’t<br />

mean our lives will be easy, but we will find deeper and<br />

deeper peace and joy in the presence of Christ working in<br />

us, and confidence. We will never be overcome by suffering<br />

or sorrow or loss or illness or even evil. As Christ said on the<br />

cross, “It is done. It is finished.”<br />

He has overcome the world. And that’s how she says, “If<br />

we mightily trust in him, we shall see how all shall be well.”<br />

And that stays with me every day, every hour of the day. I<br />

give thanks to Julian for being in my life, because I don’t<br />

know what I would’ve done without her.<br />

Kris McGregor is the founder of Discerninghearts.com, an online<br />

resource for the best in contemporary Catholic spirituality.<br />

<strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong> <strong>13</strong>-<strong>20</strong>, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong> • ANGELUS • 31

THE CRUX<br />


Saints<br />

alive<br />

Author Mary Lea Carroll at Holy Doors of the Cathedral-Basilica of <strong>No</strong>tre-Dame de Québec.<br />


Pasadena native Mary Lea Carroll<br />

has written two engaging books<br />

on saints. The first, “Saint Everywhere:<br />

Travels in Search of the Lady<br />

Saints,” (Prospect Park Books, $16)<br />

came out in <strong>20</strong>19. In it, she travels,<br />

among other places, to Siena (St.<br />

Catherine), Prague (Infant Jesus) and<br />

Medjugorje (Our Lady of Peace).<br />

This year, just in time for Christmas,<br />

comes “Somehow Saints: More Travels<br />

in Search of the Saintly” (Prospect<br />

Park Books, $<strong>20</strong>). The publisher is<br />

based in Altadena, making this small,<br />

attractive volume altogether “locally<br />

grown.”<br />

“Somehow Saints” is no “Pilgrim’s<br />

Progress.” Carroll is not the type (nor<br />

am I) to undergo the three-day ordeal<br />

of fasting, walking barefoot, and prayer<br />

known as St. Patrick’s Purgatory; nor to<br />

crawl two miles up a hill on her knees<br />

to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe<br />

in Mexico City.<br />

To her great credit, in fact, she never<br />

pretends to be anything other than<br />

exactly what she is: a grateful wife and<br />

mother with a beautiful home, a husband<br />

retired from a comfortable job,<br />

three grown kids, a yard full of rose<br />

bushes, and eyelash extensions. She<br />

likes boutique hotels, good coffee, fine<br />

restaurants, and shopping.<br />

Also to her great credit — and this is<br />

what elevates “Somehow Saints” above<br />

a mere stocking stuffer — Carroll is a<br />

born traveler: comfortable talking to<br />

strangers, willing to follow up on possi-<br />

32 • ANGELUS • <strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong> <strong>13</strong>-<strong>20</strong>, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong>

Monument to St. Marie of the Incarnation, founder of the Ursuline convent, in Quebec.<br />

ble dead-end leads, always ready for an<br />

adventure. She goes out of her way to<br />

talk to the people she meets along the<br />

way: cabbies, bartenders. She’s curious,<br />

persistent, and a genuine seeker.<br />

Take, for example, the first paragraph<br />

of the chapter “A Mystic in the Classroom:<br />

St. Marie of the Incarnation<br />

(1599-1672, Quebec, New France)”:<br />

“Bill and I had just finished an early<br />

morning walking tour of Quebec, a<br />

city that sits so picturesquely on the<br />

banks of the St. Lawrence River. Four<br />

hundred years of history whisper and<br />

wink through winding alleys and<br />

wondrously old architecture. <strong>No</strong>w,<br />

Bill wanted to peel off and chill in<br />

our small Hôtel de Vieux. Actually,<br />

chill isn’t the right word — we were<br />

freezing in the fall temperatures of<br />

the Great <strong>No</strong>rth. He wanted a warm<br />

room and a football game. After we<br />

parted ways, I looked around and<br />

found that I was standing in front of<br />

the stone Chapel of the Ursulines and<br />

its 350-year-old elementary school.<br />

Five steps away was the contemporary<br />

Ursuline Museum. I didn’t know<br />

anything about the Ursulines, so I<br />

thought, Hey! And went in.”<br />

Don’t let the breezy tone fool you:<br />

What follows is a lively and engaging<br />

description of the life of a saint who I,<br />

for one, had never heard of.<br />

Carroll reads her history, does her research,<br />

and distills the information into<br />

an informative, accessible, compelling<br />

narrative. In 1635, St. Marie of the Incarnation,<br />

two fellow Ursuline sisters,<br />

their female patron, a Jesuit priest,<br />

and two Augustinian nursing sisters<br />

endured a three-month, 4,400-mile sea<br />

voyage on the “St. Joseph” to arrive in<br />

Quebec.<br />

They were the first order of nuns and<br />

the first missionaries to arrive in the<br />

New World, where they established<br />

the first girls school.<br />

And the winter cold was so intense<br />

that one account holds the frontier<br />

sisters slept in “chests modeled after<br />

coffins so they wouldn’t freeze to<br />

death. That’s a fun idea!”<br />

Carroll, in other words, never delivers<br />

a mere dry recitation of facts. She<br />

intersperses the saints’ stories with<br />

glimpses of her own quirky Catholic<br />

family history. She asks the questions<br />

we all ask if we’re honest. What is it<br />

with Catholic relics and the mummified<br />

fingers, heads, feet? Are Marian<br />

visions all a giant hoax? Are bodily<br />

mortifications a disguised form of masochism<br />

— or one gateway to genuine<br />

miracles?<br />

She makes a pilgrimage to Manhattan’s<br />

old St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where<br />

the Ven. Pierre Toussaint (1766-1853),<br />

a Haitian-born freed slave who became<br />

a wealthy hairdresser to high-society<br />

white women, was originally buried.<br />

She visits the Mohawk Nation Reservation<br />

outside Montreal and makes<br />

friends with the women who run the<br />


St. Kateri Tekakwitha Shrine adjacent<br />

gift shop and home-curated museum.<br />

She travels all the way to Venice to<br />

see the convent that had been home<br />

to St. Josephine Bakhita (circa 1869-<br />

1947). Born a slave in Sudan, sold to<br />

Arab traders, and viciously mistreated,<br />

St. Josephine escaped to Italy,<br />

converted to Catholicism, became a<br />

Canossian sister, forgave her abusers,<br />

and then — understandably — was<br />

canonized.<br />

Mary Virginia Merrick (1866-1955), a<br />

Washington, D.C., native, was paralyzed<br />

as an adolescent from a fall from a<br />

window. Confined to a wheelchair and<br />

in incessant chronic pain, she devoted<br />

the rest of her life to sewing clothes for<br />

needy children.<br />

Here’s where Carroll gets to the real<br />

question posed by the saints: “[Merrick’s<br />

example] just got me to pondering.<br />

Why did I let so much time go by<br />

when I was in my twenties, cocktail<br />

waitressing in that country-western<br />

fish house or, for months, lying in the<br />

sun on a Greek island. I mean, none<br />

of it was wrong, but did I not know<br />

that time is finite? Could I not have<br />

attempted more?”<br />

Well — couldn’t we have?<br />

Carroll will host a Zoom talk and<br />

reading for Holy Family Bookstore<br />

in South Pasadena <strong>No</strong>v. 12, and a<br />

conversation and launch at Vroman’s<br />

Bookstore in Pasadena <strong>No</strong>v. 18. For<br />

more events, check her website,<br />

maryleacarroll.com. <br />

Heather King is an award-winning author, speaker, and workshop leader. For more, visit heather-king.com.<br />

<strong><strong>No</strong>vember</strong> <strong>13</strong>-<strong>20</strong>, <strong>20</strong><strong>20</strong> • ANGELUS • 33

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