Angelus News | January 14, 2022 | Vol. 7 No. 1

On the cover: It can be described as the sacrament of “penance,” “reconciliation,” or more simply, just “confession.” A necessary part of any serious Catholic’s spiritual life, certainly, but can it be something more? On Page 10, Mike Aquilina invokes the life and example of St. Pope John Paul II to make the case that confession is much more than a duty, but actually a right — and perhaps our best shot at the radical conversion God wants to give us.

On the cover: It can be described as the sacrament of “penance,” “reconciliation,” or more simply, just “confession.” A necessary part of any serious Catholic’s spiritual life, certainly, but can it be something more? On Page 10, Mike Aquilina invokes the life and example of St. Pope John Paul II to make the case that confession is much more than a duty, but actually a right — and perhaps our best shot at the radical conversion God wants to give us.


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MERCY<br />

IS THE<br />


Rediscovering the healing<br />

power of confession<br />

<strong>January</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2022</strong> <strong>Vol</strong>. 7 <strong>No</strong>. 1


<strong>January</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2022</strong><br />

<strong>Vol</strong>. 7 • <strong>No</strong>. 1<br />

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It can be described as the sacrament of “penance,”<br />

“reconciliation,” or more simply, just “confession.” A<br />

necessary part of any serious Catholic’s spiritual life,<br />

certainly, but can it be something more? On Page 10,<br />

Mike Aquilina invokes the life and example of St. Pope<br />

John Paul II to make the case that confession is much<br />

more than a duty, but actually a right — and perhaps our<br />

best shot at the radical conversion God wants to give us.<br />



A statue of St. Francis of Assisi in Louisville,<br />

Colorado, stands in the remains of homes<br />

destroyed by the Marshall Fire Dec. 31, 2021.<br />

Authorities said 991 structures, including<br />

businesses, were destroyed and another 127<br />

damaged by the fire, which swept through<br />

more than 6,000 acres before snow helped<br />

extinguish the blazes.<br />

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Pope Watch.................................................................................................................................... 2<br />

Archbishop Gomez..................................................................................................................... 3<br />

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

In Other Words............................................................................................................................. 7<br />

Father Rolheiser............................................................................................................................ 8<br />

Scott Hahn................................................................................................................................... 32<br />

Events Calendar......................................................................................................................... 33<br />

<strong>14</strong><br />

18<br />


A parish school in the Valley’s unlikely success story<br />

Why LA’s Catholic school district is suing its public counterpart<br />

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20<br />

22<br />

John Allen: The stops and starts of a maverick’s reform papacy<br />

Is the digital age validating a former priest’s once radical ideas?<br />

angelusnews.com<br />

lacatholics.org<br />

26<br />

Greg Erlandson on the pope’s advice for COVID-weary families<br />

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28<br />

30<br />

The unique achievement of Cardinal Pell’s ‘Prison Journal’<br />

Heather King lands an exclusive interview with — herself<br />

<strong>January</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2022</strong> • ANGELUS • 1


Kids, pets, and the big fear<br />

Pope Francis made international headlines<br />

this month for comments made<br />

about parenthood, adoption, and pets<br />

in a catechesis on St. Joseph during his<br />

weekly General Audience on Wednesday,<br />

Jan. 5. What follows is an excerpt<br />

from his much-quoted remarks.<br />

It is not enough to bring a child<br />

into the world to also be the child’s<br />

father or mother.<br />

“Fathers are not born, but made. A<br />

man does not become a father simply<br />

by bringing a child into the world, but<br />

by taking up the responsibility to care<br />

for that child. Whenever a man accepts<br />

responsibility for the life of another,<br />

in some way he becomes a father to<br />

that person” (Apostolic Letter “Patris<br />

corde”).<br />

I think in a particular way of all those<br />

who are open to welcome life by way of<br />

adoption, which is such a generous and<br />

beautiful, good attitude. Joseph shows<br />

us that this type of bond is not secondary;<br />

it is not an afterthought, no. This<br />

kind of choice is among the highest<br />

forms of love, and of fatherhood and<br />

motherhood.<br />

How many children in the world are<br />

waiting for someone to take care of<br />

them! And how many married couples<br />

want to be fathers and mothers but are<br />

unable to do so for biological reasons;<br />

or, although they already have children,<br />

they want to share their family’s affection<br />

with those who do not have it.<br />

We should not be afraid to choose the<br />

path of adoption, to take the “risk” of<br />

welcoming children. And today, with<br />

orphanhood, there is a certain selfishness.<br />

The other day I spoke about the demographic<br />

winter there is nowadays, in<br />

which we see that people do not want<br />

to have children, or just one and no<br />

more. And many, many couples do not<br />

have children because they do not want<br />

to, or they have just one — but they<br />

have two dogs, two cats. … Yes, dogs<br />

and cats take the place of children.<br />

Yes, it’s funny, I understand, but it is<br />

the reality. And this denial of fatherhood<br />

or motherhood diminishes us, it<br />

takes away our humanity. And in this<br />

way civilization becomes aged and<br />

without humanity, because it loses the<br />

richness of fatherhood and motherhood.<br />

And our homeland suffers, as it does<br />

not have children, and, as it has been<br />

said somewhat humorously, “and now<br />

who will pay the taxes for my pension,<br />

if there are no children?”<br />

It is said with laughter, but it is the<br />

truth. Who will take care of me? I<br />

ask of St. Joseph the grace to awaken<br />

consciences and to think about having<br />

children.<br />

It is true, there is the spiritual fatherhood<br />

of those who consecrated<br />

themselves to God, and spiritual motherhood;<br />

but those who live in the world<br />

and get married, think about having<br />

children, of giving life, which they will<br />

take from you for the future.<br />

Also, if you cannot have children,<br />

think about adoption. It is a risk, yes:<br />

having a child is always a risk, either<br />

naturally or by adoption. But it is riskier<br />

not to have them. It is riskier to deny<br />

fatherhood, or to deny motherhood, be<br />

it real or spiritual.<br />

But a man or woman who does not<br />

develop the sense of fatherhood or<br />

motherhood are lacking something,<br />

something fundamental, something<br />

important.<br />

Papal Prayer Intention for <strong>January</strong>: We pray for all those<br />

suffering from religious discrimination and persecution; may<br />

their own rights and dignity be recognized, which originate<br />

from being brothers and sisters in the human family.<br />

2 • ANGELUS • <strong>January</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2022</strong>



The Church’s best kept secret<br />

I<br />

have been reflecting on Pope<br />

Francis’ message for the annual<br />

World Day of Peace and the challenges<br />

we face as we emerge from the<br />

pandemic.<br />

As Catholics, how do we understand<br />

and address these challenges:<br />

the threats to peace, the economic<br />

hardships, all the troubling social conditions<br />

and injustices we find in the<br />

world? The pope counsels that we can<br />

find “sure guidelines in the Church’s<br />

social doctrine.”<br />

And he is right.<br />

Catholic social teaching may be<br />

the Church’s best kept secret. I am<br />

surprised how often I meet people,<br />

even many good Catholics, who do<br />

not know that the Church has her<br />

own teaching about what makes for a<br />

good society.<br />

The Church’s teaching includes a<br />

moral analysis of what governments<br />

and economies are for, a vision of<br />

who the human person is and what<br />

makes for human happiness, and<br />

includes the demand that all believers<br />

work, not just for the salvation of our<br />

neighbors’ souls, but for a world that<br />

protects their rights and dignity.<br />

The Catechism of the Catholic<br />

Church’s sections on the human<br />

community (nos. 1877–1948), and on<br />

social living (nos. 2419–2449) make<br />

for challenging and inspiring reading.<br />

A wide range of teachings is found<br />

there — on social justice and solidarity,<br />

the dignity of work, the morality of<br />

economic activity, love for the poor,<br />

and much more.<br />

These teachings are not treated<br />

as something “extra” added on to<br />

Catholic beliefs about the Trinity, the<br />

incarnation, the resurrection, and our<br />

redemption in Christ.<br />

What we profess in the Creed leads<br />

to a conception of life that embraces<br />

the well-being of the whole person —<br />

understood to be a creature of body<br />

and soul, made a man or a woman,<br />

born on earth but destined for heaven.<br />

Our social teaching flows from the<br />

basic truth that the Father so loved<br />

the world that he sent his only Son to<br />

dwell on earth in human form by the<br />

power of the Holy Spirit.<br />

From that great truth, we understand<br />

that the human person is loved by<br />

God and made in his image, and is<br />

called to a heavenly destiny, to communion<br />

in the blessed Trinity.<br />

The salvation we believe in is personal.<br />

But, as the Catechism says, “it<br />

also concerns the human community<br />

as a whole.”<br />

In revealing that God is our Father,<br />

Jesus disclosed the truth about our<br />

personal relationship with God, that<br />

we are children of God. He also<br />

revealed the truth of our social relationships.<br />

We are made to live as one<br />

human family, as equals, brothers and<br />

sisters of our heavenly Father.<br />

Catholic social teaching is part of<br />

the mission that Jesus entrusted to his<br />

Church.<br />

Jesus suffered and died to raise up<br />

every person to new life in God. In<br />

calling believers to follow him, Jesus<br />

calls us to love others as he loves<br />

them, and to express that love in<br />

practical works of mercy, healing, and<br />

delivering others from suffering and<br />

evil.<br />

Practically speaking, that means that<br />

no one who claims to love God can<br />

remain indifferent when one of God’s<br />

children is suffering.<br />

That was the message of Jesus’ famous<br />

parable of the Good Samaritan<br />

and also his parable about how God<br />

will judge us at the end of our lives.<br />

Our love for God, he told us, will be<br />

measured by the love that we have<br />

shown to our neighbors, especially the<br />

most vulnerable, the poor, the prisoner,<br />

the sick, the stranger.<br />

The Catholic Church does not<br />

claim to have an economic program<br />

or a domestic agenda or a foreign<br />

policy. What we have is a vision of<br />

the world as God intends it to be, and<br />

a duty that Jesus gives us to work for<br />

God’s will on earth. That means we<br />

can never tolerate social conditions<br />

that degrade or dehumanize people.<br />

We live in a cultural moment<br />

marked by urgent concern for social<br />

justice. There is much that Catholic<br />

social teaching can bring to these conversations<br />

and debates.<br />

As the saints and the popes remind<br />

us, the real contribution we make as<br />

Catholics is simply to be Catholics, to<br />

be faithful followers of Jesus Christ.<br />

“Others drink from other sources,”<br />

Pope Francis writes. “For us the wellspring<br />

of human dignity and fraternity<br />

is in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”<br />

The popes warn us never to allow<br />

the truths of the Gospel be reduced to<br />

“a kind of moralism” or a “secularization<br />

of salvation.”<br />

We need to help our neighbors to<br />

see the higher vision of the Gospel,<br />

to recognize the glorious truth of<br />

the human person, and to work for a<br />

world where each of us can live as our<br />

Creator calls us to live.<br />

Pray for me and I will pray for you.<br />

And let us ask our Blessed Mother<br />

Mary to help us to bring the good<br />

news of her Son’s social gospel to the<br />

people of our time.<br />

<strong>January</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2022</strong> • ANGELUS • 3

WORLD<br />

■ Archbishop Tutu’s Catholic connection<br />

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, whose death at the age of 90<br />

on Dec. 26, 2021, has been mourned around the world,<br />

was a renowned Anglican bishop known for his leadership<br />

against South Africa’s apartheid.<br />

But he also had a strong connection to the Catholic<br />

Church.<br />

While studying to become an Anglican priest in Johannesburg,<br />

seminary formators worried that he was “suffering from<br />

a touch of ‘Roman fever,’ ” or love for Catholic beliefs and<br />

practices, according to a Catholic <strong>News</strong> Service report. This<br />

included daily recitation of the <strong>Angelus</strong> and the Hail Mary,<br />

as well as a particular devotion to St. Thérèse of Lisieux.<br />

“As I am not part of the Catholic tradition, I think my<br />

interest in her indicates that she has an ecumenical appeal,”<br />

Tutu once said. “She encourages us to grasp the significance<br />

of retracting into oneself for inner peace, to seek solitude,<br />

silence, and waiting,<br />

to be with God.”<br />

Tutu was also<br />

married to a Catholic,<br />

<strong>No</strong>malizo<br />

Leah Shenxane, at a<br />

Catholic ceremony<br />

in 1955. As Anglican<br />

archbishop of Cape<br />

Town, Tutu partnered<br />

often with the<br />

city’s Catholic archbishop<br />

in the fight<br />

Archbishop Tutu in 2011. | CNS/ALLISON JOYCE,<br />


against apartheid.<br />

■ India strikes a blow to<br />

Mother Teresa’s order<br />

The Indian government announced on Christmas Day<br />

that the Missionaries of Charity, founded by Mother Teresa,<br />

are no longer eligible to receive foreign donations.<br />

Two days later, the government claimed to have found<br />

unspecified “adverse inputs” to the Missionaries and that<br />

they no longer met eligibility requirements under Indian<br />

law.<br />

Father Dominic Gomes of the Archdiocese of Calcutta,<br />

the order’s birthplace, called the ruling “a cruel Christmas<br />

gift to the poorest of the poor,” and said that 22,000 people<br />

directly depend on or benefit from the work of the sisters’<br />

centers across India. The order said local support will keep<br />

the India centers in operation.<br />

The ruling comes amid a wave of increasing hostility<br />

toward Christians in India, including hundreds of violent<br />

incidents in 2021 alone.<br />

“They are thinking that opposing Christianity is patriotism.<br />

This is not a healthy atmosphere,” Bishop M.<br />

Jagjivan, moderator of the National Christian Council, told<br />

the Wall Street Journal.<br />

■ A QR code at the Vatican<br />

A woman scans the new QR code on “Angels Unawares”<br />

in St. Peter’s Square last month. | CNS<br />

Tourists in St.<br />

Peter’s Square<br />

may now have<br />

a legitimate<br />

excuse to be on<br />

their phones.<br />

Visitors who<br />

scan the QR<br />

code recently<br />

added to the<br />

square’s “Angels<br />

Unawares”<br />

statue with their<br />

phones will be<br />

taken to a dedicated<br />

website in<br />

several languages<br />

with history<br />

about the statue<br />

and Pope Francis’ teachings on immigration.<br />

The statue, installed in 2019 and created by Canadian<br />

sculptor Timothy Schmalz, depicts a group of migrants<br />

from different historical and cultural backgrounds huddled<br />

on a raft. Its replica has visited the Cathedral of Our<br />

Lady of the Angels and other sites around the U.S.<br />

“We have decided to incorporate cultural information<br />

and Church teachings from recent years to help all tourists<br />

and visitors at the Vatican to become pilgrims, too,”<br />

said Cardinal Michael Czerny, who leads the Vatican<br />

department on migration issues.<br />

A saintly status upgrade — Pope Francis will declare his predecessor, Pope John<br />

Paul I, “blessed” on Sept. 4, the Vatican announced. Pope John Paul was known as<br />

“the smiling pope.” The announcement came after the Holy See recognized the<br />

miraculous healing of a young Argentinian girl from inflammatory encephalopathy<br />

attributed to Pope John Paul’s intercession. | CNS/L’OSSERVATORE ROMANO<br />

4 • ANGELUS • <strong>January</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2022</strong>

NATION<br />

■ <strong>No</strong> change at the border, bishop says<br />

A leading voice among the U.S. bishops on immigration<br />

said little has changed for migrants at the U.S. southern<br />

border despite promises from the Biden administration.<br />

El Paso Bishop Mark Seitz visited migrants along the<br />

border Dec. 20, 2021, two weeks after the administration<br />

reimplemented the so-called “Remain in Mexico” policy.<br />

The Biden administration was ordered to reinstate the<br />

Trump-era policy by a Texas judge last August. Officials<br />

claimed they would conclude immigration cases within<br />

six months of the migrants’ return to Mexico and provide<br />

COVID-19 vaccinations to eligible migrants.<br />

But Bishop Seitz said that the migrants are telling a<br />

different story, one where “they’re still being treated like<br />

criminals” and where promises of humane conditions and<br />

vaccines have gone unfulfilled.<br />

“They’ve lost everything in their home place,” Seitz said.<br />

“They can’t go forward and if they stay, they’ll be staying in<br />

a place that has so many social problems right now and they<br />

will continue to be at risk.”<br />

■ <strong>No</strong>, NASA hasn’t hired theologians<br />

Migrants from Haiti<br />

cross the Rio Bravo<br />

near El Paso, Texas,<br />

to turn themselves<br />

in to U.S Border<br />

Patrol agents to<br />

request asylum on<br />

Jan. 3. | CNS/JOSE<br />



“NASA just hired 24 theologians to assess how the world<br />

would react if we discovered alien life.”<br />

That was the claim that gained viral popularity on social<br />

media in the waning days of 2021. According to an Associated<br />

Press fact check, the claim is not completely true — or<br />

false.<br />

Though the space agency has not hired theologians, NASA<br />

did make a grant in 2015 to Princeton University’s Center of<br />

Theological Inquiry (CTI) to support a study to “assess societal<br />

implications for NASA’s astrobiological and search for life<br />

efforts.” The NASA-funded part of the research concluded<br />

in 2017.<br />

“Individuals who receive grant funding from NASA are<br />

not employees, advisers, or spokespersons for the agency,”<br />

a NASA spokesperson told AP. “Thus, the researchers and<br />

scholars involved with this study were not hired by NASA,<br />

but instead received funding through CTI to conduct this<br />

work.”<br />

■ New York Times uncovers problems<br />

with popular prenatal tests<br />

Pro-life advocates say a groundbreaking report from The<br />

New York Times on faulty prenatal genetic tests further<br />

illustrates the injustice of abortion.<br />

Basing their findings on interviews and combined studies,<br />

the Times found that five of the most common prenatal<br />

tests for genetic disorders provide false positives around<br />

85% of the time, and that some companies advertise these<br />

tests as “reliable” and “highly accurate” despite the false<br />

positive rates.<br />

Catholic activist Jeanne Mancini, president of the March<br />

for Life, decried the poor regulation of the tests, telling<br />

Catholic <strong>News</strong> Agency that children who test positive for<br />

a genetic disorder in utero are “disproportionately targeted<br />

for abortion.”<br />

“It is a travesty that women and families are making life-altering<br />

decisions based on misleading information and that<br />

children with disabilities are deemed unworthy of life,”<br />

said the American Association for Pro-Life Obstetricians<br />

and Gynecologists in a statement.<br />

Top billing for the Bible — A billboard spotlighting “The Bible in a Year” was<br />

seen from mid-December until Jan. 9 in New York’s Times Square to celebrate<br />

the surprise success of the daily podcast, which leads listeners through the Bible’s<br />

narrative. It became the <strong>No</strong>. 1 podcast in all categories in the U.S. within 48 hours<br />

of its Jan. 2021 launch, remained the <strong>No</strong>. 1 podcast in religion and spirituality<br />

for most of the year, and was expected to have 170 million downloads and 4<br />

billion total listening minutes by the end of 2021. The billboard featuring host<br />

Father Mike Schmitz also encouraged people to read the Bible in <strong>2022</strong>. | CNS/<br />


<strong>January</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2022</strong> • ANGELUS • 5

LOCAL<br />

■ A Catholic school’s new firefighting mission<br />

Fire authorities<br />

in Ventura<br />

County have<br />

a new piece in<br />

their firefighting<br />

arsenal: a<br />

strategically<br />

located helipad<br />

on the campus of<br />

Thomas Aquinas<br />

College in Santa<br />

Paula.<br />

The Catholic<br />

university<br />

allowed the<br />

helipad’s installation<br />

as part of<br />

an agreement<br />

A Firehawk helicopter during a debut training exercise at the new helipad on the<br />

campus of Thomas Aquinas College. | THOMAS AQUINAS COLLEGE<br />

with the Ventura<br />

County Fire<br />

Department<br />

(VCFD), which recently purchased two Sikorsky Firehawk helicopters.<br />

For decades, firefighters were allowed to land water-carrying choppers on the<br />

school’s athletic fields, but that option was no longer viable for the larger and<br />

heavier Firehawks.<br />

Thanks to the new “helispot” — less than a mile from where the infamous<br />

2017 Thomas Fire started — “we no longer need to fly our helicopters to Fillmore<br />

to fill water tanks,” said VCFD Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen. “That means<br />

we can put more water on a fire while it’s small, giving it less time to spread.”<br />

A most important gift — Archbishop José H. Gomez enters the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels at the start<br />

of the 9 a.m. Christmas Day Mass Dec. 25. In his homily, the archbishop called on the faithful to “adore the Child,<br />

as the shepherds did on that first Christmas night, and let us offer this honor to the Child — let’s offer him the gift<br />

of our heart.” | VICTOR ALEMÁN<br />

■ Vocations basketball<br />

game set for a<br />

comeback<br />

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles’<br />

annual Priests vs. Seminarians basketball<br />

game is back this year after taking<br />

a year off due to COVID-19.<br />

A squad made up of men studying<br />

for the priesthood at St. John Seminary<br />

in Camarillo will take on their<br />

ordained opponents on Friday, Feb. 11,<br />

at Chaminade College Preparatory’s<br />

middle-school campus gymnasium.<br />

The teams have a split record since<br />

the tradition started three years ago:<br />

Team Seminarians won the matchup<br />

in 2019, and Team Priests in 2020.<br />

Doors open at 6 p.m. and tip-off is at<br />

7:30 p.m. COVID-19 protocols will be<br />

followed. Tickets can be purchased at<br />

archla.org/basketball.<br />

■ UC Irvine fires<br />

Catholic professor over<br />

vaccine mandate<br />

A professor at University of California<br />

Irvine’s (UCI) medical school is<br />

out of a job after refusing to comply<br />

with a systemwide COVID-19 vaccine<br />

mandate.<br />

Aaron Kheriaty, Ph.D., who taught<br />

psychiatry and human behavior and<br />

was director of UCI’s medical ethics<br />

program, had argued in a lawsuit<br />

against the UC system last fall that he<br />

should be exempt from the vaccine<br />

mandate due to the natural immunity<br />

he acquired from previously contracting<br />

COVID-19.<br />

Kheriaty, who is Catholic, has said<br />

he is not against the COVID-19<br />

vaccine but opposes making it mandatory.<br />

“Requiring the naturally immune to<br />

be vaccinated doesn’t make anyone<br />

actually safer,” wrote Kheriaty in<br />

the Wall Street Journal last year.<br />

“It is wrong to risk harming healthy<br />

people so that college can peddle a<br />

psychological placebo to those who<br />

don’t care enough to consider basic<br />

scientific facts.”<br />

Y<br />

6 • ANGELUS • <strong>January</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2022</strong>

V<br />


Letters to the Editor<br />

A second perspective regarding the ‘liturgy wars’<br />

In response to John L. Allen’s article “Tradition and transition” in the<br />

Dec. 3 issue: My theological schooling is at the baccalaureate level, with<br />

courses in the novitiate and self-study, but “liturgy wars” would not be a term I’d<br />

choose about the worship of God. But it surely gets attention!<br />

The issue is about believers wanting to deepen their relationship with God by restoring<br />

the Tridentine Latin Mass. Pope Francis’ refusal to restore it has provoked<br />

clergy and laity alike. The pope saw its return in opposition to the Second Vatican<br />

Council’s intent to let nothing interfere with the Church’s community life, like<br />

the confusing use of another language here — Latin being one of them.<br />

I know of a good number of Roman Catholics in the Bay Area, where I live, who<br />

have deepened their relationship with God by celebrating the Byzantine liturgy. It<br />

teaches how well the early Church understood the mystery of the Incarnation —<br />

its liturgy expresses it in every detail. The vernacular, English, is used there. The<br />

Scriptures take on much more meaning with the knowledge that the apostles St.<br />

Andrew and St. Paul, among others, composed the structures of these liturgies we<br />

pray from.<br />

There is much to be said for the graces that come from making an effort to<br />

encounter an ancient liturgical experience — and the Tridentine Mass isn’t the<br />

only one.<br />

— Sister Joyce Turnbull, RSM, Burlingame, California<br />

Y<br />

Continue the conversation! To submit a letter to the editor, visit <strong>Angelus</strong><strong>News</strong>.com/Letters-To-The-Editor<br />

and use our online form or send an email to editorial@angelusnews.com. Please limit to 300 words. Letters<br />

may be edited for style, brevity, and clarity.<br />

An archbishop’s resolution<br />

On Jan. 1, Archbishop<br />

José H. Gomez addressed<br />

LA Catholics via video<br />

message. He encouraged<br />

them to add a few<br />

spiritual resolutions to<br />

their list that will bring<br />

them into a “deeper and<br />

closer friendship with<br />

Jesus.” | ARCHDIOCESE<br />


“I make it very clear that I’m<br />

here to serve them, not to<br />

ask for something.”<br />

~ Washington, D.C. priest Father William Gurnee,<br />

former congressional staffer, on his ministry to<br />

government workers on Capitol Hill one year after<br />

the Jan. 6 attack at the Capitol.<br />

“If we are to begin anew<br />

this year, we must take a<br />

proper stance in all that we<br />

are facing as individuals<br />

and as a community of<br />

God’s children. One foot<br />

in the world … and one in<br />

eternity.”<br />

~ Sister Josephine Garrett, CSFN, in a Dec. 30 New<br />

Year’s Eve column for Catholic <strong>News</strong> Service.<br />

“The office of godparent …<br />

has lost its original meaning,<br />

limiting itself to a purely<br />

formal liturgical presence<br />

that is not followed by the<br />

accompaniment of the<br />

baptized and the confirmed<br />

on the path of human and<br />

spiritual growth.”<br />

~ Sicilian Bishop Domenico Mogavero in his<br />

Jan. 1 decree temporarily banning the naming<br />

of godparents due to their use as a means to<br />

strengthen family bonds, particularly within local<br />

Mafia families.<br />

View more photos<br />

from this gallery at<br />

<strong>Angelus</strong><strong>News</strong>.com/photos-videos<br />

Do you have photos or a story from your parish that you’d<br />

like to share? Please send to editorial @angelusnews.com.<br />

“Consciences aren’t helped<br />

by priests giving their<br />

blessing to evil.”<br />

~ Kathryn Jean Lopez, in a Jan. 5 National Review<br />

article criticizing former House chaplain Father<br />

Patrick J. Conroy for suggesting that a woman’s right<br />

to choose abortion is a “Catholic value.”<br />

<strong>January</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2022</strong> • ANGELUS • 7

IN EXILE<br />


Oblate of Mary Immaculate Father<br />

Ronald Rolheiser is a spiritual<br />

writer; ronaldrolheiser.com.<br />

At the origins of our universe<br />

Recently, NASA launched the<br />

James Webb Space Telescope<br />

into space, the biggest and most<br />

expensive telescope ever built. It will<br />

take six months for it to travel a million<br />

miles from the earth, find its permanent<br />

place in space, and then start<br />

transmitting pictures back to earth.<br />

Those pictures will be such as we have<br />

never seen before.<br />

The hope is that it will enable us to<br />

see much further into space than we’ve<br />

ever seen before, ideally to the very<br />

ends of our still-expanding universe,<br />

right to the first particles that issued<br />

forth from the original explosion, the<br />

Big Bang, that began time and our<br />

universe.<br />

Scientists estimate that our universe<br />

began 13.7 billion years ago. As far as<br />

we know, prior to that there was nothing<br />

in existence, as we understand that<br />

today (except for God). Then, out of<br />

this seeming nothingness, there was an<br />

explosion (the Big Bang), out of which<br />

everything in the universe, including<br />

our planet earth, formed.<br />

As with any explosion, the parts that<br />

were the most intimately intertwined<br />

with the expelling force are those<br />

driven furthest away. Thus, when<br />

investigators try to determine the cause<br />

of an explosion, they are particularly<br />

interested in finding and examining<br />

those pieces that were most closely tied<br />

to the original force of the explosion,<br />

and generally those pieces have been<br />

blown furthest away.<br />

The force of the Big Bang is still going<br />

on, and those parts of our universe that<br />

were most intimately intertwined with<br />

its beginnings are still being driven further<br />

and further into space. Scientists<br />

are investigators, probing that original<br />

explosion.<br />

What the James Webb Space Telescope<br />

hopes to see is some of the<br />

original parts from that unimaginable<br />

explosion that gave birth to our<br />

universe because these parts were there<br />

at the very beginning, at the origins of<br />

everything that exists. By seeing and examining<br />

them, science hopes to better<br />

understand the origins of our universe.<br />

Looking at the excitement scientists<br />

feel around this new telescope and<br />

their hopes that it will show us pictures<br />

of particles from the beginning of time,<br />

can help us understand why St. John<br />

the Evangelist has trouble restraining<br />

his enthusiasm when he talks about<br />

Jesus in his first epistle.<br />

He is excited about Jesus because,<br />

among other things, Jesus was there<br />

at the beginnings of the universe and<br />

indeed at the beginnings of everything.<br />

For St. John, Jesus is a mystical telescope<br />

through which we might view<br />

that primordial explosion that created<br />

the universe, since he was there when<br />

it happened.<br />

Let me risk paraphrasing the beginning<br />

of the First Epistle of John (1:1–4)<br />

as he might have written it for our<br />

generation vis-à-vis our curiosity about<br />

the origins of our universe:<br />

“You need to understand of whom<br />

and what I am speaking: Jesus wasn’t<br />

just some extraordinary person who<br />

performed a few miracles or even who<br />

rose from the dead.<br />

“We are speaking of someone who<br />

was there at the very origins of creation,<br />

who himself is the foundation<br />

for that creation, who was with God<br />

when the Big Bang occurred, and even<br />

before that.<br />

“Incredibly, we actually got to see him<br />

in the flesh, with human eyes, the God<br />

who created the Big Bang, walking<br />

among us! We actually touched him<br />

bodily. We actually spoke with him<br />

and listened to him speak, he who was<br />

there at the origins of our universe,<br />

there when the Big Bang took place!<br />

“Indeed, he is the One who pulled<br />

the switch to set it off, with a plan in<br />

mind as to where it should go, a plan<br />

that includes us.<br />

“Do you want to probe more deeply<br />

into what happened at our origins?<br />

Well, Jesus is a mystical telescope to<br />

look through. After all, he was there at<br />

the beginning and unbelievably we got<br />

to see, hear, and touch him bodily!<br />

“Excuse my exuberance, but we got<br />

to walk and talk with someone who<br />

was there at the beginning of time.”<br />

There are different kinds of knowledge<br />

and different kinds of wisdom,<br />

along with different avenues for accessing<br />

each of them. Science is one of<br />

those avenues, an important one. For<br />

far too long theology and religion did<br />

not consider it a friend. That was (and<br />

remains) a tragic mistake since science<br />

has the same founder and same intent<br />

as theology and religion.<br />

Theology and religion have been<br />

wrong whenever they have sought to<br />

undercut science’s importance or its<br />

claims to truth. Sadly, science has often<br />

returned the favor and viewed theology<br />

and religion as a foe rather than as a<br />

colleague. The two need each other,<br />

not least in understanding the origins<br />

and intent of our universe.<br />

How do we understand the origins<br />

and intent of our universe? Science<br />

and Jesus. Science is probing those<br />

origins in the interest of telling us how<br />

it happened and how it is unfolding,<br />

while Jesus (who was there when it<br />

happened) is more interested in telling<br />

us why it happened and what it means.<br />

8 • ANGELUS • <strong>January</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2022</strong>

Making mercy accessible<br />

St. Pope John Paul II and the apostolate of confession.<br />


A<br />

couple of years ago — when there were Catholic conferences<br />

attended by many people — I volunteered to<br />

man the book table at one in my city. It was a wonderful<br />

event, attended by hundreds. And the organizers made<br />

sure that priests were available for confession throughout the<br />

day.<br />

My table was the last, nearest to a conference room that<br />

had been repurposed as a confessional.<br />

Well, soon after the conference began, a woman came out<br />

Pope John Paul II gives confession at St Peter’s Basilica on April 9, 2004, in Vatican<br />


of the room, and she stopped at my table.<br />

She leaned in as if she had a secret. She said, “There are no<br />

lines right now. You can go right into confession!”<br />

I thanked her. Then I saw her go to the next table and<br />

repeat the big secret: “There are no lines. …”<br />

And then she went to the next table. And the next.<br />

10 • ANGELUS • <strong>January</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2022</strong>

By the time she got to the end, there was a line.<br />

St. Pope John Paul would have approved.<br />

He loved the sacrament of confession. He loved it as a<br />

penitent. He loved it as a confessor.<br />

As a penitent he loved it by going frequently. He went at<br />

least once a week, his secretary, Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz<br />

recounted. “He would also confess before major feast days<br />

and special liturgical seasons.”<br />

As a priest, he knew that the confessional was important to<br />

his life and ministry. He said, “It is in the confessional that<br />

[a priest’s] spiritual fatherhood is realized in the fullest way.<br />

It is in the confessional that every priest becomes aware of<br />

the great miracles which divine mercy works in souls which<br />

receive the grace of conversion.”<br />

We can trace Pope John Paul’s<br />

love for confession to a special<br />

grace he received when he was<br />

young.<br />

It happened in 1947, less than a<br />

year after his priestly ordination.<br />

His bishop, Cardinal Adam<br />

Sapieha, assigned him to pursue<br />

studies in Rome, and gave him<br />

extra money for travel in Europe.<br />

So, before classes started, Father<br />

Wojtyła (as he was then known)<br />

St. John Vianney, pictured in a<br />

stained-glass window, is widely<br />

known to Catholics as the Curé<br />

of Ars, who won over the hearts<br />

of his villagers in France by<br />

visiting with them, teaching<br />

them about God, and reconciling<br />

people to the Lord in the confessional.<br />


made a pilgrimage to France and stopped in the town of Ars,<br />

where St. John Vianney had served as parish priest in the<br />

19th century.<br />

There he saw the small confessional where the Curé of Ars<br />

would sit sometimes for 18 hours a day. He heard the story<br />

of the tens of thousands who traveled to the rural parish to<br />

confess their sins — 80,000 came in the year 1858 alone.<br />

Trains had to accommodate the priest’s popularity by adding<br />

a stop in the middle of nowhere. The local government had<br />

to build a new station to accommodate the trains.<br />

The young priest was so deeply moved that he resolved to<br />

be like St. John Vianney. He would make himself a “prisoner<br />

of the confessional,” always available to penitents. And<br />

he would awaken in his congregations a strong desire for the<br />

graces available in the sacrament.<br />

In less than two years Father Wojtyła received his first parish<br />

assignment back in the Archdiocese of Kraków, and he<br />

made good on his resolution.<br />

His biographer George Weigel said that Father Wojtyła<br />

“was, by the testimony of his penitents, a ‘fantastic confessor.’ ”<br />

Confession with Father Wojtyła “could last as long as an<br />

hour, sometimes even longer.”<br />

Father Wojtyła came across not as a judge but rather a<br />

guide and friend. This ran contrary to his training. In seminary,<br />

he had been schooled in manuals that were juridical in<br />

their approach and deliberately positioned the priest-confessor<br />

as a judge.<br />

But he concentrated on the human person rather than the<br />

transgression. He was attentive and prayerfully involved in<br />

the sacrament.<br />

He was, Weigel said, “a demanding confessor but in a very<br />

different way.”<br />

“The goal was to deepen one’s Christian conviction and<br />

insight, not simply to internalize a checklist of moral prohibitions.<br />

The rules were there; they were real; they were to be<br />

obeyed. But the rules were not arbitrary. They defined the<br />

drama because they illuminated the dramatic tension in life,<br />

the tension between the person-I-am and the person-I-oughtto-be.<br />

The confessor was to be a counselor in the practice of<br />

the virtues.”<br />

Unfortunately for his congregation, Father Wojtyła did not<br />

remain a parish priest for long. Pope Pius XII appointed<br />

him an auxiliary bishop at a very young age — only 38. And<br />

<strong>January</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2022</strong> • ANGELUS • 11

four years later Pope John XXIII named him archbishop of<br />

Kraków.<br />

Even as archbishop, however, he continued his personal<br />

practice of frequent confession. Once (or more often) every<br />

week Archbishop Wojtyła would walk to the nearby Franciscan<br />

church and stand in line. He would hear confessions,<br />

too, when he had the chance — but the demands of his office<br />

permanently dashed his youthful plans to be a “prisoner<br />

of the confessional.”<br />

<strong>No</strong>netheless, he often reminded his people of the mercy<br />

available in the sacrament. And he reminded his priests of<br />

their obligation to accompany people as ministers of the<br />

sacrament.<br />

“The Eucharist and Penance thus become in a sense two<br />

closely connected dimensions of authentic life in accordance<br />

with the spirit of the Gospel, of truly Christian life.<br />

The Christ who calls to the Eucharistic banquet is always<br />

the same Christ who exhorts us to penance and repeats his<br />

‘Repent’.”<br />

It is a theme as old as St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians.<br />

But he saw that the Church of his time was in need of a<br />

reminder.<br />

He noted that the 1960s had revived an awareness of the<br />

communal effects of sin — and the need for reconciliation<br />

with the community. Nevertheless, he emphasized that sin is<br />

first and foremost an offense against God.<br />

In his archdiocesan plan for the implementation of the<br />

Second Vatican Council, he quoted the council’s decree on<br />

the ministry and life of priests, saying that priests “are united<br />

with the intention and the charity of Christ when … they<br />

show themselves always available to administer the sacrament<br />

of penance whenever it is reasonably requested by the<br />

faithful.”<br />

It was during his years as pope, however, that his reflections<br />

on the sacrament came to full maturity.<br />

In his first encyclical letter, “Redemptor Hominis” (“The<br />

Redeemer of Man”), he linked confession inseparably with<br />

Communion.<br />

In this 20<strong>14</strong> file photo, Bishop David A. Zubik of Pittsburgh hears a young woman’s<br />

confession during a pro-life youth rally and Mass at the Verizon Center in Washington,<br />


“Conversion,” the new pope said, “is a particularly profound<br />

inward act in which the individual cannot be replaced<br />

by others and cannot make the community be a substitute<br />

for him.”<br />

So, again, he saw confession as integral to the drama of<br />

each Christian life.<br />

12 • ANGELUS • <strong>January</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2022</strong>

Four Cs for a good confession<br />

1. BE COMPLETE. Don’t leave any serious sins<br />

out. Start with the one that’s toughest to say.<br />

2. BE CLEAR. Try not to be subtle or euphemistic.<br />

Father should understand what sin you’re confessing.<br />

3. BE CONTRITE. Remember, it’s God you’ve<br />

offended, his forgiveness you seek.<br />

4. BE CONCISE. <strong>No</strong> need to go into detail. Often<br />

when we do, we’re just trying to make excuses for our<br />

behavior. There may be people in line behind you.<br />

Don’t make them wait!<br />

He spoke of the sacrament not so much as a duty of the<br />

faithful, but a right: “In faithfully observing the centuries-old<br />

practice of the Sacrament of Penance … the Church is …<br />

defending the human soul’s individual right: man’s right<br />

to a more personal encounter with the crucified forgiving<br />

Christ.”<br />

This was certainly a fresh approach — confession as a right<br />

that is not to be denied to God’s people.<br />

But that’s not his most startling point. He also defended<br />

the sacrament as a right that belongs to Jesus. He said, “This<br />

is also a right on Christ’s part with regard to every human<br />

being redeemed by him: his right to meet each one of us in<br />

that key moment in the soul’s life constituted by the moment<br />

of conversion and forgiveness.”<br />

So, in preaching about confession — and in making<br />

confession accessible — the Church is doing more than<br />

dispensing justice. It is enabling love.<br />

In his next encyclical, “Dives in Misericordia” (“Rich in<br />

Mercy”), these themes came even more to the forefront.<br />

Once again, he emphasized the connection between Eucharist<br />

and confession, which are the only sacraments a Catholic<br />

can receive frequently. Pope John Paul urged Catholics<br />

to take up a “conscious and mature participation” in both. In<br />

the Eucharist, he said, Christ comes “to meet every human<br />

heart.” But it is confession “that prepares the way for each<br />

individual, even those weighed down with great faults.”<br />

The pope arranged for the 1983 Synod of Bishops to<br />

address questions of “Penance and Reconciliation in the<br />

Mission of the Church.” The following year he devoted his<br />

apostolic exhortation, “Reconciliatio et Paenitentia” (“Reconciliation<br />

and Penance”), to the findings of the synod.<br />

Then, in 1986 on Holy Thursday, he published a letter to<br />

all the priests of the world; and in it he recounted what he<br />

had learned in his 1947 pilgrimage to France.<br />

He told the story of St. John Vianney, and he urged all<br />

priests to imitate the holy Curé in making themselves available<br />

for confession.<br />

But he also spoke with sadness about the decline in the<br />

practice of confession. He declared that there was an “urgent<br />

need to develop a whole pastoral strategy of the sacrament of<br />

reconciliation.”<br />

“This will be done,” he said, “by constantly reminding<br />

Christians of the need to have a real relationship with God,<br />

the need to have a sense of sin when one is closed to God<br />

and to others, the need to be converted and through the<br />

Church to receive forgiveness as a free gift of God.”<br />

The matter would remain urgent for him to the end of<br />

his days. To the U.S. hierarchy he spoke of the problem as<br />

a “crisis,” which had become “a challenge to the Church’s<br />

fidelity.”<br />

At stake, he said, “is the whole question of the personal<br />

relationship that Christ wills to have with each penitent and<br />

which the Church must unceasingly defend.”<br />

Many years have passed since he made those pleas; and<br />

the crisis remains. A 2008 study conducted by Georgetown<br />

University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate<br />

concluded, “Three-quarters of Catholics report that they<br />

never participate in the sacrament … or that they do so less<br />

than once a year.” Only 12% go once a year. Only 2% go<br />

once a month or more.<br />

What the situation requires of us — especially the laity — is<br />

a commitment to an active apostolate. We need to be like<br />

that lady at the conference. We need to go to confession —<br />

and then go to our family members, co-workers, and neighbors,<br />

saying, “There are no lines. You can go right in!”<br />

So many people are out there hurting and wounded — and<br />

we’re standing around with a pocketful of medicine that can<br />

heal them.<br />

It doesn’t work for us to say, “Hey, you look like a sinner.<br />

Maybe you ought to try confession.” But we can surely speak<br />

from our own experience. We can tell them why we go. We<br />

can tell them about our own healing.<br />

Pope John Paul wasn’t afraid to let the world know he went<br />

to confession every week. He wasn’t afraid to invite others to<br />

join him in the practice of frequent confession.<br />

We can do this, too.<br />

Mike Aquilina is a contributing editor to <strong>Angelus</strong> and author<br />

of many books, most recently “Friendship and the Fathers:<br />

How the Early Church Evangelized” (Emmaus Road Publishing,<br />

$22.95).<br />

If it’s been a while . . .<br />

If you haven’t darkened the doorway of the confessional<br />

in years, don’t worry. Our Faith is big on<br />

welcoming prodigal children home. But don’t delay<br />

any longer. Just go. You might even want to make<br />

an appointment with your parish priest, so you can<br />

spend a little more time, without worrying about<br />

holding up the line.<br />

And let Father know at the start that it’s been<br />

a while, and that maybe you’re not sure how to<br />

proceed. Also, if you’re nervous, say so. The point<br />

of the sacrament is mercy; and the more the priest<br />

can dispense in the name of God, the merrier the<br />

occasion should be.<br />

<strong>January</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2022</strong> • ANGELUS • 13

A tripod of success<br />

Enrollment at a <strong>No</strong>rth Hollywood parish school has surged<br />

during COVID-19. Here’s how they did it.<br />



St. Jane Frances de Chantal principal Ashley Giron was excited to<br />

welcome back students to improved classrooms with help from the Shea<br />

and Smet foundations. The classrooms feature new equipment, paint, and<br />

floors, something she said allows students to focus more on academics.<br />

Four years ago, when Ashley Giron<br />

arrived as principal at St. Jane<br />

Frances de Chantal Catholic<br />

School in <strong>No</strong>rth Hollywood, she asked<br />

teachers and staff to come up with a<br />

list of improvements they would like<br />

to see made at the school over the next<br />

five years.<br />

Anything was up for discussion, and<br />

the list soon grew into a wide-ranging<br />

“Dream List” with everything from<br />

new roofing, to better pipes, to more<br />

dynamic elective classes.<br />

At the time it may have seemed like<br />

a nice exercise, but probably a tad<br />

optimistic. The San Fernando Valley<br />

school had seen its enrollment drop as<br />

low as 150 in recent years (it was 180<br />

when Giron arrived). Its finances were<br />

less than ideal, and its campus, opened<br />

in 1951, was beginning to show its age,<br />

to put it kindly.<br />

“Every time I turned around, the<br />

plumbing was overflowing somewhere,”<br />

Giron recalled of her first year.<br />

But since then, that Dream List has<br />

more of the feel of a To-Do List. Many<br />

of those items have since been checked<br />

off as “done,” and as a result, St. Jane<br />

Frances is writing its own comeback<br />

story: The turnaround at the school —<br />

now in its 70th school year — has seen<br />

its finances toned up and much of its<br />

campus fixed or improved. But perhaps<br />

most impressively, its enrollment has<br />

surged to 250 students during the<br />

COVID-19 pandemic.<br />

Giving a tour of the school, Giron<br />

pointed out shiny new flooring, smart<br />

<strong>14</strong> • ANGELUS • <strong>January</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2022</strong>

projectors in classrooms, fresh paint<br />

and, yes, new plumbing. The physical<br />

transformation left such an impact that<br />

teachers like Brittnie Nerkins said they<br />

were a little nervous when students<br />

came back to a relatively new campus<br />

last summer.<br />

“It was a little scary,” she said with a<br />

broad smile. “We were getting back<br />

kids who hadn’t been in a classroom<br />

for a year and a half and you felt like,<br />

‘Hey, be careful, don’t scratch the<br />

floors! Don’t touch the paint! Hey,<br />

don’t you bring that Gatorade into this<br />

classroom, you know better!’ ”<br />

Nerkins’ tongue-in-cheek confessional<br />

is met with laughter by her colleagues<br />

during a teacher meeting. One of them<br />

is Kathleen Richardson, who started<br />

the school’s preschool program in<br />

1986. Richardson, like other teachers,<br />

is proud to show off her classroom, to<br />

point out the new floor and closets, the<br />

doors that have been replaced. Perhaps<br />

even prouder than the rest, given that<br />

she actually attended the school in the<br />

1950s.<br />

“When you think about where we<br />

were and where we are now, it’s really<br />

amazing,” said Richardson.<br />

At a time of unprecedented challenges<br />

for Catholic education, St. Jane<br />

Frances stands out as a success story.<br />

What did it take to make it happen?<br />

Here are three components that<br />

helped.<br />

The pastor-principal principle<br />

Since Giron’s arrival, she and St. Jane<br />

Frances de Chantal Church pastor<br />

Father Antonio Carlucci said they’ve<br />

forged a partnership based on mutual<br />

respect and a shared vision for the<br />

school.<br />

Together, they pursue outside resources<br />

to fix and maintain the school’s<br />

infrastructure. Together, they’ve helped<br />

streamline the school’s finances,<br />

including making the often touchy<br />

business of tuition collection easier for<br />

parents. Together, they hire teachers<br />

and decide on the school’s academic<br />

and spiritual direction.<br />

“I need to work with a pastor who’s<br />

willing to work with me. Father [Carlucci]<br />

has been great, probably because<br />

he’s been an educator for much of his<br />

career,” said Giron, referring to the fact<br />

that Father Carlucci has worked with<br />

seminarians. “He’s not a micromanager.<br />

He’s amazing, he trusts me.”<br />

Father Carlucci will be the first to<br />

tell you he does. He’ll also say that the<br />

school runs on Giron’s energy and<br />

talent, and that his part to play is one of<br />

active support.<br />

“I recognize I’m a priest and I don’t<br />

know as much about the school as she<br />

does,” he said. “I trust her, I listen to<br />

her.”<br />

Of course, there are times when some<br />

people in the school community may<br />

not agree. Though a pastor can be<br />

valuable in chatting up foundation<br />

presidents or negotiating down contractors,<br />

the most critical interaction they<br />

have is with school parents who, at<br />

times, see things differently.<br />

“There are times when parents come<br />

to me because they don’t like what<br />

she’s doing and I’m very clear with<br />

New floors, paint, and educational equipment have been installed at St. Jane<br />

Frances classrooms thanks to grants from the Shea and Smet foundations.<br />

<strong>January</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2022</strong> • ANGELUS • 15

Giron and St. Jane Frances pastor Father Antonio Carlucci credit a close working partnership to the improvements<br />

in the school’s finances and infrastructure while growing its enrollment from 180 to 250 students.<br />

them. I say, ‘Don’t come to me, talk<br />

to Mrs. Giron. Because what she tells<br />

you, I believe.’ And sometimes they’ll<br />

say, ‘But you’re the last word,’ and I’ll<br />

say, ‘Yes, and the last word is ‘Talk to<br />

her.’ ”<br />

Giron credits their partnership with<br />

St. Jane Frances’ relatively quick<br />

turnaround. “It amounts to a make-orbreak<br />

kind of thing for the success of<br />

a school,” she said. “It’s so liberating<br />

to know he has my back and I have<br />

the autonomy to get what needs to be<br />

done, accomplished.”<br />

Teachers with a mission<br />

It’s no secret that teachers at Catholic<br />

schools often must perform above and<br />

beyond those at public schools.<br />

Apart from teaching the same<br />

subjects, Catholic school teachers are<br />

also expected to support their students’<br />

spiritual life, offering a strong example<br />

and transmitting lessons that go beyond<br />

academics.<br />

“Public schools don’t teach religion<br />

and that’s the difference,” said Reynald<br />

Ventura, who went to St. Jane Frances<br />

as a child and is now in his first year of<br />

teaching first-graders there. “It becomes<br />

the basis of how we teach.”<br />

Because Catholic schools ask teachers<br />

to do more — and often with fewer resources<br />

— schools like St. Jane Frances<br />

look for candidates who are innovative,<br />

teachers who are “not just going to<br />

teach from the textbook, and that’s it,”<br />

Giron said.<br />

In other words, someone who “considers<br />

their job a mission,” added the<br />

principal.<br />

That standard was tested during<br />

the initial COVID-19 shutdown<br />

that forced teachers to quickly pivot<br />

to remote learning. Teachers made<br />

themselves available after school hours.<br />

Some dropped learning packets at<br />

students’ homes when their parents<br />

couldn’t pick them up.<br />

“It was ‘Anything you need, we’re<br />

available at all hours,’ ” said Nerkins,<br />

who also serves as vice principal at the<br />

school. “I had students emailing me<br />

at eight at night, asking me questions<br />

about homework. I’d answer their questions<br />

and then tell them it was late,<br />

stop working.”<br />

Perhaps that show of commitment is<br />

connected to the school’s COVID-19<br />

enrollment spike, Nerkins wonders.<br />

“Quite a few parents approached me<br />

and said how happy they were with<br />

how we handled things,” she said.<br />

“Those parents told all their friends<br />

about it and the friends were saying,<br />

‘That’s not how it is at my kid’s school.’<br />

I think that’s how word spread about<br />

what we’re doing here, and I think it’s<br />

why a lot of people wanted to send<br />

their kids here.”<br />

Fix the plumbing<br />

Like so many before her, Giron first<br />

handled the plumbing problems with<br />

patches, doing whatever necessary to<br />

get through that day. But when the<br />

middle-schoolers began to complain<br />

about the restrooms, Giron knew she<br />

had to look for long-term solutions.<br />

Her first problem was, she didn’t have<br />

the money to make them.<br />

So Giron began looking outside the<br />

school for help. She found two nonprofit<br />

organizations dedicated to helping<br />

Catholic schools, the Shea and Smet<br />

foundations.<br />

“They came in and they handled<br />

everything,” Giron said, before correcting<br />

herself: “Well, not everything. I<br />

remember I showed them all the items<br />

on the dream list and they said, ‘Umm,<br />

no.’ ”<br />

But, together, working in concert with<br />

Giron, the grant money brought new<br />

classroom equipment and, instead of<br />

patches, problems got more permanent<br />

fixes. Those middle-school restrooms<br />

are now something to be shown off. A<br />

part of the school once used for storage<br />

was remodeled into an auditorium that<br />

now hosts performances of all stripes.<br />

The facelift was certainly welcomed<br />

by teachers. But getting students<br />

excited to return last fall to a virtually<br />

new(ish) campus was a feat of its own.<br />

“You could see in their faces how<br />

happy they were to be here, how much<br />

they loved the changes,” recalled<br />

Giron. “It was so joyous!”<br />

Giron said that getting the school<br />

finances in order, and being open to<br />

asking for assistance from outside partners,<br />

has allowed the school to thrive<br />

while helping it focus more on what is<br />

important. Mindful that she is charged<br />

with forming the hearts and minds of<br />

the school’s students, she knows that<br />

doing so is much better if things are in<br />

order with the bricks and mortar.<br />

“To focus on academics, we had to<br />

put our financials in order, had to get<br />

our facilities in order, so now it’s not<br />

some everyday thing we have to deal<br />

with because something has broken.<br />

<strong>No</strong>w, we are able to focus on our kids<br />

and our school community.”<br />

Steve Lowery is a veteran journalist<br />

who has written for the Los Angeles<br />

Times, the Los Angeles Daily <strong>News</strong>,<br />

the Press-Telegram, New Times LA, the<br />

District, Long Beach Post, and the OC<br />

Weekly.<br />

16 • ANGELUS • <strong>January</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2022</strong>

<strong>January</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2022</strong> • ANGELUS • 17

Students at Holy Name<br />

of Mary School in San<br />

Dimas after the return<br />

to in-person classes in<br />

February 2021.<br />


An injustice with consequences<br />

LA’s Catholic schools are still waiting for millions in federal funds for<br />

students in need. A new lawsuit calls the delay ‘egregious.’<br />


The Archdiocese of Los Angeles<br />

is suing the Los Angeles Unified<br />

School District (LAUSD) over<br />

millions of dollars in federal funds<br />

that the public school district is legally<br />

required to share with Catholic and<br />

other private schools for assisting<br />

low-income, academically struggling<br />

students with reading, math, and<br />

counseling.<br />

Attorneys for the archdiocese filed<br />

the lawsuit in the Superior Court<br />

of California on Dec. 16, nearly six<br />

months after the California Department<br />

of Education issued a 58-page<br />

“investigation report” that said LAUSD<br />

had committed “egregious” actions in<br />

withholding Title I federal funds from<br />

scores of Catholic schools. The state<br />

gave LAUSD 60 days to begin “timely<br />

and meaningful consultation” with the<br />

archdiocese and to rectify any errors in<br />

calculating student need. The lawsuit<br />

states that LAUSD has taken no such<br />

action.<br />

A statement from the archdiocese says<br />

that inaction by LAUSD “continues<br />

to leave thousands of students in need<br />

without the Title I services they are<br />

legally entitled to under the federal<br />

program, which mandates assistance to<br />

low-income and academically struggling<br />

children regardless of whether<br />

they attend public, private, or religious<br />

schools, particularly during a pandemic.”<br />

18 • ANGELUS • <strong>January</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2022</strong>

Holy Name<br />

ool in San<br />

the return<br />

classes in<br />

21.<br />

LEMÁN<br />

The archdiocese is seeking financial<br />

damages, but does not specify the<br />

amount. It asks the court to compel<br />

LAUSD representatives to engage in<br />

“timely and meaningful consultation”<br />

with archdiocesan representatives and<br />

to “properly calculate” the number of<br />

low-income students eligible for Title I<br />

assistance. It also asks for a declaration<br />

that the LAUSD’s “policies, procedures<br />

and conduct” violate the equal<br />

protection and due process rights of the<br />

archdiocese and the rights of children<br />

attending ADLA schools.<br />

By long-standing federal law, Title<br />

I funds are to be distributed equitably<br />

among all low-income students,<br />

regardless of whether they attend<br />

public, private, or religious schools.<br />

Public schools usually act as the agent<br />

for distributing a proportional share to<br />

nonpublic schools, and federal law stipulates<br />

the consultation required in this<br />

process. According to the archdiocese,<br />

beginning in 2019 LAUSD arbitrarily,<br />

and without meaningful consultation,<br />

reduced the number of Catholic<br />

schools eligible for Title I funding from<br />

more than 100 to 17.<br />

The lawsuit states that LAUSD<br />

“has openly and consistently acted to<br />

prevent federally funded services from<br />

reaching eligible, lower-income ADLA<br />

students, and has been indeed quite<br />

frank about its understanding of federal<br />

education programs as a zero sum<br />

game and about its intent to increase<br />

its own share of federal education<br />

monies by artificially reducing ADLA<br />

schools’ share of services funded by<br />

such monies.”<br />

Catholic schools cut from Title I<br />

include those in some of the nation’s<br />

most poverty-plagued urban areas,<br />

such as Watts and East Los Angeles.<br />

The funds had traditionally paid<br />

special teachers who provided struggling,<br />

low-income students with extra<br />

assistance in subjects such as math<br />

and English, and with counseling for<br />

academic difficulties.<br />

The loss of those teachers and counselors<br />

“has prevented those students<br />

from having the supplemental learning<br />

that they need in order to maintain<br />

grade-level performance, and also to<br />

deal with the remedies necessary to<br />

close the gap on any learning losses<br />

they experienced due to the pandemic,”<br />

said Paul Escala, senior director<br />

and superintendent of schools for the<br />

archdiocese.<br />

“Regardless of who serves poor kids,<br />

they have rights under the law.”<br />

A spokesperson for LAUSD reiterated<br />

a response issued when the California<br />

Department of Education ruled against<br />

the district in July:<br />

“Los Angeles Unified strives to<br />

comply with all applicable rules and<br />

regulations regarding the provision of<br />

Title I equitable services.”<br />

The suit says that, after seeking a<br />

resolution through administrative<br />

channels for four years, the archdiocese<br />

filed suit because “ADLA and the<br />

students that attend its schools ... will<br />

suffer irreparable harm if required to<br />

wait up to a year or more on top of the<br />

several years they had to wait for the<br />

CDE’s decision. Low-income students<br />

who grow up, year after year, without<br />

the Title I services to which they are<br />

entitled under law, cannot be made<br />

whole four or more years later by extra<br />

Title I services; by that point the damage<br />

done by this unlawful withholding<br />

of necessary services will have become<br />

permanent[.]”<br />

In a letter to school administrators,<br />

Escala said the suit was filed after long<br />

deliberation.<br />

“We are clear eyed about the realities<br />

of litigation and realize that a speedy<br />

resolution is not assured, in fact, this<br />

may necessitate more time. However,<br />

the action we are taking is important<br />

— advocacy for our students must be<br />

represented in a firm and public manner,”<br />

he wrote.<br />

He continued that the litigation will<br />

benefit archdiocesan schools outside<br />

the territory of the LAUSD: “The ability<br />

of Catholic schools in our Archdiocese<br />

and other dioceses across the state<br />

to access Federal resources to support<br />

high-need students is at stake here and<br />

the LAUSD is not the only district<br />

in ADLA that has sought to undermine<br />

our efforts to serve the poor and<br />

struggling students through Federally<br />

funded programs.”<br />

Ann Rodgers is a longtime religion reporter<br />

and freelance writer whose awards<br />

include the William A. Reed Lifetime<br />

Achievement Award from the Religion<br />

<strong>News</strong> Association.<br />

<strong>January</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2022</strong> • ANGELUS • 19

Switching<br />

up the pace<br />

Under a hurry-up pope, are we<br />

seeing a slow-down papacy?<br />


ROME — When it comes to the<br />

relationship between a pope<br />

and the papacy he leads, the<br />

correspondence is never exact. Yes, a<br />

papacy directly reflects the personality<br />

and vision of the pope, but it’s also<br />

shaped by the instincts and outlooks,<br />

and also the foibles and limitations, of<br />

all the people who serve it.<br />

It was sometimes said of the papacy<br />

of Pope Benedict XVI, for instance,<br />

that it possessed most of the vices of<br />

its pope — an incapacity for management,<br />

stubborn loyalty to the wrong<br />

people, and a strong devotion to tradition<br />

— without many of his virtues,<br />

above all the towering intellect and<br />

deeply spiritual nature that’s always<br />

defined Joseph Ratzinger.<br />

In the case of Pope Francis, the<br />

relationship between pope and papacy<br />

is further complicated by the fact that<br />

Pope Francis has a love/hate relationship<br />

with the system that sustains his<br />

reign, sometimes entrusting it to handle<br />

business and other times taking<br />

things directly into his own hands.<br />

As a result, the papacy at times can<br />

seem to suffer from multiple personality<br />

disorder, depending on who’s<br />

actually driving the train on a given issue.<br />

One area where this gap between<br />

pope and papacy is the clearest is the<br />

pace at which things move.<br />

From the beginning, Pope Francis<br />

has taken obvious pride in his profile<br />

as a maverick, an innovator willing to<br />

slash and burn his way through centuries<br />

of custom and institutional inertia<br />

in order to shake things up.<br />

At 85, and despite the impact of<br />

a serious colon surgery over the<br />

summer and his ongoing bouts with<br />

sciatica, he is still capable of being<br />

exceptionally nimble. Recently, for<br />

instance, he accepted the resignation<br />

of Archbishop Michel Aupetit of Paris<br />

just seven days after it was offered, and<br />

on the first day of the pontiff’s voyage<br />

to Greece and Malta.<br />

Given the Vatican’s general reluctance<br />

to put off any major business<br />

while the pope is on the road, the<br />

sequence suggests Pope Francis knew<br />

what he wanted, and wasn’t interested<br />

in a five-day delay just because he was<br />

going to be out of town.<br />

Indeed, at times his apparent determination<br />

not to slow down can be<br />

an Achilles’ heel. Over the course of<br />

just a few months in 2019 and 2020,<br />

Pope Francis leaves at the conclusion of<br />

an evening prayer service in St. Peter’s<br />

Basilica at the Vatican on Dec. 31, 2021.<br />


20 • ANGELUS • <strong>January</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2022</strong>

Pope Francis speaks at a meeting with high-level finance<br />

ministers and economic experts at the Vatican on Feb. 5,<br />

2020. Seated next to the pope is Argentine Bishop Marcelo<br />

Sánchez Sorondo. | CNS/VATICAN MEDIA<br />

Cardinal Peter Turkson and Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi. | CNS/PAUL HARING<br />

he signed four separate “rescripts”<br />

that gave prosecutors broad powers<br />

not recognized under existing law —<br />

such as a virtually unlimited ability<br />

to utilize wiretaps and other means<br />

of intercepting electronic communications<br />

— in order to expedite a<br />

trial over the Vatican’s $400 million<br />

London land deal that went spectacularly<br />

bad.<br />

The pope got his trial, though early<br />

hearings suggest disorganization,<br />

confusion on strategy, and deep reluctance<br />

to share all the results of their<br />

investigations on the part of prosecutors.<br />

In retrospect, one wonders if the<br />

enterprise might have benefitted from<br />

a more deliberate pace at the beginning,<br />

so that the “trial of the century”<br />

doesn’t end up collapsing under its<br />

own weight.<br />

On other fronts, however, where the<br />

prime mover appears to be less the<br />

pope and more the papacy, the Vatican<br />

is capable of being just as glacial<br />

as it’s ever been.<br />

Consider, for example, release of a<br />

new apostolic constitution governing<br />

the Roman Curia, supposedly the<br />

linchpin of this papacy’s internal reform<br />

campaign. It’s been in the works<br />

since, almost literally, five minutes<br />

after Pope Francis was elected in<br />

March 2013, and still has not seen<br />

the light of day.<br />

Plenty of <strong>2022</strong> look-aheads have predicted<br />

we’ll finally get the constitution<br />

sometime in the next 12 months,<br />

but, for the record, prediction pieces<br />

in 2021, 2020, etc., contained much<br />

the same thing. The waters were<br />

further muddied recently when Pope<br />

Francis asked the Pontifical Council<br />

for the New Evangelization to take<br />

charge of planning for the jubilee<br />

year in 2025 — an office which, supposedly,<br />

was going to be folded into<br />

the Congregation for the Evangelization<br />

of Peoples, and thus disappear,<br />

when the reform is complete.<br />

(That plan may now be under review,<br />

since the recent exit of Cardinal<br />

Peter Turkson from the Dicastery for<br />

Promoting Integral Human Development<br />

would suggest that simply<br />

shoving different offices under the<br />

same administrative roof, without a<br />

blueprint for how the new entity is<br />

supposed to work, isn’t necessarily<br />

“reform”.)<br />

Or, consider the replacement of<br />

the heads of Vatican departments,<br />

a robust seven of whom are already<br />

over 75, the usual retirement age for<br />

bishops, and two of whom – Cardinal<br />

Gianfranco Ravasi at the Pontifical<br />

Council for Culture, and Archbishop<br />

Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, president<br />

of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences<br />

— actually will turn 80 this year.<br />

Of course, nobody else can appoint<br />

new leadership for Pope Francis.<br />

One has the impression, though, that<br />

nobody’s really lighting a fire under<br />

him to get it done either.<br />

All this may simply be standard bureaucratic<br />

psychology, i.e., “it’s much<br />

harder to get into trouble for the<br />

decisions you don’t make than those<br />

you do.” On the other hand, there<br />

may be two additional reasons why<br />

the junior architects of Pope Francis’<br />

papacy tend to put their foot on the<br />

brake when the boss isn’t stomping<br />

on the gas.<br />

First, in most papacies there’s a<br />

tendency for the pope to defer many<br />

matters of routine governance to<br />

subordinates, so there’s an incentive<br />

for those figures to act. Pope Francis,<br />

however, insists on making the big<br />

decisions himself, and since it’s often<br />

hard to know in advance what he’ll<br />

consider “big,” often the safest course<br />

is restraint.<br />

In addition, sometimes the key<br />

figures around the pope, consciously<br />

or unconsciously, take it upon themselves<br />

to protect the boss from his<br />

perceived vulnerabilities by leaning<br />

in the opposite direction. For a pope<br />

known to be impatient, and sometimes<br />

capable of being arguably a bit<br />

rash, that instinct would tend toward<br />

caution.<br />

However one explains it, a distinct<br />

feature of the Pope Francis papacy,<br />

especially as it draws ever closer to<br />

the decade mark, seems to be the old<br />

mantra of the U.S. military: “Hurry<br />

up and wait.”<br />

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

<strong>January</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2022</strong> • ANGELUS • 21

<strong>No</strong>t your standard intellectual<br />

Dismissed as a radical in his day, onetime priest<br />

and Catholic thinker Ivan Illich predicted<br />

the confusion of the digital age.<br />


David Cayley is a Canadian<br />

writer and broadcast journalist<br />

who has made a career<br />

interviewing and explaining notable<br />

Christian intellectuals, including<br />

Marshall McLuhan, <strong>No</strong>rthrop Frye,<br />

George Grant, and René Girard.<br />

In his new book “Ivan Illich: An<br />

Intellectual Journey” (Penn State University<br />

Press, $42.75), Cayley offers us<br />

the fruits of his 32-year relationship<br />

with Ivan Illich as his friend and<br />

student.<br />

Illich (not to be confused with<br />

Tolstoy’s famous character of a very<br />

similar name) was a onetime Catholic<br />

priest and controversial social theorist<br />

in the ’60s and ’70s, whose radical ideas<br />

are only now beginning to receive<br />

their due.<br />

A historian of the Middle Ages, Illich<br />

saw the institutions of the modern<br />

world largely growing out of the<br />

early and medieval Roman Catholic<br />

Church. But over time this process<br />

distorted and corrupted the original<br />

teachings and inverted the virtues and<br />

values of Christ, transforming hospitality<br />

into hospitals, know-how into<br />

schooling, health care into a commodity,<br />

and death into a disease.<br />

As a consequence, modern men<br />

and women have made impressive<br />

demographic advances in terms of life<br />

spans and mortality rates, but lost their<br />

self-sufficiency, personal integrity, and<br />

religious faith.<br />

These, Illich theorized, have been<br />

replaced by economic dependence,<br />

collective thinking, and a distorted<br />

sense of personal entitlement, making<br />

good on Chesterton’s witticism: “We<br />

live in a time when it is harder for a<br />

free man to make a home than it was<br />

for a medieval ascetic to do without<br />

one.”<br />

It may sound like a pretty outrageous<br />

assessment — until we listen<br />

with care to what Illich actually<br />

meant by these charges. Dismissed<br />

as an anarchist by the liberal left and<br />

falsely appropriated by the extreme<br />

right, Illich saw himself as bringing<br />

the good news of the gospel to bear<br />

on the many crises afflicting our<br />

institutions, from church to school to<br />

government.<br />

For him, the way forward was backward,<br />

back to the original virtues that<br />

predated modernity and shaped and<br />

defined both classical civilization and<br />

the Medieval Synthesis.<br />

Cayley’s serious dive into Illich’s life<br />

as a cultural critic and social activist is<br />

a deep one — 560 pages deep, to be<br />

precise. For Cayley, who posthumously<br />

published a series of interviews<br />

conducted late in Illich’s life in 2005,<br />

it is the latest valuable contribution<br />

to a figure whose radical ideas were<br />

not fairly understood the first time<br />

around.<br />

We now can see the Christian sources<br />

of Illich’s views. <strong>No</strong>t to mention<br />

that much of what Illich warned us<br />

about has come true — including our<br />

increasing inability to fathom what<br />

has happened to us!<br />

Take Illich’s most infamous book<br />

“De-Schooling Society” (1971). As<br />

absurd as that title may (still) sound to<br />

those of us who depend upon schools<br />

to help raise our children and prepare<br />

them for jobs in an increasingly<br />

technological and professionalized<br />

workplace, public education must<br />

take at least<br />

some responsibility<br />

for our<br />

increased dependence<br />

on secondhand<br />

thinking<br />

(aka “the nonthought<br />

of received<br />

ideas”) that make us<br />

so vulnerable to demagogues<br />

— including the<br />

hustles of robo-calls and the<br />

extortions of conspiracy theorists.<br />

Increasingly our authorities are<br />

22 • ANGELUS • <strong>January</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2022</strong>


being replaced<br />

by social media<br />

“influencers,”<br />

artists by entertainers,<br />

ideas by<br />

fads, reflection<br />

by distraction,<br />

and faith by false<br />

optimism.<br />

But Illich wasn’t<br />

just saying that<br />

standards have<br />

dropped or that<br />

values have<br />

changed. His critique<br />

of modernity<br />

goes much<br />

Ivan Illich. | WIKIMEDIA COMMONS<br />

deeper than<br />

that. The way<br />

we think and the words we think with<br />

have themselves been so corrupted by<br />

new disciplines and systems that their<br />

common meaning no longer gives us<br />

a way out from the ideologies within<br />

which they have become embedded.<br />

Try to talk to a school superintendent<br />

about curriculum or a politician about<br />

legislation without using jargon; it’s<br />

impossible.<br />

Illich’s motto “the corruption of<br />

the best is the worst” applies to the<br />

Church as much as it does to any<br />

other modern institution. We already<br />

see our culture being increasingly<br />

“de-churched” — or rather, we see<br />

churches being replaced by secular<br />

rituals and forms of worship from<br />

sporting events to foodie events to<br />

celebrity idolatry.<br />

The new form of Christian prophecy<br />

Illich declared has migrated to friendship<br />

— honesty communicated one to<br />

one, heart to heart, friend to friend.<br />

I must admit here that I am not<br />

doing justice to Illich as a stylist or to<br />

the “sparkle” of his prose, nor to the<br />

careful eloquence of Cayley’s analysis.<br />

As a friend of Illich, Cayley’s book<br />

carries forward and, in many ways,<br />

completes the vision Illich had not<br />

the time in his relatively short life to<br />

fully elaborate and explain.<br />

Born in an Art Deco mansion in<br />

Vienna with four different languages<br />

as his mother tongue, Illich was exiled<br />

from Europe during World War II and<br />

wound up in the slums of New York<br />

and, later, in collectives in Mexico<br />

and Puerto Rico.<br />

Watching him being interviewed<br />

by a French journalist on YouTube,<br />

Illich comes across as a charming,<br />

humble, and self-effacing man. To<br />

hear him propose surprisingly radical<br />

and liberating ideas made it sometimes<br />

hard to believe my own ears.<br />

This is why Cayley’s book is so necessary:<br />

It is important for us to know<br />

who Illich was and what he truly stood<br />

for before his genius is misappropriated<br />

again by those with a superficial<br />

understanding of what he stood for<br />

and who did not know him personally.<br />

Former California Gov. (and onetime<br />

Jesuit seminarian) Jerry Brown<br />

described Illich, his friend and adviser,<br />

as “not your standard intellectual.”<br />

“His home,” Brown tells us, “was not<br />

in the academy and his work forms no<br />

part of an approved curriculum. He<br />

issued no manifestos and his utterly<br />

original writings both confound and<br />

clarify as they examine one modern<br />

assumption after another. He is radical<br />

in the most fundamental sense of the<br />

word and therefore not welcome on<br />

any reading list.”<br />

Surely David Cayley’s masterful new<br />

appreciation will help correct this<br />

inhospitality.<br />

Robert Inchausti is professor emeritus<br />

of English at Cal Poly, San Luis<br />

Obispo, and the author of several<br />

books, including “Thomas Merton’s<br />

American Prophecy,” and “Subversive<br />

Orthodoxy.”<br />

AMAZON<br />

<strong>January</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2022</strong> • ANGELUS • 23



A papal pep talk for families<br />

One of my favorite phrases I<br />

picked up during my foreign<br />

travels years ago: An Englishman<br />

in our rail car was looking out<br />

at the locals on their porches by the<br />

railroad tracks and described them as<br />

“lying about in hoggish slumber.”<br />

More than a bit of colonial racism<br />

in that comment, but the phrase<br />

stuck with me. It aptly described the<br />

post-Christmas letdown after an excess<br />

of sugar and carbs that in turn followed<br />

the helter-skelter of pre-Christmas<br />

shopping. We were indeed lying<br />

about in hoggish slumber, rousing<br />

ourselves only to reach for another<br />

Pope Francis greets a family during a meeting with the poor at the Basilica of St. Mary<br />

of the Angels in Assisi, Italy, on <strong>No</strong>v. 12, 2021. During his Dec. 26 <strong>Angelus</strong>, the pope<br />

said as a “Christmas gift” he had written a letter to families. | CNS/PAUL HARING<br />

piece of peppermint bark or to change<br />

the channel.<br />

Thus Christmas ended not with a<br />

bang but with a whimper as my wife<br />

tried to rouse us for a brisk walk, reminding<br />

us that our limbs were meant<br />

for more than reaching for desserts.<br />

This is the perfect time to think<br />

about New Year’s resolutions, since it<br />

is likely that the 12 days of Christmas<br />

has meant breaking a number of last<br />

year’s resolutions.<br />

This is also the perfect time to be<br />

thinking about family. Many of us<br />

spend at least a portion of the holidays<br />

with at least a portion of our families.<br />

It is a time of joy and reunion, but<br />

also a time when we recognize that<br />

our families are, well, very real. As in<br />

loving but also fractious, warm but at<br />

times sarcastic, united by blood and<br />

yet sometimes out of sync. Especially<br />

this Christmas.<br />

After nearly two years of COVID-19<br />

alarms and the oppressive anxiety that<br />

has accompanied those alarms, we<br />

are all a little frayed right now. My<br />

children spent part of their Christmas<br />

with us seeking out COVID tests, for<br />

example, trying to assess whether they<br />

had a garden variety cold or something<br />

worse that could potentially do<br />

in the parents they were visiting.<br />

It is at times like these that Pope<br />

Francis becomes our pastor-in-chief.<br />

His letter to families issued on the<br />

feast of the Holy Family, Dec. 26,<br />

is a remarkable example both of his<br />

pastor’s heart and his way of speaking<br />

in nonchurchy language about what<br />

many in his flock are experiencing.<br />

And what we have been experiencing<br />

is two years of anxiety and frustration<br />

and, come the new year, exhaustion.<br />

<strong>No</strong>ting how the pandemic has<br />

changed so many of our family experiences,<br />

he wrote that the isolation<br />

we have all experienced has meant<br />

that “the time for being together has<br />

increased, and this has been a unique<br />

opportunity to cultivate dialogue in<br />

the family.” We’ve had a lot more time<br />

to “dialogue” for sure.<br />

This togetherness, he recognizes,<br />

also “requires a special exercise of<br />

patience; it is not easy to be together<br />

all day when you have to work, study,<br />

relax, and rest in the same house.<br />

Don’t let yourself be overcome by<br />

tiredness; may the power of love make<br />

you capable of looking more at others<br />

— at your spouse, at your children —<br />

than at your own fatigue.”<br />

Pope Francis does not gloss over the<br />

challenges of life — growing old, dealing<br />

with in-laws, struggling to provide,<br />

26 • ANGELUS • <strong>January</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2022</strong>

Greg Erlandson is the president and<br />

editor-in-chief of Catholic <strong>News</strong> Service.<br />

wrestling with doubts. His description<br />

of marriage is hardly Hallmark: “Marriage,<br />

as a vocation, calls you to steer<br />

a tiny boat — wave-tossed yet sturdy,<br />

thanks to the reality of the sacrament<br />

— across a sometimes stormy sea,” he<br />

wrote.<br />

Sometimes the boat doesn’t make<br />

it. He seeks to comfort those whose<br />

marriages break under the stresses<br />

of the pandemic era. “The problems<br />

that already existed have aggravated,<br />

generating conflicts that in many cases<br />

have become almost unbearable,” he<br />

observed. Yet he wanted those couples<br />

who have suffered and perhaps parted<br />

“to sense my closeness and my affection.”<br />

He reminds couples in these situations<br />

to think of the children and “do<br />

not stop seeking help so that the conflicts<br />

can somehow be overcome and<br />

do not cause further suffering between<br />

you and your children.”<br />

“Do not forget that forgiveness heals<br />

every wound,” he wrote, reminding<br />

all couples that “it is important that<br />

together you keep your gaze fixed on<br />

Jesus. Only in this way will you have<br />

peace, overcome conflicts, and find<br />

solutions to many of your problems.<br />

<strong>No</strong>t because these will disappear, but<br />

because you will be able to see them<br />

in another perspective.”<br />

That last sentence is classic Pope<br />

Francis. Faith does not guarantee us<br />

no troubles, no problems, no worries.<br />

It means that we understand the hurdles<br />

we face in a different context if we<br />

“keep our gaze fixed on Jesus.”<br />

So this <strong>January</strong>, while we are making<br />

various resolutions, let’s not forget our<br />

families. The stresses we are experiencing<br />

now will not disappear suddenly,<br />

but neither do the opportunities to<br />

support and nourish our spouse, our<br />

children, our parents. Let’s swear off<br />

the peppermint bark for sure, but let’s<br />

also resolve to be supportive of those<br />

we most want to love well.<br />

<strong>January</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2022</strong> • ANGELUS • 27

Keeping company with a cardinal<br />

Cardinal George Pell’s three-volume prison diary is both a<br />

pleasant read and a spiritual classic.<br />


Australian Cardinal George Pell holds a copy of the first<br />

volume of “Prison Journal,” during an interview at his residence<br />

in Rome in Dec. 2020. | CNS/ROBERT DUNCAN<br />

It’s a prison story of a priest subjected<br />

to all kinds of troubles and<br />

humiliations: strip searches, solitary<br />

confinement, screaming and banging<br />

from fellow prisoners on his cellblock;<br />

vicious letters from a neighboring inmate;<br />

an Islamic terrorist who chanted<br />

prayers; days and weeks without the<br />

Eucharist, breviary, or his Bible; and<br />

the callousness of the judicial process<br />

influenced by a biased media and<br />

public opinion.<br />

These were a few of the sufferings<br />

endured by a cardinal of the Catholic<br />

Church, not in some distant past but<br />

in modern times.<br />

The story of Cardinal George Pell,<br />

who was eventually cleared of all<br />

charges against him and freed from<br />

prison in Australia, is told in his<br />

“Prison Journal,” published by Ignatius<br />

Press. Though its three volumes total<br />

more than 1,000 pages, I enjoyed<br />

keeping the cardinal company in the<br />

“clink.” (This phrase refers to a letter<br />

Cardinal Pell thinks was from a religious<br />

sister who said that if Jesus could<br />

be born where they fed animals, she<br />

guessed that it was appropriate a cardinal<br />

spend some time “in the clink.”)<br />

Cardinal Pell’s volumes are marked<br />

with subtlety, insight, and reflections<br />

on living the Christian life behind<br />

bars. Mixed in with bleak details of the<br />

quotidian challenges of detention are<br />

beautiful reflections on the Scriptures,<br />

as well as ominous references to the<br />

appeals of his conviction and the reactions<br />

of others to them. Among those<br />

reactions was a letter from Ireland<br />

that tells him that a visionary said the<br />

Blessed Mother attributed his trials in<br />

Australia to his attempts at financial<br />

reform in the Vatican (though Cardinal<br />

Pell admits being skeptical about<br />

private revelations, he had wondered<br />

the same thing.)<br />

The cardinal offers many remarks<br />

about the state of the Church, including<br />

some painful insights. He is<br />

an astute observer of human details.<br />

28 • ANGELUS • <strong>January</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2022</strong>

For instance, seeing the word “home”<br />

scrawled on the windowpane of his<br />

cell prompts him to wonder about the<br />

man who wrote it “and whether he<br />

was bitter.”<br />

“I suspect not,” the cardinal writes,<br />

“as this is my home for the moment<br />

and it is not a terrible place.” I am not<br />

sure I agree with his hypothesis, but I<br />

admire that he could consider it such.<br />

Cardinal Pell is as adept at humor as<br />

he is with sincerity: He watches and<br />

comments on television preachers<br />

like Joel Osteen and the Singaporean<br />

Joseph Prince, keeping count of how<br />

many times they mention Jesus, the<br />

size of their studio audiences, and<br />

their couture (Reverend Prince has a<br />

great variety of rings and bracelets and<br />

Cardinal Pell is careful to observe the<br />

accessories). Nevertheless, he takes<br />

the messages of preachers and letter<br />

writers very seriously, and confesses his<br />

difficulty in forgiving some of his enemies.<br />

It is refreshing that the cardinal<br />

acknowledges that it is hard for him to<br />

grasp that God loves even those who<br />

attack the Church as much as he loves<br />

those who serve it, “but of course, that<br />

is true,” he writes.<br />

I could not help comparing the three<br />

volumes to some other famous works<br />

about prison. The cardinal’s writings<br />

sent me to Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Letters<br />

and Papers from Prison,” for instance.<br />

Ironically, the “Prison Journal”<br />

also reminded me of “De Profundis,”<br />

written by Oscar Wilde during his<br />

imprisonment for a sexual scandal:<br />

Although Wilde was guilty and Pell<br />

innocent, both convey the experience<br />

of a sophisticated intelligence shining<br />

a light on an environment and persons<br />

far from one’s ordinary life.<br />

The first volume ends with the expectation<br />

of the results of the first appeal.<br />

The second deals with the Appeals<br />

Court confirmation of his six-year<br />

sentence. The third volume, entitled<br />

“The High Court Frees an Innocent<br />

Man,” kept me in a sort of tension of<br />

vicarious suffering, especially when<br />

the cardinal writes, “Today I complete<br />

one year in prison for crimes I did not<br />

commit.”<br />

The entire experience gave him a<br />

great deal of compassion for his fellow<br />

prisoners. One of them wrote the cardinal<br />

a letter of support that reminded<br />

him of the Good Thief’s defense of<br />

Jesus. When the news broke of the<br />

overturning of his convictions, the<br />

prisoners in neighboring cells congratulated<br />

him and shared his happiness.<br />

The scene gives “Journal” a poignant<br />

touch of grace, especially because the<br />

cardinal believes one of those men was<br />

falsely framed for a life sentence.<br />

Cardinal Pell was released from<br />

prison in April 2020 only to enter the<br />

restrictions of the initial COVID-19<br />

lockdown. In a recent interview, the<br />

cardinal said his pre-Vatican II seminary<br />

prepared him for life in solitary<br />

confinement, while his time in prison<br />

prepared him for COVID.<br />

I mentioned to a friend of mine that<br />

I was reading the “Journal.” “So, he<br />

was innocent?” he asked me and then<br />

said, “That’s good.” As Jonathan Swift<br />

said, “Falsehood flies and Truth comes<br />

limping after.” That is why these books<br />

are so important. Cardinal Pell, who<br />

wrote several books and countless<br />

columns in the course of his ministry,<br />

said the writing of this “Journal” was<br />

the easiest for him in terms of composition.<br />

Thankfully, the “Journal” is an easy<br />

read, almost like having a tête-à-tête<br />

with a great shepherd of the Church.<br />

Ignatius Press should be congratulated<br />

on the project of publishing the<br />

writings, which will be an enduring<br />

witness to the present moment of<br />

Church history.<br />

Msgr. Richard Antall is pastor of Holy<br />

Name Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and<br />

the author of several books. His latest<br />

novel is “The X-mas Files” (Atmosphere<br />

Press, $17.99).<br />

<strong>January</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2022</strong> • ANGELUS • 29



An interview with — me!<br />

I<br />

started this column in May of<br />

20<strong>14</strong>.<br />

Which means that for more than<br />

7 1/2 years, I have written, every week,<br />

on a book, a ballet, a play, a garden, a<br />

painter, a contemporary issue.<br />

During that time, I’ve interviewed<br />

scores of people: visual artists, musicians,<br />

film-makers, actors, pilgrims, a<br />

Holocaust survivor.<br />

I keep thinking some enterprising<br />

Catholic influencer is going to notice<br />

the incredible uniqueness — genius,<br />

really — of what I’ve been up to here.<br />

That’s never happened.<br />

So since we’re embarking on a<br />

new year, a 52-column blank slate, I<br />

thought this week to interview myself!<br />

Your range is dizzying. How do you<br />

come up with ideas?<br />

Why, thank you! Basically, I read.<br />

Memoir, travel, spirituality, novels,<br />

poetry, art. I read The New York<br />

Times just to see what happened<br />

that day. I skim longform.org, Arts &<br />

Letters Daily (aldaily.com), the Times<br />

Literary Supplement, the New York<br />

Review of Books. I’m drawn to liberalism<br />

in the old-school sense of free<br />

speech, the open exchange of ideas, a<br />

wide-ranging curiosity, which means<br />

that culturally the pickings are pretty<br />

slim nowadays. My Twitter go-to is @<br />

Titania McGrath.<br />

I’m way too impatient to listen to<br />

podcasts — just give me the transcript<br />

— and in lieu of news, I listen to<br />

classical music, take long walks, and<br />

borderline obsessively watch films.<br />

I put everything that interests me to<br />

use, one way or the other: martyrs,<br />

cults, women’s tennis, Scottish otter<br />

keepers, heroin-addicted jazz singers,<br />

cloistered nuns, serial murderers.<br />

Are you formally trained in art, music,<br />

or literary criticism?<br />

<strong>No</strong>t at all. I have a law degree.<br />

I have an intellect that’s been pruned<br />

by suffering and loneliness to discriminate<br />

the true from the false. I have a<br />

heart that yearns. I have a deep desire<br />

to celebrate the other. And I have a<br />

sense of humor.<br />

I once wrote a piece on Bay Area-based<br />

photographer John Chiara.<br />

One of my finest moments was<br />

receiving word from his gallery that<br />

he’d read the piece and thought it the<br />

best commentary on his work he’d yet<br />

seen.<br />

Some of the people around whom<br />

I feel most awkward are musicians,<br />

of whom I’m simply in awe. And to<br />

a person, I have found them to be<br />

gracious, forbearing, informative, and<br />

kind: Grant Gershon of the LA Master<br />

Chorale; Lisa Sutton of the Pittance<br />

Chamber Orchestra; Peter Sellars, internationally<br />

known theater and opera<br />

director; Joshua Ranz, first clarinet for<br />

the LA Chamber Orchestra.<br />

That’s taught me a lot about the<br />

kind of person and artist I want to be<br />

myself.<br />

How long does it take you to write a<br />

column?<br />

It’s not the kind of thing I can just<br />

dial in. Every week, I “descend,” as<br />

I call it, insofar as possible, into the<br />

person, subject, or event at hand. An<br />

interview means a phone call, transcribing<br />

— which can take hours —<br />

and then wrestling the transcription<br />

down to 800 (supposedly) maximum<br />

words.<br />

I really consider it a sacred honor, a<br />

call to obedience, to do the very best<br />

job I can. I do keep some rough kind<br />

of cost-benefit ratio in mind so I don’t<br />

spend an inordinate amount of time<br />

on any given week. But my life is definitely<br />

ordered by it. Monday, the day<br />

the column is due, I hit “Send” and<br />

breathe a huge sigh of relief. A couple<br />

of hours later the angst begins anew.<br />

What kind of feedback do you get, if<br />

any?<br />

I hear from any number of people<br />

who love the column. I will say it’s<br />

also been recognized by the Catholic<br />

Media Association, all kudos to <strong>Angelus</strong><br />

<strong>News</strong> for publishing a voice each<br />

week — and I’m far from the only one<br />

— that doesn’t readily fit into any pat<br />

category.<br />

I’m sure there are also many who<br />

don’t think the column is nearly<br />

“Catholic” enough. The whole underlying<br />

thrust is that to be a follower<br />

of Christ means to stay awake. To observe,<br />

as he did. To filter all of reality<br />

30 • ANGELUS • <strong>January</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2022</strong>

Heather King is an award-winning<br />

author, speaker, and workshop leader.<br />

through the lens of the gospels.<br />

All my work is very much underlain<br />

by daily Mass, the Divine Office, the<br />

rosary, confession. I’m in many ways<br />

very conservative — conservative in<br />

my devotion to the sacraments, the<br />

discipline of daily prayer, the belief<br />

that love displays itself in courtesy,<br />

conscientiousness, and gratitude.<br />

That grounding orders my interests.<br />

I would never write about something<br />

just because it was “quirky,” for example.<br />

I’m looking beyond, within.<br />

What is the lens through which a follower<br />

of Christ, or any given subject,<br />

sees the world? What is the quality of<br />

heart? Is the work excellent? What is<br />

any given person willing to suffer for,<br />

for love?<br />

Who oversees your work?<br />

I’m consistently shepherded and<br />

supported by Pablo Kay, <strong>Angelus</strong><br />

editor-in-chief, and David Scott, vice<br />

chancellor for communications. Hannah<br />

Swenson, Tamara Long-Garcia,<br />

Dianne Rohkohl and Rick Beemer<br />

provide the editing, fact-checking, and<br />

first-rate graphics.<br />

I’ve been given an incredible amount<br />

of respect and trust since day one. I<br />

don’t have to pitch my column; I’ve<br />

never had a column refused. To be given<br />

that kind of freedom is an extraordinary<br />

gift and an extraordinary honor.<br />

And to write for the Archdiocese of<br />

Los Angeles? I may well have the best<br />

gig in Catholic journalism.<br />


<strong>January</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2022</strong> • ANGELUS • 31



Scott Hahn is founder of the<br />

St. Paul Center for Biblical<br />

Theology; stpaulcenter.com.<br />

Turn, turn, turn<br />

St. Paul isn’t any ordinary saint. He’s unique. And the<br />

Church calendar reflects the extraordinary role he played<br />

in God’s revelation. It was he who brought the gospel to<br />

the world beyond Israel. He’s credited as author of more<br />

than half the books of the New Testament, and it was<br />

under Paul’s tutelage that Luke composed his Gospel and<br />

Acts.<br />

The Apostle to the Gentiles gets not one but two feasts. In<br />

June he shares a day with St. Peter, with whom he died as<br />

a martyr.<br />

On Jan. 25, however, we mark the feast of the Conversion<br />

of St. Paul. It’s quite unlike other feasts. For St. Paul’s<br />

conversion marks a milestone not only in his own life, but<br />

in the life of God’s people. Once a persecutor of Christ,<br />

he became the Lord’s preacher. Once a guardian of Israel<br />

as an ethnic preserve of holiness, St. Paul came to serve as<br />

a father in the worldwide (literally, Catholic) Church that<br />

included both Jews and Gentiles.<br />

The story of his conversion is told repeatedly in the New<br />

Testament, three times in the Acts of the Apostles and then,<br />

briefly, in Paul’s own correspondence with the Galatians<br />

and Corinthians. In all of history, no other conversion gets<br />

that kind of special coverage, with God himself as primary<br />

author of the narrative!<br />

I am an adult convert to the Catholic faith, so St. Paul,<br />

the “adult convert,” was a special guide for me.<br />

But he’s not just a patron to those who change religious<br />

affiliation. In fact, it’s debatable whether he would have<br />

considered his affiliation to be different after he met the<br />

Lord.<br />

<strong>No</strong>. St. Paul is everyone’s patron because we’re all called<br />

to conversion — and we’re always called to conversion,<br />

even if we’ve been Catholics since the cradle.<br />

Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and<br />

become like children, you will never enter the kingdom<br />

of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). The word he used for “turn”<br />

is at the root of all our Christian terms and notions about<br />

conversion.<br />

“Conversion of St. Paul,” by<br />

Nicolas Bernard Lépicié,<br />

1735-1784, French. |<br />


Conversion is a turning toward<br />

God. It’s a turning away from sin.<br />

This is the work of a lifetime. It’s not<br />

just “once and done.”<br />

Unless we turn — unless we<br />

become “converts” — we’re not<br />

Christian. Unless we make a habit of<br />

repentance, we’re not disciples of Jesus. We celebrate our<br />

conversions whenever we go to confession. We celebrate<br />

our conversions whenever we resist distraction and turn to<br />

our Father God in prayer.<br />

If Christians work on this, all else will fall into place, in<br />

society and in the Church.<br />

St. Paul should be our model. His conversion was ongoing,<br />

lifelong, never easy, but always joyful. “Rejoice in the<br />

Lord always,” he said in his Letter to the Philippians (4:4).<br />

“Again I will say, rejoice.” St. Paul is joyful not because of<br />

how good things are getting, but how good God is. That’s<br />

the fruit of true conversion.<br />

And that’s a great reason to celebrate on Jan. 25.<br />

32 • ANGELUS • <strong>January</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2022</strong>


Living a Hope-Filled Life. St. Finbar Parish hall, 2010 W.<br />

Olive Ave., Burbank, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. A day of teaching,<br />

prayer, and Mass with Father Bill Delaney, SJ, and Kay<br />

Murdy. Topics include “Rejoice in the Lord Always” and<br />

“The God of Peace Will Be With You.” Cost: $35/person.<br />

For more information, visit events.scrc.org.<br />

Centering Prayer Introductory Workshop. Holy Spirit<br />

Retreat Center, 4316 Lanai Rd., Encino, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.<br />

With Bobbi Rudin, Marilyn <strong>No</strong>bori and the Contemplative<br />

Outreach Team. For more information, visit hsrcenter.com<br />

or call 818-784-4515.<br />


Memorial Mass. San Fernando Mission, 15151 San<br />

Fernando Mission Blvd., Mission Hills, 11 a.m. Mass is<br />

virtual and not open to the public. Livestream available at<br />

CatholicCM.org or Facebook.com/lacatholics.<br />

■ FRIDAY, JANUARY <strong>14</strong><br />

Hildegard of Bingen’s “Book of Divine Works” Weekend<br />

Retreat. Holy Spirit Retreat Center, 4316 Lanai Rd., Encino.<br />

Friday, 5:30 p.m.-Sunday, 1 p.m. With Father Stephen Coffey,<br />

OSB, Cam. For more information, visit hsrcenter.com or<br />

call 818-784-4515.<br />


Cultural Mysticism: A Theology of Pop Culture. Zoom<br />

webinar, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Presenter: Sister Nancy Usselmann,<br />

director of the Pauline Center for Media Studies. What<br />

does it mean to be a mystic today? How can our media<br />

experience provide the opportunity for us to recognize<br />

God’s grace at work in the world and in our lives? Cost:<br />

$10/person. To register, visit https://lacatholics.org/departments-ministries/religious-education/.<br />

Compelled by Love: A Jubilee Retreat. St. Joseph the<br />

Worker Church, 19808 Cantlay St., Winnetka, 9 a.m.-<br />

12 p.m. Come renew your discipleship of Jesus and hear<br />

his summons to join him on mission. Presenters: Ana De<br />

Anda, Eddie Perez, Father Parker Sandoval, Katie Tassinari,<br />

Bobby Vidal. Free event. For more information, email Alicia<br />

Hernandez at ahernandez@la-archdiocese.org or call 213-<br />

637-7542.<br />

New Year Silent Saturday, Centering Prayer, and Silence.<br />

Holy Spirit Retreat Center, 4316 Lanai Rd., Encino, 9<br />

a.m.-12 p.m. With Marilyn <strong>No</strong>bori and the Contemplative<br />

Outreach Team. For more information, visit hsrcenter.com<br />

or call 818-784-4515.<br />

28th Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast. St.<br />

Monica Church, 725 California Ave., Santa Monica, 8 a.m.<br />

Theme: Advancing the dream: Time to reflect, imagine, and<br />

build the future. Speaker: Kim Harris, Ph.D., assistant professor<br />

of theological studies at LMU. Drum major awardee:<br />

Bishop Edward Clark, Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles.<br />

Cost: $50/person, $300/table of 7. Visit aaccfe.org.<br />

■ SUNDAY, JANUARY 16<br />

Diaconate Virtual Information Day. Zoom, 2 p.m. The<br />

Diaconate Formation Office invites all interested in joining<br />

the diaconate program to learn more. Send your name,<br />

parish, and pastor’s name to Deacon Melecio Zamora at<br />

dmz2011@la-archdiocese.org. Presentations will be in<br />

English and Spanish.<br />

“Gifted to Give” Santo Niño Celebration. Cathedral of<br />

Our Lady of the Angels, 555 W. Temple St., Los Angeles,<br />

3:30 p.m. Archbishop José H. Gomez will celebrate a<br />

Mass in honor of 500 years of Philippine Christianity and<br />

the 35th anniversary of the feast of Santo Niño. Dinner<br />

banquet will follow at Casa Italiano, 1051 N. Broadway, Los<br />

Angeles, 6:30 p.m. Archbishop Gomez will give an address.<br />

For more information, call Romy Esturas at 213-393-9405<br />

or email romyesturas@hotmail.com, or call Lem Amit at<br />

323-793-5<strong>14</strong>4 or email lemamit@aol.com.<br />

■ MONDAY, JANUARY 17<br />

Limitless. Four-week small-group experience that explores<br />

the cost and abundance of the life Jesus offers by his<br />

invitation to follow him. For more details and free registration,<br />

visit https://lacatholics.org/departments-ministries/<br />

new-evangelization-and-parish-life/.<br />


Virtual Record Clearing Clinic for Veterans. Legal team<br />

will help with traffic tickets, quality of life citations, and<br />

expungement of criminal convictions, 5-8 p.m. Free clinic is<br />

open to all Southern California veterans who have eligible<br />

cases in a California State Superior Court. Participants can<br />

call in or join online via Zoom. Registration required. Call<br />

213-896-6537 or email inquiries-veterans@lacba.org. For<br />

more information, visit lacba.org/veterans.<br />


Children’s Bureau: Foster Care Zoom Orientation. Children’s<br />

Bureau is now offering two virtual ways for individuals<br />

and couples to learn how to help children in foster care<br />

while reunifying with birth families or how to provide legal<br />

permanency by adoption, 4-5 p.m. A live Zoom orientation<br />

will be hosted by a Children’s Bureau team member and<br />

a foster parent. For those who want to learn at their own<br />

pace about becoming a foster and/or fost-adopt parent, an<br />

online orientation presentation is available. To RSVP for the<br />

live orientation or to request the online orientation, email<br />

rfrecruitment@all4kids.org.<br />


OneLife LA. The event begins at La Placita with a pre-program<br />

including a welcome from Archbishop José H. Gomez,<br />

who will lead the walk through downtown streets to Los<br />

Angeles State Historic Park for inspiring speaker presentations<br />

and a musical program. For more information, visit<br />

onelifela.org/.<br />

Conscious Aging, Death Makes Life Possible, Surrender<br />

& Letting Go. Holy Spirit Retreat Center, 4316 Lanai Rd.,<br />

Encino, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. With Deborah Lorentz, SSS. For<br />

more information, visit hsrcenter.com or call 818-784-<br />

4515.<br />

■ MONDAY, JANUARY 24<br />

“Hail, Holy Queen” Weekly Bible Study. St. Paschal Baylon<br />

Church, 155 E. Janss Rd., Thousands Oaks, 10 a.m.-12<br />

p.m. Bible study will explore Mary in Scott Hahn’s book<br />

“Hail, Holy Queen.” In-person classes start Monday, Jan. 24.<br />

Virtual classes start Wed., Jan. 26. For more information,<br />

email ritadacorsi@yahoo.com.<br />


Angels: The Good and the Bad. St. John the Baptist Church<br />

parish hall, 3883 Baldwin Park Blvd., Baldwin Park, 10 a.m.-<br />

4:30 p.m. A day of teaching with Dominic Berardino and<br />

Father Ismael Robles. Topics include “How to Solicit the<br />

Ministrations of God’s Holy Angels” and “Discernment and<br />

Testing Spirits: What You Need to Know.” Cost: $25/person<br />

if registered by Jan. 24, $35 afterward. For more information,<br />

email spirit@scrc.org.<br />

Items for the calendar of events are due four weeks prior to the date of the event. They may be emailed to calendar@angelusnews.com.<br />

All calendar items must include the name, date, time, address of the event, and a phone number for additional information.<br />

<strong>January</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2022</strong> • ANGELUS • 33

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