21.04.2023 Views

Angelus News | April 21, 2023 | Vol. 8 No

On the cover: Christ pulls Adam out of “limbo” while surrounded by other biblical figures in a late 13th-century painting (artist unknown). St. John Chrysostom famously wrote about Easter: “Forgiveness is risen from the grave.” But what does that mean for us? On Page 10, Mike Aquilina details how history, Scripture, and the experience of the apostles reveals forgiveness as the Resurrection’s most tangible result. On Page 14, Jennifer Hubbard recounts how her 6-year-old daughter’s murder in the Sandy Hook shooting led her on a journey to do the impossible.

On the cover: Christ pulls Adam out of “limbo” while surrounded by other biblical figures in a late 13th-century painting (artist unknown). St. John Chrysostom famously wrote about Easter: “Forgiveness is risen from the grave.” But what does that mean for us? On Page 10, Mike Aquilina details how history, Scripture, and the experience of the apostles reveals forgiveness as the Resurrection’s most tangible result. On Page 14, Jennifer Hubbard recounts how her 6-year-old daughter’s murder in the Sandy Hook shooting led her on a journey to do the impossible.

SHOW MORE
SHOW LESS

You also want an ePaper? Increase the reach of your titles

YUMPU automatically turns print PDFs into web optimized ePapers that Google loves.

HIS MERCIFUL EYES<br />

This Easter, be surprised by forgiveness<br />

ANGELUS<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>21</strong>, <strong>2023</strong> <strong>Vol</strong>. 8 <strong>No</strong>. 8


B • ANGELUS • <strong>April</strong> <strong>21</strong>, <strong>2023</strong>


ANGELUS<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>21</strong>, <strong>2023</strong><br />

<strong>Vol</strong>. 8 • <strong>No</strong>. 8<br />

3424 Wilshire Blvd.,<br />

Los Angeles, CA 90010-2241<br />

(<strong>21</strong>3) 637-7360 • FAX (<strong>21</strong>3) 637-6360<br />

Published by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese<br />

of Los Angeles by The Tidings<br />

(a corporation), established 1895.<br />

Publisher<br />

ARCHBISHOP JOSÉ H. GOMEZ<br />

Vice Chancellor for Communications<br />

DAVID SCOTT<br />

Editor-in-Chief<br />

PABLO KAY<br />

pkay@angelusnews.com<br />

Multimedia Editor<br />

TAMARA LONG-GARCÍA<br />

Production Artist<br />

DIANNE ROHKOHL<br />

Photo Editor<br />

VICTOR ALEMÁN<br />

Managing Editor<br />

RICHARD G. BEEMER<br />

Assistant Editor<br />

HANNAH SWENSON<br />

Advertising Manager<br />

JIM GARCIA<br />

jagarcia@angelusnews.com<br />

ON THE COVER<br />

J. PAUL GETTY MUSEUM<br />

Christ pulls Adam out of “limbo” while surrounded by other<br />

biblical figures in a late 13th-century painting (artist unknown).<br />

St. John Chrysostom famously wrote about Easter: “Forgiveness<br />

is risen from the grave.” But what does that mean for us? On<br />

Page 10, Mike Aquilina details how history, Scripture, and the<br />

experience of the apostles reveals forgiveness as the Resurrection’s<br />

most tangible result. On Page 14, Jennifer Hubbard<br />

recounts how her 6-year-old daughter’s murder in the Sandy<br />

Hook shooting led her on a journey to do the impossible.<br />

THIS PAGE<br />

VICTOR ALEMÁN<br />

Archbishop José H. Gomez blesses the new<br />

Adoration Chapel at Epiphany Church in<br />

South El Monte, unveiled as part of the local<br />

and National Eucharistic Revival Movement<br />

that began in summer 2022 encouraging<br />

Catholics to rediscover the meaning of the<br />

Eucharist during the Mass and renew their<br />

relationship with Jesus.<br />

ANGELUS is published biweekly by The<br />

Tidings (a corporation), established 1895.<br />

Periodicals postage paid at Los Angeles,<br />

California. One-year subscriptions (26<br />

issues), $30.00; single copies, $3.00<br />

© 20<strong>21</strong> ANGELUS (2473-2699). <strong>No</strong> part of this<br />

publication may be reproduced without the written<br />

permission of the publisher. Events and products<br />

advertised in ANGELUS do not carry the implicit<br />

endorsement of The Tidings Corporation or the<br />

Archdiocese of Los Angeles.<br />

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to:<br />

ANGELUS, PO Box 306, Congers, NY 10920-0306.<br />

For Subscription and Delivery information, please<br />

call (844) 245-6630 (Mon - Fri, 7 am-4 pm PT).<br />

FOLLOW US<br />

facebook.com/<strong>Angelus</strong><strong>News</strong><br />

info@angelusnews.com<br />

<strong>Angelus</strong> <strong>News</strong><br />

@<strong>Angelus</strong><strong>News</strong><br />

@<strong>Angelus</strong><strong>News</strong><br />

angelusnews.com<br />

lacatholics.org<br />

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 />

16<br />

20<br />

22<br />

24<br />

26<br />

CONTENTS<br />

‘Miriam Dinner’ in Encino looks to future of female religious life in LA<br />

John Allen on the real test of pope’s latest abuse policy change<br />

Why El Salvador’s brutal gang crackdown won’t end well<br />

The quiet, essential role of the Virgin Mary in the Paschal Mystery<br />

An American Catholic poet’s lyrical journey to the Holy Land and back<br />

Sign up for our free, daily e-newsletter<br />

Always Forward - newsletter.angelusnews.com<br />

28<br />

30<br />

Greg Erlandson on Easter and his mom’s final journey<br />

Heather King: Can a young convert make the Divine Office go viral?<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>21</strong>, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 1


POPE WATCH<br />

A papal bounce back<br />

A<br />

case of bronchitis sent Pope<br />

Francis to the hospital for an<br />

unexpected three-day stay and<br />

caused the Vatican to change its Holy<br />

Week plans.<br />

The 86-year-old pontiff was taken to<br />

Rome’s Gemelli Hospital March 29<br />

hours after he was seen looking unwell<br />

following his weekly Wednesday General<br />

Audience in St. Peter’s Square.<br />

The Vatican originally said the<br />

pope was taken to the hospital for<br />

“previously planned tests,” but later<br />

changed its story, saying that the pope<br />

had complained of “some respiratory<br />

difficulties” in recent days and would<br />

be hospitalized for a few days.<br />

Tests later showed that the pope had<br />

bronchitis, and he was treated with<br />

intravenous antibiotics for a respiratory<br />

infection.<br />

But Francis kept an active schedule<br />

while in the hospital. He prayed in<br />

a hospital chapel and received the<br />

Eucharist. He also spent half an hour<br />

visiting children in the cancer ward<br />

and brought rosaries, large chocolate<br />

Easter eggs, and copies of the book “Jesus<br />

was born in Bethlehem of Judea.”<br />

He also baptized a tiny infant,<br />

“Miguel Angel,” who was at the hospital<br />

for tests and enjoyed a pizza “party”<br />

the night of Thursday, March 30 with<br />

the doctors, nurses, assistants, and<br />

members of the Vatican police who<br />

had helped him during his stay.<br />

As he left the hospital Saturday, <strong>April</strong><br />

1, the pope stopped his car and got<br />

out to greet well-wishers and reporters<br />

waiting outside the hospital.<br />

“I’m still alive,” Pope Francis joked to<br />

reporters who asked how he was doing.<br />

There he also embraced a sobbing<br />

mother, whose daughter had died the<br />

night before. He reached out to the<br />

father, too, and holding their hands,<br />

he prayed with them. The pope then<br />

traced a cross on the forehead of each<br />

of them and gave them both a kiss on<br />

the cheek.<br />

Reporters present said he also signed<br />

the cast of a boy who said he broke his<br />

arm playing soccer.<br />

Before returning to the Vatican, he<br />

stopped to pray at the Basilica of St.<br />

Mary Major, a stop he makes before<br />

and after every trip abroad and a stop<br />

he also made in July 20<strong>21</strong> after undergoing<br />

colon surgery at the Gemelli.<br />

There he prayed for the children he<br />

had met “in the hospital’s pediatric<br />

oncology and children’s neurosurgery<br />

wards,” and “all the sick and those<br />

suffering from illness and the loss of<br />

their loved ones,” the Vatican press<br />

office said.<br />

The next day, the pope delivered the<br />

homily at Palm Sunday Mass in St.<br />

Peter’s Square with some 60,000 people<br />

in attendance, although Cardinal<br />

Leonardo Sandri, vice dean of the<br />

College of Cardinals, was the main<br />

celebrant at the altar.<br />

“Christ, in his abandonment, stirs<br />

us to seek him and to love him and<br />

those who are themselves abandoned,<br />

for in them we see not only people in<br />

need, but Jesus himself,” he said in the<br />

homily after listening to the account<br />

of Jesus’ Passion from St. Matthew’s<br />

Gospel.<br />

Italian media reported that multiple<br />

Roman cardinals had been scheduled<br />

to preside over the remaining Holy<br />

Week liturgies in the Vatican, but it<br />

was not clear which, if any, of them<br />

Pope Francis planned to attend.<br />

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

Service.<br />

Papal Prayer Intention for <strong>April</strong>: We pray for the spread of<br />

peace and nonviolence, by decreasing the use of weapons by<br />

States and citizens.<br />

2 • ANGELUS • <strong>April</strong> <strong>21</strong>, <strong>2023</strong>


NEW WORLD OF FAITH<br />

ARCHBISHOP JOSÉ H. GOMEZ<br />

One great Sunday<br />

I<br />

pray that you had a beautiful Easter<br />

with your family and loved ones.<br />

Easter is the feast of our joy. The<br />

victory over death has been won.<br />

As Jesus was raised from the dead, we<br />

walk with confidence, in what St. Paul<br />

called “newness of life,” following<br />

in Jesus’ footsteps, our lives now an<br />

adventure destined for heaven and the<br />

love that never ends.<br />

These next 50 days, from Resurrection<br />

Sunday to Pentecost Sunday, are<br />

meant to be lived as one long feast, a<br />

“great Sunday,” as the Church Father<br />

St. Athanasius put it.<br />

In these days, the Church invites<br />

us to live with the joy and zeal of the<br />

early Church and his first disciples.<br />

<strong>No</strong>body saw the Resurrection. His<br />

tomb was sealed up tight with a boulder<br />

and guarded by Roman soldiers.<br />

He must have risen sometime in the<br />

night or just before dawn, but there<br />

were no witnesses.<br />

What “evidence” we have comes<br />

from his disciples, who reported that<br />

they came to his tomb that Sunday<br />

and found it empty, and that later that<br />

day and in the days that followed, the<br />

risen Christ appeared to them.<br />

Jesus could have shown himself risen<br />

from the dead, he could have returned<br />

to Jerusalem triumphant with a legion<br />

of angels, if he had wanted to.<br />

But he chose to stay hidden, to reveal<br />

himself only to those who loved him.<br />

In those 40 days, he spoke to them of<br />

the kingdom of God, and opened their<br />

minds to understand the Scriptures;<br />

he ate with them and made himself<br />

known to them in the breaking of the<br />

bread, the Eucharist.<br />

Before ascending into heaven, he<br />

gave them a mission. “You will be my<br />

witnesses,” he said, “to the ends of the<br />

earth.”<br />

We are the children of those first<br />

witnesses, every one of us, whether we<br />

were baptized as infants many years<br />

ago, or whether we just entered the<br />

Church this Easter.<br />

<strong>No</strong>ne of us has seen Jesus raised<br />

from the dead. We trust the testimony<br />

of those who did. Their encounters<br />

remain at the heart of the mystery of<br />

faith, as the Catechism tells us.<br />

During the Last Supper, his apostles<br />

had asked him, “Lord, how is it that<br />

you will manifest yourself to us, and<br />

not to the world?”<br />

It is interesting how Jesus responded.<br />

“Whoever loves me will keep my<br />

word,” he said, “and my Father will<br />

love him, and we will come to him<br />

and make our dwelling with him.”<br />

For Jesus, salvation is personal.<br />

He came to “save the world,” to give<br />

his flesh and blood on the cross “for<br />

the life of the world.”<br />

But he saves the world one soul at a<br />

time. He gives his life out of love, as<br />

living bread from heaven, to you and<br />

to me, and to everyone who loves him<br />

and keeps his commandments.<br />

During this season, I like to re-read<br />

the Gospel accounts of those days after<br />

the Resurrection. Two notes stand<br />

out for me in these stories — joy and<br />

witness.<br />

In these stories, we hear the disciples<br />

delighting in the Lord’s presence, with<br />

the joy of those who have found the<br />

treasure they had been searching for<br />

their whole lives.<br />

And almost every story ends with one<br />

or more rushing off in excitement to<br />

tell others of this treasure they have<br />

found. As St. Mary Magdalene said, “I<br />

have seen the Lord!”<br />

The Church is born in the joy of these<br />

witnesses, and the Church’s mission<br />

continues in you and me.<br />

As he announced his salvation<br />

through his first witnesses, he announces<br />

his salvation in this generation,<br />

through our witness.<br />

It is a beautiful mystery of God’s<br />

plan of salvation that he involves each<br />

of us, inviting us to play our part in<br />

As Christ announced his salvation through his<br />

first witnesses, he announces his salvation in<br />

this generation, through our witness.<br />

sharing the joy that we have found in<br />

Jesus.<br />

Let us live these next 50 days —<br />

and our whole lives — as one “great<br />

Sunday.”<br />

Joy grows through witness. The more<br />

we speak to others about Jesus and the<br />

more good works we do in his name,<br />

the more our joy will increase.<br />

Jesus is alive! He is not some historical<br />

figure whose memory will one<br />

day fade away. He is real and his love<br />

is real. He really died for us, and it is<br />

worth everything for us now to live for<br />

him.<br />

We know it will not always be easy;<br />

we will experience sadness and suffering,<br />

and the ugliness of sin. But we<br />

know that Jesus will wipe away every<br />

tear because he has conquered death.<br />

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

And let us ask our mother Mary, the<br />

mother of joy, to keep us always close<br />

to her risen Son, that we might always<br />

know this joy and share it with all the<br />

world.<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>21</strong>, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 3


WORLD<br />

Bishop Rolando Álvarez being<br />

interviewed on Nicaraguan TV.<br />

| CANAL 4 NICARAGUA<br />

■ First images released of<br />

Nicaraguan bishop in prison<br />

New video and pictures showed jailed Bishop Rolando<br />

Álvarez in a Nicaraguan prison for the first time.<br />

“Thanks be to God I’m well, with a lot of inner strength,<br />

with a lot of peace in the Lord and the most holy Virgin,”<br />

Álvarez said in a video released March 24 by a news outlet<br />

with government ties.<br />

One video showed Álvarez eating with his brother and sister<br />

in a clean and well-furnished room. But critics of Nicaraguan<br />

president Daniel Ortega said the images were staged.<br />

“The scenography of the dictatorship was repugnant and<br />

cynical and does not expunge its crime,” said Bishop Silvio<br />

José Báez, an auxiliary bishop of Managua living in exile in<br />

the U.S.<br />

The prison where Álvarez is being held is known for overcrowding<br />

and lack of medical attention for prisoners. He was<br />

sentenced in February to more than 26 years in prison for<br />

being a “traitor to the homeland” after refusing to be exiled<br />

from Nicaragua.<br />

■ Disavowing the doctrine of discovery<br />

The Vatican formally repudiated a centuries-old legal<br />

doctrine long criticized by anti-colonial activists.<br />

“The Catholic Church … repudiates those concepts that<br />

fail to recognize the inherent human rights of indigenous<br />

peoples,” read a March 30 joint statement from the Dicasteries<br />

for Promoting Integral Human Development and for<br />

Culture and Education.<br />

The statement noted that the doctrine, which provided<br />

the legal framework for colonizing settlers to dispossess<br />

lands of indigenous peoples, had been outlined in several<br />

papal bulls and was “manipulated for political purposes” by<br />

colonial powers. It also said that the bulls were “written in<br />

a specific historical period and linked to political questions<br />

[that] have never been considered expressions of the<br />

Catholic faith.”<br />

The statement follows calls from indigenous communities<br />

in Canada last year to Pope Francis to rescind the doctrine<br />

of discovery.<br />

■ Mexican government blamed<br />

for fire at immigrant facility<br />

Catholic leaders are criticizing the Mexican government’s<br />

response to a fire at an immigration detention center in<br />

Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, that killed at least 38.<br />

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said<br />

that the March 27 fire, which started in a section of the<br />

center that held 68 male migrants, was started by migrants<br />

to protest their deportations.<br />

But Catholic officials suggested the fire was a sign of government<br />

neglect at the facility, which held mostly Central<br />

American immigrants.<br />

“Enough with the euphemisms. We must not accept nor<br />

tolerate soft expressions or decorous words that are given to<br />

what truly constitutes a detention center, which does not<br />

offer dignified or safe conditions,” the Guatemalan bishops’<br />

migrant ministry said in a March 27 statement.<br />

Mexican officials later announced they would investigate<br />

the deaths as homicides, after video footage appeared to<br />

show guards failing to respond to the fire as the migrants<br />

attempted to escape.<br />

Father Hans Zollner, SJ<br />

| CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY<br />

■ Top Vatican abuse<br />

accountability expert quits<br />

Father Hans Zollner, SJ, an internationally recognized<br />

expert on protecting children and vulnerable adults from<br />

clerical sex abuse, said “structural and practical issues”<br />

led to his abrupt resignation from the Vatican’s Pontifical<br />

Commission for the Protection of Minors.<br />

Zollner said that he had “noticed issues that need to be<br />

urgently addressed and which have made it impossible<br />

for me to continue further” in his role. He also said he<br />

was concerned by the lack of “responsibility, compliance,<br />

accountability, and transparency” of the commission.<br />

Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, the commission’s<br />

head, publicly voiced his disagreement with the priest’s<br />

claims.<br />

“I am surprised, disappointed, and strongly disagree with<br />

[Zollner’s] publicly issued assertions challenging the commission’s<br />

effectiveness,” the American cardinal said.<br />

4 • ANGELUS • <strong>April</strong> <strong>21</strong>, <strong>2023</strong>


NATION<br />

Texas Catholics gather in front of the State Capitol March 28 for “Advocacy Day.”<br />

| BISHOP DANIEL FLORES/TWITTER<br />

■ Texas bishops: Don’t bar<br />

migrant children from schools<br />

The Catholic bishops of Texas are calling on Catholics to<br />

oppose a bill that would bar undocumented children from<br />

enrolling in public schools.<br />

The bill, introduced in February at the request of Gov.<br />

Greg Abbott, challenges a 1982 Supreme Court decision<br />

requiring public schools to provide services regardless of<br />

documentation status. Abbott has previously argued that<br />

undocumented children cost the state “billions more a year<br />

just in education expenses.”<br />

“This is wrong, and while the bill’s authors may not intend<br />

to cause harm, we cannot gamble with the education of<br />

innocent children,” said Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville<br />

March 28. “To educate a child is a great work of mercy, and<br />

it’s a great good for the whole society.”<br />

Flores made the comments at the Catholic Advocacy Day<br />

at the state capitol in Austin, where the state’s bishops also<br />

spoke out in favor of school choice, health care reform,<br />

religious liberty, and other social concerns.<br />

■ Will Catholic Mass attendance<br />

ever recover from COVID-19?<br />

In-person Mass attendance in the U.S. has yet to return to<br />

pre-pandemic levels, according to a new study.<br />

The report released March 28 by the Pew Research Center<br />

looked at the impact of COVID-19 on religious life in America<br />

three years after the start of the pandemic. It found that<br />

40% of Americans say they’ve participated in religious services<br />

at least once a month since then.<br />

About 4 in 10 U.S. Catholics said they attend in-person Mass<br />

as often as before the pandemic, and a quarter of them say<br />

they now attend less often. The study also reported a 14% rise<br />

in Catholics who say they follow Mass virtually more often<br />

than before COVID.<br />

■ Possible eucharistic miracle<br />

investigated in Connecticut<br />

The Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut, is investigating<br />

a potential eucharistic miracle in one of its parishes.<br />

The alleged miracle was reported at St. Thomas Church<br />

in Thomaston, Connecticut March 5 by an extraordinary<br />

minister of holy Communion, who said that the hosts in<br />

his ciborium began duplicating during the distribution of<br />

Communion.<br />

“They were running out of hosts and all of a sudden more<br />

hosts were there,” Father Joseph Crowley, pastor of the<br />

church, said. “So today not only did we have the miracle of<br />

the Eucharist, we also had a bigger miracle. It’s pretty cool.”<br />

The archdiocese’s judicial vicar has begun an investigation<br />

into the episode, from which he will prepare a report to be<br />

presented to Hartford Archbishop Leonard Blair.<br />

St. Thomas was the final assignment of Blessed Father<br />

Michael McGivney, the 19th-century American priest and<br />

founder of the Knights of Columbus.<br />

Nashville’s new cross — People gather around a cross during a prayer vigil<br />

in Nashville, Tennessee, March 29, for the victims of the March 27 Covenant<br />

School shooting, which left three children and three adults dead, including the<br />

head of the school. According to the police, the school was targeted by a 28-yearold<br />

former student who identified as transgender for ideological reasons and that<br />

the victims were not specifically targeted. | OSV NEWS/CHENEY ORR, REUTERS<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>21</strong>, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 5


LOCAL<br />

■ Students, teachers<br />

honored with<br />

Christian Service<br />

Awards<br />

Sixty-nine high school students and<br />

10 teachers were recognized at the<br />

annual Christian Service Awards<br />

Mass on March 28 at the Cathedral<br />

of Our Lady of the Angels.<br />

The awards recognize students and<br />

teachers from each of the 50 Catholic<br />

high schools in the archdiocese<br />

who exemplify an outstanding commitment<br />

to Christian service in the<br />

community. The annual Mass has<br />

been organized by the Archdiocese<br />

of Los Angeles Department of Catholic<br />

Schools since the mid-1970s.<br />

According to the archdiocese, the<br />

upcoming graduating high school<br />

students dedicated more than<br />

20,000 hours in diverse Christian<br />

service throughout Los Angeles with<br />

organizations such as Project Angel<br />

Food, Guide Dogs of America, Habitat<br />

for Humanity, and Heal the Bay.<br />

■ Bishop O’Connell’s<br />

former residence<br />

burglarized<br />

An empty tabernacle belonging<br />

to the late Auxiliary Bishop David<br />

O’Connell was stolen from his Hacienda<br />

Heights home.<br />

Someone broke a window and<br />

entered the empty residence the<br />

weekend of March 24-26, according<br />

to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s<br />

Department investigators. Only the<br />

tabernacle, which did not contain the<br />

Blessed Sacrament at the time, was<br />

stolen.<br />

“There is no relation between the<br />

murder of Bishop O’Connell and the<br />

recent burglary that took place,” LA<br />

Sheriff’s homicide investigator Lt.<br />

Michael Modica told <strong>Angelus</strong>. “This<br />

was a crime of opportunity.”<br />

Detectives from the LA Sheriff’s<br />

Industry Station said there was no<br />

suspect description so far.<br />

Ann McElaney-Johnson, president<br />

of Mount Saint Mary’s University<br />

in Los Angeles, was named a “chevalier,”<br />

or knight, by the French<br />

government for her “dedication to<br />

fostering an appreciation of French<br />

language and culture.”<br />

The induction into the “Ordre des<br />

Palmes Académiques,” considered<br />

one of France’s highest educational<br />

honors, took place March <strong>21</strong> at<br />

the residence of the French consul<br />

general in Los Angeles.<br />

McElaney-Johnson leads annual<br />

pilgrimages to France for faculty,<br />

Left to right, wearing<br />

light blue sweaters: St.<br />

Gregory students Christian<br />

Palencia, Natalie<br />

Baserga, Jude Palencia,<br />

Andrew Garcia, and<br />

Joaquin Varela pose after<br />

winning at the regional<br />

SeaPerch competition<br />

in March. | SUBMITTED<br />

PHOTO<br />

■ St. Gregory the Great students to<br />

compete at international robotics event<br />

A group of Catholic school students from Whittier is set to compete in an<br />

international underwater robotics competition next month.<br />

The middle-schoolers from St. Gregory the Great School’s “Krushin’ Kraken”<br />

team earned their place at the <strong>2023</strong> International SeaPerch Challenge after<br />

winning a regional competition in March.<br />

The SeaPerch Challenge involves students building remotely operated vehicles<br />

from a kit with low-cost, easily accessible parts. The competition consists<br />

of two underwater sections — an obstacle course and the “Mission course,”<br />

in which the vehicle maps an area, removes marine life from an underwater<br />

station, and retrieves samples in an underwater environment.<br />

The international competition will be held at the University of Maryland on<br />

May 13. St. Gregory’s will be the only Catholic school present.<br />

■ Mount Saint Mary’s president named knight by<br />

French government<br />

Ann McElaney-Johnson (left) at the March <strong>21</strong> ceremony<br />

with French Consul General Julie Duhaut-Bedos. | MOUNT<br />

SAINT MARY’S/WATCHARA PHOMICINDA<br />

students, and staff, and Mount Saint Mary’s recently purchased and preserved the<br />

Bas-en-Basset, France, birthplace of Mother St. John Fontbonne, a central figure<br />

in the history of the Sisters of St. Joseph.<br />

“The language, culture, and history of France provided the foundation for everything<br />

I have achieved in my educational career,” McElaney-Johnson said, “and<br />

I am so fortunate to have such a direct professional and spiritual connection to<br />

France through Mount Saint Mary’s.”<br />

Y<br />

6 • ANGELUS • <strong>April</strong> <strong>21</strong>, <strong>2023</strong>


V<br />

IN OTHER WORDS...<br />

Letters to the Editor<br />

An important aspect of the porn catastrophe<br />

The cover story in the <strong>April</strong> 7 issue of <strong>Angelus</strong> by Elise Italiano Ureneck,<br />

“God Can Redeem the Broken Stuff,” touches on many important<br />

points. The author captures both the devastation to self and relationships,<br />

as well as the hope there is to heal, both greatly misunderstood within and<br />

outside of the Catholic Church.<br />

The porn industry years ago realized they were missing out by only producing<br />

content to appeal to men, so it shifted gears. Taking advantage of one of our most<br />

blessed human gifts, our curiosity for what God has made, porn hijacks and turns<br />

curiosity toxic. In an age of falling birth rates, easy divorce, and gender confusion,<br />

we are witnessing the unprecedented toll of 24/7 hardcore porn on relationships<br />

and marriages.<br />

According to 2022 search analytics from the world’s most popular porn provider,<br />

the most popular search by women is lesbian content. Where do we expect that<br />

to take us? Porn is now the go-to place for not only men but also women to learn<br />

about sex. Tragically, it normalizes going outside of marriage in search of what<br />

appears to be missing.<br />

It is time to raise the alarm and create informed spaces for healing. As Annie<br />

Heyen pointed out in the article, “Satan loves darkness and isolation.”<br />

— Patrick Erlandson of Rancho Palos Verdes is the founder of “Father-Con” and<br />

the “See It End It Film & Arts Festival and Global Platform” for the prevention of<br />

human trafficking.<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 />

Selected for their service<br />

“I saw them both on the<br />

screen, with their hearts<br />

beating together and<br />

jumping at the same time.<br />

How could I kill my babies?”<br />

~ Nicole Duque, in a March 25 OSV <strong>News</strong> article on<br />

learning she was pregnant with conjoined twins.<br />

“For all the loveliness of the<br />

feast of Christmas … if the<br />

centrality of Easter is not<br />

reflected in the piety of<br />

Christians, their Christianity<br />

is lopsided.”<br />

~ The late Father Daniel J. O’Hanlon, SJ, in a 1962<br />

essay “Easter — not Christmas — should be the most<br />

important Christian holiday,” republished this year by<br />

America magazine.<br />

“It goes without saying that<br />

we can never again assume<br />

an image is authentic<br />

because it looks realistic.”<br />

~ Arvind Narayanan, professor of computer science<br />

at Princeton University, in a March 27 MSN.com<br />

article on a fake AI-generated image of Pope Francis<br />

wearing a designer jacket.<br />

“Anyone who stakes much<br />

on passing theories risks<br />

being terribly hurt. We<br />

need deep roots.”<br />

~ The Catholic bishops of Sweden, <strong>No</strong>rway, Finland,<br />

Denmark, and Iceland in a “Pastoral Letter of Human<br />

Sexuality” published during Lent.<br />

Hayley Christopher of La Reina High School in Thousand Oaks poses with Archbishop José H. Gomez and LA Catholic<br />

Schools Superintendent Paul Escala after being honored at the annual Christian Service Awards Mass at the Cathedral<br />

of Our Lady of the Angels March 25. A total of 69 Catholic high school students and 10 teachers were honored at the<br />

Mass for their “outstanding commitment to Christian service in the community.” | VICTOR ALEMÁN<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 />

“They have finally had<br />

a big drink!”<br />

~ Janet Cobb of the California Wildlife Foundation/<br />

California Oaks, speaking to the Los Angeles Times<br />

<strong>April</strong> 1 on the impact of this year’s wet winter on the<br />

state’s trees.<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>21</strong>, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 7


IN EXILE<br />

FATHER RONALD ROLHEISER, OMI<br />

Oblate of Mary Immaculate Father<br />

Ronald Rolheiser is a spiritual<br />

writer; ronrolheiser.com.<br />

Dying alone in the desert<br />

Last year I received a letter from<br />

a friend who shared that she<br />

was afraid to accept a certain<br />

vocation because it would leave her too<br />

much alone. She shared this fear with<br />

her spiritual director who simply said,<br />

“Charles de Foucauld died alone in<br />

the desert!” That answer was enough<br />

for her. She went ahead with it. Is that<br />

answer enough for those of us who<br />

have the same hesitancy, the fear of<br />

being alone?<br />

The fear of being alone is a healthy<br />

one. Jean-Paul Sartre famously wrote<br />

that hell is the other person. That<br />

couldn’t be further from the truth. Hell<br />

is being alone. All the major religions<br />

teach that heaven will be communal,<br />

an ecstatic coming together of hearts,<br />

souls, and (for Christians) bodies, in<br />

one union of love.<br />

There will be no solitaries in heaven.<br />

So, our fear of ending up alone is a<br />

healthy nagging from God and nature,<br />

perpetually reminding us of the words<br />

God spoke as he created Eve: it is not<br />

good for a person to be alone. Children<br />

are always mindful of that and feel<br />

insecure when they are alone. That’s<br />

one of the reasons why Jesus taught<br />

that they go to heaven more naturally<br />

than adults do.<br />

But is being alone always unhealthy?<br />

What can we learn from de Foucauld,<br />

who chose a life that left him to die<br />

alone in the desert? What can we learn<br />

from a person like Søren Kierkegaard,<br />

who resisted marriage because he<br />

feared that it would interfere with a<br />

vocation he intuited was meant to have<br />

him die alone?<br />

<strong>No</strong>t least, what can we learn from<br />

Jesus, the greatest lover of all, who dies<br />

alone on a cross, crying out that he had<br />

been abandoned by everyone and then,<br />

in that agony, surrenders his loneliness<br />

in one great act of selflessness in which<br />

he gives over his spirit in complete<br />

love?<br />

In a 2022 book, “The Empathy<br />

Diaries” (Penguin Books, $18), Sherry<br />

Turkle reflects on, among other things,<br />

the impact contemporary information<br />

technology and social media are<br />

having on us.<br />

As a scientist at MIT, she is one of the<br />

people who helped develop computers<br />

and information technology as they<br />

exist today, so she is not someone with<br />

a generational, romantic, or religious<br />

bias against computers, smartphones,<br />

and social media.<br />

Yet, she is worried about what all of<br />

this is doing to us today, particularly<br />

to those who get addicted to social<br />

media and can no longer be alone. “I<br />

share, therefore I am!” She names a<br />

hard truth: If we don’t know how to be<br />

alone, we will always be lonely.<br />

That’s true for all of us, though not<br />

all of us are called by either faith or<br />

temperament to a monastic quiet.<br />

What Jesus modeled (and what persons<br />

like de Foucauld, Kierkegaard, and<br />

countless monks, nuns, and celibates<br />

have felt themselves called to) is not the<br />

route for everyone.<br />

In fact, it is not the norm, religiously<br />

or anthropologically. Marriage is.<br />

Thomas Merton was once asked what<br />

it was like to be celibate, and he responded<br />

by saying, celibacy is hell. You<br />

live in a loneliness that God himself<br />

condemned; but that doesn’t mean it<br />

can’t be fruitful.<br />

In essence, that’s the response my<br />

friend received from her spiritual<br />

director when she shared her fear of<br />

taking up a certain vocation because<br />

she might end up alone. If you can be<br />

a de Foucauld, you will be alone but in<br />

a very fruitful way.<br />

There can even be some romance in<br />

proactively embracing loneliness and<br />

celibacy. Some years ago, I was doing<br />

spiritual direction with a very faithfilled,<br />

idealistic young man. Full of life<br />

and youthful energies, he felt the same<br />

powerful pull of sexuality as his peers,<br />

but he also felt a strong draw in another<br />

direction. He was reading Kierkegaard,<br />

Dorothy Day, Merton, and Daniel<br />

Berrigan, and felt a romantic attraction<br />

toward celibacy and the loneliness and<br />

aloneness within which he would then<br />

find himself. He was also reading the<br />

Gospels, telling how Jesus died alone<br />

on a cross without any human person<br />

holding his hand. Like Jesus, he wanted<br />

to be a lonely prophet and die alone.<br />

There’s some admirable idealism in<br />

that, though perhaps also a certain<br />

unhealthy pride and elitism in wanting<br />

to be the lonely hero who is admired<br />

for stoically standing outside the circle<br />

of normal intimacy.<br />

Moreover, as a lifelong celibate (and<br />

a publicly vowed one for more than<br />

50 years) I would offer this word of<br />

caution. A romantic dream of celibacy,<br />

no matter how strongly rooted in faith,<br />

will meet its test during those seasons<br />

and nights when one has fallen in<br />

love, is tired, is overwhelmed, and has<br />

his or her sexuality (and soul) cry out<br />

that it does not want to die alone in<br />

the desert. To sustain oneself in the<br />

loneliness of Jesus, as Merton says,<br />

is sometimes a flat-out hell, albeit a<br />

fruitful one.<br />

To die alone in the desert like de<br />

Foucauld is answer enough.<br />

8 • ANGELUS • <strong>April</strong> <strong>21</strong>, <strong>2023</strong>


Forgiveness is risen from the grave<br />

Throughout the<br />

centuries, the<br />

Resurrection has given<br />

ordinary Christians<br />

the ability to do the<br />

impossible: forgive<br />

their enemies.<br />

BY MIKE AQUILINA<br />

Want to celebrate Easter in<br />

the best possible way?<br />

Forgive someone. Let go<br />

of a grievance.<br />

Think of those who have wronged<br />

you most — the people whose<br />

memory fills you with anger. Maybe<br />

you haven’t seen them in many years.<br />

Maybe they’re no longer alive. But try<br />

this during the Easter celebrations:<br />

Pray for them. Tell God you’ve forgiven<br />

them and you’d like to be free of<br />

the anger and hurt.<br />

A great bishop of the fifth century,<br />

St. John Chrysostom, preached on<br />

Easter that “forgiveness has risen<br />

from the grave!”<br />

The Resurrection unleashed phenomenal<br />

cosmic powers, and one of<br />

them was the power to forgive. Until<br />

then, it had been widely acknowledged<br />

to be humanly impossible.<br />

Think of the scribes who saw Jesus<br />

forgive the sins of a paralyzed man.<br />

They said, “Why does this man speak<br />

thus? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive<br />

sins but God alone?” (Mark 2:7).<br />

They were educated men, and their<br />

study of the Hebrew Scriptures might<br />

have confirmed them in the belief<br />

that only God could forgive. The<br />

Book of Genesis speaks of forgiveness<br />

only once — in the episode when<br />

Jacob’s sons lie to Joseph by claiming<br />

that their late father had wanted him<br />

to forgive them (Genesis 50:16–17).<br />

We’re told that “Joseph wept” when<br />

he heard this, possibly because the<br />

“The Resurrection,” c. 1562-63, by Philips Galle. | THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART<br />

task seemed too difficult, even for a<br />

man renowned for virtue.<br />

Even St. Peter seemed to be looking<br />

for a loophole when he asked Jesus,<br />

“Lord, how often shall my brother<br />

sin against me, and I forgive him?<br />

As many as seven times?” (Matthew<br />

18:<strong>21</strong>). The chief apostle wanted to<br />

10 • ANGELUS • <strong>April</strong> <strong>21</strong>, <strong>2023</strong>


know the precise moment when he<br />

could be excused from the effort,<br />

because he knew that forgiveness was<br />

beyond what he could do.<br />

Yet Jesus insisted on the necessity<br />

of forgiveness. He said, “Take heed<br />

to yourselves; if your brother sins,<br />

rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive<br />

him; and if he sins against you seven<br />

times in the day, and turns to you<br />

seven times, and says, ‘I repent,’ you<br />

must forgive him” (Luke 17:3–4).<br />

He even made our willingness to<br />

forgive others a precondition of any<br />

forgiveness we receive from God:<br />

“forgive, and you will be forgiven”<br />

(Luke 6:37).<br />

In case anyone missed the connection,<br />

Jesus said it again: “And<br />

whenever you stand praying, forgive,<br />

if you have anything against any one;<br />

so that your Father also who is in<br />

heaven may forgive you your trespasses”<br />

(Mark 11:25).<br />

He even made sure we clicked the<br />

box and accepted the terms whenever<br />

we prayed the Lord’s Prayer: “Forgive<br />

us our trespasses as we forgive those<br />

who trespass against us.” If we won’t<br />

forgive, we cannot be forgiven. It’s as<br />

simple as that.<br />

<strong>No</strong>r is there an escape clause for<br />

offenses of greater gravity. Jesus himself,<br />

from the cross on which he died,<br />

pleaded God’s forgiveness upon his<br />

murderers. Among his last words are,<br />

“Father, forgive them; for they know<br />

not what they do” (Luke 23:34).<br />

We must, he said, forgive from the<br />

heart (see Matthew 18:35).<br />

Was he asking the impossible?<br />

<strong>No</strong>, not since “forgiveness has risen<br />

from the grave.” Jesus’ earliest disciples<br />

knew that forgiveness was fundamental<br />

to Christian life. St. Paul said<br />

in his Letter to the Colossians, “as<br />

the Lord has forgiven you, so you also<br />

must forgive” (3:13).<br />

St. John Chrysostom, in yet another<br />

homily, insisted upon the necessity of<br />

this heroic degree of forgiveness. Following<br />

Jesus’ words, he said, “we are<br />

to forgive not merely with the lips,<br />

but from the heart.” If we refuse to<br />

forgive, he went on, we are harming<br />

not those who have sinned against us,<br />

but rather ourselves. We are cutting<br />

ourselves off from God’s love. He<br />

continued: “Let us not then thrust<br />

“Golgotha” or “Christ on the cross,” 1884, by Mihály Munkácsy. | WIKIMEDIA COMMONS<br />

St. John Chrysostom’s benefits of forgiveness<br />

The following is excerpted from a homily on the Gospel of Matthew by St. John Chrysostom (c. 347-407).<br />

God requires two things of us here: to condemn ourselves<br />

for our sins, and to forgive others. We are to<br />

forgive not merely with the lips, but from the heart.<br />

Let us not then thrust the sword into ourselves by being<br />

revengeful.<br />

Say not then that he insulted you, and slandered you, and<br />

did unto you ills beyond number; for the more you say, so<br />

much the more do you declare him a benefactor.<br />

For he has given you an opportunity to wash away your sins<br />

— so that the greater the injuries he has done you, so much<br />

more has he become for you a cause of a greater remission<br />

of sins.<br />

For if we be willing, no one shall be able to injure us, but<br />

even our enemies shall benefit us in the greatest degree.<br />

See then how much you gain, bearing meekly the spiteful<br />

acts of your enemies.<br />

First and greatest, you obtain deliverance from sins; secondly,<br />

fortitude and patience; thirdly, mildness and benevolence;<br />

fourthly, to be free from anger continually, to which<br />

nothing can be equal.<br />

For of him that is free from anger, it is quite clear that he is<br />

delivered also from the despondency arising from anger, and<br />

will not spend his life on vain labours and sorrows.<br />

For he that does not know how to hate, likewise does not<br />

know how to grieve, but will enjoy pleasure, and ten thousand<br />

blessings.<br />

Accordingly, we punish ourselves by hating others, even as<br />

on the other hand we benefit ourselves by loving them.<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>21</strong>, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 11


the sword into ourselves by being<br />

revengeful.”<br />

He then puts the matter positively<br />

and urges us to think of our offenders<br />

as benefactors. Their offense is an<br />

opportunity for us to forgive — and<br />

so open ourselves to greater forgiveness<br />

from God. “For [the offender]<br />

has given you an opportunity to wash<br />

away your sins — so that the greater<br />

the injuries he has done you, so<br />

much more has he become for you a<br />

cause of a greater remission of sins.”<br />

Easter is our annual reminder that<br />

we have the power to do the impossible,<br />

because in baptism we have<br />

already died and risen with Christ,<br />

whose power is forgiveness risen from<br />

the grave. “It is no longer I who live,”<br />

said St. Paul, “but Christ who lives<br />

in me” (Galatians 2:20). And also:<br />

We can “do all things in him who<br />

strengthens” us (Philippians 4:13).<br />

We can do all things. We can even<br />

forgive sins.<br />

History shows us that this is true.<br />

The saints, beginning with the first<br />

martyr (Acts 7:60), forgave those who<br />

wronged them.<br />

Consider the story of Marietta<br />

Jaeger, a Catholic woman whose<br />

7-year-old daughter was abducted and<br />

killed in 1973. She chose to forgive<br />

her child’s murderer, even though<br />

she did not know who he was.<br />

A year after the kidnapping, the<br />

man called the family to taunt them.<br />

He was taken aback by the love he<br />

encountered in Jaeger’s voice. He<br />

stayed on the phone and talked with<br />

her, even though he suspected the<br />

call was being traced. Jaeger told a<br />

reporter years later, “I believe God<br />

loved him through me, and it penetrated<br />

through and touched him.”<br />

When the killer was apprehended,<br />

she visited him in prison and persuaded<br />

him to confess to the crime<br />

— and to three other murders. Thus<br />

she brought closure for other families<br />

who, until then, had not known the<br />

fate of their missing children.<br />

Jaeger became an activist opposing<br />

the death penalty. Her husband, Bill,<br />

could not bring himself to forgive<br />

and died relatively young from<br />

illnesses brought on by the heartache.<br />

Hers is an astonishing story, but it is<br />

not uncommon. She managed to do<br />

something that is humanly impossible<br />

— forgive — because she called<br />

upon the divine life that was available<br />

to her.<br />

Most people, perhaps, aren’t called<br />

to forgive murderers. But what about<br />

a co-worker? A family member? A<br />

neighbor? A classmate? An ex?<br />

What if on Easter every Christian<br />

forgave one person who seems impossible<br />

to forgive?<br />

It’s possible, since today “forgiveness<br />

has risen from the grave!”<br />

Mike Aquilina is a contributing<br />

editor for <strong>Angelus</strong> and general editor<br />

of the “Reclaiming Catholic History”<br />

series for Ave Maria Press.<br />

ST. JOHN’S SEMINARY<br />

CAMARILLO, CALIFORNIA<br />

ST. JOHN’S SEMINARY NOW OFFERS AN<br />

ONLINE M.A. IN PASTORAL MINISTRY<br />

PROGRAM FOR THE LAITY<br />

This program will help lay ministers increase their knowledge of the Catholic<br />

intellectual tradition and improve their ministerial skills for the life of the Church.<br />

Students will be prepared to work in different areas of ministry and make<br />

professional and personal connections with others of the same mind and spirit.<br />

Watch a brief<br />

video about<br />

the program<br />

For more information<br />

Email: mapm@stjohnsem.edu<br />

or visit www.stjohnsem.edu<br />

A studio with professional video, audio, and lighting<br />

equipment has been built to produce visually stunning content<br />

by our world-class faculty. This studio allows our students to<br />

have an enjoyable technological experience.


ief<br />

out<br />

am


Jennifer Hubbard with<br />

her daughter Catherine,<br />

in an undated photo.<br />

| CNS /COURTESY<br />

JENNIFER HUBBARD<br />

The currency of the heart<br />

In order to forgive after my daughter’s murder, God had to use Lent —<br />

and Easter — to show me what true surrender looks like.<br />

BY JENNIFER HUBBARD<br />

Day after day I would pray for<br />

justification.<br />

Actually, more than for<br />

justification, I would plead for what I<br />

considered the best solution. I thought<br />

when it was served, my restlessness<br />

would be satiated, and my heart<br />

would return to its stillness.<br />

My daughter Catherine was one<br />

of the first-graders lost in the Sandy<br />

Hook Elementary School tragedy in<br />

2012. She was 6 when she died.<br />

Slowly over time, without even realizing<br />

it, by focusing on how my hurt<br />

could be reconciled, I had become<br />

fixated on reliving what caused it in<br />

the first place. There was a debt that<br />

I felt needed to be repaid in full, and<br />

justification boils down to restitution:<br />

a fair and even exchange that repays<br />

a debt that is owed. But reality is<br />

different: There is no fair and even<br />

exchange when it comes to a matter of<br />

the heart.<br />

This quest for justification had grown<br />

like an invasive plant. Resentment,<br />

bitterness, and anger had taken root in<br />

my life. They affected my relationship<br />

with God: Prayers turned to pleading,<br />

resulting in the expectation that if I<br />

was loved, my solution would have<br />

been accepted, and my timeline met.<br />

When the response was silence and<br />

the whole atrocity seemingly justified,<br />

I reminded my heavenly Father of all I<br />

had done, how I was the one who was<br />

14 • ANGELUS • <strong>April</strong> <strong>21</strong>, <strong>2023</strong>


d with<br />

atherine,<br />

hoto.<br />

SY<br />

ARD<br />

his good and faithful servant, that this<br />

was not the first trial in my life. I went<br />

as far as to question his love for me.<br />

My need for justification turned into<br />

vindication. I became judge and jury,<br />

snatching back any surrender I had offered<br />

in the breaking day. Living like<br />

this was exhausting and it is embarrassing<br />

to consider, let alone share.<br />

Clouded in what is considered a<br />

cry and rationalization for my contrived<br />

miracle, I forget that surrender<br />

comes first. The miracle always comes<br />

after the surrender: the surrender of<br />

Israelites, our heavenly mother’s surrendered<br />

fiat and our Savior’s surrendered<br />

life.<br />

In my season of justification, I<br />

thought silence was the response, and<br />

yet a simple statement often came to<br />

mind: “You steer where you stare.” It<br />

is an expression often used in navigation<br />

to guide sailors to and from<br />

celestial points. It is an expression any<br />

“Pietà,” circa 1657–60,<br />

by Juan de Valdés Leal.<br />

| THE METROPOLITAN<br />

MUSEUM OF ART<br />

equestrian will validate. In fact, it was<br />

told to my Catherine during one of<br />

her first riding lessons.<br />

Steering where you stare is a saying<br />

that even St. Paul seems to paraphrase<br />

in his Letter to the Hebrews. “Therefore,<br />

since we are surrounded by such<br />

a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw<br />

off everything that weighs us down<br />

and the sins that so easily distract us<br />

and with perseverance run the race<br />

that lies ahead of us, with our eyes<br />

fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter<br />

of our faith. For the sake of the joy<br />

that lay before him, he endured the<br />

cross, ignoring its shame, and is now<br />

seated at the right hand of the throne<br />

of God” (Hebrews 12:1–2).<br />

I entered this year’s Lenten season<br />

pondering the simple statement. This<br />

Lent, I decided, I would stare down<br />

whatever needed to be my surrender<br />

in this race that I am running.<br />

As much as I wanted to believe my<br />

stare was fixed on Jesus, that I was<br />

running his race, my heart knew<br />

differently. Deep down, we all know<br />

what is really weighing on our hearts.<br />

We simply need to stop long enough<br />

to consider: What do our fisted hands<br />

cling to? What causes you to catch<br />

your breath at the thought of surrendering?<br />

Maybe it was your Lenten<br />

fast: the coffee on the way to work, the<br />

glass of wine at the end of a day?<br />

Or perhaps it’s more serious: the<br />

child who is no longer practicing the<br />

faith, or the job search, or forgiving<br />

the seemingly unforgivable, that<br />

affront so egregious that there is no<br />

resolve?<br />

I began to realize over these 40 days<br />

that behind my “staring” at justification<br />

was a need for comfort and<br />

security. I was veering away from my<br />

Lord, from my Provider. Everything<br />

hinged on a miracle that would never<br />

come because my surrender was never<br />

offered. I was fixated on judging another<br />

and their actions, and my gaze<br />

had shifted.<br />

If my eyes were truly fixed on Jesus, I<br />

would have seen the cross upon which<br />

he endured unjust torture for me, for<br />

my sins, for my salvation, so that he<br />

could claim my heart for eternity. My<br />

stare would not mistake the very place<br />

where in his final breaths, he uttered<br />

a prayer for me and all of us: “Father,<br />

forgive them, for they do not know<br />

what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).<br />

Perhaps this is why forgiveness is<br />

defined as the repayment of a debt.<br />

Perhaps when we surrender the<br />

outcome or the consequences, when<br />

we ourselves surrender what we feel<br />

we are due and fix our eyes on Jesus,<br />

we realize the currency of our heart is<br />

forgiveness offered and accepted. In<br />

forgiveness is the surrender.<br />

And that surrender, we should<br />

remember, makes way for the miracle<br />

for which these 40 days prepare.<br />

Jennifer Hubbard resides in Newtown,<br />

Connecticut. The younger of her two<br />

children, Catherine Violet, was a<br />

victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary<br />

School shooting. She is the author of<br />

“Finding Sanctuary,” a memoir about<br />

healing and fulfilling her late daughter’s<br />

dream after her death.<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>21</strong>, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 15


Sisterhood up close<br />

The second Miriam Dinner connected local<br />

women thinking about the religious life with<br />

sisters from several different orders.<br />

BY MIKE CISNEROS<br />

Participants sit together during the Miriam Dinner, which provided young women with an opportunity to consider<br />

religious life, at Our Lady of Grace Church in Encino on March 18. | SUBMITTED PHOTO<br />

was only the second time an event<br />

geared toward young women had<br />

been held in the Archdiocese of Los<br />

Angeles. The first Miriam Dinner,<br />

named after the Blessed Virgin Mary<br />

(Miriam is Hebrew for Mary), was held<br />

in March 2022.<br />

“The goal of the dinner is that those<br />

who are attending would have a better<br />

understanding of consecrated religious<br />

life,” said Sister Sophia Farkas, who<br />

said the dinner welcomed both those<br />

“in discernment” and young women<br />

simply wanting to know more about<br />

religious life.<br />

Additionally, Sister Sophia said, the<br />

event aimed to “establish connections<br />

and relationships between the young<br />

women and the different kinds of<br />

religious sisters.”<br />

Often, the vocational discernment<br />

for men considering the priesthood<br />

gets more attention in the Catholic<br />

Church. But as the women heard that<br />

Saturday night, the call to the religious<br />

life for women is also a crucial part of<br />

the life of the Church.<br />

Miriam Dinners follow the same<br />

model as St. Andrew Dinners, which<br />

give priests the opportunity to invite individuals<br />

whom they think might have<br />

a priestly vocation to have dinner with<br />

the bishop or archbishop in a more<br />

casual atmosphere.<br />

When Cassandra Verma graduated<br />

high school during the<br />

COVID-19 pandemic, she<br />

felt lost. Aimless. A lot of soul-searching.<br />

She didn’t get into any of the<br />

colleges she had applied for.<br />

“I remember being at Mass and<br />

praying and saying in my head, ‘At this<br />

point, I don’t know where my path will<br />

lead to, but I know that you have a plan<br />

for me,’ ” Verma said. “So I trust you<br />

and I put my faith in you and I always<br />

will work toward what is best.”<br />

It is that faith that led Verma on a<br />

path to the Miriam Dinner, an Intercongregational<br />

Vocation Office event<br />

hosted at Our Lady of Grace Church<br />

in Encino March 18 planned to provide<br />

young women with an opportunity<br />

to explore their calling in life in a<br />

relaxed environment.<br />

The dinner, which was organized by<br />

religious sisters, priests, and volunteers,<br />

A sister speaks with a young woman about her vocation story during the Miriam Dinner held at Our Lady of Grace<br />

Church. | SUBMITTED PHOTO<br />

16 • ANGELUS • <strong>April</strong> <strong>21</strong>, <strong>2023</strong>


The young women, sisters, priests, and volunteers all pose for a photograph after the second Miriam Dinner. |<br />

SUBMITTED PHOTO<br />

During the dinner, the participants<br />

prayed the Liturgy of the Hours, then<br />

heard from three sisters. One spoke<br />

on what being consecrated religious<br />

means, another explained the evangelical<br />

counsels of chastity, poverty, and<br />

obedience, and a third described the<br />

concepts of commitment and discernment.<br />

Several sisters also shared their<br />

own vocation stories and explained<br />

the charisms of the different religious<br />

orders represented at the dinner.<br />

The evening concluded with adoration<br />

of the Blessed Sacrament, which<br />

provided quiet time for the young<br />

women to contemplate the word of<br />

God and to be in the presence of the<br />

eucharistic Jesus.<br />

The event was organized by the<br />

archdiocese’s Office of the Vicar for<br />

Women Religious with help from<br />

Father Mike Perucho, the archdiocese’s<br />

director of Vocations, and Father<br />

Marinello Saguin, pastor of Our Lady<br />

of Grace.<br />

The next Miriam Dinner is planned<br />

for Oct. 7, <strong>2023</strong>, at St. Anthony of<br />

Padua Church in Gardena. Organizers<br />

hope to have the Miriam Dinner at<br />

least twice a year with rotating locations<br />

between regions.<br />

Participants will also be invited to<br />

future retreats and discernment events<br />

of the religious sisters.<br />

Verma is now a junior studying<br />

psychology at UCLA. She doesn’t<br />

know if being a nun or sister is in her<br />

future, but the dinner helped her see<br />

the many possibilities that religious life<br />

poses.<br />

“After the Miriam Dinner, it opened<br />

my eyes because of the different<br />

sisterhoods explaining their agenda and<br />

what they do and what they stand for;<br />

it made me think there are multiple<br />

pathways that people can go through<br />

and still serve their community in a<br />

faithful way,” Verma said.<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>21</strong>, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 17


Former Tidings<br />

Editor Bill Rivera<br />

dies at 94<br />

Former Tidings editor William “Bill” Rivera. | RIVERA FAMILY<br />

William “Bill” Rivera, former editor of The Tidings<br />

newspaper and communications director for the<br />

Archdiocese of Los Angeles, died on March 22 at<br />

the age of 94.<br />

The first child of Pedro Salazar Rivera and Rita Cordova<br />

Rivera, William Cordova Rivera lived a rich life guided by<br />

his strong faith in God. Rivera built a successful career in<br />

public relations and education, starting as a publicist for<br />

LA’s Hollywood Stars minor league baseball team, while<br />

freelancing as a sports reporter and photographer for San<br />

Fernando Valley newspapers.<br />

Rivera joined the Los Angeles Unified School District<br />

(LAUSD) as a public information officer, and later worked<br />

as communications director and superintendent special<br />

assistant. He served the archdiocese from 1988 to 1993 as<br />

communications director and editor of The Tidings newspaper,<br />

the predecessor of <strong>Angelus</strong>.<br />

From humble beginnings in a rural stretch of what is now<br />

Canoga Park, Bill “Willie” Rivera grew up in a tight-knit<br />

colony of about 10 families that came from Durango in<br />

northern Mexico. Everyone called him “Willie.” The<br />

young Rivera family was soon joined by a second son, Ramon,<br />

and by Rita’s brother, Angel, who was Willie’s age.<br />

His childhood was soon marked by tragedy, however, as<br />

his mother died not long after giving birth to a baby girl,<br />

Dorothy, who also died. The boys were taken in by surrogate<br />

grandparents, Petra and Lucio Cruz, when Bill was<br />

6 years old. Petra and Lucio would instill the values that<br />

would guide Bill for the rest of his life.<br />

“It was these two giving people who ingrained in my<br />

brother and me the belief of caring for others, in giving<br />

of yourself with no thought of reward, in reaching out to<br />

those about us,” Bill said in a profile published several<br />

years ago in The Tidings and La Opinión newspapers.<br />

Later, Rivera became the first person he knew to attend<br />

college (Los Angeles City College), where he was the first<br />

Mexican American to become editor of the school newspaper,<br />

The Collegian. There, he met the love of his life,<br />

Patricia Eileen Donnelly, who strode into the newsroom<br />

in a yellow dress and saddle shoes, looking to join the staff.<br />

They dated but later broke up (briefly) over a byline on a<br />

story — editor Rivera didn’t think cub reporter Donnelly<br />

had put in enough work to deserve one. Luckily for the<br />

seven children that eventually followed, the two made up<br />

and eventually married.<br />

Petra and Lucio were devout Christians, who raised<br />

the boys in the Foursquare Gospel Church. Marriage to<br />

Donnelly brought Rivera back to the Catholic Church,<br />

and they were active members of Divine Saviour and St.<br />

Bernard parishes. They taught catechism and confirmation<br />

classes, and served on several committees at the archdiocesan<br />

level. They were active in the Marriage Encounter<br />

movement. In 1997, Bill was honored at the annual Cardinal’s<br />

Awards gala dinner for his service to the community.<br />

“I have tried to live my life by two precepts: Caring for<br />

others and giving of myself to others (some would say I am<br />

a soft touch); treating others as I would like them to treat<br />

me,” he wrote.<br />

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Patricia;<br />

his brother, retired Deacon Ramon Rivera; his oldest son,<br />

Matthew; and daughter-in-law, Ellen Potter Rivera. He is<br />

survived by children Robert (Katie Sauceda), Nancy (Jim<br />

Brooks), Katja (Robert Estes), John (Kate Shatzkin), Peter<br />

(Kelley Martel Rivera), and Andrew (Angela Wall); 14<br />

grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren; sister-in-law Josie<br />

Juarez Rivera; and several nieces and nephews, along with<br />

their children and grandchildren.<br />

Funeral services were scheduled to be held at Rivera’s<br />

longtime parish, St. Bernard Church in Glassell Park.<br />

Obituary courtesy of the Rivera family.<br />

18 • ANGELUS • <strong>April</strong> <strong>21</strong>, <strong>2023</strong>


An accountability test<br />

The pope’s update of ‘Vos Estis Lux Mundi’<br />

extends abuse investigation reforms to lay<br />

groups. But how will they be implemented?<br />

BY JOHN L. ALLEN JR.<br />

Father Hans Zollner, SJ, Archbishop Charles J.<br />

Scicluna of Malta, and Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of<br />

Chicago, all members of the organizing committee<br />

for a Vatican meeting on the protection of minors<br />

in the Church, attend a press conference in 2019.<br />

| CNS/PAUL HARING<br />

ROME — Depending on who<br />

you ask, Pope Francis’ 2019<br />

decree “Vos Estis Lux Mundi”<br />

(“You are the Light of the World”),<br />

coupled with updates to the policy<br />

announced March 25, is either a watershed<br />

in the Church’s fight against<br />

sexual abuse or a major disappointment<br />

— or, perhaps, both at the same<br />

time.<br />

Originally issued in the wake of<br />

a summit of the heads of bishops’<br />

conferences from around the world to<br />

discuss the abuse scandals, “Vos Estis”<br />

was designed to promote a culture of<br />

accountability, not just for the crime<br />

of sexual abuse but also the cover-up.<br />

For the first time, it created a mechanism<br />

for investigating and sanctioning<br />

bishops and other superiors charged<br />

with failing to respond appropriately<br />

to claims of abuse against personnel<br />

under their authority.<br />

The recent revisions announced<br />

by the Vatican include making lay<br />

leaders of Vatican-recognized groups<br />

subject to the requirements of “Vos<br />

Estis,” and also specifying that neither<br />

accusers nor witnesses in a “Vos Estis”<br />

investigation are required to maintain<br />

confidentiality. It also stipulates that<br />

abuse against “vulnerable adults,”<br />

in addition to minors, can trigger an<br />

investigation.<br />

Archbishop Charles Scicluna of<br />

Malta, the Vatican’s former chief prosecutor<br />

of sex abuse crimes and widely<br />

recognized as one of the Church’s<br />

leading voices for reform, hailed the<br />

20 • ANGELUS • <strong>April</strong> <strong>21</strong>, <strong>2023</strong>


law and its recent updates as a cornerstone<br />

of the “very clear, limpid, and<br />

beautiful teaching of Pope Francis,<br />

which we must all treasure.”<br />

Others, however, were less impressed.<br />

Anne Barrett Doyle of BishopAccountability.org<br />

described the pope’s<br />

revisions to “Vos Estis” as a “big<br />

disappointment,” saying the policy<br />

needed “an extensive revamping, not<br />

a few tweaks.”<br />

In substance, she cited four flaws<br />

with “Vos Estis”: 1) It remains a policy<br />

of bishops policing other bishops; 2)<br />

it does not require public disclosure<br />

or an investigation or its outcome; 3)<br />

it does not make bishops and superiors<br />

mandatory reporters beyond the<br />

requirements of civil law wherever<br />

they live; and 4) it limits lay roles in<br />

the investigatory process.<br />

BishopAccountability.org claimed<br />

that only about 40 bishops have been<br />

investigated to date under the terms<br />

of “Vos Estis,” only half have received<br />

any sanction, and even in those cases<br />

the punishment has been quiet and<br />

mild. <strong>No</strong>ne have been laicized or<br />

deprived of their standing as a bishop,<br />

the group said.<br />

<strong>No</strong> doubt, debate over “Vos Estis”<br />

will continue. In the meantime, it’s<br />

worth noting that whatever the limits<br />

of the policy, the pope’s revisions at<br />

least point to what many experts have<br />

long regarded as the next frontier in<br />

anti-abuse efforts: lay movements and<br />

associations.<br />

A decade after the scandals first<br />

erupted in the United States, the<br />

Church today has fairly strong<br />

measures in place to deal with clergy<br />

accused of sexual abuse. Especially<br />

if that charge involves a minor, the<br />

cleric is almost automatically suspended<br />

from ministry and the accusation is<br />

made public. If an investigation finds<br />

merit to the charge, the cleric is likely<br />

to be laicized.<br />

If an investigation also determines<br />

that the cleric’s superior dropped the<br />

ball, punishment may not be quite as<br />

swift and certain, but at a minimum<br />

that superior’s career path in the<br />

Church probably is fatally stalled.<br />

When the offender in question is a<br />

lay person, however, especially if he<br />

Jean Vanier, founder of the International Federation of<br />

L’Arche Communities, in 2008. | CNS/NANCY WIECHEC<br />

or she isn’t on the Church’s direct<br />

payroll, the situation is far less clear.<br />

Recently, two leaders of prominent<br />

lay movements in Catholicism have<br />

been found guilty of a longstanding<br />

pattern of abuse: Canadian layman<br />

Jean Vanier, founder of the L’Arche<br />

movement, and Peruvian layman<br />

Luis Fernando Figari, founder of the<br />

Sodality of Christian Life.<br />

In Vanier’s case, a report commissioned<br />

by L’Arche concluded that he<br />

had engaged in manipulative sexual<br />

relationships with at least 25 women<br />

from 1952 to 2019; an ecclesiastical<br />

investigation of Figari, meanwhile,<br />

determined that he had engaged in a<br />

wide range of sexual abuse as well as<br />

abuses of power and conscience.<br />

In those two cases, Church authorities<br />

had some tools at their disposal<br />

because both Vanier and Figari led international<br />

organizations that enjoyed<br />

official Vatican recognition. Many<br />

observers believe an even tougher<br />

challenge involves reports of abuse<br />

committed by individuals or organizations,<br />

which present themselves as<br />

Catholic, but which are not recognized<br />

by officialdom and over whom<br />

authorities have little real control.<br />

For an example, consider the Catholic<br />

Culture and Environment Association<br />

located on the Italian island of<br />

Sicily, which, at its peak, numbered<br />

around 5,000 members. Its leader, a<br />

layman named Pietro Capuana who’s<br />

now in his early 80s, was considered<br />

by his followers to be the reincarnation<br />

of the Archangel Michael.<br />

In 2017, Capuana was arrested<br />

on charges of sexually abusing girls<br />

between the ages of 11 and 16. Three<br />

other members of the group, all<br />

women, were charged as accomplices<br />

for allegedly selecting and grooming<br />

Capuana’s victims. Their long-delayed<br />

trial is currently underway in Sicily,<br />

with the defense case set to begin in<br />

the next hearing scheduled for <strong>April</strong><br />

18.<br />

Although the group did not have any<br />

official ecclesiastical recognition, its<br />

founder was a popular Sicilian priest<br />

and “spiritual son” of the famed Capuchin<br />

mystic Padre Pio named Father<br />

Stefano Cavalli. The group routinely<br />

held its meetings in a Catholic parish,<br />

while its events were sometimes advertised<br />

in a diocesan publication.<br />

Internal documents suggest that<br />

the Diocese of Acireale in Sicily was<br />

aware of charges of suspect behavior<br />

against the group as early as the 1970s,<br />

but officials have insisted the concerns<br />

were of a doctrinal and spiritual<br />

nature rather than sexual abuse.<br />

In effect, the Sicilian group appears<br />

to have fallen into an ecclesiastical<br />

blind spot, publicly holding itself out<br />

as authentically Catholic but with no<br />

real oversight, either from the local<br />

diocese or from the Vatican.<br />

For victims, of course, the fine points<br />

of Church law undoubtedly aren’t<br />

all that important — if the group<br />

appeared to have the Church’s blessing,<br />

and if no one in authority ever<br />

told them otherwise, they’ll naturally<br />

conclude the Church was somehow<br />

complicit.<br />

How to make the Church’s new<br />

anti-abuse policies stick with such lay<br />

groups, which operate on the margins<br />

of Catholic life and which have a pattern<br />

of successfully evading efforts at<br />

control of any sort, seems destined to<br />

be yet another test of “Vos Estis” and<br />

the broader reform efforts of Francis.<br />

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

<strong>April</strong> <strong>21</strong>, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • <strong>21</strong>


A second group of 2,000 detainees were moved overnight to the mega-prison Terrorist Confinement Center (CECOT) on March 15 in Tecoluca, El Salvador. A first group of<br />

detainees had been moved to the prison on Feb. 26. | HANDOUT VIA GETTY IMAGES<br />

A DESPERATE REMEDY<br />

In El Salvador, at least one bishop is speaking out against a<br />

brutal crackdown on suspected gang members.<br />

BY MSGR. RICHARD ANTALL<br />

When it was time last month<br />

for Cardinal Gregorio Rosa<br />

Chavez to preach on the<br />

43rd anniversary of the death of his<br />

friend and mentor St. Oscar Romero,<br />

the retired auxiliary bishop of San Salvador<br />

chose to address a very controversial<br />

topic in the country right now:<br />

the “state of exception” that allows the<br />

government to lock up thousands of<br />

gang members without due process.<br />

These “domestic terrorists” are to be<br />

housed (or better said, warehoused)<br />

in the recently opened “Terrorism<br />

Confinement Center.” This megaprison<br />

will be the world’s largest with<br />

a capacity of 40,000, surpassing the<br />

Silivri Penitentiaries Campus in Turkey,<br />

which supposedly has more than<br />

22,000 inmates. (Turkey, it should be<br />

noted, has a population of 84.6 million<br />

people, more than 14 times that of El<br />

Salvador.)<br />

The gangs in El Salvador have a monstrous<br />

record of mayhem and violence,<br />

their criminal activity penetrating<br />

almost every sector of the country’s<br />

economy and people’s daily lives. In<br />

the little town where I was pastor for<br />

many years, El Puerto de La Libertad,<br />

hardly any small business escaped<br />

paying protection money.<br />

It was a way of life. One “pandillero,”<br />

as the gang members are called,<br />

charged my compadre — a store owner<br />

whose son with Down syndrome is my<br />

godson — $50 a week. The average<br />

daily wage in El Salvador is estimated<br />

at $12 a day.<br />

This same gang member later went to<br />

prison for the murder of the wife of a<br />

Mexican agent of Interpol who worked<br />

in El Salvador. Ironically, he had been<br />

contracted by the wife, who was in love<br />

with her children’s swimming instructor,<br />

to kill her husband. The “pandillero,”<br />

on a motorcycle, rode up to the car<br />

of the couple at a traffic light and shot<br />

22 • ANGELUS • <strong>April</strong> <strong>21</strong>, <strong>2023</strong>


into the car, wounding the husband,<br />

who survived, and killing his client.<br />

Stories like these help explain why The<br />

Washington Post in 2016 declared El<br />

Salvador “the murder capital of the<br />

hemisphere.”<br />

We can thank God that is no longer<br />

true of the country. Violence has<br />

dropped dramatically, earning president<br />

Nayib Bukele popular support<br />

around the country. Unfortunately, it<br />

has taken something like the “state of<br />

exception” for that to happen. Bukele’s<br />

government has not been shy to admit<br />

its suspension of legal rights for anyone<br />

accused of being a gang member.<br />

Under the “exceptional rules,” police<br />

don’t have to inform arrestees of their<br />

rights or what they’re being arrested for,<br />

nor do those arrested have the right to<br />

a lawyer. They can now be held for 15<br />

days without seeing a judge (the period<br />

used to be 72 hours).<br />

Watchdog group Human Rights<br />

Watch reported that the policies have<br />

resulted in “mass arbitrary detention,<br />

torture, and other forms of ill treatment<br />

against detainees, deaths in custody,<br />

and abuse-ridden prosecutions.”<br />

Bukele’s government has produced<br />

videos showing at least 4,000 “domestic<br />

terrorists” being transferred to the<br />

megaprison. The scenes of shirtless,<br />

shoeless tattooed men in white boxer<br />

shorts file into a courtyard and squat<br />

with their heads touching the backs<br />

of the men ahead of them resembles<br />

something out of Hollywood science<br />

fiction.<br />

I don’t know what is more shocking:<br />

the footage of these men or the fact<br />

that many Salvadorans, especially those<br />

who have immigrated to the U.S., are<br />

not appalled by the sight of so many<br />

young men entering an environment<br />

that would have intimidated Dante<br />

Alighieri.<br />

“Abandon hope all ye who enter<br />

here,” the Italian poet famously imagined<br />

the sign welcoming new arrivals<br />

to hell. The same words would seem<br />

fitting for this mega-prison.<br />

The government boasts that no one<br />

can escape from it. “This will be their<br />

new house, where they will live for<br />

decades, all mixed, unable to do any<br />

further harm to the population,” boasted<br />

Bukele recently. The potential for<br />

violence in prison in a country with no<br />

death penalty, is part of the terror the<br />

“state of exception” inspires.<br />

One of Chavez’s concerns is the<br />

many innocent young men who have<br />

been detained mistakenly. Some 4,000<br />

of the 70,000 arrested under the new<br />

anti-terrorism protocols have since<br />

been released, but I am told that this<br />

takes some doing. <strong>No</strong>t all innocent<br />

men and their families have recourse<br />

to the lawyers and other resources<br />

needed to apply pressure.<br />

“How can you sleep at night, seeing<br />

how the ‘exceptional’ has become the<br />

rule, what is normal?” said Chavez, addressing<br />

the government in his March<br />

24 homily. “How is it that you can<br />

accept as normal the people who suffer<br />

cannot even express themselves publicly.<br />

How is it that it can be regarded as<br />

normal that all possibility of dialogue<br />

is closed?”<br />

I would go even further than the<br />

cardinal in that I believe that even the<br />

guilty deserve better treatment. Is the<br />

possibility of redemption now totally<br />

ruled out? What about the souls of<br />

these men? Can we just lock the doors<br />

and throw away the key?<br />

During a recent visit to El Salvador,<br />

some of those I talked to found the<br />

treatment of the prisoners dehumanizing.<br />

Others disagreed, saying that<br />

the gang members deserved the brutal<br />

treatment.<br />

But what remains is a terrible situation,<br />

an invoice of sorts for El Salvador’s<br />

long history of injustice, oppression,<br />

violence, and loss of faith. The<br />

cruelty and viciousness of the gangs is<br />

sinful, but it needs to be understood<br />

in the context of a society at war with<br />

its religious roots, overwhelmed by<br />

a selfish materialism, and scarred by<br />

generations of fratricidal conflict.<br />

Charles Dickens once wrote this<br />

about the excesses of the French Revolution:<br />

“Crush humanity out of shape<br />

once more, under similar hammers,<br />

and it will twist itself into the same<br />

tortured forms. Sow the same seeds of<br />

rapacious license and oppression over<br />

Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chavez of San Salvador, El Salvador, in a file photo. | CNS/ALESSANDRO BIANCHI, REUTERS<br />

again, and it will surely yield the same<br />

fruit according to its kind.” The gangs<br />

are both producers and products of<br />

violence.<br />

The problem is not just that of the<br />

present government of El Salvador.<br />

This is something with international<br />

and even metaphysical dimensions.<br />

The desperation of the “state of exception”<br />

represents the bankruptcy of a<br />

civilization. The Confinement Center<br />

said that only force can hold society together.<br />

May God have mercy on us all.<br />

And may other brave voices join with<br />

that of Chavez in speaking for reason<br />

and decency.<br />

Msgr. Richard Antall is pastor of Holy<br />

Name Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and<br />

the author of several books. He served<br />

as a missionary priest in El Salvador for<br />

more than 20 years and was named a<br />

“<strong>No</strong>ble Friend of El Salvador” in 2011<br />

by the country’s National Assembly.<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>21</strong>, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 23


The Mary<br />

factor<br />

If the term ‘Paschal<br />

Mystery’ seems<br />

like too much to<br />

understand this<br />

Easter, start by<br />

looking at Jesus’<br />

mother.<br />

BY FATHER SLAWOMIR SZKREDKA<br />

Around this time of year, we<br />

Catholics begin to hear the<br />

term “Paschal Mystery” —<br />

meaning the mystery of Jesus’ death<br />

and resurrection — a lot more. But<br />

what does it really mean for you and<br />

me?<br />

It means Jesus’ death, remembered<br />

on Good Friday, and his new life,<br />

celebrated and experienced at Easter,<br />

are ours, too.<br />

For St. Paul, this experience happens<br />

through baptism: “We were indeed<br />

buried with him through baptism into<br />

death, so that, just as Christ was raised<br />

from the dead by the glory of the<br />

Father, we too might live in newness<br />

of life” (Romans 6:4). In another<br />

place, he asserts, “For you have died,<br />

and your life is hidden with Christ in<br />

God” (Colossians 3:3).<br />

Still, the terms may come off as a bit<br />

metaphorical.<br />

But on Good Friday, when we read<br />

the Lord’s passion according to the<br />

Gospel of John, we hear that right<br />

before his death, in the final act of his<br />

agony on the cross, Jesus entrusts us to<br />

his own mother — and her to us.<br />

He turns to Mary and says, “Woman,<br />

behold, your son.” Then he says<br />

to John (and through him to each<br />

of us), “Behold, your mother” (John<br />

19:26–27).<br />

If we look at the entirety of Jesus’<br />

life and ministry as recorded in the<br />

Gospels, we see how Jesus spent it<br />

preparing his disciples to experience<br />

the Paschal Mystery — and drawing<br />

“The Crucifixion,” about<br />

1420-1430, by Master of<br />

the Kremnitz Stadtbuch.<br />

| J. PAUL GETTY MUSEUM<br />

his own mother into it, too.<br />

Jesus’ passion and resurrection only<br />

appear at the end of his earthly journey,<br />

but they are not some unfortunate<br />

addition or epilogue to it. Rather,<br />

everything was oriented toward it from<br />

the start.<br />

In the first chapter of the Gospel of<br />

Mark, Jesus, who has no sin, lowers<br />

himself to receive “a baptism of<br />

repentance for the forgiveness of sins”<br />

(Mark 1:4). In solidarity with sinners,<br />

Jesus goes down into the waters of the<br />

Jordan, foreshadowing his descent<br />

24 • ANGELUS • <strong>April</strong> <strong>21</strong>, <strong>2023</strong>


into death.<br />

In Chapter 2, he speaks of himself<br />

as the bridegroom who will be taken<br />

away, a veiled allusion to his violent<br />

death (Mark 2:20). In Chapter 3, his<br />

enemies are plotting “against him to<br />

put him to death” (Mark 3:6). As the<br />

story advances, allusions to his suffering<br />

become more frequent and more<br />

direct. Halfway through the Gospel,<br />

Jesus openly predicts his passion and<br />

resurrection as he heads to Jerusalem<br />

with his disciples.<br />

Throughout, Jesus makes a point of<br />

calling the disciples and pulling them<br />

into his own life. <strong>No</strong>t because he<br />

wants them to suffer, but because he’s<br />

preparing them for the most important<br />

experience of their lives.<br />

Each time he speaks of his passion,<br />

the disciples resist it, whether it’s<br />

Peter rebuking Jesus (Mark 8:32),<br />

the disciples quarreling about who<br />

is the greatest (Mark 9:34, or James<br />

and John seeking the places of honor<br />

(Mark 10:37).<br />

Undeterred, Jesus patiently explains<br />

what kind of life he’s drawing them to:<br />

one of denying themselves and following<br />

him, giving priority to the small<br />

and vulnerable among us (Mark 9:36),<br />

taking the last place (Mark 9:35;<br />

10:43), and receiving the kingdom<br />

like a child (Mark 10:15). Becoming<br />

servants, small and vulnerable, taking<br />

the last place, Jesus invites them into<br />

his own lifestyle, which he will exemplify<br />

most fully on the cross.<br />

Mary is no stranger to this path of<br />

smallness, vulnerability, service, and<br />

self-denial. In the annunciation scene,<br />

she responds to God by saying “be<br />

it done unto me according to your<br />

word.” She understands that accepting<br />

God’s plan means renouncing whatever<br />

other plans she might have had.<br />

For Mary, this means even giving<br />

up the human ties with her only<br />

son. When Jesus seemingly distances<br />

himself from her during his public<br />

ministry — “Who are my mother and<br />

[my] brothers?” (Mark 3:33) — she<br />

learns to die to the human bonds that<br />

bind her to Jesus and to give rise to<br />

a new way of relating to him. “My<br />

mother and my brothers,” Jesus says,<br />

“are those who hear the word of God<br />

and act on it” (Luke 8:<strong>21</strong>).<br />

When her 12-year-old Son, for whom<br />

she and Joseph had anxiously looked<br />

for three days, stated that he had to<br />

be in his Father’s house, Mary and Joseph<br />

did not understand what he said<br />

to them (Luke 2:50). She struggles<br />

with understanding God’s designs and<br />

learns to accept what surpasses understanding,<br />

a lesson she will undertake<br />

again at the cross.<br />

In a small but telling detail, St. Luke<br />

tells us that she mentions Joseph first:<br />

“Your father and I have been looking<br />

for you” (Luke 2:48). Mentioning<br />

Joseph first, she takes the last place.<br />

Because she is so perfectly set on the<br />

path of smallness, self-denial, service,<br />

and childlike trust, Jesus wants us<br />

to hold on to her — “Behold, your<br />

mother” — as we enter our dying and<br />

rising with Christ. She will intercede<br />

for us when our wine runs short. And<br />

she will encourage us — “Do whatever<br />

he tells you” (John 2:5) — to help<br />

bring about the new wine so that “we<br />

too might live in newness of life.”<br />

(Romans 6:4)<br />

Because she is so perfectly set on the path of<br />

smallness, self-denial, service, and childlike trust,<br />

Jesus wants us to hold on to his mother as we<br />

enter our dying and rising with Christ.<br />

This is good news. This Easter, if<br />

we’re struggling to be small, take the<br />

last place, or trust in God; her Son<br />

wants us to enter the Paschal Mystery<br />

with his mother, holding on to her as<br />

we live out our dying and rising with<br />

Christ.<br />

Father Slawomir Szkredka is the<br />

coordinator of human formation at St.<br />

John’s Seminary in Camarillo and the<br />

author of the new book “Icon of Trust:<br />

Mary in the Gospels of Luke and John”<br />

(Sophia Institute Press, $13.95).<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>21</strong>, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 25


Searching in his footsteps<br />

Fresco of Jesus calming the storm, in<br />

the church Chiesa di San Ferdinando,<br />

20th century, by Umberto Colonna.<br />

| SHUTTERSTOCK<br />

A pilgrimage to the<br />

Holy Land changed<br />

Angela Alaimo<br />

O’Donnell’s life. Her<br />

latest book of poetry<br />

helps explain how.<br />

BY NICK RIPATRAZONE<br />

In 2019, poet Angela Alaimo<br />

O’Donnell traveled to the Holy<br />

Land. She spent her first night at<br />

the Mount of the Beatitudes. The<br />

next morning, she ran along the Sea<br />

of Galilee. In the days that followed,<br />

she made pilgrimages to holy sites,<br />

including Bethlehem, Jericho, the<br />

River Jordan, the Mount of Olives,<br />

and Calvary. She “followed in the<br />

footsteps of Jesus.”<br />

Her fellow companions took photos.<br />

O’Donnell, instead, wrote poems.<br />

O’Donnell has collected these<br />

poems in the aptly titled “Holy Land”<br />

Angela Alaimo O’Donnell.<br />

| ANGELAALAIMOODONNELL.COM<br />

26 • ANGELUS • <strong>April</strong> <strong>21</strong>, <strong>2023</strong>


(Paraclete Press, $20), her 10th book<br />

of verse. One of the first poems in the<br />

book, “The Storm Chaser,” documents<br />

what she saw that first morning<br />

while running: “I see you in your<br />

boat, tall brown / man that you are,<br />

standing in the prow, / arms raised<br />

in supplication to the skies, / windwhipped<br />

tunic blowing wild & high.”<br />

The arresting image is followed by<br />

the fact that the man’s companions on<br />

the boat “have hit the deck and now<br />

lie prone / on the sodden wood, dumb<br />

as stone / and waiting for what surely<br />

is the end.”<br />

While the wind tumults the sea,<br />

O’Donnell is transfixed by this man:<br />

“You alone are all might, pure motion<br />

/ in the shape of a god, this small<br />

ocean / no match for your infinite<br />

love — for them, / for the sky, for the<br />

sea. And, yes, even for me.”<br />

The man depicted in the poem<br />

was a real man — a fisherman who<br />

O’Donnell watched survive a sharp<br />

storm — and yet the man was also<br />

Jesus. One theme of “Holy Land” is<br />

that Jesus is among us, and not merely<br />

in spirit. Her poetry suggests that Jesus<br />

is among us in body.<br />

Appropriately enough, as a poet,<br />

O’Donnell has been distinctly formed<br />

by Christ’s crucifixion. In her poem<br />

“The First Art,” she writes: “The<br />

rough wood splits and yaws / worn<br />

smooth in places / where hands,<br />

heads, buttocks, feet / of the crucified<br />

before Christ / rubbed and writhed<br />

and rested.” She has described the<br />

Catholic reaction to the crucifixion as<br />

a “complex mingling of fear and pity,<br />

guilt and gratitude, happiness and<br />

horror.” Those contrasting, powerful<br />

emotions created the need for poetry<br />

above all other art forms.<br />

Thomas Merton, the Catholic poet<br />

and Trappist monk, once lamented<br />

that although Catholics have such<br />

a rich poetic tradition, many were<br />

ignorant of their literary forebears. As<br />

an example, he identified the mystical,<br />

entrancing St. John of the Cross<br />

as “one of the greatest Catholic poets,”<br />

but: “How many Catholics have even<br />

heard of him?”<br />

Catholics should care about poetry,<br />

and I encourage them to encounter<br />

O’Donnell’s work. Her poetry is<br />

notable in both subject and style.<br />

She writes of the mystery of suffering<br />

and the worry of God’s absence.<br />

She does so paying close attention to<br />

the world, and her work manages to<br />

reveal joy while depicting life in an<br />

authentic manner. O’Donnell looks<br />

for Jesus in those she encounters, and<br />

she documents that search — and its<br />

revelations — in her poetry.<br />

In “Holy Land,” her encounters<br />

with Jesus continue upon her return<br />

to America. “Easter Monday” is<br />

the prototypical O’Donnell poem:<br />

light-hearted, yet profound, as well<br />

as skilled and playful in technique.<br />

“Christ comes, a knock on the door<br />

when I least / expect him,” she writes.<br />

“Espresso in hand I pop open / the<br />

screen door that sticks in every kind /<br />

of weather.” He offers her peace, and<br />

joins her for breakfast; they eat “in<br />

the too-small nook, our four knees /<br />

touching beneath the table.”<br />

The narrator and Christ “find / little<br />

to discuss.” The observation might first<br />

appear strange, but it forces us to consider:<br />

How would we receive Christ in<br />

our world? Are we ready to confront<br />

him in the flesh; to wrangle with the<br />

reality of his presence?<br />

O’Donnell ends the poem: “His<br />

lined / face says he knows what we<br />

don’t say. / I ask him if this time he<br />

plans to stay.” Her concluding rhyme<br />

links the final two lines, and punctuates<br />

the poem as a prompt for the<br />

reader. O’Donnell’s poem is emotionally<br />

inviting rather than intellectual;<br />

it compels me to ponder my relationship<br />

with Christ in a visceral way.<br />

She accomplishes similar power in<br />

“The Land of All Souls,” written for<br />

<strong>No</strong>v. 2. O’Donnell’s most memorable<br />

work is both surprising and strange —<br />

a counter to the mundane appearance<br />

of life. “They are here with us at the<br />

breakfast table,” the poem begins,“sitting<br />

in our chairs, buttering their<br />

toast, / the knives heavy in their airy<br />

hands.” The departed are unable to<br />

eat; food, after all, is “for the living.”<br />

Instead, the souls “drift past us to the<br />

window seat. / They survey the days as<br />

PARACLETE PRESS<br />

if making plans.”<br />

Ultimately, the souls “do what they<br />

always do, / stay here with us.” Those<br />

who have passed from this world<br />

“know they are loved, / seen and<br />

acknowledged by their flesh & blood.<br />

/ They move through the day with us,<br />

side by side. / They almost believe<br />

they’re alive.”<br />

The poem manages to be both<br />

melancholy and moving at the same<br />

time — a work that reveals the unique<br />

nature of Catholic poetry. The Catholic<br />

poet documents the travails of this<br />

world — suffering, confusion, fear —<br />

with an eye toward our saving grace.<br />

Poetry extends the liturgy beyond<br />

church walls. In writing and reading<br />

poetry, Catholics engage in a form<br />

of prayer and contemplation. “Holy<br />

Land” is a worthy companion on that<br />

pilgrimage.<br />

Nick Ripatrazone is culture editor for<br />

Image journal and the author of several<br />

books of fiction, poetry, and literary<br />

criticism. His most recent book, “The<br />

Habit of Poetry: The Literary Lives<br />

of Nuns in Mid-century America,” is<br />

available for pre-order at Fortress Press<br />

($28.99).<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>21</strong>, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 27


INTERSECTIONS<br />

GREG ERLANDSON<br />

A mother’s journey to Easter<br />

SHUTTERSTOCK<br />

For the first time in several years,<br />

my mom called me by name.<br />

We were turning her in her bed,<br />

which is a group effort, when she<br />

looked up at me and called me “Greg.”<br />

My mom is bed-ridden now, yet<br />

still lives at home at age 99. This is a<br />

kind of a miracle in itself, and is only<br />

possible because of my generous and<br />

loving siblings, a saintly sister-in-law<br />

and a couple of dedicated caregivers.<br />

Yet the dementia that comes with age’s<br />

frailty has taken its toll. The arc of her<br />

human journey has bent back almost<br />

to where it began.<br />

The children who she once fed now<br />

feed her. The children who she once<br />

changed, now change her. The children<br />

who she once helped take their<br />

first steps now carefully lift her up from<br />

the bed, standing her on wobbly legs<br />

as they position her in a wheelchair.<br />

She who gave so much is now giving<br />

us a final opportunity to give back, to<br />

answer love with love.<br />

The fragility and helplessness of the<br />

young child is now hers to endure,<br />

with skin worn almost translucent by<br />

the passage of years.<br />

The woman strong enough to learn<br />

how to play 18 holes of golf in her 50s<br />

now seems to be all painful sinews and<br />

joints, flesh barely covering the bones<br />

of her hands that once gripped those<br />

clubs with such determination.<br />

And despite all this, she has good days<br />

as well as bad ones, lighting up when a<br />

familiar face enters the room. She still<br />

smiles. She blows kisses. She says she<br />

loves each of us madly.<br />

When some unpleasantness is being<br />

inflicted on her, one of the children<br />

who she taught to pray will look her<br />

in the eyes and start reciting the Our<br />

Father or the Hail Mary.<br />

Mom mouths the same words, words<br />

so deeply embedded in her they are<br />

unforgettable. Or she would repeatedly<br />

pray, “Lord, thank you for my blessings<br />

and graces.”<br />

It seems an injustice that after so<br />

many decades of love and service, she<br />

must endure her Good Friday now,<br />

sometimes with loud cries and tears,<br />

sometimes with prayers and supplications,<br />

as the author of the Letter to the<br />

Hebrews puts it.<br />

My mom is a living memento mori, a<br />

reminder of the path we all will travel,<br />

perhaps not for 99 years, but travel<br />

nonetheless we will.<br />

“I say to you, when you were younger,<br />

you used to dress yourself and go<br />

28 • ANGELUS • <strong>April</strong> <strong>21</strong>, <strong>2023</strong>


Greg Erlandson is the former president and<br />

editor-in-chief of Catholic <strong>News</strong> Service.<br />

where you wanted; but when you grow<br />

old, you will stretch out your hands,<br />

and someone else will dress you and<br />

lead you where you do not want to go”<br />

(John <strong>21</strong>:18). Jesus wasn’t just foretelling<br />

Peter’s end, but the likely end of so<br />

many of us as well.<br />

It is sometimes easier to believe in<br />

Good Friday than in Easter Sunday<br />

when in my mom’s bedroom, but<br />

not only there: in the muddy charnel<br />

house of Bakhmut, in the 18-wheelers<br />

filled with the bodies of migrants risking<br />

all in the failed hope of a new life,<br />

in the gunshot victims on a thousand<br />

U.S. streets.<br />

It is not difficult in these darkening<br />

hours to believe in Good Friday. It is<br />

an act of courage, of faith, to believe<br />

in Easter Sunday. “I look forward to<br />

the resurrection of the dead and the<br />

life of the world to come,” we say every<br />

Sunday in the Creed. That fantastical<br />

assertion is based on our faith that<br />

Christ did indeed rise again. “Death no<br />

longer has power over him” (Romans<br />

6:9), Paul wrote. And because of our<br />

faith in Christ, death no longer has<br />

power over us. In faith, we look forward<br />

to the resurrection of the dead.<br />

Looking upon the body of my<br />

sleeping mother, a sleep that even now<br />

resembles death, I am speechless at<br />

the impenetrable mystery of it. That’s<br />

because of the sacrifice one God-man<br />

made 2,000 years ago, a sacrifice memorialized<br />

every single day since then,<br />

my mother’s life does not end here. In<br />

her end will be a beginning.<br />

I do not know what life beyond death<br />

will entail. Will she be transformed as<br />

Jesus was in the post-resurrection appearances?<br />

Will that vital woman who<br />

birthed eight children, who taught me<br />

to pray, to garden, to cook, to care, will<br />

she be restored to something altogether<br />

new, yet recognizable?<br />

What will 99 years of life come to<br />

be in the afterlife? I don’t know the<br />

answer to that. Yet, I believe that ours<br />

is “an inheritance that is imperishable,<br />

undefiled and unfading” (1 Peter 1:4),<br />

as Peter wrote.<br />

Even now, as my mom climbs her last<br />

Golgotha, in her love and her patience<br />

and her faith, she points toward Easter’s<br />

dawning and immortal light.


DESIRE LINES<br />

HEATHER KING<br />

On a song and a prayer<br />

Paul Rose created “Sing the Hours,” an online platform designed to help people sing the Divine Office prayers each<br />

day. | PAUL ROSE/SING THE HOURS<br />

Sing the Hours (singthehours.<br />

org), a platform designed to help<br />

people sing the Divine Office, is<br />

the brainchild of Paul Rose, a young<br />

convert from the Boston area.<br />

The Office, musical by nature,<br />

follows a “Psalter,” a methodical,<br />

universally observed cycle. Priests,<br />

monks, and nuns are pledged to pray<br />

the Office at several set “hours” of<br />

the day. The Second Vatican Council<br />

emphasized that it should be the<br />

prayer of laypeople as well.<br />

Each day Sing the Hours offers lauds<br />

and vespers, the “hinge” Offices.<br />

On his YouTube channel, Rose<br />

introduces himself like this: “Hi all!<br />

I’m here to serve and glorify God<br />

with prayer. The Liturgy of the Hours<br />

is the public prayer of the Universal<br />

Church! To pray the Liturgy of the<br />

Hours — also called the Divine<br />

Office — is to enter into the intimate<br />

conversation of God’s family.”<br />

Rose’s voice is clear, beautiful, and<br />

refreshingly noncloying. He’s not<br />

trying to sound holy. You sense that<br />

prayer is an integral part of his life<br />

and he is longing to share it.<br />

The YouTube background might<br />

be of a snow-shrouded statue of the<br />

Virgin Mary, or the branch of a flowering<br />

apple tree, or a bank of candles<br />

flickering before an icon of Jesus.<br />

Following along is easy as the text is<br />

displayed throughout: the Invitatory<br />

(in Latin), hymn, and psalms; the<br />

Glory Be (also in Latin), the reading,<br />

the Benedictus or Magnificat, and<br />

the Lord’s Prayer. Often Rose will<br />

close with a song to Mary: the “Salve<br />

Regina” or an “Ave Maria.”<br />

In a May 4, 20<strong>21</strong>, interview with<br />

Deacon Ryan Sales from Canada,<br />

Rose — earnest, passionate, articulate,<br />

and almost goofily endearing —<br />

30 • ANGELUS • <strong>April</strong> <strong>21</strong>, <strong>2023</strong>


Heather King is an award-winning<br />

author, speaker, and workshop leader.<br />

offers the backstory of his venture.<br />

He was raised as what he calls a<br />

“post-modern,” nondenominational<br />

Christian. In high school, he was<br />

“beckoned to the Church by the Holy<br />

Spirit.”<br />

For 10 years, he and his brother had<br />

run a company that worked with kids<br />

to give them public speaking and debate<br />

skills. But around 2020, he “was<br />

kind of on burnout and also wanted<br />

to do something more evangelical<br />

with my time.”<br />

He was also in “a quarter-life crisis”;<br />

a space of great desolation, both spiritually<br />

and personally. He’s an extreme<br />

extrovert and the pandemic had worn<br />

him down.<br />

So he took a sabbatical of several<br />

months to discern what his next step<br />

should be. For his birthday that year,<br />

Dec. 30, his sister gave him a breviary<br />

set. And when he started praying<br />

and singing the Office, everything<br />

changed.<br />

“There’s a great letter from Church<br />

Father and doctor St. Athanasius to<br />

Marcellinus, where he discusses the<br />

psalms. It’s not for our entertainment<br />

that we sing our psalms, it’s for the<br />

soul’s own benefit.”<br />

In the midst of the darkest period<br />

of his life, he realized it’s impossible<br />

simultaneously to sing the psalms and<br />

to feel despondent. “You’re breathing,<br />

moving, standing. It’s a perfect integration<br />

before God of body, soul, and<br />

spirit. But it’s not just a mental health<br />

tool or a way to find peace, it’s a way<br />

to worship God.”<br />

<strong>No</strong>netheless, after a few months<br />

he realized he was probably singing<br />

the psalms wrong. He started asking<br />

around and searching online — podcasts,<br />

Instagram, YouTube — and he<br />

found there was literally nothing: no<br />

guide, no materials.<br />

In high school he’d been interested<br />

in music, music production, and<br />

voice. He began to realize: “I can<br />

sing, I can produce — why not just<br />

pray the Office myself and make it<br />

available to other people?”<br />

He started posting during Advent of<br />

2020. His early efforts were awful, he<br />

says. A friend told him he sounded<br />

like Justin Bieber, if Bieber had converted<br />

to Catholicism and become a<br />

monk. He quickly began adopting a<br />

more “traditional” tone — though,<br />

trained in pop vocals, his singing is<br />

always going to have a bit of “modern<br />

charm,” as he laughingly puts it.<br />

More and more, he realizes, the entire<br />

human experience is contained<br />

in those 150 psalms: our suffering,<br />

our joy, our thanksgiving, our angst.<br />

They were written by David, Christ’s<br />

ancestor, and Christ prayed them<br />

himself.<br />

“The prayer is timeless but it enters<br />

time in our contemporary English<br />

language context.”<br />

At the behest of his mother, Rose<br />

and his siblings also learned Latin as<br />

children. Bits of that he’s also incorporated<br />

into Sing the Hours.<br />

“Think of how many thousands of<br />

saints have prayed the ‘Glory Be’<br />

throughout history in Latin — at<br />

work in the fields, before the altar,<br />

about to be burned at the stake. It’s<br />

so great to close each psalm with that<br />

eternal shout-out.”<br />

Rose’s enthusiasm is contagious. His<br />

conviction that God had a plan for<br />

his dark night of the soul is a consolation.<br />

That he took the resources at<br />

hand — his musical talents, his energy,<br />

his faithful heart — and molded<br />

them into an ongoing daily labor of<br />

love is a lesson and an inspiration to<br />

all of us.<br />

In the passion according to John,<br />

Jesus and his disciples sit down to<br />

the Last Supper. His time is at hand.<br />

“One of you will betray me,” he tells<br />

them. He will not again together<br />

drink the fruit of the vine until they<br />

meet in the Father’s kingdom.<br />

Then he takes a moment to integrate<br />

himself fully before God<br />

— body, soul, spirit — and forever<br />

enshrines the glory of music.<br />

“And when they had sung a hymn,<br />

they went out to the Mount of Olives.”<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>21</strong>, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 31


LETTER AND SPIRIT<br />

SCOTT HAHN<br />

Scott Hahn is founder of the<br />

St. Paul Center for Biblical<br />

Theology; stpaulcenter.com.<br />

Unraveling the Paschal Mystery<br />

A<br />

single day could not contain the<br />

joy of the Resurrection, so the<br />

Church extended the celebration<br />

to a season. We’re still in the midst<br />

of it.<br />

But we who speak English suffer a<br />

fundamental disorientation when we<br />

consider this season. In most languages,<br />

the same word applies to the Jewish<br />

Passover as to the Christian feast of<br />

Jesus’ resurrection: “Pascua,” “Pascha,”<br />

“Pasqua,” “Pesach.” The English name,<br />

Easter, on the other hand, derives from<br />

an ancient German festival, about<br />

which we know very little.<br />

Thus the term “Paschal Mystery”<br />

doesn’t have the same associations for<br />

us as it has for others. It is this mystery,<br />

according to the Catechism, which<br />

“stands at the center” of the Gospel<br />

(CCC, n. 571). All other feasts, all<br />

other mysteries point to it (CCC, n.<br />

1171). Yet it is the same Paschal Mystery<br />

that we celebrate every Sunday<br />

and every Mass. We may think of these<br />

memorials as widening concentric<br />

circles, whose heart is the Lord’s saving<br />

passion.<br />

For Christians, the Paschal Mystery<br />

should evoke the ancient Passover,<br />

when all the firstborn children of Israel<br />

were spared, when the chosen people<br />

were liberated from slavery, and when<br />

they embarked upon their journey to<br />

the promised land. Their deliverance<br />

began with the sacrifice of a lamb and<br />

the smearing of the lamb’s blood on<br />

the doorposts. In future generations,<br />

Jews would recall those events, but also<br />

consider them allegorically, as God’s<br />

continued deliverance of his people,<br />

out of vice and into virtue.<br />

In the fullness of time, Jesus came as<br />

the “Lamb of God” (John 1:29). For<br />

his disciples, he was “Christ, our paschal<br />

lamb,” who “has been sacrificed”<br />

(1 Corinthians 5:7). For Christians, the<br />

Passover has not been abolished, but<br />

rather fulfilled. “Let us, therefore,” said<br />

St. Paul, “celebrate the festival … with<br />

the unleavened bread of sincerity and<br />

truth” (1 Corinthians 5:8).<br />

Raised up in the traditions of Judaism,<br />

the first Christians could see both<br />

continuity and discontinuity from the<br />

Old Covenant to the New. They still<br />

celebrated the festival with unleavened<br />

bread, but now the sacrifice was Christ<br />

himself, who had made an offering<br />

of his body at the Last Supper. It was<br />

that paschal meal that transformed his<br />

execution into a once-for-all sacrifice.<br />

The old Passover began with Israel’s<br />

redemption and liberation, but<br />

it culminated later with the people’s<br />

entrance into “a land flowing with<br />

milk and honey” (Joshua 5:6). Between<br />

those events, the tribes wandered for<br />

40 years. It was a time of purification<br />

when God purged the Israelites of the<br />

lingering effects of their contact with<br />

Egyptian idolatry.<br />

So, every year, as we prepare to celebrate<br />

Easter, we undergo purification<br />

through 40 days of Lent.<br />

From ancient times, the Church saw<br />

the Christian<br />

pilgrimage<br />

as a movement<br />

from<br />

purification to<br />

illumination<br />

and finally to<br />

union with<br />

God. These<br />

“The Angel of Death and the<br />

First Passover.” Illustrators<br />

of the 1897 “Bible Pictures<br />

and What They Teach Us,”<br />

by Charles Foster | WIKIME-<br />

DIA COMMONS<br />

are the stages as we pass through the<br />

sacraments of initiation. They trace<br />

a pattern that plays itself out over the<br />

course of a lifetime, a week or a year,<br />

and even over the course of a Mass.<br />

We “pass over” from sin through<br />

penance to communion as we conform<br />

ourselves to the Easter Mysteries.<br />

32 • ANGELUS • <strong>April</strong> <strong>21</strong>, <strong>2023</strong>


■ SATURDAY, APRIL 8<br />

Easter Vigil Mass. Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels,<br />

555 W. Temple St., Los Angeles, 8 p.m. Vigil will be bilingual<br />

(English/Spanish) starting with the blessing of the fire at the<br />

Easter Fire Hearth on the Cathedral Plaza.<br />

■ SUNDAY, APRIL 9<br />

Easter Sunday Mass. Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels,<br />

555 W. Temple St., Los Angeles. English masses: 7:30 a.m.<br />

and 10 a.m. Spanish: 12:30 p.m.<br />

■ TUESDAY, APRIL 11<br />

Memorial Mass. San Fernando Mission, 15151 San Fernando<br />

Mission Blvd., Mission Hills, 11 a.m. Mass is virtual and<br />

not open to the public. Livestream available at catholiccm.<br />

org or facebook.com/lacatholics.<br />

■ WEDNESDAY, APRIL 12<br />

St. Padre Pio Mass. St. Anne Church, 340 10th St., Seal<br />

Beach, 1 p.m. Celebrant: Father Al Baca. For more information,<br />

call 562-537-4526.<br />

Good Grief Bereavement Support Group. St. Bede the Venerable<br />

Church, <strong>21</strong>5 Foothill Blvd., parish center, second floor,<br />

La Cañada Flintridge, 6:30 p.m. Free six-week bereavement<br />

support group for those who have lost a loved one. Sessions<br />

meet on Wednesdays. Call 626-840-7478 to register.<br />

■ SATURDAY, APRIL 15<br />

Along the Way Pilgrim Walk. Mary and Joseph Retreat<br />

Center, 5300 Crest Rd., Rancho Palos Verdes, 7 a.m.-1 p.m.<br />

Modeled after “the Way” to Santiago de Compostela in<br />

Spain, this is a half-day 4.8-mile walk through the streets and<br />

trails of Palos Verdes to the sacred grounds of the retreat<br />

center. Facilitator: Sue Ballotti. Registration, 7a.m., blessing<br />

of pilgrims and departure, 7:30 a.m., closing prayer and<br />

grace, 11:30 a.m., picnic lunch, 12 p.m. Cost: $30/person or<br />

$60/family. Call Jose Salas at 310-377-4867, ext. 250, or visit<br />

maryjoseph.org for more information.<br />

The Art and Soul of Journaling. Holy Spirit Retreat Center,<br />

4316 Lanai Rd., Encino, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. With Ella Weiss,<br />

MFT. Visit hsrcenter.com or call 818-784-4515.<br />

■ SUNDAY, APRIL 16<br />

International Thomas Merton Society Chapter Meeting.<br />

Holy Spirit Retreat Center, 4316 Lanai Rd., Encino, 2-4 p.m.<br />

Hosted by Sister Chris Machado, SSS. Visit hsrcenter.com or<br />

call 818-784-4515.<br />

■ MONDAY, APRIL 17<br />

Bereavement Support Group. St. Bruno Church, 15740<br />

Citrustree Rd., Whittier, 7 p.m. A six-week bereavement<br />

support group beginning <strong>April</strong> 17. RSVP to Cathy at 562-<br />

631-8844.<br />

■ WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19<br />

“What Catholics Believe” weekly series. St. Dorothy<br />

Church, 241 S. Valley Center Ave., Glendora, 7-8:30 p.m.<br />

Series runs Wednesdays through <strong>April</strong> 26. Deepen your<br />

understanding of the Catholic faith through dynamic DVD<br />

presentations by Bishop Robert Barron, Dr. Edward Sri, Dr.<br />

Brant Pitre, and Dr. Michael Barber. Free event, no reservations<br />

required. Call 626-335-2811 or visit the Adult Faith<br />

Development ministry page at www.stdorothy.org for more<br />

information.<br />

■ THURSDAY, APRIL 20<br />

Children’s Bureau: Foster Care Zoom Orientation. 4-5<br />

p.m. Children’s Bureau is now offering two virtual ways for<br />

individuals and couples to learn how to help children in<br />

foster care while reunifying with birth families or how to<br />

provide legal permanency by adoption. A live Zoom orientation<br />

will be hosted by a Children’s Bureau team member<br />

and 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 />

■ SATURDAY, APRIL 22<br />

Bereavement Ministry. St. Bruno Church 15740 Citrustree<br />

Rd., Whitter, 9 a.m. Information meeting for parishes<br />

interested in starting or growing their bereavement ministry.<br />

RSVP to Cathy at 562-631-8844 by <strong>April</strong> 17.<br />

Earth Day: Entering the Heart! Nature as Spiritual Practice.<br />

LMU, 1 LMU Dr., University Hall, Los Angeles, 9:30<br />

a.m. This three-hour event includes meditation, journaling,<br />

and experiences of garden and wildflowers. The goal is to<br />

create a better relationship with nature and God and to have<br />

a plan for eco stress and climate change. Email markmitchellspeaks@gmail.com<br />

or call 310-822-7979 for more information.<br />

■ SATURDAY, APRIL 22-23<br />

Pinocchio: A Lyric Opera for All Ages. Casa Italiano, 1051<br />

N. Broadway, Los Angeles, <strong>April</strong> 22. Doors open at 5:30<br />

p.m., Italian dinner at 6 p.m. with a special video guest. Opera<br />

to follow. <strong>April</strong> 23, doors open at 1:30 p.m., special pre-show<br />

interpretive activities for children ages 5-12, opera begins<br />

at 2 p.m. Call <strong>21</strong>3-248-2510 or visit operaitaliala.com for<br />

tickets.<br />

■ TUESDAY, APRIL 25<br />

Suicide Prevention and Resources. St. Christopher Church,<br />

629 S. Glendora Ave., West Covina, 6:30 p.m. Hosted by St.<br />

Christopher Wellness Meetings and Father Kolbe Missionaries<br />

of the Immaculata. Presenter: Sean Roche, clinical<br />

psychologist. Age: 18-plus. Contact Jillian Cooke at 626-917-<br />

0040 for more information.<br />

​■ WEDNESDAY, APRIL 26<br />

Shower of Roses Annual Benefit Luncheon for Alhambra<br />

Cloistered Carmelite Nuns. San Gabriel Country Club,<br />

350 E. Hermosa Dr., San Gabriel, 10:30 a.m. social hour<br />

with raffle, silent auction, and prizes, 12 p.m. luncheon.<br />

Features lecture by Randy Shulman, “Behind the Scenes at<br />

Huntington Library and Gardens.” Cost: $65/person. Make<br />

check payable to Cloistered Carmelite Nuns Auxiliary, 710<br />

Lindaraxa Park South, Alhambra, CA 91801. Hosted valet<br />

parking. RSVP to Kathy Cardoza at 626-570-9012 by<br />

<strong>April</strong> 17.<br />

■ SATURDAY, APRIL 29<br />

God’s Healing Remedies for Difficult Times. St. Kateri<br />

Tekakwitha Church, 22508 Copper Hill Dr., Santa Clarita,<br />

12:30 p.m. Presenters: Dr. Elizabeth Kim, Dominic Berardino,<br />

and Deacon Phil Luevanos. Topics: Jesus is alive and heals<br />

today, heavenly help for those who suffer, healing prayer<br />

for damaged emotions and afflicted bodies. Cost: $20/<br />

person. Call 818-771-1361 or email spirit@scrc.org for more<br />

information.<br />

“Hollywood Lights”: La Purisima School Spring Dinner,<br />

Auction, and Drawing. La Purisima Church parish hall, 337<br />

South St., Lompoc, 6 p.m. Auction, costume contest, and raffles,<br />

including themed baskets. Proceeds benefit La Purisima<br />

School. Cost/$100, includes two BBQ dinners and a chance<br />

to win $3,000. Call 805-736-6<strong>21</strong>0 or email lpsoffice@<br />

lapurisimaschool.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>April</strong> <strong>21</strong>, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 33

Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!