Angelus News | June 14, 2024 | Vol. 9 No. 12

On the cover: The percentage of Americans describing themselves as “unhappy” is at an all-time high, but are they willing to find out why? On Page 10, famed scholar and speaker Father Robert J. Spitzer, SJ, draws from the findings of his new book to explain what’s behind the modern “unhappiness syndrome” and lays out the scientific case for why, in the words of St. Augustine, our hearts will indeed be “restless” only until they rest in one person.

On the cover: The percentage of Americans describing themselves as “unhappy” is at an all-time high, but are they willing to find out why? On Page 10, famed scholar and speaker Father Robert J. Spitzer, SJ, draws from the findings of his new book to explain what’s behind the modern “unhappiness syndrome” and lays out the scientific case for why, in the words of St. Augustine, our hearts will indeed be “restless” only until they rest in one person.


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WHY<br />

WE NEED<br />

GOD<br />

The surprising<br />

new science<br />

about belief and<br />

happiness<br />

<strong>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong> <strong>Vol</strong>. 9 <strong>No</strong>. <strong>12</strong>

<strong>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong><br />

<strong>Vol</strong>. 9 • <strong>No</strong>. <strong>12</strong><br />

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The percentage of Americans describing themselves as “unhappy” is at<br />

an all-time high, but are they willing to find out why? On Page 10, famed<br />

scholar and speaker Father Robert J. Spitzer, SJ, draws from the findings<br />

of his new book to explain what’s behind the modern “unhappiness<br />

syndrome” and lays out the scientific case for why, in the words of St.<br />

Augustine, our hearts will indeed be “restless” only until they rest in one<br />

person.<br />



People walk in procession through<br />

the streets of Rome to the Basilica<br />

of St. Mary Major after Pope Francis<br />

celebrated Mass for the feast of the<br />

Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus<br />

Christi) in the Basilica of St. John<br />

Lateran on <strong>June</strong> 2.<br />

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

Always Forward - newsletter.angelusnews.com


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.............................................. 36<br />

Events Calendar..................................... 37<br />

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

18<br />

22<br />

26<br />

28<br />

30<br />

32<br />

34<br />

Pilgrims with the Order of Malta on what they found in Lourdes<br />

LA welcomes bumper crop of 11 new priests at cathedral ordinations<br />

Why the Santo Niño de Atocha keeps bringing thousands to Santa Paula<br />

John Allen: Is Pope Francis’ pontificate entering its ‘Third Age’?<br />

Why Carlo Acutis is set to be named the first millennial saint<br />

Greg Erlandson: We all want to be heard, but do we actually listen?<br />

A new novel inspired by Vatican II’s famous mole is stranger than fiction<br />

Heather King: The labyrinth facing LA’s thousands of unclaimed dead<br />

<strong>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong> • ANGELUS • 1


Christ explained to kids<br />

Always pray, and pray especially<br />

for an end to all wars, Pope<br />

Francis told children during<br />

Mass concluding the first World Children’s<br />

Day.<br />

“We are here to pray, to pray together<br />

and to pray to God,” the Father, who<br />

created the world, to his Son, Jesus,<br />

who saved humanity, and to the Holy<br />

Spirit, “who accompanies us in life,”<br />

he said in his homily May 26, the<br />

solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.<br />

About 50,000 children and adults<br />

gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the<br />

Mass wrapping up the two-day event,<br />

which began in Rome’s Olympic<br />

Stadium May 25. Francis established<br />

the world day as a “movement of boys<br />

and girls who want to build a world<br />

of peace, where we are all brothers<br />

and sisters, a world that has a future<br />

because we want to take care of the<br />

environment around us,” he said at<br />

the stadium.<br />

Girls and boys were active participants<br />

during the Mass, ministering<br />

as altar servers, singing in the choirs,<br />

doing some of the readings including<br />

the prayers of the faithful, and bringing<br />

the offertory gifts.<br />

The pope also took the time to<br />

briefly and simply explain different<br />

moments of the Mass when it was his<br />

time to speak.<br />

The pope did not read his prepared<br />

homily, choosing instead to remind<br />

the children of the meaning of the<br />

Holy Trinity as three Persons in one<br />

God and why it is important to pray<br />

to them.<br />

“God loves us so much,” he said, and<br />

the faithful always ask him to “accompany<br />

us in life and help us grow,”<br />

especially by praying to our Father.<br />

“We pray to Jesus so that he may<br />

help us, so he may be close to us,” the<br />

pope said. The faithful receive Christ<br />

by taking Communion, and Jesus<br />

forgives all sins, even the worst ones.<br />

“Do not forget this. Jesus always<br />

forgives everything, and we must have<br />

the humility to ask for forgiveness,”<br />

as well as recognize one’s mistakes<br />

and difficulties, and one’s intention<br />

to change course and seek help from<br />

God, he said.<br />

The Holy Spirit “is inside of us,”<br />

after receiving him with baptism and<br />

the sacraments, the pope said. The<br />

Holy Spirit “tells us in our hearts<br />

the good things we should do,” and<br />

“he scolds us when we do something<br />

bad.” He gives the faithful strength<br />

and consolation during difficulties.<br />

“The Holy Spirit accompanies us<br />

in life,” he said, asking the children<br />

often to repeat what the Holy Spirit<br />

does.<br />

“We are happy because we believe.<br />

Faith makes us happy, and we believe<br />

in God who is Father, Son, and Holy<br />

Spirit,” he said.<br />

Blessing the children, Francis asked<br />

that they pray for one another so that<br />

they all may continue to forge ahead<br />

in life, to pray for their parents, grandparents,<br />

and for children who are ill,<br />

some of whom were at the Mass.<br />

“Always pray and, above all, pray for<br />

peace so that there will be no more<br />

wars,” he said.<br />

After Mass and the <strong>Angelus</strong>, the<br />

pope shook hands and greeted dozens<br />

of kids who went up to his chair. He<br />

also announced that the next world<br />

day would be in September 2026.<br />

Papal Prayer Intention for <strong>June</strong>: We pray that migrants<br />

fleeing from war or hunger, forced to undertake journeys full<br />

of danger and violence, find welcome and new opportunities<br />

in the countries that receive them.<br />

2 • ANGELUS • <strong>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong>



Love with the heart of Jesus<br />

On <strong>June</strong> 1, Archbishop José H. Gomez<br />

ordained 11 men to the priesthood<br />

at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the<br />

Angels. The following is adapted from<br />

his homily.<br />

Brothers, the words of Jesus that<br />

we just heard in the Gospel were<br />

spoken at the Last Supper. They<br />

were addressed to the Twelve, to his<br />

apostles, to the men he chose to be his<br />

first priests.<br />

<strong>No</strong>w he has chosen you. And he<br />

addresses these words to you. Tenderly<br />

he tells you, “As the Father loves me, so<br />

I also love you. Remain in my love.”<br />

Jesus calls you his friends today,<br />

because he has told you everything that<br />

the Father told him.<br />

He is entrusting to you his words of<br />

eternal life.<br />

He is making you co-workers in his<br />

plan of love, what the apostles called<br />

“the plan of the mystery hidden from<br />

ages and generations.”<br />

As his priests, you will be Christ’s<br />

servants, stewards of this great mystery<br />

of love, which the Father is working out<br />

in salvation history.<br />

Love is the reason God created the<br />

universe. Love is the reason God created<br />

you and me, and every one of us<br />

here today. And love, my dear brothers,<br />

is the reason for your priesthood.<br />

One of the saints said: “The priesthood<br />

is the love of the heart of Jesus.”<br />

In the heart of God there is a deep<br />

longing. The Father longs for every<br />

man and woman to share in his love,<br />

and to become sons and daughters<br />

in his family, in the kingdom of love<br />

that he is building here on earth in his<br />

Church.<br />

That’s why the Father sent his only<br />

Son into the world to die for our sake<br />

and be raised. And that’s why the Son<br />

is now sending you into the world — to<br />

continue his mission of love.<br />

Remember what Jesus tells you today:<br />

“It was not you who chose me, but I<br />

who chose you and appointed you to go<br />

and bear fruit that will remain.”<br />

Your priesthood will always be fruitful<br />

if you stay rooted in his love. “For the<br />

love of Christ impels us,” St. Paul tells<br />

you today.<br />

Love your people as Jesus loves them,<br />

with all your heart and strength. Always<br />

be ready to lay down your life for the<br />

flock he has entrusted to you.<br />

If you do everything for the love of<br />

Christ, then nothing you do will be in<br />

vain!<br />

This is true for all of us in the Church.<br />

We are here to spread the love of God<br />

wherever we find ourselves. In our<br />

work, in our homes, in society.<br />

The priest is ordained in persona<br />

Christi, to be the living image of Jesus,<br />

and he is called to be our leader in the<br />

ways of love.<br />

Today you will give your life to Jesus,<br />

and in exchange, Jesus will make you<br />

instruments of his love.<br />

Through your lips, he will proclaim<br />

his word of truth and pronounce his<br />

words of forgiveness. Into your hands,<br />

he will come down from heaven to give<br />

his body for the life of the world; he will<br />

pour out his blood for our salvation.<br />

As his priests, you are going to be the<br />

leaders of the Eucharistic revival in our<br />

times.<br />

I think we all recognize that there is<br />

something happening in the world today,<br />

something exciting. There’s a new<br />

movement of the Spirit.<br />

People are searching for meaning, and<br />

they’re finding God! People are looking<br />

for love, and they’re coming back to<br />

Jesus!<br />

Everywhere around us, we can see the<br />

signs: God’s love is breaking into the<br />

world, and into the lives of the men and<br />

women of our times!<br />

The Eucharist is the heart of God’s<br />

plan, it’s the heart of the mystery of love<br />

that moves creation and moves history.<br />

And today, he is placing this mystery<br />

in your hands.<br />

He is anointing you, as he anointed<br />

the prophet in today’s first reading: “To<br />

announce a year of favor from the Lord,<br />

a day of vindication by our God.”<br />

Through your priesthood, Jesus will<br />

come to seek and save the lost, to gather<br />

into one all his children from the ends<br />

of the earth.<br />

Through you, he will stand and knock<br />

at the door of every heart, inviting all<br />

to share in his divinity, as he humbled<br />

himself to share in our humanity.<br />

What an exciting time to be a priest!<br />

And what an exciting time for all of us<br />

Love your people as Jesus loves them, with all your<br />

heart and strength. Always be ready to lay down<br />

your life for the flock he has entrusted to you.<br />

to be alive and be Catholic! To play our<br />

part in this great mystery of God’s love<br />

that is breaking into the world!<br />

Let us entrust our new priests to the<br />

heart of the Virgin Mary, Mother of<br />

Fair Love, and Mother of Priests.<br />

Let us ask her intercession for all our<br />

priests! And may she win for us many<br />

more vocations to the priesthood and<br />

consecrated life!<br />

<strong>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong> • ANGELUS • 3

WORLD<br />

■ Pope meets with Ghana’s<br />

modern-day Mother Teresa<br />

An Irish priest who has ministered to lepers in Africa for<br />

decades fulfilled his longtime dream: a meeting with Pope<br />

Francis.<br />

Divine Word Missionary Father Andrew Campbell<br />

has worked with the poor of Ghana for the last 53 years.<br />

Inspired by St. Teresa of Calcutta, he is known for his work<br />

with street children, especially those with disabilities such<br />

as leprosy.<br />

In remarks to the media afterward, Campbell said the<br />

pope told him to “keep on going, don’t give up” after he<br />

told him about the lepers and the approximately 100,000<br />

children on the streets of Accra, Ghana’s capital.<br />

“I told him I am a begging priest, always asking people<br />

to come and help in one way or another,” said Campbell,<br />

who was accompanied by Ghana’s president during the<br />

audience.<br />

■ American missionary<br />

couple killed in Haiti<br />

Father Andrew Campbell, SVD,<br />

with Pope Francis on May 27. |<br />


The remains of two American missionaries killed by gangs<br />

in Haiti have been returned to their families in the U.S.<br />

As they were leaving a youth group service in Port-au-<br />

Prince, Davy and Natalie Lloyd were apparently ambushed<br />

by three trucks full of gang members who were in the midst<br />

of a clash with another gang. A Haitian mission leader<br />

working with the couple was also killed in the attack.<br />

Davy, 23, and Natalie, 21, were working for Mission in<br />

Haiti, a Christian aid group primarily helping children by<br />

offering food, education, and spiritual guidance.<br />

To retrieve the remains, Haitian officials had to break protocol<br />

and remove their bodies from an active crime scene.<br />

“The bodies could have been either desecrated or kidnapped,”<br />

one person involved in the operation told CNN.<br />

“So we pulled them out of a crime scene.”<br />

■ After mistake, Spain<br />

rediscovers Caravaggio<br />

A lost work of Italian painter Caravaggio is now on display<br />

at the Museo del Prado in Madrid after the 17th-century<br />

masterpiece had been mischaracterized.<br />

Ecce Homo (“Behold the Man”) depicts Pontius Pilate<br />

presenting the scourged Jesus to the crowds during his<br />

passion. It was previously owned by private collectors<br />

who incorrectly<br />

believed the<br />

painting to be<br />

the work of a<br />

student of José de<br />

Ribera, leading<br />

to its sale in 2021<br />

for just $1,600 at<br />

auction.<br />

The Spanish<br />

Ministry of Culture<br />

intervened<br />

after suspicions<br />

were raised that<br />

the work was<br />

actually by Caravaggio.<br />

Claudio<br />

Falcucci, a nuclear<br />

engineer and<br />

expert in conservation<br />

of cultural<br />

The newly discovered Ecce Homo on display in Madrid.<br />


artifacts, led an extensive investigation into the piece.<br />

“Four of the most authoritative experts on Caravaggio and<br />

Baroque painting … share the same passionate certainty,”<br />

read a statement from the Museo del Prado, “that Ecce<br />

Homo is a masterpiece by the Italian artist.”<br />

The painting will be on display until February 2025.<br />

Slain Christian missionaries<br />

Davy and Natalie Lloyd. |<br />


4 • ANGELUS • <strong>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong>

NATION<br />

■ Report shows drop in<br />

clergy abuse allegations<br />

by minors<br />

A new national audit of clergy abuse<br />

cases found 17 new abuse allegations<br />

from minors in the United States<br />

last year, of which only three were<br />

substantiated.<br />

The report, produced by the National<br />

Review Board for the Protection<br />

of Children and Young People<br />

in collaboration with accounting<br />

firm StoneBridge Business Partners,<br />

covered allegations made between<br />

July 1, 2022, and <strong>June</strong> 30, 2023.<br />

It counted 1,308 total allegations<br />

that came to light over that period,<br />

a sharp downturn from the 2,704<br />

reported the prior year, and 4,434 in<br />

2019.<br />

Two-hundred twenty-nine of the<br />

allegations from the latest period<br />

were deemed credible. Of those,<br />

70% were concerning alleged events<br />

that happened in the 1960s, ’70s, and<br />

’80s.<br />

In a May 27 letter announcing the<br />

results, U.S. Conference of Catholic<br />

Bishops President Archbishop<br />

Timothy Broglio thanked “victim<br />

survivors for reporting the abuse they<br />

suffered” and “for holding all of us<br />

accountable.”<br />

“<strong>No</strong> other institution can readily<br />

provide and publish the body of<br />

knowledge and statistics as the Catholic<br />

Church does,” added Broglio,<br />

who oversees the Archdiocese of U.S.<br />

Military Services. “The abuse crisis<br />

in the Catholic Church is a part of a<br />

larger societal problem of abuse.”<br />

Glorifying God in Gotham — Pilgrims journeying through the Archdiocese of New York on the National Eucharistic<br />

Pilgrimage’s Seton (East) Route participate in Eucharistic adoration at Central Park’s Naumburg Bandshell in<br />

New York City May 25. | OSV NEWS/GREGORY A. SHEMITZ<br />

■ Kentucky hermit comes out as trans<br />

An interview with a hermit living in the Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky, has stoked<br />

concerns over how the Church responds to cases involving gender identity.<br />

“On Pentecost Sunday, Brother Christian Matson, a professed hermit in the Diocese<br />

of Lexington, has made it public that he is a transgender person,” read a May 21<br />

statement from the diocese.<br />

The news appeared in a May 19 Religion <strong>News</strong> Service article that quoted both<br />

Matson and Bishop John Stowe of Lexington.<br />

Matson was born female and identifies as a man, leading some to criticize the statement’s<br />

use of male pronouns.<br />

“To call someone ‘brother’ who is biologically female or ‘sister’ who is biologically<br />

male deepens that confusion,” John Grabowski, moral theology professor at Catholic<br />

University of America, told Catholic <strong>News</strong> Agency.<br />

In a statement, the diocese said that Stowe is “grateful to Brother Christian for his<br />

witness of discipleship, integrity, and contemplative prayer for the Church.”<br />

Former U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly<br />

in 2015. | CNS/BARBARA<br />



■ US ambassador to Vatican to step down<br />

Catholic lawyer and former U.S. Senator from Indiana Joe Donnelly<br />

announced he will step down as U.S. ambassador to the Holy See.<br />

Donnelly, 68, was appointed by President Joe Biden and has served as<br />

ambassador since April 2022. He reportedly plans to return to his home<br />

near South Bend, Indiana.<br />

As ambassador, Donnelly has worked with the Holy See on American<br />

foreign policy priorities, including peace efforts for the wars in Ukraine<br />

and Gaza and for increased religious freedom in China.<br />

“It’s been an amazing privilege to serve the country and the president,”<br />

Donnelly said in a text message, according to Politico.<br />

<strong>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong> • ANGELUS • 5

LOCAL<br />

■ La Placita parish ranks<br />

nationally in infant baptisms<br />

Our Lady Queen of Angels Church, or La Placita, near<br />

Olvera Street in Los Angeles alone recorded <strong>14</strong>,000 infant<br />

baptisms in 2023 — more than almost any entire diocese<br />

in the U.S.<br />

According to statistics in the <strong>2024</strong> edition of the Official<br />

Catholic Directory, La Placita would rank <strong>No</strong>. 3 nationally<br />

in infant baptisms if it were its own diocese — trailing<br />

only the Archdiocese of Los Angeles (33,139 excluding La<br />

Placita) and the Archdiocese of Chicago (19,770). It would<br />

be just ahead of the Diocese of Fresno (13,277) and the<br />

Archdiocese of New York (13,069).<br />

In the archdiocese, the parishes with the most baptisms<br />

last year after La Placita were Our Lady of Guadalupe<br />

Church in El Monte (3,300) and St. Emydius Church in<br />

Lynwood (994), according to parish records.<br />

■ Damien High band tapped to<br />

play Thanksgiving parade<br />

The Damien High School marching band was selected<br />

from a nationwide group of applicants to participate in<br />

the 2025 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The band was<br />

notified during a special event at the school on May 20.<br />

Damien, an all-boys Catholic school in La Verne, was one<br />

of nine high schools chosen and the only one from California,<br />

said Damien Band Director Jaime Magallón.<br />

At the school announcement, a representative from the<br />

Macy’s Parade Band Committee presented a $10,000<br />

check to help kick off the marching band’s fundraising.<br />

The band will spend the next 18 months rehearsing,<br />

preparing, and fundraising for the trip to New York, where<br />

about 60 students are expected to travel.<br />

Donations can be sent to the school designating that the<br />

funds should be used for the band’s Macy’s Thanksgiving<br />

Day Parade trip. The school’s address is: Damien High,<br />

2280 Damien Ave., La Verne, CA 91750.<br />

The Damien High Spartan Regiment performed at<br />

Disneyland earlier in <strong>2024</strong>, and now will prepare to<br />

travel to New York for the 2025 Macy’s Thanksgiving<br />

Day Parade. | DAMIEN HIGH SCHOOL<br />

Glow in the dark — About 1,500 pieces of art from students in preschool<br />

through eighth grade were shown as part of a “The Greatest Show Down Under”<br />

art exhibit at St. Mel School in Woodland Hills. The show featured a “black light<br />

room” display of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. | SHANNON MARKS<br />

■ Diocese of Fresno to file for<br />

bankruptcy this summer<br />

The Diocese of Fresno will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy<br />

after plaintiffs lodged 154 sex abuse complaints against the<br />

diocese.<br />

Those filings were made under a California law that<br />

temporarily relaxed the statute of limitations on sex abuse<br />

claims, allowing alleged victims a three-year window from<br />

2019 to 2022 to file the complaints.<br />

Bishop Joseph Brennan of Fresno said the extended<br />

window “gives us the opportunity to redouble our efforts<br />

in creating a safe environment for everyone in and out of<br />

the Church and address real issues in atoning for the sin of<br />

clergy abuse against children.”<br />

“I imagine many of you are dismayed by the news of our<br />

serious financial situation, but I ask you to let go of your<br />

distress and turn your hearts towards the victims of abuse,”<br />

he said.<br />

Fresno would be the sixth California diocese to file for<br />

bankruptcy over sex abuse claims in recent years, following<br />

Sacramento, Santa Rosa, Oakland, Stockton, and San<br />

Francisco.<br />

Y<br />

6 • ANGELUS • <strong>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong>

V<br />


Letters to the Editor<br />

Butker spoke the unspeakable<br />

Bravo to Harrison Butker for his electrifying commencement address<br />

speaking Catholic truth — faithfully and unapologetically.<br />

Our Catholic faith is tolerated only when it is contained and “safe” for the secular<br />

culture. But when anyone has the guts to escape their secular-controlled containment,<br />

then they are met with a hostility intended to demean and neutralize. It shows how<br />

“dangerous” the authentic Christian truth is to the wayward “status quo” of our society.<br />

If people despise Butker’s message, perhaps even within the Church, then it is a sure<br />

sign the message has resonated. As Jesus said, “If the world hates you, remember it<br />

hated me first.”<br />

Pope Francis told the youth to go to the streets, spread the faith, and “go make a<br />

mess.” Butker made a true mess of the status quo and is a role model of bravery for us.<br />

— Fritz Baumgartner, M.D., Los Angeles<br />

A nuanced kick down the middle<br />

Thank you for running Amy Welborn’s perspective on Harrison Butker’s speech<br />

in the May 31 issue. It captured many of my own thoughts about a speech that<br />

meant well but also was flawed. It’s good to read her nuanced approach in <strong>Angelus</strong>,<br />

especially when there’s so much pressure for everyone to line up on our tribal sides<br />

and shout at each other.<br />

— John J. Miller is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College<br />

in Michigan<br />

Correction<br />

New LA priest Eduardo Pruneda did his internship at St. Anthony of Padua in San<br />

Gabriel. The parish was incorrectly listed on Page 15 of the May 31 issue of <strong>Angelus</strong>.<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 />

Behind the scenes<br />

“Jesus really is thirsty for this<br />

whole country.”<br />

~ Shayla Elm, a perpetual pilgrim on the Juan<br />

Diego Route, in a May 31 OSV <strong>News</strong> article on the<br />

Eucharistic pilgrimage.<br />

“Before and after every<br />

drink I’d silently chant,<br />

‘Bless this swallow and all<br />

the ones that follow.’ ”<br />

~ Joshua Gray, in a May 16 America magazine<br />

commentary on how St. Ignatius’ examen helped<br />

him understand his obsessive-compulsive disorder.<br />

“How do you buy drugs to<br />

the glory of God?”<br />

~ Dale Sutherland, a cop turned pastor, in a May<br />

28 Religion <strong>News</strong> Service article on his life of going<br />

from undercover narcotics officer to pastor.<br />

“If it is deacons with holy<br />

orders, no.”<br />

~ Pope Francis, when asked by <strong>No</strong>rah O’Donnell of<br />

CBS <strong>News</strong> whether he was open to allowing women<br />

to be ordained deacons.<br />

Get to know the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ 11 new priests<br />

with special interviews, highlights, and fun, interactive<br />

features. Watch all the videos at lacatholics.org/ordination. |<br />


“Which of your kids<br />

would you trade for more<br />

vacations?”<br />

~ Malcolm Collins, a member of the controversial<br />

“pronatalist” movement, in a May 25 The Guardian<br />

article on the movement to have more kids to save<br />

the world.<br />

To view this video<br />

and others, visit<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 />

<strong>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong> • ANGELUS • 7

IN EXILE<br />


Oblate of Mary Immaculate Father<br />

Ronald Rolheiser is a spiritual<br />

writer; ronrolheiser.com<br />

Losing a loved one to suicide<br />

I<br />

have been writing on suicide for<br />

nearly 40 years. I do so because<br />

suicide is generally misunderstood,<br />

badly misunderstood. Moreover,<br />

perhaps more than any other<br />

form of death, suicide leaves those<br />

who are left behind with a heavy<br />

burden of sadness, hurt, and guilt.<br />

Four things need always to be said<br />

upfront about suicide:<br />

First, suicide is a disease, perhaps<br />

the most misunderstood of all diseases.<br />

In most cases, the death is not<br />

freely chosen. When people die from<br />

heart attacks, strokes, cancer, AIDS,<br />

or accidents, they die against their<br />

will. The same is true for suicide,<br />

except that in the case of suicide, the<br />

breakdown is emotional rather than<br />

physical — an emotional stroke, an<br />

emotional cancer, a breakdown of<br />

the emotional immune system, an<br />

emotional fatality.<br />

And this is not an analogy. Suicide<br />

is a disease. Most people who die by<br />

suicide die against their will. They<br />

only want to end a pain which can<br />

no longer be endured, akin to someone<br />

jumping to his death out of a<br />

burning building because his clothes<br />

are on fire.<br />

Second, we should not worry unduly<br />

about the eternal salvation of a<br />

suicide victim, believing (as we used<br />

to) that suicide is the ultimate act of<br />

despair and something God will not<br />

forgive. God is infinitely understanding,<br />

loving, and gentle. We need not<br />

worry about the fate of anyone, no<br />

matter the cause of death, who exits<br />

in this world broken, oversensitive,<br />

gentle, overwrought, and emotionally<br />

crushed. God has a special love for<br />

the broken and the crushed.<br />

However, knowing all of this doesn’t<br />

necessarily take away our pain (and<br />

anger) at losing someone to suicide<br />

because faith and understanding<br />

aren’t always meant to take away<br />

our pain but rather to give us hope,<br />

vision, and support as we walk within<br />

our pain.<br />

Third, we should not torture ourselves<br />

with guilt and second-guessing<br />

when we lose a loved one to suicide.<br />

“Where did I let this person down? If<br />

only I had been there. What if?” It is<br />

natural to be haunted by the thought,<br />

“If only I’d been there at the right<br />

time.”<br />

Rarely would this have made a difference.<br />

Indeed, most of the time, we<br />

weren’t there for the exact reason that<br />

the person who fell victim to this disease<br />

did not want us to be there. He<br />

or she picked the moment, the spot,<br />

and the means so that we wouldn’t<br />

be there. Suicide is a disease that<br />

seems to pick its victim precisely in<br />

such a way so as to exclude others<br />

and their attentiveness. This is not an<br />

excuse for insensitivity, but a healthy<br />

check against false guilt and painful<br />

second-guessing.<br />

We’re human beings, not God.<br />

People die of illness and accidents all<br />

the time and sometimes all the love<br />

and attentiveness in the world cannot<br />

prevent a loved one from dying. As<br />

a mother who lost a child to suicide<br />

writes: “The will to save a life does<br />

not constitute the power to prevent a<br />

death.”<br />

And so, we must forgive ourselves<br />

for our human inadequacy vis-à-vis<br />

having lived with someone in suicidal<br />

depression. But that is not easy, as<br />

this man who lost his wife to suicide<br />

attests: “My wife had been unhappy<br />

and depressed for so long that I pray<br />

that she is now finally at peace. At<br />

least once a week for the past four or<br />

five years, she would remark that she<br />

wanted to die. … It’s been hard for<br />

me to disentangle the role I played in<br />

her unhappiness. … At a minimum,<br />

I will take to my grave the realization<br />

that I could have done more to keep<br />

her afloat. Over the past several years,<br />

instead of giving a pep talk to try to<br />

encourage her to see things in a more<br />

positive light, my default option had<br />

become avoidance and withdrawal. I<br />

had assumed that trying to dispel the<br />

fog of her depression only tended to<br />

make matters worse, at least for me,<br />

since I would often become the easier<br />

target for her anger/unhappiness.”<br />

That is a common guilt feeling<br />

shared by many who have lost someone<br />

to suicide, particularly a spouse.<br />

What needs to be understood is that<br />

the depressed person’s anger is most<br />

often focused precisely on someone<br />

whom they trust and are very close<br />

to because that is the only safe place<br />

where they can unload their anger<br />

(without the other reciprocating).<br />

Consequently, the person who is the<br />

target of that anger will often escape<br />

by avoidance and withdrawal — with<br />

the resulting guilt feelings afterward.<br />

Fourth, when we lose loved ones to<br />

suicide, one of our tasks is to work at<br />

redeeming their memory by putting<br />

their lives back into a perspective so<br />

that the manner of their death doesn’t<br />

forever taint their memory. Don’t take<br />

down their photographs, don’t speak<br />

in hushed tones about their life and<br />

death, don’t put a permanent asterisk<br />

beside their names. Their lives are<br />

not to be judged through the unfortunate<br />

prism of their deaths. Redeem<br />

their memory.<br />

8 • ANGELUS • <strong>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong>

Women embrace at the sign of<br />

peace during Mass Jan. 15, 2017,<br />

at the New York Encounter in<br />

New York City. | CNS/GREGORY<br />

A. SHEMITZ<br />

Overcoming the<br />

‘Unhappiness Syndrome’<br />

Christianity has long taught true happiness can only<br />

come from God. Science seems to agree.<br />


According to a recent longitudinal Gallup poll, unhappiness<br />

has increased significantly and continuously on<br />

a global level. The 2022 study reported that “people<br />

feel more anger, sadness, pain, worry, and stress than ever before”<br />

and a doubling in the rates of major depressive disorder<br />

in young people over a 10-year period (from 8.1% in 2009 to<br />

15.8% in 2019). What can explain this disturbing shift?<br />

I would submit that the answer to this question lies in philosophical<br />

analysis going back to Aristotle, theological analysis<br />

going back to St. Augustine, and psychological analysis<br />

initiated by Abraham Maslow. On the question of happiness,<br />

I propose building on two key insights from Aristotle:<br />

1. That happiness is the one thing you can choose for itself;<br />

everything else is chosen for the sake of happiness. Therefore,<br />

the way we define happiness will affect just about every decision<br />

we make in life. <strong>No</strong>thing could be more important.<br />

2. That there are levels of happiness in which the higher<br />

levels are pervasive, enduring, and deep, while the lower<br />

levels are ego-centered, short-lived, and superficial. The<br />

higher levels of happiness bring about greater and more<br />

enduring happiness than the lower ones. And if we live solely<br />

for the lower ones, we will likely find ourselves feeling empty,<br />

alienated, unfulfilled, depressed, anxious, and sometimes<br />

despairing.<br />

So, what are these four levels of happiness? The lowest one<br />

(Level 1) is the fulfillment of material-pleasure desires, such<br />

as a good wine, a nice home, material abundance, and sensual<br />

fulfillment. Though it is immediately gratifying, superficially<br />

appealing, and pleasure-producing, it does not go far<br />

beyond the self, last long, or make a quality contribution.<br />

The second level — ego-comparative happiness — seeks<br />

self-gratification and comparative advantage. It engenders the<br />

questions: Who’s achieving more, and who, less? Who’s more<br />

intelligent or less intelligent? Who’s got more power, and<br />

who, less? Who’s more popular, and who, less? Who’s more<br />

beautiful?<br />

The more one enjoys comparative advantage in these areas,<br />

the greater one’s ego-satisfaction (Level 2 happiness). Though<br />

10 • ANGELUS • <strong>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong>

ego-satisfaction can be quite<br />

intense, when it becomes<br />

an end in itself — the only<br />

thing that will satisfy us — it<br />

leads to a host of negative<br />

emotional and relational<br />

states, bringing with it high<br />

levels of depression and<br />

anxiety.<br />

Though Level 1 and Level<br />

2 can produce intense satisfaction,<br />

an exaggerated emphasis<br />

on them can produce<br />

profound unhappiness. This<br />

exaggerated emphasis lies at<br />

the heart of the significant<br />

increase in global unhappiness<br />

described above —<br />

particularly that of young<br />

people.<br />

Since the publication<br />

in 1991 of Lasch’s “The<br />

Culture of Narcissism” (W.<br />

W. <strong>No</strong>rton & Company,<br />

$25.20), many studies show<br />

conclusively that narcissistic<br />

individuals cause misery for<br />

others and themselves.<br />

The choice to live for<br />

ego-comparative advantage,<br />

admiration, dominion over<br />

others, and feelings of superiority, lead to marked increases in<br />

jealousy, inferiority, fear of loss of esteem, fear of failure, selfpity,<br />

ego-rage, ego-blame, contempt, loneliness, emptiness,<br />

and the depression and anxiety coming from these negative<br />

emotional states.<br />

Nevertheless, today’s culture (especially through mass<br />

media) focuses almost exclusively on this view of happiness<br />

and purpose in life. Today, 70% of our culture — particularly<br />

A woman prays during Eucharistic adoration at St. Joseph’s Seminary and College in<br />

Yonkers, New York, May 23. | OSV NEWS/GREGORY A. SHEMITZ<br />

the young — embrace this<br />

view (both implicitly and<br />

explicitly). <strong>No</strong> wonder the<br />

rates of depression, anxiety,<br />

homicides, and suicides<br />

among the young are more<br />

than doubling.<br />

The good news is this<br />

profound unhappiness can<br />

be overcome, and I believe<br />

the key lies in emphasis on<br />

Level 3 (contributive) and<br />

Level 4 (transcendent/religious)<br />

happiness.<br />

Let’s start with Level 3. We<br />

not only have a desire to<br />

enhance our own ego-world<br />

(Level 2), but also to make<br />

a positive difference to the<br />

world around us. Most people<br />

have a desire and need to<br />

make a positive difference to<br />

family, friends, community,<br />

workplace, church, culture,<br />

society, and even the kingdom<br />

of God.<br />

When we follow through<br />

on these desires, we not<br />

only draw closer to those to<br />

whom we contribute, but<br />

also receive a boost in our<br />

self-worth and purpose in life. If we have faith, we also draw<br />

closer to God. This may explain why studies show that contributive,<br />

service-oriented people are happier, more fulfilled,<br />

and secure in their identity and lives (NIH 2013).<br />

Is Level 3 enough? Since the time of Plato and Aristotle,<br />

much of the philosophical, theological, and psychological<br />

community has answered no. A recent study published by<br />

the American Psychiatric Association and many other studies,<br />

show that nonreligiously affiliated people,<br />

when compared to religiously affiliated<br />

people, experience much higher<br />

rates of depression, anxiety, substance<br />

abuse, familial tensions, anti-social<br />

aggressivity, suicidal contemplation,<br />

and suicides.<br />

Why would this be? St. Augustine<br />

gives us a clue when he says, “For<br />

Thou hast made us for Thy self, and<br />

our hearts are restless until they rest in<br />

Thee” (Confessions Bk. 1, Ch. 1).<br />

But has God really made us? The<br />

great philosopher and theologian<br />

of religious experience Rudolf Otto<br />

argued that every human being has an<br />

A religious sister shares a laugh with a girl at<br />

the Sorrowful Mother Retirement Home in<br />

Oshkosh, Wisconsin, <strong>No</strong>v. 22, 2011. | CNS/<br />


irreducible interior experience of a sacred-spiritual-transcendent<br />

reality that is<br />

part of our pre-reflective consciousness,<br />

or most innate awareness of ourselves.<br />

<strong>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong> • ANGELUS • 11

He calls it “the numinous experience” — a sense of a<br />

mysterious, fascinating, overwhelming yet inviting, spiritually<br />

energizing “wholly Other.” This seemingly universal<br />

experience would help explain why 84% of the world today<br />

practices some form of religion (Pew Global Religious Landscape<br />

20<strong>12</strong>).<br />

If Otto’s studies of the numinous experience are correct,<br />

then we are not the origin of our faith and sense of the<br />

sacred. God is.<br />

If so, then it should not surprise us that ignoring the call of<br />

the sacred would leave us radically incomplete and unfulfilled<br />

in dignity, identity, purpose, and destiny, which in<br />

turn, would lead to increased depression, anxiety, substance<br />

abuse, familial tensions, suicidal contemplation, and suicides.<br />

Without God, we cannot be ourselves — without faith, we<br />

are a mere shadow of what we were intended to be. Faith<br />

significantly enhances our happiness.<br />

Many of us can’t leap to faith simply because it will make<br />

us happier. We want some evidence that a sacred-transcendent<br />

reality (i.e., God) really exists and is interested in us and<br />

our choices. There is considerable scientific and rational<br />

evidence for God (a Creator/higher transcendent power) and<br />

life after death from things like peer-reviewed medical studies<br />

of near-death experiences, terminal lucidity, and intelligence<br />

in hydrocephalic patients.<br />

There’s also evidence from contemporary science (particularly<br />

cosmology) for a beginning (an implied creation) of<br />

physical reality.<br />

Interestingly, most scientists are in agreement with the existence<br />

of God and life after death. According to the last Pew<br />

survey, 51% of scientists overall and 66% of young scientists<br />

believe in God or a higher transcendent power. Additionally,<br />

according to the last survey of the Journal of Religion<br />

and Health, 76% of physicians believe in God or a higher<br />

transcendent power — and according to HCD Research and<br />

the Finkelstein Institute, 73% of physicians believe in the<br />

reality of miracles (naturalistically and scientifically inexplicable<br />

phenomena).<br />

Will simple belief in God bring happiness, fulfillment, and<br />

high purpose in life? Though it does get us on our way, it is<br />

not enough.<br />

The above studies indicate that religious affiliation and practice<br />

are what really bring our happiness to its highest, most<br />

fulfilling level. Believers who participate in religious community<br />

and prayer and try to grow closer to God spiritually and<br />

morally, not only find themselves happy and fulfilled, but<br />

also caught up in the loving power of Providence drawing<br />

them upward toward their true eternal purpose and dignity.<br />

As Jesus himself asserted: “I tell you all these things that<br />

my joy may be yours, and your joy may be complete” (John<br />

15:11).<br />

Father Robert Spitzer, SJ, is the president of the Magis Center<br />

of Reason and Faith. This essay is adapted from the author’s<br />

new book “The Four Levels of Happiness: Your Path to Personal<br />

Flourishing” Sophia Institute Press, $21.95.<br />

<strong>12</strong> • ANGELUS • <strong>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong>

<strong>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong> • ANGELUS • 13



Those who went to serve — and heal — during a pilgrimage to<br />

the French shrine share special moments from the trip.<br />



The annual Order of Malta pilgrimage<br />

in May to the Lourdes<br />

shrine in France is always an<br />

emotional encounter, with the organization<br />

sponsoring dozens of malades<br />

(sick or disabled people) to travel to the<br />

place where the Virgin Mary appeared<br />

to St. Bernadette Soubirous in 1858.<br />

The trip typically consists of washing<br />

of the feet, collecting and bathing in<br />

water from the Grotto of Massabielle,<br />

and a candlelight procession. This<br />

year, Archbishop José H. Gomez<br />

joined the pilgrimage and celebrated a<br />

special closing Mass for pilgrims in the<br />

Lourdes grotto.<br />

The malades make the trek to experience<br />

some kind of healing — not<br />

necessarily a miracle cure to what ails<br />

them, but for peace and joy in the face<br />

of suffering.<br />

These are just a few of the narratives<br />

from some in the Western U.S. who<br />

went, served, witnessed, and experienced<br />

the pilgrimage, from April 30 to<br />

May 8.<br />

Michelle Carter, malade<br />

The washing of the feet ceremony was<br />

an emotional, exhilarating, blessed moment.<br />

The sense of humility and care<br />

of others was tangible in the church.<br />

I serve as a doctor of psychology and<br />

I usually contain my emotions. As a<br />

knight washed my feet and my husband<br />

had his arm around my shoulders, tears<br />

streamed down my face. The only way<br />

of describing the feeling is to say, “I felt<br />

like I was in heaven.”<br />

One of the knights said the trip to<br />

Lourdes is like Disneyland for Catholics.<br />

I responded, “I think I will name<br />

this pilgrimage ‘a Spiritual Boot Camp.’ ”<br />

He laughed. The combination of humor,<br />

laughter, tears, reflection, prayers,<br />

<strong>14</strong> • ANGELUS • <strong>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong>

Archbishop José H. Gomez presides over a May 4<br />

Mass with other bishops and priests at the Grotto<br />

of Massabielle in Lourdes.<br />

camaraderie — there are no words to<br />

describe. Both my husband and I have<br />

felt this is a journey of a lifetime and<br />

will forever be grateful to the members<br />

of the Order of Malta.<br />

Ben Lochtenberg, Order of Malta<br />

provisional knight<br />

I have witnessed feet washing in our<br />

own parish when our pastor washes the<br />

feet of <strong>12</strong> members of our community<br />

every Holy Thursday. I understood the<br />

symbolism of the act, although I was<br />

never an active participant.<br />

Today was a special experience. At<br />

the designated time, I moved into<br />

position and helped Michelle take<br />

her seat while I adjusted the jug and<br />

bowl for optimal efficiency. I removed<br />

her left shoe and sock and firmly held<br />

her perfect and beautiful foot in my<br />

hands. I was immediately overcome by<br />

the Holy Spirit and realized that it was<br />

no longer a mechanical task ahead of<br />

me. I was now an instrument of God’s<br />

healing power.<br />

I poured some cold water, perhaps<br />

only one tablespoon, and immediately<br />

enveloped Michelle’s foot firmly with<br />

my two hands. I paused and said a<br />

prayer of healing. I did not want to let<br />

it go. The feeling was of pure joy and<br />

peace. The power to give, to serve, and<br />

to heal came all of a sudden over and<br />

through me. I have never felt such a<br />

purpose to serve and the ecstasy of that<br />

moment. I did not want it to end.<br />

Father Patrick Mulcahy, Order of<br />

Malta provisional chaplain<br />

One of the beautiful ironies of<br />

ministry is that so often the givers<br />

become the receivers. That became the<br />

reality for me as a first-time chaplain to<br />

accompany this journey to Lourdes. I<br />

began by thinking about all that I could<br />

do for our beautiful malades. That was<br />

my plan.<br />

I was immediately disarmed by an<br />

early encounter with one, a woman<br />

who is facing great challenges in her<br />

life. She began by reminding me of a<br />

previous encounter at a retreat and that<br />

she has prayed for me every day since<br />

that retreat experience.<br />

“Wait a minute, I am here for you,” I<br />

thought. And at that moment, I realized<br />

we were here for each other. That is<br />

the essence of the Christian life and it<br />

set the tone for the rest of my beautiful<br />

time here. I was as broken and in need<br />

as those whom we called malades, and<br />

we ministered to each other in the<br />

person of Christ.<br />

Dennis Diekmann, Order of Malta<br />

knight<br />

Lourdes has called to me ever since I<br />

was a child.<br />

In the winter of 1956 my parents,<br />

Albert and Otillia, boarded a plane in<br />

Long Beach, California, on a pilgrimage<br />

to meet with our mother in<br />

Lourdes.<br />

In 1948 my mother was diagnosed<br />

with breast cancer at the age of 37. She<br />

had a mastectomy followed by radiation<br />

and chemo as it was available at that<br />

time. I was born in 1951 and my mother<br />

received the news that her cancer<br />

had returned in 1954. This time it was<br />

in her spine, and it would later metastasize<br />

to her lungs. Neither the doctors<br />

nor her priest thought she would be<br />

able to make the trip, but my mother’s<br />

<strong>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong> • ANGELUS • 15

will was such that my parents boarded<br />

that flight in January 1956.<br />

Once they were checked in to the<br />

Bethanie Hotel in Lourdes they met<br />

an American couple, Mr. and Mrs.<br />

Emmet Culligan from San Bernardino.<br />

After talking with my parents and realizing<br />

what condition my mother was in,<br />

Mr. Culligan quickly organized a small<br />

private pilgrimage group with a couple<br />

from Indiana and another couple from<br />

Australia.<br />

The six of them stayed with my parents<br />

the whole time, going to the baths,<br />

the stations of the cross, the Masses,<br />

and the benedictions for the sick, and<br />

accompanying them to and from their<br />

hotel.<br />

My mother, who could only walk a<br />

block or two back home, walked the<br />

half-mile from their hotel to the grotto<br />

each day. That itself was a miracle.<br />

My mother passed on to her heavenly<br />

reward in January 1957 and my father<br />

was left to raise three boys by himself.<br />

My mother had hoped that I would<br />

become a priest but that was not to be.<br />

Instead, through a long and circuitous<br />

route, I had found myself back<br />

in Lourdes. I say I was back because I<br />

have always felt that a part of me was<br />

there with my mother in 1956.<br />

During his homily, Archbishop Gomez<br />

said, “Mary has come to bring us hope and<br />

healing, just as she did here at Lourdes.”<br />

And so now the circle was complete.<br />

My mother and father were helped on<br />

their pilgrimage by strangers that became<br />

friends. <strong>No</strong>w I have the privilege<br />

to be the stranger who is able to help<br />

other pilgrims on their journey. I know<br />

the pain, the uncertainty, the doubts<br />

that so many of them experience.<br />

Whether you are a malade now or in<br />

1956, those feelings are the same.<br />

Gala M. Riveros, malade, 10 years<br />

old<br />

One event that was moving was the<br />

baths. My Mom, Dad, and I went<br />

into a small private room where a<br />

lady guided us on what to do. She<br />

gave us water to put on our faces and<br />

our hands, then she gave me a cup to<br />

drink out of and told us to pray to the<br />

statue of Our Lady of Lourdes. Here<br />

at Lourdes, it<br />

feels like Mary<br />

is with us, and I<br />

love that feeling.<br />

Words just<br />

cannot describe<br />

how beautiful it<br />

is at Lourdes. If<br />

you are blessed<br />

to come here like<br />

I was, you are in<br />

for a treat!<br />

Sister Anne<br />

Marie, Carmelite<br />

sister and<br />

volunteer<br />

What made<br />

the deepest<br />

impression in<br />

my heart was<br />

Archbishop Gomez<br />

hands an Order of Malta<br />

commemorative medal to<br />

Gala Riveros, a 10-yearold<br />

malade.<br />

16 • ANGELUS • <strong>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong>

the unexpected grace of seeing our<br />

petitions being brought into the plaza<br />

and reverently placed at the feet of<br />

Our Lady.<br />

We had placed these written prayers<br />

in the grotto that morning, prayers<br />

that reached out in supplication to<br />

Our Lord at the hands of Our Lady.<br />

I know that a few of them were from<br />

people whom I know and love, others<br />

from people I may never get to meet<br />

on this side of the veil. Tears fell from<br />

my face in an overflow of joy and gratitude<br />

to an awesome God who loved<br />

us so much that he gave us his own<br />

mother to be ours.<br />

I pray that in some way all will be<br />

able to feel this consolation and come<br />

to know that Our Lady is here to be<br />

with us through it all.<br />

Denise Morris, companion to a<br />

malade<br />

This journey was the fulfillment of<br />

a promise I had made to the Blessed<br />

Mother nearly 39 years ago. After my<br />

husband and I married, I struggled for<br />

years to conceive a child. I desperately<br />

wanted to become a mother. I prayed<br />

fervently to our Blessed Mother.<br />

A dear friend and co-worker named<br />

Kathleen was planning a trip to<br />

Lourdes. Kathleen had been battling<br />

cancer for years. After a long remission,<br />

her cancer had returned. There<br />

was nothing more the doctors could<br />

do for her, so Kathleen decided to<br />

travel to Lourdes, not necessarily for<br />

a miracle cure, but for peace and<br />

strength. She knew all about my<br />

fertility struggles and promised to ask<br />

our Blessed Mother for help. Kathleen<br />

returned from Lourdes filled with<br />

peace. Sadly, she passed away a few<br />

months later.<br />

Shortly after Kathleen’s passing, I<br />

learned that I was pregnant. I truly<br />

believe that the Blessed Mother had<br />

heard Kathleen’s prayers. I made a<br />

promise to Our Lady that one day I<br />

would travel to Lourdes to thank her<br />

in person and to pray for dear Kathleen.<br />

The beautiful Mass at the grotto<br />

was especially meaningful to me, as<br />

it was celebrated on May 4 — my<br />

daughter Danielle’s 38th birthday, the<br />

daughter I was blessed with thanks to<br />

the intercession of our Blessed Mother,<br />

and a little nudge from Kathleen!<br />

<strong>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong> • ANGELUS • 17


The 11 new LA priests share a<br />

light moment together after their<br />

Ordination Mass at the Cathedral of<br />

Our Lady of the Angels <strong>June</strong> 1.<br />

Emotions were high<br />

as 11 men were<br />

ordained as new LA<br />

priests as the biggest<br />

class in 16 years.<br />

Archbishop Gomez imposes<br />

hands on Jaime Arriaga during<br />

the Rite of Ordination.<br />




When Father Jaime Arriaga<br />

left Mexico at age 17 and returned<br />

to California where he<br />

had lived briefly, he didn’t realize that<br />

was the last time he’d see his parents for<br />

decades.<br />

18 • ANGELUS • <strong>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong>

The 11 men lay prostrate<br />

around the altar as a<br />

gesture of surrendering<br />

themselves to God’s will.<br />

But 23 years later, his parents arrived<br />

from Mexico in the early morning<br />

of <strong>June</strong> 1 to see their son in a new<br />

country, a new life, and with a new<br />

title: priest.<br />

Arriaga was one of 11 men — along<br />

with Miguel Cabrera, Joseph Cho,<br />

Thomas Green, Anthony Huynh, Eric<br />

Mejia, Eduardo Pruneda, Alejandro<br />

Reynaga, Marko Rudela, Lucio Trinidad,<br />

and Stephen Watson — ordained<br />

as new priests for the Archdiocese of<br />

Los Angeles in a special event at the<br />

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

More than 3,500 invited guests and<br />

260 priests attended the ceremony<br />

featuring the biggest priest ordination<br />

class in the archdiocese since 2008.<br />

After seeing his parents and experiencing<br />

the Rite of Ordination, Arriaga was<br />

full of emotions.<br />

“There was a time when I cried and<br />

I just couldn’t stop,” he said. “There<br />

was a beautiful moment when we were<br />

receiving blessings from the priests. I<br />

don’t know who it was but he told me<br />

‘Jaime, God loves you.’ And that just<br />

gave me so much peace.”<br />

Emotions were on display both during<br />

and after the ordination. Tears, laughter,<br />

hugs, excitement, and more.<br />

However, in Archbishop José H.<br />

Gomez’s homily, the most important<br />

one was love.<br />

Gomez addressed the 11 ordinandi by<br />

pointing out Jesus’ words in the Gospel<br />

of John — “love one another as I have<br />

loved you” — to his <strong>12</strong> apostles that he<br />

chose to be the first priests.<br />

“He is making you co-workers in his<br />

plan of love,” Archbishop Gomez said.<br />

“And that’s why the Son is now sending<br />

you into the world — to continue his<br />

mission of love.<br />

“Remember<br />

what Jesus tells<br />

you today: ‘It<br />

was not you who<br />

The 11 soon-to-bepriests<br />

stand before Archbishop<br />

José H. Gomez<br />

to recite the Promise of<br />

the Elect.<br />

<strong>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong> • ANGELUS • 19

The 11 men kneel while all<br />

the priests in attendance<br />

lined up to bless them.<br />

chose me, but I who chose you and<br />

appointed you to go and bear fruit that<br />

will remain.’ My brothers, your priesthood<br />

will always be fruitful if you stay<br />

rooted in his love.”<br />

Later in his homily, Archbishop<br />

Gomez noted the challenges happening<br />

in the world today, but also said<br />

people are looking for love and Jesus,<br />

offering priests unique opportunities<br />

to evangelize, including the ongoing<br />

National Eucharistic Revival.<br />

“Through your priesthood, Jesus<br />

will come to seek and save the lost, to<br />

gather into one all his children from<br />

the ends of the earth,” he said. “What<br />

an exciting time to be a priest!”<br />

To begin the Rite of Ordination,<br />

each candidate’s name was read aloud,<br />

and they stood and announced their<br />

presence. After Archbishop Gomez<br />

recited his proclamation and found<br />

them worthy, the cathedral broke out<br />

into applause and they received their<br />

first standing ovation of the day.<br />

After reciting the Promise of the<br />

Elect, the 11 prostrated themselves at<br />

the altar while the Litany of the Saints<br />

was sung.<br />

The rite continued with the Laying<br />

on of Hands, Investiture with Stole and<br />

Chasuble, and Anointing of Hands, all<br />

traditional rituals used in priest ordinations<br />

for centuries.<br />

For Father Watson, having each priest<br />

line up to lay their hands on him and<br />

give a blessing was especially profound.<br />

“You don’t see who’s doing it,” he said.<br />

“So to have hundreds of priests coming<br />

and just having that fraternity and the<br />

power of the Holy Spirit, it was overwhelming.<br />

I was crying like a baby.”<br />

Following the Kiss of Peace procession<br />

from the archbishop, bishops, and<br />

priests, the final symbol welcoming<br />

The bishops in attendance<br />

receive a blessing and kiss the<br />

newly anointed hands of the<br />

ordained priests.<br />

them into the priesthood, the newly<br />

ordained priests — like graduates who<br />

shift the tassel on their mortarboards to<br />

signify graduation — were led to finally<br />

sit with the college of priests who were<br />

there to welcome and celebrate them.<br />

There, they received more applause<br />

and another standing ovation.<br />

As crowds packed into the cathedral’s<br />

outdoor plaza to stand in line for first<br />

20 • ANGELUS • <strong>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong>

lessings from the newly ordained, the<br />

relief of the moment finally came for<br />

many of the priests.<br />

“I remember when I was little playing<br />

that I was a priest,” Father Pruneda<br />

said. “I can’t believe that now I’ll be<br />

able to celebrate Mass, becoming what<br />

I always wanted to be.<br />

“I’m excited, I’m happy, my heart is<br />

full. It’s been so long waiting for this<br />

moment.”<br />

“The Lord has been good to me,”<br />

Father Trinidad said. “How can I repay<br />

the goodness?”<br />

For family members of the new<br />

priests, the day was a culmination of<br />

years of hope, dreams, and prayer.<br />

For Father Reynaga’s sister, Lorena,<br />

she felt proud that her brother was<br />

fulfilling a wish that their maternal<br />

grandmother — also his baptismal godmother<br />

— had hoped for years before<br />

she died <strong>12</strong> years ago: to have a priest<br />

in the family.<br />

“She’s seeing it now,” she said. “She<br />

got the best seat in the house.”<br />

Guillermina Cabrera described her<br />

son, Father Miguel Cabrera, as a good<br />

student who wanted to join the FBI,<br />

but she noticed a change in her son<br />

once he began attending Catholic<br />

Mass and joining activities while at San<br />

Diego State’s Newman Center.<br />

“Our Lord only lends us our kids;<br />

they’re not ours, they’re his,” she said.<br />

“So I surrendered Miguel to him.<br />

“He was meant to be because his<br />

name is Miguel Angel. He has a strong<br />

name and he has the protection of a lot<br />

of people praying for him. I’m proud<br />

of him.”<br />

As Father Arriaga’s parents stood<br />

nearby, tears welling up in their eyes as<br />

they saw the line of people waiting for<br />

blessings, they could only give thanks<br />

to God.<br />

“Since he was a child he told me that<br />

when he grew up he was going to be<br />

a priest but I didn’t think that it would<br />

happen,” his mother, Lidia, said in<br />

Spanish. “I feel very proud and very<br />

grateful to God because it is a great<br />

blessing.”<br />

“I thanked God for giving us the gift<br />

of life so that we could give it to him,”<br />

said his father, Simon.<br />

Mike Cisneros is the associate editor of<br />

<strong>Angelus</strong>.<br />

<strong>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong> • ANGELUS • 21


For two weeks every year, a pilgrim image<br />

of the Santo Niño de Atocha from Mexico<br />

draws thousands to Santa Paula.<br />

Archbishop José H. Gomez and Father José de<br />

Jesús López Acosta of Zacatecas, Mexico, carry<br />

the pilgrim Santo Niño image in procession<br />

before Mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Santa<br />

Paula May 25. | VICTOR ALEMÁN<br />


For as long as he’s been alive, Pedro<br />

Salceda has needed miracles. Lots<br />

of them.<br />

While still in his mother’s womb, doctors<br />

discovered he had gastroschisis, a<br />

condition where a hole in his abdomen<br />

caused his intestines to develop outside<br />

his body. As soon as he was born, surgeons<br />

worked to put his intestines back<br />

into his abdomen — only to find them<br />

riddled with small holes in some places<br />

and blocked in others.<br />

They managed to save Salceda’s life,<br />

but doctors told his parents he wouldn’t<br />

live past his fourth birthday.<br />

But early on a recent Saturday morning,<br />

25 years and 10 surgeries later,<br />

Salceda put on his LA Football Club<br />

jersey and got in a car with his mother<br />

and father, Gerardo and Claudia, for<br />

the three-hour drive from San Diego to<br />

Santa Paula, California.<br />

They came to pay tribute to Santo<br />

Niño de Atocha (“Holy Child of Atocha”),<br />

a centuries-old statue of the child<br />

Jesus whose devotion in Mexico is almost<br />

comparable to that of Our Lady of<br />

Guadalupe. Santo Niño, they believe, is<br />

the reason Pedro is alive.<br />

“We come here out of gratitude,” said<br />

Gerardo. “He suffered from this for 20<br />

years, and there was no solution.”<br />

Stories like the Salcedas’ were not hard<br />

to find among the more than 2,000<br />

people who descended on Santa Paula<br />

on May 25, when Archbishop José H.<br />

Gomez kicked off the annual two-week<br />

pilgrimage of this replica statue of the<br />

child Jesus brought from the Santo<br />

Niño shrine in Zacatecas, Mexico.<br />

Devotion to the Holy Child image<br />

began in medieval Spain and became<br />

popular among Spanish speakers in the<br />

New World, especially in Mexico and<br />

the Philippines.<br />

For nearly 20 years now, the statue’s<br />

visit has drawn faithful from around the<br />

U.S. to this town in the scenic Santa<br />

Clara River Valley, transforming the<br />

little parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe<br />

into a scene resembling small-town<br />

22 • ANGELUS • <strong>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong>

Pedro Salceda, center, came to Santa Paula from San Diego<br />

May 25 with his parents Gerardo and Claudia. Behind<br />

them is a statue of the Santo Niño de Atocha in the patio<br />

of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. | PABLO KAY<br />

Mexico, complete with a makeshift<br />

food court serving tamales and sugary<br />

buñuelos, pop-up shops selling religious<br />

items from Mexico, and Mariachi<br />

bands singing during Mass.<br />

Before the Saturday vigil liturgy, a<br />

pickup truck brought the Holy Child,<br />

sitting in a golden throne and canopy,<br />

in procession from a local park to<br />

the parish. In front and behind him<br />

followed a full marching band, folk<br />

dance troops from neighboring parishes<br />

in Ventura County, and children with<br />

feathered headdresses bearing the<br />

image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.<br />

Whether performing during the procession,<br />

trying out the different foods, or<br />

standing in line to get their Santo Niño<br />

statues blessed, everyone seemed to<br />

have something to do.<br />

Farm workers make up the biggest<br />

contingent of worshippers at Our<br />

Lady of Guadalupe on Sundays: some<br />

Santa Paula longtime residents, others<br />

itinerant workers who spend a few<br />

months each year in the nearby fields<br />

before moving on to jobs in other parts<br />

of California.<br />

One constant over the years is that<br />

many of these migrants to Santa<br />

Paula have hailed from Zacatecas, the<br />

<strong>No</strong>rth-Central Mexican state where the<br />

Santo Niño devotion started.<br />

As the parish grew, so did a grassroots<br />

campaign to bring the Holy Child to<br />

faithful who, often due to their complicated<br />

legal status in the U.S., couldn’t<br />

return to the town of Plateros in Zacatecas,<br />

where the Santo Niño’s shrine<br />

is located. The pilgrim image made its<br />

first visit in 2007.<br />

“The event was born from the parish<br />

itself,” explained Claudio Frias, a<br />

Zacatecas native and Guadalupe<br />

parishioner who’s lived in Santa Paula<br />

since 1970. “First they started coming<br />

from the counties nearby, then up from<br />

Fresno, Merced, Sacramento. Then<br />

Utah, Colorado, Texas.”<br />

Apart from the Zacatecas connection,<br />

the statue also speaks to migrant workers<br />

for historical reasons.<br />

Devotion to the Santo Niño dates to<br />

the 13th century, when parts of Spain<br />

were under Islamic rule. In the town of<br />

Atocha (located in present-day Madrid),<br />

Christian prisoners were refused food by<br />

their Muslim captors, but were allowed<br />

to be brought food by their children —<br />

a rule that meant starvation for childless<br />

prisoners.<br />

Turning to a statue of the Virgin Mary<br />

holding her infant<br />

Son at the town’s<br />

church, the<br />

women of Atocha<br />

pleaded to the<br />

child on those<br />

prisoners’ behalf.<br />

Soon after, the<br />

A mother and child<br />

venerate the pilgrim<br />

image of the Santo<br />

Niño de Atocha outside<br />

Our Lady of Guadalupe<br />

Church after Mass. |<br />


story goes, witnesses reported seeing a<br />

small child with a basket quietly slip<br />

past the prison guards to bring the hungry<br />

inmates food and water. Meanwhile,<br />

visitors to the Marian statue noticed the<br />

child’s sandals were showing signs of<br />

wear — generating the belief that it was<br />

the Niño himself who was making the<br />

nighttime visits.<br />

When the Spaniards brought the<br />

devotion to Mexico centuries later, the<br />

child had a reputation as an intercessor<br />

who liked to stay on the move.<br />

“Those little sandals tell us of a<br />

walking child, an itinerant child,” said<br />

Father José de Jesús López Acosta,<br />

rector of the sanctuary in Plateros that’s<br />

home to the original Mexican Santo<br />

Niño statue. “For that reason, many<br />

of our migrant brothers who’ve had to<br />

walk through the desert identify with<br />

him a lot.”<br />

López brought the pilgrim statue to<br />

Santa Paula, and will accompany it until<br />

<strong>June</strong> 9, when the bishop of Zacatecas<br />

will come to celebrate a closing Mass<br />

expected to draw at least 5,000 people.<br />

Back home, López has seen a surge<br />

in devotion to the Holy Child amid an<br />

increase in cartel-related kidnappings<br />

across Mexico.<br />

“Mothers bring many images of their<br />

sons to the sanctuary to pray that if the<br />

Santo Niño allows it, their children<br />

may return home,” said the priest. “Or<br />

at least that they may be able to recover<br />

their remains for burial.”<br />

In Santa Paula, visitors asked for<br />

<strong>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong> • ANGELUS • 23

health, protection, and strength to endure<br />

difficulties — but brought prayers<br />

of thanksgiving, too.<br />

Jessica Sanchez came from Bakersfield<br />

with her husband and 11-month-old<br />

daughter, Eloise, who was born with<br />

what doctors worried was cancer in<br />

her lymph nodes. Sanchez’s mother,<br />

a Zacatecas native who attributes her<br />

multiple recoveries from cancer to the<br />

Santo Niño’s intercession, encouraged<br />

them to ask for his help. Three months<br />

later, X-rays showed “there was nothing<br />

there.”<br />

“It’s my first time coming, actually,”<br />

said Sanchez. “I would hear about [the<br />

Santo Niño’s visit], but after the whole<br />

thing with my baby, I said, ‘We should<br />

make the drive.’ ”<br />

Years ago, Carmela Arellano of Palmdale<br />

asked the Santo Niño to intercede<br />

for her own infant, who could only<br />

swallow water and rice due to a problem<br />

with his esophagus. Arellano made<br />

a manda, or promise, to the Santo Niño:<br />

If he healed her son, she would visit his<br />

shrine in Plateros and fill his altar with<br />

flowers. Soon, the boy’s ailment went<br />

away.<br />

Until they can return to Mexico to<br />

fulfill the manda, Carmela and her<br />

husband, Antonio, come each year to<br />

Santa Paula.<br />

“Sometimes we come when he arrives,<br />

other times when he leaves. But we<br />

have to be here by law,” said Antonio<br />

with a laugh.<br />

After the Saturday evening Mass, celebrated<br />

outdoors by Archbishop Gomez,<br />

Salceda embraced his mother, Claudia,<br />

near a white Santo Niño statue in the<br />

parish patio.<br />

“I know that if I went through this,<br />

it was to make me a stronger person,”<br />

said Salceda, whose intestinal problems<br />

have stopped since a successful operation<br />

at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio<br />

three years ago. “Although I suffered a<br />

lot, everything had a reason.”<br />

Incidentally, the elder Salceda’s belief<br />

in the Holy Child came from his mother’s<br />

prayers for an intestinal problem<br />

(unrelated to his son’s) he had as a<br />

young boy. Asking for miracles, Gerardo<br />

said, takes patience.<br />

“Everything has its time, and God<br />

knows when to act.”<br />

Pablo Kay is the editor-in-chief of<br />

<strong>Angelus</strong>.<br />

24 • ANGELUS • <strong>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong>

Francis’ ‘Third Age’<br />

In the ‘adult phase’ of his pontificate, the pope is taking a more<br />

cautious approach to hot-button issues than some expected.<br />


Pope Francis listens to a question<br />

during a meeting with young priests<br />

ministering in the Diocese of Rome<br />

May 29. The pope is seated between<br />

Rome Auxiliary Bishops Baldo Reina,<br />

left, and Michele Di Tolve, right. |<br />


ROME — In the abstract,<br />

suppose you learned a Roman<br />

Catholic pontiff had done the<br />

following things in just the past couple<br />

of weeks:<br />

• Told a major American news outlet<br />

that he has no intention of ordaining<br />

women as clergy, certainly not as<br />

priests and not even as deacons.<br />

• Used an off-color bit of slang in a<br />

session with Italian bishops to imply<br />

that there’s too much of a gay culture<br />

in Catholic seminaries, hinting at<br />

caution about calls to relax standards<br />

for the admission of gay candidates to<br />

the priesthood.<br />

• Forced a bishop from his home<br />

country to resign who had a reputation<br />

as a progressive, supporting both<br />

Communion for divorced and civilly<br />

remarried Catholics and also outreach<br />

to the LGBT community while<br />

playing down public opposition to<br />

abortion. (There’s no suggestion that<br />

those positions are why the bishop was<br />

removed, but his record is nonetheless<br />

clear.)<br />

• Dispatched his top doctrinal adviser<br />

to Egypt to tell the Coptic Orthodox<br />

Church that the Vatican endorses<br />

“everything” in a March 7 Coptic<br />

analysis of Fiducia Supplicans, a Vatican<br />

document on blessing persons in<br />

same-sex unions. That Coptic reaction<br />

included an assertion that practicing<br />

gays are worse than adulterers and<br />

should be cut off from Communion.<br />

If that’s all you knew about this particular<br />

pontiff, you’d likely conclude<br />

that we’re dealing with a conservative<br />

defender of tradition. The fact that it’s<br />

actually Pope Francis, whose typical<br />

profile is instead as a progressive,<br />

means there’s some explaining in<br />

order.<br />

Oswald Spengler famously theorized<br />

that civilizations are analogous<br />

to living organisms, in that they’re<br />

26 • ANGELUS • <strong>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong>

orn, experience rapid growth and<br />

change, then stabilize in adulthood,<br />

and finally go into decline. One could<br />

probably apply the same analysis to<br />

papacies, which tend to begin with a<br />

creative period in which everything<br />

seems new and fresh, then enter a<br />

long span of stability and repetition<br />

before things eventually start shutting<br />

down.<br />

To be clear, no one’s suggesting that<br />

the end of the Francis papacy is necessarily<br />

near. On the contrary, the pope<br />

we’ve seen in public recently, whether<br />

it was during a demanding day trip<br />

to Verona on May 18 or presiding<br />

over the Vatican’s May 25-26 first<br />

World Day of Children (which, in<br />

typical Vatican fashion, was actually<br />

a two-day event), seemed energized,<br />

resilient, and basically good to go.<br />

The fact that Francis appears to have<br />

bounced back from recent health<br />

struggles, however, does not, in itself,<br />

tell us much about which phase of his<br />

papacy we’re actually in.<br />

For the last few years, it has seemed<br />

clear that we were in the repetitive<br />

period of adulthood, in which the<br />

main lines of the papacy were well-established<br />

and becoming a matter of<br />

muscle memory.<br />

When Francis would turn to a familiar<br />

theme in one of his public addresses<br />

— the issue of war and peace, for<br />

instance, or the question of inclusion<br />

of people who identify as LGBT in<br />

the Church — Vatican-watchers<br />

jokingly competed with one another<br />

to see who could predict the most<br />

closely what the pope would say, and,<br />

in many cases, those projections were<br />

almost word-for-word accurate, because<br />

frankly we’d heard it all before,<br />

and way more than once.<br />

<strong>No</strong>w, however, it’s possible that we’re<br />

entering the papacy’s “Third Age,”<br />

which is a polite term these days for<br />

getting old.<br />

It’s not simply that Francis is now<br />

87, although that does make him the<br />

oldest reigning pontiff in <strong>12</strong>1 years,<br />

but rather that the experimental<br />

character of his papacy, the sense that<br />

anything might be possible, appears<br />

to be giving way to a more cautious<br />

and restrained phase, in which one<br />

principal concern may be not to leave<br />

behind too many unanswered questions<br />

or overheated expectations for a<br />

successor to have to confront.<br />

Francis’ recent comments both<br />

on women deacons and on gays in<br />

seminaries would appear to cut in that<br />

direction. Both reflect questions that<br />

have been much in the air vis-à-vis<br />

his ongoing Synod of Bishops on<br />

Synodality, and the fact that Francis<br />

has decided to intervene personally<br />

rather than allowing the discussions in<br />

the synod to take their course, could<br />

be read as his effort to make sure the<br />

process doesn’t run off the rails.<br />

In the background, of course, is also<br />

the über-controversial synodal path of<br />

the German church, with the fear that<br />

it may yet spin off in directions that<br />

Rome not only cannot approve, but<br />

can’t even control.<br />

<strong>No</strong>ne of this necessarily implies that<br />

in his “Third Age” as pope, Francis<br />

will metamorphosize into a conservative.<br />

All indications are that he fully<br />

intends to continue his quasi-pacifist<br />

stand on armed conflict: For instance,<br />

he’ll continue seeking détente with<br />

China, he’ll continue pressing for a<br />

more pastorally inclusive Church, and<br />

he’s not suddenly going to embrace<br />

the Latin Mass.<br />

Such positions are unlikely to warm<br />

the hearts of traditionalists and hawks<br />

in the Catholic fold.<br />

On the other hand, this new phase<br />

does suggest that on certain neuralgic<br />

issues, where Francis believes<br />

his more pastoral tone may have<br />

aroused expectations of change he’s<br />

unprepared or unwilling to meet,<br />

he’s becoming more inclined to give<br />

answers rather than simply to leave<br />

things hanging.<br />

In part, that’s the natural lifespan of<br />

any papacy; in part, too, it’s likely out<br />

of a sense of trying to smooth things<br />

out, as much as possible, for whomever<br />

may come next.<br />

How Francis navigates the tension<br />

between continuing to sail ahead,<br />

without setting so far out into the deep<br />

that he can’t get back to shore in time,<br />

may well frame the drama of this<br />

new stage … and, as with everything<br />

involving this maverick pontiff, it will<br />

undoubtedly be fascinating to watch.<br />

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

<strong>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong> • ANGELUS • 27



According to his mother, the ‘simple spirituality’ of<br />

future saint Carlo Acutis has something to teach us all.<br />


Pope Francis formally recognized a<br />

miracle attributed to the intercession<br />

of Blessed Carlo Acutis,<br />

a 15-year-old Italian teenager whose<br />

birth in 1991 will make him the first<br />

“millennial” to become a saint.<br />

The Vatican announced May<br />

23 that the pope had signed the<br />

decrees and that he would convene<br />

a consistory to set a date for<br />

the canonization of Acutis and<br />

other future saints: Blesseds Giuseppe<br />

Allamano; Marie-Léonie<br />

Paradis of Québec, Canada;<br />

Elena Guerra; and eight Franciscan<br />

friars and three Maronite<br />

laymen who were martyred in<br />

Damascus, Syria, in 1860.<br />

Acutis was born and baptized<br />

in London to Italian parents<br />

in 1991, but the family moved<br />

back to Milan, Italy, while he<br />

was still an infant. After he<br />

started high school, he began<br />

to curate, create, or design<br />

websites, including an online<br />

database of Eucharistic miracles<br />

around the world.<br />

He volunteered at a churchrun<br />

soup kitchen, helped<br />

children struggling with their<br />

homework, played saxophone,<br />

soccer, and videogames, and<br />

loved making videos with his<br />

dogs and cats.<br />

“The Eucharist is the highway<br />

to heaven,” he famously wrote.<br />

“When people sit in the sun,<br />

they become tan, but when they<br />

sit before Eucharistic Jesus, they<br />

become saints.”<br />

When he was only 15, he was<br />

diagnosed with an aggressive<br />

form of leukemia and died Oct.<br />

<strong>12</strong>, 2006. He had said, “I’m happy to<br />

die because I’ve lived my life without<br />

wasting even a minute of it doing things<br />

that wouldn’t have pleased God.”<br />

Acutis’ mother, Antonia Salzano,<br />

vividly remembers her son’s devotion<br />

to Jesus and the Virgin Mary, and his<br />

care for the poor, including using his<br />

own money to purchase sleeping bags<br />

for the homeless. But she also remembers<br />

him as an average teenager who<br />

enjoyed life.<br />

This stained-glass window of Blessed Carlo<br />

Acutis was installed Dec. 13, 2023, in St.<br />

Anne’s Chapel, a 24-hour adoration chapel<br />

at St. Louis Church in Foreston, Minnesota.<br />



“He loved [soccer], he loved<br />

basketball, he liked animals,<br />

he liked to play. A lot of friends<br />

loved him very much because<br />

he was always joking, making<br />

films,” she recalled.<br />

“But at the center of his life<br />

was Jesus; he had a daily meeting<br />

[with Jesus] through the<br />

holy Mass, Eucharistic adoration,<br />

and the holy rosary. This<br />

was characteristic [of Carlo].<br />

And when you open the door of<br />

your heart to God, your ordinary<br />

life becomes extraordinary.”<br />

“This is Carlo’s secret,” she<br />

added. “And this is possible<br />

for everybody because Carlo<br />

had a simple spirituality. He<br />

didn’t have the stigmata, or<br />

apparitions, or [experienced]<br />

levitation. He had a simple<br />

childhood. Everything Carlo<br />

did was in Jesus, through Jesus,<br />

and for Jesus.”<br />

The two miracles attributed<br />

to his intercession involved<br />

alleged miraculous recoveries<br />

for a young boy in Brazil in<br />

2013 and a young woman in<br />

28 • ANGELUS • <strong>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong>

Florence in 2022.<br />

The miracle Pope Francis recognized<br />

on May 23 that paves the way for the<br />

blessed’s canonization involved a<br />

young woman who was born in Costa<br />

Rica in 2001 and moved to Florence in<br />

2018 to study.<br />

The first miracle attributed to Carlo’s<br />

intercession was approved by Pope<br />

Francis in February 2020. It involved a<br />

young Brazilian boy who was completely<br />

healed from a rare congenital<br />

disease of the pancreas. In October of<br />

that year, the teen was beatified during<br />

a Mass at the Basilica of St. Francis in<br />

Assisi.<br />

The second miracle involved the<br />

miraculous healing of Valeria Valverde,<br />

a young Costa Rican woman living in<br />

Florence who suffered a severe head<br />

injury.<br />

The same day her mother visited<br />

Carlo’s tomb, Valverde “regained the<br />

ability to breathe on her own, and the<br />

following day, doctors recorded the<br />

recovery of upper limb mobility and<br />

partial speech,” the dicastery said.<br />

But for Acutis’ mother, countless<br />

other miracles have been attributed to<br />

her son since his death.<br />

“Consider that when he died, people<br />

started to pray to him spontaneously<br />

and the first miracle occurred the<br />

day of his funeral,” Salzano told OSV<br />

<strong>News</strong>. “A woman diagnosed with<br />

breast cancer and was about to start<br />

chemotherapy prayed to Carlo to heal<br />

her. And she was healed completely<br />

without any chemotherapy instantly.<br />

It was incredible; two days [after the<br />

funeral], she did all the examinations<br />

and there was nothing. [The cancer]<br />

had disappeared.”<br />

Salzano recalled one of her son’s now<br />

most well-known quotes, “All are born<br />

originals, but many die as photocopies”<br />

and said that everyone is unique and<br />

shares “a special call to holiness.”<br />

With all the trials Christians, especially<br />

young people, face today, Salzano<br />

said her son’s life serves as a reminder<br />

that every person has “beautiful things”<br />

inside them and to “not be scared” but<br />

“be confident.”<br />

Carol Glatz is Catholic <strong>News</strong> Service’s<br />

Rome correspondent. Junno Arocho Esteves<br />

writes for OSV <strong>News</strong> from Malmö,<br />

Sweden.<br />

<strong>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong> • ANGELUS • 29



Our hunger to be heard<br />

We live in a world absolutely<br />

choking with methods for<br />

communication: social<br />

media, print media, television and<br />

streaming services, advertising in every<br />

conceivable space, and the ubiquitous<br />

cellphone virtually glued to nearly<br />

every human hand. Whether all this<br />

“communication” is positive is another<br />

question.<br />

In a typical Jon Stewart rant on a<br />

recent “Daily Show” about cancel<br />

culture and fears of being silenced by<br />

one’s ideological opponents, he said,<br />

“We are not censored or silenced. We<br />

are surrounded by and inundated with<br />

more speech than has ever existed in<br />


the history of communication. And it is<br />

all weaponized by professional outrage<br />

hunters of all stripes.”<br />

What we don’t have, with apologies<br />

to the captain in “Cool Hand Luke,”<br />

is a failure to communicate. What we<br />

do have is a failure to listen. And this<br />

failure to listen is what fuels not only<br />

our political polarization, but also our<br />

alienation from one another, from our<br />

physical world, from ourselves.<br />

In his 2022 message for the World<br />

Day of Communications, Pope Francis<br />

called on us to “listen with the ear of<br />

the heart.”<br />

“We are losing the ability to listen to<br />

those in front of us, both in the normal<br />

course of everyday relationships and<br />

when debating the most important<br />

issues of civil life,” the pope warned.<br />

“Listening is therefore the first indispensable<br />

ingredient of dialogue and<br />

good communication,” the pope told<br />

communicators, but it is a message that<br />

applies to all of us. In the current political<br />

season, but in fact for years now,<br />

opponents on our national ideological<br />

divides both bemoan that they are not<br />

being heard while at the same time not<br />

listening to one another, certainly not<br />

listening with the “ear of the heart.”<br />

Father Robert Aaron Wessman in<br />

his book “The Church’s Mission in<br />

a Polarized World” (New City Press,<br />

$19.47) urges Christians to take on “the<br />

discipleship of crossing over” to “the<br />

other” as a means of healing polarization.<br />

“When one chooses to encounter<br />

the other, the likelihood of seeing the<br />

person who espouses the idea, and not<br />

just the idea that one disagrees with,<br />

becomes more likely.”<br />

Such crossing over demands one listen<br />

with the ear of the heart. Otherwise,<br />

it’s just two people yelling at each other.<br />

This is hard work, and risky, Wessman<br />

notes, yet indispensable.<br />

Learning to listen extends far beyond<br />

our political divides, however. Christian<br />

McEwen has written a poetic<br />

and profound book titled “In Praise<br />

of Listening” (Bauhan Publishing,<br />

$22). McEwen weaves together a<br />

vast amount of literary and spiritual<br />

sources, science, and personal stories to<br />

challenge us to listen to our world, one<br />

another, and ourselves with more depth<br />

and precision.<br />

Listening, she argues, is a way of being<br />

present. It is what we long for, yet what<br />

we so often lack, distracted by all the<br />

media around us, all that noise that<br />

pretends to be communication. “All too<br />

30 • ANGELUS • <strong>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong>

Greg Erlandson is the former president and<br />

editor-in-chief of Catholic <strong>News</strong> Service.<br />

soon, not listening to other people becomes<br />

not listening to the larger world,<br />

and ultimately not even to ourselves,”<br />

she warns.<br />

In a beautiful chapter titled “The Beloved<br />

Voice,” McEwen says, “Hearing is<br />

the first sense to develop in the human<br />

fetus, as it is the last to depart the dying<br />

body.” It is the mother’s voice that is<br />

first heard by the unborn child, and<br />

this voice becomes a lodestone for the<br />

infant. “The vocal nourishment that the<br />

mother provides … is just as important<br />

to the child’s development as her milk,”<br />

she quotes one expert as saying.<br />

For all of us, McEwen argues, being<br />

heard is what we hunger for. It is so<br />

obvious, yet today we seem constantly<br />

to need to learn this anew. It is striking<br />

that when many survivors of abuse are<br />

asked what they want of the Church,<br />

so often it is to be heard. To hear is to<br />

recognize, to acknowledge.<br />

McEwen’s book is an aural and soulful<br />

exploration of our world, contemplating<br />

the importance of listening to the<br />

world around us — plants and animals,<br />

even trees and moss! — as well as to<br />

our fellows and ourselves. While McEwen’s<br />

style would be best described<br />

as “spiritual but not religious,” one<br />

senses she is tapping into the wisdom<br />

of monks and sages, but also the wise<br />

women and men today who know the<br />

art of listening.<br />

In a chapter titled “The little sounds<br />

of every day,” she quotes a cook, Alice<br />

Cozzolino, who talks about listening<br />

and focus as a part of her craft. We<br />

moderns suffer from “the addiction<br />

to the instantaneous,” but Cozzolino<br />

says, “that’s the antithesis of listening.<br />

Listening requires us to take a breath. It<br />

requires us to pause.”<br />

McEwen ends her book with a simple<br />

quote by Brenda Ueland: “Listening<br />

is love.” It is what every spouse knows,<br />

what every child knows, what Pope<br />

Francis knows. It is what our world<br />

needs to learn once again.<br />

<strong>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong> • ANGELUS • 31

The novelization<br />

of Xavier Rynne<br />

A novel written by a confidant<br />

of the Second Vatican Council’s<br />

most well-known leaker? Don’t<br />

get too excited.<br />

Much of what we “know” today<br />

about the inner workings of<br />

the Second Vatican Council<br />

is thanks to a mischievous priest.<br />

Father Francis Xavier Murphy,<br />

C.Ss.R, was a “peritus,” or theological<br />

adviser, to an American bishop at the<br />

council. He was also a talented journalist<br />

and wrote about the council for<br />

The New Yorker under the pseudonym<br />

Xavier Rynne (his middle name plus<br />

his mother’s maiden name).<br />

Rynne’s “Letters from the Vatican”<br />

gave “a gossipy but engrossing account<br />

of what was going on” at the council, in<br />

the words of one Church historian. His<br />

inside scoops were unique and controversial,<br />

stirring the anger of Vatican<br />

officials who had imposed a vow of<br />

secrecy about council proceedings on<br />

participants. (Similar restrictions were<br />

also in place at the most recent synod<br />

gathering in Rome, but with apparently<br />

more success.)<br />

Murphy did not come clean about<br />

being Rynne until late in life, and that<br />

was because he did not want his heteronym<br />

to be claimed by the “damned Jesuits.”<br />

I think there was more to it than<br />

that, and I understand his nostalgia for<br />

an exciting time in his life and that of<br />

the whole Church.<br />

His nostalgia prompted him to<br />

confide in a layman, Richard Zmuda,<br />

who helped him write an introduction<br />

to an edition of his New Yorker pieces<br />

published in 1999. This year, he published<br />

“The Mole of Vatican Council<br />

II” (ACTA Publications, $29.95), a<br />

work Zmuda says “should be considered<br />

historical fiction” that draws from<br />

Murphy’s extensive personal correspondence,<br />

travels to Rome, perusal of<br />

various secret files kept on the priest,<br />

and his own close personal relationship<br />

with his novel’s protagonist.<br />

Why Zmuda decided on writing a<br />

novel about Murphy subtitled “The<br />


Redemptorist Father<br />

Francis Xavier Murphy in<br />

1996. | CNS /CATHOLIC<br />


True Story of ‘Xavier Rynne’ ” is puzzling<br />

to me. Much of the book reads<br />

like a history, albeit simplified and not<br />

immune from the label “tendentious.”<br />

He sees the Second Vatican Council<br />

as a kind of ecclesiastical version of<br />

the movie “High <strong>No</strong>on,” with his hero<br />

fighting alone against the evil cardinals<br />

of the Roman Curia.<br />

The chief villain is the arch-conservative<br />

Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani.<br />

Then the head of the Holy Office (now<br />

known as the Dicastery of the Doctrine<br />

of the Faith), he is depicted with so<br />

much antipathy that this reader began<br />

to sympathize with the supposed ogre.<br />

An outspoken critic of some of the<br />

ideas that surfaced during the council,<br />

Ottaviani’s episcopal motto was Semper<br />

Idem (“Always the Same”). Zmuda<br />

32 • ANGELUS • <strong>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong>

eports this as a kind of “Aha!” detail<br />

without mentioning that the phrase is<br />

scriptural, referring to “Jesus Christ, the<br />

same yesterday, and today and forever”<br />

(Hebrews 13:8).<br />

In a speech at the council’s first<br />

session, St. Pope John XXIII said that<br />

“the great problem addressed to the<br />

world, for almost two thousand years,<br />

remains unchanged. Christ, radiating at<br />

the center of history and life; and men,<br />

either with Him and the Church … or<br />

… without Him or against Him.” That<br />

seems like pretty binary and old-school<br />

thinking to me.<br />

Zmuda is no theologian, which is<br />

no crime, but that should have made<br />

him hold back on some sweeping<br />

statements about history. He seems<br />

to believe that the Council of Trent<br />

“resulted in the cataclysmic split of<br />

the Protestants away from the Roman<br />

Catholic Church, including the<br />

eventual formation of the Lutheran,<br />

Reformed, Presbyterian, Anglican, and<br />

other Christian denominations.” You<br />

cannot cause something ex post facto.<br />

Several times he implies that John<br />

XXIII was against the ecclesiastical use<br />

of Latin. He forgets that, after the call<br />

for the council had already been made,<br />

the pope wrote an apostolic constitution,<br />

Veterum Sapientia (“The Wisdom<br />

of the Ancients”), which stated, “the<br />

Latin language, by its nature, is perfectly<br />

adapted to all forms of culture en<br />

all peoples: it does not inspire envy, is<br />

impartial with all, is no one’s particular<br />

privilege and is well accepted by all. We<br />

cannot forget the Latin language has a<br />

noble and characteristic structure, and<br />

a concise, diverse, and harmonious style<br />

that is majestic and dignified, especially<br />

suited for clarity and solemnity.” According<br />

to a former seminary professor,<br />

theological instruction was mandated<br />

in Latin by Veterum Sapientia.<br />

When Zmuda lets the liberal<br />

(good)-conservative (bad) trope rest, he<br />

ventures into some strange territory.<br />

The fictional Father Murphy has his<br />

own bank accounts, likes to eat and<br />

drink at fancy Roman restaurants, and<br />

keeps his fat checks from The New<br />

Yorker for himself (in defiance of his<br />

vow of poverty).<br />

He is enamored of a wealthy Italian<br />

aristocrat (with whom he is pretty up<br />

close and personal) and contemplates<br />

violating his vow of chastity with a<br />

waitress that he flirts with in front of a<br />

bishop. To complete the trifecta, he lies<br />

to his superiors and hierarchical figures<br />

(which would be against the vow of<br />

obedience, according to some people I<br />

know in the Midwest).<br />

The two women, Cristina and Luciana,<br />

are “composite characters,” he says,<br />

“invented by me but are considered essential<br />

to the authenticity of the overall<br />

storyline.” That is a curious statement<br />

to make, but I confess that, for me, the<br />

book’s only element of suspense comes<br />

from the priest’s relationships with the<br />

two femmes vitales.<br />

I held my breath reading how the<br />

priest and the waitress dine on the<br />

rooftop of a ritzy hotel, before the cleric<br />

stops the elevator on a floor where he<br />

has rented a room. (Spoiler alert: the<br />

canny working lady quickly punches<br />

the button for the lobby and the priest<br />

stares as the doors close on her descent.)<br />

The book jacket describes the “novel”<br />

as a “timeless and timely thriller.”<br />

Needless to say, I was happy to finish<br />

reading the thing, but far from thrilled.<br />

Msgr. Richard Antall is pastor of Holy<br />

Name Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and<br />

the author of several books. His latest<br />

novel is “The X-mas Files” (Atmosphere<br />

Press, $17.99).<br />

ACTA<br />

<strong>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong> • ANGELUS • 33



Finding rest for LA’s forgotten<br />

LA County Supervisors Hilda Solis and Janice Hahn<br />

with Auxiliary Bishop Brian Nunes at an interfaith burial<br />

service last December at Evergreen Cemetery for nearly<br />

2,000 unclaimed dead in LA County. | SUBMITTED<br />

PHOTO<br />

A<br />

few years ago, starting to contemplate<br />

my death and burial,<br />

I happened upon a cemetery in<br />

a small Central Coast town where I<br />

have friends. I called one day to inquire<br />

about the cost of a plot and the guy<br />

who answered could not get his mind<br />

around the fact that I didn’t live in the<br />

town, nor had I grown up in the town,<br />

nor did I have any particular ties with<br />

the town other than having visited it<br />

over the years. Finally he could no<br />

longer hold himself in. “Ain’tcha got no<br />

FAMILY?” he blurted.<br />

Well, like many of us, yes and no.<br />

Let’s just say I read “The Unclaimed:<br />

Abandonment and Hope in the City<br />

of Angels” (Crown, $30), by Pamela<br />

Prickett and Stefan Timmermans, with<br />

special attention.<br />

Prickett is associate professor of sociology<br />

at the University of Amsterdam.<br />

Timmermans, whose interest lies in<br />

forensic death investigations, is a professor<br />

of sociology at UCLA.<br />

Both became fascinated by the fact<br />

that approximately 1,600 people die in<br />

the greater Los Angeles area each year<br />

without a single person to claim their<br />

bodies or remains.<br />

Who are these people? And why do<br />

they end up where they do?<br />

In an effort to unravel the mystery, the<br />

authors decided to follow four individuals<br />

who died in LA between 20<strong>12</strong><br />

and 2019 — some destitute, some not;<br />

some with relatives, some without.<br />

They cold-called, knocked on doors,<br />

followed county employees in their<br />

workplaces, conducted interviews, and<br />

exhaustively fact-checked.<br />

Civilizations across the ages, they<br />

point out, have mourned the dead and<br />

gone to great lengths to obtain control<br />

of the body and arrange a decent burial.<br />

This very human impulse is even embedded<br />

in our legal code: the common<br />

law “right of sepulcher.”<br />

It used to be that those who ended up<br />

in a potter’s field were almost invariably<br />

indigent. <strong>No</strong>wadays it’s way more common<br />

for people “of means” to die alone<br />

and unmourned; thus, the newer term<br />

is “the unclaimed.”<br />

If you die like this in LA, the county<br />

cremates your body and stores the ashes<br />

for three years in a brown plastic box<br />

(or an envelope if you’re a fetus or tiny<br />

infant) in case someone comes along<br />

who’s willing to pay the approximately<br />

$400 claim fee.<br />

If no one does — and they usually<br />

don’t — once a year the ashes are<br />

dumped in a mass grave in the fouracre<br />

“potter’s field” located in an<br />

unattractive corner of Boyle Heights’<br />

Evergreen Cemetery. In 2017, there<br />

34 • ANGELUS • <strong>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong>

Heather King is an award-winning<br />

author, speaker, and workshop leader.<br />

were 1,461 boxes and envelopes.<br />

How did we come to the point where<br />

almost a quarter of those over 65 are<br />

considered “socially isolated”? How has<br />

it come to pass that in the first decade<br />

of the 21st century, 1<strong>14</strong>,000 Americans<br />

died unclaimed?<br />

If LA County is any indicator, it’s not<br />

for lack of trying. Three distinct, though<br />

often overlapping county agencies<br />

handle the bodies and the estates of the<br />

dead.<br />

The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner<br />

investigates suspicious<br />

or indeterminate deaths, signs the death<br />

certificate if (as is often the case), the<br />

decedent was outside the health care<br />

system, and notifies the next of kin.<br />

The Office of Decedent Affairs handles<br />

run-of-the-mill deaths that occur,<br />

for example, in nursing homes and hospitals,<br />

and oversees the Boyle Heights<br />

county crematorium and cemetery.<br />

The public administrator specializes<br />

in finding next of kin and assets.<br />

The labyrinthine rules, waiting periods,<br />

claim fees, and loopholes within<br />

and among the three agencies made<br />

my head spin.<br />

What came through was that in any<br />

system: 1) There are always one or two<br />

people who are conscientious, take<br />

their jobs seriously and personally,<br />

and know they are contributing to the<br />

greater good, whether or not anyone<br />

ever notices. 2) One or two people —<br />

outliers who often have few resources<br />

themselves — will emerge from the<br />

woodwork, wade through the red tape,<br />

and find a way to establish a labor-oflove<br />

way to honor and serve humankind.<br />

Elissa Davey, for example, a woman<br />

from San Diego County, started a project<br />

called The Garden of Innocence<br />

where unclaimed babies — whether<br />

abused, murdered, abandoned, or<br />

found in a trash can — can receive a<br />

loving and decent burial.<br />

Doyle Tolbert, a Vietnam vet, started<br />

an organization called Veterans Without<br />

Family that goes to great lengths to<br />

identify indigent deceased as veterans<br />

and to provide them with a decent<br />

casket and military honors burial.<br />

Father Chris Ponnet, director of spiritual<br />

care at Los Angeles County-USC<br />

Medical Center, faithfully presides<br />

each year over an open-to-the-public<br />

ecumenical service for LA’s unclaimed<br />

dead.<br />

Near the end of the book, Prickett<br />

describes her sorrowful estrangement<br />

from her own father, then wonders: “At<br />

the heart of my dilemma — and those<br />

of other estranged families: Where do<br />

our obligations to family begin and<br />

end?”<br />

Excellent question: In fact, the breakdown<br />

of the family — with its shared<br />

belief system, rituals, and responsibilities;<br />

its capacity, ideally, to care for its<br />

weak, sick, and elderly; its support of<br />

ongoing life — is clearly responsible,<br />

in large part, for the skyrocketing levels<br />

of “lonely deaths,” as the Japanese call<br />

them, around the globe.<br />

Which brings me back to that cemetery<br />

on the Central Coast.<br />

I’ve made other plans — and I<br />

comfort myself with this: <strong>No</strong>t a sparrow<br />

falls but what the Father knows. And<br />

contrary to the wisdom of the world, at<br />

the end of the age what will matter is<br />

not how much others loved, served, and<br />

mourned us.<br />

What will matter is how much, in our<br />

poverty, we loved and served others.<br />

<strong>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong> • ANGELUS • 35



Scott Hahn is founder of the<br />

St. Paul Center for Biblical<br />

Theology; stpaulcenter.com.<br />

St. Paul the mountain<br />

Early Church historians tell<br />

us that St. Paul was short,<br />

perhaps little more than<br />

five feet. But he stands before<br />

us as a giant. The achievements<br />

of Alexander the Great, Caesar<br />

Augustus, Shakespeare, Einstein<br />

seem small when compared to<br />

those of Paul. C.S. Lewis imagined<br />

that an encounter with<br />

him, even in heaven, would be<br />

“rather an overwhelming experience.”<br />

He recalled that “when<br />

Dante saw the great apostles in<br />

heaven they affected him like<br />

mountains.”<br />

Some scholars argue that, if he<br />

had gone into philosophy, he<br />

would have surpassed Plato and<br />

Aristotle. But he was not just a<br />

thinker. He was a pastor as well,<br />

and a missionary. He traveled far<br />

and wide to win souls. He negotiated<br />

for the peace of the Church.<br />

He corrected and encouraged<br />

people. He preached and he<br />

wrote with passion and wit. He<br />

suffered much and, ultimately, he<br />

died for the cause. He aimed to<br />

extend the reach of Christianity<br />

through all the western lands of<br />

the Roman Empire. And he succeeded<br />

to an astonishing degree.<br />

By the end of his life Christianity<br />

enjoyed a worldwide presence.<br />

Within a century — largely<br />

due to the momentum of Paul’s<br />

preaching — the Church had<br />

grown so large that it was perceived<br />

as a threat to the Roman<br />

social order.<br />

That was his first revolution, but not his last. He has<br />

emerged repeatedly down the millennia as a fresh voice,<br />

compelling preachers, rulers, and ordinary Christians to<br />

see a new way of living. In the fifth century, St. Augustine<br />

“St. Paul,” by Bartolomeo Montagna, <strong>14</strong>50-1523, Italian. | WIKIME-<br />


rethought the world along lines<br />

that he discerned in Paul. In the<br />

16th century, Paul’s letters were<br />

at the center of the controversies<br />

of the Protestant Reformation<br />

and the Catholic Counter-Reformation<br />

— controversies that<br />

reshaped the world.<br />

It’s hard to exaggerate Paul’s<br />

importance, though some people<br />

do. He was not the “founder of<br />

Christianity” or its “inventor,”<br />

as some contend. Christ himself<br />

founded the Church, and he<br />

founded it on another apostle: St.<br />

Peter. But Christ did call Saul of<br />

Tarsus and commissioned him<br />

to receive the Gospel and take<br />

it to the world. Paul gratefully<br />

acknowledged his debt not only<br />

to Jesus, but to the apostles Peter,<br />

James, and John (see Galatians<br />

1:18 and 2:9). So, though Paul<br />

did not found the Church of Jesus<br />

Christ, he founded many churches<br />

in Jesus’ name.<br />

But, uniquely inspired by God,<br />

he developed a theology of the<br />

Church that was authoritative.<br />

The Church’s self-understanding<br />

is dependent upon the words of<br />

Paul. We cannot understand ourselves<br />

as Christians unless we see<br />

ourselves in the light of his letters.<br />

I’ve read and taught all of Paul’s<br />

letters many, many times. And he<br />

has taught me how to think and<br />

what to believe more than any<br />

other human. I’ve stood where he<br />

was beheaded; I’ve knelt next to<br />

his mortal remains. I have spoken<br />

to him in prayer and asked him for favors hundreds of<br />

times.<br />

Paul is not my Savior, but he may be the most thoroughly<br />

saved sinner, and that makes me want to be more like him.<br />

36 • ANGELUS • <strong>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong>

■ SATURDAY, JUNE 8<br />

Knights of Columbus Rummage Sale. St. Barnabas Church,<br />

3955 Orange Ave., Long Beach, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Call James T.<br />

at 562-221-3296 to donate or for more information.<br />

Permanent Diaconate Ordination. Cathedral of Our<br />

Lady of the Angels, 555 W. Temple St., Los Angeles, 9 a.m.<br />

Archbishop José H. Gomez will ordain the men from the diaconate<br />

class of <strong>2024</strong> to the permanent diaconate. Tickets<br />

required. Livestream available at lacatholics.org/ordination.<br />

43rd Anniversary Memorial Mass of Servant of God<br />

Father Aloysius Ellacuria, CMF. San Gabriel Mission, 427<br />

S. Junipero Serra Dr., San Gabriel, 10 a.m. Blessing of Father<br />

Ellacuria’s grave after Mass, followed by light refreshments.<br />

For more information, email edith@catholicbooks.net.<br />

■ SUNDAY, JUNE 9<br />

Eucharistic Miracle Presentation. St. Augustine Church,<br />

3850 Jasmine Ave., Culver City, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Exhibition<br />

features posters on the research and work of Blessed Carlo<br />

Acutis documenting Eucharistic miracles throughout the<br />

world. Free admission. Light refreshments available. For<br />

more information, visit https://st-augustine-church.org/.<br />

■ TUESDAY, JUNE 11<br />

Memorial Mass. San Fernando Mission, 15151 San Fernando<br />

Mission Blvd., Mission Hills, 11 a.m. Mass is open to<br />

the public. Limited seating. RSVP to outreach@catholiccm.<br />

org or call 213-637-7810. Livestream available at Catholic-<br />

CM.org or Facebook.com/lacatholics.<br />

■ THURSDAY, JUNE 13<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 />

Rosary Crusade. Morgan Baldwin Park, 4100 Baldwin Park<br />

Blvd., Baldwin Park, 6:30 p.m. Monthly meeting to pray the<br />

rosary.<br />

■ SATURDAY, JUNE 15<br />

Trauma: Walking in Solidarity. St. Christopher Church,<br />

629 Glendora Ave., West Covina, 9:30 a.m.-<strong>12</strong>:30 p.m. St.<br />

Christopher’s Mental Health Ministry event. Register by<br />

<strong>June</strong> 8 to 626-917-0040 or email FKMministry@gmail.com.<br />

32nd Annual Grand Coronation of Our Blessed Mother.<br />

Church of the Good Shepherd, 504 Roxbury Dr., Beverly<br />

Hills, <strong>12</strong> p.m. Procession, rosary, novena, coronation, and<br />

flower offering. Celebrant: Father Ed Benioff.<br />

60th Priesthood Ordination Anniversary of Msgr. Clement<br />

Connolly. Celebrating the “Diamond Jubilee” of longtime<br />

pastor Msgr. Clement Connolly. Holy Family Church,<br />

1501 Fremont Ave., South Pasadena, 5:30 p.m. Mass and<br />

celebration. Email mrodriguez@holyfamily.org.<br />

■ WEDNESDAY, JUNE 19<br />

<strong>June</strong>teenth Mass. Sts. Peter and Paul Church, 1036 N.<br />

Ravenna Ave., Wilmington, 3 p.m. Celebrant: Father Claude<br />

Williams, O.Praem. Visit WilmingtonCatholic.org.<br />

■ THURSDAY, JUNE 20<br />

LACBA Unlawful Detainer Answer Clinic. LA Law Library,<br />

301 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, <strong>12</strong>-3 p.m. Provides limited<br />

assistance with reviewing unlawful detainer complaints.<br />

Open to the disabled veteran community in LA County.<br />

Spanish assistance available. RSVP to 213-896-6536 or<br />

email inquiries-veterans@lacba.org.<br />

■ SATURDAY, JUNE 22<br />

St. Josemaría Escrivá Mass. Cathedral of Our Lady of the<br />

Angels, 555 W. Temple St., Los Angeles, 11 a.m. Archbishop<br />

José H. Gomez will celebrate Mass for the feast day.<br />

Mexicali Border Mission Trip. El Centro/Mexicali Border.<br />

A group of 15-20 people will travel to Mexicali and<br />

visit with some 200 migrants living in a shelter, bringing<br />

donations for the men in honor of Father’s Day. Valid U.S.<br />

passport, Global Entry card, or valid permanent resident<br />

card required. Limited spots available. Email immigration@<br />

la-archdiocese.org to register or for more information.<br />

■ SUNDAY, JUNE 23<br />

<strong>June</strong>teenth Texas Style Barbecue. St. Agatha Church,<br />

2646 S. Mansfield Ave., Los Angeles, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dine in<br />

or takeout. Wear red. Call 323-251-2888.<br />

■ MONDAY, JUNE 24<br />

Summer Bible Sessions. Holy Family Church, 209 E. Lomita<br />

Ave., Glendale, 7-8:30 p.m. Immersion into the Gospels<br />

runs <strong>June</strong> 24-27. For more information, visit lacatholics.org/<br />

events.<br />

■ SATURDAY, JUNE 29<br />

Let’s Pray Like Jesus: Catechist Workshop. Our Lady<br />

of the Assumption Church, 3175 Telegraph Rd., Ventura,<br />

9 a.m.-<strong>12</strong> p.m. Workshop will teach catechists different<br />

hands-on activities to explore prayer traditions. Bring scissors,<br />

crayons, and markers. English and Spanish workshops<br />

available. Registration required by <strong>June</strong> 27. Cost: $10/early<br />

bird by <strong>June</strong> 16, $15 after <strong>June</strong> 17. On-site registration is<br />

not available. For more information, visit lacatholics.org/<br />

elementary-catechesis.<br />

Summer Bible Retreat. Holy Family Church, 209 E. Lomita<br />

Ave., Glendale, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Free event, registration<br />

required. For more information, visit lacatholics.org/events.<br />

SCRC Catholic Renewal Convention: “Refreshed in<br />

Spirit.” Anaheim Marriott Ballrooms, 700 W. Convention<br />

Way, Anaheim, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. More than a dozen popular<br />

Catholic speakers, including Father Robert Spitzer, Father<br />

Ismael Robles, and more. Presentations, reconciliation,<br />

liturgy, and live praise and worship. Register at events.scrc.<br />

org. Call or text 818-771-1361.<br />

■ FRIDAY, JULY 5<br />

Mass for Pilgrims. Catedral Metropolitana de la Ciudad de<br />

México, Mexico City, Mexico, 10:30 a.m. Archbishop José<br />

H. Gomez will celebrate a special Mass for LA pilgrims.<br />

■ SATURDAY, JULY 6<br />

Mass for Pilgrims. Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe,<br />

Mexico City, Mexico, <strong>12</strong> p.m. Archbishop José H. Gomez<br />

will celebrate a special Mass for LA pilgrims.<br />

■ SUNDAY, JULY 7<br />

Virtual Diaconate Information Day. Zoom, 2-4 p.m. Do<br />

you feel Jesus is calling you to be a deacon? Come and see.<br />

To register, email Deacon Melecio Zamora at dmz2011@<br />

la-archdiocese.org.<br />

■ TUESDAY, JULY 9<br />

Memorial Mass. San Fernando Mission, 15151 San Fernando<br />

Mission Blvd., Mission Hills, 11 a.m. Mass is open to<br />

the public. Limited seating. RSVP to outreach@catholiccm.<br />

org or call 213-637-7810. Livestream available at Catholic-<br />

CM.org or Facebook.com/lacatholics.<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>June</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2024</strong> • ANGELUS • 37

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