Friday, July 20, 2018

Going Out

Father Emanuele De Nigris, Right, From St. Cecilia Church In Miami, Leads Singing Members Of The Neocatechumenal Way, Parishioners, And Youths Through The Streets Of Hialeah Before Beginning A Popular Mission On The Streets. LIZSANDRA TRASTOY Photo/Florida Catholic

I do wonder whether, given the unique demands of our time, it might be wise to ask a few questions about our hyper-stress on the parish.

For the past several days, I've been with my Word on Fire team, filming for the Flannery O'Connor and Fulton Sheen episodes of our "Pivotal Players" series. Our journey has taken us from Chicago to New York to Washington, DC, and finally to Savannah and Millidgeville, GA. At every step of the way, we have met numerous people who have been affected by Word on Fire materials: sermons, podcasts, YouTube videos, and the CATHOLICISM series. Many have told me that their exposure to Word on Fire started a process that led them back to the Church. Now I'm telling you this not as an advertisement for my media ministry, but rather as an occasion to muse about what I consider to be a needful change in the way the Church thinks about its essential work.

Throughout all the years of my involvement with the Church, the parish has been taken as the crucial ecclesial institution. Talk to almost anyone involved in Catholic ministry over the past fifty years and you will hear ample criticism of lots of aspects of Church life, but you will, almost without exception, hear praise of the parish. I think here of Fr. Andrew Greeley's lyrical evocations of the parish as a uniquely successful social and religious institution. Certainly within the context of diocesan priesthood, parish work is the unquestioned default position. Ministry outside of the parochial setting--hospital work, seminary work, teaching, administration, etc.--is acceptable, but it is generally seen as not quite what a diocesan priest ought to be doing. I think it's fair to say that the overwhelming amount of our money, time, energy, and personnel go into the maintenance of parish structures. 

Now please don't misunderstand me: I love the parish and believe in its importance passionately. Worship, instruction in discipleship, the building up of the community, formation for mission--all of this happens typically within the parish. I did full-time parish work for several years, and I've been involved in numerous parishes for the full thirty-two years of my priesthood. Now as a regional bishop in the largest Archdiocese in the country, I supervise and regularly visit roughly forty parishes. However, I do wonder whether, given the unique demands of our time, it might be wise to ask a few questions about our hyper-stress on the parish. 

Survey after survey has shown that the number of the "nones," or the religiously unaffiliated, is increasing dramatically in our country. Whereas in the early 1970s, those claiming no religion was around three percent, today it is close to twenty-five percent. And among the young, the figures are even more alarming: forty percent of those under forty have no religious affiliation, and fully fifty percent of Catholics under forty claim to be "nones." For every one person who joins the Catholic Church today, roughly six are leaving. And even those who identify as Catholic are spending very little time in and around parishes. Most studies indicate that perhaps 20 to 25 percent of baptized Catholics attend Mass on a regular basis, and the numbers of those receiving the sacraments--especially baptism, confirmation, marriage--are in noticeable decline. Furthermore, objective analysis reveals--and I can testify from a good deal of personal experience--that a tiny percentage of the already small percentage who attend Mass typically participate in parish programs of education, social service, and spiritual renewal. The point--and again, this is to say absolutely nothing against those who do wonderful work within the parish--is that perhaps we should reconsider our priorities and focus, above all, on active evangelization, the great mission ad extra.

Pope Francis memorably told us to "get out of the sacristies and into the streets," and to go "to the existential margins." Especially in our Western context, the streets and the existential margins are where we find the "nones." Two or three generations ago, we could trust that many people (Catholics certainly) would come to our institutions--schools, seminaries, and parishes--to be evangelized, but we absolutely cannot assume that today. But yet we still seem to devote most of our money, time, and attention to the maintenance of these institutions and their programs. Might it not be wiser to redirect our energies, money, and personnel outward, so that we might move into the space where the un-evangelized, the fallen-away, the unaffiliated dwell? My humble suggestion is that a serious investment in social media and the formation of an army of young priests specifically educated and equipped to evangelize the culture through these means would be a desideratum. But that's a subject for another column.

The last time Cardinal George addressed the priests of Chicago, at a convocation just about nine months before his death, he made a prophetic remark. He told the Chicago presbyterate that, at the beginning of the Church, there were no dioceses, no schools, no seminaries, and no parishes. But there were evangelists. He said that, in light of our present challenges, this is worth thinking about. He was right.

Bishop Robert Barron is the founder of the global ministry, Word on Fire, and is an Auxiliary Bishop in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Elder Brother Or Parent?

This post is in response to an anonymous poster whose comments can be found here.  According to his/her comment: 
AnonymousJuly 18, 2018 at 12:36 PM
Diana, why does Giuseppe Gennarini, the catechist of the NCW in the U.S., call the Jews "parent" rather than "elder brother" as Pope Francis does?
His/Her comment is most likely in reference to the comments made in the jungle, which can be found here.  Mr. Gennarini was not the only one who felt that the Jews should not be called "elder brother."  Pope Benedict XVI also felt the same way.  According to an article in Culture Wars:
On the other hand, in his interview book Light of the World, Pope Benedict XVI recently explained why he thinks we should no longer call Jews "our elder brothers", stating that "the phrase 'elder brothers,' which had already been used by John XXIII, is not so welcome to Jews. The reason is that, in the Jewish tradition, the 'elder brother' – Esau – is also the brother who gets rejected." According to Pope Benedict even the Jews themselves do not find this title as complimentary as many think. 
Therefore, there was nothing strange at all.  Mr. Gennarini gave the same reason that Pope Benedict XVI gave.  The reason Mr. Gennarini used the word "parent" was because Abraham, the founder of Judaism, was called the "father of all believers" or the "father in the faith."  Even the Catechism of the Catholic Church (See CCC 2569) called the Founder of Judaism (Abraham) "our father."

Finally, there is no written law in the Catholic Church saying that the Jews should not be called "parent".  Neither is there any written law saying they should be called "elder brother."  Pope Francis and other popes who called the Jews "elder brother" meant no disrespect.  It was not their intention to offend them in any way.  Yet, for the sake of ecumenism, Mr. Gennarini and Pope Benedict XVI refrained from using the term "elder brother."  If our Jewish brothers find the term "elder brother" offensive, then perhaps the word "elder" should be dropped and simply call them "brothers".......or as Christ taught us, we can humble ourselves and call them "parent".      

Sunday, July 15, 2018

The Calling From God

The priesthood is a vocation called by God.  Some of us wonder what this calling is like, and we often ask our seminarians and priests how they receive their calling. Guam's four seminarians whom Archbishop Byrnes have chosen to keep are Derek Delgado, Junee Valencia, Ronald Pangan, and William Mamangun.  You can read their stories in the Umatuna here and here. We pray for these young men as they continue their path toward the priesthood.  

It is always interesting to read how a seminarian is called into the priesthood.  Sometimes, God's calling is very easy to hear as in the case of all four of Guam's seminarians chosen by Archbishop Byrnes. All of them were already in the Catholic Church, serving as altar servers or in some Church ministry, and come from strong Catholic backgrounds.  Other priestly callings were much harder to hear because of the situation they were in.  But God's priestly calling was not only for those already serving in the ministry of the Church.  God can even call a priest in the violent streets, in the slums, or in a painful situation. 

Below is another witness to Christian faith.  It is the reflection from a newly ordained priest.  You can find his story here.

Reflections of a newly ordained priest — Father Andrea Povero

Hello everyone!
My name is Father Andrea. I am originally from Italy and on May 19th I was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Boston after a long and beautiful journey of dialogue with the Lord. I use the word “dialogue” because, since I was very young, I came to understand that God is not a “concept” or a mysterious being up in the air, as many people today may think. On the contrary, in God I met a person or, more precisely, a Father.
Today, I am 30 years old and I can say that my personal “dialogue” with this Father started when an experience of suffering came to me and my family: the death of my earthly father, Franco. I was almost 8 years old, the youngest of 4 children: Mario, Valentina, Anna and myself. After several months of pain and going from one hospital to another, my father died “as a saint” in his bed at home with my mother and my brother at his side.
My father was a man who did not grow up in the Church. In fact, he had fallen far away from the Church, especially after the sudden death of his first wife after only 5 years of marriage. He suddenly found himself alone with a 5-year-old child, my brother Mario. But God was very merciful to him. Shortly after the death of his first wife he met my mother, who had recently come back to the Church herself.
She invited him to go to listen to the same catechesis that she had listened to only a few months earlier, the catechesis of the Neocatechumenal Way. Through this experience, my father started a long journey of faith that helped him to discover the love of God and to find the meaning of his existence and the answer to his suffering. (I am sharing some of the experience of my father because it is essential to understand the inheritance of faith that he left to me through his death and the root of my priestly vocation.)
The reason that I say my father died “as a saint” is because on the night he died he reconciled with everyone, asking for forgiveness and receiving forgiveness. The last words he spoke were addressed to my brother, who at that time was 23 years old and in the midst of a period of rebellion against God and the Church. My father told him, “Mario, open the windows, Christ is coming!” Shortly afterward, he passed away.
My father’s experience of finding God in his life, along with his last words, made a great impact on me. They marked me immensely. They became like a shield that protected me, especially as I was growing up and faced different experiences that would lead me to doubt God.
I thought about becoming a priest for the first time when I was 13 years old. That idea scared me, and I decided not to share it with anyone. Like most teenagers in today’s society, I had plans for my life that did not include the priesthood.
I was a very sociable kid; I had a lot of friends, I loved to play sports, and I was in love with “the mountains.” I spent many weekends hiking and climbing the Alps. In addition to all this, my mother made it possible for me to attend an excellent school.
Humanly speaking, I had everything that a young man could hope for in life. Nevertheless, inside of me there was always a deep tension. I knew that the death of my father had left a great sense of insecurity inside of me. Many times, I felt I did not really have someone to rely on. This was exacerbated by the fact that, after the death of my father, my older brother left the house and went to study in another city.
Anxiety became one of my worst enemies. I had friends and I had the desire to study and build my life, but yet there was always an internal turmoil that stayed with me. In the school, the beliefs of my friends were constantly contradicting the faith that I saw in my house. For many years, I lived with one foot “in the world,” trying to fit in with the lifestyle of my friends, and another foot in the Church. At one moment, though, this duplicity broke.
When I finished high school, I found myself very confused. I had dated a girl for a while until she found someone else. Life suddenly seemed as if it was a huge mountain standing before me, and I felt I was not able to climb it. I missed my father very much and the friendships I had built throughout the years were no longer enough. I began university, but a few months later I decided not to continue. I always wanted to study, and I never would have thought it was something I wouldn’t succeed at.
I fell into a time of deep sadness and anger, the relationships within my family became very difficult and I entered into a “fight” with God. I felt that God was creating a desert around me. I was angry at Him, yet I could not completely close the doors of my life to Him. And this was because of the “inheritance” left to me by my father. His last words, addressed to my brother — “Mario, open the windows, Christ is coming!” — were inscribed in my heart. In a way, what my father had told us was that Christ was the only truth. So, as much as I would try to put God aside, I could not do so completely.
It may sound absurd, but it was in the midst of this period of conflict with God that I felt very strongly that He was calling me to the priesthood. That thought, which I first had when I was 13 years old, came to the surface again and refused to leave me. God appeared to me like a father looking for his son. I found myself surrounded by people who were constantly reminding me of God’s unconditional love for me — even in those moments when I was angry, lashing out and in conflict with everyone. I experienced that God knew my life and understood my suffering in a way that no one else could. Little by little, I began to see God as my father and the death of my earthly father as a blessing, and not as a mistake.
It was during this time that I attended the wedding of one of my cousins, whose brother was a young priest. In the middle of the reception, he walked up to me and said, “Andrea, what are you waiting for to enter the seminary?” I hadn’t told anyone — not a soul — what I had been thinking, and yet he said this to me. I couldn’t believe it. I felt that that was a clear word of God for me.
Some months later, I decided to attend a youth meeting with Pope Benedict XVI. There, God made clear to me that my way of happiness was through the priesthood. After a time of discernment, helped by my Neocatechumenal community, my catechists and my parish priest, I decided to enter the seminary. I was invited to attend an international retreat of men from the Neocatechumenal Way who were thinking of entering the priesthood, and within two weeks I was sent to study at the Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary of Boston.
In the seminary, I have really experienced that God is my father. I have found my place, and I don’t feel like an orphan anymore. I no longer feel abandoned.
If I have ever felt an absence in my life because of the death of my father, now I have a presence of God the Father in my life. It is because of my loss that I experience God the Father in a deeper way than I think many people do. I feel precious to Him. I realized that my whole life was a preparation for this mission.

As for my first assignment, I was assigned by Cardinal Seán as parochial vicar of the Jamaica Plain/Roxbury Collaborative of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish and Mary of the Angels Parish.
So far it has been a great assignment with many challenges and lots of work. In the short time that I have spent here, I have already seen the action and the power of the Holy Spirit and I am sure that God sent me here to learn how to live not for myself, but for others.
I pray that God will keep me always faithful to what I have received and that He may give me the strength and the wisdom to be a faithful shepherd!
Pray for me,
Father Andrea

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Congratulations To Paul O'Reilly!

Paul O'Reilly was a former RMS seminarian in Guam who was walking in one of the NCW communities.  He was recently ordained a deacon by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin, Ireland.  He was supposed to be ordained a deacon in Guam on June 4, 2016, but that never happened.  Congratulations to Deacon Paul O'Reilly.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

A Witness To Faith

The following article was contributed by an anonymous poster who goes by the name of "Lou."  It is about a woman named Natasha Sanna.  Sanna walks in the Neocatechumenal Way.  She was paralysized as a result of a mistake her doctor made.  However, she did not file a lawsuit against the doctor despite that she could have.  

St. Pope John Paul II said that the world needs holy people.  Holy people are needed because these holy people are the witnesses to the faith.  These kinds of witnesses to faith are much more convincing because anyone (including the Jews, Muslims and even atheists) can feed the hungry and help the poor.  But how many can forgive?  How many can forgo the opportunity of a lawsuit to gain money?  Their light shines so that others may see and praise God's glory.  The light and spirit of Christ is manifested through them.  Below is Natasha's Story

A paralyzed young mother asks the Lord for a sign to carry her cross. This is what happened.

The story of Natasha Sanna, the wife of Simone and the mother of Ilaria, Gabriele, and Maria Giulia, might make you angry and might bring you to tears, but it will also leave you amazed, joyful, and hopeful. Natasha has lived with a severe disability for six years, and in this interview she tells us with generosity and humor about her (mis)adventure and how she had to start all over again to continue living and loving.
Natasha, tell us your story.
I went to see the doctor over a menstrual problem— I had the feeling that the blood was staying coagulated in my belly instead of going out and flowing well. My doctor, who is a gynecologist, prescribed the pill for this problem and reassured me that everything would be solved in a few months. She prescribed it to me without running any tests beforehand. Unfortunately, I had a genetic problem of coagulation which had worsened. I took the pill and I got a cerebral thrombosis.
I already had my three children then. And I had six others in heaven. I suffered from recurrent miscarriages, but no one was alarmed. I started taking the pill.
About a month later, shortly after my nephew’s birth, we went to Mass on Saturday night. (My husband and I are part of the Neocatechumenal Way.) When we returned home, I remember that I fainted. When I came to in the hospital, I was completely paralyzed on my right side. I was no longer able to speak and my mouth was all bent to one side. It’s much better now and you don’t notice it so much unless you stare at my lips, but my right eye unfortunately does not see anymore.
At first, they told me I would recover, but the hemiparesis soon became hemiplegia. I did a lot of speech therapy and a lot of physiotherapy for my face. In intensive care, I didn’t realize how bad I was. I thought I was speaking correctly but those who listened to me didn’t understand what I was saying, because I was moaning. But in my mind I thought I was expressing myself normally. Only when they brought me a little blackboard one day did I finally understand. After a series of visits, they screened me for thrombophilia, and diagnosed the causes of my pathology.

Did you report the doctor?
No, I didn’t. Even though the doctors told me I could. I think she made a human error. A serious one, but still an error. How often I make mistakes, too. I didn’t want to judge her. One day the Lord will do it. It’s said that sin generates sin, so I surrendered her to God’s will and keep her in my prayers.
How did you feel after the stroke? Who was particularly close to you?
Before getting sick, I was a chef and I earned good money and helped my family. I suddenly found myself in an unfamiliar world. I was catapulted into a reality that is difficult to explain and with which I had to learn to live.
Illness and suffering are scary, and in fact my family of origin grew a bit distant after the thrombosis. I always pray for them. My husband Simone has always been close to me, which is priceless, and also my community. The pain didn’t damage our relationship; instead, it united us even more. I didn’t choose it; God allowed it for me and it could only be a good choice. We have been together since I was 17 and he was 23: 20 years have passed! In August we will celebrate 16 years of marriage, and I’m still in love with him.
Are you in a lot of pain?
I remember that at a certain point in my illness, when I had difficulty doing things for my children, the housework that every mother does, I prayed and asked God: “If all this is in Your will, you must send me a sign. I don’t want a sign like a breath of wind coming into the house, a leaf that flies, a sun beam. I want something that is almost a slap because otherwise I can’t keep going. The disease is breaking me. I can’t carry this cross.”
Then I met with a speech therapist, and I remember that the first exercises were really difficult, because I was ashamed. I couldn’t do what she asked, even though she treated me with incredible sweetness. I had to learn how to write with my left hand, and I had to start over as if in kindergarten. She told me that if I set a goal I would learn right away.
At that moment in my heart, I decided I wanted to write to Pope Francis. It’s been four years since then. I remember that it was hard to write with my left hand, but I didn’t want to send him one of those letters typed at the computer or on a machine. So, I wrote by hand on lined paper torn from my son’s notebook.
What did you write to the pope?
I wrote to him that illness had come to my family and that absurdly, it had healed me. I had understood that this suffering was making me see life from another angle: the perspective of a wheelchair. And I remember that I also told him that my family of origin had distanced itself and that I was praying for them. In the post-script, I left him my cell phone number: “I know you like to make calls to people, so I’ll leave you my cell phone number. Do what you wish with it …”
I gave the letter to a friend of mine who works in St. Peter’s because he knew where to send it and who to direct it to. I remember that I went to the community and told them about what I’d done, and the priest (Don Luca) told me: “Listen Natasha, if the pope doesn’t answer you, don’t be upset. He has so many things to do.” My husband poked some fun at me and told me: “Okay, let’s see if the pope writes to you.”
Did the letter reach the Holy Father?
The letter arrived in the Vatican in the care of Cardinal Comastri. He wanted to know everything about me and my story. I was told that he deposited my note in one of the boxes full of mail that the Holy Father reads personally. Then my parish priest called to tell me that a package had arrived for me from Cardinal Comastri: there was a book about the Virgin Mary with a dedication for me. I showed the gift to Don Luca who immediately said to me: “See, the cardinal sent you this gift, but now don’t ask for the impossible.” I replied: “Nothing is impossible for God, right?”
And then what happened?
It was the Sunday of Christ the King; I remember that we had been to my in-laws’ house and then came back to our house. It was about eight o’clock in the evening when the phone started ringing. Simone told me to go and answer, but I had to remove my brace and all the straps—I’m a bionic woman and it takes me some time—so I answered: “You go!” and he said: “And what the hell! You never answer this phone!”
I thought it was the usual annoying sales call but then I heard my husband say, “Yes, yes, Natasha. I’ll get her on the line.” He brought me the phone: “It’s for you, someone with a strange accent.” I took the phone all ticked off and said: “Hello!”  and on the other side a voice said: “I was looking for Mrs. Natasha.” I interrupted him all irritated and said: “That’s me!” and he responded: “I’m Pope Francis.” I looked at Simone and I told him, “Simone, it’s not a sales call—it’s the pope!”
Natasha, what a thrill! What a gift to receive a phone call from the Holy Father. What did you tell him?
I was really happy, and I said to him: “How wonderful! I’ve been waiting for your call for a long time,” and Simone scolded me from the door: “You don’t speak in the informal ‘tu’ to the pope!” Whenever I think about that scene, I find myself chuckling.
The Pontiff told me that he had my letter in front of him … and I interrupted him, saying: “Yes, I wrote to you to say that God gave me a gift with the disease, because I’m experiencing humility, the strength of forgiveness, the power of prayer that reaches everywhere.”
And he answered: “How nice to talk with you! How nice to hear you say these things. Thank you.” I couldn’t believe it and said: “It is I who thank you. I’m a drop in the sea and you called me.” And then he said: “No, Natasha, you’re very important, and do you know why? Because in you there is everything that the Passion of Jesus Christ represents.”
I’ll always remember these words. I replied that I didn’t feel so important, but since he was the pope, I was nobody to contradict him.
“Listen Natasha, here I read that you have three pearls,” he continued. I refer to my children that way because each of them has his and her own nuances and personality. The pope said the names of the kids.
I had him on speaker and then they called out: “Hi, Pope Francis!” And he answered, “Hi, pearls! Hi, pearls!” This will always remain in my heart, the pope who said “Hi, pearls” to my kids.
Then I passed Simone to him, otherwise I would have risked a divorce request from him! While they were talking I could see that he was bending his head whenever he said “Your Holiness,” as if the pope could see it. Scenes we laugh about!
Before ending the conversation, I thanked him for the call and he told me something that remained in my heart: “I called to console you, and I was consoled.” Simone was literally walking on air. Then I asked him: “What did you and His Holiness say to each other?” He said, “I don’t remember!” He had talked on the phone with the pope and didn’t remember their conversation because he was so excited.
This was the sign I was waiting for from God, the strong caress I was waiting for.  From that moment, I completely entrusted myself to the Lord, I accepted His will, I found consolation. But it’s often hard. It would be even harder if I didn’t have the community, the faith, and a husband who preaches at me whenever he sees me down, and to whom I say, “Okay, okay, you’re right,” just to get him to stop.
The disease has taught you humility, you said. Explain this to me.
When I was well, I worked, I earned money, I went out, and I thought I could decide everything. But illness humiliates you, and that’s why it teaches you humility. And humility is a gift. One thing I didn’t tell you is that I told the pope on the phone: “I would like to carry this cross as Christ carried his. Christ fell and got up three times, but in the end, he kissed his cross. And I too, with Christ’s same dignity, want to carry mine.”
To do this, I need to see the disease with fresh eyes: I have to look at it as if it were something that saves me, that makes everything more beautiful and true. I don’t want to have the heart of someone who gives up and gets trampled by events.
What are the difficulties of your everyday life?
Since September, I can’t leave the house anymore. I live in Gallicano, and the municipality hasn’t removed the architectural barriers. I was also removed from the housing where I had the electric wheelchair. I had to bring it home. I can’t go out alone anymore, except with Simone. When I could go out and take the children to school, the people who met me always told me: “Every time I see you, a weight is taken off my shoulders, every worry, every thought.” Life is life.
The first thing I did when I came home from the hospital was to prepare pasta sauce for my children. Simone wanted to go to my mother-in-law’s house to get something to eat, and was amazed that I had cooked. But I told the kids: “Look, your mother is not a half mom. She used to do things with the force of her strength, and now she is forced to do them with her heart, because she doesn’t have strength anymore.”
Natasha together with a brother of the community at the 50th anniversary of the Neocatechumenal Way

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

50th Anniversary of the Neocatechumenal Way in Rome - Wynnum Pilgrimage ...

Below is a video of the Rome Pilgrimage by the Wynnum Pilgrims in Australia.  Their pilgrimage started a few days earlier than Guam.  Guam started its Rome pilgrimage on May 1st.  On May 5th, all the pilgrims from around the world gathered together at Tor Vergata.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

The Facts Presented

For the last four years, the jungle have published that Archbishop Apuron was controlled by either Father Pius, the NCW, the Gennarinis, or all of them combined.  Below are several comments taken from the jungle implying that Archbishop Apuron was controlled or influenced by the NCW:

Comment 1 dated November 10, 2014 (the bold is mine):
The sad part is that the Archbishop is simply lying and having others lie for him at the order of his Neocatechumenal Masters who need the Archbishop to stay standing for a few years longer so they can keep pumping out presbyters that probably couldn't get ordained anywhere else.........Fr. Pius, while he pretends to be the Archbishop's servant, is actually his lord and master. 
Comment 2 dated January 9, 2015 (the bold is mine):
Thus, all Apuron can do is add three more members who could tip the balance in a vote, but we all know that Apuron is completely controlled by the Gennarini's. This is because, Apuron is IN the Neocatechumenal Way and must be subservient to his Catechist. Giuseppe Gennarini is the "Catechist" for the United States.
Comment 3 dated August 9, 2014: 
Received this from "Glad to be Back in Holy Mother Church". It verifies many things already mentioned on this blog.
  • Archbishop Apuron is not in control.
  • All decisions are made for this archdiocese, including who becomes a priest at RMS, by Giuseppe Gennarini, the lead "responsible" for the NCW in the United States. Gennarini is Fr. Pius' immediate superior, and Fr. Pius is the Archbishop's immediate superior. Gennarini's immediate superior is Kiko. This is the hierarchy controlling our church on Guam!
  • Both Fr. Paul and Msgr. James were fired at Kiko & Gennarini's order. 
In summary, Rohr advertised the propaganda that Archbishop Apuron was never in control, and that all decisions for the Archdiocese were made by Gennarini or the NCW. However, the truth is found in the 2010 CARA report.  On page 40 of the 2010 CARA report, it cited the following as one of the problems between Archbishop Apuron and the clergy (the bold is mine): 
Communication between the Archbishop and clergy...Local clergy cliques seem to exert pressure and influence on Archbishop's decisions.
As you can see from the 2010 CARA report, it was the "local clergy cliques" that had been exerting pressure and influence on Archbishop Apuron all along. It was never the RMS priests, the NCW, Father Pius, or even the Gennarinis who influenced Archbishop Apuron. Obviously, the "local clergy cliques" did not like any decisions Archbishop Apuron made on his own.  One then has to wonder who were in the "secret meetings" that Rohr mentioned after Father Paul was removed.

The jungle used the NCW, Father Pius, and the Genarinnis as scapegoats. Since the CARA report stated that the "local clergy cliques" exerted pressure and influence on Archbishop Apuron, one then has to wonder if the same thing is also being done to Archbishop Byrnes.  

As for the Filipino priests, the jungle is claiming that the NCW is trying to separate the Filipino priests from the rest.  According to the jungle blog:
 The Neos never at a loss to capitalize on an opportunity recruited some influential Filipino priests in their ranks. The fact that these individuals were easily bought and paid for, eased the process. This led to some internal conflicts that are still existing today, even though things are not as overt, as they once were.  
The truth is many of the Filipino priests were never bought and paid for by the NCW.  Have you noticed that Frenchie only gave lip service, but never produce any evidence of payment?  Many Filipino priests feel comfortable with many RMS priests because they are also foreigners. Again, the facts are found in the 2010 CARA Report.  On page 33 of the report, it stated:
Clergy born in the Philippines and the United States are most likely to agree at least "somewhat" that they often feel like an outsider because of their nationality, race, or ethnicity. (38 percent, compared to 5 percent of priests born in Guam or elsewhere).
The facts will also show that the jungle expressed negative remarks about Filipino priests (see the weblink here).  It is also a fact that Attorney David Lujan had made a racial remark about Archbishop Byrnes.  According to KUAM news:
Not everyone is pleased with the new bishop-designee for the Archdiocese of Agana. According to Attorney David Lujan, he's offended by Rome's pick for Guam. He stated, "We've got numerous brown priests that were born here, that grew up here, that know the people of Guam and are part of the people of Guam, whether they be Chamorros or Filipinos. But we have more than enough qualified leadership in the local clergy really, who Rome should have contemplated." 
The nationality or skin color of the Archbishop should not be an issue. The NCW never separated the Filipino priests from the rest. The jungle did that on their own with their negative remarks against them (see the weblink here). Negative remarks about the Filipino priests apparently goes back even before the 2010 CARA report.   

All the negative things are blamed on the NCW, and all the positive things are credited to the jungle.  A case in point...... according to Tim Rohr:
And NO, it is not thanks to the once a year "wave" or "march for life" staged by the archdiocese so "they" could feel better about themselves. It was due to the small people, like my daughters, who stood out in front of those abortion clinics day after day, in the rain, alone, sick, tired, and feeling defeated, with their signs, their rosaries, and their presence...when no one else did. God bless you.
Facts will show that the reason there is no longer any abortion being done in Guam is simply because Dr. Freeman, the only abortion doctor on island, RETIRED.  According to the Pacific Daily News:
For years there were two doctors who performed abortions on Guam. One retired in 2016; the second doctor retired last month, leaving the island without any physicians who will perform abortions.,,,,,,
Since late 2016, Dr. William Freeman at the Women's Clinic had been the island's only abortion provider. 
Dr. Jeffrey Gabel, who’s been practicing in Guam for about 10 years, said he took over the Women’s Clinic effective June 1. Gabel said he doesn’t conduct abortions and he doesn’t support abortions made at will. 
“I’m pro-life,” Gabel said.
Gabel, an obstetrician and gynecologist, said within about a week or two after he took over, word got around fairly quickly that Freeman had retired and Gabel had taken over. Gabel said he worked under Freeman but hadn't performed abortions.  
The credit goes to Dr. Jeffrey Gabel who took over the clinic and chose to follow his Christian beliefs of pro-life.      

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Put On The Armor Of God

The real enemy had always been Satan. He is the enemy of both God and man.  I have always said that Tim Rohr is our brother.  The devil, who tempts all of us to sin, is the real enemy.  Our sins separate us from God and causes the division between husbands and wives, between families, and between brothers and sisters.  

In the beginning, Adam and Eve lived in harmony and was in union with God.  Their sin of disobedience and pride separated them from God. Harmony between husband and wife was also lost due to sin. But the Good News is that Christ came to redeem and reconcile us with God so that we may have eternal life with God our Father, Mary our Mother, and Jesus Christ our brother.  Our battle is far from over.  

So, brothers and sisters, continue to walk in the Way.  Continue to walk with your community in the Eucharist and the celebration of the Word.  Since we are already in summer schedule, our conviviences will pick up after the summer. As many of you already know, the persecution has strengthen us.  There is much to give thanks and praise to God.  Remember also, that our fight is against Satan.  It is not against flesh and blood.  It is not against man.  Pray for Archbishop Apuron and Archbishop Byrnes and all the clergy because Satan attacks them more than the laity.  Pray also for our persecutors because they are suffering tremendously.  

Related image    

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Letter From the Bishop of Brooklyn

The following was a letter from Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn dated June 2018.


Dear Brother Bishops, 

On behalf of the Cardinals, Archbishops, and Bishops noted in the attached letter, I am pleased to share with you this joint statement on the Neocatechumenal Way. 

With every best wish, I am 

Sincerely in Christ, 
Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio
Bishop of Brooklyn 

You can view his letter in the screenshot below: 

I also have the attachment, which reads: 

                              Statement Conference of Bishops

Just a little more than a month ago in Rome, our Holy Father, Pope Francis, presided over the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the beginning of the Neocatechumenal Way, at the presence of over two hundred thousand people from all over the world, 16 cardinals and 138 bishops. 

The Holy Father concluded his remarks, before the solemn singing of the Te Deum Laudamus, with these words:  "Your charism is a great gift of God for the Church of our time.  Let us thank the Lord for these 50 years."

We join the Holy Father in thanking the Lord for all the gifts that God has given us through the Neocatechumenal Way here in the United States during the last 41 years: marriage rebuilt and open to life, men and women eager to know more deeply the Word of God and to spread the Good News and particularly many vocations to the priesthood.  

With the even more recent opening of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary of Brooklyn, there are now nine such seminaries throughout the United States: Newark, Denver, Boston, Washington, Dallas, Miami, Philadelphia and Bridgeport.  During the past years, numerous priests have been ordained from these diocesan seminaries.  These priests have been a great help not only in their own dioceses, but also in many other dioceses in need throughout the United States and the world.  

Looking at the future, we hope and trust that even more gifts will arrive to us here in the United States, as well as to the whole world, through this charism of the Neocatechumenal Way. 

Please join us in thanking the Lord for this gift.  

The above attachment with the names of the bishops can be viewed through the screenshots below: 


Friday, June 22, 2018

The Double Standard of the Jungle

The jungle often complained about how the NCW celebrates its Mass.  Tim Rohr and the junglefolks say that the Mass should be celebrated on a consecrated altar.  According to Tim Rohr:
Here of course we see not only why the Neo eschews the idea of celebrating the Mass on a consecrated altar, which the Catechism says is the symbol of Christ himself (CCC 1383), but abandons the church building altogether, in direct contradiction to Canon Law of course:
Can.  932 §1. The eucharistic celebration is to be carried out in a sacred place unless in a particular case necessity requires otherwise; in such a case the celebration must be done in a decent place. §2. The eucharistic sacrifice must be carried out on a dedicated or blessed altar...
The Code goes on to direct how the "eucharistic sacrifice" is to be offered when not offered on a dedicated or blessed altar, but of course the condition of when "necessity requires" has already been established.
In addition to criticizing the NCW, Rohr has also criticized the regular parish Masses.  According to Tim Rohr: 
1. Change your “altar” to a mere table
Since the 60's we've been hearing "the table of the Lord" instead of "the altar of God." Long ago, and before Kiko, we moved away from the High Altar atop "the three steps" to a table-looking thing that has edged ever closer to the people (and thus a "dinner" table and NOT an "altar") with some churches actually placing the "table" in the center (Santa Barbara) or almost in the center (St. Jude). And these churches are the among the most anti-neo. 
However, a friend emailed me a screenshot from Rohr's facebook page.  It showed Tim Rohr having Mass on his kitchen table.  Rohr accommodated a priest in his home, and they celebrated Mass on his kitchen table.  See the screenshot below: 

So, to the junglefolks, this is who your leader is.  He pointed his finger at the NCW, telling them that they are wrong in having their Mass in their private homes instead of before a consecrated altar.  Yet, it is okay for Rohr to have Mass in his private home on his kitchen table.  He criticized the parish Masses of St. Jude Catholic Church and Santa Barbara Catholic Church by accusing these churches of having their Mass on a table rather than on a consecrated altar.  Yet, it is okay for Rohr to have Mass in his private home on his kitchen table.  What do you have to say about your leader now?