Thursday, May 24, 2018

Abused By SNAP

It should come as no surprise that SNAP who pretends to help victims of sexual abuse are abusers themselves especially when it comes to priests (such as Father Jiang) who were falsely accused.  SNAP is also anti-Catholic.  It is important to note that the Junglewatch Nation supported this anti-Catholic organization as they went on their witch hunt against Archbishop Apuron, labeling him already guilty without due process of a trial. 

The following article was written by Father Gordon MacRae (the bold red are mine).  Notice what I placed in red.     

Image result for Father Gordon MacraeIf there exists a Catholic priest still in denial about the agenda of SNAP, it’s because he has lived with his head in the sand blind to the threat lying in wait for him.
In 2009, at the same time I began writing for These Stone Walls, Catholic League President Bill Donohue invited me to write a feature article for the Catholic League Journal, Catalyst. My article, “Due Process for Accused Priests,” began by describing an important phenomenon.
In 2002, just as the national story of Catholic priests and sexual abuse emerged out of Boston to sweep the country, psychologist Daniel Kahneman was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics for his work on a phenomenon called “availability bias.” It revealed the power of the media to not just report the news, but to reshape it to fit media bias, to cultivate it, to take a story’s small microphone and turn it into a megaphone.
Activist organizations have trained people to harness this force to sway what others adopt as a bias. It is not new, just newly analyzed. One of the most potent deployments of “availability bias” is one I have quoted before in these pages. It comes from Mein Kampf, the 1926 book by Adolf Hitler that gave rise to the Nazi party in Germany:
“The great mass of people will more easily fall prey to a big lie than to a small one.”
After my 2009 Catalyst article was published, I was subjected to an open assault by David Clohessy, Executive Director of the activist organization, SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. Matt Abbott at Renew America forwarded my article to Mr. Clohessy and invited a response posted at Renew America entitled, “Imprisoned Priest, Sex Abuse Victim Clash.”
David Clohessy was obviously perturbed by what I exposed about the law suit settlement process and how it is advanced and cultivated by “self-serving contingency lawyers and various agenda driven groups using scandal for their own ends.” Mr. Clohessy had long derided Church officials for entering into secrecy agreements to keep settlement amounts from public view.
On January 17, 2017, former SNAP employee Gretchen Rachel Hammond filed a lawsuit against SNAP in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. Ms. Hammond had been SNAP’s Director of Development before leaving the organization and filing her lawsuit. The named parties in the suit included David Clohessy, SNAP’s Executive Director, and Barbara Blaine, SNAP’s founder and president, and a member of SNAP’s board of directors.
Ms. Hammond’s lawsuit alleged that she was a victim of retaliatory discharge for questioning the allegedly corrupt practices of this organization. These included claims that SNAP and its leaders received substantial kickbacks in the form of “donations” from attorneys to whom SNAP officials referred clients or potential clients.
The lawsuit exposed that lawyers in California, Chicago, Seattle, and Delaware made major “donations,” some of them in six-figure amounts, and that SNAP leaders “concocted a scheme to have other attorneys make donations to a front foundation” to mask “attorneys’ kickbacks” to the organization.
The lawsuit also alleged a pattern of collusion between SNAP officials and plaintiff lawyers to maximize publicity for the purpose of fueling bigger payouts. It accused SNAP officials of callous disregard for the real interests of real sexual abuse survivors. Among the lawsuit’s other allegations were these:
  • SNAP engaged in a commercial enterprise motivated by its directors’ and officers’ personal and ideological animus against the Catholic Church.
  • SNAP conducted business premised on farming out abuse survivors as clients for specific attorneys who file lawsuits and collect settlements from the Catholic Church.
  • Attorneys routinely gave SNAP confidential plaintiff claims and other privileged information in order for SNAP to maximize payouts with sensational press releases.
  • SNAP claimed that it existed to provide support for survivors of clergy sexual abuse, however at all relevant times, SNAP did not have a single grief counselor or rape counselor on its payroll. SNAP would ignore survivors who reached out to SNAP for legitimate counseling.
  • Ms. Hammond alleged that she was told by SNAP official Barbara Dorris to ignore calls from survivors who were seeking only counseling.
  • Despite accepting funds for counseling and aiding survivors of sexual abuse, SNAP squandered those funds to advance its own interests and those of its leadership.
  • SNAP set out to deliberately jeopardize the ability of accused priests to receive due process and fair trials.
  • In 2011, SNAP oversaw fundraising for a charge brought against Pope Benedict XVI at the International Court at The Hague; however SNAP used the funds to pay for lavish hotels and other extravagant travel expenses for its leadership.
When the lawsuit became public, David Clohessy resigned as Executive Director, and SNAP founder and president, Barbara Blaine also resigned. They have since settled the lawsuit by a secrecy clause just like the ones for which Mr. Clohessy had railed against Catholic bishops over the last two decades.
After the settlement, others among SNAP’s more notorious leaders also resigned as reported by David F. Pierre, Jr. at The Media Report in “SNAP R.I.P.” Barbara Dorris, who replaced David Clohessy as Executive Director, and Regional Director Joelle Casteix both resigned. Among the revelations uncovered by David Pierre was that SNAP published the email addresses and personal phone numbers of accused, priests to generate harassment.
Ms. Hammond’s lawsuit was only one of several brought against SNAP, but it was the one that appeared to finally expose what had long been suspected of SNAP and its leaders. Simultaneously in 2017, Father Joseph Jiang, a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, filed a defamation lawsuit against SNAP.
Charges brought against Father Jiang were heavily promoted by SNAP leaders who, as they do whenever a priest is accused, issued a public call for anyone else who wants to accuse the priest. When Father Jiang passed a polygraph test [I did, too, by the way, twice] the charges were dismissed in 2015.
In 2016 a federal judge ruled that SNAP made false statements against Father Jiang “negligently and with reckless disregard for the truth.” SNAP and the parents of the minor who had falsely accused him settled the lawsuit.
As part of its settlement, SNAP issued a public apology, but the ever complicit news media failed to mention that SNAP was forced to do so in the wake of a false claim and lawsuit SNAP’s apology, written by its legal counsel, included this statement:
“The SNAP defendants never want to see anyone falsely accused of a crime Admittedly, false reports of clergy sexual abuse do occur. SNAP apologizes for false or inaccurate statements… its representatives made which in any way disparaged Father Joseph Jiang.”
In reporting this story, some Catholic media outlets continued to refer to SNAP as “a victims’ support group” or “a victim advocacy group.” It’s a bad habit that blindly gives legitimacy of purpose to SNAP which it does not have, and has never had.
The most important and visible source exposing SNAP’s corruption and reckless disregard for truth is a document by Catholic League President Bill Donohue entitled, “SNAP Implodes.” It provides a comprehensive and compelling account of the path of destruction SNAP and its leaders have left in the Church and priesthood under the false guise of advocating for real victims.
Among the most manipulative of David Clohessy’s “advocacy” was an instruction to accusers to attend SNAP press conferences. To play on the emotions of reporters, Clohessy urged those awaiting settlements to “display holy childhood photos” before the news cameras, and… if you don’t have compelling holy childhood photos we can provide you with photos of other kids that can be held up for the cameras.”
If that doesn’t infuriate Catholics who have any regard left for truth, then what would? SNAP had a much worse perversion of justice that was first hyped, and then covered up, by the news media. It was the most destructive publicity stunt SNAP and its leaders have devised or condoned to date.
Both Bill Donohue and the Hammond lawsuit cited this one (see the final bullet point in Ms. Hammond’s lawsuit above). What they do not reveal is that SNAP used the false case against me to help bring it about.
I first wrote of this story in October 2011 in “SNAP’S Last Gasp! The Pope’s Crimes Against Humanity.” That was before I even knew that I was a part of this story. In 2011, SNAP and the Center for Constitutional Rights – located at 666 Broadway in Manhattan – jointly filed a “crimes against humanity” charge against Pope Benedict XVI at the International Criminal Court.
The ICC is an independent judicial institution with the power to hold trials and impose sentences for the most serious crimes of international concern: genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. The ICC was approved by international treaty in 1998 and officially came into being on July 1, 2002, after 60 countries ratified the treaty.
The court is headquartered in The Hague, The Netherlands. Of interest, in May of 2002, President George Bush declined to sign the treaty and refused to allow the ICC to have jurisdiction over United States cases. So SNAP’s target was not U.S. Catholic priests and bishops, but the Pope himself.
SNAP duped the left-leaning Center for Constitutional Rights to compose and file the briefs with information provided by SNAP in collaboration with plaintiff lawyers hoping for a precedent to tap Vatican assets in their never-ending quest for big bucks. I first learned of my involvement in this story from an article by journalist JoAnn Wypijewski, in “Spotlight Oscar Hangover: Why ‘Spotlight’ Is a Terrible Film.” Here is an excerpt:
“The Center for Constitutional Rights [CCR] . . . joined with SNAP to file a grotesque brief to the International Criminal Court demanding ‘investigation and prosecution’ of the Vatican for crimes against humanity… To CCR’s shame, Father [Gordon] MacRae is specifically mentioned in that brief with respect to allegations… which prosecutors threw in at sentencing but for which there is no evidence according to the lead detective in the case [as] cited by [Dorothy] Rabinowitz.”
SNAP, apparently in retaliation for my Catalyst articles calling for independent investigation of dubious claims, fed information to the Center for Constitutional Rights that would fuel a case against the Vatican. They made no attempt to contact me or my defense, nor did they contact Dorothy Rabinowitz at The Wall Street Journal who researched and published extensively on the same story, but with a polar opposite conclusion.
And SNAP did this without attempting to contact James Abbott, the former FBI Special Agent who spent three years investigating this case before dismissing it as a fraud. (Agent Abbott’s affidavit is cited at the end of Ryan MacDonald’s recent post, “#MeToo & #HimToo: Jonathan Grover & Father Gordon MacRae” which also lays out the fraud behind this story).
In the end, to its great credit, the International Criminal Court declined to accept jurisdiction or the crimes against humanity charge against Pope Benedict XVI, but that was no surprise. Everyone involved knew that this fiasco would go nowhere, and it was never really SNAP’s goal. It was merely a publicity stunt for David Clohessy and SNAP to heighten pressure for quick and lucrative financial settlements.
The people who terrorized American Catholic priests for the last quarter century are gone now. Their fraud is exposed. Their coffers are empty. Their leaders have fled. In “SNAP Implodes,” Catholic League President Bill Donohue summed up what I had come to know at a very personal level in this moral panic that SNAP promoted and extorted for profit over the last 25 years:
“SNAP officials function as borderline gangsters out to destroy innocent persons. It is motivated by hate and exploits the very people it claims to serve Justice demands that it be shut down by the authorities before it does any more harm.”
Note from Father Gordon MacRae: Once again, you would serve the cause of truth and justice if you share this post and ask your contacts to do the same. Eyes may also be opened by these related posts from These Stone Walls:

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

More Ordinations From NCW Communities

As I mentioned before, the NCW has been known to inspire priestly ordinations.  It has also inspired young women to enter the convent as well.  We have always encouraged the NCW members and youths to go on pilgrimages and World Youth Day.  Before the NCW came to Guam, how many pilgrimages were offered to the parishioners of Guam?  How many youths were inspired to go on World Youth Days before the NCW came to Guam?  After arriving on Guam, the NCW has done much good on this island.  Those who have eyes can see.  

A pilgrimage is a journey of spiritual significance.  It is not a vacation, and we do not act as tourists in a pilgrimage.  We pray, reflect, have Mass, meet the Pope, and evangelize.  To evangelize means to spread the word that God loves you.  You do not need to have a theology degree to tell people that God loves you, died for the forgiveness of sins, and rose from the dead.

The following article is on Deacon Eric Velazquez.  Congratulations on his ordination to the priesthood.  Once again, the NCW communities have inspired a young man into the priesthood.  You can read the following article here.

[This is the fifth in a series of articles profiling each of the seven men who will be ordained to the priesthood by Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley at the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Mission Church) on May 19.]

"When I look back at my life, the times that I was happiest was when my family was in the missions," mused Deacon Eric Velazquez.

The second of five siblings, Deacon Velazquez traveled through much of his native Honduras during his childhood because his parents were missionaries, often spending several months ministering to people in different parts of the country.

As a missionary family, "priests were always a big part of my life," he said, adding that as a little boy he would often pray "to be a shepherd with real sheep, a priest and Superman" -- all at the same time.

All that changed as Deacon Velazquez got older. 

"At a certain time in my life, I actively decided, 'No -- I will not be a priest,'" he recalled.

Instead, Deacon Velazquez turned his attention to his future. He had a girlfriend, moved out of his parent's home and began to study electrical engineering in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

"I had many friends, both in church and in school, but I was sad," he recounted. "There was nothing out of place in my life, but I was just sad."

Unable to lift himself out of this sadness, Deacon Velazquez turned to his father.

"My father is a typical father," Deacon Velazquez said, "but I learned what faith was by what he did, not necessarily by what he said. So, when I needed someone to help me, I knew to turn to him."

His father suggested that he attend a vocational center in Honduras for one year, asking God for discernment.

"I didn't want to do it," Deacon Velazquez admitted, "But for a whole year I prayed. I kept saying, 'Either give me a vocation to the priesthood or a vocation to marriage.' And then God answered."

After attending a vocational retreat in Italy, Deacon Velazquez was assigned to the Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary in Boston.

"To be honest, I didn't think I would last," he said sheepishly. "But because of the witness of my father and his life, I was open to come to the seminary and see if this was where I belonged."

"I am not away from my family because I want (to be), but because God called me," he added.

Thinking back on his years in the seminary, the 31-year-old noted that his years there have been invaluable.

The seminary "has helped me to mature, to be less judgmental of others and to want to give to others the faith that I have received in the Church," he said.

Deacon Velazquez then added with a chuckle, "I also wanted brothers my whole life -- I only had four sisters, so you can imagine -- and then I went to the seminary and I got so many brothers! See how God always gives me exactly what my heart desires!"

Thinking ahead to his ordination, Deacon Velazquez knows he will miss his time at the Redemptoris Mater seminary.

"I will miss the rhythm and the protection," he said pensively. "And I will also miss the communion with my brother seminarians, but I am really looking forward to bringing the presence of God to others."

"I really want to work with people. I really want to walk with people," he said, stressing that in order to be a good priest, he first must continue to develop and maintain his relationship with God.

"We are living in a society that has no faith," he said. "Faith is not an indoctrination, it's a way of living with Jesus Christ. And I have to have faith in order to give faith -- this is what I want to give to the people I serve," he said.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Pope Francis Sends Out NCW On Evangelical Mission

During the 50th anniversary celebration, Pope Francis sent out the NCW on an evangelical mission as Australia watches along with the rest of the world.  You can find the following article here.


EVANGELISATION is a priority mission for the Church, Pope Francis told a mass gathering of members of the Neocatechumenal Way, including about 500 Australians, to mark the 50th anniversary of the group’s arrival in Rome.
“It is easier to stay home,” Pope Francis told 150,000 people at the Tor Vergata university campus on the outskirts of Rome on May 5, but this “is not the way of Jesus”, who sends out his disciples with the word, “Go!”
“Go. The mission demands that we leave,” Pope Francis urged the rally.
“Go. A powerful call that resonates in every corner of Christian life; a clear invitation always to be outbound, pilgrims in the world in the search for the brother who still does not know the joy of God’s love.”
On stage with cardinals and bishops from around the world, Pope Francis described the charism of the Neocatechumenal Way as “a great gift from God for the Church of our time”.
Faithful from 135 countries were present, including the hundreds of cheering Australians, waving national flags and applauding the Pope’s message.
“The atmosphere at the meeting was wonderful – very relaxed and joyful,” Fr Anthony Trafford, one of the national “Responsibles” for the Neocatechumenal Way in Australia, said.
“We are very pleased at what the Pope said – it gives us great joy.”
The Neocatechumenal Way is a Catholic community founded in 1964 in Madrid by Spanish artist Kiko Argüello, dedicated to post and pre-baptismal formation of Christians, based on the Word of God, the Eucharist and the Christian community.
The “Way” engages families who through their witness and life serve to establish the presence of the Church in countries where the Church is absent or tiny, or to revive and strengthen the presence of Catholic communities in difficult and highly secularised areas.
About 40,000 parish-based communities have grown worldwide, and there are about 70 communities in 13 dioceses across Australia.
Among the Australian contingent in Rome were scores of young Catholics and families from every capital.
During the encounter, Pope Francis blessed and handed out crosses to the leaders of 34 new “missio ad gentes”, which are groups made up of families and a priest sent to live in various parts of the world to evangelise the local community through what they call an “itinerant church”.
He said when a missionary went out, he left with “only the baggage of trust” in the poor Jesus who did not have anywhere to lay His head.
“To go, you must be light. To proclaim, it is necessary to renounce,” the Pope told the mass gathering, stressing that a heart freed of attachments broadens and becomes available to God and to others.
One who renounced transitory things out of love, embraced the great treasure of freedom, he said.
Pope Francis also pointed out the important role and vocation of the family, which had in its “DNA” the ability to bring a family atmosphere into “so many desolate and unconcerned places”.
“Following the example of the Holy Family: in humility, simplicity, and praise … let yourselves be recognised as the friends of Jesus,” he said.
Neocatechumenal communities across Australia also gathered to celebrate the Pope’s address streamed live on the internet.
At Loganholme, south-east of Brisbane, a big-screen event hosted by parish priest Fr Rodrigo Tomala turned into a celebration for about 100 people in St Matthew’s Church hall.
“For me, my experience is that the Neocatechumenal experience has floated my boat, and so I am happy to be celebrating – because this is the way God used to give me hope, to experience salvation,” Fr Tomala said.
In the Loganholme crowd, Johanne Keys and her husband Richard joined the community in Melbourne’s St Luke’s parish of Lalor 40 years ago and have been a missionary family in Darwin and Brisbane.
“If somebody had said to me that we would be going on mission, I would have said that it was definitely not in my plan and certainly wouldn’t happen,” Mrs Keys said.
“But God’s done a history with me and I see everything that he’s done has been good.”
In living out the mission, Pope Francis also encouraged detachment from material things, which he said were only burdens keeping people from true freedom in Christ.
“Only a Church that renounces the world announces the Lord well,” he said. “Only a Church freed from power and money, free from triumphalism and clericalism, testifies in a credible way that Christ liberates man.”
The person who through love “learns to renounce the things that pass, embraces this great treasure: freedom”, he said.
Pope Francis praised the relevance of Neocatechumenal Way.
“Dear brothers and sisters, your charism is a great gift from God for the Church of our time. Let us thank the Lord for these fifty years,” he said.

Pilgrims on the way: Brisbane youths, members of Neocatechumenal communities, on pilgrimage in Italy before meeting Pope Francis in Rome.
Papal gathering: Neocatechumenal Way catechist for Australia, Toto Piccolo, Maroubra parish priest Fr John Hayes and Brisbane doctor Alison Bignell.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Congratulations To Deacon Roberto!

Deacon Roberto was in Guam in the parish of Nino Perdido for one or two years as part f his formation. He was formed by the Neocatechumenal Way and joined the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Denver. Like all RMS seminaries, Guam's RMS has proven to be a great seminary, preparing men to the priesthood. :) One of the other deacons also came from Redemptoris Mater of Denver. On May 19, Deacon Roberto will be ordained a priest.  According to the article:

On May 19, five men studying for the Archdiocese of Denver will be ordained to the priesthood. Interestingly enough, none of the men being ordained are from St. John Vianney Theological Seminary, and the average age of the five men is 41 years old.
Deacons Angel Perez-Brown, Roberto Rodríguez and Tomislav Tomic all hail from different parts of the world and have been studying for the priesthood at Redemptoris Mater Missionary Seminary. Deacons Darrick Leier and Shannon Thurman have been studying at St. John XXIII Seminary in Boston, Mass., a seminary specifically for men who discover a vocation to the priesthood later in life.
Get to know Denver’s newest priests, and pray for them as they prepare to be ordained next week.

Deacon Darrick Leier
Deacon Darrick Leier is 42 years old and spent several years working in the software and civil engineering fields before discovering his vocation. After college, he became a fallen-away Catholic, but that changed 6 years ago, when his mother Marvelyn died from cancer. “Through this sorrowful and life-changing event, the Lord pierced my heart and poured out his love an mercy upon me,” he hold the Denver Catholic. The Lord led him to join Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Northglenn, and after a year and a half of prayerful discernment, it became evident that he was being called to the priesthood. “Jesus has set my heart on fire, and as a priest, I most want to share that fire in others I meet,” he said. “The Lord has given me this great gift, and I can’t wait to be his alter Christus! 
Deacon Shannon Thurman
Deacon Shannon Thurman has spent most of his life in Colorado, and comes from a blended family. He was adopted by his stepfather at age 11 and had a pretty regular upbringing, he said. Throughout his life, he always felt tugs from the Lord that he was being called to the priesthood, but he largely ignored them up until 2012 when, after a period of absence from the Church, he felt the Lord calling him back and became an extraordinary minister of communion for the homebound. He finally answered the call of the Lord and entered St. John XXIII Seminary in Boston at the age of 43. When speaking about his vocation, Thurman cites St. Teresa of Calcutta’s famous line. “God draws straight with crooked lines. That would describe my journey to the priesthood,” he said.

Deacon Roberto Rodríguez
Deacon Roberto Rodriguez, originally from the Dominican Republic, has served at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Denver for a year, and will begin his priestly service at Ascension Parish upon ordination. Although he admits being “a bit nervous” before the big date, he is mostly excited for the mission he will undertake. “It will be a time of learning, adaptation and change,” he said. “I am looking forward to see how the Lord will ask me to serve him and his people.” Some of the biggest treasures he keeps from his time at St. Anthony of Padua Parish include “growing closer to parishioners, sharing in their joys and sorrows,” walking with grieving families and mostly, “growing closer to the Eucharist,” which he awaits to celebrate after his priestly ordination. Some of his favorite saints include Saint Therese of Lisieux, St. Theresa of Calcutta and St. John of Nepomuk.
Deacon Angel Perez-Brown
Deacon Angel Miguel Perez-Brown has served at St. John the Baptist in Johnstown and St. Nicholas in Platteville since his ordination in 2017. There he will continue his mission as parochial vicar upon priestly ordination. His pastoral work will focus on serving the immigrants who arrive to work on the fields. “I’m very excited. [There] I will find people who are thirsty, who want to encounter Christ,” he said. “They are like the people of Israel who left for Egypt, to an unknown land.” Originally from the Dominican Republic and a member of the Neocatecumenal Way, the deacon values the “warmth” of both parishes and communities, Hispanic and non-Hispanic. “I see the greatness of my vocation as something unattainable,” he said. “I went on a retreat two months ago and the Lord spoke to me clearly, saying that it is he who does all things.”

Deacon Tomislav Tomic
Deacon Tomislav Tomic was born and raised in a village in Bosnia. He is the youngest of nine children, and comes from a large family with several priests. Around the time he graduated high school, the Bosnian War had broken out. Four days after graduating, he enlisted in the military for a period of three years. After fulfilling his military duties, Tomic found himself feeling extremely isolated in his life. Around that time, the pastor of his parish invited him to a Neocatechumenal Way gathering. This had a profound effect on him. Tomic eventually submitted to the Lord’s call for him to the priesthood. Entering seminary was the biggest risk he’d taken in 34 years, Tomic said, and now, at 43, Deacon Tomic God has restored his human dignity and completely changed his life. “Now that I am here, I see that God transformed my life completely,” Deacon Tomic said. “God is incredible. What he doing with me is a miracle.”

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Vocations Revival

The Neocatechumenal Way has inspired vocations in the priesthood. It has also inspired young women into the monastery.  According to the article provided by an anonymous poster:

- The investiture of Sister Maria Vittoria della Croce last month marked the first ceremony of its kind to be held in the Italian city of Barletta since the 1940s.
“The monastery of San Ruggero [in Barletta] had been reduced to a very few elderly nuns, but three years ago it was re-founded with the arrival of several young sisters, which revitalized it in terms of vocations,” explained Deacon Riccardo Losappio, head of communications for the Archdiocese of Trani-Barletta-Bisceglie.
Losappio told ACI PrensaCNA‘s Spanish language sister agency, that these new religious, including the current abbess, come from the Santa Maria delle Rose (Saint Mary of the Roses) Benedictine monastery located in the town of Sant’Angelo in Pontano in the Marche region in eastern Italy.
Now, with the admission of Sister Maria Vittoria della Croce, “the Benedictine monastic community of San Ruggero is comprised of six nuns that have made solemn vows, four nuns who have made temporary vows, two novices and one postulant,” he said.
Sister Maria Vittoria della Croce - whose baptismal name is Carmen D’Agostino - is 27 years old.
Her induction ceremony into the San Ruggero Benedictine monastery took place April 27 in the co-cathedral Basilica of Saint Mary Major and was presided over by the Archbishop of Trani-Barletta-Bisceglie, Leonardo D’Ascenzo.
The photographs of the event were posted by the archdiocese on its Facebook page, where they reached more than 2 million users and drew more than 11,000 shares, 3,700 “likes” and 650 comments.
Losappio explained that “for Benedictine nuns, presenting oneself dressed as a bride is part of the rite of investiture for the religious.”
“They always enter dressed that way because they are spouses of Christ who are going out to meet him and they become brides to anticipate in time what one day will be in the fullness of God.”
During the investiture ceremony, novices who were previously dressed in a wedding gown “have their hair cut, put on the Benedictine habit and receive the crucifix to indicate their joyful renunciation of all that is vain and ephemeral.”
During the ceremony, D’Ascenzo wished the new religious “the great beauty of this presence of Jesus maturing more and more in you and to express it as a witness to the outside world through the relationship with the Church and with your community. May you have a blessed path to holiness and I hope that you can be ever more beautiful in the sense of this witness to the Church and with your sisters.”
Sister Maria Vittoria della Croce shared her testimony in the archdiocesan newspaper In Comunione.
The new nun was born in January 1991 in the Italian town of Melfi and finished her studies in nursing at the University of Foggia in 2014. She grew up in a strong Catholic family belonging to the Neocatechumenal Way and has three siblings.
“When I was 15, my mother went to heaven after a long illness which she endured with faith. It was not easy for me, but I can bear witness that the Lord has always provided for my family and me,” she stated.
“Thinking about my mother made me look to heaven, to paradise. More than having made a choice, I was chosen by him: at a youth encounter, and then also through others, I felt the love of Christ manifested on the cross,” she said.
“I simply accepted this love, this call to fight for the kingdom of heaven, and with the help of the Church to discern this call, I entered the monastery,” she said.
For Sister Maria Vittoria della Croce, this vocational call “opened heaven to me” and she is certain that God “loves me as I am, and I am for him a precious pearl.”

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Jungle Blogger Accused By Wife

Now that the tables have been turned, Tim Rohr can experience a little bit of what Archbishop Apuron went through. His ex-wife have gone public and accused Tim Rohr of physically abusing one of his sons and sexually abusing some of his daughters. Perhaps now, he can start to understand the importance of a person's right of due process of law.  Interesting......I do not believe in Karma, but I guess the saying is true - What goes around comes around. According to KUAM news:

JungleWatch blogger accused by wife

Millions from around the world have watched Guam's clergy sexual abuse cases and other church controversies unravel through the blog, JungleWatch. Now, founder and writer, Tim Rohr, is under fire for allegations of sexual abuse himself.
The accusations came to light through court documents as Rohr and his wife, Leone Williams-Rohr, fight for custody of their minor children after Rohr filed for divorce late last year. According to her declaration, Leone moved back to the Virgin Islands to see her father, who suffers from cancer. The trip was also to take one of their sons to see a medical specialist not available on Guam.
She maintains she is the "best and safest parent" for their minor children, noting Rohr hasn't provided financial support and ignores his children.
Leone further alleges Rohr has bullied her through emails, texts, calls and voicemails for the past ten months and that his "constant attacks" have forced her to file police reports and seek help from the Women's Coalition.
Most shocking, Leone alleges Rohr physically abused one of his sons and sexually abused some of his daughters.
Before he get access to his children, Leone requests a home study be done and Rohr undergo a psychological evaluation.
The couple have been married for over thirty years and have 11 children together.

Congratulations to Juan Alberto Gomez

Another Guam seminarian will be ordained a priest in Miami very soon. Miami gains and Guam loses. I only copied and pasted the biography of Deacon Gomez. According to the Archdiocese of Miami website:

MIAMI | The Archdiocese of Miami will gain four new priests this Saturday, May 12, when Archbishop Thomas Wenski ordains the following men: Deacon Omar Ayubi, Deacon Gustavo Barros, Deacon Juan Alberto Gomez, and Deacon Matthew Gomez.
The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. at St. Mary Cathedral, 7525 N.W. Second Ave., Miami. It is open to the public and will be livestreamed on the Archdiocese of Miami’s website and Facebookpage.
Here are brief biographies of those to be ordained.

Deacon Gómez, 37, was born Oct. 30, 1980, in Acayucan, Veracruz, Mexico to Juan Gomez and Catalina Roman (deceased). He is the fifth of seven brothers and sisters. He graduated from high school in the Bachillerato in Acayucan, Veracruz, Mexico and earned a bachelor of arts from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He also earned a doctorate in sacred theology at Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores, Catholic Theological Institute for Oceania, affiliated to the Pontifical Lateran University. He is completing a master’s in divinity at St. Vincent de Paul Seminary.
His home parish is St. Cecilia in Hialeah. His pastoral assignments have included service at Immaculate Conception parish in Marlborough, Diocese of Boston, Massachusetts; St. Patrick in Holyoke, Diocese of Denver, Colorado; and St. Anne, Diocese of Pueblo, Colorado. He has served his diaconate year at St. Joachim Parish in Miami.
He will celebrate his first Masses Sunday, May 13, at 9 a.m. and noon, at St. Joachim.