Friday, April 19, 2013

Immigration Reform, Boston Prayer Service, Vocations, Gun Laws and World Youth Day

By Sister Mary Ann Walsh

Catholics show strong support for immigration reform, according to poll taken at the end of 2012. USCCB will release poll results soon. Meanwhile, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the USCCB; Archbishop Jo?e Gomez of Los Angeles, chair of the bishops’ Migration Committee; and Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City, chair of the bishops’ Communications Committee, will offer reactions to the new immigration reform proposal during a conference call with media on Monday, April 22, at 1 p.m. ET.

Prayer service at Boston’s Cathedral of the Holy Cross for victims of the Boston Marathon bombings, was touching. Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston spoke eloquently when he said that “In the face of the present tragedy, we must ask ourselves what kind of a community do we want to be, what are the ideals that we want to pass on to the next generation.  It cannot be violence, hatred and fear.  The Jewish people speak of Tikkun Olam, ‘repairing the world.’  God has entrusted us with precisely that task, to repair our broken world. We cannot do it as a collection of individuals; we can only do it together, as a community, as a family. Like every tragedy, Monday’s events are a challenge and an opportunity for us to work together with a renewed spirit of determination and solidarity and with the firm conviction that love is stronger than death.”

We asked some men who will be ordained soon to write of their hopes for priesthood. One of my favorite responses comes from North American College where a Minnesota hockey player, Nicholas Nelson from Duluth said: “I’m not sure how the Lord will use my athletic abilities. I want to join a men’s league when I return to Northern Minnesota. Priests need to invite people back to the sacraments. In Minnesota, hockey can be that evangelical tool.”

The April 17 defeat of legislation aimed at stemming gun violence is mind-boggling. Given the deaths of the little children gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School last December and the recent pleas of their parents who lobbied in Washington that these deaths not be in vain, one might have expected courage and leadership from more U.S. senators for the good of society and the protection of human life. The U.S. bishops will have more to say on this travesty.

World Youth Day preparations continue to gear up. Media are now calling as they prepare for Pope Francis first visit to Latin America as pope.

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