Dying Dignity with how to Live simply

Respecting Religious Diversity • Defending Sanctity of Marriage • The Gift of Tithing
September/October 2005
www.staugcatholic.org
Bishop’s Message
How to Live Simply
Coming to America
Catholic Charities
Welcomes Family
The Stem Cell Debate
Curing Diseases
and Respecting Life
DyingwithDignity
Is There a Right Way to Die?
contents
September/October 2005
Volume XV Issue 2
The St. Augustine Catholic is the official magazine of the Diocese of Saint
Augustine, which embraces 17 counties spanning northeast and north
central Florida from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean. The diocese
covers 11,032 square miles and serves nearly 162,000 registered Catholics.
A petition drive for the proposed Florida
Protection Marriage Amendment will
occur in all parishes Sept. 25-Oct. 2.
Turn to page 8 for the full story.
8 Defining Marriage by G.M. Palmer
The Florida Bishops need your help in protecting the sanctity of marriage. Register
to vote and make sure you sign their petition for a Florida Protection of
Marriage Amendment.
10 The Stem Cell Debate by Mark Udry
The tension between science and ethics continues. Can we cure devastating
diseases while at the same time respecting the life of a human embryo?
© age fotostock/SuperStock
features
departments
12 From Russia with Love by Brian Kosoy
More than 40 families from western Russia will soon be relocated to the First Coast.
Catholic Charities’ Refugee Resettlement Program welcomed the first family to
Jacksonville in July and the family says they are grateful for their new life.
14 Creating a Bountiful Harvest by Michael Fortuna
In the early 1950s, Tom and Gwen Umlauf began tithing 10 percent of their income
to the poor. Tom says he would rather live on 90 percent of his earned income
with the Lord’s help, than to live on 100 percent of his income without His
assistance.
16 Cover Story:
Dying with Dignity
by Father J. Daniel Mindling, OFM Cap.
Pope John Paul II taught us that to understand death with dignity, first accept the
dignity of life. The dignity of life springs from its source – the loving action of
God the Creator.
20 Respecting Religious Diversity by Father Robert Kinast
Vatican II states, “Christians should acknowledge, preserve and encourage the
spiritual and moral truths found among non-Christians, including their social life
and culture.”
24 Welcoming Daddy Home by Carrie Resch
In a follow-up to our story in the Nov./Dec. 2004 issue, the Wolz family of
Jacksonville Beach is back together again. Daddy is home from Iraq and thankful
for his time with his wife and two daughters.
2 Editor’s Notes
by Kathleen Bagg-Morgan
3 Questions On Faith
by Father Tom Willis
4 Bishop’s Message: Respect the
Environment
by Bishop Victor Galeone
6 Catholic News From Around
the World by Catholic News Service
22 Parish Profile: Holy Spirit Parish,
Jacksonville
24
27
30
32
by Shannon Scruby Henderson
Teen Voices
Around the Diocese
Calendar of Events
Reflection: Making Good
Marriages Great
by Theresa Notare
Cover Photo: ©Jiang Jin/SuperStock
St. Augustine Catholic September/October 2005
editor’s notes
Media: The Church is
Better Equipped Than Ever
I
It’s our annual
opportunity to
share the Good News
– to promote all
the programming
and resources
that the Catholic
Communications
Campaign (CCC)
has to offer
– and to invite our
parishioners to visit the CCC website for
the latest news.
This year CCC will introduce four new
radio programs, a new TV special Faith
Works: Across the USA, and new public
service announcements continuing the
theme It Starts With Faith. The Catholic
Communication Campaign 2005 annual
collection will generate the funding necessary
to carry on the work of the church, both
nationally and in our own diocese.
Each year, I make this plea to all of you
because half of all the donations collected
in our diocese will help offset the expense
of producing the St. Augustine Catholic
magazine, our diocesan website (www.
dosafl.com), the magazine website (www.
staugcatholic.org) and a host of marketing
efforts designed to increase priestly and
religious vocations, promote programs
and services sponsored by the diocese and
help build a better understanding of the
Catholic Church through our secular news
media.
The Good News reaches parishioners each
and every day:
• A dad checks the Movie Reviews line
before choosing a film for his family;
• An estranged son sees a television spot
about reconciliation and phones his
parents;
• A college student views Faith Works:
Across the USA on ABC television
and asks his campus minister about
volunteer opportunities;
• An engaged couples’ group views
To Last a Lifetime and discusses the
elements for an enduring marriage;
• Parishioners access streaming video
of CCC’s programming and events to
keep up-to-date;
• A mom reads Views in the Pew for
helpful tips and clips them for future
guidance;
• A woman, running errands in her
car, hears actress Margaret Colin talk
about the impact of faith in her life on
Catholic Radio Weekly and decides to
return to church.
And the Good News is just a few
clicks away: www.usccb.org/ccc. The
website contains TV and radio program
clips, streaming video, movie and TV
reviews and access to church documents
and statements from the United States
Conference of Catholic Bishops. Links to
these resources are also available on the
diocesan website: www.dosafl.com.
We appreciate your past support and
encourage you to donate to this year’s
collection, which will be taken up in all
parishes the weekend of Sept. 10-11, 2005.
If you have any questions about these
resources and others, please call me at (904)
262-3200, ext. 110 or email: [email protected]
dosafl.com.
Another educational opportunity that
occurs each fall is the annual USCCB
Respect Life Program. “Help build a world
where human life is always loved and
defended, every form of violence banished”
is the theme of the yearlong program
that begins with Respect Life Sunday on
October 2. The theme is derived from Pope
John Paul’s prayer to the Virgin Mary on
Dec. 8, 2004.
Respect Life is the theme of this issue
of the St. Augustine Catholic, which focuses
attention on some of the more complex
issues facing society today. We have
produced articles that will help Catholics
understand the church’s teachings on issues
such as stem cell research, end-of-life care,
protecting the sanctity of marriage and
welcoming the stranger among us. All of
our articles include information on how
to become more involved and educated
on the subject as well as where to obtain
additional resources.
The Catholic Church is better
equipped than ever before in the area
of communications media. Today we
have innumerable publications, radio
and television stations and thousands of
Internet sites – a “media sphere.” But it
is expensive and we need your help to
meet our Christian mission: to proclaim
to every person, in the name of God, the
most valuable message – the treasure of
salvation.
St. Augustine Catholic September/October 2005
Kathleen Bagg-Morgan Editor
Publisher Most Reverend Victor Galeone
Editor Kathleen Bagg-Morgan
Associate Editor Mark Udry
Contributing Writers Michael Fortuna
Father Robert Kinast
Brian Kosoy
Father J. Daniel Mindling, OFM Cap.
Theresa Notare
G.M. Palmer
Carrie Resch
Shannon Scruby Henderson
Father Tom Willis
Editorial Assistant Susie Nguyen
Advertising Manager J. Michael Lenninger, APR
Layout and Design Patrick McKinney
Printer Allied Graphics, Inc.
Diocesan Editorial Kathleen Bagg-Morgan
Board Sister Lucille Clynes, DW
Joe DeSalvo
Msgr. James Heslin
Patrick McKinney
Father Victor Z. Narivelil, CMI
Evelyn Tovar
Diocesan Art Marshall, Chair
Communication Rev. Ralph Besendorfer, J.C.D.
Commission Mary Ann Christensen
Dean Fiandaca
John Halloran
Patrick McKinney
Kate Romano-Norton
The St. Augustine Catholic Magazine
is published bimonthly (six times a year) by the
Diocese of Saint Augustine
Office of Communications
11625 Old St. Augustine Road
Jacksonville, FL 32258
(904) 262-3200, ext. 108
Fax: (904) 262-2398
E-Mail: [email protected]
Visit the
St. Augustine Catholic magazine online at:
www.staugcatholic.org
To learn more about the
Diocese of Saint Augustine
see our homepage at:
www.dosafl.com
bishop’s message
“Brother Fire, Sister Water...”
Respecting the Environment
By B i s h o p V i c to r G a l e o n e
D
“What is meant
by ‘simplicity of
life?’ Living by the
conviction that we are
stewards of the earth,
not its masters.”
During my vacation this year,
I spent a week visiting my former
mission in the northern desert of
Peru. While I was paying a visit to
La Bocana, a poor fishing hamlet
of the parish, located on the Pacific
Ocean, Sister Martha took me to
the oil rigs that an international
petroleum conglomerate had recently
installed. For the moment they’re
extracting only four trucks of crude
oil per day. Within a year the quota
is expected to reach 200. By that time,
I fear that the villagers will be forced
to move elsewhere. You see, the local
authorities signed a five-year contract
with the oil firm, leasing the land
surrounding the village for a mere
$15 per acre a year. I suspect that
the value of the crude, once refined,
will reach the millions.
I was reminded of my visit to
La Bocana when I read the lead
editorial, “Roots of the oil crisis,”
in the Aug. 16 issue of the Florida
Times-Union. The editor based
his commentary on a new book
Beyond Oil by Kenneth Dreffeyes, a
geologist and professor emeritus at
Princeton University. According to
Dreffeyes, world oil will peak this
year. “It is going to be very difficult
for the United States to stand up
to an international bidding war for
the remaining oil and natural gas.”
Dreffeyes lays the blame for the
looming oil crisis on our failure to
heed earlier warnings about a global
oil peak. Meanwhile, we continue to
feel the effects of the oil crisis locally
St. Augustine Catholic September/October 2005
as the price for a gallon of regular
hovers around $2.70.
Professor Dreffeyes makes a
number of concrete suggestions for
confronting the crisis, like using wind
turbines, nuclear power plants, biofuels from crops, etc. Rather than
comment on his suggestions, I want
to focus our attention on something
more general, and perhaps, much
more important: simplicity of life.
What is meant by “simplicity of
life?” Living by the conviction that
we are stewards of the earth, not its
masters. Unfortunately, most of us in
first world countries live like masters
of the earth, with little concern for
how our behavior might affect future
generations and the environment.
We in the United States, with less
than 5% of the world’s population,
consume 30% of its non-renewable
resources. Eight percent of the
world’s population owns a car. What
would happen if 20% owned a car?
The average American consumes five
times as much grain products and
60 times as much fuel as a citizen in
India. What would be the result if the
one billion people of India demanded
and received as much grain and fuel
products as we Americans consume?
Simplicity of life cannot flourish
in an atmosphere of consumerism.
Driven by shrewd advertising,
consumerism causes us to live
beyond our means. The result is
that we accumulate so many things
that we have to rent special pods
to store them. Did we really need
them? No. Then why did we buy
a giant step towards protecting the
them? Modern advertising causes
global ecosystem. For every human
us to confuse desires with needs.
act affects the environment to some
And the aggressive nature of
advertising aimed at children today is
guaranteeing the subtle indoctrination
of future generations.
How does one combat – both
globally and locally – the wrongs
that consumerism is inflicting on
the limited resources of our planet?
On the global level, we should
insist that our elected officials enact
and enforce laws that protect the
environment. Get involved. Write
to your representatives. Ask why
our government is investing so
much money in nuclear weapons
laboratories, while at the same time
insisting that other nations forgo their
nuclear programs.
But if we’re going to wait for the
government to take effective action
to protect the environment, it may be
too late. Therefore, let’s marshal our
efforts on the local level now. Indeed,
degree. If we all developed habits
if everyone throughout the world
acted
to
protect
the
environment
on
that respected the environment, the
CF-Half Page Ad-SeptOct 8/22/05 9:58 AM Page 1
the local level, we would have taken
problem would be largely solved. As
“Indeed, if everyone
throughout the world
acted to protect the
environment on the
local level, we would
have taken a giant step
towards protecting the
global ecosystem.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the
German poet once wrote, “If everyone
swept in front of his own door step,
the whole world would be clean.” For
starters, here are a few suggestions:
•Turn off lights. Use energyefficient bulbs.
•Make your next vehicle a fuel
efficient one.
•Slow down. Every five miles over
60 mph adds 20¢ per gallon.
•Limit your use of paper/plastic
cups, plates, etc.
•Limit purchases to your needs,
not your wants.
For those readers wondering what
my message this month has to do
with our faith, recall what Jesus did
after he had fed the hungry crowd by
multiplying the five barley loaves and
the two fish. He sent his disciples
through the crowd, telling them:
“Gather the pieces that are left over.
Let nothing be wasted” (Jn. 6:12).
Recall, too, how our beloved Francis
of Assisi in his Canticle of the Sun
referred to the lower forms of
creation: “Brother fire…Sister water…
Mother Earth…”
Caring For One Another
This is the story about a parishioner in our diocese who has provided financial support for his
87-year old grandmother who resides in an assisted living facility, where the cost consumes most
of her income and resources.
After discussing possible gift tax implications with his tax advisor, he decided to establish a
Charitable Gift Annuity with the Catholic Foundation and make his grandmother the beneficiary,
entitling her to guaranteed payments for life. Upon her death, the income earned on the residual gift will be paid annually to benefit her parish as she directed.
In this way, he is able to provide continued financial support for his grandmother, he is entitled
to an income tax deduction, and he’s made a thoughtful perpetual gift to her parish.
For information about joining the Order of Augustin Verot,
contact Nancy M. Geary – 11625 Old St. Augustine Road, Jacksonville, FL 32258
904.262.3200, ext. 166
•
1.800.775.4659, ext. 166
•
[email protected]
St. Augustine Catholic September/October 2005
catholic news
Pope urges youth to discover power of faith
REUTERS/Pier Paolo Cito/Pool
and to teach its lessons to younger
generations who did not witness the
“terrible events” that took place before
and during World War II.
The pope spoke to some 500 Jewish
representatives in Cologne, in a
synagogue destroyed during the 1938
Kristallnacht pogrom and rebuilt
in 1959. The Jewish community in
Cologne is the oldest in Europe north
of the Alps and was decimated during
World War II.
Catholic Charities official sees
hurricane funds at work
Pope Benedict, wrapping up a triumphant return to his German homeland, on Aug. 21,
urged young people to shun a ‘do-it-yourself’ concept of religion where they can choose
what they want and disregard the rest.
I
In back-to-back encounters
with more than a million young
people from around the world, Pope
Benedict XVI urged them to discover
the transforming power of the faith
and join the “true revolution” of
personal holiness. At a World Youth
Day vigil Aug. 20 and a closing Mass
the next day, the pope preached about
the inspiration of the saints and the
mystery of the Eucharist, encouraging
the youths to change themselves if
they want to change the world. “Only
from the saints, only from God does
true revolution come,” he told a vast
candlelit crowd spread across a field
outside Cologne.
The pope was presiding for the first
time over World Youth Day, and he did
so in a solemn and dignified style. At
the end of the long evening, dressed in
a golden cope, Pope Benedict led the
crowd in adoration of the Eucharist.
It’s not their parents’ faith
Young adult Catholics might not be
running parish bingo games or hosting
sodality gatherings, but that doesn’t
mean they’re not active in the church.
Instead, they are doing things that older
adult Catholics and the school-age set
might not see: discussing theology at
bars, volunteering at homeless shelters
and food kitchens, getting together
for eucharistic adoration or to discuss
Catholic classics, attending retreats or
simply hanging out together.
A survey conducted by the U.S.
bishops’ Subcommittee on Youth and
Young Adults from May to June of this
year found that the church’s outreach
to young adults spans a variety of
activities and that the most popular
programs included retreats, Theology
on Tap programs, leadership training
and social activities. “Young adults have
a lot of energy and will accept their
responsibility for spreading the faith if
we provide opportunities for them,” said
Bishop Dennis M. Schnurr of Duluth,
Minn., chairman of the subcommittee.
Pope recalls Holocaust as ‘darkest
period’ in Germany
In a visit to a synagogue in his native
Germany, Pope Benedict XVI recalled
with sorrow the Nazi persecution of the
Jews as “the darkest period of German
and European history.” The pope
warned of new signs of anti-Semitism
today and said the Catholic Church
has a duty to remember the Holocaust
St. Augustine Catholic September/October 2005
Father Larry Snyder, Catholic
Charities USA president, didn’t know
what he would find in this northwest
Florida area hit by two major hurricanes
in less than a year, but he came to
see for himself how relief funds were
helping people rebuild their lives. The
national charity has directed $920,000 in
emergency and long-term relief grants
to the 18-county Diocese of PensacolaTallahassee and more than $4 million
throughout Florida.
Father Snyder went first to Pensacola’s
Warrington neighborhood Aug. 11.
Collapsed homes awaiting demolition
sat beside cleared lots where homes
once stood, while residents made do
with travel trailers for shelter almost
a year after Hurricane Ivan. “I’m just
astounded by this level of destruction
and by the very difficult situations these
people are still living in, nearly a year
after the storm,” Father Snyder said.
CRS begins food distribution in
drought-stricken Niger
After the first delivery of emergency
food aid was made in her province
in drought-stricken Niger, a mother
told a Catholic Relief Services worker,
“We’re going to eat until we can’t eat
anymore.” “She had been eating nothing
but leaves and weeds for months,” said
G. Jefferson Price III, a communications
consultant for CRS. “Her family was
probably on the brink of starvation.”
In a telephone interview with Catholic
News Service, Price said that while
there was a festive atmosphere in the
Kawa Fako village in the Dogondoutchi
province, where the Aug. 11 food
distribution took place, there were
clear signs of chronic malnutrition and
suffering. Price said he saw children
with distended stomachs and red tints
in their hair, two of the telltale signs of
malnourishment. “The people were is
desperate straits,” he said. “There was
a lot of listlessness among the people,
especially the children.”
Religions see world differently than
media does
Catch the Spirit
Premiering fall 2005, please welcome Spirit
Radio, WWLC-FM (88.5) in Cross City. For more
information go to www.spirit-radio.org
If the Spirit moves you, send donations to:
Spirit Radio
c/o St. Patrick Catholic Church
412 NE 16th Ave.
Suite 15
Gainesville, FL
32601-3701
Religion is news and will be in the
news, but reporters must remember
that the news media and religious
communities see the world through
different lenses. That was the assessment
of a panel of faith leaders speaking
at a symposium on Religion and the
Press. “Media and religion both want to
define the world for other people,” said
Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago
at the late July event, co-sponsored by
the Medill School of Journalism and
Sheil Catholic Center at Northwestern
University in Chicago. “We simply have
to live with that, and do the best we
can with it.” The cardinal joined a panel
of religious leaders that included Edith
Blumhofer, director of the Institute for
the Study of American Evangelicals;
Michael Kotzin, executive vice president
of the Jewish United Fund/Jewish
Federation of Metropolitan Chicago; and
Safaa Zarzour, chairman of the Chicago
chapter of the Council on AmericanIslamic Relations.
Panelists examine Pope Benedict
XVI’s first 100 days
Seen through the lens of its first 100
days, the papacy of Pope Benedict XVI is
likely to focus on the quest for truth by
challenging the “dictatorship of relativism”
and be more collegial and ecumenical than
that of his predecessor, said panelists at an
Aug. 1 forum. While there have been
subtle indications of a shifting approach to
both evangelization and bureaucracy, there
have been no “sudden moves” to date, they
said. Also among observations made by
four panelists, gathered for a discussion at
the Graymoor Spiritual Life Center in
Garrison attended by more than 100
people, was that the upcoming World
Youth Day in Cologne, Germany, and the
release of his first encyclical will provide
Pope Benedict with the opportunity to
showcase his pastoral gift for making
complex ideas accessible to the faithful.
Source: Catholic News Service
St. Augustine Catholic September/October 2005
F lo r i d a B i s h o p s S e e k Yo u r H e l p
T o S av e S a n c t i ty o f M a r r i a g e
“Inasmuch as marriage is the
legal union of only one man and
one woman as husband and wife,
no other legal union that is
treated as marriage or the
substantial equivalent thereof
shall be valid or recognized.
(Proposed Florida Protection of
Marriage Amendment)
defending marriage
© age fotostock/SuperStock
By G . M . Pa l m e r
St. Augustine Catholic September/October 2005
t
he Florida Bishops need
your help to protect the
sanctity of marriage. This
fall, Bishop Victor Galeone
will join his brother
bishops of Florida in
organizing parish petition
drives for a proposed Florida Protection
of Marriage Amendment. At least 600,000
signatures are required by this February
before the measure can be added to the
Nov. 7, 2006 general election ballot.
The purpose of the amendment is
twofold: 1) The Amendment defines and
preserves marriage as the union of one man
and one woman as husband and wife; and
2) The Amendment prohibits any other
legal union that is treated as marriage or
the substantial equivalent thereof from
being valid or recognized as marriage.
In 1997, Florida Statute 741.212,
commonly referred to as the Defense of
Marriage Act (DOMA), was enacted. It
states “marriages between persons of the
same sex…are not recognized for any
purpose in this state.”
“DOMA has been challenged several
times since its creation,” says Michael
McCarron, executive director of the
Florida Catholic Conference (FCC) in
Tallahassee. He says there have been a
rash of lawsuits filed in the last year by
celebrated Miami attorney Ellis Rubin on
behalf of several same-sex couples.
Though these frivolous lawsuits were
dismissed out-of-hand earlier this year,
McCarron says the possibility of further
constitutional challenges to marriage in
Florida and in many states where the
sanctity of marriage is being challenged,
prompted the action by the FCC.
While Florida Governor Jeb Bush
has stated the Florida Protection of
Marriage Amendment is unnecessary, it is
important to consider a few key points.
“The sanctity of marriage is under
attack by several groups who intend to
change the definition of marriage,” says
Stephen Patton, director of the Family Life
Office for the Diocese of Saint Augustine.
He says, “Words matter. To arbitrarily
expand the meaning of marriage as a
word would only further weaken the
stability of marriage as an institution. It
would lead to more confusion, divorce
and misery would surely follow.”
“The Florida Protection of Marriage
Amendment will strengthen DOMA
and eliminate any further constitutional
challenges to the sanctity of marriage,”
McCarron says. He adds,“It will support,
not supplant Florida’s already strong
Defense of Marriage Act.”
In their April 14, 2005 statement,
Marriage is Between One Man and One
Woman, the Florida bishops state,
“Although Florida law already defines
marriage properly, we believe that an
amendment to the state constitution is
necessary in order to prevent judicial
invalidation of the law.”
While committed to their stand on the
sanctity of marriage, the Florida bishops
don’t want to give the impression they
are “motivated by discrimination or
animosity toward any group.” The
statement says the church’s teaching
about the dignity of homosexual persons
is clear. “They must be accepted with
respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every
sign of unjust discrimination in their
regard should be avoided.” (Catechism of
the Catholic Church, No. 2358)
According to the statement, “To uphold
God’s intent for marriage in which
sexual relations have their proper and
exclusive place is not to offend the dignity
of persons with same sex attraction.
Christians must give witness to the whole
moral truth and proclaim as immoral all
sexual activity outside of true marriage,
as well as any unjust actions and hateful
attitudes toward homosexual persons.”
The petition drive for the Diocese of
Saint Augustine will begin Sept. 25 and
conclude by Oct. 2. To participate, make
sure you are registered to vote in Florida.
Only one petition per registered voter
may be completed. Additional
information about the petition drive will
be made available in your parish in
coming weeks.
Attend a Worldwide
Marriage Encounter
weekend.
Contact Tom & Susan Hughes
800-923-WWME (9963)
www.geocities.com/jaxMEweb
scima0-246_giddens
12/16/04
3:41 PM
Page 1
There’s always
a place to
turn in your
time of need.
15 Convenient Locations
in the Jacksonville Area
Jacksonville
729 S. Edgewood Ave.
6940 Atlantic Blvd.
850 St. Johns Bluff Rd. N.
5753 Blanding Blvd.
4315 Main Street
4115 Hendricks Ave.
11801 San Jose Blvd.
904-388-2711
904-727-3404
904-641-9755
904-777-5727
904-356-6585
904-346-3808
904-288-0025
Jacksonville Beach
1701 Beach Blvd.
904-249-2374
Hardage-Giddens Rivermead
950 Park Ave.
Orange Park
904-264-2481
127 Blanding Blvd.
Orange Park
904-264-2481
Holly Hill Funeral Home
3601 Old Jennings Road
Middleburg
904-282-9336
Town & Country
Funeral Home
7242 Normandy Blvd.
Jacksonville
904-781-9262
Greenlawn Cemetery
4300 Beach Blvd.
Jacksonville
904-396-2522
Edgewood Cemetery
4519 Edgewood Dr.
Jacksonville
904-765-2484
Chapel Hills Memory Gardens
850 St. Johns Bluff Rd. N. 904-641-9755
To read the Florida Bishops statement, Marriage is Between One Man and One
Woman and the Florida Marriage Protection Amendment, visit the Florida Catholic
Conference website: www.flacathconf.org.
NFDA-FFDA
Serving all of Duval and Clay Counties
> > > > > > >
To read Florida Statute 741.212, the Defense of Marriage Act, visit:
www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes.
www.hardage-giddens.com
St. Augustine Catholic September/October 2005
“Government has no business forcing taxpayers to become
complicit in the direct destruction of human life at any
stage. Nor is there any point in denying the scientific fact
that human life is exactly what is at stake here.”
– Cardinal William H. Keeler
The Stem Cell Debate
By M a r k U d ry
© Igors Irbe/SuperStock
T
10
St. Augustine Catholic September/October 2005
he debate on stem cell research
among scientists, politicians, ethicists
and clergy is often as rancorous as
it is confusing. The only thing all
parties seem to agree upon is there
is no “magic bullet” gene therapy on the
horizon, only the promise that further
research may someday provide one.
And therein lies the problem:
navigating the minefield of ethics,
science, religion and politics to strike
a balance between preserving budding
lives and saving existing ones.
The Catholic Church vigorously
supports and encourages adult stem cell
research and strongly opposes research,
for any purpose that destroys innocent
human life.
A stem cell is a relatively unspecialized
cell that, when it divides, can do two
things: make another cell like itself, or
make any of a number of cells with more
specialized functions.
Adult stem cells are commonly
obtained from umbilical cord blood,
placentas and other adult tissues.
Research has shown they exist in many
more types of tissue than previously
thought. They are “multipotent,”
meaning that with the right laboratory
conditions, certain kinds of adult stem
cells can give rise to a great number of
cell types in the body. They have been
used to help people with Parkinson’s
disease, spinal cord injury, sickle-cell
anemia, heart damage, corneal damage
and dozens of other conditions.
Embryonic stem cells are considered
“pluripotent,” meaning they are capable
of producing nearly all cell types in
the human body, which, geneticists
say, makes them more versatile than
multipotent adult stem cells. However,
the only way currently to harvest these
pluripotent cells is by destroying living
human embryos.
Some in the scientific community
believe embryonic stem cell research
and testing is the wave of the future,
but so far such optimism is rooted more
in theory than actual laboratory results.
However, it is research and testing using
adult stem cells that have yielded proven
results and actually benefited patients
needing treatment now.
“The benefits derived from embryonic
stem cells are entirely hypothetical,” says
Richard Doerflinger, deputy director of
the United States Conference of Catholic
Bishops’ (USCCB) Secretariat for Pro-Life
Activities. “Research scientists have yet
to conclusively prove gene therapy using
these cells will ever benefit mankind.”
Cardinal William H. Keeler, chairman
of the USCCB Committee for Pro-Life
Activities, has urged the U.S. Senate to
support legislation promoting research
and treatment using stem cells harvested
from umbilical cord blood.
“Umbilical cord blood stem cells have
successfully treated thousands of patients
with dozens of diseases,” Cardinal Keeler
says. “They also exhibit properties once
associated chiefly with embryonic stem cells:
They grow rapidly in culture, producing
enough cells to be clinically useful in both
children and adults; they can treat patients
who are not an exact genetic match,
without being rejected as foreign tissue; and
they seem able to produce a wide variety of
different cell types.”
Cardinal Keeler notes that a simple lack
of funding, not ethics or lack of clinical
evidence is the roadblock in large-scale
use of this type of treatment. “By helping
to establish a nationwide public cord
blood bank, this legislation will begin
saving more lives almost immediately,”
says Cardinal Keeler. By contrast, he says,
scientists are now warning against ‘false
expectations’ regarding embryonic stem
cells, pointing out that clinical use of
those cells might be ‘three to five decades’
away. (Scientist: Stem Cell Work Will Aid
Humans, AP, May 22, 2005)
Legislation introduced earlier this
summer in the U.S. House would serve
to narrow the chasm between researchers
and ethicists regarding embryonic stem
cell research.
H.R. 3144, the “Respect for Life
Pluripotent Stem Cell Act of 2005,”
introduced by Representative Roscoe
Bartlett (R-MD) would provide $15
million in fiscal 2006 to fund alternative
pluripotent cell research, with additional
funding through 2010.
Bartlett, a former research scientist
and medical school professor, is the
4 Ways You Can
Advance the Cause for
Research Ethics
1.Educate yourself on
the basics of stem cell
research.
2.Educate and inform
public policy makers
and the general public
regarding ethically
acceptable and medically
promising areas of
research and treatment.
3.Support the continuation
of federal laws
prohibiting the federal
funding of research that
requires the destruction
of human life, including
the human embryo.
4.Talk to your friends,
neighbors and co-workers
– individual persuasion
can be very powerful.
only congressman with a master’s and
doctorate in physiology. His proposed
legislation is consistent with President
George Bush’s support for stem cell
research that doesn’t destroy human
embryos.
The bill proposes three types of
research to produce pluripotent stem
cells: use of animal embryos to develop
and test techniques in extracting cells
without harming embryos, further
studies testing harvesting pluripotent
stem cells from adult stem cells, and
research on the production of pluripotent
stem cells without creating or destroying
embryos. The bill would prohibit any
research that involves the use of human
embryos.
In his July 12 letter on the “Stem Cell
Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005,”
Cardinal Keeler noted “this bill relates
to an area of stem cell research and
treatment that is indisputably acceptable
on moral grounds and remarkably
promising in terms of clinical benefits:
the use of umbilical cord blood retrieved
immediately after live births.”
“We know that the key biological
difference between an adult body cell
and a new embryo is not the gnome,
but the pattern of gene expression,” said
Doerflinger.
“Scientists now know of certain factors
that can activate the pattern of gene
expression found only in pluripotent
stem cells and not in completely
specialized cells or the early embryo. So
altering a body cell and an egg before
they are joined should produce a cell
that is no longer a specialized body cell,
but is also easily distinguishable from
the whole organism that is a human
embryo,” he said.
If such research is indeed successful,
scientists and ethicists could begin to
mend their rift on the stem cell debate.
Science would have a powerful weapon
in the fight against disease; ethicists
would join the battle as a willing and
vocal ally.
Fact sheets and articles on Stem Cell
Research and Human Cloning by the
Resources
United States Conference of Catholic
Bishops. Visit: www.usccb.org/prolife/index.htm.
Consumer’s Guide to the Brave New World by Wesley J. Smith (www.
encounterbooks.com). This new essential book addresses all the key
issues in order to provide a clear understanding of what’s at stake in
the public policy debate over human stem-cell research and cloning.
The Family Research Council’s Center for Human Life and Bioethics
website: www.frc.org.
St. Augustine Catholic September/October 2005
11
A
C at h o l i c C h a r i t i e s
P rov i d e s A N ew L i f e
f o r M u s l i m F a m i ly
Mark Udry
A donated television sits on a table in the living
room, one of the few pieces of furniture in the sparsely
decorated apartment on Jacksonville’s Southside.
Large Persian rugs decorate the living room floor and
walls, some of the few possessions brought with the
Muslim family from their distant mother country – a
country that has been far from motherly to the family.
The apartment may look quite modest to the average
American, but for Tashpulat Mursalov and his family,
it represents a fresh start on a new life filled with
opportunity.
Helping them make the transition to America
is John Fitzgerald and his team of volunteers at
Catholic Charities’ Refugee Resettlement Program in
Jacksonville.
The Catholic Charities program eagerly welcomed
the family to Jacksonville in July and provided them
with an apartment, furniture, clothing, food and living
assistance. They also hired a Russian translator, Tatiana
Eady, who has contact with the family almost daily.
The Mursalov’s are Meskhetian Turks, originally
from Meskhetia in the southwest region of Georgia
that borders Turkey, a group that has essentially been
“stateless” for about 60 years.
In 1944, Josef Stalin deported about 100,000
Meskhetians to the Ferghana Valley in Uzbekistan, where
hostilities among the Uzbeks, Afghans and Meskhetians
grew over the years. In 1989, the violence among the
groups escalated, leaving more than 100 people dead.
The Meskhetians were then quickly relocated to western
Russia under the assistance of the Soviet Army; so
quickly, in fact, that the Meskhetians were unable to
obtain the necessary documentation to relocate.
From Russia with Love
By B r i a n Ko s oy
Meet the Mursalovs (l-r) Tashpulat, son Ibrakhim, Gulbakhar
and daughter Narquzal. The Mursalovs are Turkish refugees
who left Russia with only the clothes on their backs and two
Persian rugs. They are now making a new life in Jacksonville
with the help of Catholic Charities’ Refugee Resettlement
Program.
12
St. Augustine Catholic September/October 2005
Directing the Refugee Resettlement
Program for the Diocese of Saint
Augustine is John Fitzgerald, a retired
Navy captain who began working for the
diocese part-time in 1996.
What began as a project requiring
two half-days a week for Fitzgerald has
evolved into a fulltime position. In 1999,
the program resettled about 20 refugees.
In 2005, the program expects to resettle
nearly 200.
And the cases are more complex.
Fitzgerald says the program used to only
assist refugees with family currently
living in the United States, but now they
work on “free cases,” where refugees
have no sponsoring relatives living in
bank accounts, and some don’t even
know how to shop for groceries. Our job
is to teach them how to help themselves
and make intelligent decisions.”
“We’re kind of like a way station
on their journey to hope,” Fitzgerald
says. “They have come from a long,
long history of oppression. Most of the
refugees see this as an opportunity for
a new beginning, especially for their
children,” he says.
According to Fitzergerald, the first
generation usually has a hard time
adjusting, because some of the stories
they are told are grossly exaggerated as to
how wonderful things are here. Once they
adjust to the personal responsibility idea,
Mark Udry
Most of the Meskhetian Turks migrated
to the Krasnodar Krai, an area the size
of Pennsylvania with fertile land for
agriculture. Despite citizenship laws
passed in 1991, 18,000 Meskhetians
Turks are still denied their legal rights
in this region and are routinely subject
to government harassment. Because the
group lacks official residence status, they
are unable to hold formal jobs and have
limited access to education and social
services. Violence is also prevalent in the
region, as corrupt local officials routinely
victimize the Meskhetian Turks.
Meskhetian Turks are currently one of
the largest groups of refugees approved
for resettlement to the Unites States. By
the end of this month, more than 8,000
Meskhetian Turks will be resettled in our
country with another 12,000 expected to
arrive next year.
Tashpulat Mursalov, 39, has been
married to his wife, Gulbakhar, 41, for 16
years. They have two children: Ibrakhim,
14, and Narquzal, 12.
The family lived in Krasnodar, where
Tashpulat worked on a tobacco farm
and Gulbakhar produced and sold
tomatoes. In Krasnodar, the family
witnessed the horrors of persecution
firsthand. They were afraid to leave their
house, out of fear of being arrested for
not having appropriate documentation
– documentation that the government
made all but impossible to obtain.
Police would enter their house by
force, demanding money; if the family
had none, they would take furniture,
appliances, or anything of value. They
also witnessed the torture of women and
children in the streets.
“We think of the United States as
a mother and father,” Tashpulat said
through an interpreter. “We feel very
welcome here and are very glad to be
here. We would really like to thank
Catholic Charities and everyone who has
helped us feel so welcome.”
Tashpulat’s brother, Bakhtiver, lives
in the same apartment complex in
Jacksonville. Bakhtiver and his wife,
Faranas, arrived Feb. 5 through the
assistance of Lutheran Social Services.
While Tashpulat and Gulbakhar await
Social Security cards before they can
begin working, Bakhtiver and Faranas
are already adapting well to their new
country. Bakhtiver, a skilled homebuilder
in his native country, works for a local
contractor installing air conditioning
units in new homes. Faranas works
in the kitchen of the Hyatt Hotel in
downtown Jacksonville, which has
helped her learn some conversational
English quickly.
Tatiana Eady, right, a Russian-speaking translator employed by Catholic
Charities, talks to the Mursalov family during an evening meal in the family’s
Southside apartment. The famiy has “adopted” Eady as a member of the family,
calling her “Auntie Tonya.”
the country. While the largest clientele
of Catholic Charities are Cuban refugees,
this summer the program also assisted
families from Sierra-Leone, Liberia and
Bosnia-Herzegovina. The diocese will
also relocate an additional 40 families of
Meskhetian Turks this year.
Despite the program’s exponential
growth over the last several years, it
operates on an annual budget of about
$250,000 and relies heavily on donations
from parishioners and volunteers.
Donations are the lifeblood of the
program, as for every dollar received, the
federal government matches with a $1.85,
up to $1,850 per person.
“While the contact [with the family]
has been frequent in the first few weeks,
that’s going to taper off and we will
have to teach them how to do things on
their own,” says Fitzgerald. “And that’s
one area where we need a lot of help.”
Many [of the refugees] have never had
that to earn and enjoy their freedom takes
a lot of hard work, then they do fine. But
it’s the second generation that really reaps
the benefit,” he says.
As the Mursalov family adapts to their
new country, they await the arrival of
their remaining family members.
Tashpulat and Gulbakhar will soon be
employed and begin paying for their
apartment. Their son Ibrakhim just began
his freshman year at Englewood High
School, while their daughter Narquzal
attends Southside Middle School. Their
lives have just begun. Finally, the
Mursalov’s have a place to call home.
Volunteers are desperately needed to assist
the workers at Catholic Charities. It is not
necessary to speak a foreign language, and
anyone can help. For information on how you
can help welcome families to Jacksonville, call
John Fitzgerald at (904) 354-4846, ext. 226 or
email: [email protected]
St. Augustine Catholic September/October 2005
13
The teaching of Pope John Paul II
about sickness and death came
not only from his speeches,
addresses, and encyclicals. He
instructed just as convincingly
with the witness of his own faith
in the face of injury, suffering,
hospitalization, illness and dying.
He gave this catechesis for years.
DyingwithDignity
Building a World Where Life is Sacred
By Fat h e r J . D a n i e l M i n d l i n g , O F M C a p.
16
St. Augustine Catholic September/October 2005
© Jiang Jin/SuperStock
P
Pope John Paul, in his 1995 apostolic
letter, Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of
Life), taught us that to understand death
with dignity, first accept the dignity of life.
Human dignity is an undeserved gift, not
an earned status. The dignity of life springs
from its source. We come to be by the
loving action of God the Creator. “What
is man that you are mindful of him, and
the son of man that you care for him? You
have made him little less than a god, and
crown him with glory and honor” (Psalm
8:5). The dignity of life is beyond price. We
have been ransomed not with perishable
things such as silver or gold, but with the
precious blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19). The
dignity of life is clear from our calling. God’s
plan for human beings is that they should
“be conformed to the image of his Son”
(Romans 8:29). “For God created man for
incorruption, and made him in the image of
his own eternity” (Wisdom 2:23).
All who respect their God-given dignity
are called to be heralds of a “culture of
life.” Christ’s mission was to every human
person, and our Lord had a passionate
concern for the sick, the suffering and the
dying. In our own time, Christ continues
his mission, and his preference for the
vulnerable, through his church. Christ looks
mercifully upon us now and at the hour
of our death, and the church proclaims
solidarity with our brothers and sisters at
the end of their earthly journey.
The church is a patient advocate, working
to ensure proper care for the sick and dying
by promoting respect for their dignity. The
church is physician and nurse, the Good
Samaritan who treats the wounded and
abandoned and never walks by. The church
is also the innkeeper who provides the
hospital, nursing home and hospice for care
and comfort. Pope John Paul, no stranger to
sickness and suffering, raised the prophetic
voice of the church compassionately, often
insisting on the care that is due to the sick
and dying.
Traditionally, Catholics have prayed for
the grace of a happy death: From a sudden
and unprovided death, deliver us, O Lord. Now,
advances in modern medicine increasingly
pose the challenge of coping with a
terminal illness, which may last months
or even years. Rather than worrying only
about a sudden death, many today confront
fears of a prolonged and debilitating illness,
of being a burden on others and of facing a
path possibly marked by suffering.
“The church knows that the moment of
death is always accompanied by particularly
intense human sentiments: an earthy life
is ending, the emotional, generational and
social ties that are part of the person’s inner
self are dissolving; people who are dying
and those who assist them are aware of the
conflict between hope in immortality and
the unknown which troubles even the most
enlightened minds. The church lifts her
voice so that the dying are not offended but
are given every loving care and are not left
alone as they prepare to cross the threshold
of time to enter eternity” (Love and Solidarity
for the Dying, an address by Pope John Paul II to the
Pontifical Academy for Life, Feb. 1999).
And while true compassion “encourages
every reasonable effort for the patient’s
recovery, at the same time, it helps draw
the line when it is clear that no further
treatment will serve this purpose. The
refusal of aggressive treatment is neither
a rejection of the patient nor of his or her
life. Indeed, the object of the decision on
whether to begin or to continue a treatment
has nothing to do with the value of the
patient’s life, but rather with whether
such medical intervention is beneficial for
the patient. The possible decision either
not to start or to halt a treatment will be
deemed ethically correct if the treatment
is ineffective or obviously disproportionate
to the aims of sustaining life or recovering
health. Consequently, the decision to forego
aggressive treatment is an expression of the
respect that is due to the patient at every
moment” (Conference address by Pope John Paul
II to the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care,
Nov. 2004).
From the patient’s perspective, this is
neither “giving up” nor disregarding the
obligation to care for oneself, rather, it is an
acceptance of the human condition in the
face of life threatening illness (Evangelium Vitae,
No. 64).
Especially at the end of life, when it is
clear that death is imminent and inevitable
no matter what medical procedures are
attempted, one may refuse treatment
“that would only secure a precarious and
burdensome prolongation of life, so long as
the normal care due to the sick person in
similar cases is not interrupted” (Declaration
on Euthanasia, part 4, 1980, by the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith).
Even at the stage of terminal illness when
proportionate and effective treatment is no
longer possible, however, palliative care
is still appropriate and needed. The aim
of such care can include alleviating many
kinds of physical, psychological and mental
suffering. Such care, said John Paul II, may
involve a team of specialists with medical,
psychological and religious qualifications
who work together to support the patient in
facing death.
Dying often includes pain and suffering.
Pope John Paul II admitted to his own
personal sufferings, and proclaimed that
these offered him a new source of strength
for his ministry as pope. We read in
Evangelium Vitae, No. 67: “Living to the Lord
…means recognizing that suffering, while
still an evil and a trial in itself, can always
St. Augustine Catholic September/October 2005
17
become a source of good. It becomes such
if it is experienced for love and with love
through sharing, by God’s gracious gift
and one’s own personal and free choice,
in the suffering of Christ Crucified. In this
way, the person who lives his suffering in
the Lord grows more fully conformed to
him (cf. Phil 3:10; 1 Pet 2:21) and more closely
associated with his redemptive work on
behalf of the church and humanity. This
was the experience of St. Paul, which every
person who suffers is called to relive: ‘I
rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and
in my flesh I complete what is lacking in
Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his Body,
that is, the Church’” (Col 1:24).
Ethical questions can arise regarding the
use of pain medication. Pain should be
managed in such a way as to allow patients
to prepare for death while fully conscious.
The dying should be kept as free of pain as
possible. Some wish to blur the distinction
between the use of medication to manage
pain even at the risk of hastening the dying
process, and the deliberate administration of
a lethal overdose of pain medication. Those
who claim the latter as mercy killing fail to
recognize that true “compassion” leads to
sharing another’s pain; it does not kill the
person whose suffering we cannot bear.
Sadly, there are physicians who see their
role as assisting patients to end their own
lives. What a tragedy it is that the very
people trained to heal the injured and
care for the sick, have become dealers in
death. Pope John Paul II was blunt in his
condemnation. Even if a patient requests
assisted suicide, it remains an “inexcusable
injustice.” Although controversies over
physician assisted suicide might seem to
have come up only in our own time, he
quotes St. Augustine who wrote more
than 1500 years ago: “It is never licit to kill
another: even if he should wish it, indeed
if he request it because, hanging between
life and death, he begs for help in freeing
the soul struggling against the bonds of the
body and longing to be released; nor is it
licit even when a sick person is no longer
able to live.”
Especially in light of the tragic case of
Terri Schiavo, Pope John Paul II left no
doubt about the church’s clear teaching
regarding those in a so-called “persistent
vegetative state” (PVS). In the opinion of
their doctors, these patients have suffered
such severe neurological damage that
they can no longer give any indication
that they are aware of themselves or of
their environment. It is unfortunate that
their state is labeled “vegetative.” Human
persons are not vegetables. Such regrettable
terminology may lead some to conclude
falsely that these handicapped persons are
more like vegetables than human beings.
18
This is simply not true. All disabled
persons have basic rights. Although their
higher cognitive functions may be seriously
impaired, these patients are human beings
with the same intrinsic value and personal
dignity as any other human person.
Caution should be exercised even
regarding the diagnosis of PVS. It is true
that the longer such a state persists, the less
likely the patient will recover. Nevertheless,
at times this label is applied incorrectly, and
there are more than a few cases reported in
the literature of persons who have emerged
from a “vegetative” state after appropriate
treatment or who have recovered at least
partially, even after many years. “We can
thus state that medical science, up till now,
is still unable to predict with certainty those,
among patients in this condition, who will
recover and who will not” (Conference address
by John Paul II to the International Congress on LifeSustaining Treatments and the Vegetative State: Scientific
Advances and Ethical Dilemmas, March 2004).
PVS patients, like all other patients, have
a right to basic health care. They should
be kept comfortable, clean and warm. Care
should be taken to prevent complications
associated with being confined to bed.
They should be given appropriate
rehabilitative care and monitored for signs
of improvement. Families who bear the
heavy burden of dealing with this condition
should be assisted by the rest of society, as
true solidarity demands.
Pope John Paul II also resolved a longstanding debate about life sustaining care
for PVS patients. He taught unequivocally
that there is a moral obligation on care
providers. These patients should be
provided food and water, even when these
are supplied through a feeding tube. It
is unjust to refuse to initiate or continue
such basic care based on the quality of
their life or on a claim that such care is too
expensive. It is unjust to discontinue it even
because of a decreased hope for recovery.
John Paul II’s statement is explicit. Nutrition
and hydration is a natural means of
preserving life, and “should be considered,
in principle, ordinary and proportionate,
and as such morally obligatory, insofar
as and until it is seen to have attained its
proper finality, which in the present case
consists in providing nourishment to the
patient and alleviation of his suffering”
(Conference address by John Paul II to the International
Congress on Life-Sustaining Treatments and the
Vegetative State: Scientific Advances and Ethical
Dilemmas, March 2004).
Patients often want to direct their care
in the event that they become unable
to communicate their wishes. The Holy
Father’s statement that PVS patients should
be given nutrition and hydration, as part of
the ordinary care to which all are entitled,
raises questions about advance directives.
Living wills should not include a statement
St. Augustine Catholic September/October 2005
that refuses nutrition and hydration in the
event that one is diagnosed in a persistent
vegetative state. It is, in principle, ordinary
and proportionate care, which is morally
obligatory.
There is great confusion about death with
dignity. What John Paul II rightly called the
“culture of death” disregards the sanctity
and dignity of life, and so misunderstands
dying. It claims that life has value only
to the extent that it is productive, when
it brings pleasure and well being. In this
vision, “death is considered ‘senseless’
if it suddenly interrupts a life still open
to a future of new and interesting
experiences. But it becomes a ‘rightful
liberation’ once life is held to be no longer
meaningful because it is filled with pain
and inexorably doomed to even greater
suffering” (Evangelium Vitae, No. 64).
Because the culture of death disregards
God, it also overestimates human autonomy
with respect to life. Within the culture of
death, “the fear of a prolonged or painful
death and concerns about being a burden
on loved ones tempts some to try to take
control of death and bring it about before
its time, ‘gently’ ending one’s own life or
the life of others” (Evangelium Vitae, No. 64).
By contrast, a culture of life will reject
all forms of euthanasia. Euthanasia is “an
action or omission which of itself and by
intention causes death, with the purpose
of eliminating all suffering” (Declaration
on Euthanasia, 1980 by the Congregation
for the Doctrine of the Faith). It is “a grave
violation of the Law of God, since it is
the deliberate and morally unacceptable
killing of a human person” (Evangelium
Vitae, No. 65). “Euthanasia is one of those
tragedies caused by an ethic that claims to
dictate who should live and who should
die. Even if it is motivated by sentiments
of a misconstrued compassion or of a
misunderstood preservation of dignity,
euthanasia actually eliminates the person
instead of relieving the individual of
suffering” (Conference address by Pope John Paul
II to the International Congress on Life-Sustaining
Treatments and the Vegetative State: Scientific Advances
and Ethical Dilemmas, March 2004).
“Even when not motivated by a selfish
refusal to be burdened with the life of
someone who is suffering, euthanasia
must be called a false mercy, and indeed
a disturbing ‘perversion’ of mercy. True
‘compassion’ leads to sharing another’s
pain; it does not kill the person whose
suffering we cannot bear. Moreover, the
act of euthanasia appears all the more
perverse if it is carried out by those, like
relatives, who are supposed to treat a
family member with patience and love,
or by those, such as doctors, who by
virtue of their specific profession are
supposed to care for the sick person
even in the most painful terminal stages”
(Evangelium Vitae, No. 65).
“None of us lives to himself, and none of
us dies to himself. If we live, we live to the
Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so
then, whether we live or whether we die, we
are the Lord’s” (Rom 14:7-8). Dying to the Lord
means experiencing one’s death as the supreme
act of obedience to the Father (cf. Phil 2:8), being
ready to meet death at the “hour” willed and
chosen by him (cf. Jn 13:1), which can only mean
when one’s earthly pilgrimage is completed”
(Evangelium Vitae, No. 67).
Last but not least, respect for the dignity
and sanctity of life of patients includes
concern for their spiritual needs. “The
terminally ill in particular deserve the
solidarity, communion and affection of those
around them; they often need to be able to
forgive and to be forgiven, to make peace
with God and with others” (Dying is also part of
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Resources for
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The United States Conference of
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of church documents and resources for
issues relating to end of life decisions.
Visit: www.usccb.org/prolife/index.htm.
The Florida Catholic Conference also
has a number of statements written
by the Florida Bishops, including the
“Catholic Declaration of Life and
Death” form and the “Designation of
Health Care Surrogate” form. Visit:
www.flacathconf.org
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confession and viaticum acknowledge and
celebrate the very relationship with God
through which we have received the dignity
and sanctity of life, especially as a prelude
to the final journey to our Father’s house.
John Paul II never tired of praying for the
help of the Mother of God, especially for
the sick and dying. No summary of his
catechesis is complete without turning our
eyes to our Mother who stood vigil at the
cross of her Son. “I entrust all of you to the
Most Holy Virgin … may she help every
Christian to witness that the only authentic
answer to pain, suffering and death is
Christ our Lord, who died and rose for us”
Capuchin Franciscan Father J. Daniel
Mindling is Academic Dean at Mount St.
Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland and
a consultant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic
Bishops’ Committee for Pro-Life Activities.
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Life, an address by John Paul II at the Rennweg Hospice
in Vienna, June 1998). The sacrament of the sick,
(John Paul II’s message for the 12th World Day of the
Sick, Feb. 2004).
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St. Augustine Catholic September/October 2005
19
Respecting Religious
Diversity
“Awakening” by Gerry Charm (20th C. American) Collage/SuperStock, Inc.
By Fat h e r R o b e rt L . K i n a s t
20
St. Augustine Catholic September/October 2005
he opening chapters of the book of Genesis portray God
as creating a varied and diverse world, culminating in
the complex differences between men and women. God
the Creator seems to delight in diversity.
Human beings, however, are not so fond of
diversity. Many find it confusing. In extreme cases,
dictators, tribal groups and whole nations have
engaged in genocide and ethnic cleansing to eliminate
people with different values, customs and principles.
Christians are not immune from discomfort with
diversity. Guided by its belief in monotheism and
proclaiming Jesus as the one, true Savior of all
people, Christianity historically has prized unity
over diversity as it sought to convert people to
Christ. At times when Christians were the political
or numerical majority, this commitment even has led
to a type of Christian imperialism.
Of course, there also is the rich history of the
church promoting the arts and sciences, establishing
universities and preserving elements of civilization,
ennobling work, improving health care, altering
social systems on behalf of the poor and
welcoming the creative alternatives of
diverse cultures, religions and movements.
So how are Christians to relate to the
diverse values and practices we encounter in
our world today? Four points are worth noting.
“Is diversity in itself a threat and
a problem to eliminate or is it a
gift from God and a reflection of
divine creativity? ”
First, every Christian has
to answer the basic question:
Is diversity in itself a threat
and a problem to eliminate
or is it a gift from God and a
reflection of divine creativity?
Embracing the latter position
prompts a Christian initially to
adopt an attitude of respect for
diverse beliefs and practices
such as those found in Islam
or among Native Americans.
Second, with this attitude a Christian
looks for signs of God’s presence and
grace in different religious and cultural
expressions. God has ways of reaching
people. Wherever there are indications of
God’s grace at work, Christians should
recognize and affirm them in the spirit of
Jesus. He was able to say that whoever is
not against us is with us (Matthew 9:40).
This does not mean that Christians
abandon their faith’s distinctive claims
and mission when, for example, they
dialogue with Jews or work with agnostics
on social projects. But from a Christian
perspective, good works by those who are
not Christian are still good works and do
not detract from Christianity or lessen its
importance. Rather, as Vatican Council II
said, ‘’Christians should acknowledge,
preserve and encourage the spiritual
and moral truths found among nonChristians, including their social life and
culture’’ (Declaration on Non-Christian
Religions, No. 2).
Third, a positive orientation toward
religious and cultural diversity must
always be tempered by a critical
examination of the beliefs and practices of
religions and cultures. Not all religions are
of equal value, and even the best secular
service is not the same as full human
salvation.
Where there is hatred, sexism, deceit,
exploitation, violation of human rights
and dignity, there is conflict with God’s
intention for humanity. Opposing a
practice like abortion on Christian grounds
is not the same as imposing Christianity on
society or on another religion; it is uplifting
humanity and contributing to a better
world from a Christian perspective.
TAKE CHARGE OF
YOUR LIFE.
“Christians are not immune
from discomfort with diversity.
Guided by its belief in
monotheism and proclaiming
Jesus as the one, true Savior
of all people, Christianity
historically has prized unity
over diversity as it sought to
convert people to Christ.”
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To do this effectively, Christians
may have to translate their values and
principles – for example, regarding capital
punishment or the primacy of the poor –
into terms and behaviors that communicate
with people in a particular culture. This is
one of the primary challenges of effective
evangelization and a continuation of what
Jesus did. He expressed the profound truth
of revelation in images and actions that
people could grasp.
Fourth, in relating to other religions
and cultures, Christians should be open
to examining their own faith from the
perspective of those who are not Christian.
Just as Jesus extolled the faith of the Roman
centurion (Luke 7:1-10), the persistence of
the Syro-Phoenician mother (Mark 7:24-30)
or the generous neighborliness of the Good
Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37), so Christians
might just learn a new reverence for the
Bible from witnessing the devotion of a
Muslim for the Quran or develop a new
appreciation for service to the common
good from witnessing the heroism of
firefighters and rescuers.
In shaping a Christian attitude toward
difference and diversity, we may want to
recall what St. Augustine wrote about what
he called the City of God and the City of
Man. Augustine acknowledged that there
were these two worlds. But these two
worlds do not stand side by side, clearly
separated from each other. They co-mingle,
intertwine and complement each other.
The role of Christians is to recognize and
foster the City of God wherever it appears
and thereby to give praise to God.
Father Robert Kinast is director of the Center
for Theological Reflection, Clearwater, Fla. He
wrote this article as part of the Faith Alive
series for Catholic News Service.
St. Augustine Catholic September/October 2005
21
parish profiles
Growing in the Spirit:
Holy Spirit Parish
Keeps Pace with
Area Growth
B y S h a n n o n S c r u b y H e n d e r so n
The 13-acre riverfront tract that
is home to Arlington’s Holy Spirit Parish
was once quiet and rural – like the rest
of Fort Caroline Road in Jacksonville.
Those days are long gone. “Fort Caroline wasn’t even paved
back when Archbishop Joseph Hurley bought this land and
set it aside for a future parish,” comments pastor Msgr. James
Heslin. “Today, there are building projects everywhere you
look. The place is booming.”
The history of Holy Spirit’s faith community parallels Fort
Caroline’s transformation, growing from a population of about
60 families when the parish was carved from Resurrection
Parish in 1966, to 1,400 families in 2005. The first church, now
used as a school cafeteria and meeting space, was dedicated in
1971. Since then, Holy Spirit, like other suburban Jacksonville
parishes, has been in a building mode, adding a rectory, a
second church, a school and a combination gymnasium and
22
St. Augustine Catholic September/October 2005
Susie Nguyen
T
Susie Nguyen
Since his appointment as pastor of
Holy Spirit in 1985, Msgr. James
Heslin has overseen many building
projects, including the new church as
seen here that was dedicated in 1992.
social hall that will open this fall.
Beginning in 1992, Mass has been held in
the new church, a large, handsome structure
with a high angled ceiling and a fair share
of diocesan history: The arresting stained glass windows
on the wall behind the altar are from the old Holy Rosary
Church on Laura Street – as are the bas relief Stations of the
Cross that adorn the side walls. Also of interest is a statue of
the Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha in full Mohawk dress at the
back of the church. This, says Msgr. Heslin, was a gift from
a parishioner. It’s not the only Native American connection
at Holy Spirit. “Years ago, Timucuan Indians lived along the
river here,” says Msgr. Heslin. “When we started digging
the parking lot for the new church, we ran into a problem.
Twenty-three human remains from those ancient times were
eventually exhumed by the state and moved to Tallahassee at
parish expense.”
Supporting a school and the parish’s
other ministries requires considerable
effort. Fortunately, Holy Spirit is
blessed with hard workers. Among
them is a sizable population of Filipino
parishioners. “Although they’re in the
minority here, you wouldn’t know
it if you could see how much they
do,” says Strandes. “Our Filipino
groups love to party and they love to
contribute to the parish,” adds Msgr.
Heslin. Unlike in many Jacksonville
parishes, Holy Spirit’s Spanish-speaking
parishioners are few. “On the other
hand, we have a strong Albanian
connection,” says Msgr. Heslin. That’s
due to Deacon Gjet Bajraktari, an
Albanian Catholic who has become
a magnet for Albanians in the area.
“Although most don’t live in the area, they
come here for baptisms and weddings to
be with Deacon Gjet,” he says.
Sharing the spirit
The school is a major focus, but
members of the parish also reach out
to the larger community. “I encourage
parishioners not to be Sunday-morning
Catholics,” says Msgr. Heslin.
“Today, with the culture
becoming secularized,
even anti-religious, I think
Catholics have to become
more politicized. They
should get into the process,
voting and expressing
themselves publicly,” he
adds firmly. To that end,
the pastor participates in
parish-sponsored outreach.
“He’s down at the Women’s
Help Center saying Mass,”
says CCW President Darlene
Jones, referring to a facility
on Emerson Street that was
started by a couple from Holy
Spirit – with Msgr. Heslin’s
blessing and encouragement.
Working with Holy Spirit
parishioners, Deacon Gjet
helped launch another effort
that is now a diocesan
ministry, the Apostleship of
the Sea, located in a building
made of two doublewide
trailers within walking
distance of Jacksonville’s
shipyards. “The idea was to
provide a place for seamen to
relax, attend religious services
The design and architecture of Holy Spirit
and get in touch with family,”
Catholic Church reflects the rich cultural
says Jones. Volunteers recently
diversity of the parish community. The church
helped build phone booths
was dedicated 13 years ago this month by
inside the facility so that
Bishop John J. Snyder.
maritime visitors can call
Mark Udry
A diverse community united by
common goals
Holy Spirit is an enthusiastic,
energetic parish, with a good mix of
young families and older parishioners,
notes John Luciano, Ph.D., principal
of Holy Spirit Catholic School. “It’s a
very supportive environment,” he says,
“and the parish takes an unprecedented
interest in having a good school.” This
focus, he adds, starts at the top: “Msgr.
Heslin believes in us. For him, the
primary purpose of the parish is the
operation of this school. He doesn’t want
it to be elitist. He wants to keep it very
affordable for that single mother out
there who wants to put her child with
us. At the same time, we’re able to offer
a quality, fully accredited program.
For example, right now, 80 percent of
faculty members hold master’s degrees.”
Peter Strandes, president of the Men’s
Club, credits the school’s success to
good leadership: “Msgr. Heslin feels
that the school and youth of our parish
are our future, and Luciano does a
fantastic job. We’re all really proud of
what we’ve got here.”
home – using donated phone cards.
There are also computers so they can
email. “It’s a refuge for people from
Third World countries who often make
less than $600 a year and spend two
years straight – or more – aboard a
ship,” says Jones. It’s also an example of
the kind of generosity that emanates
from Holy Spirit Parish, touching people
in need for miles beyond the confines of
the parish’s pastoral campus on the
banks of the St. Johns River.
Holy Spirit Parish
11665 Fort Caroline Road
Jacksonville, FL 32225
(904) 641-7244
www.holyspiritjax.org
Parishioners:
1,400 registered families
School:
268 students in grades PreK through
grade 8
Pastor:
Msgr. James Heslin
Deacon:
Gjet Bajraktari
Father Richard J. Bowles celebrated
the parish’s first Mass on Feb. 13, 1966,
in the Beacon Hills Club House. At that
time, the congregation numbered about
60 families.
In 1968, Father R. Joseph James
replaced Father Bowles as pastor. Under
his leadership, the first parish church was
completed in 1971 on Fort Caroline Road
in Arlington.
In 1974, a parish rectory was built close
to the church. Msgr. James J. Heslin was
appointed pastor of the fast-growing
faith community in 1985. He oversaw
construction of a new church that was
dedicated by Bishop John J. Snyder
on Sept. 20, 1992. Other projects
completed under Msgr. Heslin include
the parish school, the conversion of the
original church to a school cafeteria and
social hall, and opening soon, a new
parish social hall and gymnasium.
St. Augustine Catholic September/October 2005
23
home
Welcoming
Mark Udry
By C a r r i e R e s c h
D a ddy
The Wolz family was featured in our November/December
2004 “Christmas” issue. It was a lonely holiday for
Melanie and her two daughters with Mike stationed in
Iraq. But we are happy to provide this follow-up feature
on the Wolz family who confirms Mike is home and
thankful for his time with his family.
T
The family waited in excited anticipation
as passengers filed off the plane. They
had been waiting for this moment for
almost eight months. Two young girls
held up a sign reading “Welcome Home
Daddy” in red, white and blue letters.
The girls studied every face that passed
by until they finally spotted who they
were looking for. Lt. Commander Mike
Wolz – “Daddy” had finally returned
home.
Wolz was finally reunited with his
wife, Melanie and the two girls, 11-yearold Abby and eight-year-old Kate, in late
24
March, the week before Easter.
Mike has missed much since he left
for Iraq last August; Thanksgiving,
Christmas, the Super Bowl, but what
he missed most was his family. “One of
the hardest things was not being able
to hug and kiss my wife and kids,” he
said. He was also constantly worrying
if everything was all right at home,
especially during the four hurricanes that
devastated Florida during his tour.
Since returning to the United States
Mike has been able to enjoy some
vacation time. “I had three weeks off
St. Augustine Catholic September/October 2005
when I returned before I went back
to work,” he said. “Most of that time
was spending time with Melanie and
the kids.” Mike is a civil engineer with
the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, and
Melanie works part-time as a physical
therapist at the Mayo Clinic.
The timing of his return home worked
out well because the girls had spring
break during his time off. They enjoyed
spending a whole week with their father,
picking up right where they left off with
movie and game nights, bike riding and
playing tennis. He was also happy to be
back in time for Kate’s First Communion
on Mother’s Day and both the girls’
birthdays in April and May.
The family had a lot of support while
Mike was away, especially from their
parish, St. Paul, in Jacksonville Beach,
where the girls also attend school.
The parish gave Melanie a “spiritual
bouquet” of prayers and a card stating
how many prayers had been said for
them. Mike’s name was also listed on
the school bulletin board of who to pray
for. “That was always nice to know they
were thinking [of us],” Melanie said.
Neighbors also provided a great
deal of support. A letter was sent out
before Christmas explaining the Wolz’s
situation. About 20 families responded
by putting together a large package
filled with homemade cookies, candy
and even a Super Bowl T-shirt to send
to Mike.
The family regularly communicated
through emails and phone calls. Abby
wrote her father every three days,
keeping him informed of happenings.
During the long absence, the family
found comfort in their faith to help
them during the difficult time. “My
faith really helped to see us through the
long separation,” Melanie said. Both she
and Mike regularly say prayers with the
girls at bedtime; Melanie carried on the
ritual while he was away. “We would
always get a chance to ask for [Mike’s]
and all the military’s safety,” she said.
The holidays have been especially
hard for the Wolz family. This is the
second year in a row that Mike has
been away during Thanksgiving and
Christmas. In 2003 he was deployed to
Moscow for three months.
Melanie and the girls tried to keep
their situation in perspective. “As
hard as it was for us, at least we were
together,” Melanie said. “Mike probably
had the hard part being away from
family. That’s what I always used to
tell the girls, as sorry as we could feel
for ourselves or as blue, we have to
remember that we three were actually
the lucky ones because we had each
other and we were in our own home
where he’s off by himself in a strange
place.”
Mike spent his Christmas in Iraq
working after attending morning Mass.
“The holidays were another work day,
unfortunately,” Mike said. “There was a
modest recognition for each of them, but
mostly it was just a special dinner.”
He attended a weekly Mass in Iraq
that was conducted by two priests. One
of the priests was Father Ron Camarda,
former pastor of St. Patrick Parish in
Jacksonville. He too is a reservist and
was called to active duty last year.
Father Camarda is now home and is
temporarily serving at Resurrection
Parish in Jacksonville.
Mike said his faith helped keep him
centered and that attending church was
an outlet. “You have to keep a balance
with the changes at hand with your
faith in that setting,” he said.
Mike joined the Navy Reserves 10
years ago. “I just wanted to do my part
and I wanted to learn more about it,”
he said. “I’ve gotten some good training
and good leadership opportunities.” In
Iraq his unit was stationed in Fallujah
and placed in charge of construction
contracts and power restoration. Fallujah
is 40 miles west of Baghdad and has
been a hot zone for frequent insurgent
attacks and military battles.
He was witness to the battle in
Fallujah in November where thousands
of U.S. and Iraqi forces infiltrated
the city. “I didn’t harbor any hatred
for the insurgents,” he said. “I was
disappointed with their choices and
didn’t understand the more destructive
actions they decided to take. It would
be easy to dislike or hate them, but
I don’t. I don’t think that is the right
approach.”
The family’s outlook on life has
mainly stayed the same, although they
are a little more cautious of the time
they have together. “I don’t think we
were ever the kind that took a whole
lot for granted, but these kinds of
experience underscore that everyday is a
blessing and you have to be thankful for
what you’ve got because it could change
very quickly,” Mike said.
So far, there are no plans for Mike’s
redeployment, so he should be able to
spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with
his family for the first time in two years.
“In October we’re going to start nailing
the doors shut,” Melanie joked.
In the meantime, Melanie is counting
her blessings. “We’re just so thankful to
have him home,” she said.
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
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              
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            
             
            
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                

              
 
             

               
               
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St. Augustine Catholic September/October 2005
25
teen voices
Gainesville Youth Learn About
special
Pope Benedict XVI appealed
to more than 1 million young
people to become new
missionaries in a world that is
forgetting God.
In his homily at the closing
Mass of World Youth Day, the
pope said: “Anyone who has
discovered Christ must lead
others to him. A great joy cannot
be kept to oneself. It has to be
passed on.”
While thousands traveled to World Youth Day, celebrated in
Cologne, Germany August 15-21, more than 1,000 young Catholics
from Florida and Georgia
flocked to the Mission
Nombre de Dios in St.
Augustine for a weekend
of live music, speeches,
26
St. Augustine Catholic September/October 2005
plays, group discussion
and a live broadcast of
the pope’s message on
a giant Jumbotron. On
Sunday, August 21, Bishop
Victor Galeone celebrated
celebrated Mass on a
large stage on the mission
grounds.
The local event was the
first of its kind in Florida
and was the result of joint
efforts of seven area parishes
and the brainchild of Glen
Sablich, a parishioner of the
Susie Nguyen
For five days, 22 kids
made a difference in their
community.
special
Mark Udry
special
More than 20 teens from
Gainesville area parishes
participated in a five-day event
that opened their eyes to how
much they take for granted and
what a difference they can make
in the lives of others.
Organizing the Real World
camp experience were youth
ministers Emily Froeba,
Nikki Arrington and Elisa Danielle Kramer
cleans up at shelter.
Ward. The camp was
based on the corporal
works of mercy and each day teens focused on ways they are
called to be Christ’s hands and feet and perform good deeds.
From July 5-9, the campers visited Park Meadows nursing
home and the Ronald McDonald House in Gainesville. A highlight
of the week for one teen, Tony
Perez, was spending time with
an elderly Hispanic man at the
nursing home. He spoke to the
man in his native language and
the hospital staff was amazed at
how happy the man was because
he usually doesn’t have anyone
to talk to.
Justin HarrisonThe group also prepared
Conwill feeds
more
than 100 meals for
homeless.
the homeless and used
their own money to buy and
distribute snow cones. The teens
also visited other social services agencies, including St. Francis
House, Shands Hospital, Habitat for Humanity and the St. Vincent
de Paul home. They got to know the staff of the agencies well so
they can continue working with them to help the community.
Susie Nguyen
world
youth
day 2005
Real World
Y
council along with some others that
attended the youth leader camp. I
will know what to do as different
situations are thrown at me.”
Lyn Kramer, 15, St. Patrick Parish,
Gainesville:
“Youth leader taught me to use
my talents, not for myself but for
the Lord. It also taught me to apply
the leadership skills that I learned in
everything that I do. I will use the
L. Kramer
training to help my parish learn about
our youth group and get more teens
involved, because that’s what it’s all about.”
Justin Harrison-Conwill, 16, St. Augustine Parish, Gainesville:
“I learned a lot of different things that I didn’t plan
on learning. There were also things that I already know
from my own experience. I am now in my youth group’s
“I learned many important leadership
skills, including how to communicate
effectively, that are already proving
useful when interacting in my parish,
with my family and friends. I would
Shelden
like to use these new skills to get more
youth involved in my parish. We aren’t
the leaders of tomorrow – we are the leaders of today.”
Danielle Kramer, 18, St. Patrick Parish,
Gainesville:
“Youth leader taught me no skill or
gift is too small. I will give of myself
to serve others and this is part of
what makes a good leader. I will use
this training to help other teens in
my parish to grow in their faith and
become leaders as well.”
special
special
“I learned a great deal about how
communication is an essential part
of being a leader and that being a
good follower is a trait of a great
leader. A leader must have excellent
Rozensky
listening skills. Accepting the input
of others will only benefit you. In completing your goal
and finishing the task that you’ve started, whether it
is a fundraiser or a community service project, you are
bettering your parish community.”
Mark Udry
Rachel Shelden, 16, Most Holy Redeemer
Parish, Jacksonville:
special
Joseph Rozensky, 16, St. Matthew Parish,
Jacksonville:
“Youth leader taught me about so
many aspects of effective leadership
skills that I never learned before. I
also learned no matter where you
come from friends will be made,
Simons
strangers will disappear, and all you
have left is a familiar face. I will use
this experience to communicate effectively to my peers
and fellow parishioners; I feel good when talking about
my faith because it allows me to evangelize to people
who might not have had a personal encounter.”
special
Michael Simons, 17, Resurrection Parish,
Jacksonville:
Jacqueline Ramirez, 16, St. Catherine Parish,
Orange Park:
“To be a leader you have to meet
standards. Leaders are principlecentered, proactive, good listeners and
communicators. As leaders we also have
to think win/win, learn how to negotiate
Ramirez
with youth and others. We also learned
how to work in groups, support and
encourage other’s opinions. Taking this training helped
me understand how to use my gifts that God has blessed
me with. My goal is to provide the teens in my parish the
same information I learned, because I think every teen has
a chance to be a leader.”
Harrison-Conwill
special
Youth Leader: Empowering Youth for Christian
Leadership, a five-day youth leadership development
program sponsored by the Diocese of Saint Augustine,
was held July 17-21 at the Marywood Retreat Center.
Youth Leader focuses on helping young people learn
skills, gain insight into Christian leadership and connect
their values to their leadership roles. According to
program materials, leadership is not about position, or
authority, or title. It’s about using the gifts that you
have, combined with good leadership skills, to make a
difference in the world.
We asked seven participants of Youth Leader what
they learned and how they’ll apply their new skills as
leaders in their parishes.
special
Youth Leaders Trained for Work in Parishes
D. Kramer
St. Augustine Catholic September/October 2005
27
around the diocese
SFCHS Students Excited
About New Digs.
Catholic Schools
Welcome New
Principals
A
SFCHS Sophomore
Susana Roque.
Stephanie
Chinault feels
right at home at
Jacksonville’s Christ
the King School.
A Jacksonville
native, Stephanie
attended Christ
the King (class of ’81) and Bishop Kenny
High School (class of ’85). She has taught
social studies for sixth through eighth
grades. Stephanie is a graduate of Emory
University in Atlanta, where she majored
in history.
Knights Honor Members with 755 Years of Service
special
Mark Udry
FPO
In June, the Knights of Columbus – Arlington Council #4727 in Jacksonville, honored 14 of members
who have given 50 to 63 years of service to the church. The honorees were then inducted into the “50
Year Club.” The club supports the efforts of the council through charitable projects each year.
Members recognized for their faithful and loyal service are: (l-r) Pasquale Bianco (50 years), Vernon
Duncan (51), William Picket (62), James Middleton (52), Alfred Martin, Jr. (50) and Richard Cashen, Jr. (50).
Not pictured: Roy Baer, Jr. (50), Francis Becht (53), Stephen Bowes, Jr. (53), Mark Costello, Jr. (59),
Robert Wm. Coyle (58), Ronald Heying (51), Mawry Jones, Sr. (63) and Denis Riordan (53).
28
St. Augustine Catholic September/October 2005
Kathleen Faulk,
a teacher for 11
years, has taught
six of those years
at St. Elizabeth
Ann Seton School
in Palm Coast.
Kathleen has taught
eighth grade for the last two years and has
taught students in all grades except first
and third grades. Kathleen is a graduate
of St. Francis College in Loretto, Pa., where
she majored in political science.
Sandra Vahl
joined the faculty
at St. Patrick School
in Gainesville
this summer.
Moving from the
frozen tundra
of Watertown,
Wis., Sandra has 23 years experience as
a teacher and administrator. She comes
to the diocese from St. Henry Catholic
School, where she was their principal.
Originally from Milwaukee, Sandra has a
master’s in education administration from
Edgewood College in Madison, Wis. and
a bachelor’s in early childhood education
from the University of Wisconsin.
Mark Udry
Mark Udry
Three parish schools in the Diocese
of Saint Augustine have new principals.
Please welcome the following educators
to their posts:
Mark Udry
Ask Susana Roque about one of the
best things she likes about her new
school and the answer would surprise
you. “The lockers,” she said. “Last year
at Holy Faith we had to carry all of our
things around in big Rubbermaid bins
and take them to all our classes.”
Susana, 15, a sophomore at St. Francis
Catholic High School in Gainesville, no
longer has to lug around a storage bin.
She and 111 freshman and sophomore
students have lockers and many other
amenities.
“The new facilities here are fantastic
– they’re a step up from having to
borrow classrooms [at Holy Faith
Parish], she said.
St. Francis faculty welcomed the
first two classes of freshman and
sophomore students to its state-ofthe-art facility on Aug. 10. Student
enrollment will increase each year
with a 600-student capacity. And
everyone will have a locker!
around the diocese
Catholic Charities Hosts
Ball for Homeless
Mark your calendars – the Black
and White Ball will be held Saturday,
Nov. 5 at the Prime Osborne
Convention Center in Jacksonville.
The second annual wine tasting,
Festival D’Vine, will be Friday,
Nov. 4 at Balis Park in San Marco.
Proceeds from both events will be
used to keep families in their homes
by assisting them with utilities,
rent, mortgage payments, groceries,
counseling and job assistance.
Last year, Catholic Charities
received 80,000 requests for
financial assistance, but had only
enough funds to help 5,000 families.
According to organizers, the needs of
families on the First Coast continue
to grow.
For information and tickets, call
Liza Furman at Catholic Charities
at (904) 354-4846, ext. 257 or email:
[email protected] Tickets are $200
each for the ball and $75 each for the
wine tasting.
People In The News...
Anne McGaugh began
her duties as director of the
diocesan Youth and Young
Adult Ministry on Aug. 1.
Originally from Pittsburgh,
Anne moved to Oak Ridge,
Tenn., while in grade school.
A 1987 graduate of East
Tennessee State University, Anne has a degree in
health administration and business management.
She has more than 17 years experience in youth
ministry and most recently served as the parish
coordinator of Youth Ministry for St. Mary
Parish in Oak Ridge, Tenn. She also served as
the Deanery Coordinator of Youth Ministry
and Diocesan NCYC Coordinator for the
Diocese of Knoxville. She is a member of the
National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry
– Management Committee for Youth Events.
Anne can be reached at the Catholic
Center at (904) 262-3200, ext. 112 or by
email: [email protected]
Mark Udry joined
the staff of the Office
of Communications
on Aug. 1 as the new
associate editor of the
St. Augustine Catholic
magazine. He is a
native of Jacksonville
and attended Sacred Heart Catholic
School, Bishop Kenny High School, Florida
Community College and the University of
North Florida where he earned a bachelor’s
degree in Communications. Mark has an
extensive background in photojournalism
and writing for newspapers in Phoenix,
Orange Park and most recently in south
Florida.
Mark can be reached at the Catholic
Center at (904) 262-3200, ext. 109 or by
email: [email protected]
Susie Nguyen
Lynn Giorgianni is
the new program
coordinator for the
diocesan “Protecting
God’s Children” program.
Lynn is also assisting the
Chancellor’s Office with
parish compliance and
audit reporting. She began both duties on
Aug. 1. A native of Englewood, N.J., Lynn has
a bachelor’s in education from the University
of South Florida and a master’s from the
University of North Florida. She previously
worked in human resources and employee
training at CSX and also has experience in
elementary school education. Lynn is a member
of Holy Family Parish, Jacksonville.
You can reach Lynn at the Catholic Center
in Jacksonville at (904) 262-3200 or by
email: [email protected]
Mark Udry
The FOCUS team is back at the
University of North Florida with two
new members. Joining Chris McGraw
and Tonya Turner for the peer-to-peer
college ministry are Olivia DuBois and
Rimas Sidrys.
DuBois, from Redlands, Calf,
graduated from the University of
San Francisco with a bachelor’s in
communications. Rimis, from Denver,
Colo., is a graduate of the University
of Colorado where he majored in
marketing.
FOCUS stands for Fellowship
of Catholic University Students.
The ministry recruits recent college
graduates between the ages of 22 and 30
and trains them to become missionaries
on college campuses. They are currently
ministering on more than 25 campuses
in the United States.
The campus-based ministry provides
university students with small group
Bible studies, personal discipleship,
large group leadership training and
fellowship.
Mark Udry
FOCUS: Reaching
College Students at UNF
Adopted Children Benefit from
License Plates
The City of Jacksonville, in compliance
with Florida Statute 320.08058(30), has
selected Catholic Charities Bureau as the
managers of the “Choose Life License
Plate” funding for Duval County.
The license plates raise money to
support adoption efforts of “abortion
alternative” organizations that provide free assistance to
women in crisis pregnancies and for non-profit adoption agencies.
The cost for a Choose Life license tag is $22 per year, above the normal cost of a
Florida tag, of which $20 is returned to the county where the tag was purchased.
If you are a non-profit, non-governmental agency in Duval County that provides
free services and counsels pregnant women who are committed to placing their
children for adoption, call Brenda Farr at (904) 354-4718 or email: [email protected] for
an application to apply for the funds. Deadline: Sept. 16.
St. Augustine Catholic September/October 2005
29
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Help St. Denis Catholic High
School in Uganda
Fr. Joseph tells us 60% of his students are
orphans from AIDS and need your love
and
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30
St. Augustine Catholic September/October 2005
September
Sept. 14 Annulment
Workshop – Wednesday,
7-8 p.m., San Jose Parish,
Jacksonville. Presenter: Judicial
Vicar Father Tim Lindenfelser. For
information, call (904) 733-1630.
Sept. 15 Medicaid Planning
Seminar – Thursday, 2:30 p.m.,
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish,
Palm Coast. Speaker: Attorney John
Crawford. For information, call
Nancy Geary, (904) 262-3200, ext.
166 or email: [email protected]
Sept. 16 Volunteer Recognition
Luncheon for the Farm Worker
Ministry ­– Friday, Noon, Corky
Blue’s Waterfront Restaurant, Palatka.
For information, call Al or Olga Moser
(386) 698-4234 or (904) 461-9931.
Sept. 16-18 Engaged
Encounter – A marriage
preparation program open to
couples of all faiths. Begins Friday,
7:30 p.m., Marywood Retreat Center,
Jacksonville. Call (904) 308-7474 or
register online: www.dcfl.org
Sept. 22 Rebuilding When Your
Relationship Ends – A program
for those separated or divorced.
Each Thursday through Dec. 1, 7-9
p.m., Catholic Center, Jacksonville.
Registration is limited. Fee: $40. For
information, call (904) 308-7474.
Sept. 23-25 Worldwide
Marriage Encounter – A
weekend for couples who want to
make a good marriage better.
Friday-Sunday, Holiday Inn on
Newberry Road, Gainesville. For
information, call Deacon Tom Hughes
(904) 220-3040 or email:
[email protected]
Sept. 24 Project SEE Eye-care
Program for inner city African
Americans. Sponsored by Catholic
Charities’ Farm Worker Ministry
and VISTAKON, Saturday, 9 a.m.,
VISTAKON Bldg. in Deerwood Park,
Jacksonville. For information call
Gwen Robinson (904) 353-3243.
October
Oct. 1 Pre Cana– A marriage
preparation program for engaged
couples who want to marry in
the Catholic Church. Available in
Spanish and English. Saturday,
8:15 a.m.-5:30 p.m., St. Elizabeth
Ann Seton Parish, Palm Coast. Fee:
$69 per couple. Call (904) 308-7474
or register online: www.dcfl.org
Oct. 1 Newly Married Couples
Enrichment Experience: The
Next Step – Saturday, 8 a.m.5 p.m., St. Catherine Parish, Orange
Park. To register, call Tony and
Sandy, (904) 291-1357 or Bill and
Georgeanne, (904) 215-0672.
Oct. 2 Annual Life Chain in
Jacksonville, Jacksonville
Beach and Orange Park.
Sunday, 2-3 p.m. along Monument
Road, on Third Street in Jacksonville
Beach and along Kingsley Road in
Orange Park. For information, call
Tom Masters (904) 998-8577.
Oct. 4 Healing Mass and
Rosary – Tuesday, 7 p.m., St.
Augustine House of Prayer &
Evangelization Center, 34 Ocean
Ave., St. Augustine. For information,
call (904) 824-4831.
Oct. 7-9 Engaged Encounter – A
marriage preparation program open
to couples of all faiths. Begins Friday,
7:30 p.m., Marywood Retreat Center,
Jacksonville. Call (904) 308-7474 or
register online: www.dcfl.org
Oct. 14-16 Retrouvaille/
Rediscovery Weekend – A retreat
program for couples with troubled
marriages. Friday, 8 p.m. to Sunday,
5 pm., Jacksonville. To register, call Bill
or Trudy, (904) 992-0408.
Oct. 15 Celebration of
Women Conference – Saturday,
Noon to 4 p.m., Christ the King
Parish, Jacksonville. Speaker: Bishop
Victor Galeone. Sponsored by
the Commission on Women. For
information, call Pat (904) 461-3950
or Barbara (904) 724-1776.
Oct. 21-23 Diocesan Marriage
Renewal – A retreat weekend for
couples who want to enrich their
marriage. Begins Friday,
7 p.m., Marywood Retreat Center,
Jacksonville. To register, call Tina or
John, (904) 744-6843.
calendar of events
Marywood Events
For information on any
of the following programs,
call 287-2525 in Jacksonville
or toll free 1-888-287-2539
or online at www.marywoodcenter.org
September
Sept. 12 A Practicum for
Church Musicians and
Leaders of Worship – Leader:
Bernie Sans. Monday, 7-9 p.m.
Cost: $9.
Sept. 17 Your Prayer Style
– Is it Right For You? Leader:
Joan Kaam. Saturday, 10 a.m.3 p.m. Cost: $27.
Sept. 23-25 Christian
Meditation Seminar – Leader:
Sheelah Trefle Hidden. Friday,
7:30 p.m. - Sunday, 10 a.m.
Cost: $113-$193.
October
Oct. 12 Day of Reflection:
Waking Up to God’s
Presence Through the
Examen of Consciousness
– Leader: Mary Ann Johnson.
Wednesday, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Cost: $27.
Oct. 20 Morality of
Catholics – Leader: Father
Michael Houle. Thursday, 7-9 p.m.
Cost: $9.
Oct. 22 Roots of Christian
Mysticism – Leaders: Cenacle
Sisters Elizabeth Hillmann, Rose
Hoover and Annette Mattle.
Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: $35.
Oct. 28-29 Mother and
Adult Daughter Retreat
– Leaders: Elizabeth Rhoden and
Stacee Vestal. Friday, 7:30 p.m. to
Saturday, 3 p.m. Cost: $125.
Oct. 22 Fall Encounter for
Region VII Cursillo – The
Cursillos of the Diocese of Saint
Augustine will host this event
that includes group sharing and
workshops. For information, call Pete
Lasher (904) 910-6646 or Larry Hart
(904) 443-3134.
Oct. 22 Sisters of St. Joseph
Annual Art Auction – Proceeds
go to care of the elderly and infirm
sisters. Saturday, 5-8 p.m., Bishop
Baker Parish Hall, 259 St. George
Street, St. Augustine. Donation at
the door: $25. For information and
tickets, call (904) 824-9100.
Oct. 23 Closing Mass for
“Year of the Eucharist” with
Bishop Victor Galeone presiding.
Sunday, 11 a.m., Cathedral-Basilica,
St. Augustine. For information call
(904) 262-3200, ext. 165.
Oct. 25 Vocation Discernment
Evening – Open to all men
interested in learning about the
priesthood. Light dinner followed by
Q&A with Bishop Victor Galeone.
Tuesday, 6 p.m., Catholic Center,
11625 Old St. Augustine Road,
Jacksonville. For information, call
(904) 262-3200, ext. 101.
A Refreshing Stop
books,
books, gifts,
gifts, religious
religious items,
items, more!
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Bell Tower
Gift Shop
(Inside
(Inside the
the Cathedral
Cathedral Basilica)
Basilica)
35
35 Treasury
Treasury Street
Street
Downtown
Downtown St.
St. Augustine
Augustine
Open
Open Daily
Daily
Weekdays
Weekdays 99 a.m.-4
a.m.-4 p.m.
p.m.
Saturday
Saturday Noon-4:30
Noon-4:30 p.m.
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Sunday
Sunday 10
10 a.m.-4:30
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Oct. 29 Pre Cana – A marriage
preparation program for engaged
couples who believe they are ready
for marriage in the Catholic Church.
Saturday, 8:15 a.m.-5:30 p.m.,
St. Vincent’s Medical Center,
Jacksonville. Cost: $69 per couple.
Call (904) 308-7474 or register online:
www.dcfl.org
November
Nov. 4 Festival D’Vine
– “Splendors of the Orient,” Friday,
6:30–9:30 p.m., Balis Park of San
Marco, Jacksonville. Proceeds benefit
Catholic Charities. For information,
call Liza Furman (904) 354-4846,
ext. 257. Cost: $75
Nov. 5 13th Annual Black &
White Ball, Saturday, 6:30 p.m. –
Midnight, Prime Osborn Convention
Center, Jacksonville. Proceeds go to
Catholic Charities to help prevent
homelessness. For information and
tickets, call Liza Furman (904)
354-4846, ext. 257. Cost: $200.
Music, Bibles, Books
Jewelry, Videos & More
Mother’s Day, Confirmation,
Graduation & Father’s Day Gifts
3619 Blanding Blvd.
(south of Wilson)
Closed Sunday and Monday
(904) 777-1880
St. Augustine Catholic September/October 2005
31
reflection
Making Good Marriages
GREAT
By T h e r e s a N ota r e
32
© age fotostock/SuperStock
M
Maybe I’ve just watched too
many MGM musicals in my life, but
I think most marriages are good. I
believe that most people enter marriage
wanting the best for their spouses and
themselves. They want their love to last
forever. They hope life won’t be too hard
and that they too can have the American
dream of children, a home and a happy
life. These are good things to aspire to.
The Catholic Church has similar desires
for married couples but goes further
– the church wants good marriages to
become great marriages.
How can a good marriage become
great? Our faith suggests how – by
knowing and loving God, and by living
in a way that reflects that relationship.
As Christians, the starting point for all
human relationships is our relationship
with the Triune God. It is only in light
of that love that we can love the other
person fully. As members of the Body
of Christ we are called to love as Christ
loves – faithfully, generously, and
permanently. That’s a huge calling, but
grace makes it possible.
This common Christian vocation to love
God and neighbor takes on a unique
focus in the lives of married couples.
Its uniqueness is related to God’s
original gift to humanity: God blessed
man and woman to be “no longer two
but one flesh,” and said, “Be fruitful
and multiply.” The couple’s shared
vocation is embodied in the unitive and
procreative nature of marital sexuality. To
make a good Christian marriage great,
these two aspects of marital sexuality
must be understood, nurtured and lived.
The marriage bond is formed by a free
act of will, and nurtured by selfless
love. That means putting your spouse’s
needs before your own. If both spouses
strive to be mindful of each other, a
real communion of persons can be built.
Not “me,” but “we” can become second
nature and their bond will become
strong enough to blossom into a greater
love for all human life.
The church teaches that marriage
involves a radical act of giving. This
is nowhere clearer than in the marital
embrace. Husband and wife give all of
themselves to each other – body, mind
and soul. Pope John Paul II has said,
“Nothing that is part of themselves
can be excluded from this gift.” Their
fertility, their power to create a new
person to love in union with each other,
St. Augustine Catholic September/October 2005
is part of that gift. Here lies the reason
why contraception is wrong – it breaks
that “inseparable connection” between
the two meanings of the conjugal act, the
unitive and the procreative.” (Humanae
vitae, no. 12) Doing something that is
against what God designed us for can
only harm us.
Living your marriage according to God’s
design can only make you happy. It can
make your good marriage great!
Theresa Notare is the assistant director
of the Diocesan Development Program for
Natural Family Planning of the United States
Conference of Catholic Bishops.