Archive of November 10, 2012

Bishop Paprocki raises $10,000 for vocations in marathon run

St. Louis, Mo., Nov 10, 2012 (CNA) - Bishop Thomas John Paprocki finished the St. Louis Rock-N-Roll Marathon on Oct. 21 in four hours, 22 minutes and 53 seconds. It was his 19th marathon.

“I placed 743 out of 1,749 overall ... and was 508 out of 931 in the men's division,” said Bishop Paprocki in an email to employees at the Catholic Pastoral Center and Catholic Charities in Springfield. Additionally, he finished fifth out of 25 in his age division.

Bishop Paprocki ran with the LIFE Runners, the only pro-life marathon team in the nation.

“We had the largest team registered for the St. Louis Rock-N-Roll half/full marathon,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Pat Castle, one of the co-founders of the LIFE Runners. He said that 245 LIFE Runners from 24 states geared up for the race. Another 245 LIFE Runners did other races across the country.

“Our 2012 team is up to 490 runners/walkers, ages 5 to 73, in 36 states and three foreign countries,” Castle said. “We raised over $52,000 for our beneficiaries.” LIFE Runner money was designated to St. Louis ThriVe baby bus, St. Louis Good Shepherd (which provides post-baby family support), and Sioux Falls Alpha Center baby bus.

In the marathon, Bishop Paprocki wore a LIFE Runners T-shirt and bib number 4165.

As the chaplain for the National LIFE Runners Team, he concelebrated Mass for the LIFE Runners and their families and friends at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis and prayed the blessing before the race. He was also presented with the 2011 LIFE Runner of the Year Award.

Like all the LIFE Runners, he helped donate to the designated charities, but also raised money to be used locally for diocesan seminarians.

“To date, $10,000 has been donated in support of my marathon run for vocations to help pay for the education and formation of our seminarians,” Bishop Paprocki said. “I am grateful for the generous support for the training of the future priests of our diocese.”

Bishop Paprocki is already looking forward to his 20th marathon. He is planning to run the Crazy Horse Marathon in Hill City, S.D., on Oct. 6, 2013. Running with the LIFE Runners he will support pro-life causes but hopes to also once again support seminarians and says he would welcome seminarians and priests from the diocese who would run with him.

For information on pledging, go to

Posted with permission from Catholic Times, official newspaper of the Diocese of Springfield, Ill.

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Stolen Mojave Desert cross recovered just before Veteran's Day

Los Angeles, Calif., Nov 10, 2012 (CNA) - The World War I veteran memorial cross that was stolen from the Mojave Desert in 2010 has been recovered just days before the installation of its replacement.

“My reaction was one of surprise,” Jim Rowoldt, Veterans of Foreign Wars California Adjutant, told CNA Nov. 8.

The cross, which has served as a memorial for fallen soldiers of the First World War since 1934, was stolen in 2010 following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that it did not violate the separation of church and state.

On Nov. 5, just days before the installation of the new memorial on Veteran’s Day, the cross was found with a note identifying it as the one that had been stolen nearly 400 miles away, just outside San Francisco, KGO-TV reported.

Hiram Sasser, Director of Litigation for the Liberty Institute, the organization that represented the caretakers of the cross in the case called the finding “awfully providential.”

“They’re thrilled that after more than a decade of litigation, they’re finally going to be able to see it through to the end and see the memorial restored,” Sasser said.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars, who originally erected the cross, have been planning on installing a replacement cross on the same location at the exact local time anniversary of the end of World War I, which falls on Veteran’s Day.

“We’re raising it up on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, which is, if you pardon the time change, the actual anniversary of the ending of WWI,” Sasser said.

The lawsuit that targeted the cross was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of a former National Park Service employee who called for its removal because it was located on public land in the Mojave National Preserve.

Even though a replacement cross has been made for the memorial, the one that was stolen will be returned to Henry and Wanda Sandoz, the caretakers of the memorial.

“I think it’d be appropriate for him to stick it in his front yard,” Sasser said of the original cross.

Now that the lawsuit has come to a close and the land for the memorial has been transferred to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, people should take away a deeper respect for war memorials, Sasser said.

“We shouldn’t go back and question the choices that were made before by those who earned the right to put it up in the first place,” Sasser said.

Although not all war memorials use religious symbols, Sasser said some do as an attempt to “raise the public awareness of the magnitude of the actions of the veterans and what they did.”

Overall, he said, “I think we should just respect the choices that they make regarding their own memorial.”

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Professor points to St. Martin of Tours for rebuilding culture

Washington D.C., Nov 10, 2012 (CNA) - St. Martin of Tours' “Christian valor” is an example of how to sustain and rebuild Christian culture in a time of “moral exhaustion” and cultural decay, theology professor John P. Bequette said.

“Martin of Tours challenged a dying Roman culture by presenting a radical Christian counter-culture, rooted in Christian valor,” Bequette, a professor at the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, Ind. wrote in Crisis Magazine Nov. 8.

“This re-orientation saved what was truly worthwhile of Roman culture and give it new life within the emerging Christian culture.”

“As Christians, we have a responsibility to build a distinct, living culture in the twenty-first century, just as our forebears had the same responsibility in their time, a culture which will manifest itself in education and humanitarian institutions.”

Bequette recounted the life of St. Martin of Tours in the fourth century Roman Empire, comparing it to the contemporary United States.

He said the Roman populace had lost its traditional civic devotion and its readiness to sacrifice, instead engaging in “an impoverished attitude of hedonism and self-promotion.”

“The cultural foundation of Rome was disintegrating, and since political life follows culture, Roman civic life was collapsing,” he said. The Catholic Church was cultivating “an alternative culture and alternative civic life” by “transforming what was good in the Roman legacy.”

Martin, a Roman soldier from a career military family, had begun to cultivate a monastic attitude. In a famous episode, he came upon a beggar outside the city of Amiens in what is now France. In the harshness of winter, Martin cut his cape in two and gave half to the beggar.

Though Martin was ridiculed by others for ruining his cloak, he was rewarded with a vision of Christ clothed in the half cloak he had given to the beggar.

Martin’s request for a discharge from the army of Julian the Apostate also showed his valor, Bequette said. Accused of cowardice, he offered to stand in front of the enemy lines without weapons and armor but “protected by the sign of the Cross.”

After his discharge, Martin became a monk, a deacon, and then Bishop of Tours. He retained independence of Emperor Maximus at a time when other bishops were subservient and fawning towards him.

While in Martin’s time, the Church began to have official status and was able to command deference from emperors, Bequette said that in the present day the Church is “increasingly under attack by a new, secular imperium which would strip the Church of her right to evangelize, educate, and minister.”

“This new imperium is possessed of the same ferocious hostility that beset the Church in reign of the pagan emperors,” the theology professor concluded. “In the face of this new, militant paganism, may God grant us the full measure of the Christian valor of Saint Martin of Tours.”

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Vatican computer tech convicted in press leaks trial

Vatican City, Nov 10, 2012 (CNA/EWTN News) - Claudio Sciarpelletti has been sentenced to two months in prison by the Vatican court for his role in the theft of confidential papal documents in the so-called Vatileaks case.

The court found the Vatican computer technician guilty Nov. 10 of aiding and abetting former butler to the Pope, Paolo Gabriele, in his theft of sensitive documents.

Sciarpelletti was originally sentenced to four months in prison, but his sentence was reduced due to extenuating circumstances.

His sentence comes as part of the Vatican’s investigation into the theft of personal and confidential documents belonging to Pope Benedict XVI which were then leaked to a journalist who published them in a best-selling book.

Gabriele was given an 18-month prison sentence in a separate trial that ended in October. He will serve out his sentence in a Vatican Gendarmerie prison cell instead of in an Italian facility.

Sciarpelletti, 48, was arrested for a short time in May after his lawyer said an anonymous tip led to the search of his desk. An envelope was found addressed to Gabriele containing copies of documents that had been leaked to the Italian media.

Gianluca Benedetti, who represented Sciarpelletti in the case, argued in court that his client was in an “emotional state” when he gave confused and contradictory testimony to investigators, leading to the charges leveled against him.

However, while Judge Giuseppe Dalla Torre noted the computer technician’s long years of service at the Vatican, he said the court concluded Sciarpelletti had helped Gabriele “elude the investigations of the authorities” at the Vatican.

The judge ordered that the computer technician’s criminal conviction not appear on his permanent record.

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