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Archive of June 29, 2013

Group celebrates first ordinations since reunion with Rome

Rome, Italy, Jun 29, 2013 (CNA/EWTN News) - For the first time since coming into clear union with the Pope, the religious institute the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer celebrated the priestly ordination of two of its members on June 22.

Father Magdala Maria and Father Yousef Marie were ordained alongside Fr. Massimo Botta of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter by Archbishop Guido Pozzo, head of the Office of Papal Charities, in Rome.

Both orders are dedicated to celebrating the liturgy in the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite – as was done prior to the reforms of the Second Vatican Council.

The Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer, also called the Transalpine Redemptorists, were founded in 1987 and were associated with the Society of St. Pius X.

After Benedict XVI issued a document affirming the value of the extraordinary form, also called the traditional Latin Mass, the Transalpine Redemptorists responded by petitioning the Vatican to regularize their situation.

On June 26, 2008, their petition was granted and they were no longer associated with the schismatic Society of St. Pius X. The group now enjoys “undisputed and peaceful possession of Communion with the Holy See.”

Fr. Botta, who was ordained for the Fraternity of St. Peter, told CNA that “my vocation to the priesthood came pretty quickly.”

“I was doing grad school in economics, and I found that economics was taking me the complete opposite direction of what I felt truth should be.”

“During that time I just felt a strong calling to be a priest, and I didn’t even know about the Fraternity of St. Peter.”

He explained that his brother introduced him to the Fraternity, and it appealed to him. “I applied and was accepted and that was it; it was very quick, a question of six months.”

The newly ordained priest noted, “it seems like God had prepared me since I was young for this.”

Fr. Botta, who studied seven years at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Nebraska, has been sent back to the Fraternity's Immaculate Conception parish in Omaha for his first assignment.

His mother, who is Roman, told CNA that he has been looking forward to it, that he is happy, and that she is sure he will work hard.

Gabriella Botta said that of her four children, Massimo was the one she least expected would ever become a priest.

“He was the naughtiest, he had a band, and loved Metallica music,” said Botta. “And suddenly he said, ‘Mom, I want to join the seminary,’ so it was a real big surprise.”

She described him as a shy boy who loved life, his school friends, music and “all of the things any young person loves.”

“I think for a mother it’s actually the greatest event, because I think that somewhere in my life I must have really done something good to have the honor of our Lord calling our son to the priesthood.”

“I think he has changed,” she said. “He has become a man now and after seven years of seminary life, it was just two days ago that he said ‘Mom, I’m beginning to be scared.'”

Fr. John Brancich, pastor at Omaha's Immaculate Conception parish, emphasized that it was a “great grace” for Fr. Botto to be ordained in his home area.

“It’s also a great grace for the Fraternity, because this is the first time that we’ve had ordinations in Rome.”

“This is a very special day for us because the order is so connected with Rome and St. Peter, and the Chair of St. Peter and the Pope. This is a very happy moment for both of our societies.”

Fr. Brancich explained that the traditional Latin Mass has found a “great resurgence” among young people and young clergy, as well as older people “who have rediscovered it.”

“One thing that they consistently comment on is the sense of reverence, the sense of sacredness that they feel when they attend the Mass,” which strongly conveys the worship of God.

He underscored that the goal of being at Mass is to pray, and that the definition of prayer is to “lift your mind and heart to God.”

The ordination took place at Most Holy Trinity of the Pilgrims, the Fraternity's Roman parish, and reflected the universality of the Church.

The Transalpine Redemptorists are based in a monastery on an island in the north of Scotland and also have a monastery in New Zealand. Fr. Magdala Maria is a New Zealander, and Fr. Yousef Marie is from Lebanon.

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Navy chaplain honored in Vietnam despite Communist objections

Da Nang, Vietnam, Jun 29, 2013 (CNA/EWTN News) - Bishop Joseph Chau Ngoc Tri of Da Nang recently organized and was present at a Mass in honor of Father Vincent Capodanno, a U.S. chaplain killed during the Vietnam War, and encouraged his people to ask the priest's intercession.

Ted Bronson, a retired Navy Captain, told CNA June 26 that Bishop Tri “is a brave bishop, fostering Capodanno under the umbrella” of Vietnamese communism.

The Mass, said on June 14, marked the 55th anniversary of Fr. Capodanno's priestly ordination. Fr. Capodanno was ordained for the Maryknoll Missionary order, and later became a chaplain for the U.S. Navy.

While with Maryknoll, Fr. Capodanno served in Taiwan and Hong Kong, and then requested to be reassigned as a chaplain with the Marines. He was sent to Vietnam in 1966, and requested an extension to his tour of duty when it was up.

On Sept. 4, 1967 his unit was in the Que Son Valley near Da Nang, and became outnumbered by North Vietnamese forces. As American soldiers were being gunned down, Fr. Capodanno went about giving Viaticum and Anointing to the dying, and medical aid to the wounded.

Shortly after reassuring a wounded Marine, Fr. Capodanno went to another soldier who had called out for help. Both he and the solider were shot, and died. He was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1969.

His citation for the Medal of Honor says he “left the relative safety of the company command post and ran through an open area raked with fire … disregarding the intense enemy small-arms, automatic-weapons, and mortar fire, he moved about the battlefield administering last rites to the dying and giving medical aid to the wounded.”

“Upon encountering a wounded corpsman in the direct line of fire of an enemy machine gunner positioned approximately 15 yards away, Lt. Capodanno rushed a daring attempt to aid and assist the mortally wounded corpsman. At that instant, only inches from his goal, he was struck down by a burst of machine gun fire.”

“By his heroic conduct on the battlefield, and his inspiring example, Lt. Capodanno upheld the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the cause of freedom.”

According to Beth Crumley, a writer at the Marine Corps Association and Foundation, Fr. Capodanno had written his commander shortly before his death, “I am due to go home in late November or early December. I humbly request that I stay over Christmas and New Year’s with my men. I am willing to relinquish my thirty days leave.”

Fr. Capodanno's cause for canonization was opened in 2002, and he is designated a Servant of God.

“To move the cause forward, hopefully soon into the Roman phase, the Archdiocese for Military Services has launched the Capodanno Guild,” Judy McCloskey, a member of Mission Capodanno, told CNA June 25.

“Several alleged miracles are being reviewed for consideration” of the cause, she added.

The June 14 Mass was held in Da Nang's cathedral, and drew at least 500 participants, both Vietnamese and Americans. It was organized after Bronson visited Da Nang and Bishop Tri last August.

Bronson called the Mass “more than I could have dreamed,” attributing its success to the intercession of his guardian angel, as well as that of Fr. Capodanno.

He described the challenges facing the Mass, which came from Vietnam's communist government.

The agents who visited Bishop Tri leading up to the Mass “objected the first time to 'U.S. Navy' being displayed on the banner. At their second visit, they objected more strongly to the image of Fr. Capodanno on the battlefield. That's why we did not process the banner at the Mass.”

Present at the Mass were three policemen, Bronson added.

Yet “Bishop Tri told me he will repeat this Mass every June 14 with these words: 'It will be easier next year.'”

“This is all that I could pray for,” Bronson reflected.

He added that Bishop Tri intends to mention Fr. Capodanno to Pope Francis in his next ad limina visit, scheduled for 2014.

 

Correction, July 3, 2013, 08:48: The original version of this article recorded that Bishop Tri said the Mass, but CNA learned recently that while he was present at Mass, he was not the celebrant.

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Pope Francis greets, bestows pallium on 34 new archbishops

Vatican City, Jun 29, 2013 (CNA/EWTN News) - At a Mass during the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, Pope Francis gave a pallium to the 34 men who were made archbishops in the last year, highlighting their fidelity to Rome and to the papacy.

“May you see in this Pallium a symbol of unity and a sign of communion with the Apostolic See,” Pope Francis told the archbishops June 29.

“May it be a bond of charity and a source of strength, so that on the day of the coming and revelation of our great God and the chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ, you may obtain, together with the flock entrusted to you, the robe of immortality and glory.”

The pallium is a white wool vestment, emblazoned with six black silk crosses. Dating back to at least the fifth century, the wearing of the pallium by metropolitan archbishops symbolizes authority as well as unity with the Holy See.

Of the 34 recipients of the pallium, four were Americans: Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco; Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin of Indianapolis; Archbishop Alexander K. Sample of Portland; and Archbishop Michael O. Jackels of Dubuque, Iowa.

A pallium has also been sent to Archbishop Francois Xavier Le Vang Hong, of Hue in Vietnam, who was unable to attend the Mass at St. Peter's Basilica.

CNA spoke to the U.S. archbishops at the North American College where they gathered after the Mass to greet family, friends and members of their local archdioceses that had traveled with them to Rome.  

“I’m literally on cloud nine,” said Archbishop Sample. “It was just incredible.”

“The experience from receiving this incredible gift from the Holy Father, the pallium, this sign of my communion with him and with the universal Church, is an overwhelming experience,” he said in the courtyard of the college.

The archbishop recalled that “it was a surreal moment” when the procession began and the choir began singing the “Tu es Petrus” (You are Peter).

“I just got the chills realizing I was processing into Saint Peter’s Basilica with the successor of Saint Peter,” Archbishop Sample added.   

Archbishop Cordileone called the ceremony a “moving experience,” adding that it was “hard to believe that it was happening to me.”

“I was waiting for Pope Francis to tell me 'pax tecum' (peace be with you) and if he said it, I didn’t hear him but he was smiling at me so I thought he was waiting for me to say something,” said the archbishop of San Francisco.

“So I thanked him for his service to the Church and he mentioned San Francisco because before the Mass I introduced myself as being from the archdiocese which bears his name and he remembered that,” he said.

Archbishop Cordileone said he then invited the Pope to visit San Francisco, that he seemed willing to do so and that it would be “a great blessing to receive him in the archdiocese that bears his name.”

The archbishop told how before the Mass he had been reflecting with Archbishop Sample on when he was a seminarian and on his uncertainty of being a good priest.

“I never imagined this state would arrive in my life but it shows how God takes care of us when we try to do his will as best we can,” he said, smiling.

Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin said he felt “a little dazed.”

“It was an emotional experience to be there and to be with my people, about a hundred, that came from Indianapolis,” he said, adding that “the pallium is a sign of my responsibility to them.”

Archbishop Tobin believes the biggest challenge people currently face in his archdiocese is proclaiming the faith “in a credible way and in a language that people understand.”

The feast day of Saints Peter and Paul is one of the two days of the year in which the ancient bronze statue of St. Peter in the Basilica is dressed with a red silk cope and crowned with the triple tiara.

Pope Francis told the archbishops during the Mass “faith in Christ is the light of our life as Christians.”

“To confess the Lord by letting oneself be taught by God, to be consumed by love for Christ and his Gospel, to be servants of unity,” he said.

“These, dear brother bishops, are the tasks which the holy apostles Peter and Paul entrust to each of us, so that they can be lived by every Christian.”

The palliums given to the archbishops Saturday were made from the wool of lambs who had been blessed by Benedict XVI on Jan. 21, marking the feast of St. Agnes.

St. Agnes, whose name means “lamb” in Latin, was a Roman virgin-martyr who at the tender age of 12 gave up her life for the sake of Christ and her consecrated virginity.

Since she is mentioned in the Roman Canon, her association with the pallium is an important symbol of unity with the successor of St. Peter.

The lambs were cared for by Benedictine nuns, who sheared them on Holy Thursday, and then wove the palliums. Since being made, they have rested in an urn at St. Peter's tomb, underneath the altar of his basilica.

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Church praying for new archbishops, Pope affirms

Vatican City, Jun 29, 2013 (CNA/EWTN News) - Pope Francis said the Church is praying for the dozens of new archbishops whom he greeted and gave wool vestments symbolizing fidelity to during in a Mass at Saint Peter's Basilica.

“We pray for the metropolitan archbishops of different Churches of the world to which a little while ago I delivered the pallium, the symbol of communion,” Pope Francis said June 29.

“I pray for all of their communities, I particularly encourage the people of central Africa, who have been tested harshly, to walk with faith and hope,” he told pilgrims gathered at St. Peter's Square.

The Pope prayed the Angelus from the window of the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace after he celebrated Mass at Saint Peter's Basilica marking the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul.

During the Mass, he gave 34 world archbishops their pallium – a white wool vestment, emblazoned with six black silk crosses. Dating back to at least the fifth century, the wearing of the pallium by metropolitan archbishops symbolizes authority as well as unity with the Holy See.

Of the 34 recipients of the pallium, four were Americans: Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco; Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin of Indianapolis; Archbishop Alexander K. Sample of Portland; and Archbishop Michael O. Jackels of Dubuque, Iowa.

In his remarks given from the Apostolic Palace, the Pope said that June 29 is not only a special feast for Rome that marks the martyrdom of the two apostles, but is also “a big feast for the universal Church because the whole people of God is indebted to them for the gift of faith.”

“Peter was the first to confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,” and “Paul spread this proclamation in the Greek-Roman world,” he explained. “And providence wanted that both come to Rome and pay their faith with blood.”

The pontiff noted said that for this reason the Church of Rome has become “spontaneously, the reference point for all the churches around the world.”

“Not for the power of the empire, but for the strength of martyrdom, the testimony of Christ!” he said. “Think of Peter, when he confessed his faith in Jesus, it was not through his human power.”

The pontiff added that St. Peter's human power had been “conquered” by the grace of Jesus, and through “the love he felt in his words and saw in his gestures.”

The Pope noted that something similar happened to St. Paul, but in a different way and that it was an experience of the mercy and forgiveness of God in Jesus Christ.

“Paul as a young man was an enemy of the Christians, and when the risen Christ called him on the Damascus road, his life was transformed.”  

“He realized that Jesus was not dead, but alive, and he also loved him, who was his enemy!”

Pope Francis told pilgrims it is a joy to believe in a God who is all love and all grace. “We praise the Lord for these two glorious witnesses, and how they let us be conquered by Christ,” he added.

The Pope also recalled St. Peter's brother, St. Andrew, noting that he likes to remember him on this feast day. “Let us not forget that Peter had a brother, Andrew, who met Jesus first, spoke of him to Peter and took Peter to meet him.”

He then greeted the delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, led by Metropolitan Ioannis Zizoulas from Greece, who is regarded as the successor of St. Andrew.

“Happy feast to all!” Pope Francis concluded.

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October 20, 2014

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