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The Beacon December 4, 2014 : Page 1

1 1 KNIGHT S HOLD ‘PRIDE IN OUR PRIE S T S ’ DINNER SUSSEX PASSAIC THE A W A RDWINNING NEW S P A PER OF THE R. C . DIO C E S E OF P A TER S ON, N.J. MORRIS DECEMBER 4, 2014 The Diocese of Paterson has announced that it will launch its new website on Monday, Dec. 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The new website is accessible at www.rcdop.org. DIO C E S E TO L A UN C H NEW WEB S ITE DE C . 8 T HE F IRST S UNDAY OF A DVENT Bishop, with Major Superiors, opens observances of Year of Consecrated Life BY MICHAEL WOJCIK NE WS EDIT OR 7 8 TWO FILIPPINI S I S TER S HONORED A T TRI C OUNTY SC HOL A R S HIP DINNER ASS UMPTION P A RI S HIONER BRING S HE A LING TO S IERR A LEONE’ S C HILDREN 4-6 12-13 14 17 18-19 BEACON PHOTO | JOE GIGLI Y OUTH V IEWPOINT W HAT T O D O O BITUARIES C LASSIFIEDS Bishop Serratelli made a pastoral visit to St. Joseph Parish in Lincoln Park Nov. 29 where he celebrated the 5:30 p.m. Vigil Mass marking the First Sunday of Advent. During the Mass, the bishop blessed the parish’s Advent wreath and also blessed the Advent wreaths made by young parishioners to bring home to their families. For more photos, see page 15. DO NOT DELAY — TIME SENSITIVE NEWS Bishop, priests gather to discuss value of Catholic school education By MICHAEL WOJCIK NE WS EDIT OR CLIFTON Catholics schools in the U.S. continue to face serious challenges, but Catholic education in the Paterson Diocese and elsewhere still de-serves enthusiastic and generous support. That’s because of the vital role that Catholic schools play in the religious formation of young disciples and in inspiring them to spread the “Good News” of the Gospel — all while providing quality ac-ademics. That’s the message that three speakers, includ-ing Bishop Serratelli, imparted to a meeting of all priests in the Church of Paterson on Nov. 18 at the John Paul II Pastoral Center here. That after-noon, presenters explored the topic of “Catholic education as a privileged means of evangelization” and parishes’ support for it, said Holy Cross Brother William Dygert, diocesan school superintendent. In his opening address, Bishop Serratelli en-couraged the teaching and evangelistic missions of Catholic schools. Father Ronald Nuzzi, senior di-rector of the Alliance for Catholic Education Renewing Identity Strengthening Evangelization (ACE RISE) at the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Ind., spoke about why Catholic schools deserve support by parishes. Richard Pendergast, a senior consultant for Wisconsin-based Meitler Associates Inc., shared the results of a demographic study of school-age children in the three counties of the diocese: Sussex, Passaic and Morris. “We need to envision a new way to make schools more available for the future,” said Bishop Serratelli, who added that Catholic education de-serves support from all clergy — from those priests, who have Catholic schools at their parish-es, as well as from those who do not. “The vitality of the Church is increased by the presence of Catholic schools,” he said. But many challenges threaten Catholic educa-CATHOLIC EDUCATION on 2 MADISON Thirty major superiors of commu-nities of women and men religious that serve the diocese joined together Nov. 25 at St. Paul Inside the Walls here, uniting that morning in prayer to sing, “Wake the World with Dawning Joy.” The hymn not only helped them to open their annual meeting with Bishop Serratelli, but also to open the diocese’s observance of the Year of Consecrated Life, declared by Pope Francis, who is challenging religious to “wake up the world” by their faithful witness. This celebration began Nov. 30, the first Sunday of Advent, and will conclude Feb. 2, 2016. At the meeting, the major superi-ors reflected on the year and discussed ways that religious communities can observe the cel-ebration in the universal Church. The year has three aims: renewal for men and women in consecrated life; thanksgiving by the faithful for their service; and an invitation to young Catholics to consider a religious vocation. “There are more than 700 women and men in consecrated life in this diocese of 400,000 Catholics — a large percentage. We have many types of consecrated life in the diocese: active apostolic, contemplative, monastic and hermetic,” said Sister of Christian Charity Mary Edward Spohrer, chancellor and delegate for religious. “You [religious, who serve the diocese] all are gifts. God shows that every single day,” she said. Sister Mary Edward shared ways that local religious communities can observe the Year. The diocese will celebrate the Year with reli-gious on Feb. 15 at 2 p.m. in St. Philip the Apostle Church, Clifton. It will include Daytime Prayer, led by Bishop Serratelli, and a reflection by a religious sister, followed by a period of personal prayer, small group conversation and fellowship. Other observances might include: • Inviting religious to videotape reflections for the diocesan website on the liturgical sea-WAKE UP THE WORLD on 9

Bishop, Priests Gather To Discuss Value Of Catholic School Education

Michael Wojcik

CLIFTON Catholics schools in the U.S. continue to face serious challenges, but Catholic education in the Paterson Diocese and elsewhere still deserves enthusiastic and generous support. That’s because of the vital role that Catholic schools play in the religious formation of young disciples and in inspiring them to spread the “Good News” of the Gospel — all while providing quality academics.

That’s the message that three speakers, including Bishop Serratelli, imparted to a meeting of all priests in the Church of Paterson on Nov. 18 at the John Paul II Pastoral Center here. That afternoon, presenters explored the topic of “Catholic education as a privileged means of evangelization” and parishes’ support for it, said Holy Cross Brother William Dygert, diocesan school superintendent.

In his opening address, Bishop Serratelli encouraged the teaching and evangelistic missions of Catholic schools. Father Ronald Nuzzi, senior director of the Alliance for Catholic Education Renewing Identity Strengthening Evangelization (ACE RISE) at the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Ind., spoke about why Catholic schools deserve support by parishes. Richard Pendergast, a senior consultant for Wisconsin-based Meitler Associates Inc., shared the results of a demographic study of school-age children in the three counties of the diocese: Sussex, Passaic and Morris.

“We need to envision a new way to make schools more available for the future,” said Bishop Serratelli, who added that Catholic education deserves support from all clergy — from those priests, who have Catholic schools at their parishes, as well as from those who do not. “The vitality of the Church is increased by the presence of Catholic schools,” he said.

But many challenges threaten Catholic education. Over the years, one-half of Catholic schools in the U.S. have closed. Among the reasons for the decline in enrollment include: many families are not religious today, parents cannot afford the tuition and public schools have become competitive, thanks to ample government funding, Bishop Serratelli said.

“Also, we are losing interest in supporting good Catholic schools today. Religion has lost its influence in families and in the U.S.” Bishop Serratelli told clergy who serve the diocese. “ Some parents ‘home-school’ their children or send them to Catholic schools, but they are often lax in their own practice of the faith, making formation [of their children] more difficult,” said the bishop.

In his talk, Bishop Serratelli challenged priests to support Catholic education as part of their mandate that originates from the Bible.

“The first duty of a priest is to teach,” said the bishop, noting that Jesus at the end of Matthew’s Gospel instructs his disciples to “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” “Teaching belongs to all of us in the priesthood,” he said.

Father Nuzzi, a priest of the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio, emphasized in his presentation that Catholic education has an ultimate goal: to help students “develop a full understanding of the Incarnation.” All subjects in a Catholic school’s curriculum impart to students religious principles, such as math, which helps them better appreciate God’s Creation, the priest said.

“Catholic schools are at the heart of the Church and are part of the evangelizing mission of the Church. It’s hard to imagine new energy in the New Evangelization without Catholic schools. They lead to more robust participation in parishes and enrollment in Catholic schools,” said Father Nuzzi. “Catholic education forms young people in the faith, builds an evangelizing culture to spread the Gospel and builds a strong civic community.”

While Catholic schools face many challenges, Catholic education, Father Nuzzi said, has notched some impressive successes, according to a recent study by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate. They maintain high academic standards. They promote lasting religious formation, which leads to more vocations, Mass attendance, parish involvement and care for the poor. They also help build better communities by forming students who are more likely to cultivate stable families and volunteer, he said.

Despite all the difficulties, supporters of Catholic education should keep in mind some more reason to hope. The great influx of Hispanics into the U.S. has increased the population of Catholics, including that of available children to attend Catholic schools. Also, one in six Catholic children attends Catholic school — numbers that have remained stable in recent years, Nuzzi said.

Supporters can strengthen the future of Catholic education by taking pro-active, positive actions. They include: attracting more benefactors and philanthropists; creating new governance models; mobilizing advocates for parental choice; offering more faith formation for teachers, principals and staff; and leveraging the schools’ economies of scale, such as cooperative purchasing, said Father Nuzzi.

Pentagrast shared the results of a demographic study of the school-age children in the diocese that collected data from Catholic schools, religious education programs and other sources. Next year, Meitler will submit to the diocese conclusions and long-range recommendations about where the deepest pockets of available school-age children exist in the diocese and where to place Catholic schools in the future, Brother William said.

“We must keep growing. In order to have a plan [for growth], you need a vision,” Brother Dygert said.

The diocese convened the meeting of all priests — which included Father Stanley Barron, pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Flanders and diocesan Vicar for Education — to help build Catholic education in the diocese by “informing the clergy about the value of Catholic schools in the 21st century,” Brother William said.

“We need to show the Catholic community — clergy, as well as the faithful — data and information that show that Catholic education is seminal in the life of the Church,” Brother William said. “Catholic schools pass on the Catholic faith and worldview. We have the audience [of Catholic-school students]. But we have to be intentional [about promoting and growing Catholic education in the diocese],” he said.

Read the full article at http://www.livedigitaleditions.com/article/Bishop%2C+Priests+Gather+To+Discuss+Value+Of+Catholic+School+Education/1877667/237019/article.html.

Bishop, With Major Superiors, Opens Observances Of Year Of Consecrated Life

Michael Wojcik

MADISON Thirty major superiors of communities of women and men religious that serve the diocese joined together Nov. 25 at St. Paul Inside the Walls here, uniting that morning in prayer to sing, “Wake the World with Dawning Joy.” The hymn not only helped them to open their annual meeting with Bishop Serratelli, but also to open the diocese’s observance of the Year of Consecrated Life, declared by Pope Francis, who is challenging religious to “wake up the world” by their faithful witness. This celebration began Nov. 30, the first Sunday of Advent, and will conclude Feb. 2, 2016.

At the meeting, the major superiors reflected on the year and discussed ways that religious communities can observe the celebration in the universal Church. The year has three aims: renewal for men and women in consecrated life; thanksgiving by the faithful for their service; and an invitation to young Catholics to consider a religious vocation.

“There are more than 700 women and men in consecrated life in this diocese of 400,000 Catholics — a large percentage. We have many types of consecrated life in the diocese: active apostolic, contemplative, monastic and hermetic,” said Sister of Christian Charity Mary Edward Spohrer, chancellor and delegate for religious. “You [religious, who serve the diocese] all are gifts. God shows that every single day,” she said.

Sister Mary Edward shared ways that local religious communities can observe the Year. The diocese will celebrate the Year with religious on Feb. 15 at 2 p.m. in St. Philip the Apostle Church, Clifton. It will include Daytime Prayer, led by Bishop Serratelli, and a reflection by a religious sister, followed by a period of personal prayer, small group conversation and fellowship. Other observances might include:

• Inviting religious to videotape reflections for the diocesan website on the liturgical seasons, the charism of their congregations or their own vocation stories,

• Urging pastors to invite religious to their parishes,

• Promoting the Year with feature stories in The Beacon, the newspaper of the diocese,

• Requesting that local religious communities commit to a period of Eucharistic Adoration,

• Link to the resources on the Blog for Consecrated Life on the diocesan website; on the website of the USCCB (www.usccb.org); and on the website for the National Religious Vocations Conference (https://nrvc.net).

The Year also marks the 50th anniversary of “Perfectae Caritatis,” a decree by the Second Vatican Council on consecrated life and its place in the Church. Sister Mary Edward said that local religious communities plan to participate in three nationwide “Days with Religious,” supported by the USCCB in collaboration with the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, and the Conference of Major Superiors of Men. The “Days” will help people learn about the consecrated life by providing opportunities to share in prayer, service and community with those living in consecrated life. These events will be:

• Religious Open House (Feb. 8). Events will celebrate the World Meeting of Families to take place in Philadelphia and will include tours, open houses, receptions, family activities and presentations on the history and charism of religious communities at convents, abbeys, monasteries and religious houses.

• Day of Mission and Service with Religious (summer of 2015). Events will include joining religious in their apostolates or service projects and works with the poor.

• Day of Prayer with Religious (Sept. 13). Events will include vespers, rosary or holy hours in convents, parishes, religious houses and churches.

During the gathering with major superiors, Bishop Serratelli also engaged in dialogue about other topics, including the recent USCCB General Assembly meeting in Baltimore; the status of Catholic education in the diocese; and progress of the renovation of St. John’s Cathedral, Paterson. Also, Father Edward Lambro, director of public relations and development for diocesan Catholic Charities, gave a tour of the new diocesan website, which will be launched Monday, Dec. 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Sister of Christian Charity Ann Marie Paul, director of the Neighborhood Center for Women in Passaic, spoke about the successes of the year-old collaborative outreach.

After the gathering, Sister Ascenza Tizzano, provincial of the Religious Teachers Filippini, noted that her community started observing the Year early. Already, they are singing “Wake the World with Dawning,” inspired by the year, and praying petitions for consecrated life that they wrote.

“The many religious men and women within our diocese, from those in the secluded life of the cloister or hermitage to those engaged in apostolic works, not only inspire all of us to love the Lord more fully, but also strengthen us, by their prayer and dedication, to live in the world, in our families and in our work, as true disciples of Jesus,” Bishop Serratelli said. “What a great gift the lives of so many religious, priests, sisters, and brothers!”

Read the full article at http://www.livedigitaleditions.com/article/Bishop%2C+With+Major+Superiors%2C+Opens+Observances+Of+Year+Of+Consecrated+Life/1877674/237019/article.html.

Diocese To Launch New Website Dec. 8

The Diocese of Paterson has announced that it will launch its new website on Monday, Dec. 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The new website is accessible at www.rcdop.org.

Read the full article at http://www.livedigitaleditions.com/article/Diocese+To+Launch+New+Website+Dec.+8/1877950/237019/article.html.

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