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The Beacon January 29, 2015 : Page 1

SUSSEX PASSAIC THE AWARDWINNING NEWSPAPER OF THE R.C. DIOCESE OF PATERSON, N.J. 3 ‘WHY SUFFERING?’  BISHOP’S COLUMN MORRIS JANUARY 29, 2015 Faithful from diocese join tens of thousands from around the nation in proclaiming pro-life message By CECILE SAN AGUSTIN REPOR TER 4 5 5 MENDHAM TEENS RISE EARLY FOR MASS BEFORE SCHOOL POPE JOHN TO HOST PHYSICS JUNIOR OLYMPICS 4 5 8-9 10-12 DO NOT DELAY — TIME SENSITIVE NEWS W HAT T O D O Y OUTH V IEWPOINT C LASSIFIEDS WASHINGTON When Diana Nunez, a young adult from St. Anthony Parish in Passaic, sent out an Instagram post Jan. 22 about the 42nd March for Life here, she posted a picture of a massive crowd of marchers with the caption “#Team Life.” She was part of the tens of thou-sands of people, who consider them-selves “Team Life” from all across the nation who expressed their op-position to abortion and the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized it. Nunez, who also works at dioce-san Catholic Charities Hispanic Information Center in Passaic, said, “I’m here because I used to think it was OK to be ‘pro-choice’ but then I learned by being active in my church there is no such thing as be-ing pro-choice when it comes to abortion. Babies are being killed everyday.” This year, it appeared the marchers were predominately col-lege and high school age students along with priests and religious, families with small children and members of Knights of Columbus councils from around the country. TEAM LIFE Hundreds of people from the Paterson Diocese went to Washington, D.C. Jan. 22 to participate in the 42nd BEACON PHOTO | CECILE SAN AGUSTIN annual March for Life. Among those from the diocese who marched are (from left): Missionary Sister of the Immaculate Conception Jane Abeln, Deacon Lou Chiocco, Will Watson, Father Michael Rodak, pastor of Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in the Hewitt section of West Milford and diocesan pilgrimage director; Diana Nunez, Father Raimundo Rivera, head of diocesan Migrant Ministry, and Milagros Grados. With the heavy presence of young people, social media sites such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, were filled with photos and mes-sages about the March. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops also invited participants to visit its social media accounts to see all those step-ping forward for the protection of all life. Even Pope Francis sent a message via his Twitter account on the morn-ing of the annual March, “Every Life is a Gift. #marchforlife.” It was retweeted 18,807 times and liked 24,265 times. From the Paterson Diocese, hun-PROLIFE on 6 T HE T EN C OMMANDMENTS In faith-sharing series at Randolph parish, diocesan seminarian explores their moral implications By MICHAEL WOJCIK NE WS EDIT OR RANDOLPH Eight parishioners sat around a table at St. Matthew the Apostle Church here on a cold night in early January, discussing a diffi-cult subject — the moral implica-tions of the Fifth Commandment: “Thou Shall Not Murder.” Far from shying away from tough topic, this dynamic group came alive, offering up insightful comments to — and pointed questions for — its engaging moderator, Deacon Paul Tomczyk. Group members engaged in a fascinating two-hour conversation, exploring tough issues around the subjects of abortion, euthanasia, war, scandal and life itself. They posed many questions about the Fifth Commandment — part of an ongoing series of in-depth discus-sions about contemporary issues that involve the Ten Commandments. The friendly yet fiery session at St. Matthew’s was a continuation of an earlier conversation about “Thou Shall Not Murder” that was so in-triguing, it ran overtime. “The complexity of why we do the things we do can be overwhelm-ing,” said Deacon Tomczyk, a dioce-san seminarian at the Theological College, Washington, who antici-pates being called to be ordained a priest of Paterson Diocese on Saturday, May 23. “To make moral decisions, you need to gather data in accordance with the Gospel — and not make rash judgments. I don’t want to present a lecture but faith sharing. I want to give people a way to live out their beliefs. What they do with the information is their own personal choice,” he said. In fact, the conversations at these sessions have gotten so intriguing that the short series that Deacon Tomczyk expected to start and finish last summer continues. So far, he has guided participants through the first five Commandments. The Polish native, who has been serving the Morris County faith community, hopes to continue the series, which attracts up to 18 people per session, on his breaks from seminary. “People ask questions, based on their experiences and what they read. I present the teachings of the Church. Sometimes, I have to admit that I don’t know the answer,” said COMMANDMENTS on 7

Faithful From Diocese Join Tens Of Thousands From Around The Nation In Proclaiming Pro-Life Message

Cecile San Agustin

WASHINGTON When Diana Nunez, a young adult from St. Anthony Parish in Passaic, sent out an Instagram post Jan. 22 about the 42nd March for Life here, she posted a picture of a massive crowd of marchers with the caption “#Team Life.”

She was part of the tens of thousands of people, who consider themselves “Team Life” from all across the nation who expressed their opposition to abortion and the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized it.

Nunez, who also works at diocesan Catholic Charities Hispanic Information Center in Passaic, said, “I’m here because I used to think it was OK to be ‘pro-choice’ but then I learned by being active in my church there is no such thing as being pro-choice when it comes to abortion. Babies are being killed everyday.”

This year, it appeared the marchers were predominately college and high school age students along with priests and religious, families with small children and members of Knights of Columbus councils from around the country. with the heavy presence of young people, social media sites such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, were filled with photos and messages about the March. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops also invited participants to visit its social media accounts to see all those stepping forward for the protection of all life.

Even Pope Francis sent a message via his Twitter account on the morning of the annual March, “Every Life is a Gift. #marchforlife.” It was retweeted 18,807 times and liked 24,265 times.

From the Paterson Diocese, hundreds of the faithful boarded buses for the five-hour road trip to take the pro-life message to the halls of Congress and beyond leaving from locations in all three counties of the diocese as early as 6 a.m. Many of the laypersons, who attended early morning Mass before the bus trip began, used a vacation day or personal time off to attend the March.

In Washington, right before the massive March, some diocesan marchers attended Mass at St. Peter Church on Capitol Hill celebrated by Father Michael Rodak, pastor of Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in the Hewitt section of West Milford. He also serves as diocesan pilgrimage director. Leading a group from Queen of Peace and neighboring communities, Father Rodak said in his welcome to the congregation, “Today, we come together to be a voice for the voiceless.”

He continued with the theme of speaking up for the child in the womb so they have a chance to live and not be aborted in his homily reflecting on the day’s Scripture readings.

Father Rodak said, “We march today for those in the womb who have not had the opportunity to speak. They have not seen the light of day, have not had the opportunity to speak, have not had the opportunity to praise God and tell other people about who He is.”

Father Rodak told the congregation about the “awesome gift to speak” that they were given. “The Apostles went out to speak of the Father. We are called to do the same and called to speak about the respect for life. We are called to love God and love our neighbor.”

To the marchers, he said, “Being pro-life, you are a very special group of people. You were called by God to be engulfed by the Holy Spirit to walk for life. Many of you are making many sacrifices to be here. We will join with thousands and thousands of people to say, ‘Life does matter.’ This is a day of sacrifice but also a day of joy. May you all go forward and may we pray for a change of hearts.”

Following the Mass, the diocesan contingent began to take part in the March. Attending the March for her fourth time was Marla Martinez, administrative assistant at St. Paul’s Inside the Walls in Madison. She said, “I want to be here again and again and again because it is important we stand up for life and the more than 40 million babies that have been killed by abortion.”

Also marching was Bruce DeMolli, of Our Lady of the Holy Angels in Little Falls and state secretary of the Knights of Columbus. This was his fourth time participating in the March. “For the knights,” he said, “showing our support for life is one of our most important ministries and we need to send out the pro-life message. Of course, we would never demean a women’s choice but when it comes to abortion there is no choice, only life. If a baby is unwanted or a woman is experiencing hardships she will always have help available during her pregnancy and she can always put her child up for adoption.”

Noting the Declaration of Independence, DeMolli said, “Being in our nation’s capital, I am reminded about our Declaration of Independence, which states, ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.’ We need to continuously stand up for that and help create a culture of life.”

Read the full article at http://www.livedigitaleditions.com/article/Faithful+From+Diocese+Join+Tens+Of+Thousands+From+Around+The+Nation+In+Proclaiming+Pro-Life+Message/1917396/244120/article.html.

In Faith-Sharing Series At Randolph Parish, Diocesan Seminarian Explores Their Moral Implications

Michael Wojcik

RANDOLPH Eight parishioners sat around a table at St. Matthew the Apostle Church here on a cold night in early January, discussing a difficult subject — the moral implications of the Fifth Commandment: “Thou Shall Not Murder.” Far from shying away from tough topic, this dynamic group came alive, offering up insightful comments to — and pointed questions for — its engaging moderator, Deacon Paul Tomczyk.

Group members engaged in a fascinating two-hour conversation, exploring tough issues around the subjects of abortion, euthanasia, war, scandal and life itself. They posed many questions about the Fifth Commandment — part of an ongoing series of in-depth discussions about contemporary issues that involve the Ten Commandments. The friendly yet fiery session at St. Matthew’s was a continuation of an earlier conversation about “Thou Shall Not Murder” that was so intriguing, it ran overtime.

“The complexity of why we do the things we do can be overwhelming,” said Deacon Tomczyk, a diocesan seminarian at the Theological College, Washington, who anticipates being called to be ordained a priest of Paterson Diocese on Saturday, May 23. “To make moral decisions, you need to gather data in accordance with the Gospel — and not make rash judgments. I don’t want to present a lecture but faith sharing. I want to give people a way to live out their beliefs. What they do with the information is their own personal choice,” he said.

In fact, the conversations at these sessions have gotten so intriguing that the short series that Deacon Tomczyk expected to start and finish last summer continues. So far, he has guided participants through the first five Commandments. The Polish native, who has been serving the Morris County faith community, hopes to continue the series, which attracts up to 18 people per session, on his breaks from seminary.

“People ask questions, based on their experiences and what they read. I present the teachings of the Church. Sometimes, I have to admit that I don’t know the answer,” said Deacon Tomczyk.

The conversation explored, among many difficult topics, abortion. Sitting in front of a Bible and notes, Deacon Tomczyk emphasized the Church’s opposition to killing the unborn because of the undeniable right to life of the child in the womb. The dialogue also inspired many fascinating questions, like some about suicide. One woman wanted to know if Brittany Maynard, the 29-year-old terminally ill woman in Oregon who committed assisted suicide in November, committed a grave sin.

“The Church says that suicide unacceptable. It’s not in accordance with natural law to murder [even yourself]. But we must not condemn people who kill themselves. They may have emotional problems. Also, we do not know what they were thinking at the moment of their deaths. We need to remember that God is the ultimate judge and offers his mercy in many more ways that we can apprehend,” Deacon Tomczyk said.

Deacon Tomczyk then moved on to a discussion about more figurative type of murder: scandal. This includes engaging in gossip, setting a bad example for children or people outside the Church and promoting immoral acts, such as posting comments online in support of abortion.

That prompted one man to ask, “Can politicians support abortion to help them get elected with the belief that that they might make progress while in office on other worthy issues that the Church supports?”

“The end does not justify the means,” said Deacon Tomczyk. “The law needs to be at the service of human life. Catholic conscience would lead us to work to abolish it.”

Toward the end session, the group shifted its attention to the Sixth Commandment: “Thou Shall Not Commit Adultery.” Deacon Tomczyk established a theological foundation for the discussion by stressing that the Church does not oppose the sexual act.

“Sex between spouses is a beautiful thing if understood well by them. The body expresses the love that spouses have for each other — not merely as a way for them to satisfy their physical desires,” said Deacon Tomczyk, who developed the series with Father Daniel Murphy, St. Matthew’s pastor.

These periodic discussions of contemporary moral issues has fascinated members of the group, including 22-year-old Annamarie Frenades, a recent graduate of Seton Hall University, South Orange. Especially fiery was the earlier session on the Fifth Command - ment, which found members exploring almost every situation, in which killing would be — or would not be — justified, she said.

“As a practicing Catholic, I love learning about my faith. This [series] has expanded on what I already have been taught,” said Frenades, who also noted that she receives “different perspectives” from the three generations of Catholics, who sit around the discussion table. “With everything that our new pope, Francis, has been saying, we need to keep up to date.”

Read the full article at http://www.livedigitaleditions.com/article/In+Faith-Sharing+Series+At+Randolph+Parish%2C+Diocesan+Seminarian+Explores+Their+Moral+Implications/1917403/244120/article.html.

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