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Film About Nuns Available to NBC

ORLANDO, Fla. (CNS) – Sister Ann Kendrick doesn’t think of herself as a celebrity, but her role in the documentary, “Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America,” may change that.

Sister of Notre Dame de Namur, she and two other religious sisters arrived in Apopka, Fla., more than 40 years ago to serve farmworkers and the working poor in the Diocese of Orlando. Their empowerment and advocacy work at Hope CommUnity Center is featured in the program produced by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and narrated by news analyst and author Cokie Roberts.

“Women & Spirit” is now available for broadcast by NBC affiliate stations nationwide as part of network’s “Horizons of the Spirit” series in partnership with the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission. The window for local stations to air the film runs until March 15, 2014.

It is not a “must carry” program. Stations can decide when to air it or not, so viewers were being encouraged by LCWR, and others involved with the project, to contact their local NBC affiliate and urge the film be broadcast.

“Women & Spirit” chronicles the 300-year contribution of religious women in the U.S. It shows their arrivals on immigrant ships, their nursing of Civil War soldiers and courageous care for epidemic victims.

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Women Religious Ask Pope for Day of Prayer

By Carol Glatz

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – After Pope Francis entrusted two Vatican academies to study the problem of human trafficking, a group of women religious asked the pope to raise greater awareness in the Church about the issue by establishing a worldwide day of prayer and fasting.

“The pope was very interested in our suggestion and asked us what date we would like the day to be,” Consolata Sister Eugenia Bonetti told Catholic News Service (CNS).

“We told him Feb. 8 – the feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita,” a Sudanese slave who found freedom in Italy and became a nun in the late 19th century.

She said the idea for a worldwide day of prayer came from “the need to do something that joins us together” to tackle the global problem; some dioceses and parishes are active on the issue while others are unaware or indifferent, she said.

Sister Eugenia, a leader among religious women in Italy working against human trafficking – particularly women and young girls forced into prostitution – was one of about 80 people attending a Nov. 2-3 working group on trafficking at the Vatican.

She talked to CNS Nov. 3 about her informal meeting with Pope Francis in late September when she and three other sisters from different religious congregations were invited to attend the pope’s early morning Mass at his Vatican residence.

They had written the pope, thanking him for his work and focus on the marginalized, and alerted the pope about the need for greater involvement by the Church, especially by religious congregations of men, parish priests and schools in curbing the demand for prostitution by promoting a “culture of respect.”

Sister Eugenia, who together with some 250 women religious through the Union of Major Superiors of Italy, has spent the past two decades fighting the illegal sex trade and helping victims

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Youth Views: Reflect upon the following: “God wrote on the Tablets of the Law what men did not read in their hearts.” — St. Augustine


Shannon Connors, freshman Msgr. McClancy M.H.S.

Shannon Connors, freshman
Msgr. McClancy M.H.S.

Sometimes we don’t see what is right, so the Ten Commandments are there for people who can’t decide on what is good and what is bad. No one can completely know what we need to do, but between the Ten Commandments and our own moral compass, we can get a pretty clear idea.



Stephanie Coello, sophomore
Msgr. McClancy M.H.S.

This reflects my life because even though everyone is born good, they decide if they want to continue to be good. God’s law allows us to avoid evil and help us in life.




Joe Mifsud, senior
Msgr. McClancy M.H.S.

The connection between “natural moral law” and the law of the old covenant is very simple. The law of the covenant is what in a sense sets in stone moral law.


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Teen News Flash

You are invited to a Christian Rock Youth Concert on Nov. 2, 7-9:30 p.m. in the church of Nativity B.V.M., Ozone Park. All ages are welcome. The event is hosted by Columbian Squires Circle No. 5481. A donation of $8 per person includes munchies and beverages. Payment will be accepted at the door. For more information, contact Jim Monforte, 646-610-3546.

The call for entries has been announced for the 2014 Try Prayer! It Works! contest. In this national competition sponsored by Family Rosary, children are encouraged express their faith through art, poetry and prose. The contest is open to students in kindergarten through 12th grade and attracts more than 1,000 entries from approximately 22,000 participants nationwide. Children and teens from Catholic schools, parishes, home schooling and other Catholic organizations use their talent to convey their beliefs. This year’s theme “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief” is based on the fourth Joyful Mystery. For details or to download an application, go to All entries must be postmarked by Feb. 1, 2014. Questions may be directed to Holy Cross Family Ministries, 800-299-PRAY (7729).

Submit items to the Youth Page: 718-517-3132,, 800-683-6602 (fax), 1712 Tenth Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11215, or

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Bishop Marks 10 Years: New Vicar General and Moderator Of the Curia Installed

By Jim Mancari

Wednesday, Oct. 16 was a busy day at the diocesan headquarters in Park Slope.

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio celebrated a Mass commemorating the 10th anniversary of his installment as bishop of Brooklyn. Bishop DiMarzio also installed Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Chappetto as vicar general and Father James Massa as moderator of the curia.

DiM smiles 2_cmykBishop DiMarzio said that he looked up the descriptions of these two positions in the weeks leading up to the Mass to refresh himself on the responsibilities of each.

He read: “The Diocesan Curia consists of those institutions and persons which assist the bishop in the governance of the diocese, especially in guiding the pastoral action and caring for the administration of the diocese and exercising juridical power.”

“It’s not about power; it’s about service,” he said. “The only power that we are exercising in the Church is one of service. We are here to serve the needs of the diocese.”

With the heads of the diocesan deaneries present, Bishop DiMarzio installed Father Massa and Bishop Chappetto to their new posts.

“He (Father Massa) comes uniquely prepared as a doctorate in theology, as a teacher in the seminary with pastoral experience, with experience in campus ministry,” the bishop said. “He’s had his fingers in many, many pies, and I’m sure he’s going to be able to help us bake the best pie we can as we look at the New Evangelization.

“The moderator of the curia has the specific task of coordinating administrative affairs and taking care that the other members of the curia properly fulfill their duties. That’s what Father Massa’s responsibilities will be. He’s going to help me do it because he will bring energy, zeal and vision to what is happening.”cutting cake_cmyk

As for the position of vicar general, Bishop DiMarzio said that vicar generals must be trustworthy, wise, honest and “morally upright with pastoral and administrative experience, capable of establishing a good, human rapport with others and competent in dealing with diocesan affairs.”

“I think Bishop Chappetto fills the bill,” he said.

Bishop Chappetto’s position was made effective Sept. 19, the same day that the former diocesan vicar general, Bishop Frank Caggiano, was installed as the ordinary of the Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn. Father Massa’s new responsibilities will officially commence Jan. 1, 2014.

Bishop Chappetto thanked Bishop DiMarzio for his new honor.

“We (Bishop Chappetto and Father Massa) will do everything we can to help you (Bishop DiMarzio) in your awesome task of being the bishop of this wonderful diocese,” the auxiliary bishop said. “We appreciate your willingness to share your day with us and allowing us to take our oaths with you.”

But Bishop Chappetto was quick to point out that the true reason for celebrating the Mass was to honor Bishop DiMarzio on his 10th anniversary.

“On behalf of all the people here today – the priests, deacons and lay people that work for the diocese – we sincerely thank you for the 10 years of leadership you’ve given to us,” Bishop Chappetto said. “You don’t have an easy task, especially in the complexity of Brooklyn and Queens. But you do it well, and you do it with a great enthusiasm and great leadership, and for that we are very grateful.

“We know that you’ve tackled some monumental problems in the first 10 years, and we know that you still have a lot left to do, but I am positive I can speak for everyone here that you have our support. Whatever each of us can to do to help you with your task, we will do. We wish you good health – most of all good health – in the future years that you are our shepherd, and we promise to continue to support you.”

Right before his final blessing, Bishop DiMarzio said he was grateful for all the support he’s received over the last decade in Brooklyn and Queens, and he said he is looking forward to future support.


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WYD 2013 – Still Fresh in Pilgrim’s Mind

By Laura DePalma

Rain dripped on our heads as we huddled around a radio, trying to hear the broadcast of the Pope’s words in English.  A chill wind blew through our group and the radio cut out yet again, dissolving into static.  But we didn’t really need a translation to understand the spirit behind his words, and we stood transfixed as Pope Francis finished his speech, the rain and the cold fading away into the darkness.

This was our second visit to Copacabana.  We’d been there for hours, learning from the night before to stake a claim to our little patch of sand early in the day.  Many of us had run into the water as soon as we’d gotten there, too excited to hold back, and now sported wet jeans to match the rest of our rain-dampened clothes.  But the discomfort didn’t matter.  It wasn’t what we were thinking about.  Throughout the trip, there were many early mornings and late nights, rainy days and crossed legs.  But when we boarded the plane bound for New York at the end of the week, no one was complaining.  No, the most frequently used word in those conversations was “amazing”.

Because that’s what World Youth Day was, at least for me.  Amazing.  Each day brought with it an exciting new experience, from visiting the statue of Christ the Redeemer to learning the samba to hearing the Pope’s homily as the sun rose over the mountains of Rio.  This experience cast religion and faith in a whole new light for me.  I’ve always gone to mass and been active in my church, largely because that was the example laid out for me since childhood and it was simply the right thing to do.  But since my experience at World Youth Day, my faith has been maturing into something more personal, something alive and real and very much a part of me.

World Youth Day made me appreciate my faith, made me grateful to be a part of something as boundless and benevolent as the Catholic Church.  It was incredible to see so many people from all over the world united and celebrating together.  At a recent meeting of some of the pilgrims from Brooklyn and Queens, one of the women compared the arrival of Pope Francis to the entrance of a rock star, and that’s exactly what it was like.  Millions of people swarmed in crowds on the streets, hung over hotel balconies, and gathered at office windows, all waiting to catch a glimpse of His Holiness.  To witness the way that our one common bond superseded every language barrier, every cultural gap, every difference in age and race – I couldn’t help but feel a sense of community within the church.  When I returned, I started to actively seek out that community, feeling that it was a place where I belonged, and it’s probably the greatest thing I got out of World Youth Day.  It helped me to see the Church not just as a place of worship but as a home, and it planted the seeds for friendships that will last a lifetime.

It was also an opportunity to meet other young people enthusiastic about their faith and to share in a celebration of that faith.  It was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to have an audience with the Pope, even if that audience was rather sizeable!  It was the beauty of Brazil, the joy in the moment and the hope for the future, and an excitement that could only be found in a crowd 3 million strong that all combined to make it an unparalleled moment in my life and hopefully in the lives of many others.

So, yes, it was rainy and damp for most of the week we spent in Rio.  But it felt like the sun was shining the whole time.

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Teen News Flash



Congratulations to Kerry Gill, a senior at St. Saviour H.S., Park Slope.  She received The George Washington University School of Engineering and Applied Science Award for Excellence in Math and Science. She is also one of approximately 1,600 Black American high school students who are semi-finalists in the 2014 National Achievement Scholarship Program.



Christ the King Continuing Education along with Christ the King R.H.S., Middle Village, hosted a TACHS seminar for parents of eighth graders attending Catholic schools.  The TACHS Exam (Test for Admissions to Catholic High Schools) is taken by all eighth graders who wish to apply and attend a Catholic high school. Parents were invited to attend a free seminar informing them of the process of applying for Catholic high school as well as what the test will cover and how Christ the King’s TACHS program will prepare their children to succeed in taking the test.  The TACHS program at Christ the King’s campus provides parents and students with two separate options to choose from to best fit their needs; one-on-one tutoring with a teacher and a choice of either weekday or weekend preparatory classes.   More than 350 eighth-grade students are enrolled in Christ the King’s TACHS preparatory class. For more information regarding the TACHS program, visit

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Perfect SAT Score at Xaverian H.S.

Two seniors from Xaverian  H.S., Bay Ridge, earned a place in the semifinals of the National Merit Scholarship Program.

Patrick Coen and Michael Darby are two of 16,000 students competing for about 8,000 National Merit Scholarships, worth about $35 million.

“Finding out I was a semifinalist for the National Merit Scholarship was really great news,” Coen said. “It’s a really big accomplishment, so I was happy.”

He was recently elected vice president of Xaverian’s Student Coordinating Council. He is also a member of the Pipe and Drum Corps, Mock Trial team, the Clipper Society and the swim team. Planning to major in engineering, he is interested in applying to a variety of Ivy League schools, as well as Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Macaulay Honors College at the City University of New York and the SUNY Honors Programs.

Despite being part of the .022 percent of students who earned a perfect score on the SAT last spring, Darby says he was taken by surprise by the news that he had been selected as a semifinalist for the National Merit Scholarship.

Darby, who is a member of Xaverian’s Dramatics Society and the Young Democrats Club, is applying to Harvard, Princeton and Yale universities.

“I’m torn between business, engineering, science and math,” he said. In the midst of his academic success, he is also working toward his Eagle Scout badge with the Boy Scouts. His Eagle Scout project involves improving the channel of a stream that overflows regularly in Clay Pit Ponds State Park Preserve in Staten Island by digging it out and removing debris.

About 1.5 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.

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A World Youth Day Reunion


Pilgrims who attended World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro gathered for a day of reflection and worship on Sept. 28 in St. Thomas More Church at St. John’s University, Jamaica.

After a few icebreakers, the group gathered for some small group work and sharing. Those gathered discussed role models in their faith, ways to get involved in their faith and how World Youth Day Rio impacted their faith journey.

The day was led by Paul Morisi from the Office of Faith Formation and the Catholic Scholars from St. John’s University. The day concluded with Mass celebrated by Father Josephjude Gannon, pastor of the Shrine Church of St. Gerard Majella, Hollis.

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Youth Views, Reflect upon the following: “Very humble work, that is where you and I must be. For there are many people who can do big things. But there are very few people who will do the small things.” — Mother Teresa of Calcutta



Mark Enobakhare, 15
Our Lady of Light

People are too rushed into doing big things when they skip right over doing the small things. The small things can lead to the big things, and the big things are not meaningful if the small things are not done.





Katrina Nangle, 17
Our Lady of Light

Blessed Teresa is saying that little deeds have impact, and not everyone should do huge elaborate things. Some of us are called to make the little differences that are necessary in life.





Andlea Smith, 17
Our Lady of Light

I think this quote means that we as humans will do so much for the big things, but when it comes to the little things, we aren’t really all for it.





Joshua Previl, 15
Our Lady of Light

I believe that Mother Teresa is talking about service such as the corporal works of mercy. She wants us to be humble when we do good for others. This is very hard to do since we are putting others before us.





Regina Previl, 16
Our Lady of Light

Mother Teresa understood that it is the small and humble things that you do for people that make you a “big” person, not the large things you do for others in hopes of receiving attention.


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