Thursday, January 31, 2013

February Calender

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USCCB files Amicus Briefs in Two U.S. Supreme Court Cases

The Catholic News Service reports that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has filed friend-of-the-court briefs in two pending Supreme Court cases that weigh the constitutionality of same-sex marriage.  The briefs argue that redefining marriage as other than between one man and one woman is not required under the Constitution.

In Hollingsworth v. Perry, the USCCB urges the court to uphold California's Proposition 8 which limits marriage  to the traditional definition of one man and one woman. The USCCB argues that although the Supreme Court has held that laws forbidding private, consensual, homosexual conduct between adults lack a rational basis, "it does not follow that the government has a constitutional duty to encourage or endorse such conduct. Thus, governments may legitimately decide to further the interests of opposite-sex unions only."

In United States v. Windsor, the USCCB urges the Court  to uphold  Defense of Marriage Act   (DOMA) -  a federal law defining marriage as between one man and one woman for the purpose of federal programs such as for Social Security benefits and federal estate and income taxes. The law is being challenged by a New York woman who inherited her wife's estate upon her death and had to pay $363,000 in federal estate taxes. Had her spouse been male, she would have been exempted from that tax.
In its brief in the DOMA case, the USCCB argues "There is no fundamental right to marry a person of the same sex .... Such a claim must be rejected because it does not satisfy the test to which this court adheres in determining whether an asserted right is fundamental. Specifically, civil recognition of same-sex relationships is not deeply rooted in the nation's history and tradition -- quite the opposite is true....Nor can the treatment of such relationships as marriages be said to be implicit in the concept of ordered liberty, such that neither liberty nor justice would exist if they were sacrificed."
The court will hear oral arguments in the two cases on March 26 and 27.
The full CNS report here.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Catholic Advocacy Day Set For January 31, 2013

Bishops Paul Loverde and Francis DiLorenzo invite you to join them Thursday at the Virginia Legislature in Richmond to advocate for issues affecting the common good.

For details on the day's events see the Registration Form available on line from the Virginia Catholic Conference. (Online registration is available)

A copy of the Virginia Catholic Conference's Legislative Agenda for the 2013 Session of the Virginia legislature is available here..

Saint Bridget's Youth at Life is Very Good Rally

The Rally is a concert and prayer vigil hosted by the Diocese of Arlington for the Catholic youth that come in from all over the country for the March for Life in Washington.
Here are some pictures of participants in the rally from Saint Bridget's Youth Group.taken last weekend during the evening festivities at the Life is Very Good Rally at the Patriot Center in Fairfax.

Affordable Health Care Act Litigation headed to the Supreme Court

The New York Times reports that more than 45 lawsuits have been filed in federal courts challenging the contraceptive coverage requirement of the Affordable Care Act.
In recent months, federal court have issued preliminary rulings in many of the lawsuits brought  by religious institutions and private employers who argue the government is forcing them to violate core tenets of their faith. Of these, some courts have recognized that the religious beliefs of the plaintiffs appear to outweigh any state interest and that plaintiffs may hold off complying with the law until their cases have been finally adjucated.  Other courts have ruled that access to contraception is a vital health need and a compelling state interest and have summarily ruled in favor of the government.
In one case,  a federal appeals court panel in Washington told Belmont Abbey College that it could hold off on complying with the law while the federal government works on a promised exemption for religiously-affiliated institutions. The court told the government that it wanted an update by mid-February.
It appears the cases will certainly reach the Supreme Court , perhaps as early as the October, 2013 term.
Herr is a  link to the NYT article

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Vatican Launches "Pope App"

According to the Catholic News Service blog entry of January 23rd, the Vatican has launched a  “Pope App”  to provide live streaming of papal events and video feeds from the Vatican’s six webcams. It  also contains links to top stories coming out of the Vatican’s variety of  news outlets as well as posts of images and quotes from Pope Benedict XVI.
The "Pope App" will allow people to follow live broadcasts of papal events — like the Sunday Angelus, Wednesday general audiences and other important events. It also has an "alert" feature to notify users when an event is about to begin.
The app is currently available for iPhone and iPad users and should be available for Android devices by the beginning of March.
For the full story click this link

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Feast of Saint Bridget Nears

The Second Vatican Council decided: "Lest the feasts of the saints should take precedence over the feasts which commemorate the very mysteries of salvation, many of them should be left to be celebrated by a particular Church or nation or family of religious; only those should be extended to the universal Church which commemorate saints who are truly of universal importance."  Thus, the feast days of saints celebrated in one country are not necessarily celebrated everywhere.
"Feria" , a Latin word that, in ecclesiastical usage, means "weekday" and refers to days on which no saint is celebrated.  In the United States, February 1st is such a day.
Nonetheless, attendees at Mass  on the First Friday of  February at Saint Bridget's Chapel in the Field may well reflect on the fact that on February 1,  the feast of Saint Bridget is celebrated in Ireland.

Friday, January 18, 2013

New Manual to Help Priests Celebrate Mass

Cardinal Antonio CaƱizares,  prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, confirmed this week that a booklet focusing on the celebration of the Mass is being prepared. According to the Cardinal, it will help priests celebrate properly and the faithful to participate well. "I hope it will come out this year, in the summer," he said. The cardinal reiterated the importance Vatican II gave to the liturgy, "whose renewal must be understood in continuity with the Tradition of the Church and not as a break or discontinuity."
For further details of the Cardinal's address check the Zenit website.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Chester A. Hobert Hall Nears Completion

Construction of Hobert Hall is almost complete. Complete enough to pencil in a tentative date for the "Open House Walk through" for members of the Saint Bridget Community.  February 10, the last Sunday before the start of Lent, is the target date. Deo volente, we could be holding a series of Lenten Dinners in the hall on the Friday's of Lent.
Completion of all the Interior furnishings will take time, but full use of the hall (including CCD classes) is expected before the end of summer. Formal dedication of the Hall by Bishop Loverde will probably occur on a Sunday in late August.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Papal Address to the Diplomatic Corps

Vatican City, 7 January 2013 (VIS) -

The Holy See currently maintains full diplomatic relations with 179 States and the European Union. It has observer-State status at the United Nations where it is a member of seven UN organizations and agencies. It also is a member or observer of  five regional organizations and has relations of a special nature with the Palestine Liberation Organization.

On January 7th ,in the Sala Regia of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, Pope Benedict delivered the traditional annual address to members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See.His wide ranging remarks covered current events in the middle east Africa and Asia as well as those in Europe and America  and included topics including social justice, charity, right to life, education and religious liberty.

Concerning religious liberty he said, "....peace in society is also put at risk by certain threats to religious liberty: it is a question sometimes of the marginalization of religion in social life; sometimes of intolerance or even of violence towards individuals, symbols of religious identity and religious institutions. It even happens that believers, and Christians in particular, are prevented from contributing to the common good by their educational and charitable institutions. In order effectively to safeguard the exercise of religious liberty it is essential to respect the right of conscientious objection. This 'frontier' of liberty touches upon principles of great importance of an ethical and religious character, rooted in the very dignity of the human person. They are, as it were, the 'bearing walls' of any society that wishes to be truly free and democratic. Thus, outlawing individual and institutional conscientious objection in the name of liberty and pluralism paradoxically opens by contrast the door to intolerance and forced uniformity"

A fuller report of the Pope's remarks may be found here

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Donut Sunday at Saint Bridget's

Donut Sunday offers brothers  a quiet time to share and bond.

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