Sunday Scripture readings, Jan. 20, 2019: Here

COLUMN ART SPEAK TO ME LORD

The Catholic News Service column, “Speak to Me Lord,” offers reflections on the Sunday Scripture readings. (CNS/Nancy Wiechec)

Jan. 20, Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Cycle C
1) Is 62:1-5
Psalm 96:1-3, 7-10
2) 1 Cor 12:4-11
Gospel: Jn 2:1-11

By Kevin Perrotta
Catholic News Service

John begins his Gospel before time began: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (Jn 1:1).

God, John tells us, was not alone. There was God and his Word. John makes it clear that everything God is, the Word is: “the Word was God.” And yet God and his Word are distinct: “the Word was with God,” and by his Word God brought all things into existence (1:3). Continue reading

Posted in "Speak to Me Lord", CNS columns

Without a voice at home, Nicaraguans ask Washington-based OAS for help

Demonstrators gather outside the Organization of American States building in Washington Jan. 11, as diplomats and an array of officials from the three American continents weighed whether to take diplomatic action against the Central American country of Nicaragua. The country descended into turmoil in April 2018 and Catholic bishops in Nicaragua have attempted to engage the government in dialogue to broker peace. (CNS photo/Rhina Guidos)

Backgrounder. 

By Rhina Guidos 
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — For a few hours, Gio Gomez left the warmth of the Florida sun and headed north toward an arctic blast in Washington. She protected herself from the winter breeze while wrapped in a yellow and white Vatican flag outside the building of the Organization of American States, the place where diplomats and an array of officials from the three American continents Jan. 11 were weighing “the situation in Nicaragua.”

She made the trek from her home in the Miami-Dade area to Washington, she told Catholic News Service, to show support for the Catholic clergy in the Central American nation of Nicaragua.

Her native country has, for almost a year, been undergoing a crisis involving a government accused by detractors, like Gomez, of killing and injuring its citizens, violating their human rights (as well as their right to free and fair elections), threatening independent media and usurping power.

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Posted in U.S., World

Vatican releases guidelines to help church fight human trafficking

A man walks past a banner reading “Stop human trafficking” in 2018 in Valletta, Malta. The Vatican has created a set of pastoral guidelines to inspire and improve the church’s work in addressing the crime of human trafficking and the care of its victims worldwide. (CNS photo/Guglielmo Mangiapane, Reuters)

By Carol Glatz 
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican has created a set of pastoral guidelines to inspire and improve the church’s work in addressing the crime of human trafficking and the care of its victims worldwide.

The Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development released its “Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking” Jan. 17 at a Vatican news conference.

“Pope Francis’ insistent teaching on human trafficking provides the foundation for the present pastoral orientations which draw also from the longstanding practical experience of many international Catholic NGOs working in the field and from the observations of representatives of bishops’ conferences,” the text said.

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Posted in Vatican, World

Australia delegation makes pre-WYD stops at March for Life, Guadalupe

Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney is seen Jan. 16 at the St. John Paul II National Shrine in Washington. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)

By Mark Pattison 
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — About 1,000 young Catholic Australians left their homeland to participate in World Youth Day in Panama.

But, since they were in the neighborhood — well, make that hemisphere — about half of them made a visit to Washington prior to World Youth Day to take part in the annual March for Life. The other half made a pilgrimage to Mexico City to see the site where Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to St. Juan Diego.

Why, though, would Australians want to participate in the march when American law plays no role in Australian law?

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Posted in U.S., World

Julliard-trained violinist returns to N.J. roots to record first album

Julliard-trained violinist Alana Youssefian, pictured in an undated photo, is returning to the church she calls “the home of my musical upbringing,” St. Rose of Lima Church in Haddon Heights, N.J., to make an album of works by French composer Louis-Gabriel Guillemain. These pieces by the 18th-century virtuoso violinist of Paris have never before been recorded. (CNS photo/courtesy Lauren Desberg)

By Carl Peters 
Catholic News Service

CAMDEN, N.J. (CNS) — In recent months, violinist Alana Youssefian has performed at New York City’s Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall at Yale University and venues in Texas, California, Washington and Canada.

But she’s coming home to New Jersey — her hometown parish in particular — to record her first album.

The recording will take place at St. Rose of Lima Church in suburban Haddon Heights, where her mother still is involved in the parish music program.

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Posted in U.S.

Cardinal Wuerl acknowledges he knew of one accusation against predecessor

In this 2010 file photo, Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, now retired archbishop of Washington, concelebrates Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican with then-Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick. Now-Archbishop McCarrick was removed from ministry last year after abuse allegations against him came to light. He resigned from the College of Cardinals last June and now resides at a Kansas friary awaiting a Vatican trial. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

By Rhina Guidos 
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — In a second letter issued in mid-January about what he knew and didn’t regarding abuse allegations involving his predecessor, Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, Washington’s retired archbishop, apologized Jan. 15 for what he called a “lapse of memory,” clarifying that he knew of at least one abuse allegation against former U.S. Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, but he had “forgotten” about it.

In the letter sent to priests of the Archdiocese of Washington, Cardinal Wuerl acknowledged that he became aware of the allegation against now-Archbishop McCarrick after receiving a report in 2004 about a different allegation, but the “survivor also indicated that he had observed and experienced ‘inappropriate conduct’ by then-Bishop McCarrick.”

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Posted in U.S.

Lord’s Prayer is reaching out for father’s loving embrace, pope says

Pope Francis greets children dressed as the Three Kings during his general audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican Jan. 16. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

By Carol Glatz 
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — To pray well, people need to have the heart of a child — a child who feels safe and loved in a father’s tender embrace, Pope Francis said.

If people have become estranged from God, feel lonely, abandoned or have realized their mistakes and are paralyzed by guilt, “we can still find the strength to pray” by starting with the word, “Father,” pronounced with the tenderness of a child, he said.

No matter what problems or feelings a person is experiencing or the mistakes someone has made, God “will not hide his face. He will not close himself up in silence. Say, ‘Father,’ and he will answer,'” the pope said Jan. 16 during his weekly general audience.

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Posted in Vatican