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Nation and world briefs


St. Joseph, protector of Holy Family, is model for 2021 Respect Life Month

WASHINGTON — As part of the Year of St. Joseph declared by Pope Francis, the U.S. Catholic Church’s annual Respect Life Month celebration in October “highlights the example of that great saint” as protector of life, said the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life committee. “As the faithful protector of both Jesus and Mary,” St. Joseph is “a profound reminder of our own call to welcome, safeguard and defend God’s precious gift of human life,” said Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas. “Despite the mysterious circumstances surrounding Mary’s pregnancy, St. Joseph took her into his home at the word of the angel,” and like the saint, “we are also called to care for those God has entrusted to us — especially vulnerable mothers and children,” the archbishop stated Sept. 27.

Missionary priest serving Native Alaskans is winner of Lumen Christi Award

CHICAGO — Father Stan Jaszek, a missionary priest from Poland who is serving Native Alaskans in the Diocese of Fairbanks, has been named the recipient of Catholic Extension’s 2021-2022 Lumen Christi Award. The Lumen Christi Award, established in 1978, is the highest honor given by Catholic Extension and goes to people “who radiate and reveal the light of Christ present in the communities where they serve.” Father Jaszek currently serves the Native Alaskan villages of the remote Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region, along the coast of the Bering Sea.

Catholics asked to ‘move from indifference to solidarity’ with migrants

WASHINGTON — Auxiliary Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville of Washington urged people to take up Pope Francis’ invitation to “move from indifference to solidarity” to better understand the plight of migrant people and refugees around the world. “Countries have the moral obligation to open the doors for those who might be richer in dreams and expectations,” Bishop Dorsonville, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Migration, said during his homily at a Mass Sept. 26 marking the 107th World Day of Migrants and Refugees at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington.

Brooklyn Bishop DiMarzio retires; successor named

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn, New York, and named Bishop Robert J. Brennan of Columbus, Ohio, to succeed him. Bishop DiMarzio, who has been Brooklyn’s bishop since is 2003, turned 77 in June. When he turned 75, he turned in his resignation to the pope as required by canon law. Bishop Brennan, 59, is a native New Yorker who has headed the Columbus Diocese since 2019. He was born in the borough of the Bronx and raised in Lindenhurst, New York, in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, where he was an auxiliary bishop from 2012 until his appointment to Columbus. The changes were announced in Washington by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.


Vatican official: Dialogue needed in addressing vaccine hesitancy

VATICAN CITY — While men and women have a responsibility to be vaccinated against COVID-19, they also have a responsibility to engage in dialogue with those who are hesitant, rather than trying to force them, said Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia. During a briefing with journalists at the Vatican press office Sept. 28, Archbishop Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, said that while the academy has “always recommended the need for responsibility regarding vaccines, we never spoke of obligation. We spoke of responsibility to oneself and of responsibility toward those who, for example, cannot receive the vaccine,” Archbishop Paglia said. “I hope that within the Church — where we are used to debating each other — we can debate about this without excluding one another.” Archbishop Paglia and others presented the discussions taking place during the Pontifical Academy for Life’s plenary assembly Sept. 27-29.

At bicentennial, pope urges Mexicans to focus on present, future

MEXICO CITY — Pope Francis called on Mexicans to focus on the present and look to the future rather than dwelling on the past as the country celebrates the bicentennial of its independence. In a letter to Archbishop Rogelio Cabrera López of Monterrey, president of the Mexican bishops’ conference, the pope said: “The anniversary you are celebrating invites not only looking to the past to strengthen your roots, but to also continue living in the present and building a future with hope and joy, reaffirming the values that have been constructed and identify you as people … such as independence, unity and religion.” But he urged Mexicans to look at the scandalously violent present, in which drug cartels and organized crime — full of people practicing popular piety and considering themselves proper Catholics — wage wars for territory, kill and disappear innocent Mexicans and force thousands to flee their homes. Mexico declared independence from Spain Sept. 16, 1810, and independence was achieved Sept. 27, 1821, after a decade of conflict.

Hope, unity needed in world torn by division, cardinal tells U.N.

VATICAN CITY — World leaders must rely on hope rather than isolation and withdrawal to confront current and future challenges, said Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state. “Hope keeps us motivated when problems and disagreements seem unsolvable; it facilitates forgiveness, conscious that, through reconciliation, there can be a better future,” Cardinal Parolin said Sept. 25 in a video address to the U.N. General Assembly. The U.N. General Assembly is the main policy-making organ of the organization; it has 193 member states. The Holy See is a permanent observer, meaning that while it cannot vote on resolutions, it can address the General Assembly as well as high-level meetings. In his address, Cardinal Parolin said world leaders must work with a “renewed sense of hope” in confronting the current trials facing the world, including the pandemic, polarization and threats to the environment.

Armenian bishops elect former U.S. pastor as patriarch

ROME — The bishops of the Armenian Catholic Church elected Archbishop Raphaël François Minassian, the ordinary for Armenian Catholics in Eastern Europe, to be their Church’s new patriarch. Upon his election, the 74-year-old patriarch took the name Patriarch Raphaël Pierre XXI Minassian, the Vatican said in an announcement Sept. 23. The patriarch-to-be and his 11 confreres began meeting in Rome Sept. 20 to begin their second attempt at electing a patriarch.

— Catholic News Service

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