Thursday, February 12, 2015

NEW! Happy St. Valentine's Day: Office of Marriage and Family Life is Resurrected.

 VOCAL.  Our Archdiocese has an Office of Marriage and Family Life once again.  In 1998 Archbishop Emeritus John Vlazny hired Jay Wonacott for this Office at the same time he became the Archbishop.  But by 2007 the Office of Marriage and Family Life and Jay slowly began to die in the Archdpdx.  Thanks to Archbishop Alexander Sample, the value of marriage and family life is resurrected.  If you'd like to contact the Archbishop his address is
2838 East Burnside Street, Portland, OR 97214 or 503.234.5334

 Archdiocese re-sparks marriage and family life office

Jason Kidd

LAKE OSWEGO — A longtime youth minister will lead the Archdiocese of Portland’s reactivated Office of Marriage and Family Life. Jason Kidd, director of youth ministry at Our Lady of the Lake Parish here assumes the Portland post March 3.

“Marriage and family life is a key pastoral priority for the Church in western Oregon, and restarting the Office of Marriage and Family Life brings me great joy,” says Archbishop Alexander Sample.

The archbishop says Kidd, 33, has been an “exemplary” youth minister and will provide “great service” to pastors and parishes.

“As the Church considers marriage and family issues on the universal and national level with the upcoming Synod on the Family and the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, we are blessed to give more dedicated attention to marriages and families here on the local level,” Archbishop Sample says.

Kidd quoted Pope Francis, saying the Church has a lot of room to grow in how it serves people considering the vocation of marriage and family. Marriage preparation and baptism - those are key moments to welcome Catholics who have strayed, to invite them into the life of the Church. In that sense, Kidd said, the diocesan office is very much connected to the New Evangelization.

“I’m excited to connect with parishes,” he said. “Coming from a parish, I understand that there’s an opportunity for the archdiocese to really support our parishes.”

Kidd hopes to be out of the office as much as possible, talking to pastors and vicariate groups, meeting volunteers, and polling Catholics about how diocesan marriage and family services can be improved.

Kidd grew up in Arizona and studied electrical engineering at Northern Arizona University. It was during his college years that he began to explore the depth of his Catholic faith and felt called to serve in ministry full time. He moved to Oregon in 2005 and completed a master’s degree in theology from the University of Notre Dame in 2011.

Kidd and his wife Sarah have four children.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

QUESTIONS for Oregon Catholic Faithful.

There have been many things brought to my attention that are not in keeping with the Catholic Churches teachings but paid for by our collection plate money.

Would you please post your answer or contact me as usual.  

Question 1:  Should Catholic Churches host events by organizations not in keeping with our Church?

Question 2:  Should parishioners or non-parishioners host events when they belong to organizations not in keeping with Church teaching?

Question 3:  Should any church or school in the Archdpdx hire Catholics or non-Catholics who cannot uphold our teachings on morals at their job?

Question 4:  Should any church or school in the Archdpdx hire Catholics or non-Catholics who cannot uphold our teachings on morals when they aren't on the job?

Thanks for your input.  It will be used for conversation at the least and maybe a change at best.
I will follow-up with your responses with out without names.  I will contact you if this isn't clear, no worries.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Keynote Speaker for Archdpdx Advocacy Day with Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, past Planned Parenthood Board of Director

On February 11, 2015 the Archdiocese of Portland abdicates, once again, to Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon and their Interfaith Advocacy Days. 

Wednesday February 11: Interfaith Advocacy Day. 8:30 a.m. Salem Capitol. Co-sponsored by the Archdiocese of Portland Flyer

Our lobbyist rehired again in 2005 is still Roger Martin who voted to legalized abortion in Oregon before Roe V Wade (which passed) and after that proposed to eliminate any parental notification or husband notification before an abortion in Oregon that failed, at that time.

We need a representative for Catholics at the Capital and cannot always depend on Oregon Family Council to speak for us.  We don't belong to any mainstream Christian organization that upholds our morals on Life and Purity.  

This year the keynote speaker is probably a very nice misguided lady who was complicate in abortions by being connected with Planned Parenthood.  

Who will advocate for Christ at the Capitol in the Archdiocese of Portland?

Nichole Maher

Monday, February 2, 2015

Catholic Relief Services & "My Changing Body".

An ongoing investigation into the political and social activities of Catholic Relief Services (CRS).
by Stephanie Block 
For several years, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and its partners have come under scrutiny for increased financial ties to the United States government through the federal Agency for International Development (USAID).  This relationship has relegated CRS to the position of a secular distributor, disbursing government money as the government dictates…and thereby violating CRS’ own Catholic moral framework. 
Specifically, CRS was discovered to be passing millions to CARE, an international “confederation of organizations…working together to end poverty.”  Among unobjectionable activities, CARE promotes “family planning” in the form of contraception and “safe” abortion.
CRS was also revealed to be not only a dues-paying member of several organizations that promote contraception and “safe” abortions among the poor of the world but itself engaged in producing educational materials that favored these activities.
Michael Hichborn, president of the Lepanto Institute and former director of the American Life League’s Defend the Faith project, recently unveiled another CRS scandal.   CRS has been working in partnership with Georgetown University’s Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH) to test and implement the program, “My Changing Body: Fertility and Puberty Awareness for Young People.”[i]  
Insofar as CRS is still a Catholic organization, one would not expect any program it tests and/or implements to be flagrantly in contradiction of Church teaching.  My Changing Body, however, is unreservedly hostile to such teaching.   It promotes “acceptance of masturbation as healthy sexual expression during adolescence,” [ii] teaches contraceptive use (including contraceptive practices that are abortifacient) and sterilization,[iii] and provides adolescents with abortion resources, including Planned Parenthood contacts.[iv]
The program treats “sexual orientation” as morally neutral: “Heterosexual, gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth can all experience same-gender sexual attraction and/or activity around puberty. Such behavior, including sexual play with same-gender peers, crushes on same-gender adults, or sexual fantasies about same- gender people are normal for preteens and young teens and are not necessarily related to sexual orientation. Negative social messages and homophobia in the wider culture can mean that young adolescents who are experiencing sexual attraction to and romantic feelings for someone of their own gender need support so they can clarify their feelings and accept their sexuality.”[v]
The Lepanto Institute report concludes that “CRS and Caritas Rwanda implemented the second edition of My Changing Body in Rwanda, with the full intention of passing the program on to other organizations afterward. It is equally clear that My Changing Body is completely incompatible with Catholic moral teaching.”
[i] Institute of Reproductive Health (IRH), “Meeting the Needs of Very Young Adolescents (VYA) in Rwanda” FAM Project, Georgetown University, 2013: .   Page 3 says Catholic Relief Services and Caritas Rwanda were “implementing partners” for IRH’s “My Changing Body” program. 
The Institute for Reproductive Health, “My Changing Body: Puberty and Fertility Awareness for Young People, 2nd Edition – A Pilot Study in Guatemala and Rwanda,” December 2011,  Page 3 acknowledgements “thank the staff and youth workers of APROFAM and CRS for their enthusiasm and hard work revising and testing the My Changing Body curriculum.”
[ii] “My Changing Body: Puberty and Fertility Awareness for Young People, 2nd Edition – A Pilot Study in Guatemala and Rwanda,” p 9.
[iii] “My Changing Body: Puberty and Fertility Awareness for Young People, 2nd Edition,” pp 74-76.
[iv] “My Changing Body: Puberty and Fertility Awareness for Young People, 2nd Edition,” p 186.
[v] “My Changing Body: Puberty and Fertility Awareness for Young People, 2nd Edition,” p 177.

Spero News columnist Stephanie Block edits the New Mexico-based Los Pequeños newspaper and is the author of the four-volume Change Agents: Alinskyian Organizing Among Religious Bodies, which is available at Amazon.
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author only, not of Spero News.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Fr. Joseph Illo Explains Altar Boys-Only Policy at San Francisco Parish. Bishop Vasa's Archdiocese.

VOCAL applauds Father Illo in bringing back common sense to our Church.  It isn't easy to tell our daughters that there are things in serving the Church in which they aren't included.  Parents need to not abdicate to the culture, but adhere to Church wisdom.

Our daughters need to realize:  Family, how it affects the culture, parental responsibility to children.  It never changes and has Our Lady as example.

January 29, 2015  Jim Graves
The pastor of Star of the Sea Church notes that “altar service is intrinsically tied to the priesthood"; says media furor over decision is "biased"
Fr. Joseph Illo, pictured celebrating Mass in an undated photo, has been pastor of Star of the Sea Church in San Francisco since last year. (Photo courtesy of Fr. Illo)
Star of the Sea Church in San Francisco made national news recently when its priests announced that female altar servers were being phased out and the parish was returning to the traditional practice of having only altar boys assisting the priest during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. A CBS television news report (“Peeved Parishioners Leaving SF Catholic Church Over Ban on Girls as Altar Servers”) declared there was “outrage” among parishioners and featured a girl from the parish school saying she feels “insulted” because “it makes me feel like I’m not good enough because I’m a girl.” Other reports were also negative. “Because they are too good at fulfilling their duties,” the New York Daily News stated, “girls will no longer be trained as altar servers at a Catholic church in San Francisco.”

A Religion News piece reported that the “move that is sparking both criticism and praise and comes amid a wider debate over conservative concerns that the Catholic Church has become too 'feminized',” seeking to connect the story to recent remarks by Cardinal Raymond Burke about the lack of men attending Mass.

Fr. Joseph Illo is pastor of Star of the Sea Church and is a co-founder of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, which operates the parish. (He was interviewed by Catholic World Report last May about the Oratory.)

On January 26, he issued a two-fold defense of the policy, stating 1) that mixed altar-server programs typically result in boys losing interest; conversely, “a boys-only program gives altar boys the space to develop their own leadership potential,” and 2) more importantly, “altar service is intrinsically tied to the priesthood and serve as feeder programs for the seminary. If the Catholic Church ordained women, altar girls would make sense, but the Catholic priesthood is a male charism. Nothing awakens a desire for the priesthood like service at the altar among the brotherhood of young men.”

Fr. Illo's decision was supported by the San Francisco archbishop, Salvatore Cordileone.
Star of the Sea Church is a beautiful historic church in the City’s Richmond District established as a mission in 1887 and parish in 1894. It’s located in a densely populated (and often foggy) neighborhood between the Presidio and Golden Gate Park. In recent years, it has been home to the local traditional Latin Mass community (which drive in from the surrounding communities). Archbishop Cordileone, in fact, visited the parish on September 14, 2014, to celebrate an Extraordinary Form Latin pontifical solemn high Mass.

Fr. Illo spoke with CWR about the altar boy controversy.

CWR: Have you been surprised at all the media coverage regarding your decision?

Fr. Illo: Yes, I am, because there are many parishes that do not allow altar girls and some dioceses as well. My guess is that the desire was to present a negative, “the Church hates women,” story just 12 hours before the San Francisco Walk for Life [on Saturday, January 24]. I do think it was coordinated.
Also, an altar boy-only policy is a poke in the eye of the liberal culture of San Francisco. I’ve received over 300 emails about altar boys—mostly positive, except for the ones from the Bay area.

CWR: The CBS news story interviewed several people besides yourself, all of whom were opposed to the altar boy-only policy. It has a clip of you saying parish income is up, and then cuts to a parishioner saying that that is a “shallow argument.” Did this story strike you as biased?

Fr. Illo: It was biased. What’s going on is that we have two entities: a parish church and a parish school. The 1,000-seat church draws about 100 to 130 for each Sunday Mass. It’s a big, empty city parish. Our contributions cover about 40% of our operation; we survive by renting out the empty buildings we don’t use any more. It’s a dying parish we hope to revive.

Those who attend the church are, for the most part, fine with it. Most of the people complaining about the altar boy decision have left.

The school is thriving, but not as a Catholic school. Like Catholic universities who want to be independent of the bishops, many parish schools like to be independent of their pastors. Of its 150 families, about three attend the church. The school is only 40% Catholic. Most of the people CBS interviewed are school people from whom you heard the objections.

I must admit, the disjunction between the parish church and school and the vehemence of the school’s opposition has been surprising to me. In other parishes I’ve served at, the school loves the parish priest. When I’d go over, they’d run over and want to talk to me, or if, say, I were walking by a basketball court they’d hand me a basketball and want me to play. It’s not the case here. The priest is ignored. The school is lacking in Catholic identity.

CWR: Is this the first time you’ve had such a policy in the parishes in which you’ve served?

Fr. Illo: Yes. In my last parish we did not recruit girls, but would not deny them if they applied. Hence, we had few girls serving at the altar.

When we arrived at Star of the Sea four months ago there were hardly any servers, so we decided to only have a boy’s program. We’re the new administration, we’re building from zero, so we thought we’d start by implementing our vision.

CWR: An internet search on CBS San Francisco and Catholic news turns up headlines such as “Vatican reviewing Catholic stance of gay marriage, contraception; calls for being ‘less judgmental’”, “New S.F. archbishop riles gay rights advocates”, and “San Francisco Catholic high school apologizes for snubbing tuxedo-wearing girl’s portrait”. Is the San Francisco secular media pretty hostile to the Church?

Fr. Illo: [laughing] Of course. The media and liberal Catholics are on edge because of the new archbishop. One of the emails I received from one such person lamented, “This is the beginning of the end.” I do hope it is the beginning of the end of cultural Catholicism in the Bay area.

San Francisco is an amazing city in many ways. It has a rich history and is beautiful. But it is very secular and is a battle zone for faithful Catholics. One of our biggest problems is that it is so expensive to live in the city, that we have few families with children here. And where you don’t have families, you don’t have the Catholic Church!

At our Masses, you hardly see any children. I was speaking to one parishioner and she was crying, telling me it was so hard to raise children Catholic in a culture that is so secular. She’s afraid they’ll be brainwashed.

CWR: What have your fellow clergy said to you about the altar boy policy?

Fr. Illo: The archbishop is supportive, but it is not a big topic of discussion between us. I just saw him. He said the negative press coverage was par for the course for this kind of announcement, and we expect it to just be a flash in the pan. Some of the priests I’ve spoken to have been supportive, but others probably think I’m crazy.

CWR: Do you wish you’d taken a more low-key approach?

Fr. Illo: If you have the support of your bishop, I think it’s better to be clear. It’s a moment of evangelization, and I think it’s great that we’re getting all the media attention. It helps us define the mind of the Church.

In 2001, the Congregation for Divine Worship issued a response to a bishop’s question regarding the question of female altar servers. While the innovation of altar girls has been permitted since 1994, it stressed that a preference for altar boys is to be greatly encouraged as it leads to vocations to the priesthood. It also indicated that it was for the bishop to decide, and that no priest is obliged to have female servers. Altar girls are permitted if there is a pastoral need, but you have to prove the need. It is not the normal way of doing things.

CWR: You came to San Francisco to establish the Oratory of St. Philip Neri. How has it gone, and do you have any big plans coming up?

Fr. Illo: It is going well. We have two priests, and we have accepted two men as applicants. They’re living in our community now, and will be going to seminary in the fall. They’ll be going to St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park during the week, and spend the weekends at our house.

We have three key things we’re looking at doing in the near future: 1) We have a big empty convent on the grounds; we want to bring in a community of sisters to fill it up. 2) We want to start a perpetual adoration chapel; right now, there is not a single one in the City of San Francisco. We need people to keep this going, though. 3) We’ve hired a music director, and we want to start a music program to teach Gregorian chant and polyphony. We’ve talked to the archbishop about this; we want it to be a model for parishes and schools.

CWR: You mentioned the Walk for Life through downtown San Francisco. How did it go?

Fr. Illo: It was great, as usual. There weren’t too many protestors this year, but the few who came walked alongside us. Most were from outside the City.

CWR: Has it been tough receiving so much hostile press on the altar boy program?

Fr. Illo: It has been difficult for the moment, but it was a necessary purging. We needed to draw a line in the sand and say what we had to say. The parish has declined so much that there is only one way we can move. And, part of becoming more committed to the practice of our Catholic faith is trusting your pastor and the universal church. The Church is a divinely-guided institution, and we must place our trust in her.

Read more on Fr. Illo’s thoughts on the altar boy controversy and other topics by following his blog,