The movement around Petition 1 swelled after the signing of
House Bill 3391 this summer. The new law requires health insurers to cover
Petition 1, being circulated by Oregon Life United, would
ban public financing of abortions in all cases except those medically necessary
or if required to be funded by federal law. The petition has garnered support
from Bishop Liam Cary of Baker, Archbishop Alexander Sample of Portland and the
Oregon Catholic Conference.
“As followers of Christ, we desire to stand up for the weak
and most vulnerable among us. Abortion not only results in the death of a
child, but also inflicts severe harm on the mother and father and all who are
involved in it,” wrote Archbishop Sample in a letter to his priests.
After three previous attempts at getting enough signatures
failed to meet the constitutional requirement for placement on an election
ballot, petitioners now need 117,578 by July of next year. As of today,
petitioners have about 89,500 signatures.
“The pro-life message and teachings of our church on the
dignity of life need to be shared with love, and hopefully, we can get all
Catholic Oregonians at least aware of the opportunity to make a difference for
life in our state,” said Suzanne Belatti, an organizer for the Petition One
To get involved
parishes have had parishioners involved in the campaign, but not all.
Information on becoming a signature gatherer can be received at stopthefunding.org.
further research this spring revealed that building a new house for the
archbishops of Portland would be too costly, Archbishop Alexander
Sample changed course. The archdiocese bought an existing home near St.
Pius X Parish in Northwest Portland.
The archbishop has moved into the one-level house, which Wilson
describes as a “very suitable, older, yet newly remodeled home” in a
The move frees the former archbishop’s residence for use by Cathedral
Parish. Starting in the 1980s, the archbishops of Portland lived in a
large former school building next to the cathedral, but growth in parish
life made it clear that more room was needed. Plans call for more
meeting rooms and social space.
Thank you Archbishop Sample for caring for our immortal life.
PORTLAND, Oregon, July 10, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) Pete Baklinski
An American archbishop has released guidelines upholding the
Church's constant teaching that Catholics in "serious sin" – including
active homosexuals and those in adulterous unions – must repent before
The new guidelines from Archbishop Alexander Sample of Portland, Oregon are intended to implement Pope Francis’s Exhortation Amoris Laetitia in a way that he said is “compatible with Church teaching.”
The guidelines state that those in “serious sin,” including divorced
and civilly-remarried persons living unchastely as well as persons in an
active same-sex relationship, must “sacramentally confess all serious
sins with a firm purpose to change, before receiving the Holy
Sample wrote in his May 2017 guidelines that Amoris Laetitia
“calls for a sensitive accompaniment of those with an imperfect grasp
of Christian teaching on marriage and family life, who may not be living
in accord with Catholic belief, and yet desire to be more fully
integrated into Church life, including the Sacraments of Penance and the
But true accompaniment, he said, can only take place within the “tradition of the Church’s teaching and life.”
“In fact, pastors must always convey Catholic teaching faithfully to
all persons – including the divorced and remarried – both in the
confessional as well as publicly. They should do this with great
confidence in the power of God’s grace, knowing that, when spoken with
love, the truth heals, builds up, and sets free (cf. Jn 8:32),” the
The Archbishop said that there have been “misuses” of the Pope’s
Exhortation “in support of positions that are not compatible with Church
Among these is the notion that an individual’s conscience has, after Amoris Laetitia, become the final judge in moral matters. Such a position is taken by Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich, who has argued
that the civilly-divorced-and-remarried as well as active homosexuals
should be able to receive Communion if they came to the decision “in
But, following what the Church has always taught, the Archbishop’s
guidelines state: “Catholic teaching makes clear that the subjective
conscience of the individual can never be set against the objective
moral truth, as if conscience and truth were two competing principles
for moral decision-making.”
As St. John Paul II wrote, such a view would ‘pose a challenge to the
very identity of the moral conscience in relation to human freedom and
God's law. . . . Conscience is not an independent and exclusive capacity
to decide what is good and what is evil’ (Veritatis Splendor 56, 60). Rather, ‘conscience is the application of the law to a particular case” (Veritatis Splendor
59). Conscience stands under the objective moral law and should be
formed by it, so that “[t]he truth about moral good, as that truth is
declared in the law of reason, is practically and concretely recognized
by the judgment of conscience’ (Veritatis Splendor 61).
Archbishop Sample said that in view of Catholic teaching on
conscience, “priests must help the divorced and civilly remarried to
form their consciences according to the truth.”
“This is a true work of mercy,” he said.
Divorced and civilly-remarried Catholics wishing to return to a
sacramental life within the Church must either “‘regularize’ their
marital status in the Church” (receive a declaration of nullity
for first union and then marry within the Church) or, if this cannot be
done, “refrain from sexual intimacy” by living “as brother and sister.”
“Undertaking to live as brother and sister is necessary for the
divorced and civilly-remarried to receive reconciliation in the
Sacrament of Penance, which could then open the way to reception of the
Holy Eucharist. Such individuals are encouraged to approach the
Sacrament of Penance regularly, having recourse to God’s great mercy in
that sacrament if they fail in chastity,” the guidelines state.
[W]here pastors give Holy Communion to divorced and remarried persons
trying to live chastely, they should do so in a manner that will avoid
giving scandal or implying that Christ’s teaching can be set aside. This
is left to the prudential judgement of the pastor involved. In other
contexts care must also be taken to avoid the unintended appearance of
an endorsement of divorce and civil remarriage; thus, divorced and
civilly remarried persons would not hold positions of responsibility in a
parish (e.g. on a parish council), nor would they carry out liturgical
ministries or functions (e.g., lector, extraordinary minister of Holy
The guidelines specifically address what pastors must do when a same-sex couple presents themselves openly in a parish.
The Church welcomes all men and women who honestly seek to encounter
the Lord, whatever their circumstances. But two persons in an active,
public same-sex relationship, no matter how sincere, offer a serious
counter-witness to Catholic belief, that can only produce moral
confusion in the community. Such a relationship cannot be accepted into
the life of the parish without undermining the faith of the community,
most notably the children.
“Those living openly same-sex lifestyles would not hold positions of
responsibility in a parish, nor would they carry out any liturgical
ministry or function until they are reconciled with the Church and are
living in accord with the Church’s moral teaching,” they add.
Sample said that while the guidelines may be a “hard teaching for
some” they “correspond with our belief about the nature of the Holy
Eucharist, marriage and the Church.”
The Archbishop said that guidelines are to be “considered normative
for the Archdiocese of Portland, and they are to be carefully and
“The sanctity of marriage and God’s plan for a joy filled marriage
require all those engaged in pastoral ministry to exercise the
tremendous responsibility entrusted to them with complete fidelity to
Catholic teaching coupled with mercy and compassion,” he said.
Providence pressure increased strength of religious exemption,
but GOP lawmakers say it does not go far enough
A bill that increases state spending on abortion by $10.2 million is moving through the Oregon Legislature.
The House on July 1 advanced the Reproductive Health Equity Act,
which requires health plans to provide free coverage of exams, drugs,
devices and procedures, including abortion. The Senate will take up the
proposed legislation next.
The bill includes a religious exemption, but it orders the Oregon
Health Authority to provide coverage where religious organizations will
The House majority leader, Rep. Jennifer Williamson, a Portland
Democrat, argued for the proposed law, saying high medical bills can
prompt bankruptcy or homelessness.
Pro-life lawmakers approved of most of the bill, but vigorously
questioned why abortion had to be included, causing a moral crisis. They
attempted to have abortion provisions removed, but that motion failed.
Rep. Werner Reschke, R-Klamath Falls accused supporters of the bill
of promoting abortion coverage as if being pregnant were a disease.
The House vote was 33 for and 23 against.
The bill also allocates almost $500,000 in the 2017-19 budget for
abortions and other procedures to immigrants. Oregon’s Medicaid program
already spends nearly $2 million a year to pay for about 3,500
Oregon already accommodates and provides for abortion more than most
states. There are no waiting periods, education requirements or spending
limits on taxpayer funds.
Democrats drafted the bill in response to possible changes in federal health care policy.
Earlier, Providence Health System had threatened to exit the state’s
insurance market, saying the religious exemptions did not go far enough.
Though the bill’s handlers did increase exemptions, GOP lawmakers say
the provisions still fall short.
Bill Diss, leader of Precious
Children of Portland, calls the proposed law “fundamentally an abortion
bill that will boost the coffers of abortion providers like Planned
Parenthood.” Diss says other portions of the bill could be accomplished
“without further funding and promoting the killing of unborn children.” Please donate to Precious Children of Portland and receive a tax-exemption by sending it to:
ORTLEF – PCOP
4335 River Road North
Salem, Oregon 97303
Sorry to say that some of these birthday's are NOT the the correct ones. I will try and alert the ACCW
Year of Prayer for our Priests” is a ministry of the Archdiocesan
Council of Catholic Women. We share the joy of this devotion with all
Oregon Catholics. A day each month is set aside to pray for the names of
priests serving in the Archdiocese of Portland. Please remember them
and all priests, deacons and religious in your daily prayers.
O, Jesus I pray for Your faithful and fervent priests,
especially (name here). Keep them all close to Your heart and bless
them abundantly in time and eternity. Amen.
July 1 — Apostles of Jesus Fr. Freddy Ocun
July 2 — Fr. Joseph S. McMahon
July 3 — Fr. Patrick McNamee
July 4 — Fr. Bryce McProud
July 5 — Fr. Jeffrey Meeuwsen
July 6 — Discalced Carmelite Fr. John Melka
July 7 — Fr. Ronald Millican
July 8 — Fr. Timothy Mockaitis
July 9 — Fr. William Moisant
July 10 — Fr. Todd Molinari
July 11 — Fr. Neil Moore
July 12 — Fr. Mike Morrissey
July 13 — Fr. Jack Mosbrucker
July 14 — Dominican Fr. Gabriel Mosher
July 15 — Jesuit Fr. Charles Moutenot
July 16 — Msgr. Gregory Moys
July 17 — Fr. Hans Mueller, newly ordained (error)
July 18 — Dominican Fr. Brian Mullady
July 19 — Msgr. Tim Murphy
July 20 — Fr. Ronald Nelson
July 21 — Apostles of Jesus Fr. Dominic Mtenga Ngayaku
This guest post is from Therese Ruesink. A true warrior for the unborn. She is from the Portland area and is fighting the good fight with Bill Diss of Precious Children of Portland.
This shows how the Lord listens to the prayers of his people and the cry of the poor, the unborn in this case. Even the Earth is cooperating.
Thanks to Therese and the warriors in Portland fighting so on heroically.
Dear Prayer warriors for LIFE,
Sandra and I had not been to Lovejoy for two Thursdays in a row and not for two Fridays in a row because Sandra was out of town visiting family, and I was indisposed. But when we arrived at Lovejoy today, we were in for a surprise! John, the maintenance man there, was outside, sweeping up the dead pine needles in the beds where the trees surrounding the place used to be. ALL the trees have died, except one little one by the front stairs. He said (and I have noticed) that that is the second time this has happened. They’ll call in a Landscaper and put in trees, and then they die. “They can’t grow here. The ground’s poisoned” John said. And I added…..“by the blood of the lambs….”
He was in a talkative mood. “I’m the only one here (early this morning). The building’s closed (they are usually open bright and early when Sandra and I arrive at 6:30 am.) The regular supervisor wasn’t even there, and she usually shows up at around 5 am. (We found that out because Pat Weis has gone there to pray at the crack of dawn many times before.) John went on to say that business is really down, and that he thought they might have to sell the building!! The culture is changing…..more people are pro-life…..he said. Our jaws just about broke when they hit the ground. We were speechless. But that only lasted a few seconds because we wanted more information! The building did open that morning, but the employees began coming in much later than usual. And the supervisor never did show up.
John also relayed that he gets in trouble whenever he gets caught talking to us—he gets yelled at. But luckily, this morning, he was alone.
John went on to relay how they thought of selling the building about 2 years ago when the Westover Towers (the apts next to them) made them an offer. Apparently, even though most of the people in that area are “pro-choice” the apartment owners don’t like having the abortion facility in the neighborhood. It’s a pretty ritzy neighborhood. And then you get people like US showing up, and others who are less polite………shouting early Saturday mornings, and inciting the police to arrive. But Alene Klauss (sp?), the owner, turned them down, even though she’s well into retirement age!
John also said that about 2 years ago, the abortionist, Richard Kurl, who had been performing abortions for 30 years, died unexpectedly in his sleep. We figured he alone must have done around 30,600 abortions in the time he worked there. And about 2 months ago, their regular abortionist had a stroke. So “he’s out” John said. He said that Alene Klauss was returning from The Dominican Republic today. He thinks something is going on.
When we were there today, we got the most vitriolic comments ever! The remarks were SO STRONG by drivers and passersby. It was shocking to see the trees gone, to talk to John, and to hear those slurs. It seems the battleground lines are being drawn. It’s so obvious. satan’s mad, and he knows his time is SHORT. No, I’m not capitalizing that word…..
Some happenings over the years are worth mentioning. One of the prayer warriors came way back in the 80’s, and still comes. She knew Doc Marian Hite. Doc prayed out in front of L.J. for around 30 years, everyday but Sundays, when he was at church. He held a sign that said something to the effect of don’t hurt your baby; I’ll take your baby. Someone can enlighten me as to the exact wording. He was there up until he was 100 years old and then he had to stop. He lived until he was 102. When he died, someone at Holy Rosary (his parish) did a portrait of him. Surrounding the portrait were many, many, tiny baby faces…….they looked like angels! This prayer warrior said that once they (she and others) got arrested when they were at Lovejoy. She ended up in the back seat of the police car with Doc Marian Hite. He was kind, and got her calmed down, and told her basically what to do and how to act with the police. She said it was the greatest privilege of her life!
Once about 5 months ago, when I was there with Terry H. she/we heard this awful sound. Terry was standing with a sign, waving and smiling at the cars driving by. We were getting lots of positive responses. Suddenly there was this sound, like a caving in, like the earth moaning or groaning. Like metal girders falling, like the earth caving in on itself. Terry thought it was the sound of the earth mourning the loss of thousands of unborn babies. It was horrific.
When Lovejoy opened today, a gal came accompanied by her Dad, to get an abortion. Sandra and I spoke with her. When asked if she was pregnant, she responded yes, and half smiled when I congratulated her. We let her know that we cared about her, that we would give her anything she needed if we could possibly get it. When I told her about all the pain that she might endure—physical, emotional, spiritual, and psychological, she didn’t say anything. But she deserved to know. When I said you can’t undo this, she said “I know”. We told her about where she could get a free ultrasound. When asked if she had children, she said no. So this was her first pregnancy. Her Dad didn’t say anything, letting us speak with her as he waited on the stairs. But we pointed out that that was his grand baby. We invited her to coffee. She went in and didn’t come out by the time we left at 9. Please pray for “Marie.” It was so sad.
Another young couple came in and didn’t speak to us or take any information, but they had tears in their eyes.
A Mom came in with her daughter, who had a set of twins already, and said she had been raped. The Mom said she couldn’t afford to take care of (another) grandchild, and asked us if we could afford it, and would we take care of her? We said “YES!” but she wasn’t serious, because then she just turned and went in with her daughter, saying “with Trump in there, there’s NO Way”. I don’t know what she meant by that.
We are having our 40 Days for Life campaign at Lovejoy, starting September 27th.
Sandra and I were talking to a young man who came to pray there today(he knelt down) and we started wondering, in this new light of occurrences, and knowing that when there are lots of people praying outside of clinics, appointments are often broken --What would it be like if we surrounded that building with hundreds of people every day during the 40 days? Or maybe even only 50?! Would it be the nail in the coffin of Lovejoy? I feel it could happen.
PLEASE PRAY THAT LOVEJOY CLOSES.
And plan on coming to the vigils during, or even before, the 40 Days for Life campaign starts. We are there Thursday, and most Friday, mornings. Contact me if you want to come.
Yours in praising God, from whom all blessings flow,
America you are beautiful...and blessed.... The ultimate test of
your greatness is the way you treat every human being, but especially the
weakest and most defenseless. If you want equal justice for all and true freedom
and lasting peace, then America, defend life." - Pope John Paul
Washington, DC – Seven Planned Parenthood facilities, six of which
conducted medication abortions, are set to permanently close today in
Planned Parenthood officials noted that the closures were primarily
an attempt to remain solvent amid fears that Medicaid reimbursements
would be halted by Congress.
“It isn’t very often we see seven Planned Parenthood facilities close
in one day. This may have set some kind of record. It is great news for
women and their babies who will no longer be preyed upon for profit by
Planned Parenthood in these communities,” said Troy Newman, President of
Operation Rescue. “Many Planned Parenthood facilities survive only on
on government funding. There are so many other reputable providers of
legitimate healthcare for women out there. Even if every Planned
Parenthood was shut down, no one would have to due without proper
medical care. We should not be funding Planned Parenthood with our tax
Medication abortion facilities that are closing as of June 30, 2017, include:
Keokuk Health Center Planned Parenthood, in Keokuk, Iowa, a center
that referred for abortions, will also permanently close on June 30.
Another Iowa medication abortion facility, Quad Cities Center Planned Parenthood in Bettendorf, is set to close once the building sells.
The closures continue a national trend of abortion facility closures that appears to have intensified since the election of President Donald Trump.
In order to prevent Planned Parenthood from expanding once again, please contact your Senators today
and urge them to completely defund Planned Parenthood in the upcoming
legislation to repeal and replace of Obamacare, which is expected to
come up for a vote after the Independence Day break. Contact Senators.
Here is the entire EWTN "A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing". This is a very important film to watch over and over. The information in this film will answer many questions about what went wrong with parts of the Church.
We are still giving money to Alinskite Organzitions. Catholic Campaign for Human Development funds many organizations that have not helped the poor at all. Notice how we always seem to need money for the less fortunate, but never get there.
We are like the United Way. We are funding middlemen and not giving funds where it is really needed and so poverty is maintained. Please enjoy this film as it answers many questions.
Eight priests will receive a change in title while remaining
where they currently serve. Changing titles from administrator to pastor
are Father Michael Jeeva Antony of St. Peter and St. Mark in Eugene;
Father Jose Manuel Campos Garcia of St. Joseph in Roseburg; Father Rodel
de Mesa of Holy Family in Portland; Father Mark Gikenyi of Nativity in
Rainer; Father James Graham of Holy Redeemer in North Bend; Father Matt
Libra of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Portland; Father Arturo
Romero-Bautista of St. Patrick in Canby; and Father Benjamin Tapia-Ortiz
of Good Shepherd in Central Point.
Father Michael Vuky was temporary administrator of St. Edward in
North Plains, but now takes on the post permanently in addition to
duties in Verboort and Roy.
Father Lucas Laborde is now assigned as permanent parochial
administrator of St. Michael Parish in downtown Portland in addition to
his role as pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Northwest Portland. He had
been temporary parochial administrator since February.
RETURNING, RETIRING AND MOVING Jesuit Father Roy Antunez, a longtime pastor in the
southern part of the state, will return to service in his religious
community. He served at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Cottage Grove, St.
Alice in Springfield, Sacred Heart in Medford, St. Luke in Woodburn and
St. Ignatius in Portland. Father Mike Morrissey is retiring. He was born in El Paso, Texas, and attended seminary high school in Wisconsin and New York. After completing work at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, he went to Maryknoll Seminary in New York. He was ordained for the Capuchin Franciscans of New
York in 1978. He served in Queens and then went to Guam where he served
until 1988. He came to Oregon in 1989 and was incardinated into the
archdiocese in 1992. Here, he has served at St. Joseph in Salem, St.
John the Baptist in Milwaukie, St. Anne in Gresham and St. Catherine in
Veneta. Father Ken Olsen has retired. Born in Seattle, he
attended Mount Angel College Seminary, the Catholic University of
America and Collegium Canisianum und an der Universität in Innsbruck,
Austria. Ordained in 1973 for the Archdiocese of Portland, he served in
Oregon City and then Ashland as parish priest and director of the Newman Center.
In 1977, he began ministry in British Columbia and was trained in the
eastern Catholic rites. He served in Canada for 25 years. In 2010, he
took over as administrator of St. Michael Parish in Oakridge, with the
mission of St. Henry in Dexter. While there, he taught iconography to
parishioners. He served as a chaplain for the PeaceHealth system, which
operates Sacred Heart Medical Center in Springfield. Augustinian Father Bill Ryan will return to service in his religious community. Father Ryan grew up in Albany, New York, where his father worked in government.
Five or six days a week throughout the winter, he could be found
sleeping in his parish hall in Myrtle Creek. The hall houses the
parish’s warming center, which provides food and shelter for the area’s
homeless population on cold nights. He joined the Order of St. Augustine
in 1957 and was ordained in 1966. As part of the order, he taught in
schools from Philadelphia to Ojai, California. Not long after his
ordination, he took to protesting the unjust wages of the housekeeping
and cooking staff at a house in which he resided with his fellow priests.
During his time in southern Oregon, Father Ryan helped to establish the
St. Vincent de Paul Society in Medford, Myrtle Creek and Glendale. He was also key in the establishment of St. Rita Retreat Center in Gold Hill. He served as associate pastor for Sacred Heart Parish in Medford before becoming pastor at All Souls Parish in Myrtle Creek.
Two priests are visiting western Oregon for short assignments. Father Miguel Cardozo Garcia, from the Archdiocese of San Luis Potosi in Mexico, will be assisting at St. Joseph in Salem over the summer. Father Athanasius Onyima, from the Diocese of Orlu in Nigeria, will be assisting at various parishes into the fall.
UPDATED JUNE 7, 10:36 AM
Archbishop Alexander Sample has announced the following assignments for priests in the Archdiocese of Portland. Assignments are effective July 1 unless noted otherwise. PASTORS Fr. Eric Andersen
New assignment: Pastor, St. Stephen in Portland
Previous assignment: Parochial vicar, St. Stephen in Portland
Born in 1967, he attended the University of Oregon and graduated with
a bachelor’s degree in theater in 1990. He completed a master’s degree
and a sacred theology bachelor’s degree at Mount Angel Seminary and was
ordained in 2009 by Archbishop John Vlazny. He has served at Our
Lady of the Mountain in Ashland, Christ the King in Milwaukie, St. John
the Baptist in Milwaukie, St. Cecilia in Beaverton, Visitation of the
Blessed Virgin Mary in Verboort, Sacred Heart in Medford, St. Mary in
Eugene, Sacred Heart-St. Louis in Gervais and Holy Trinity in Bandon.
In 2015, he was named parochial vicar at St. Stephen, serving with
Father John Boyle, who is also director of the Archdiocese of Portland
Tribunal. Father Boyle will remain in residence at St. Stephen.
Fr. Ed Coleman
New assignment: Pastor, St. Michael in Oakridge, with St. Henry in Dexter as a mission
Previous assignment: Immaculate Conception in Stayton
Immaculate Conception in Stayton includes the mission parish of St.
Catherine in Mill City. He also has pastored Our Lady of Lourdes in
Jordan with the mission parish of St. Patrick in Lyons. He arrived in
Stayton in 2011 from St. James Parish in Molalla and has served in a
number of other parishes as well.
Fr. Theodore Lange
New assignment: Pastor, St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Veneta and chaplain at Marist High School in Eugene
Previous assignment: Formation director, Mount Angel Seminary
Father Lange was born in Salem in 1978. He attended St. Joseph and
Salem Heights elementary schools and graduated from Sprague High in
1996. He attended Lane Community College and earned an associate’s
degree in 1999. He entered Mount Angel Seminary in 2002, and earned a
bachelor’s degree of arts in philosophy and literature in 2004. He moved
on to the Pontifical North American College in Vatican City and
attained a sacred theology bachelor’s degree from the Gregorian
University in Rome in 2007. His ministry has included work at St.
John the Baptist, Milwaukie; Christ the King, Milwaukie; Jackson
Memorial Hospital, Miami, Fla.; St. Jude, Eugene; Our Lady of Fatima,
Shady Cove; Our Lady of the Mountain, Ashland; Sacred Heart, Medford;
and Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point.
In addition to help form seminarians at Mount Angel, he was
designated in 2016 as a missionary of mercy for the Jubilee Year of
Mercy. He gave talks around the region.
Fr. Luan Nguyen
New assignment: Pastor, Immaculate Conception in Stayton, Our Lady of Lourdes in Jordan and St. Catherine of Siena in Mill City
Previous assignment: Pastor, Star of the Sea in Brookings
Born in 1968 and ordained in 2008, he served as parochial vicar at
Our Lady of the Lake in Lake Oswego and St. Joseph in Salem before being
named administrator in Brookings. His title was changed to pastor in
Father Nguyen, 48, was born in Saigon. He harbored a calling to be a priest,
but Vietnamese officials deterred seminaries. After he came to the
United States at age 24, he obtained an electrical engineering degree
from Portland State University and began work as a technician. He still
perceived a call to priesthood and entered Mount Angel Seminary in 2000.
“I just want to help people establish a relationship with God,” he
explained before his ordination. “Jesus has to be the center.”
Fr. Ted Prentice
New assignment: Pastor, St. Joseph the Worker in Portland
Previous assignment: Pastor, St. James in Molalla
Born in 1963, he was a former mechanical engineer who was ordained in May 2004.
Born in Portland in 1963, he is one of eight children. He attended
Pope John XXIII Elementary School in North Portland and graduated from
Portland's Benson Polytechnic High School in 1981. He graduated from
the University of Portland in 1985, then worked as a mechanical
engineer in the Los Angeles area. At the same time, he served as a
teaching assistant at a Catholic alternative high school. He entered
Mount Angel Seminary in 1998. His ministry training has included being
an elder visitor at Mount St. Joseph in Portland, serving as pastoral
minister to the Latino community at Holy Redeemer Parish in North
Portland, and participating in clinical pastoral education at the Oregon
State Hospital. Father Prentice spent a summer at the Mexican American Cultural Center in a Spanish immersion program.
He served a year as pastoral intern at Christ the King Parish,
Milwaukie, and was a deacon at St. Mary Parish, Mount Angel. He served
as parochial vicar at St. Mary Parish in Eugene, and pastor at Star of
the Sea Parish in Astoria. He took a post at St. Anthony in Tigard
before being named to Molalla in 2011.
Fr. Justus Alaeto
New assignment: Administrator, Star of the Sea Parish in Brookings
Previous assignment: Parochial vicar, Sacred Heart Parish in Medford
Born in 1976 in Orlu, Nigeria, he graduated from high school in 1994 from St. Mary Seminary Umuowa in Orlu. He attended the National Missionary Seminary of St. Paul in Abuja, Nigeria, earning a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 2003.
He attended Sts. Peter and Paul Major Seminary in Ibadan, Nigeria, and
the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C. After studying at
Mount Angel Seminary, he transferred to Sacred Heart School of Theology
in Hales Corner, Wis., where he completed a master of divinity degree.
In 2012, he was ordained by Archbishop John Vlazny. His ministry has
included work at St. Anthony in Tigard; Veterans Administration Medical
Center in Minneapolis; All Saints in Portland; and St. Vincent de Paul,
Salem. In 2012, he was named parochial vicar for Shepherd of the Valley
Parish in Central Point and then moved on to Sacred Heart.
Fr. Aniceto Guiriba
New assignment: Administrator, St. James in Molalla
Previous assignment: Administrator, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Albany
Born in 1977, he was raised in Camalig, Albay, Philippines. He earned a
bachelor’s degree in political science from the Bicol University
College of Arts and Sciences in Daraga, Albay, in 1998. He attended St.
Gregory the Great Minor Seminary in Tabaco City and the Divine Word
Mission Seminary in Quezon City, receiving a diploma in philosophy in
2005. He then studied at the Divine Word School of Theology in Tagaytay
City. He entered Mount Angel Seminary in 2010 and was ordained in 2013. His ministry has included assignments
at St. Dominic Guzman Parish in Polangui, Albay; Our Lady of the
Promised Land in Quezon City; Good Shepherd Sisters Home for Abused
Young Women in Tagaytay City; at Mangyan Reservation Heritage site;
Lunggani Najuan, Oriental Mindoro, and at Sacred Heart Parish, Kamunig,
Quezon City — all in the Philippines. He served at St. Anthony Parish in
Tigard before being named to Albany.
Father George Kuforiji
New assignment: Administrator, Holy Trinity in Bandon
Previous assignment: Parochial vicar, Holy Trinity in Bandon
Born in 1951 in Oshogbo, Nigeria, he attended elementary school at
St. Benedict Catholic School there and graduated from St. Joseph College
High School, Ondo, Nigeria in 1969. He studied at the University of
Washington in Seattle, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in civil
engineering in 1983. He then worked with the Oregon Department of
Transportation. He entered seminary in 2010, and was installed as a
lector and an acolyte in 2013. He studied theology at the Sacred Heart
School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wis. His ministry training included assignments
at St. Vincent’s, Salem; St. Francis of Assisi, Milwaukee, Wisconsin;
and St. Joseph Hospital, Tacoma, Washington. He was ordained by
Archbishop Sample in 2015.
Msgr. Chuck Lienert
New assignment: Administrator, St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Portland
Previous assignment: Retired
This will be a one-year term for the monsignor, who was ordained in
1968 and once served as vicar for clergy. He retired in 2012.
His early boyhood was at St. Clare Parish in Portland. Then the
family moved to a farm near Oregon City. Young Chuck would mow the
cemetery lawn and paint the school. He also spent a year in Germany as
an exchange student.
He attended Central Catholic and then went to Mount Angel Seminary
for college. A seminarian during the Second Vatican Council and the U.S.
civil rights struggle, he saw the church as a power for making the
world more just and compassionate. He has led Immaculate Heart and
St. Andrew parishes and has long experience in serving with African
American Catholics. He has been active in the Metropolitan Alliance for
Common Good, a coalition of faith groups and service organizations
advocating for low-income people. He also served in Grants Pass and Cave
He previously served as priest-moderator at St. Francis Parish for a half dozen years.
Fr. Joseph Hung Nguyen
New assignment: Administrator, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Cottage Grove
Previous assignment: Parochial vicar, Ascension in Portland
He was born in 1973, in Saigon, Vietnam. He was ordained a priest
for the Archdiocese of Portland in 2012 by Archbishop Vlazny. Prior to
his seminary studies, Father Nguyen received a bachelor’s degree in
computer engineering. Father Nguyen studied at Mount Angel Seminary. His
first assignment was at St. Cecilia, Beaverton as parochial vicar. He
moved to the same role at St. Anne in Grants Pass before being named
parochial vicar at Ascension last year.
Fr. Edwin Sanchez-Romero
New assignment: Administrator, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Albany
Previous assignment: Parochial Vicar, St. Joseph in Salem
Ordained in 2015 by Archbishop Sample, he was born in 1985 in Bogota,
Colombia. He attended elementary and secondary schools in Pitalito,
Huila, Colombia, graduating high school in 2002. He entered the Seminary
Maria Immaculada where he studied philosophy. He attended St. Patrick
Seminary in Menlo Park, California, where he earned a bachelor’s degree
in philosophy in 2010. He continued his studies at St. Patrick Seminary.
Fr. Karl Schray
New assignment: Administrator, All Souls in Myrtle Creek
Previous assignment: Retired
He retired in 2015, not long after marking 50 years as a priest.
He most recently served at Holy Redeemer Parish in North Bend and
traveled to Europe. Father Schray served at a handful of Portland-area
parishes including St. Charles, St. John the Baptist in Milwaukie,
Blessed Sacrament, Christ the King in Milwaukie and Assumption. He also
served at St. Joseph in Salem, Holy Name in Coquille and St. Anne in
Grants Pass. Father Schray taught at North Catholic High School and
La Salle Catholic Preparatory. He was also a supporter of the Young
Ladies Institute in the archdiocese. The library at St. Anne School is named after Father Schray, who helped open the school during his time in Grants Pass.
Father Schray was known for his many hours ministering to the sick,
and his celebration of the Mass every other week for prisoners at
Shutter Creek Correctional Institution.
PAROCHIAL VICARS Fr. Suresh Amalraj
Fr. Suresh Amalraj
New assignment: Parochial vicar, Immaculate Conception in Stayton,
Our Lady of Lourdes in Jordan and St. Catherine of Siena in Mill City
Previous assignment: Rector of St. Augustine Minor Seminary and vocation promoter, Diocese of Tiruchirapalli, India
Born in Melapudur, India, he was ordained in 1978 for the Diocese of
Tiruchirapalli. He holds master’s degrees in theology, education and
Sanskrit. He holds a doctorate in comparative religions.
He says his main joy in recent years has been looking after the
formation of seminarians and visiting parishes around the diocese. Fr. Arjie Garcia
New assignment: Parochial vicar, Shepherd of the Valley in Central Point
Previous assignment: Parochial vicar, St. Anthony in Tigard
Born in 1985 in the Philippines, he is the oldest of four children.
He graduated from a Catholic high school in 2002 and studied secondary
Father Garcia believes his road to ordination began at a high school
retreat. The sister facilitating the retreat suggested the students
think about something they’d done as a child, and to take that moment,
meditate on it, and imagine a possible future around it.
“The times when I’d play-acted being a priest was what came to me,” says Father Garcia.
He was accepted into the diocesan seminary in Cebu, where he was
recommended to study philosophy. He began studying for the Archdiocese
of Portland at Mount Angel Seminary in 2010. He completed a pastoral
year at Our Lady of the Mountain Parish in Ashland. He was ordained by
Archbishop Sample last year and was assigned to Tigard.
Father Hans Mueller
New assignment: Parochial vicar, Ascension Parish in Portland
Previous assignment: Seminary in Rome
The assignment is for the summer only, as Father Mueller, ordained on June 3, will return to Rome for studies.
Born and raised in Salem, he went to public high school and then
Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where he received a bachelor’s
degree in mechanical engineering. After college, he joined Reach Youth
Ministry, travelling to parishes and giving retreats for mid-high and
high school teens. He was coordinator of youth ministry at St. Anne in
Grants Pass when he discerned a call to priesthood.
He began seminary at Mount Angel in 2010 and in 2012 was sent to Rome
to study at the Gregorian University, where he earned a bachelor’s
degree in sacred theology. He was ordained a deacon in 2015, served for a
year at St. Mary Parish in Eugene, and returned to Rome for a final
year of formation.
Fr. Zani Pacanza
New assignment: Parochial vicar, St. James in McMinnville
Previous assignment: Deacon year at St. Juan Diego in Portland
He grew up as a sacristan and altar server in Manila, Philippines
then obtained a bachelor’s degree in broadcast communication at the
University of the Philippines-Diliman in 1999.
From 1999 to 2002, he was a writer, reporter and segment producer for several news
and public affairs programs of the ABS-CBN Broadcast Network. From 2003
to 2007, he worked as a communications trainer for customer service
call center companies in Manila.
Throughout school and his professional life, he has been an active
member of different church groups, including Youth for Mary and Christ,
U.P. Student Catholic Action and Singles for Christ.
He entered Christ the King Mission Seminary in 2008. In 2011, he
transferred to Mount Angel Seminary as a seminarian for the Archdiocese
Deacon Pacanza’s pastoral ministry training has included assignments
at Central Catholic High School in Portland, Star of the Sea Parish in
Brookings, St. Edward Parish in Keizer, St. Rita Parish in Northeast
Portland, St. Juan Diego Parish in Northwest Portland, St. Monica Parish
in Coos Bay and St. Mary Parish in Mount Angel. He attended clinical
pastoral education at the UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco. In the
summer of 2015, he also did Spanish immersion in Mexico City under the
Global Education program of the Catholic University of America.
Fr. Henry Rufo
New assignment: Parochial vicar, Holy Redeemer in North Bend, Holy Name in Coquille and Sts. Anne and Michael in Myrtle Point
Previous assignment: On leave
He was born in Cebu City, The Philippines, in 1965, one of eight
children. He graduated from Holy Rosary School of Pardo, Cebu City in
1982 and received a bachelor of science degree in commerce and
accounting from the University of San Carlos, Cebu City, Philippines in
1987. He also studied at the Cebu Institute of Technology and at the
University of Urbaniana in Rome, Italy. He entered Mount Angel Seminary in the fall of 1995 and was ordained a deacon in May 2000. His ministry training included assignments
at St. Stephen in Portland, a pastoral year at St. John the Apostle in
Oregon City and St. Anne in Grants Pass. He served as a deacon at St.
Mary in Mount Angel.
He was ordained for the Archdiocese of Portland in 2001 and served as
a parochial vicar at St. Anne in Grants Pass and Sacred Heart in
Medford. Has was pastor at St. Helen in Sweet Home and most recently was
pastor of Nativity in Rainier and St. John the Baptist in Clatskanie.
Fr. Andrew Thomas
New assignment: Parochial vicar, Holy Trinity in Beaverton
Previous assignment: On leave
He is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After teaching at Queen
of Peace School in Salem for two years, he entered Mount Angel Seminary
in 2000, earning a master of divinity degree in 2005.
His ministry formation assignments took place at St. Joseph in
Salem, St. Henry in Gresham, St. Clare in Portland and St. Paul in
Silverton. He completed clinical pastoral education at St. Luke Regional
Medical Center in Boise, Idaho.
“I feel God has put me into different situations, and each one had
its positive, wonderful experiences,” he said before his ordination in
He served as parochial vicar at Sacred Heart in Medford and Our Lady
of the Lake Parish in Lake Oswego before being assigned as parish priest at Holy Trinity in Bandon in 2008. In 2010, he was named pastor of St. Mary Parish in Albany.
NEW PASTORAL CENTER STAFF Msgr. Gerard O’Connor
New assignment: Director of the Office of Divine Worship for the Archdiocese of Portland (Begins Sept. 1)
Previous assignment: Pastor, St. Francis Xavier Parish in Acushnet, Massachusetts
A priest of the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts, he also
has been a scientist and high-tech marketer. He earned a doctorate in
sacred liturgy is from the Pontifical Athenaeum of St. Anselm, the
Benedictine university in Rome.
Msgr. O’Connor was born in Hull, Yorkshire, in England in 1964. He
attended Marist College High School and then Kingston University in
London where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in applied physics.
After university he began in marketing for the personal computer
industry. He became a seminarian for the Diocese of Fall River in 1996
and was sent to Rome for priestly studies at the North
American College. He was ordained in 2000 and was sent back to
Rome to work for the Holy See as an official of the Congregation of the Clergy.
He later served as parochial administrator of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in New Bedford and as an assistant priest at Our Lady
of Victory Parish in Centerville. He has been pastor in Acushnet since 2008.
He will be in residence at St. Rose of Lima in Portland.
Fr. Amalraj Rayappan
New assignment: Judge in the Department of the Tribunal and Canonical Services for the Archdiocese of Portland (Begins Sept. 1)
Previous assignment: Chancellor and judicial vicar for the Diocese of Tuticorin in India
Born in 1972 in Kadakulam, India, he attended Catholic primary and
secondary education before beginning minor seminary in 1989. He studied
philosophy and theology at St. Peter Pontifical Seminary in Bangalore
and was ordained in 1999. He holds a doctorate in canon law from
Urbaniana University in Rome and a diploma in jurisprudence from the
Gregorian University in Rome.
He served in parishes from 1999 to 2008 and has held the chancellor’s
position since 2012. He is fluent in English, good in Italian and Tamil
is his mother language.
He will be in residence at St. Anthony in Tigard.
REASSIGNMENT GLOSSARY Pastor — He leads the parish as an extension of the
ministry of the archbishop. Pastors are to teach, sanctify and govern
for the good of souls in a certain geographical area. Pastors are to
have ample experience as a priest, normally five years. Administrator — He leads the parish in the absence
of a pastor. Because he does not have as much experience as a pastor, or
for some other reason, he will receive help from archdiocesan
authorities and his powers will be limited in areas deemed appropriate
by the bishop. Parochial vicar — He shares in the pastoral care of the parish under direction of the pastor.
For five years I had the pleasure of being the Church Commission Chairman of the Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women (ACCW). This devotion to priests had not been published in the Catholic Sentinel and as of 2007 these birthdays are shared with all Oregon Catholics.
I thank God that even in my short time with these wonderful women, this article has been included in the Catholic Sentinel.
5/19/2017 9:37:00 AM A year of prayer for our priests
Year of Prayer for our Priests” is a ministry of the Archdiocesan
Council of Catholic Women. We share the joy of this devotion with all
Oregon Catholics. A day each month is set aside to pray for the names of
priests serving in the Archdiocese of Portland. Please remember them
and all priests, deacons and religious in your daily prayers.
O, Jesus I pray for Your faithful and
fervent priests, especially (name here). Keep them all close to Your
heart and bless them abundantly in time and eternity. Amen
June 1 — Discalaced Carmelite Fr. Thomas Koller
June 2 — Fr. Jack Krall
June 3 — Fr. Robert Krueger
June 4 — Fr. Michael Kueber
June 5 — Fr. George Kuforiji
June 6 — Fr. Moises Kumulmac
June 7 — St. John Society Fr. Lucas Laborde
June 8 — Fr. Theodore Lange
June 9 — Fr. Michael Lau
June 10 — Jesuit Fr. James Laudwein
June 11 — Benedictine Fr. Basil Lawrence
June 12 — Fr. Tom Layton
June 13 — Benedictine Fr. John Paul Le
June 14 — Fr. Moises Leal Gonzalez
June 15 — Fr. Matthew Libra
June 16 —Msgr. Charles Leinert, retired
June 17 — St. John Society Fr. Ignacio Liorente
June 18 — Missionaries of the Holy Spirit Fr. Hugo Maese
Norma McCorvey, who was the Jane Roe of the infamous Roe vs. Wade
Supreme Court case legalizing virtually unlimited abortions, passed away
today. McCorvey never had an abortion and eventually became pro-life
and dedicated her life to overturning the horrible Supreme Court
decision that bared her pseudonym.
McCorvey died today at an assisted-living facility in Katy, Texas. She was 69.
McCorvey never wanted an abortion — she was seeking a divorce from
her husband — but young, pro-abortion feminist attorney Sarah Weddington
used McCorvey’s case as a means of attempting to overturn Texas’ law
making most abortions illegal. Weddington took the case all the way to
the Supreme Court, which invalidated every pro-life state law in the
nation protecting unborn children and the rest is history.
But most Americans don’t know that McCorvey, who was “pro-choice” on
abortion at the time, became a pro-life advocate. She dedicated to
reversing the Supreme Court case that bears her fictitious name, Jane
In a video,
McCorvey explained her effort to obtain a legal abortion in the 1970s
when facing an unplanned pregnancy. However, she never had an abortion
and realized that her court case was the biggest mistake of her life and
currently fights to stop abortion.
“Back in 1973, I was a very confused twenty-one year old with one child and facing an unplanned pregnancy,” she says in the ad. “At the time I fought to obtain a legal abortion, but truth be told, I have three daughters and never had an abortion.”
“I think it’s safe to say that the entire abortion industry is based
on a lie…. I am dedicated to spending the rest of my life undoing the
law that bears my name,” McCorvey says.
She concludes the 60 second ad with the words: “You read about me in
history books, but now I am dedicated to spreading the truth about
preserving the dignity of all human life from natural conception to
There is a 46-year-old woman, born in Texas, who should
be dead right now. In fact, she should have never been born. Forty years
ago, the Supreme Court decided that the Texas law that prevented Jane
Roe from ending the life of her unborn daughter was unconstitutional.
But by the time the Supreme Court issued its decision in 1973, she had already been born and adopted by a family—likely not knowing that all that ink spilled in Roe v. Wade was about her.
Norma McCorvey is “Jane Roe.” She claimed then that her pregnancy was the result of a rape,
although for over a decade now she has been outspokenly pro-life and
publicly admitted that this, and virtually every fact on which her case
was built, was a lie. Both McCorvey and Sandra Cano, the Doe of Doe v. Bolton—Roe’s companion case from Georgia decided the same day—are now outspoken pro-life advocates who have sworn that their cases are built on lies.
But before the Supreme Court could decide whether McCorvey did have a
constitutional right to end her unborn daughter’s life, it had to
overcome a procedural obstacle that slowed down the process—a delay that
factored into whether her daughter would ever have a family.
Because of that delay, McCorvey had already had the child by the time
the Supreme Court issued its decision in January 1973. She had been
adopted into a Texas home, perhaps somewhere in the Dallas area where
McCorvey lived. The court nevertheless said
that McCorvey’s case was not moot since her circumstances were “capable
of repetition” because courts would never be able to decide the
question during the time of a woman’s pregnancy.
Procedural history is never the exciting part of a lawsuit. But for
McCorvey’s unborn daughter, the dry complexity of legal procedure is the
reason she exists today. Fortunately for a three-year old girl, “the
wheels of justice grind slowly,” and by the time the court issued its
decision, a Texas family had adopted her. If the courts could have moved
more quickly, she (and her family) would have never had that chance.
Lemonade comes from lemons.
It is unknown to me whether the adoptive family ever even knew that
their daughter was the supposedly unwanted child who was the subject of
Roe. As far as we know, they raised her not knowing who she was and
certainly never telling her.
VOCAL: Since EWTN's special programming of "A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" in late 2016, we are learning more about Saul Alinsky and CCHD. Reform CCHD Now and Catholic Media Coalition are considered a "right-wing fringe element", conducting a "witch-hunt" against CCHD. These descriptive phrases are uttered by Street Roots director Israel Baer
On the left side of God: How politics and religion mix in the world of charitable giving
By Joanne Zuhl, Staff Writer
A 4-inch-square, 96-page booklet once was considered the embodiment
of social justice and empowerment of the poor, and for years, its
publisher attracted financial backing from the Catholic Campaign for
Human Development through the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon.
The local Catholic Campaign — a private nonprofit foundation operated
by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops — helped launch the
booklet with a $5,000 grant in 2008, making sure information on health
care, shelter, employment and supportive services was in the hands of
people experiencing homelessness and poverty.
That was until this spring, when a call to the office of Justice and
Peace of the Archdiocese of Portland pointed out the offense on page 25.
There, under the category of health care, was a listing for Planned
Parenthood, which in a half-inch space included a description of the
various basic services, including contraception, that the organization
provides to low- or no-income customers seeking health care.
The message from CCHD managers at the Portland Archdiocese, although
supportive of the booklet’s overall mission, was made clear in terms of
funding: If Planned Parenthood remained in the booklet, CCHD, in keeping
with Catholic teaching, could no longer fund Street Roots, the
publisher of the Rose City Resource guide. Street Roots decided to keep
But what was behind the call? Why now? What changed after five years
of CCHD support for Street Roots? How did a piece of information
suddenly morph into a theological offense?
Starting in autumn 2009, other groups began asking the same
questions. The Chinese Progressive Association in San Francisco was
among the first to get the call: CCHD, which was one of the founding
funders for the 38-year-old Association, had to cut ties with the
workers’ rights program. Also in California, the Young Workers United
was told it was being cut from funding as well, as was the Rebecca
Project for Human Rights, which helps homeless and disadvantaged women
who have children. L.A. Community Action Network was "defunded" at its
own request after CCHD tried to censor its newspaper. Women in
Transition in Louisville, Ky., had its grant rescinded, and Preble
Resource Center, which serves homeless youths in Portland, Maine, was
ordered to return to CCHD funds for its Homeless Voices for Justice
program. In Oregon, Children First for Oregon, a child advocacy group
for vulnerable children, was culled from the list of grantees earlier
Besides CCHD’s support, and beyond the commonality of their missions,
these groups share something else: They were all targeted, investigated
and determined unfit by a campaign of Catholic conservative groups
that, via the prolific capacity of the Internet, have formed a
nationwide coalition calling for the defunding of more than 50
poverty-alleviation organizations, and a radical overhaul — and even
disbandment — of CCHD.
To date (2010), 10 U.S. bishops, an unprecedented number by Catholic news
reports, have publicly suspended their annual, mandatory collection
among parishioners for CCHD because of claims that CCHD funded
“anti-Catholic” organizations. The allegations by the group
called“Reform CCHD Now” against grantees begin as crimes against the
Catholic Church for supporting abortion and gay-rights issues, and
extend to direct attacks on community organizing and social empowerment.
It could be dismissed as a fringe element, if not for the use of the
campaign by politically vested parties to discredit, disrupt and defund
the work of community organizing groups long-supported and heralded by
This year, Catholic Campaign for Human Development celebrated 40
years of funding community programs that address the root causes of
homelessness and poverty. Nationwide, it has distributed more than $400
million in self-help grants to 8,000 agencies across the United States,
making it the nation’s largest private funder of self-help groups for
CCHD is a rarity in the world of charitable investment in that it
does not fund direct services like its faith-based counterparts,
Catholic Charities or St. Vincent DePaul. Instead, CCHD’s grantees are
organizations that work to foster systemic change through partnering
with common-cause groups and community organizing. Because of its role
in community organizing projects, the Portland Archdiocese is considered
a core funder of poverty-alleviation and empowerment projects in Oregon
and a voice among faith-based efforts to shape policy around
social-service needs in Multnomah County.
The attacks by Reform CCHD Now and its followers are prompting a
“review and renewal” process by the United States Conference of Catholic
Bishops, which prepares to meet later this month. What the bishops
decide could have major consequences for the thousands of cash-strapped
nonprofits that CCHD supports, and the millions of poor and
disenfranchised people who rely on these programs that today serve as
proxy to government initiatives.
‘Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom’
In the summer of 2009, the Texas-based Bellarmine Veritas Ministry,
an opaque “Catholic grass-roots organizing ministry” traceable to one
man, Rob Gasper, released an investigation into CCHD grantees. This
June, the Virginia-based American Life League released a report echoing
Bellarmine’s conclusions: that CCHD was funding what it called
“anti-Catholic organizations” based upon the grantees’ actions and the
actions of their partners and affiliates. These groups called on
parishioners to boycott their donations to CCHD until the bishops revise
the granting oversight. The groups specifically target 50 organizations
they are demanding the CCHD stops funding.
These reports surfaced during the thick of the health care reform
debate, a flagship in President Obama’s agenda, which the bishops
opposed over abortion issues. In fact, the reformers singled out the
bill and demanded that any grantees that supported the health care
reform legislation “must state clearly and publicly that they will not
promote any piece of legislation which gives federal support to abortion
or family planning.”
Bellarmine, American Life League and Human Life International, also
based in Virginia, are the three primary organizations behind Reform
CCHD Now, although Reform CCHD Now claims more than 20 organizations
working on behalf of the nationwide campaign. These three groups have
driven the reform movement to viral levels online with blogs and video
and through the multitude of online Catholic and pro-life news services,
including LifeNews.com and LifeSiteNews.com.
“We started forming the coalition when we found very anti-Catholic
things being funded by Catholics,” says Stephen Phelan, communications
manager with Human Life International. “Michael Hitchborn (with
American Life League) wanted to meet and they refused, and Bellarmine
also tried and didn’t a get a response. So everybody went public with
“Because of the Internet, we’ve been able to get the information out
to much more people in a much shorter period of time,” says Michael
Hitchborn, a researcher with the pro-life organization American Life
League. “Which is why the CCHD is finding it much harder to hide with
their tactics they’ve been using.”
Those tactics, according to Hitchborn, are to fund groups that do not
conform to Catholic teaching, deny that they are “anti-Catholic”
groups, and then continue funding with the complications essentially
swept under the rug. Many of the organizations already defunded this
past year were longtime recipients of CCHD funding, and praised for
their work in building cross-community partnerships and networks to
fight the causes of poverty. However, it’s those partnerships that
factor into nearly all of the groups singled out by the reform movement.
In fact, more than 30 groups reformers want defunded are listed because
they are members of the Center for Community Change, a D.C.-based
cross-community organizing movement that stopped receiving CCHD funding
“That’s a problem because there’s no accountability,” Hitchborn says.
“The groups that are receiving CCHD money are getting trained by
(Center for Community Change), which means they are being trained in
cross-issues advocacy. And that’s a problem. So what we called for is an
immediate disassociation from (Center for Community Change) for any
group receiving CCHD money.”
Hitchborn says he will continue investigating organizations to weed
out the grantees and says he’s working on a new report for release soon,
as the bishops conference and the annual CCHD collection approaches.
“Because of the long history of CCHD funding errant organizations,
there’s no way that we could let up,” Hitchborn says. “Eternal vigilance
is the price of freedom. And if we are going to make sure that an
organization that claims to be Catholic remains Catholic, they need to
adhere to Catholic teaching.”
‘We didn’t even do anything wrong’
For nearly four decades, the San Francisco-based Chinese Progressive
Association organized the Chinese and Asian immigrant community,
including thousands of restaurant workers who received less than minimum
wage or were living in the margins. With the support of CCHD, the
organization engaged workers to successfully raise San Francisco’s
minimum wage from $6.75 to $8.50, and in 2006, helped lead the charge
for all workers in the city to receive paid sick leave. This work, along
with its housing program, youths and environmental justice work, and
its workers center, was funded by CCHD for years. But by September, the
local CCHD said the relationship was over. It was pulling the plug on
$30,000 it had granted to the organization’s worker center.
“They called me and they said they needed to talk, says Alex T. Tom,
the Chinese Progressive Association’s executive director, “that people
were getting ready for the bishops meeting in the fall and they were
fanning the flames and pushing CCHD to resolve the issue.”
The issue was the Association’s publication of a voter pamphlet that
opposed California’s Propositions 8 and 4, which banned same-sex
marriages and required parental notification for some abortions. It was
an effort that had nothing to do with the CCHD’s funding, which was
specifically allocated for the organization’s Worker Center.
“It was right when the economic crisis happened,” Tom says. “It was
really poor form, poor taste and very bad timing when they decided to
revoke the funding.”
“In general, worker centers don’t have the easiest time. Anti-poverty
work is not something that is heavily supported,” Tom says. “That was
why CCHD was important. It helped us build a movement. And now we have
to find a consistent revenue stream that doesn’t rely on support that we
used to receive from CCHD.”
Preble Street in Portland, Maine, received CCHD grants for 13 years
for its work in empowering the homeless, most recently a $30,000 grant
in 2009. However, it was defunded at the end of 2009 and asked to return
unspent grant money to CCHD because the organization joined the
campaign against a measure to overturn the state’s same-sex marriage
For Preble Street, it was an extension of their advocacy for rights
and opportunities for the homeless youths within the GBLT the
organization cares for and supports. The CCHD grant, however, actually
was awarded to Preble Street’s project called Homeless Voices for
Justice, which works for social change on behalf of -- and with the
leadership of — people in poverty and homelessness. Homeless Voices did
not participate in the campaign on the law. However, as Homeless Voices’
fiscal agent, Preble Street was called to return funding, and did so
with a $2,400 check.
In a letter to CCHD Director Ralph McCloud, Preble
Street Executive Director Mark Swann defended his group’s position:
“Throughout our history, when Preble Street and Homeless Voices for
Justice have taken differing positions, there has never been any effort
to force or stifle the opinion of the other. Indeed, regardless of
Preble Street’s point of view, we have chosen to facilitate the
expressions of opposing positions such as those of (Homeless Voices) by
the support we offer them — embodying the principles of CCHD social
“Punishing Homeless Voices by demanding the return of much-needed
funds because of Preble Street’s advocacy around issues of social
justice is deeply troubling,” Swann wrote. “It is unfortunate that the
CCHD and the local Diocese is choosing not to be part of these important
Women in Transition in Louisville, Ky., is but a shadow of its former
self after CCHD rescinded a $25,000 grant at the end of 2009. Women in
Transition runs skill-building programs for at-risk women and organizes
on issues of affordable housing and health care. CCHD was a sponsor of
the organization since 2005, until this past year when it received a
letter from someone pointing out Women in Transition’s relationship with
Wench Self-Care Collective, a local women’s health organization. Wench
is pro-choice, and has helped escort women to and from the city’s
abortion clinic, but it also focuses on women’s nutrition and education
around healthy eating habits, which is where Women in Transition and
Wench crossed paths. Women in Transition says it never worked with Wench
on reproductive rights, just healthy eating, cooking classes and health
Women in Transition’s executive director, Khalilah Collins, says her
organization had received CCHD grants for $20,000 and $25,000 each year
since 2005. The 2009 fall grant for $25,000 had been approved and the
check in the hands of their fiscal sponsor, Catholic Charities, but it
was never delivered. Collins says she was told by Catholic Charities
that unless she signed a letter saying that her organization regretted
the situation and would not work with the Wench group or any other group
whose mission contradicted Catholic teaching, the money was in
jeopardy. It was more than a third of the organization’s budget, and
money they had counted on.
“The more I thought about it, the more upset I got,” Collins says. “We didn’t even do anything wrong.” (Collins says there were also questions about their 501(c)3 status, but that had not disrupted funding before.)
Collins didn’t write the letter. “I felt that our integrity was
questioned as an organization, and all we have is our integrity and our
voice, and you’re questioning that,” she says. “We can’t be a part of
Collins says she never knew who wrote the letter about Wench, and
that the relationship is not even traceable through Women in
Transition’s website. However, by November, just before the 2009
collection for CCHD, Women in Transition and others were singled out in a
press release by the American Life League and others within Reform CCHD
Now for ties to Planned Parenthood, which led a workshop at an event
the organization-co-sponsored with Spalding University.
“It’s not about WIT and Wenches,” Collins says. “We’ve never done any
work on choice at all. We steer clear of that number one thing because
we know we could lose our funding.”
But the funding is gone. “We have no money right now. None. I didn’t
get paid last week, the rent hasn’t been paid, because we’re out of
money,” Collins says.
‘It’s taking away care from those who need it’
“These are politically motivated attacks,” says Chris Korzen,
executive director of D.C.-based Catholics United, a nonprofit,
nonpartisan organization doing online advocacy and education programs
around the Catholic Social Tradition. “And they fit into this broader
narrative that we’re unfortunately seeing in our system now, where
social change is limited to charity and not actually fixing social
structures that cause poverty and other problems.”
The intent of these attacks, Korzen says, is to demonize community
organizing behind the arguments against abortion and same-sex marriage.
That’s the end result of what this campaign is doing,” Korzen says.
“It’s taking away care from those who need it.”
A Catholic himself, Korzen says Catholic social teaching is being hijacked by political agendas.
“This hyper-individualism that some are pushing in a political
context does not have a lot of support in Catholic social teaching,”
Korzen says. “So, essentially what we’re seeing is groups who are using
Catholic teaching to promote what really is a secular agenda.”
It’s not a new thing, Korzen says. Indeed, CCHD for decades has had
its critics. But today it gets the added boost of leveraging political
gains with a galvanized voting block, further inflamed by the
personalities parading through our ever-expanding media options.
“For sure, we’ve seen a movement to the right in Catholic
institutional settings, and I’d even go as far to say there are some
elements of the Catholic institutions and some parts of the (U.S.
Conference of Catholic Bishops) that have essentially been taken over by
the Republican Party. That sounds like a strong statement, but it’s the
truth. Over the years, the conservative movement has worked very hard
to cultivate support in the Catholic churches.”
Case in point, Korzen says, is the U.S. bishops’ opposition to the
health care reform bill, which was singled out as a defundable offense
by the reformers, “even though the Catholic Church believes that health
care is a human right,” Korzen says. “That never would have happened in
In response to the reformers’ investigations and allegations, bishops
across the country have issued statements in defense of CCHD’s
operations, including Archbishop John Vlazny of the Portland Diocese.
Vlazny wrote on the issue in the Catholic Sentinal in late 2009, prior
to Street Roots being defunded.
“Once again this year objections have been raised to the Campaign
because some CCHD-funded groups have taken actions in conflict with CCHD
guidelines after they were funded,” Vlazny writes. “… When the facts
were confirmed, the groups were defunded. Other allegations were raised,
but the charges proved to be inaccurate or a misunderstanding had
occurred. Mistakes are made, they are quickly corrected. But the
negative voices drone on, and I suspect their problems are more
political than religious.” (I disagree with Archbishop Emeritus Vlazny on this. Street Roots was filled with infractions, but I think we still fund it from time to time VO
Ralph McCloud, the executive director of CCHD based in Washington
D.C., says CCHD isn’t beholding to the partisan arguments behind the
attacks. “We go to where poor people are, where nobody else wants to go,
to let them speak boldly. I think we’re somewhere boldly embedded
between the right and the left, and neither one of them can have a claim
on it,” McCloud says.
McCloud says he cannot go into details on the upcoming review and
renewal of CCHD, which will be conducted by the bishops, but that it
will look at ways CCHD’s funding process can be more “responsive to the
needs of the contemporary current realities,” McCloud says.
“I think where it gets murky sometimes is when people are in
coalitions with a group where their main focus is somewhere else,”
McCloud says. “That’s one of the things hoping to come out of the review
and renewal process. We’re securing assistance from folks who are
theologians and ethicists to find where the line is so we’re not
arbitrary in our decisions.”
Just as the reform campaign proliferated on the blogosphere last
summer, Matt Cato was hired to head the Portland Archdiocese Office of
Justice and Peace, which administers the local CCHD funding process.
With his appointment in August, 2009, the office merged with the
Archdiocese’s Respect Life Activities Office. By early December, CCHD
informed Children First for Oregon that it would not be considered for
future grants because of its 2006 opposition of a measure to require
parental notification for minors seeking abortion. Cato said Children First has the support of the Archdiocese, but that the group could not
receive CCHD funds.
Children’s First advocates on behalf of children in foster care,
living in poverty, those who need health care and those suffering from
abuse or neglect. Children First declined to talk on the record about the situation,
but Cato said it could not longer be funded by CCHD because of its
opposition to the measure, even in cases of incest or abuse. “The bishops do not recognize any exception to abortion,” Cato says.
Those are doctrinal objections for the Catholic Church. Cato says he
has no contact with the groups attacking CCHD, but that he is familiar
with the more political ideologies behind their motivation. “I’m not speaking for these organizations, but I do know that plenty
of people are uncomfortable when a group of low-income or poor persons
have power,” Cato says. “So you have the power of money, which
corporations have, and you have the power of people, which is what
community organizing is. The power of people which needs to balance the
power of money, and that’s what community organizing is about, and a lot
of people are uncomfortable with the poor having the voice.” ( TOTALLY disagree. VOCAL)
‘I’m not attacking social justice’ Stephen Phelan, communications manager with Human Life International, denies any political agenda to the reform movement. “It’s easy to confuse what we’re saying with a political message,”
Phelan says “We’re not out to get anybody. We want to see real Catholic
teaching take hold.”
Phelan says that what has changed, from groups receiving years of
funding from CCHD to being considered inappropriate and defunded, is the
“I think when (CCHD) first started, it made more sense for Catholics
to align with the more liberal (groups),” Phelan says. “The Democratic
side of the coin was doing good work back then. It wasn’t all these
other things — anti-marriage, abortion, and Marxism. So what’s happened
in the last 40 years is the same groups that were once pretty cool to
work with have gotten more radically political, and the CCHD has
continued to work with them, and been opposed to the church on a lot of
these issues. After a couple of decades, it’s like, really? What are you
Regardless of Phelan’s intentions or viewpoint, the criticism and
condemnation of CCHD has for decades been framed by politics. In the
1980s and ’90s, former political appointees from the Nixon and Reagan
administrations painted CCHD as a political arm of the liberal agenda.
One appointee distributed a paper saying CCHD used Catholic money to
prop up “leftist political activists plotting to destroy our economic
system” and told Catholics to instead give their money to direct
services. Others have said CCHD promotes a “political agenda far to the
left of mainstream America,” Repeated attacks conclude that people
should not give money to CCHD because its mission is not charity, but
rather social justice.
“I have gotten a lot of feedback from people who are both excited and
angry about the research that I’ve done,” American Life League’s
Hitchborn says. “It’s interesting. The people who write me that are
angry say I can’t believe that you are arguing against the bishops. They
don’t address the concerns, they say, ‘Why are you doing this? Why are
you attacking social justice?’ I’m not attacking social justice.”
A more recent voice to the opposition to CCHD has been Deal W.
Hudson, the former director of Catholic outreach for George W. Bush’s
2000 and 2004 campaigns, and now the director of InsideCatholic.com. He
has advanced the Reform CCHD Now, citing its defunding campaign in his
writings online, and added among those to be defunded the attendees to
the U.S. Social Forum 2010 that included workshops on reproductive and
“One criticism leveled at the CCHD Reform Now research is that it was
alleging ‘guilt by association.’ But that misses the point completely,”
Hudson writes. “The presence of 21 CCHD grantees at U.S. Social Forum
isn’t problematic because grantees are keeping company with the wrong
people, but because they’re actively participating in a forum designed
‘to set a national action agenda.’ Looking at the program, it’s safe to
assume that the agenda includes the right to abortion and gay marriage,
as well as a larger ideological commitment to various forms of Marxism —
an ideology condemned by the Catholic Church.”
The Catholic Media Coalition, another Catholic news source, for years
has pushed to revamp CCHD, and calls for Catholics to boycott giving
money to the charity because “The good groups funded by CCHD are not
sufficient to balance the many evil groups supported, groups working for
socialism by electing liberal politicians. CCHD helped to give us the
radical, left-wing Congress we have today.”
Compare that to celebrity pundit Glenn Beck, who told followers
earlier this year that that if they find the words “social justice” or
“economic justice” on their church website, to “run as fast as you can.
“Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. Now, am I
advising people to leave their church? Yes! … If you have a priest that
is pushing social justice, go find another parish,” Beck said.
“One of the effects of this, too, is essentially these folks are
saying to a new generation of Catholics who still believe in social
justice that you’re not welcome here anymore,” Korzen says. “It’s going
to shift demographics, where folks who still believe in social justice
are just not considering themselves Catholic anymore. I saw that growing
up as an altar boy in Rhode Island. From the perspective of the
Catholic community, which should be a diverse community across racial
and cultural lines; I don’t want to be a part of a church that builds
itself as an exclusive club. It’s damaging to the church, as is any
attempts to use Catholic teaching as a political battering ram. And we
just see more of that every day.”
‘There’s a point where you’ve got to draw a line’
Matt Cato with the Portland Archdiocese office of Justice and Peace
and Respect for Life, says that the reform movement’s attacks on CCHD
have not changed how they consider grantees. However, Cato says he has
added a line to the local CCHD grant application.
“We still look at the same criteria. It’s always been on the
application do you act in accordance of the teachings of the Catholic
Church. I just added to that, can you tell me the ballot measures that
you or your executive director has supported in the last five years.
That was an easy one to have missed. It’s usually not on someone’s Web
The decision came after learning of Children First For Oregon’s position on Measuren 43.
Still, Cato maintains that there are differences between material and
proximate relationships between organizations that would determine if a
group is eligible for funding.
“There’s a point where you’ve got to draw a line. Just because the
organization does this here or is associated with another organization,
it doesn’t mean this organization is tainted,” Cato says.
Planned Parenthood, however, is the exception.
Since 2005, Street Roots has received $40,000 from CCHD for the
newspaper, the Rose City Resource guide and for the eastside expansion
to open a remote office for vendors. In all those years, Planned
Parenthood has been a part of its listings (prior to 2008, the Rose City
Resource was included as a part of the newspaper). Likewise, Street
Roots has always included information on organizations helping at-risk
gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual youths and adults. Planned
Parenthood is a “nuclear” red flag in the Catholic Church, Cato says. It
is simply too hot to handle. “I’m not going to tell you how to run your business, you guys do
great work,” Cato told this interview. “You make the decision in future
resource guides to include that information or not, and if you include
(Planned Parenthood), we can’t give you a CCHD grant.” Cato says.
Cato says there is room for working together, regardless of whether CCHD is funding a program.
“Jesus had dinner with the tax collectors, prostitutes and sinners,”
Cato says. “You just can’t completely separate your self with those you
completely disagree with. As Catholics, we’re called to evangelize, not
preach to the choir.”
(Street Roots has not been asked to return any funding from CCHD)
“It’s disturbing that a small group of right-wing fringe elements
within the Catholic Church are being successful at undermining the
Catholic Campaign for Human Development’s work to address the root
causes of poverty through promotion and support of community-controlled,
self-help organizations and through transformative education,” says
Street Roots Executive Director Israel Bayer.
“At the end of the day, a witch hunt is a witch hunt, and that’s
exactly what Street Roots and dozens of community organizations working
to fight poverty in the United States are facing, a witch hunt born out
of fear and intolerance. And let’s be clear, this is far from over.
Every group that currently receives funds from CCHD is being asked to
not take part in activities, or align themselves with the very groups it
will take to dismantle poverty in this country. In our case, the very
tool is the Rose City Resource guide. The guide gives people
experiencing homelessness and poverty a chance to become their own
advocates through education, and now it’s being used against us because
we have chosen to deliver to people, without judgment, the resources
that are available to them in our community.
“Saying that, we’re not defeated,” Bayer says. “Maybe it was a
blessing in disguise that one of the groups defunded in this fiasco was a
community newspaper like Street Roots that takes its journalism
seriously enough to tell the whole story, and get it out to the broader
public for a larger debate."
Sidebar: The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) was founded in
1970 by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. It is the
anti-poverty, social justice arm of the Catholic Church, with a mission
to address the causes of poverty through community-controlled, self-help
organizations and education. Each year, CCHD distributes about $12
million to between 250 and 300 social justice organizations in the
For years, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development supported the
Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, ACORN. However
allegations against various ACORN franchises in 2008 and 2009 turned the
nationwide community organizing group into a pariah, and CCHD cut off
all funding for ACORN organizations, locally and nationally. ACORN was
recently acquitted in New York of any wrongdoing surrounding the
pimp/prostitution videotape scandal, the most salacious accusations
against an ACORN franchise.