Reflections by Patti Murphy Dohn on the Church, family, grief, saints, and hope amidst the storms in our lives... May you always find that God is in the clouds! 

Patti Murphy Dohn retired in 2014 after 33 years of service as Campus Minister, retreat director, and Religion teacher at The John Carroll School in Bel Air, Maryland. Committed to making a difference in the lives of our youth and their families, she has served the school community since 1981. Presently, she continues her ministry through bereavement outreach, coordinating the school's alumni prayer chain, while archiving the school's history.  

Patti was awarded the Medal of Honor in Youth and Young Adult Ministry by the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 2012. She served the Archdiocese on the Screening Board for the Office of Vocations under Cardinal Keeler, Cardinal O'Brien, and Archbishop Lori. She is also a past-board member for the Msgr. O'Dwyer Retreat House in Sparks, MD. and Saint Margaret School in Bel Air.

Along with writing for "The Catholic Review," Patti is a member of the Catholic Press Association, as well as the Catholic Writers Guild and the Associated Church Press. She is available for speaking engagements, consulting, and retreat work.

Patti and her husband George split their time between their homes in Bel Air, Maryland and Singer Island, Palm Beach, Florida.

Email: pattimurphydohn@gmail.com

Twitter: @JCSMinistry

Facebook: Patti Murphy Dohn

Instagram: @PattiMurphyDohn

 God is good!! All the time!!

 

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Beautiful story! thank you for continuing to inspire us Patti.

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God is in the clouds

Catholic Throwback Thursday: A brief history of World Youth Day


The logo for the 2016 WYD in Kraków was designed by Monika Rybczyńska: Read about the symbolism in her design here.

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"You are the future of the world, you are the hope of the Church, you are my hope.”
—The greeting of Pope John Paul II to youth during his papal inauguration Mass on October 22, 1978

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In less than two weeks, hundreds of thousands of young people and youth ministers from all over the world will descend upon Kraków, Poland for World Youth Day 2016

The Archdiocese of Baltimore will be represented among the huge crowds. A delegation of 40 young adults, led by Father Matt Buening, Catholic chaplain at Towson University, as well as seminarians Matt Himes and Tyler Kline, will be in attendance. Local teen groups from Mount de Sales Academy and St. Mary’s Church, Annapolis are traveling to Poland as well. 

The Catholic Review will have up-to-date coverage each day from Maureen Cromer, who will blog about her experiences in “Pilgrims in Krakow.”  

Why Kraków?

The homeland of Pope Saint John Paul II is the perfect location for a celebration for World Youth Day (WYD) during this Jubilee Year of Mercy. This year’s theme, which was one of three Beatitude-inspired WYD themes announced by Pope Francis in 2013, is “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy." (Mt 5:7) 


During the 1983-1984 Holy Year of the Redemption (which marked 1950 years after Jesus’s crucifixion, death, and resurrection), as well as the 1985 United Nation’s International Youth Year, Pope John Paul II invited young people to come to Rome to pray with him each year on Palm (Passion) Sunday. Though organizers initially expected about 60,000 to attend, crowds ranged from 250,000 in 1984 to 300,000 in 1985. These youth from many nations, who gathered with the Holy Father at the Vatican, affirmed their desire to be actively connected to Christ and their Catholic faith.  

The next year, in December of 1985, Pope John Paul II announced the institution of local events, which he called “World Youth Days,” to be held on the diocesan level every Palm Sunday, commencing in 1986. The Holy Father would also attend international gatherings for WYD, to be held every two or three years in different countries which he would select. 

Pope John Paul II reflected on these early youth events in his book Crossing the Threshold of Hope (1994):

“No one invented the World Youth Days. It was the young people themselves who created them.  Those days, those encounters, then became something desired by young people throughout the world. Most of the time these Days were something of a surprise for priests, and even bishops, in that they surpassed all their expectations."

International celebrations: 

The first international World Youth Day was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1987. Pope John Paul II also presided over seven more before his death in 2005. They were held in the following locations: 

  • Santiago de Compostela, Spain, 1989;
  • Częstochowa, Poland, 1991;
  • Denver, Colorado, 1993;  
  • Manila, Philippines, 1995;
  • Paris, France, 1997;
  • Rome, 2000 for the Jubilee Year;
  • Toronto, Canada, 2002;



Above: Then-Archbishop of Baltimore William H. Keeler took this photo in the helicopter with Pope John Paul II, who was praying his rosary when he sees the enormous crowd gathered in Cherry Creek State Park for the WYD-Denver closing Mass on Aug. 15, 1993.
He later told the youth there:
“Place your intelligence, your talents, your enthusiasm, your compassion and your fortitude at the service of life.”
(Photo by Archbishop W. H. Keeler)

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To the 800,000 youth gathered at the closing vigil in Toronto in 2002, which would be the last international WYD for Pope John Paul II:

“When, back in 1985, I wanted to start the World Youth Days… I imagined a powerful moment in which the young people of the world could meet Christ, who is eternally young, and could learn from him how to be bearers of the Gospel to other young people. This evening, together with you, I praise God and give thanks to him for the gift bestowed on the Church through the World Youth Days. Millions of young people have taken part, and as a result have become better and more committed Christian witnesses.” 

—Pope John Paul II, July 28, 2002, Toronto

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Pope Benedict and Pope Francis continue the legacy of WYD:

Four months after the death of Pope John Paul II in April 2, 2005, Pope Benedict XVI presided over World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany (August, 2005), followed by Sydney, Australia (2008), and Madrid, Spain (2011).



Pope Benedict greets the crowds after arriving at WYD in Madrid (AP photo).

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Pope Francis, who was elected in March of 2013 after the resignation of Pope Benedict, traveled to Rio de Janeiro just four months later for WYD (July, 2013). At the closing Mass at Copacabana beach, he joyfully announced that he would meet again with youth from all over the world for WYD 2016 in Kraków, Poland, the homeland of now-Saint John Paul II. 




Three million people gathered on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro for the closing Mass of WYD 2013 with Pope Francis.
(Photo: AP/ Felipe Dana)


WYD 2016 in Kraków:

According to Rome Reports, registrations for this upcoming WYD have been received from thousands of youth representing 107 countries, along with more than 10,000 priests, over 800 bishops and almost 50 cardinals. Poland, Italy, France, Spain, and the United States are the five countries with the most registrations. 

As Pope Francis prepares to join our young people in Kraków, organizers are expecting as many as 2 million to attend the overnight vigil and closing Mass on July 31.

These young people who gather in Kraków next week are in for one of the most exhilarating spiritual experiences of their lifetime. Not only will they meet people from around the world, attend catechetical sessions and Mass each day, but they will have countless opportunities to open their hearts to hear God’s call to live a life of mercy as they experience His love in new and profound ways. 

Let’s keep all the youth in our prayers.
God is good!





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Read more of my reminisces on World Youth Day here in:


July 14, 2016 01:59
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Countdown to the visit of Pope Francis to the United States: Part 2: Remembering past papal visits




Just nine days until Pope Francis arrives in the United States:

The excitement continues to build for this historic apostolic visit.

Part of the anticipation has sprung from the sharing of memories by those who have participated in papal visits of the past. Pope Francis is the fourth pontiff to visit our nation. His visit will mark the tenth papal visit.


1. Pope Paul VI was the first pope to visit the United States and the United Nations in 1965;

2. Pope St. John Paul II visited the U.S. seven times:

    a. 1979: Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington and Des Moines, Iowa;

    b. 1981:  Anchorage, Alaska;

    c. 1984: For several hours in Fairbanks, Alaska where he met with President Reagan during a layover;

    d. 1987: Miami, Columbia, South Carolina, New Orleans, San Antonio, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit;

    e. 1993:  Denver for World Youth Day;

    f. 1995: Newark, New Jersey, New York, Baltimore;

    g. 1999: St. Louis; 

3. Pope Benedict XVI visited Washington, DC and New York in April of 2008.


Read more about these papal visits and the meetings with the U.S. president in my March 27, 2014 edition of:

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Looking back to the historic 1995 visit of Pope St. John Paul II to Baltimore:

The 1995 visit of Pope St. John Paul II to our Premier See is among the highlights of the history of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.


My memories:

“The Vicar of Christ had come to us!” 

"There are moments that you know have become etched in your memory forever. That's how I feel every time I look back on the 1995 visit of Pope St. John Paul II to my hometown of Baltimore. 

A Religion teacher at John Carroll at that time, I was part of the committee that coordinated the service of our youth as city ambassadors and parade honor guard. After my early bird service that morning, I met up with my family at Camden Yards for the Mass. 

The excitement of the crowds to see the Holy Father was palpable. I will never forget the cries of joy throughout the stadium when it was announced on the JumboTron that his TWA Shepherd One plane was landing at BWI. We all watched the live video coverage as the plane landed, followed by greetings from a welcoming entourage, and the escorted motorcade procession driving north on I-95 toward us. All eyes were on the JumboTron screen.

When the popemobile entered the stadium and drove slowly along the warning track around the perimeter of the field, there were tears of joy amid the deafening applause. Chants of "John Paul Two, we love you!" filled the air. This was far bigger than any rock concert or public gathering that I have ever seen in person or on television. The Vicar of Christ had come to us! 

As the Holy Father celebrated Mass with Cardinal Keeler and the throngs of cardinals, bishops and priests, I was overcome with incredible gratitude at being able to witness our Church history in the making. 

Undoubtedly, Baltimore, the premier see of Catholic faith in our nation, would never be the same. And I will cherish these memories and those precious hours that I spent in the presence of a saint for all my days. 

Pope St. John Paul II, pray for us!”


~Patti Murphy Dohn has participated in two visits of Pope St. John Paul II (Philadelphia, 1979 and Baltimore, 1995), the 2008 visit of Pope Benedict XVI to NYC, and also took part in Holy Week and Easter liturgies in 2014 with Pope Francis at the Vatican.  


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Fr. C. Doug Kenney greets the Pope John Paul II before Mass began. To the right is Msgr. James Barker, pastor of St. Ignatius Church, Hickory. 


Receiving Holy Communion from a future saint:

Fr. C. Doug Kenney, pastor of St. Peter the Apostle Church in Oakland, recalls the privilege of working backstage and on the sidelines at Oriole Park with Msgr. Jim Barker and Fr. Chuck Wible. They were responsible for the the sacred vessels, vestments, and other necessary supplies for the Holy Father, cardinals, and bishops. (Photo below.)




Fr. Doug chuckles now as he remembers them running short of the green vestments for Ordinary Time. They were two sets short. He shared that when they saw Cardinal John O’Connor, who had arrived in Baltimore on the plane with the Holy Father, they knew they were not going to have enough chasubles…  

So when you see photographs from Baltimore's Papal Mass with Cardinal Keeler and Cardinal Angelo Sodano, then-Vatican Secretary of State, wearing white vestments, you know the back story!

Among Fr. Doug’s best memories was being able to greet the Holy Father and to receive Holy Communion from him. He will never forget that memory from the historic visit to Baltimore of Pope St. John Paul II.



His Eminence Cardinal Keeler greets the Holy Father while wearing a white chasuble

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More memories from Baltimore’s 1995 papal visit: 

“I was so excited to be in the company of our Pope when he was in Baltimore. I may have only been in the stadium seats, but the spiritual feeling was something I will never forget.”  
~ Bernadine Beatty of St. Margaret Parish

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Louise Doherty of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish shared an unforgettable moment when she and her husband Kevin also attended the Papal Mass at Camden Yards:

“During the sign of peace, we received a note from our dear friends asking us to be Godparents!”

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Brief encounters that made a lasting impact:

My friend Joan Larney recalls:

“Pope Paul was the very first pope to ever visit the United States. My four daughters and I waited nearly three hours to see Pope Paul VI drive by on his way into New York City. It was only a moment, but one I've never forgotten it. This was very special.”

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Deirdre Magner, a Spanish teacher at John Carroll, shared memories from the first visit of Pope St. John Paul II to New York City in 1979 when she was a graduate student there.

Not a fan of crowds, Deirdre avoided the areas of the city where the papal events were to take place. Leaving work and heading to the subway station for home, she was highly surprised to see the flashing lights of the papal motorcade with its police escort coming toward her down an empty street. 

And there was the The Holy Father, in an open-air black limo, and Deirdre was the only one there on the sidewalk!

“He looked me right in the eye and gave me a blessing. I was transfixed, unable to believe what I had just witnessed. It was almost like a private audience.  And it was all the more special because it was spontaneous and serendipitous. It was truly an amazing moment - one I'll never forget!”



Pope John Paul II greeted crowds in Boston (above) on Oct. 1, 1979, the first day of his six-day U.S. tour, from that same open-air black limo that Deidre Magner would encounter on the street in New York City the next evening. (Photo/ AP) 

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More papal memories:

Mara Pais of St. Ignatius Parish in Hickory recalls memories from 1979:

“I was a student at Trinity College in Washington, DC when Pope John Paul II visited in 1979. I was within feet of him as he drove up to the Trinity Chapel, where he conducted an ecumenical service for religious leaders.  He also held a Mass on our campus for disabled children.  

My friends and I didn't initially plan to attend the Mass on the Mall, but we were so overtaken by excitement after seeing the Pope up close, that we headed down to join the throngs awaiting the Papal Mass.  It was raining as we exited the Metro, and a light rain continued until Pope John Paul stepped up to the altar. Not only did the rain stop, but the sun came out, and the Mass was incredibly beautiful.”

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Memories of Pope Benedict XVI in Washington, DC:

Elizabeth Krempa of the John Carroll Class of 2007 recalls the excitement:

“I had the opportunity to see Pope Benedict at my college, Catholic University, in 2008. He spoke in our student center and held Mass in the National Basilica. When he spoke at our student center, I was in the front row. He and the popemobile were right in front of me!! 

It was such a big deal on campus. We had snipers on our buildings, news media everywhere, boxed lunches, the whole nine yards!! What an amazing experience for all of us young people!! We kept chanting..."CUA LOVES THE POPE!!"


Photo: Elizabeth Krempa, RN

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“… showing our faith to the world.”

Carla Hazard Tomaszewski of St. Mary’s County attended Mass with Pope St. John Paul II in 1979 on the Mall in Washington, DC and in 1995 in Baltimore. She also attended Mass with Pope Benedict in 2008 at the Nationals Stadium in DC. 

She wrote an article on these experiences, as well as hiking as a pilgrim to Mass with Pope John II in the mountains of Nowy Targ, Poland in early 1979, for The Trumpeter, the newsletter of the Polish Heritage Association of Maryland. She so well described the feelings of Catholics who attend a Papal Mass:

“It was a wonderful experience. The feeling of togetherness and solidarity as Catholics was what made the biggest impression on me. We were all proud that we were showing our faith to the world.”

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ICYMI: (In case you missed it):

Learn about the basics of Pope Francis’ historic trip to the United States here:


Included: 

  • The Holy Father’s complete schedule of events for the three-city whirlwind tour;
  • Links and info on where you can watch these events live online and on television;
  • On-demand videos to watch at your convenience after each event has ended;
  • The historic significance of this papal trip;
  • Links to the US Catholic Bishops papal visit website, along with catechetical resources;
  • and a link to the The Baltimore Sun’s September 6 “A guide to seeing the pope in Philadelphia” from their Sunday “Life & Travel” section.

Watch for Part 3 in this series on "Countdown to the visit of Pope Francis to the United States." 

September 14, 2015 01:13
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Birthday blessings to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI: A photo blog of his life since retirement from the papacy


Today is the 88th birthday of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI:

Born in Marktl am Inn, Bavaria, Germany, on April 16, 1927, on my Grandmother’s sixth birthday, the former Joseph Ratzinger was elected to the papacy on April 19, 2005 after the death of Pope John Paul II. Then 78 years old, the new Pope Benedict XVI became the oldest pope to serve the Church in 300 years.


Waving from the balcony of St Peter's Basilica after being elected in April 2005 (EPA Photo)

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Where were you…?

Where were you when you heard that news on February 11, 2013 that Pope Benedict XVI, at age 85, had announced that he would step down from the papacy citing a "lack of strength of mind and body due to advanced age” seventeen days later on February 28?

He shocked the world with this monumental announcement, making him the first pope to step down from his pontificate since Pope Gregory XII in 1415.


Announcing his resignation during a consistory with Vatican cardinals on February 11, 2013 (AP Photo)


“After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God,
I have come to the certainty that my strengths due to an advanced age
are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.
“I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature,
must be carried out not only by words and deeds but no less with prayer and suffering. 
“However, in today's world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions
of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the barque of St. Peter and proclaim the Gospel,
both strength of mind and body are necessary-
strengths which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me
to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.”

--Pope Benedict XVI on February 11, 2013
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Pope Benedict XVI walks with his cane following his final general audience on Feb. 27, 2013.
(Photo: L’Osservatore Romano/CNS)

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Above: The final tweet of Pope Benedict XVI as @Pontifex: February 27, 2013

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Pope Benedict left the Vatican on February 28, 2013 by Italian air force helicopter, circling Rome during the sunset hour while bells rang out from St. Peter’s Basilica and from every church in the region.
He would spend the next three months at the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo until the renovations were completed at his new home in the Vatican Gardens at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery.

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"I am a simple pilgrim who begins the last stage of his pilgrimage on this earth.
"With all my heart, with all my love, with my prayers, with my reflection, with all my interior strength, I still want to work for the common good and the good of the church and humanity.”

--Pope Benedict XVI to those gathered outside Castel Gandolfo on February 28, 2013

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Glimpses into the retired life of the Holy Father Emeritus:

So what has Pope Benedict been doing since his retirement?

He has kept a low profile with a quiet schedule during the past two years.

Here are some of the highlights:

First meeting of two living popes in modern times:


Just days after his election, Pope Francis traveled by helicopter from the Vatican for this private first meeting with the former pontiff on March 23, 2013 at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo. During the visit, they prayed together and had lunch. Pope Francis gave his retired predecessor a gift, an icon of Mary and Jesus that the Russian Orthodox delegation to the inauguration had given him the previous week:

“They told me this was Our Lady of Humility. If I may say, I thought of you.
You gave us so many examples of humility and tenderness.”
--Pope Francis 
(CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

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Pope Francis welcomes Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI back to the Vatican
after two months at the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo;
(Photo: Reuters/L'Osservatore Romano)

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Pope Francis visited the Holy Father Emeritus at his new home, the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery on May 2, 2013.
(CNS/L'Ossevatore Romano via Reuters)

Living with Pope Benedict at the monastery will be his secretary, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, who also serves as prefect of the papal household to Pope Francis, along with four staff, all consecrated laywomen from Memores Domini. His home includes a chapel, library for his large book collection, and a guest room for his brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger of their native Germany. 

The music room with piano is especially important to Pope Benedict, an accomplished pianist, who plays daily. His favorite composer is said to be Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

“His music is by no means just entertainment; it contains the whole tragedy of human existence.”
—Pope Benedict XVI on Mozart

Besides piano practice, the Holy Father Emeritus is said to spend his time in prayer, reading and study, in informal private meetings with friends and associates, and keeping up with the daily news from the L’Osservatore Romano and the evening news broadcast.

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A private concert was held on January 14, 2014 for the occasion of the 90th birthday of the brother of the Holy Father Emeritus, Msgr. George Ratzinger, the former music director of the Regensburger Domspatzen, the Boys’ Choir of the Cathedral in Regensburg.


“...the honor of a lifetime…”

Lauren Green, who serves as Fox News Channel's chief religion correspondent based in New York and has a degree in piano performance from the University of Minnesota, was the classical music pianist.

“To be asked to perform for the pope seemed like Divine intervention alone. But other things happened that convinced me God’s hand was in it, guiding my path.”

Read how Lauren Green knew it was “a God thing” in It was a God thing -- adventures in faith on the way to concert for Pope Benedict, his brother.” 

Watch this short video on the concert from "Rome Reports" here.

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Attending the Consistory in Saint Peter's Basilica on February 22, 2014 for the creation of 19 new cardinals:
Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, age 86, embraced Pope Francis before the start of the consistory where these new members were elevated to the College of Cardinals.

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Sister Gisela Upunto Msuya, a Dominican nun from Same in East Timor, who studies at the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum) and lives in Rome, visited the Holy Father Emeritus on July 25, 2014. (Photo: Facebook)

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In his third public appearance since retirement, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI joined Pope Francis on September 28, 2014 for a celebration for grandparents and the elderly in St. Peter’s Square. (Photo: Reuters)

“He is discreet, humble, he doesn’t want to get in the way... It feels like having grandpa at home, because of his wisdom.
It does me good to listen to him. And it also encourages me a great deal.”

--Pope Francis said of his predecessor, noting that elderly persons transmit 'wisdom and faith, the most precious inheritance.’


Archbishop Georg Gangwein serves as the secretary to the retired Holy Father.

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Selfies with the Pope Emeritus:


This photo of the Holy Father Emeritus, at age 87, with seminarian Giuseppe Ricciardi
who hails from the southern Italian diocese of Aversa was posted on Twitter:

"Ecco il primo #selfie in assoluto del #Papa Emerito #BenedettoXVI, in compagnia di Giuseppe Ricciardi di Aversa." pic.twitter.com/ejZFJcXjnW

— Gianluca Barile (@GianlucaBarile1) on September 11, 2014

English translation:

"Here is the first #selfie ever of #Papa Emeritus #BenedettoXVI, in the company of Giuseppe Ricciardi of Aversa." 

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Shortly thereafter, Gianluca Barile (@GianlucaBarile1) tweeted a second selfie of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, this time standing with Italian priest Fr. Sebastiano Sequino.

"Non c'è uno senza due! Ecco il secondo selfie di oggi di #Papa #BenedettoXVI, stavolta con Don Sebastiano Sequino." pic.twitter.com/lYEc66vseZ

— Gianluca Barile (@GianlucaBarile1) September 11, 2014

English translation:

“There’s two, not just one!
This is the second selfie from today of Pope Benedict XVI, this time with Father Sebastiano Sequino” 

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Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI exchanging the Sign of Peace with cardinals during the Beatification Mass for Blessed Pope Paul VI. This liturgy was celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square on October 19, 2014.

(Photo: CNS/Paul Haring)

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Archbishop of Panama Jose Domingo Ulloa, with Bishop David Bishop, Monsignor José Luis Lacunza, and women from their delegation meet with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on November 19, 2014 at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery. 

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This year's Epiphany/ birthday visit for the brothers:

Msgr. Georg Ratzinger flew from Munich to Rome on December 29, 2014 to visit with his brother, the Holy Father Emeritus, until January 16. They would celebrate Msgr. Ratzinger's birthday, now the 91st, there again at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery.


This year’s celebration included another concert, with music by Il Trio Böhm, held in the same room at Vatican Radio as the 90th birthday concert the previous year.
The chamber musicians were Michela Berti paying flute, Claudio Cavallaro on the clarinet, and  Daniele Veroli playing the horn.

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Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI again attended the consistory held this year on February 14, 2015 for the creation of 20 new cardinals
(AP Photo)

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The Archbishop of Lviv Mieczysław Mokrzycki, took his brother bishops to meet Benedict at the Lourdes Grotto in the Vatican Gardens on February 21, 2015 while on their ad limina visit to Rome. The Archbishop served as second secretary to St. John Paul II and also to Pope Benedict XVI until he was appointed Archbishop of Lviv in western Ukraine. Pope Benedict ordained him to the bishopric in St. Peter's Basilica and now invited the Archbishop to lunch at the monastery and expressed a wish to meet his brother bishops.

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Birthday blessings:

For his 88th birthday, Pope Benedict XVI will once again enjoy the company of his brother, Msgr. Ratzinger, for a ten-day visit.


Fond memories:

The Holy Father celebrated his 81st birthday at the White House with President and Mrs. Bush on April 16, 2008 during his pastoral trip to the United States.

Ad multos annos!!

April 16, 2015 04:31
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Celebrating the heroic ministry of Cardinal Edwin F. O'Brien in Baltimore and beyond



The inspiring ministry of Cardinal O'Brien:

Archbishop Edwin Frederick O’Brien became the fifteenth Archbishop of Baltimore on Oct. 1, 2007.

In the five years that he served as the shepherd of our Premier See and the last two years as our Archbishop Emeritus, now-Cardinal O'Brien has shared some of the most poignant moments of local Church history with us, as well as the recent changes that have impacted the entire Church in our era.

For today's edition of Catholic Throwback Thursday, we honor the ministry and continued legacy of Cardinal O'Brien.



At the July 12, 2007 press conference announcing the appointment of Edwin Frederick O'Brien, Archbishop for the Military Services, as the fifteenth Archbishop of Baltimore:

This is one of my favorite photos of Cardinal O'Brien who looks so happy as he and Cardinal Keeler share the news of his appointment with our local Church. (Photo: Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun)

"He has leapt from military airplanes, served in jungles during the Vietnam War and travelled extensively to current battle zones in Afghanistan and Iraq. From his working-class roots...to the upper echelons of Catholic power—carrying a Christian message of peace and love to some of the world's worst war-torn terrain." --The Baltimore Sun on the military service of Archbishop O'Brien

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Archbishop O'Brien greeting the auxiliary bishops before his installation as Archbishop of Baltimore on October 1, 2007  (Photo: Baltimore Sun/ Lloyd Fox)

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Elevating the chalice during his Mass of Installation at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, Archbishop O'Brien is joined on left by Archbishop William D. Borders, the thirteenth Archbishop of Baltimore  (Photo: Baltimore Sun/ Algerina Perna)

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Receiving his pallium from Pope Benedict XVI on June 29, 2008 (Photo: CNS/ L'Osservatore Romano)

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"If Joseph Martin is not in heaven, I don't think any of us has a chance."

Cardinal O'Brien presided at the March 13, 2009 funeral Mass at the Baltimore Basilica for Sulpician Father Joseph C. Martin, the co-founder of Father Martin’s Ashley addiction treatment center in Havre de Grace, who died on March 9 at age 84. The Baltimore Sun called Father Martin "the 'wounded healer' who overcame alcoholism and, through his 'chalk talk' and the home he co-founded, helped some 40,000 others to do the same."  (Photo: Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun)

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Archbishop O'Brien leads the procession to the crypt at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen following the funeral for Archbishop William D. Borders, the thirteenth Archbishop of Baltimore who served from 1974 to 1989. He passed away on April 19, 2010 of colon cancer at Stella Maris at age 96. At the time of his death, Archbishop Borders was the fourth-oldest living Catholic bishop in United States history, and the longest-surviving bishop of both Orlando and Baltimore. (Photo: Baltimore Sun/ Lloyd Fox)

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Archbishop O'Brien announced the reorganization of Catholic schools in March of 2010 in a program called "Preserving the Tradition, Transforming the Future: The Rebirth of Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore." (Photo: Baltimore Sun/ Algerina Perna)

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Archbishop O'Brien joined the Sisters for Life for the John Cardinal O’Connor Conference at Georgetown University on the day prior to the 2011 March for Life. Entitled “Building a Culture of Life Today: Learning from the Life and Legacy of Cardinal O’Connor,” the panel of presenters included from left: Bishop William Lori, Professor Helen Alvare, Fr. Joseph Koterski, SJ (moderator), Mother Agnes Mary, SV, and Archbishop O'Brien. (Photo: Sisters of Life)

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Archbishop O'Brien presided over a Divine Mercy Sunday Mass on May 1, 2011 at the Basilica of the Assumption marking the beatification of Pope John Paul II earlier that day in Rome. After Mass, the archbishop led a procession around the block to the Pope John Paul II Prayer Garden. (Barbara Haddock Taylor, Baltimore Sun / May 1, 2011)

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Archbishop Giuseppe De Andrea, the assessor of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, formerly a priest in the Diocese of Greensburg, welcomes Archbishop O'Brien to the Rome headquarters on September 16, 2011 after the August 29 announcement of his appointment as Grand Master.

As Archbishop De Andrea placed the medallion around his neck, he said that this new role "is like a chain that ties him to the Holy Land" and to the knightly order of the Holy Sepulchre. (Photo: Paul Haring/CNS)

"I am grateful to the Holy Father for his trust in me and hope in the years ahead I will be a help to the Holy See and to the wonderful land where Christ walked." --Archbishop O'Brien

Archbishop O'Brien follows the leadership of U.S. Cardinal John P. Foley who stepped down due to health concerns in February. He passed away on December 11, 2011 at age 76 in Darby, Pennsylvania.


"We look to forward the cause of peace in the Holy Land — that’s the Holy Father’s burning desire — and to stopping the exodus of Christians, to make more available the holy places to more people and to encourage pilgrimage to the Holy Land."  --Archbishop O'Brien in an interview with CNS.

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Celebrating Mass at Saint Peter's Tomb on Jan. 16, 2012:

Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl (center) with Cardinal-designate Edwin O'Brien and Archbishop Timothy Broglio to his left. (Photo: CNS)

This marked the beginning of the ad limina visit to the Holy See for the bishops of Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, West Virginia, the Virgin Islands and the U.S. Archdiocese for Military Services.

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New member of the College of Cardinals Edwin Frederick O'Brien receives the red biretta from Pope Benedict XVI in Saint Peter's Basilica on February 18, 2012. (Photo: Franco Origlia, Getty Images Europe)

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Among the twenty-two new cardinals created that day were two from the United States, both sons of New York: Cardinal O'Brien and Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York. (AP Photo)

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New Cardinal Edwin Frederick O'Brien is congratulated by Archbishop Georg Ganswein, personal secretary of the Holy Father, during the courtesy visits at the Paul VI Hall on February 18, 2012 (Photo: Franco Origlia/Getty Images Europe)

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Archbishop of Baltimore-designate William E. Lori, along with Cardinal O'Brien, prays at the crypt of Archbishop John Carroll in the Baltimore Basilica on May 15, 2012, the eve of his elevation as the sixteenth Archbishop of Baltimore, Afterwards a vespers service was held there at the Basilica. (Kenneth K. Lam/Baltimore Sun / May 15, 2012 )

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Twenty-year reunion for the Pontifical North American College Class of 1992. Cardinal O'Brien was their seminary rector at the NAC:

From left: Fr. Brian McGrath, Msgr. Jim Checchio (the current rector of PNAC), Fr. Don Henke, Bishop Paul D. Etienne, Fr. Brian Hayes, Bishop Liam Cary, Bishop William Waterscheid, Msgr. Charles Antonicelli; kneeling Fr. Joe Fonti, with Cardinal O'Brien. (Photo: Bishop Paul D. Etienne

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On the eve of his first trip to the Holy Land as Grand Master of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, Cardinal O'Brien said he hoped to encourage the region’s Christian minority with a message of solidarity from Pope Benedict XVI and other Catholics in the West.

Shown here in his Rome residence on November 24, 2012, Cardinal O'Brien shows near a replica of the crosier of Pope John Paul II and other personal mementos. (Photo: CNS/Paul Haring)

“The church in the Holy Land has been under unfriendly domination throughout the centuries, and the fact that we still exist there is almost a miracle... We have to do everything we can as a Catholic people to encourage them and to let them know that we are one with them in their struggle.” --Cardinal O’Brien told Catholic News Service

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Video:





Enjoy this two-minute video with Cardinal O'Brien previewing his first pilgrimage to the Holy Land

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Cardinal O’Brien is greeted by students at the Catholic seminary in the West Bank town of Beit Jalla on November 28, 2012.

His Eminence was making his first visit to the Holy Land as Grand Master of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, a chivalric order that supports church institutions and Christians in the Holy Land. (Photo: CNS/Heidi Levine

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Flashing back to 2009:

Ten Episcopal nuns, all members of the All Saints Sisters of the Poor convent in Cantonsville, Maryland, along with their chaplain, Father Warren Tanghe, became Catholics during Mass in their chapel back on September 3, 2009. Archbishop O'Brien blessed each of them as they renewed their vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

Four years later on the Solemnity of All Saints, November 1, 2013:

The All Saints Sisters of the Poor look back to their feast day in 2011:

"For us Sisters, the Feast of All Saints has always been special since it is our Titular Feast, but since 2011, it has taken on even more importance. On that day, in the Basilica of the Assumption, in Baltimore, which is also the first Metropolitan Cathedral in the United States, we were erected as a new institute of Consecrated Life in the Roman Catholic Church, and our public vows."--All Saints Sisters of the Poor

Photo of the Sisters with then-Archbishop O’Brien following that November 1, 2011 Mass.

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Cardinal Edwin F. O'Brien at the March 20, 2012 press conference announcing that Bishop William E. Lori of the Diocese of Bridgeport was named the sixteenth Archbishop of Baltimore at the Baltimore Basilica. (Photo: Baltimore Sun/ Karl Merton Ferron)

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The Installation Mass for William E. Lori as the sixteenth Archbishop of Baltimore on May 16, 2012 at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen. Archbishop Lori was shown wearing the pectoral cross that belonged to Archbishop John Carroll, the first United States bishop and first Archbishop of Baltimore.

With Cardinal O'Brien is retired Auxiliary Bishop William Newman (far left), and Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the apostolic nuncio to the United States (second from left).

(Photo: Catholic Review)

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Cardinal O'Brien dedicated a new Latin Patriarchate school at Rameh (Northern Galilee) on November 29, 2012. He was joined by Patriarch Fouad Twal, as well as Bishop Marcuzzo, the Patriarchal Vicar for Israel who originated the project 18 years prior.

“I had prepared a written text, but when I saw the crowd, the followers of the different religions living together in joy and brotherhood, when I saw the enthusiasm of the parents and the students, I set aside my speech and my heart … spoke.”'--Cardinal O’Brien

The first stone for the building project had been blessed by Pope Benedict XVI at his Mass in Nazareth on May 14, 2009 during his pilgrimage to the Holy Land. For the village of Rameh, population 8,000, with 51% Christian, 29% Druze, and 20% Muslim, the school is central to the unity of its people. The Patriarch noted that “the school was not only a place of learning but also a place of dialogue between religions and culture, which must always be at the service of man and the construction of new bridges of friendship and love for all without distinction.”

(Photo: Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem)

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King Abdullah of Jordan met with Cardinal O'Brien and the Latin Patriarch, His Beatitude Fouad Twal December 2, 2012 in Amman. They discussed the fragile situation in the Middle East and their quest for lasting peace. (Photo)

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Who could ever forget the day that Pope Benedict XVI told the world that he was stepping down from the papacy?

On February 11, 2013, Cardinal O'Brien and his priest-secretary Msgr. Adam Parker witnessed the historic announcement from Pope Benedict XVI. This photo was taken by Msgr. Parker immediately following the announcement and published by The Catholic Review.

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American cardinals gather at the Pontifical North American College before the March, 2013 conclave:

From Left: Cardinal Justin Rigali, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Cardinal Francis George, Cardinal Seán, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Cardinal Roger Mahony and Cardinal Edwin O’Brien (Photo: BostonCatholic-Flickr)

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Cardinal O'Brien greets newly-elected Pope Francis (Photo: L’Osservatore Romano)

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Cardinal O’Brien, the Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem carries woven palm fronds in the procession for Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Square on March 24, 2013. (Photo: CNS/Paul Haring)

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Thank you, Your Eminence, for your outstanding service to our Archdiocese and your commitment to peace and understanding in our world.

We are grateful for your ministry and assure you of our prayers.

Ad multos annos!!

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The coat of arms of Cardinal Edwin F. O'Brien:

Father Edwin Frederick O'Brien was ordained a bishop by New York Archbishop Cardinal John J. O'Connor at St. Patrick's Cathedral on March 25, 1996, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of New York by Pope John Paul II.

Bishop O'Brien chose as his episcopal motto: Pastores Dabo Vobis ("I will give you shepherds") from Jeremiah 3:15.




October 02, 2014 01:54
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Thirty years later: Remembering Lawrence Cardinal Shehan and his legacy to the Church and to Baltimore


Omnia in caritate "All things (be done) in charity." (I Cor. 16:14):

The motto of Lawrence Cardinal Shehan (Photo: Archdiocese of Baltimore)


Looking back thirty years:

The summer of 1984 was extremely hot. And I would know, as I was expecting my daughter Meighan. But the overwhelming heat did not keep me and several thousand other faithful Catholics from attending the August 30 Funeral Mass for our beloved shepherd: a role model of staunch faith and a pioneer in the fight for human rights, fair housing, racial equality, Catholic education, and a leader in ground-breaking ecumenical relations.

Cardinal Lawrence Joseph Shehan, the twelfth Archbishop of Baltimore, passed on to Eternal Life on August 26, 1984 at the age of 86. Born in 1898 on Greenmount Avenue in Baltimore City to Thomas P. and Anastasia Dames (Schofield) Shehan, Shehan went to school at St. Ann’s right down the street, before going on to study at St. Charles (high school) College Seminary, St. Mary’s Seminary, and the Pontifical North American College in Rome, where he was ordained on December 23, 1922 at St. John Lateran Basilica.

I had a particular love for Cardinal Shehan since he had confirmed me, as well as had founded John Carroll School (1964) where I spent 33 years of my career. It was an honor and a privilege to pray with people from every walk of life who honored his memory at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen on that bright, sunny day, August 30, 1984.

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"Without question, he was a man who was convinced of the mission of the church. His entire life, up to the end, was devoted to having people appreciate the civilizing influence of the church." —Archbishop William D. Borders, the 13th Archbishop of Baltimore


Funeral Mass booklet, alongside “A Blessing of Years: The Memoirs of Lawrence Cardinal Shehan”


Some of the highlights of the Cardinal’s more than six decades of ministry:

1. Parish ministry at St. Patrick Church, Washington, D.C.;

2. Catholic Charities in D.C.: Assistant Director from 1929-36, then Director from 1936-45;

3. Auxiliary Bishop to the archbishop of Baltimore and Washington in 1945;

4. Auxiliary Bishop to the Archbishop of Baltimore in 1947;

5. Named first Bishop of the newly-established Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut by Pope Pius XII (serving from 1953-1961);

6. Twelfth Archbishop of Baltimore (from 1961 until his 1974 retirement);

Archbishop Shehan throwing out the first pitch at an Orioles game on Holy Name Night at Memorial Stadium in 1964; Seated to the immediate right is then-Msgr. (later Bishop) Frank Murphy, who served the Archbishop as priest-secretary; On the far right is Father Joseph L. Muth, Jr.; (Photo/ Joseph F. Siwak)

7. Served as a Council Father for all four sessions of Vatican II (1962-1965);

Seen here in St. Peter’s Basilica on November 18, 1965 during a public session of the Second Vatican Council (Photo: AP/Gianni Foggia)

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Seen here in Rome after one of the Vatican II sessions, Cardinal Shehan, an unidentified monsignor, and Rev. James Laubacher, S.S., who served as "peritus" (expert) to Cardinal Shehan, meet with the Holy Father. (Photo: Society of Saint Sulpice)


8. Elevated to the College of Cardinals in 1965; Was the second cardinal in our Premier See following Cardinal James Gibbons;

Cardinal Shehan’s Cappa Magna (great cape) is on permanent display in the museum room on the lower level of the Baltimore Basilica (Photo: Cardinal Seán's Blog)

9. Became Archbishop-Emeritus in 1974, continuing to live at the Basilica and celebrating early morning Mass there every day until his illness in 1984;

Last official duty before retirement: While serving as papal legate for Pope Paul VI to the 40th Eucharistic Congress in Melbourne, Australia in 1973, Cardinal Shehan presided over an Aboriginal Mass attended by almost 30,000. This liturgy featured “100 aborigines in full war paint and native dress performing an interpretative dance of the Last Supper in lieu of the first scripture reading.” (Photo: MDHC Archdiocese of Melbourne)

10. The final resting spot for Cardinal Shehan is the crypt of the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen.


Did you know?...

A. Cardinal Shehan ordered the desegregation of all the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 1962, and mandated that administrators at all Catholic hospitals and institutions abide by a strict practice of nondiscrimination.

B. A champion for equal rights and harmonious race relations, he issued a pastoral letter Racial Justice (italics) in March of 1963, stating that "discrimination has no place in the Church."


C. Five months later, Cardinal Shehan participated in the March on Washington (August 28, 1963) with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


"In his work with the Bishop’s Conference, Cardinal Shehan was instrumental in shaping the rules and the changes for the diaconate that enabled African Americans to become deacons." —Charles Tildon, appointed by Cardinal Shehan as the first chair of the Archdiocesan Urban Commission in 1966


D. Cardinal Shehan joined other bishops in appealing to the Supreme Court in 1967 to overturn bans on interracial marriages.

E. A leader in ecumenism from 1962, he was appointed by Pope Paul VI to the Vatican Secretariat for the Promotion of Christian Unity, and was named to represent the Holy Father at meetings with the Orthodox Church, which resulted in the lifting of the mutual excommunication made between Rome and Constantinople in 1054. (Cardinal Shehan also established this country’s first Commission for Christian Unity.)

Cardinal Augustin Bea, SJ (1881-1968), the first president of the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity, visited Baltimore in 1963. A noted biblical scholar and ecumenist, he worked with Cardinal Shehan on Jewish and Christian relations both during and after the Second Vatican Council. Seen here with Cardinal Shehan at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen. (Archives Photo)

F. He spoke out regularly against the Vietnam War, which he called (archbalt.org) "uncontrolled violence and senseless wholesale destruction of human life and moral values." He reiterated in 1971, ''It is a scandal the Christian conscience can no longer endure.''

G. He was unable to participate in the 1978 conclave due to the new changes implemented by Pope Paul VI that a cardinal over the age of 80 was ineligible to vote.


''I wish to assure you of my spiritual closeness at this time.'' —Part of a telegram sent by Pope John Paul II the week before Cardinal Shehan’s death; Seen here greeting the newly-elected Pope John Paul II after the 1978 conclave (Photo: Pontificia Fotografica Felici)

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Celebrating St. Joseph’s Day at St. Martin Home for the Aged in 1974; The adorable little one, now grown up with a family of her own, is Megan Wheltle. (Photo: "A Blessing of Years," University of Notre Dame Press)

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Short in stature, Cardinal Shehan often joked about his height. According to a New York Times article published upon his death:

“Once when asked about his success as a fund raiser, he quoted ''Shehan's Law'': ''The smaller the individual, the more likely he is to receive help from others.''

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Senator Edward Kennedy visits Cardinal Shehan, retired Archbishop, on May 11, 1980 while in Baltimore on his presidential campaign trip. (Photo: AP/William Smith)

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Cardinal Shehan School in Northwood celebrated their 25th anniversary last year with a Mass celebrated by Archbishop Lori on September 23, 2013: (Photo: Tom McCathy, Jr./ Catholic Review)

Archbishop Lori spoke of Cardinal Shehan during his homily: “He was a great friend of everyone... a great peacemaker in our community back in his day. We’ve gathered to celebrate a Mass to pray for peace and I know that all of you want a very peaceful, beautiful world.”

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Celebrating our 225th Anniversary:

As the Archdiocese of Baltimore celebrates this special anniversary year, may we always remember the legacy of this faithful shepherd who loved the Lord and His Church. May his example inspire us to live our lives standing up for peace and justice for all God's people.

Amen!!


Lawrence Cardinal Shehan (1898-1984)

(Photo: Catholic Review Archives)




August 28, 2014 01:55
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Remembering Pope Saint John Paul II’s visit to Denver for World Youth Day 1993

“I came that they might have life, and have it to the full.” –John 10: 10
Theme for World Youth Day, Denver 1993

 

Photo: Helen H. Richardson/ Denver Post

“Imagine Woodstock with all of the good and none of the bad… It was an event of more than 100,000 young people that changed society, but there was no marijuana; no beer bottles on the ground.” –Sister Mary Ann Walsh, RSM, communications director for World Youth Day Denver

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Looking back to 1993:

The third visit of Pope Saint John Paul II to the United States (not counting two flight layovers in Alaska) was held in Denver for the 1993 World Youth Day (August 10-15, 1993). The Archdiocese of Denver, under the leadership of then Archbishop J. Francis Stafford, hosted this historic event.

This marked the eighth WYD, which was started by Pope John Paul II in 1986 in Rome. Denver’s event was the first World Youth Day to be held in North America, as well as in an English-speaking nation. Pope John Paul II initiated plans for World Youth Day in 1984, with the first celebration in 1986. The Denver event was the eighth celebration and the first to become an international media sensation.

Photo: Denver Catholic Register

The Holy Father arrived in the Mile High City on August 12 following the first-ever papal visit to the island nation of Jamaica (August 9-11), and a brief stop in Mexico. He arrived by helicopter. The photos taken on board showed him, rosary in hand, as the young people gathered at Mile High Stadium gave thunderous applause, pointing to a rainbow that lit up the southern sky.

“Young people were pointing to it [the rainbow] in wonder…The Pope wept openly before the thunderous ovations of the universal Church.”  --Cardinal Stafford reminisced last year during the 20th anniversary of the event 


President Bill Clinton met with the Holy Father at the Welcome Ceremony on August 12, just eight months after his inauguration as the 42nd President of the United States. This was the first of four meetings of President Clinton with this Holy Father.

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Photo: James Baca/ Denver Catholic Register

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Photo: Denver Catholic Register

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"Jesus has called each one of you to Denver for a purpose! You must live these days in such a way that, when the time comes to return home, each one of you will have a clearer idea of what Christ expects of you."

–Pope John Paul II to the youth at Mile High Stadium

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Photo: Denver Catholic Register

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Gifts for the Holy Father--Photo: Denver Catholic Register

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The August 15 Closing Mass on the Solemnity of the Assumption had to be moved to Cherry Creek State Park because the massive crowds could not be accommodated at Mile High Stadium. Estimates mark upwards of 750,000 in attendance.

Photo: Denver Catholic Register

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Photo: Denver Catholic Register

“It was predicted that the papal initiative would attract no more than 20,000 young people. Mile High Stadium would be more than adequate, they said, for the activities culminating with the vigil and papal Mass.” --Cardinal Stafford recalled.

Photo: Denver Catholic Register

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The History of World Youth Day:

Enjoy this ten-minute video which traces the history of World Youth Day with Pope John Paul II.






August 14, 2014 03:42
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Catholic Throwback Thursday: Celebrating good Dads and the families they raised on the anniversary of the first Father's Day




Anniversary of the first Father's Day:

Today is the 104th anniversary of Fathers Day. The driving force behind this celebration in our nation was Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington. The daughter of a single father who raised six children on his own, Dodd was inspired to push for a similar day to honor all fathers when she heard a sermon at her Central Methodist Episcopal Church in 1909 about Anna Jarvis' establishment of Mother's Day.

(Fun Fact: Anna Jarvis emphasized that "Mother's" should "be a singular possessive, for each family to honor its mother, not a plural possessive commemorating all mothers of the world.")

Dodd urged her pastor to join her campaign to honor Dads starting on the June 5 birthday of her father, William Jackson Smart, a Civil War veteran. Local pastors claimed they did not have enough time to plan their sermons, so the date was moved to later in June. The following year, on June 19, 1910, the first Father's Day was observed throughout Spokane, Washington with sermons honoring fathers given at area churches.

Though observed annually on the third Sunday in June, it was not until 1972, six years after President Lyndon B. Johnson's presidential proclamation honoring fathers, that President Richard Nixon made Father's Day into a national holiday by signing it into law.

Honoring and remembering some influential Dads:

For this week's edition of Catholic Throwback Thursday, I'm looking back at some of the Dads who raised many of the Catholic leaders whom we have admired over the years.


Pope Francis was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio on December 17, 1936 in Flores, Buenos Aires, the eldest of the five children of Italian immigrant Mario José Bergoglio, an accountant, and Regina María Sívori.

 


Pope Francis as a young priest is seen with his father, Mario José Bergoglio, an accountant, and Regina María Sívori. (Photo: AFP)



Formal family portrait of the Bergoglios in Buenos Aires: Standing from left: Alberto, Padre Jorge, Oscar, Marta;
Seated: María Elena (the only sibling of the Holy Father still alive today), with their mother
Regina María Sívori, and father, Mario José Bergoglio. (Photo: Archives, Reuters/ AP)

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Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was born and baptized as Josef Aloisius Ratzinger on Holy Saturday, April 16, 1927 in Marktl, Bavaria, Germany. He was the youngest of the three children of Josef Ratzinger, Sr. and Maria Peintner Ratzinger. His sister Maria, who never married, managed the household of her Cardinal-brother in Germany until her death in 1991. Their brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, is still alive today.

The brothers attended seminary together after the end of World War II and were ordained in Munich on June 29, 1951.

 


Father Josef Ratzinger (standing right), and his brother Father Georg Ratzinger (standing left), with their father Josef, sister Maria, and mother Maria on their ordination day, June 29, 1951.

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The Very Rev. G. Gregory Gay, CM, whose family members have been lifelong parishioners of Saint Stephen Church, Bradshaw, is a native of Kingsville and a 1971 graduate of The John Carroll School in Bel Air. Since 2004, he has served as the Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission, the Daughters of Charity, and the 24th successor of Saint Vincent de Paul.

But when he's here in town, it is all about family....


One of ten children, Fr. Greg is seen with his brothers (from left) Joe, Bill, and John with their father George Gay at the August 16, 1987 wedding of their sister Mary Anne Gay Halloran. Mr. Gay, who passed away in December of 2006, and his late wife Jeanne left a legacy of strong faith and family values to their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
 (Photo courtesy of Patty Gay O'Brien, Rebecca O'Brien, and family.)

Read more about Fr. Greg in my three-part series from last September and October on his family, vocation to Vincentian priesthood, and his life of service to the poor and disenfranchised all over the world: Part 1  Part 2  Part 3 

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Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, Archbishop of New York, was born in St. Louis, Missouri on February 6, 1950, the eldest of the five children born to Shirley Radcliffe Dolan and the late Robert Dolan. Mr. Dolan passed away from a fatal heart attack less than ten months after their son's June 19, 1976 ordination to the priesthood.

Family members have recalled the importance to Mr. Dolan of sending his children to Catholic schools, going to Mass, and having a strong work ethic. When son Timothy was in the seminary in Rome, his Dad sent a handwritten letter every week and often included a cassette tape with his thoughts and musings so his son could stay in touch with home and family in a more personal way.


 

Cardinal Dolan's Mom, Shirley Dolan displays her family portrait at her home in Ballwin, Missouri:
 Seated with her late husband Robert, and surrounded by their children
 (from left): Lisa, Debbie, Timothy, Bob and Patrick. (Photo: Debbie Egan-Chin/NY Daily News)

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John Fitzgerald Kennedy, our only Catholic president of the United States, was born on May 29, 1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts to Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Sr. (1888–1969) and Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald Kennedy (1890–1995).


JFK at right and his brother Robert with their Dad, Joseph Kennedy, in July of 1938.
 Photo by AFP/Getty Images.



Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. with his famous family: This formal Kennedy Family portrait was taken on September 4, 1931 at the family estate in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts: 

From left: Robert Kennedy, "Buddy" their dog, John F. Kennedy (at back), Eunice Kennedy, Jean Kennedy on her Dad's lap, wife Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy (who was expecting Edward "Ted" Kennedy), Patricia Kennedy, Kathleen Kennedy, Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. (at back), and Rosemary Kennedy.
(Photo by Richard Sears, on display at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston)

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Rev. James Martin, SJ, editor-at-large of "America" magazine, best-selling author, popular speaker and retreat master, was born in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania on December 29, 1960 to James and Eleanor Martin.
Enjoy Fr. Jim's stories about faith, family, and saints in "My Life with the Saints," one of my favorite books.

After a brief career in the business world, Jim entered the Society of Jesus in the summer of 1988. He was ordained to the priesthood eleven years later on June 12, 1999. Holy Orders were conferred by Jesuit Archbishop Lawrence Burke, SJ (1932-2010), then serving as Archbishop of his native Kingston, Jamaica, after earlier episcopal ministry as the first Archbishop of Nassau, Bahamas.



This family portrait was taken on Father Martin's ordination day, June 12, 1999:
His Dad, James Martin, who passed away in 2001, beams with pride as he stands next to his newly ordained son, with daughter Carolyn and her baby Charles, wife Eleanor, and son-in-law Charles, Sr. (on left).

 (Photo courtesy of Rev. James Martin, SJ)

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Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen was born Peter John Sheen on May 8, 1895 at the apartment above the family hardware store in El Paso, Illinois. He was the eldest of four sons of Newton Morris "Newt" Sheen and Delia Sheen, and was called Fulton, which was his mother's maiden name. Baptized by Father Jeremiah H. Quinlan, the pastor of St. Mary's Church, four days later as Peter John, the future bishop was usually called P. J. as a child, before being known exclusively by his mother's maiden name. 

Fulton Sheen was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Peoria in 1919. An early radio and TV evangelist, he hosted "The Catholic Hour" on radio (1930-1950), followed by his Emmy Award-winning program "Life is Worth Living" 1951-1957). He served as Auxiliary Bishop of New York in 1951, and then as Bishop of Rochester from 1966 to 1969. His cause for canonization opened in 2002, with the title "Venerable" bestowed by Pope Benedict XVI in June of 2012.



Early 1930s photo of Mr. and Mrs. Sheen with their sons (from left): Joseph, Fulton, Aloysius, and Thomas  (Photo: Fulton J. Sheen Archives)


 

Can you name this famous father-son? They directed and starred in "The Way," a film about the pilgrimage on "El Camino de Santiago."  HINT: The father actually adopted the last name of the famous clerical televangelist whom I featured above.


June 19, 2014 08:51
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Music Monday: Children’s choir sings “Hallelujah” as Pope Francis prays for peace in the Holy Land



“Inside every Christian, there is a Jew.” --Pope Francis


This weekend’s pilgrimage of Pope Francis to the Holy Land to pray for peace comes fifty years after the historic visit to Jerusalem of Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras of Constantinople in 1964.


 

Historic meeting on Jan. 8, 1964, on the Mount of Olives: Marking the first meeting between leaders of Eastern and Western churches since the Schism of 1054.



Pope Francis prayed yesterday with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I at the Stone of Unction at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.



Calling for peace at Mass at Manger Square in Bethlehem on the West Bank (Photo: Melanie Lidman)


Calling on the Prince of Peace:

Praying and calling for peace and understanding at every opportunity, the Holy Father, during his homily at Sunday Mass in Bethlehem, invited Israeli and Palestinian leaders to meet June 6 at the Vatican.

“In this, the birthplace of the Prince of Peace, I wish to invite you, President Mahmoud Abbas, together with President Shimon Peres, to join me in heartfelt prayer to God for the gift of peace. I offer my home in the Vatican as a place for this encounter of prayer.”

 “All of us -- especially those placed at the service of their respective peoples -- have the duty to become instruments and artisans of peace, especially by our prayers… Building peace is difficult, but living without peace is a constant torment.”


"Hallelujah"

A children’s choir sang a most beautiful “Hallelujah” cover earlier this morning to welcome the Holy Father. May their sung prayers for peace blend with those of all of us who pray with them around the world.




 

Video from Rome Reports


Memorial Day:

As we here in the United States remember all those who gave their lives to preserve our freedom as a nation, may we live each day with a focus on the words attributed to the saint for whom the Holy Father took his name: “Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.”

Amen.




May 26, 2014 09:47
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Music Monday: Tap dancing deacons from the Pontifical North American College


If you need a smile on your face to start the new week, check out this footage posted from the Pontifical North American College in Rome.

Two deacons who are studying there did a tap dancing duel after a small chorus sang "Give My Regards to Broadway" at the April 30 Annual  Rector's Dinner. An appreciative audience of seminarians, priests, bishops, cardinals, and laity tapped their own feet and pulled out their phones to record the merriment.

When in Rome... 

Enjoy and have a great week!!



May 04, 2014 10:18
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Easter Sunday at the Vatican: He is risen, Alleluia!!


Happy Easter and many blessings from Rome!!

Easter morning:

The sound of people making their way to St. Peter's Square outside our hotel windows at the Palazzo Cardinal Cesi just after 6 a.m. "encouraged" us to skip breakfast and head out earlier than we had planned. We approached the piazza only to discover that the quickly-growing queues were not allowed to enter until 8 a.m. Hurry up and wait, right? That's exactly what we did for over an hour.

I had to keep looking up at the basilica dome and the statues of the apostles in an attempt to not think about the enormous number of people crowding in around us. When security finally started letting people in at 7:55, there was an enormous crush with the massive crowds trying to get into single opening metal detectors from every possible direction. It was overwhelming to say the least.

Once through, we worked our way to the reserved area where our early start gained us chairs on the center aisle. We were not as close as during the Wednesday audience, but we were indeed lucky to get seats at all, considering the enormous crowds on this bright and sunny Easter morning.

There were people of all ages and races, speaking so many different languages, many carrying banners and flags. There were nuns in religious habits of all styles, and priests and seminarians in cassocks and religious robes from many different orders among the crowds.

The liturgical practice with Msgr. Guido Marini for those participating that morning began at 8:30. The choirs also started warming up. 

During the three hours that we waited in queues and at our seats for the 10:15 Mass, I could see people in every corner and from every angle of St. Peter's Square. It was truly a representation of the Universal Church. Fox News later estimated the crowds to number 150,000, but my friends who work at the Vatican said that it could have easily been over 250,000. (Next Sunday's numbers for the canonizations of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII could be well over one million in attendance.)

The rosary and processions of the Swiss Guard:

Around 9:45, greetings for Easter were extended over the speakers throughout the piazza, with an invitation to join in the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary in Latin. Perhaps you could not see this on EWTN's live broadcast, but midway through the second mystery, music was heard in the distance growing louder and louder. After the next Ave Maria, the rosary stopped completely as we could see the Swiss Guard marching in formation in full ceremonial attire, led by their corps of musicians into the piazza from the Santa Anna Gate. It was spectacular for those able to see and hear. 

After they took their places to the left side facing the altar, the recitation of the rosary resumed. But wait... more music was soon heard and more Swiss Guards marching in formation processed through St. Peter's Square to the right side facing the altar. It was magnificent!! 

The rosary was never finished, as the cues on timing must have gotten mixed, and Mass was about to start. Those near the front definitely had a treat in witnessing this twice-annual solemn procession of the Swiss Guard, done only on Christmas and Easter.


Pope Francis on the steps before the altar at the beginning of Mass.

A "small world" story:

Ironically, my husband and I were seated at Mass next to two teens from another high school named for my school's patron, Archbishop John Carroll. It was not until Holy Communion when I saw and greeted a young man wearing a "Bishop Carroll High School" jacket, that one of the young men next to us told me they were part of that Canadian school's band, and were traveling and performing in various Italian towns. 

Popemobile ride through the piazza:

After Mass, the Holy Father hopped on the Popemobile for a fast loop around St. Peter's Square. They were being very time-conscious since he had to be up on the high balcony over the basilica for the 12 noon Urbi et Orbi ("To the city and to the world") message and blessing which was broadcast across the globe.


I went to the back of the seated area, facing the standing-only sections, to get this photo which really shows the huge crowds spread throughout St. Peter's Square. Notice that Pope Francis is riding in a completely open jeep, even the front windshield is down flat. 


From the front of my section facing the altar area and basilica.


Pope Francis looked so tiny when he came out onto the balcony over St. Peter's Basilica for the Urbi et Orbi message and blessing. It put into better perspective how truly massive is this largest church in the world. I also realized how it must have looked when he was presented to the crowds gathered there after his election last March. 

Heading home:

We are heading back to Maryland on Easter Monday after 12 amazing days in Italy. I so enjoyed sharing the daily "Buon giorno, Italia" journal and photos from the first week with my students.  

During the days that followed, my husband and I extended for five extra days near the Vatican after they departed. We kept busy with special tours, Vatican events, good food and wine, and some once-in-my-lifetime opportunities. I have lots of photos and great stories to share with you after the jet lag wears off.

Arriverderci, Roma!! We loved every minute!!

April 21, 2014 03:51
By Patti Murphy Dohn

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