If you have never been to a Catholic church, or if you are new to our area of Kansas City, welcome!
If you and your family have been away from the Catholic Church for some time, welcome back! If you are an active member of our family at St. John Francis Regis, welcome! In short, we are glad you are here.
Come and join us for Holy Mass and be transformed by God’s grace. Participate, go out “into the deep”— get involved. We are truly blessed to have such a Christ-centered, faith-filled community. We invite you to join us and experience this great gift of God. Learn ways you can get involved at St. John Francis Regis by browsing our site, our bulletin, or our Facebook page. Take advantage of the various links and videos and contemplate anew the splendor of our faith alive in our age.
I invite you to consider becoming a registered member of our parish so you can grow in abundant love of God and neighbor. We look forward to seeing you, and may God richly bless you!
- 1 of 5
Vatican City, Sep 21, 2019 / 06:05 am (CNA).- Cardinal Sean O’Malley, archbishop of Boston, and Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego are among those chosen by Pope Francis as synod fathers in next month’s Amazon Synod.
A full list of the 185 participants in the Special Assembly for the Pan-Amazonian Region was published by the Vatican Sept. 21. The synod is set to take place Oct. 6-27.
Among those taking part are 33 bishops nominated by Pope Francis, including O’Malley and McElroy, the only two United States’ bishops to be synod fathers in the Amazon Synod.
The three president delegates of the synod are Cardinal Baltazar Enrique Porras Cardozo, apostolic administrator of Caracas and archbishop of Merida in Venezuela; Cardinal Pedro Ricardo Barreto Jimeno, archbishop of Huancayo in Peru and vice president of the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network (REPAM); and Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.
Cardinal Claudio Hummes, archbishop emeritus of Sao Paulo in Brazil and president of REPAM is relator general.
The special secretaries are Cardinal-elect Michael Czerny, under-secretary of the Migrant and Refugees section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and Bishop David Martinez De Aguirre Guinea, apostolic vicar of Puerto Maldonado in Peru.
Other pontifical nominations include heads of bishops’ conferences, commissions, or councils, such as Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, archbishop of Vienna; Cardinal Bagnasco, archbishop of Genova and president of the Council of European bishops’ conferences; Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich and Freising; Cardinal elect Jean-Claude Hollerich, archbishop of Luxembourg and president of the Commission of Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union; and Archbishop Marcel Madila Basanguka of Kananga, president of the Association of Bishops’ Conferences of Central Africa.
Others nominated include Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life; Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, archbishop of Tegucigalpa; Cardinal John Ribat, archbishop of Port Moresby; and Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Bombay.
Non-bishops nominated include religious priests from Argentina, Peru, Angola, and Italy; Fr. Anthony Spadaro, director of La Civilta Cattolica; and Fr. Mauricio Garcia Duran, director of the Jesuit Refugee Service.
According to synod norms, there will also be in attendance 15 superior generals, chosen by the Union of Superior Generals (USG).
There will be 25 experts and 55 auditors, as well as six fraternal delegates from other Christian churches, who attend the synod but do not participate in final voting.
Pope Francis is president of the Synod of Bishops and Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri is secretary general.
Vatican City, Sep 21, 2019 / 12:00 am (CNA).- Andrea Tornielli, editorial director of the Dicastery for Communications in the Vatican, said that married priests will be a subject of discussion during the upcoming synod of bishops on the Amazon, which will take place October 6-27 in Rome, but noted that the synod does not have the power to make decisions on the matter.
“The synod will discuss the possibility, for territories like the Amazon, to propose the ordination of married men. That is, the ordination of catechists, older persons who already have a role of responsibility in several communities. But it's not a decision already made, nor is it certain that they synod will arrive at that decision.” Tornielli said in an interview Sept. 19.
“In any case it would not be a decision of the synod but it would be a decision of the pope,” Tornielli said in the interview, which was published on the Facebook page of the Brazilian bishops’ conference.
Tornielli referred to the working document of the synod:
“Affirming that celibacy is a gift for the Church, it is asked, that for the most remote areas of the region, the possibility be studied of priestly ordination for older people, preferably indigenous, respected, and accepted by their community even though they still have a constituted and stable family, for the purpose of ensuring the sacraments that accompany and sustain the Christian life,” the working document says.
In the interview, Tornielli explained that “the synod does not approve anything because it is a consultative body, the one who decides is the pope. We know, because we have read it, the synod's Instrumentum laboris mentions the difficulties that communities in remote areas face in receiving the sacraments, and of having priests who can celebrate Mass.”
He also noted that “for many centuries in the Catholic Church there have been married priests. They are the priests of the Eastern Catholic Churches who have returned to full communion with Rome. But note, it's not that priests can marry but that persons already married are ordained, this is for the Easterners.”
“The same thing exists, and perhaps this will be a surprise for our listeners, in the Latin Rite Church, as an exception, from the time of Pius XII. Pope Pacelli received former Anglican priests who wanted to enter into communion with Rome and as they were married they were ordained priests and they support their families,” he continued.
Moreover, Tornielli then said, “Pope Benedict himself with the constitution Anglicanorum coetibus has established that this exception can continue in the case of the Anglicans. So there already are exceptions.”
In effect, in 2009 Pope Benedict XVI approved the creation of personal ordinariates, jurisdictions created to receive the Anglicans who request by the thousands to return to full communion with the Catholic Church. In that framework, married Anglican priests can be ordained as Catholic priests.
A version of this story was originally published by ACI Prensa, CNA's Spanish-language partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.
Antigonish, Canada, Sep 20, 2019 / 05:01 pm (CNA).- A Catholic hospital in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia will now be required to offer assisted suicide and euthanasia on site, after an assisted suicide advocacy group threatened legal action in January.
The Canadian Senate legalized assisted suicide and euthanasia in June 2016. Both practices are fully funded in the Canadian healthcare system.
The Candian Press reports that St. Martha’s Regional Hospital in Antigonish was formerly run by the Sisters of St. Martha, which signed an agreement in 1996 with the provincial health authority when it took control of the facility.
The agreement was meant to ensure the hospital’s Catholic identity and values would be preserved.
However, the Canadian Press reports, the Nova Scotia Health Authority last month “quietly instituted” a policy change to require St. Martha’s to offer assisted suicide.
“This approach respects the 1996 Mission Assurance Agreement with the Sisters of St. Martha that lays out the philosophy, mission and values of St. Martha’s in accordance with its faith-based identity, while also meeting the legislated obligation to ensure that [assisted suicide and euthanasia] is available in the Antigonish area for those who request and meet the criteria to access that service,” said Tim Guest, the health authority’s vice-president of health services, as quoted by the Canadian Press.
Dying With Dignity Canada, a group advocating for assisted suicide and euthanasia, said that many hospitals across Canada ban the practice on the premises, particularly in the provinces of Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia.
The group’s leadership has said that they hope the province’s proactive approach will be “used as a model in other jurisdictions across the country.”
Canadian lawmakers have raised concerns about the country’s assisted suicide legislation since its passage, over problems such as conscience protections and whether minors should be able to avail themselves of assisted suicide.
Some of these concerns were raised again in the recent case of a Canadian man, Roger Foley, who suffers from an incurable disease and claims that despite asking for home care, the medical team at an Ontario hospital would only offer him assisted suicide.
The bishops of Canada have recently reiterated their support for palliative care as a distinct form of care that attends to the needs and dignity of the whole person at the natural end of their life.
The bishops’ statement clarified that patients and doctors are not required to do everything possible to avoid death if a life has reached its natural conclusion and medical intervention would not be beneficial.
“So while life is a penultimate good, requiring us to take reasonable care of our lives, we are not morally obligated to seek or undergo burdensome therapies ‘at all costs’ that provide no benefit. Nor at the same time are clinicians morally obligated to ‘do everything possible’ if life has reached its natural conclusion and it is no longer medically appropriate. Such a stance is known as vitalism and is rejected by the Catholic moral tradition,” according to Covenant Health’s definition of palliative care included in the bishops’ statement.
A Catholic approach to palliative care is a “person-centered approach,” the bishops said, “which draws deeply from the scriptural understanding of healing, compassion and love.”
This approach takes account of a patient’s “body, mind and spirit” and tries to relieve human suffering while also attending to “the transcendent needs of the dying person and his/her loved ones, with special solicitude for the poor and disadvantaged.”
There also needs to be more and better information available about palliative care resources for patients and their families in Canada, the bishops said. They advocated for public awareness campaigns about palliative care implemented in the country’s health care systems, including resources that would take into account the needs of different cultures or of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups.
Washington D.C., Sep 20, 2019 / 03:12 pm (CNA).- Msgr. Walter Rossi has taken a leave of absence from the board of trustees at The Catholic University of America, while the priest is the subject of a canonical investigation for unspecified allegations of misconduct.
“Last month the chairman of the Board of Trustees approved Msgr. Rossi’s request to take a voluntary leave of absence pending the resolution of the investigation launched jointly by the Archdiocese of Washington and the Diocese of Scranton. During the leave of absence Msgr Rossi will not participate in any board activities,” Karna Lozoya, spokesperson for the university told CUA Sept. 20.
Lozoya told CNA that the university is “in contact with the Diocese of Scranton and the Archdiocese of Washington, who have jointly launched an investigation. We will cooperate with them as needed. We don’t have any information at this point to warrant our own investigation.”
In August, the Diocese of Scranton told CNA that it had commenced “the process of launching a full forensic investigation into the concerns that have been raised,” about Rossi, who is rector of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, which is adjacent to the campus of The Catholic University of America.
Rossi is a priest of the Diocese of Scranton.
“The Diocese of Scranton and Archdiocese of Washington will work jointly and cooperatively on undertaking a comprehensive investigation,” the diocese told CNA Aug. 14.
Concerns were raised about Rossi to Archbishop Gregory Aug. 13, during a question-and-answer session at a Theology on Tap, held at the Public Bar Live in the Dupont area of Washington. The event was broadcast live on Facebook.
During that session, Gregory called for an independent, forensic investigation of some allegations against Rossi.
Rossi has been accused of directing young men to Fr. Matthew Reidlinger, a priest friend of Rossi’s who is alleged to have sexually harassed them in phone calls and text messages. That accusation was made in 2013.
In August, Gregory said he was unfamiliar with the allegation.
“That’s news to me. And I am not doubting it, but I have not heard about [this situation].”
“I suspect – I hope – that there is a forensic investigation. But in today’s environment, even a forensic investigation that either proves or disproves, will not satisfy the people. But I would like to see that, I would like to see a forensic investigation of those allegations.”
Rossi “is not an employee of Catholic University, nor does he have regular duties or responsibilities to fulfill on our campus. We do have students who are active either as part-time employees or volunteers at the Shrine. We have not received any complaints from our students regarding Msgr. Rossi,” Lozoya told CNA Friday.
“The safety of our students is our first priority. If we ever have good reason to believe the safety of our students is in danger, we will take the necessary action,” she added.
While Rossi is the subject of a canonical investigation, he has not been removed from his post at the National Shrine, and neither the scope nor the timeline of the investigation have been delineated by the Archdiocese of Washington or the Diocese of Scranton.
“If anyone harms a student at The Catholic University of America, we want to know about it. If any member of our community has experienced sexual abuse or assault, or has first hand knowledge of an incident, please contact our Department of Public Safety, the Metropolitan Police Department, our Dean of Students, or our Title IX coordinator,” Lozoya told CNA.
Madrid, Spain, Sep 20, 2019 / 03:07 pm (CNA).- A top UK rabbi has criticized secular groups in Britain for their remarks against religious practices and faith-based schools.
Ephraim Mirvis, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Great Britain and the Commonwealth, spoke at an international interreligious conference held in Madrid this week, addressing comments from groups such as Humanists UK and the National Secular Society.
Mirvis said that “humanism, with a small ‘h’, sits at the centre of what it means to be a Jew. But there is a different Humanism, with a capital ‘H’, which I fear is becoming ever-more combative in the way in which it regards faith communities.”
“We are finding that, often, Humanism, and other secularist approaches, seek out opportunities to attack faith,” said Mirvis, the Jewish News reported.
According to the website for Humanists UK, he said, there has been a campaign against faith-based schools. The charity, which advocates for the rights of non-religious people, is opposed to state-funded religious schools.
“Do I not have the right to educate my children in accordance with the values that I hold dear?” asked Mirvis.
“Those Humanists who campaign against the existence of faith schools are in effect campaigning against my freedom to raise my children in accordance with the tenets of my faith,” he added.
Humanists UK Chief Executive Andrew Copson said Mirvis’ reaction was unfair, the Jewish News reported. He said the organization has worked with numerous faith groups in the past to ensure “liberal social values.” He expressed a desire to have a similar dialogue with the rabbi.
“We are ready to engage likewise with the Rabbi Mirvis at any time to explore what we share and how we can work together towards any shared goals and in the cause of greater mutual understanding,” said Copson.
According to The Jewish Chronicle, Mirvis also criticized the National Secular Society’s remarks on circumcision. In the past, the group has petitioned to end non-consensual religious surgery, claiming it is genital mutilation forced upon infants.
Mirvis said circumcision is an “essential part” of the Jewish faith and a sign of God’s covenant with his people. “An attack against our right to perform circumcision is an attack against a most fundamental element of our belief,” he added.
He was particularly critical of the organization’s Chief Executive Stephen Evans, who claimed that religious liberty movements were often a demand for “the state to turn a blind eye to the violation of other’s rights.” Evans’ comment was in regards to circumcision.
"Religious practices aren’t beyond reproach and religious groups shouldn’t be given a free pass to carry out harmful practices,” Evans later added, according to the Jewish Chronicle.
“Secularists seek to ensure that the right to religious freedom is always balanced against other considerations, including the protection of children.”
According to the Jewish News, Mirvis respectfully encouraged the group to pursue their convictions, but not to obstruct other pursuits of faith. He said an organization should be defined by “what they live for” instead of identifying themselves by their opposition to other belief systems.
“If it is freedom you seek, please do not campaign against our freedom to practice our faith. If you are calling for tolerance, please do not stoop to intolerance of faith communities and religious practice,” he said.
"If you wish to prevent religion from imposing its values on our society, please don’t do just that, by seeking to impose Humanism on our society.”