National Media Watch

Young Hispanic Catholics Plan National Gathering

PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, Jan. 15 — More than 2,000 young Hispanic Catholics plan to gather to share their ideas on the future of the Church at the Encuentro symposium at the University of Notre Dame in early June, reported the Inquirer.

The country’s 44 million Hispanics represent the largest ethnic group in the United States. Of that number, 17 million are Catholics under the age of 25. Some estimates suggest that Hispanics could soon make up between 30%-40% of the Church in the United States.

Encuentro (Spanish for meeting) is being convened by a network of Catholic Church-based organizations and pastoral ministers that advocate for Hispanic youth in the Church. The goal of the meeting is to develop a network of youth leaders and organizations, as well as a national pastoral plan for Hispanic youth ministry.

“We don’t want to give up our culture,” said Miriam Espadas, Encuentro coordinator for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. “We want to integrate, not assimilate.”

Realtors Eye Closed Boston Churches

DAILY NEWS TRANSCRIPT, Jan. 17 — The Vatican Congregation for the Clergy recently rejected appeals in 10 parish closing cases in the Archdiocese of Boston, and realtors are putting price tags on several of Boston’s closed churches, said the Massachusetts newspaper.

Realtor Craig Johnston sees the potential for developing the former churches into condominiums and car dealerships. St. Joseph’s in Waltham was purchased by a Haitian church for $1 million.

The 10 parishes have 30 days to appeal to the Vatican’s Apostolic Signature, a court of final appeals.

Priest Writes an Obituary for Eulogies

KENTUCKY POST, Jan. 17 — According to the Post, a Kentucky priest has told parishioners they may no longer offer “words of remembrance” at funerals.

“The abuses are getting more and more frequent,” said Father Dan Vogelpohl, pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church in Fort Mitchell, Ky. Father Vogelpohl said that eulogies were becoming 30-minute speeches and in some cases were heretical. Father Vogelpohl explained his decision in a series of four bulletin announcements in December.

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal states that: “At the funeral Mass, there should, as a rule, be a short homily, but never a eulogy of any kind.”

The focus of a Catholic funeral is celebrating how God extends life in Christ to the deceased, not remembering the deceased person’s life.

New Rector for New York Seminary

LONG ISLAND NEWSDAY, Jan. 18 — A priest with a reputation for orthodoxy has been appointed to succeed a New York seminary rector who had resigned suddenly two months earlier, the Long Island, N.Y. daily reported.

Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, N.Y., Jan. 17 appointed Msgr. James McDonald, 64, a pastor known as an active recruiter of priesthood candidates, as rector of the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, N.Y.

Msgr. McDonald has spent most of his life since ordination in 1967 in parish work, although he was once associate vocations director under former Bishop James McHugh.

The paper said the appointment comes at a time of “crisis in vocations to the priesthood and a reexamination of priestly training in light of the clergy sex abuse scandals.”