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Catholic News

IMAGE: CNS photo/Marie Mischel, Intermountain CatholicBy Marie MischelOGDEN,Utah (CNS) -- Each year for the past decade, a group of Boy Scouts in Ogden havespent a day walking from house of worship to house of worship, learning how theTen Commandments are put into practice in different faith traditions."Fromthe very beginning, the idea was to build an awareness of an ecumenicalspirit," said Deacon Herschel Hester, one of the four original organizers ofthe Ten Commandments Walk.Becausemost of the Scouts have never been exposed to a faith outside their own, "thewhole idea is for these young men to be introduced to a larger (faith)community than just theirs," he told the Intermountain Catholic, newspaper ofthe statewide Diocese of Salt Lake City."Ithas nothing to do with a merit badge, but it all has to do with living out the12th point of the Scout Law: A Scout is reverent," said Deacon Hester, who is amember of the diocese's Committee on Scouting and a member of the executiveboard of ...

IMAGE: CNS photo/Marie Mischel, Intermountain Catholic

By Marie Mischel

OGDEN, Utah (CNS) -- Each year for the past decade, a group of Boy Scouts in Ogden have spent a day walking from house of worship to house of worship, learning how the Ten Commandments are put into practice in different faith traditions.

"From the very beginning, the idea was to build an awareness of an ecumenical spirit," said Deacon Herschel Hester, one of the four original organizers of the Ten Commandments Walk.

Because most of the Scouts have never been exposed to a faith outside their own, "the whole idea is for these young men to be introduced to a larger (faith) community than just theirs," he told the Intermountain Catholic, newspaper of the statewide Diocese of Salt Lake City.

"It has nothing to do with a merit badge, but it all has to do with living out the 12th point of the Scout Law: A Scout is reverent," said Deacon Hester, who is a member of the diocese's Committee on Scouting and a member of the executive board of the Boy Scouts Trapper Trails Council.

Scouts who belong to the council's member troops take part in the event, which took place this year May 12.

The walk also helps emphasize the Scout oath, which promises duty to God, the deacon said.

Ninety Scouts participated in the inaugural walk. This year more than 300 boys walked the 6.6-mile route that took them to Ogden's Second Baptist Church, Emmanuel Church of God in Christ, the Salvation Army, the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, St. Joseph Catholic Church, Elim Lutheran Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Fourth Ward, Hope Resurrected Church, First Church of Christ, Scientist, First Presbyterian Church and Congregation Brith Sholem.

At the final stop, Rabbi Ben Stern chanted the Ten Commandments in Hebrew from the synagogue's Torah scroll.

"When someone reads Torah, the most important thing is to be accurate on their reading," he said, and explained that generally on the Jewish Sabbath the person reading or chanting from the Torah uses a book rather than the handwritten scroll because the book is easier to read.

The book is held by a person other than the reader, and the person holding the book will correct the reader if there is a mispronunciation, Rabbi Stern said. "If you get something wrong, they have to stop you. It's required."

Rabbi Stern also answered questions such as why yarmulkes are worn, how long the Jewish worship services are, and the concept of kosher.

The night before the hike, the Scouts camped out at Marshall White Center Park. That evening, they heard from Charles W. Dahlquist II, the national commissioner of Boy Scouts of America and past Young Men general president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"Scouting is a world organization of people who care about each other and who care about duty to God and faith in God, and who not only believe what they have learned but they practice what they preach and they practice what they believe," said Dahlquist.

He urged those present to learn about the different faith practices they would hear about the next day "because understanding brings peace."

Dahlquist was invited to speak to the gathering by Jacques Behar, a member of the National Jewish Committee on Scouting and president of the Ogden synagogue.

Some of Dahlquist's closest friends are people of faiths different from his own, he said. "There is much more that joins us than separates us. We live in a time when we need to be joined more than ever before."

Behar, who has been an adult Scout leader for 32 years, said in an interview that he is pleased young men of many faiths participate in the hike because afterward "it's interesting to have them walk away and say, 'Gee, I didn't realize how close we all are.'"

"And I always tell them that if you would just concentrate on the 85 percent that we're all alike, and not so much on the 15 percent that we're not, the world would be a much better place," he said.

Riley Crezee, an Eagle Scout from St. James the Just Parish's Troop 293 who served as the master of ceremonies for the evening, said the opportunity the Ten Commandments Walk gives for Scouts to learn about different people's faith is important, "especially today where everything is just very polarized. ... I think that makes us better people as a society."

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Mischel is editor of the Intermountain Catholic, newspaper of the Diocese of Salt Lake City.

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Copyright © 2018 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

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IMAGE: CNS photo/Paul HaringBy Paul HaringBERGAMO, Italy (CNS) -- Accompanied by Bishop Francesco Beschi of Bergamoand escorted by both Italian and Vatican police officers, the glass coffincontaining the body of St. John XXIII left the Vatican early May 24 for a 370-mile drive to Bergamo.The route taken for the trip north was kept secret forsecurity reasons.When the procession reached Bergamo's central VittorioVeneto Square, Bishop Beschi told thousands of people gathered there that itwas "with great joy and emotion that I accompanied to our diocese, ourcity, the urn with the mortal remains -- now relics -- of John XXIII, whichreturn for a few days to the land of his birth."St. John, who opened the Second Vatican Council, was born Nov. 25, 1881, in Sotto il Monte, a town nearBergamo. After his ordination as a priest and years of service in the Vaticandiplomatic corps, he was appointed patriarch of Venice in 1953. He was elected pope Oct. 28, 1958, and died five years later.The pilgr...

IMAGE: CNS photo/Paul Haring

By Paul Haring

BERGAMO, Italy (CNS) -- Accompanied by Bishop Francesco Beschi of Bergamo and escorted by both Italian and Vatican police officers, the glass coffin containing the body of St. John XXIII left the Vatican early May 24 for a 370-mile drive to Bergamo.

The route taken for the trip north was kept secret for security reasons.

When the procession reached Bergamo's central Vittorio Veneto Square, Bishop Beschi told thousands of people gathered there that it was "with great joy and emotion that I accompanied to our diocese, our city, the urn with the mortal remains -- now relics -- of John XXIII, which return for a few days to the land of his birth."

St. John, who opened the Second Vatican Council, was born Nov. 25, 1881, in Sotto il Monte, a town near Bergamo. After his ordination as a priest and years of service in the Vatican diplomatic corps, he was appointed patriarch of Venice in 1953. He was elected pope Oct. 28, 1958, and died five years later.

The pilgrimage with his remains was meant to mark the 60th anniversary of his election and the 55th anniversary of his death.

Maria Calagari was in the square with her sister and some friends to welcome St. John's remains. 

"We are fortunate because we saw him when he was pope, we saw him die and we just saw him now -- 55 years later as a saint here in Bergamo," she said. "We are fortunate."

In connection with the pilgrimage of St. John's relics, Pope Francis gave an interview to L'Eco di Bergamo, the area's main daily newspaper, which is owned by the Diocese of Bergamo.

In the interview, Pope Francis described St. John as "a saint who did not know the word 'enemy,'" but "always sought what would unite people."

For St. John, he said, "the church is called to serve human beings, not just Catholics, and to defend always and everywhere the rights of the human person and not just of the Catholic Church."

Pope Francis said the pilgrimage was meant to be "a gift and an occasion" to renew one's faith and to remember the great pope. It is a special opportunity for the elderly, the sick and the poor, who have not been able to go to St. Peter's Basilica to pray at his tomb.

The visit to the Diocese of Bergamo included a stop at the city's prison, where 180 prisoners -- including 35 Muslims -- asked permission to enter the internal courtyard where a truck carrying the remains was to stop.

The prison yard was the first place in Bergamo where people were allowed to touch the glass coffin. The prisoners were given a square of either yellow or white fabric to touch to the glass; most of them touched the glass with their hands, then used the fabric to wipe the glass clean.

Vincenza, one of the inmates, told the local television station that it was amazing to have the saintly pope's remains stop in the prison at the beginning of the pilgrimage "because usually, especially for important events, prisoners are the last ones people think about."

From the prison, the relics were to be driven to the diocesan seminary named after Pope John XXIII. The priests of the diocese were to escort the remains to the cathedral later in the day.

Teens and young adults of the diocese planned a prayer vigil in the cathedral May 25, and the remains were also to be present the next morning as new priests were ordained for the diocese.

After a Mass with the poor May 27, the body was to be moved to the hospital named after the late pope, then transferred to the Shrine of St. John XXIII in Sotto il Monte.

Pilgrims can pray before the saint's remains at the shrine until June 10, when Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, will celebrate Mass and the body will be returned to the Vatican.

Cardinal Angelo Comastri, archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica, told Vatican Media that "this is the first time -- it's never happened before -- that the remains of a pope make a return visit to his home, to his roots."

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Contributing to this story was Cindy Wooden at the Vatican.

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Copyright © 2018 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

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IMAGE: CNS photo/Tyler OrsburnBy Mark PattisonWASHINGTON (CNS) -- This year'sNational Catholic Prayer breakfast took on a decidedly Kansas flavor, asArchbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City and Sam Brownback, a former House and Senatemember and governor of Kansas, addressed nearly 1,000 gathered at a Washingtonhotel May 24.Also speaking was outgoing Speakerof the House Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, who was a staffer for Brownback in thelatter's early days in Congress."We support the right toreligious freedom," said Brownback, now the U.S. at-large ambassador for internationalreligious freedom. It is not because that right appears in the Constitution or theU.N. Declaration on Human Rights, he said, but "because it's a God-given right.""No governmenthas the right to infringe upon a God-given right. No government has the rightto do that," he added to applause."It's important to us because it'simportant to God," Brownback said. The right to religious freedom is "not inour DNA, but it's in...

IMAGE: CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn

By Mark Pattison

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- This year's National Catholic Prayer breakfast took on a decidedly Kansas flavor, as Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City and Sam Brownback, a former House and Senate member and governor of Kansas, addressed nearly 1,000 gathered at a Washington hotel May 24.

Also speaking was outgoing Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, who was a staffer for Brownback in the latter's early days in Congress.

"We support the right to religious freedom," said Brownback, now the U.S. at-large ambassador for international religious freedom. It is not because that right appears in the Constitution or the U.N. Declaration on Human Rights, he said, but "because it's a God-given right."

"No government has the right to infringe upon a God-given right. No government has the right to do that," he added to applause.

"It's important to us because it's important to God," Brownback said. The right to religious freedom is "not in our DNA, but it's in our souls," and all humans have that right "even if we disagree with their path or destination."

Despite this, "more people are being persecuted for their faith right now than at any other time in human history," according to Brownback. "God knew before he made us that we would mess it up -- and he created us anyway."

Brownback began his remarks by congratulating those in the audience who "fought and fought and fought" for the right to life. He said that during his six years as Kansas governor, which ended with his February confirmation to the ambassadorial post, he had "signed 19 pro-life bills, and we had 17,000 fewer abortions in Kansas in those six years than we had in the prior six years."

Ryan, who is not running for re-election, thanked those in attendance "for what do you on this excellent journey."

He lamented the political culture in Washington. "'Survival of the shrillest' is what some people call us these days," he said. It seems, he added, as if everything is viewed "always in survival mode" and people find intrigue in things "that frankly aren't all that intriguing."

In Washington politics, Ryan said, "optics" is what counts. "That is a word I will not be missing," he said to laughter.

He recommended Catholic social teaching, sometimes calling it "Catholic social doctrine," as "the perfect antidote to what ails our society."

"As Catholics, there is nothing more fulfilling than fulfilling our mission with passion, with prayer and with joy," Ryan said.

He lauded the twin principles of subsidiarity and solidarity as the best approach to dealing with issues, rather than relying on government to solve every problem. With those principles in hand, Ryan said, "people and problems are not treated as if they're distractions,"

In his remarks, Archbishop Naumann, who begins a three-year term in November as chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, warned that the nation's most serious crisis is "a God-crisis -- a crisis of faith."

He looked askance at "the large number of millennials who profess atheism or, even more commonly, identify themselves as spiritual, but not religious. This nonreligious spiritualism is a new paganism, where God is not the God of revelation who makes himself known to us, but a god or gods that are fashioned in our own image to reinforce our own desires."

Archbishop Naumann said, "It is this loss of a sense of God that also leaves us vulnerable to losing sight of the innate value of each and every human being." It promotes a culture in which "human life becomes just another thing in a world of things. Materialism reigns and breeds utilitarianism; our value is determined by our usefulness," he said.

"We are called to renew our nation, not primarily by enacting laws, but by announcing the joy and hope of the Gospel of Jesus to individuals in desperate need of its good news. It is our task to reclaim our culture -- one mind, one heart, one soul at a time," Archbishop Naumann said.

To do so, he added, we need Jesus. "Jesus defeats humanity's twin enemies, sin and death, by walking through death to eternal life. We believe in a God who died but is far from dead. The triumphant, risen Lord is still animating the lives of those who open their hearts to encounter his love. Thus for the Christian, we are never without hope," the archbishop said.

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Follow Pattison on Twitter: @MeMarkPattison

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Copyright © 2018 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

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IMAGE: CNS photo/courtesy Natalie BattagliaBy Dennis SadowskiWASHINGTON(CNS) -- A year into his priesthood, Father Matt O'Donnell was named a pastor.Days beforehis 27th birthday in 2013, Father O'Donnell arrived at St. Columbanus Parish in Chicago's South Side Park Manor neighborhood and since then has embraced his ministry to the African-American community.It didn'ttake long for the young priest who grew up at St. Fabian Parish in the Chicago suburb of Bridgeviewto become a leading figure in the neighborhood.FatherO'Donnell, now 31, went about getting to know residents and parishioners and learningwhat they thought the community needed. From that, Father O'Donnell recruited volunteersin spearheading the creation of a variety of services and ministries that has cementedSt. Columbanus as an anchor in Park Manor.Forstarters, there's the parish food pantry that serves more than 500 people 49of 52 Wednesdays a year, the building of a new playground that gives kids asafe space to be kid...

IMAGE: CNS photo/courtesy Natalie Battaglia

By Dennis Sadowski

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A year into his priesthood, Father Matt O'Donnell was named a pastor.

Days before his 27th birthday in 2013, Father O'Donnell arrived at St. Columbanus Parish in Chicago's South Side Park Manor neighborhood and since then has embraced his ministry to the African-American community.

It didn't take long for the young priest who grew up at St. Fabian Parish in the Chicago suburb of Bridgeview to become a leading figure in the neighborhood.

Father O'Donnell, now 31, went about getting to know residents and parishioners and learning what they thought the community needed. From that, Father O'Donnell recruited volunteers in spearheading the creation of a variety of services and ministries that has cemented St. Columbanus as an anchor in Park Manor.

For starters, there's the parish food pantry that serves more than 500 people 49 of 52 Wednesdays a year, the building of a new playground that gives kids a safe space to be kids and an athletic center that gives older kids an alternative to gang life. The parish also is the site of Augustus Tolton Catholic Academy, an acclaimed elementary school focusing on science, technology, religion, engineering, arts and math.

The parish opens its doors to the wider community, hosting its popular "Pop Up Clergy" program from time to time in front of the church, complete with a grill for barbecuing. The event brings neighbors and police together to foster friendship and understanding. The most recent in early May attracted 150 people.

"The people (at the parish) are very grateful that I'm young and have inexhaustible energy," he told Catholic News Service.

For his efforts, Father O'Donnell was named the 2018 Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the U.S. bishops' domestic anti-poverty and social justice program.

The award is to be presented June 13 at a reception during the spring assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Chicago Cardinal Blase J. Cupich in a statement called Father O'Donnell's work of building a parish "a living example of Pope Francis's vision of a field hospital church that exists to serve humankind and spread the Gospel of a loving God."

"By his caring presence, his limitless energy for good works and his compassionate ministry, he has made St. Columbanus a beacon of hope in its community and an example of faith in action far beyond its borders," he said.

In nominating Father O'Donnell for the award, Olivia Silver said she wanted to call attention to the "good things that were happening at the parish and the good things that Father Matt was doing."

Silver, a member of Chicago's Holy Name Cathedral and a St. Columbanus volunteer, called the priest an "innovative pastor who gives his entire heart to his parish, his community and his loved ones."

"He is doing such great stuff there," she said.

Father O'Donnell takes little credit for the parish's accomplishments, citing instead parish staff for the success of the many ministries. He said he strives to "empower the people in the parish to take the responsibility to run the different aspects of the ministry that we have."

And he thanked parishioners for being "forgiving and patient with me."

Father O'Donnell also credited the "good priests around me to give me on-the-job training" in the work of a pastor.

The young priest has long held an interested in serving in the African-American community. His internships before ordination were in other South Side parishes where he "fell in love with the liturgy, the music, the preaching" and discovered that the hospitality of the neighborhoods was "very giving."

A period spent at the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans strengthened his desire for his chosen ministry.

That interest convinced then-Cardinal Francis E. George to appoint Father O'Donnell as pastor. "Cardinal George said he would rather have me because I have the desire to serve the black community than to have somebody who had more experience but didn't have the desire," Father O'Donnell recalled.

As for the future, Father O'Donnell has eyes on opening a community service center to help residents prepare for the GED test and apply for work. He has even thought of opening a coffee shop "to create some jobs in the area."

The priest acknowledged Park Manor is going through changes, like many other Chicago neighborhoods: longtime residents have either moved away or died; violence has increased; locally owned businesses have closed; and poverty is growing.

Such factors motivate Father O'Donnell to do his best while partnering with others interested in building an inclusive, welcoming community.

"St. Columbanus has been here since 1909 and has been an anchor in in Park Manor," he said. "We're trying to figure out what more we can be doing to better the life of the neighborhood."

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Follow Sadowski on Twitter: @DennisSadowski

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Copyright © 2018 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

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IMAGE: CNS photo/Roman Pilipey, EPABy Carol GlatzVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis asked people to prayfor Catholics in China so that they may be able to live their faith with serenityand in full communion with the pope.The Catholic Church celebrates the feast of Our Lady,Help of Christians May 24. In 2008, Pope Benedict XVI established the feast as a world dayof prayer for the church in China because Mary is venerated under that title at the Marian shrinein Sheshan, outside Shanghai, China. At the end of his general audience talk in St. Peter'sSquare May 23, PopeFrancis said the feast day "invites us to be united spiritually with allthe Catholic faithful who live in China."He asked people pray to Our Lady so that Catholics therewould be able "to live the faith with generosity and serenity" and sothat they would know how to carry out "concrete gestures of fraternity,harmony and reconciliation, in full communion with the successor ofPeter.""Dear disciples of the Lord in China, the ...

IMAGE: CNS photo/Roman Pilipey, EPA

By Carol Glatz

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis asked people to pray for Catholics in China so that they may be able to live their faith with serenity and in full communion with the pope.

The Catholic Church celebrates the feast of Our Lady, Help of Christians May 24. In 2008, Pope Benedict XVI established the feast as a world day of prayer for the church in China because Mary is venerated under that title at the Marian shrine in Sheshan, outside Shanghai, China.

At the end of his general audience talk in St. Peter's Square May 23, Pope Francis said the feast day "invites us to be united spiritually with all the Catholic faithful who live in China."

He asked people pray to Our Lady so that Catholics there would be able "to live the faith with generosity and serenity" and so that they would know how to carry out "concrete gestures of fraternity, harmony and reconciliation, in full communion with the successor of Peter."

"Dear disciples of the Lord in China, the universal church prays with you and for you so that even in the midst of difficulties you may continue to trust in God's will," he said.

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Editors: Here is the prayer in English that Pope Benedict XVI released in 2008 on the occasion of the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China: https://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/prayers/documents/hf_ben-xvi_20080515_prayer-sheshan.html

In Chinese: https://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/zh_tw/prayers/documents/hf_ben-xvi_20080515_prayer-sheshan.html

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Copyright © 2018 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

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IMAGE: CNS photo/Paul HaringBy Junno Arocho EstevesVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis will meet with five priests who sufferedabuse by Chilean Father Fernando Karadima or his followers, the Vatican said.The pope will meet June 1-3 with "five priests who werevictims of abuses of power, of conscience and sexual abuse," the Vaticansaid in a statement May 22. Twopriests who have accompanied the survivors "in their juridical andspiritual journey" and "two laypeople involved in thissuffering" also wereinvited by Pope Francis, thestatement said. They will all be guests at the Domus Sanctae Marthae,the Vatican residence where Pope Francis lives.The pope will celebrate a private Mass with the group June 2and will meet with members of the group togetherand individually, the statement said. In late April, Pope Francis had hosted three laymen whowere sexually abused by Father Karadima."With this new meeting, planned a month ago, PopeFrancis wants to show his closeness to abused priests, accomp...

IMAGE: CNS photo/Paul Haring

By Junno Arocho Esteves

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis will meet with five priests who suffered abuse by Chilean Father Fernando Karadima or his followers, the Vatican said.

The pope will meet June 1-3 with "five priests who were victims of abuses of power, of conscience and sexual abuse," the Vatican said in a statement May 22.

Two priests who have accompanied the survivors "in their juridical and spiritual journey" and "two laypeople involved in this suffering" also were invited by Pope Francis, the statement said. They will all be guests at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Vatican residence where Pope Francis lives.

The pope will celebrate a private Mass with the group June 2 and will meet with members of the group together and individually, the statement said. In late April, Pope Francis had hosted three laymen who were sexually abused by Father Karadima.

"With this new meeting, planned a month ago, Pope Francis wants to show his closeness to abused priests, accompany them in their pain and listen to their valuable opinion to improve the current preventative measures and the fight against abuses in the church," the statement said.

The day after the Vatican's announcement, three Chilean priests who will take part in the meeting read a statement on behalf of all nine, confirming their participation in the meetings with Pope Francis.

At a May 23 news conference in Santiago, Chilean Fathers Francisco Astaburuaga Ossa, Alejandro Vial Amunategui and Eugenio de la Fuente Lora thanked the pope for his invitation, which they said they hope would "re-establish justice and communion, particularly within our Archdiocese of Santiago and its presbyteries."

The statement was signed by the three priests, as well as Fathers Javier Barros Bascunan and Sergio Cobo Montalva.

The four other members of the group, the statement said, wished to remain anonymous.

They also expressed the "hope that our experience may give a voice to many others who have suffered abuses or have accompanied abused persons."

The Chilean priests also asked journalists to respect the "confidentiality and the privacy" of the meetings and that there will be "no more public statements until our return to Santiago."

The Vatican said the priests were abused by Father Karadima and his followers in the parish of Sagrado Corazon de Providencia, also known as the community of "El Bosque" ("The Forest").

Known as an influential and charismatic priest, Father Karadima founded a Catholic Action group in the wealthy Santiago parish and drew hundreds of young men to the priesthood. Four of Father Karadima's proteges went on to become bishops, including Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno.  

However, several former seminarians of "El Bosque" revealed in 2010 that the Chilean priest sexually abused them and other members of the parish community for years. One year later, Father Karadima was sentenced by the Vatican to a life of prayer and penance after he was found guilty of sexual abuse.

Chilean survivors have also alleged that Bishop Barros -- then a priest -- as well as other members of Father Karadima's inner circle had witnessed their abuse by his mentor.

The pope, who initially defended his 2015 appointment of Bishop Barros as head of the Diocese of Osorno, apologized after receiving a 2,300-page report from Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta.

In a letter released April 11, Pope Francis said he had been mistaken in his assessment of the situation in Chile, and he begged the forgiveness of the survivors and others he offended. He invited three survivors -- Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton and Jose Andres Murillo -- to Rome in late April and called all of the Chilean bishops to the Vatican for meetings May 15-17.

In a document leaked by Chilean news channel Tele 13 before the meeting with the bishops, Pope Francis said he was concerned by reports regarding "the attitude with which some of you bishops have reacted in the face of present and past events."

The document's footnotes included several details from the investigation made by Archbishop Scicluna, which confirmed that, in some instances, the bishops deemed accusations of abuse as "implausible."

But Pope Francis said he was "perplexed and ashamed" after he received confirmation that undue pressure by church officials was placed on "those who carry out criminal proceedings" and that church officials had destroyed compromising documents.

Those actions, he said, "give evidence to an absolute lack of respect for the canonical procedure and, even more so, are reprehensible practices that must be avoided in the future."

After the three-day meeting, most of the Chilean bishops offered their resignations to the pope.

Back in Chile, bishops -- including Bishop Alejandro Goic of Rancagua, president of the Chilean bishops' commission for abuse prevention -- continue to face a backlash over their handling of cases of abuse.

Bishop Goic suspended 14 of the diocese's 68 priests May 19 after an investigative report by Tele 13 alleged there was a sex-abuse ring made up of clergy and known as "La Cofradia" ("The Brotherhood").

According to the report, "La Cofradia" had its own hierarchical structure and carried out, as well as covered up, the sexual abuse of minors by members of the group.

The report also alleged that although Bishop Goic was informed and presented with evidence of the group's existence by Elsa Fernandez, a local youth minister, he refused to act.

Fernandez said she contacted the Chilean bishops' conference in January to inform them of the abuses committed by "La Cofradia." However, she said, she was informed in an email that the conference "does not formally receive complaints."

In an interview published on the Tele 13 website May 22, Bishop Goic said he had thought people talking about "La Cofradia" were speaking "in jest" and said he "never received a formal complaint that seriously said this was happening."

After the report's broadcast, Bishop Goic acknowledged that he had met with Fernandez, and he apologized for his failure to act "with the appropriate agility in the investigation" of the priests allegedly involved in the sex abuse ring.

"I must admit that personally, as a Christian and a pastor, I find myself very affected by this difficult situation that hurts and embarrasses me," the bishop said. "I pray that the truth, the whole truth, may come to light in these cases and in any other situations that threaten the Gospel of Christ's love."

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Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju

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IMAGE: CNS photo/Tyler OrsburnBy Carol ZimmermannWASHINGTON (CNS) -- The executive director of the U.S.bishops' Migration and Refugee Services gives credit to a group of moderate Republicansin Congress trying to revive interest in Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivalslegislation, or DACA, by their efforts to bring not just one bill, but four, tothe House floor."Theyare surfacing the issue forcefully and making the House deal with it,"said William Canny. Althoughhe believes the bills could bring about a "path forward," he said he isnot fully convinced it will happen because of the extent of anti-immigrant sentimentin Congress and the White House.A currentproposal, led by Reps. JeffDenham, R- California, and Will Hurd,R-Texas, along with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, is tappinginto an obscure House rule called "queen of the hill" which would bringfour immigration bills to the House floor for a vote and the bill with the mostvotes would pass.But forCongress to even co...

IMAGE: CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn

By Carol Zimmermann

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The executive director of the U.S. bishops' Migration and Refugee Services gives credit to a group of moderate Republicans in Congress trying to revive interest in Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals legislation, or DACA, by their efforts to bring not just one bill, but four, to the House floor.

"They are surfacing the issue forcefully and making the House deal with it," said William Canny.

Although he believes the bills could bring about a "path forward," he said he is not fully convinced it will happen because of the extent of anti-immigrant sentiment in Congress and the White House.

A current proposal, led by Reps. JeffDenham, R- California, and Will Hurd, R-Texas, along with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, is tapping into an obscure House rule called "queen of the hill" which would bring four immigration bills to the House floor for a vote and the bill with the most votes would pass.

But for Congress to even consider these multiple bills, there needs to be enough signatures on a discharge petition. As of May 21, 20 Republicans and 176 Democrats have signed the petition, which needs signatures from 25 Republicans and all 193 Democrats.

If the "queen of the hill" procedure gets the go-ahead, there will be debate on each of the four bills in the course of one day, followed by votes. Another technicality of this procedure is that discharged bills can only be brought to the House floor on the second and fourth Monday of each month, when the House is in session, which narrows the window for this to happen to June 25 and July 23.

In the meantime, it's a waiting game, Canny told Catholic News Service.

He said the U.S. bishops want Congress to help Dreamers find a path to stay in this country and become citizens "without the fear and stress" they currently live with daily. He also called it "tragic" that DACA recipients -- who have been here since childhood and have been educated here -- are currently left "to the whims of various courts."

When President Trump announced last September that he was terminating DACA, he asked Congress to pass a permanent legislative solution for DACA participants. His March 5 deadline has passed and now the DACA battle is in the courts with multiple lawsuits challenging Trump's decision and seven states filing a lawsuit to try to end DACA.

The four DACA bills that could come up for vote are: Securing America's Future Act, also known as Goodlatte Bill, written by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia; the DREAM Act; the Uniting and Securing America Act (USA) Act; and a fourth bill that will be chosen by House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin.

The Goodlatte Bill would grant temporary status for DACA recipients with renewable three-year visas and would include stronger border enforcement and legal immigration restrictions. The DREAM Act primarily offers a path to citizenship for DACA recipients and other Dreamers. The USA Act, sponsored by Reps. Denham and Pete Aguilar, D-California, would grant permanent legal status to qualified Dreamers and border improvements.

If the four bills do not come up for House vote, Securing America's Future Act could come to a floor vote in mid-June but it is said to have little chance of passing in its current form.

Canny said the U.S. bishops have supported the DREAM Act and the USA Act, which have narrow immigration reform, but they are against the restrictions within the Goodlatte Bill, and of course they don't know what Ryan bill would look like.

Three California bishops placed an ad in a local newspaper May 18 asking House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, to allow a debate and a vote on DACA, specifically the USA Act. The ad, in the form of a letter, urged McCarthy to recognize: "The time to act is now. We have to do what we can to protect these blameless people who were brought into our country when they were only small children."

In late April, the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Migration, Bishop Joe S. Vasquez of Austin Texas, stressed his support for USA Act, saying he hoped Congress would "find a humane legislative solution for Dreamers."

He said the USA Act would provide qualifying Dreamers with protection from deportation and give them a path to citizenship while also augmenting border security at the U.S./Mexico border, increasing the number of immigration judges and Board of Immigration Appeals staff attorneys.

A May 21 editorial in The Los Angeles Times by Denham, said: "Immigration policy is the responsibility of Congress, and this may be our last chance for a legislative fix before DACA recipients' lives are upended; if we leave DACA in the courts to languish (or be dismantled) and fail to act in Congress, then program recipients will be left in limbo or, worse, deported to a 'home' they never knew."

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By Cindy WoodenVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Although it is not unusual for a popeto set aside temporarily the limit of 120 cardinals under the age of 80, PopeFrancis has done so in a way that could last for more than a year.The pope announced May 20 that he would create 14 newscardinals June 29; 11 of them are under the age of 80 and would be eligible toenter a conclave to elect a new pope.In early June, Cardinal Angelo Amato will celebrate his 80thbirthday, which will drop the number of electors to 114. Three weeks later, thebatch of new cardinals will raise the number of potential electors to 125.Cardinal Amato is the last cardinal to turn 80 in 2018. Andit will take until July 31, 2019, for another five cardinals to age out.Confirming the limit of 120 electors set by Blessed Paul VI,St. John Paul II wrote in "Universi Dominici Gregis," his rules for aconclave, that "the maximum number of cardinal electors must not exceed 120."That led one major news agency to report, "If aconclave has ...

By Cindy Wooden

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Although it is not unusual for a pope to set aside temporarily the limit of 120 cardinals under the age of 80, Pope Francis has done so in a way that could last for more than a year.

The pope announced May 20 that he would create 14 news cardinals June 29; 11 of them are under the age of 80 and would be eligible to enter a conclave to elect a new pope.

In early June, Cardinal Angelo Amato will celebrate his 80th birthday, which will drop the number of electors to 114. Three weeks later, the batch of new cardinals will raise the number of potential electors to 125.

Cardinal Amato is the last cardinal to turn 80 in 2018. And it will take until July 31, 2019, for another five cardinals to age out.

Confirming the limit of 120 electors set by Blessed Paul VI, St. John Paul II wrote in "Universi Dominici Gregis," his rules for a conclave, that "the maximum number of cardinal electors must not exceed 120."

That led one major news agency to report, "If a conclave has to be called before any other cardinal turns 80, the electors would have to draw lots to see which five men would be barred from the gathering."

Conclaves don't happen that often and none in recent history took place when there were more than 120 eligible electors. But the idea of a lottery for entrance into the Sistine Chapel, where the voting would take place, led many people to scratch their heads.

After all, "Universi Dominici Gregis" and the changes made to it by Pope Benedict XVI in 2013 both strongly state: "No cardinal elector can be excluded from active or passive voice in the election of the supreme pontiff."

A pope, as the supreme legislator of the Catholic Church, can set aside the limit of 120 potential electors. But doing so does not change the no-exclusion clause.

And while a year may be a long time to exceed the 120 limit, exceeding it by five cardinals is minor compared to what St. John Paul II did in February 2001. Creating 44 new cardinals -- the biggest batch ever at one consistory -- the pope raised the number of cardinal electors to 135.

St. John Paul created another 30 cardinals in 2003, bringing the number of electors back up to 135 once again. But, by the time he died in 2005, only 117 were under 80, and two of those were too ill to participate in the conclave that elected Pope Benedict.

The Polish pope's mega-consistories broadly expanded the international -- in other words, the catholic -- identity of the College of Cardinals. It is a process that continues.

Pope Francis' latest cardinals-designate include churchmen from five countries not currently represented in the College of Cardinals. But each of those countries -- Bolivia, Pakistan, Japan, Madagascar and Iraq -- has had a cardinal in the recent past.

With the edition of the new cardinals, the group of electors will represent 67 nations. The cardinals who elected Pope Francis in 2013 came from 48 countries.

The number of Italians with a red biretta, the cardinal's three-cornered hat, still far exceeds those of any other nation, and Pope Francis is about to add three more to their number.

The day before the consistory, 18 Italians would be eligible to enter a conclave -- 19 if you count Cardinal Mario Zenari, the Italy-born nuncio to Syria, who Pope Francis made clear was chosen to represent Syria. Still, in the 2013 conclave that elected Pope Francis, 28 were Italian.

The country with the next-highest number of cardinal electors is the United States, which has 10 cardinals under the age of 80.

At a Mass with the College of Cardinals in 2017, a Mass marking his 25th anniversary as a bishop, Pope Francis said that the Catholic Church is not a "gerontocracy" ruled by old men; "we aren't old men, we are grandfathers."

But his choices for the June consistory do very little to lower the average age of the group of electors. Only one, Cardinal-designate Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner, is still in his 50s. He is 54. Cardinal Dieudonne Nzapalainga of Bangui, Central African Republic, is 51 years old and still will be the youngest cardinal once the consistory is over.

On June 28, there will be 114 electors with an average age of 71 years, 11 months and one day. After the consistory the next day, there will be 125 electors with an average age of 71 years, eight months and 20 days.

The cardinals who elected 58-year-old Cardinal Karol Wojtyla -- St. John Paul II -- in 1978 had an average age of 67.

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IMAGE: CNS photo/Jaclyn Lippelmann, Catholic StandardBy Norma Montenegro FlynnWASHINGTON (CNS) -- The CatholicChurch needs to walk with and accompany Hispanic and immigrant families, reachout to youth and young adults, and strengthen faith and leadership formation.These were the recurring themesvoiced by participants of the episcopal Region IV encuentro held May 19, at TheCatholic University of America in Washington.As part of the National FifthEncuentro process, nearly 100 regional participants -- lay and religiousleaders from seven dioceses -- from Delaware, Maryland, the District ofColumbia, Virginia and West Virginia, gathered for the day to "encounter," asthe word "encuentro" suggests, each other and listen to the voices from parishcommunities and organizations within the region.They discerned priorities and strategieson Hispanic ministry and how to better answer Pope Francis' call to becomemissionary disciples reaching out to those on the peripheries."It's important for us to ...

IMAGE: CNS photo/Jaclyn Lippelmann, Catholic Standard

By Norma Montenegro Flynn

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The Catholic Church needs to walk with and accompany Hispanic and immigrant families, reach out to youth and young adults, and strengthen faith and leadership formation.

These were the recurring themes voiced by participants of the episcopal Region IV encuentro held May 19, at The Catholic University of America in Washington.

As part of the National Fifth Encuentro process, nearly 100 regional participants -- lay and religious leaders from seven dioceses -- from Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia and West Virginia, gathered for the day to "encounter," as the word "encuentro" suggests, each other and listen to the voices from parish communities and organizations within the region.

They discerned priorities and strategies on Hispanic ministry and how to better answer Pope Francis' call to become missionary disciples reaching out to those on the peripheries.

"It's important for us to get to know the drama, the anxieties of our people to bring the peaceful presence of Jesus Christ into their lives," said Auxiliary Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville of Washington and lead bishop for the Region IV encuentro.

"We have to be able to speak the same language from soul to soul in order to be able to connect them," he said in an interview with Catholic News Service, noting that such accompaniment doesn't change through the years.

Participants sharing in small groups and at-large, widely spoke about the ways Hispanic families need the Catholic church community to accompany them in their struggles, their desire for a better and more accessible faith formation, on outreach to youth and young adults, on family values and on keeping families together.

In a region with high numbers of recent immigrants, Central Americans who were Temporary Protected Status recipients and others covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, many voiced fears of deportation that breaks families apart.

TPS was recently terminated by the Department of Homeland Security leaving over 300,000 Salvadorans, Hondurans, Nicaraguans and Haitians facing possible deportations. About 690,000 DACA recipients are in a similar immigration limbo.

"Over and over, we saw that specially youth are feeling overwhelmed with the many stresses that they have, stresses because of immigration issues that affect them directly, especially those with DACA, those under TPS, and those whose parents, relatives or friends are undocumented," said Lia Salinas, director of Hispanic ministry for the Archdiocese of Baltimore and Region VI encuentro co-chair. "That is a voice that needs to be heard and that needs to be addressed."

Proposed strategies to accompany families include: nurturing families through each stage, helping families integrate into their communities and following up with pastoral care. They also proposed to provide support for families who suffer separation and be involved in advocacy.

As part of advocacy efforts, many participants signed letters to their senators seeking a legislative solution for TPS recipients. The letters are part of the Catholics Confront Global Poverty initiative led by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services.

Throughout the day, participants shared priorities and strategies in the ministerial areas of evangelization and mission; vocations and leadership development; youth and young adult ministry; family ministry; immigration and social justice; faith formation and catechesis; intercultural competencies, stewardship and development; and Hispanics and public and professional life.

Priorities across the different areas of work included: the need to prepare catechists, priests, deacons and lay leaders to be multilingual and multicultural to reflect the universal church, placing greater emphasis on cultural integration and competencies.

"We have to develop the competencies, they're very important, but I just want to stress the importance of developing an open heart," noted Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore to participants. He noted that although more needs to be done in the different areas, the church is headed down the right path.

Other priorities addressed were: finding ways to strengthen Hispanic ministry by strengthening the formation of Hispanic leaders; making available training in Spanish and scholarships to assist those who want to further their formation but lack the resources to do it; supporting and build up leaders, particularly among youth and young adults; access to Catholic education for youth, and providing a greater support for families, single parents and women.

In the afternoon, a group of bishops or their representatives joined the small group conversations and later exchanged views and answered questions with the participants.

We're called to proclaim and live the joy of the Gospel, we come here today very much aware of the real struggles that so many immigrants, people, families experience in their lives, and struggles are difficult," said Father Thomas Ferguson, vicar general of the Diocese of Arlington, who represented Bishop Michael Burbidge. "But even in the midst of carrying the cross or embracing the struggle and the sorrow and the suffering, it is radiated in this room joy, because we've been called by Jesus to carry out his work."

Other panel participants were: Archbishop Lori; Bishop Dorsonville, Baltimore Auxiliary Bishop Mark E. Brennan and Msgr. John J.M. Foster, vicar general for the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services, representing Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio.

Episcopal Region IV includes the dioceses of Arlington and Richmond, Virginia; Wilmington, Delaware; Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia; and the Washington and Baltimore archdioceses; and the U.S. military archdiocese.

Participants came from all walks of life including immigrants and nonimmigrants; ministry leaders from city, suburbs and rural communities; and leaders of Catholic ecclesial movements, organizations and institutions.

"We want to in some way continue the encuentro process in the parishes and the diocesan teams to prepare and ignite that fire that it's still there," said Gabriel Garza, a delegate in the Archdiocese of Washington, voicing the desire of many to continue being engaged in the process of leadership, consultation and discernment that the Fifth Encuentro has begun.

Military spouses and active duty members stationed in Japan, Italy, Hawaii and the eastern and western U.S., also participated in the meeting as part of the delegation representing the U.S. military archdiocese, which is based in Washington.

The military archdiocese facilitated access to the encuentro process for Catholics in the military services who wished to participate.

Zack Mackeller is a senior airman in the Air Force and became involved after attending a Catholic conference in Chicago. He represents the voices of young Catholics in the military and embraces the call to be a missionary disciple.

"I try to engage people as they are, where they're at. Just that very basic, person to person connection, that's really all you can do. Then the Holy Spirit will unite people in its own way," he said.

Recommendations will be included in a final report, which will form part of the working document for the National Fifth Encuentro, or V Encuentro, to be held in Grapevine, Texas, Sept. 20-24.

The Region IV participants will be part of over 3,000 delegates from across the country who are expected to convene during those four days to discern priorities and develop strategies for the "Pastoral Hispana," or Hispanic ministry, in the United States, including seeking ways to better respond to the call to be missionary disciples.

"Evangelizacion y alegria," or evangelization and joy, were the two words of encouragement that captured what Archbishop Lori wished for the delegates who will attend the National Fifth Encuentro.

The day concluded with a sending-off Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, with Washington Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl presiding and Bishop Burbidge, Archbishop Lori and Bishop Dorsonville concelebrating.

 

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IMAGE: CNS photo/Chaz MuthBy Carol ZimmermannWASHINGTON (CNS) -- A group of current Washington TrinityUniversity graduates are proud of what they've accomplished but also very anxiousabout the future.These emotionscould ring true for almost any graduate, but for this group of 21 graduating Dreamers-- among the hundreds of thousands in the U.S. protected, for now, by theDeferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA -- these feelings areeven more intense.That'sbecause many of these students who came to the United States as children whentheir parents immigrated here without documentation, never imagined they would beable to afford to go to college or graduate in four years. And now, like othergraduates across the country, they worry about financing grad school or gettinggood jobs all while fearing the worst: possible deportation for themselves ortheir family members as immigration laws remain in flux.Two ofthese Dreamer graduates who spoke to Catholic News Service May 10 -- ...

IMAGE: CNS photo/Chaz Muth

By Carol Zimmermann

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A group of current Washington Trinity University graduates are proud of what they've accomplished but also very anxious about the future.

These emotions could ring true for almost any graduate, but for this group of 21 graduating Dreamers -- among the hundreds of thousands in the U.S. protected, for now, by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA -- these feelings are even more intense.

That's because many of these students who came to the United States as children when their parents immigrated here without documentation, never imagined they would be able to afford to go to college or graduate in four years. And now, like other graduates across the country, they worry about financing grad school or getting good jobs all while fearing the worst: possible deportation for themselves or their family members as immigration laws remain in flux.

Two of these Dreamer graduates who spoke to Catholic News Service May 10 -- in between finishing final exams and awaiting their May 19 graduation ceremony -- asked that their last names or the states where they came from not be used to protect their families. 

They are among the 20 DACA recipients who started at Trinity four years ago and the first group of Dreamers to graduate from the school. The term "Dreamer" is coined from the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, or DREAM Act. One student from the initial group left Trinity and two others joined later as transfer students. The students were among 100 Dreamers who attended the university this year.

All of these students are recipients of scholarships from TheDream.US, a scholarship program for DACA students that partners with colleges. Trinity was the first Catholic college to partner with the program when it started in 2014 and two other Catholic colleges have since joined: Dominican University, just outside Chicago, and Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago.

Brenda, who came to the United States from Mexico with her family when she was 6, said she will probably cry when she gets her diploma mainly because when she was a senior in high school, she didn't think she'd be able to even go to college, let alone finish in four years.

She said her mom found out about scholarship program and urged her to apply, but Brenda was skeptical because as she put it: "No one even knew about Dreamers" or DACA four years ago. Which means they didn't know immigrants without documentation don't have access to Pell grants, federal education loans or work-study programs and that many of them have to pay out-of-state tuition to go to college in their home states.

Brenda, who is graduating with a double major in business and international affairs, said she wants to get her master's and doctorate degrees, but she knows it won't be easy.

"It will be a challenge. I might have to work even harder to get financial support to figure out how I'm going to get there, but I will," she said with the confidence of someone who has already worked pretty hard.

Brenda disputes a misconception that DACA students are just looking for handouts, noting that everything she and fellow Dreamer students have attained is through hard work. The scholarship program, for example, is only for top academic students.

"We're competing for a spot and what we do has to be two, three, four and five times better than everyone else," she said. "We have to earn it."

Yarely, a graduating senior majoring in biochemistry with a minor in math, similarly stressed the pressure to work hard and the weight of not knowing what the future holds.

The 22-year-old who came to the United States from Mexico with her mother and sister when she was 8, said: "Sometimes I feel like there really is no choice for me, no path, but then I stop and think about my family, my friends and I just keep going because that's the only thing I can do."

In the days before graduating, she kept her eyes on the ceremony itself. "I feel that is a win -- no matter what -- that is definitely a win," she said.

She doesn't focus on the fact that her mom won't be able to attend her graduation. Yarely is used to having to face challenges on her own. Like Brenda, she didn't do college tours nor did family members help her move in. She simply came to Trinity on her first airplane ride, moved on campus and got to work, literally, holding down two jobs as a student, often tutoring both college and high school students.

A big unknown for her now is the future of DACA, saying she needs it to work and to keep going to school, which she hopes will eventually be medical school. "Not knowing if I am going to even be able to finance that it is definitely something that makes me really scared; it makes me terrified," she said.

Senior year for these students has been a particular roller coaster starting last September when the Trump administration announced the government was terminating DACA. Multiple lawsuits have since challenged that decision and a recent court ruling issued an order to strike down the end to DACA and reinstate the original program while still giving the government 90 days to explain its decision. In early May, seven states filed a lawsuit to try to end DACA.

Yarely and Brenda have seen both sides of the immigration battle. Neither of them are immune to anti-immigrant rhetoric, but they also are grateful for support from their families, teachers and administrators at Trinity, the scholarship program and the Catholic Church at large.

Yarely said she has had nightmares of "being out on the streets and people yelling to me and to my family, just yelling things that I know aren't true," but she also said there are "so many great people out there. ... I know people who yell or say incredibly hurtful things are the minority so I feel like that helps me get into perspective that America is not that way; America is not place of hate and ugliness."

Brenda said she is thankful "for all those who have seen there's a gap, there's injustice leaving us out of opportunities just because of our status." She has hope from those who advocate on behalf of immigrants, especially the Catholic Church, which she saw firsthand during an internship with U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

"Knowing that the church is involved and wants to be involved does give me hope," she said, adding that church leaders "won't be quiet about it and are willing to stand up for us and with us."

Brenda, who has spent most of her life in this country, considers herself to be American and said she is thankful for the opportunities here that she knows she would not have had in Mexico.

"I love this country," she said, adding: "I do want to stay here and I have all the faith in God that that will be the case."

Pat McGuire, president of Trinity, compared the first class of Dreamers to graduate from the university to Trinity's first graduating class in 1900 because both had "vision for how a great college education can change the fortunes of their children and families."

In an email to CNS, she said the Dreamer graduates were a "force for solidarity" as students of all backgrounds, faculty, staff and alumnae offered personal support and did advocacy work. She said the immigrant students were role models for other students coping with discrimination and setbacks.

The Dreamers' presence also helped the entire school community to sharpen its "sense of mission and commitment to challenge injustice," she said.

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Follow Zimmermann on Twitter: @carolmaczim

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Copyright © 2018 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

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