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"Building up the People of God in South Jersey on our 75th anniversary," Bishop's message in the Catholic Star Herald

When word got out that the Diocese of Camden was about to be formed in December 1937, the news was met with skepticism in some quarters.

According to “Building God’s Kingdom,” a history written by the late Msgr. Charles J. Giglio, forming a new diocese out of the six southern counties in New Jersey was questioned for reasons ranging from the lack of Catholic population, priests and money (it was, after all, during the Great Depression).

At that time, South Jersey was largely rural. There were an estimated 100,000 baptized Catholics in the diocese; today, the number is four or five times more. Obviously, nearly 75 years later, we have gone far by faith.

We will soon begin a year-long celebration of our 75th anniversary. Looking back, we can see the challenges faced by our first bishop, Bartholomew J. Eustace, were different than what we face today. He supervised much of the building process, the development of infrastructure of churches, schools and social agencies we now enjoy. There is good reason to celebrate those achievements and the life of our diocesan community over 75 years.

Yet, as we celebrate this anniversary year, I am hoping we focus on our present and future, as well as our past.  We owe a debt to our mothers and fathers in faith to continue their legacy in South Jersey. I urge greater reflection upon the Vatican II vision of our diocesan church as the People of God.  Our challenge is to embrace the priorities of the diocese in our time: the development of priestly and religious vocations; lay ministry; outreach to youth and young adults; prayerful liturgy and compassionate outreach to the needy.

This is a lofty vision, for sure. In many ways, it is particularly challenging, as it relies far less on the building up of physical structures but on the renewal of our interior spiritual lives. Yet we know, by celebrating our history, how much has been accomplished despite great odds. We pray to be up to the challenge of our time as those who began our diocese were 75 years ago.

We are planning a wide array of events to mark this year-long anniversary, beginning next month and concluding in December 2012, thanks in large part to the leadership of Father Robert Hughes, diocesan chancellor.

Among the events (this is just a partial listing): a special celebration for Hispanic Catholics; Advent Days of Penance; liturgies for Catholic schools, consecrated life, the sick, and the Rite of Election; Lenten Days of Penance; a diocesan youth conference; a multicultural event for Pentecost, perhaps in a large outdoor stadium venue; and pilgrimages to the National Basilica in Washington D.C., Lourdes, and the Holy Land. As the year progresses, more details on anniversary events can be obtained through the Catholic Star Herald and the diocesan website at www.camdendiocese.org.

Some of these events we normally do anytime, but in the upcoming year we will add a dimension, marking them as part of our 75th anniversary celebration. Others, such as the pilgrimages and the proposed Pentecost event, are intended as uniquely suited to the anniversary. Parishes and deaneries will be encouraged to celebrate their own 75th anniversary events as well. Creativity in this regard is much appreciated. If you have any ideas for special 75th anniversary events, please contact Father Hughes at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
 
 

Masses of Remembrance at Mausoleums

Remembrance Masses for the faithfully were celebrated at the following Mausoleums in the Diocese of Camden on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2011 at 10 AM

Calvary Mausoleum, 2398 Route 70 West, Cherry Hill
New St. Mary's Mausoleum, 515 West Browning Road, Bellmawr
Holy Cross Mausoleum, 5061 Harding Highway, Mays Landing
Sacred Heart Mausoleum, 741 E.Walnut Road, Vineland
 
November 2 is All Souls Day, the commemoration of all the faithful departed. The solemn commemorations of the dead originated in the seventh century, while the observance of the fixed date, November 2, was adopted in Rome in the fourteenth century.

Also November is National Catholic Cemetery month. There are 20 diocesan managed cemeteries and mausoleums in the Camden Diocese.

For more information, contact the Cemeteries Office of the Camden Diocese at 856-583-2881.

"Seeing the Divine in autumn’s beauty," Bishop Galante's message in the Catholic Star Herald

First, I need to say thank you.

My previous column in the Star Herald about my need to undergo dialysis generated scores of cards and messages of concern and, of course, prayers.

I feel lifted up by the love and prayers I have received, some from people I don’t even know, both from the Diocese of Camden and around the country.

This sense of gratitude, combined with the glorious change of season, has caused me to reflect upon the importance of beauty and how God reflects the Divine Beauty through nature. We are blessed to live where we can experience the changing colors of the foliage, the variety of the brilliant colors of the leaves, the fall flowers that add so much beauty.

God must give us the beauty of nature in the fall to prepare us for the drabness and the increasing darkness of winter. That way, we have the memory of the richness of God’s fall palette to carry us through the monochromatic dullness of winter. In our own lives, God continues to reveal the Divine Nature through created beauty.

Pope Benedict frequently speaks of the great gift that our earth is and our need to protect and respect God’s Creation. The rhythm of the seasons is reflected often in the rhythm of our own lives. We experience happiness, beauty and joy, but there are also times of sadness, darkness and tension. God teaches us through Created Nature that as the seasons change, there is the constant of God’s peace, sustaining and always faithfully present. Even in the dead of winter we can discover beauty. We always have the hope of spring and new life.

Beauty remains a pathway to our souls, one of the ways God attracts us. It is pre-evangelization because it sensitizes our souls to the deeper mystery of God.

Just as in the seasons of the year, so in our own lives there is always the promise of new life. Spring is revealed to us in the celebration of Eucharist and in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. In Eucharist the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus carries us through the reality of our own lives, of dying and resurrection, spiritually and emotionally.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is so like the blooming of springtime after the dead and cold starkness of winter. Sin and emptiness give way to light and fullness of grace.

As we enjoy the beauty of this time of year I pray that it can be an opportunity for reflection, for gratitude, and for a continuing sense of wonder. Nature reminds us that God is present, God lives in us, and that God delights in showing beautiful hints of the Wonder of the Divine.

Were you born on Dec. 9, 1937, the same day the Diocese of Camden was established?

If so, the Catholic Star Herald staff may want to talk to you.  Please contact Peter Feuerherd at 856-583-2851 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Gained in translation: The challenges of the Roman Missal

A translator is a traitor.

Father Paul Turner, a priest of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, knows the saying as an inside joke among those who move words, phrases and meanings from one language to another. He points out that the joke works better in Italian, where the words for traitor and translator are almost the same.

But in any language the phrase points to a greater truth, says Father Turner, a Latin scholar who worked for the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) that developed the translation of the new Roman Missal.

“Anytime you translate you are doing your best. But it is nearly impossible to capture all the nuances and bring them into a new language,” he says.

At the ICEL commission meetings Father Turner served as a recorder of the proceedings held by 11 bishops from the English-speaking world. Led by Bishop Arthur Roche of Leeds, England, the group reviewed liturgical translations. Along with other scholars, Father Turner, who is also pastor of St. Muchin Church in Cameron, Mo., could raise points about meaning and grammar, but only the bishops voted on the actual approvals.

Sometimes proposed suggestions were inserted into the revised texts; other times suggestions failed to win approval. The group, says Father Turner, was determined that the original Latin of the liturgical texts was faithfully rendered into English as much as possible.

“We want the liturgy to be understood,” he says. “But those who pray it have to know that it is the prayer being brought to us by the tradition.” The result, for American Catholics who first encounter the Missal, will take some adjustment.

The current translation focuses on rendering the texts understandable to modern English-speakers. The new translation will focus more on keeping the nuances in the original Latin. The result will be the use of some phrases and words that are not normally a part of everyday English discourse.

“It’s not that the translation we have is wrong or heretical. But what we gained in fluidity (in English) we lost in nuance (from the Latin),” says Father Turner.

For example: the new translation sometimes uses the word “ineffable” to describe the power of God. Webster’s defines the word as anything “incapable of being expressed in words.” While not a part of daily English speech – although Father Turner notes he saw the word in a recent edition of Newsweek – “it’s a great word when you talk about the mystery of God. It is a word that means we are speechless before God.” When taken in context, he says, English speakers will become familiar with it for a description of a mysterious quality of God.

Other examples: in the Creed of the new missal, the old translation read that Jesus was “one in being” with the Father. The new translation will describe this relationship as “consubstantial,” an English word as close to the original Latin meaning as possible.

“It’s an unusual word. But the relationship between Jesus and the Father is unusual and needs a unique word,” says Father Turner, who adds that ancient Church councils attempted to define this relationship in a precise a way as possible, and modern English speakers should have the benefit of those insights.

American Catholics routinely recite the Creed each Sunday in which Jesus is described as “born of the Virgin.” That phrase, says Father Turner, fails to capture the full nature of Jesus. “Incarnate,” the word used in the new translation, is intended to emphasize that at Jesus’ conception the divine was present.

It may sound strange at first but, says Father Turner, English-speaking Christians through the ages have recited the Lord’s Prayer, with its famous phrase, “hallowed be thy name.” The word “hallowed” is rarely used in English anymore, but English speakers reciting the Lord’s Prayer easily recognize it in that context. The same should hold true for the terminology in the new missal, says Father Turner.

The ultimate goal will be English-speaking Catholics reciting prayers that more precisely render their original Latin meanings, making the traitor in translation as unobtrusive as possible.

By Peter Feuerherd