Detroit celebrates the first feast of the ‘approachably holy’ Blessed Solanus Casey

DETROIT, Mich., July 30, 2018 (CNA/EWTN News) – Sixty one years after his death and eight months after his beatification, Blessed Father Solanus Casey is still able to draw crowds in Detroit.
The porter priest and Capuchin friar’s first feast day was celebrated in the Archdiocese of Detroit July 30, with a novena for his canonization and various Masses and special events held throughout the area in his honor.
Four Masses for Solanus were celebrated over the weekend and on Monday, including two celebrated by Archbishop Allen Vigneron. Each Mass was packed to full or overflowing, Fr. David Preuss, OFM Cap. and director of the Solanus Casey Center, told CNA.
When asked why so many people of Detroit and beyond continue to be drawn to Solanus even decades after his death, Preuss said it is because Solanus was “good to people.”
“That’s it, he’s good to people, he always was, and he continues to be,” Preuss said.
“People were asking how many people are going to come (to his feast day events) and I said look...he is a powerful intercessor, and we hear about new favors every week, they happen all the time,” Preuss said, so he was not surprised at the overflow crowds.
Fr. Solanus was a friar and simplex priest, meaning that, due to lesser academic abilities, he was not allowed to preach or to hear confessions.
This meant he carried out simpler tasks, and in Detroit he is fondly remembered as the porter (doorkeeper) at St. Bonaventure Monastery in Detroit, where he served 1924-1945.
As porter, Fr. Solanus became the main link from the brothers to the outside world, and he became renowned among the people of Detroit for the gentle and willing counsel that he offered from his post at the door, and for the miracles attributed to his intercession.
In order to be beatified in the Catholic Church, a miracle must be attributed to a person’s intercession after their death and approved by the Vatican.
For Solanus, that miracle was the curing of a skin disease in Paula Medina Zarate, a woman from Panama, who also made the trip to Detroit this week to celebrate Blessed Solanus’ feast day.
At the Solanus Casey Center, located just down the street from the monastery in Detroit where Fr. Solanus answered the door, nine days of prayer were held for Fr. Solanus leading up to his feast day, which included prayers for his canonization and different themes each day based on various aspects of the friar’s life. There was a blessing for the sick, tours of and donations to the soup kitchen founded by Solanus, as well as Masses for families, young people, and consecrated religious.
A second Mass celebrated by Archbishop Vigneron honoring Blessed Solanus was held at the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica in Royal Oak, Michigan, a place where Solanus liked to retreat to pray.
Monsignor Robert McClory, rector of the shrine, told CNA that the chair Blessed Solanus used on his visits to the shrine was displayed for his feast day.

Sessions: Contributions of religious people make U.S. ‘stronger as nation’

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions greets Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., chair of the U.S. bishops’ Committee for Religious Liberty, July 30 at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington. During the religious freedom event, Sessions announced formation of a Religious Liberty Task Force. (CNS photo)

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke about ongoing threats to religious freedom and what can be done to halt them at a conference held July 30 at the Department of Justice.
“Let’s be frank. A dangerous movement is now challenging and eroding our great devotion to religious freedom. It must be confronted, both intellectually and politically, and defeated,” he said.
“In recent years, the cultural climate in this country has become less hospitable to people of faith. Americans from a wide variety of backgrounds are concerned about what this changing culture means for the future of religious liberty.”
While Sessions provided no vision of what the world might look like if the culture continued to change, he said that “I believe that this unease among the American people is one reason President Donald Trump was elected.”
That election, Sessions said, will aid the cause of religious liberty.
“The last election gives us a rare opportunity to arrest these trends, and this president and this Department of Justice are determined to advance our magnificent heritage of freedom of religion.”
He also outlined what he thought was important to religious liberty.
“The government has no business telling the Little Sisters of the Poor that they need to buy an insurance police that violates their religious beliefs,” he said. “Free exercise means both the right to act and the right to abstain from acting.”
Religious freedom, he said, is more than just the freedom to worship. “The Constitution’s protections don’t end at the parish parking lot.”
Sessions also explained several kinds of actions the DOJ is taking as it “actively seeks to protect people of faith.”
“Since January 17 we’ve obtained 11 indictments and seven convictions in cases about arson or other attacks or threats on houses of worship,” and he also said that the DOJ was working to prosecute in cases involving threats made against people because of their religion.
Sessions also said that the DOJ was filing civil actions in courts when religious groups are discriminated against in zoning laws.
He said that the DOJ filed suit in June against a town in New Jersey that had been using zoning laws to prevent a group of Orthodox Jews from buying land to build a synagogue for eight years and had done the same for a group of Hindus in Maryland in a similar situation.
“We’ll keep going to court, and I believe we’re going to keep winning,” he said.
Sessions also said that he aimed to stay in touch with religious groups to make sure their concerns were being heard.
“We’re going to remain in touch with religious groups all over America to ensure that their rights are being protected,” he said.
He also announced formation of a Religious Liberty Task Force, which he said would help the DOJ implement fully the guidance it issued last October to all administrative agencies and executive departments regarding religious liberty protections in federal law. The guidance came the same day President Donald Trump acted to lift the contraceptive mandate from religious employers who are morally opposed to providing insurance coverage for contraceptives.
Sessions also said why fighting for religious liberty is important on a human level.
“There can be no doubt that we are stronger as a nation because of the contributions of religious people. People in Washington have no idea how much our religious communities are with people in the situations — birth, death, marriage, divorce — that most greatly affect human beings.”

Catholics collect aid for victims of deadly Indonesian earthquake

A villager walks through the ruins of a collapsed house July 29 following an earthquake on the island of Lombok in Indonesia. At least 16 people were killed and hundreds injured July 29 in the magnitude 6.4 earthquake. (CNS photo)

JAKARTA, Indonesia (CNS) — Catholic groups have collected and are distributing aid for thousands of people affected by a deadly earthquake that struck Lombok, Indonesia’s popular tourist island.
The magnitude 6.4 quake struck the island July 29, killing at least 16 people, injuring 355 others and forcing more than 5,100 people from their homes, according to the country’s national disaster agency.
Through July 30, 276 aftershocks had hit the island and other areas in West Nusa Tenggara province, reported.
At least 1,400 homes, seven schools, five health facilities, and 22 places of worship were badly damaged.
West Nusa Tenggara Gov. Muhammad Zainul Majdi declared a five-day state of emergency, ending Aug. 2.
“Catholics have started to collect aid. Catholic schools have collected tents, and my parishioners have collected rice and instant noodles,” Father Laurensius Maryono of St. Mary Immaculate Parish in Mataram, the provincial capital, told
“St. Anthony Catholic Hospital has sent teams of medical workers to serve those affected by the quake in Sembalun sub-district, the worst-hit area,” he said.
The parish’s emergency response team — along with teams from the Diocese of Denpasar and the Mataram chapter of the Union of Catholic University Students of the Republic of Indonesia — went to the district July 31.
“We had to assess the current situation and what aid the victims really need. We’re focusing on things government and other organizations tend to overlook,” Father Maryono said.
Father Evensius Dewantoro, who heads the Denpasar Diocese’s Socio-Economic Development Commission, said the teams would stay on site for three days.
“Then we will submit recommendations to the bishop and Caritas Indonesia,” he said.
Adrianus Umbu Zogara, who heads the student group, said members had collected rice and instant noodles to distribute to victims.
“We’ve also received financial aid,” he said. “We will use the money to buy necessities victims most need, such as blankets.”
Meanwhile, disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said 150 tents, 100 power generators, 5,000 mattress, clothing and food items were distributed to victims.
The quake near the 12,224-foot Mount Rinjani also triggered landslides, cutting off hiking trail routes.

La. archbishop praises Department of Justice’s new Religious Liberty Task Force

WASHINGTON D.C., July 31, 2018 (CNA/EWTN News) – The announcement of a Religious Liberty Task Force being created at the Department of Justice drew praise from Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, who said that religious freedom is vital to the common good of the U.S.
“As Americans we intuitively understand that individuals should be free to live in accordance with what they believe to be true, that is, in accordance with one’s conscience,” said Kurtz, who chairs the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ religious liberty committee.
Kurtz spoke July 30 at a Religious Liberty Summit hosted by the Department of Justice.
At the summit, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the creation of the new task force, saying it “will help the Department fully implement our religious liberty guidance by ensuring that all Justice Department components are upholding that guidance in the cases they bring and defend, the arguments they make in court, the policies and regulations they adopt, and how we conduct our operations.”
Sessions warned that “a dangerous movement, undetected by many, is now challenging and eroding our great tradition of religious freedom.”
Ultimately, confronting and defeating this threat will require an intellectual shift to remember the importance of religious freedom, a “core American principle,” that the Trump administration is committed to protecting, he said.
“This administration is animated by that same American view that has led us for 242 years: that every American has a right to believe, worship, and exercise their faith in the public square.”
In his remarks, Archbishop Kurtz stressed that religious organizations do a lot of good for society.
But in recent years, these organizations have found it harder to operate in line with their beliefs due to governmental policies, such as the Obama administration’s HHS contraception mandate, and the recent crackdown on faith-based foster care and adoption providers who place children only in homes with a mother and a father, he said.
Kurtz cited Illinois, Massachusetts, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and D.C. as among the places where faith-based organizations have been shut down or hampered by the government because of their religious beliefs.
The exclusion of faith-based groups from being able to serve the public - whether it be through homeless shelters, assisting migrants and refugees, or providing meals to the hungry - “makes no sense in a pluralistic society” like the United States, he said.

Cardinal Mueller: To lead in Europe, Germany must recover moral strength

PARRAMATTA, Australia, Jul 30, 2018 (CNA) - While Germany has the potential to be a major European leader, the Church in the country must take a strong stand to insist on moral direction as well, said Cardinal Gerhard Mueller in a recent interview.
“Germany is the leading country economically but we need leadership also in the moral-ethical orientation,” said the former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
He warned that “most of the European leaders and people in authority are too much linked with certain ideologies,” such as support for abortion, euthanasia and gay marriage. “They think this is the progress of humanity but it is a regression.”
Mueller spoke to Catholic Outlook, the diocesan newspaper of Parramatta, Australia during a recent trip to the country to give a talk to a group of priests.
In the interview, published July 23, Cardinal Mueller responded to a question about the German bishops’ conference pushing to allow Protestant spouses of Catholics to receive the Eucharist in some cases.
“Unfortunately, our bishops are thinking more in categories of politics and power and not in this line of the New Evangelization,” Mueller said.
“Intercommunion is not possible, absolutely, objectively, is not possible because the Communion is the sacramental representation of the communion in the Faith,” he said. “If you don’t have full communion in the Faith, it’s not possible to have full communion in the sacramental expression, especially in the Eucharist.”
“[W]e cannot say it is all the same it is enough to have a religious feeling, or sentiment that we are belonging together,” he said. “That is very good but it’s not enough for the sacramental communion and therefore I hope the German Bishops will find the way back to more a religious and spiritual understanding of the Church and to respect also the fundamentals of the Catholic Faith, that cannot be changed.”
Cardinal Mueller also spoke about the relationship between Church and state. Government has a proper role and limitations, he said, cautioning that not all legal actions are moral.
“The power of the state must be responsible to the transcendent, to the higher law and reality,” he said.
Government’s power is not absolute, but must adhere to natural moral law, which is universal, he said. Efforts to violate this natural moral law – for example, by legalizing abortion or attempting to require priests to violate the seal of confession – are unjust.
The Church can help society understand the foundation for a democratic, pluralistic state, Mueller said: “The state must be tolerant and accept all the diverse, different religions but on the basis of human rights and the natural moral law.”
“We as the Catholic Church are the promoters of religious freedom, not only requiring it for ourselves. We are not a lobby for ourselves, but we are the promoters of this natural right, which everybody deserves: religious freedom derived from the natural moral law and freedom of conscience.”
The Church also contributes to society through the development and promotion of Catholic Social Doctrine, education, and workers’ rights issues, he said.
In engaging with modern challenges, Catholics should be careful not to fall into the political labels of conservative and progressive, the cardinal said.
“It is absolutely necessary that we overcome this distinction, this schism in the Church, as well as in the other Christian communities where we have this problem,” he emphasized.
“The Word of God is this reality who unites, unifies everybody. We are not divided in parties… we are all united in the one Body of Christ, we are members of the Body of Christ, Christ is the head of His body, which is the Church herself.”
The division between “liberal” and “conservative” Catholics, Cardinal Mueller said, “is against the Holy Spirit…[who] unites the Church and is the antidote against the divisions and separations.”
Following the Holy Spirit’s guidance in humility is critical, he continued.
“Nobody, even the Pope and a council, has a direct line to the Holy Spirit because they are not receiving a new revelation. There is one revelation, forever given in Jesus Christ and therefore our basis is Holy Scripture.”
“We can say nothing, nor establish a doctrine or an understanding in the Church that is against the words of God in Holy Scripture and the expression of Catholic tradition,” he emphasized.

National and world news, August 3, 2018

Dominican Father Wojciech Giertych, theologian of the papal household, is pictured in the chapel at his residence in the Apostolic Palace in 2013. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Contraception feeds violence against women, Dominican papal theologian says
SYDNEY (CNS) — The widespread use of contraception has led to increased violence and aggression against women, the theologian of the papal household said during a mid-July visit to Sydney.
Dominican Father Wojciech Giertych, appointed to his position by Pope Benedict XVI in 2005, said that the contraceptive mentality has distorted male sexuality, leading to violence towards women.
“Contraception is not for women, it’s for men,” Father Giertych told The Catholic Weekly, newspaper of the Sydney Archdiocese. “It makes men egoists. It makes many of them degenerates and we’re seeing the consequences of that.”
Father Giertych said government statistics in Italy revealed that a woman was murdered every four days from 2009 to 2011. He said more than 80 percent of the perpetrators were sexual partners of the victims, such as boyfriends and husbands, or former partners.
Even more violence is carried out against women in other countries, he said, pointing to Mexico, where six women are murdered every day, according to reports in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper.
“In the hearts and minds of these men there is the treating of the woman as an object to which he has a right. This deforms the male, freeing him from all responsibility,” Father Giertych said.
“When such a significance is attributed to sexuality this does not give ultimate happiness and so it functions like a drug constantly demanding more, and then this leads to violence,” he said.
Given that the rate of women being murdered is so high, it’s likely that many more women are abused by their male partners, he added.
The introduction of the birth control pill nearly 60 years ago has led to what the priest called a demographic winter in many countries and to a lack of interest in marriage and fatherhood among men.
In 1968, both Blessed Paul VI and St. John Paul II, before he became pope, predicted that contraception would distort human sexuality, he said.
St. John Paul, then the archbishop of Krakow, Poland, was part of a group of theologians from his archdiocese who sent a memorandum to assist Blessed Paul prepare the 1968 encyclical “Humanae Vitae” (“Of Human Life”). The memorandum explained that contraception generates egoism.
“Self-mastery, self-gift and disinterestedness are eliminated for the sake of pleasurable experience, satisfaction of the senses or emotion. Such acts not only do not constitute true love, but when repeated, necessarily lead to the destruction of love,” the future pope wrote.
Counter to such feelings, a respect for procreation and the mutuality in the Christian vocation that ultimately leads to sanctity that encourages growing love in couples, Father Giertych said.
“The important thing is to grow in mutual charity, and also in chastity which serves charity,” he said.
Father Giertych rejected the idea that “Humanae Vitae” could be reinterpreted in view of Pope Francis’ 2016 apostolic exhortation, “Amoris Laetitia” (“The Joy of Love”), which offered his reflections on modern family life.
“Basically this cannot be done,” the papal theologian said. “We’re not to change the teaching of the church. Furthermore, “Amoris Laetitia” doesn’t provide the grounds for reinterpreting “Humanae Vitae.”

Cardinal Dolan issues Call to Prayer court nominees and protection of life
ardinal Timothy Dolan has issued a Call to Prayer from Friday, Aug. 3, to Friday, Sept. 28, because of “grave concerns about a confirmation process which is being grossly distorted by efforts to subject judicial nominees to a litmus test of support for Roe v. Wade.”
Cardinal Dolan, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued a letter July 18 stating that the retirement announcement by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy “provides us with yet another occasion requiring focused prayer.”
The USCCB does not support or oppose the confirmation of any presidential nominee, he said, but noted that, “With renewed vigor, pro-abortion groups are lobbying our senators to reject any nominee who does not promise to endorse Roe v. Wade.”
The weekly Call to Prayer, which is sent to thousands of participants, the cardinal said, “will ask our people to pray that our nation move closer to the day when every human being is protected in law and welcomed in life.”
In addition to the current invitation to fast on Fridays, Call to Prayer participants will be encouraged to pray one Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be for the intention and will receive important facts about how Roe is not health care, is bad law, and fails women.
Cardinal Dolan concluded this special appeal by asking Our Lady of Guadalupe to “intercede for the healing of our nation and our people from decades of abortion on demand.”
Novena details
For details about the Novena for the Legal Protection of Human Life, visit
At that website, the U.S. bishops also have a link for weekly reminders regarding the novena and a novena prayer guide.
In addition to the current invitation to fast on Fridays, participants are encouraged to pray one Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be for the intention of the novena.

Pope makes surprise visit to friend
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- People in a quiet residential neighborhood of Rome were surprised when a blue Ford Focus came to a stop, and Pope Francis stepped out.
The pope arrived July 28 at an apartment building in the city's Salario neighborhood just a few blocks from the parish of Santa Maria Addolorata, the Argentine national church in Rome, to visit a friend who was bedridden and had repeatedly invited him to visit, reported the Italian news agency Dire.
"There is an elderly lady who knows him, but she can't move," a neighbor told Dire.
Vatican and Italian plainclothes police officers waited outside while the pope made his way to the apartment to visit his friend, the agency reported. The visit lasted nearly an hour.
As word spread that Pope Francis was in the neighborhood, residents gathered around the pope's car awaiting his return.
The pope greeted the well-wishers and blessed religious articles they brought to him.
Upon hearing that the pope was in his building, a resident who was sick for some time, raced downstairs, hoping to greet the pope. Pope Francis, the news agency reported, blessed and comforted the man before he got back in the car and returned to the Vatican.

Pope: Holiness isn’t for the lazy
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Christ’s commandment to love God and neighbor is a path trodden by those who have the desire to become saints, Pope Francis told thousands of altar servers from around the world.
“Yes, it does take effort to keep doing good and to become saints,” the pope told the young people July 31. “You know that the path to holiness isn’t for the lazy, it requires effort.”
The pope presided over an evening meeting and prayer service with some 60,000 altar servers making an international pilgrimage to Rome. The majority of young men and women came from Germany, but there also were pilgrims from Italy, France, Austria, the United States and other countries.
After circling St. Peter’s Square in his popemobile, Pope Francis smiled brightly as Bishop Ladislav Nemet of Zrenjanin, Serbia, waved his arms and urged the young men and women to welcome the pope with cheers and applause.
Bishop Nemet is president of Coetus Internationalis Ministrantium, the association of altar servers that hosted the meeting along with the German bishops’ conference.
Before the event, the Vatican fire department used hoses to spray water over the seats in the blistering Rome sun in an effort to cool them down.

Curbs on religion abroad can trip up Americans' faith practices

By Mark Pattison, Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The free exercise of religion can be a risky thing in some countries, and even Americans practicing their faith abroad can get ensnared.
That was the message delivered by Jacqueline Brunson Furnari, whose father, the Rev. Andrew Brunson, was arrested two years ago by Turkish officials for "Christianization" and is still awaiting trial.
Furnari spoke in Washington during the first day of the July 24-26 Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom sponsored by the State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.
"Three trial dates have come and gone," including one in mid-July that was rescheduled for October, Furnari said, adding she believes it is because "there has not been one witness to produce one shred of evidence" to support the charge.
Even so, Furnari said, one judge at a pretrial hearing declared that "all the prosecution witnesses' testimony would be taken as truth, as there no need for evidence," meaning "the court has effectively denied him a defense."
"My family has suffered greatly because of the false and absurd charges," she said. Furnari got married while her father was imprisoned -- but only in a civil ceremony, waiting for him to be freed so he can walk her down the aisle to be married in a church service.
Tearing up near the end of her remarks, Furnari told of the time she and one of her brothers spent one hour last August visiting their father in jail -- the only time in 657 days she has seen him. Rev. Brunson was released from prison July 25 but placed under house arrest while awaiting trial.
The pastor had voiced his apprehension of the coming winter. "That he was concerned about the coming winter in August shows you how hopeless he thinks his situation is," Furnari said, adding her father told them, "My faith teaches me to forgive, so I forgive those who testified against me."
Johnnie Moore, a vice president at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, spoke in a panel discussion about Iraqis whose homes were devastated by Islamic State militants.
"Our biggest concern is there's thousands of people on the streets," Moore said. "Winter is coming!"
Television and movie producer Mark Burnett, another panelist, took that phrase -- made popular from the HBO series "Game of Thrones" -- and wondered how it could be used to bring attention to the situation of displaced Iraqis.
"Maybe Time Warner, which owns 'Game of Thrones,' will send a tweet out: 'Winter is coming.' Let's help these people," Burnett said.
Both men spoke of attending a 2013 symposium hosted by King Abdullah II of Jordan and also attended by three cardinals, a number of Eastern and Latin patriarchs and several Islamic muftis on the subject of religious pluralism and what Burnett called "the intolerance that leads to violence."
"I was so uneducated I didn't know anything" about his religious history, Moore said. Until that time, he added, "it was like Christianity was founded in Jacksonville, Florida."
"We listened and decided we have some obligation as media personalities, to make people aware of this intolerance," Burnett said. "We were six months ahead of the worst of ISIS."
"There's a disconnect between the East and the West," said speaker Mick Mulvaney, who wears two hats as director of the Office of Management and Budget and acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, during the conference. In the West, he added, "You don't know what it's like to be martyred for the cause."
A Catholic, Mulvaney said, "Religious persecution is not (about) not being able to get fish in the public schools on Friday."
Rather, he added, "terror is living in the Christian quarter in eastern Syria and a knock comes on your door. You have to pay the tax (required by Sharia law). Last year, it was about, say, $5; this year, it's $500,000. But (to avoid paying), you have two choices: conversion or death. So how do you feel about conversion? If they didn't (convert), they'd kill the oldest child. Then the next oldest child" and so on until all the children have been slain, "and then the mother and then the father."
Mulvaney recalled being invited to a meeting in Rome in 2013 to meet with some Eastern patriarchs. He said he'd thought they'd seek help to leave the region. To his surprise, he said they told him, "No, that's the last thing we want. That's what ISIS wants -- to clear us out."
"The next year, the message was entirely changed: 'Forget what I told you. It's completely different now. They're going to kill every one of us if we give them the chance.' "This," Mulvaney said, "is what real terror is like."

Rome Diocese opens sainthood process for young Italian mother

The Diocese of Rome formally opened the sainthood process for Chiara Corbella Petrillo, a young Italian wife and mother who avoided inducing a premature birth and invasive treatment for cancer while she was pregnant. The diocese described Corbella as a "beacon of light of hope" and "an example of a love greater than fear and death" in the document opening the process July 2. She is pictured in a 2012 photo. (CNS photo/Cristian Gennari, courtesy Petrillo's family)

By Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service
ROME (CNS) -- The Diocese of Rome formally opened the sainthood process for a young Italian wife and mother who avoided inducing a premature birth and invasive treatment for cancer while she was pregnant.
The diocese described Chiara Corbella Petrillo as a "beacon of light of hope" and "an example of a love greater than fear and death" in the document opening the process July 2.
Her husband, Enrico Petrillo, told Vatican News July 21 that her growing "fame of holiness" is a kind of "consolation for me" as he sees so many people finding inspiration in the way she lived her faith. "She is doing so much good in heaven," he said.
Born in Rome in 1984, Corbella was active with the Catholic charismatic renewal movement and met Petrillo on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje in 2002.
Corbella wrote that her engagement to Petrillo was in deep crisis until she realized, with the help of a spiritual adviser, that she hadn't understood her engagement to marry was a gift, not God trying to take something away from her.
After they married in 2008, their first child, Maria Grazia Letizia, was diagnosed in utero with a serious malformation. The parents chose to carry to term the child, who died less than an hour after she was born in 2009.
Their next child, Davide Giovanni, was also diagnosed with severe malformations and he, too, died right after birth in 2010.
When pregnant with her third child, who was found to completely healthy, Corbella discovered she had developed tongue cancer. They removed the tumor in March 2011 while she was pregnant, but the second round of treatment had to wait until after the child, Francesco, was born.
Corbella chose doctors who would help her continue her pregnancy as close to term as possible, because, she wrote, "I had no intention of putting Francesco's life at risk" with a premature birth.
A few days after the baby was born in May 2011, Corbella had a second operation and then began chemo- and radiation therapy. But the cancer had already spread to her lymph nodes, lungs, liver and right eye, and she died June 13, 2012, at the age of 28.
Petrillo told Vatican News his wife was peaceful and happy when she died because she recognized all the blessings, graces and beauty that had been in her life.
Maria and Davide, the babies who died right after birth, helped their parents experience the mystery of a life being full, no matter how brief it is, he said.
When a cause is formally opened, witnesses are called to testify about the life and holiness of the candidate, the person's writings are collected, and a biography is prepared. The diocese must gather evidence that the candidate has a widespread reputation for holiness and must look into claims by the faithful that they were healed through her intercession.

Appeals court denies Adorers' religious freedom claims against pipeline

By Dennis Sadowski, Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A federal appeals court upheld a lower court ruling that denied the religious freedom arguments of a Pennsylvania religious order that sought to block a natural gas line from the sisters' land because it violated their faith beliefs.
In a July 25 ruling, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit agreed with the lower court that the Adorers of the Blood of Christ had not made their religious objections known during the federal administrative process that led to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval of the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline.
Writing for the appellate panel, Judge Joseph A. Greenway Jr., specifically said the Adorers' claims under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act against FERC and the Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. was not something the lower court could appropriately consider.
"If the Adorers had participated in the administrative process, FERC may have denied or modified the conditions of Transco's certificate," the ruling said. "Or, if FERC failed to do so, the reviewing court of appeals may have ruled in the Adorers' favor." 
The Adorers expressed dismay with the decision, saying in a statement they "believe the court wrongly decided this case" and that they were "exploring what remaining options they have to address this wrong."
"While historically, the federal courts have been the stalwart protectors and defenders of religious freedoms in our country, today's panel sided with the interests of the power gas and oil industry over the religious freedoms of the Adorers," said the statement emailed to Catholic News Service.
"Thus, even though the Adorers are up against a powerful federal agency and a massive oil and gas industry with unlimited resources, the Adorers believe that their faith and religious beliefs will ultimately prevail. At issue is nothing less than the future of our sacred earth," the congregation said.
Williams, the company building the 200-mile pipeline through its subsidiary Transco, welcomed the court's decision.
"Clearly, we believe the court made the correct decision," company spokesman Christopher Stockton wrote in a statement emailed to CNS soon after the ruling was announced. "Throughout the pre-construction and construction process, our goal has been to respect and treat every landowner fairly. While we respect the Adorers' position, we disagree with their opinion with regard to this important infrastructure project."
The company said the project will assure that access to inexpensive, domestic natural gas will remain "a huge benefit to all people, especially the economically disadvantaged."
The panel's opinion essentially said the Adorers voiced their objection too late in the administrative process. He wrote that despite receiving notice of the proposed pipeline in 2014, the Adorers never publicly objected to the project until filing the lawsuit citing their religious freedom claims in July 2017, five months after FERC granted Transco permission to build the pipeline.
The company built the pipeline through farmland the Adorers lease last fall after the district court dismissed their claims. The Adorers appealed the decision, but after a brief delay, construction was allowed to continue.
The pipeline prompted citizens to form Lancaster Against Pipelines, named for the county in which a large portion of the 200-mile pipeline passes. The Adorers permitted the group to construct a simple chapel on their land near the pipeline route and it has served as a gathering spot for prayer, reflection and organizing to protest the project.
The congregation has opposed the pipeline since it was proposed four years ago, saying that allowing it through their property would run contrary to their 2005 Land Ethic. The document holds that all land created by God is sacred and that the fossil fuel project would desecrate the landscape.

New superintendent getting ready for her first day of school

Janet Eaton visited St. Jude School in Wichita last week, one of the stops she is making to area Catholic schools to orient herself as the new superintendent of Catholic Schools. The school year begins Aug. 16 for most schools, the day after the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. (Advance photo)

By Christopher M. Riggs
Janet Eaton’s life is undergoing a huge transition – at work and at home.
She and her husband, Kevin, just closed on a house last week and most of their belongings are still in storage in St. Louis, Missouri. One of their three children, 13-year-old Cooper, is getting his bearings in a town he’s never lived in and preparing to go to school at St. Francis of Assisi.
Eaton, the new superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Wichita, does have a head start over Cooper. She is a graduate of Newman and Wichita State universities and was the principal at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School from 1992 to 1999.
After accepting a position as principal of a school in Dardenne Prairie, Missouri, her family and work life was nurtured from 1999 to 2018 in the St. Louis area. Another son and daughter, both adults, remain in the Show Me State.
“In the short four days I’ve been here, it’s the same impression that I left with 19 years ago in so many senses. That it’s just a fabulous spot to be. It’s a wonderful place for Catholic education. It’s a treasured gift here in the diocese,” she said last week from her office in the St. Rose Philippine Duchesne building, located on the Cathedral campus.
“So, my first impression is just how lucky I will be to keep working in the schools, with the schools, with the principals and teachers, and particularly the office staff here. My other impression is that I’m following on the heels of a giant and that’s overwhelming at times, but it’s great too. It’s humbling, very humbling.”
Eaton succeeds Bob Voboril, who just retired after 25 years as superintendent.
Much of her time has been spent orienting herself to her new duties. She has been attending meetings, reading, learning about school technology, and meeting as many teachers, principals, and staff as she can. Each morning she tries to go to Mass at a different parish to familiarize herself with the parishes.
“I don’t know that I have initial plans right now. I have certainly been trying to take it all in and understand where things are,” she said.
“From there I hope to be able to think about where the next level would be, where can we go from here? But at this point, my plans are just trying to get onboard…how to be ready for the school year as a team and how to support the schools, and mainly, the educators in those schools.”
Eaton said she is excited to be able to bring what she learned as a principal of an 800-student grade school and 700-student high school to the Diocese of Wichita.
“I think I’m too early in the job to think about what did I learn that I could bring here, but Catholic education in St. Louis is revered as it is here,” she said.
One of the differences, of course, is the adoption of the stewardship model of life in the Diocese of Wichita.
“Stewardship is embraced here in this diocese in the way it should be,” she said. “I want to share the astonishing sense in this diocese of stewardship and of Catholic first and what Catholic education means to the people. It is something to be held tightly because it is so unique. I don’t think I knew a year ago what I missed. I now can look back at it and think, wow.”
She said the Diocese of Wichita’s reputation regarding stewardship is known around the United States. While in St. Louis, when talking about her Wichita roots, people connected stewardship to the diocese.
“Sometimes it is not until you are without something that you really understand and appreciate it. Stewardship is a jewel and we the faithful of this diocese are so fortunate to fully live it each day.”

More about Janet Eaton
Janet Eaton, the new superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Wichita, earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1986 from Newman University. She received a master’s degree in Building Administration in 1994 from Wichita State University and an education specialist degree in District-Level Administrative Leadership in 2016 from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Work history
• Principal, St. Dominic High School, O’Fallon, Missouri, 2011-2018
• Principal, Immaculate Conception Catholic School, Darlene Prairie, Missouri, 1999-2011
• Principal, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School, Wichita, 1992-1999