Rebuilt home in New Orleans
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Diocesan Training for Ministry ... Saturday, April 24, Wilkes-Barre. Schedule and workshop descriptions here. Register online here.

Dive In: A Day Exploring Baptism ... Saturday, May 8. St. Luke's Scranton. What does it mean to be baptized and to live a baptized life? How can you nurture your life in Christ? How can your congregation live more deeply into baptismal ministry? This day of Christian Formation will offer resources for parents, Christian educators, clergy, and anyone seeking a deeper life in Christ. More info here.

Forward Life Planning Workshop ... May 22, St. Luke's Scranton, with Charles Cesaretti, Diana Marshall and Charlie Barebo. More info here.

Musical meditations for two disasters ... [From Bishop Paul] We are called to prayer this week by the deaths of coal miners in WVA and 97 Polish government leaders in western Russia. If you want to set aside time to meditate and pray on these tragedies, you might want to go over to Amazon or the iTunes store and download Krzysztof Penderecki's Polish Requiem. The Warsaw version is the most current of the three recordings (the Requiem was expanded over the years, only completed in 2005).  Many sections were originally dedicated to the memory of individuals or groups. One section was dedicated to the memory of the original Katyn massacre, another to the uprising in Warsaw ghetto. For me, the piece comes to mind for two reasons. It evolved over two decades, beginning with a simple piece commissioned by Solidarity in memory of deceased workers, making the connection with miners. It is also by a Pole (living in CT since the late 60s, however), although it does follow the traditional Latin requiem texts, adding only a popular Polish hymn for an Offertorium. The style of the music is not unlike Leonard Bernstein's serious pieces on religious themes, and is quite captivating. It runs about an hour, and like Penderecki's St Luke Passion, is well worth hearing as we meditate and pray. Blessings, +Paul [PS: Amazon's mp3s run on anything, including iPods and computers, while the iTunes version has digital rights management techology built in.] 

What's happening?... Calendar of diocesan events. updated April 7. If you would like an event posted, please email Kat Lehman; she will put it on the next version, posted monthly. Also, weekly, we post What's Happening...on Facebook.

Bach Birthday Bash in Honesdale ... [From Grace Honesdale] You are intvited to an annual organ recital, 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 18, given by Father Ed Erb in honor of our retired organist, Mrs. Phyllis Korb. This year's offering is a program entirely by J.S.Bach to celebrate his 325th birthday. Selections include the 8 "Little" Preludes & Fugues, the "Wedge" Prelude & Fugue in C, as well as such hits as "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" and the "Toccata & Fugue in D minor". The program will be on Grace Church's 1960 M.P.Moller pipe organ. Proceeds from donations go to the Organ Restoration Fund. The organ at Grace Church is considered to be one of the finest-voiced small organs in NE PA housed in a beautiful setting with fine acoustics. A "sherry" reception follows.

The home in New Orleans on which our Diocesan Youth worked has been finished. More here.

Christian Formation Conference at Kanuga ... June 13-18. More info here. [H/T to Canon Anne Kitch]

Fifty years of faithful service ... [From Grace Kingston] A celebration and "roast" for Joanne Herron who recently completed 50 years of faithful service in support of the music program at Grace Kingston will take place on Saturday, May 1, at 2:00 p.m. Joanne has had a profound, positive effect on how Grace has grown and become a vital part of our community. Her rich talent as organist/choirmaster and her majestic mezzo-soprano voice has inspired many over the years.

New House of Deputies web pages ... Today Bonnie Anderson, President of the House of Deputies of the Episcopal Church, launched new web pages. More here. Find the web pages here.

Does Reason Know What It Is Missing? [By Stanley Fish, NYTimes] Secular reason is missing something, and one noted philosopher now feels that something is religion. Read it all here.

Summers at General is an opportunity for lay and ordained folk to experience spiritual growth and discovery at The General Theological Seminary in New York City. Week-long courses include topics on prayer, biblical studies and church history. Check it out here. [H/T to Anne Kitch]

Spanking children when they're three seems to lead to more aggressive behavior when they're five, even if you take into account the child's initial level of aggression. In other words, the old "I'll-give-you-something-to-cry-about" approach appears to backfire, new research suggests. More here. [H/T to Diana Marshall]

Follow the money ... Marcial Maciel Degollado, who died a few years ago, was the founder of the RC religious community, the Legionnaires of Christ. He was a magnetic figure in recruiting young men to religious life in an era when vocations were plummeting. Behind that exalted façade, however, was a notorious pedophile and a man who fathered several children by different women. His life was arguably the darkest chapter in the clergy abuse crisis that continues to plague the church. He had exceptional influence in the Vatican. Money may have paved the way and kept him safe for decades. He may have been the greatest fundraiser of the modern Roman Catholic Church.

This lengthy follow-the-money story by Jason Berry is the first of two parts.  And this is the second.

I have been following stories about the Legion of Christ since my ordination in the 1960s because, while a student in Rome, I had a friend who was a Legionnaire of Christ. He was Mexican and was being groomed, it seemed to me at the time, for a  leadership position in an elite Mexican prep school where the student body consisted of children of the ruling and landed classes. We used to jokingly refer to his religious community as Millionaires of Christ. In 1966, a few years after his ordination, he was serving at a minor seminary in Ireland. When a letter I sent him was returned, I was told that Father Francisco Orozco Yépez was killed in an auto accident in Ireland. While googling him recently, however,I discovered that some sources said his death actually occurred near Rapallo, Italy, when he was on his way from Ireland to Rome to testify against the founder of the Legion of Christ.

Everyone has a communications problem ... The editor of the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, Gian Maria Vian, dropped by Rome's Foreign Press Club to talk about the crisis that has engulfed Pope Benedict XVI in recent weeks. He seemed to do a commendable job, perhaps because he was speaking "titolo personale," i.e. offering his own thoughts and not speaking on behalf of the pope or anyone else and because he is a layman, i.e., not having to look over his shoulder to wonder about everything he said, not beholden to anyone. "It was a no-holds-barred session, which began with Vian fielding a seemingly obvious question: Does the Vatican have a communications problem? 'It's an interesting question,' Vian said in reply. 'First of all, let's be clear – everyone has a communications problem.'" Read it all here.

Pray for our young men and women who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, and for their families … Kurt E. Kruize, 35; Randell D. Voas, 43; James B. Lackey, 45; Robert W. Collins, 24; William A. Blount, 21; Roberto E. Diaz Borio, 47;  Sean M. Durkin, 24 ... for the fallen heroes also of our coalition partners, and for the citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan who have died, unnamed and unknown to us, and for those who mourn ... and for an end to this endless war. More here.

Greensburg RC bishop denies women's religious order recruitment request ... Citing a women religious order’s support for the recently passed health care bill, Bishop Lawrence E. Brandt of Greensburg, Pa., has prohibited it from advertising upcoming vocation recruitment events. The result is that the Sisters of St. Joseph in Baden, Pa., will not be allowed to promote recruitment with the support of diocesan media. More here.

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Bill Lewellis, Blog, Email (c)610-393-1833, (h)610-820-7673
Be attentive. Be intelligent. Be reasonable. Be responsible.
Be in Love. And, if necessary, change. [Bernard Lonergan]



Hey do you still have the letter from the Dublin Legionaries saying that Fr. Yepez was killed in a road-accident?

His death has been seen with suspicion as it would have been out of character - for himself and for a Legionary, in fact forbidden for legionaries unless in community - to take a solitary and random swim in the sea while on a long journey to Rome, which resulted in his death.

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