Gabriel Awards, Health Care Ministers, Poverty in the US, Attacks on Cairo Christian News Report: May 9, 2011.
by CNS Staff Writer | Source: CNS

Salt and Light, KNOM get Gabriel nods for TV, radio station of year

DAYTON, Ohio (CNS) -- KNOM in Nome, Alaska, was the repeat winner as religious radio station of the year in this year's Gabriel Awards, sponsored by the Catholic Academy of Communication Arts Professionals. Salt and Light Television, based in Toronto, which only started broadcasting in 2003, won its third Gabriel for religious television station of the year. New Evangelization Television, a project of Trans Video Communications in New York, won a certificate of merit. WCVB in Boston won the Gabriel for secular TV station of the year. Films winning Gabriels were "How to Train Your Dragon" in the family category, "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" in the drama category and "Countdown to Zero" in the documentary category. The Gabriels, announced by the Dayton-based Catholic academy, will be awarded June 24 in Pittsburgh as part of the annual Catholic Media Convocation co-sponsored by the Catholic Press Association and the Catholic academy. Gabriel Awards are given for film, radio and TV that offer "positive, creative treatment of concerns to humankind," according to the Catholic academy's website. In some categories, certificates of merit are conferred to noteworthy entries.

Health care workers experience dementia's limitations in virtual tour

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CNS) -- Health care ministers in the Harrisburg Diocese recently got a sense of the mental and physical limitations people experience with dementia through a Virtual Dementia Tour. The tour is a sensitivity study designed to educate people -- especially health care workers and caregivers -- about the mental and physical limitations that a person with dementia experiences. It's a literal walk in their shoes. The tour was introduced during a recent enrichment program hosted by the Diocesan Office of Ministry Development and its director, Lucia Murphy. Created by Second Wind Dreams and P.K. Beville, the Virtual Dementia Tour simulates physical and cognitive impairments through such simple items as goggles, oversized gloves, shoe inserts and sound-blasting headphones. Participants wear plastic inserts with tiny hard nodules to simulate foot pain. Thick gloves decrease sensitivity to touch and several fingers taped together on each hand simulate arthritis. The blotched yellow-tinted goggles replicate macular degeneration and a loss of peripheral vision while headphones playing a garbled AM radio station and the occasional disconcerting sounds of alarms and whistles simulate hearing loss and muted voices, creating a sense of confusion. With the gear in place, participants are then charged with completing several tasks in order: folding towels, setting a table, pouring a glass of water and drinking it, and sorting a pile of socks. The instructions for the everyday tasks are given just once. The Harrisburg diocesan participants found themselves overwhelmed with the simple tasks while coping with the physical challenges. "It's important for each of us to be paying attention to those we love, to look for signs of dementia and about when it might be necessary to get medical attention and help," Murphy told The Catholic Witness, diocesan newspaper in Harrisburg.

Bishops urge Senate to protect needs of poor as budget is debated

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Acknowledging that Congress and the administration face "difficult challenges" in tackling the country's massive budget deficit, the U.S. bishops reiterated their call that the needs of poor and vulnerable people must be protected in any budget decisions. The bishops urged lawmakers to protect human life and dignity as the budget debates unfold in a May 5 letter to each member of the Senate. The letter was signed by Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, Calif., chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany, N.Y., chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace. "The moral measure of this budget debate is not which party wins or which powerful interests prevail, but rather how those who are jobless, hungry, homeless or poor are treated," the bishops wrote. "Their voices are too often missing in these debates, but they have the most compelling moral claim on our consciences and our common resources." Saying they were offering their views as "pastors and teachers, not experts or partisans," the bishops acknowledged that the decisions ahead will be difficult. The discussion "requires wise bipartisan leadership, clear priorities, and moral clarity," they wrote. The bishops reminded lawmakers that "a just framework for future budgets cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor persons."

At least 12 killed in attacks on Christian churches in Cairo

CAIRO (CNS) -- At least 12 people were killed and more than 100 were injured in attacks on Orthodox churches in Imbaba, part of metropolitan Cairo. Initial reports from Cairo indicated no Catholic churches were involved in the violence. However, from Rome, the missionary news agency AsiaNews reported that the 16-year-old nephew of a Catholic bishop was killed in retaliation for a Catholic church offering shelter to an Orthodox priest. Christians protested in Cairo May 9, two days after the violence began outside St. Mina Church in Imbaba, where several hundred Salafi Muslims gathered, claiming a Christian woman married to a Muslim man was being held there against her will. A report from Arab West Report, a weekly digest of stories from the Egyptian press, indicated that the initial violence began in the late afternoon, and police did not arrive until 10 p.m. At least two, possibly three churches were burned. AsiaNews quoted a spokesman for Egypt's seven Catholic rites as saying the situation "is very critical" and that the government must protect all minorities from extremists.

Irish Christian Brothers' future uncertain, order's leader says

DUBLIN (CNS) -- The head of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers said the order's future is uncertain because of costly settlements in child abuse cases. Brother Philip Pinto told Catholic News Service May 7 that the congregation, which has 1,200 members, "just doesn't have the money any longer." He said that the order's decision to seek bankruptcy protection in New York April 28 was aimed at "trying to ensure that people who have been abused are the ones who get the money, not the lawyers," he said during a break in a conference on religious life sponsored by the Conference of Religious of Ireland. Forty percent of the costs relating to abuse settlements were "going to the lawyers," he said. The North American province was especially vulnerable to disappearing, he said, explaining that it would take "something drastic" to save it. "In most of the developed world, we are paying for the sins of the past," he said. "Our brothers are aging, our reputation is in tatters, and the future looks bleak, even hopeless. So many of my brothers hide in their monasteries, afraid of drawing attention to themselves." The Indian-born brother who has been congregational leader since 2002 blamed a culture in which "religious in Ireland were abused by the system."

Mexicans call for peace, new public policies in drug war

MEXICO CITY (CNS) -- Tens of thousands of Mexicans silently streamed through the Mexican capital, calling for peace and new public policies in the drug war to end a wave of violence that has claimed more than 36,000 lives over the past four years. Catholic leaders were prominent in the May 8 march, which began in Cuernavaca, 40 miles south of Mexico City, three days earlier. It gained increasing numbers, media attention and controversy as it converged on the capital for a rally in which many participants chanted slogans calling for the departure of President Felipe Calderon. Catholic poet Javier Sicilia, whose son, Juan Francisco, was murdered March 28 in Cuernavaca, led the march, which began with a blessing from Bishop Raul Vera Lopez of Saltillo. It ended with Sicilia marching arm-in-arm with Father Jose Alejandro Solalinde, whose fight to protect undocumented migrants from criminal groups in Oaxaca state has drawn nationwide attention. "We've walked and we've arrived like this, in silence, because our pain is so great and so deep, and the horror of where it comes from so immense, that we no longer have words," Sicilia said in central Mexico City. "When and where did we lose our dignity?" asked Sicilia, whose son's body was found stuffed into a car with six others."Why is the president of republic permitted and why has he decided to send the army into the streets in an absurd war that has cost us 40,000 victims and left millions of Mexicans in fear and uncertainty?" The march left Cuernavaca with several hundred protesters, but its ranks swelled to more than 50,000 participants by the final day, organizers said.

Three new auxiliary bishops ordained for Archdiocese of Detroit

DETROIT (CNS) -- In a filled-to-capacity Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, with priests from around the archdiocese and bishops from around the country in attendance, Msgr. Donald F. Hanchon, Father Michael J. Byrnes and Father Arturo Cepeda were ordained as auxiliary bishops for Detroit. Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron, speaking to the three prior to their episcopal ordination rite, said they would be "numbered among the band of Jesus' companions." He told the bishop-designates during his homily: "Today, we say with Peter, 'Yes, Lord, we love you more than these,' Of all the many qualifications we must fill and competencies we must attain ... the most basic is not mostly functional. The most basic qualification is love for Jesus. Loving him as he loved us -- until the end." During the ceremony, which took place within the context of Mass, the Vatican decrees naming the three men bishops were read. Archbishop Vigneron laid his hands on them, and anointed each man with oil. Each of the three was prayed over using the book of Scripture. And they were presented their miters, crosiers and rings. Archbishop Vigneron singled out the different qualities each new bishop brings -- saying that Bishop Hanchon has been known for his "priestly dedication" and for having a generous heart; Bishop Byrnes being blessed with "abundant gifts" and a love for sharing God's word; and Bishop Cepeda for having a heart "conformed to Christ's own heart."

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