The following briefs were recently published by Catholic News Service:
Young U.S. religious woman talks to synod about 'accompaniment'
VATICAN CITY -- The first person under 30 to address the Synod of Bishops was Sister Briana Santiago, a 27-year-old member of the Apostles of the Interior Life from San Antonio. "I think all of us young people need to be listened to first of all and then guided" in discovering who they are and who God is calling them to be, Sister Santiago told the synod Oct. 4. Several sessions of the synod were to begin with a brief presentation from one of the 36 young people appointed observers at the synod. Several of them, like Sister Santiago, participated in the presynod meeting of young adults in Rome in March. The meeting brought together more than 300 young adults from around the world; the vast majority were active Catholics, but the group also included members of other religions and young people who profess no faith at all. Sister Santiago told the synod she also helped read and summarize the comments of another 15,000 young people who followed the presynod on Facebook. "I was surprised by how many desires we young people have in common despite our many countries and cultures," she said. "There was so much joy in that hall -- the joy of getting to know and being known, which you could hear in the laughter, the songs and the chatter during breaks.”
Prayer to St. Michael sees resurgence in response to abuse crisis
WASHINGTON -- In response to the Church abuse crisis, many parishes around the country have been bringing out the big guns in a spiritual sense -- calling on St. Michael the Archangel to help the Church. Some pastors have asked their parishioners to say the prayer at the end of Masses and some bishops have urged all diocesan parishes to recite it. Pope Francis also recently urged Catholics worldwide to recite it after praying the rosary during the month of October. But for some parishes, saying this prayer at the end of Mass is nothing new. In 2015, when Father Jose Manuel Campos Garcia was assigned to St. Joseph Parish in Roseburg, Oregon, he started praying the prayer to St. Michael after daily Mass not long after a shooting occurred at the nearby Umpqua Community College that left 10 students dead. After he began leading the parish in this prayer after daily Mass, he said he saw a change. "For us, it's been a journey of healing relationships and healing the community," he told the Catholic Sentinel, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon. And now this parish will be joined by other parishes in the archdiocese in reciting the prayer which calls on the saint to "defend us in battle" and to "be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil.”
New delegate of administrative affairs named for West Virginia diocese
WHEELING, W.Va. -- The layman who is the new delegate of administrative affairs for the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston said he will dedicate himself to "doing the best job possible" for the people of God of West Virginia and for Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori, apostolic administrator. A Sept. 25 announcement said Archbishop Lori had named Bryan Minor to serve in the post. The Baltimore prelate was named apostolic administrator of the diocese Sept. 13 by Pope Francis after the pontiff accepted Bishop Michael J. Bransfield's resignation as bishop of the statewide diocese. Also announced Sept. 25 was that Msgr. Frederick P. Annie, vicar general and moderator of the curia, will step away from his duties at the chancery during the investigation, now underway, into allegations of sexual harassment of adults by Bishop Bransfield. The chancery positions filled by the priest cease to exist in the period between when a bishop has resigned and a new bishop has yet to be named. Minor also currently serves as executive director of human resources for the diocese and of the West Virginia Catholic Foundation. In a letter to clergy of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, Archbishop Lori said that Minor will assist him in "overseeing the daily operations of the diocese and will serve as the diocesan point person for the administrative issues that heretofore were the responsibility of the vicar general."
Networks, not division: Pope chooses 2019 Communications Day theme
VATICAN CITY -- Christians must do more to make sure the media, especially social networks, are places of dialogue and respect for others, rather than instruments for highlighting differences and increasing divisions, said the prefect of the Vatican communications office. "The risk in our time is that of forming tribes instead of communities -- tribes based on the exclusion of the other," said Paolo Ruffini, the new prefect of the Dicastery for Communication. Ruffini spoke to Vatican News Sept. 29, the same day the Vatican released the theme Pope Francis chose for World Communication Day 2019: "We are members one of another: From network community to human communities." The theme is a call for "reflection on the current state and nature of relationships on the internet, starting from the idea of community as a network between people in their wholeness," the Vatican said. "The metaphor of the web as a community of solidarity implies the construction of an 'us' based on listening to the other, on dialogue and consequently on the responsible use of language."