The Springfield Missouri Chapter of National Life Runners is celebrating its first anniversary and invites pro-life runners and walkers to consider membership! Life Runners is part of a National Life Runners organization that encourages pro-life runners and walkers of all levels and ages to pray for and witness to the right to life of all God’s people (from conception to natural death) through walks and runs. Read more
Statement of the Most Reverend James V. Johnston, Jr., Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau
Statement of the Most Reverend James V. Johnston, Jr., Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau
FOLLOWING THE RESIGNATION OF POPE BENEDICT XVI
February 11, 2013
Like many, I was tremendously surprised by the Holy Father’s announcement of his resignation today. I am certain that he arrived at this important decision following much prayer and deliberation. One cannot help but be struck by his great humility. Pope Benedict is only a few months younger than my own father, and I have always marveled at how he could serve the Church so well bearing such enormous responsibilities along with the limits of age. With my respect and admiration of his decision, I must admit a personal sadness too. I will miss Pope Benedict. I took considerable strength and encouragement in knowing he was in the office of St. Peter. He possesses the immense qualities of a good shepherd: charity, gentleness, a keen intellect shaped by truth, courageous fidelity, a love for prayer, and a joy-filled love of God and his Church. Read more
While the surprise resignation of Pope Benedict XVI is a first for the church in centuries, it also leads to a complicated period of transition that ends in the election of a new pope.
Regulated by ancient traditions and recent rules, the period between popes–known by the Latin term “interregnum”–will begin exactly at 8 p.m. Rome time Feb. 28, a date and time Pope Benedict stipulated in a declaration he made Feb. 11 for when the See of Rome and the See of St. Peter will be vacant.
Normally the interregnum begins with a pope’s death and is followed by a period of mourning.
This time the pope will resign from his ministry and spend a short period of prayer and reflection at the papal summer villa in Castel Gandolfo, south of Rome, before moving to a monastery at the Vatican.
The rules governing the interregnum are matters of church law, not dogma.
The apostolic constitution “Universi Dominici Gregis” confirms that as long as the Holy See is vacant, the universal church is governed by the College of Cardinals, which cannot, however, make decisions normally reserved to the pope. Such matters must be postponed until the new pope is elected. Read more
Membership drive: Feb. 9-10, Feb. 16-17
In 1882, a young parish priest named Fr. Michael J. McGivney, was faced with the hardships of the families in his parish whenever a husband would die at an early age. Fr. McGivney was determined to help those widows and children, as well as to combat the bigotry and poverty which he saw in his community. He also wanted to deepen the faith of the men in his parish and instill a sense of pride in their heritage as Catholic Americans. In the basement of St. Mary Church in New Haven, CT, he called the men of the parish together and discussed his ideas. Together these men, along with Fr. McGivney, formed the Knights of Columbus (K of C). The title Knights is a tribute to the Knights of the middle ages: full of faith, courage, strength, and patriotism. They selected as their patron, Christopher Columbus, the Catholic explorer who brought the faith to the New World, to emphasize their pride as Catholic Americans. Read more
Members of the Missouri House of Representative’s Children, Families and Disabilities Committee listened to testimony on Jan. 22 concerning HB 87 dealing with benevolent tax credits. The legislation, proposed by Rep. Eric Burlison (R-Greene County), would restore some of these tax credits that expired on Aug. 28, 2012.
The theme for the 2013 observance of National Catholic Schools Week is “Catholic Schools Raise the Standards.” The annual week-long event starts the last Sunday in January and runs Jan. 27 to Feb. 2 this year. Schools typically celebrate Catholic Schools Week with Masses, open houses, and various other fun-filled activities for students, families, parishioners, and the community at large. All of the diocesan Catholic schools in the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau have a host of activities planned. Read more
“The ‘Year of Faith’ presents a unique opportunity that we might open ourselves up to a deeper encounter with the person of Jesus Christ and rediscover the joy and enthusiasm of believing,” Bp. James V. Johnston says in a letter issued to the faithful of the Diocese
October 4, 2012
Feast of St. Francis of Assisi
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This week our diocese, along with Catholic dioceses all over the world, begins a “Year of Faith,” called for by our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. This special year for the Church which begins on Oct. 11, will conclude on Nov. 24, 2013, the Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King. The Year of Faith coincides with the 50th anniversary of the beginning of Second Vatican Council in 1962 and the 20th anniversary of the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church in 1992.
The purpose of my letter to you is threefold: to summarize the purpose of the Year of Faith, to explain some of the opportunities this year presents to each of us, and to suggest some specific ways I would like for us to respond individually, in our parishes, and in the diocese.
“The Year of Faith is intended to contribute to a renewed conversion to the Lord Jesus and to the rediscovery of faith, so that the members of the Church will be credible and joy-filled witnesses to the Risen Lord in the world of today—capable of leading those many people who are seeking it to the ‘door of faith’” (CDF note, 13). This journey of faith begins for each of us when we pass through “the door” of baptism, by which we can call God our Father. This journey lasts a lifetime, concluding when we pass through “the door” of death to eternal life, the fruit of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. In between we encounter Jesus, who teaches us how to live as sons and daughters of God and as citizens of the kingdom of God. In this sense, the Year of Faith is meant to strengthen our faith along the current part of our journey, and to prepare us to help those who will come after us. “The question posed by [Jesus’] listeners is the same that we ask today: ‘What must we do, to be doing the works of God?’ (Jn 6:28). We know Jesus’ reply: ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent’ (Jn 6:29). Belief in Jesus Christ, then, is the way to arrive definitively at salvation” (PF, 3). Read more
On Aug. 18, Bp. James V. Johnston and the community of St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Cape Girardeau, blessed and dedicated 11 classrooms in St. Vincent de Paul Grade School, a music room, a new cafeteria and kitchen, a large tornado resistant corridor, selected renovation and seismic retrofit of the older areas of the school—including handicapped accessibility, an extra parking area, and entrance canopies. Additionally, air conditioning was added to the DePaul Center gym.
“As we celebrate the joyful dedication of our new facilities, parishioners and friends of St. Vincent de Paul Parish are to be commended for their vision, financial support, and prayers in making our parish expansion a reality,” said Fr. David Hulshof, pastor. “We have been on a five-year journey and I express my sincere gratitude and thanks for the efforts of so many!”
Discussions involving parish expansion started in 2007 and a capital campaign officially began in October 2010 to meet the estimated cost of the $4,150,000 project undertaken by Columbia Construction.
Now that the US Supreme Court has upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) it is urgent that Gov. Nixon protect the religious liberties of Missouri citizens by signing into law SB 749. The Court’s ruling in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius did not consider the constitutionality of the HHS mandate, which requires health plans to cover abortion drugs, contraceptives and sterilizations. For now that mandate remains law even though it likely runs afoul of the religious freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment.
In response to the HHS mandate, the Missouri General Assembly this year overwhelmingly passed SB 749. This bill declares that people cannot be compelled to buy insurance policies that include coverage for abortion, contraceptives or sterilizations when this violates their moral or religious beliefs. SB 749 will allow the state of Missouri to defend its citizens in federal court from government infringements on religious liberty. As Gov. Nixon ponders the ACA ruling and whether to sign SB 749, the Missouri Catholic Conference offers the following for prayerful consideration:
Reasons Why Governor Nixon Should Sign SB 749:
–The HHS mandate is still in place after the Supreme Court decision.
–Now more than ever religious liberty is in jeopardy. Citizens have a First Amendment right to religious liberty. SB 749 helps Missourians exercise that right.
–The HHS mandate goes into effect on August 1, 2012. SB 749 goes into effect immediately once Gov. Nixon signs it. He must sign the bill now!
–People of faith and all taxpayers can have their day in court and be represented by the Missouri attorney general, once SB 749 becomes the law.
–The federal government has just gone too far. SB 749 will help citizens be protected from future government overreach.
–SB 749 makes sure insurance companies can no longer discriminate against churches and families who want to buy insurance policies that are consistent with their religious beliefs.
–Under SB 749, Missouri workers covered under group health plans can remove abortion from their insurance–even if their bosses purchased such coverage without their knowledge, forcing them to pay for it.
–By signing SB 749, Gov. Nixon can be consistent with his declared position opposing the individual mandate, which forces people to buy health insurance against their will; in this case the governor can ensure that people are not forced to pay for abortion drugs in their health plans when this violates their religious beliefs.
–Other states will look to Missouri and SB 749 as a model of how to protect religious liberty.