OKLAHOMA CITY (Aug. 29, 2017) – The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City announced Monday the hiring of attorney Justin Byrne as the diocese’s new chancellor. Byrne begins Sept. 11.
Byrne fills a position held by Loutitia Denison Eason for more than 13 years. Eason retired in July.
SAN ANTONIO (CNS) -- Catholic Charities USA presented a $2 million check Sept. 4 representing donations received to date for immediate emergency assistance for those impacted by Hurricane Harvey and its catastrophic flooding.
One hundred percent of the funds raised will go directly to immediate and long-term recovery efforts.
By Rhina Guidos
Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Catholics in Oklahoma have been preparing for a long time for this moment. Many, like Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, had faith it would come, but there's still a sense of awe, to think that a farm boy, one of their own, is about to take a step toward official sainthood.
On Sept. 23, Oklahomans will get a front row seat to the beatification of Father Stanley Rother, an ordinary man from an ordinary town, who died extraordinarily as a martyr in Guatemala while serving in a mission. He knew well the dangers of the Guatemalan highlands, where government forces tortured and killed anyone suspected of dissent during the most politically tumultuous moments in the country's history.
By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Environmental destruction is a sign of a "morally decaying scenario" in which too many people ignore or deny that, from the beginning, "God intended humanity to cooperate in the preservation and protection of the natural environment," said the leaders of the Catholic and Orthodox churches.
Marking the Sept. 1 World Day of Prayer for Creation, Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople issued a joint message.
Bishops act to address the sin of racism and seek solutions
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops announced the establishment of an Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism. Initiated by Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the USCCB, the committee will focus on addressing the sin of racism in our society, and even in our Church, and the urgent need to come together as a society to find solutions.
"Recent events have exposed the extent to which the sin of racism continues to inflict our nation. The establishment of this new ad hoc committee will be wholly dedicated to engaging the Church and our society to work together in unity to challenge the sin of racism, to listen to persons who are suffering under this sin, and to come together in the love of Christ to know one another as brothers and sisters," Cardinal DiNardo said.
By Eliana Tedrow
The Sooner Catholic
Youth from around the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City are seeing their faith strengthened as they witness firsthand the process of beatification for the Venerable Servant of God Stanley Rother. The beatification is an exciting event for a generation of youth who sometimes find it difficult to relate to the lives of saints, who they say can seem ancient or too perfect.
Students at Holy Trinity Catholic School in Okarche, where Father Rother attended, walk the same hallways Father Rother once did as a child. Mackenzie Schneiter, an eighth grade student at Holy Trinity, said Father Rother’s choice to stay with his people in Guatemala, even in the face of death, inspires her faith.
By Eliana Tedrow
The Sooner Catholic
Pontifical North American College, Rome
Krug grew up listening to stories about saints who were always from other parts of the world. One day, while sitting in religion class at Mount Saint Mary Catholic High School in Oklahoma City, Krug heard the story of Father Stanley Rother, a fellow Oklahoman who was on his way to gaining martyrdom.
“The community of believers was one heart and one mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions were his own.” Acts 4:32
Greetings from Catholic Charities! How desperately our communities need the unity of heart and mind offered by the Gospel message of Jesus Christ in our present day! So much division, so much rancor, so little civility in our political and cultural landscape. Because of your support, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City remains a place where such unity is practiced, and where practice demonstrates it can be done.
Editor’s Note: The names in this story have been changed to maintain confidentiality.
Adoption and Pregnancy Services at Catholic Charities focuses on the needs of the birth families, adoptive couples, foster families and the babies placed for adoption. Staff members serve all participants with care, love, resources and support. Catholic Charities provides extensive preparation to couples seeking to adopt a child by helping them build on their strengths and utilize new skills.
The Johnsons had been married for 11 years and their goal was to add a baby to their family. They had been trying to conceive for about eight years to no avail.
In 2015, 6,869 people registered with FEMA in 45 Oklahoma counties after treacherous rain and flooding. The U.S. government declared the disaster a FEMA emergency, allowing for the use of government money in recovery efforts.
Robertta Lee, a widow who was recovering from the recent deaths of her husband and adult daughter, was one of the many storm survivors who contacted Catholic Charities seeking help. Shortly after the storms swept through Oklahoma in Spring 2015, Lee suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized. She contacted Catholic Charities hoping to find help to repair her home from the flood damage.