Father Robert Barron to would-be evangelists: Lead with beauty

By Tina Korbe Dzurisin

DENVER (June 19, 2013) – Postmodern man might scoff at truth and goodness, but he’s still enthralled by beauty, says prominent theologian and evangelist Father Robert Barron.

Beauty, then, is the arrowhead of evangelization, the point with which the evangelist pierces the minds and hearts of those he evangelizes.

“Lead with beauty,” Barron said to an audience of Catholic journalists and communications professionals gathered in Denver for the 2013 Catholic Media Conference.


Catholic, Southern Baptist leaders in open letter: Stand for religious liberty

By USCCB Media Relations

WASHINGTON—Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, Russell D. Moore, Ph.D., president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, and a wide variety of over 100 prominent national religious leaders and scholars released an open letter July 2 entitled Standing Together for Religious Freedom. The letter calls on the Administration and Congress to respect conscience rights and religious freedom.


Archbishop Coakley on Supreme Court rulings: "No court decision can change the truth about marriage"

OKLAHOMA CITY (June 26, 2013) – In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court today ruled the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as the union between one man and one woman,  to be unconstitutional. The decision implies the federal government must now treat same-sex couples who have been granted marriage licenses at the state level as validly married couples for purposes of federal law, from Social Security benefits to taxation.

The Most Reverend Paul S. Coakley, Archbishop of Oklahoma City, said he is deeply troubled by the Court’s decision to overturn DOMA.


Court overturns DOMA, sends Proposition 8 back to lower court

By Patricia Zapor
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, defining marriage as between one man and one woman is unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause, the Supreme Court ruled June 26 in a 5-4 opinion.

In a separate case, the court sent back to lower courts a challenge to California's Proposition 8, the voter-approved initiative barring same-sex marriage. In this second 5-4 ruling, with a different lineup of justices, the court remanded the case back to the lower federal courts, saying the individuals who defended the law in court lacked legal standing to do so.

Neither decision will have the effect of requiring states to honor same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions, but the DOMA case likely will affect how the federal government must treat same-sex marriages for purposes ranging from Social Security benefits to taxation.


Archbishop Coakley: We have both short- and long-term reasons to observe Fortnight for Freedom II

Most religious organizations will be forced to comply with the Department of Health and Human Services' contraceptive mandate beginning Aug. 1 of this year, a short-term concern that the second annual Fortnight for Freedom addresses, Archbishop Paul Coakley writes in his latest "Put Out into the Deep" column.



Oklahoma Catholics to observe Fortnight for Freedom

At 7 p.m., June 21, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Archbishop Paul Coakley will celebrate a Mass to open the second annual Fortnight for Freedom, a two-week period of prayer and fasting to raise awareness of challenges to religious liberty.

That same evening, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Washington D.C., Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore will do the same. Bishops across the country will similarly lead the faithful in their dioceses in the observance of the Fortnight.

For the second year in a row, from June 21 to July 4, Catholics and other people of faith throughout the United States will offer concentrated prayer and acts of penance for a renewed respect for life, marriage and religious liberty.



Catholic Foundation reschedules Golf Classic for Oct. 7

By Sooner Catholic Staff

The members of the Catholic Foundation Board said they are disappointed but re-energized in their decision to move the 12th Annual Golf Classic to Oct. 7, 2013.

The storms and flooding of Friday, May 31, left the golf course saturated and in sad shape for the planned June 3 event. Putting the players and the golf experience as the No. 1 priority, Jaimee Zorio, Golf Classic Committee Chair, said it was a hard decision but the only alternative.  The scramble format tournament has been rescheduled for Monday, Oct. 7, 2013, at Gaillardia Country Club. The committee is in the process of contacting all players and working with them to make the adjustment to the new date.

The Golf Classic features a full day of golf, fun and fellowship, but the main purpose of the event is to support Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, with net proceeds split equally between the Catholic Schools Endowment Fund and the 21 Catholic schools in the archdiocese.  The event has been in June for the last eight years.  The first three years the Golf Classic was the “Columbus Day Golf Classic” and was the second Monday in October. For the last two years, the net proceeds of the event have totaled more than $75,000 each year.  In the last 11 Golf Classic events, the Catholic Foundation has raised more than $330,000 cumulative for the Catholic Schools Endowment Fund.


St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church to host first golf tournament

By Connie Summers

On Saturday, Aug. 17, Saint Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Oklahoma City will host its first golf tournament to benefit Rosary School.  The money raised will go directly to the school’s computer lab.

“We hope to raise enough money to purchase 26 computers,” tournament chair Matt Grim said.  “Many of the computers now being used are nearly 10 years old.”

Rosary School receives no federal money for infrastructure items.  These are obtained exclusively through fundraising and private donations.


Catholic Charities ramps up for long-term recovery help

Catholic Charities USA network deployed to assist CCOKC

By Jennifer Dennis-Smith / For the Sooner Catholic

Oklahoma City (June 10, 2013) -- A team of Catholic Charities disaster response specialists from across the country are assisting Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City as it responds to the needs of people affected by the recent rash of tornadoes, CCOKC executive director Patrick Raglow announced.

Within days, disaster case managers and specialists began arriving from the Dioceses of Joplin, La Cross, Indianapolis, Tulsa, Biloxi, Brownsville and Baton Rouge. Kim Burgo, disaster operations senior director from Catholic Charities USA, arrived early to lend technical support from the national office.

Since Hurricane Katrina, the national Catholic Charities network elevated its role in disaster response to become one of the country’s leading early responders, creating a niche in disaster case management. The CCUSA team’s disaster experience covers the gamut of natural events, ranging from Hurricane Katrina, California wildfires, floods, tornadoes, American Samoa tsunami and many others.


Flooding affects refugee apartments; Catholic Charities helps

By Brianna Osborne

Friday, May 31, 2013, was the Feast of the Visitation, commemorating the Virgin Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth to help her during her time of need. It is an encouraging thought, reflecting the actions of those who were ready to help the victims of this year’s devastating storms.

The tornado that touched down in El Reno and the surrounding areas has now been declared an EF5, as well as the widest on record in the United States. Nineteen people died as a result of the violent storm. Severe flooding occurred throughout the metro area, affecting local schools and homes.