As RCIA programs begin, archdiocesan Tribunal prepares for new cases of marriage annulment

A Q-and-A with Father Rick Stansberry, Judicial Vicar of the Tribunal of First Instance

SC: The Tribunal handles cases of marriage annulments for which it has competency according to the Code of Canon Law. You and the other judges in the Tribunal have a canon law degree, but how would you describe the work of the Tribunal to someone who is not a canon lawyer?

RS: In the Catholic Church’s belief, marriage is for life, but, obviously, unfortunately, we know things happen and divorces do occur. The tribunal looks at a marriage to look at what was present prior to the marriage and what happened in the marriage (to determine whether) the bond that was in place may be annulled. If it may, then the individuals involved are free to marry again.

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Commentary: Our faith needs to be shared!

Continuing to share the words of Pope Francis for the next World Mission Day

By Pedro A. Moreno, OP, MRE

On Oct. 20 of this year the Catholic Church will celebrate the 87th World Mission Day. This celebration will be during the closing of the Year of Faith; Pope Francis has prepared a beautiful message for this celebration and in the Aug. 18 issue of the Sooner Catholic I began sharing portions of that message. Here is the second segment of that message.

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Catholic Foundation offers Continuing Education course

The Catholic Foundation is again presenting a Continuing Education Program this fall entitled Estate Planning 2013. The program will be Nov. 8, 2013, from 8:00 a.m. to noon at the Catholic Pastoral Conference Center.  

The course is in support of the Foundation’s mission to procure and build endowment funds while serving as a permanent organization for managing and administering funds given to the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City for the advancement and expansion of the Catholic Church in Central and Western Oklahoma. The course is geared toward attorneys, accountants, financial planners and trust officers. The cost for this course is $50 in advance and $75 at the door.

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Holy Family Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in OKC offers a taste of India

Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of articles to explore the various ways in which the Mass is celebrated throughout the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. The first article featured the Edmond parish Saint Damien of Molokai, where the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite Mass is said each Sunday. The second featured the Norman parish Our Lady of Lebanon, a Maronite Rite parish.

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Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services prioritizes family reunification

By Anamaría Scaperlanda Biddick

Imagine that you are a refugee, fleeing persecution in your native land due to your race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a social group.  Most likely, you’re from Burma, Afghanistan or Iraq.   You’ve petitioned for and been granted refugee status by the United States, and you leave your beloved but troubled homeland for a new place called Oklahoma.

Upon your arrival in Oklahoma City, you are met at the airport by a staff member or volunteer of Catholic Charities, who takes you and your family to your new apartment.  After your long journey, you receive a meal cooked by one of your own countrymen with cuisine you recognize, and a hearty welcome.  In the next few days, Catholic Charities will help you settle into your new life here, from taking you to the doctor for vaccines and getting your kids enrolled at school to providing a bus pass and helping you get a job. 

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Catholic Charities provides H.O.P.E. to families

When Shirley (not her real name) walked into Catholic Charities, she was hoping for emergency assistance on an overdue electric bill. At the time, she was working at a low-paying job to support herself, her autistic child and her ill mother. Two years later, she’s found a better way of supporting herself and her family, thanks to the Family H.O.P.E. program.  

Short for Help, Organize, Prioritize and Empower, Catholic Charities’ Family H.O.P.E. is a long-term case management program that empowers families to overcome obstacles and gain economic self-sufficiency. Not an emergency financial assistance program, Family H.O.P.E. works to help families identify needs, create their own goals, utilize community resources and tools to promote independence and develop the skills needed to achieve lasting success.

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40 Days for Life aims to close abortion facility through prayer

By Sarah Cooper

Nine years ago in a small Texas college town, several pro-life workers brainstormed ideas to more effectively protest abortion.  From those meetings, the national 40 Days for Life campaign was born in Bryan, Tex.  This year they celebrated the closing of the abortion clinic they first prayerfully protested.  Now in its sixth year in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, 40 Days for Life hopes to achieve what the initial campaign accomplished, an end to abortions in the Oklahoma City area.

This year’s nationwide 40 Days for Life will launch Sept. 25 and last until Nov. 3 in more than 200 U.S. cities.  Locally, each day individuals will volunteer from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. for a peaceful prayer vigil at the Warr Acres Outpatient Services for Women. Participants will stand outside the clinic where they are visible to passing vehicles and silently pray to end abortion.

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Christians, Muslims join Pope Francis in praying for peace in Syria

By Judith Sudilovsky
Catholic News Service

JERUSALEM (CNS) -- At the Church of All Nations at the Garden of Gethsemane, the stone that traditionally has represented Jesus' agony was scattered with notes in different languages -- all asking for peace in Syria.

Christian leaders of the Holy Land gathered there Sept. 7, as Christians and Muslims all over the world prayed with Pope Francis for Syria.

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Commentary: First impressions; lasting impacts

A letter from the Executive Director of Catholic Charities Oklahoma City

It has now been almost a year since I first joined Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma. What a journey it has been! First, the warm reception from the talented and compassionate team, the tremendous legacy of excellence left by Tim O’Connor, and the opportunity to challenge the team in new ways were all wonderful first impressions. Let me share with you some impressions about your Catholic Charities that you may not have known.

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Four decades of priesthood yield memories of God’s mercy and provision for Fathers Feehily, Vaught

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of four articles to profile the jubilarians of the archdiocese, those priests who are celebrating their 25th, 40th, 50th and 60th anniversaries of ordination to the priesthood. Read the first article in the series here. This article highlights the ministries of Father Jack Feehily, ordained Aug. 23, 1973, and Father Mike Vaught, ordained Aug. 17, 1973. Both celebrate 40 years of priesthood this year.

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