Catholic school scholarships begin second year

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Catholic Schools Opportunity Scholarship program for the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City seeks donations for need-based scholarships, which are awarded to Catholic students who attend Catholic schools within the archdiocese.

The primary purpose of the program is to allow as many students as possible to attend Catholic schools by providing tuition assistance to Catholic families with the greatest need.

In 2012, the program awarded 39 scholarships from the funds received in 2011. The gifts received for the program in 2012 were used to award scholarships to 71 students for the 2013-2014 school year. The scholarships were awarded to students at all 21 Catholic elementary and high schools in the archdiocese.

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“Of Heaven and Earth” art exhibit audio guide features commentary from Archbishop Coakley, others

By Tina Korbe Dzurisin

An exhibit that features some 40 Italian paintings from the Middle Ages into the 19th century opened Saturday, Aug. 24, at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.

“Of Heaven and Earth: 500 Years of Italian Painting from Glasgow Museums” highlights the work of renowned Italian painters, including Bellini, Botticelli and Titian. The majority of the paintings in the exhibit have never before been on display in the United States.

Because the Catholic Church was a major patron of Italian Renaissance painters, the exhibit showcases a significant number of religious works, including “Virgin and Child” by Giovanni Bellini, “Archangel Michael and the Rebel Angels” by Cavaliere d’Arpino and “Saint Catherine Crowned” by Bartolomeo Veneto, among many others.

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A.C.T.S. retreats extend Cursillo movement in Oklahoma

By Sarah Cooper

Oklahomans now have the opportunity to experience a powerful and life-changing retreat through the efforts of members of Saint Benedict’s Catholic Church in Shawnee, Okla., to bring the A.C.T.S. retreat to the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. 

Started in Texas in 1987 and based on the Cursillo movement, the A.C.T.S. retreat has changed the lives of more than 450,000 people.  Through personal testimonies, discussion, reconciliation and the Eucharist, the three-day retreat assists participants in surrendering their lives to Christ. The A.C.T.S. retreat acronym refers to the four topics on which participants focus: adoration, community, theology and service.

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Catechetical Congress open to RCIA teachers, youth ministers and RE instructors

By Brianna Osborne

The Office of Religious Education has scheduled two important events for September. First is “Catechetical Sunday” on Sept. 15. Every year, individual parishes renew the vocations of their religious education instructors. During Mass, catechists are called up for a commissioning rite and blessed by the priest.

“It is also a time to remind parishioners that the catechists are called and gifted in a special way but that we are all called to catechize by virtue of our baptism,” said Pat Koenig, director of the Office of Religious Education. “The theme of Catechetical Sunday this year is Open the Door of Faith.”

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Meet Our Seminarians

Meet Kelly Edwards 

1. What is your home parish? Saint Monica’s

2. What seminary do you attend? Saint Meinrad School of Theology

3. If it is God’s will, what year will you be ordained a priest? Summer of 2017

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Whatever happened to our “Sunday best”?

By Sooner Catholic Staff

Mingled in the pews at Mass on any given Sunday are women wearing traditional Vietnamese outfits called ao tu than, wives in the beautiful tribal patterns of African kaftans, husbands in suits and ties, mothers in Sunday bonnets, little girls in bows and little boys with shiny shoes.

In the pews, too, are women in strapless dresses, men in T-shirts with sales pitches or inappropriate messages, college students in cargo shorts and teenagers in short skirts.

Is one style of dress more appropriate for Mass than another? Are all of these clothing choices equally valid versions of “Sunday best” dress? If not, what happened to dressing our best for the Lord? When was modesty taken out of the dress code? Does it depend on the parish? Are some parishes more “laid back” than others? Is it that our society has become more casual? Are we dressing for the rest of our busy day instead of for the Lord’s day?

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Commentary: Things you'll never see again or miss

By Father Shane Tharp

I spend a lot of time on the Internet. Not an inordinate amount, mind you, and I certainly don't hang out in bad neighborhoods, if you catch my drift, but a lot of the work I do for the parish brings me back to the Internet. Recently, I spotted an article entitled, "Welcome to the class of 2017." The article dealt with all the things that, while familiar to old folks like me, the high school seniors of 2017 won't have a clue what we are talking about.

Buried about halfway down, the article made a point that cracked me up. According to this article, the class of 2017 will never have printed off directions from a computer; they will have used smartphones and other GPS devices to get from one place to another. I laughed when I read this because I thought everyone had stopped getting their directions from MapQuest and sites like it. I just assumed everyone knew where to get directions.

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Commentary: Living inside the Bible

By George Weigel

KRACOW, Poland—The village of Pasierbiec is in the south of Poland, about 30 miles from the old royal capital of Kracow. Its church, the Basilica of Our Lady of Consolation, is full of votum gifts testifying to favors received through the intercession of the basilica's namesake. (The church itself reminds me of a comment Pope John Paul II's secretary, now-Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, once made when we were looking at a photo album of new churches in Nowa Huta, the mill-town built by Polish communists outside Cracow: "Troppo [Too much] Corbusier...")

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Pope denounces 'multiplication of massacres,' atrocities in Syria

By Cindy Wooden / Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis called again for an end to the fighting in Syria, denouncing the "multiplication of massacres and atrocious acts," including the suspected chemical weapons attack that left hundreds dead.

As U.N. weapons inspectors received permission from the Syrian government Aug. 25 to visit the site of the alleged attack, Pope Francis said the "terrible images" of the dead, including children, "push me once again to raise a voice so that the roar of the weapons would stop."

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Recognizing sin, accepting mercy is key to salvation, pope says

By Cindy Wooden / Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Jesus told his disciples that the entrance to heaven is like a "narrow gate," not because God has made salvation so difficult, but because people find it difficult to recognize their sinfulness and accept God's mercy, Pope Francis said.

Jesus is "the gateway to salvation," the pope said Aug. 26 before reciting the Angelus with visitors in St. Peter's Square. "The gate that is Jesus is never closed; this gate is never closed, it is always open and open to everyone, without distinction, without exclusions, without privileges."

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