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Friday News Roundup: What Did Pope Francis Say About Civil Unions?

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Volunteering Opportunity With the Missionaries of Charity

Covid Care Force, a national mobilizing group of healthcare professionals, is looking for non-clinical volunteers to assist them in aiding the Missionaries of Charity soup kitchen and homeless shelter in Gallup, NM. Two men or a married couple are needed for each rotation.

Learn more

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10 Suggestions for Faithful Catholics in Electing Public Officials

  1. “Good Catholics immerse themselves in politics by offering the best of themselves so that the leader can govern.” (Pope Francis) To participate in the election process is to exercise good and responsible citizenship.
  2. Party affiliation or the personal faith of the candidate are less important than the proposals, platform and record of that candidate.
  3. Since truth is often a casualty of political rhetoric, one is better off looking at the public record of the person’s actions and not simply what they say.
  4. Beware of political propaganda, including from the press; seek concrete facts of the matter.
  5. Actions and actual legislation of the past can be a good indicator of what a politician will do in the future.
  6. Political parties and candidates evolve and change: consider not only what they supported in the past but the direction they are going now.
  7. Although the ideal would be virtuous candidates, to elect someone to public office does not mean approval of the personal life of that person, or even all that they propose; often in fact it is a process of choosing the lesser evil.
  8. “There are several issues that are ‘non negotiable’ for Catholics in political life, because they involve matters that are always wrong given their nature.” (Bishop Thomas Olmsted, Catholics in the Public Square n. 18)
  9. Examples of n. 8 include, legal support for abortion and legalized euthanasia. “There are some things we must never do, as individuals or as a society,… These are called “intrinsically evil” actions. They must always be rejected and opposed and must never be supported or condoned. A prime example is the intentional taking of innocent human life, as in abortion and euthanasia. In our nation, “abortion and euthanasia have become preeminent threats to human dignity because they directly attack life itself, the most fundamental human good and the condition for all others” (Living the Gospel of Life, no. 5). It is a mistake with grave moral consequences to treat the destruction of innocent human life merely as a matter of individual choice. A legal system that violates the basic right to life on the grounds of choice is fundamentally flawed.” USCCB, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, n. 22.
  10. Charity and kindness toward one another overall, regardless of their political affiliation. “In what is necessary, unity; in what is not necessary, liberty and in all things charity”. (St. Augustine)

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Obituary for Sr. Clara Smith, ASC

Sister Clara Smith, ASC, who taught grade school for four decades before finding her heart in prison ministry, died Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at the Caritas Center in Wichita, Kansas. She was 94 years old and had been a professed member of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ for 78 years.

Sister Clara was born on February 12, 1926 in Spearville, Kansas, the sixth of 12 children born to Andrew and Mary Elizabeth (Tepe) Smith. Influenced by her teachers and an aunt who had joined the congregation, Clara entered the community in 1940, the novitiate a year later, taking the name Mary Florentine. Later, she reclaimed her baptismal name of Clara.

She received a bachelor’s degree in education in 1959 from Sacred Heart College, now Newman University, in Wichita.

As Sister Florentine, she taught elementary school for 44 years in Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas and sometimes served as principal.

In 1977, while still teaching school kids, Sister Clara began visiting prisoners every Sunday in the Eddy County, New Mexico jail in Carlsbad and did so for five years. Thus began her new ministry.

Clara was teaching Bible classes at Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility in Las Cruces, where the warden asked her to consider becoming the chaplain, and in 1984, she became the first female chaplain at the New Mexico men’s facility and served there for four years.

She later filled a chaplain vacancy at Western New Mexico Correctional Facility in Grants, and stayed for 12 years. She walked among the inmates, hugging each one, greeting them by name, and listening to their fears, doubts and regrets.

She once said of her ministry, “If your brother were in here, wouldn’t you want someone to give him a kind word? I don’t judge these men. The judge passed a decision already. My job is not to look to the past. My job is to look to their future. I know that God is working through me and I know I am helping these men. That is what I’m here to do.”

She was New Mexico’s corrections employee of the year in 2001 for inspiring “those who are in need of hope and those who seek comfort in a time of despair and pain.”

Even after retirement in 2005 when she returned to the Wichita Center, she kept in touch with the men through letters.

In addition to her Sister Adorers of the Blood of Christ, Sister Clara Smith is survived by her youngest brother, Gerald, and a sister-in-law Edna Mae, both of Missouri, as well as a number of nieces and nephews.

Listen to a podcast interview with Sister Clara here: https://bit.ly/3mQfrdY

Donations in memory of Sister Clara Smith may be sent to the Adorers at 4233 Sulphur Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63109 or made online at www.adorers.org 

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What did Pope Francis Say About Civil Unions?

“While Pope Francis has previously discussed civil unions, he has not explicitly endorsed the idea in public before. While the context of his quotes in the documentary is not fully revealed, and it is possible the pope added qualifications not seen on camera, an endorsement of civil unions for same-sex couples is a very different approach for a pope, one that represents a departure from the position of his two immediate predecessors on the issue.”

The Friday news roundup presents a quick overview of Catholic stories and events from around the Diocese of Gallup, United States, and world. Have a news tip or event to promote? Email [email protected], call 505-863-4406 or mail us at PO Box 1338, Gallup NM 87305

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Suzanne Hammonshttp://dioceseofgallup.org
Suzanne Hammons is the editor of the Voice of the Southwest and the media coordinator for the Diocese of Gallup. A graduate of Benedictine College in Kansas, she joined the Diocesan staff in 2012.

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