Sunday, February 26, 2012

Archbishop Vlazny of Portland, OR, former Bishop of Winona, to Retire

Archbishop Vlazny turns 75 today and will be sending
his mandatory resignation letter to the Pope

Archbishop John G. Vlazny

Archbishop John G. Vlazny

Born in Chicago February 22, 1937, Archbishop Vlazny attended Quigley Preparatory Seminary in Chicago and St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein, IL., where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1958. He attended the North American College and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome earning Sacred Theology Bachelor degree in 1960 and a Sacred Theology Licentiate degree in 1962. He later earned a Master of Arts degree in the Classics from the University of Michigan in 1967, and a Master of Education degree in School Administration from Loyola University, Chicago, in 1972. Archbishop Vlazny was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Ministry degree from St. Mary's University, Winona, in 1998, an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Portland, Portland, OR, 1999, and an Honorary Doctor of Theology degree from Mount Angel Seminary in 2010.

He was ordained a priest at St. Peter's Basilica, Rome, on December 20, 1961. As a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Father Vlazny served as Associate Pastor in five parishes between 1962 and 1979. At the same time he served on the faculty of Quigley Preparatory North in Chicago from 1963 to 1979. He was Dean of Studies at Quigley Preparatory North from 1969 - 1979.

Father Vlazny was President of the Presbyteral Senate for the Archdiocese of Chicago 1976 to 1977. He was appointed Pastor of St. Aloysius Parish in Chicago, where he served from 1979 - 1981. He was appointed Rector of Niles College Seminary in 1981, and served in that position until 1983.

He was named a Bishop by Pope John Paul II, and was ordained an Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago at Holy Name Cathedral, Chicago, on December 13, 1983. As Auxiliary Bishop, he served as Episcopal Vicar for Lake County and Northwestern Suburban Cook County. He was appointed Bishop of Winona, MN., by Pope John Paul II on May 19, 1987, and was installed as the sixth Bishop of Winona on July 29, 1987. On October 28, 1997 he was appointed the tenth Archbishop of Portland in Oregon.

Archbishop Vlazny previously served on United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (previously National Conference of Catholic Bishops) committees:
Chairman of the NCCB Vocations Committee,
Chairman of the NCCB Committee on Evangelization,
Chairman of USCCB Committee on University Presidents and
Chairman of USCCB Committee on Women in Society and in the Church,
Chairman of USCCB Committee on the Economic Concerns of the Holy See,
Chairman of the USCCB Committee on National Collections
Member of the USCCB Administrative Committee
Member of the Committee on Migration and Refugee Services,
Member of the NCCB Priestly Formation Committee,
Member of the NCCB Subcommittee on the Millennium,
Member of the NCCB Committee on Consecrated Life,
Member of the USCCB Committee for the North American College in Rome,
Member of the USCCB Committee for Hispanic Affairs,
Member of the USCCB Committee on the Relationship between
Eastern and Latin Catholic Churches,
Member of the USCCB Committee on Catechesis,
Member of the USCCB Committee on Diocesan Audits,
Member of the USCCB Committee on Conciliation and Arbitration
Member of the USCCB Committee on Shrines
Member of the USCCB Task Force on Faith Formation & Sacramental Practice
Consultant, USCCB Committee on African-American Catholics
Consultant to the USCCB Committee on Divine Worship

Chairman, Region XII Catholic Bishops

Other Episcopal Services:
Member of the board of Sacred Heart School of Theology, Hales
Corner, WI (1985 - 1994),
Member of the board of the Catholic Communications foundation
(1989 - 2007),
Chairman of the Board of Oregon Catholic Press (1997 - Present),
Chairman of the Board, Oregon Catholic Conference
(1997 - Present),
Member of the Board of Directors, Mt. Angel Seminary,
St. Benedict, OR (2000 - Present),
Episcopal Moderator, Catholic Cemetery Conference
(2000 - 2009),
Episcopal Liaison, National Council of Catholic Women
(2001 - 2006),
Trustee of the Catholic United Investment Trust, Christian Brothers Investment Service (2000 - 2007),
Member of the Board of Advisors, Erasmus Institute, Notre Dame University (2001 - 2006).

Coat of Arms Explained

Archbishop Vlazny's column in the
Catholic Sentinel

Archbishop Vlazny's Catholic Sentinel Columns on the Child Sexual Abuse Situation

Archdiocese of Portland, OR

Monday, February 20, 2012

Lent's coming this Wednesday; Fr. Z has some Confession Tips for You

Fr. Z’s 20 Tips For Making A Good Confession

We should…

1) …examine our consciences regularly and thoroughly;
2) …wait our turn in line patiently;
3) …come at the time confessions are scheduled, not a few minutes before they are to end;
4) …speak distinctly but never so loudly that we might be overheard;
5) …state our sins clearly and briefly without rambling;
6) …confess all mortal sins in number and kind;
7) …listen carefully to the advice the priest gives;
8) …confess our own sins and not someone else’s;
9) …carefully listen to and remember the penance and be sure to understand it;
10) …use a regular formula for confession so that it is familiar and comfortable;
11) …never be afraid to say something “embarrassing”… just say it;
12) …never worry that the priest thinks we are jerks…. he is usually impressed by our courage;
13) …never fear that the priest will not keep our confession secret… he is bound by the Seal;
14) …never confess “tendencies” or “struggles”… just sins;
15) …never leave the confessional before the priest has finished giving absolution;
16) …memorize an Act of Contrition;
17) …answer the priest’s questions briefly if he asks for a clarification;
18) …ask questions if we can’t understand what he means when he tells us something;
19) …keep in mind that sometimes priests can have bad days just like we do;
20) …remember that priests must go to confession too … they know what we are going through.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Duluth woman wants to restore forgotten grotto's glory

When Robin Mainella looks at the fenced-in, rocky patch of land just west of the Observation Hill Children’s Center, she sees a piece of history, and more.

“This is definitely a sacred place,” the Duluth woman says as she looks up at an overgrown mound of rock once the site of the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes.

The rocky rise, snug up against city land that once was home of the Darling Observatory, belongs to Bill and Trish Irving, who own the day care center on West Third Street off Mesaba Avenue. East of the center is a privately owned home that used to be the St. Peter’s Church rectory, and east of that is the church itself, which was closed in late 2010.

In 1945, all of the land belonged to the church, which served Duluth’s “Little Italy,” but there was no rectory and no school building. And the church’s priest, Father John Zarrilli, had a vision for the rocky hill above the church. He wanted an appropriate welcome home for men from Duluth’s Italian community who had served the country in World War II. The shape of the mound inspired his vision of what that tribute would be. The stone masons who were part of the St. Peter’s parish gave him the means.

“The same stone masons who built the church … and Enger Tower built this,” said Mainella, 54. “The stone masons … took a picture of the grotto that’s in Lourdes, France, and they replicated it. And they did a darn good job.”

Soon, St. Peter’s Church had its own version of the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes. It imitated the grotto at the site where 14-year-old Bernadette Soubirous saw her first vision of the Virgin Mary on Feb. 11, 1858. The St. Peter’s grotto included a statue of Saint Bernadette kneeling and looking up at a statue of the Virgin Mary.

A time capsule in the cornerstone contained the names of the Italian-

Americans from Duluth who served in World War II. Seven of them didn’t come back, Mainella said. A bronze plaque had the words: “Dedicated to St. Peter’s Church boys and all Italian-American boys of Duluth who served in the Second World War 1941-1945. Erected in honor of Mary, the Queen of Peace, praying that she may implore a lasting peace for America and the world.”

A simple stone altar was built in front of the grotto. Before the school was built in 1959, St. Peter’s had outdoor Masses in front of the grotto, Mainella said.

The altar was visible earlier this week amid the overgrowth, mostly covered in snow. The statues, the bronze plaque and the time capsule all are gone. Mainella said she’s determined to find the time capsule, but she has no idea where it is.

The Irvings, who bought the property from other private owners in 1996, have seen it.

“Unfortunately, that disappeared with a group of people who came by a few years back,” Bill Irving said.

The Irvings don’t know the names of the people who came for the time capsule about a decade ago, but they understood them to be members of the Italian-American Club. Some of them may have been named in the time capsule, Bill Irving said. The plaque had been stored in their building’s basement since before they bought it, and the group took that as well, he added.

Mainella, whose links to the church go back three generations, said the time capsule never should have been removed. She also thinks the grotto should be restored. “It might not be able to be restored to the extent that some people might consider restoration,” she said. “It certainly could be cleaned up.”

Mainella said she’s willing to do much of the work herself. She also has peppered people involved in historic preservation and veterans issues with e-mails advocating the grotto’s restoration. The response has been tepid.

Dan Hartman, a Duluth city councilor who is program curator for Duluth Veterans Memorial Hall, said the city has numerous neglected or forgotten memorials. Veterans Memorial Hall would be happy to preserve archives of the grotto, he said, but that probably would be it.

“It’s kind of hard to tell how large a significance it had to the veterans community when it was there,” Hartman said. “It probably had more significance to the church. Most veterans today don’t even know it existed.”

Kyle Eller, spokesman for the Diocese of Duluth, said the diocese is favorable in general toward anything that enhances devotional life. But the diocese would be unlikely to take a position on restoring the grotto, he said.

The Irvings have allowed Mainella and others access to the property, but they’re wary of restoration talk.

“If we have to give up the rights to the property, I’m not in favor of that at all,” Bill Irving said. “If she’s going to make it into a historical site which precludes us from selling it, that ain’t going to happen.”

Mainella said she wouldn’t even know how to get the grotto designated as a historic site, although she is part of an effort to have the nearby church named a historic landmark.

“Maybe it just needs to be restored, cleaned up and enjoyed,” Mainella said. “It was beautiful, and it could be beautiful again.” Duluth News Tribune