reflections, updates and homilies from Deacon Mike Talbot inspired by the following words from my ordination: Receive the Gospel of Christ whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what you teach...
Feastday: January 23 Patron of lepers, outcasts, those with HIV/AIDS, the Hawaii
Birth: January 23, 1838
Death: August 9, 1918
Beatified By: May 14, 2005 by Pope Benedict XVI
Canonized By: October 21, 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI
Saint Marianne Cope, O.S.F. is also known as Saint Marianne of Moloka'i. She was born in Germany on January 23, 1838 and spent much of her life working in Hawai'i working with lepers on the island of Moloka'i.
She was beatified in 2005 and declared a saint by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012.
Cope was born on January 23, 1838 in Heppenheim, in what was then the Grand Duchy of Hesse. Today, that region is part of Germany. She was baptized Maria Anna Barbara Koob, which was later changed to Cope.
Just a year after her birth, her family emigrated to the United States, settling in Utica. New York. Cope attended a parish school until she reached the eighth grade. By that time, her father had become an invalid and she went to work in a factory to support the family.
Her father died in 1862, and this along with her siblings maturity, permitted her to leave the factory to pursue a religious life. She became a novitiate of the Sisters of the Third Order Regular of Saint Francis based in Syracuse, New York. She took the name Marianne when she completed her formation.
German-speaking immigrants settled in large numbers in her area of New York state, so she became a teacher and later a principal at a school for immigrant children.
Cope also helped direct the opening of the first two Catholic hospitals in central New York. She arranged for students from the Geneva Medical College in New York to work at the hospital, but also stipulated that patients should be able to refuse treatment by them. It was one of the first times in history that the right of a patient to refuse treatment was recognized.
By 1883, Cope had become the Superior General of her congregation. It was at this time she received a plea for help from leprosy sufferers in Hawaii. King Kalakaua himself sent the letter asking for aid in treating patients who were isolated on the island of Moloka'i. The King had already been declined by more than 50 other religious institutes.
Mother Marianne, as she was then known, left Syracuse with six sisters to attend to the sick, and arrived on November 8,1883.
Once arrived, Mother Marianne managed a hospital on the island of O'ahu, where victims of leprosy were sent for triage. The most severe patients were sent to the island of Moloka'i.
The next year, Mother Marianne helped establish the Malulani hospital on the island of Maui.
Her tenure at Malulani hospital did not last as she was soon called back to O'ahu to deal with claims of abuse from the government-appointed administrator there. Upon arrival and following an initial investigation, Mother Marianne demanded that he resign or she would leave. The government dismissed the administrator and gave her full management of the hospital there.
Although Mother Marianne was getting older, he workload only seemed to increase. Soon, she was responsible for orphans of women who had contracted the disease as well as clergy who had contracted the disease while working with lepers.
Eventually, Mother Marianne's work became a burden on her frail body and she was confined to a wheelchair. Despite this limitation, she continued to work tirelessly. Many noticed that despite all her years of work she never contracted leprosy herself, which many regarded as a miracle in itself.
Mother Marianne passed away on August 9, 1918 and was buried at Bishop Home.
In the years following her death, several miracles were reported in her name. In 1993, a woman was miraculously cured after multiple organ failure following prayers to Mother Marianne. The woman's subsequent recovery was certified by the Church and Mother Marianne was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI on May 14, 2005.
After her beatification, Mother Marianne's remains were moved to Syracuse, New York and placed in a shrine.
On December 6, 2011, an additional miracle was credited to her and approved by Benedict.
On October 21, 2012, she was officially canonized by Benedict.
The following is a reflection of Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, on ‘All God’s Children’. Published on Jan. 22, 2019, it is from Cardinal Dolan’s blog available on his website:
All God’s Children
Yesterday, the nation fittingly observed the birthday of the Reverend Martin Luther King. To think he could still be with us at 90 years of age! We sure need him!
His message, while profound in its effect, was rather simple: we are all God’s children, made in His image. Thus do we treat ourselves and others with dignity and respect. The dignity of the human person– regardless of race, economic status, or condition– and the sanctity of all human life, no matter what stage or color, was his creed.
I was moved to listening to his little granddaughter interviewed on CNN over the weekend, and not surprised at all to hear her speak tenderly about the civil rights of the immigrants and refugees at our borders whom she had visited.
Likewise am I inspired by his niece, Alveda King, who has been a consistently eloquent defender of the civil rights of a class of people without hardly any protection at all: the preborn baby in the womb.
I am going to invite her here to New York where the right to life of the helpless infant before birth is about to become even more perilous. On this somber 46th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, our elected officials in Albany seem frantic to enact the most radical abortion expansion bill in a state already notorious for its denial of civil rights to the pre-born baby.
Forty-six years ago, on January 22, 1973, we were assured by the jubilant abortionists not to worry: abortion, they assured us, was a deeply regrettable act; it had to remain rare; life-giving alternatives were to be encouraged; the lethal procedure was to be resorted to only in the earliest months.
Well, that all has been disregarded. If our governor, senate, and assembly has their way, abortion will be legal up to the moment of birth; those large numbers of healthcare professionals who find the termination of pre-born babies repugnant will have no conscience rights to object; trained physicians will be not be required to perform the dismemberment; and a baby who survives the scalpel, saline, or suction, and is still alive, can be left to die without any care. This is “progressive?”
I’m not supposed to be a politician or a “culture warrior,” but one offering reason, dialogue, and a conciliatory approach.
We pro-lifers of all religions, and none at all, have tried. How about some prudent limits on the unfettered abortion license, as the Marist poll of last week shows 70% of all American want. No! They reply. Well, how about positive encouragement to adoption, with balanced counseling given to expectant mothers struggling with a difficult pregnancy? No! How about enlightened legislation to provide pregnant parents with the time off, medical accompaniment, and assistance they need to bring their baby to life and care for her afterwards? No! What about conscience rights for health care providers who object? No!
Sorry, they insist. There can be no questioning of the unfettered abortion license. It is an absolute right.
Alveda King assures us that her esteemed uncle would find this a civil rights’ issue, and would advocate for a whole class of folks not now given any equal protection: the preborn baby. In fact, he and other civil rights leaders worried that abortion targeted poor, black moms.
After all, she tells us, Blacks in pre-civil war America had no rights, considered mere property of the owner who had complete control over them. African Americans were considered chattel, less than human, up through the 1960’s, and the defense of their rights still providentially goes on.
All people have rights: the immigrant, the poor, the pregnant woman… and her baby. All God’s children, Reverend King would insist, are equal and have rights.
Five years or so ago, I had the privilege of a long, thoughtful session between Governor Cuomo and state religious leaders. At the end of the meeting, the governor complemented us:
“You know,” he concluded, “most groups that come in to see me make appeals for things that will benefit themselves. How refreshing that you all come in and speak on behalf, not of yourselves, but for those with no voice – immigrants, prisoners, addicts, the homeless, the emotionally ill, the school kids.”
The Holy See announced January 22, 2019, that Pope Francis has named two new auxiliary bishops for the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, (AMS). His Holiness elected Father William (Bill) Muhm, Captain, Navy Chaplain Corps, titular Bishop-elect of Capsus, and Father Joseph L. Coffey, Captain (Select), Navy Chaplain Corps, titular Bishop-elect of Arsacalitan.
Fathers Muhm and Coffey will replace Auxiliary Bishops Richard B. Higgins, who is retiring this year, and Robert J. Coyle, who was transferred last year as an Auxiliary to the diocese of Rockville Centre, NY. His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, will ordain the two priests bishops in a solemn Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on Monday, March 25, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord.
Commenting on the appointments, Archbishop Broglio said: “The Bishop of Rome has once again looked with pastoral solicitude on the global Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, and recognized the need to assure adequate care of the 1.8 million faithful entrusted to her. I am delighted that both candidates have accepted to serve in a new way. They bring vast experience and deep pastoral solicitude to their new role.”
Father Muhm said: “I’m greatly honored and humbled to be chosen by our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Father to be a bishop of the Universal Church and an auxiliary bishop of the AMS, which provides Catholic ministry and spiritual services to VERY important Americans: service members, members of their families, cadets and midshipmen, civilians stationed overseas, and veterans at VA Hospitals.”
Father Coffey said: “I am humbled and honored to have been chosen by the Holy Father, Pope Francis, to assist Archbishop Broglio in his duties as the chief shepherd for the AMS. I am extremely grateful to my three shepherds from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, Justin Cardinal Rigali, and Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, who have given me the necessary permission to serve on active duty in the US Navy Chaplain Corps for these last 17 years.”
Here follows additional background information on the two bishops-elect.
Bishop-Elect William (Bill) Muhm
Bishop-Elect William (Bill) Muhm, son of the late James and Anne Muhm, was born in Billings, MT, in 1957 and raised in Denver, CO. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree (B.S.) in Business Administration from Colorado State University in 1980. He attended Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Newport, RI, and was commissioned an Ensign in the Navy Supply Corps in July 1981. After graduating from Navy Supply Corps School, he served aboard USS BELLEAU WOOD (LHA-3), making two Western Pacific (WESTPAC) deployments, and an assignment to the Naval Air Engineering Station in Lakehurst, NJ. After release from active duty, he worked as an accountant. From 1986-1989, he also served as a Navy Reserve Supply Corps Officer.
In 1989, Father Muhm entered the minor seminary for the Archdiocese of New York, under the Co-Sponsored Seminarian Program (CSP), a vocations partnership between the AMS and participating U.S. dioceses and religious communities. He graduated from St. Joseph’s Seminary (Dunwoodie) in Yonkers, NY, and was ordained a priest in 1995 by John Cardinal O’Connor. Father Muhm served in the Archdiocese of New York at parishes in Ossining and Staten Island. From 1996 to 1998, he served as a Navy Reserve Chaplain with Fleet Hospital 22.
In 1998, Father Muhm returned to active duty as a Navy chaplain. His assignments included Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan; USS WASP (LHD-1), making an extended post-9/11 deployment in the Arabian Sea; postgraduate studies at Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, CA; Training Support Center Great Lakes, IL; 1st Marine Division, deploying to Anbar Province, Iraq; U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD; USS BONHOMME RICHARD (LHD-6)/CTF-76, homeported in Sasebo, Japan; 2nd Marine Logistics Group, Camp Lejeune, NC; and II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune. Father Muhm retired from the Navy on May 1, 2018.
Bishop-Elect Joseph L. Coffey
Bishop-elect Joseph L. Coffey, son of the late Dr. William F. X Coffey, M.D., and Roseanita Schubert Coffey was born in Rochester, MN, on May 31, 1960. He is the fifth of nine children and the proud uncle of 46 nieces and nephews and 12 great nieces and nephews. He was raised in Philadelphia and is a life-long fan of all the Philly sports teams.
Father Coffey graduated from La Salle University in 1982 with a double major in English/French which included a year of study at the Sorbonne University in Paris, France. After college, Father Coffey worked as a grade school teacher, a ski instructor in Switzerland, and in the automobile industry in Germany and Belgium for five years.
Heeding a call to the priesthood, he attended St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, PA, and graduated with a Master of Divinity degree (MDiv) and was ordained in 1996 by Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua. He earned a Master of Arts (MA) in Moral Theology, also from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in 2000.
While still in seminary, Father Coffey was given permission by Cardinal Bevilacqua to enter the U.S. Navy Chaplain Candidate Program in May of 1992 with the rank of Ensign. He stayed in the Navy Reserve for the next nine years.
Following ordination in 1996, Father Coffey was assigned as an Associate Pastor to St. Katherine of Siena parish in Philadelphia, PA. After five years in parish ministry, he was given permission by Cardinal Bevilacqua for full-time active duty as a Navy Chaplain in September of 2001.
Chaplain Coffey’s duty assignments have included: Combat Assault Battalion, Okinawa,Japan; Division Officer and Command Chaplain onboard USS GEORGE WASHINGTON(CVN 73), homeported in Norfolk, VA, with a 6 month deployment to the ArabianGulf; Command Chaplain at the U.S. Coast Guard Training Center, Cape May, NJ; MarineAir Group 39, Camp Pendleton, CA, an assignment that included a seven-month month deployment to Camp Leatherneck, Helmand Provence, Afghanistan; U.S. Navy Recruiting Command, St. Louis, MO; Command Chaplain on USS RONALD REAGAN (CVN 76), homeported in Yokosuka, Japan, with a six-month deployment to the South Pacific Ocean; and his current assignment is Assistant Chief of Staff for Religious Ministry, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, CA.
January 22 Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children
A great prayer for life is urgently needed, a prayer which will rise up throughout the world. Through special initiatives and in daily prayer, may an impassioned plea rise to God, the Creator and lover of life, from every Christian community, from every group and association, from every family and from the heart of every believer. Pope Saint John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, no. 100* The over 56 million abortions since the 1973 decisions of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton reflect with heartbreaking magnitude what Pope Francis means by a “throwaway culture.” However, we have great trust in God’s providence. We are reminded time and again in Scripture to seek the Lord’s help, and as people of faith, we believe that our prayers are heard.
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), no. 373, designates January 22 as a particular day of prayer and penance, called the "Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children”: “In all the Dioceses of the United States of America, January 22 (or January 23, when January 22 falls on a Sunday) shall be observed as a particular day of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life and of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion.”
As individuals, we are called to observe this day through the penitential practices of prayer, fasting and/or giving alms. Another way to take part is through participating in special events to observe the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Call your local diocese or parish to find out what events might be taking place in your area.
Deacon and martyr. Born at Huesca, Spain, he became a deacon and served St, Valerius at Saragossa until their martyrdom at Valencia during the persecutions under Emperor Diocletian (r. 284-305). St. Valerius was exiled, but Vincent was cruelly tortured because he would not surrender the holy books. He converted the warden of the prison and then died. He was honored by Sts. Augustine, Pope Leo I, and Prudentius, and is considered the patron saint of vinedressers in some regions of Spain.
On the XXXIV World Youth Day (WYD), the Catholic Church in Panama has decided to reveal the hidden face of the country. “When a foreigner arrives in Panama, he might think he’s in Dubai, but that’s just the façade,” says Archbishop José Domingo Ulloa of Panama City, the capital. His comments were reported January 21, 2019, by Aid to the Church in Need.
This Central American country, which has some 4 million inhabitants, more than 80 percent of whom are Catholics, is preparing to receive Pope Francis, host of this major event that will take place from January 22 to 27, 2019.
One of the six most unequal countries in Latin America
According to the World Bank, Panama is one of the six countries with the greatest inequality in Latin America and one of the ten countries with the greatest inequality in the world. “The WYD 2019 will be the occasion to discover the true face of our country”, said Archbishop Ulloa. Last November, the Archbishop, a member of the Order of St. Augustine, received a delegation from the Pontifical Foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) in his Diocese of Panama.
Next to the wide and clean avenues of the capital, bordered by luxury shops, glass skyscrapers, bank branches, and service companies—not forgetting the prestigious canal—Panama reserves its riches for the wealthy.
“Panama has two faces. In the country, by 2015, the richest 10 percent of households had incomes 37 times higher than the poorest 10 percent. These figures reveal to us the social injustice and the high degree of inequality suffered by our people,” emphasizes the Archbishop of Panama.
The fate of Afro-descendants is not to be envied. Their ancestors were African slaves exported to Panama in the 15th and 16th centuries, or people from the Antilles who came to work on the construction of the Panama Canal in the 20th century. These people suffer directly from poverty and marginalization. They live in poor neighborhoods and traditionally impoverished areas and provinces such as Colon, Darien, and Panama. Afro-descendants are now mestizos.
In addition, Panama has seven indigenous ethnic groups that represent around 10-12% of the population or half a million people. A significant part of this autochthonous population lives in a situation of serious marginalization and social exclusion.
“The health status of these indigenous peoples is precarious—infant mortality is three times higher than in the rest of the population—and they also suffer from low levels of education and schooling. As a result, this indigenous population does not have access to well-paid jobs, as Panamanian society is essentially a service-oriented society.
Panama is not the Switzerland of Central America
“From the outside, they see a very proud Panama. They think we’re dealing with a Central American Switzerland, but we have to look beyond that: 40% of people work in the undeclared economy. There is a deep Panama that is not reached by development, while international cooperation reduces its aid because it considers Panama to be a developed country,” Maribel Jaen, from the Archbishop’s Justice and Peace Commission, explains to the ACN delegation.
For his part, Bishop Ochogavia, of the Diocese of Colon-Kuna Yala, points out that regional differences are very important: “The people of Colon, who suffer high unemployment, have a bad reputation, so they hide their origin when looking for work. In some families, they have only one meal a day and there is a lack of access to clean water and medical care. Some communities have only one toilet for twenty families! This population lives in a vicious circle that strangles hope.”
“The challenge will be the next day”
For the bishop, the strength of the Church in Panama is its laity, and the impact of the next WYD is already felt: many young people have been involved in the organization of this event. “It’s not just the Catholics; there are even non-believing young people who participate! WYD is a blessing for youth ministry, but also a job opportunity for many young people.
Archbishop Ulloa also hopes that this WYD, in which 400,000 young people are expected to participate, will offer the opportunity to relaunch and deepen the Social Teachings of the Church, because, in his opinion, the small Church in Panama, which has only 6 dioceses, an apostolic prelature, and an apostolic vicariate, needs a profound renewal.
The Archbishop of Panama celebrates the fact that during the next WYD young people who are expected to attend can become familiar with the social teaching of the Church through the Docat Digital app. Provided by the YOUCAT Foundation, which is part of ACN, its goal is to help young people understand in their own language, by answering their questions, this important aspect of Christian commitment.