Catholic News Service has published briefs on the following topics: Worship space expansion; Stolen relic of St. John Bosco; From weakness to strength.
Creative program funds buildings for rapidly growing Georgia parishes
ATLANTA (CNS) -- Making room for everyone at the Lord's table is the spirit behind a focused new program in the Archdiocese of Atlanta. The Special Projects Program is funding the expansion of basic worship and religious education space in a few uniquely challenged parishes whose Churches cannot hold all the people coming for Mass or religious education. The program immediately will address needs in three Churches -- a parish and two missions in Cedartown, Gainesville and Lilburn. The three communities are growing so quickly -- with particularly large increases in Latino members -- that they have even run out of room in overflow spaces for Mass and programs. On top of that, the faith communities had virtually no funds in the bank to remedy the situation. Under the program, a fund has been established for parishes and missions to tap into construction projects. Guidelines give the faith communities time to repay the funds and in return fund the construction needs of other parishes and mission Churches. Archdiocesan officials believe the program is unique in the United States. The first three recipients are St. Bernadette Church in Cedartown, St. John Paul II Mission in Gainesville, and Our Lady of the Americas Mission in Lilburn. "I called this my World Bank project," said Peter Faletti, retired director of planning for the archdiocese, who drafted the charter governing the program. "To me, that was the concept that was needed."
Italian police recover stolen relic of St. John Bosco
TURIN, Italy (CNS) -- Inside a copper teapot in a kitchen cupboard, Italian police found the relic of St. John Bosco that had been stolen two weeks earlier from the basilica erected at his birthplace. The press office of the Salesians in nearby Turin announced June 15 that Italian military police obtained a search warrant and discovered the relic early that morning in the home of a 42-year-old Italian man identified only by the initials C.G. From previous encounters with the law, the man's fingerprints were on file and they were found on the glass case protecting the relic and reliquary in the lower Basilica of St. John Bosco in the town of Castelnuovo Don Bosco. Police said they watched and followed the man for several days before obtaining a warrant to search his home. The relic, a piece of St. John Bosco's brain, was still in its small glass jar tied with red ribbon. The seal of authenticity was intact, the Salesians said.
In recognizing one's weakness, God's strength can be found, Pope says
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Christians who acknowledge their own weakness and limitations will find the saving power of God's strength, Pope Francis said. However, recognizing one's own vulnerability is "one of the most difficult things in life," and those who fail to accept that truth about themselves set off on a path of deceit and hypocrisy, the Pope said June 16 in his homily during Mass at Domus Sanctae Marthae. "The path toward vanity, arrogance," he said, is "the self-referentiality of those who think they are not clay; they look for salvation, fullness, in themselves." The Pope's homily focused on day's first reading from St. Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians (4:7-15), in which he preaches that Christians carry the treasure of God's glory "in earthen vessels so that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us." Paul's comparison of human frailty to clay jars, the Pope said, symbolizes the weakness and vulnerability that Christians are often tempted to "put makeup on it so that it isn't seen or to disguise it."