Monday, November 16, 2009

Today on Kresta - November 16, 2009

Talking about the "things that matter most" on Nov. 16

Live from the USCCB Fall Meeting in Baltimore, MD

4:00 – The Year for Priests / St. John Vianney

Pope Benedict XVI opened the “Year for Priests” in June, with the theme “Faithfulness of Christ, faithfulness of priests.” The year also marks the 150th anniversary of the death of St. John Vianney, known as the “Curé of Ars.” The prefect for the Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal Claudio Hummes, is encouraging local dioceses and parishes to plan events that will “celebrate and show appreciation for priests.” As a key contribution to the celebration, a new theatrical drama, “Vianney,” has launched a worldwide tour. The play focuses on the question, “What is a priest?” and tells the story of St. John Vianney, whose exemplary life was so remarkable that the Pope has named him the patron of this jubilee year, and will, at the close of the year, declare him the patron of all the priests of the world. The drama, starring actor and film director Leonardo Defilippis, will be performed tonight for the Bishops here at the USCCB meeting in Baltimore. We talk with Leonardo.

4:20 – TBA

4:40 – Vatican Looking at Possibility of Alien Life
E.T. phone Rome. The Vatican spent the last week studying the possibility of extraterrestrial alien life and its implication for the Catholic Church. "The questions of life's origins and of whether life exists elsewhere in the universe are very suitable and deserve serious consideration," said the Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, an astronomer and director of the Vatican Observatory. Father Funes, a Jesuit priest, last week presented the results of a five-day conference, which was attended by astronomers, physicists, biologists and other specialists to discuss the budding field of astrobiology - the study of the origin of life and its existence elsewhere in the cosmos. Ben Wiker, author of “Alien Ideas: Christianity and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life,” is with us.

5:00 – USCCB Fall Conference: An Overview
The annual Fall General Assembly of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will kicked off this afternoon at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel. At the assembly, the bishops will hear an address by the president of the USCCB, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago; and elect the USCCB chairs of 5 Committees. They will rework and vote on documents concerning sections of the New Roman Missal, a Pastoral letter on marriage, a document on reproductive technologies, and one on Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services. The meeting agenda also will include a preliminary report on the Causes and Context Study on clergy sexual abuse of minors conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a report by the National Religious Vocation Conference on a recent study of religious vocations. We get an overview from Russell Shaw, reporter for Our Sunday Visitor and former spokesman for the USCCB.

5:20 – A Grief Like No Other
From mass tragedies like suicide bombings to sensationalized crimes that make the news only to be replaced by yet another victim, more families and friends are left with the aftermath of dealing with the violent death of a loved one. Violent death brings its own special brand of grieving: Victim's families can spend years dealing with the legal ramifications, guilt, and myriad other unique circumstances. Kathleen O'Hara knows both sides of this coin: As a therapist, she has counseled hundreds of people in dealing with grief; as a mother, she saw her worst fears realized when her college-age son was brutally murdered. In the aftermath of Aaron's death, O'Hara developed the seven-stage journey that is at the heart of A Grief Like No Other. O'Hara offers concrete, practical steps and stages for those who are left behind in the aftermath of violence, allowing family and friends safe passage through this harrowing journey.

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