William Joseph Cardinal Levada
This weekend marks the beginning of an historic period of time for our Church and our Archdiocese in particular. On March 24, 2006, 15 new cardinals were made by Pope Benedict XVI. The first of whom was our former archbishop, William Levada. As the new Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, Levada now ranks just below the Vatican Secretary of State who is just below the Pope himself. This is the highest any American Catholic has ever served in the Curia of the Church.
Levada served in our Archdiocese from 1985 to 1995. He was sometimes seen through the most critical of views as arrogant, stuffy, right-wing, and mean. However, nothing could be further from the truth. As a seminarian, he was my archbishop for five out of my seven years of schooling. I found him to be a gentleman, an intellectual, and an introvert. He was on the board of regents of Mount Angel Seminary and should be given credit for helping Mount Angel Seminary become the preeminent seminary in the United States that it is today. When confronted with difficult situations, I observed him demonstrate kindness, moderation, and tolerance. Sometimes when he would gather all of us seminarians together, I would would express my naive passion (another way of saying I put my foot in my mouth) and he was always loving when he responded to my silliness. When in San Francisco, I believe he again showed great insight when having to thread the needle of politics and Church teaching when legislation was being proposed that involved domestic partnerships and health benefits as well as the reorganization of struggling parishes within his archdiocese.
I believe that his appointment will also help give the Vatican a greater insight into the cultural struggles of the Church in the United States. I am proud of our former archbishop and wish him all the grace that will be needed to carry out the duties required of his new position.
Days of Lenten Renewal
This coming week of March 26th-30th, Fr. Robert Morin, OMI will be guiding our parish in a journey of what we are calling our Days of Lenten Renewal. Fr. Morin is a priest in the of Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. The title of his talks is "This Wondrous Love." On Tuesday, he will lead us in our only communal reconciliation service during lent. We will have five priests present for individual confessions. Fr. Robert is a dynamic and friendly man with a wonderful sense of humor. Through story, ritual, and scripture he will be leading us through a journey of reconciliation and healing. If you've been looking for that "shot in the arm" for your soul this lent, here is your opportunity.
Fr. Morin's talks will begin at 7 pm after our Life Teen Mass on Sunday. He will then offer sessions after our morning Masses (Mon. - Thurs.) as well as in the evening again at 7 pm. The evening talk will be a repeat of the morning talk for those whose work day or daily schedule makes one or the other impossible. There will be refreshments afterwards where you can chat with Fr. Morin and fellow parishioners.
He will be preaching at all the Masses this weekend and I plan on recording his homily for this week's St. Anthony's Pocast.
Come to renew your heart. You'll be glad you did.
Fr. William Holtzinger