You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.' - John 8:32
VOL. 70, NO. 35 AUGUST 27, 2021 WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS HOME DELIVERY $39/YEAR
FREE IN PARISHES & ON NEWSSTANDS
Catholic schools keep mask decisions local
BY BILL DOYLE
Father Laurence V. Brault was devas- tated when a 7.2 magnitude earthquake severely damaged the Haitian parish that his Upton church, St. Gabriel the Archangel, supports. The rectory at St. Anne Parish in La Sucrerie Henry was demolished on Aug. 14 so Father Joseph Didier, the pastor, has been forced to sleep in the rectory vehicle. Many other parish buildings sustained major damage, but they haven't collapsed. Judging by photos sent by Father Didier, Father Brault believes the church and the multiple school buildings for children from pre- kindergarten through 12th grade may be salvaged, but repairs will be costly. Father Brault has not seen photos of the clinic and an adjacent housing unit for medical personnel so he's not sure how damaged they are. I'm shocked by what I have seen and what I have heard," he said. "I'm deeply saddened." St. Gabriel has remained up to date with Father Didier through text mes- sages and email. As of Sunday, 2,207 Haitians were con- firmed dead, 344 were still missing and 12,268 were injured, and nearly 53,000 homes were destroyed by the earth- quake. Tropical Storm Grace flooded the region two days after the earthquake. The earthquake's epicenter was al- most a direct hit to St. Gabriel's twin parish in La Sucrerie Henry so Father Brault is grateful that he hasn't heard of any deaths in St. Anne Parish. He was informed that a child survived after be- ing pulled from the rectory's rubble. Father Brault's parishioners have twinned with St. Anne for more than
Pastor devastated by scenes of damage
Sharing the Love of Christ
Look for 'evangelizing moments,' big and small
BY JOHN BOUCHER SPECIAL TO THE CFP
July 17 marked the 25th anniver- sary of TWA Flight 800's explosion shortly after takeoff. Wreckage plunged into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of East Moriches, New York, on the south shore of Long Island. All 230 people on board died. It was one of the worst aviation disasters in United States history. In the days that followed, 5,000 vic- tims' family members, federal inves- tigators, and news reporters descend- ed on this town of 6,000 residents. And today, there are memorials and plaques at the Smith Point and Center Moriches beaches dedicated to those who died in the crash. But there are unseen, spiritual consequences, also, that remain in people's lives. St. John the Evangelist Parish in Center Moriches was at the heart of this tragedy. Six members of the parish died on that plane. And the pastor, Father James M. McDonald, opened the parish church and school buildings for any relief services needed. He celebrated Mass every day to comfort workers and victims' families during this terrible time. Suddenly, his daily homilies were featured each night on national news broadcasts. He spoke about the cross of Jesus as the only way to make sense of such suffering. Parishioners stepped forward in large numbers to serve investigators, media profes- sionals, and families in any way they could.
BY TANYA CONNOR
THE CATHOLIC FREE PRESS
St. Roch Parish in Oxford is planning to assist its sister parish, St. Anne's in Chardon- nieres, Haiti, in rebuilding its main church building - to sup- port the Haitians' relationship with Jesus. Father Michael J. Roy, St. Roch's pastor, wrote in last weekend's parish bulletin that St. Anne's pastor, Father Gulber Brutus, of the Missionary Ob- lates of Mary Immaculate, was physically unharmed by the earthquake that struck Haiti on Aug. 14. But accompany- ing photos showed a beautiful St. Anne's church before the earthquake, destroyed after- wards. St. Roch's parishioners are very distraught, and one said, Every time I think about it, I can't stop crying," Father Roy told The Catholic Free Press. SEE TWIN , 6
Find us on Facebook
WORLDS NEWS 2 NATIONAL NEWS 3 OPINION 4 COMMENTARY 5 FUNDAMENTALS 5 MEET SEMINARIAN 6 OBITUARY 7 AROUND DIOCESE 8
A new feature: Meet one of the diocese's latest seminarians. 6
Percent of $5 million goal
BY RAYMOND L. DELISLE
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATION
The Catholic Schools Office has advised parish and di- ocesan elementary and secondary schools on mask wear- ing as they prepare to reopen next week. The official notice to school administrators sent at the end of last week by David Perda, Superintendent of Catho- lic Schools, reads as follows: "Schools should encourage non-vaccinated students to wear masks while indoors. Ultimately, the final decision should be made by parents/ guardians. It is also recommended that non-vaccinated school staff members wear a mask while indoors." Decisions regarding wearing masks should apply the principle of subsidiarity, an important decision-making rule in the Catholic Church, the diocese has decided. Es- sentially, subsidiarity means nothing should be done at a higher level that can be done well or better at a lower level. It moves the decision to the point closest to those who are affected. Bishop McManus applied the principle by advising the Superintendent's Office that we should respect parental decision-making whenever possible regarding whether a child wears a mask in school. That principle, however, cannot be practiced in isola- tion and is limited by the virtue of prudence. Pastors and principals have a responsibility to their entire school community and must weigh the good of the whole, along with the individual family. As such, pastors and princi- pals have been advised that, if their community's board of health strongly advises that masks be worn in the ele- mentary grades, the pastor can decide to make the masks mandatory in the school for the protection of all students and staff. That is particularly important given that el- ementary grade students have not had vaccines available to them yet and pediatric cases of coronavirus have been rising in some communities. At St. Paul Diocesan Jr.-Sr. High School, however, stu- dents age 12 and older have had access over the sum- mer to coronavirus vaccines and the risks to the overall school community are reduced. The decision regarding whether a student will wear a mask will be a parental or family one, unless the Commonwealth mandates masks in all school settings. The official guidance from Parishioners of St. Anne in La Sucrerie Henry, Haiti, are living in makeshift tent dwellings in clearings in their villages because their homes were damaged or destroyed in the earthquake. St. Gabriel the Archangel Parish in Upton supports their parish.
PHOTO COURTESY OF FATHER GULBER BRUTUS
St. Anne Church in Chardonnieres, Haiti, was destroyed by the Aug. 14 earthquake. St. Roch Parish in Oxford sends support to St. Anne Parish.
'We must help our sister parish to rebuild their church, where their relationship with Jesus is fed and made strong.'
Father Michael J. Roy
Pastor, St. Roch Parish, Oxford
Parish to send help to rebuild
SEE HAITI , 6
SEE EVANGELIZE , 6
PHOTO COURTESY OF FATHER JOSEPH DIDIER CNS PHOTO GREGORY A. SHEMITZ
The TWA Flight 800 International Memorial at Smith Point County Park in Shirley, New York. SEE MASKS , 7
We are at 87 % of goal Every gift counts! Help us reach our goal!
Our Appeal ends August 31st. We are accepting gifts until September 10. Your support helps more than 40,000 people in Central Massachusetts. Each gift helps us BE THE FACE OF CHRIST to all our brothers and sisters in need.
Visit partners-charity.net/donate Call 508-929-4366 Text DONATE to 84576
YOU CAN STILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE!