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Another great show is in the books today!

That said, you really need to revisit Raul Julia’s compelling performance as Archbishop Oscar Romero in Paulist Productions newly remastered release of their classic 1989 film, “Romero.” It’s available on DVD Tuesday.

Thanks, Fr. Tom Gibbons, for sharing with our Call Me Catholic listeners the background story on this great work. Archbishop Romero will be canonized October 14.






Originally broadcast on 10/6/18


WASHINGTON (CNS) — The military operation to liberate the Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State group is not the only solution needed to get life back to normal, said Iraqi Archbishop Bashar Warda of Irbil.

The Chaldean Catholic archbishop, who has called for such intervention in the past, said the solution was a package. People must “think again about the education, about the curriculum, about all the violent acts that happened during the last years.”

“Where is the possibility of creating, of building bridges of reconciliation among the divided community?” he asked.

Archbishop Warda spoke to Catholic News Service Oct. 20, the fourth day of the U.S.-backed operation in which Iraqi and Kurdish forces fought to free Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, from Islamic State. He said troops would not find any Christians in and around Mosul, because they fled in 2014, when Islamic State militants gave them a choice to convert to Islam, pay the Islamic jizya tax, or be killed.

Many of those Christians fled to Irbil, where the church has been caring for them. Just within the city, the Irbil Archdiocese is providing housing to more than 10,000 internally displaced families, but many more live in trailers or open buildings.

Church people work “to provide the necessary needs: shelter, education, health, food packages, and be with them, and try to comfort them in their material needs and their spiritual and pastoral needs,” the archbishop said. The people need “social intervention and political intervention, economic intervention and, most importantly, how we are going to reconcile all those divided groups which will remain, and they’ve been called to live together?”

The Christians from the region are the original owners of the land, he said. Many have said their neighbors turned against them as Islamic State approached.

“We have lived with Islam for 1,400 years. There was a trust in us, and we have to build on this trust — initiatives for the peaceful future,” he told CNS. “We need the outside world to help us” start such initiatives, but they must come from within, because people are suspicious of outsiders.

Archbishop Warda spoke of celebrating Mass with the displaced, calling it “Eucharist in the fullest sense.”

“Everyone has given something valuable and painful to remain Christian,” he said.

Celebrating Mass is “different because you are with a suffering people, with persecuted people who made the right choice — Christ — so here we have a church which is alive. Yes, there are faces tired of what’s happening, being persecuted, but every response you get from the community during Mass is full of faith. And you could sense that they made the right choice, to stay Christians and to suffer for their faith,” he said. It adds “a special joy for the Mass.”

Archbishop Warda, who often visits Iraqis in the United States, said church leaders in his country are asking the U.S. government “to play a role in protecting the minorities, because we’ve seen that, due to this American intervention in 2003, they have a moral responsibility, really, to finish the whole job in a decent and a dignified way. Minorities have suffered a lot because of all this intervention. I’m not blaming (the U.S.) directly, but … they are responsible, morally responsible for what happened.”

He also thanked American Catholics for their prayers and material help during the crisis, noting that it “made a difference in the life of brothers and sisters in Iraq.” He asked for their continued support and for them to be a voice for Christians in the Middle East.


HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (CNS) — Women who belong to Catholic organizations give witness to God by the causes they support and the influence they bring to bear on a variety of issues, said Halifax Archbishop Anthony Mancini.

At the opening Mass of the 96th annual national convention of the Catholic Women’s League of Canada and the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations North American Conference, Archbishop Mancini told the women they acted on the word of God as Mary did, even “in a country inclined to hear many words, many voices, which are not always God wants us to hear.”

The archbishop linked the opening of the convention Aug. 14 to the following day’s feast of the Assumption of Mary.

“Mary experienced the real presence of the Word of God every time she went to the temple, but Mary also heard the word of God in her home, spoken by the angel Gabriel,” he said.

Mary “carried the Word of God, gave birth to the Word of God” shared God with the world around her and, in doing so, she shared in his victory, he said.

More than 700 women from across North America were gathered for the Aug. 14-17 convention, which focused on palliative and hospice care.

After the Mass, Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil greeted the women in attendance.

“Your voice is important in our national conversations” he said, adding that the members of the organizations should continue to keep government focused on the important issues.

The Catholic Women’s League became a national organization in 1920. In 2016 the organization had nearly 84,000 members in parish councils across Canada. At the local level, members have carried out service projects aimed at improving the lives of people in the community. Nationally, the league has met with government officials to try to shape legislation.

The World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations was founded in 1910 and represents 100 Catholics women’s organizations in 66 countries.



WASHINGTON (CNS) — National Catholic Schools Week 2016 will be celebrated across the United States Jan. 31- Feb. 6 with the theme “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.”

“Catholic schools are a vital aspect of the church’s mission to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and so an important aspect of our own teaching mission,” said Archbishop George J. Lucas of Omaha, Nebraska, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Catholic Education.

About 1.9 million students currently attend nearly 6,600 Catholic schools in the United States. Archbishop Lucas said the backbone of Catholic education is the relationship between the parent, the school and the church.

The observance of Catholic Schools Week began in 1974. Schools and parishes around the country mark the week with special Masses, open houses, service projects and school assemblies. The week also highlights the educational successes of Catholic schools around the county, stressing, for example, that an estimated 98 percent of Catholic school students graduate from high school and 86 percent of Catholic school graduates attend college.

More information on the week is available online: and

Catholic schools are encouraged to share their events during the week on social media using the hashtag #CSW16.




PHILADELPHIA (CNS) — Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput May 13 urged prayers for all affected by the Amtrak train derailment in the city’s Port Richmond neighborhood that left at least six people dead and injured more than 200 others.

“I urge all people of goodwill to join me in extending prayerful condolences to those mourning the sudden loss of a loved one and in asking the Lord to bring healing to all those suffering physical and emotional anguish in the wake of this incident,” he said in a statement.

“Let us also pray for all of the first responders, emergency personnel, and medical professionals who have been working to assist those affected by the derailment,” he added. “May God bless and protect them.”

Amtrak’s Northeast Regional Train 188 heading from Washington to New York derailed around 9:30 p.m. May 12. Aboard were 238 passengers and five crew members.

According to an AP story, the train derailed as it was going around a curve in the Port Richmond area, leaving the engine and two cars standing upright. Three other cars fell on their sides, and a sixth car was flipped over almost on its roof.

A team from the National Transportation Safety Board was on the scene by early morning May 13 to lead an investigation into the cause of the accident.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said his agency would work with the NTSB “to conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of this devastating event.”

Among the 200 injured who were taken to local hospitals were at least eight people listed in critical condition. Most people were treated and released.

As of noon May 13, local officials said a passenger identified as Rachel Jacobs remained missing. A CEO at ApprenNet, a Philadelphia-based company, she was returning home to New York City when the train crashed.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter described the crash scene to reporters as “an absolute, disastrous mess. I’ve never seen anything like this in my life.”

In a statement released May 13, Vice President Joe Biden said: “Our thoughts are with every person who is grieving right now from this terrible tragedy. As a nation, we pray for the victims and their families.”

“Amtrak is like a second family to me, as it is for so many other passengers,” he said. “For my entire career, I’ve made the trip from Wilmington (Delaware) to Washington and back. I’ve come to know the conductors, engineers, and other regulars — men and women riding home to kiss their kids goodnight — as we passed the flickering lights of each neighborhood along the way.”