Category Archives: Church (ecclesiology)

Varkey Cardinal Vithayathil, C.SS.R., RIP

Varkey Vithayathil.jpgVarkey Vithayathil, 84, a Redemptorist, bishop, cardinal and Major Archbishop for the Syro-Malabar Church (in India) died suddenly today of a heart attack at 2pm Ernakulam time.

Cardinal Vithayathil was ordained a priest in 1954 and ordained a bishop in 1996. In 1999, he appointed the Major Archbishop by Pope John Paul II. The same pope created Vithayathil a cardinal in 2001 giving him the title of San Bernardo alle Terme.
Trained in Canon Law at the Angelicum, Vithayathil taught the subject in the Redemptorist seminary. For a term he served as the Father Provincial of the Redemptorists of India and Sri Lanka and later serving as the Apostolic Administrator of a Benedictine abbey of monks.
Cardinal Vithayathil was a supporter of the 5th Marian doctrine, that of Mary’s role in salvation history as the co-redemptrix.
This will mean the Church will have a third election of a Major Archbishop in 2011. The Maronite and Ukrainian Greek Catholic Churches have just recently elected new heads.

David L. Fleming, SJ, RIP

Today has been a day of death it seems. I started the day with a funeral of a 8 year old who died the other day of cancer.

David L Fleming SJ.jpg

This afternoon I was notified that my former rector, Father David L. Fleming, SJ, 76, died after facing cancer in a courageous way. Well done good and faithful servant. May the Lord be good to him.
David is likely to have been one of the best superiors I ever had. For me, he was a light in darkness when a lot of others were simply too self-absorbed. He was one of those who superiors who took each person seriously and approached each person with sensitivity, grace and love. He always showed me the operation of grace, that is, the act of God’s love on me as unmerited and without reservation.
When I saw David last summer it was a fine meeting –one that was full of memories from the past– but one we both knew that we’d not likely see each other this summer.
Father Fleming’s obituary is here: Fr David Fleming, SJ obit.pdf
Please pray for Father Fleming and all the souls who have died today.
May Father David Fleming’s memory be eternal.

Chiara Lubich, the 3rd anniversary of meeting the Lord

Chiara Lubich Osservatorio Romano.jpg

Today’s the 3rd anniversary of death of Chiara Lubich, the Trent-born founder of Focolare.
Let’s pray for her eternal rest and for the Focolare movement.
BTW, 2011 marks the 50th anniversary of Focolare coming to the USA. Big events are planned …
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Patriarch Nasrallah Peter Sfeir, retires as Maronite leader

Sfeir.jpgToday, Pope Benedict XVI accepted the petition of His Beatitude, Patriarch Nasrallah Peter Sfeir, cardinal, to retire from his pastoral leadership as the Father of Maronite Church.

The resignation was speculated a few weeks ago.
Here is the letter of Pope Benedict to His Beatitude (in French until an English translation is given).

Cardinal John P. Foley retires to the USA due to illness

John Patrick Foley, cardinal & grand master.jpgJohn Patrick Cardinal Foley, 75, Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem retired from his work in Rome due to the illnesses of luekemia and anemia. He returned to his native Philadephia. His return to the USA was swift after submitting a letter of resignation to the Cardinal Secretary of State on February 8 and meeting with His Holiness, Pope Benedict on February 10; he was home on the 12th.

Foley is the former editor of the Phildelphia Catholic newspaper The Catholic Standard & Times and the former President of the Pontifical Council of Social Communications. The Cardinal held his position at the Holy See for 23 years.

His Eminence freely admits his physical diminishment but is facing his illness with courage and with Christ at the center. His diagnosis was received in September 2009.

Read the CNS story here.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
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