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Cross Roads 02 12 2017 E Edition - Page 1

Catholic Diocese of Lexington

The Catholic Center

Office of the Bishop 1310 West Main Street @ Lexington, Kentucky 40508-2048 @ 859/253-1993 @ Fax 859/254-6284

Bishop John Stowe, OFM Conv., Bishop of Lexington, denounces the president's executive order halting the admission of refugees who are leeing persecution and the threat of death in their home countries. The president's ban on Syrian refugees is particularly troubling as the Syrian refugees are part of a humanitarian crisis not of their own making. We pray for the new administration to review our nation's history and uphold its founding ideals. It is important to recognize the signiicant and thorough vetting refugees are already subjected to before being issued visas to enter the US. As people of faith, we are required to follow the example of Jesus who reminds us in Matthew 25 of the criteria for our inal judgment. The USCCB's chairman of the Committee on Migration, Bishop Joe S. Vsquez of Austin, Texas, stated: "We strongly disagree with the Executive Order's halting refugee admissions. We believe that now more than ever, welcoming newcomers and refugees is an act of love and hope. We will continue to engage the new administration, as we have all administrations for the duration of the current refugee program, now almost forty years. We will work vigorously to ensure that refugees are humanely welcomed in collaboration with Catholic Charities with- out sacriicing our security or our core values as Americans, and to ensure that families may be reuniied with their loved ones." Regarding the Executive Order's ban on Syrian refugees, the prioritization of religious minorities suffering from religious persecution, Bishop Vsquez added: "The United States has long provided leadership in resettling refugees. We believe in assist- ing all those who are vulnerable and leeing persecution, regardless of their religion. This includes Christians, as well as Yazidis and Shia Muslims from Syria, Rohingyas from Burma, and other religious minorities. However, we need to protect all our brothers and sisters of all faiths, including Muslims, who have lost family, home, and country. They are children of God and are entitled to be treated with human dignity. We believe that by helping to resettle the most vulnerable, we are living out our Christian faith as Jesus has challenged us to do." Moving forward after the announcement, Bishop Vsquez concluded: "Today, more than 65 million people around the world are forcibly displaced from their homes. Given this extraordinary level of suffering, the U.S. Catholic Bishops will redouble their support for, and efforts to protect, all who lee persecution and violence, as just one part of the perennial and global work of the Church in this area of concern."

Volume 27 @ Number 19 @ February 12, 2017 @ $15 per Year


The Bi-Weekly Publication of The Catholic Diocese of Lexington

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Culp: Learning from some February saints

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The diocese at the March for Life

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Elisabeth Sullivan

The following story first appeared on January 22, 2017, on the Institute for Catholic Liberal Education's website. It is reprinted here with permission. When John Pica took the helm of Saint Agatha Academy in Winchester, Kentucky,

Classic liberal arts approach flourishes at Saint Agatha Academy in Winchester

Students and teachers form the anchor logo of St. Agatha Academy in the school parking lot. Photo provided

seven years ago, the academic program at the school was neither broken nor struggling. He felt his own three children had received an excellent education and firm Catholic foun- dation at the pre-K through 8th grade school in a suburb of Lexington. After a 20-year career in higher education administration, Pica felt called to serve the Catholic school system. He had no intention of shaking up the curriculum. A year later Father Frank Brawner arrived as the new pastor, and the two took a fresh look at the strengths and weaknesses of the school. Founded in 1919 by the Sisters of Divine Providence, Saint Agatha Academy is a small institution whose long history has had a big impact in the region. As with many Catholic schools across the country, enroll- ment was down from its peak of about 200 in the late 1990s but was holding steady at about 135-140. Still, retention concerns were beginning to arise as parents explored com- peting middle school programs and magnet schools. But Pica, whose background was in collegiate liberal arts programs, knew that the church's own tradition offered something richer and more distinctive than any possible competition. We asked ourselves, 'How can we create an academic program that is both distinctive and distinguished, which parents recognize as unique-and unavailable elsewhere?'" Pica said. "We saw it as an opportunity to Turn to St. Agatha , Page

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