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MONDAY      April 26, 1999      SECTION TWO       vol 10, no. 81

To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION THREE and SECTION ONE

Cardinal Jozef Glemp - primate of Poland was handpicked by his fellow Pole John Paul II to be Archbishop of Warsaw

      Our forty-eighth red hat we feature, in alphabetical order is the 70 year-old Cardinal Jozef Glemp current Archbishop of Warsaw who was elevated to the cardinalate on February 2, 1983 during the second Consistory held by his close friend Pope John Paul II. For more on Cardinal Glemp, click on COLLEGE OF CARDINALS COLLECTION

48.   Cardinal Jozef Glemp

Events Today in Church History

      On this date in 757 Pope Stephen II died. As the 92nd successor of Peter, he was embraced warmly by the people who hoisted him on their shoulders as they carried him through the streets of Rome in joyous celebration. This gave rise to the sedia gestatoria. For other pertinent events throughout the centuries that are memorable in Church history today, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES

Historical Events in Church Annals for April 26:

"Stand firm in the faith and do not compromise for the sake of worldly peace which is false."

     Those words from the Blessed Mother were imparted to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart in Message #494 on May 15, 1994 in which Our Lady beseeches us to lean on her Divine Spouse the Holy Spirit Who alone can shed light on how to attain true peace. She prefaces this with her 493rd Message on the 77th anniversary of the first Apparition at Fatima by reaffirming that all she has revealed at Fatima and subsequent apparitions will be fulfilled soon and her Immaculate Heart, as she promised at Fatima, will triumph. For Messages #493 and #494 from Blessed Mary, click on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..."

Messages 493 and 494

Message Four Hundred-ninety-three, May 13, 1994

(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
(77th Anniversary of the First Apparition in Fatima at Assumption Church, San Juan, Puerto Rico)

Message Four Hundred-ninety-four, May 15, 1994

(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
(Guaynabo, Puerto Rico)

with a Catholic slant

provided by Catholic World News Service and Noticias Eclesiales Church News



      DENVER, 23 (NE) "We need to change" said Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver, during the prayer service held yesterday at the city's Civic Center Park.

      The Archbishop raised his prayers for the victims of the tragedy of Littleton, and stated that "violence is pervasive in our society". "The causes of this violence are hostility, hatred, racism, despair, indifference and a growing coarsening of our views of the value of human life", he said. "It's in some ways a very unconsious part of our lives, but a very real part of our lives".

      Archbishop Chaput emphasized the importance of personal change in order to achieve a society that values the authentic human dignity. "We sometimes talk easily about our society needing to change. But societies change when our families are changed. And our families are changed when we as individuals have an experience of conversion to non-violence and to love within our own hearts", affirmed the Archbishop. "It is not enough for us to speak about society, or our communities. We need to speak about ourselves".

      "I ask you to join me in praying today and throughout this week, in a very special way for the families that have been affected by this violence in such a personal way. But I also ask you to pray that each of us, including myself, will experience a deep conversion in our hearts towards love and non-violence in all our relationships with others".

      Hundreds of students, parents, teachers and community members have filled churches in the archdiocese for prayer services. Community-wide gatherings of prayer and support are taking place in the archdiocese, especially at St. Frances Cabrini and Light of the World churches in Littleton.


Two Girls Asked "Do You Believe in God?," Then Shot

      DENVER, APR 23 (ZENIT).- Once again, young people have given a heroic testimony of their faith in God during the terrible tragedy of the shooting massacre of Columbine High School. Some have already called them "martyrs."

      While national headlines seem to be dominated by the profile of the two deranged young killers of this horrible incident, a more powerful story of love and faith has emerged that reveals how several of the young students involved in the tragedy were singled out and shot simply because they confessed their belief in God.

      Valerie Schnurr happened to be in the school library when the pair of masked, gun-wielding assailants entered and began hysterically laughing and taunting students. One them approached her, put a gun to her chest and jeeringly asked if she believed in God. Realizing that her answer could mean the difference between life and death, she answered: "Yes, I do." With that, the gunman fired at point-blank range and she fell to the floor. She also received nine shrapnel and bullet wounds to the chest, abdomen, and left arm. She is currently, some say "miraculously," in stable condition at the Swedish medical center.

      Junior, Cassie Bernall, was not that lucky. The 17-year-old student had come to the library during lunch and was also among those confronted by one of the killers. While others hid under desks or ran to the back of the room trying to flee, they overheard the blood-chilling exchange between Cassie and one of the masked attackers. In a cynical tone he asked her: "Do you believe in God?" She didn't answer but only stood in silence. He pointed his gun at her and she began to speak: "Yes, I believe in God." He laughed and asked: "Why?" and shot her before she had time to answer. They were her final words.

      "She died for her faith," said Crystal Woodman, a close friend of Bernalls who was with her during her courageous last moments. "That's why she died and that's how she lived her whole life. She was a martyr for Jesus."

      "She did something that one of the thieves did when Jesus was on the cross," said 16-year-old Joshua Lapp, who also witnessed the scene. "She admitted she believed in Jesus Christ before she died."

      They were not the only ones whose faith was evident during the four-hour ordeal of terror and death.

      Some told how a teacher who had huddled a group of students in a distant corner of her classroom to protect them, led them in prayer to keep them calm and at ease until police finally arrived to escort them out of the building.

      Numerous students trapped in the library with the assassins, told national TV audiences how they prayed with all their heart to be spared as their friends were killed at random before their eyes.

      After the shooting spree finally ended, the first thing that occurred to the students was to organize prayer services at local churches to pray for those who had died. Each of the ceremonies were packed with young people from all over the city.

      Not a day has gone by that students from local schools don't flock to the makeshift shrine in the adjacent park to gather and often, to join hands and pray together. Their silent witness of faith has been an overwhelmingly powerful testimony of the place of God in their lives.

      Like Schnurr and Bernall's intrepid example, we may never know how many other young people's faith brought them solace and peace in their final moments. As Bernall's friend Woodman put it: "She's so much better off than any of us. Now she's in Heaven."


      VATICAN ( -- In a letter to artists, released by the Vatican on April 23, Pope John Paul II writes that creative work should give rise to awe and enthusiasm for life, adding that these are qualities which "the men of today and tomorrow will need to confront and overcome the crucial challenges that loom on the horizon."

      The Pope's letter, which he officially dated and signed on April 4-- Easter Sunday-- says that artists can act as the voice of "the universal longing for redemption." That can be true, he observes, even when the artist's work explores "the most obscure depths of the soul or the most distressing aspects of evil."

      The 20-page document begins with the observation that the artist is "an image of the Creator God," and that this "special vocation" consists in "the service of beauty." The artist, the Holy Father writes, has a duty to use his talent "in service to his neighbors and to all humanity." If he does that, the Pope continued, then the artist can make enormous contributions to the common good.

      The arts have historically had a fruitful alliance with the Gospel, the Pope writes. He traces the history of Christian art, concluding that although many modern artists and thinkers are indifferent to faith, "religious art has never lost its vitality." In fact, he observes, contemporary art is often characterized by "the absence of God and often by opposition to him." But the highest forms of art, he argues, show the "profound affinity" between the creative world and the world of religious faith.

      The Church needs art, the Pope said; and art needs the Church. The faith offers artists "a world particularly rich in themes for inspiration," while works of art help the Church to transmit the message of the Gospels. The Pope issues an appeal to artists-- especially, but not exclusively, to Christian artists-- to rediscover "the depth of the spiritual and religious dimensions" of human life.

      Pope John Paul II presided at the April 23 opening of a Vatican art exhibit dedicated to the life of Pope Paul VI.

      The exhibit, which will be open to the public until June 12, contains 100 works of art which relate to the life and pontificate of Paul VI. It was organized in homage to that Pontiff's work as a patron of modern art. During his pontificate, Pope Paul added some 700 new works of religious art to the collections of the Vatican Museum.

      In opening the exhibit, Pope John Paul cited his letter to artists, which was released by the Vatican on the same day. The Pope spoke of the rich history of Christian art, and the fruitful cooperation between artists and pastors in service to the Gospel.

      The Pope said that the new Vatican exhibit should serve two important purposes: highlighting the role of Pope Paul VI as a patron of artistic endeavors, and demonstrating the alliance that it possible between artistic creativity and evangelical outreach.


      WASHINGTON, DC ( - US President Bill Clinton on Thursday cautiously welcomed a reported offer by Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic to accept soldiers from Christian Orthodox countries to guarantee peace in a post-war Kosovo.

      The Russian Itar-Tass news agency reported that Russian envoy Viktor Chernomyrdin had crafted a document with Milosevic that would allow "an international presence in Kosovo" under United Nations control and with Russian participation. "What kind of international forces they will be or from which countries -- this is yet to be discussed. But the main thing is that Russia take part," Tass quoted Chernomyrdin as saying.

      Clinton did not reject the offer as he has rejected others in the past. "If there is an offer for a genuine security force, that's the first time Mr. Milosevic has done that, and that represents I suppose some step forward," Clinton said. The United States has said from the beginning that Russian troops should take part in the international force for Kosovo, as well as Ukrainian troops, troops from Slavic countries and from Orthodox Christian countries, to protect the Serb minority from reprisals from ethnic Albanians on their return to Kosovo, Clinton noted.

For more headlines and articles, we suggest you go to the Catholic World News site at the CWN home page and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales. Both CWN and NE are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

Click here to go to SECTION THREE or return to SECTION ONE or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.

April 26, 1999 volume 10, no. 81   DAILY CATHOLIC