Survey in Next Week’s Edition Seeks Feedback to Determine Future of The Witness

Your voice is needed to help determine where The Catholic Witness goes in the future.

To assist us in planning the newspaper’s path as we move forward, we’ve developed a survey that will be featured in a special mailed edition of The Witness on August 7. The printed edition will be mailed to all subscribers next weekend. It will also be distributed to those who receive the weekly digital edition, available for sign-up at

The Called: Father Tri Luong

Father Tri Luong
Hometown: 25 miles south of Saigon
Education: Catholic grade school, seminary and government schools in Vietnam; St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md.
Current Assignment:Pastor of St. Anne Parish in Lancaster, and Pastoral Care of the Vietnamese Community in Lancaster

Knights of Columbus Founder to be Beatified in October

Father Michael McGivney, the founder of the Knights of Columbus Catholic fraternal organization, will be beatified on October 31, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints announced this week.

The congregation made the announcement on its website and Twitter page July 20.

A miracle credited to the intercession of the priest was approved by the Vatican and announced by Pope Francis on May 27. A child who was diagnosed as terminally ill in the womb was miraculously healed following prayers for the intercession of Father McGivney.

Sister M. Ursula Bowers

Sister M. Ursula Bowers, age 89, a member of the Daughters of Our Lady of Mercy, Villa Rossello, Newfield, N.J., died on July 22 at York Hospital. She had been a resident at Misericordia Nursing Center in York for the past two years.

Sister Ursula, born in Taneytown, Md., was the daughter of the late Mary Bowers. She entered the Congregation of the Daughters of Our Lady of Mercy, in York in 1947 and professed her vows in 1949.

Pondering to Open Ourselves to the Sacred

Some time ago, I was a team member at a healing retreat for women in recovery. The women all had some kind of addiction to drugs or alcohol, and they all admitted that they did some shameful things in order to feed it.

Through the course of the retreat, the women were given the opportunity to share their entire story in an environment that was confidential, nonjudgmental and loving. As they shared, I could not help but think they were modern-day Mary Magdalenes waiting for Christ to love them into being. Then I realized that Christ had no hands but mine; no voice but mine; no words but mine.

Could Anything Else Go Wrong?

My middle name, William, was given to me by my parents to honor my Godfather, William Everly. Never have I taken the time to delve into the life of St. William. That changed on June 8 when my Saint of the Day email featured – you guessed it – Saint William. It was only a very brief biographical sketch so I went digging more deeply to get the rest of the story.

Turns out he was an Archbishop of York (not Pennsylvania) in 12th century England and his life has quite the story to tell. Born into a powerful family – his father was treasurer to King Henry I – William seemed destined for great things. His uncle was next in line to the English throne. But a series of things seemed to go wrong for the poor man.

Love has Two Feet

As I witness and reflect upon the demonstrations in our cities, nationally and locally, over the tragic death of George Floyd and the whole issue of racism, here’s a story that I believe has relevance in our present, disquieting situation.

“Once upon a time there was a town that was built just beyond the bend of a large river. One day, some of the children from the town were playing beside the river when they noticed three bodies floating in the water. They ran for help and the townsfolk quickly pulled the bodies out of the water.

How an Epidemic Gave Us an Epic Monk

You are probably familiar with the early Benedictine monk who goes by the name Venerable Bede. His Feast Day is May 25. He was one of the early giants in English Literature, right up there with Chaucer and company. His life, which began around 673, was highly influenced by a virulent epidemic that raged across England in multiple waves during his lifetime.

When he was a young lad of 7, his parents put him in the Benedictine monastery of Saints Peter and Paul, – apparently not an uncommon practice back in the day. When he was 13, he transferred to the newly founded monastery of Jarrow in Northeast England. Within months of the monastery’s opening, a plague ravaged the area. Within a year all the monks of Jarrow had died – save the Abbot and the teenaged Bede. The old man and the novice sang the Liturgical Hours together, alternating verses in an otherwise empty choir. Bede served the Abbot’s Mass throughout the dark days of the plague. No one else could be present.

Studies, Prayer Continue for Seminarians via Remote Formation

In the midst of hungering for Sacramental Communion, longing to return to the seminary, praying for the lives impacted by COVD-19 and navigating the challenges of remote learning, seminarian Richard Groff has come to understand that the struggles associated with the current pandemic are part of his formation.

Not being able to attend Mass and receive the Holy Eucharist “has been one of the biggest challenges for me as a seminarian,” he said in a Zoom interview from his home.