A Message from the Editor
Many years ago, I had the joy of teaching art to autistic children. This issue of Profiles in Catholicism has a special focus on autism and reminds me of this extraordinary experience.
With the number of global cases of coronavirus exploding daily, we hope that our readers may want to contribute to an organization that helps coronavirus victims. For more information on recommended organizations, go to Charities Providing Direct Relief for the Coronavirus Outbreak. We update our Coronavirus web daily so check it often for the most current information.
Please remember what Saint Augustine said “Bad times — this what people keep saying. But let us live well and times shall be good. Such as we are, such are the times."
I deeply appreciate the thoughtfulness of Francis Etheredge who added my recommendation about his book The Prayerful Kiss on the back cover of the book. I recommend this beautiful book to all o our readers.
Please reflect on the value of human life. We pray that our readers will consider the needs of those people and organizations in our Advocacy section. A small donation in any amount will help save and improve lives. We pray that some of our readers may send a donation to Francis Otieno who is the only caregiver for children affected by HIV/AIDS in a part of Kenya. These children could die without donations from our readers A donation in the smallest amount will help protect their lives.
Profiles in Catholicism is sent to several thousand people in 63 counties including South Vietnam which was recently added. Your donation of $5.00 or more helps to support our global educational service, If you find Profiles in Catholicism helpful, please make a donation by going to https://www.catholicprofiles.org/donate
Profiles in Catholicism is deeply grateful for the beautiful prayer by Father Louis Cameli for those who send donations to help support our mission.
A Quote to Remember
"Very often the hardships of everyday life, loneliness, and worries for the future can prevail over hope. Aware of how important and necessary it is to stimulate efforts in this sector for the improvement of services and the promotion of research, just as it is essential to support autistic people and their families … our heart cannot but feel strongly confirmed in hope. … In a time in which often we struggle to find reasons to hope, and especially when faced with problems linked to autistic spectrum disorders, that are often not easily diagnosed and also, especially in families, not easily accepted without shame or retreating into solitude, we are called to place our trust in God. … Although by definition hope looks to the future, it is rooted in today of God, Who loves us and seeks us tirelessly. … God is boundless goodness and benevolence; He cares for His children and never abandons those whom He has called to enter into His communion, whatever difficulties there may be."
by Pope Francis
A Prayer of St. Francis for Autism
Lord, let thy peace fill me up until I overflow;
that where people cannot speak, I may be their advocate;
that where anyone is rejected, I may extend my arms in welcome;
that where parents are heavily burdened, I may offer a word of comfort; that where our children struggle, I may lift them up and cheer; that where some see disability, I may reveal to them extraordinary gifts; that where others judge, I may share with them my deep gladness; and that where any are overlooked, I may help the lights of all to shine.
Oh, the giver of these gifts,
grant that I may not so much seek to be reassured as to reassure;
to be praised as to praise;
to be accepted as to accept;
for it is in all our uncertainty that we are inspired to hope;
it is in great challenges that we discover our greatest joys,
and it is in our community of wanderers that we find the way home.
by Tim Tucker
Provided by the National Catholic Partnership on Disability Autism Task Force
Pope Francis’ Prayer to Mary during the coronavirus pandemic
you always shine on our path
as a sign of salvation and of hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain, keeping your faith firm.
You, Salvation of the Roman People,
know what we need,
and we are sure you will provide
so that, as in Cana of Galilee,
we may return to joy and to feasting
after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform to the will of the Father
and to do as we are told by Jesus,
who has taken upon himself our sufferings
and carried our sorrows
to lead us, through the cross,
to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.
Under your protection, we seek refuge, the Holy Mother of God. Do not disdain the entreaties of we who are in trial, but deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.
by Pope Francis
This Prayer was recommended by Father Hans Zollner, S.J., Please read his biography in Wikipedia. Also for our US readers, please watch Father Zollner on “Inside the Vatican," slated to air 9-11 p.m. EDT April 28 on PBS.
A Prayer for the Children Affected by the HIV/AIDS Pandemic in Kenya
Dear God of healing and hope,
The severe children's epidemic in Kenya that we ask you to help. Many times we know how you’d like us to react but our own discomforts and uneasiness cloud your vision for us. We know you to be a welcoming God perfectly exemplified in the person of Jesus, the one we call Christ One who extends grace to all people. May Mother Mary guide us in our plan to help all children in need.
O God, too often this is the case when we talk about HIV and AIDS. We’d rather not think about how it was contracted, but at the same time, that is all we can think about. Too often we get caught up in a spirit of retributive justice, rather than responding out of the grace that was first extended to us.
Help us, Gracious One, to truly follow the ways of the One who healed without question, even on the Sabbath, instead of perpetuating a culture of “unclean” lepers. And challenge us to accept that our passing judgment against segments of our society contributes to new HIV infections rather than reducing them. Open our eyes—give us 20/20 vision—so that we may see that racism, homophobia, bi-phobia, and trans-phobia, in addition to a general reluctance to think about children becoming prey to the epidemic of HIV-AIDS in the continuing rise of HIV-infection rates that are falling on the lives of children.
May your Holy Spirit comfort those children who are hurting and dying. Hold them in your loving embrace and in your healing and mercy, Amen.
by Eileen Quinn Knight, Ph.D. Vice-president Profiles in Catholicism
To help save a child affected by HIV/AIDS in Kenya, please send a donation of $10,00 to my friend
Francis Otieno who cares for these children. You can make a donation via PayPal and the instructions are at the end of his interview.
A Prayer for Those Who Have Made Donations to Profiles in Catholicism
God most kind,
Bless all those who have supported Profiles in Catholicism
with their donations and kind words of support.
Let their generosity bear much fruit.
Let those of us who benefit from this publication
be ever mindful of them and grateful for their gift. Amen
by Father Louis Cameli Profiles In Catholicism
To Recognize and Value the Autistic Members of the Body of Christ by Aimee O'Connell Autism Consecrated
An autistic boy was denied First Communion because he can’t tell right from wrong, his family says by Antonia Noori Farzan Washington Post
Autism and Communion: Textbook social-media clash between parents, press and church by Terry Mattingly Get Religion
DNA Damage Linked to Brain Overgrowth in Autism by Abby Olena The Scientist
Autism Spectrum Disorder by National Catholic Partnership on Disability
Teaching Children with Autism and Other Disabilities to Attend Mass by Archdiocese of Newark
Pope Francis offers solidarity to people with autism by Paolo Lucariello Associated Press/USA Today
Actor With Cerebral Palsy Attends Tim Tebow’s ‘Night to Shine’ Prom, Calls Athlete His ‘Hero’ by Luise Bevan The Epoch Times Link to Cerebral Palsy
Pope Francis authorizes plenary indulgences and general absolution as coronavirus crisis escalates by Gerard O’Connell America Link to Coronavirus
Italian priest with coronavirus who gave his ventilator to younger patient has reportedly died by Ryan W. Miller USA TODAY
Italian priest at guesthouse where Pope Francis lives tests positive for coronavirus by Gerard O’Connell America
Church grants special indulgence to coronavirus patients and caregivers by Fr. Benedict Mayaki, SJ Vatican News
Heartfelt Healing for Sexual Abuse Survivors Amidst Coronavirus Crisis by Mike Hoffman Profiles in Catholicism
Iranian cleric pleads with pope to help end U.S. sanctions by CNS/The Pilot
Sunil Chhetri chosen for FIFA campaign against COVID-19 along with likes of Messi by The Tmes of India
Charities Providing Direct Relief for the Coronavirus Outbreak by Joan Allmaras National Philanthropic Trust
U.S. government preparing for possibility of 18-month pandemic by Dorothy Cummings McLean LifeSiteNews
What Islamic hygienic practices can teach when coronavirus is spreading by Rose Aslan Religion News Service
Examen for Life During Covid 19 by Susan Haarmen Ignation Spirituality Network
Coronavirus in Africa: Lessons from the Church and the Ebola experience by Allen Ottaro Catholic World Report
Facing the fear: How Covid-19 and H.I.V./AIDS responses compare by Michael J. O’Loughlin America Link to Coronavirus and to HIV/AIDS
We must have special concern for the elderly, says Cardinal in new Coronavirus message by Independent Catholic News Link to Elder Outreach/Services
The coronavirus is upending thousands of years of Jewish tradition by Yonat Shimron Religion News Service
African Church leaders take measures as continent prepares for coronavirus by Crux Staff Crux
Priests in India face charges for breaking COVID-19 restrictions on mass gatherings by Nirmala Carvalho Crux
Priest in Ireland pens touching poem about coronavirus lockdown by IrishCentral Staff IrishCentral Link to Spirituality and Poetry
Disease as Political Metaphor by Susan Sontag New York Review of Books
Networks face decision: How long to stick with Trump? by David Baurer Associated Press Link to Media
'Everything Is Different': One Refugee's Journey Out of Extreme Poverty by Max J. Rosenthal, HIAS
What Happens When You’re Quarantined With Your Abuser? by Carly Pildis Tablet Link to Sexual Violence Against Women
Filipino bishops say abuse of women is an 'affront to God' by Pauline Hodgdon Catholic News Agency The Catholic Sentinel
Editorial: What can the Church learn from the scandal of Jean Vanier? by Our Sunday Visitor Editorial Board Our Sunday Visitor
Cognitive and physical markers of prodromal dementia: A 12-year-long population study. by Grande G1, Rizzuto D1,2, Vetrano DL1,3,4, et al Alzheimers Dement. 2020 Jan;16(1):153-161. Link to Alzheimer ’s disease
Syria’s Hidden Victims – Seta Kale by Alexandra Tawaifi CNA/Catholic World Report
God and Hell by Fr. Thomas Weinandy OFM Cap The Catholic Thing
NAACP/Black Community: A Model for Resiliency by Ed. Mondaine´ The Skanne
How St. Gertrude of Nivelles became the cat lady of the Catholic Church by Rene Ostbergv U.S.Catholic
The Shadow - Starring Tom Brady by Dick Flavin The Pilot
Autoantibodies Offer Clues to Co-Incidence of Cancer and Scleroderma in Some Patients by John Hopkins Scleroderma Center Link to Cancer
Mexican churches attacked during Women’s Day marches by Inés San Martín Crux
Clergy and laity share ‘co-responsibility’ in Church, bishop says by Jack Lyons Crux Link to Evangelization
Cardinal Demands Answers Over Easter Bombings: ‘We Will Take To the Streets’ by Catholic News Agency/National Catholic Register
West Virginia bishop requires new protocols for safe environment program by Colleen Rowan Catholic News Service/National Catholic Reporter Link to Environment and Climate Challenges
Pope Francis Offers Mass for Prisoners After Italian Prison Riots. by Courtney Mares CNA/National Catholic Register Link to Prison Challenges
Liberal Christian group calls on TV networks and Roku to drop Bakker show by Gregory J. Holman Springfield News-Leader
Mother of murdered journalist Lyra McKee dies of a “broken heart” by Kerry O'Shea IrishCentral
Archbishop Hebda ‘Confounded’ by ‘Abortion Providers Appreciation Day’ by JD Flynn CNA/National Catholic Register Link to Abortion
Dad & Young Son Watch as Hemorrhaging Mom is Rushed to Hospital from Riverside Planned Parenthood by Cheryl Sullenger Operation Rescue
EU Lawmakers Are Eying Risk-Based Rules for AI, per Leaked White Paper by Natasha Lomas Tech Crunch
Down syndrome abortion ban is going before a federal court by Julia Carr Smyth Associated Press Link to Down Syndrome
Senator Sasse to Justice Department: Investigate PornHub by Catholic News Agency/National Catholic Register Link to Pornography Challenges
Filipino bishops say abuse of women is an 'affront to God' by Pauline Hodgdon Catholic News Agency The Catholic Sentinel
Our religious sisters are burning out by CathNews
DR Congo: Priest seriously injured in machete attack by Independent Catholic News Link to African Challenges
The Decadent Society by Andrew J. Bacevich Commonweal
Washington DC homeless shelter serves the poor despite coronavirus fears by Matt Hadro Catholic Online Link to Homeless
Homeless will be left out in the cold during pandemic by CathNew New Zealand
Influential Evangelical Calls Out Trump’s ‘Sloppy & Dangerous’ Coronavirus Lies by Ed Mazza HuffPost Link to United States Politics
Milwaukee archbishop says ‘Catholics for Trump’ rally not affiliated with Church by Christopher White Crux
Theologian says clerical sexual abuse ‘always about abuse of power’ by Joke Heikens and Katholiek Nieuwsblad Crux Link to Clerical Sexual Violence Against Minors
Court-appointed official says Vatican failing on accountability in Nienstedt case by Christopher White Crux
Child protection pioneer McChesney to receive Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal by Christopher White Crux
Bishop Pleads for Christians to Remember Ukraine: ‘Somebody is Killed Every Day’ by Matt Hadro CAN/National Catholic Register Add to War/Acts of War /Terrorism/Genocide
Humanitarians call for end to Syria’s civil war, entering 10th year by Dale GavlakMar Catholic News Service/Crux
El Salvador marks 43rd anniversary of Jesuit’s martyrdom as beatification looms by Rhina Guidos Catholic News Service/Crux Link to The Society of Jesus
Supreme Court says ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy can be enforced for now by Catholic News Service/Crux Link to United State Immigration Challenges
Music of Beyoncé inspires worship service that empowers conversation about black women by Jesse Remedios National Catholic Reporter
Let St. Robert Bellarmine Teach You the Art of Dying Well by Shaun McAfee National Catholic Register Link to End of Life
State Department Releases Annual Human Rights Report by Catholic News Agency/National Catholic Register Link to Human Rights
Human rights to water by Leela Ramdeen Independent Catholic News
Sri Lankan cardinal prepared to launch protests by UCA News reporter UCANews,com
US Hispanic Catholics are future, but priest numbers dismal by Associated Press
Colorado lawmakers vote to create day honoring St. Frances Xavier Cabrini by Catholic News Service/Crux
What Happened to the New York Times’ Man in Tehran? The head-scratching case of Thomas Erdbrink, who apparently upset the Iranian government, and went silent for a year by Peter Theroux Tablet Link to Media
How to Tackle the Challenge of Lukewarm Catholics by Edward Pentin National Catholic Register
People of Faith Declare a Climate Emergency by Green Faith Link to Environment and Climate Challenges
Forest loss drives viruses as well as climate change, indigenous leaders warn by Covering Climate Now EarthBeat
Zimbabwe: Millions of Cyclone Idai survivors still facing hunger by Independent Catholic News’
Is Technology the Enemy of Silence? We live in a noisy age, and noise takes its toll on prayer. by John Grondelski National Catholic Register
She confronted the church’s role in slavery—and reconciled her faith by Rosie McCarty US Catholic Link to Racial Challenges
A DIY edifying film festival for the social distanced and quarantined by Sr. Rose Pacatte National Catholic Reporter
Nigerian Christians divided by conference on witchcraft by Patrick Egwu National Catholic Reporter
How should healthcare be distributed when hospitals are overwhelmed? by Carl Bunderson The Pilot
Q & A with Sr. Helen Amos: 'To be homeless is a health issue' by Chris Herlinger Global Sisters Report Link to Homeless
Former Rep. Duncan Hunter sentenced to 11 months in prison by Juliegrace Brucke The Hill
Priest begins offering drive-through confessions in church parking lot by Josephine von Dohlen Catholic News Service /National Catholic Reporter
Tell Liberty University trustees Fire Jerry Falwell by Faithfull America
State Department examines human rights issues in China, Myanmar, elsewhere by Mark Pattison Catholic News Service/Crux
Spotlight’ Attorney Faces Defamation Charges by Christopher White The Tablet
Pius XI, Saint Joseph, and Joseph Stalin by Michael J. Nader Catholic World Report
Syria: conflict robbing children of their education. As well as causing death, injury, displacement destruction and fear, a year of intense fighting in Syria’s northwest province has put education, and the future, of one and a half million children under severe attack. by Linda Bordoni Vatican News Link to Children Outreach/Protection
Forty years after St. Romero’s martyrdom, El Salvador sees a harvest of martyrs by Rhina Guidos Catholic News Service/Crux
Lawmakers Plan to Reintroduce ‘Backdoor Discrimination’ Bill by Saundra Sorenson The Skanner Link to Racial Challenges, and White Supremacy,
As Catholics hunker down, Latino base communities provide a church alternative by Peter Feuerherd National Catholic Reporter
Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib: Why I am giving up elected office and joining the Jesuits by Cyrus Habib America
Sacramental inefficiency and liturgical uselessness: Insights from St. John Paul II and Romano Guardini by Dr. Adam A. J. DeVille Catholic World Report
As offerings dwindle, some churches fear for their future by David Crary Associated Press/Crux
Reflection and mindfulness from an expert in Celtic spirituality by Mairead Geary IrishCentral
Capuchin history a reminder that death often brings new Catholic life by John L. Allen Jr. Crux
This Lent, U.S. Catholics Are Called To Reckon With The Sin Of Capital Punishment by Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy America Link to Death Penalty
Ressourcement after Vatican II honors the work of Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J. by Carl E. Olson Catholic World Report
Editorial: The pope is NOT upset with Fr. James Martin by NCR Editorial Staff National Catholic Reporter
Catholic Architect Shows Why Churches Should Be Truly Beautiful by Trent Beattie National Catholic Register Link to Spirituality and Architecture
AA under quarantine: How coronavirus is changing 12-step recovery programs by Mary Farrow Catholic News Agency Link to Substance Use/Addiction
Prison Chaplains Adapt as Coronavirus Limits Their Ministry by Jonah McKeown CNA/National Catholic Register Link to Prison Challenges
“Wittenberg” in synodal slow motion by George Weigel Catholic World Report
Please support one of our organizations and people who need help
Please send a donation for help save the life of my close friend Alwin Rex in India. Please read the article How do we love our neighbor as ourselves? and send a donation of $10.00 or more to help cover his healthcare costs to Father Thomas Ayyaneth, Syro Malankara Catholic Eparchial Chancery,1500 DePaul Street, Elmont, New York 11003, USA with a notation that the donation is for Alwin Rex. Father Thomas will process donations and send them to his pastor. Thank you Gordon Nary Editor, Profiles in Catholicism
Please help Francis Otieno care for children affected by HIV/AIDS in Kenya desperately needs your donations. to protect their lives.
The Child with Autism Learns the Faith by Kathy Labosh Reviewed by Eileen Quinn Knight, Ph.D.Profiles in Catholicism
From the Depths of Our Hearts: Priesthood, Celibacy and the Crisis of the Catholic Church by Pope Benedict XVI and Robert Cardinal Sarah Reviewed by Steven R. McEvoy Book Reviews and More
Annunciation: A Call to Faith in a Broken World by Sally Read Reviewed by Claire Giangravé Religion News Service
Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux by Therese de Lisieux Reviewed by Viola Athaide IgNation
Forbidden Fruit: Life & Catholicism In Contemporary Ireland} by Declan Henry Commentary by Anne Hailes The Irish News
Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father by Father Donald Calloway National Catholic Register
Molly Bit by Dan Bevacqu Reviewed by John W. Miller America
The Naked Irish by Clare O'Dea Commentary by IrishCentral Staff IrishCentral
Saint Patrick Retold by Roy Flechner Reviewed by Joseph McAuley America
Child of Light: A Biography of Robert Stone by Madison Smartt Bell Reviewed by Anthony Domestico Commonweal
Abraham Joshua Heschel by Edward K. Kaplan Reviewed by Jennifer MacNeil America
Gospel Women at the United Nations. by Sr. Margaret Scott Reviewed by Chris Herlinger Global Sisters Report
Women: Icons of Christ by Phyllis Zagano Commentary by Christopher White Crux
Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times by Lord Jonathan Sacks Commentary by Edmund Adamus
I Still Believe Commentary by Jim Graves Catholic World Report
To All the Boys P.S. I Still Love You Reviewed by Jeff Ryan Miraflor, SJ The Jesuit Post
Bloodshot Reviewed by Titus Techera Catholic World Report
The Banker Reviewed by by Sr. Rose Pacatte National Catholic Reporter
I Am Patrick Commentary Steven D. Greydanus National Catholic Register
Uncut Gems Commentary byJacob Siegak Tablet
How to survive a plague by David France Reviewed by Rebecca Tinsley Independent Catholic News
Feasting with the Saints
Remembering Those Who Have Passed
A Poem in the Time of Plague
Lockdown by Brother Richard:
Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Study: Autistic Kids Struggle in the Catholic Church
Kathy Labosh The Child with Autism Learns about Faith
Autistic Children Should Receive First Communion
TCWA Sleeping Tips For Children With Autism
Fr. Matthew P. Schneider, LC: Big Announcement, "I'm Autistic"
Message of Fatima Tim Staples - Answering Anti-Jesuit Myths
Fishermen Are Largely Invisible Victims of Trafficking and Forced Labor
Rosary rallies draw thousands of young Catholics across Poland