Catechists awarded Medal

first_img The University will present the medal to Harrington, Sr. Susanne Gallagher and Fr. James McCarthy at the University Commencement ceremony this May. The medal, established at Notre Dame in 1883, is the oldest and most prestigious honor given to American Catholics. It is awarded annually to a Catholic “whose genius has ennobled the arts and sciences, illustrated the ideals of the Church and enriched the heritage of humanity,” according to a University press release. Harrington said the Laetare Medal will bring much-needed recognition to their organization, which provides religious education for parishioners with intellectual disabilities. “Our work is very hidden because not too many people pay that much attention to people with disabilities,” Harrington said. “The fact that someone thought we were doing a good job just blew us away. … That’s very affirming for us.” McCarthy, a priest in the Archdiocese of Chicago, first conceived the idea for SPRED in 1960 when he read letters from parents expressing their difficulty in finding ministries for their children with intellectual disabilities, Harrington said. He began working on the project in his off time, and in 1963 Harrington joined McCarthy when he requested a member of her congregation, the Society of Helpers, for assistance. “Theology for people with intellectual disabilities was very bleak, you teach them their prayers and that was about it,” Harrington said. “So many had a capacity, but you had to figure out a different way.” The pair began to work with Catechist volunteers to implement a more contemplative and liturgical approach to religious education better suited to people with these disabilities, Harrington said. She said they based the approach off the prior research and practice of French priests from Lyons, France and Quebec, Canada. “We didn’t know how to introduce [the method] to the [United States],” Harrington said. “We started working in rooms with one-way viewing mirrors. The volunteer catechists could observe us working, then do the same thing.” Gallagher, a member of the Sisters of Providence, joined the organization in 1967 to design a Montessori environment for the groups. With the environment, syllabus and observational teaching method in place, SPRED began multiplying its centers across the United States the following year, Harrington said. Today the Chicago SPRED center has trained volunteers for 156 parishes in the Archdiocese of Chicago, 15 other dioceses in the country and parishes in Australia, South Africa, Scotland and other English-speaking nations. “What [the Catechists] are really looking for is the basic mentality or basic attitude toward people with intellectual disabilities that is very respectful but can go outside the box to figure out ways to include them in worship settings,” Harrington said. The SPRED groups in each parish function with six “friends,” or people with disabilities, and six sponsors, the volunteer catechists. Each group has a parish chairperson who is accountable to the parish priest. In this way, Harrington said SPRED is very parish-based and parish-operated. She, McCarthy and Gallagher serve as resource people for the individual groups. Harrington said SPRED also offers continual training at its center, where catechists can continue to observe teaching methods and discuss difficulties they are experiencing. “It’s a very trim, decentralized operation,” Harrington said. “We can keep it moving well and quickly because it is decentralized.” The sponsors at each parish meet once per week, Harrington said. During the first week they prepare a syllabus for the second week, when they put on a two-hour class for their friends. At the third week’s session, the catechists reflect on the previous class and ways they can improve it for the following week, when the friends attend class again. The goal of the sessions is four-fold, Harrington said. The catechists aim to instill within the individuals a sense of the sacred, a sense of Christ, a sense of the Father and a sense of the Spirit as living within the Church. “We’re not working with heavy duty concepts, we’re dealing with much more intuitive and contemplative aspects,” Harrington said. “We use a lot of the arts, like music, gestures, silence, to illustrate points.” To aid parents of the intellectually disabled, Harrington said the volunteers try to educate their children to a level where they are able to participate in a normal worship setting. “Some families are afraid to bring their children to Church because they have been treated disrespectfully there,” she said. “The child is not prepared, and the assembly is not prepared.” SPRED works to overcome that, Harrington said. In addition to preparing the disabled individuals for worship, she said many parishes have installed several liturgies throughout the year that may appeal to those who are intellectually disabled. Although some people have criticized the process as too labor-intensive, Harrington said the method has proven successful. “There’s no other way to do a good job for people with intellectual disabilities,” she said. “Families are very happy. [The individuals] come in as little children, and they’re still with us in their 20s and 30s.” Other critics claim the organization is wasting its time attempting to teach people with disabilities, Harrington said. She said fortunately, not all within the Church view it that way. In a press release, University President Fr. John Jenkins praised SPRED’s commitment to educating people with disabilities. “Insisting that a developmental disability neither tempers Christ’s invitation nor restricts one’s right to respond, they have ushered countless people to their rightful place at the Eucharistic table,” Jenkins said. Being awarded the 2013 Laetare Medal allows SPRED to demonstrate the fruits of its efforts to others, Harrington said. “We see there’s a real person inside, and they really respond,” she said. “Not in a way a regular child would, but in their own way.” The three founders of the Special Religious Education Development Network (SPRED) were shocked to find out they were this year’s recipients of the Laetare Medal, Sr. Mary Therese Harrington said.last_img read more

Police search for women who went on shopping spree after stealing elderly victim’s wallet

first_imgThe St. Petersburg Police Department is currently searching for two women who reportedly stole a wallet from an elderly woman and then went on a shopping spree.The incident was reported on November 15th.Authorities say the 75-year-old victim was shopping for groceries when the women somehow gained access to the victim’s wallet. The women immediately went to another store where they purchased $5,000 worth of electronics and gift cards. They then went to another store where they attempted to purchase several other items but the victim’s cards declined.Authorities are now asking for the public’s help in identifying the women. If you recognize either of these women you are asked to call St. Petersburg Police at 727-893-7780. Reference report# 2019-050215last_img

Giancarlo Stanton, once close to becoming a Dodger, has a chance to come home

first_imgA special photo of the Notre Dame High baseball team is hanging on a wall of Tom Dill’s office. This one was taken in Sept. 2016, right after Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez died in a boating accident.When news of the fatal crash reached the Sherman Oaks campus, Notre Dame’s head baseball coach dressed every player in his program – freshmen to seniors, JV to varsity – in a Marlins shirt bearing Fernandez’s number 16. The players lined up in three rows of about 20 each. A photographer captured the moment from an elevated perch.Dill kept one copy of the photo for himself. He sent another to his star pupil, Giancarlo Stanton, who was mourning 3,000 miles away from home.“When a guy represents your school in good character, I thought, I want to do something right now,” Dill said. “That was a nice moment. And my guys wrote him letters, a box full of letters.” Giancarlo Stanton might never become a Dodger, the team he rooted for growing up. He almost did a decade ago and he seems to have a chance now. The Marlins are trying so aggressively to trade him, some teams received permission from Major League Baseball to meet Stanton personally to discuss a potential deal. The Dodgers were not among those teams.Still, Stanton’s connection to his home town remains strong. He lives in Southern California in the offseason. His immediate family lives in the area too. When the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals were recently granted an audience with the reigning National League Most Valuable Player, the meetings were reportedly held in Los Angeles.The photograph Dill sent Stanton was not unrequited. Each of the last two years, Dill said, Stanton has supplied the Notre Dame baseball team with equipment from his sponsor, Nike.It’s no wonder that the Dodgers would be Stanton’s first (if not his only) choice to waive the no-trade clause in his contract, which guarantees a total of $325 million – the most ever for an MLB player.If he does not choose to opt out of his contract after the 2020 season, Stanton is still owed a minimum of $295 million. The Dodgers had baseball’s highest player payroll in 2017, reportedly totaling $244 million. They would have to get creative to simultaneously lower that number and absorb Stanton’s 2018 salary of $25 million. So far, the Giants and Cardinals are the only teams reported to receive permission to meet with him. The last time teams came to Southern California to visit Stanton, the field was wide open.At Notre Dame, Stanton played baseball, basketball and football. Football was his favorite. USC, then coached by Pete Carroll, actively recruited him as a cornerback. With the speed and the height of a Division I point guard, Stanton could be taken seriously in all three sports. That left him no time for the summer baseball circuit, which in turn shrouded him somewhat from major league scouts.The Marlins, led by scout Tim McDonnell, were on to Stanton early and often. The Dodgers were intrigued too. At a private workout at Dodger Stadium in 2007, a 17-year-old Stanton was already ringing balls off the deep left field bleacher seats in batting practice.Dodgers scout George Genovese wrote in his 2015 memoir that he recommended Stanton to the team’s draft director, Logan White, as a first-round pick. The Dodgers had two picks before the second round that year, 20th and 39th overall. They used the picks on pitchers Chris Withrow and James Adkins, respectively.The Marlins passed on Stanton in the first round too, instead choosing infielder Matt Dominguez from Chatsworth High. But by the time the Dodgers drafted in the second round, Stanton was gone. He went to the Marlins with the 76th pick and signed for $475,000 – $56,500 over MLB’s recommendation for the draft slot at the time.Hindsight is 20-20. White acknowledges there was an oversight, but not of Stanton’s talent.“We had to stick with slot in those days,” he said. “As it turns out the sign-ability info was wrong more than the evaluation info, because he would have signed at those picks.”History does not allow for do-overs – of the 2007 draft or of the $325 million contract that could keep Stanton tied to a new owner that would prefer to see him play elsewhere. The Marlins have reportedly agreed to the framework of trades proposed by the Giants and Cardinals already, and one could be consummated any day now.Stanton holds the leverage. He can approve or reject any trade he wishes. If he becomes a Giant, Stanton would be closer to home, though joining a hated rival would hardly be seen as a sign of loyalty to Los Angeles.“There are a lot of diehard Dodger fans who would be upset,” Dill said. “A lot of the faculty here keeps asking me (what will happen) like I know anything. I’m going to find out in the papers like everybody else.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Bayern bridge gap to Dortmund with Berlin win

first_imgMunich’s man of the moment Martinez -– fresh from a superb midweek Champions League performance against Liverpool — put the home side in the lead in the 62nd minute, heading a corner into the top left of the Berlin goal.Berlin’s comeback attempts were scuppered in the 84th minute with centre-back Karim Bekik picking up a red card as his side ran out of steam.Despite victory, Bayern coach Niko Kovac was concerned about injured winger Kingsley Coman, who limped off the field in the 67th minute.“In the first half we had some difficulties. A set piece decided this game. On the whole I’m satisfied,” he said.“For Kingsley we will need to wait for the results of the scan. I hope (the injury) isn’t too bad.”Borussia Moenchengladbach, who were equal on points with Bayern just two weeks ago, dropped eight behind the leaders with a 3-0 loss at home to Wolfsburg.Yannick Gerhardt put the visitors ahead in the 38th minute, before Admir Mehmedi added a second in the 68th.Mehmedi took advantage of Gladbach’s poor communication in defence, taking on keeper Yann Sommer one-on-one before tapping home from close range.The Swiss striker added a second 15 minutes later, heading over Sommer to put the match beyond doubt.Gladbach, who host Bayern next weekend, will be looking to find the form that saw them romp to a 3-0 win over the champions earlier in the season.Mainz overcame a recent slump to beat a disappointing Schalke 3-0 at home.– Nuremburg red card after four minutes –Karim Onisiwo gave the home side a narrow 1-0 lead going into half-time, before late goals from Jean-Philippe Mateta and another from Oniswo left Schalke sitting just two places above the relegation playoff zone.Schalke, who pushed Manchester City all the way in their midweek Champions League clash before going down 3-2, looked sluggish in both attack and defence.The defeat sees the pressure continuing to pile on young coach Domenico Tedesco.Freiburg walloped relegation battlers Augsburg 5-1, with the home side causing constant problems for the visiting defence.West Ham’s English loanee Reece Oxford was found out several times in defence leading directly to Freiburg goals, before picking up a late red card in the first minute of second-half injury-time.In Saturday’s late game, Fortuna Duesseldorf pushed Nuremberg closer to the drop with a 2-1 home victory.Nuremberg were down to 10 men after just four minutes, losing winger Matheus Pereira to a red card after the Brazilian attacked Niko Giesselmann off the ball.While the visitors went 1-0 up in the 41st minute through a stunning strike from Eduard Loewen, Duesseldorf’s numerical advantage was too great.They levelled through an own-goal in the 62nd minute before Kaan Ayhan headed the home side into the lead with just over five minutes to go.On Sunday, Borussia Dortmund will have a chance to restore their lead at the top as they take on Peter Bosz’s resurgent Bayer Leverkusen at Signal Iduna Park.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000James Rodriguez and Javi Martinez celebrate the goal that took them level on points with Borussia Dortmund © AFP / Christof STACHEBERLIN, Germany, Feb 23 – Javi Martinez fired Bayern Munich to a 1-0 win over Hertha Berlin as the defending champions won their 10th Bundesliga match from 11 to draw level on points with Borussia Dortmund at the top of the table on Saturday.Bayern were until recently nine points adrift of Dortmund, who lead the Bavarians on goal difference ahead of their match with Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday.last_img read more