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Diocese of Rockville Centre

Office of Communications

2012 Press Releases

November 4, 2013

Reverend Msgr. Lawrence F. Ballweg, 97

Wake: Tuesday, November 5, 2013 2:00 – 4:00 PM
  7:00 – 9:00 PM
 Vernon C. Wagner Funeral Home
125 West Old Country Road
Hicksville, New York 11801 
  
Funeral Mass: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 11:00 AM
 Church of Our Lady of Hope
534 Broadway
Carle Place, New York 11514 
  
Cemetery:  St. John’s Cemetery,
Queens, New York 
  


   
      
      

DIOCESE  OF  ROCKVILLE  CENTRE

OFFICE  OF  COMMUNICATIONS
 

Curriculum Vitae
Reverend Msgr. Lawrence F. Ballweg, 97

Birth: January 2, 1916
 Brooklyn, New York
 
Death:  October 31, 2013
 
Education: Immaculate Conception Seminary
 Huntington, New York
 
Ordination: May 18, 1940
 St. James Pro-Cathedral
 
Assignments: 
06/01/1940 Church of St. Ignatius, Hicksville, Associate Pastor
12/08/1957 Associate Director of Confraternity of Christian Doctrine
06/18/1966 Church of St. Bernard, Levittown, Pastor
06/21/1972 Church of Our Lady of Fatima, Manorhaven, Pastor
04/12/1980 Director, Propagation of the Faith
06/26/1991 To Retirement
 
 
 
 
 
 
  

May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace.  Amen.

Last evening I was visiting friends who had children and grandchildren and Santa Claus came by thanks to the RVC Fiore Department. Later at Midnight here in this Cathedral we joined the whole world to hear the Angels sing good news of glad tidings that a child is born to us in a stable in Bethlehem 2000 years ago. And today we gather here to worship God and give thanks because that child has a name, a name above all other names, Jesus the Christ, Prince of peace, Savior of the world.

Because he is born of a woman, like each and every one of us, Jesus becomes one with every human being. No one is excluded from this great day. Everyone is a brother or sister to the child born of Mary. Because he is the only begotten Son of God, he does more than any other human could do. He alone can save us from our sins and even from death itself. And so the Father sent him, to be one like us, so that our salvation would come not from a stranger, not from a theory or a philosophy but from the one who said, “A body you have fitted for me. Behold I come to do your will”.

Gathered here this day or watching on television, we seek to let this great mystery become ever more deeply a part of our lives. We come to worship the God who so loved the world that He sent His son. We come to give thanks that our lives have been touched and changed by his life, born of the Virgin. And in so doing we come to know more deeply who we are and who God call us to become if the birth of His son in the fullness of time is to have meaning and make a difference in our world, in our society, our parishes, our families, our hearts today.

We know his name. We believe he came. We rejoice in God’s favor. We open ourselves to him. But what does it mean? John the theologian invites us to understand this more deeply with the opening words of His Gospel. In the beginning was the Word, the word through whom God created the world, the Word who is with the Father. What God is the Word is. And that Word, the eternal Word of the Father, is the now the Word made flesh to save all humankind. The Word breaks through the distance that separates God from us. The Word is the powerful bearer of life and light into a world of darkness and death. The Word makes evident the difference between those two choices, life and light versus sin and death. For the Word is not only true. THE WORD OF GOD IS TRUTH IN HIS VERY BEING.

Herein is the paradox that surrounds us. The world came into being through the Word. Yet the world does not know him. In fact the world ignores him or ridicules him or denies him. The world has turned its back on the very source of existence: the Word made flesh. In the fullness of time that Word, that Truth, comes as a child, totally immersed into our life so that we might choose His life and so live in light and truth, goodness, harmony, joy and peace.

How much the world needs this Word, the Word of God, the Word of truth! And that is a further reason why we who are gathered here today are called to do more than give thanks and go home. We are called to renew our faith and thus strengthen our witness to the light, to the truth, to the word, to the Son of God. Today as we rejoice with family and loved ones, with children and elderly, we must be truth bearers and light bearers, bearers of the child Jesus in our world. We can do so with confidence because truth has sprung up from the earth giving us hope, kindness, justice and peace.

Today Pope Benedict appealed for peace in Syria, wounded and divided by a civil conflict that is made even worse by bloodshed aided by terrorism and by countries, including our own, who supply arms and means that destroy lives and create refugees. With him we appeal for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, an end to violence that bases itself on false appeals to religion in Africa and other parts of the world. We seek political leaders who will uphold freedom for all and respect for every ethnic and religious group around the world. We pray that they will eschew disturbing means such as drones and indiscriminate use of weapons in their attempts to subdue others who themselves resort to violence.

Violence has become a hallmark of our own society. We here have born the brunt of a natural disaster and have shown to one another, especially those suffering from the hurricane, the true face of Jesus in our care for them and our generosity toward those in need. How horrendous is the reality that struck Newtown and brought death to 26 persons, 20 of them little children. But as a society how much have we become immune to violence that comes is so many shapes and forms? The violence of video games, the violence of film and television, the violence of hate speech and coarse humor that degrades others and insults the dignity of us all.

And what of the very freedom we are exercising right now by being here? I mean of course the first freedom, the freedom of religious belief and practice in society? Government exists to protect life and liberty, not to amend it or force it into compromises that contradict teachings of faith or the consciences of persons and institutions. We who love our country must show we love it by defending freedom of religion against any and all overt or subtle attacks on that first freedom.

Many Christmases ago, St. Augustine, meditating on this wondrous gift of Christ said to the faithful in his cathedral these words I make my own: Truth who is Jesus will set you free…That is why Truth whose birthday is today has sprung from the earth in order to be peace on earth and good will to all.

My friends we do not live in darkness but in light, the light that shone forth from a Bethlehem stable, that light that enlightens all the world with his life, his truth, his Peace.

And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us; and we saw his Glory, the Glory as of the Father’s only Son full of grace and truth.

WASHINGTON

Catholics can prepare for the Christmas season and deepen their experience of the Year of Faith by strengthening their prayer lives, says the bishop who chairs the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis. Bishop David Ricken of Green Bay, Wisconsin, offers “10 Prayers for the Year of Faith” at the start of the Advent season, a time of prayer, as a way of drawing Catholics more deeply into the Year of Faith. Pope Benedict XVI called for the Year of Faith, which began October 11 and ends November 24, 2013.

 

Bishop Ricken offers:

  1. The Nicene Creed. The Year of Faith is about returning to the foundational teachings of the Church and drawing strength from them. This prayer, which is the official prayer of the Year of Faith, articulates the core of Christian belief.
  2. The Lord’s Prayer. Like the Creed, the Our Faith is so central to the faith that it’s said at every Mass. The Year of Faith is also about encouraging the personal encounter with Jesus Christ. Praying the prayer he gave us brings us closer to him.
  3. The Hail Mary. Similarly, Mary will always assist Christians and bring them to her son.
  4. The Glory Be. This doxology, or short hymn of praise, beautifully captures the essence of our faith in an eternal, Trinitarian God.
  5. The Magnificat. The Canticle of Mary in the Gospel of Luke (1:46-55) gives a glimpse of the faith of someone who trusted God so much that he entered the world through her.
  6. The Canticle of Zechariah. Also found in Luke (1:68-79), this prayer is a vivid testament of faith from someone experiencing God’s goodness at work in the world.
  7. The Memorare. Another powerful Marian prayer, the Memorare reminds God’s people that Mary is our mother and that we can turn to her with anything.
  8. The Acts of Contrition, Faith, Hope and Love. Most people know the Act of Contrition from going to confession, but the Acts of Faith, Hope and Love are also wonderful for a Christian’s prayer life. They can all be found in the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
  9. The Angel prayers. Children learn the prayer to their guardian angel, and adults learn the prayer to St. Michael the archangel. Both are helpful reminders of the need to ask for God’s protection and guidance every day.
  10. Prayer for the New Evangelization. The purpose of the Year of Faith is to renew and strengthen Catholics in their practice of the faith so that they may inspire the world with their example. This is the New Evangelization. The Prayer for the New Evangelization can be found online: www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/prayers/new-evangelization-prayer.cfm

More prayers for the Year of Faith are available online at: www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/new-evangelization/year-of-faith/prayer-in-the-year-of-faith.cfm

Advent resources from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops are available at: www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/liturgical-resources/advent/

United in prayer for families, communities mourning the loss of loved ones
Need to return to values that foster a culture of life
Need to improve resources to help the mentally-ill, their families, caregivers

WASHINGTON — In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, the chairmen of three committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a joint statement to decry violence in society. The bishops repeated the call from Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of USCCB, who expressed on the day of the horrible tragedy, deepest sorrow for all the victims and a call to work for peace in our homes, streets and world. They called on all Americans, especially legislators, to address national policies that will strengthen regulations of firearms and improve access to health care for those with mental health needs.

 

"As Catholic Bishops, we join together with the President of our Conference, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who on the day of the horrible tragedy expressed his profound solidarity with and prayers for the families, friends, neighbors, and communities whose hearts have been rent by the loss of a child or loved one," said Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City, and Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend.

The bishops are chairmen of the USCCB's Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development; Committee on Communications; and the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, respectively. "Sacred Scripture reminds us time and again to 'be not afraid.' Indeed, we must find within ourselves the faith-filled courage to address the challenges our nation faces, both in our homes and in our national policies," they said.

They also addressed the need for healthcare policies that provide support to people with mental health needs, and called on the entertainment industry to address the proliferation of violence and evaluate its impact in society.

Full text of the statement follows:

Call for Action in Response to Newtown Tragedy
Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City, and Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend
December 21, 2012

The Lord Jesus Christ, in his Sermon on the Mount, teaches us, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted," and "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God" (Mt 5:4, 9).

In the face of the horrific evil that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012, as people of faith we first and foremost turn to God and pray. We pray for those whose lives were robbed from them. As Catholic Bishops, we join together with the President of our Conference, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who on the day of the horrible tragedy expressed his profound solidarity with and prayers for the families, friends, neighbors, and communities whose hearts have been rent by the loss of a child or loved one. No words can capture your suffering. We look to Christ, his words and deeds, and ultimately to his Cross and Resurrection. It is in Jesus that we place our hope.

The Sandy Hook tragedy has caused great anguish for parents and others who attempt to safeguard our children. In addition to the outpouring of prayers and support from around the nation, understandably this tragedy has given rise to discussions about national policies and steps that can be taken to foster a culture that protects the innocent and those most vulnerable among us. It is time for our nation to renew a culture of life in our society.

Sacred Scripture reminds us time and again to "be not afraid." Indeed, we must find within ourselves the faith-filled courage to address the challenges our nation faces, both in our homes and in our national policies. These challenges encompass many areas with various complexities. Here, we offer particular words regarding the issue of the regulation of fire arms, the standards for the entertainment industry, and our service to those with mental health needs.As religious leaders, we are compelled to call on all Americans, especially elected leaders, to address these issues.

With regard to the regulation of fire arms, first, the intent to protect one's loved ones is an honorable one, but simply put, guns are too easily accessible. The Vatican's Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, in their document, "The International Arms Trade (2006)," emphasized the importance of enacting concrete controls on handguns, for example, noting that "limiting the purchase of such arms would certainly not infringe on the rights of anyone."

Secondly, our entertainers, especially film producers and video game creators, need to realize how their profit motives have allowed the proliferation of movies, television programs, video games and other entertainment that glorify violence and prey on the insecurities and immaturity of our young people. Such portrayals of violence have desensitized all of us. The massacre of twenty little children and seven adults causes each of us to reflect on our own understanding of the value of human life. We must improve our resources for parents, guardians and young people, so that they can evaluate entertainment products intelligently. We need to admit that the viewing and use of these products has negative emotional, psychological and spiritual effects on people.

We must also reflect on our own fears as we grapple with our prejudices toward those with mental health needs. Our society must provide health services and support to those who have mental illnesses and to their families and caregivers. As a community we need to support one another so no one feels unable to get help for a mentally ill family member or neighbor in need. Burdensome healthcare policies must be adjusted so people can get help for themselves or others in need. Just as we properly reach out to those with physical challenges we need to approach mental health concerns with equal sensitivity. There is no shame in seeking help for oneself or others; the only shame is in refusing to provide care and support.

The events in Newtown call us to turn to our Lord in prayer and to witness more profoundly Christ's perfect love, mercy and compassion. We must confront violence with love.

There are glimmers of hope in this tragedy. Many people, including some of the victims, made extraordinary efforts to protect life. In particular, the teachers, the principal, the children, the first responders and other leaders showed tremendous courage during the tragedy. Some sacrificed their own lives protecting others.

In their memory and for the sake of our nation, we reiterate our call made in 2000, in our statement, Responsibility, Rehabilitation and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice, for all Americans, especially legislators, to:

  1. Support measures that control the sale and use of firearms
  2. Support measures that make guns safer (especially efforts that prevent their unsupervised use by children and anyone other than the owner)
  3. Call for sensible regulations of handguns
  4. Support legislative efforts that seek to protect society from the violence associated with easy access to deadly weapons including assault weapons
  5. Make a serious commitment to confront the pervasive role of addiction and mental illness in crime.

As we long for the arrival of the Prince of Peace in this Advent and Christmas season, we call on all people of goodwill to help bring about a culture of life and peace.

Date: Novemver 14th, 2012
 
WASHINGTON —The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the domestic anti-poverty program of the U.S. bishops, has approved a grant of half a million dollars to assist victims of Hurricane Sandy along the East Coast of the United States. CCHD will also launch a national strategic grant program to address poverty-related issues across the country.

Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, California, chairman of the bishops’ CCHD subcommittee, announced the moves November 13, during the annual Fall General Assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in Baltimore.

The grant to Hurricane Sandy victims will support “people coming together to reorganize the fabric of their communities” and to “build a resilient support system for those most vulnerable to natural calamities, the poor,” Bishop Soto said.

The national strategic grant program is an “innovative approach to poverty” that will complement CCHD’s regular, diocesan-oriented support to community initiatives across the country. The CCHD subcommittee approved more than $2 million over the next few years to address systemic causes of poverty and empower communities to implement lasting solutions.

“Before our eyes today, immigrants are exploited, the criminal justice system sucks our youth into its steely and broken logic, labor is weakened, families are torn apart by poverty and children bear the consequences, women without hope are tempted to abortion, homes are foreclosed, pensions robbed, the poor are denied access to credit and our natural resources are exploited. This is real poverty,” Bishop Soto said on the need for the new national focus.

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