Our Feature Articles:
Dr. John Jackson, the physicist who led a 40-person team of international scientists to examine the Shroud of Turin in 1978, addressed a crowd of more than 1,000 at St. Maria Goretti Parish in Arlington Nov. 23. Jackson and his research team were granted access to the cloth and conducted exhaustive examinations. Now as director of the Turin Shroud Center of Colorado, Jackson is dedicated to continuing research on the Shroud, publishing his findings, and educating the public on scientific data and forensic evidence about the cloth. The Church has not authenticated the Shroud.
As St. Elizabeth Ann Seton youth minister Gabe Gutiérrez started gaining more experience in the world of youth ministry, he began witnessing a trend: Many of his youth were becoming young adults. And Gutiérrez, now in his 10th year as a minister, began realizing the need to keep informing and preparing them “so they can ultimately go to Heaven.” So earlier this year, when Father John Riccardo’s EWTN show introduced him to the idea of putting together a Theology of the Body retreat aimed at young adults, and when Nashville Dominican Sister Jane Dominic Laurel, a 17-year theology professor at Aquinas College, called him a few days later about possibly letting her offer a TOB talk, he knew what he had to do.
Father Christopher Stainbrook still remembers the trepidation his parishioners felt when St. Timothy, an Anglican congregation, decided to join the Catholic Church as part of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. “People were unsure and feared leaving the familiar for the unknown,” the pastor explains. Monsignor Michael F. Olson, who instructed parish members on the Sacrament of Confirmation, eased their anxiety. “He made a whole room full of people feel relaxed and welcomed,” Fr. Stainbrook recalls. “My parishioners are going to be very happy that he’s their new bishop. He’s a teacher — a real people person.”
Local Catholics who know Bishop-Elect Michael F. Olson share a common observation about the man who will become the fourth bishop of the Diocese of Fort Worth — he loves his role as servant priest. “I am consoled by the fact being a bishop means experiencing the fullness of the priesthood,” Bishop-Elect Olson said during a Nov. 19 press conference that introduced him to the Fort Worth media. “It means I can use this ministry for the good of all.”
Since his election in March, Pope Francis has earned approval ratings most politicians and celebrities would relish. “There is something about this man and his message that set off this popular enthusiasm that is remarkable,” said CNN Vatican analyst John Allen during a discussion of “the Francis effect” at the 2013 University of Dallas Ministry Conference offered Oct. 24-26 in the Irving Convention Center. The Saturday program also included a keynote talk about Our Lady of Guadalupe by a leading expert on the subject, Monsignor Eduardo Chavez.