‘The Church needs your courage,’ pope tells new cardinals

Roxanne King

VATICAN CITY (CNA/EWTN News)—During the Feb. 22 morning consistory at which Pope Francis created 19 new cardinals, he urged the prelates gathered in St. Peter’s Basilica to serve the Church fearlessly.

“The Church needs your courage, to proclaim the Gospel at all times, both in season and out of season, and to bear witness to the truth,” the pope emphasized.

St. Peter’s Basilica was filled with nearly 200 members of the College of Cardinals and those who had gathered to witness the event. Francis’ predecessor Benedict XVI joined the other bishops, wearing his customary white garments rather than the red vestments of a cardinal.

Reflecting on the Gospel which was proclaimed at the ceremony, Pope Francis noted that in the Scriptures, “Jesus is often walking and he teaches his disciples along the way. This is important. Jesus did not come to teach a philosophy, an ideology … but rather ‘a way,’ a journey to be undertaken with him.”

“But this is not easy, or comfortable, because the way that Jesus chooses is the way of the cross,” he acknowledged.

Unlike the disciples before the resurrection who were “shocked” and “full of fear,” said the pontiff, “we know that Jesus has won, and that we need not fear the cross; indeed the cross is our hope.”

“And yet, we are all too human, sinners, tempted to think as men do, not as God does.”

Giving into such a “worldly mentality” of fear, however, results in “rivalry, jealousy, factions,” said the pope.

He emphasized to the cardinals that the Church needs “your cooperation, and even more your communion, communion with me and among yourselves.”

“Brothers, let us allow Jesus to call us to himself!” he urged.

“And let us listen to him, with the joy that comes from receiving his word together, from letting ourselves be taught by that word and by the Holy Spirit, and to become ever more of one heart and soul, gathered around him.”

The “proclamation of the word” is one of the “primary tasks” of a bishop, noted the pope. Another primary task is prayer for “Christ’s flock.”

“We want to express our spiritual closeness to the ecclesial communities and to all Christians suffering from discrimination and persecution. The Church needs our prayer for them, that they may be firm in faith and capable of responding to evil with good.”

“This prayer of ours extends to every man and women suffering injustice on account of their religious convictions,” he added. “Let us therefore invoke peace and reconciliation for those peoples presently experiencing violence, destruction, and war.”

Pope Francis concluded his remarks by thanking the cardinals and encouraging them to “walk together behind the Lord.”

He then continued the ceremony, reading the formula for the creation of new cardinals, followed by the names of each of the 19 men. The College of Cardinals said the creed together, pledging their fidelity and obedience to the pope and his successors.

Each of the new cardinals knelt before the pope to exchange the sign of peace and receive their assignment of a church in Rome—a sign of their participation in the pope’s pastoral care. They were also given the zucchetto, the tri-fold hat called a “biretta,” and the ring of a cardinal.

With the new cardinals, there are now 218 total living cardinals of whom 122 are under 80 years of age and thus eligible to vote in a conclave.

One of the new cardinals, the elderly Italian Archbishop Loris Francesco Capovilla, was not present. The 98-year-old is the former secretary of Pope John XXIII and one of the longest-serving archbishops. In the next few days, the cardinal’s hat will be delivered to him in the town where he resides in the north of Italy.

The 18 new cardinals were scheduled to receive visitors during a reception Saturday afternoon in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace and Paul VI Hall.

Cardinals

Here is the list of the new cardinals:

— Italian Archbishop Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state

— Italian Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, general secretary of the Synod of Bishops

— German Archbishop Gerhard Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

— Italian Archbishop Beniamino Stella, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy

— English Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster

— Nicaraguan Archbishop Leopoldo Brenes Solorzano of Managua

— Canadian Archbishop Gerald Lacroix of Quebec

— Ivorian Archbishop Jean-Pierre Kutwa of Abidjan, Ivory Coast

— Brazilian Archbishop Orani Tempesta of Rio de Janeiro

— Italian Archbishop Gualtiero Bassetti of Perguia-Citta della Pieve

— Argentine Archbishop Mario Poli of Buenos Aires

— Korean Archbishop Andrew Yeom Soo-jung of Seoul

— Chilean Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati Andrello of Santiago

— Burkina Faso Archbishop Philippe Ouedraogo of Ouagadougou

— Philippine Archbishop Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato

— Haitian Bishop Chibly Langlois of Les Cayes

— Italian Archbishop Capovilla

— Spanish Archbishop Fernando Sebastian Aguilar, retired, of Pamplona

— St. Lucian Archbishop Kelvin Felix, retired, of Castries

COMING UP: Ahead of competition, Catholic school students look to the stars for inspiration

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Ahead of competition, Catholic school students look to the stars for inspiration

St. Mary sixth graders to represent Colorado at FIRST LEGO League world championship

Moira Cullings

Sixth grade students at St. Mary Catholic School in Littleton are giving NASA a run for its money.

The six boys that make up the Legit LEGO Lions, a team that participates in FIRST LEGO League, came up with a real-world solution to allow humans to live on Mars.

“I think it’s amazing that they can even conceive of such a thing,” said Chris Gemperline, team coach and Geotechnical Engineer at the Bureau of Reclamation.

The students had the opportunity to present their idea, along with other competition elements, in the state championship this past December, where they took first place, beating out more than 300 teams of fourth-eighth graders who had participated in 12 tournaments across the state this season.

The six boys who make up the Legit LEGO Lions earned a place at the FIRST world championship next month. Photo by Moira Cullings

Now, the team will head to the world championship in Houston from April 16-18.

“I’m really proud of our boys,” said Gemperline. “The fact that they’re representing our Catholic faith as scientists and engineers is priceless.”

Students discover ‘wonders’ of God’s creation

FIRST LEGO League is made up of 40,000 teams from around the world who, guided by adult coaches, “research a real-world problem such as food safety, recycling, energy, etc. and are challenged to develop a solution,” according to its website.

When it comes to competitions, each team is tasked with designing a LEGO robot that moves around on a table and completes tasks. Teams are judged on the robot game, project score and how well they practice six core values — discovery, fun, impact, inclusion, innovation and teamwork.

This season, the theme “INTO ORBIT” challenged the team to explore humanity’s relationship with space.

Inspired by Buzz Aldrin’s book “Welcome to Mars,” the Lions came up with a way to drop geophones into the surface of Mars in order to find caves where humans could survive while avoiding the radiation that is prominent on the planet.

The Legit LEGO Lions showed off their robot at St. Mary Catholic School’s Innovation Night on March 7. Photo by Daniel Petty

“I was astounded by the knowledge these students have gained and the conclusions they have drawn from their research,” said St. Mary Principal Jim Baker. “Without a doubt, they have a deeper appreciation of the entire universe our God has created.”

The boys also believe they now have the confidence and tools to create something innovative and helpful for society.

“I’ve learned inspiration is all it takes to create a reality and something new and credible,” said Luke Nepple.

For Brady Gemperline, this season’s success has been not only meaningful academically, but also spiritually.

“It helps us develop teamwork skills that really help us in life,” he said. “And I enjoy exploring God’s universe that he created for us to explore.”

Jonathan Alexander (left) and Peyton Gomez work with the team robot during St. Mary’s Innovation Night. Photo by Daniel Petty

According to Baker, that exploration goes hand-in-hand with the Catholic faith.

“Our Catholic tradition is steeped in a rich past of scientists and scientific discoveries,” said Baker. “Students get to experience firsthand the wonders one can create if they use all of the traits God has given us.

“This applies to all academic areas, including science and math,” he said.

‘Inspiration is all it takes’

Teamwork, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) development and community outreach are just a few reasons the boys participate in FIRST LEGO League.

“I’ve always liked engineering, and I thought this would be a great opportunity because it combines engineering and programming with fun stuff like Legos,” said Luke Nepple.

“My favorite part of LEGO League would probably be the teamwork and the fun we have together,” said Peyton Gomez. “These guys are my friends, so it’s really fun to work together.”

Brady Gemperline works with the team robot during Innovation Night. Photo by Daniel Petty

For Zach Kutsch, it’s the realistic ups and downs that make the practices and competitions exciting.

“It’s really enjoyable because it’s a lot of trial and error,” he said. “We have to do it over and over, and it’s really enjoyable when we finally finish the mission. It’s really fun when you finally hook one thing [and it works].”

Gemperline explained this type of learning is similar to what work is like in the real world, particularly in a STEM field.

“A lot of people get discouraged in school because they don’t do well in math or memorization of math facts,” said Gemperline. “So, I think when they do something like this, they realize it’s not just all memorization.

“They’re free to experiment and fail,” he said. “As long as they persevere, they know that they can do this amazing technical work. If they’re inspired to know they can do it, that’s the most important thing for me that they take away.”

The boys are confident the skills they continue to gain through FIRST will help them flourish in the classroom and beyond.

Coach Chris Gemperline (right), alongside Rowan Gemperline, guides his team during an exhibition Lego League match at the school. Photo by Daniel Petty

“We learn gracious professionalism,” said Gomez. “We try to engage with other teams as much as possible.”

“We also learn how to present really well,” said Brady. “And we have fun while doing it.”

As the Lions look forward to the world championship, they desire most importantly to have fun and continue to build a spirit of fellowship among teams across the competition.

Gemperline also hopes his team’s presence helps break the stereotype that Catholics don’t believe in science, technology and engineering.

“As a Catholic engineer, I’m constantly faced with that debate,” he said. “It’s just not true.

“I think it’s important when parents are choosing schools that they recognize that we place a high value on science, technology, engineering and math, as well as our Catholic faith.

“I think it’s a proud demonstration of the bright minds that we can generate from our school,” he said.