Archdiocese of Washington
El Pregonero
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Your Catholic Online News Magazine
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Sunday, October 17, 2021
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  • Sister Sara Ann Abell, who taught hundreds how to read, dies at age 102
    Sister Sara Ann Abell, a Sister of Charity of Nazareth for 84 years, who served for more than two decades in Southern Maryland, died Jan. 24 in Louisville, Ky. She was 102 years old.
  • Msgr. Gillen, longtime priest secretary to Cardinal Baum, dies at age 94
    Msgr. James G. Gillen, a longtime priest secretary to Cardinal William Baum, the former archbishop of Washington, died on Jan. 3 at the age of 94. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Jan. 8 at the chapel of Little Sisters of the Poor’s Jeanne Jugan Residence in Washington, D.C., where he had been a resident for several years.

  • SOAR! annual dinner supports aging religious
    In 1986, a growing number of religious communities were struggling to provide for their aging members.  As Wall Street Journal reporter John Fialka wrote, some orders were even selling their properties or had members on welfare so that they could provide for their retired sisters and brothers.

  • Dr. William May, theologian, praised for his faith and devotion to his family
    A Dec. 20 Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated for Dr. William E. May, a prominent Catholic moral theologian and author, at Holy Redeemer Church in Kensington. Dr. May died Dec. 13 at the age of 86.
  • Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete, noted theologian and author, dies at age 73
    Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete, theologian, author, physicist and one of the leaders of the lay Catholic movement Communion and Liberation died Oct. 24 in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. after a lengthy illness. He was 73.
  • Funeral Mass honors fallen Korean War soldier whose remains were identified

    Separated from his family and his country by 6,700 miles and 63 years, Army Private 1st Class Arthur Richardson came home last week, as a Funeral Mass was held for him at Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian Church in Washington, and he was buried with honors at Arlington National Cemetery.

  • Father Michael Blackwell, a decorated U.S. Navy veteran and retired priest who served the the Archdiocese of Washington for more than 40 years, died June 14. He was 81 years old and a resident of Carroll Manor.
  • Gertrude Charity Duckett, a longtime member of Most Holy Rosary Parish in Rosaryville, died recently. She was 102 years old.

    A certain magic surrounds the name "Grandpa Joe" for anyone who has read Roald Dahl's classic children's book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" or who has seen one of the Willy Wonka movies inspired by it. In that story, a young boy named Charlie unwraps a candy bar to find one of the prized golden tickets, enabling the winner to tour the magical and mysterious chocolate factory. His Grandpa Joe, a sprightly old fellow, springs out of bed, dances a happy jig and accompanies Charlie on a wondrous adventure.
  • At 90, priest compared to Pope Francis for his service to the poor
    Two days before his 90th birthday on April 7, Msgr. Ralph Kuehner celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Derwood, and during the Mass, the priest noted for his service to the area's poor was compared to the current pope named for the parish's patron saint.
  • Retired University of Maryland food services manager runs parish's food pantry in Prince Frederick
    On any given Wednesday afternoon, the small frame building beside St. John Vianney Church in Prince Frederick becomes one of the largest church-run food pantries in Calvert County, serving 100-115 clients of all ages and backgrounds. The leader of the band of volunteers there is Larry Donnelly, 74, who retired after a 35-year-career of managing food service for students at the University of Maryland.
  • Father Torsiello, founding pastor of St. John Neumann Parish, dies at age 83
    A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated for Father Ralph C. Torsiello, the founding pastor of St. John Neumann Parish in Gaithersburg, on Jan. 3. He died on Dec. 29 at the age of 83.
  • Father William F.X. Berry, a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington for almost 47 years, died Oct. 21. He was 76, and a resident of Grace House in Silver Spring. "He loved being a priest," said Msgr. Joseph Ranieri, the Archdiocese of Washington's coordinator of pastoral care for priests and a friend of Father Berry.
  • Victory Court senior housing dedicated in Rockville
    Cardinal Donald Wuerl joined county leaders and city officials Oct. 24 in dedicating Victory Court, a Rockville housing community for senior citizens. The 86-unit affordable apartment community was a joint venture between Victory Housing, the Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs, the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County and Capital One Bank.
  • Priest's act of kindness inspired Dick Ridgway's lifetime of service to others
    After graduating from Gonzaga College High School in 1954, where he was a member of its championship basketball team, Dick Ridgway could not afford to attend college. His dad had died when he was young. But a priest stepped forward, offering to pay for his first year of college and help get him started. Ridgway never forgot the generosity of Msgr. James Caulfield, the founding pastor of St. Jane de Chantal Parish in Bethesda who died in 1973.
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