In Brief

In Brief
Two churches in Washington state burn in apparent arson attacks

Two church buildings – one Baptist, one Catholic – were damaged by fires in apparent arson attacks in Brewster, a town in central Washington.

Sacred Heart Catholic Church suffered some fire damage near the sanctuary from an incendiary device dropped through a broken window early November 15. New Testament Baptist Church, located a block away, suffered more serious fire damage to its interior the same morning.

Investigators have deemed the fire at Sacred Heart to be intentional, police say. The police have not yet made the same pronouncement about the fire at the Baptist church, but the investigation is ongoing.

Father Pedro Bautista, Sacred Heart’s pastor, told CNA that most of Sacred Heart’s parishioners are Hispanic, and that the community is “fearful” after the incident.


Catholic archdiocese of Vienna sees rise in seminarians

The archdiocese of Vienna has reported a rise in the number of men training for the priesthood.

Fourteen new candidates entered the archdiocese’s three seminaries this autumn. Eleven of them are from Vienna archdiocese and the remaining three are from the dioceses of Eisenstadt and St Pölten.

The archdiocese brought its three seminaries together under one roof in 2012. In total, 52 candidates are now training there. The oldest was born in 1946 and the youngest in 2000, reported CNA Deutsch, November 19.

According to the archdiocese, the candidates come from a wide variety of backgrounds. They include musicians, chemists, nurses, former civil servants and a winemaker.


Young people attend ‘Economy of Francesco’

Inspired by St Francis of Assisi and by Pope Francis, 2,000 young adults met online to discuss making the economy more responsive to human dignity and more respectful of creation.

The economists, entrepreneurs and “change-makers,” all of whom were under age 35, were not calling for an end to capitalism but for a style of doing business that focused on creating jobs, wealth and human flourishing without excluding anyone and without destroying the environment.

The Economy of Francesco project, sponsored in part by the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, hosted a virtual global meeting November 19-21. The young adults were joined by experts in their fields who participated in their online discussions, offered encouragement and gave feedback for ways to improve their projects and research.


Pope appoints new Sistine Chapel Choir Director

Pope Francis appointed a new director of the Sistine Chapel Choir last Sunday.

The Pope named the Brazilian Msgr Marcos Pavan as Maestro Director of the Cappella Musicale Pontificia Sistina November 22, the Feast of St Cecilia.

Msgr Pavan had served as interim director following the departure of Salesian priest Fr Massimo Palombella in July 2019 after a nine-year tenure.

Msgr Pavan, 58, has served with the Cappella Musicale Pontificia Sistina since 1998. He previously oversaw the Pueri Cantores, or boys’ choir, section of the Sistine Chapel Choir.

The Sistine Chapel Choir consists of 20 professional singers from around the world, as well as a treble section made up of 35 boys, aged 9-13.

With a 1,500-year history, the Sistine Chapel Choir is believed to be the oldest active choir in the world.