Pope appoints first Haitian cardinal


It's a happy time for two of South Florida's ethnic groups, and Archbishop Thomas Wenski of the Archdiocese of South Florid are leading the rejoicing over the recent appointments of two new cardinals.

The appointments of Bishop Chibly Langlois, 55, of Les Cayes, Haiti, and Archbishop Leopoldo Jose Brenes, 65, of Managua, Nicaragua, were announced on Jan. 12, by Pope Francis. The two, who have visited South Florida in the past, are among 19 new cardinals, who will receive their red hats at a consistory on Feb. 22 in the Vatican.

Langlois, who serves as president of the Haitian Bishop's Conference, and who frequently visits South Florida, is the youngest of the new cardinals and the only one who is not an archbishop. His visits here is usually in conjunction with the meetings of the Partnership for the Reconstruction of the Church in Haiti, which is hosted by Wenski. Langlois also is the first-ever Haitian cardinal.

Wenski said the announcement coincided with the fourth anniversary of the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti. He said "the appointment of Cardinal Langlois ... will bring much needed attention to Haiti and the plight of its people, who still struggle to recover from the aftermath of the earthquake, as well as from the endemic poverty of the island nation of some nine million people."

Brenes, only the second Nicaraguan to be named a cardinal. Wenski said, "In naming Brenes, the Pope wanted to recognize a church that is poor in material resources but rich in faith."

Wenski also said, "With the naming of these new cardinals, the Pope continues his efforts on behalf of the poor." He said Brenes is well known in the Nicaraguan community in Miami because he has visited here on various occasions. “I hope soon to have the opportunity to give him a warm welcome when he visits us in the future as a cardinal."

Adult Jewish learning

The Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning will open its Spring Semester of classes to begin on Feb. 4. Classes are hosted in area synagogues throughout Miami-Dade and online registration is available at

According to information from the Center for the Advancement of Jewish Education (CAJE), the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning is part of an international network of schools that seeks to inspire, enlighten and challenge adult learners from all segments of the Jewish community to study Judaism and seriously and comprehensively, by going far beyond one-hour lectures or short-term seminars. The school is committed to teaching Judaism's common roots and heritage in a pluralistic way. It is not affiliated with any movement in Judaism and is appropriate for students of any background who have a beginning or intermediate knowledge of Judaism.

The school's faculty is comprised of university professors, Jewish educators, and rabbis.

Classes are held once a week for 12 sessions and morning, afternoon and evening sessions are available.

Courses offered at North Dade/Aventura include: "Pirkei Avot: The Rabbis' Self Improvement Guide," "Jewish Wisdom for Jewish Living," "Jewish Personalities who Impacted Jewish History," "Everyday Holiness: The Jewish Spiritual Path of Mussar," "The Problem of Evil: Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People," and “Judiasm, Christianity, Islam: Confronting Competing Narratives and Exploring How Ancient Rivalries Determine Contemporary Conflicts.”

In Miami Beach and Central Dade County the courses will include: "Bringing God and Spirituality into My Relationships" and "Qualities and Challenges of Leadership: The Books of Joshua and Judges."

Classes at South Dade/Pinecrest will include "Jewish Mysticism and Kabbalah: Secret Knowledge in Judaism,” “A Biography of the Bible," and "The Many Meanings of Being 'Jewish.' "

You may see the full spring catalog of courses and be able to register online. For more information call 305-576-4030, ext. 128 or 117.

Israeli ‘war hero’ to speak

Eli Yablonek, an Israeli war hero and one of Israel's most decorated soldiers in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, will be the guest speaker at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Temple Beth El in Hollywood at 1351 S. 14th Ave.

Yablonek lost his eyesight and an arm in the battle, but his heroic actions halted the enemy advance. His guide dog Glen, from the Israel Guide Dog Center for the blind, will be with him at the service.

Also, on Sunday at Temple Beth El, the Gala Winter Concert, starring Cantor Manny and Luisa Lubell, will be held at 4 p.m. Preferred seating is $36 and includes a pre-concert wine and cheese reception. General admission is $20 per person. To RSVP for the concert, call the temple office at 954-920-8225.

‘Indoor Garage Sale’

It is time again for the annual Winter Indoor Garage Sale at Palm Springs United Methodist Church, 5700 W. 12th Ave. in Hialeah. The sale, held two weekends — on Jan, 31 and Feb. 1, and Feb. 7 and 8 — will be from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day.

According to my friend Nancy Perez, the doors will open early in the Fellowship Hall, with a "large variety of items" to include clothing, linens, records, videos, baby items, luggage, lamps, pictures, craft supplies and collectables and antiques.

In the back building on the church's grounds, will be a large selection of old and new books and items for Valentine's Day, Easter and other holidays. In room nine, there will be a large variety of toys and things for children to enjoy.

And as always, lunch and snacks will also be for sale. Perez said all money raised is used for church work and missions. For more information call 305-821-3232, 305-821-2073, or send an email to:

‘Respect Life’ workshops

Respect Life workshops will be held at three Catholic churches in Miami Dade County.

On Jan. 25, the workshop will be at St. Louis Church at 7270 SW 120th St. in Pinecrest; the Feb. 8 workshop will be at St. Rose of Lima Church, 415 NE 105th St. in Miami Shores, and the March 15 workshop will be at St. John Neumann Church, 12125 SW 107th Ave. in Kendall.

The workshops will be on the Catholic Church's teaching of "critical" life issues and are meant to call attention to various human life issues impacting society today. Some topics to be discusses will include: human sexuality, abortion and post abortion, Project Rachel, in vitro fertilization and euthanasia.

Lunch will be served as a part of the program. For more information and to RSVP for the event, contact Respect Life at 954-981-2922.

Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Religion Notes, c/o Neighbors, 2000 NW 150th Ave., Suite 1105, Pembroke Pines, FL 33028, fax it to 954-538-7018 or email Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.

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