Bulletin Extras
Local stories and or articles that are not available in any of the current printed versions of The Bishop's Bulletin.
Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston presents 2015 People of Life Awards  
Wednesday, July 29, 2015  10:00 AM
Washington, D.C. - A nurse, a chastity educator, and the retired director of the bishops’ national grassroots organization received the 2015 People of Life Award for lifetime commitment to the pro-life movement, July 27, during the annual Diocesan Pro-Life Leadership Conference in Kansas City, Kansas. Cardinal Sean O’Malley, OFM Cap., of Boston, chair of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), presented the awards to Nancy Valko, Molly Kelly, and Michael Taylor. Over 120 diocesan, state and national Catholic pro-life leaders and guests from across the country attended the private awards dinner sponsored by the USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities.

Nancy Valko was recognized for her professional and volunteer advocacy, especially on disability and end-of-life issues. A registered nurse since 1969, she worked for 45 years in critical care, oncology, hospice, home health and other specialties. Valko formerly served as president of Missouri Nurses for Life, board member of the Saint Louis Down Syndrome Association, and co-chair of the St. Louis Archdiocesan Respect Life Committee. She is currently a spokesperson for the National Association of Pro-Life Nurses and serves as a legal nurse consultant with the Valko Group. Having cared for family members as well as patients with chronic conditions, disabilities and terminal illness, her compassionate insight informs her many presentations, media appearances, and articles on medical ethics in Catholic publications and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Valko has become a significant voice in the fight against assisted suicide.

Molly Kelly was honored for her decades as a pro-life speaker and chastity educator. Widowed as the mother of eight children, Molly began speaking in local schools on prenatal development and life affirming options for pregnant girls. While raising her family, she opened their home to five unwed mothers in need of support. Called to address the issue of chastity at first locally, and then in every state as well as Canada, Great Britain, and Australia, she engaged over 50,000 high school youth each year with the message of “saved sex.” Rather than moralizing or teaching merely abstinence, she proposed the beauty of self-control with frankness and affectionate humor. Her popular videos, including “Face-to-Face with Teens: Molly Kelly,” “Teens and Chastity” and “Abortion,” expanded her outreach to countless other youth in public and private schools, equipping them with the tools to make wise, healthy decisions in their relationships.

Michael Taylor was honored for 46 years of pro-life leadership, including 26 at the bishops’ pro-life grassroots mobilization organization, the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment (NCHLA). He holds a doctorate of sacred theology from The Catholic University of America. After Roe v. Wade in 1973, he helped to form NCHLA and to shape the bishops' Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities, which guides Catholic efforts in pro-life education, pastoral care, prayer, and public policy. From 1975-79, he served as associate director of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, where he helped design the annual Respect Life Program still used in dioceses across the country. Taylor established and served as the first executive director of the National Right to Life Committee. He was also appointed to the Pontifical Council for the Family for five years. As director of NCHLA, he oversaw several massive postcard campaigns, in which over 138 million Catholics called upon Congress to enact the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban, oppose the “Freedom of Choice Act,” support conscience rights and maintain pro-life measures already in law. Today NCHLA’s online action center is the hub of Catholic grassroots email activity on federal laws and policies, and their website, www.EndRoe.org, is a comprehensive resource for students studying abortion law in the United States.

The People of Life Award recognizes Catholics who have answered the call outlined by Pope John Paul II in The Gospel of Life (Evangelium Vitae, 1995), dedicating themselves to pro-life activities and promoting respect for the dignity of the human person. It is bestowed in honor of their significant contributions to the culture of life.

Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, and a long-time member of the bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, offered his congratulations as well.

Valko, Kelly, and Taylor join 25 other People of Life Award recipients since the Pro-Life Secretariat inaugurated it in 2007. More information on previous recipients and on the People of Life campaign is available at: www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/people-of-life/people-of-life-award.cfm


Pope Francis names three auxiliary bishops to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, accepts resignation of Auxiliary Bishop Gerald E. Wilkerson  
Tuesday, July 21, 2015  2:24 PM
Washington, D.C. - Pope Francis has appointed three auxiliary bishops to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and accepted the resignation of Bishop Gerald E. Wilkerson, 75, another Los Angeles auxiliary. The bishops-elect are Msgr. Joseph V. Brennan, 61, a priest of Los Angeles and until now vicar general and moderator of the curia, Father Robert Barron, 55, a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago and until now rector of Mundelein Seminary, and Msgr. David G. O’Connell, 61, a priest of Los Angeles and until now pastor of St. Michael Parish in Los Angeles.

The appointment was publicized in Washington, July 21, by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Msgr. Joseph V. Brennan has served as vicar general and moderator of the curia of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles since 2013. He was born March 20, 1954, in Van Nuys, California. He completed philosophical and theological studies at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, California, and was ordained a priest of the archdiocese on June 21, 1980.

Assignments following ordination included parochial vicar of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Los Angeles (1980-1983), St. Linus Parish in Norwalk (1983-1987), and St. Vibiana Cathedral, Los Angeles (1987-1991); as well as pastor of St. Linus in Norwalk (1992-2004) and Holy Trinity Catholic Church, San Pedro (2004-2012). He began service as chaplain to the Southern California Knights of Columbus in 1995, served on the presbyteral council, 2003-2008, and resided at Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral in Los Angeles, 2012-2013. He was named a Chaplain of His Holiness (Monsignor) in 2005.

Father Robert Barron has served as rector of Mundelein Seminary and president of University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, Illinois, since 2012. He was born November 19, 1959, in Chicago, Illinois. He holds a master’s in philosophy from The Catholic University of America in Washington (1982), a licentiate in sacred theology from University of St. Mary of the Lake (1986) and a doctorate in sacred theology from Institut Catholique de Paris (1992). He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago in May 1986.

Assignments following ordination included associate pastor of St. Paul of the Cross Church in Park Ridge, Illinois (1986-1989), Institut Catholique de Paris (1989-1992), professor of systematic theology at University of St. Mary of the Lake (1992), visiting professor at the University of Notre Dame (2002) and the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Rome (2007) and scholar in residence at the Pontifical North American College, Rome (2007, 2010, 2011). He was appointed the Francis Cardinal George Professor of Faith and Culture at Mundelein Seminary in 2008. While teaching in the United States, he served in parishes throughout the Chicago Archdiocese during weekends. Bishop-elect Barron is fluent in French and has reading and some speaking knowledge of German.

Msgr. David G. O’Connell has served as pastor of St. Michael Parish in Los Angeles since 2003. He was born August 16, 1953, in Cork, County Cork, Ireland, and attended All Hallows College in Dublin. He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles on June 10, 1979.

Assignments following ordination included associate pastor of St. Raymond Parish, Downey (1979-1983), St. Maria Goretti Parish, Long Beach (1983-1984) and St. Hilary Parish, Pico Rivera (1984-1988); and pastor of St. Frances X. Cabrini Parish, Los Angeles (1988-1998) and Ascension Parish, Los Angeles (1998-2003). He was named a Prelate of Honor (Monsignor) on November 30, 1999. He served on the presbyteral council (1996-2002, 2003-2006), the priests’ pension board (2000-2004) and as dean of the Inglewood Deanery (2011-2014).

Bishop Gerald E. Wilkerson was born October 21, 1939, in Des Moines, Iowa. He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles on January 5, 1965, appointed an auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles on November 4, 1997, and ordained a bishop January 21, 1998.

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles comprises 8,762 square miles in Southern California. It has a total population of 11,518,233 people, of whom 4,362,469, or 38 percent, are Catholic. It is the largest diocese by Catholic population in the United States. The archdiocese has four other active auxiliary bishops and two other retired ones.


Subcommittee on aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe awards $5 million in grants  
Monday, July 20, 2015  12:11 PM
Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe approved 177 grants totaling more than $5.2 million in aid to finance pastoral, educational, and construction projects in Central and Eastern Europe. Funding for these grants comes from the annual Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe.

The projects focus on providing scholarships; rebuilding churches, schools, and orphanages; programs for youth and children; and outreach to the poor. The projects will be implemented in 23 countries, covering a geographical area spanning Eastern Europe into Central Asia. The Subcommittee evaluated and approved grant proposals on June 9 during the bishops’ annual spring General Assembly in St. Louis, Missouri.

“Recovery from Soviet rule in Central and Eastern Europe has been a slow and challenging process,” said Archbishop Blase J. Cupich of Chicago, chairman of the Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe. “Catholics in this area are in great need of our help. The Church is doing much to support the rebuilding not only of the churches and structures, but also the lives of individuals both spiritually and physically.”

Caritas Georgia received a grant to support its soup kitchen in Tbilisi, Georgia, where they provide food for poor families, children, individuals with mental and physical disabilities, and internally displaced persons. The soup kitchen serves 194 people daily.

In Kazakhstan, in the Diocese of Astana, the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate have provided food, clothing and medicine to the poor since 2006. Their ministry has more than doubled and now assist about 120 people in need. This grant will ensure that they continue providing those services, plus coal and firewood during the harsh wintertime.

The Subcommittee also approved nearly $520,000 in scholarship grants for 68 students from Central and Eastern Europe. These scholarships are provided for priests, religious, and lay people to continue their education, typically at the doctoral level. After they complete their studies, they return to their local parishes to serve the pastoral needs of their home communities.

“I am grateful for all who have so generously contributed to this collection,” said Archbishop Cupich. “Your support makes these grants possible. There is a great need, and your prayers, along with your financial support go a long way to strengthen the Church in this area and provide a foundation to build upon for future generations.”

The Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe oversees the Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe as part of the USCCB Committee on National Collections. The national date for this collection is on Ash Wednesday. However, some dioceses take it up at other times during the year. More information on the work of the Subcommittee is available online www.usccb.org/ccee.


Bishops’ chairmen renew push to end death penalty, cite progress of last decade  
Thursday, July 16, 2015  3:47 PM
Washington, D.C. - The bishops chairing two committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) renewed the bishops’ opposition to the death penalty in a message, July 16. The message commemorated the 10th anniversary of the bishops’ Catholic Campaign to End the Use of the Death Penalty and their accompanying message, “A Culture of Life and the Penalty of Death.”

“Our faith tradition offers a unique perspective on crime and punishment, one grounded in mercy and healing, not punishment for its own sake. No matter how heinous the crime, if society can protect itself without ending a human life, it should do so. Today, we have this capability,” wrote Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, OFM Cap., of Boston, chair of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami, chair of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.

The bishops cited progress over the last decade, including several states abolishing the death penalty, other states enacting moratoria, and death sentences being at their lowest level since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976. The bishops also noted Pope Francis’ call for an end to the use of the death penalty.

“Pope Francis, like his predecessors, provides a clear and prophetic voice for life and mercy in calling for all people of good will to work to end the use of the death penalty,” Archbishop Wenski said of the message. “In anticipation of Pope Francis’s visit to the United States in September, we join our voices with his and continue our call for a culture of life. As a people of life, we say it is time for the U.S. to abandon use of the death penalty.”

The full text of the message is available online: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/criminal-justice-restorative-justice/wenski-omalley-end-of-death-penalty-2015-07-16.cfm


Archbishop George J. Lucas of Omaha, Nebraska applauds congressional action to reauthorize elementary secondary and education act  
Thursday, July 16, 2015  3:45 PM
Washington, D.C. - Archbishop George J. Lucas of Omaha, Nebraska, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Catholic Education, applauded recent action by the Senate and the House to reauthorize the Elementary Secondary and Education Act (ESEA). The Senate passed the Every Child Achieves Act (S. 1177), July 16. The House of Representatives passed the Student Success Act (HR 5), July 8. Both bills contain significant improvements for providing equitable services for students and teachers in religious, private and independent schools.

“This is wonderful news and a testament to what can be achieved when we put the needs of children first,” Archbishop Lucas said. “The members of Congress, by passing legislation to reauthorize ESEA have put us one step closer towards restoring equity and ensuring that all children are afforded the educational services, benefits and opportunity our government has to offer, regardless of the type of school they attend.”

Since 1965, ESEA has upheld the principle that students in need, regardless of whether they attend a public or private school, are entitled to an equitable share of services and benefits.


All volumes of The Saint John’s Bible to be displayed  
Wednesday, July 15, 2015  12:18 PM
The Benedictine Institute of Leadership, Ethics and Social Justice is pleased to host The Saint John’s Bible at Mount Marty College in Yankton for the 2015 year. Two volumes of a seven-volume Heritage Edition set have been available at MMC since the start of 2015. The public may now view all seven volumes of The Saint John’s Bible on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and Wednesdays from 6:00 to 8:00 pm in the boardroom on campus.

The first public opportunity to view all seven volumes of The Saint John’s Bible was Wednesday, July 8 in the boardroom at MMC. The event ran from 6 to 8 p.m. and included a DVD and viewing of the bible, along with a free reception. The boardroom is located in the Scholastica Learning Center (SLC) just down the hall from the library.

The Saint John’s Bible, the first hand-written, hand-illuminated bible in over 500 years, was made possible through the efforts of St. John’s University and the monks of St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, MN.

Other viewings and arrangements for groups and organizations to engage with The Saint John’s Bible can be made by contacting Andrew Henrickson, 605-668-1495, ahenrickson@mtmc.edu. Arrangements may also be made for a volume of The Saint John’s Bible to be brought to you. Visit www.mtmc.edu/benedictineinstitute/stjohnsbible.aspx for more information.

Mount Marty College, located in Yankton, South Dakota, is a Catholic, Benedictine, coeducational institute of higher learning founded in 1936 by the Sisters of Saint Benedict of Yankton, South Dakota. In keeping with the Benedictine tradition, the college exists as a community of learners. Primary emphasis is placed on the development of each person as a complete human being with intellectual competence, professional and personal skills, and a composite of moral, spiritual, and social values. With an enrollment of over 1,100 students at all three locations and approximately 600 students located on the Yankton campus, Mount Marty College is the region’s premier institution for higher learning. To learn more about Mount Marty College visit www.mtmc.edu.

 

Donors have positive effect on Mount Marty College Watertown tuition  
Wednesday, July 15, 2015  11:20 AM
During a press conference held at the Mount Marty College Watertown location on Thursday, June 25, Mount Marty College Interim President, Dr. Thomas Lorang, announced that the college has lowered the tuition rate by more than 25% at its Watertown location for the 2015-16 academic year.

According to Dr. Linda Schurmann, Interim Director at Mount Marty College in Watertown, the tuition cost of $250 per credit and fee of $45 per credit results in costs that are very competitive with four-year, state-supported colleges in South Dakota. Schurmann explained that Mount Marty College in Watertown was able to reduce tuition costs, in part, because of a recent fundraising drive in which contributions from alumni, faculty, friends and area businesses were generously matched by a challenge grant from David and Jan Johnson, long-time supporters of Mount Marty College Watertown.

“In an era of rising student costs, our reduced tuition promotes increased opportunities for current and prospective students and confirms the 36 year commitment of Mount Marty College to the Watertown area,” Schurmann explained.

Mount Marty College has been a part of the Watertown community since 1979. Its current academic programs were designed for students with full-time jobs and family obligations who wanted to earn a baccalaureate degree. The majority of current Watertown students continue to represent this important demographic.

With most classes meeting just once a week in the late afternoon and evening, students at the Watertown location can earn a full Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education, accounting, business, criminal justice, human service, or psychology, or may pursue one of several degree-completion programs. Courses and degrees are fully-accredited so credits are transferrable to other colleges and universities.

The reduced rate is effective for new and current students for the 2015-16 academic year, which begins August 31, 2015.

For more information on Mount Marty College Watertown visit www.mtmc.edu/watertown or call 605-886-6777.

Mount Marty College, located in Yankton, Watertown, and Sioux Falls South Dakota, is a Catholic, Benedictine, coeducational institute of higher learning founded in 1936 by the Sisters of Saint Benedict of Yankton, South Dakota. In keeping with the Benedictine tradition, the college exists as a community of learners. Primary emphasis is placed on the development of each person as a complete human being with intellectual competence, professional and personal skills, and a composite of moral, spiritual, and social values. With an enrollment of over 1,100 students at all three locations and approximately 600 students located on the main Yankton campus, Mount Marty College is the region’s premier institution for higher learning. To learn more about Mount Marty College visit www.mtmc.edu.

 

Subcommittee on the Church in Africa awards over $1.2 million in grants  
Wednesday, July 15, 2015  11:07 AM
Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Subcommittee on the Church in Africa approved 47 grants for a total of $1,205,236.00 to support pastoral projects for the Church in Africa. The Subcommittee evaluated and approved the grant proposals at a meeting held in conjunction with the USCCB Spring General Assembly in St. Louis, Missouri.

The funded projects focus on providing pastoral support to the rapidly growing Church in Africa. This often includes supporting the Church’s response in caring for migrants, refugees, youth and children, and those living in extreme poverty. Of extreme importance and a primary focus are programs for catechetical and leadership formation as well as those that build faith and strengthen families.

“The Church in Africa is fully alive and developing at a rapid pace. It is vital to assist Catholics there by providing urgently needed pastoral support,” said Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington and chairman of the Subcommittee on the Church in Africa. “The people of Africa greatly benefit from proper training in pastoral care, leadership, and management. The support from the Church in the United States is integral to helping the Church in Africa become self-sustaining and meet the spiritual needs of its people.”

In Angola, the Archdiocese of Luanda and the Dioceses of Viana and Caxito received a grant for a formation program of the laity in the pastoral care of migrants and itinerant people. With this grant, these dioceses will provide training, workshops, and retreats for pastoral workers, formation and training for migrant communities, and preparation of materials in different languages. It will help parishes to combat xenophobia and welcome and integrate foreigners into local parishes.

A grant was awarded in Ethiopia to support formation and training in the pastoral care of families. In light of the upcoming Synod on the Family, this program will provide resources and workshops to fully understand Christian marriage and the Church’s teaching on marriage. Topics will include challenges facing families in Ethiopia, understanding the sacrament of marriage as explained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, formation of laity on marriage and teaching children to grow in faith, and providing pastoral care for married couples.

The Diocese of Cape Palmas in Liberia received a grant to establish a Catholic women’s organization. This project will help promote the rights and dignity of women in the Church and society, unite Catholic women to work collaboratively, develop leadership skills and awareness of the country’s civil law, and promote natural family planning and healthy lifestyles.

These grants are funded by donations to an annual collection for the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa. The Subcommittee on the Church in Africa oversees the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa as part of the USCCB Committee on National Collections. The Subcommittee also allocates the revenue received as pastoral grants to African episcopal conferences and their regional associations in Africa.

More information on the work of the Subcommittee on the Church in Africa can be found online at: http://www.usccb.org/africa


USCCB subcommittee approves over $3 million in grants to the Church in Latin America  
Tuesday, July 14, 2015  4:20 PM
Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America approved funding for 228 projects, totaling more than $3.3 million. The funds will be disbursed as grants to aid the pastoral work of the Church in the Caribbean and Latin America.

The top funded countries in this grant cycle are Colombia, Peru, Haiti, Mexico, and Ecuador. Projects include training of lay catechists, youth ministries, evangelization and communication. The projects were approved at the Subcommittee’s meeting on June 8 in St. Louis, Missouri.

The diocese of Managua in Nicaragua received a grant to strengthen its sign-language ministry, which aims to better serve the needs of hearing-impaired Catholics and facilitate their access to receive the sacraments, attend Mass and fully participate in the life of the parish. Participants will learn sign language for religious themes, attend religious education classes and participate in a retreat.

The Subcommittee also approved projects to support the cultural and religious heritage of those of African descent living in Latin America and the Caribbean. One project in the Archdiocese of Cali in Colombia will use music and dance to help children, adolescents and adults live out their faith within their culture. Topics of the various workshops include the history of musical instruments, Afro-Colombian music history, and faith and culture in the New Evangelization. Another project will fund a youth congress in the English-speaking Caribbean.

Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle and Subcommittee chairman, recently visited the City of Cartagena in Colombia, the site of the tomb of St. Peter Claver and several projects the Subcommittee supports in that archdiocese. “The people of Latin America and the Caribbean have a rich culture and heritage, and grants in this ministry area support projects that deepen their faith,” Bishop Elizondo said. “The generosity of Catholics in the United States is inspiring and so valuable for our brothers and sisters in Latin America and the Caribbean. I am grateful for all of the support given to these projects to foster a growth in faith.”

In addition, the subcommittee also approved $346,000 for 32 pastoral projects for Haiti and $574,750 to four reconstruction grants for Church buildings in Haiti. Funding for these projects comes from the special collection for Haiti taken in 2010. All USCCB aid for reconstruction work in Haiti goes through the Partnership for Reconstruction of the Church in Haiti (PROCHE), an entity of the Haitian Bishops’ Conference.

“Much has been achieved in Haiti in providing both the immediate humanitarian aid and in long-term support for reconstruction,” said Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, chairman of the subcommittee’s Haiti Advisory Group. “But there is a still a lot of work to be done. We will continue to stand with the people of Haiti and work with them through the reconstruction process,” he added.

The Collection for the Church in Latin America is scheduled for the fourth Sunday in January, but some dioceses take it up on other dates. More information about the Collection for the Church in Latin America and the projects it supports can be found at: www.usccb.org/latin-america.


Archbishop Thomas Wenski, of Miami, Florida, Catholic Charities USA’s Sister Donna Markham urge support for Second Chance Act  
Tuesday, July 14, 2015  3:10 PM
Washington, D.C. - Congress should address challenges faced by the more than 650,000 men, women and juveniles who reenter society each year from prisons, jails and detention centers. This was the message of the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development and the president of Catholic Charities USA in a July 8 letter supporting the Second Chance Act (S. 1513).

“Those who return to our communities from incarceration face significant challenges. These include finding housing and stable employment, high rates of substance abuse, physical and mental health challenges and social isolation,” wrote Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami and Dominican Sister Donna Markham in a July 8 letter to the chair and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Archbishop Wenski and Sister Markham wrote that, without necessary support services, these individuals have an increased chance of re-offending.

“The Second Chance Act supports much needed programs in government agencies and nonprofit organizations that provide employment assistance, substance abuse treatment, housing, family programming, mentoring, victim support and other services to individuals returning to the community from prison or jail,” they wrote.

The full text of the letter is available online: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/criminal-justice-restorative-justice/letter-to-senate-judiciary-committee-on-second-chance-act-2015-07-08.cfm


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