What does it mean to be blessed? There are some in our society who would try to tell us that one who is blessed by God can demonstrate these blessings materially—through possessions, money, power, or influence. There are even some so called Christians who try to promote a Gospel of affluence. They tell us that the way to measure someone’s blessings is to look at the size of their home, the brand of car they drive, what kind of clothing they wear, and where and what they choose to eat. A few weeks ago, on the 6 th Sunday in Ordinary time, we were confronted with the difficult words of Jesus … [Read more...] about As we enter the Season of Lent – What does it mean to be Blessed?
St. John the BaptistOrthodox icon of the Byzantine style. Being named John, I have many saints to call upon to intercede for me as I struggle to navigate my way through life in this world. When I was younger, I would often focus my efforts on asking St. John the Evangelist, the Beloved Disciple, to intercede for me. And while I knew that St. John the Baptist was just as important, in fact, the very one of whom Jesus said that “no greater man born of woman” has ever lived, I so often kept him at arm’s length. I’m not sure why I shied away from John the Baptist. Maybe it was his reputation … [Read more...] about Chaplain’s Corner – Advent 2021
This past weekend, my parish was visited by a priest from Nigeria for our annual Mission Appeal. While this annual appeal is something every parish in the United States is expected to take part in each year, I have learned from experience that it can sometimes be difficult, whether due to the heavy accent of the speaker, the logistics involved with travel and housing, ensuring that nothing else is happening in the parish that weekend which would take attention away from appeal itself, and of course the fact that so often the person preaching the appeal is unaware of time constraints associate … [Read more...] about The Chaplain’s Corner
Christians, praise the paschal victim!Offer thankful sacrifice!Christ the Lamb has saved the sheep,Christ the just one paid the price,Reconciling sinners to the Father.Death and life fought bitterlyFor this wondrous victory;The Lord of Life who died reigns glorified!Easter SequenceRoman Rite, Eleventh Century “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad, alleluia!” This the day which follows the night of nights, the mother of all vigils. This is the day of our salvation, in which we celebrate the triumph of light over darkness, of love over hatred, of life over death. … [Read more...] about Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord
The season of Lent begins tomorrow, February 17 with the observance of Ash Wednesday, a day of abstinence from meat for all Catholics and a day of fasting for all Catholics between the ages of 18 and 59 except for those who are exempt for reasons of health. But do we really understand what it means to fast and to abstain? While the letter of the law is very clear, the spirit of the law is often misconstrued. For example, eating lobster on a Friday during Lent certainly fulfills the letter of the law. But I would suggest that it violates the spirit of the law. Rather, we can learn from the … [Read more...] about As We Prepare to Enter the Season of Lent
Today is December 26, the Second Day of Christmas and the Feast of Saint Stephen. As I write this article for the January newsletter, it is a frigid 14 degrees. The snow, which began falling around 4:00 PM on Christmas eve, was still coming down when I went to bed last night. It drifted over night, blown about by a strong, cold wind. My fear, up until the last few days before Christmas, was that so many of the faithful would show up for our Christmas Masses that we would not be able to welcome them safely with the pandemic protocols in place. That fear was replaced early on Christmas Eve with … [Read more...] about The Feast of Epiphany—New Year and New Beginnings
As I write this on this eve of the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, known affectionately in the English speaking world as Our Lady’s Day in August, and just a week from the Feast of Our Lady of Knock on August 21, our attention as Catholics of Irish descent naturally turns toward our Blessed Mother and her role in this history of our salvation. I first visited Knock in April of 2013 with my cousin Christine. We were in Ireland for the first time and used a bed and breakfast in Knock as our base of operations while combing the countryside doing family … [Read more...] about Our Lady of Knock