It is first and foremost God who acts in the Sacred Liturgy of the Church. Pope Benedict XVI noted in his 2010 Chrism Mass homily, “Sacrament means that it is not primarily we who act, but God comes first to meet us through his action, he looks upon us and he leads us to himself. … God touches us through material things … that he takes up into his service, making them instruments of the encounter between us and himself.” Read more
‘Let us not love in word or speech, but in deed and in truth,” (1 Jn 3:18)
In the United States, more than 46 million people live in poverty. Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri (CCSOMO) is our local anti-poverty agency to help those in need find hope and a way to a more secure life. Catholic Charities puts faith into action. Read more
“From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God. The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead: Let us help and commemorate them. If Job’s sons were purified by their father’s sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them” —Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), 1032. Read more
I am currently reading A Pope and A President by Paul Kengor, a gift from Msgr. Edward Eftink, a retired priest of the diocese. It is a fascinating chronicle of President Reagan, Pope St. John Paul II, and of all things, the message of Fatima. It is a great read for history buffs.
Early on in the book is the quote, “War has forcibly separated husbands and wives, parents and children … It has caused the greatest and most tragic migration of peoples in all history. It has created a vast multitude of exiles, deluded, disheartened, desolate … In these homeless masses is the yeast for revolution and disorder.” Read more
As we celebrate the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, (Sept. 14) let us never fear to draw close to the sign of our salvation. May the Cross be a sign of victory in the midst of all suffering, particularly those who suffer from the poison of racism or the wrath of Hurricane Harvey. May we find comfort in the Cross and the heart of our merciful Father.
The sin of racism
On Aug. 14, 2017, I gathered with other members of the Council of Churches of the Ozarks to attend a Faith Voices Call to Action gathering in responding to the acts of hatred which began in Charlottesville and subsequently spread to other parts of our country.
The evil of racism with its tenets of “white supremacy” and “neo-Nazism“ has no place in a civilized society. Read more
Bishop Edward Rice was invited to speak to a gatheing of Catholic school teachers at the launch of the new academic year. His remarks follow:
Pope Francis, in his letter “Joy of the Gospel,” tells us “The joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus.” Francis reminds us that “the Church’s primary mission is to evangelize the world.” So, as we look to the beginning of another academic year in our schools, it is important to revisit what it is that we are about. Read more
By the time you read this column, many schools will be back in session and the summer will be a waning memory. Looking back on this past summer, I call it the “summer of blessings!”
In June, I traveled across the diocese offering Masses of Thanksgiving for the success of our diocesan Capital Endowment Campaign at St. Mary, Joplin, St. Agnes Cathedral, Springfield, Sacred Heart, Poplar Bluff, and St. Mary Cathedral, Cape Girardeau. It was a great way to acknowledge the generosity of our people to say “thank you” to so many of our parish leaders who worked behind the scenes organizing local fundraising efforts. Read more
Some of you may already know that I have a monthly prayer intention, just like the Pope! In August, I ask each of you to join me in prayer for the safety of all students returning to their courses of study, especially for those away from home for the first time, that they be strong in their faith.
I cannot tell you how many times parents have said to me, “My children do not practice the faith anymore. What can I do?” Unfortunately the statistics are not positive. Read more
As I write this, we’re gearing up for the second of two weekends of the Steubenville Mid-America Youth Conferences on the campus of Missouri State University. Thousands of young adults gathered for music, sacraments, fellowship, and renewal. As a priest, time spent at these conferences is a real blessing, particularly when so many are moved to participate in Confession.
Each moment in confession is a little moment of conversion, where a person is deepening his or her “yes” to the Lord. Read more