I received a letter dated Jan. 5, 2018 from the National Religious Retirement Office thanking the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau for its contribution to the 2017 collection, amounting to $73,424.13. The letter, from the Executive Director, Sr. Stephanie Still, PBVM, stated “Since the collection was launched, contributions from your diocese have totaled $2,218,936.01.” Sr. Stephanie also wrote a note saying “We are very grateful to you and your parishioners for this generous support.” Read more
There’s a line in the writings of Julian of Norwich, the famous 14th century mystic and perhaps the first theologian to write in English, which is endlessly quoted by preachers, poets, and writers: “But all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” It’s her signature teaching.
We all have an intuitive grasp of what that means. It’s our basis for hope. In the end, the good will triumph. But the phrase takes on added meaning when it’s seen in its original context. What was Julian trying to say when she coined that phrase? Read more
As I write this column, I can look out the window of my office in Springfield and read the sign across the street at the Methodist Church: “All Are Created in Dignity and Worth.” This message takes on greater meaning as many of our youth and adult leaders in the diocese prepare to travel Jan. 17-20 to Washington, DC, for the 45th Annual March for Life. March for Life is the largest pro-life rally in the world and I am proud to say we have busses once again making the pilgrimage to our nation’s capital as well as to the march in Chicago on Sun., Jan. 14. Read more
While the world celebrates the first day of the New Year, the Church has a specific focus on Mary, The Mother of God. We launch 2018 with the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God. The Gospel for Jan. 1, Luke 2:16-21, tells us that “The Shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem. … They found Mary and Joseph, and the infant in the manger.” Then, we see the two reactions to this great event. First on the part of Mary, “Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” I was recently in the eighth grade classroom at St. Agnes Cathedral School, speaking about this particular verse. I reminded the students that every year is a mystery to us. The year 2017 was a mystery that had to be lived out day-by-day, with all its ups and downs. The year we now face, 2018, is also a mystery to us, to be lived in the “joys and sorrows” of life. Mary teaches us how to face the joys and sorrows, the ups and downs—by taking life to heart with reflection, meditation, and prayer. Read more
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life.” —John 3:16
As we enter into the Christmas Season, this verse from the Gospel of John provides us with the essence of Christmas. Read more
In our modern world of technology, rapid communication, and sense of “immediacy,” does the Season of Advent and its tone of anticipation remain relevant? Or, should we give up the battle of “advent” and go along with the culture of commercialized Christmas? What good is being accomplished as we light an Advent candle week-after-week, knowing full well that almost everything else surrounding us is blaring, “hark the bargains” instead of “hark the herald”? Read more
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