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
The Roman Martyrology announces the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul in the following words: “At Rome, the birthday of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul, who suffered under the Emperor Nero. In this city, the former was fastened to a cross, head downwards, buried in the Vatican, and honored by all the world; the latter was beheaded and buried on the road leading to Ostia and received the same honor.”
In Rome, this feast has been compared to a “second Easter.” It was the birth of Christian Rome and marked the triumph of Christ’s victory over paganism. Read more
I was recently privileged to celebrate four Masses of Thanksgiving to mark the successful completion of the diocese’s first-ever Capital Endowment Campaign. I remain so grateful for the opportunity for us to gather, as a Diocese, in St. Mary Parish, Joplin; St. Agnes Cathedral, Springfield; Sacred Heart Parish, Poplar Bluff, and St. Mary Cathedral in Cape Girardeau in order to give thanks to God and for me also to express my gratitude to you for your participation in this historic endeavor. Whether as a donor or as one who helped organize the solicitation for the campaign in your parish, it took the cooperation and participation of so many parishioners to make this campaign a success. As we look back now, we can see beyond all the strategic planning, all the meet and greets, all the phone calls and pledge cards and realize that the capital campaign wasn’t really about the capital campaign: It was about faith and trust. Read more
With the development of a more refined job description for Mr. Nick Lund-Molfese and utilizing his many gifts toward social concerns, advocacy, and forming partnerships within the community, I am pleased to announce that Nick began new duties for the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau as Diocesan Director of Social Ministry and Family Life beginning May 1, 2017. Read more
When I was a junior in college seminary, I decided to be serious in the practice of prayer. I had received a copy of Treasure in Clay, by Archbishop Fulton Sheen as an Easter gift, and I remember being touched by the chapter where he recounted his discipline of a daily Holy Hour. Read more
My wife and I recently attended Palm Sunday Mass at Sacred Heart Parish, Webb City, MO. Before Mass began, the congregants met in the fellowship hall to listen to a short homily from Fr. Rahab Isidor, pastor, and to receive palm branches to celebrate the liturgy. The kids in the fellowship hall were fidgeting with their palm fronds, poking friends with the pointed leaves, energized by this change in the Mass routine. I heard one mom whisper to her child, “Take your finger out of your nose.” As people passed around the palm fronds, I couldn’t help but think about the attacks on the churches in Egypt that had happened earlier that morning. I’m sure the Christians there were involved in similar Palm Sunday activities. And then, someone came in among them, wearing a bomb, and destroyed all of that. If you saw any pictures from the attacks, you saw that there was blood everywhere. It was horrifying. So, I was distracted; thinking about the news I had read earlier that morning and the images I had seen. Read more
I spent the weekend of March 24-26 in the West Plains Civic Center along with 430 teens, chaperones, and youth leaders from across the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau for the 24th annual Diocesan Youth Conference (DYC). Read more
As we approach the celebration of Holy Week and Easter, I am mindful of the life springing forth around us. The trees, the emerging flowers, and the beauty of the Ozark mountains—it all proclaims “new life.” Of course, our new life is found in Jesus, who has conquered the power of sin and death. The 40 days of Lent are overwhelmed by the new life we celebrate during the 50 days of the Easter Season. Time and time again, in the Gospels of Easter, we see Jesus walking into the midst of
Many of you may be aware that on Feb. 3 the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau lost a great pro-life warrior in the passing of Rosina (“Rosie”) San Paolo, age 93. Rosie was a diocesan employee as secretary for the Vocation Office from 1974-1991. She was also completely committed to the pro-life cause. When I first heard of Rosie, she had already been in a local nursing home in Springfield for years. I had heard so much about her that I was compelled to visit her just before Christmas. Read more