Another year has passed into eternity and another year has begun. The new year becomes a natural opportunity to look to the events of this past year and its take-away lessons that can help us in the year to come. Often, people use this moment, the transition from one year to the next, to make a resolution, symbolic of a fresh start or a new beginning regarding some issue of health or the better use of time, etc. Read more
Are you or someone you know getting married in the near future? If so, congratulations!
Marriage is meant to be a very special and sacred event in a person’s life. Sadly, many young Catholics are choosing to marry outside the Church. Perhaps they are unaware of the moral and spiritual obligations on their part to celebrate their marriage in the Church. As Catholics, we acknowledge marriage as one of the seven sacraments of our faith. Through this sacrament, God shares His grace with the couple and gives them the spiritual strength they need in order to live the gift of married love. If a person who is baptized and professes to be Catholic chooses to marry outside the Church, that marriage is not recognized as “valid” and, as a result, the Catholic party should refrain from receiving Holy Communion at Mass. In order to be united with Christ in the Holy Eucharist, we must first be united with Him in our daily lives and choices.
The world will tire of Christmas on Dec. 26, while in the Catholic Church, we are invited to ponder the mystery of the “Word made flesh” for weeks to come in the Christmas Season. Within the Christmas Season we celebrate the Feast of Holy Family, Dec. 30, Mary, Mother of God, Jan. 1, Epiphany, Jan. 8, The Christmas Season culminates with the Baptism of the Lord on Jan. 9. Throughout the season, the Church continually invites us to return to the manger, to be of one heart with Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, and to meditate on the significance of the birth of the Son of God. Read more
During Advent, Christians await the coming of the Christ-child and, in the season of Christmas, we celebrate his arrival among us. Our Savior is born! In the second chapter of the Gospel of St. Luke we read of the encounter between the angels and the shepherds announcing this great event.
And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Read more
What an honor it has been for me to remember your deceased loved ones in my daily Mass and prayers at the residence chapel. The baskets of cards, filled with the names of your deceased loved ones, are a visual reminder of my commitment to pray for your intention. My prayers continue beyond the month of November. Read more
I’m sure that many of you have heard about the recent declaration in October from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican that the cremated remains of a loved one must be properly and reverently buried and not scattered in the woods or across a lake, or even kept in a person’s home. The declaration reiterated the church’s teaching that cremation, while strongly discouraged, can be permissible under certain restrictions.
If you haven’t heard about it from a Catholic news source, you have no doubt heard about it from a secular news source. It seems that the secular media always has something to say about the Catholic Church and her teachings, and usually presented in a negative and condemnatory way. Read more
What does it mean to be “Catholic”? This is a very timely and perhaps loaded question to ask in our modern society, especially as we see politicians, entertainers, athletes, and other influential people who publicly profess to be Catholic, yet their voting record and the policies they support, the content of their music and movies, and their lifestyle choices would seem to prove otherwise. This situation can be very confusing to many people. Read more
“Eternal rest grant to them O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. … May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.” Read more
The common home of all men and women must continue to rise on the foundations of a right understanding of universal fraternity and respect for the sacredness of every human life, of every man and every woman, the poor, the elderly, children, the infirm, the unborn, the unemployed, the abandoned, those considered disposable because they are only considered as part of a statistic. This common home of all men and women must also be built on the understanding of a certain sacredness of created nature. —Pope Francis, 9/25/15, United Nations
What does ‘respect life’ mean?
The first Sunday of each October launches the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) annual education and advocacy effort to “promote respect for all human life from conception to natural death, and organize for its protection.” Before mentioning the theme and topics of this year’s program, it may benefit us to reflect on the meaning of the phrase “respect life.” Read more
I recently received a letter of thanks from the Catholic Relief Services for the $17,414 raised through our participation in the Lenten Rice Bowl program. While we do so much to assist those in need in southern Missouri, it‘s impressive to see our witness to our concern for the poor reach the countries of Africa, for example. Through our support in Rice Bowl, farmers are being trained in innovative methods that improve harvests and prevent crop disease. Ultimately, we are ensuring that people will have enough food to eat, which is a corporal work of mercy. We should be proud!
I recently invited a group of Poor Clare sisters to open a convent in our diocese. Mother Mary Giovanna, of the Poor Clare Nuns in Belleville, IL, wrote back: “We would be happy to establish a monastery in your diocese. If you could send us 10 young ladies with Poor Clare vocations … and give us about 10 years to form them. …” While I detected a hint of sarcasm in Mother Giovanna’s letter, I do believe the vocations are out there.