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
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
The risks of prayer
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