I recently read that if one is serious about improving one’s self or seeks to break a bad habit, that positive change can be realized within a 30-day span. I find that encouraging as we enter into the 40 days of the Lenten Season. The Church, in her wisdom, sees fit to give us an extra 10 days as we strive to grow in virtue and holiness so as to more fully live the glory of the 50 days of the Easter Season. Together, the two seasons of Lent and Easter provide each of us a glimpse into the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, the Paschal Mystery. Read more
As we bring our observance of Catholic Schools Week to a close, I want to take the opportunity to offer some observations. During Catholic Schools Week (Jan. 29-Feb. 4), I have traveled throughout the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau to participate in different events and to hold all-school Masses in Joplin, Springfield, and Cape Girardeau. What sticks out in my mind is the support and sacrifice of the parents who choose Catholic education. Beyond the financial sacrifice to each family and parish, there is a spirit of dedication, support, and volunteerism throughout our 23 elementary schools and three high schools. So many of our parents go beyond the call of duty and step up to head fundraising initiatives and provide support services so that our children can have the best possible education in our schools. I offer a heartfelt thank you to all our parents. Read more
I was born in 1960. It was a time of change, challenge, and the questioning of authority. Those of you who are my age or older recall television news reports that depicted riots and demonstrations in the streets as people protested the war in Vietnam. I remember seeing marches and clashes of people advocating for racial and civil rights. With the Watergate scandal rocking our nation’s capital, more and more people began to criticize our government. It was almost a “the perfect storm” of unrest. These protests generated a lot of distrust of “institutions.” For the first time, a large segment of the United States population questioned the authority of our government—really, all long-standing institutions, the Church included. This time was also coined the time of “the sexual revolution,” the anthem of which seemed to be “sex, drugs, and rock and roll.” It championed the thinking of “I want to be free to do what I want, most certainly with my body.” Read more
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
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
“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
There I was, sitting in the Senate Chamber of our State Capitol in Jefferson City on Oct. 8 listening to a presentation on violence as part of the Missouri Catholic Conference. Gazing upon the beautiful stained glassed windows and intricate carvings of the majestic setting that depicts Lady Justice, my eyes rested upon the above statement emblazoned on the upper wall. And as I pondered the importance of that statement I decided that it would be a great way to begin my next column for The Mirror. After some research I discovered the phrase was utilized often in the argument against slavery: “Nothing is politically right that is morally wrong!” To find that phrase in the Senate Chamber is an unexpected source of inspiration and a challenge as our state government discusses legislation pertinent to the “common good.” Hopefully the members of the State Senate will not only contemplate, but heed its message. 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