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
The Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (DCCW) held its annual Spring Assembly April 21-22 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Springfield. The gathering focused, in part, on the necessity of being “sowers of joy and healing through acts of love,” and featured presentations on the apparitions and messages of the Blessed Virgin Mary, pro-life ministries, and the importance of the home being a “domestic church,” among other topics.
Internationally-acclaimed Catholic speaker and author Chris Stefanick came to Our Lady of the Lake Parish in Branson on Wed., April 5, to conduct one of his many “REBOOT! Live!” events that are being held around the country this spring. “Reboot” presentations center around a practical exploration and understanding of our faith and all the ways it’s meant to impact our lives, often complicated by technology and indifference.
“From the moment we come out of the womb, we come out looking for love,” Stefanick said. “The desire for love drives us to do many things. It drives us to want to be successful, and it drives us to want to be noticed, because we want love.” Read more
April 11 & 12, 2017, St. Agnes Cathedral/St. Mary Cathedral
A photo gallery of diocesan Chrism Masses can be found here.
Today, I have the joy of being the main celebrant of my first Chrism Mass as a bishop and as the Seventh Bishop of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau. I greet all of the priests who have gathered—I greet you as a brother, a father, and a friend—and I offer congratulations as today we recall the day of our ordination.
The readings from Isaiah highlight the anointing by the Spirit of the Lord—an anointing received by “priest of the Lord” and the “ministers of our God.” That same reading outlines how the priest is to use that anointing—to bring glad tidings to the lowly, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, and to comfort all who mourn. Read more
St. Mary Cathedral, Cape Girardeau, April 16, 2017
I always take comfort in the fact that the 50 days of Easter overwhelm the 40 days of Lent. And, if your Lent was not very successful or maybe your Lent was nothing at all, the good news is that Easter still comes! Thank goodness (and God) Christmas and Easter are not dependent on how well we enter into the spirit of Advent or Lent. No, it’s not about us in that sense, Christ still comes to embrace his flesh (Incarnation/Christmas) and Christ still comes to redeem us through his flesh (Passion, Death, and Resurrection). And so: a blessed Easter to all of you. Read more
St. Mary’s Cathedral, Cape Girardeau, April 14, 2017
The prophet Isaiah foretold of the suffering servant, this Man of suffering, who was pierced for our offenses and crushed for our sins. Who, like a lamb led to the slaughter, was “silent and opened not his mouth.” The psalmists, too, foretold of the Man of sorrow, “They pierced my hands and feet, they counted all my bones,” and Psalm 21 speaks of the man who was stripped of his garments. Read more
St. Mary Cathedral, Cape Girardeau, April 14, 2017
After 30 years of obscurity, living in obedience to Mary and Joseph in Nazareth, and after three years of walking the dusty roads of Galilee—for Jesus—it all comes down to this night.
Preaching for three years about the love of God, with the audacity to call God “Abba Father,” teaching that the poor are blessed, and peacemakers are the children of God—and after all the miracles of raising the dead, healing the blind and the lepers, calming the wind and the seas, and after feeding 5,000 with three loaves and two fish—after all this, it comes down to this night. Read more
Diocesan Youth Conference, West Plains, MO, March 26, 2017
Awhile back, someone sent me an article about “youth ministry.” It was written by a young woman, now married, who was reflecting back on the experience of her high school youth group. It wasn’t good. 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