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Ignite, Renew and Energize: These were the three words I used in my Pentecost homily to end the 2014 Synod titled “A New Pentecost.” It’s difficult to assess the total effect of the Synod, but I can tell you it was a tremendous success.
I couldn’t help but think that – in a little over a day – I celebrated significant moments of life: from the beginning of life to a moment of successful transition, from a celebration of vocational faithfulness to the remembrance of the finality, which we all must face.
Our newly ordained begin their lives as priests, and they are joined in solidarity with their brothers in the priesthood of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.
On the morning of May 14, 1975, my 37 classmates and I entered the chapel at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, Illinois, and emerged two-and-a-half hours later as ordained priests of the Archdiocese of Chicago.
This past Saturday, I was asked to wear a little throwback to the 1800s. It was the celebration of my predecessor, Bishop John Martin Henni, on the anniversary of his arrival to his new diocese, Milwaukee, in the Wisconsin territory.
Perhaps, we should prepare ourselves for the first robotic priest. He won’t make mistakes. He will give perfect responses to every question. His sermons will either please everyone or anger everyone. He will be capable of assuming all the parish positions. He will be available to everyone 24 hours-a-day. However, the one thing that he will lack is humanity – therefore, no compassion for the mistakes of others.
The beauty of the sacrament of reconciliation is the ability for us to accuse ourselves of sin and seek forgiveness. It’s not easy to examine our lives and seek forgiveness. No one really likes to go to confession.
I can’t believe that it is April. Time moves so quickly, especially when you’re older. There is an old saying, “April showers bring May flowers.”
I soon discovered that basketball was “king,” and all other sports were secondary. My personal desire to be a priest was tied into being a part of the seminary community, and because basketball was king, I needed to be a part of that optic.
Many of the popular TV programs when I was growing up had theme songs, which identified their TV personas. “The Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Show” had, “Happy Trails (to you, until we meet again),” Gene Autry had, “(I'm) Back in the Saddle Again.” Perry Como would have a segment that started, “Letters, we get letters, we get stacks an' stacks of letters ... Dear Perry ...,” and then Perry would sing a popular song. Dinah Shore would sing, “See the USA in Your Chevrolet,” and then offer a big kiss to the viewing audience at the end of her performance. And, of course, the most famous theme song of my era was, “The Mickey Mouse Club,” which ended the show with, “M-I-C, See you real soon! K-E-Y, Why? Because we like you! M-O-U-S-E.”