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The Church continues to pray for abuse survivors and keep their needs a priority.
All Catholics should understand the importance of the ability to present the Church’s teachings and live them out without the interference or manipulation of the government.
I am proud to say that I am a product of Catholic education.
The more we reflect Christ in our words and actions, the more we are susceptible to persecution, no matter how pure and innocent our intentions.
As we approach the celebration of Christmas, we first and foremost are reminded of the love that God has for us.
As I get older, I realize that life can change in an instant. So, am I ready? Just this week, tornadoes struck our midwestern states, causing extreme destruction and many lives were lost.
All the events that attack our “national persona” challenge our willingness to defend and stand tall for who we are and what we believe.
During the Advent season, we try to iron out the mistakes. Many live in a world that views faith as something you should do on the weekend if you have the time; it’s a social thing. Rarely do we see ourselves in the daily struggle to witness to the faith and engage in the evangelization of our neighbors.
Many felt a solidarity with the people of Waukesha. It’s somewhat ironic that a tragedy forces us to understand our “connectedness.”
I have often said that a priest or a pastor, or in this case a bishop, really cannot lay claim to a relationship with the parish or the diocese unless they have prayed through the three liturgical cycles with their communities. Yet to my shock, this year I will be completing my fourth liturgical cycle.
Today we celebrate the feast of the dedication of The Basilica of St. John Lateran. The Lateran Basilica is the cathedral church of Rome, and it is the mother church of all the churches of Rome, and the world.
Today is All Souls Day, a time when our attention is turned to those loved ones who have died. As Christians, we believe that we can pray for deceased relatives and friends.
In my personal evaluation, I would hold that the Synod was the most significant event or moment that I was a part of during my eleven years as the Archbishop of Milwaukee.
As a priest and a bishop, I have experienced courageous responses from those who are face to face with life-threatening conditions. Their families and friends by their side offering support. Their struggles are often a sign of the importance of life.
After the Mass, we gathered in a conference area, and I prepared to receive the questions given by the youth. I usually expected the questions to be directed toward a defense of the Church’s teachings or positions, but much to my surprise, the questions centered on living one’s faith. I am going to present the questions to you, my LOA community, and ask you how you would answer these questions.
There are various quotes from distinguished historical figures that resonant with us throughout our formative years. In college, we heard from our philosophy teachers the famous Socrates quote: “The unexamined life is not worth living.” They were encouraging us to question those things that we do, examining how they contribute to a life lived well.
This last weekend I joined the Knights and the Dames, members of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, for the induction of eleven individuals from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee into the Order.
There are some activities we would rather avoid. One for most of us would be the preparation of our tax returns. Trying to gather all the necessary information, receipts, payment stubs and charitable donations, just to mention a few, is a true chore.
This past week we marked the 20th anniversary of 9/11, a day that transformed our lives as Americans.
We all celebrate the New Year on Jan.1st. It is the traditional recognition of the feast. However, I would offer that Labor Day feels more like the beginning of a new year than Jan.1st. The summer is ending, the students return to school, and many begin their new jobs or careers.
This last week was a reminder of the men and women who willingly place their lives in the line of fire to protect us.
Our society seems to be engulfed in chaos and uncertainty. Many do not want to turn on the television and constantly hear the news that world, and domestic peace that we have enjoyed for so long, is now threatened. Where do we go for a sense of peace?
Last Tuesday, a violent, late-night storm raced through southeastern Wisconsin. Of course, I was in bed and as usual I slept through the sounds that were created by the violent winds, thunder, and lightning.
One adjustment that had to be made when I was ordained a priest was getting used to being referred to as “Father.” It was strange to me that the young and the old used this title of respect.
I realized that there is another “win win” which appears as the motto on my coat of arms. My motto is, “Life is Christ.”
I was never a Mama’s boy, but I readily admit I was a grandma’s boy. My sister will attest to the fact that I was grandma’s favorite.
You reap what you sow. It is a good reminder of the necessity to make sure that the information we feed into our minds and souls is both truthful, and possesses quality. GIGO should give way to QIQO — quality in, quality out.
Unlike advertising for products, the cross is not exactly an attractive symbol to the faithful follower. Yet our Lord tells us that if we follow him, we must take up the cross.
As a religious leader I pray that we are all ready to meet God. How do you prepare for the unexpected?
The feast of Saints Peter and Paul also holds a special place in my memories. It is on this day that the newly announced archbishops of the world go to Rome and receive the pallium from the Pope.
In the realm of spirituality, I can only be a glass-half-full person. No matter what difficulty I have encountered during my lifetime, God’s hand has always been present.
Preparing for this LOA, I tried to think about what was capturing my attention a year ago. It is not because I think what I say carries any special remembrance, but it is interesting to see if I still agree with what I said and if there are any insights related to our current community.
Every challenge presents an opportunity and now we have the opportunity to inspire ourselves to exercise more, to express gratitude for our relationships with family and friends and to invest in a fund for a personal celebration.
Last Sunday we celebrated Pentecost Sunday, which is traditionally referred to as the birth of the Church. On Pentecost, the body of believers was gathered in the Upper Room awaiting the arrival of the Holy Spirit. Now, when the soul is invested in the body, life begins. So when the Paraclete was sent into the Upper Room, the Church was born.
If you would ask most bishops which celebration gives them the most satisfaction, they would likely say it is the ordination of priests. It is a moment that brings back memories of their own ordination, which was a time of anticipation and dreams of the future fulfillment of God’s plan.
Undoubtedly, Mary is honored throughout the year. However, two months that direct our attention to the Blessed Mother more than others are May and October.
I have noticed that as we battle to return to some normalcy during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are certain aspects of life that we need to address.
We are so blessed to have the gift of the Church. I think of the wonderful people and friendships that have enriched my life.
In a normal year, we would have a dinner to celebrate the accomplishments (of which there are many) of the archdiocesan schools. The administrators, staff, teachers, and students work so hard to establish accessible and affordable Catholic instruction. We herald the various school systems that are instruments for preserving Catholic education in areas challenged by shifting demographics and spiraling costs.
I have presided over several funerals recently. There is a deep sense of loss, but for those of faith, there is also a greater sense that the loved and cherished individual is with God. At the end of the funeral service, the presides makes a commendation that we shall all meet again.
For me, it is inspiring to see the humility of our Catholic community, coming together to profess their trust and confidence in the sacrament, to receive forgiveness, and begin the journey of Holy Week. I hold in esteem the priests who heard confessions during this time and shared their priesthood so generously.
March 16 has little significance for the larger community, but in my household, it marked my mother’s birthday. My family – father, mother, sister, and I – celebrated all of our birthdays within a month of each other.
We have gone through a particularly difficult period and, for a multitude of reasons, people were discouraged from attending Sunday Mass. The pandemic isolates us from one another and, I would offer, that some in our society who do not hold worship as an essential activity have attempted to separate us also from our responsibility before God. Fear of COVID-19 overtook many people and our Sunday worship was limited to only a small percentage of those who could or desired to attend.
February is Black History Month. The airwaves and various media outlets use this opportunity to introduce us to various historical figures who have made significant contributions to Black history in the United States. I would like to use this week’s LOA to thank a few individuals who have contributed to my understanding of the Black Catholic community.
Today is the day before Ash Wednesday. This day is traditionally known as Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday. Throughout the Christian world, it is a celebration of excess before entering into the penitential season of Lent.
We need the example of St. Josephine as we confront life’s difficulties. Currently, we are encountering the pandemic, social unrest, etc. These difficulties can lead us to become frustrated and despairing. We can forget the love that God has bestowed on us – the love that brings us life. Jesus has born the cross for us; now we must bear the cross for Him.
We are very proud of our seminary. Having worked in seminary formation for the first 25 years of my priesthood in the Archdiocese of Chicago, I can testify to the quality of our program and the caliber of the young men invited by God to respond to His call.
Reconciliation, also called confession, is a sacrament that asks us to evaluate our actions. It is a great sacrament because it is not for the perfect. Rather, Reconciliation calls the imperfect forward to be forgiven for their sins. There are no instant replays in the confessional booth.
It was a stroke of pastoral genius by Pope Francis to declare 2021 the year of St. Joseph in his Apostolic Letter, Patris Corde (With a Father’s Heart). It is the 150th anniversary of when Pius the IX named St. Joseph the universal patron of the Church. During this time of the pandemic, social unrest and psychological uncertainty, we need the stability of a father’s guidance.
I guess during my five years of dance classes in tap and ballet in the Adrienne Flegal School of Dance, I must have missed the one that said you could not tap dance on ice.