Archbishop Lori’s Homily: 4th Sunday of Easter; Mother’s Day

“In 2006, St. Ambrose celebrated its 100th anniversary and today we celebrate the 90th anniversary of this beautiful Gothic church which was completed in 1929 during the pastorate of Msgr. Hugh Monahan, and dedicated by Archbishop Michael J. Curley, then Archbishop of Baltimore. In and of itself, this church is a remarkable architectural achievement and it remains a landmark in the Park Heights neighborhood.

“But we are celebrating more than architecture and more than a landmark. We’ve gathered to give thanks to God for our spiritual home — a place of blessing and peace, a place where we come together to hear God’s Word, to celebrate his powerful Presence in the Mass and Sacraments, a place where gather as a community, the Body of Christ, to come to know and love one another, to care for one another as sisters and brothers. St. Ambrose is where we support one another in living the faith amid life’s challenges, while, at the same time, keeping our eyes fixed on our eternal home, which is heaven. As we read in the Book of Revelation, heaven is where we hope one day to gather with people from every race, nation, and tongue in joyful worship before the Throne of the Lamb, the Lamb of God, who was slain for our salvation.”

Read the complete homily HERE.


Archbishop Lori’s Homily: 3rd Sunday of Easter; First Communions

“It is a joy to return to St. Joseph’s Parish on such a happy day when eighteen young people will receive their First Holy Communion. How happy we are, how inspired we are as these, your sons and daughters, your young fellow parishioners, receive for the first time the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

“So, for a moment or two I’d like to say something to those of you who are receiving your First Holy Communion. I’d imagine you are pretty happy and excited to receive our Lord in Holy Communion for the first time – am I right? I want you to know that this makes me really happy also – because I get to share in one of the most important days of your life. Receiving Jesus in Holy Communion means you are old enough to begin understanding your Catholic faith. It also means that you are deepening your friendship with Jesus. We receive Jesus in Holy Communion because Jesus wants to be with us – he wants to live in us and help us and love us every day of our life.”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Archbishop Lori’s Homily: Divine Mercy Sunday, Holy Rosary Parish

“As we read and reflect on the various Gospel accounts of Jesus’ Resurrection, we can’t help but notice that the reaction of his disciples was mixed. They were, by turns, astonished, overjoyed, fearful, and doubtful.

“Do we not see all of these reactions to the Risen Lord in this afternoon’s Gospel? The disciples were locked in the upper room out of fear – fear for their very lives. When, however, the Risen Lord appeared to them, the Gospel tells us, they rejoiced. Yet Thomas, who was absent on that momentous occasion, expressed doubt. To prove the Risen Lord’s Presence, he demanded to touch the wounds in Jesus’ hands, his feet and his side . . . Yes, it was quite a wide range of reactions to the Risen Lord. who was suffered, died, and was buried and rose from the grave, for the forgiveness of our sins, for the sake of showering upon us Divine Mercy.”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Archbishop Lori’s Homily: Saturday, 4th Week of Lent; Knights of Columbus Board Meeting

“Yesterday’s readings spoke of the importance of opening our hearts if we would truly know Jesus and be his followers. In our meditation, we were inspired by the presence of St. John Vianney’s heart, a heart that embodied life-giving friendship with the Lord Jesus. Today’s readings take those reflections one step further by providing us with a three-point meditation on who Jesus is, on the authority with which he spoke and acted, and on the price of the redemption he won for us by his death on the Cross.”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Archbishop Lori’s Homily: Archdiocesan Celebration of the World Day of Consecrated Life

“It seems unusual to hold a celebration of anything – let alone consecrated life – in the midst of this Lenten penitential season. To be fair, the World Day for Consecrated Life was officially celebrated on the Solemnity of the Annunciation, last Monday, a day of great joy in the life of the Church and indeed in the life and history of humanity. The Annunciation, moreover, goes to the very heart of consecrated life, an evangelical way of life that announces the Gospel just as the Angel Gabriel brought the Good News of Salvation to Mary.

“The Annunciation filled us with the joy of the original proclamation of the Gospel, viz., the announcement that ‘God so loved the world that he sent us his only Son, so that any who believed in him would have eternal life’ (cf. John 3:16). In turn, our Lenten liturgy and today’s readings, in essence, confront us with the first utterance of the overall Gospel message: repent and believe. In the witness of your life and in your ministries you sum up both dimensions. Even as your evangelical style of life proclaims the joy of the Gospel, so too it also serves as a flesh-and-blood calling to everyone to undergo a genuine conversion of life and to embrace an avid life of faith. And if heaven rejoices over one repentant sinner, we too should rejoice that God has called you, as women and men in consecrated life, to accompany others along the path of repentance and faith that we ourselves humbly strive to tread.”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Archbishop Lori’s Homily: 1st Sunday of Lent; St. Patrick’s Day Parade Mass

“Many legends surround the life of St. Patrick, but the reality of his life is a lot closer to the Gospel just proclaimed, a Gospel which recounts the temptations Jesus suffered in the desert. For a few moments, let us look more closely at today’s Gospel so that we may see what light it sheds on St. Patrick’s life, and even on our own. But to understand the temptations of Jesus in the desert more completely, we need to back up and begin with Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River. Let’s go there now.

“In order to bury our sins in the waters of Baptism, Jesus, the sinless Lamb of God, was submerged in the waters of the Jordan. From those waters, God’s well-beloved Son came forth, just as long ago the Israelites had passed through the waters of the Red Sea. And just as the Israelites were led through the sea into the desert where they wandered for forty years, so too Jesus, after his Baptism, was led into the desert where he fasted and prayed for forty days. In the desert Jesus was tempted by the devil with the same failures that had bedeviled the people of Israel in their desert wanderings : the temptation to give in to their cravings not only for bread but for other forms of physical and material satisfaction; the temptation to forget the God who saved them and to do so by worshipping idols; the temptation to test God, to see if God really were their deliverer.”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Message to the people of the Archdiocese of Baltimore

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Last week, Pope Francis convened a gathering of Catholic leaders from across the world to devise consistent global standards and protocols for how Church leaders must deal with instances of sexual abuse. The meeting represented an important milestone in the Church’s long-standing efforts to rid the Church of abuse – efforts which have been undermined in the past by inconsistent and inappropriate handling of allegations.

The Church must finally get this right if we are to achieve true and lasting reform and healing, especially for those so grievously harmed. I believe the Holy Father is committed to achieving this goal.

Pope Francis rightly declared an “all-out-battle” against the scourge of sexual abuse of minors. During the Summit, he referred to these acts perpetrated by members of the clergy as “abominable crimes that must be erased from the face of the earth.” It will now fall to the leaders of the Church in the Americas, Europe and Asia to define “concrete and effective measures” that will be applied consistently regardless of geography or culture. Since 2002, such measures have been in place here in the United States. The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People requires zero tolerance, the review of all cases by lay review boards, and mandatory reporting to civil authorities, among other things. Evidence shows the Charter is working, as current allegations of child sexual abuse in the U.S. are extremely rare. But the recent case of Theodore McCarrick has exposed another area that must be addressed, that of bishops being held accountable for misconduct and handling of allegations.

In the Archdiocese of Baltimore, we have not waited to act on this important measure of accountability. Zero tolerance means zero tolerance for any person – priest, lay employee, volunteer – and yes, bishop – who commits a criminal act of sexual abuse against a minor, who sexually harasses another person or who enables such heinous conduct. And any allegation against a bishop is made directly to members of the Archdiocese’s lay child abuse review board, with instructions that criminal complaints be immediately and directly reported to police.

We have no more urgent priority or solemn task than to rid our Church of this scourge which can only be characterized as criminal and evil, and to walk the long, arduous journey toward healing with victims and all whose mental, emotional and spiritual health has been harmed by criminal acts of abuse by representatives of the Church.

Reconvening with my brother bishops here in Baltimore in June, I intend to urge that the same rigorous requirements of accountability and transparency that we have implemented within the Archdiocese of Baltimore be similarly adopted in dioceses across our country.

In my many listening sessions and discussions with you over the past year, you have made it abundantly clear that we have no time to lose – and our commitment must be absolute. I wish to assure you that I – along with my brother bishops and the lay leadership of this Archdiocese – agree fully and share this sense of urgency.

Pope Francis reiterated his commitment asserting that “the Church will spare no effort to do all that is necessary to bring to justice whosoever has committed such crimes. I stand in solidarity with him in making this same pledge on behalf of our local Church. The life and renewal of the Catholic Church depends on clear and unequivocal action. We pledge our constant efforts to restoring the trust of those the Lord has asked us to lead, and to working tirelessly to bring about the renewal that Christ offers all who trust in Him.

Sincerely in Christ,


Archbishop William E. Lori