Archbishop Lori’s Homily: 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time; Annual White Mass

“One morning I was making my usual holy hour in the little chapel located in my residence, right next door. During that rather fitful prayer session, my mind wandered. I found myself looking around at the beautiful things in the chapel, including a lovely statute of the Blessed Mother that Cardinal Hickey gave me when I became a bishop many years ago. I found myself thinking, ‘This chapel is the best thing I have!’

“Next thing I know, I’m praying a Psalm about a man who loses everything. The psalmist grows embittered over his bad fortune as contrasted with the good fortune of evildoers. But suddenly coming to his senses, he asks: ‘Whom else have I in the heavens but you, O Lord? None besides you delights me on earth’ (Ps. 73:25). Reading those words, I was shaken out of my torpor and was wide awake spiritually. I realized that my greatest possession is not my chapel or my books or my position. In the end, they will count for little or nothing. Only the Lord is my life and my salvation (Ps. 27:1).”

Read the complete homily HERE.

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Archbishop Lori’s Homily: 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time; Charleston, WV

“During the past few days I have been making my way around West Virginia, holding meetings in Wheeling, visiting Catholic educators in Morgantown, holding further meetings here in Charleston, and now offering Holy Mass here in the Basilica Co-Cathedral dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Although I am officially designated by the Pope as the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, I shall strive simply to be your ‘interim pastor’ as you await the appointment of a new bishop. And even if the circumstances that brought me here are indeed difficult, it is a pleasure to serve you and the Catholic community in the State of West Virginia, and let me thank you for the warm welcome I have received everywhere I have gone.

“Among the things you should expect of me as your ‘interim pastor’ is that I would take to heart your ‘hopes and joys’ as well as your ‘grief and anguish’. Indeed, there is never time when we who follow Christ should be without hope. There is never a time when who center our lives on the Eucharist lack hope, hope that we will grow in holiness, hope that our lives will serve God’s purposes, hope that we will someday see God face to face in heaven with all the saints. Nor can a Christ-centered life ever truly be lacking in joy. For even in difficult times, the Holy Spirit who unites us to Christ and to one another, offers us the gift of joy, a joy that is convinces us that God’s love will never deserts us; a joy that repeats what St. Paul taught, ‘If God is for us, who can be against us?'”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Archbishop Lori’s Homily: 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time; Mass in Honor of San Lorenzo Ruiz and San Pedro Calungsod

After three nights of prayer and reflection, we have gathered here at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen for this Holy Mass honoring two beloved Filipino saints, San Lorenzo Ruiz and San Pedro Calungsod. It is a joy to see all of you gathered in this great Cathedral, your spiritual home, and to share with you this day of joy, a joy we share most intensely at the Eucharistic table, but also a joy that extends to the fiesta that follows on the plaza and indeed a joy that should extend into our daily lives.

We celebrate the lives of two Holy Martyrs – San Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino saint and San Pedro Calungsod both of whom were courageous witnesses for Christ. Let us view these two great saints through the lens of today’s Scripture readings, noting along the way what these saints have to say to us living and working and ministering in these very challenging days… beginning with the reading from the Letter of James.

Read the complete homily HERE.

Archbishop Lori’s Homily: Faith Fest, Harford County

“I know that Faith-Fest has been in the planning for quite some time and I was happy to serve on one of the committees – the “weather committee”! And while we are very happy that the weather has cooperated with this wonderful day-long gathering, I know we all remember those to the south of us who experienced the full destructive force of Hurricane Florence. Let us remember them in our prayers this evening, especially those who died or were injured or lost homes and other property.

“Francik told me that you’ve all had so much fun today and that you’d probably be very tired by the time I began my homily. His advice was that I should limit my remarks to about forty-five minutes. But just in case the fireworks would start before I finish speaking, I’ll try to be brief.”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Archbishop Lori’s Homily: The Birth of Mary; Anniversary of the Lourdes Grotto

“As Archbishop of Baltimore and as an alumnus of Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary, it is a particular joy and honor to celebrate this Holy Mass marking the 60th anniversary of Mt. St. Mary’s National Shrine Grotto. In a special way I want to recognize the leadership and support of President Trainor, the tireless efforts of Lori Stewart and her team to foster this place of renewal and refreshment, the devoted service of our chaplains, Fr. Daniel, Fr. Ted, and Fr. Alberto, and, of course, the continued support offered by the Seminary, represented today by Msgr. Baker and other members of the seminary community. Allow us all to thank you most warmly for all the ways you lead and support this ministry!”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Reaching Out to our Neighbors of Every Nation

The ongoing and profoundly painful crisis at the southern border of the United States has long been a threat to families and to the dignity of our Central American sisters and brothers. Every family and child arriving at the border brings with them an agonizing choice that they will carry for the rest of their lives. Their suffering, broadcast to the world, engenders in us a provocative reminder of our God-given commandment to love.

Pope Francis, in his April writing Gaudete et Exsultate, made clear that there is a calling for Christians,  “…for whom the only proper attitude is to stand in the shoes of those brothers and sisters of ours who risk their lives to offer a future to their children. Can we not realize that this is exactly what Jesus demands of us, when he tells us that in welcoming the stranger we welcome him?”

If we live in the great and deep faith of the Church, we are bound by God to welcome His Son in the form of a stranger. We are called, undeniably, to witness that faith and live the Gospel by being a people who, with grace and with recognition of every person’s individual dignity, offer respite for the afflicted.

This is not solely the challenge of those cities and states at the Mexican border. Maryland is No. 6 in states with the highest population of undocumented immigrants, following California, Florida, Texas, New York and New Jersey. Truly, we in the Archdiocese of Baltimore cannot deny our role in the lives of these individuals.

As you may have seen in recent news coverage, Catholic Charities’ Esperanza Center cares for immigrants daily. Most of the immigrants it has served have come to the U.S. for safety reasons, fleeing gang and other violence in their home countries. Through its six programs—educational services; health services; immigration legal services; family reunification programs; client services; and anti-trafficking services—it served more than 11,000 individuals in 2017, and expects to serve at least that many each year in the years to come.

Flight from danger is an especially prevalent cause for unaccompanied minors, who have made up more than 210,000 of the immigrants at the southern border since 2013. These children do not receive an attorney to represent them in immigration court. In Maryland, when contacted, the attorneys at Esperanza Center’s Immigration Legal Services program provide these services to those young people and their family members at low or no cost.

The Esperanza Center also reunites unaccompanied minors with family, locating proper relatives or legal guardians for hundreds of youth per year since it began these services five years ago. The youngest unaccompanied minor the Esperanza Center has served was only 5 years old.

The Holy See shared via Twitter on World Refugee Day, June 20, “A person’s dignity does not depend on them being a citizen, a migrant, or a refugee. Saving the life of someone fleeing war and poverty is an act of humanity.” May we all live that message in our hearts and in the ways we reach out to our neighbors of every nation, and may we pray that all other Americans be moved to do the same.

Most Reverend William E. Lori
Archbishop of Baltimore

Related:

“Unaccompanied Minors Seek asylum U.S. Border”

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Baltimore Mayor: Parish IDs will be Valid for City Identification

Family separations cause trauma, Archbishop Lori calls for end to policy

There can be no reasonable justification for a civilized government to separate children from their parents as a means for enforcing the law. This action threatens the stability of families, unduly inflicts trauma and hardship on those involved, including innocent children, and runs counter to the compassion and justice that are foundational to our American society. I join my brother bishops and so many others of goodwill in calling on our leaders to cease the current practice of separating children from their mothers and to seek other ways of safeguarding our borders.