Catholic Schools Convocation Homily; Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Shrine, Emmitsburg, MD

“In deciding to hold this year’s convocation in here in Emmitsburg, we are coming home – home to the roots of Catholic education in the United States. For we are have come to a place made sacred by St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, truly a pioneer in Catholic education and religious life in our country. Indeed, in coming to her home, we experience a homecoming, a return to a source of that beautiful vision of Catholic education that gets us up in the morning and makes us part of a transformative mission.

As you know, St. Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton is our nation’s first native born canonized saint. She was born in 1774 into a socially prominent New York family and grew up as a devout member of the Anglican Church. She married William Seton and had a wonderful family but in time she and her family faced severe hardships: first, her husband’s business went into bankruptcy and then his health declined. While on a trip to Italy to recover his health, William Seton died. Returning to New York Elizabeth Seton became a Catholic, was confirmed by Archbishop John Carroll, and in God’s providence found her way to Maryland where she opened a small school on Paca St. in Baltimore near St. Mary’s Seminary. Later, at the invitation of Sulpician Father Dubourg, she came to Emmitsburg where she opened St. Joseph Academy and Free School for the education of girls. This marked the beginning of Catholic schools in the United States and Mother Seton School here in Emmitsburg is the direct descendant of St. Joseph Academy and Free School. Not long thereafter she founded the Daughters of Charity, a religious institute dedicated to the works of charity, to healthcare, and, most significantly for our gathering, Catholic education.”

Read the complete homily HERE.

21st Sunday Homily; Resurrection, Ellicott City; St. Augustine, Elkridge

“It has been three and a half years since Pope Francis was elected and what an impact he has had on the Church and on the world. Certainly he is having an impact on the Archdiocese of Baltimore as together we reflect upon our relationship with the Lord and one another and as we consider how well we are fulfilling the mission which the Lord has entrusted to the Church – this is the mission of spreading the Gospel – not merely as a set of ideas but as a way of life capable of waking up the world.

“By word and example Pope Francis has given us two points to ponder as we go about the work of continually revitalizing and renewing the Church. The first is to ask about the depth of our relationship with Lord and one another. The second is our readiness as individuals and as a parish family to go on mission, to go in search of those who left the faith, those who seeking truth, meaning and love, those who are poor, vulnerable, and wounded in our throw-away culture.”

Read the complete homily HERE. 

20th Sunday C Homily; Installation of Father Stephen Roth as Pastor of St. Isaac Jogues Parish

“It is a joy to return to St. Isaac Jogues officially to install Father Roth as your Pastor. He has served ably, effectively, and joyfully as Administrator of your parish and now it is my pleasure to express both my confidence in Father Roth and your support for his leadership, by publicly installing him as your Pastor.

This is also an opportunity for me to reflect with you on the role of the Pastor and to do so in light of Jesus’ words in today’s Gospel. In that Gospel passage, Jesus says that he has come to light a fire – and perhaps I could say that the Pastor comes to a parish to light a fire – though not literally, because that would really hurt our insurance program!

So what did Jesus mean when he said he came to set the world on fire? And how does that apply to a parish community? And what is the role of a pastor in igniting that fire in our midst?”

Read the complete homily HERE.

20th Sunday C Homily; St. Paul, Ellicott City

“Dear friends, I know that the past weeks have been a very difficult time for the residents of Ellicott City – so I wanted to take the first opportunity I had to offer Mass here at St. Paul’s since the recent flooding which, as you know, took two lives, injured others, and resulted in a tremendous destruction of property and infrastructure.

I was told that the during the worst of the flooding, the parish evangelization center became a shelter and a place of refuge for many. Many of you volunteered to comfort and assist those most affected by the flooding. So please accept my warmest thanks for your neighborly kindness which is also a wonderful example of the Gospel hospitality. Let us remember in today’s Mass those who died and those who still suffer, even as we ask God’s blessings on efforts to rebuild those parts of town that suffered the heaviest damage.”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Statement on the Department of Justice Report on Baltimore Police Department

The Department of Justice report on the Baltimore Police Department is sobering and distressing and should be a cause for great concern for all people of good will in our community. The report is an affirmation of those in our community who have long criticized the policing strategies and practices of the Department and a repudiation of those whose actions have undermined both public trust as well as the inherent dignity of those they have sworn to serve and protect.

I encourage people to read the report, reflect on the findings and consider the role that each of us should play in bringing about much needed change. The long overdue reforms and changes that Commissioner Kevin Davis has already begun to enact and has pledged to fully implement are encouraging. However, it is clear from the report that nothing short of a change in the culture within the Department will result in the kind of reform that is necessary to ensure the fair and equitable treatment of every citizen of Baltimore.

While this report rightly warrants a collective call for change, we cannot ignore the good and just service of the vast majority of policemen and women who put their lives on the line every day as they carry out their duties with respect for their office and those they serve. I pray the reaction to this report will not obscure their selfless service and will inspire others to follow them and to join efforts to address this resounding call for urgent change.

I invite all members of the community to join me in praying for our city, for those who justly protect its citizens, and for all who call Baltimore home.

Knights of Columbus WYD Mercy Centre Arena, Mass for Leaders and Volunteers Homily

“As we gather for this holy Mass, we stand in closest spiritual solidarity with our Holy Father Pope Francis, and with more than a million young people who joined with him in the celebration of Holy Mass at the Campus Misericordiae. During these past days, it has been our privilege to host many of them here at the Mercy Centre.

“Many bishops, priests, and adult youth leaders have told me how much they have appreciated the Mercy Center. They were happy that we made this wonderful arena available, expressed their thanks for how well everything was organized, mentioned how glad they were that the place is air conditioned – but most of all they were delighted with the beauty of the liturgies, the excellence of our choir and musicians, the inspiring speakers and panels – and the wonderful witness talks we are all privileged to hear.”

Click HERE to read the full homily.

Feast of Saints Joachim and Anne Homily

“As we bless the Mercy Centre, this magnificent arena, we look forward to welcoming literally thousands of young English-speaking pilgrims from many parts of the world. On behalf of our Worthy Supreme Knight, Carl Anderson, I want to thank you for the preparations you have made for our young pilgrims and for what you will do for them in the coming days. I especially want to thank Father Kalisch for his leadership and hard work together with my brother Knights of Columbus and the Sisters of Life as well as many other volunteers . . . You’ve created a spectacular spiritual home away from home for many young people; thank you for your imagination, hard work, and generosity!”

Read the complete homily HERE.