Monday of Catholic Schools Week Homily, Mt. De Sales Academy

“I don’t want to upset anyone during Catholic Schools Week, but I have to tell you that my Catholic elementary school career was not so good. In other words, I got into a lot of trouble. One day, when Sister Mary Janet left her classroom for but a moment, general mayhem ensued among all fifty of us. When she returned, she caught me in the act of flinging a little piece of crayon with my plastic ruler at a classmate, a few seats away. In a room full of juvenile delinquents, Sister Janet voted me most delinquent.

“That night, mom and dad were summoned to the convent where Sister Janet informed them of my bad behavior. I was home while this appointment was going on, shaking in my boots, so I don’t know exactly what was said. But I think mom and dad apologized and told Sister Janet they were doing the best they could with me. ‘I know you are,’ Sister said to them, ‘but your son has a touch of the devil in him.’ Years later, mom also told me how embarrassed she was when my dad responded to Sister Janet by saying something to the effect that he would extract hell out of me . . . but his exact words are lost to history!”

Read the complete homily HERE.

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3rd Sunday A; Celebration of Life: Blessing and Sending of Pro-Life Marchers Homily

“What a joy to see all of you, especially so many young people, gathered in this Basilica, the first Cathedral in these United States, for this Mass in which we celebrate and give thanks to God for the gift of life. You come from parishes and schools throughout the Archdiocese of Baltimore and you are here because you love and cherish the precious gift of life.

“I especially want to welcome Tony Melendez – thank you, Tony, for lifting our hearts in giving thanks and praise to God and for teaching us to value God’s gift of life by putting our talents at the service of others.”

Read the complete homily HERE.

3rd Sunday A; Anniversaries of St. Francis de Sales, Abingdon Homily

“Father Ward, Father Wible, brother deacons, and dear parishioners: what a pleasure to be with you this afternoon and to offer Holy Mass as you bring to a conclusion a year-long celebration of a trifecta of anniversaries: the 150th anniversary of the Stone Chapel; the 50th anniversary of the parish of St. Francis de Sales; and the 25th anniversary of the blessing of the parish worship center.

“Warmest congratulations on all three anniversaries and warmest thanks to you, Father Ward, for the dedicated pastoral care you provide to this parish! At the same time, we welcome home Father Chuck Wible who served St. Francis de Sales so lovingly – thank you for being here!”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Faith, Sexuality, and the Meaning of Freedom; Remarks, Panel Discussion: The Demands of Faith

“Warmest thanks for the opportunity to be part of the broader discussion on faith, sexuality, and the meaning of freedom. At the moment we are focusing on one aspect of that discussion, namely, the “demands” of faith in a dynamic cultural setting.

“A clarification of the word “demands” might be in order. I would suggest it can mean three things: First, it refers to conditions under which people of faith and their ministries flourish so as to accomplish what they see as their God-given mission, a mission that often includes proclamation, worship, education, charity, and advocacy. Second, it means the legitimate expectation of people of faith that they and their religious institutions will be fully accorded the protection of their God-given religious freedom guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.”

Read the Archbishop’s complete remarks HERE.

Epiphany 2017 Homily

“A few years ago, when I served as Bishop of Bridgeport, Connecticut, I celebrated the Feast of the Epiphany in a large multi-cultural parish. St. Peter’s on Colorado Avenue was predominately Spanish-speaking, with parishioners from Mexico as well as Central and South America. There were also parishioners from various countries in Africa as well as a small community of Iranian Christians.

“For most of those parishioners, Epiphany was a bigger feast than Christmas and it was certainly celebrated with a lot of solemnity and joy. It always included a pageant depicting the arrival of the three kings and gifts were distributed to the children of the parish after Mass. The Associate Pastor at St. Peter’s had a distinct aversion to incense. It’s not that he was allergic, he just didn’t like to use it. So I deliberately used lots and lots of incense and caught his eye. We both smiled; after all, incense was one of the gifts the magi offered Jesus.”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Saturday before Epiphany, Discernment Retreat

“Dear brother priests, dear sisters, dear friends and discerners: I’m glad to join all of you who are making this discernment retreat and to offer Holy Mass with and for you during these days when, in a very special way, you seek the will of God in your lives. In particular, I thank the Lord for your openness to the distinct possibility that God may be calling you to serve Him and His Church as priests.

“Seeking God’s will, of course, is not something we do on our own. God’s will is often not identical with our preferences. His plans for our lives are often at odds with our plans. And the objections we raise are not God’s objections but ours. So it is that you and I ask the Holy Spirit to open our hearts to the Word of God, for it is by listening attentively to God’s Word that we are able to sort out the conflicting influences in our lives and all the complexities we create, so as to discover God’s will and to do his will, for, ‘in his will is our peace’ (Dante). With that in mind, let us now turn to the Scripture readings just proclaimed.”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Mary Mother of God Homily

“Every Christmas night, long after gifts were exchanged and the dishes were washed, mom and dad would gather us together to look at old family photographs – some neatly stowed in albums, others waiting patiently to be put in an album. Those photos always brought back memories, along with laughter and tears. They brought to mind treasured remembrances of persons and events near and dear to our hearts.

“In the Gospel, we read once again of that wondrous night when Mary gave birth to Jesus, our Savior. There were no smart phones with cameras to capture Mary’s loving smile and her tears of joy. No lens caught the tenderness and concern of St. Joseph for Mary and Jesus. There were no videos of the shepherds keeping watch or the angels singing. Indeed, there was no need for a camera. For the Lord’s birth and all the mysterious events surrounding it impressed themselves deeply in Mary’s heart. The Gospel tells us that ‘Mary treasured all of these things in her heart.'”

Read the complete homily HERE.