Friday, 4th Week of Lent; Knights of Columbus Board Meeting Homily

“Recent Popes have repeatedly reminded bishops not to be mere managers. Looking at the state of our dioceses, you might think these Popes would have insisted that we be better managers. Most of us struggle with unfunded pension liabilities, aging facilities, declining enrollment in our schools, an aging clergy, and so forth. Some manage better than others but any bishop worth his salt understands that church management these days is not exactly a walk in the park.

“No pope, of course, encourages bad management on the part of bishops. When they decry bishops who are merely managers, however, they are getting at truth that is on display in today’s Scripture readings, and it’s this: There’s no ‘managing’ God even as there is ‘no chaining the Word of God!’ We can try to manage temporalities and personnel, but managing God is above everybody’s pay grade, even the Pope’s! And so you might ask what I mean by managing God and what today’s Scripture readings have to say about this . . . at least I can hope you’re asking these things!”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Solemnity of the Annunciation Homily

“Five years ago, I was invited to dinner at the Vatican Embassy in Washington along with about twenty-five other bishops. At the time I was Bishop of Bridgeport, Connecticut. And for the record on this feast of the Annunciation, the real name of the Vatican Embassy is the Nunciature and the title of the Pope’s representative is an Archbishop known as the Nuncio. At any rate, I was thinking that after a long day of meetings, it would be pleasant to have dinner at that impressive place with my colleagues. I also thought it would be an early evening. I was looking forward to getting my z’s!

“As I greeted the Nuncio, he smiled and said, ‘Bishop, maybe I can see you later?’

“There is only one right answer to something like that, so I said, ‘Of course, Archbishop’ but ‘wondered what his greeting meant!'”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Third Sunday in Lent; Installation of Fr. Jesse Bolger Homily

“Your applause signals the warm welcome you have given to Father Jesse during the months that have passed since he was appointed as your pastor. You have seen the priestly goodness, the talent, the energy and the dedication he brings to his ministry here at St. Joseph’s. I thank you not only for welcoming Father Jesse but also for working closely with him as a new chapter is written in the history of this great parish.

“Let me also say a special word of welcome to Father Jesse’s parents as well as his family members who join us today along with parishioners from parishes where Father Jesse has served in the past and his many friends from near and far.”

To read the complete homily, click HERE.

Archdiocesan Mass for Consecrated Life Homily

“Thank you for taking part in this annual Archdiocesan Mass for Consecrated Life. It is an opportunity for me and for this local Church of Baltimore to recognize and give thanks for the rich and varied vocation to the consecrated life a vocation represented so well by each of you and by your communities. The charisms of your founders find expression in your many ministries that directly benefit and strengthen our fellow Catholics and the wider community. For all of this, and for so much more, please accept my heartfelt gratitude, coupled with my prayers for you and for your institutes. In a special way we honor those celebrating anniversaries of their religious profession, ranging from 25 years to 50, to 60, to 65, 70, 75, and even an 80th anniversary! Warmest thanks and congratulations!

“Due to a variety of scheduling complications, mostly of my doing, we come together deep into the season of Lent. Aside for the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, Lent has a somber, penitential character, as we journey toward the Cross and meditate frequently on the mystery of the Lord’s Passion and Death. With this in mind, we celebrate today a votive Mass in honor of ‘the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Foot of the Cross’. In fact, this Mass comes to us not from the general Roman Missal but rather from the Proper of Masses of the Order of the Servants of Mary. So, I hope that this votive Mass and its readings speak eloquently to you and to the vocation which you strive to live with generosity and joy.”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Second Sunday of Lent; St. Patrick Parade Mass Homily

“In a scene that was to repeat itself many times in our history, a priest by the name of Dolan and a physician by the name of Donovan met a ship in the Baltimore harbor arriving from famine-stricken Ireland. The year was 1847. Father Dolan wrote in his diary that the ship was ‘freighted with human misery and death’ (Cf. Spalding, Premier See, p. 139).

“These vulnerable men, women, and children – like Abram in today’s first reading – left behind their homeland and came to these shores in hope of a better life. They were fortunate to be greeted in our harbor by a compassionate priest and a devoted doctor, both of Irish descent, They assumed responsibility for the stricken people on that ship. They found shelter for the dying passengers. Father Dolan heard their confessions and anointed them while Dr. Donovan did his best to soothe their sufferings and to save any life that he could. They did not hesitate to take charge of some forty orphans on that ship and with the help of the Hibernian Society opened an orphanage to house them and to teach them a trade or to teach them how to farm (Ibid).”

Read the complete homily HERE.

First Sunday of Lent; Rite of Election Homily

“On the first Sunday of Lent the Church invites all of us, but especially those of you preparing for initiation at Easter, to confront the very human tendency to give in to temptation and to fall into sin. At the conclusion of Lent, during the Easter Vigil and on Easter Sunday, the Church will again remind us of our struggle with temptation and sin by inviting us to renounce sin so as to live the new life Christ won for us. You and I will be asked: ‘Do you renounce sin so as to live in the freedom of the children of God?’ And then: ‘Do you renounce the lure of evil, so that sin may have no mastery over you?’ And finally: ‘Do you renounce Satan, the author and prince of sin?’

“So, at the very beginning of Lent, the Church looks ahead to Easter, to the celebration of the Lord’s victory over sin by his Cross and Resurrection. The Church wants to guide us through these forty days of Lent, this intense time of prayer and self-sacrifice leading to the Easter Vigil, so that when the day of the Resurrection dawns, we will not half-heartedly pronounce our baptismal promises. No, we shall do so as disciples, as followers of Christ, who truly share in the victory of Christ over sin and death, as men and women who are truly free from the bondage, discord, and misery which sin, contrary what it promises, inflicts upon us and upon our world.”

Read the complete homily HERE.