Archbishop Lori’s Homily: Fortnight for Freedom 2017 Opening Mass

“The future must have seemed bright to Thomas More and John Fisher: The first, Sir Thomas More, was Chancellor of King Henry VIII. He enjoyed a widespread reputation for integrity and wisdom. In learning, in virtue, piety, and penance he was luminous. These qualities were reflected not only in his career but also in his household. Erasmus of Rotterdam, a famous humanist scholar and a keen observer of humanity, described More’s household thusly: ‘More had built for himself…a country house that is dignified and adequate without being so magnificent as to excite envy. Here he lives happily with his family… It would be difficult to find a man fonder of his children than he….’ Describing the formation More & his wife provided their children, Erasmus said this:  ‘You would say that Plato’s Academy had come to life again. But I wrong More’s home in comparing it to Plato’s Academy, for in the latter,  the chief subjects of discussion were arithmetic and geometry and occasionally ethics, but the former rather deserved the name of a school for the knowledge and practice of the Christian faith.’

“The second figure was John Fisher, the Bishop of Rochester. At 14 he was enrolled in Cambridge, at 22 ordained to the priesthood, at 35 years of age, he was appointed and ordained a bishop. Gentle and gifted by nature, Fisher not only excelled at Cambridge; he also contributed decisively to the excellence of Cambridge itself, and, to no one’s surprise, was appointed its Chancellor. Like More, Bishop John Fisher lived a life of penance and self-denial, all the while devoting himself entirely to the pastoral mission of his diocese. If More conducted his household with Christian learning and joy, Fisher conducted the household of the faith with holiness, learning, and diligence.”

Read the complete homily HERE.


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