Archbishop Lori’s Homily: 17th Sunday A

“Those of you who are moving along in years might remember an old movie entitled ‘It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World.’ Filmed in 1963, this mad-cap comedy starred Spencer Tracy & featured an all-star cast that included the likes of Edie Adams, Ethel Merman, Sid Caesar, and Milton Berle. The plot hinges on rumors of buried treasure, some $350,000, in the Santa Rosita State Park, near the Mexican Border. This treasure was to be found under a big ‘W’… which turned out to be three tall, interlocking palm trees swaying in the wind.

News of this buried treasure totally upended the lives of a police chief, a dentist, a salesman, a truck driver, and a lot of other people as well. Indeed, the prospect of getting all or most of this money unearthed the worst instincts in most all these characters and prompted them to do the most outlandish and dangerous things to get it. If you recall, this tale of greed didn’t really end well for anyone most especially the police chief who, until then, had been seen as a pillar of the community.

Read the complete homily HERE.

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Archbishop Lori’s Homily: Votive Mass of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

“A sure sign of spring in Mom and Dad’s household was the arrival of the Burpee Seed catalogue. My Dad, an avid gardener, was a loyal customer. ‘The best seeds money can buy,’ he used to say. But it wasn’t just the seeds that made Dad’s garden a success. He also worked at it. Before the spring planting, he was out in the garden. If the ground had hardened due to lack of moisture, he watered and tilled it. If there were weeds, he removed them. If there were stones, he uprooted them and put them elsewhere. If he thought the soil needed to be enriched, he was on it. A lot of preparation took place before the seed ever went into the ground.

“Dad monitored the progress of his garden daily. He did his best to ward off hungry birds, squirrels, and deer – (as well as inquisitive children such as me and my friends). Throughout the entire growing season he continued to tend the soil – to enrich and water it – to make sure that the conditions for growth were good.”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Archbishop Lori’s Homily: Mass for the Sulpician General Council

“It is a pleasure to welcome you, the leadership of the Society of San Sulpice, to the Archdiocese of Baltimore – thank you for meeting here at St. Mary’s. As you know, the Society and the Archdiocese share a long and storied history. The arrival of the Sulpicians in Baltimore was truly a providential event not only for the newly founded See of Baltimore but indeed for the future of the Church in a new republic.

“I am reminded of this legacy constantly –not only when I visit Paca Street or St. Charles or St. Mary’s in Roland Park, but indeed in my residence and in the Basilica Cathedral to which it is attached. The Basilica of the Assumption was begun by Archbishop John Carroll in 1806 but it was the 3rd Archbishop of Baltimore, Archbishop Ambrose Maréchal – himself a Sulpician – who completed its construction and who, in large part, built my residence which serves also as the basilica rectory. Inscribed on the high altar of the Basilica are the initials ‘AM’ which mean, of course, ‘Auspice Maria’ – but they could also mean ‘Ambrose Maréchal’! In my residence hangs a beautiful portrait of the 3rd Archbishop of Baltimore together with a large cache of monumental paintings which Archbishop Maréchel allegedly coaxed from his friend, Cardinal Fesch – the erstwhile Archbishop of Lyon and uncle of Napoleon Bonaparte.”

Read the complete homily HERE.

A Painful, Necessary Reminder

“In May, Netflix released a seven-part series called “The Keepers,” which details the efforts of a number of people to solve the 1969 murder of Sister Catherine Cesnik, S.S.N.D.

“Sister Cathy, as she is known by many, had been a teacher at Archbishop Keough High School, which many of the individuals who are working today to help solve her murder attended. “The Keepers” relates that Sister Cathy was aware that students were being abused by a now-deceased priest, Joseph Maskell, who served as chaplain at Archbishop Keough, and suggests that her killing may have been related to what she knew about the abuse.”

Read the complete column HERE.

Archbishop Lori’s Homily: Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle; Closing Mass, Fortnight for Freedom

“When I was in the fourth or fifth grade, something awful happened. The sole television set in our house broke down and was pronounced unfixable. And let me tell you it was hard for me to adjust to life without Saturday morning cartoons and episodes of I Love Lucy, not to mention Bishop Fulton Sheen’s iconic series, Life Is Worth Living. Worse than all of the above was a conscious decision Mom and Dad made, namely, that we’d all be better off without television. After all, if Lowell Thomas was still broadcasting the news on the radio, what could we possibly miss?

“The demise of our television set and the decision not to buy a new one was hard to take. I did my best to pout, mope, and act as though life were not worth living – all to no avail. One Sunday night, however, I was at friend’s house ostensibly doing homework but actually watching Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom hosted by Marlin Perkins. While I was out, Mom and Dad received a phone call from our local parish. That day there had been a parish fund-raiser that included a raffle. The grand prize was a brand new Zenith T.V., and guess what, Mom and Dad had won it. When I returned home, Mom and Dad told me the good news but I didn’t believe it. In fact, I thought it was terrible that they’d make up such a story, knowing how I felt. It was only when the T.V. was delivered to our house later that night that I believed. Blessed are those who have not seen Leave It to Beaver yet still believe!”

Read the complete homily HERE.