Archbishop Lori’s Homily: 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time; Installation of Fr. Ray Chase

“Thank you most warmly for your support for Father Ray. As you know, he’s been serving as Pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Parish since April and I know he has made great inroads into your hearts and into the life of this parish. And thank you, Fr. Ray, for your readiness to serve the Church and for bringing to this pastoral assignment the heart of a pastor coupled with love and respect for the poor, the vulnerable, and those who suffer from indifference, neglect, prejudice and bigotry –especially in your longstanding work with Catholic Charities of Baltimore.

“It is not my intention to belabor the job description of a pastor. While the Church offers plenty of guidance on the topic, it is just as difficult to define what it means to be a good pastor as is it is to define what makes for a happy and fruitful marriage. The key ingredients for both, of course, are a warm and open faith together with self-giving love –modeled on and sharing in the Lord’s own self-giving love.”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Archbishop Lori’s Homily: Opening Mass of the Holy Spirit; Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary

“It is a pleasure to offer this Mass of the Holy Spirit, asking the guidance, wisdom, love and strength of the Spirit as we begin a new year of priestly formation here at Mt. St. Mary’s.

“For those of you who are newly arrived at the Seminary and from outside the Archdiocese of Baltimore, I bid you a warm welcome to the nation’s first diocese, the Premier See, founded in 1789 with Archbishop John Carroll as its first bishop. If you are a seminarian from the Archdiocese of Baltimore, then there is no need for me to welcome you . . . you are already most welcome . . . but I think you know that!”

Read the complete homily HERE.

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.

Archbishop Lori’s Homily: Corpus Christi

“It has been said that life is a journey, not a destination. And isn’t it true that the longer we journey through life, the clearer it becomes that our final destination is not in this world. Experience also teaches that it’s difficult, if not impossible, to make this journey alone.

“All this was brought home to me some forty years ago, as a newly ordained priest. Back then, I considered myself a very busy person. After all, I had a parish to serve and a doctorate in theology to earn. I had to manage my time well and wisely so as to fit everything in. Among my stops one fine day was Prince George’s County Hospital where I visited a parishioner who was entering into the last hours of her life. Sad to say, I had “budgeted” only a certain amount of time for the visit.”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Archbishop Lori’s Homily: Trinity Sunday

“Not a day goes by without our making the sign of the Cross, without our praying the Our Father or asking Christ to be near us, or without our seeking the inspiration and strength of the Holy Spirit. We wholeheartedly accept in faith the doctrine of the Trinity, the Church’s most important and most central teaching: One God in Three Persons.

“Yet, isn’t it strange that, when anyone speaks at length about this Mystery – the mystery of God’s inner life and love revealed in human history – our eyes tend to glaze over. It can all sound so dry, so theoretical, so far removed from us. And please allow me to let you in on a trade secret. Homilists often commiserate with one another on Trinity Sunday. “It’s so hard to preach about!” they often say.”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Archbishop Lori’s Homily: Votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary

“The Book of Tobit in the Old Testament tells the story of a just man who lived some seven or eight centuries before the birth of Christ. He was a member of one of the Northern tribes of Israel that were deported to Assyria. Tobit made his home as an exile in Nineveh, a city made famous by the preaching of Jonah. Among his fellow exiles, he stood out as a model of fidelity.

“Although Tobit apparently prospered in his exile, he also endured a lot. When, in his charity, he buried a man who had murdered, he was ridiculed. “Importuned” by birds perched on the garden wall, Tobit experienced blindness and was subsequently chided by his wife for his lack of charity. Tobit also had a son named Tobias who decided to marry a woman married seven times previously; all seven of her previous husbands died on their wedding night… nothing to worry about there! Thankfully, though, Tobias lived for another day.”

Read the complete homily HERE.