Archbishop Lori’s Homily: Feast of the Transfiguration; 60th Anniversary of Msgr. John Auer

“Some sixty years ago, a newly ordained priest, Fr. John Auer, arrived at his first assignment, St. Jane Frances in Pasadena. Evidently there was no fanfare, no banners, no welcoming committee, no formal introduction to the parishioners . . . No, he just showed up and found the pastor, Fr. Raymond Kelly, in the backyard, sitting with his little white dog. After a brief greeting, the pastor said to him, ‘Go into the Church and hear confessions,’ …something Msgr. Auer has been doing every week for nearly six decades.

“Thus did Msgr. Auer begin his long and extraordinarily fruitful priesthood: hearing confessions on a Saturday afternoon in a suburban parish. This humble beginning might seem pretty far removed from the mystery of the Transfiguration just proclaimed in the Gospel – but in fact, I would say and I think you would say that Msgr. Auer has spent his whole life proclaiming the glory of Jesus, helping us to listen to him, and helping us to shine inwardly with the goodness and glory of God revealed on Jesus’ transfigured face. It’s not my intent this morning to canonize Msgr. Auer but I would like to illustrate how, in his priestly ministry, he has brought us close to Jesus and shared the life of Jesus with us.”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Archbishop Lori’s Homily: Knights of Columbus Supreme Convention; Memorial Mass

DSC00229“As our Supreme Convention enters upon its last day, as is our custom, we have gathered at the banquet of Christ’s Sacrifice, the Eucharist, to remember those who have gone before us in faith.

“With joy and thanksgiving, we remember the life and example of the saints and indeed all the holy ones who were members of the Order or friends of the Order. With love and devotion, we remember Pope St. John Paul II who was especially close to the Knights of Columbus throughout his Pontificate. At the end of Mass, Cardinal Dziwisz will bless us with a vessel containing the blood of his friend and mentor, Pope St. John Paul II, a most precious relic that links us not only to the historic example of the saintly pontiff, but also to his ongoing intercession for us in these present days.”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Archbishop Lori’s Address to the 135th Knights of Columbus Supreme Convention

_MB34489“I hope you’ll agree – it’s been a wonderful Convention. And it has been a special pleasure for us to be here in St. Louis, a city with such deep Catholic roots, a local church with a strong missionary spirit, an Archdiocese that is the Church’s ‘gateway to the West’.

“During the days of our Convention, we have focused on the theme ‘Convinced of God’s Love and Power.’ This means we believe that the God of glory and majesty – the God of infinite power and might – really does know us, really does care about us, and through his Son Jesus really does accompany us throughout our lives. And more than that, we believe that God’s love is powerful – powerful to change our lives, powerful in overcoming our sins, powerful in changing our plans and priorities such that we no longer live for ourselves but for Christ and for others. And we have seen this theme – so fundamental to the Gospel – celebrated, preached upon, and exemplified in countless ways in the days of this, our 135th Supreme Convention.”

Read the complete address HERE.

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.

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.

Archbishop Lori’s Homily: Ordination of Kevin Ewing to the Priesthood

“Dear friends, we’ve gathered in joy to pray with and for Deacon Kevin Ewing as today he is ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Today’s ordination takes place on the Solemnity of the Birth of St. John the Baptist and so we ask this great saint not only to intercede for us but also to help us reflect on the beautiful mystery about to unfold before our eyes. Please listen and pray as, in the spirit of St. John the Baptist, I offer a few words of instruction and encouragement to Deacon Kevin, now on the cusp of priestly ordination.

“And so, now, Deacon Kevin, what does this great feast of John the Baptist’s birth say to you and to us all in this grace-filled moment? Might I begin with Isaiah  where the prophet says this of himself and of John the Baptist: ‘The Lord called me from birth, from my mother’s womb he gave me my name.’ And again, ‘For now, the Lord has spoken who formed me as his servant in my mother’s womb . . . .'”

Read the complete homily HERE.

“The Joy of the Gospel”

The annual Fortnight for Freedom kicked off June 21st with the Opening Mass at the Basilica of the Assumption with a beautiful liturgy. Leaders from across the Archdiocese of Baltimore and many Catholic organizations as well as local civic leaders gathered with the faithful to pray for religious freedom in our nation and around the world. In my homily, I spoke about Saint Thomas More and Saint John Fisher and their heroic witness to freedom for holiness and freedom for mission.

Freedom of religion is a fundamental, God-given human right that is recognized and enshrined in our Nation’s Constitution. It allows us to act in ways that serve the common good, as motivated by the Gospels and in accordance with our faith. It is one we need to pray for and to protect for the benefit of all Americans, and for future generations.

What better way to conclude this year’s Fortnight for Freedom than with a closing Mass in Orlando, Florida during “The Joy of the Gospel” National Convocation of Catholic Leaders. This will be a truly historic gathering of the Catholic Church in the United States. We will call on the Holy Spirit to inspire us as we seek to respond with one heart, one mind, and one voice to Pope Francis’s urgent call in The Joy of the Gospel to become and to make truly missionary disciples. In a word, to embrace our “missionary conversion.”

As Pope Paul VI reminded us some 40 years ago, the Catholic Church “exists to evangelize.” This is why religious freedom is so precious and so essential. This is why we need to be vigilant and, when necessary, to act to protect it.

In Orlando, we will be exercising this right with gratitude and much hope for the future. Together we will pray, listen, and learn from our most gifted leaders in mission and ministry as well as from one another. We will deepen our bonds of unity and solemnly commit ourselves to carrying out the mission of Jesus Christ in our place and in our time. And we will look for the presence of the Holy Spirit to guide our discussions, always with the will of the Lord and the good of His holy people foremost in our minds.

We look forward to returning to share with the people of the Archdiocese all what we have seen and heard. We ask your prayers for us during this time. And we hope to come home with fresh inspiration for our own Be Missionary Disciples Pastoral Planning process of missionary conversion.