Archbishop Lori’s Talk: Reflections on Church and State

“Thank you so much for inviting me to offer the annual Red Mass. It is a pleasure to be with Bishop Olson whose courageous, cogent, and loving pastoral leadership I greatly admire. Thank you, Bishop, for your leadership – locally, nationally, and beyond.

“I am also grateful to Robert Gieb, for leading the committee that organized this wonderful Red Mass and our present gathering.  And thanks to all of you, dear friends, who are kind enough to take the time to listen to me not once but twice in one day. You will have a high place in heaven, I assure you! May God reward your efforts to live your faith and bear witness to it!”

Read the Archbishop’s complete remarks HERE.

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Archbishop Lori’s Homily: Red Mass, Diocese of Fort Worth

“Let us suppose that some fine morning you walked into your law office or your chambers, sat down at your desk, began looking at your emails when suddenly the walls began to shake violently, and flames were seen darting about your person. Suppose further that, after this event occurred, you went out on a balcony and began to address passersby down below – shouting in a loud voice the words of the Gospel. I think it’s fair to say that, when you came in from the balcony, your colleagues would tiptoe around you and someone would probably call security!

Yet, something not unlike this happened to the Apostles and the Virgin Mary when they were gathered in the Upper Room to pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit. When the Spirit came upon the Apostles, they emerged as bold and fearless witnesses to the Good News of Christ’s Resurrection and spent the remainder of their lives preaching the Gospel & building up the Church, expending even their lives for the sake of Christ. Listening to this evening’s reading from the Acts of Apostles, we were reminded that we too have received the Holy Spirit. In that conviction, born of faith and confirmed by experience, we have gathered for this Red Mass, this Mass of the Holy Spirit, so that you and I, and all those involved in the administration of justice, will indeed welcome the influence of the Holy Spirit more robustly in our lives, …not only to strengthen and encourage us in the challenges of professional life but also to help us serve the cause of truth, freedom, and the common good. It is no small thing that we pray for.”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Archbishop Lori’s Homily: 225th Anniversary Closing Mass; St. Ignatius, Hickory

“It is always a joy to celebrate Holy Mass at St. Ignatius but never more than today when we bring to a fitting conclusion a year-long celebration of the 225th anniversary of this wonderful parish. During this past year, perhaps more than ever, you have reclaimed your history and your heritage. Even more wonderfully, the grace of God has enabled you to be renewed and deepened in a true missionary spirit – the same spirit that prompted our forebears in the faith  to lay the ground work for this parish so long ago.

“I do not propose to offer you a detailed lesson in your own history; you know it well and you cherish it. Instead, I’d propose to weave highpoints of your history and mission into a reflection on today’s Gospel proclamation, which speaks about our calling to be laborers in the Lord’s vineyard. Let us see how this Gospel sheds a beautiful, divine light on the labors of those who have gone before us in faith and on the work we have been called to do in our day.”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Archbishop Lori’s Homily: 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time; Saints Lorenzo Ruiz and Pedro Calungsod

“It is a joy to take part once again in this festive Eucharistic celebration honoring two great Filipino saints, San Lorenzo Ruiz and San Pedro Calungsod. This joyous Mass is the culmination of three nights of prayer and reflection, a triduum, during which you opened your hearts to the Holy Spirit asking him to implant in you a spirit of discipleship and a burning desire to serve the Church as missionary disciples – ‘to stir into flame [y]our love and service for the Lord.’ May these days of prayer not only contribute to our joy at this Mass but also bear the abundant fruit of the Gospel in the Archdiocese!

“Prior to this liturgy San Lorenzo Ruiz and San Pedro Calungsod were enthroned and there followed a traditional Sinoloģ Dance to honor these two saints. The life and example of these saints are engraved on the culture of the Philippines and written as well on your hearts, indeed, the hearts of all present here today. So, let us spend a moment prayerfully reflecting on their life and example and then allow them to shed light on today’s challenging Scripture readings which teach about two essential qualities of missionary disciples.”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Archbishop Lori’s Homily: Saints Cornelius and Cyprian; Deacon Convocation

“Today, both the Scripture readings and the Feast Day give us much to think about and much to pray about, as we reflect on your calling to serve the Church as deacons as well as the ways spouses and families share in and are affected by this ministry. Let us spend a moment ‘unpacking’ some of these riches, beginning with our reading from the First Letter of St. Paul to Timothy.

“In that reading, St. Paul leads by example. He shows anyone who would claim the name of ‘Christian’ or minister in the name of Christ and the Church what our stance before the living God should be. It is not one of pride and presumption but rather an attitude of repentance and humility.  St. Paul writes: ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Of these, I am the foremost. But for that reason, I was mercifully treated, so that in me, as the foremost, Christ Jesus might display all his patience as an example for those who would come to believe in him for everlasting life.'”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Archbishop Lori’s Homily: 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time; Blessing of New Ministry and Team House

“I’m glad to be with you today to celebrate this parish Mass, and after, Mass to bless the newly completed Ministry and Team House. This project has been in the making for quite a while, so I congratulate you warmly on its completion. With Fr. Tizio, I surely want to thank all who generously supported this project which will greatly benefit our student athletes and their coaches, now and for many, many years to come. Warmest thanks to school and parish leadership and to you, the parishioners, for your generosity – without which this wonderful new facility would not have been built.

“Let us now turn to the Word of God just proclaimed, and in light of this special occasion, we ask what these readings mean for us and for our daily lives, beginning with our reading from the Book of Sirach. In this Old Testament passage, written some 200 years before the birth of Christ, the author, Ben Sira, a wise and learned Jerusalem resident, alerts us to the spiritual danger of being angry and vengeful.  He warns us that we cannot expect God to forgive our sins if we nourish anger against other people – even those who have treated us badly. This teaching should not surprise us because every day, in the Our Father, we say: ‘Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.’ We say those words often but we know it isn’t always easy to forgive others.”

Read the complete homily HERE.

Archbishop Lori’s Remarks: Mass for Dreamers, 9/13/2017

 

My thanks to Father Bruce Lewandowski and the St. Patrick/Sacred Heart of Jesus community for organizing this Eucharist. Now more than ever we need to come together as one community of faith, to raise our voices and our prayers on behalf of those in need of our support and our fraternal love.

The cancelation of DACA is not only an immigration issue, but it is also a moral issue. As Catholics and people of faith, we are called to defend life at every stage, and the lives of these young people are being unnecessarily being put at risk by the threat of deportation and separation from the only country many of them have ever known, as well as separation from family, friends, jobs, schools, and their livelihood.  This is cause for great and unnecessary worry and suffering.

Furthermore, this ruling by the administration denies young people a life of opportunity and it deprives our country of their talents. As Pope John Paul II expressed in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae: “Every threat to human dignity and life must necessarily be felt in the Church’s very heart; it cannot but affect her at the core of her faith… Today this proclamation is especially pressing because of the extraordinary increase and gravity of threats to the life of individuals and peoples”. Young people represent the present and the future of the Church; you are indispensable for the progress of this country and of the Church. You are a treasure we must care for.

I join my brother bishops in imploring the administration to show mercy and compassion for those seeking refuge, and to advance the American value of freedom through providing safe harbor to those fleeing tyranny and religious persecution.  Doing the contrary goes against our American values, but most importantly, against our Christian values.  As Americans and people of faith, we are better than that.  We must be better than that.

My dear young people and families, please know that you are not alone. As my brother bishops have declared, “regardless of your immigration status, you are children of God and welcome in the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church supports you and will advocate for you.” The United States is not only your country, it is also your home.

It is very fitting that today’s Gospel speaks to us about the poor, the lonely, the weeping and the persecuted. Brothers and sisters know that “your reward will be great in heaven”. Let us then, put our trust in God.

More on the Dreamers Mass from the Baltimore Sun: “Baltimore archbishop calls for mercy for ‘Dreamers’ during Mass at Fells Point church”