'As Christ Loved the Church'
John XXIII and the nature of real peace
Many of us, including many non-Catholics, remember Pope John XXIII as “good Pope John” — a man who committed himself to world peace and international justice. But in talking about peace, John always began with the dignity and rights of the individual human person, and the importance of the common good. Peace in the world […]
Why Catholic Schools Are Worth Saving
This Sunday, May 20, is “Voucher Sunday.” You won’t find it on the Catholic liturgical calendar, but this year in Pennsylvania, it’s a vital day nonetheless. Over the past few months, people across the Archdiocese have been working with renewed urgency and zeal to rebuild the health of our Catholic schools. Alumni and alumnae have […]
Thoughts on an invitation to grace
Later this month, on May 19, I’ll ordain new priests for our local Church. This is a special moment of joy for me, since these new brothers will be the first I welcome into the priesthood as Archbishop of Philadelphia. But every new priest is a source of joy and hope for all our people. In the wake of so many difficulties for our Church over the past 15 months, we need to pause and reflect. Every genuine love story is a great love story; and every great love story creates new life. Real love is always fruitful. The love of husbands and wives bears fruit most obviously in the lives of their children, but also in many forms of Christian service … and also in the witness which their love provides to other people.
It’s not enough to know Jesus; we need to love Him
Scripture tells us that after the crushing sadness of the crucifixion, the joy felt by the disciples in recognizing Jesus at Emmaus was intense. But as deep and personal as their joy was, it also compelled them to act. Their joy was alive; it was restless; it made them run back to Jerusalem through the […]
Thursday, May 3 2:30 p.m. — Attend Conference for Priests given by Cardinal Paul Cordes St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Wynnewood 4 p.m. — Celebrate Jubilarian Mass St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Wynnewood 6 p.m. — Attend BLOCS 16th Annual Scholarship Dinner The National Constitution Center Saturday, May 5 8:30 a.m. — Archdiocesan Pastoral Council Archdiocesan Pastoral […]
Sunday, April 1 10:45 a.m. — Mass Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul, Philadelphia 6:30 p.m. — Mass Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul, Philadelphia Thursday, April 5 10 a.m. — Chrism Mass Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul, Philadelphia 5 p.m. — Mass of the Lord’s Supper Cathedral Basilica of SS. […]
Holy week, Easter and the beginning of new life
The late and much loved Cardinal Augustin Mayer, O.S.B., once wrote that, “Nothing great is ever achieved without suffering.” His words come back to me every year during Holy Week. They remind us that discipleship always has a cost. No Christian ever lives the Gospel without eventually encountering the cross.
The nature of the Church and the importance of lay action
In the next few months, at my request, The Catholic Standard and Times will publish a report on the financial condition of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, including its offices, ministry programs and many of its related agencies and non-profit corporations. Too often we think of the Church as an institution, and institutions are hard to love. The structures of Catholic life are required by canon and civil law, and they’re important. But they’re also secondary. At her heart, the Church is a family, a community of believers. Like any family, her members have mutual obligations of respect and accountability. This has practical consequences. We ask our people to be generous. As a result, they have a right to know that their resources, which the Church holds in trust for them, are used properly.
Where we are as a Church, six months later
Six months ago this week (March 8), I began my service as Archbishop of Philadelphia. One of the reasons I write this weekly column is to speak directly and freely to our clergy and people. Today is a good time to reflect on the work that’s been done so far to resolve the challenges facing the Archdiocese, and the work – a great deal of work – that still remains. As I’ve noted in the past, when I arrived in Philadelphia I began a comprehensive financial and legal review of our archdiocesan operations. That process has been thorough and sobering. It will continue for several more months. But today we do have a far better sense of our limited resources and the scope of our problems.
Re-orienting our lives to the things that matter
One of the defining moments of Jesus’ public ministry takes place before his work even begins. In the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, God’s Spirit leads Jesus into the desert for fasting and prayer. While there, Satan attacks him with temptations to vanity, worldly power and glory. In effect, Christ’s knowledge of who he really […]