Ministry: July 2003 Archives

Abp. Sean's first homily

First, an amusing bit:

After 38 years, being a Franciscan brother is still the great joy of my life. I wish that after so long I were doing it better, but God and my community have not given up on me. Although, when I have been bishop in lovely vacation spots, my Provincial used to say, “O’Malley, when will you get a real job?" Brother Paul, does this count?

The faithful interrupted the Archbishop's homily several times with applause, most notably at this passage:

In a community of faith, we learn to worship our God, to forgive one another and to serve those around us. We discover the true dignity of each and every person made in the image and likeness of God. No matter how small the unborn, no matter how debilitated, and unproductive the aged and infirm, we must take care of each other. No one is expendable. Each and every person counts in God’s sight. The Gospel of Life will always be the centerpiece of the Church’s social Gospel.

Here's the text. Just read it all.

A young lawyer and youth minister joins a dwindliing, maybe dying, religious community: the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston (CSJ) are mostly over 70 years of age; only seven are under 50. For now, she's tutoring immigrants in English, and she plans to assist them by returning to the practice of immigration law.

What motivates Deirdre Griffin? In this profile, it's a desire to be involved in "her causes", a generosity to the underprivileged, a sense of "vocation" -- but since it's filtered through the lens of the writer, one can't assume we have the whole picture. The writer doesn't mention the words "Jesus" or "Christ". It does, however, describe the young lady twice as a "feminist". Are socio-political categories the only ones a newspaper writer can understand? I have to hope that the gal who was the president of a college Catholic student group has a personal faith life and some sense of a personal relationship with Christ.

In Memoriam

Bill Bright helped many people find faith in Jesus Christ. May he receive the reward of a good servant.

Faith cometh by Powerpoint


Thanks to the Claretian Fathers in the Philippines, you can download a Powerpoint-format presentation of the readings in the Sunday liturgy. Here's how this week's looks when converted to HTML pages for the web. I'm impressed to see the missionaries of our day using modern technology to express the Word of God with such tasteless and unattractive results.

More on funerals: Dom mentions the story of the Santa Fe priest being sued because he allegedly said that the faithful departed, an 80-year-old gentleman, (1) wasn't very faithful and (2) had departed for -- well, somewhere other than paradise.

That beats the other case of funerary denunciation I knew about: when Bishop McGann criticized the late CIA chief William Casey at his 1987 obsequies.

A friend sent in a bit of oral history that circulates among the Discalced Carmelites:

Then there was the OCD in OK City that agreed to say the funeral for the mafioso at the request of the widow. He began his homily by saying, "You are comforted by the thought that your husband, your dad, grandpa, your friend and business associate is now in Heaven with Jesus. Well, he isn't. He is in Hell and in the deepest pits of Hell, which is where all of you will wind up if you don't repent."

The provincial transferred the priest shortly thereafter.

He sure didn't learn to preach like that in a program of Clinical Pastoral Education.

(EXTRA) Questions for class discussion:
What do you think about these situations? If the deceased appeared to die impenitent of serious sin, does it make sense for a priest to say (in some way): this guy probably went to Hell; do not follow him. Or should the deceased simply be denied a Catholic funeral?

Illustrative examples (especially from the lives of the Saints) are welcome.

Talk about "burying the lead"! Sean Roberts must not have realized that a modest detail in his blog entry should really be the headline.

It is a case of bad news and good news. The good news is that Abp. Chaput has permitted the establishment of a Russian Catholic community in Denver sharing the building of an ordinary Roman-rite parish. That'll make a grand total of four Russian Catholic parishes in the US.

The bad news is that this came about because of some dissension in Denver's Ruthenian Byzantine parish, where the admirable Fr. Chrysostom Frank served for some years. Sean has that story too.

(via Amy)

While I'm up at 3 am tinkering with my computer, EWTN is presenting a moving special about Courage, the spiritual support group for Catholics overcoming same-sex attraction. The program is built around members' experiences of conversion and recovery, including that of writer David Morrison.

It'll be on the air -- well, on the cable -- again tonight (Thursday, July 3) from 11 PM to midnight ET.

(By the way, folks, would you take a moment to say a prayer for "Bill", who struggled with this problem for a long time and has fallen away? Thanks.)

What? Who?

On life and living in communion with the Catholic Church.

Richard Chonak

John Schultz

You write, we post
unless you state otherwise.


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This page is an archive of entries in the Ministry category from July 2003.

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