Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization

"Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization"

Check out the revised edition of this exciting and unique prayer book, filled with prayers that are sure to nourish the soul as we undertake the New Evangelization.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Pope Saint Sylvester - led the Church into first era of peace and flourishing

Pope Saint Sylvester was the first pope after the Edict of Milan by which the emperor Constantine lifted the harsh persecution of Christians. He led the early Church into an era of growth and development. Churches were acquired or built; liturgy and doctrine organically grew; Christians witnessed to their faith openly and the Catholic Faith spread throughout the world. We ought to be most grateful for his papacy. This was the first time the Church was free to be herself. We see by 325 the solidifying of the liturgical rites, the formulation of essential doctrines at Nicea and devotion to Eucharistic Adoration. Prior to 313 the Church was in hiding and under persecution so her limited activity cannot be used as a complete model for Church life. With Constantine and Sylvester we see how the Church was meant to grow and develop under the Spirit's guidance and in freedom. Then we see that immediately she displays devotion to the Eucharist, recorded as reserved and adored in convent chapels by 325. (See the work of Fr. John Hardon). Also doctrine is codified and liturgy established. From those days a process of organic development begins that continues for centuries.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Reconcile and Purify! Be Pure Sanctuaries for the Living Presence of God! Homily First Sunday of Advent 2013 Year A


Pride: A Root Sin. Consider this reflection...

"My Name is Pride” poem by Beth Moore

My name is Pride. I am a cheater.

I cheat you of your God-given destiny…

because you demand your own way.

I cheat you of contentment……

because you “deserve better than this.”

I cheat you of knowledge…..

because you already know it all.

 I cheat you of healing….

because you are too full of you to forgive.

I cheat you of holiness……….

because you refuse to admit when you are wrong.

I cheat you of vision……..

because you’d rather look in the mirror than out a window.

I cheat you of genuine friendship……

because nobody’s going to know the real you.

I cheat you of love…….

because  real romance demands sacrifice.

I cheat you of greatness in heaven…………

because you refuse to wash another’s feet on earth.

I cheat you of God’s glory………

because I convinced you to seek your own.

My name is Pride.  I am a cheater.

You like me because you think I’m always looking out for you.


I’m looking to make a fool of you.

God has so much for you, I admit, but don’t worry……..

If you stick with me you’ll never know.

Who am I? Consider what God's WORD says about who we are as human persons created in His image.

This is what the Scriptures say
regarding who I am in Christ Jesus my Lord!

5:13        I am the salt of the earth
5:14        I am the light of the world

1:12        I am a child of God
15:1,5    I am part of the true vine, a channel  of Christ’s life
15:15     I am Christ’s friend
15:16     I am chosen and appointed by Christ to bear His fruit

6:18        I am a slave of righteousness
6:22        I am enslaved to God
8:14,15  I am a son/daughter of God; God is spiritually my Father
8:17        I am a joint heir with Christ, sharing His inheritance with Him!
8:28        I am assured that all things work together for good
8:31ff    I am free from any condemning charges against me

3:16        I am a temple-a dwelling place of God, His Spirit and His life
                dwell in me.
6:17        I am united to the Lord and I am one spirit with Him
12:27     I am a member of Christ’s body

5:17        I am a new creation
5:18        I am reconciled to God and am a minister of reconciliation

3:26,28  I am a son of God and one in Christ
4:6,7      I am an heir of God since I am a son of God

1:1          I am a saint
5:10        I am God’s workmanship-His handiwork-born anew in
               Christ to do His work
2:19        I am a fellow citizen with the rest of God’s family
3:1          I am a prisoner of Christ
4:24        I am righteous and holy

3:20        I am a citizen of heaven, seated in heaven right now

3:3          I am hidden with Christ in God
3:4          I am an expression of the life of Christ because He is my life
3:12        I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved

5:5          I am a son of light and not of darkness

3:1          I am a holy partaker of a heavenly calling
3:14        I am a partaker of Christ; I share in His life

2:5          I am one of God’s living stones, being built up in Christ
                as a spiritual house
2:9,10    I am a member of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a
                holy nation, a people for God’s own possession

3:1,2      I am a child of God and I will resemble Christ when He
5:18        I am born of God; the evil one, the devil, cannot touch me

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

How shall I make a return for the goodness the Lord has shown to me? I will take up the chalice of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord. Ps. 116. Put your deep gratitude for the Lords many blesssings of the people in your life, opportunities and resources into action by sincerely loving God with all your strength, giving back to those in need from the bounty the Lord has given you and serving Him with courageous witness. With Mary in the Magnificat sing the praises of God who has favored us His lowly servants. Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 21, 2013


The king in the parable of the Lord in yesterdays Gospel is a vicious man who by his own admission takes what is not his possession and harvests what he did not plant. Against the will of the people he takes the kingship and slays his enemies in front of everyone. No wonder the poor servant with his one gold coin is terrified! We worship a different sort of king: Jesus the Christ. He is a king of justice love and peace. We need not ever fear him. We need not fear the worlds persecution nor the finality of death for Christ has won the victory for us! We can accept with gratitude the treasure of Christs kingdom-the word the sacraments and love of God-and invest them by loving others and sharing the seeds of faith. The harvest will be bountiful! Be not afraid to invest God's love that you have been given by loving others and sharing Jesus with them!

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Close of the Year of Faith

The Year of Faith has been a time of many graces for the whole Church as we have taken opportunities for study and reflection in order to deepen our knowledge of the faith. That knowledge we gain is directed towards deeper conversion to Christ and the evangelization of those who do not know Christ. The close of the YOF is not an end but a springboard to a lifetime of growth in faith. There should never be a moment when we stop learning more about our faith and drawing closer to the Lord.

Our parishes in Andover and Kinsman will mark this closing of the YOF on the Solemnity of Christ the King with Eucharistic Adoration from Saturday evening through Sunday afternoon (except for Masses). Please join us in prayer. See parish website for details. Come adore the heart of Christ and ask Him to increase our faith as we build His kindgom, preparing for His return in glory! Come spend time with Jesus. It will change your life. I guarantee it.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

The presence of evil.

Any doubts that Satan is not real are put to rest by the promise of the newly elected mayor of NYC to promote the closure of crisis pregnancy centers with the understanding that clinics not providing abortions do not provide adequate medicine. Death is medicine? Murder is medicine? Pray for his conversion. Remember that anyone who voted in favor of this evil is morally culpable and complicit. May God be merciful to us sinners. May people of faith have the courage to promote the culture of life.

Celebrating a building?

I once saw an old prayer book which contained a picture depicting the grace of the Sacraments as rivers flowing from Mother Church portrayed by Saint Peter Basilica in Rome. Today we celebrate the more fitting image, the "mother and head of all the churches of Rome and the world" - the Lateran Basilica, consecrated in the late 324 on land given by the Laterani family. The Lateran, dedicated to the honor of Saint John the Baptist, is the cathdral of the Diocese of Rome and the mother of all churches. It was dedicated within 15 years of the Edict of Milan in 313 when Constantine lifted persecution of Christians. Building a consecrated church building was that important to the early Church. God does not need buildings nor beautiful decorations but we need churches to give us an environment in which to learn faith and discover God. The world needs our churches as reminders of His presence in our midst. We are caled today to be zealous for the Lords house and make of our churches places of real beauty and sacred worship. These buildings and the worship happening within them inspires us to make of our souls living temples where God is alive and adored by our manner of life. The river of grace then flows from Christ in the Eucharist through us and all the Church into the world as we spread the Good News.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Use your uniqueness for the Lord.

Saul of Tarsus was a tentmaker by trade and thus quite familiar with manufacturing and, before the days of sales reps and middlemen, sales and haggling in the marketplace, as well as responding to the needs of customers. He brought those skills to the table when he was chosen by the Lord to be an Apostle. He became a frontman for the Gospel, "selling" the message of Jesus to people in need. He responded to the needs of the communities he visited with the salve of Gods love. Jesus challenges us to be shrewd in the ways of God, clever in using our uniqueness, skills and talents to serve Him and proclaim the name of Christ to those who do not understand.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Seeking purpose

In times of transition and fluctuation we often begin to wonder what the next step is or even doubt our purpose. Why am I here? What has God planned for me? Whats the point when everything is going wrong? Saint Paul reminds us in todays reading from Romans that no matter what happens, in life and in death, we belong to the Lord. Wherever we are, whatever we are doing or not doing, however dark it gets, we are His beloved. We are never alone and always loved. We also are reminded today that we live and die for the Lord. Thats our purpose. Each day, even in the most unexpected, mundane and sickening to glorify God in all things! Love Him. Praise Him. Serve Him. He loves you and will never forsake you.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

76th Basilica in the U.S.

Last evening Bishop Montforton of Steubenville celebrated the innaugural Mass at Saint Mary of the Assumption Basilica in Marietta, Ohio. It was a most splendid occasion for the thriving parish and its holy pastor. Visit

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

What is the meaning of life? Why am I here?

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

God is Love (John 4:16) and is a relationship of Persons: the Father sharing His very being in begetting the Son, the Son receiving and returning the Father’s love, and the love between them bearing fruit in the Spirit.  His divine nature is loving relationship.  God loves you.  He created you not out of necessity but out of love, in a desire to share His love with His creation.  He made you in His image and likeness (Genesis).  Therefore, the identity of the human person is to image God by living the fundamental vocation to love. 

Man’s telos, or end and purpose, is union with God.  This union consists in more than being with God.  It means “divinization” – being like God and sharing in His divine nature.  “We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (Eucharistic Prayer III).  The mingling of the water and wine at Mass, in addition to symbolizing the water and blood pouring forth from Christ’s side on the Cross, symbolizes the union of the human and divine – the two natures in Christ who is both God and man, as well as the union of God with His people.  The priest prays privately as he places a drop of water in the wine “By the mingling of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled Himself to share in our humanity.” 

God showed us the full depth of His love by sending us Jesus His Son, who “humbled Himself” in becoming man and “emptied Himself” (called Christ’s kenosis) (Philippians 2) in accepting His Passion in obedience to the Father.  In order to experience union with God and a share in the divine nature, we human persons imitate Jesus Christ, who joined His divinity to our humanity and became the exemplar of humanity perfected.  We do this in a myriad of ways but fundamentally the baptized disciple seeks to conform His life to Christ’s by living a life of self-emptying love. 

Blessed Pope John Paul II once said that “man is most fully himself when he makes a sincere gift of himself.”  By imitating Jesus in emptying ourselves in love for others, while we fear losing our identity or some part of our life we hold on to, we actually discover who we really are: images of God whose identity and divine life are defined by passionate love.  When we love, we therefore become icons of the presence of God, leading people beyond our mere selves to see Him who made them and cares for them.  The more we do this, the more we live the vocation to love and become more like Christ, the easier the transition unto eternal union with God and sharing in His nature will be when we pass from this life. 

From the fundamental vocation to love stems the three vocations within the Church – marriage, priesthood and religious life.  Whether one is called to family life, serving a parish or belonging to a religious community, there is a demand for the human capacity for relationship and a responsibility to empty oneself for the sake of others in every person’s calling from God.  Living out our human capacity for love and relationship results in making a constant sacrifice of our life for the sake of the holiness and health of those God sends our way.  Thus, we live like Jesus, who sacrificed Himself for our salvation. 

It is simple yet profound at the same time, easy to say yet without God’s mercy difficult to live:  to be human is to love God and others and live like Jesus so we can be with God and like God forever.  The meaning of life is love.  We are destined for no less than to be saints!

God bless you! 

Father Matthew

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Climb any obstacle until your eyes meet the gaze of the Savior: Homily 31st Sunday of Ordinary Time 2013 Year C

Listen to today's homily...

All Souls Day

Today we pause to remember with mixed emotions those whom we love who have gone before us into the hands of the Lord. I remember fond childhood memories with my grandfather and grandmother-working outside with grandpa and enjoying grandmas cooking and baking - and lament that my grandparents did not live to see my ordination. We thank God that in His abundant mercy He allows souls the opportunity to be purfied in purgatory so that hell is not only option if we are in need of purification from the residue of sin which has stained our souls and made us unworthy of heaven. We find consolation in the Lords words: He desires none of us to be lost and all to come to eternal life. We commit a great act of love by praying for all who have died: the poor souls in purgatory, our own loved ones and those who have no one else to pray for them, and those who will die today. May God be merciful to the departed and grant them eternal life. May the light of faith burn brightly in all of us so we may shine with the perpetual light of glory.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Bulletin Column on the Fall Feasts

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

           Autumn, with its tapestry of changing, falling leaves manifesting the hidden miracles of nature and the genius of the Author of creation, provides a living image (in our hemisphere at least) to accompany the readings from Scripture in the end of the liturgical year and two important feasts.  In the final weeks of Ordinary Time, the Church focuses our attention on the end times: the last judgment and the second coming of Christ.  We will soon hear about the importance of being always prepared for His return.  In November, we celebrate the feasts of All Saints (1st) and All Souls (2nd).  The theme of death and judgment is mirrored in the starkness of the barren trees and decaying foliage.  One day, our bodies shall die and return to the dust of the earth and our souls shall stand naked before the throne of God. 

All Saints Day is a day to celebrate and honor all the men and women of every time and place who have lived lives of heroic virtue and stand as models of sanctity for us.  We beg their intercession for our petitions.  Be sure to research and know personally your patron saint!  He or she is your constant companion in the journey to union with God.  Be close to the saints, for they show us the way to Jesus and plead for us in our needs. 

All Souls Day is a day of remembering the faithful departed.  The story of Judas Maccabeus in the Book of Maccabees shows us the importance of praying for the dead.  Judas (not the betrayer of Jesus) offers sacrifice in the temple for his fallen comrades and friends after a battle.  He is concerned for their souls and his devotion spurs him on to offer prayer for them.  This tells us that these souls may have been in a state of purification and not yet in Heaven, therefore, they needed prayers offered on their behalf.  This state of purification we call Purgatory – God’s merciful gift to us to allow our souls to be cleansed of the effects of sin before entering paradise.  We all know the effect of our sinfulness and our need to be reconciled and purified so as to be worthy of union with God.  Our love for those who have died compels us, like Judas, to pray for the dead.  By our prayers for God’s mercy, we can assist the souls in Purgatory to enter Heaven quickly.  How good it is to pray in love for those who have gone before us! 

On All Souls Day and throughout the month of November, we remember the faithful departed and all the deceased in our prayers and especially at Holy Mass.  It is a great act of charity to pray for the dead, an opportunity we should never miss.  Please take advantage of the envelopes in the back of the church and list the names of those for whom you wish us to pray at Mass.  Please also take time each day to pray for your deceased loved ones.  Teach your children to pray for the dead as well, so that when you reach the end of your earthly life, your soul is not forgotten. 

God bless you!

Fr. Matthew

Father Barron's Awesome Reflection on the Saints

Please visit for Father Robert Barron's amazing reflection on the Solemnity of All Saints. 

Homily 30th Sunday OT 2013 Year C


Homily 29th Sunday OT 2013 Year C


Monday, October 28, 2013

Bishop of Bling

By now youve heard about the suspended bishop of Limburg.
The issue here goes beyond the content and style of the episcopal residence. This kind of lavish spending is mismanagement of the funds given by the faithful and entrusted to the bishop as steward of resources for the whole local church. May the Holy Father have the same courage in suspending all kinds of mismanagers in order to rebuild the worlds trust in Holy Mother Church. With Pope Francis may we all become together an authentic Church, one focused on serving Christ.

Party with the SAINTS!

This is how we do it, folks.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Faith That Transforms Us

18 folks from our parishes beginning a study of Cardinal Weurl's new book tonight. A fantastic way to continue the Year of Faith. Check out the book...Faith That Tranforms Us.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Francis <3 Jesus!

Pope Francis may celebrate Mass and preach differently that I or that what we were used to with Pope Benedict but I want to be close to Jesus like he is. Dont you? :)

Saturday, June 01, 2013


Born in 1906 and descendent from a brilliant and influential family, Dietrich Bonhoeffer chose to enter the service of the Lord as a Lutheran minister and theologian.  He studied in Germany and United States and was a pastor and rector of the seminary at Finkenwalde.  As a significant contributor to the Confessing Church during the Nazi regime and oppression of churches, he worked secretly with the plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.  He was eventually captured and martyred in a Nazi prison.  He remains for people of all Christian denominations a shining example of radical discipleship and a teacher of vibrant faith. 

One of his contributions to Christian spirituality was a unique perspective on intercessory prayer and the Lord’s challenge to love one’s enemies.  He writes, “In prayer we go to our enemies, to stand at their side.  We are with them, near them, for them before God.  We are doing for them…what they cannot do for themselves.” 

Jesus commands: “Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you.”  (Matthew 5:44)  This can be one of the hardest Christian demands, for our human instinct is to retaliate or at least to hold onto the hurt and respond in a passive aggressive way.  Jesus wants us to not only tolerate but actually love those who have hurt us, love meaning to lay down one’s life for the other as Jesus did for us.  We are expected to display a radically different kind of attitude than the world around us.  We are called to pray for those who persecute others. 

The prayer aspect of Jesus command is a great act of charity wherein, as Bonhoeffer explains, we stand near to our enemy, or anyone else we may be praying for, and bring them closer to God who will lead and bless them. 

What is more, we stand in for what the person cannot do for themselves – either because of weakness of faith, hardness of heart, blindness of spirit, stubbornness of will – and we bring the person in touch with the Lord.  It is as if we had one had holding on to the outstretched hand of Jesus and the other hand holding onto the person for whom we are praying, and we introduced the person in need to Jesus, with the excitement of sharing the treasure of our friend and savior Jesus with another.  Though they may not even know we are praying for them, we are at their side and they are close to God who loves them.

In our moments of woundedness and suffering at the hands of others, we cannot change their behavior.  We CAN be responsible for our own behavior and not sink to lashing out or seeking vengeance.  We CAN be loving and prayerful.  We CAN be open to reconciliation and stand next to our enemies in prayer in order to being them before God. 

In our world today there are enemies of truth, enemies of freedom, enemies of the Church – as well as the people in our individual lives who make life tough to handle.  Stand with them every day in prayer and humbly ask God to soften their hearts and being peace to their inner turmoil.  Be near to them and make up for what they cannot do for themselves.  Perhaps you will find peace and conversion for them and for you.  Perhaps you may save their soul. 

Bonhoeffer’s unique twist on intercession is meaningful to Christians and all people of good will.  It is only the tip of a spiritual iceberg awaiting anyone who wishes to read Bonhoeffer’s works.  Trusting in the reward of his martyrdom, may he pray for us to be radical disciples as he was in his time.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Homily Divine Mercy Sunday

Homily Divine Mercy Sunday 2013


Good Friday 1993...

Sharon McAllister left to attend Service of the Lord’s Passion.

Her two boys pleaded not to have to church, so she left them at home,

          with strict instructions on how to behave responsibly while she was gone.


Of course, the moment she left, mischief reigned supreme!

The boys immediately got out their BB guns

and began to play a dangerous kind of hide-and-seek with them,

          firing at each other as they hid behind different obstacles in the yard.


14-year-old Patrick was hiding behind a small boat that was lying in the field.

Just as he stood up and came round from behind it, his brother fired a shot

          which hit Patrick directly in the eye.


In a state of shock and panic, the boys at least thought to run to a nearby house

          and a neighbor lady rushed Patrick to the emergency room. 

Her husband took his brother to church to find and inform their mother.


When Mom arrived at the hospital,

she was startled to see the doctors waiting for her.
They told her that the BB had pierced through Patrick’s eye and torn his retina.

There was nothing they could do for him.


The hospital even called in a specialist, who provided only a bleak prognosis.

He would never see out of that eye again, and his overall vision would be impaired.

Patrick remained in the hospital through Easter Sunday,

and on Monday he went home with both eyes bandaged shut.

Each day Sharon changed Patrick’s bandages and checked his wounded eye.


When she took off the dressings and exposed his eyes to the light,

          he described that it was like “sparklers going off in his eyes.”

He could not see and the shredded inside of his eye was causing him great suffering.

Even worse, the pain medication he was given caused nausea and vomiting.


Frustrated and with no hope except in God, Sharon decided

that her family needed to go to church and pray on Divine Mercy Sunday.

She had heard the lesson of Saint Faustina,

a polish nun to whom Jesus appeared several times beginning in Lent 1931.

Jesus told her that He would answer any prayer of those who pray devoutly on DMS.


Jesus said to Faustina…

“I have opened my Heart as a living fountain of mercy. Let all souls draw life from it. Let them approach this sea of mercy with great trust. Sinners will attain justification, and the just will be confirmed in good. Whoever places his trust in My mercy will be filled with My divine peace at the hour of death.” (1520)


Patrick was not supposed to move around much until his scars healed

          but Sharon insisted that he go with her

                   for her only hope was in the Divine Mercy of Jesus.

So they went, and they prayed for Patrick to regain his sight.


On Monday, there was no change.

Then, on Tuesday, when Sharon opened Patrick’s bandages,

his response was much different than usual.

“Mom, I can see you,” he blurted out.

“What do you mean?” she asked. 

“Like before!” he replied.


Sharon took Patrick to the eye specialist, who examined him

          and was confounded and amazed that Patrick was able to see at all,

let alone see as well as before the accident.

Even if Patrick regained some sight after such an accident,

          the scar tissue in his eye should have left him with spotty vision.


When they went to their family doctor, he, too was amazed, and asked:

 “Who performed this surgery?”

Sharon simply replied: “The One who made the eye!”


God not only worked a miracle for Patrick but also for his brother,

          who was greatly troubled knowing that his carelessness had blinded his brother.

Not a day goes by that the whole family does not thank God

          for His abundant mercy and love revealed in Jesus Christ.


Today is Divine Mercy Sunday,

          the great and beautiful Easter gift given to the Church by the Risen Christ.


The appearance of the Risen Christ among the Apostles is shocking.

He comes through locked doors and stands in the midst of His fearful friends. 

His few words – “Peace be with you!” – dispel their anxiety.



Jesus shows to the Apostles the wounds which He suffered on the Cross…

          wounds which remain in His glorified body as signs of His infinite love.


From those wounds…in His hands and feet…flowed His Precious Blood…

          an ocean of mercy waiting to bursting forth from His Sacred Heart

and cascade over the souls of all humanity.


In that same moment, Jesus transmits to the frightened and dumbfounded disciples

          the sacramental grace to be ministers of His divine mercy.

He institutes the Sacrament of Penance,

and entrusts it to His chosen friends…the first priests of the Church.

“Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and who sins you retain are retained.”


It is through the Church’s ministers that Christ desires to bestow His merciful love.

We give thanks to God, for His mercy endures in the sacramental life of the Church.


The appearance of the Risen Christ to Saint Faustina in 1931 was also shocking,

          as He suddenly came and stood with her in her humble convent cell.

He appeared in dazzling white, with His right hand raised in blessing,

          and with red and white rays emanating from that glorious wound in his side.

Jesus revealed to her that the white ray symbolizes the saving water of Baptism…

          and the red symbolizes His precious blood poured out on the Cross.


The same Risen Jesus appeared to the Apostles…and to Faustina…

          to reveal the same incredible gift of His unfathomable divine mercy!



The prayers for this Second Sunday of Easter,

          especially the Collect, which speaks of the Father’s mercy,

          the fountain of water and the blood of redemption,

                   dovetail so beautifully with the themes of Divine Mercy.


Jesus also revealed to Faustina a prayer known as the Divine Mercy Chaplet,

          and promised great favors to those who pray it in faith.

We will gather as a parish family this afternoon at 3:00 to pray this prayer.

In invite and encourage you to join us.


Like the McCallister family, we all have needs – not the same as theirs –

          but we all have prayers and concerns which we need to lift up to Jesus

          as we beg His mercy upon us and our world.


Like the Apostles, the doors to our hearts are often locked because of fear,

or stubbornness.

Like Thomas, our need for outward signs…proof…upfront

          prevents us from embracing the opportunities for grace God presents to us.

Perhaps this devotion to Divine Mercy is new and uncertain for you.

Be not afraid!


Today, the Risen Christ stands in our midst in this Holy Eucharist…

          and beckons us to partake of the saving and redemptive tide of His mercy.

Today the Risen Christ wishes us peace, and promises us love.

Today the Risen Christ calls us to put aside our fear and doubt,

and place our trust in His mercy.


Dear friends, be not unbelieving in divine mercy…

but believe…and cry out with Saint Thomas: “My Lord and my God!”


Cry out with Saint Faustina: “Jesus, I trust in You!”


Come pray with us this afternoon.

Believe in the mercy of Christ which endures forever…

that you may have life in Him!        

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen! Alleluia!

Our renovation of the sanctuary at Our Lady of Victory turned out gloriously!  Our Lord is again in a place of due honor and prominence in the church.  Praise to Jesus Christ!  See picture below...

Homily of Easter - basic skeleton with ad libitum additions given from the pulpit...

Homily Easter 2013


My favorite saint is Saint John Vianney…the patron saint of priests.


My Confirmation patron…

2011 trip to Ars…


In the rectory I keep a lovely icon of St. John Vianney.

He is depicted in the icon holding a scroll that bears words for which he is famous.


“The eyes of the world see no further than this life…

          but the eyes of the Christian see deep into eternity.”


This morning, the glorious paschal mystery we celebrate

          compels us to see with the eyes of faith

                    and to look beyond what we can perceive by our human senses

and our fallen human nature.

God has become man and has died on the deathbed of the Cross.

A man has been raised from the darkness of death.


This is no mere human reality…

          but instead is a great mystery that transcends time and space…

          breaks the chains of this world’s limitations

          and extends deep into eternity.




Faith in the Resurrection…and indeed the whole Christian life

          requires that we perceive and understand everything

                   in a much deeper and more profound way

                             than the limitations of this world’s chains will allow. 

We are called to see deep into eternity!


We believe in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…

a mystery…a reality…that is not seen by the world in its limitedness.

We believe in many such mysteries.


This Holy Mass we celebrate is not just what we are doing…

          nor is it merely what can be seen and thus grasped and even manipulated.

Instead we are entering into the Liturgy of the church

and the ceaseless worship of the angels

                   in the eternal banquet of the Lamb of God…

where heaven is wedded to earth.


When we celebrate the Eucharist…the eyes of the world see only bread and wine

          but the eyes of the authentic Christian see deep into eternity

                   and behold the living and abiding presence of the eternal Son of God,

                             the Risen Jesus Christ!


When we hear the Pope and the bishops speak on matter of faith and morals…

          we are not merely hearing the voices of men chattering.

We are hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit…
          who speaks through the Magisterium of the Church.

And we must listen…or we shall answer for having ignored the voice of God!

When we meet another human being…

          we ought not see merely a body to be objectified

          or one from whom we can gain something or whom we can control.


The Christian sees a complete person…created in God’s image

and possessing a great dignity that demands respect and love.


The Christian looks at another person…and sees a soul!


The human person is thus to be respected and valued,

          not fabricated or discarded.


The world sees only this life’s fleeting pleasures…

          what to consume or to wear.

The authentic Christian sees that there is a spiritual dimension to the human person

          and recognizes that life is not complete

                   without a constant relationship with the living God.


That relationship…in its fullness…

includes daily prayer, weekly Mass, and regular confession.

Without these, the eternal, spiritual part within us withers…

          and life becomes increasingly frustrating and overwhelming

                   because we have not allowed God to love and nourish our hearts.


The eyes of the world see the universe as an accident

          but the eyes of the Christian see the detailed and loving plan of the Father.


The Christian life opens our hearts to deeply spiritual and incredibly joyful realities

          and allows us to truly live as people of hope…

                    who know there is more to life than what we perceive at first glance.


Saint Paul says: seek what is above,

live for the things that are above, not the things of earth.


The hope of the Resurrection takes us beyond the easily comprehendible

          to the mysterious and sublime

reminding us that there are deeper realities worth living for.


What we can sense is not all there is.                      

Thus the Christian does not live only to be satisfied by earthly happiness.

From this day on, open your hearts and minds to see what is deeper,

          what has been given by God above,

          what is beckoning you to live for eternity.


The life of the Church has so much to offer to us all…

          peace in relationship with Christ

          joy in loving others in their complete and intricate beauty

          freedom in embracing the truth.


This morning, the Risen Christ beckons us…one by one…

calling us to see with the eyes of faith…

to seek higher realities…

          and to gaze...this day and always…deep into eternity.