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Deacon John's Notebook
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Homilies by Deacon John
IN the NEWS
The Year of Mercy
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IN the NEWS
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Read an interview with Archbishop Chaput about
his new book to be released February 21.
Pope issues new Apostolic Letter
POPE CLOSES YEAR OF MERCY,
SAYING JESUS' MERCY ALWAYS REMAINS OPEN WIDE
Gerard O'Connell | Nov 20 2016 - 8:07am | America Magazine
Pope Francis closes the Holy Door of St. Peter's Basilica to mark the closing of the jubilee Year of Mercy at the Vatican Nov. 20. (CNS photo/Tiziana Fabi, pool via Reuters)
Pope Francis closed the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy with the solemn, symbolic act of closing the Holy Door in St. Peter’s Basilica on Sunday morning, Nov. 20. Afterwards, in his homily at mass celebrated with the new cardinals in St. Peter’s Square, he told the world: “even if the Holy Door closes, the true door of mercy, which is the heart of Christ, always remains open wide for us.”
Under the gaze of the world’s media, Francis, wearing white vestments, stood before the Holy Door in silent prayer for a short time, head bowed. Then, at one minute before 10 A.M., he walked up and firmly closed it. He thus ended a truly historic period in the church’s history. For the first time ever, the Holy Year was celebrated not just in Rome but in dioceses across the world from Bangui, in the Central African Republic—where he opened the Jubilee on Nov. 30 last year—to his native Buenos Aires, from Washington D.C. to Beijing and Canberra.
More than 20 million pilgrims passed through the Holy Door in St. Peters, while countless millions of faithful, and even members of other religions, went through Holy Doors in churches across the world. 70,000 Romans and pilgrims from all continents were present in St. Peter’s square as Francis concelebrated mass, under a blue, though sometimes cloudy sky, with 16 of the new cardinals (the one from Lesotho was absent), most other members of the College of Cardinals and hundreds of bishops and priests. The Sistine Choir led the singing.
In his homily, Francis recalled that this was the feast of “Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe” which is “the crown of the liturgical year and of this Holy Year of Mercy.” He went on to reflect on the kind of kingship Jesus exercised: it was “without power or glory,” as “his throne is the cross.” “He does not have luxurious clothing, but is stripped of his tunic; he wears no shiny rings on his fingers, but his hands are pierced with nails; he has no treasure.”
He told his global audience following by television, radio, and social media, that “the grandeur” of Jesus’ kingdom “is not power as defined by this world, but the love of God, a love capable of encountering and healing all things.” Christ “lowered himself to us out of this love, he lived our human misery, he suffered the lowest point of our human condition: injustice, betrayal, abandonment; he experienced death, the tomb, hell.”
He recalled that Jesus “went to the ends of the universe to embrace and save every living being. He did not condemn us, nor did he conquer us, and he never disregarded our freedom, but he paved the way with a humble love that forgives all things, hopes all things, sustains all things” and “this love alone overcame and continues to overcome our worst enemies: sin, death, fear.”
Francis then warned the cardinals and believers alike against giving into the temptation “to keep our distance from Jesus’ kingship, to not accept completely the scandal of his humble love, which unsettles and disturbs us” but to “prefer to remain at the window, to stand apart, rather than draw near and be with him.” Instead of asking, “What does love ask of me, where is it urging me to go? What answer am I giving Jesus with my life?”
He warned against a second temptation too, the same one with which the devil tempted Jesus in the desert and on the cross. This is the temptation “to give up reigning as God wills, and instead to reign according to the ways of the world: to come down from the cross and destroy his enemies, to show his power and superiority!” Francis denounced this as “a direct attack on love: ‘save yourself’; not others, but yourself. Claim triumph for yourself with your power, with your glory, with your victory.”
When faced with this temptation, he said, “Jesus does not speak, he does not react. He does not defend himself, he does not try to convince them, he does not mount a defense of his kingship.” Instead, “He continues rather to love; he forgives, he lives this moment of trial in accordance with the Father’s will, certain that love will bear fruit.”
He told the cardinals and all the faithful that “we are called to struggle against this temptation, called to fix our gaze on the crucified one, to become ever more faithful to him” and not to give into the temptation to “seek out the comforts and certainties offered by the world” or to “the lure of power and success.”
Pope Francis said the Year of Mercy “invites us to rediscover the core, to return to what is essential” and “to look to the true face of our King, the one that shines out at Easter, and to rediscover the youthful, beautiful face of the church, the face that is radiant when it is welcoming, free, faithful, poor in means but rich in love, on mission.”
Recalling how the good thief turned to Jesus on the cross, asking for mercy, Francis reminded everyone that “as soon as we give God the chance, he remembers us.” Indeed, “God is ready to completely and forever cancel our sin because his memory—unlike our own—does not record evil that has been done or keep score of injustices experienced. God has no memory of sin, but only of us, of each of us, we who are his beloved children. And he believes that it is always possible to start anew, to raise ourselves up.”
Pope Francis concluded his homily by encouraging the new cardinals and all believers to “ask for the grace of never closing the doors of reconciliation and pardon, but rather of knowing how to go beyond evil and differences, opening every possible pathway of hope. God “believes in us, infinitely beyond any merits we have,” Francis stated, “and so too we are called to instill hope and provide opportunities to others. Because even if the Holy Door closes, the true door of mercy which is the heart of Christ always remains open wide for us.”
At the end of Mass, Pope Francis signed an Apostolic Letter on the theme of mercy that will be published tomorrow, which he entrusted to Cardinal Tagle of Manila and representatives of the church from all continents.
Pope Francis names 17 new cardinals of Roman Catholic Church
Among the 17 new Cardinals there are 3 Americans including Cardinal Blase Cupich from Chicago.
Three More Reasons Why Mother Teresa's Halo Matters
More information about Saint Teresa ...
Congratulations to our new Auxiliary Bishop
USCCB President Calls for National Day of Prayer
TOP CATHOLIC MOMENTS IN 2015!
SAINT of LIGHT, SAINT of DARKNESS
English Translation of the
Synod on the Family
Happy 800th Birthday to the DOMINICAN ORDER!!!
Dominic therefore, with three Cistercians, began itinerant preaching according to the gospel ideal. He continued this work for 10 years, being successful with the ordinary people but not with the leaders.
His fellow preachers gradually became a community, and in 1215 he founded a religious house at Toulouse, the beginning of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans). His ideal, and that of his Order, was to link organically a life with God, study and prayer in all forms, with a ministry of salvation to people by the word of God. His ideal:
: “to pass on the fruits of contemplation” or “to speak only of God or with God."
LEARNING TO BE HUMAN ...
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION FROM OSV.
From Daily News sportswriter to the seminary
Kevin Mulligan. (Photo courtesy of Kevin Mulligan)
October 30, 2014 3:01 AM
WESTON, Mass. - The lunch conversation bends toward sports and the table looks toward the former sportswriter.
Kevin Mulligan often finds himself saying, "You might know more about that than I do."
Mulligan worked for more than two decades as a sportswriter at the Philadelphia Daily News. His beats included the Eagles and Big Five basketball. It just doesn't have much to do with his new life inside the Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary, where Mulligan is one of 66 men studying for the Catholic priesthood. The seminary just outside Boston, which opened in 1964, is designed for older men coming from other jobs.
The conversation usually bends back away from Mulligan's old vocation . . . "There's a biblical precedent. . . . Miracles do happen."
On May 16, Mulligan, 59, is scheduled to be back in Philadelphia permanently, to take on a new job somewhere locally after his ordination that day at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul.
As a final-year seminarian, Mulligan is a deacon at a nearby parish in Framingham, Mass., while taking classes such as theology of the Eucharist and canon law of marriage. Sometimes, he's in a practice chapel, a small room set up with a mirror so that prospective priests can study themselves at the altar.
"It's geared for ordination and beyond," Mulligan said of the final-year curriculum. "I really came back here this summer knowing I was prepared to take this step," after working last summer as a deacon at St. Patrick's in Center City.
What was his path here? From covering John Chaney and Buddy Ryan to performing baptisms? It wasn't a straight road. After leaving journalism, Mulligan briefly "dabbled" in the golf industry, as a youth director at an area club. Then he began working for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in its communications office. That was when he started to think seriously about becoming a deacon. He came to the conclusion he was meant for the priesthood.
"I have never been happier," Mulligan said one recent afternoon at the seminary.
He recalled his days as a sportswriter covering the Eagles during the Rich Kotite era when an Eagles staffer, Jimmy Gallagher, realized that Mulligan would search out churches on the road. He asked the coaches whether it was OK for Mulligan to join the team Mass on the road.
"It was never going to be anything I would ever write about," Mulligan said. "I just sat in the back. But it helped me, time-wise. It was never going to be a factor in anything I wrote about any of them."
A physical ailment really helped push Mulligan away from sportswriting. Years in front of a keyboard produced elbow injuries that made it impossible to type and resulted in several surgeries. He appreciated that the Daily News kept him on, allowing him to work with an early and rough voice-activation service. But he couldn't write on deadline even after the surgeries.
Mulligan grew up in Center Square, Montgomery County, and graduated from Bishop Kenrick High School. When he was accepted into the seminary, it had been more than three decades since he had taken a class.
"My writing background has helped me a great deal - writing is a part of every day here," Mulligan said. "There's a lot of papers to write, and reflections, and now homilies. And I knew the language of the church, from working for the archdiocese, which was a big help."
The seminarians here come from all sorts of backgrounds: a middle-school principal, a bank executive, an equine veterinarian. Mulligan's classmate, Jim Cardosi, also from Philadelphia, is a retired Navy pilot and the widowed father of five, and a grandfather. Nathan Miles, another Philadelphian, was an Army police officer who served in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Naturally, it is Mulligan who edits the seminary's newsletter.)
All their life experiences, Mulligan said, tend to resonate with congregations.
"They know that you were out there with them," he said.
Mulligan mentioned his sportswriting past once at a wake during a eulogy he delivered a couple of summers back in Bensalem, and a couple of men waited for him outside. They realized they recognized him from occasional appearances on
Daily News Live
. He mentioned that to the pastor, who told him: "You need to tap that well. Any opportunity you can, it's going to be a very valuable thing for you."
He hasn't too often yet, but figures sometime it could be appropriate to talk in a homily, for instance, about Andre Waters, the late safety for the Eagles, who had a reputation as a vicious and sometimes dirty hitter. Mulligan saw one time after the season had ended how Waters went around with trash bags emptying his departing teammates' lockers of their shoes and other equipment to take to his alma mater, Cheyney. He eventually prodded Waters to let him write about that.
Mulligan will be back here full-time after his ordination. He knows his own stories wouldn't resonate too much where he preaches now, despite the collar he's wearing.
"They know I don't follow Boston sports," Mulligan said. "And I never will."
The FINAL SYNOD Report
Five Things the Synod Just Did
BLESSED PAUL VI ...
The World Meeting of Families –
Philadelphia 2015 Official Prayer
God and Father of us all,
in Jesus, your Son and our Savior, you have made us your sons and daughters
in the family of the Church.
May your grace and love help our families
in every part of the world be united to one another in fidelity to the Gospel.
May the example of the Holy Family,
with the aid of your Holy Spirit,
guide all families, especially those most troubled, to be homes of communion and prayer
and to always seek your truth and live in your love. through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, pray for us!
STATEMENT OF ARCHBISHOP CHARLES J. CHAPUT, O.F.M. CAP REGARDING MARRIAGE RULING IN PENNSYLVANIA
May 20, 2014
Today’s federal district court decision striking down Pennsylvania’s Defense of Marriage Act is a mistake with long-term, negative consequences. Like many other Pennsylvanians, I hope that an appeal will be made promptly. Laws that defend the traditional definition of marriage were enacted for sound reasons—namely to defend the rights of children and contribute to the well-being of the larger community.
Marriage is more than a private arrangement between two people. It’s a public commitment of love and fidelity, and it’s ordered not just to companionship but to creating and rearing new life. This is why every child deserves a mother and a father in a loving marriage, and the child is the fruit of that love.
All men and women are formed in the image of God and deserve our respect. But attempts to redefine the nature of marriage, no matter how well intentioned, damage a cornerstone of our
human interaction and ultimately work against human dignity itself.
I also fully support and endorse the statement issued earlier today by the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference on this issue. You can read the full text of that document here
TWO NEW SAINTS ...
Father Farrell, an Augustinian who lived next door, attended the 184th Chapter of the Augustinians in Rome. Father was elected Vicar General for the North American Augustinians. Father will be living in Rome for the next six years.
Here is a news story of Pope Francis' address to the Augustinians' Chapter.
St. Colman's made the 33 Days to Morning Glory Blog. (click on the picture)
Scroll down to August 22, 2013.
The American Bishops present ... Speak Up for Conscience Rights Today!
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