2013 Archive

  1. December 22

    Languages: Español | Polski
    Ordained priesthood in the church: Reflections on a 50th anniversary

    (Given on Dec. 11, 2013; to the priests gathered in the Queen of All Saints Basilica)
    I thank all of you for being here: priests of and in the archdiocese and Chicago seminarians in theology at our seminary in Mundelein. We have come to pray together and take time to relax in each other’s company. I thank the Presbyteral Council for sponsoring and arranging this evening to celebrate priesthood. Certainly, when I think of this anniversary I think first of all of the priesthood itself and only then of my years as a priest.

  2. December 8

    Languages: Polski
    Who’s waiting for whom?

    Advent, we’re told, is a season for waiting. We remember the prophetic voices who told the people to wait for their salvation, because God always keeps his promises. We remember the birth of the longawaited Savior with the admonition to wait now for his return in glory at the end of time. Prayer accompanies our waiting, helping to focus our attention on the action of God in our lives and in the world. Attention to the poor and the vulnerable prepares us to encounter again a baby who is both Son of God and Son of Mary. We wait for the Lord.

  3. November 24

    Languages: Español | Polski
    The Feast of Christ the King and the Year of Faith

    The Catholic Church’s Year of Faith, which opened in October 2012, draws to a close on the Feast of Christ the King this Nov. 24. As I reflect on our participation in it, I express my gratitude to the priests and catechists and others who used it to strengthen our relationship to Christ, who can be known only with the eyes of faith. I also realize that our observance of this universal celebration has been more or less crowded out by our archdiocesan emphasis on the last two themes of our Strategic Pastoral Plan: the Year of Sunday Mass and, now, the Year of Strong Catholic Parents.

  4. November 10

    Languages: Polski
    How to be free in the Lord

    In the last seven months, Pope Francis has seized the imagination of the world and fascinated many who usually pay little attention to a pope. There are many reasons for this marvelous development, but one reason that most fascinates me is the personal freedom he enjoys and models in a role that is steeped in tradition. Freedom as a Gospel virtue is lived personally when a disciple of Jesus identifies himself first of all as a sinner, as the pope recently did. Then it is clear that the fascinating and joyful personal freedom we see in him is a gift, not a claim.

  5. October 27

    Languages: Español | Polski
    “He shall come again in glory to judge the living and the dead …”

    Oct. 10, 2013, was the 200th anniversary of the birth of the great Italian opera composer Giuseppe Verdi. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus presented on that date Riccardo Muti’s interpretation of Verdi’s Requiem Mass, his last major work. Muti, the music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, is the foremost Verdi interpreter of this generation. The performance on Oct. 10 bore proof of the genius of both Verdi and Muti and of the great musical expertise of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. For those of us privileged to attend the concert, it was an event to remember and treasure.

  6. October 13

    Languages: Polski
    Atonement, reconciliation and reparation

    Last Sept. 28, on the 11th anniversary of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, Mass was celebrated again at the site of the Healing Garden at Holy Family Parish, 1080 W. Roosevelt Road. The celebrants were the pastor of Holy Family Parish, Father Jerry Boland, and the pastor of St. Agatha Parish, Father Larry Dowling, who has involved himself constantly in promoting healing and reconciliation with victims/survivors of childhood sexual abuse by clerics and others in the church.

  7. September 29

    Languages: Español | Polski
    On listening to the pope

    One of the signs of Pope Francis’ pastoral impact on the church and on the world is the readiness of people to listen to what he is saying, whether by gestures or by words. Even within the church, individuals and groups that have habitually said we should ignore papal teaching, even in its solemn form of an encyclical, are now saying we should listen to Pope Francis. This is no small improvement and no meager pastoral victory!

  8. September 15

    Languages: Polski
    Pope Francis: “Is it possible to walk the path of peace?”

    When the pope was elected, after he accepted the office of the papacy he was asked what name he gave himself. No one names the pope. He is sovereign in his person, citizen of no country, responsible only to Christ and the church. The name chosen by Cardinal Bergoglio was a surprise because it’s not a Roman name. No pope had ever chosen the name Francis. He explained immediately that he was choosing it in honor of St. Francis of Assisi.

  9. September 1

    Languages: Polski
    Labor Day 2013: We Have a Dream

    Celebrating Labor Day this year coincides with marking the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, when the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke movingly of a personal dream destined to become a national dream and a worldwide dream. That men and women of every race should be recognized as brothers and sisters before God, that all people should live in peace and freedom was for Dr. King a vision rooted in God’s Word in Sacred Scripture.

  10. August 18

    Languages: Español | Polski
    The Triumph of Grace

    On August 15, the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven, I will celebrate Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help, in Champion, Wisconsin, a few miles outside of Green Bay.  The Bishop of Green Bay, Bishop David Ricken, invited me to come on this feast day to a place where the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared in 1859 to a young immigrant from Belgium, Adele Brise. 

  11. August 4

    Languages: Polski
    An open response to an open letter

    On Monday, July 29, in the Chicago Tribune, a group of Catholics published an open letter addressed to me and to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). They accused the church of turning her back on the poor. This accusation follows a decision by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) to include support for “same-sex marriage” as part of their political agenda. The CCHD cannot fund groups that support this goal.

  12. July 21

    Languages: Español | Polski
    Persons with Disabilities: the sharing of blessings

    So impressed was I with their ministries that, some years ago, I asked Father Charles Rubey, the director of the Archdiocesan Office for Persons with Disabilities, and Father Joe Mulcrone, the priest responsible for the apostolate for Catholics who are deaf, to help me write a letter on ministry with and for persons with disabilities. They made some suggestions for a letter, but time slipped by without my following through.

  13. July 7

    Languages: Polski
    The Year of Strong Catholic Parents

    July 1 each year is the day when priests of the archdiocese begin new terms of office. It is also, in recent years, the date that marks a new phase in the Strategic Pastoral Plan of the archdiocese. Two years ago, parishes were asked to examine youth ministry and see if new ways of being present to young people could be tried. Last year, in the midst of the universal church’s Year of Faith, the archdiocese concentrated on teaching about the Mass, explaining it and calling Catholics to fulfill their obligation to worship the Lord each Lord’s day by participating in the offering of the Holy Eucharist.

  14. June 23

    Languages: Español | Polski
    Faith and Freedom

    The series of readers used in the Catholic schools of the Archdiocese many years ago was called the Faith and Freedom series. No matter the grade or the content of the reader, the message was that our Catholic faith and our American freedom were at home with each other.

  15. June 9

    Languages: Polski
    The public discussion on “same sex marriage”…

    Contributing to the discussion of “marriage” between persons of the same sex is as challenging as the subject is complicated. The first word right now should be one of gratitude to the many citizens of Illinois who have said to our legislators what we know to be true from nature itself: two persons of the same sex cannot be physically joined in a marital union.

  16. May 26

    Languages: Español | Polski
    Ordinations to the priesthood 2013

    On May 18, I ordained 10 deacons to the priesthood for service in the Archdiocese of Chicago (see Pages 14-15). They had been prepared for this step by the grace of God, by their years in the seminary and by the support and prayers of family and friends, many of whom were present in Holy Name Cathedral for the ordination Mass. During that Mass, I preached the following homily, reflecting on the ordination rite and on passages from the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 20; from St. Paul’s first letter to Timothy, chapter 4; and from the Gospel according to St. John, chapter 21.

  17. May 12

    Languages: Polski
    Lourdes and Chicago: services and community

    This week I have been privileged to be part of the annual pilgrimage of the Order of Malta to the Shrine of Our Lady at Lourdes, France. Lourdes is a small town in the mountains on the border between France and Spain. Its place in the history of salvation comes from the Blessed Mother’s appearance there to St. Bernadette Soubirous in 1858. Mary told Bernadette that she is “the Immaculate Conception.” Sinless herself, the Blessed Virgin expressed a mother’s concern for the effects of sin in the lives of all her children. She told St. Bernadette to wash in a spring that was underground until Bernadette used her hands to scoop out dirt from the floor of the cave where Mary appeared. The Blessed Mother also asked that a church be built where all could come and experience the mercy of God for sinners. The healing of souls and the healing of bodies is what Lourdes makes visible and available in a sinful world. It is a city entirely ordered to the care of the sick, whether physically or spiritually sick.

  18. April 28

    Languages: Español | Polski
    To Walk Together…

    The day after the recent conclave to elect Pope Francis ended, the cardinal electors assembled in the Sistine Chapel to concelebrate Mass with him. He preached a very straightforward homily, constructed around three words: to walk, to build, to proclaim. We are to walk together, to keep moving, but at such a pace that no one is left behind or overlooked. We are to build as we walk so that the generations that follow will have a home in the church. As we walk and build, we are to talk, to profess our faith in Christ crucified and risen. That, in three words, is the program for the new evangelization.

  19. April 14

    Languages: Polski
    Living in the joy of God’s mercy

    The Sunday after Easter is Divine Mercy Sunday. Contemporary devotion to God’s mercy is often shaped by Christ’s revelations to Sister Faustina Kowalska in the 1930s. The Divine Mercy novena, the Divine Mercy chaplet and the Divine Mercy Prayer at 3 p.m. each day keep many people immersed in the mystery of God’s merciful love.

  20. March 31

    Languages: Español | Polski
    Easter 2013: ‘I’m religious but not spiritual’

    It’s somewhat fashionable these days to describe oneself as “spiritual but not religious.” This is supposed to mean that one is open to an experience beyond the commercial or the political but not tied to “institutional” religion. One claims an experience of transcendence that is bound by no one else’s rules.

  21. March 17

    Languages: Polski
    Preparing for a Papal Conclave

    Lent, 2013, is marked by the journey of Cardinals from around the world joining the Cardinals resident in Rome for a conclave to elect the Pope, the Bishop of Rome.  Cardinals are the clergy of Rome, each bearing the “title” of a Roman church.  Mine is the Church of St. Bartholomew on the Tiber Island.  I celebrated Mass there on the Fourth Sunday of Lent with Roman families preparing their children for First Communion and Confirmation. 

  22. March 3

    Languages: Español
    LENT, 2013: Archdiocesan finances in the life of the Church

    Lent is a time for reviewing our lives and bringing all things to the Lord: most profoundly in the confessional, but also in other places where it helps our life with God and one another to set the record straight.

  23. February 17

    Languages: Español | Polski
    Pope Benedict XVI

    I am writing this column Monday evening, Feb. 11, after a day responding to questions about the Holy Father. Like everyone else, I woke up to the news that the pope had resigned the office of the papacy, effective on the last day of February.

  24. February 3

    Schools in the church’s mission

    Jan. 27 to Feb. 2 was Catholic Schools Week, and there were many celebrations. There is much to celebrate. The cost of the schools, which is certainly a burden, is always evidence of love at work. It costs about $600 million a year to run the schools of the archdiocese, which means that they collectively symbolize the magnificent generosity of many people. Generosity is a sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit, who lightens our burdens by enlarging our hearts.

  25. January 20

    Languages: Español
    Between a rock and a hard place: living freely in the New Year

    Throughout the liturgical celebration of the Nativity of Our Lord, we have contemplated the initiative taken by God to save us and make us his people in Christ. The initiative is God’s, and it is for us to wonder and accept and come to live in the light of what God has done.

  26. January 6

    Languages: Español
    Legislation creating "same-sex" marriage: What's at stake?

    At the beginning of the New Year, 2013, a law is being proposed in the General Assembly to change the legal definition of marriage in Illinois to accommodate those of the same sex who wish to “marry” one another.  In this discussion, the Church will be portrayed as “anti-gay,” which is a difficult position to be in, particularly when families and the Church herself love those of their members who are same-sex oriented.  What’s at stake in this legislative proposal and in the Church’s teaching on marriage?