My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, The immigration history of America has not been one of our stellar achievements. Unfortunately, nativism, racism, xenophobia and every other type of negative public reaction have played a part in the development of our immigration laws and practices.
My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, This week will begin the observance of National Marriage Week (Feb. 7 – 14) and World Marriage Day (Sunday, Feb. 12). This time presents an occasion when the Church can celebrate and reflect on the dignity of the institution of marriage.
My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, With tremendous joy, it is my pleasure to share with you exciting news from our Generations of Faith campaign. Nearly two and a half years ago, after an extensive planning study across our Diocese in Brooklyn and Queens and significant consultation with our pastors, lay leaders and parishioners, Generations of Faith was launched.
My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, Catholic Schools Week is a time for everyone to celebrate the great success stories of Catholic education within the Diocese of Brooklyn. During this special week, we celebrate the great accomplishments of the students entrusted to us, and we recognize the commitments made by our parents, the dedication of our teachers and staff, the leadership of our principals, the work of the board of directors and the spiritual leadership of our pastors and parish priests.
My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, Each year on January 22, the Catholic Church in the United States, along with many others, recognizes the anniversary of the flawed Supreme Court decision entitled Roe v Wade. The decision was flawed because it was made on the basis of false information.
My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, For over 35 years, the first week after the Epiphany, has been designated as National Migration Week. This year it occurred from Jan. 8 to 14. The Church in the United States, recognizing that it has become again an immigrant Church, must understand a new culture that has grown in the Church.
My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, This year marks the 50th anniversary of the beginning of World Day of Peace begun by Pope Paul VI. The Holy Father initiated this day of prayer based on the message of St. John XXIII and his Encyclical, “Pacem in Terris” (“Peace on Earth”). It was the wish of John XXIII that peace would be the prayer at the beginning of each New Year. He said, “Peace is the only true direction of human progress.”
My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, As we look at the world scene today, we recognize that there is much suffering and pain. We only have to look to the Middle East to recognize that in the last week, the city of Aleppo has been nearly destroyed, and its people have fled for their lives. In Egypt two weeks ago, a Coptic Orthodox Church was bombed, killing more than 25 people.
My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, This past week, we celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas. It gives me an opportunity to comment on the Mexican presence here in the United States. As you know, Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to Saint Juan Diego almost 500 years ago in what is now Mexico City.
My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, One of the most critical issues facing the incoming administration is immigration reform. During his campaign speeches and debates, President-elect Trump made sweeping statements not only about immigrants, especially Mexicans, but also about building a 2,000 mile-long wall to protect the U.S. from being overrun by immigrants and about the deportation of all 11 million undocumented immigrants, which he has not retracted but seems to have toned it down by speaking of undocumented immigrants with criminal convictions. This is a national challenge that cannot be resolved only by the incoming administration, but rather requires national reflection on our history as a nation of immigrants and on our increasingly immigrant Church.