The Cornerstone of a Society That Promotes Human Dignity

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

Each year since 1996, the President of the United States has declared January 16 as Religious Freedom Day. It would seem odd that a special day needs to be dedicated to understanding that religious liberty is a fundamental human right, as found in the universal declaration of human rights adopted by the United Nations General Assembly many years ago.

The Universality of God’s Salvation

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

There are many songs regarding the 12 days of Christmas. The 12th day, January 6, was traditionally on the Catholic calendar the Feast of the Epiphany. Today, at least for the Latin Rite of the Church, the feast is transferred to the nearest Sunday. This is an especially important feast for those in the Eastern Churches, because their principal Christmas celebration takes place on the Epiphany, whose theme is the manifestation of the Christ Child to the world.

Peace as a Journey of Hope

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

For just over 50 years, the Roman Pontiffs have issued a World Day of Peace Message on the first of January.

On Christmas, Remember the Meaning of Christ’s Birth

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

Be grateful to God for the gifts that you receive and the Lord will give you whatever you need. We cannot be reminded enough about the true meaning of Christmas and the birth of Jesus Christ.

During Advent, Mary Will Lead Us to Her Son

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

Advent is a time of expectation, of waiting. There is no better model of expectation, of waiting to us Christians than Mary, the Mother of God and the Mother of Jesus Christ. During this time of Advent, as we come closer to Christmas, we recognize that Mary was in the last stage of her pregnancy.

During Advent, We Should Remember Persecuted Christians

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

As we begin the holy season of Advent, a beautiful Advent hymn that comes to my mind is “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” When translated to English, it means “God is with us.” That is important to remember, because many of us during this time of year may feel very much alone.

We Should All Give Thanks For the People Closest to Us

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

As we celebrate this Thanksgiving holiday, it is always an opportunity for us to reflect on what we have to be thankful for and count our blessings. Each morning we priests offer the Holy Eucharist. The word comes from the Greek — thanksgiving. We must nurture a grateful spirit. It is especially appropriate that as a nation we celebrate the importance of Thanksgiving, just as the Church enters into the First Sunday in Advent, a time of expectation.

I Am Humbled by Your Support

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

Having just returned from the Ad Limina visit of the Bishops of Region II to the Holy See, I wish to report to the people of the Diocese of Brooklyn. Our visit included meetings with the Offices of the Holy See and most importantly, our Holy Father, Pope Francis.

Remembering Our Veterans and the Importance of Our Military

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

Some of the most significant pictures I keep of my father are those where he is in his WWII uniform. The first is the wedding picture of my mother and my father. In 1943, he was deployed state-side, and he wore his uniform when they were married.

Living Each Day of Our Lives For the Glory of God

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

Each day, we live our whole life from beginning to end. This is what I mean; when we awake in the morning it is like being born, born again. As we carry on through the day, with its ups and downs, we mimic in a certain sense the life cycle that we follow. And then finally at the end of the day we go to sleep. When I was in third grade, Sister Maureen told us that sleep was a rehearsal for death. This was quite a weighty thought to put in the mind of young children. Yet, I never forgot what she said because in a certain sense falling asleep in the Lord is not something that we need to fear.