This year, as I celebrate my 50th Anniversary of Priestly Ordination, I share with you my brother priests, especially my fellow Jubilarians, some insights that perhaps I have gathered over these many years of priesthood. There is a certain parallel, or dichotomy in some ways, between two concepts of priesthood.
In a cemetery, there is a tomb on which was placed huge slabs of granite cemented together and fastened by heavy steel clasps. It belonged to a woman who did not believe in the resurrection from the dead. She directed in her will that her grave be made so secure, if there was a resurrection, it could not reach her. On the marker were inscribed these words, “This burial place must never be opened.”
March 25th marked the Feast of the Annunciation, and perhaps an in-depth understanding of how this feast, which not only highlights the virginal conception of Our Lady, but also Mary’s willingness to do God’s will, is so important to understanding our faith.
This week, I would like to give some personal reflection on the recent trip of our Holy Father, Pope Francis, to Iraq. Thankfully, through our NET-TV station and online sources, I was able to follow some of his major events. Obviously, the visit of Pope Francis was historic; it also pointed out the major complexity and diversity of the population of Iraq, Sunni and Shiite Muslims and representation from almost every Eastern Church and Orthodox Church in the world.
International Women’s Day, as declared by the United Nations, is celebrated on March 8, in parallel with the designation of the month of March as Women’s History Month. This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is “Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world” which acknowledges the tremendous efforts by women around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic
In my column at the beginning of Lent, I suggested that getting our vaccination against the COVID-19 virus would be a good practice for us during Lent. Given the difficulty of receiving the vaccine and the skepticism of some about being inoculated, I write this article.
This year, as we come closer to the Feast of St. Joseph, our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has given us a wonderful meditation on the 150th Anniversary of the Proclamation of St. Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church.
On behalf of the people who are served throughout our Diocese in Brooklyn and Queens, we begin the 2021 Annual Catholic Appeal by thanking those who generously responded to the 2020 Annual Catholic Appeal. Thanks to your support, the challenges we faced in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic were met by the Church and, as a result, our community faith grew stronger.
As we come to Lent this year, we cannot help but remember how we began Lent last year at the start of the pandemic. The time of COVID-19 was coming upon us, and little did we understand how it happened, nor how long we would have to endure the pandemic. Lent 2021 is yet another Lent we will have to pass through in the time of coronavirus. Yet, this time gives us a real opportunity to prepare for Easter, the time when we renew our faith.
The observances of National Marriage Week — February 7 to 14 — and World Marriage Day, Sunday, February 14, obviously coincide with Valentine’s Day. This, as you know, is the feast day of St. Valentine, an early martyr of the Church who has become the symbol of love and marriage.