Marijuana Is Very Dangerous

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

Our country and our state are in the midst of a substance abuse crisis. In particular, when we look at the opioid epidemic that seems to be threatening the health of our city, as well as the push for the legalization of marijuana in our state, my concern, as Bishop of the diocese in Brooklyn and Queens and as a social worker for the mental health of our youth, I feel obliged to speak out on this issue.

Marriage Is a Share in the Plan for Creation

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

On June 9th, the Secretariat for Evangelization and Catechesis will sponsor the annual Diocesan Wedding Anniversary Mass at the chapel of the Immaculate Conception Center in Douglaston. Auxiliary Bishop James Massa will be the main celebrant. This celebration invites all couples who have received the sacrament of Marriage, to renew their wedding vows. Special recognition will be given to couples celebrating their 25th, 50th, and 75th anniversaries. This celebration is not only for married couples, but also for families of the couples to come together and share in their wonderful love and commitment.

The Lesson of the Visitation

The month of May is officially (traditionally) devoted to our Blessed Mother.  The last day of the month, May 31, is the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This event, which is recounted in the New Testament, tells us that Mary who was already pregnant with the Lord, Jesus, was informed that her cousin, Elizabeth, was also pregnant in her old age.

The Trinity Is About Relationships

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

This Sunday, we celebrate the Feast of the Most Blessed Trinity, one of the central mysteries of our Christian faith. The Trinity is a doctrine that is revealed to us by Jesus Himself, as He speaks to us in the New Testament. Jesus tells us that He and the Father are one, and that when He would leave this world that He would send the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, to be with us for all eternity. Although Jesus never mentions the word Trinity, the Church has applied that word to the union of Father, Son and Holy Spirit; one God in three persons. Since this is a deep mystery, all human explanations fall short. As humans, however, we must try to understand who God is for us; this is the work of theology. Sometimes theologians can fail as they try to understand the mystery of God in human terms. The Trinity has been understood by the Church from its very beginning.

Pentecost and The Way to Holiness

As we approach Pentecost this year, we have received a gift from the Holy Father, Pope Francis, by way of his Apostolic Exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate, Rejoice and Be Glad. These are words that remind us that our happiness comes from our relationship to God, especially through our intimate relationship to the Holy Spirit in whose power we have been baptized and confirmed, and by whose power we receive the sacraments.

The Sublime Vocation of Motherhood

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

This weekend we celebrate Mother’s Day, and it might be good to look at the theological foundations of motherhood. There is no better place to begin than with the Apostolic Letter of St. John Paul II “On the Dignity and Vocation of Women.”  In that letter, he speaks about the two dimensions of a woman’s vocation, one being motherhood and the other being virginity. Yes, these are the two basic feminine vocations that are embodied in Mary in whom virginity and motherhood coexist in a unique way. Some women become mothers and some maintain virginity as a lifelong vocation. On Mother’s Day, we concentrate on the maternal vocation and what it means to humanity.

We Can All Be Part of the New Evangelization

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

Last weekend, we gathered as a diocese at St. John’s University for the Evangelization Congress. The theme was “The Joy of Encountering Christ – The Family’s Hope” held at St. John’s University.  We joined together with the V Encuentro which is a process of bringing together Hispanic leaders throughout the country, emphasizing the importance of involving young, second and third generation Hispanic/Latinos. 

We Are Custodians of the Earth

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

Last week people around the world celebrated Earth Day. Established in 1970, Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22. It is a day to demonstrate support for environmental protection. More than 193 countries are part of the Earth Day Network and hold coordinated events to raise awareness about respecting and protecting the earth. This is a good time to reflect on what we are called to do as Catholics to care for the earth.

A Mass for Hope and Healing

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

The Independent Reconciliation Compensation Program (IRCP) has allowed the Diocese of Brooklyn the opportunity to reconnect with many victims who had come forward in the past, and who thought they had been forgotten.

Be An Angel

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

As we celebrate the third Sunday of Easter and the joy of the Risen Christ, there are conversations happening around the table in the homes of many of our young families throughout the Diocese. They are not focused on the upcoming tax filing deadline (this Tuesday, April 17, if you still need the reminder); they are talking about the choice of education for their children.