As we approach Catechetical Sunday and the open- ing of the academic year, we recognize that our Catholic Schools and Academies, Religious Education programs, and Faith Formation programs all have the ultimate goal of catechizing, of preaching God’s Word and making it understandable to its hearers.
As we arrive at the 20th anniversary of September 11th, the terrible terrorist attack on the twin towers in New York, the Pentagon right outside Washington, D.C., in Shanksville, Pa., and, in fact, all of our Nation, we recall the lingering pains of those horrific events. The fact is, we never will forget, nor never can we forget what happened on that day.
Back to school is always an exciting time of year for children and parents. There are all the new “things” many students enjoy, like new sharpened pencils, that fresh box of crayons, new notebooks waiting to be filled with what they will learn.
Several weeks ago, the Diocese of Brooklyn received a first-class relic of Blessed Carlo Acutis, a young millennial who was Beatified on October 10, 2020. The life story of Blessed Carlo is truly amazing. He was born in London, where his parents had migrated from Italy to run a business.
This month, as we commemorate a quest for peace, we put out into the deep recesses of our own souls where sometimes personal peace becomes elusive to us. We seek a peace that God alone can give. As the old saying goes, however, peace must begin with us. And so, as we look towards the last weeks of August, when we have some time to relax and think more deeply, join me in prayer to see how we each can further the cause of peace in the world.
Recently I read an article regarding icons. It is very interesting to understand these images that come from the Eastern tradition and which contain in themselves a unique whole theology. For example, the clothing of Jesus and Mary are represented with the same colors, red and blue, but they are reversed in that Jesus usually has a red tunic and a blue mantle while Our Lady usually has a blue dress and a red mantle. Why, you might ask?
The anniversary of my appointment to the Diocese of Brooklyn is on the horizon. On August 1, 2003, the then Nuncio, Gabriel Montalvo, called me when I was serving as Bishop of Camden in New Jersey and told me that the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, appointed me to be the Seventh Bishop of Brooklyn.
The Bishops of the United States have truly put out into the deep waters of public morality, and also, at the same time, the mystery of the Eucharist. It is not easy to explain mysteries. Mysteries are matters that we believe and do not have a full explanation.
Throughout the pandemic, we have shared resources with the Catholic High School Principals that further ensured the health and safety of faculty, staff, and students. One of the areas that has yielded a great response has been the reconnection of Catholic High Schools as an extension of our elementary schools within the Diocese in Brooklyn and Queens.
Our nation has been built on migration; however, at the same time, our nation has always found it difficult to integrate migrants into our society. As a Church, we know our first responsibility is to welcome, protect and, integrate the goals set by Pope Francis himself for our migrant ministry.