Sunday, November 30, 2014

J.M.J. Today, the Church begins her new Liturgical Year on this the First Sunday of Advent.

Father Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalen, O.C.D., in Divine Intimacy: Meditations on the Interior Life for Every Day of the Liturgical Year (Rockford, Illinois: Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., 1996), writes that the Coming of the Messiah, Who is the Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity become man, "was expected for long ages; it was foretold by the prophets, and desired by all the just who were not granted to see its dawn. The Church commemorates and renews this expectation with each recurring Advent, expressing this longing to the Savior Who is to come. The desire of old was sustained solely by hope, but it is now a confident desire, founded on the consoling reality of the Redemption already accomplished. Although historically completed nineteen centuries ago, this longing should be actualized daily, renewed in ever deeper and fuller reality in every Christian soul." (page 3)

The foregoing acknowledgement is nothing short of awesome! In brief, our cry is: "Sir, we wish to see Jesus." (Saint John 12:21)

Our Lady knows well where Christ is to be found. Let us ask her.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

J.M.J. In The Mother of the Saviour and Our Interior Life (Rockford, Illinois: Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., 1993), Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., on page 75, quotes E. Dublanchy's article entitled "Mary" that appeared in the Dictionary of Catholic Theology: "The teaching of Pius IX in the Bull Ineffabilis Deus resumes the argument upon which theological tradition has always relied: God's love of special predilection for Mary more than all other creatures, a love such that He made her alone the object of His greatest satisfaction, and gave her that which was dearest to Him, His own Son. And since it is the teaching of St. Thomas (Ia, q. 20, a. 3) that the good which God produces in creatures is proportioned to the love He has for them, it may be concluded with certainty that Mary, loved by God more than all creatures, has been the recipient of divine favours greater than those given to all creatures, taken even collectively."

On this the last day of the Liturgical Year, we thank Our Lady for her past kindness and beg that she will continue to smile upon us.

Friday, November 28, 2014

J.M.J. Although not on the General Roman Calendar, the Feast of Saint Catherine Laboure', Virgin (1806-1876) is observed today in some places. She received the well-known image of the Miraculous Medal from Our Blessed Lady and then was instrumental in having a medal struck.

The front and the reverse of the Miraculous Medal are their own meditations! Who cannot benefit from reflecting on the role of Mary as the Mediatrix of All Graces, who was conceived without Original Sin, whose Immaculate Heart is paired with her Divine Son's Sacred Heart and who is now crowned in Heaven near her same Son Who died for us on Calvary?

V. Our Lady, Mediatrix of All Graces. R. Pray for us.

V. Saint Catherine Laboure'. R. Pray for us.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

J.M.J. Happy Thanksgiving Day! Let us imitate Our Lady's gratitude to her Son, Jesus Christ. We are His, and His we wish to be.

Today is also the Memorial of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. Billions of Miraculous Medals, which depict Our Lady of Grace as the Mediatrix of All Graces, have been distributed since 1830.

It is good to have some Miraculous Medals on hand so that you can pass them along. Please contact me if you need some. (I received another 1,000 Miraculous Medals two days ago.)

V. Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. R. Pray for us.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

J.M.J. Please listen tomorrow (Thanksgiving Day) at 9:30 a.m. to "Morning Star" for our Thanksgiving program (previously recorded). Our subject: "Our Lady and Gratitude."

Let us not forget to offer thanks to God for our joys and even our sorrows. And please remember those who are poor, those who lack food, clothing and shelter. 

What are we doing for them? 

The Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., the Archbishop of Philadelphia, stated in an interview a couple of years ago: "Jesus tells us very clearly that if we don’t help the poor, we’re going to go to Hell."

Our Lord, Our Lady and Saint Joseph were poor, materially speaking. (Of course, They were spiritually rich!) We keep Them in mind when we serve our poor brothers and sisters.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

J.M.J. Today is the liturgical Memorial of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr. Saint John Paul II restored this Memorial on the General Roman Calendar. Her image is located in the Cathedral of Saint Joseph, Sioux Falls.

Yesterday, Robert B. Moynihan, Ph.D., the Founder and the Editor-in-Chief of Inside the Vatican, offers the following fascinating essay. The great love for Our Lady that Pope Francis possesses is a good example for each of us.

Many thanks to Dr. Moynihan for his excellent contribution.

November 24, 2014Monday — The Pope and Mary: 30 Minutes of Silent Prayer

A few moments ago, on the afternoon of Monday, November 24, in Rome, Pope Francis prayed silently for half an hour before an ancient and important icon of the Virgin Mary.

The Pope was praying before the icon this evening because tomorrow he will travel to Strasbourg, France, to speak to the leaders of the European Union.

So, this afternoon in Rome, as has become his custom before making any trip, Francis visited the Basilica of St. Mary Major to pray to the Virgin Mary.

It was the 14th time Pope Francis has visited St. Mary Major to pray before the icon, known as the Salus Populi Romani (The Safety, or Protection, of the Roman People), since his election to the papacy on March 13, 2013.

The Pope visited the Basilica at 5:30 p.m.

He went immediately to the chapel on the left side of the main altar.

He prayed to Our Lady for her protection for his journey tomorrow to the governing bodies of a new, united Europe which has in recent years become increasingly "post-Christian" and increasingly hostile to traditional Christian morality.

The Pope's remarks tomorrow are being awaited with considerable interest. It is expected that, among other things, he will call on the people's of Europe to remember the Christian faith that shaped their customs and laws for centuries.

The Pope's prayer continued for half an hour. The Pope brought to Our Lady a floral wreath with roses the colors of Europe, yellow and blue.

Here is a list of his prior visits, as published today by the very useful Italian website "Il sismografo."

1) March 14, 2013
On the morning after his election, at 8 a.m. (thus, the very first act of his pontificate)
2) May 4, 2013
To recite the Holy Rosary
3) May 30, 2013
The Feast of Corpus Christi (Pope Francis presided over the public procession from St. John Lateran, down the via Merulana, to St. Mary Major)
4) July 20, 2013
The vigil of his trip to Brazil for World Youth Day
5) July 29, 2013
Just after his return from Brazil for World Youth Day
6) December 8, 2013
Following the act of Veneration at the column by the Spanish Steps, where the Popes each year venerate Mary in memory of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception
7) January 1, 2014
Solemnity of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God
8) May 23, 2014
On the vigil of his departure for the Holy Land
9) May 27, 2014
In thanksgiving upon his return form his pilgrimage to the Holy Land
10) August 13, 2014
On the vigil of his trip to South Korea
11) August 18, 2014
Upon his return from his trip to South Korea
12) September 18, 2014
The vigil of his trip to Albania
13) September 22, 2014
Thanksgiving upon his return from his pilgrimage in Albania

Monday, November 24, 2014

J.M.J. On June 19, 1988, during the Marian Year, Pope John Paul II canonized Saints Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions. These 117 persons are sometimes known as the "Vietnamese Martyrs," but there were surely many thousands of other such martyrs.

Here is a replica of the banner used during that Canonization Mass. It depicts the Vietnamese Martyrs commemorated today.

May Our Blessed Lady inspire us to follow Christ her Divine Son without fear of death.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

J.M.J. Jesus Christ is the King of the Universe. Today, the Church especially draws our attention to this indisputable truth: Christ reigns over us! And we accept His Kingship with gratitude and ever deeper commitment to follow Him and to allow Him to rule us.

Happy Feast Day!

And may God bless the members of the Girls Volleyball Team from O+Gorman High School as they celebrate another State Title. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

J.M.J. Along with Our Lady, Saint Cecilia,Virgin and Martyr, is remembered today. She is the Patroness of Sacred Music. Little is known with certainty about her except for that which is most important: she was faithful to the end!

Most Holy Mary, Regina martyrum et Virgo virginum--"Queen of Martyrs and Virgin of Virgins"--pray for us. 

Saint Cecilia, pray for us.

Friday, November 21, 2014

J.M.J. Today is the liturgical Memorial of the Presentation of Mary in the Temple. It is also the fiftieth anniversary of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council's Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, also know as Lumen Gentium.

Chapter Eight of Lumen Gentium is dedicated to the person and the mission of Our Lady in the life of Christ and of the Church.

You may read the whole of Lumen Gentium here:

You may request a copy of Chapter Eight from the Office of the Marian Apostolate.

Our Lady, presented in the Temple, pray for us.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

J.M.J. The Most Blessed Eucharist is our special focus each Thursday. Jesus is the Bread of Life and the Chalice of Everlasting Salvation! 

Our Lady is "Woman of the Eucharist." We ask her to help us love and live the Eucharist--all the days of our lives!

Who can forget what Saint John Paul II (1978-2005) wrote in his last Encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia? Dated April 17, 2003, which that years was Holy Thursday, the Holy Father offered these words (Article 53):

"If we wish to rediscover in all its richness the profound relationship between the Church and the Eucharist, we cannot neglect Mary, Mother and model of the Church. In my Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae, I pointed to the Blessed Virgin Mary as our teacher in contemplating Christ's face, and among the Mysteries of Light I included the institution of the Eucharist. Mary can guide us towards this most holy Sacrament, because she herself has a profound relationship with it.

"At first glance, the Gospel is silent on this subject. The account of the institution of the Eucharist on the night of Holy Thursday makes no mention of Mary. Yet we know that she was present among the Apostles who prayed “with one accord” (cf. Acts 1:14) in the first community which gathered after the Ascension in expectation of Pentecost. Certainly Mary must have been present at the Eucharistic celebrations of the first generation of Christians, who were devoted to “the breaking of bread” (Acts 2:42).

"But in addition to her sharing in the Eucharistic banquet, an indirect picture of Mary's relationship with the Eucharist can be had, beginning with her interior disposition. Mary is a “woman of the Eucharist” in her whole life. The Church, which looks to Mary as a model, is also called to imitate her in her relationship with this most holy mystery."

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

J.M.J. One of our customary Special Intentions is for protection from violence. We ask God to preserve us from harm, be it bodily, spiritual, or emotional. We want to live in the Lord's overwhelming peace.

V. Regina pacis. R. Ora pro nobis. Queen of Peace, pray for us.

Let us pray for the Most Reverend Blase Joseph Cupich, D.D., the new Archbishop of Chicago.

Monday, November 17, 2014

J.M.J. When, due to the inclement weather on Saturday evening, staying unexpectedly, albeit happily, with the Reverend Andrew L. Dickinson at his residence in the Pius XII Newman Center in Brookings where he serves as the Director, I was pleased to note that Father Dickinson is reading The Mysteries of Mary: Growing in Faith, Hope and Love with the Mother of God (Charlotte, North Carolina: Saint Benedict Press, 2011) by Father Marie-Dominique Philippe, O.P. (1912-2006). Father Philippe also wrote The Mystery of Joseph (Bethesda, Maryland: Zaccheus Press, 2009).

Another Philippe, although not related to the first, was also a great spiritual author. Paul-Pierre Cardinal Philippe, O.P. (1905-1984) penned The Virgin Mary and the Priesthood (Staten Island, New York: Alba House, 1993), which was translated into English by Monsignor Laurence J. Spiteri.

I took interest in Father Dickinson's column, "Iron Sharpens Iron. Proverbs 27:17" that appeared in the 2014 Fall Issue of Newman Center Pius XII. The Director asserts that the Newman Center is to be "a safe place for students in the trials of life." I appreciate Father Dickinson's evident care for these young persons.

Safety is a concern for each of us. We especially relate it to our physical welfare. 

But what about spiritual safety? Are we in harm's way, spiritually speaking? Yes--at times more than others. We do not need to be university students to require spiritual safety. We need it throughout our entire lives. 

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." (Psalm 46:1) Let us thank the Lord for the safety that He gives to us. And may we seek it always.  

V. Mary, Comforter of the afflicted. R. Pray for us.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

J.M.J. Part Two

5.) What do we need to do to get the most from our relationship with the Mary, the Blessed Mother?
"Receptivity to the Holy Spirit, daily prayer, frequent and worthy reception of the Sacraments (especially Confession and the Most Blessed Eucharist), regular acts of charity and penance, use of the Marian sacramentals (for example, the Most Holy Rosary, the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the Miraculous Medal) and a deeper understanding of the Church's Teaching in general with a particular emphasis on her Marian dogmas and doctrines."
6.) How much responsibility lies with the clergy to keep Mary pertinent, valuable and integral to today's Catholics?
"Much responsibility, indeed. We inform and edify with reference to Mary in our Homilies, classes, informal chats with the persons whom we serve and our personal example of reverence for Our Lady and comprehension of who she is and what she does."
 7.) Does the Rosary and praying it play a significant role in how we should and can encounter Mary each day?

"Yes. It is a time-honored devotion that may be prayed by all persons in diverse circumstances. Even when we are tired, upset or distracted, the 'telling of the Beads' is noble and effective.

"During the most famous apparition of the last one hundred years, Our Lady asked the three devout but illiterate children of Fatima to pray the Most Holy Rosary daily. By extension, she asks the same of us."

8.) Where should we be traveling in regard to our relationship as a people, a parish, a diocese and a Church with Mary?

"She is the Star of the New Evangelization. She is not optional, not an add-on. She remains an integral part of theDepositum Fidei, also known as Divine Revelation.

"We must plead with the Holy Spirit for renewed love of Our Blessed Mother not only for ourselves but also for all peoples.

"As someone has put it, 'Know Mary, know Jesus. No Mary, no Jesus.'"

Saturday, November 15, 2014

J.M.J. Gene Young, veteran journalist and managing editor of The Bishop's Bulletin, recently submitted some insightful questions to me.

Part One

1.) As director of the Marian Apostolate, how do you present and share the Blessed Mother with people of the diocese?

"I use various methods, especially Homilies during Masses and Holy Hours, the public recitation of the Most Holy Rosary, our diocesan Marian Conference, talks, days of recollection, classes, films, books, articles, arranging for guest speakers and the radio program, 'Morning Star' on the Lamb Catholic Radio Network along with its blog ("

2.) How do you perceive they receive and know the Blessed Mother?

"When our Bishop, the Most Reverend Paul J. Swain, D.D., established the Office of the Marian Apostolate on July 1, 2009, he decreed that its purpose is 'to increase awareness of and appreciation and love for the presence of Mary the Mother of God in the Diocese of Sioux Falls.' Our Lady is already present . . . she is known and loved. Now, we must do all that we can to increase our awareness of her presence and our understanding of her person and mission.

"I find much receptivity to Mary. Knowledge of her often depends on age and always on catechetical background.

"During the 1980s, the late John Cardinal O'Connor, the Archbishop of New York,  lamented that an entire generation had not been catechized sufficiently regarding Our Lady. Today, perhaps His Eminence would concede that we are now speaking about two generations."

3.) Are there specific events, liturgies, things that you do through the Marian Apostolate to help people of the diocese more fully experience and interact with the Blessed Mother?

"Yes. Please see 1.)."

4.) We have all seen and read about the Blessed Mother's interactions with different people in the course of history, do those experiences make a difference to the people you encounter through your ministry and the people of today's world? "Yes. There is much interest in the apparitions of Our Lady and even some purported apparitions that have not been approved by the Local Bishop or the Holy See. Those whom I encounter are fascinated by Our Lady's messages during the various apparitions, especially those that occurred in Guadalupe, Mexico (1531), Lourdes, Frances (1858) and Fatima, Portugal (1917). "Additionally, the first approved Marian apparition in the United States of America, namely near Champion, Wisconsin in 1859 and under the title, 'Our Lady of Good Help,' has garnered significant attention."

Friday, November 14, 2014

J.M.J. "Come to Him, to that living stone, rejected by men but in God's sight chosen and precious; and like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 2:4-5)

Jesus is "that living stone." We fly to Him, for He is our sure refuge and safe harbor.

Please pray for the Reverend Antonio W. Ramos, who requests prayers for his upcoming surgery, and for the 1,900 young men and women who are planning to attend the Youth Rally in Brookings on Saturday.

May Our Lady look with great favor on these Special Intentions.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

J.M.J. V. Praised be Jesus Christ! R. Both now and forever!

Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917) was the first citizen of the United States of America to be canonized. Pope Pius XII did so on July 7, 1946.

Blessed with extraordinary zeal, she established numerous hospitals, orphanages and schools. She also founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. 

What she did was done for love of Christ.

May Our Lady help us to follow the example of Saint Frances Xavier by living for Jesus.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

J.M.J. Saint Josaphat (circa 1580-1623), whose Memorial is today, displayed great courage in the face of physical and moral danger. 

Fortitude is one of the Four Cardinal Virtues. It is also one of the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

In the very useful Dictionary of Moral Theology (Westminster, Maryland: The Newman Press, 1962), which was compiled by Francesco Cardinal Roberti, Dom Gregory Manise, O.S.B., describes fortitude as "a particular firmness of spirit which prompts us to be strong in the face of grave obstacles encountered by the fulfillment of one's duty, or the practice, even optional, of a virtue." (page 516)

May Saint Josaphat intercede for us, that we may obtain an increase in fortitude.

Saint Josaphat, pray for us!

And let us not forget to ask Our Lady to assist those who suffer hardship because of the cold, ice and snow.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

J.M.J. Saint Martin of Tours (circa 316-397) was an incredible man of God.

We ask for his intercession today as we seek to become more faithful to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary!

And may God bless all Veterans everywhere.

Monday, November 10, 2014

J.M.J. What can we say about the Mercy of God? So many more eloquent persons have tried to express this mystery. So, we may feel ourselves very inadequate in trying to do the same.

Yet, although we may not be able to find the best of the Queen's English to describe God's Mercy, we really do not need to attempt such an adventure, exhilarating and daring as it would be!

We know God's Mercy . . . we have experienced it, especially when we go to Confession . . . and we seek to share His unspeakable Mercy with our brothers and sisters.

We sing with Our Lady: "for He has looked with favor upon His lowly servant." (Saint Luke 1:48) 

I am His lowly servant, and so are you. Therefore, let us rejoice, for His Mercy is ours.

May +Francis John rest in peace.

Now, thirty-one seconds of awe and admiration:

Grace before Meals in Latin is: 

"Benedic, Domine (+), nos et haec Tua dona
quae de Tua largitate sumus sumpturi
Per Christum Dominum nostrum

You may even chant it, as Leo does . . . 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

J.M.J. Today is the Feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of Saint John Lateran. This incredibly large and beautiful church is the Cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, the Pope.

Here is a splendid essay from The Catholic Encyclopedia about the Patriarchal Basilica of Saint John Lateran:

Our Lady, Mother of the Church, pray for us!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

J.M.J. Each Saturday is dedicated to Our Blessed Lady. The Dictionary of Mary (New York: Catholic Book Publishing Company, 1985), in an entry entitled, "Saturday of Our Lady" by Anthony Buono, asserts: "The practice of dedicating Saturday to Mary is very old. (. . . .) On the Saturday after Christ's death and His disciples' abandonment of Him, Mary was the only one to preserve intact her faith in the Divinity of her Son." (page 306)

"(. . . .) Today, the strongest trace of Mary's relationship with Saturday occurs in the Liturgy. Saturday is dedicated to Mary by a Mass or Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Through these liturgical acts, Christians exalt the person of Mary in the action that renews the sacrifice of Christ and in the action that prolongs His prayer." (ibid.)

Thank God and His Mother for Saint John Paul II (1978-2005), who bequeathed to the Church The Missal of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which derives from the Marian Year of 1987-1988 and contains forty-six Marian Masses.

Parishes that continue to have the Saturday morning Mass in honor of Our Lady are often blessed with vocations to the Holy Priesthood. This is not surprising, for wherever there is tangible devotion to Mary, priestly vocations are sure to bloom.

Our Lady is the Ever-Virgin Mother of the Great High Priest!

O Lady, Our Lady, pray for us!

First Friday, November 7, 2014

J.M.J. Each First Friday, we joyfully recall the overwhelming love and the unspeakable mercy of the Most Sacred of Jesus for each of us. He is our Lord . . . He is our Peace . . . He is our salvation.

Today, on this First Friday, please join us at 10:00 a.m. in Saint Michael Cemetery, Sioux Falls, for the recitation of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

J.M.J. You may know that this Saturday, November 8th, the Most Reverend Paul J. Swain, D.D., the Bishop of Sioux Falls, will celebrate Holy Mass at 4:00 p.m. in the Cathedral of Saint Joseph to observe the date of the Decree from Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903) with which he erected our Diocese of Sioux Falls. All are welcome to attend.

During this Mass, Bishop Swain will bless seven Crosses that will be taken to the seven Deaneries in the Diocese. In August 2015, the Crosses will return to Sioux Falls for the special commemoration to be held from August 14 until August 16, 2015.

Please listen to "Morning Star" at 9:30 a.m. today to hear how Our Blessed Lady has been a part of our Diocese for 125 years.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

J.M.J. Please let us not forget to pray for those who are in harm's way especially as participants in various millitary exercises. The following is footage from a Holy Mass being offered on a ship headed for Iwo Jima. The date is Tuesday, February 12, 1945--the Feast of the Seven Founders of the Order of Servants of the Blessed Virgin Mary. That year, Ash Wednesday was the next day--February 13, 1945. The bloody Battle of Iwo Jima that claimed almost 26,000 Japanese and American lives began on Tuesday, February 19, 1945, one week after this Holy Mass had been offered.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

J.M.J. Saint Charles Borromeo (1538-1584) was "the guiding light of the Council of Trent." His perseverance in the face of trial was patterned after the example of Christ Himself, while his humility, truly, was Mary-like.

We pray for all candidates for public office, for those who will vote today and for those who have already voted. May the Social Kingdom of Jesus Christ be enacted in our midst!

---   ---   ---   ---

In his 1996 book entitled Gift and Mystery: On the Fiftieth Anniversary of My Priestly Ordination, Saint John Paul II wrote that “many people have urged me to speak more fully about my vocation during this year of my Priestly Jubilee.”

Page after page of the Holy Father’s reflection testifies to his deep thanks to God for calling him to the priesthood.

June 29, 2014, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, was the twentieth-fifth anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood. I can only share the Holy Father’s gratitude as I consider these past twenty-five years.

Our Lady’s Magnificat is a fitting template as I recognize the unspeakably rich blessings that I have experienced since 1989. “The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is His Name” (Saint Luke 1:48).

I am more convinced than ever that my personal inadequacies in being an alter Christus have not obscured the powerful, lasting divine touch that continues to overshadow me.

Appreciation for my priestly vocation resounds within me as I acknowledge some very evident truths that have been impressed upon me.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). St. Paul recorded these words that he heard from the Lord. A more consoling reassurance is difficult to locate—either for priest or any member of Christ’s faithful. Do I really trust that God has given to me all that I need to respond well to His love? Each day is an opportunity for me to affirm my confidence in Him and His wise plan.

Many priests speak about the offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as the best part of their day. No matter what exhilaration or dejection happens before or after Mass, the priest has been both priest and victim at the Altar after the example of Jesus Christ the Great High Priest.

I attest to the calming influence that celebrating the Mass has over me.

“It was not you who chose Me, but I who chose you(Saint John 15:16). How comforting, and how true! The priestly enterprise is only about me in a secondary way. Primarily it is about Jesus, Crucified and Risen. The Lord knew what He was doing when He selected this earthen vessel for priestly service in His vineyard.

I must recall often that my life and work are Christ’s. He is the animating force. He leads me—and not the other way around. In our era when we’re constantly told to “be all you can be,” I know that any “success” that I may have is directly attributable to God Who works in me.

“So we, though many, are one body in Christ(Romans 12:5). The laity and I collaborate, not compete. We work together for the glory of God and the salvation of souls, including our own. So much at stake depends on our cooperation with the Holy Spirit’s intimations.  

“In My Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?(Saint John 14:2). I think about my death more than ever before, and I see clearly that this is what I’m moving towards. With the strength that comes from God, such a reality fills me less with apprehension than with anticipation and, yes, regret for my sins. But there is room for me in the Kingdom because of the overwhelming mercy of Jesus.

In summing up his gratitude for the gift and the mystery of his priesthood, Saint John Paul II made the Psalmist’s declaration his own: Misericordias Domini in aeternum cantabo. “I will sing the mercies of the Lord forever” (Psalm 89:2). I repeat the Holy Father’s sentiment. It will take me all of eternity to thank Jesus for allowing me to participate in the ministerial priesthood.  

Monday, November 3, 2014

J.M.J. Saint Martin de Porres (1579-1639) was a Religious (a Dominican) and an apostle of charity . . . a lover of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Our Lady, the poor and the sick. He actually knew another canonized Saint, Rose of Lima. Saint Martin de Porres, pray for us!

May the Soul of Brittany Maynard, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

J.M.J. Not only did we turn back our clocks one hour early this morning on All Souls Day but we also remember those who have gone before us in faith and charity who, though deceased, are still on the way to Heaven. 

May it never be said that I have forgotten to pray for the Faithful Departed and make reparation for their sins.

Our Lady of the Poor Souls in Purgatory, pray for us!

And please gain the Plenary Indulgence for one of the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

With his 1915 Apostolic Constitution, Incruentum altaris sacrificium, Pope Benedict XV (1914-1922) declared that every priest in the world may offer three Holy Masses on All Souls Day for these Intentions: for all the Faithful Departed; for the Intention of the Holy Father; for a specific Intention.

This custom is laudatory. May priests everywhere embrace it with joy!