“The rest is still unwritten”: a homily for January 1, 2014, Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God

From the vault: my homily for tomorrow’s feast, from 2008… +++ Years ago, my wife and I decided, just once, to spend New Year’s Eve in Times Square. We weren’t brave enough to stand outside in the cold with noisemakers and funny hats. Instead, we got a package at the Marriott, and had dinner in [Read More...]

Grace is everywhere: a homily for December 29, 2013, the Feast of the Holy Family

From the vault: here’s my homily for this Sunday from 2007. *** [Click here for the readings.] I’m struck every year by the timing of this feast, celebrating the Holy Family. It comes on the first Sunday following Christmas, and at a time when I think most of us – after the parties and cooking [Read More...]

Homily for December 22, 2013: 4th Sunday of Advent

The other night, for the umpteenth time, they were showing “It’s a Wonderful Life” on television. It’s a cliché, but it’s true: they don’t make ‘em like this anymore. It’s hard to imagine a movie like this today, where old-fashioned virtues like sacrifice and love of neighbor and a sense of duty and loyalty trump [Read More...]

Gänswein: no women deacons

From the blog PrayTell:  Austrian Religion.orf, citing the January edition of Cicero, quotes Archbishop Georg Gänswein, prefect of the papal household, as saying that Pope Francis will certainly not admit women to the diaconate. He considers this possibility “excluded.” The longtime secretary of Pope Benedict XVI sharply criticized “many powerful interests” that wish usurp the new pope for [Read More...]

What happens when deacons stand on a street with a sign offering “Free Blessings”?

Seminarian Connor Danstrom, from Mundelein Seminary, did that in downtown Chicago a few days ago and wrote about it over at Word on Fire: “Without cost you have received, without cost you are to give.” My phone told me it was three degrees when I woke up at 7 A.M. This was the gospel reading [Read More...]

Bishop to deacons: “You are my right-hand men.”

Last month, I posted on the ordination of new deacons for Oakland. This week, the diocesan newspaper has more: In his homily, Bishop [Michael] Barber told the deacons that they are ordained at the “bishop’s hands, but Christ’s touch.” The roots of the diaconate are in the early church, he said. As the apostles were [Read More...]

Homily for December 15, 2013: 3rd Sunday of Advent

The first thing to know is that this color is not pink. Twice a year, once during Lent and once during Advent, we wear these vestments and people routinely call them “pink.”  Just yesterday, David James, the head of our altar servers said to me before Mass, “Deacon, I’ve been meaning to tell you this [Read More...]

Ordination update: 6 new deacons for Tyler

This picture below popped up on Twitter, the new deacons for Tyler, Texas, ordained today by Bishop Joseph Strickland: Unfortunately, on the diocesan website I couldn’t find a link to a diocesan newspaper or Facebook page. Anybody know more? Meantime, congratulations, brothers, and welcome!  Ad multos annos! [Read more...]

Homily for December 8, 2013: 2nd Sunday of Advent

Honestly, I thought it must have been a joke. When I saw the story online last Sunday, I didn’t quite believe it.  Many of you probably saw it, too: it’s Amazon.com’s proposed new delivery system.  The idea is to use small, unmanned airplanes—drones!—to pick up packages at a warehouse and deliver them to your door, [Read More...]

“Cherpumple”: Homily for 1st Sunday of Advent

Here’s one from the vault: my homily for this Sunday from 2010.  +++ Anyone looking for interesting holiday recipes may have stumbled on a new word that has entered the American lexicon: “Cherpumple.” It’s a desert, created by Los Angeles writer Charles Phoenix – a diet-destroying, gut-busting feat of cooking that seems guaranteed to induce [Read More...]