“We are all pearls”: a deacon’s homily for this Sunday

A deacon friend sent me his homily for today. It’s extraordinary and, I think, deserves a wider audience. I post it here with his permission. I hope it will resonate with many.  ++ My good friend, Father Hilarion has a saying that goes like this… Everyone who comes into your life is a blessing. Some [Read More...]

Homily for July 27, 2014: 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

If you visited Facebook Friday afternoon, you would have seen on a sidebar a list of some of the stories that were trending around the world – what people were reading, sharing, talking about. High on the list was the new cast for “Game of Thrones,” Ben Affleck as Batman, a documentary about Nicholas Cage [Read More...]

“Look at that host and you look at Christ”: Homily for Corpus Christi

From the vault: my Corpus Christi homily from 2009. ++ Back in the 1970s, when there was a lot of liturgical innovation going on, Dorothy Day invited a young priest to celebrate mass at the Catholic Worker. He decided to do something that he thought was relevant and hip. He asked Dorothy if she had [Read More...]

Homily for June 15, 2014: Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

One of my favorite parts of being a deacon is something most people never see: Baptisms. I usually do them every three months, in rotation with Fr. Passenant and Fr. Anthony. They’re usually small affairs, just a few dozen people, and it only takes a half hour or so.  But it’s a chance to take [Read More...]

Homily for June 1, 2014: 7th Sunday of Easter

A common question among some Christians is “WWJD?” What would Jesus do?  Maybe we need to start asking ourselves “WWFD?”  What would Francis do? We find the answer to that question again and again in his trip last weekend to the Holy Land. Before leaving Rome, he visited the Basilica of St. Mary Major for [Read More...]

“Do not stay too long on the mountain”: Homily for Ascension Thursday

From the vault, my homily for Ascension Thursday in 2008:  The other day I read the news that Tamar Hennessey had died. Don’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of her. She was an obscure figure to most Catholics, but not insignificant. She was the daughter of Dorothy Day. Long after her mother had died, [Read More...]

Homily for May 25, 2014: 6th Sunday of Easter

This is Memorial Day weekend, a time when a lot of us will be firing up the barbecue, heading to the beach, or catching the X-Men movie. It’s the unofficial start of summer. The roads will be crowded, the boardwalks will be busy. Kids are counting down to the last day of school. Parents are [Read More...]

Homily for May 11, 2014: 4th Sunday of Easter

On a spring morning in 2010, a young man by the name of Dayan Machado found himself in a place he once would never have expected:  face down on the floor of a cathedral in Florida, praying to the saints. How he got there is a story unto itself—and illustrates beautifully, I think, part of [Read More...]

Homily for May 4, 2014: 3rd Sunday of Easter

For a woman in Davidson, North Carolina, it was a disturbing sight. Driving by the local Episcopal church, she noticed a vagrant sleeping on a bench outside. She called the police, who came to investigate. It turned out to be a false alarm. The homeless man on the bench wasn’t a man at all. It [Read More...]

The Nazareths of John Paul

From the vault, here’s part of a homily I delivered in 2011, on the occasion of the beatification of Pope John Paul II:  Less than a third of John Paul’s 85 years were spent as pope.  Most of his life, in fact, was spent living and working and praying among ordinary men and women in [Read More...]


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