The many Nazareths of Pope John Paul: “Greatness begins in unexpected places”

Two years ago, for the first feast day of Blessed John Paul, my parish held a special Mass to mark the occasion. This is the homily I preached  that day.   Happy Feast of Blessed John Paul!    +++ By a happy coincidence, this gospel touches on a theme that was so vital to Pope [Read More...]

Homily for October 13, 2013: 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Click here for the readings] Centuries from now, when people are studying our civilization, one of the most fascinating examples of our culture will be something that just a few years ago seemed like a foolish conceit. But it has touched lives in ways even its creator couldn’t have imagined—reaching over one billion people. It’s [Read More...]

Homily for September 29, 2013: 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Click here for the readings.] This gospel couldn’t be more timely—or more challenging.  This familiar story of a “Have” and “Have not” comes at a moment when it seems the gap between the rich and the poor in our country has never been greater.  The numbers tell the story. About one in six Americans are [Read More...]

“What is a parish?”: a homily for September 15, 2013

Today, traditionally the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, is also my parish’s feast day. Late yesterday, the parish administrator said, “You wanna throw together a few words for the 11:30 Mass?”  Okay, I said.  Here they are.  Yesterday, as I do every month, I met with families to schedule baptisms. And I’m always surprised [Read More...]

At the cross, her station keeping: reflections on the Queen of Martyrs

My parish, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, marks its feast tomorrow. Below is a homily I delivered for the occasion in 2008, with some reflections on the cross and Mary:  This Sunday, marks the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. And like we do at every Sunday mass, we began this celebration with a [Read More...]

“To be a Christian is to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven it in us…”

From two years ago:  It is difficult to capture what this anniversary means to us as Americans, as New Yorkers, as Catholic Christians.  The things we feel are almost beyond words.  We are still, in many ways, groping in the dark, struggling to find a way to deal with what happened, and how much our [Read More...]

Homily for September 1, 2013: 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today’s scripture readings are about something we don’t hear mentioned very much. Humility. If you go to “Google” and type in the word “humility,” you’ll get about 13 million entries. But if you then go and type “fame,” you’ll get 208 million – about 15 times the amount for humility. That about sums it up. [Read More...]

Homily for Mass of Transferral for Rev. Msgr. Joseph A. Funaro

Bishop Chappetto, Bishop Sanchez, my brother clergy, family and friends from near and far… As we gather together tonight, I want to begin by letting Msgr. Funaro’s family know how much we at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs share your loss.  There have been a lot of tears in this rectory this week. We offer [Read More...]

Homily for the Vigil of the Assumption

[From the vault: here's my 2010 homily for the vigil of tomorrow's feast.] Years ago, a friend gave me a holy card with an unusual depiction of the Blessed Mother. She is visibly pregnant, and reading from a book – praying from scripture. As my friend explained to me: it’s a great image for a [Read More...]

Homily for August 11, 2013: 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Click here for readings.] Years ago, a song asked the romantic question: “What are you doing the rest of your life?” Last week, an item in the New York Times put that into sharp focus.  It was a story about a website called “”  At the site, you enter your birth date, your general personality [Read More...]