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August 15, 2008

As one of the “baby boomers,” our generation became the first television generation.

July 18, 2008

I’d like to point out a few things to keep in mind as you read it. There are any number of beautiful lessons in “Humanae Vitae” that are often forgotten or misunderstood. First and foremost, many assume that Pope Paul VI somehow “created” church teaching on artificial birth control in light of the development and widespread distribution of the birth control pill in the 1960s.

July 4, 2008

Why do people use such language? Pick your reason: ignorance, the need to shock, poor upbringing, lousy education, missing manners. The list goes on and on.

But I also wonder if there is something deeper going on, something that we all share, even if Carlin’s “seven words” never pass our lips, another type of vulgarity that summarily dismisses another person.

Maybe it’s the ease of instant e-mail, the impact of shock-jock radio or talking-head television or the millions of bloggers without editors. But one thing is certain: our language has not just become more vulgar.

June 6, 2008

Some years ago as a particular parish trained its candidates for baptism at the Easter Vigil, the pastor practiced with those to be baptized and told them they would each have to individually proclaim their baptismal promises.

May 9, 2008

From my days as a first-grade student in St. Stanislaus School in Ambridge, there are a number of different lessons that I learned from my teacher, Sister Estelle. I have been thinking about Sister Estelle much these days as I was preparing several important talks and I remembered some of her lessons.

April 25, 2008

By God’s providence and because of God’s call of me as your bishop, I was privileged to be with our Holy Father on so many of the steps of his pilgrimage to the United States, and you, all of you, were with me in my thoughts and in my prayers.

On the south lawn of the White House and in the Crypt Church of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception — our Holy Father was there and you were there with me! At the great Mass in Nationals Park and along the streets of Washington, D.C. — he was there and you were there with me! In St.

April 4, 2008

Since my installation as your bishop a little more than six months ago, I’ve been able to visit more than 100 parishes. More visits are on the way, and if I haven’t been to your parish yet, rest assured the day is coming.

In every single parish I have visited — whether I was there for celebration or mourning — I caught the vitality of faith. It’s not a matter of finding out how many programs or activities are going on. It isn’t an issue of whether it is a big or a small parish, an urban parish with a long history, a fresh-faced suburban parish or a parish on a country road.

March 7, 2008

It is hard to believe that we are only a short week from Passion Sunday and Holy Week. Our Lenten pilgrimage began this year in the first week of February and is drawing toward its summit while the chill of winter hasn’t let go.

Lent means many things, but if something comes to mind first it is usually the idea of “giving up” something for the penitential season. People will often “give up” a favorite treat.

February 8, 2008

What do you remember about Lent? Depending on your age and your perspective, Lent can mean a host of different things: hot-cross buns, leaving school for Friday Stations, ashes, meatless Fridays and parish fish fries, fast and abstinence regulations that you might have needed a lawyer to interpret in the old days, paczki, pierogies and palms, giving up candy, giving up movies, giving up television (or giving up radio!) ... the list goes on and on.

We all know that Lent is much more than all these collective memories and traditions.

January 25, 2008

On Jan. 22, 1973, when the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark decisions erasing centuries of protection for innocent human life, I was not yet a priest. I was studying theology at St. Mary Seminary in Baltimore. It would be two more years before I would be ordained by Bishop Vincent Leonard.

I can still remember where I was when I heard the news.