These reflections are a result of more than 40 years of ministry as a Roman Catholic priest. Most of these years I spent in the Diocese of Charlotte which covers Western North Carolina. Now I am retired, and live in Medellín, Colombia where I continue to serve as a priest in the Archdiocese of Medellín.

Tuesday, 07 November 2023 00:00

Tuesday, Week XXXI, Ordinary Time

We, though many, are one Body in Christ and individually parts of one another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us exercise them: if prophecy, in proportion to the faith; if ministry, in ministering; if one is a teacher, in teaching; if one exhorts, in exhortation; if one contributes, in generosity; if one is over others, with diligence; if one does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. (Rom 12:5-16ab)
We’ve all been given gifts to be exercised for the benefit of the community—with cheerfulness (not as sourpusses!). This week the Padre will be visiting the Eje Cafetero (the coffee growing region) of Colombia with members of his Colombian family.


Monday, 06 November 2023 00:00

Monday, Week XXXI, Ordinary Time

For God delivered all to disobedience, that he might have mercy upon all. Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How inscrutable are his judgments and how unsearchable his ways! For from him and through him and for him are all things. To God be glory forever. Amen. (Rom 11:29-36)
As Saint Paul reflects on God’s plan of mercy, he waxes very eloquent and gives us this little hymn of praise. This week the Padre will be visiting the Eje Cafetero (the coffee growing region) of Colombia with members of his Colombian family.


Sunday, 05 November 2023 06:31

Sunday, Week XXXI, Ordinary Time

We were gentle among you, as a nursing mother cares for her children. With such affection for you, we were determined to share with you not only the gospel of God, but our very selves as well, so dearly beloved had you become to us. (1 Thes 2:7b-9, 13)
What a powerful description of ministry! It resonates with me as I look back over 45 years as a priest, but it’s not an image you hear much about in seminary. In fact, Pope Francis was sharply criticized for encouraging mothers to breastfeed their crying infants if they got hungry during the two-hour service of baptisms in the Sistine Chapel. As the pope said to the mothers present, "And if your children are crying because they are hungry, then go ahead and feed them, just as Mary breastfed Jesus.”


Saturday, 04 November 2023 00:00

Saint Charles Borromeo, bishop, November 4

I ask, then, has God rejected his people? Of course not! . . . For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable. (Rom 11:1-2, 11-12, 25-29)
In the past Christians have used isolated passages from the Scriptures to justify antisemitism. Following the teaching of Saint Paul the Second Vatican Council strongly condemned antisemitism in all its forms. Saint Charles Borromeo (1538-1584) was Cardinal Archbishop of Milan, Italy, and attended the Council of Trent. He is responsible for the founding of seminaries and of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD).


R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them, and they follow me.   (Jn 10:27)
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Lord always calls his own as he called Martin de Porres (1579-1639). Matin was the illegitimate son of a Spanish nobleman. Martin was of mixed race: his mother was a freed African slave of Native descent. They were abandoned by the father and under Peruvian law, being mulatto, Martin had no rights. He was finally accepted by the Dominicans who gave him menial tasks to perform. He worked in the infirmary and was known as a healer. I remember when he was canonized in 1962. My mom was working at Blessed Martin de Porres Hospital (a Black maternity hospital run by the Sisters of Mercy). After the canonization the hospital was renamed, Saint Martin de Porres. The shiny new “saint” letters stood out on the hospital sign!


The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace. (Wis 3:1-9)
Give rest, O Christ,
to thy servants with thy saints,
where sorrow and pain are no more;
neither sighing, but life everlasting.
(Russian Kontakion for the Departed, Orthodox Liturgy)

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen. And may their souls, and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.


Wednesday, 01 November 2023 00:00

ALL SAINTS, November 1

After this I had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands. They prostrated themselves before the throne, worshiped God, and exclaimed: “Amen.  Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving,
honor, power, and might be to our God forever and ever.  Amen." (Rev 7:9-12)
Today’s Feast of All Saints and tomorrow’s Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed form two moments of one feast—remembering and celebrating all the faithful ones who have gone before us and handed on the faith to us. As we say in the Apostles' Creed: "I believe in the communion of saints." Happy Feast Day to them and to all of us! May we follow them walking in the footsteps Jesus.


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