Archdiocese of St. John's

Friday, 28 March 2014

24 Hours for the Lord

In conjunction with the ‘24 Hours for the Lord’, a new initiative of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evengelization, Pope Francis has asked that for the fourth Sunday of Lent, one church in each diocese remain open for 24 hours to offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation to those who wish to celebrate it, in the context of Eucharistic Adoration. Here, in the Archdiocese of St. John’s, I celebrated Mass at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, March 28 at St. Teresa’s Church, Mundy Pond Road. This was followed by Eucharistic Adoration and priests were available at the Church throughout the day for those who wanted to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Mass was celebrated at St. Teresa’s again in the evening at 7:00 p.m. followed by Stations of the Cross by St. Teresa’s Salt and Light Youth Group.

The Bishops’ commission for Evangelization and Catechesis has a selection of new materials and resources to encourage and support individuals to celebrate God’s mercy and forgiveness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. These materials can be viewed at the following link:

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Visit With Mr. Hugh Nangle

On March 18, 2014 I had the pleasure to visit Mr. Hugh Nangle in Ottawa. 
Hugh is the son of Lt. Col. (Padre) Thomas Nangle, C.F., who was the chaplain to the Royal Newfoundland Regiment during World War I, and beloved of the soldiers who fought in that war. After the War, he was appointed as Newfoundland's representative on the Imperial War Graves Commission as Director of War Graves Registration, Enquiries and Battle Exploits Memorials. He dreamed and made reality the "Trail of the Caribou," the memorials to those who fought, died and survived in World War I, and then was the major fundraiser behind the National War Memorial in St. John's.
I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Mr. Nangle and the stories we shared. I was delighted to present to Hugh a scrapbook of pictures, poems, reminiscences and other material related to the work and ministry of his father, Lt. Col. Nangle during and after World War I.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day

On March 17, St. Patrick's Day, I had the honour to celebrate Mass at the Basilica of St. John the Baptist with the Benevolent Irish Society, their members, families, guests and friends, including the Knights of Columbus. The BIS (Benevolent Irish Society) was founded in St. John's, NL on February 17, 1806 for male residents of Newfoundland who were born in Ireland or of Irish ancestry. Benevolence and philanthropy, the founding principles of the organization, continue to be the mandate for the organization as the Society supports educational and charitable needs while celebrating and promoting Irish Newfoundland culture and heritage. After Mass, I received members of the Society at the Basilica Museum for refreshments and socialization.
I extend congratulations as well to the BIS today on the launching of a book today entitled "BIS of St. John's Bicentennial History 1806-2006" by Makaela Mahoney, editors John O'Mara (deceased) and John E. Fitzgerald.

On St. Patrick's feast day, I offer to all this traditional Irish prayer:

May God give you...
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Lenten Message 2014

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ;

Whenever we embark on the journey of Lent, we do so with the light of Easter guiding our way. We never walk in darkness, because Christ goes before us and walks alongside us, every step of the way.

We have experienced that light very clearly over the past twelve months. Just a short year ago, we received God’s gift of a new Pope, Francis. He is living proof that one person can make a difference in the world. Our hearts have thrilled to recognize in our Pope the witness of a life transfigured by the joy of the Gospel. He radiates joy, welcome and mercy. Like Jesus, Pope Francis shows us the face of God, and the God who shines through Pope Francis is a God of love, kindness, openness and mercy. Indeed, “mercy” has become a core theme of his message.

We read in many places in Scripture that God is kind and merciful. “With the Lord there is mercy, and fulness of redemption (Ps. 130). I once heard “mercy” defined as “God’s loving kindness.” What a wonderful image—a God who gazes on the world, and us, with loving kindness, the way a mother or a father gazes on their beloved children. The love of parents for their children is the best picture any of us will ever have of God’s love.

Pope Francis challenges us to look at the world, and other people, as God looks at them. He challenges us to see others as people, and not simply the sum of all their faults, to see their potential and call them to live this potential in loving service to others. Francis has said that our role in the world is to open doors, and never to shut them, to make every encounter an opportunity to proclaim the Good News.

In a recent homily, Pope Francis said that going to Mass and receiving the Eucharist should make a difference in the way Catholics live. "When we go to Mass, we find ourselves with all sorts of people," the pope said. "Does the Eucharist we celebrate lead me to consider all of them as brothers and sisters? Does it increase my ability to rejoice when they do, and to weep with those who weep?" Pope Francis said it is not enough to say that one loves Jesus; it must be shown in love for those he loved. Ask yourself, he said, if going to Mass helps you reach out to the suffering or "am I indifferent, or am I gossiping, 'Did you see how that one's dressed?' Sometimes people do that after Mass. But this shouldn't happen. There must be "coherence between our Eucharist and our lives."

So, this Lent, I invite you to live, share and reflect the mercy of God in a world that needs to know this wonderful loving kindness. Make the light of Easter present in our world every day. In this way, Pope Francis says, we will become a community of missionary disciples. Let us walk toward Easter in the joy of the Gospel, renewing our commitment to make Christ present in our mercy, our kindness, our love of others, particularly the most vulnerable and needy.

In Christ,