Posts Tagged ‘Father’s Day’

Feast of Saint Joseph

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Did I call it or what?  While I obviously could not make any predictions about who would be chosen the Successor of St. Peter — – except to observe multiple times that those kind-but-misguided people betting on me were obviously sipping too much grappa — – I did remark that I thought the new Holy Father would choose the beautiful Feast of St. Joseph, March 19, for his first public Mass.

And that’s where I’ll be this morning at 9:30 AM Rome time: with 100,000 other people in St. Peter’s Square for the Mass of Inauguration of Pope Francis!

St. Joseph: the foster father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the patron saint of dads … and Pope Francis becomes the Holy Father of our earthly, spiritual family, the Church, on this holiday also observed as “Father’s Day” in Italy;

St. Joseph: the chaste spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Pope Frances loves her so much, traveling to the Shrine of Salus Populi Romani, “the Help of the People of Rome,” in the most venerable church dedicated to Our Lady, Saint Mary Major, the first morning after his election;

St. Joseph: Patron of the Church Universal; and now Pope Francis becomes the Pastor of the flock, the catholic, “universal” Church;

St. Joseph: the patron of workers, himself a carpenter; and our new pontiff, renowned for his closeness to the working men and women of his former Archdiocese of Buenos Aires;

St. Joseph: with a special care for the poor, always approached in prayer by those in want and need; and the new Bishop of Rome with such a reputation of solicitude for those in poverty;

St. Joseph: a man of complete trust in God’s will, as shown in the Gospel; and Pope Francis accepting his towering new task out of humble obedience to God’s plan;

St. Joseph: the protector of the Holy Family, his foster Son and virgin wife, leading them to safety in Egypt when the oppressive tyrant, King Herod, sought to kill the newborn Savior; and now our new Holy Father will become an ardent advocate of those persecuted, those forced from their homes, those oppressed for their faith;

St. Joseph: the man closest to Jesus, the man who knew Him first, loved Him most, and held Him closest; and now our Holy Father calling us to know, love, and serve Jesus … to friendship with Jesus;

St. Joseph: the patron saint of a happy death — – surrounded on his deathbed by Jesus and Mary; and now our new Pope speaking to us of eternal life;

In the Divine Office that we bishops, priests, deacons, religious sisters and brothers promise to pray daily, we reflect today upon the words of St. Bernard, who applied them to St. Joseph: God never calls us to something without giving us the grace to do it!

That’s our prayer for Pope Francis: the Holy Spirit has called him to be our Holy Father; through the intercession of Saint Joseph, may our new Successor of St. Peter trust that God will indeed lavishly supply the Grace he needs!

A Father’s Day Reflection

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

Along with so many other people of faith – and of no particular religion at all – we Catholic pastors and citizens persevere, on this Father’s Day, in our prayers and efforts to defend the timeless definition of marriage as the loving, faithful union between one man and one woman leading to a family.

At the conclusion of tomorrow’s 10:15 Sunday Mass at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, I’ll ask for prayers that this noble endeavor, at the heart of nature’s understanding of the common good, and historically protected by our country’s normative principles, will succeed.

We appreciate and encourage the legitimate concern of some of our thoughtful elected officials to make sure religious freedom is always guaranteed, but still in principle will oppose any radical bill to redefine the very essence of marriage.

While one searches the Constitution in vain to find any “right” of two people of the same sex to marry, one immediately locates the right of people of faith not to have intrusive government interfere with the free exercise of religion as the first of the Bill of Rights.

One has to wonder why the proponents of this radical re-definition, who claim overwhelming popular support, would not consider, for example, a referendum to determine the people’s will on such a drastic departure from traditional values?

Please let me once again resist the caricature that we are “anti-gay.” Our strong convictions are not anti anybody, but simply pro marriage. We would just as vigorously defend marriage from a demand by a heterosexual, or anybody else, to redefine the very nature of marriage to accommodate a relationship beyond that of one man and one woman.

We celebrate Father’s Day. The sacred word “father” implies “mother.” The terms “father and mother” presume “husband and wife,” and imply “children.”

These words are so basic that they’re the first ones a baby says; so foundational that they’re among the first words of the Creator recorded in the Bible.

Government presumes to redefine these sacred words at the peril of the common good.