Thursday, January 27, 2022

Bishop's Reflections

CATEGORY

Bishop Gainer’s Christmas Letter

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Another year has come and gone, and we find ourselves navigating the hustle and bustle leading up to Christmas. Recently, our Diocesan Center staff gathered for our annual Advent Mass and Christmas Lunch.

Bishop Gainer’s Christmas Letter 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Many Christmas Carols have fascinating backstories. The beloved Carol, Joy to the World, has one such interesting history.

A Letter from Bishop Gainer on the Restoration of the Sunday Mass Obligation

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Along with the other bishops of Pennsylvania, I give thanks to Almighty God for the progress our country has made in curbing the coronavirus pandemic.

A Letter from Bishop Gainer on National Child Abuse Prevention Month

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Every April our nation observes National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Bishop Gainer’s Easter Letter

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad. We hear these words this Easter during the Responsorial Psalm, yet, after this past year of living with the COVID-19 virus, rejoicing might be the last thing on our minds.

Bishop’s Message for Divine Mercy Sunday Extends to Those Who Have Suffered an Abortion

My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ: The Lord is risen! Alleluia! As we enter this Easter season, I pray you will not let your hearts be heavy with the current health pandemic. The God who conquered death and rose to life is the same God that is carrying all of us through these times. How well did Jesus describe our own time when he told Saint Faustina, “Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy.” As true today as it was in the 1930s, mankind seeks consolation in many places, yet finds no reprieve. But God does not abandon us.

A Great Earthquake

This Easter, Matthew’s story of the empty tomb was the Gospel for the Vigil and an option for Easter Sunday Masses. We learn that Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were the first to hear the good news of the Resurrection and to encounter the person of the Risen Lord. There is a detail that Matthew alone includes in his resurrection narrative – a detail that is easily overlooked as our attention is riveted on the Risen One. Only Matthew mentions that the two Mary’s witnessed a “great earthquake” at the moment when the stone was rolled back and the angel descended with the good news of Easter.

Easter Laughing

Professors and authors in the field of Homiletics seem to be divided in their opinions whether preachers should tell jokes within a homily. In my own experience when I do tell a funny story, I’m fairly convinced that it might be the only thing most listeners will remember from the homily.

The Paschal Candle

One of the great and beautiful symbols of the Risen Christ is the Paschal Candle. Lit from the Great Fire in the first movement of the Easter Vigil, the candle bears the five wounds of the Lord’s passion and reminds us that Christ is the Alpha and the Omega and that all time belongs to him.

On the Road Again

When I visit elementary school classrooms, a question frequently posed, especially by the younger students, is “What is your favorite Bible story.” My stock response is that I have many favorites but Luke 24, “The Disciples on the Road to Emmaus,” is pretty close to the top. On the Third Easter Sunday we were treated to that very narrative.

Submission Deadline

The deadline for submissions to the biweekly Notebook/Parish Obituaries listing is every other Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. Please refer to the Publication Schedule for edition dates and deadlines.

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