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Justice Perspective: Practical steps to care for creation
Sun, Mar 18th 2018 08:00 am
It has been almost three years since Pope Francis issued his outstanding encyclical, 'Laudato Si,' On Care for our Common Home. In that encyclical, the pope asked us to consider our own role in the damage that has been done to Mother Earth: "This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her."
Cultural Diversity: With words and actions, do it
Sat, Mar 17th 2018 08:00 am
These past few years, our diocese has been involved in preparing for the National V Encuentro that will be taking place in Grapevine, Texas this September. The diocesan encuentro team has been working with the parishes at ways to better serve the Hispanic/Latino Catholics in the United States, as the United States Bishops Conference asked us.
Is giving up chocolate a true sacrifice?
Thu, Mar 15th 2018 09:00 am
A contemporary Catholic author and speaker gave the following advice: "Don't give up chocolate for Lent. Instead do something life-changing. Have the best Lent ever!" The wisdom of this simple statement is that there is something deeper and greater that the Lord invites us to during Lent. As we enter into the heart of Lent this month, our Lord calls us to conversion and he invites us to transformation in Christ.
Commentary: Praying for Francis
Tue, Mar 13th 2018 03:00 pm
LINCOLN, NEB. (CNA) - Five years ago, I stood in the refectory of St. John Vianney Seminary of Denver, with colleagues, friends, and a few hundred seminarians, watching on television as a much larger crowd gathered in St. Peter's Square. When Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, appeared on a balcony above the square, we erupted into cheers, and then we fell silent as the pope asked the world to pray for him, and offered us his blessing.
Sound Board: Why I march
Tue, Mar 13th 2018 01:00 pm
On Jan. 22, 1973, the Supreme Court legalized abortion in the United States. Since then, the lives of 60 million innocent babies have been taken by abortion. This is a tremendously horrible crime against humanity. It is the killing of the most helpless and innocent of all human life.
Abortion-expanding NY budget not good for women or children
Tue, Mar 13th 2018 01:00 pm
In 2013, Governor Andrew Cuomo tried to give New York women a present. He called it the "Women's Equality Act," a 10-point plan of policies for women that included protections against salary inequities, sexual harassment, discrimination and domestic violence.
Bishop Malone: March musings
Mon, Mar 12th 2018 09:00 am
Each year, the annual Mass and March for Life in Washington, D.C., is becoming more and more a kind of youth and young adult event. Of course, we're grateful to all the old timers (like me) who continue to attend. I am extremely proud of our Catholic colleges and high schools that send delegations each year to witness to the sacredness of human life. If your school was represented this year, thank you. If not, why not? See you next year, maybe?
Here's a mother-in-law story. This time, it's not a joke
Tue, Feb 20th 2018 12:00 pm
This month, during the weekend liturgies, we hear the story of Simon's (Peter's) mother-in-law. The earliest Christians would have heard Mark's Gospel spoken to them or read to them, probably in one or two sittings, not piecemeal as in our Sunday liturgies. So, it is valuable to see Mark's Gospel as an oral performance, similar to a theater play. Thus, it is enlightening to look at the placement of the story of Jesus' healing of Simon's mother-in-law within the gospel.
Justice Perspective: Stand in solidarity with Salvadorans
Fri, Feb 16th 2018 01:00 pm
For nearly 50 years, the Catholic Church in the United States has celebrated National Migration Week. It is an opportunity for us to reflect on the circumstances confronting migrants, including immigrants, refugees and survivors of human trafficking.
Bishop Malone: Let's get to work on the new evangelization
Tue, Feb 13th 2018 04:00 pm
When I mentioned to a friend that I intended to write this month's column on the new evangelization, he accused me of having an obsession - a "holy" obsession, he qualified - with that theme. I told him that if I do indeed have such an obsession, it is because I am convinced that the work of helping people encounter Jesus Christ and His saving message is the primary mission of the Church ... at this time, and at all times. Evangelization is, as Blessed Paul VI declared in his 1976 encyclical "Evangelii Nuntiandi," the "deepest identity" of the Church. The Church, he wrote, "exists in order to evangelize" (#14).
Bishop Malone: Ash Wednesday on Valentine's Day
Fri, Feb 9th 2018 09:25 am
As you are likely aware, St. Valentine's Day falls on Ash Wednesday this year. This is the first time these two occasions have overlapped since 1945. As a result, some people have inquired as to whether a dispensation from the Ash Wednesday fast and abstinence will be granted.
Cultural Diversity: Share the Journey with the family
Fri, Feb 2nd 2018 12:00 pm
"Share the Journey" is the theme for this year's National Day of Prayer for the African-American and the African family.
Called to Abundant Life: World Day of Prayer
Fri, Feb 2nd 2018 12:00 pm
Although it may not seem so, the days are getting longer as the winter solstice has passed and the daylight hours grow. As the light expands and intensifies, there is pause to consider if what is occurring externally is simultaneously happening in our spiritual lives. Is the light of Christ growing in our lives? When speaking about Jesus in John's Gospel, St. John the Baptist says, "He must increase and I must decrease."
Pondering with God's Word: The importance of names in Genesis
Wed, Jan 31st 2018 02:00 pm
When reading biblical narratives, one looks for patterns and changes. Throughout Genesis, we recognize the pattern in God's interaction with humans: blessing, sin, punishment and blessing. A change in content gives two distinct parts to Genesis, the primal stories, chapters one to 11, and the narratives of the founding leaders of Israel, chapters 12 to 50. Genealogies also abound in Genesis and further divide the book into sections. Of interest here is the genealogy of the descendants of Noah and their expansion throughout the world (10:1-11:32). Curiously, within the list of descendants of Noah's the third son, Shem, one finds the Tower of Babel story, 11:1-9.
White Mass recognizes health care workers, persons with special needs
Wed, Jan 31st 2018 11:00 am
Please join us on Saturday, Feb. 10, at St. Joseph Cathedral in Buffalo for the annual Diocesan White Mass, with Anointing of the Sick, at 4:30 p.m. All doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals will receive a special blessing from our principal celebrant, Bishop Richard J. Malone.
Bishop Malone: Why I am a Catholic, and you should be too
Tue, Jan 23rd 2018 02:00 pm
When I mentioned to a friend that I intended to write this month's column on the new evangelization, he accused me of having an obsession - a "holy" obsession, he qualified - with that theme. I told him that if I do indeed have such an obsession, it is because I am convinced that the work of helping people encounter Jesus Christ and His saving message is the primary mission of the Church ... at this time, and at all times. Evangelization is, as Blessed Paul VI declared in his 1976 encyclical "Evangelii Nuntiandi," the "deepest identity" of the Church. The Church, he wrote, "exists in order to evangelize" (#14).
Sound Board: New Year is time for new prayers
Sun, Jan 21st 2018 06:00 am
The New Year is a great way to find oneself closer to God. There is always the common question of "How am I going to start this New Year with a good resolution?" The answer is simple; find your resolution in God. It is great to cut back on sweets and go to the gym more, but oftentimes I find myself slipping up on those resolutions. Finding a goal in strengthening your relationship with God can be tough as we all live busy lives, but there is always time for God.
Called to Abundant Life: Recognizing the gift of presence, not just presents
Sat, Jan 20th 2018 06:00 am
As everyone embarks upon the journey of the new year, special resolutions about how to be better people abound. The focus of most New Year's resolutions usually is becoming happier and healthier in one way or another. The quest for deep peace and contentment in life tugs at us at this time of year, inviting us to consider what will bring us true happiness.
Justice Perspective: The four verbs of welcoming strangers
Fri, Jan 12th 2018 01:05 pm
Happy New Year! That greeting resounds among friends, acquaintances, coworkers and even strangers. It lasts for more than just the day, and continues through much of the month of January as a wish for health, happiness and good fortune through the coming year.
Cultural Diversity: Many Journeys, One Family
Fri, Jan 12th 2018 10:00 am
This year, National Migration Week is from Jan. 7-14. This week has been celebrated in the Catholic Church in the United States for over 50 years. It gives us an opportunity to reflect on the circumstances confronting migrants, immigrants, refugees, children and victims and survivors of human trafficking.
Making a Difference: Game of North Korean-American brinkmanship
Sat, Dec 30th 2017 06:00 am
Remember the game of chicken? It's a foolishly high-stakes challenge in which two drivers, risking death, drive on a collision course towards each other until one of the drivers chooses to swerve away.
Taking Flight Dinner to benefit FICE on March 8
Wed, Dec 27th 2017 10:00 am
Growing up, my parents instilled in my three brothers and me that our Catholic faith was not what you do on Sundays, it's who you are. It is the constant celebration of the value of goodness, and this has had a profound influence on the way I think, behave and act.
Discovering God in the unexpected
Sun, Dec 24th 2017 06:00 am
Even the most avid of readers might pick up a book that intrigues them, and desire so badly to get into the book that they skip the preface. If we skip the preface during the Christmas season, we might miss the heart of the Christmas message. In St. John's Gospel, the well-known preface says, "The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us." God, who existed before time, broke through both time and space, and entered humanity. In Jesus, God became manifest as He revealed Himself in a complete way.
The ways we connect with the meaning of Christmas
Thu, Dec 21st 2017 08:00 am
Between Advent and all of the preparations for Christmas, December becomes one of the busiest months of the year, especially for a parish staff. Some believe that all of the happenings and "to-dos" distract us from the true meaning of the season. But I think that the true meaning of Christmas is made even more real by the very experiences we sometimes take for granted or that might even seem like distractions. For example: given the choice between watching a Christmas movie with all my cousins or taking time alone in prayer, I am hands down going to choose movie time. Even though prayer is an important part of spiritual preparation, time with family is a blessing and a reminder of how close to God we can be. The festivities we look forward to, the food we eat, and the family we see are experiences that help us fully realize an inward, spiritual celebration that builds with anticipation during Advent and that we celebrate on Christmas.
An angel and a star - shepherds and Magi
Sun, Dec 17th 2017 08:00 am
What's on the top of your Christmas tree: an angel or a star? And what would the Christmas scene be like if we only had Luke's Gospel? Or only Matthew's? Only Luke has the angel appearing to the shepherds, while only Matthew has the star leading the Magi.
Justice Perspective: Christmas can still change the world
Sat, Dec 16th 2017 08:00 am
As our season of Advent begins, it almost seems like we are late to the party. After all, Christmas has been a part of what has surrounded us in our culture for weeks already. We have lived through Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday, and on and on. We have been bombarded with Christmas music, Christmas movies, Christmas party invitations, Christmas sales and Christmas decorations.
Bishop Malone: Reflecting on an Irish pilgrimage
Sun, Dec 10th 2017 08:00 am
"What was the best part of your pilgrimage to Ireland?" I've heard that question a dozen times since our return from the "land of saints and scholars." The short answer is, the simple fact that I finally got there, for the first time, and just months before my 72nd birthday. Too long a wait, to be sure, but well worth it in every way. It was a truly blessed journey of faith and prayer, joy and beauty, history and ... fun.
Cultural Diversity: Make straight the way of the Lord
Sat, Dec 9th 2017 08:00 am
Advent is a time for us to prepare for the joy of the birth of our Savior. John the Baptist came to announce the coming of our Messiah and said, "I am the voice that is crying out in the desert; make straight the way of the Lord."
Collection provides needed support to religious congregations
Fri, Dec 8th 2017 08:00 am
For 30 years, the National Religious Retirement Fund has provided much-needed financial assistance for religious congregations. During those years, the generous donors in the Diocese of Buffalo have contributed more than $25 million to assist women and men religious with the care of retired members, who ordinarily have no pension and minimal Social Security benefits.
Making a Difference: After 50 years of Israeli occupation, enough is enough
Sun, Nov 26th 2017 08:00 am
Fifty years is a long time to endure forced suffering.
Justice Perspective: Open your eyes to the sin of racism
Sat, Nov 25th 2017 08:00 am
You may have seen the movie "Hidden Figures" (and if you haven't, you should). It's the story of a team of female African-American mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the U.S. space program. It is a story not only of their talent and their ability to overcome obstacles, but also of the challenges and roadblocks that African-Americans (especially women) faced in the early '60s.
Called to communion with the entire community of saints
Sun, Nov 19th 2017 08:00 am
While many people lament the problems caused by the use of social media, there are countless pearls of wisdom that are shared every day on outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. While often the platform for instant news, political rants and the need people have to put themselves out there, inspiration can also be found in cyberspace. A recent tweet by Pope Francis was an attention getter. The pope tweeted, "Our contagious joy must be our first testimony of the closeness and love of God."
Genesis re-enacted: blessings over food and recycling
Sat, Nov 18th 2017 08:00 am
Rabbinic Jewish writings present their understanding of God and of our lives. Read what they write on the purpose of pronouncing a blessing/thanksgiving over food. Their insight occurs in a discussion of an apparent conflict between two Scripture verses.
Bishop Malone: A Time for Gratitude
Tue, Nov 7th 2017 11:00 am
If each of the months of the year were assigned a quality, it might be said that March is lucky and July is independent, but November is always grateful. Although the Thanksgiving holiday comes at the end of November, it lends an atmosphere of gratitude to the entire month. This month also marks the end of the Church's liturgical year, while the calendar year begins the last stretch toward the finish line. Thus, it is a fitting time to reflect on all that we have to be thankful for.
National Vocation Awareness Week celebrated in diocese
Fri, Nov 3rd 2017 03:00 pm
Each year, the month of November is an exciting time for the Vocations Office and the Catholic communities of the United States, because it brings the National Vocation Awareness Week, which will occur from Nov. 5-11 this year.
Cultural Diversity: Listen to what Jesus has to say
Fri, Nov 3rd 2017 02:00 pm
Last month, the Office of Cultural Diversity's African-American Commission brought in the well-known national speaker Father Tony Ricard from New Orleans. He is a tremendous storyteller as well as a comedian. He had the assembly roaring in laughter at times. His message was challenging and spiritually uplifting. It was an awesome three nights.
Sound Board: Gifts from God come with four legs and tail
Fri, Nov 3rd 2017 12:15 pm
Hope and Hudson. They are two of the most important words in my life.
Pondering with God's Word: Miryam, beloved leader and prophet of the wilderness community
Fri, Nov 3rd 2017 12:00 pm
One can wonder if Mary of Nazareth had a "patron saint." If so, was it Miryam of the wilderness account? One can never know, but the questions lead to a reflection on Miryam's biblical portrait.
Recognizing God is the beauty that is within and around us
Thu, Nov 2nd 2017 03:00 pm
American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Beauty is the handwriting of God." During a much earlier time period, St. Augustine said, "Late have I loved you, beauty so ancient, and so new; late have I loved you." In these magnificent quotes, the sacred and secular intersect and invite not only insight into God who is complete beauty, but also contemplation on God, who is love.
Making a Difference: Catholic Church is journeying back to its nonviolent roots
Tue, Oct 31st 2017 02:00 pm
The Catholic Church preaches, teaches and practices total nonviolence.