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Justice Perspective: For I was in prison and you visited me
Wed, May 23rd 2018 03:00 pm
A few weeks ago I joined about two dozen other volunteers who went inside a local prison to offer a four- day retreat to 40 of the men inside the facility. I have been part of this ministry for over 10 years, and in that time I have had the opportunity to meet a great number of inmates who, although they have made some serious mistakes in their lives, are dedicated to turning their lives around.
Cultural Diversity: Tolton, slave to priest
Tue, May 22nd 2018 04:00 pm
In the Preamble of the National Black Catholic Congress XII, Pastoral Plan of Action, "The Spirit of the Lord is Upon Me," states that as black Catholics, "We commit ourselves to promote the causes of canonization of the five holy women and men being considered for sainthood in our Church." The delegation that went to the National Black Catholic Congress from Buffalo met this past March and one of their goals is to commit themselves to helping everyone in our diocese learn about them. They are requesting that we all pray for their canonization.
The Joy of Pentecost in Western New York
Fri, May 18th 2018 10:00 am
There are many experiences that tie Western New Yorkers together. One of them is visiting the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. I recall being especially attracted to a beautiful "Eucharistic Dove" circa A.D. 1200. It was auctioned off by the Albright-Knox in 2007 but can still be seen online.
Bishop Malone: Navigating through the storm, staying the course
Tue, May 15th 2018 11:35 am
"In her voyage across the ocean of this world, the Church is like a great ship being pounded by the waves of life's different stresses. Our duty is not to abandon ship, but to keep her on her course."
Mary, a spiritual mother for the Church and all
Fri, May 11th 2018 04:20 pm
As we begin the month of May, our spirits are energized by the warm glow of sunshine, and beholding the new life around us in blossom and color. The long awaited springtime is upon us. This month of new life is dedicated to Mary, the Mother of the Church and our mother.
Mary of Nazareth is mother, disciple, prophet
Fri, May 11th 2018 04:00 pm
Two trends in biblical studies come together for this reflection. The first, the search for the historical Jesus, allows us to speak also of the historical Mary; the second, the understanding that the earliest Christians lived under the oppressive rule of the Roman Empire opens our minds to elements in Mary's depiction that imply such an experience.
Struggle for justice in all ages
Mon, Apr 30th 2018 04:00 pm
Wrestling with the problems of social injustice in society seems to be perennial. Two of the saints of our Judeo-Christian tradition faced these problems and both have left us a record: the prophet Amos with his words (Amos 3) and Blessed Oscar Romero with his life. We remembered Blessed Oscar last month. In a course on the biblical prophets, my students wrote out a possible initial conversation between Amos and Oscar when Oscar died and met Amos in the presence of the Holy One. The following is an excellent dialogue written by our Father Martin Gallagher.
Making a Difference: Trump is stealing from the poor to give to the rich
Fri, Apr 27th 2018 10:00 am
Robin Hood, the legendary hero of English folklore who took from the rich to give to the poor - whose very name conjures up thoughts of fairness, justice and love for the oppressed - stands in stark contrast to President Trump who wants to take from poor and give to the rich.
The adventures of an extrovert on a silent retreat
Tue, Apr 24th 2018 02:00 pm
I was born an extrovert. When I was 2, my mom put me in the front seat of the grocery cart at ShopRite, and as an older woman bent down to pick up eggs, I kissed her on the head. My mom, shocked, exclaimed, "Tinamarie! You can't just kiss strangers!" When I was 16, my friend's parents constantly questioned my sobriety due to expressive moves on the dance floor. So, when the Benedictine Sisters of Erie invited me on a five-day silent retreat during my summer internship with them, it went about as well as you might imagine.
Justice Perspective: Confronting the gun culture ... again
Mon, Apr 16th 2018 03:00 pm
Two months ago, on Ash Wednesday, (and Valentine's Day), we were witness to another mass shooting, this time in a high school in Parkland, Fla. The pain inflicted on the families, friends and the nation from this attack is unconscionable, and even now our hearts are still tender from the wound this atrocity inflicted.
Anchored in hope, reflections on the Resurrection
Fri, Apr 6th 2018 04:25 pm
The Easter Season is a time of great hope as the Church celebrates the miracle of Christ's resurrection, rejoices in His promises, and receives the great gift of the Holy Spirit. Hope is born because of the Easter moment. The brilliance of Easter light has eclipsed the darkness of Good Friday. In the light of the resurrection, our faith finds an anchor, which is hope. In resounding alleluias sung with jubilation, God gives every believer hope in a future that includes eternal life with Him.
Bishop Malone: Promise to protect, pledge to heal
Mon, Apr 2nd 2018 06:00 am
As we continue to deal with the impact of the revelation of clerical sexual abuse allegations in our diocese, there is so much I need and want to say.
Making a Difference: Marching for life is not enough
Mon, Mar 26th 2018 03:00 pm
What a wonderful sight to behold: from Capitol Hill, as far as I could see, there was a sea of people on the march for life. But the recent 45th March for Life was bittersweet. It was inspiring to see so many people, from so many states, marching on behalf of our unborn brothers' and sisters' right to be born. But it was sad to think that we have been marching for 45 years - with no end in sight.
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.