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Cultural Diversity: Hope is an anchor of soul, sure and firm
Thu, Sep 13th 2018 10:00 am
Sept. 15-Oct. 15 of every year in the United States we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. This celebration began as a weeklong celebration by President Lyndon Johnson and became a monthlong celebration during Ronald Reagan's presidency in 1988. Across the United States schools, colleges, community organizations and churches celebrate.
New superintendent of Catholic Schools welcomes new year
Tue, Sep 11th 2018 04:00 pm
Another school year is upon us and our Catholic Schools will once again open its doors to children of all faiths. Though open to all faiths, our Catholic identity and Christian values are present, and clearly evident as the primary focus of each school along with an exemplary academic program. Families who choose Catholic education for their children understand that a spiritual learning environment helps to strengthen the Christian values they teach within their own homes. Having children who daily interact with other children practicing those Christian values and seeing them modeled by the adults around them helps strengthen our future families and communities.
An important message from Bishop Malone
Sat, Sep 1st 2018 01:50 pm
It is important that I once again address the topic which has caused so much pain for so many. You do not need me to remind you that grave sins and crimes committed by a small percentage of clergy have had wide-ranging and long-lasting effects both here in our diocese and in the worldwide Church. I am convinced that the best way to respond to complaints of past abuse and to restore trust in the Church and her clergy is to be as open and as transparent as reasonably possible in addressing the complaints and taking action against offending priests.
Making a Difference: Defending the unborn children at the edge of hell
Wed, Aug 29th 2018 03:00 pm
In the early months of his papacy, Pope Francis felt the urgent need to courageously preach on the actual existence of the devil, and the grave dangers of not taking his existence seriously (see: 1 Peter 5:8-9).
Hindering or welcoming children entering the kingdom
Tue, Aug 28th 2018 03:00 pm
The middle section of Mark's Gospel, 8:32-10:52, presents Jesus and His disciples journeying to Jerusalem. Three times in this section Jesus predicts his coming suffering and death. Each time the disciples misunderstand Jesus and the meaning of the cross. The second prediction 9:30-31, and the subsequent misunderstandings include two passages involving children.
Quenching our thirst for truth, instead of fake news
Wed, Aug 22nd 2018 03:00 pm
There is a thirst for truth and authenticity in our culture, the likes of which has never been seen before in the history of our country. The extreme polarization of thought and opinion has given rise to some of the most intense debate of which people are capable.
Justice Perspective: Do all you can to learn these issues, and act
Mon, Aug 20th 2018 09:25 am
I hope you read Bishop Richard J. Malone's column in the July issue that talked about "building bridges instead of walls." He ended his powerful reflection with this observation: "Do all you can to learn about these issues ... Study them through the lenses of sacred Scripture and Catholic Social Teaching. And then ... act!
Cultural Diversity: Missionary disciples are witnesses of God's love
Fri, Aug 10th 2018 10:00 am
"Go out and be missionary disciples, witnesses of God's love to the world," is what 300 delegates were called to do June 22-24. Thirteen delegates along with Bishop Richard J. Malone and Father Ryszard S. Biernat went to Albany for the Regional V Encuentro. Delegates came together from New York, Rochester, Albany, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Ogdensburg, Rockville Center and Syracuse. Those from our diocese are all very grateful to the Foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo who made it possible for them to attend.
Bishop Malone: Midsummer musings
Tue, Aug 7th 2018 11:40 am
As I write this column, I'm just home from some restful days back in Massachusetts, where I lived for 58 of my 72 years until I was called to Maine and then Western New York. It is always a grace to reconnect with cherished people and places, and to enjoy for a few days the beautiful and calming sight, sound and smells of the Atlantic Ocean.
Sound Board: Deus Caritas Est
Tue, Jul 31st 2018 10:00 am
In 2005, Pope Benedict XVI wrote his encyclical "Deus Caritas Est" which was a reminder of God's unfathomable love for humanity. His goal was to remind the world of the love God has for each individual and how limitless it really is.
Justice Perspective: What justice looks like for migrants and refugees
Fri, Jul 27th 2018 10:30 am
We need to imagine ourselves as refugees and then imagine what justice looks like. The good news is that our imagining of justice for immigrants and refugees can be guided by a strong and clear teaching of the Church on this issue.
The joy of listening to Western New Yorkers
Fri, Jul 27th 2018 10:25 am
"You're not listening to me!" We have all said those words. We feel hurt, disrespected, and perhaps even angry when others seem to ignore what we have to say. Now, in good Catholic fashion, let's do an examination of conscience. Are we listening well to others?
The Eucharist is #CatholicStrong
Fri, Jul 27th 2018 10:00 am
Rejuvenation and refreshment are what summer is all about. In Psalm 23, we read, "beside restful waters he leads me; he refreshes my soul." Have we ever reflected that the place of greatest refreshment for us as Catholics is the Mass where we not only drink in the teachings of our Lord from Sacred Scripture, but also feast on the Body and Blood of Christ? Nourished by the living presence of Christ, every corner of our lives is touched with grace. We go forth from the Mass #Catholic Strong, empowered to live Christ in the world and to joyfully witness to His love.
Cultural Diversity: Share in the Journey
Wed, Jul 25th 2018 02:00 pm
Father's Day this year as for many families like mine, was a gathering at a home, park or restaurant. Our family gathered at my brother's house where three generation of families celebrated their fathers and asked God's blessing upon these great men whom we have been blessed to have in our family. I believe they learned from their role model, my dad who worked and spent his life taking care of 11 children and his wife with much love and care. He spent a lot of his spare time taking us out to enjoy the day at parks. Papi was a man of faith, who would have us pray the rosary together. On Sundays, our family would fill the whole pew at church. He was well remembered at our Father's Day gathering this year.
Pondering with God's Word: Seven letters to ancient cities
Mon, Jul 23rd 2018 02:00 pm
The Sunday after the 9/11 attacks I was walking to my car after Mass in Alameda, Calif. I was being followed by a tall man and when I turned and asked if I could help him, he asked if the 9/11 attacks were the beginning of the defeat of evil as promised in the Book of Revelation. Why he chose me I don't know but we had a lengthy discussion.
Joy of the Gospel in Western New York
Fri, Jun 29th 2018 02:00 pm
They say that joy is the truest sign of God's presence. Our most recent popes have called upon all Catholics to spread the joy of knowing Jesus with a new and missionary fervor. A joy for the Gospel, of which Pope Francis so often speaks, can only succeed if it exudes at all levels of church life - personal, parish, school, campus, in health care, and social services. But we cannot give what we do not possess. How would your parish score in its capacity for joy, these days?
Truth and Love: A new movement of the heart
Thu, Jun 28th 2018 11:00 am
Love and responsibility often get ignited by a new calling. The call to marriage or to the priesthood, for example, brings about a new movement of grace and love in the heart. Such a movement also happens when one becomes a mother or father. I tell couples in Marriage Preparation that when they have their first child they will discover that some part of their heart, which up until this point has been dormant, will be activated. That is because the love parents have for their child is so incredibly unique.
My view: Victims deserve compassion not criticism
Tue, Jun 26th 2018 10:00 am
"Bishop Malone's office, Siobhan speaking - how may I help you?" Over the last two months, a multitude of callers have been on the receiving end of my phone greeting. I've talked to distressed citizens who express anger over Church cover-ups and silence, to concerned Catholics whose faith has been shaken by the priest abuse scandal, and to the victims of this abuse themselves. These latter individuals often share their stories, which are heartbreakingly horrible to hear. Even being on the periphery of their pain has been deeply disturbing. Yet remarkably, it is their strength more than their suffering that has most resonated with me.
Pondering with God's Word: 'More' is not always better
Mon, Jun 25th 2018 03:00 pm
Recently there has been a challenge to a long-held interpretation of the story of the Widow's Gift found in Mark's gospel. No doubt many have heard this short narrative used to praise self-sacrificing on behalf of others or to indicate that a gift is measured by the spirit in which it is given. But is that what the story is meant to convey?
Justice Perspective: Imagine what it would take
Fri, Jun 22nd 2018 02:00 pm
Imagine for a moment what it would take for you to stuff whatever you could into a garbage bag and take your entire family to a place you have never been, without any certain plans or destination.
Cultural Diversity: Prayer helps build closeness with God
Fri, Jun 22nd 2018 02:00 pm
Prayer is a basic necessity for us as Christians. Realizing this will help us have a better relationship with Jesus. We are blessed because we could not have a better teacher than Jesus. He prayed to the Father every chance He got. He even gave us the Lord's Prayer so that we can pray to our Father in heaven. We can learn and use this prayer daily. Therefore, those who don't know anything else, can at least pray the Lord's Prayer.
Bishop Malone: Let's build bridges, not walls
Wed, Jun 20th 2018 12:00 pm
Recent attention in local media has been given to the joyful news of the ordination of four men as priests for service in our diocese, and, on the other hand, to the tragic story of past clergy abuse of minors. While we rejoice with our new priests, and share the sadness and anger of abuse victims - while continuing our commitment a to safe environment for our young people - we must not lose sight of other important matters that call out to our consciences.
Making a Difference: King's wisdom still calling us higher - 50 years later
Wed, Jun 6th 2018 01:00 pm
When a disciple of Jesus takes his or her prophetic baptismal call seriously, that person's words and actions live on long after he or she leaves this world.
Bishop Malone: NYS Bishops' advocacy in Albany
Fri, Jun 1st 2018 02:00 pm
There has been mention recently in the local media about the advocacy efforts of the Catholic bishops of New York State at the State Capitol in Albany. The Diocese of Buffalo, with the seven other dioceses of New York state, is represented in Albany by the New York State Catholic Conference, the official voice of the Catholic Church in our state. The conference represents the bishops in working with government to shape laws and policies that pursue social justice, respect for life, and the common good. Through the NYSCC, the bishops speak with a unified voice on issues of education, poverty, family life, abortion, assisted suicide and euthanasia, social services, health care, criminal justice and the environment. This is the way in which the Church shines the light of Catholic social teaching on critical issues of the day and encourages citizen involvement in the legislative process through the Catholic Action Network.
Retirement Fund for Religious contributions for 2017 appeal
Wed, May 30th 2018 02:00 pm
More than $700,000 was collected in the Diocese of Buffalo during the 2017 Retirement Fund for Religious Appeal. This total includes donations from throughout the United States through the "Share in the Care" website which is sponsored by the Religious Retirement Fund in the Diocese of Buffalo. Donations to this site can be made online throughout the year.
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."