November 19, 2016

Priestly Vocations Ramble/Rant

That tweet is from the other day. Given responses, it seems to have hit some particular nail on the head. In thinking about it I decided it needed some follow-up for fairness sake.

November 7, 2016

All Franciscan Souls Ramble

On Saturday, in the Mass I celebrated with the Capuchin Sisters of Mother Rubatto and in the Liturgy of the Hours here at home, we had the Commemoration of all the Franciscan Faithful Departed, or All Franciscan or All Seraphic Souls.

Sister Death presides over the friars' cemetery, Yonkers, New York

I like how we Franciscans have our own All Souls Day. It's like a family thing; just as in a family folks might take care to have Masses celebrated for their dear departed, so we Franciscans have a liturgical day for ours. I forget how we do it at home in the USA, but here in Italy this day always gets scheduled for the first totally free liturgical day after November 2. So this year, having duly celebrated the days for Martin de Porres and Charles Borromeo, it was this past Saturday.

The gospel for the Mass was from St. John.

November 1, 2016


The feast of All Saints today and the commemoration of All Souls tomorrow are perfect opportunities to recall to ourselves the catholicity of the Church. We are members of the Catholic Church, practitioners of Catholic Christianity. Catholic is a Greek word that simply means general or universal. The Church is ‘universal’ or ‘general’ in many ways. In one sense the Church is universal because it extends over the whole earth. There’s even a Catholic chapel in Antarctica; it’s dedicated to St. Francis by the way. The moon, it’s already been decided, is part of the diocese of Rome, in case you were thinking of making a visit and were wondering who your bishop might be. The Church is also universal because it extends until the end of time. But most of all, the Church is universal and catholic because it passes beyond the boundaries of time and space to include both heaven and earth.

This teaching on the catholicity of the church comes to us in the classic language of the Church Triumphant, the Church Militant, and the Church Suffering or Expectant. The Church Triumphant is the Church we honor today on All Saints’ Day: those Christians who have completed their journey and enjoy the vision of God in heaven. We who make up the Church on earth are classically called the Church Militant; “militant” in the sense that we are in the midst of the struggle with sin and the work of ushering in the fullness of the Kingdom of God.