Mortification, Strength in God

This is several weeks behind, but here is my homily from last weekend…

I don’t know about you, but for me one of the consequences of winter is dry skin. It’s a constant battle to keep from having cracks and cuts in my hands. We see what salt on the road does to the cars. Now salt in the Gospel is used in a good sense as well: we need to be salt for the world, to fill it with the flavor of the Gospel. In this instance we hear of a salted wasteland. In the first reading today we hear of Jeremiah making a pretty clear contrast: a strong verdant tree that can withstand storms and on the other hand a barren bush in the desert that stands in a lava waste.

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Heart of Saint John Vianney

Yesterday my diocese had the great joy of welcoming the incorrupt heart of Saint John Vianney to the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona. Read More

God’s gift of Life

For Zion’s sake I will not be silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet… (Is. 62:1)

On Friday January 18, I was at the March for Life in Washington, DC, and every year when I look around I am awestruck by the sacrifices people make to get there. I heard of one man who walked 2,800 miles starting last April to be there this year. I met one group from Kansas City who drove for 24 hours straight. I’m always impressed by the families that come—families who are very courageous in not only traveling a long way with their children but who are brave enough to enter a massive crowd of people. There is a lot of sacrifice and courage here—two virtues which are opposite those vices promoted by the culture: selfishness and fear. Read More

2018-what a year!

It’s amazing to see how the year went by so quickly…here’s a little photo summary.

First: don’t forget about the indulgences attached to the Te Deum prayed on December 31 and the Veni Creator on January 1. I wrote a blog post about this. Read More

Puer Natus est!

Blessings on this great solemnity of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ! This Christmas I gave myself a challenge: I would use the proper readings that the Church prescribes for each Mass and preach on each one. It was a really powerful experience for me to really get the sense I was walking deeper and deeper into the mystery of this central component of our faith. From the development in the prayers at Mass as the solemnity moves from the vigil-mass at night-mass at dawn-mass during the day. I was also grateful that I could offer one of the Christmas Masses for the parish where I am an administrator. So I will only share one of those homilies with you today. I had a bit of a marathon–four Christmas Masses, so after the last Mass I was pretty worn out. On top of this I was on hospital duty yesterday, and thankfully no emergency calls happened. I was happy that at the last mass my dad and stepmom attended. Afterward I got a picture with my dad. There was lots and lots of incense! Now I’m looking forward to a little time of rest to really bask in the glow of the octave of Christmas! Read More

A Day in the Life

At the rehearsal dinner for a Marriage I witnessed, somebody  told me her son wanted to be a priest because he figured priests took a break all week between Sunday Masses. The irony was that I was in the middle of a period where I was the only priest at the parish for 10 days and I was just getting ready for an already usually busy weekend, plus a wedding (the pastor and the deacon were on a trip to Rome). I laughed and told him he should follow me that weekend. That’s basically the public perception-priests sit around enjoying the finer things in life (maybe somewhere in an alternate universe). I remember when I was in college and my good friend (who, by the way, vested me as a priest) asked me about considering the priesthood. I went back to my dorm room and looked up “what does a priest do?” I had no idea, but now that I am a priest I do have an idea. Many people might not see the priest throughout the week, but on the flip side the priest might not see many of his people during the week (maybe they just sit around all week waiting to come to Sunday Mass?)…. Read More

Christ the King


That must be our anthem. We need Him to reign over us more than ever! In 1925 when Pope Pius XI instituted this feast (in Quas Primas), the world was in upheaval, just as it might seem today. This feast was a major finger in the eye of the up and coming Fascist governments that were setting themselves up as the ultimate powers in the world. Read More