Archives for January 2018

Pope’s Morning Homily: Shepherds Do Not Put Up Signs With Hours

Pope Francis offered this advice to all Shepherds in his homily on Tuesday morning, January 30, 2018:  “do not put up signs with hours.” Pope Francis reflected on the Gospel reading for that day (Mark 5:21-43) sharing his thoughts on how Jesus responded to the people who reached out to him for help and made himself available.

Additional information on the Pope’s homily can be reviewed in the following publications:

Zenit (Click here)

Crux (Click here)


Inspiration and Guidance from Thomas Merton Trappist monk models 4 ways priests can grow in holiness

Thomas Merton, Trappist monk, bestselling author, social activist and a pioneer in interreligious dialogue, was born 103 years ago today, January 31.  Pope Francis, during his address to a Joint Session of the US Congress in September, 2015, cited four Americans whose “fundamental values will endure forever in the spirit of the American people” – Abraham Lincoln, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton.  Referring to Merton individually, Pope Francis stated “he remains a source of spiritual inspiration and a guidance for many people.”

To commemorate Thomas Merton’s birthday, below is a resource featured in the February 2018 edition of The Priest Magazine “Inspiration and Guidance from Thomas Merton – Trappist monk models 4 ways priests can grow in holiness.” 

Please click here to review the article.

The Most Reverend Wilton D. Gregory, S.L.D.

Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory

Presentation: “The One and the Many: Priests and the Local Presbyterate”

50 years after the establishment of the National Federation of Priests’ Councils, you should rejoice and take some pride at the spirit of fraternity that Priests’ Councils have been able to help develop across the country. In addition to the ministerial collaboration that our councils have striven to establish with the local bishop, there is also the equally important strengthening of the bonds of fraternity that these bodies have created. I would like to reflect on 50 years of this development and to raise some of the challenges that we still face as bishops and priests working together for the mission of the Church and the development of closer unity among those who share the Ordained Priesthood of Jesus Christ in our local Churches.

Biography: The Most Reverend Wilton D. Gregory, S.L.D.

Born December 7, 1947 in Chicago to Wilton Sr. and Ethel Duncan Gregory, Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory attended St. Carthage Grammar School, where he converted to Catholicism. He attended Quigley Preparatory Seminary South, Niles College (now St. Joseph’s College Seminary) of Loyola University and St. Mary of the Lake Seminary.

He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago on May 9, 1973. Three years after his ordination he began graduate studies at the Pontifical Liturgical Institute (Sant’ Anselmo) in Rome. There he earned his doctorate in sacred liturgy in 1980.

After having served as an associate pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Glenview, IL as a member of the faculty of St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein and as a master of ceremonies to Cardinals John Cody and Joseph Bernardin, he was ordained an auxiliary bishop of Chicago on December 13, 1983. On February 10, 1994, he was installed as the seventh bishop of the Diocese of Belleville, IL where he served for the next eleven years. On December 9, 2004, Pope John Paul II appointed Bishop Gregory as the sixth archbishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta. He was installed on January 17, 2005.

In the time since Archbishop Gregory’s arrival, the Archdiocese has:

  • Grown to approximately 1.2 million Catholics
  • Elevated nine parishes and established six missions resulting in 103 parishes and missions
  • Ordained 64 priests and 152 permanent deacons
  • Baptized nearly 150,000 infants, children, and adults; and brought over 16,000 people into full communion with the Catholic Church

BOOKS AND VIDEOS – Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B.

The following books and videos by Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B., are available through the on-line store of Salt and Light Television in Canada

You may order these items through Salt and Light website store. If you order significant copies, we offer special discounts for bishops, priests, parishes and dioceses.  Prices listed are in Canadian dollars. Cost will be different (less) in US dollars. Do not hesitate to write me direction with any questions, etc.  Thank you. Fr. Tom Rosica, CSB
Email:   [email protected]
Office:  (416) 971-5353 xt 2240

Words Made Flesh: Scripture Reflections for Year B

Year C and Year A will be available later this year.

The Seven Last Words of Christ – English

“Stay with us”…Encounters With The Risen Lord
Reflections by Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB.
Forward by His Beatitude Michel Sabbah, Latin Patriarch-Emeritus of Jerusalem.

Where Jesus Walked
-an extensive biblical reflection on the image, written by Father Thomas Rosica, C.S.B
-relevant prayers drawn from the Roman Missal
-excellent for group or individual reflection.

Father Thomas Rosica Biography

Father Thomas Rosica, C.S.B.

2018 NFPC Touchstone Award Recipient

The award is presented to a priest who in the view of the president and Board of Directors of the National Federation of Priests’ Councils, is one whose service in the Gospel of Jesus Christ exemplifies the purpose and goals of the Federation. In particular, his leadership enhances the ministry of others and his words and deeds support the life and ministry of priests; thus he is, as it were, a touchstone for genuine, quality priesthood.

Biography – Father Thomas Rosica

Ordained a priest in the Congregation of St. Basil in 1986, Fr. Thomas Rosica, a native of Rochester, New York, and a dual citizen of the USA and Canada, holds advanced degrees in Theology and Sacred Scripture from Regis College in the University of Toronto, the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome and the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem.  Fr. Rosica has lectured in Sacred Scripture at Canadian Universities in Toronto, Windsor and London and served as Executive Director of the Newman Centre Catholic Chaplaincy at the University of Toronto from 1994-2000.

In June 1999, he was appointed by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops as the Chief Executive Officer and National Director of the World Youth Day and the Papal Visit of Pope John Paul II, that took place in Toronto during July 2002.  On July 1, 2003, Fr. Rosica became the founding Chief Executive Officer of Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation, Canada’s first national Catholic Television Network. Appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications in 2009, Fr. Rosica also served as Media Attaché at four Synods of Bishops at the Vatican in 2008, 2012, 2014 and 2015. He served as English language Media Attaché to the Holy See Press Office from 2008 – 2016.

Fr. Rosica has led retreats for bishops, priests and women religious throughout North America and in Ireland and has authored hundreds of articles on Scriptural and ecclesial themes over the years in numerous languages and is also author of several books on Scripture, Spirituality and the Saints. In his own religious congregation, he has served as rector and pastor of the Newman Centre at the University of Toronto, Master of Scholastics and member of the General Council of the Basilian Fathers from 2006-2010. He is currently Procurator General of the Congregation of Priests of St. Basil. He serves on the Boards of Trustees of St. John Fisher College in Rochesterm, the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas and the Collegium of the University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto, Ontario.

Click here for books and videos by Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B.

Pope Francis’ New Apostolic Constitution on Ecclesiastical Universities and Faculties

(Photo: Pixabay)

On Monday, January 29, 2018, the Vatican released Pope Francis’ Apostolic Constitution, Veritatis gaudium (“The Joy of Truth”).  The eighty-seven page document replaces the Apostolic Constitution, Sapientia Christiana which was issued in 1979.  Veritatis gaudium reforms the norms governing Ecclesiastical Universities and Faculties.

The Papal document encourages study with “an open spirit and on one’s knees,” to improve scientific research and promote encounter and dialogue, without forgetting to posit an “option for the poorest.”  For a summary within Zenit click here.

To review Veritatis gaudium in its entirety, click here.

NFPC This Week, #744: January 21-27, 2018

Here is your NFPC This Week for January 21 to January 27, 2018:


Dan Snow will no longer be compiling This Week. Responsibility for the e-letter will pass on to the NFPC’s newest employee, Vill Harmon ([email protected]).

Vill joined the NFPC following a seven-year tenure with the Archdiocese of Chicago in the Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs Department.  A native Chicagoan, Vill is also very active at Old St. Mary’s Catholic Church where she recently completed ten years of service as a Catechist, and most recently, became a member of the parish’s newly-formed Interfaith Committee. Vill is also very involved with the Chicago area Focolare Movement.


“Proud to be Catholic: a groundbreaking America survey asks women about their lives in the Church” – A reflection by Fr. Jim Hewes

Clergy News

‘If they come for you, they come for me’: A ‘dreamer’ priest faces deportation — and a divided congregation

Dairy farm to the episcopate: Stockton gets a new bishop

Archbishop-Emeritus Daniel M. Buechlein, OSB, 79, has died at Saint Meinrad Archabbey

7 Steps to Support the Newly Ordained

Chicago priest pledges hunger strike to support ‘Dreamers’

National and Global Highlights

Catholic bishops side with labor unions in Supreme Court case

10 Roman Catholic priests arrested in protests in Congo

Pope tells 1.3 million in Peru to get involved, spurn ‘Jonah syndrome’

Creating a ‘Safe Haven’ From the Pornography Pandemic

Pope Francis Unusually Isolated in Chilean Priest Sex Abuse Scandal


Seventeenth Annual Acculturation Seminar for International Priests

Association of Chicago Priests’ 51st Annual Mardi Gras & Ministry Awards

7 Steps to Support the Newly Ordained

(Photo: Pixabay)

Msgr. Stephen Rossetti has written a new article in The Priest magazine. It is summarized as follows:

Young priests may leave the priesthood for a variety of reasons, but to help the newly ordained find their way, support systems from other clergy can be helpful. Msgr. Rossetti identifies seven articles that can help young priests, and benefit older ones as well.

Msgr. Rossetti’s list (abbreviated for brevity and available in its entirety by clicking here) includes:

  • Mentoring
  • Private prayer
  • Attendance at gatherings
  • Support groups
  • Developing relationship skills
  • Establishing a separate personal space
  • Outpatient psychotherapy

There is a strong need to act quickly when priests are feeling burned out, and to apply ministerial adjustments or healing resources as needed. Action needs to be taken before the priest goes to declare his intent to leave the priesthood. Mentorship between older priests and the newly ordained could be crucial in guiding new priests through difficult years.

While priests are generally happy and satisfied in their work, sometimes extra support is needed. This support is useful not just to new priests, but to all who share the vocation.

For the full article in The Priest magazine, click here.

“Proud to be Catholic: a groundbreaking America survey asks women about their lives in the Church” – A reflection by Fr. Jim Hewes

We have received a submission from Father Jim Hewes of the Diocese of Rochester. He has written a reflection on the recent survey of American Catholic women conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) and America Media (the publishers behind America, the American Jesuits’ publication). Father Hewes offers commentary on the study and on the concerns of American Catholic political life.

For a PDF of his work, click here.

Father Jim Hewes is a priest of the Diocese of Rochester. Ordained for over 43 years, Fr. Hewes has served in rural, suburban, and inner city parishes as well as serving as a campus minister and prison chaplain. He is a trained and certified mediator, has given workshops in the Diocese of Rochester on the Catholic Social Teachings and on the Jesus’ non-violent teachings, and formerly served as director of Project Rachel for 18 years.

If you would like to submit an essay or article to This Week, we would be happy to publish it. Email [email protected] with any submissions or questions.

Chicago priest pledges hunger strike to support ‘Dreamers’

St Procopius Church in Chicago (Photo: St. Procopius/Providence of God Parish)

CHICAGO – As of January 25, Father Gary Graf hasn’t had solid food in 10 days. He has committed to a hunger strike in support of the “Dreamers,” the several hundred thousand illegal immigrants granted protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Based out of St. Procopius Church in the city’s traditionally Hispanic neighborhood of Pilsen, Father Graf plans to continue his strike until a deal is reached to keep the “Dreamers” secure. He plans to live off of water, protein powder, and the Eucharist until at least March 5, the White House’s deadline to end the DACA program.

Chicago’s Cardinal Blase Cupich has offered support, and has asked the members of his Presbyteral Council to consider fasting one day per week in solidarity.

Father Graf’s strike underlines his deep sympathy for Mexican and other immigrants, immigrants who form a crucial part of his parish community.

“As a priest, I’m very well aware every single day of my life that parents — all parents — sacrifice their lives for their children,” Graf said. “I don’t have my own children, and as my spiritual children, this is my opportunity to also be in solidarity with them.”

For the full article in the Chicago Tribune, click here.