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Word and Worship
Lex Cordis Caritas - The law of the heart is Love
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With God, we can restore a community of intentional disciples
November 29, 2014
As bishop of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, I am grateful for this opportunity to offer my reflections on the results from the online surveys of active and inactive Catholics in central Illinois conducted by researchers from Benedictine University in Lisle and published under the title, Joy and Grievance in an American Diocese. I am especially thankful to Dr. William Carroll, president of Benedictine University, for authorizing this study, and to Dr. Phillip Hardy of the Department of Political Science and Dr. Kelly Kandra and Dr. Brian Patterson of the Department of Psychology, Sociology and Criminal Justice, for gathering, analyzing and summarizing the survey responses from several hundred participants.
What happens when we die? Here’s a refresher
November 16, 2014
What happens when we die? This question was the topic of my presentation for “Theology on Tap” at the Knights of Columbus Hall at Lake Springfield on Oct. 29. The answer to this question is given by the Word of God as revealed to us in the Holy Bible and handed down authoritatively by Sacred Tradition in the Catholic Church. God’s revelation has been definitively revealed to us in Jesus Christ, so we should not expect or be looking for something new or different to be revealed to us.
Was the Synod of Bishops ordinary or extraordinary?
November 02, 2014
There was a lot of publicity, much of it misleading, about the Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops that took place last month on the topic of “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization.” The title itself is the source of some of that confusion, so it will help to explain some of these terms.
An examination of how some define the word ‘jihad’
October 19, 2014
In the previous issue of Catholic Times, I wrote about the plight of Christians and other religious minorities who are being slaughtered or forced to flee from their homes in the Middle East by the terrorist militants known as the Islamic State. Some Muslim leaders have spoken out against the Islamic State, but their statements have not received widespread media coverage or their statements have been ambiguous.
Praying for peace, solutions in Middle East, Holy Land
October 05, 2014
As the genocide of Christians by the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) militants continues, our government and several countries of the international community, including some nations in the Middle East, have begun to mobilize against the terrorists accused of indiscriminate killings, abductions and rapes. The Islamic State militants are also killing other religious minorities and even fellow Muslims whom they do not consider to be true Muslims.
All of us strive mightily to be good stewards of our faith
September 21, 2014
My dear brothers and sisters, I am asking that each of you see yourself as a missionary disciple in assisting in the important work of growth in our parishes and in our diocese. This begins with gratefully recognizing that all that we have is a gift from the Lord, and out of that generosity, we respond with generosity by sharing those gifts with others and by supporting those services which assist the faithful to deepen their relationship with Christ so that they may become missionary disciples themselves, stewards of the gifts that they have received.
Do not dismiss despair, cries of Iraqi Christians
September 07, 2014
We should not dismiss the situation in Iraq as a far-away matter of no concern to us. U.S. intelligence officials said last month that the gains made in recent months by the Islamic State have bolstered its long-term ambitions in the West, including the United States. In light of this situation, our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has called for all people to pray for peace in Iraq. Catholics are also encouraged to let their elected representatives know of their concern for Christians and other religious minorities who are in dire straits in Iraq, Syria, Egypt and other countries.
What excommunication means, and does not mean
August 24, 2014
“Excommunication” is one of the most highly-charged and feared words connected with the Catholic faith. It is also one of the most misunderstood. Many people incorrectly believe that a person who has been excommunicated has been “kicked out” of the Catholic Church. They may also think that this is a permanent and irreversible punishment. The penalty may be viewed as harsh, lacking in charity, even un-Christian.
CAC helps young athletes practice, embrace faith
August 10, 2014
Catholic Athletes for Christ (CAC) is a national organization that serves Catholic athletes in the practice of their faith and shares the Gospel in and through sports. The goal of CAC is for sports-oriented clergy and lay people to help Catholic athletes, coaches and staff to utilize the unique platform given to them to reach the world for Jesus Christ and his church.
Jesus teaches us the proper way to judge others’ actions
July 27, 2014
My topic today concerns complaints. Not mine, but those that I receive. My mail is often filled with complaints. I try with the help of my staff to address them as best as possible. These efforts are frustrated, however, when the complaints come in the form of anonymous letters. Most of these wind up in the shredder without taking any further action. Let me explain why.
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