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Commentary: How I spent my summer vacation

August 23rd, 2015 Posted in Opinion Tags: , , ,

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We spent a lot of our vacation in cemeteries: a couple of church plots in England and a week’s worth of well-maintained and also abandoned graveyards in Ireland.

We were fortunate to afford a summer trip overseas. Also, I’m lucky to be married to a family historian, who used every website and archive online to plan an itinerary that avoided wild-goose chases and reference-room delays to find the churches and pathways of our ancestors.

After spending time in more cemeteries than I had previously visited in my life, it became obvious to me we were on a ghost hunt, of sorts. Read more »

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Guest column: Parishes can call ‘Uber-priests’ when they need a celebrant

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Call me Uber-Priest. Lately, I feel a bit like the part-time car service that is in competition with taxi drivers who work regular shifts. You see, I don’t have a full time parish assignment since I am officially “retired from active ministry” but, like most retired priests in our diocese, I help out whenever and wherever there is a need.

Unlike the Uber drivers who might get sneers from licensed taxi drivers, we are not in competition with clergy who are assigned to parishes. Pastors love us. We are there to help them. When parish priests need to take a day off, or go on vacation, or attend a retreat, or workshop, all those things necessary for a sane, healthy, holy and renewed priesthood, we retirees get called to celebrate Masses. The phone also rings when priests get ill, hospitalized or even when they go on extended sick leaves. If we do not cause any problems for the local priests, we get invited back. Read more »

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Viewpoint: Oscar Romero: A blessed martyr

May 17th, 2015 Posted in Opinion, Uncategorized Tags:

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March 24, 1980: The news hit like a bomb. An archbishop had been shot dead at Mass: Oscar Romero of San Salvador in Central America. I was thunderstruck.

By 1980, this no longer happened even in Communist countries. They just imprisoned you.

I was a new pastor in a small parish, ordained 15 years, with time to read and think, especially about the direction of our Vatican II Church. Read more »

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Viewpoint: Catholic funeral rites are corporal and spiritual works of mercy

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In recent years, the church leaders have wisely expressed deep concern over the growing lack of respect surrounding funerals and the proper care for the earthly remains of the faithful departed.

Our religion has always been countercultural and will remain so. At the core of Roman Catholic practices surrounding the departed is the reality that prayer for the dead is a spiritual work of mercy and burying the dead is a corporal work of mercy.

It’s good to remember that the glory of Christ’s resurrection was first revealed to those on a mission of mercy to the tomb to wash and anoint Jesus’ body in accordance with Jewish burial customs. Read more »

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Viewpoint: God v. Cain in Old Testament court

March 22nd, 2015 Posted in Opinion

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In his letter this week to Delaware legislators urging them to support the repeal of the state’s death penalty, Bishop Malooly wrote, “There is a growing consciousness in our modern society that there is something wrong in using the death penalty to discourage crime and violence.”

That’s close to the heart of the capital punishment issue for me: How is it that governments kill people who have murdered to demonstrate it’s wrong to commit murder? Read more »

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Viewpoint: Food for thought during Lent

February 21st, 2015 Posted in Opinion Tags: ,

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When I was a child I overheard news reports stating a certain number of children went to bed hungry every night in America.

I was too little to understand the statistic meant something other than a craving for dessert or a cookie at bedtime. I was too young and well off to understand the difference between being ready for dinner and actual hunger from being too poor to have food on the table. Read more »

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Viewpoint: Someone to watch over us

January 25th, 2015 Posted in Opinion Tags:

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January 24 is the feast day of St. Francis de Sales, who is the patron saint of both the Diocese of Wilmington and journalists.

As a Catholic journalist in the diocese, I’m especially grateful this year for the patronage of Francis.

If a patron saint is someone who is believed to protect a particular place or person, St. Francis de Sales has had his work cut out for him in the diocese during the last few years. Read more »

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Viewpoint: Hemlock is still suicidal when it’s called compassion

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A campaign to legalize assisted suicide is moving forward in New Jersey, with similar proposals to be introduced in California, Maryland and other states.

The former Hemlock Society, now under the more appealing name “Compassion & Choices,” hopes to pass such bills in a dozen states this year, although its efforts produced new laws in only three states (Oregon, Washington and Vermont) in the past 25 years.

What makes C&C so optimistic? After all, its agenda is the same as always: Protecting doctors who want to prescribe a barbiturate overdose, so their patients can kill themselves. Read more »

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Commentary: Catholic Schools — Definitely different

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Faith formation, academic excellence and service to others are hallmarks of schools in the diocese

 

“Can you tell me why I should choose a Catholic school education for my child?”

This question comes to me in various ways – parents considering education for their first child, parents considering the financial commitment, parents considering whether high school and college acceptances are influenced, parents wondering what difference a Catholic school education makes. Read more »

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Viewpoint: When global problems heat up

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If there’s anything good to say about the state of the world this month, it’s that at least we’re going to have nice weather for the apocalypse.

The poet Robert Frost once noted that “some say the world will end in fire and some say ice.” Who knew it could end during one of the balmy summer days we’ve enjoyed in the Diocese of Wilmington this year?

It’s not the heat; it’s the history of recent world conflicts and the dangers they portend. Here’s a review of this summer’s news: Read more »

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