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Bishop Malooly’s Easter Message

April 15th, 2017 Posted in Featured, Our Diocese Tags: , ,

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“Do not be afraid.” These are the words of the angel at the tomb of the risen Jesus to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary as recorded in St. Matthew’s Gospel. Their initial fear vanished as the two women listened intently to the angel who declared to them: “He has been raised from the dead.” Barely given time to absorb these incredible words, they then received a commission from the angel: “Go quickly and tell his disciples.”

The risen Christ is depicted in the painting "Resurrection" by 15th-century Italian master Andrea Mantegna. Easter, the chief feast in the liturgical calendars of all Christian churches, commemorates Christ's resurrection from the dead. Easter is April 16 this year. (CNS/Bridgeman Images)

The risen Christ is depicted in the painting “Resurrection” by 15th-century Italian master Andrea Mantegna. Easter, the chief feast in the liturgical calendars of all Christian churches, commemorates Christ’s resurrection from the dead. Easter is April 16 this year. (CNS/Bridgeman Images)

Their amazement doesn’t stop there. While the women were running to spread the good news, they meet Jesus himself who echoes the words spoken to them by the angel: “Do not be afraid.” Their joy must have been boundless as he urged them on to spread the word to his disciples.

In scores of languages spoken around the world, Christians have heard these same words proclaimed to them during the Easter Vigil. For nearly 2,000 years the Church has rejoiced with the two women. Their joy is our joy. Over and over again the Church exults in the Good News of salvation.

Easter is more than a celebration of the end of Lent. It marks the fulfillment of mankind’s deepest desire – to share in God’s eternal life.

No longer is there any reason for us to be afraid. Jesus vanquished fear by vanquishing death when he died on the cross and rose again. It is good and necessary for us to rejoice at Easter. Nothing should diminish our joy. However, like the women at the tomb who received the Good News, we, too, have also received a commission. As they were told to “Go tell his disciples,” so are we called to proclaim as well. The Good News must be shared with the world through our words and our actions.

Pope Francis declared last year to the world: “The Good News is no mere matter of words, but a testimony to unconditional and faithful love.” While we celebrate the feast of Easter once a year, we should live it in our hearts every day. May love and joy reign in your hearts this Easter season and always.

Most Reverend W. Francis Malooly

Bishop of Wilmington

 

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From the bishop: ‘We cannot avoid the truth’

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The following is the full text of Bishop Malooly’s response to the April 11, 2017, Delaware Voice op-ed in the News Journal:

April 12, 2017

0413.Bishop.QuoteIt was disheartening to read the recently published Delaware Voice op-ed, endorsed by several clergy, which offered the argument that pro-life should mean pro-choice. Whenever the value of the life of the unborn child is denied, logic, reason, and science are rejected in favor of ideology. The letter’s assertion that the termination of a pregnancy is a moment of grace elevates that ideology to the point of being incomprehensible. It is to these extremes that one must go to in order to defend Planned Parenthood, American’s number one abortionist.

Those who defend the right to life of the unborn are not interested in anger and judgment. We strive to live by mercy, but at the same time, we cannot avoid the truth. We look at the reality and see a genetically distinct, living human person in the mother’s womb. We are profoundly concerned for both mother and child and reject any notion that the good of one can be set against the good of the other. We live out this concern every day in our parishes, through Catholic Charities, and the collective efforts of the Catholic Church worldwide.

The pro-abortion position simply refuses to acknowledge the visible, tangible reality of unborn life; but we who believe in the Creator of heaven and earth are required to act on the basis of the truths that present themselves to us.

For decades, the Catholic Bishops of the United States have been advocating for health care access for all. We believe that stopping the beating heart of an unborn son or daughter of God is not health care.

Most Reverend W. Francis Malooly

Bishop of the Diocese of Wilmington

 

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Chrism Mass homily: Share, speak and witness the Good News to others

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The following is Bishop Malooly’s prepared text for his April 10 Chrism Mass homily at Holy Cross Church in Dover. Each year at the Chrism Mass the bishop blesses the oil of the Sick and the oil of the Catechumens and consecrates the chrism, a mixture of balsam and oil, that’s used for baptisms, confirmations and ordinations during the coming year at parishes in the diocese.

Bishop Malooly blesses the holy oils during the Chrism Mass April 10 at Holy Cross Church in Dover. (The Dialog)

Bishop Malooly blesses the holy oils during the Chrism Mass April 10 at Holy Cross Church in Dover. (The Dialog)

This is my ninth Chrism Mass. As I have said before, for some reason this is always a very significant moment of transition for me. Almost like the beginning of a new year. Tonight, we bless the sacramental oils and my brothers and I renew our priestly commitment. Today, even as we celebrate priesthood and bless the sacramental oils, I am very grateful for all who serve our church.

For this Chrism Mass, I look ahead with hope and I look back with gratitude. We have weathered together many challenges. I especially want to thank my brother priests for their support, faith, leadership and positive outlook. You have kept your parishes and ministries alive and vibrant in some difficult years.

And now we continue to celebrate with Pope Francis as he enters his fifth year. As we are moving ahead in Wilmington, he has the church moving ahead. When Jesus began his public ministry, he returned to Galilee and we hear that the power of the Spirit was with him as he quotes from the prophet Isaiah and the news about him spread throughout the whole region. He outlined clearly how he would live. Pope Francis has done the same in both words and actions and indicated what he expects of us.

Jesus’ mission reached out to all people, especially to those in need: the poor, the captives, the blind, and the oppressed. Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, echoes this for us, telling us to go out to the peripheries, as Christ did. Our lives must reach out to accompany others.

Today, that requires us to advocate on behalf of our immigrants and refugees – our brothers and sisters in Christ – no matter where they are from, children of our God. We welcome them and support them. I have visited many of our Hispanic communities in the past year to encourage them. And our bishops’ conference nationally works everyday on Capitol Hill, advocating on their behalf.

To continue Jesus’ mission as a diocese, we have set our goals for the coming years — vocations, catechesis, evangelization, and some slightly new models of ministry. We are moving; we are making progress.

I would, once again, appeal to all of us at this Chrism Mass and throughout Holy Week to intensify our efforts to pray for vocations to the priesthood and to the consecrated life. I am grateful for the work of Father Norm Carroll and his ever growing vocation team of priests. The more of our priests who celebrate the good news of their call, with joy, the more we will attract others.

Tonight, we gather with some of our catechumens and candidates as we did earlier here at the Rite of Election. As in every year they energize the rest of us. As a church we continue to grow even as Mass attendance in some places declines. Our new members step forward because they have found the truth.

Talking about energy and life – if you were not at our eighth annual youth pilgrimage this past Saturday – the theme “Love without Measure”you missed a wonderful opportunity to have your faith reinforced by the youth and young adults of our diocese. We had 800 people marching, carrying the cross, and witnessing to their faith. They celebrated reconciliation, took part in the Stations of the Cross, spent time in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, and carried the blessed palm from St. Hedwig to celebrate Mass at St. Elizabeth. For me, it is always a remarkable way to begin Holy Week and connect with our present and future church. You can’t help but be caught up in hope.

During this week we will once again remember, commemorate and celebrate the sacred mysteries of our redemption.

On Thursday we will gather to celebrate the Eucharist, commemorating that first Eucharist at the Last Supper, while at the same time we will be focused on washing one another’s feet. Both go together; Jesus comes to each of us to encourage us to serve the needs of his brothers and sisters.

On Good Friday, we will celebrate our Lord’s suffering and death that selfless gift that gives each of us eternal life. It is our core message and God’s greatest gift. At the vigil and on Easter Sunday, we will remember the joy of that first Easter. And the disciples and holy men and women with the power received from the Holy Spirit at Pentecost used the simple tools of words, faces, and conviction to spread the message and did so extremely well.

Two thouand and some years later, it is our turn. We are encouraged by the Lord’s presence among us. We are truly blessed. Let us share, speak, and witness that good news to others.

For us priests and for all of us the Eucharist is the center of our lives and our love for the Eucharist deepens and broadens over time. To move into a deeper relationship with Christ for all of us means moving more deeply into the Eucharist. When people come to you, let them see Jesus in you. That is why it is so important for all of us to recommit ourselves to the celebration of the Eucharist.

When I was installed as your bishop on September 8, 2008, I said, “I will lead but I want to walk with you and I want you to walk with me.” I actually bumbled the words but you knew what I meant and you have done the walk. I had no idea then how complex the walk would be for all of us. The walk will continue to be challenging in different ways than earlier. I need you to continue to walk with me and I thank you for that. God bless you all. And thank you.  Amen.

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From the Bishop: ‘We must continue to open our hearts to new immigrants’

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A statement from Bishop Malooly concerning executive orders on immigration

February 3, 2017

 My Dear Friends,

In December, I had the pleasure of celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe at Holy Angels Church in Newark and St. Paul’s Church in Wilmington – two of our larger Hispanic Catholic communities. During my time with them, I expressed my solidarity with them and the local, regional, and national Hispanic population, and with all immigrants and refugees. Read more »

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From the Bishop: A Call to Informed Participation in the Political Process

October 28th, 2016 Posted in Featured, Our Diocese Tags: ,

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Dear Friends in Christ:

 

Each of us are called as Catholics and as citizens to active participation in the political process. This means that we must learn about the issues and where each candidate stands on them, and vote for those candidates we believe will advance our common good. It is one very important way for us to answer Christ’s call to be salt of the earth and light of the world and to let our light shine before others (Matt 5:13-16). It is a requirement of our faith that is protected by our country’s Constitution.

It is incumbent on each of us to research the candidates for national, statewide, and local offices to see if their stances on issues are in keeping with our values and the teachings of our Church. Do they, in word and policy, uphold the dignity of every human person? Do they support the restriction of, and ultimately bringing to an end, the destruction of unborn children through abortion; and strongly oppose euthanasia? Do they show care for the poor, sick and marginalized that reflect Gospel values? Are they open to choice in education to help underprivileged children break the cycle of poverty? Do they support the fundamental understanding of marriage as a life-long union of one man and one woman? Do they support religious freedom in all matters, especially in health care? Read more »

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Help families provide the gift of Catholic education

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Dear Friends,

 

With the start of another school year, our thoughts quite naturally turn toward our Catholic youth and the hope they provide for the future of our Church and society.

Through the years, Catholic school education has endured as an instrument of evangelization, transmitting the treasure of our faith and values to new generations. The Catholic school experience not only arms our children for the challenges they will face as adults, it prepares them to become intellectual and moral leaders in our society. Read more »

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God bless America: Reflecting on the Founding Fathers, and on God’s gift of freedom

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The following is the prepared text of Bishop Malooly’s Fourth of July homily at the Cathedral of St. Peter.

 

Today we join with our fellow citizens in celebrating the Fourth of July, that day when our founding fathers declared their independence and their freedom from tyranny. We also join with our fellow Catholics in observing the close of this Fortnight for Freedom, the past two weeks when we have reflected on the great gifts of freedom we enjoy and how we can work to preserve them for the future. Read more »

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Bishop Malooly’s homily at. Ss. Peter and Paul Church, Easton, Md., for the opening of the Holy Door on Dec. 13

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The following is the recorded text of Bishop Malooly’s homily Dec. 13, 2015, Third Sunday of Advent [Gaudete Sunday] at Ss. Peter & Paul Church in Easton, Md., for the opening of the Holy Door for the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Read more »

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From the Bishop: Support the Cathedral collection

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Dear Friends in Christ:

Over the last seven years, I have been blessed to travel across this great diocese to celebrate the sacraments with the wonderful people of Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore in their parish churches and missions.

Each of the churches in our diocese is uniquely beautiful in appearance and spirit. We have quaint chapels in quiet towns that serve watermen, farmers and migrant workers; we have large, growing churches that bustle with children and their families; we have resort churches that welcome many thousands of out-of-town vacationers each weekend; we have ethnic churches that honor immigrant ancestors and those that serve recent arrivals who search for the freedom and prosperity that our country offers; we have aging church communities that offer a place of prayer, peace and comfort to their mostly elderly parishioners. Read more »

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From the bishop: Freedom to bear witness, Fortnight for Freedom homily

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The following is the text of Bishop Malooly’s Fortnight for Freedom homily at the July 5 Mass at 11 a.m. in the Cathedral of St. Peter in Wilmington. The Fortnight, June 21-July 4, was the U.S. bishops’ national observance of two weeks of prayer focused on the role of faith in public life and the preservation of religious freedom in our society.

This weekend we celebrate our freedom, our liberty from sin. We do it every time we stand around the altar.

It was through Jesus’ death and resurrection that we have been saved and freed. Read more »

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