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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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Chrism Mass: Bishop calls for sharing Good News with others

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For The Dialog

DOVER – Sheila Connor was deeply moved by the annual Chrism Mass at Holy Cross Church on April 10, during which Bishop Malooly blessed the Oil of the Sick, the Oil of the Catechumens, and the Sacred Chrism, all used for various sacraments and milestones in the faith of Catholics and their parish churches.

Her son, 14-year-old Connor, will be anointed with the Sacred Chrism when Bishop Malooly confirms him this spring. And some of her family, who attend Holy Cross, may well need the Oil of the Sick in coming months and years. Read more »

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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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A bishop and a rabbi walked into St. Mary Magdalen School

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Dialog reporter

 

WILMINGTON – In the first few months of 2017, the Siegel Jewish Community Center in Brandywine Hundred received several threats, disrupting its services and causing a sense of unrest. Father James Kirk, pastor of the Catholic parish closest to the JCC, St. Mary Magdalen, thought it would be educational to invite a local rabbi to the school for a wide-ranging discussion. Read more »

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Little Sisters dedicate new chapel

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Dialog reporter

 

NEWARK — Mother Margaret Regina, superior of the Little Sisters of the Poor in Newark, said the founder of her religious order had it right when talking about caring for the elderly.

“Nothing is impossible if God is with us,” Mother Margaret Regina said, and it was appropriate at a Mass on March 29 to dedicate and bless the new chapel at the Jeanne Jugan Residence, the Little Sisters’ home in the diocese. Read more »

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Bring out the corned beef: Bishop grants Catholics dispensation from abstaining from meat on St. Patrick’s Day

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Bishop Malooly has granted Catholics in Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore a dispensation from the obligation to abstain from meat on St. Patrick’s Day, Friday, March 17.

Catholics who take advantage of the dispensation are encouraged to perform some other penance, such as abstaining from meat another day.

For Catholics, Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence from meat. The norms concerning abstinence are binding upon members of the Latin Catholic Church from age 14 onward. In addition, Ash Wednesday (March 1, 2017) and Good Friday (April 14) are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence from meat for Catholics.

More information about Lent is available on the Diocese of Wilmington’s website — www.cdow.org.

 

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Diocese’s 150th anniversary: ‘A time of joyful thanks to God’

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Diocese’s plans for its sesquicentennial anniversary year include Eucharistic Congress, pilgrimages

 

The Diocese of Wilmington will celebrate the 150th anniversary of its founding with a year-long observance that will include Masses and prayer services, pilgrimages, a keepsake publication, a traveling exhibit, and a Eucharistic Congress.

The celebration commemorates the March 3, 1868 establishment of the Diocese of Wilmington by Blessed Pope Pius IX. Read more »

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Annual Catholic Appeal donors help more than 100,000 people

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Special to The Dialog

A goal of $4,523,000 has been set for the 2017 Annual Catholic Appeal, which helps more than 35 diocesan offices and ministries assist more than 100,000 people each year develop their spirituality, seek emotional and mental peace, and meet their physical needs.

“Their Eyes Were Opened and They Recognized Him” (Luke 24:31), the theme for this year’s appeal, comes from the Gospel story of the resurrected Christ joining two of his followers on the road to Emmaus. As they talked, the followers did not recognize Jesus until, at dinner, Jesus broke bread, gave thanks and started to give the bread to them, reenacting the Last Supper. Read more »

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“Be the light where you are” Bishop tells St. Mark’s students

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Dialog reporter

MILLTOWN – During a visit to St. Mark’s High School on Feb. 1, in the middle of Catholic Schools Week, Bishop Malooly encouraged the students to live the theme of the week: “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.”

“Be the light where you are, and it leads to the joy and happiness of eternal life,” the bishop said during his homily.

“Faith and action in service are basically the second command: Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Bishop Malooly celebrated Mass at St. Mark’s High School on Feb. 1. (The Dialog/Mike Lang)

Bishop Malooly celebrated Mass at St. Mark’s High School on Feb. 1. (The Dialog/Mike Lang)

School is probably the primary place for students to live out their lives of service given how much time they spend there, he added.

He called Catholic schools a blessing, and at the beginning of Mass, two faculty members and several students addressed their peers about why they feel fortunate to be getting a St. Mark’s education. Marie Flynn, a theology teacher and a 1980 St. Mark’s graduate, said she has been involved with Catholic education as long as she can remember, from grade school to St. Mark’s and Villanova University, then teaching in eight different Catholic schools.

“They’ve provided a spiritual foundation, one that has sustained me,” she said. “It’s a place I can continue to share all God has given me.”

Student Emma Saxton said she is the sixth member of the family to be a Spartan. “It means being in an environment where people care about you.”

English teacher Valerie Wright said witnessing the students in action every day makes her proud to be at St. Mark’s. She saw them in action this week as a group traveled to Holy Angels School in Newark and to Sojourners Place, a Wilmington homeless shelter.

“I hope you, too, can name a reason that you’re proud to be at St. Mark’s,” Wright said.

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