“We will have the opportunity to profess our faith in the Risen Lord in our cathedrals and in the churches of the whole world; in our homes and among our families, so that everyone may feel a strong need to know better and to transmit to future generations of the faith of all times."
Pope Benedict XVI
Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76 was elected the 266th pope and took the name Francis. The Latin American pope, a Jesuit, was chosen by at least two-thirds of the 115 cardinals from 48 countries, who cast their ballots in secret in the Sistine Chapel. His election was announced in Latin from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, to a massive crowd in the square below and millions watching around the world.
The mission of the Archdiocese is to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Pastoral Planning is the process we use to make preparations to carry out that work. Pastoral Planning is a critical tool in helping us understand our task today and work together to manage the resources available to meet the needs of the people of God. Needed at all times, it is particularly important as we cope with demographic and other major changes.
With his Apostolic Letter, Porta Fidei (The Door of Faith) Pope Benedict declared the Year of Faith, which begins on October 11, 2012 and concludes on November 24, 2013. The beginning of the Year coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council by Blessed John XXIII and the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Pope Benedict describes what happens at Mass in this way: At the celebration of the Eucharist, we find ourselves in the ‘hour’ of Jesus. . . [and] this ‘hour’ of Jesus becomes our own hour; His presence in our midst. . . By making the bread into His Body and the wine into His Blood, He anticipates His death, He accepts it in His heart, and He transforms it into an action of love. What on the outside simply brutal violence — the crucifixion — from is within becomes an act of total self-giving love. . . In their hearts, people always and everywhere have somehow expected a change, a transformation of the world. Here now is the central act of transformation that alone can truly renew the world. . . Jesus can distribute His Body, because He truly gives Himself. . . The Body and Blood of Christ are given to us so that we ourselves will be transformed in our turn. We are to become the Body of Christ, His own Flesh and Blood. We all eat the one bread, and this means that we ourselves become one. 6
Pentecost is often called the birthday of the Church because it is the day the members of Christ’s Church were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to boldly proclaim the Gospel, which means Good News. Three thousand were baptized on Pentecost. From that day forward, the followers of Jesus began to fulfill the command to make disciples of all nations, through baptism and apostolic work. Without Pentecost, the Christ event would have remained imprisoned in history. Pentecost is the moment of empowering. The disciples are called to live in Christ’s Spirit and do His works. We are called to do so ourselves today.
The Church is the people of God and the embodiment of Christ’s continued presence on earth. The mission of the Church is to share the Good News of Jesus Christ and reveal how much God loves us. Our mission was given to us by Christ Himself after His Resurrection when He told His disciples to “go forth and make disciples of all, teaching them to observe what He had commanded.” As a family, the Church reaches out to those in need both within the family and in the world.
The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life. Christ died on the cross for our redemption, and that memory is perpetuated forever through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The Eucharist is the real, substantial presence, body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ our Lord and God. When we participate in the Liturgy and receive the Eucharist, we truly celebrate the Good News of Jesus Christ.
The Lord calls each of us to the Universal Call to Holiness, a life of friendship with God. Additionally, there are specific vocational calls—to marriage, the consecrated life and the ordained priesthood. The priesthood, instituted by Christ Himself at the Last Supper, exists to lead us to the Eucharist and to preach the Gospel, to carry on the saving mystery of the cross in the world. There is a great need in the Church today to increase the numbers responding to this vocational call, and every Catholic has a role to play in this effort.
Helping the poor stems from a long tradition dating back to when Christ walked the earth, healing the sick, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked. Catholics today embrace this practice in myriad ways as parishes strive to incorporate belief into action.
Our Catholic schools provide both academic excellence and Catholic values, giving our young people the tools to excel and the moral compass to guide how they use those tools. Making sure future generations continue to benefit from a Catholic education is a critical priority. Through the 2010 Initiative, we are drawing upon the collective experience of principals, pastors, education experts, and community leaders to revitalize our schools.
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Hello and welcome! Recently, I attended a reception at the UMass Club in Boston given in honor of my good friend, Jim Karam. It was held in recognition of Jim’s years of service to the University of Massachusetts’ board, including two terms as chairman. With Jim Karam I have known Jim and his family for [...]