My Dear Friends,
We recently had our First Holy Communion and the Sacrament of Confirmation for our faith formation students. On Sunday, May 5th, eight young boys received their first Holy Communion. It 's always a special time for a parish community as well as for the families. We rejoice when our young people begin to receive the Eucharist at Mass. Every time we receive our Lord in the Eucharist, whether for the first time or for the 51st time for the one thousandth time, we grow closer to our Lord as he calls us and nourishes us so that we may receive countless graces and blessings. St. Augustine, the bishop of Hippo, once said we cannot receive our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament until we first adore the Lord on the Blessed Sacrament. Eucharistic Adoration is an opportunity for us to make an act of faith about Jesus really and truly present in the Eucharist as we sit or kneel in his presence on the altar. A parish that offers and promotes Eucharistic Adoration will also receive countless graces and blessings.READ MORE
In the secular world, today is meant to be a joyous day, yet every year this day brings with it many challenges to pastors. I must admit, this day, Mother's Day, can be a source of stress for me. It was brought to my attention that many women find Mother's Day to be a difficult day to celebrate, and they find it stressful themselves when the local Catholic parish celebrates Mother's Day, either with a special blessing for mothers or the giving of a rose for mothers. We are all aware that there are many women who are hurting because of the loss of a child, either through death, or a miscarriage or even an abortion. Then there are women who have not been able to conceive and have never experienced the joy of childbirth even though they really wanted a child. And we cannot forget that there are also those who have had bad experiences with their own mothers who were less than motherly. The hurt and the pain is real. I understand that, Mother's Day is only a secular holiday anyway, but the Catholic Church does have a special blessing for mothers on this day in their Book of Blessings, so she does envision the local parishes to acknowledge mothers if it is pastorally appropriate.READ MORE
My Dear Friends,
Last Sunday, April 28th we not only celebrated Divine Mercy Sunday, but we also celebrated the anniversary of my ordination to the Sacred Priesthood. I was ordained in 2006 by Archbishop Henry Mansell in the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Waterbury.
I was also ordained for the Society of Mary (Marist Fathers), a religious order of priests and brothers throughout the world. The Society of Mary was founded in 1836 by Father Jean Claud Colin in France and was given apostolic approbation by Pope Gregory XVI. I had spent many years with the Marists, first entering the order in 1998, before coming to Torrington, CT in 2011. My intention when I came to Torrington was that I would see to separate myself from the Society of Mary and become a priest of the Archdiocese of Hartford, which is usually a three to seven year process. I did eventually become a priest of the Archdiocese in October of 2014. It was a bittersweet day for me, because in my heart I never really wanted to leave the Marists. They had formed me, and I came to know so many good men not only from the United States but also so many good men from provinces throughout the world. There are, of course, many reasons why I felt I needed to leave the order behind, reasons that are personal in nature, but I do consider myself still a Marist at heart, and I always will.READ MORE
My Dear Friends,
This weekend we celebrate Memorial Day. We remember all of the men and women who have given their lives to protect and serve our country. Jesus says in the Gospel of John 15:13, "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." So many of our brothers and sisters were willing to lay down their lives for us as they fought in the wars throughout our country's existence. General William Tecumseh Sherman described war as hell. "I've been where you are now and I know just how you feel. It's entirely natural that there should beat in the breast of every one of you a hope and desire that someday you can use the skill you have acquired here. Suppress it! You don't know the horrible aspects of war. I've been through two wars and I know. I've seen cities and homes in ashes. I've seen thousands of men lying on the ground, their dead faces looking up at the skies. I tell you, war is Hell!" (Michigan Military Academy June 1879).READ MORE