Monday, March 14, 2011

Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan – Voluntary Collection

Today I sent to following memo to Pastors, Parohchial Administrators and Pastoral Administrators regarding Catholic Relief Services and its efforts to assist the people of Japan following last week's earthquake and tsunami there:

By this time, my own words are unnecessary and inadequate to describe the horror and devastation which has fallen upon Japan. As of this morning, the death total had risen to almost 3,000 and mounting quickly.

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) personnel throughout the Pacific have been communicating with organizations of the Catholic Church in these areas and stand ready to assist. Caritas Japan, the humanitarian organization of the Japanese Catholic Conference, is assessing the needs. CRS has programs in the Philippines and Indonesia, and also works with Caritas Oceania which is active in many Pacific islands that might be affected. Central American countries where CRS works could also be in danger. In the next few days, once additional information becomes available, CRS will develop a response taking into account all affected countries. To learn more about relief efforts in Japan, you can refer to

The people of Japan and other affected areas need our help. I would encourage your parish to consider taking up a voluntary collection for CRS in order to support these emergency efforts. Please know that the funds will be used for immediate humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable and for support to the local Catholic Church in its on-going mission.

Please join me in continued prayers for those who have died in this tragic occurrence as well as for those who endeavor to rebuild their lives.

Lenten reflection, Week One

I will continue to offer a weekly reflection each Monday through April 25.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lent 2011: Ash Wednesday

Below is my homily for today, Ash Wednesday, from the noon Mass at the Cathedral. Be sure to watch for my weekly Lenten video reflections, which begin on Monday.

First Reading: Joel 2:12-18
Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2
Gospel: Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Weekley Lenten reflections ...

I try to be physically present to the people of the diocese as much as possible. When I am unable to be with them in person, I believe I have a great opportunity — through the use of technology— to continue to offer myself as their spiritual shepherd.

That is why I will offer weekly Lenten messages that focus on prayer and Christian living, with special attention to the abundant graces of God.

The first reflection, in preparation of Ash Wednesday, is already available (see video below). I will continue to offer a weekly reflection each Monday, beginning March 14 through April 25.