Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Encourage Priests

I was just reading about this excellent site over at Fr. Z's blog.  Many people probably don't know the stress and workload of a modern parish and all the stresses that priests have to face each day in their ministry and in their personal lives, priests need a lot of prayers and a lot of encouragement, encourage your priest today!

Sunday Homily - Mary, Mother of the Living

As promised, the text of the January 1st Homily:

Today we celebrate the motherhood of our Blessed Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary.  The title of this feast, "Mary, Mother of God" is actually a theological doctrine, that goes all the way back to the year 431 at the Council of Ephesus, when our Blessed Mother was declared, "Mother of God".  It was really intended to say more about Jesus, the fact that Jesus was God, than it was to say something about Mary.  Nonetheless, being such an important feast of our Blessed Mother, I would like to focus my reflections on her this morning.  I don't know how many of you have had the opportunity to surf over to our diocesan website, admittedly it's not a very user-friendly website, but if you can navigate around, somewhere buried in there, is an explanation of our diocesan Coat of Arms, and our diocesan motto.  For those who don't know, our diocesan motto is Mater Viventium, "Mother of the Living" and this is another title given to our Blessed Mother, "Mother of the Living."  Certainly we know that she is the Mother of God, she is the Mother of Christ, she is Mother of the Church.  When our Lord gave her over to St. John as he hung on the Cross, she became the Mother of the Church, but that title is given to her as well, Mother of the Living.  It was given to her by St. Epiphanius (that's a $10 factoid there that you can impress your friends with, St. Epiphanius called Mary, "Mother of the Living").  That title was actually first used, in Genesis Chapter 3 to make reference to Eve, that Eve was the "Mother of the Living".  After all, she is the first woman, she is the mother of all humanity, but then Mary is also called the Mother of the Living, because she is often referred to as the "New Eve."  If we go back and take a look at that story in Genesis, we see that it was Eve who was the one who was first tempted by the serpant, it was Eve's disobedience that caused Adam to sin, to bring Original Sin into the world, to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  So just as Eve first was disobedient and led Adam into sin, so first Mary was obedient to God's plan, before our Lord's obedience in his sacrifice of himself on the Cross.  Christ is often referred to as the New Adam, because he revereses Adam's sin, and Mary the New Eve, because she reverses the disobedience of the first Eve.  As we know, Mary was obedient to God throughout her entire life, at every moment of her life she did God's will, she never committed a single sin throughout her entire life.  Her obedience was most important though, at that moment when the Angel appeared to her, and the Angel of the Lord told her that she would become the Mother of God.  Nevertheless, she still had the free choice, she could have said "no".  She could have said, "I don't want to be a part of it, I don't understand, I'm afraid, I can't do this" but of course she was perfectly obedient in all things, and so she did say "Yes, let it be done to me according to your word."  Through that act of obedience to God's will, she became the Mother of Christ, and she became the New Eve, the Mother of all the Living.  Her role as mother, of course, doesn't end with that, her role as mother continues.  She loves each and every one of us with a mother's love, she loves the whole world, each and every person with a mother's love, not just the members of her Son's body, the members of the Church.  So we are invited, we are encouraged to turn to her in our times of need.  Mary's intercession is certainly very powerful.  I myself have to confess being a bit of a late comer to Marian devotion, there was not much Marian devotion practiced at home when I was growing up, but I have come to discover in my life, on a few occasions turning to our Blessed Mother, that her intercession is indeed very, very powerful, and very effective.  It might be a very simplistic way to say it, but, if we have Mary on our side, then we cannot fail; that what seems almost impossible, suddenly becomes almost easy if we have our Blessed Mother on our side.  She wants to help us, she wants to show us that mother's love, that she has for each and every one of us, she wants us to turn to her, so she can lead us to her Son.  So as we begin this new year, 2012, we commend our Parish, our families, our friends, our Diocese, and indeed the whole world to the prayers and the intercession of our Blessed Mother; Mary, Mother of the God, Mary, Mother of the Living, that she might continue to show us a mother's love, that she might continue to intercede for us, that we might know the grace and power, and forgiveness and mercy of her Son.  Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday Homily - The Voice of God

Hello folks, sorry for the lack of posts, I've been a bit under the weather the last little while.  In fact if you listen closely you'll probably hear me cough a couple of times during this homily.  Still intend to put the full text up for the homilies later this week.  God's blessings for the week to come.

Friday, January 6, 2012


Today the Holy Father, on the Solemnity of the Epiphany, has annouced the creation of several new Cardinals, including His Grace Archbishop Collins of Toronto, this is a first for a priest of the Great and Glorious Diocese of Hamilton, and a first for St. Peter's Seminary (which both the Archbishop and I attended, though quite some time apart).  Here is the text of the press release from the Archdiocese:

TORONTO (January 6, 2012) – This morning following Mass at the Vatican, the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, announced that His Grace, Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, will be elevated to the College of Cardinals, an international group of principal advisors to the Pontiff.

Archbishop Collins commented on his appointment:

“I am deeply honoured that the Holy Father has called me to be a member of the College of Cardinals. I am grateful for the trust he has placed in me, and recognize this honour as a sign of his esteem for the role of Canada and of the Archdiocese of Toronto in the universal Church. I ask the people of the Archdiocese, whom I am privileged to serve as bishop, and all people in the community, to pray for me and for all who serve Our Lord through ministry in the Church."

Born and raised in Guelph, Ontario, Thomas Collins was ordained a priest in 1973. Pope John Paul II named him Bishop of St. Paul, Alberta in 1997 and Archbishop of Edmonton in 1999. Pope Benedict later appointed him as the 10th archbishop of Toronto on December 16, 2006.

The formal consistory, at which the new cardinals will be created, will take place February 18-19 in Rome. Cardinal-designate Collins will become the fourth cardinal in the 110-year history of the Archdiocese of Toronto and the 16th cardinal in the history of the Roman Catholic Church in Canada.

The College of Cardinals is convened at the discretion of the Holy Father to discuss issues of significance – most members serve on committees covering a variety of matters. When the papacy is vacant (ie. death of the pope), all cardinals under the age of 80 gather in Rome for a closed meeting, called a conclave, to elect a new pope.

The Archdiocese of Toronto is Canada’s largest diocese, stretching from Toronto north to Georgian Bay and from Oshawa to Mississauga. It is home to 1.9 million Catholics and 225 churches, with Mass celebrated in more than 30 different languages each week.

Photos and biographical information regarding Archbishop Collins’ appointment to the College of Cardinals can be found online at: http://www.archtoronto.org/



Neil MacCarthy – Director, Public Relations & Communications, Archdiocese of Toronto
Phone (416) 934-3400 x 552 Cell: (416) 879-2846 neilm@archtoronto.org

Bill Steinburg – Communications Manager, Public Relations & Communications
Phone (416) 934-3400 x 558 Cell: (416) 708-9655 bills@archtoronto.org

Monday, January 2, 2012

Follow Great and Glorious on Facebook

To continue with the new additions to the blog, Great and Glorious now has a companion Facebook page.  You'll also find a feed and like button on the sidebar.  Like us on Facebook and get updates whenever there's a new post, post comments on the wall, share it with your friends.  Continuing to give you more ways to see and share everything that is Great and Glorious.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A New Year, A New Blog Feature

As we begin this new calendar year, I decided to add a new feature to the blog.  My Sunday homilies will now be available in audio (but since Blogger only allows videos not audio files, I'll be converting them to simple videos and posting them to my YouTube channel, then connecting it here to the blog).  For those who still prefer the printed word, the text of the homily will still appear on the blog.  God bless, and a Happy New Year to all!