Down in Adoration Falling
A new Apostolic Exhortation from the Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted to Priests, Deacons, Religious and the Lay Faithful of the Diocese of Phoenix on the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist Read it here
Bishop Olmstead is joined by the Church to to go into the Breach.
Watch this inspiring Video now.
Statement on the Inauguration of Joseph R. Biden, Jr., as 46th President of the United States of America from Most Reverend José H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles, President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
My prayers are with our new President and his family today.
I am praying that God grant him wisdom and courage to lead this great nation and that God help him to meet the tests of these times, to heal the wounds caused by this pandemic, to ease our intense political and cultural divisions, and to bring people together with renewed dedication to America’s founding purposes, to be one nation under God committed to liberty and equality for all.
Catholic bishops are not partisan players in our nation’s politics. We are pastors responsible for the souls of millions of Americans and we are advocates for the needs of all our neighbors. In every community across the country, Catholic parishes, schools, hospitals, and ministries form an essential culture of compassion and care, serving women, children, and the elderly, the poor and sick, the imprisoned, the migrant, and the marginalized, no matter what their race or religion.
When we speak on issues in American public life, we try to guide consciences, and we offer principles. These principles are rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the social teachings of his Church. Jesus Christ revealed God’s plan of love for creation and revealed the truth about the human person, who is created in God’s image, endowed with God-given dignity, rights and responsibilities, and called to a transcendent destiny.
Based on these truths, which are reflected in the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights, the bishops and Catholic faithful carry out Christ’s commandment to love God and love our neighbors by working for an America that protects human dignity, expands equality and opportunities for every person, and is open-hearted towards the suffering and weak.
For many years now, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has tried to help Catholics and others of good will in their reflections on political issues through a publication we call Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. The most recent edition addresses a wide range of concerns. Among them: abortion, euthanasia, the death penalty, immigration, racism, poverty, care for the environment, criminal justice reform, economic development, and international peace.
On these and other issues, our duty to love and our moral principles lead us to prudential judgments and positions that do not align neatly with the political categories of left or right or the platforms of our two major political parties. We work with every President and every Congress. On some issues we find ourselves more on the side of Democrats, while on others we find ourselves standing with Republicans. Our priorities are never partisan. We are Catholics first, seeking only to follow Jesus Christ faithfully and to advance his vision for human fraternity and community.
I look forward to working with President Biden and his administration, and the new Congress. As with every administration, there will be areas where we agree and work closely together and areas where we will have principled disagreement and strong opposition.
Working with President Biden will be unique, however, as he is our first president in 60 years to profess the Catholic faith. In a time of growing and aggressive secularism in American culture, when religious believers face many challenges, it will be refreshing to engage with a President who clearly understands, in a deep and personal way, the importance of religious faith and institutions. Mr. Biden’s piety and personal story, his moving witness to how his faith has brought him solace in times of darkness and tragedy, his longstanding commitment to the Gospel’s priority for the poor — all of this I find hopeful and inspiring.
At the same time, as pastors, the nation’s bishops are given the duty of proclaiming the Gospel in all its truth and power, in season and out of season, even when that teaching is inconvenient or when the Gospel’s truths run contrary to the directions of the wider society and culture. So, I must point out that our new President has pledged to pursue certain policies that would advance moral evils and threaten human life and dignity, most seriously in the areas of abortion, contraception, marriage, and gender. Of deep concern is the liberty of the Church and the freedom of believers to live according to their consciences.
Our commitments on issues of human sexuality and the family, as with our commitments in every other area — such as abolishing the death penalty or seeking a health care system and economy that truly serves the human person — are guided by Christ’s great commandment to love and to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters, especially the most vulnerable.
For the nation’s bishops, the continued injustice of abortion remains the “preeminent priority.” Preeminent does not mean “only.” We have deep concerns about many threats to human life and dignity in our society. But as Pope Francis teaches, we cannot stay silent when nearly a million unborn lives are being cast aside in our country year after year through abortion.
Abortion is a direct attack on life that also wounds the woman and undermines the family. It is not only a private matter, it raises troubling and fundamental questions of fraternity, solidarity, and inclusion in the human community. It is also a matter of social justice. We cannot ignore the reality that abortion rates are much higher among the poor and minorities, and that the procedure is regularly used to eliminate children who would be born with disabilities.
Rather than impose further expansions of abortion and contraception, as he has promised, I am hopeful that the new President and his administration will work with the Church and others of good will. My hope is that we can begin a dialogue to address the complicated cultural and economic factors that are driving abortion and discouraging families. My hope, too, is that we can work together to finally put in place a coherent family policy in this country, one that acknowledges the crucial importance of strong marriages and parenting to the well-being of children and the stability of communities. If the President, with full respect for the Church’s religious freedom, were to engage in this conversation, it would go a long way toward restoring the civil balance and healing our country’s needs.
President Biden’s call for national healing and unity is welcome on all levels. It is urgently needed as we confront the trauma in our country caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the social isolation that has only worsened the intense and long-simmering divisions among our fellow citizens.
As believers, we understand that healing is a gift that we can only receive from the hand of God. We know, too, that real reconciliation requires patient listening to those who disagree with us and a willingness to forgive and move beyond desires for reprisal. Christian love calls us to love our enemies and bless those who oppose us, and to treat others with the same compassion that we want for ourselves.
We are all under the watchful eye of God, who alone knows and can judge the intentions of our hearts. I pray that God will give our new President, and all of us, the grace to seek the common good with all sincerity.
I entrust all our hopes and anxieties in this new moment to the tender heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Christ and the patroness of this exceptional nation. May she guide us in the ways of peace and obtain for us wisdom and the grace of a true patriotism and love of country.
From The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops…
The right to life implies and is linked to other human rights – to the basic goods that every human person needs to live and thrive. All the life issues are connected, for erosion of respect for the life of any individual or group in society necessarily diminishes respect for all life. The moral imperative to respond to the needs of our neighbors – basic needs such as food, shelter, health care, education, and meaningful work – is universally binding on our consciences and may be legitimately fulfilled by a variety of means. Catholics must seek the best ways to respond to these needs…. Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights – for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture- is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination.” (Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,Nos. 25, 26, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2019)
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May 9, 2020
|Watch and share this week’s message from Bishop Olmsted (May 8, 2020)During this pandemic, many mothers have been working extra hard in your homes: some taking on extra teaching duties while maintaining many others. To all of you, including my own dear Mom, Happy Mother’s Day! Bishop Thomas Olmsted Rising with ChristThe Plan for Restoring Parish Life|
The Diocese of Phoenix is making plans for restoring parish life in harmony with the State of Arizona and Federal directives. We hope to balance the spiritual needs of the faithful with our concern for the physical well-being of our parishioners and the wider community.Parishioner Guidelines for Preparing to Return to Public Masses (May 8, 2020)Pautas para los feligreses para prepararse para regresar a la Santa Misa (8 de mayo de 2020)BE HEALTHY – BE SMART – BE HOLY
Durante esta pandemia, muchas de ustedes han estado trabajando arduamente en sus hogares. Algunas han tomado tareas adicionales de enseñanza, a la misma vez que continúan manteniendo muchas de sus responsabilidades. Para todas ustedes, incluyendo mi propia Madre querida ¡Feliz día de las Madres! Obispo Thomas Olmsted SE SALUDABLE – SE INTELIGENTE – SE SANTO
Livestream Mass on YouTube Transmita en vivo la Santa Misa en YouTube
Choosing to Have a Future, Part 2, The Center, Rev. James Wyse
I have asked a number of practicing Catholics, “What is religion?” How would you explain it to someone who didn’t know?” Many say it’s a way of life. So is the boy scouts. Some say it’s something you believe in,;I believe in pepperoni pizza. Then they say, “Okay, if you’re going to be that way, it’s belief in God.” That’s good, but Satan believes in God too, and we want to be different from Satan, don’t we? I have also asked a number of practicing Catholics why it is a good thing to be a practicing Catholic Christian. Once again many have trouble thinking of an answer. Some say, “to get to heaven.” Let the record show that I’m very this might not be a strong selling point. Some say, “it gives me a good feeling on Sunday morning.” I can church for that.Yes, I realize that I’m being annoying, but this is important. I then say that religion, at its core, is a love relationship with God. If we look at the most important personal connections we have, like our best friends, siblings, spouses, parents, children, we see a lot of ways we build, grow, and maintain these connections. This gives us insight into what we do to build, grow and maintain our connection with God. Loving someone who loves us is unique in all reality, and nothing can take its place. We will do things for love that we will not do for anything else, and it can transform us like nothing else ever could. In Christianity, loving people and loving God are inseparable, and each strengthens and teaches us about the other. A lot of practicing Catholics have responded that is a new revelation to them and
wonder why they have not been taught this before. Exactly!
The essence of the Gospel is the Gift of Self. The Lord gave Himself to us completely out of perfect love, and receiving this greatest of all gifts, we become able to give ourselves to Him in love. We were made to love and be loved. Our union with Jesus reveals and fulfills the deepest meaning of our humanity. It is the source of the joy that never wears out and cannot be destroyed. There is nothing greater than this. Many people have asked, “Why are so many leaving the Church?” I find it much more interesting to ask what reasons are we giving them to stay? Many talk about bad experiences in the church. If we are dedicated to anything for long enough, we will have bad experiences. However, this only causes people to leave if they don’t have
strong enough counterbalancing reasons to stay. Most of the highly-dedicated Catholics I know have had very bad experiences in the Church. I have had several myself (Don’t get me started). The important thing is that the reasons to stay are stronger than the reasons to leave. How many have left because they never understood
what a wonderful, powerful treasure we have here? If we want people to stay Catholic and others to want to become Catholic, I suggest the first task is to be clear about what we are about and why it is a good thing. The second task (the bigger one) is to show that it is for real. These are two challenges to sink our teeth into. (Part 3, An Essential Difference next month.)
Celebrating Parish Life
On January 16th, Bishop Thomas J.
Olmsted visited as our parish hosted the
northern Diocesan parishes for the annual
Charity and Development Appeal. After-
ward, he celebrated Mass with our parish.
Council members in the 4th Degree served
as Honor Guard for the Mass and members
greeted the Bishop at the reception after-
The Holy Father’s Prayer Intentions for the month of January 2020. Prayer inten-
tion for evangelization – Promotion of World Peace: We pray that Christians, follow-
ers of other religions, and all people of goodwill may promote peace and justice inthe world.
The Cause of Peace—Pope Pius XII
…To serve the cause of peace is to serve Justice.
To serve the cause of peace is to serve the inter-
ests of the people, especially the lowly and dis-
possessed. To serve the cause of peace is to face
the future with serene and unruffled counte-
nance. To serve the cause of peace is to hasten the day when
all nations without exception shall lay aside their rivalries and
feuds, and embrace one another as brothers. To serve the
cause of peace is to save civilization. To serve the cause of
peace is to preserve the human family from new and unutterable misfortunes; it is to
lift men’s minds to heaven and to snatch them from the power of Satan. To serve the
cause of peace is to fulfill the sovereign law of God, which is a law of bountiful good-
ness and love. (Excerpt from the Knights of Columbus Magazine, 1956)
he month of January is dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus, which is cele-
brated on January 3. The first twelve days of January fall during the liturgical
season known as Christmas which is represented by the liturgical color white — the
color of light, a symbol of joy, purity and innocence (absolute or restored). The re-
maining days of January are the beginning of Ordinary Time, which is represented
by the liturgical color green. This symbol of hope is the color of the sprouting seed
and arouses in the faithful the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, espe-
cially the hope of a glorious resurrection. It is used in the offices and Masses of Ordi-
nary Time. (Source: CatholicCulture.org)
Visit the Council website: http://www.8386.kofc-usa.org/
For more information or to assist in development of the website,
contact Don Rowley, 928-499-1043
|The entire presentation by Bishop Olmsted at the-2019-national catholic prayer breakfast/ can be read here:|
May God bless you during this time between the Ascension of Jesus Christ and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost!
At his Ascension, Jesus promised the disciples that they would “receive power” when the Holy Spirit came upon them and that they would be his witnesses “to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). For nine days, the disciples, with Mary, “devoted themselves … to prayer” (Acts 1:14). (In fact, those nine days might be the basis for the devotion we call a “novena.”) And at the end of those nine days, the Holy Spirit did come and fill those first followers of Jesus with power to be witnesses to Christ and his kingdom.
Like the disciples, we too are called to devote ourselves to prayer and to cooperate with the Holy Spirit who empowers us to act. A wonderful opportunity for prayer and action is available in June. During Religious Freedom Week, June 22-29, I invite you to join me, as we pray, reflect, and act for religious freedom, both in the United States and abroad.
May we look to our Lord together and find strength in hope.
With prayerful best wishes, I am
Sincerely yours in the Lord,Most Reverend Joseph KurtzArchbishop of LouisvilleChair, Committee for Religious Liberty
Bishop’s New Apostolic Exhortation
I . INTRODUCTION