Bishops & USCCB

Bishop’s New Apostolic Exhortation

T H E H U S B A N D S A N D W I V E S ,

1. When I consider the blessings that God has bestowed on me in my life, second only to my Baptism into Christ’s family is the blessing of being
raised in a faithful and united Catholic family. My
parents, Patrick and Helen, committed themselves
to God in the vocation to Holy Matrimony, and
this provided a stability for me to grow as their
son and as a son of God. I, and my brothers and
sisters, never worried about their commitment to
God, to each other or to us. For this I am eternally
grateful. Their motherly and fatherly acceptance
of my life, that of my 5 siblings and the common,
simple home life that we lived allowed God to
form us and prepared us to follow His will.
2. Likewise, throughout my life as a priest, I can say
that some of the most meaningful moments are
those when God sent me to walk with and minister
to families amidst the ups and downs of life. Family is likely where we feel the deepest joys as well
as the deepest pain. This is because of the deep
love that comes with family; it echoes our deep
human need for love. In fact, I am convinced that
the priestly work that we spiritual fathers do for
the upbuilding of the family is our most important
work. I think this more today than ever.
3. So, in this 15th year of my service to you as your
bishop, and the 50th anniversary of our founding
as a Diocese, I seek in this exhortation to, in a way,
visit your home. Throughout this Jubilee Year, I
shall be praising God for all of the husbands and
wives, mothers and fathers of the Diocese of Phoenix. Over these past 50 years, countless faithful
Catholics have surely attained the goal of their
lives—eternal salvation. Credit here is due to the
rich mercy of God, to the dedicated priests and
religious who have served our Diocese so well,
and to you and the many faithful families who have
lived—and continue to live—your vocations with
generosity and even, at times, heroism.
4. I thank the Lord for each of you. I call upon the
Holy Spirit and the intercession of Our Lady of
Guadalupe, the Patroness of our Diocese, to assist
me in encouraging and challenging you to deepen
your relationship with Jesus Christ—Who is the
source of hope and love for every vocation. Your
taking up this mission in a renewed way during this
Year of the Family will do much to complete my
joy in you as your spiritual father.
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“Into the Breach”

A gap in the wall, barrier or defense, especially One made by an attacking army or The devil himself

The practices of a committed Catholic man (continued)

Three Masculine Loves; Friend, Husband, Father, Bands of Brothers

What is friendship? Who is a friend? The Scrip- tures tell us, a friend is a friend at all times, and a brother is born for the time of adversity (Proverbs 17:17). I am convinced that if men will seek true brotherhood, the adversities we face today will solidify bands of brothers who will be lauded in Heaven!

Therefore, men ask yourself: what are your friends like? Do you have friends with whom you share the mission of holiness? Often young men will go to the seminary and discover the difference made by Christ-centered friendships, and their lives are transformed. This friendship is not limited to religious orders and priests. The renewal of masculinity cannot happen without banding together as brothers and true friends. In my own life, ever since my first year as a priest, I have been richly blessed by brother priests in the Jesus Caritas Fraternity. Their commitment to Eucharistic adoration and simplicity of life, their fidelity to Christ in celibacy and daily prayer, their fraternal love, wise council , and encour- agement have richly influenced and inspired me to persevere in my own mission in Christ. It has been a joy to see how fraternity in our diocese has grown and flourished through your partici- pation in our Men’s Conferences, Knights of Co- lumbus, That Man is You, Cursillo Movement, and other such groups and events. There is room

to grow, of course, but already and friends. Conversely, we have seen what happens when men, young and old, do not form or sustain healthy friendships. Many looking in the wrong places, find themselves in the false brotherhood of gangs, or without brotherhood at all, isolated and alone, and lacking these critical formative experience of accountability and the trusted fel- lowship that only true friendship provides. Studies have shown that many men today are living friendless lives. This has its effect on mar- riages where men have no emotional support apart from their wives, as well as on children, who should see true friends in the lives of their parents but often do not. What a blessing to have the presence of good friends to provide the encouragement and accountability we need to be free! Indeed, as the Scriptures tell us, “as iron sharpens iron, so one man must sharpen an- other” (Proverbs 27:17).

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted


Many of us have heard the expression “A new year, a new you.” What that means for each of us individually is different. How- ever, as Knights we should resolve to become more active in our church and more active in the council in some facet. The Council has many opportunities to be a part of not only activities attractive to you individually, but also to be a part of something larger than yourselves. Members are the heart of the Council and keep its pulse beating. Take the January plunge and jump in!

“Into the Breach”
A gap in the wall, barrier or defense, especially
One made by an attacking army or
The devil himself
The practices of a committed Catholic man
Throughout all of history, including the history
of Christianity, important movements were
spurred on by bands of brothers, friends in
Christ. The early Church Fathers St. Gregory
Nazianzen and St. Basil were great friends and
co-workers in the defense of Christ as they stood
for the truth and defeated early heresies threatening
the Church. St. Benedict and his monastic
companions established communities of men
that preserved and furthered Western culture in
the face of barbarian destruction. This veritable
fortress protecting truth, goodness and beauty
was built upon the stable and rich life of Christian
brotherhood and friendship. St. Francis of
Assisi and St. Dominic each started bands of
brothers in service to the poor and in defense of
the truth. The early founders of the Society of
Jesus, St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. Francis Xavier,
influenced countless other men, brought
about great renewal in the Church, and evangelized
to the furthest reaches of the world. In the
20th century, we see the friendship between C.S.
Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien and their brother
“Inklings” as indispensable in the growth and
flourishing of their own literary and apologetic
Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted


The practices of a committed Catholic man
Three Masculine Loves: Friend, Husband, Father
At the very inception of his ministry here on
earth, Jesus called other men to join Him. What
was He teaching us here? We see that Jesus
called His disciples to Himself in such a way
that they would form deep bonds of friendship
and brotherhood. At the last supper, He specifically
said to them, “No longer do I call you servants.
For the servant does not know what the
Master is doing; but I have called you friends,
for all that I have heard from my Father I have
made known to you” (John 15:15). This friendship
with God is possible, a true brotherhood
with Jesus, because we have the same Father. Do
you, my sons, have true brothers in Christ in
your Life?
Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Non datur libertas sine veritate.
Vol. IV, No. 7
Dear sisters and brothers,

May the peace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, be with you!

Many of you serve Christ and work hard to promote religious freedom in an increasingly secularized world. Bearing witness to the gospel is a challenge now, and I recognize that we bishops have made it a bigger challenge. I feel embarrassed and angry about the news of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, and I am deeply grieved by the grand jury report out of Pennsylvania, which paints a disturbing picture of bishops who failed to act. Please know that I, like you, am devastated by these revelations, and I am committed to working with you and my brother bishops to bring needed reform to our Church.

Let us be resolved to work together for renewal in our Church, so that we might give glory to our Almighty God.

Thank you for your service to the Church!
With prayerful best wishes, I am
                                                              Sincerely yours in the Lord,
                                                              Most Reverend Joseph Kurtz
                                                              Archbishop of Louisville
                                                              Chair, Committee for Religious Liberty
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