Bishop Olmsted & USCCB


 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) 

Bishop Chairmen Condemn Acts of Vandalism, Destruction at Catholic SitesWhether those who committed these acts were troubled individuals crying out for help or agents of hate seeking to intimidate, the attacks are signs of a society in need of healing.  Read more.
Archbishop Wenski: Supreme Court Decision on Aid to Religious Schools is a Blow Against Anti-Catholicism
America Magazine

Today, Catholics and others who choose to send their children to church-sponsored schools are effectively penalized for exercising their natural rights as parents: They pay twice for the education of their children, first by their taxes to support public schools and then by their non-tax-deductible tuition payments.  Read more.
First Freedom Podcast Episode 38- A Conversation with Archbishop WenskiArchbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami was recently appointed to serve as acting chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty. On this episode, he joins Mary and Aaron to discuss his ministry and his perspective on religious liberty issues facing the Church today.  Check it out!  
USCCB Chairmen Welcome Supreme Court Decision Preserving the Religious Liberty of Little Sisters
The government has no right to force a religious order to cooperate with evil.  Read more.
USCCB Chairmen Praise Supreme Court Decision Recognizing the Right of the Church to Choose Its Own Leaders

As institutions carrying out a ministry of the Church, Catholic schools have a right, recognized by the Constitution, to select people who will perform ministry. The government has no authority to second-guess those ministerial decisions.  Read more.
Christmas Comes Early in Indiana with Nativity Scene Court CaseCatholic News AgencyAn Indiana town is defending its Christmas display in court this summer, after a traveller through the area claimed she was offended by the sight of a nativity scene on public land in 2018.  Read more.
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For up-to-date religious freedom news, follow @USCCBFreedom today!

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:

Visit the Council website:
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

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.
Click to read this Exhortation

at this link:

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 Scriptures 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?

Next, let us seek to understand more deeply
man’s calling to spousal love. Every man is
made to live as a husband and a father in some
way. “God assigns the dignity of every woman
as a task to every man.” Each man is called to
commit and give of himself completely. For
most men, this call is marriage while for others
this call is to the priesthood or to some other
sincere and total self-gift in God’s service. Yet, in

our day, such commitment is often seen as set-
tling for something conventional, even boring;

something that limits freedom or threatens love.

Nothing could be farther from the truth! In-
stead, I remind you of the words of St. Josemaria

Escriva: “There is a need for crusade of manli-
ness and purity to counteract and nullify the

savage work of those who think man is a
beast. And that crusade is your work.”
Preparation for this sincere and complete
spousal gift coincides with a man’s growth into
masculinity. The “single years” of a young
man’s life are for this formation, not a time of
mere passive waiting, much less indulgence of
sin. “ Youth was not made for pleasure, both for
heroism,” says Paul Claudel, the great French
Catholic playwright. I urge you, young men, to
prepare for marriage even before you meet you
(future) bride. Such training in sacrifice is to love
your bride before you meet her, so that you may
one day say, “Before I knew you, I was faithful
to you.”

Through spousal love, men live out a strength
that endures, a strength for which the world

longs, and a strength that will stabilize a crum-
bling society. True, this love is not free from pe-
riods of difficulties and suffering. No vocation

is! However, with St. Paul, we “consider that the

sufferings of this present are as nothing com-
pared with the glory to be revealed” (Romans

8:18). There is glory in man’s calling to be a hus-

When the great St. John Paul II spoke of a

spousal meaning to spousal love. That is a com-
mitted love, a love that gives life, seeking the

good of those to whom the man has committed.

When a man is called to spousal love in mar-
riage and family life, the priesthood, or some

consecration to the Lord, he is called to a great
and meaningful life. Indeed if we run from this
battle because of its challenges, we will be left
empty. Those who arrive at the judgment seat of

God, after this life, without the scars of a sacrific-
ing husband, will “ hold their manhoods cheap

whilst any speaks who fought with us.”
Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted

Man as Husband – the purpose of
Masculine Erotic Love

Let me now speak specifically to men called to conju-
gal love in marriage. This is a calling to the dignity and

beauty of that union that is symbolic of Christ’s spousal
love for the Church. St. Paul explains this relationship in
his instruction to husbands, saying.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church
and gave Himself up for her, that He might sanctify her,
having cleansed her by the washing of water with the
word, that He might present the church to Himself in
splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that

she might be holy and without blemish. Even so hus-
bands should love their wives as their own bodies. He

who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates
his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ
does the church, because we are members of His body.
‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother
and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one
flesh. ‘ This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to
Christ and the church.’ (Ephesians 5: 25-32)
Marriage in Christ is not merely a human endeavor. It
is higher’ it is a “great mystery.’ The human desire for
love is, in a way , a longing for infinite and eternal love.
In the Sacrament of Marriage, human love is caught up in
the infinite and eternal love of God. This is the glory,
men! Called to marriage, you are called to be as Christ to
your bride. Because this love unites you and your spouse
sacramentally with the infinite love that Christ has for
each of you, your sacramental marriage overcomes the
limits of natural marriage and achieves the infinite and
eternal character to which every love aspires.

Here we come to the epicenter of the masculine bat-
tle in our time, the nexus of life and love that is God’s gift

of sexuality. The need to develop chastity in your life, my
sons, cannot be emphasized enough.
While much of our culture may not fully understand
or encourage this commitment, the grandeur of spousal

love to which we are called, we should in no way be dis-
couraged. Rather, consider how blessed we are to be

called to proclaim this in a time when it is most needed.

In doing so, you radiate the light of Christ in an area of
society darkened by what has always threatened
spousal love. Our Catechism names them clearly:
“discord, a spirit of domination, infidelity, jealousy, and
conflicts that can escalate into hatred and separation…
self-absorption, egoism, pursuit of one’s own pleasure.
We could add here the use of pornography, always
toxic to both the participants and the observers, and the
consumptive “hook-up” subculture that removes sexual
encounters entirely from the spousal relationship.
How did it come about that a culture so steadfast in

supporting marriage and spousal commitment two gen-
erations ago became a culture that has reduced sexual-
ity to mere pleasure and self-serving ends? The answer

is the Sexual Revolution. For many, the Sexual Revolu-
tion promised “free love” subculture that removes sex-
ual encounters entirely from the spousal relationship.

How did it come about that a culture so steadfast in

supporting marriage and spousal commitment two gen-
erations ago became a culture that has reduced sexual-
ity to mere pleasure and self-serving ends? The answer

is the Sexual Revolution. For many, the Sexual Revolu-
tion promised “free Love” and liberty from the shackles

of old ideas about masculinity and femininity. What

resulted was the separation of sexuality from the com-
mitments of marriage and a widespread option for ste-
rility (chemical and surgical sterilizations), amounting

to denial of what is most essentially masculine and
feminine in the person. Worse, the Sexual Revolution
ushered in the scourge of abortion, pornography, and
sexual abuse so rampant in recent decades. Instead of
real and authentic love, this false “liberty” offers cheap

pleasures that mask a deeper loneliness and pain. In-
stead of the security of traditional family bonds, it

leaves children longing for the stability of a mother’s
and a father’s love. Instead of the freedom that comes
with accepting the truth of God’s design for human
love between a man and woman, the Sexual Revolution
has arrogantly rebelled against human nature, a nature

that will never thrive in confusion and lack of self-
control. Indeed, the “love” promised by the Sexual

Revolution has never been found . In its wake is wreck-
age, countless broken hearts bound by fear of more

pain, broken lives, broken homes, broken dreams and

broken belief that love is even possible. This is the rot-
ten fruit of the Sexual Revolution.

Man as Husband – the purpose of
Masculine Erotic Love

It stands to reason that if love is our deepest de-
sire and longing, destroying love will cause us the

most pain, the deepest wounds. Thus, where do we
start? My sons and brothers, we must begin with
If I may return to the analogy of the athlete, we

see that no champion achieves greatness without dis-
cipline in practice or without training to pursue

greatness in his sport. He must be a master of him-
self; he must possess self-mastery. For the man

called to live conjugal love, this self- mastery finds
its culmination in the virtue of chastity. We need to
see masculine negative light, as something weak.
Nothing could be more false! Chastity is strength
and a rejection of slavery to passions. Christians

have always believed that chastity, whether in mar-
riage or celibacy, is a freedom from the enslavement

to sin and our passions.
To understand chastity, we must understand
God: “God is love and in Himself He lives a mystery
of personal loving communion. Creating the human

race in His own image …. God inscribed in the hu-
manity of man and woman the vocation, and thus

the capacity and responsibility, of love and commun-
ion. The love we live as men is a participation in and

a demonstration of God’s love. As equal sharers in
dignity, women, of course, also demonstrate God’s
love, and yet there is a difference in how we do so.

For both men and women, “Sexuality affects all as-
pects of the human person in the unity of his body

and soul. It especially concerns affectivity, the capac-
ity to love and procreate, and in a more general way

the aptitude for forming bonds of communion with
others.” The virtue of chastity is the ……integration

of sexuality within the person and thus the inner of
man in his bodily and spiritual being. Sexuality, in
which man’s belonging to the bodily and biological
world is expressed, becomes personal and truly
human when it is integrated into the relationship

of one person to another, in the complete and life-
long mutual gift of a man and a woman. Chastity

allows us to master and properly live out this call-
ing to men of authentic communion.

Here, let me recall Jesus’ crucial words regard-
ing “everyone who looks at a woman lustfully” ;

he has already committed adultery with her in his
heart” (Matthew 5:28). This leads me to call specific

attention to those acts that are (wrongly) consid-
ered “normal” and even encouraged for men in to-
day’s culture. Here I am speaking of pornography

and masturbation. The damaging effects of these
hidden and narcissistic habits train the man in a
direction that is the exact opposite of love. He
learns nothing more than to use others. Instead of

life-giving and self-emptying love, he learns to set-
tle for self-absorbed, sterile pleasures. Recall again

Jesus’ words: You have heard it said ‘You shall not
commit adultery’ But I say to you that everyone

who looks at a woman with lust has already com-
mitted adultery with her in his heart. If your right

eye causes you to sin, tear it out, and throw it

away; it is better for you to lose one of your mem-
bers than for your whole body to be thrown into

hell. And if your right hand caused you to sin, cut
it off and throw it away; it is better for you lose one
of your members than for your whole body to go
into hell. (Matthew 5:27-30)

Fatherhood is Essential
Fatherhood changes history. In the Gospel
according to Matthew, where “Abraham was
the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of
Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his
brothers … “forty-two (42) fathers lead up to
Joseph, the adoptive father of Jesus. In the

words of St. John Paul II, fatherhood is essen-
tial to the flourishing of the world.

In revealing and in reliving on earth the
very fatherhood of God (cf.Eph 3:15) a man is
called upon to ensure the harmonious and
united development of all the members of the
family: he will perform this task by exercising
generous responsibility for the life conceived

under the heart of the mother, by a more so-
licitous commitment to education, a task he

shares with his wife (cf. Gaudium et spes, 52),
by work which is never a cause of division in

the family but promotes its unity and stabil-
ity, and by means of the witness he gives of

an adult Christian life which effectively intro-
duces the children into the living experience

of Christ and the Church.
All men are called to fatherhood in some
way: Becoming mothers and fathers really

means to be fully realized, because it is to be-
come similar to God. This is not said in the

newspapers, it does not appear, but it is the
truth of love. Becoming dad and mom makes
us more like God…you are called to remind

everyone that all the baptized, even though in
a different way, are called to be a father or
Like masculinity itself, perhaps fatherhood
has never been a widely-pondered topic
among the philosophers because it has always
been presumed, its meaning fairly obvious.
This is no longer true. In his book, Crossing
the Threshold of Hope, St. John Paul II writes
of the attack on fatherhood in modern society
“This is truly the key for interpreting reality

(…) original sin, then, attempts to abolish fa-
therhood. The great pontiff of the family point

to our first parents’ original act of disobedi-
ence, which cost them and us our original in-
nocence and freedom from bodily death, and

in original sin, we find a primordial ;rebellion
against God’s fatherhood, a desire to remove

fatherhood itself. This our enemy’s underly-
ing plan” to remove our reliance on God, the

benevolent Father. To do this, Satan’s primary

strategy is to damage and abolish human fa-
therhood, in the man and relationship where

each of us first glimpses what God’s father-
hood might be like.


Why is Fatherhood, Fully Understood,
So Crucial for Every Man?
Fatherhood is Essential

Today’s attack on fatherhood, and by exten-
sion, motherhood is multi-pronged and

breathtakingly damaging. 41% of children are

born into unmarried homes in our day, an in-
crease of 700% from 1950, when the out-of-
wedlock birthrate was a mere 6%. These chil-
dren are not fatherless because of some

sweeping physical conflict, like World War II,
which caused many wounds of fatherlessness
but rather because, for worse, fathers’ own
willed absence is happening on a massive
scale. It is not hard to see how men’s fears of
fatherhood find a legion of support in today’s
culture of self, encouraging men to flee from

this beautiful gift in pursuit of their own de-
sires. The child is forced to ask the question:

“Where is my Daddy?” What then is the im-
pact on a child’s heart, on his or her under-
standing of the world, of love, and of the

Heavenly Father, when the answer to this
question is “He left us,” or “I don’t know,” or
“from the sperm bank, and he left no contact
Catholic men also contribute far to regularly
to this same scandal that devastated the heart
of a child and makes too many women in our
culture live as if they were widows! The ache
of the fatherless child’s heart cries out to
Heaven: “He will not ignore the supplication
of the fatherless, nor the widow when she
pours out her story … and the Lord will not

delay, neither will He be patient with them, till

He crushes the loins of the unmerciful and re-
pays vengeance on the nations” (Sirach 35:14,

18). Why do the widows and the fatherless cry

out? They have lost their protectors and provid-
ers! There is an unnatural void of the one called

upon by God “to ensure the harmonious and
united development of all the members of the
family.” It is because of this loss, this void
caused by men’s absence, that we have always
naturally, traditionally, lamented faithlessness.


Fatherhood is Essential, Nov. 2019
There are those in our culture today, however,
who do want us to see fatherless as unnatural
or lamentable. Do not be fooled by those
voices wishing to erase all distinctions between mothers and fathers, ignoring the complementarily that is inherent in creation itself.
Men, your presence and mission in the family
is irreplaceable! Step up and lovingly, patiently take up your God-given role as protector, provider, and spiritual leader of your
home. A father’s role as spiritual head of the
family must never be understood or undertaken as domination over others, but only as a
loving leadership and a gentle guidance for
those in your care. Your fatherhood, my fatherhood, in its hidden humble way, reflects
imperfectly but surely the Fatherhood of God,
the Father to those whom the Lord has given
us to father.
What does it mean to “father”? In a reflection
on fatherhood, Pope Francis explains: “When
a man does not have this desire (for fatherhood), something is missing in this man.
Something is wrong. All of us to exist, to become complete, in order to be mature, we
need to feel the joy of fatherhood: even those
of us who are celibate. Fatherhood is giving
life to others, giving life, giving life.” This is
why fatherhood – living out one’s vocation to
fatherhood, whether that fatherhood is bound
up in physical marriage or spiritual marriage
in the priesthood or religious life – is absolutely
essential for a man to live out the fullness of
meaning in life. We speak of the Church Fathers, the Desert Fathers, our pope as Holy Father, and for good reason, our priest as
To fully live, all men must be fathers and live
out their fatherhood! We cannot “become like
God,” my sons and brothers, without this understanding and this movement of the heart followed by decisive action. If you do not embrace
the spousal and fatherly vocation God had
planned for you, you will be stuck in the impotence of the “seed” that refuses to die and refuses to give life. Don’t settle for this half-life!
The question for every man is not, “ Am I called
to be a father?” but rather, “What kind of father
am I called to?”
Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted
The month of November
is dedicated to the
Souls in Purgatory.
The Solemnity of All Saints
is celebrated on November
1st and is a Holy Day of Obligation. Masses at St. Germaine will be at 8:00am and 6:30pm on November 1st. The Feast of All Souls is celebrated on
November 2nd. The entire month of November
falls during the liturgical season known as 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, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection. It is used in the offices and Masses of
Ordinary Time. The last portion of the liturgical
year represents the time of our pilgrimage to
heaven during which we hope for reward.

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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“The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said he was ‘eager for an audience’ with Pope Francis to gain his support for the bishops’ plan to respond to the clergy sexual abuse crisis.” Read more.
After 95 years, NY rules end Catholic adoption and foster services in Buffalo

Adoption and foster services through Catholic Charities of Buffalo are ending because state rules do not allow the agency to maintain its practice of only placing children in homes with a mother and a father.  Read more.

God’s Servant First Blog: Christians, Wake Up to Nigeria!
By Daniel Philpott
Over the past four years, the  Under Caesar’s Sword project has carried out a systematic global investigation of how Christians respond to persecution.
Watching the results come in, I was floored again and again to hear of persecution whose existence or extent I had not known of.  Places that don’t make major headlines in the West, yet where killings, attacks, the burning of churches, and the displacement of Christians occur on the scale of many thousands.  Read more. (Note: this links to Part 1 of a 2-part series)
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