Bishop Olmsted & USCCB

6/1/19

USCCB
The entire presentation by Bishop Olmsted at the-2019-national catholic prayer breakfast/ can be read here:
https:// www.catholicsun.org/2019/04/24/bishop-
olmsteds-address-to
the-2019-national-
catholic-prayer-breakfast/



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

TO
T H E  H U S B A N D S  A N D  W I V E S ,
MOT H E R S  A N D  FAT H E R S  OF
THE DIOCESE OF PHOENIX
THOMAS J. OLMSTED
BISHOP OF PHOENIX

I . INTRODUCTION
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
8
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:  https://family.dphx.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/2018-Complete-My-Joy-Apostolic-Exhortation-English.pdf

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

Resolutions

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
(continued)
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
gifts.
Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The practices of a committed Catholic man
(continued)
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-
band.

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
ourselves.
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
mother.
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.

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted

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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