Let us prepare not only for the celebration of Christ’s birth at Christmas, but Christ’s birth and life within us, and ultimately, for his promised return at the end of time.
This meeting will more than likely be one of the most historic moments in the life of the church in this country. I ask for your prayers.
Anchorage Archbishop calls for action, prayer, penance in wake of Pennsylvania report on clergy sexual abuse
Anchorage Archbishop Paul Etienne posted the following letter on his blog in response to the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report on clergy sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults. This letter is to be read in every parish in the Anchorage Archdiocese over the weekend of Aug. 18-19.
Most of you have heard about the recent news of one of our US Cardinals, Theodore McCarrick being removed from public ministry following a credible, substantiated accusation that he sexually abused a minor as a priest, and a subsequent allegation that he had abused another child for nearly two decades.
Catholic schools provide a great possibility to parents and families when it comes to academic excellence paired with great human and faith formation, and we are here to partner with you.
It is late April as I write this column. Our parish listening sessions, which are nearly complete — three to go — are revealing many things. I am hearing about the challenges we face as church, a wide variety of perspectives, some hope and gratitude, and a fair amount of frustration and disappointment.
Easter is a time to celebrate our faith in the Risen Jesus — he has saved us from our sins. If we do not believe in Jesus, we cannot make it to heaven on our own. Jesus told his disciples: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14: 6)
Particularly concerning were parishioners who were leaving not only our parish, but were leaving the Catholic faith. On the occasion that I had the opportunity to speak with people who were making this transition, I heard things like: “I’m not being fed here.” or “I’m not getting anything out of the Mass.” Such comments tend to betray a skewed perspective on why we are members of the church and why we attend Mass in the first place.
Over the years, I have noticed that the crowds that attend Mass on Ash Wednesday rival any other day of the year, including Easter and Christmas. This tells us there is something attractive about being called to renew our relationship with God, about the penitential nature of the day and season that is fundamentally about conversion.
In recent months, I’ve been prayerfully asking: “What kind of church is God calling us to be today?” I believe that much of the answer lies in the papacy of Pope Francis. As Saint Francis himself was called to “renew my church,” I believe we are being called to a renewal in our time by this pope. I’m all in!