Bishop Joseph E. Strickland of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas http://bishopstrickland.com Bishop Joseph E. Strickland of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas en Sun, 22 Oct 2017 06:41:16 CST Sun, 22 Oct 2017 06:41:16 CST 5 Bishop Joseph E. Strickland of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas http://www.bishopstrickland.com/images/bishop-strickland.png http://bishopstrickland.com <![CDATA[54-Day Rosary Novena for Teaching the Catholic Faith]]> <p>I recently outlined in my Constitution for Teaching the Catholic Faith a bold new vision for catechesis and evangelization in the Diocese of Tyler. My earnest hope is that we as a Diocese more boldly and effectively proclaim our faith in Jesus Christ and in the teachings of his Church. But for our efforts to bear fruit we must begin with prayer. Therefore, I invite all the people of the diocese to join me in praying a 54-Day Rosary Novena, beginning on August 15, the Feast of the Assumption, and ending on October 7, the Feast of the Holy Rosary, asking our Lady&rsquo;s intercession for the Diocese of Tyler to become an outstanding teaching diocese in the service of the Lord. </p><p> Even if you&rsquo;ve never prayed a Novena, even if you&rsquo;ve never prayed the Rosary or don&rsquo;t even own one, don&rsquo;t worry. On the facing page are instructions and a printed Rosary you can use to get started. On the back page is a calendar to follow. As a family, we can do this! </p><p> The term &ldquo;novena&rdquo; comes from the Latin word for nine (novem) and consists of set prayers offered every day for nine consecutive days for a specific intention. Praying a novena is a devotional practice with a long history in the Church. Many believe that it is patterned after the nine days of sustained prayer made by the apostles, Mary, and the holy women in the upper room in Jerusalem, before experiencing on the tenth day the powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost: All these devoted themselves with one accord to prayer, together with some women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers (Acts 1:14). Christ himself praises persistent prayer because it is a sign of our faith in the goodness of God who provides for all our needs: And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you (Luke 11:9). </p><p> While most novenas last nine days, the 54-Day Rosary Novena consists of praying three novenas of the daily Rosary in petition for the first 27 days, followed immediately by praying three novenas of the daily Rosary in thanksgiving during the second 27 days, for a grand total of six Rosary novenas over the course of 54 days. The 54-Day Rosary Novena is sometimes called &ldquo;miraculous&rdquo; because so often God rewards the faithfulness of its devotees with remarkable results. The 54-Day Rosary Novena originates in 1884 with a young Italian girl named Fortuna Agrelli who suffered an incurable disease that her doctors said was a hopeless case. Fortuna and her family in their desperation began to pray a novena of Rosaries to Our Lady of Pompeii for her healing. Our Lady appeared to Fortuna, told her she was the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and asked her to pray three Rosary novenas of petition and three Rosary novenas in thanksgiving for her healing. Fortuna and her family followed our Lady&rsquo;s instructions, and she was miraculously cured. From there the devotion of praying the 54-Day Rosary Novena for an outpouring of special graces spread throughout the world. We need those kinds of graces here in the Diocese of Tyler! </p><p> I am filled with gratitude for all your prayers, support, and good works in our wonderful Diocese. I also thank you for making a commitment to join me in praying this 54-Day Rosary Novena for an outpouring of grace upon our Diocese to become an outstanding teaching diocese in service to the Lord. I cannot wait to see the tremendous graces God will surely pour out upon our Diocese through Our Lady&rsquo;s intercession! </p><p> May the Blessed, Ever-Virgin Mother of God, the patroness of this Diocese under her title of Immaculate Conception, support us with her maternal strength and protection as we pray this 54-Day Rosary Novena, and may God bless the Diocese of Tyler as we bring the Light of Jesus Christ to all. </p><p> Bishop Strickland</p> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Remembering the victims of abuse during the month of the Sacred Heart]]> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: ">This week, I will gather with my fellow Bishops from across the United States for our Spring General Assembly. As part of this meeting, the Bishops will offer a Mass of Prayer and Penance for survivors of sexual abuse within the Church. The Mass is being held in response to a call from Pope Francis for all episcopal conferences across the world to have a Day of Prayer and Penance for victims of sexual abuse within the Church. The Mass will be held June 14, 2017, at 5&nbsp;p.m. at Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis.</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: ">In this&nbsp;month of the Sacred Heart, we remember that abuse of minors is not only a crime, it is a grave sin that deeply wounds the Sacred Heart of Jesus.&nbsp;I ask you to join the Bishops in prayer and penance for the many people who have suffered from abuse within the Church.&nbsp;While all abuse is wrong, we must acknowledge that abuse within the Church family is an evil that we must recognize and strive to prevent from happening in the future.</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: ">I also ask that each parish and mission make part of their honoring of the Sacred Heart remembering the individuals and families in our country and around the world scarred by clerical sexual abuse of minors. I also request that parishioners be asked to include this intention in their personal prayers on this Feast.</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: ">I would like&nbsp;to thank all those that have made the Diocese of Tyler a much safer place for minors and indeed for all people.&nbsp;Our efforts since 2002 have been fruitful, and we must continue these efforts to foster an even safer environment in the Church and in our society.</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: ">Our Ethics and Integrity program remains an essential effort in the mission of protecting the sacred dignity of every human person.&nbsp;Please remember that the Church remains committed to helping in a special way all those abused by clergy or other Church personnel.&nbsp;Anyone who has been abused by clergy, religious or lay people ministering in the name of the Church is asked to please contact the Promoter of Justice,&nbsp;<a href="mailto:promoter@dioceseoftyler.org" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration-line: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;">promoter@dioceseoftyler.org</a>&nbsp;or 903.266.2159.</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: ">Finally, I realize that many people who have been abused did not suffer the abuse from Church personnel. On Saturday, Sept. 16 at 10 a.m. at the Chapel of Sts. Peter and Paul in Tyler, &nbsp;I will be offering a special Mass for all victims of abuse.</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: ">Yours in the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus,</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: ">Most&nbsp;Rev. Joseph E. Strickland<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> Bishop of Tyler</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: " text-align:="">+ + +</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: ">Mis queridos sacerdotes, di&aacute;conos, religiosos y fieles laicos de la di&oacute;cesis de Tyler,</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: ">Esta semana, me reunir&eacute; con mis compa&ntilde;eros obispos de Estados Unidos para la Asamblea General de primavera. Como parte de esta reuni&oacute;n, los obispos ofrecer&aacute;n una Misa de oraci&oacute;n y penitencia para sobrevivientes de abuso sexual dentro de la iglesia. La Misa se celebra en respuesta a una llamada del Papa Francisco para todas las conferencias episcopales en todo el mundo para tener un d&iacute;a de oraci&oacute;n y penitencia para las v&iacute;ctimas de abuso sexual dentro de la iglesia. La Misa se celebrar&aacute; 14 de junio del 2017, a las 5:00 pm en la Catedral de los Santos St. Pedro y St. Paulo en Indian&aacute;polis.</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: ">En este mes del sagrado coraz&oacute;n, recordamos que el abuso de menores no es solamente un crimen; sino que es un pecado grav&iacute;simo que hiere profundamente el coraz&oacute;n sagrado de Jes&uacute;s. Les pido a todos que se unan con los obispos en la oraci&oacute;n y penitencia para las muchas personas que han sufrido de abuso dentro de la iglesia.</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: ">Mientras que todo abuso es malo, hay que reconocer que el abuso dentro de la familia de la iglesia es un mal que debemos reconocer y luchar evitar que suceda en el futuro.</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: ">Tambi&eacute;n pido que cada parroquia y misi&oacute;n, honre al Sagrado Coraz&oacute;n de Jes&uacute;s recordando a las personas y familias en nuestro pa&iacute;s y del mundo marcada por el abuso sexual clerical de los menores.<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> Tambi&eacute;n solicito que los feligreses incluyan esta intenci&oacute;n en sus oraciones personales en esta fiesta.</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: ">Me gustar&iacute;a agradecer a todos los que han hecho de la di&oacute;cesis de Tyler un lugar mucho m&aacute;s seguro para los menores de edad y para todas las personas. Nuestros esfuerzos desde el a&ntilde;o 2002 han sido fruct&iacute;feros, y debemos continuar los esfuerzos para fomentar un ambiente m&aacute;s seguro incluso en la iglesia y en nuestra sociedad.</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: ">Nuestro programa de &eacute;tica e integridad sigue siendo un esfuerzo fundamental en la misi&oacute;n de proteger la dignidad sagrada de cada persona humana. Por favor recuerde que la Iglesia mantiene su compromiso de ayudar de una manera especial todos aquellos abusados por cl&eacute;rigos u otro personal de la iglesia. Cualquier persona que ha sido abusado por el clero, religiosas o laicas personas haciendo ministerios en el nombre de la iglesia se le pide&nbsp; por favor, ponerse en contacto con el promotor de justicia,&nbsp;<a href="mailto:promoter@dioceseoftyler.org" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration-line: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;">promoter@dioceseoftyler.org</a>&nbsp;o 903.266.2159.</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: ">Por &uacute;ltimo, me doy cuenta de que muchas personas que han sido abusadas por otros individuos que&nbsp; no son ni han sido parte del personal de la iglesia.&nbsp;El s&aacute;bado 16 de septiembre a las 10 de la ma&ntilde;ana en la Chapel of Sts. Peter &amp; Paul en Tyler, voy a ofrecer una misa especial para todas las v&iacute;ctimas de abuso.</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: ">Suyo en el Sagrado Coraz&oacute;n de Jes&uacute;s</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: ">Reverend&iacute;simo Joseph E. Strickland<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> Obispo de Tyler</p> Mon, 12 Jun 2017 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Constitution on Teaching]]> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/magazine.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 388px; float: right;" /></p> <p>We live in a difficult age which, in many ways, harkens back to the dark world into which Christ was born - a world where humanity is lost in a darkness which is often of its own making. This darkness is generated by the human heart which ignores God, is totally focused on the self, and has embraced sin as not only acceptable, but as the established norm. We see this darkness here in East Texas, in our beloved nation, and around the world. We curse this darkness and reject it, but we must do much more than light one candle. We must allow the Light of Christ to shine forth in its radiant brilliance so that it might overpower the darkness!</p> <p>Some time ago, I asked a Confirmation candidate, &ldquo;What happens to the bread and wine at the consecration during Mass?&rdquo; The candidate&rsquo;s response was, &quot;How should I know?&quot; I&#39;m sure that young man&rsquo;s family and parish had worked hard to teach him, but his response underscores the need for what I am proposing in the attached document. You will note the words of the Ethiopian in Acts 8 quoted in Section 1 of this document, &ldquo;How can I, unless someone instructs me?&rdquo; In an amazing way, they evoke the words of the young man I encountered at that Confirmation Many have made valiant efforts to teach throughout the history of this Diocese, and we must begin by thanking God for these dedicated souls, many of whom still have their hand to the plow.</p> <p>It would be impossible to attempt the bold vision which is outlined in the following Constitution without the strong foundation that these brave souls have provided. The darkness has spread at such a rapid pace that it has simply overwhelmed the methods we have used heretofore. Now, we must seek new and creative ways to teach and share the wonder of our Catholic Faith. Not only the Church, but all humanity depends on it.</p> <p>The tragic state of affairs mentioned above must not lead us to despair. The helpful voice of history reminds us that many generations have had to rise to the challenges of their day and have done so with heroic virtue. We are strengthened by the promise of Our Lord, the example of Our Lady and the Saints through history, and our own faith which always leads us to hope. Christ is our hope and with Him in our hearts no one can prevail against us. The admonition of Saint John Paul II, &quot;Be Not Afraid!&quot; expresses the strength that flows to us from Christ as we face these daunting challenges.</p> <p>We have all heard the call of Blessed Pope Paul VI for a new evangelization, and his successors to the chair of Peter have echoed it for fifty years. Many have endeavored to answer the question of what this new evangelization actually is. While I certainly can&#39;t claim to have found the answer, I do believe the Institute and new approach to catechesis and evangelization that I propose in this Constitution is an important step. As with challenges the Church has faced before, the success of these new initiatives will be something we accomplish only through God&#39;s grace, arduous devotion, and great sacrifice on the part of all.</p> <p>Please read this Constitution in a spirit of love for the Lord and His Church, pray and reflect on the role you can play, and join me in embracing the challenge of our day to go out to the world bearing the Light of Christ.</p> <p><a href="https://issuu.com/catholiceasttexas/docs/may_2017_pages_nobleed">Link to Constitution on Teaching&gt;&gt;&gt;</a></p> Mon, 15 May 2017 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Consecration of the Diocese of Tyler to the Immaculate Heart of Mary]]> <p>On Saturday, May 13, 2017, the world will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to three young children in Fatima, Portugal. Our Lady told the three children, &ldquo;My Immaculate Heart&nbsp;will be your refuge,&nbsp;and the way that will&nbsp;lead you to God.&rdquo;</p> <p>I am pleased to inform you that on this day, at a Mass celebrated at 4:30 p.m. at the Chapel of Sts. Peter and Paul to conclude our Diocesan Marian Conference, I will entrust the Diocese of Tyler to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I invite you to join me at the conference and the Mass.</p> <p>I have decided to make this consecration so that we, as individuals, families, and parishes, can grow in holiness and fruitfulness under the special protection of the Mother of God, who continues in heaven to exercise her maternal role on behalf of the members of the body of Christ. In this way, we look to Mary&rsquo;s Immaculate Heart as a remedy against the evil and darkness that seem to be growing each day.</p> <p>We make consecrations like this, which are self-offerings that have God as the object, because, as St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Monfort says, our Lord Jesus came into the world through the Blessed Virgin Mary and He wishes the world to come to Him through her as well. &ldquo;Seen in the light of Christ&rsquo;s words (cf. John 19:25-27), the act of consecration is a conscious recognition of the singular role of Mary in the Mystery of Christ and of the Church, of the universal and exemplary importance of her witness to the Gospel, of trust in her intercession, and of the efficacy of her patronage, of the many maternal functions she has, since she is a true mother in the order of grace to each and every one of her children.&rdquo; The act of consecration is made to the Father, through Christ in the Holy Spirit, imploring the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to whom we entrust ourselves completely, so as to keep our baptismal commitments and live as her children.<a href="#_ftn1" name="_ftnref1" title="">[1]</a> Our consecration is merely a willing, loving act of devotion which recognizes this filial relationship we have with our Heavenly Mother.</p> <p>It is important that we have a proper understanding of consecration to Mary. We can see clearly that the Immaculate Heart of Mary is the image of discipleship; her heart is completely conformed to the Sacred Heart of her Son, on fire with the love of God.&nbsp;It is a model for the kind of heart which we ought to have, the living heart which replaces our hearts of stone&nbsp;(cf. Ezekiel 36:26). Mary is a sure and certain path toward union with the will of God and union with her Son. Consecration to Mary deepens and strengthens our commitment to Christ. For this reason, consecration to Mary must explicitly state that our ultimate end and goal is God and His will. We entrust and commend ourselves to her Immaculate Heart, for she leads us to the Sacred Heart of Jesus without fail.</p> <p>Mary is not God; She is not the fourth person of the Holy Trinity. Her role is in no way a rival to her Son, but is always meant to magnify the Lord for the marvels He has worked through her. Nevertheless, it was God&rsquo;s will that Mary play a significant part in our Christian lives and, in particular, with our sanctification. Mary is perfectly honored when we associate ourselves with her heart and embrace her words, &ldquo;Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word&rdquo; (Luke 1:38).&nbsp;</p> <p>I also take this occasion to strongly encourage each of us individually, and our families together, to take up those specific acts commended to us by Our Lady at Fatima: wearing the Brown Scapular of Mount Carmel, performing acts of reparation and sacrifice, practicing the devotion of the Five First Saturdays, and, most especially, praying the Holy Rosary daily.</p> <p>It is my prayer that this act of devotion will be an opportunity of grace for all and that it will be pleasing to the loving Son of the Virgin Mary, our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory and honor forever.</p> <p align="center">Prayer of Consecration</p> <p>O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you chose the Blessed Virgin Mary as the fairest of your daughters, as your own Mother and as your holy spouse.&nbsp;In union with Mary, we magnify you and worship your complete dominion over all things.&nbsp;Almighty God, we ask that you hear our prayers that we present to you through the hands of our Blessed Lady, as we consecrate ourselves freely to her Immaculate Heart.</p> <p>Glorious Queen of Heaven and Earth, ever mindful of the great love which you have for all of the souls redeemed by the Precious Blood of your divine Son, to you do we come, before you we offer ourselves, all the Faithful of the Diocese of Tyler. &nbsp;</p> <p>Gather under the protection of your mantle the Bishop and all the priests and deacons who serve in union with him in the Diocese of Tyler.&nbsp;Under your special care, we place all the consecrated religious and all the lay Faithful of Christ.&nbsp;We ask that you stir the hearts of all so that more will answer the call to offer themselves in service in Christ&rsquo;s holy priesthood and the consecrated life. We place before you all of our families.&nbsp;We especially beg your maternal care for all unrepentant&nbsp;sinners, the sick, the poor, the tempted and all who are in particular need of your intercession.</p> <p>Draw us, O Immaculate Virgin, more intimately into the Eucharistic Heart of your Son, offered for us in sacrifice on Calvary and now waiting for us in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.&nbsp;May the love of the Heart of Jesus, which enflames your Immaculate Heart enflame, too, our tepid souls so that we may truly proclaim by our words and by our lives the Kingdom of Heaven, the Reign of the Sacred Heart of your divine Son.</p> <p>May we always remain faithful to your motherly care for us.&nbsp;We confidently hope in your love and in the power of your intercession, now and at the hour of our deaths.</p> <p>O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!</p> <p>+++</p> <p>El s&aacute;bado 13 de mayo de 2017, el mundo celebrar&aacute; el centenario aniversario de la primera aparici&oacute;n de la Virgen Mar&iacute;a a tres ni&ntilde;os peque&ntilde;os en F&aacute;tima, Portugal. Nuestra Se&ntilde;ora dijo a los tres ni&ntilde;os: &quot;Mi Inmaculado Coraz&oacute;n ser&aacute; su refugio y el camino que los llevar&aacute; a Dios&quot;.</p> <p>Quiero informarles que en este d&iacute;a, en la Misa celebrada a las 4:30 p.m., en la Capilla de los Santos Pedro y Pablo, y para concluir nuestra Asamblea Diocesana Mariana, confiar&eacute; la Di&oacute;cesis de Tyler al Inmaculado Coraz&oacute;n de Mar&iacute;a. Los invito a que me acompa&ntilde;en en la asamblea y en la misa.</p> <p>He decidido hacer esta consagraci&oacute;n para que nosotros, como individuos, familias y parroquias, podamos crecer en santidad y fecundidad bajo la protecci&oacute;n especial de la Madre de Dios, que contin&uacute;a en el cielo ejerciendo su funci&oacute;n maternal en nombre de los miembros del cuerpo de Cristo. De esta manera, miraremos al Coraz&oacute;n Inmaculado de Mar&iacute;a como un remedio contra el mal y la oscuridad que parecen estar creciendo cada d&iacute;a</p> <p>Hacemos consagraciones como esta, que son ofrendas que tienen a Dios como el objetivo, porque, como dice San Luis Mar&iacute;a de Monfort, nuestro Se&ntilde;or Jes&uacute;s vino al mundo por medio de la Sant&iacute;sima Virgen Mar&iacute;a y desea que el mundo venga a &Eacute;l a trav&eacute;s de ella tambi&eacute;n. &quot;Visto en la luz de las palabras de Cristo (cf. Juan 19: 25-27), el acto de consagraci&oacute;n es un reconocimiento consciente del papel singular de Mar&iacute;a en el Misterio de Cristo y de la Iglesia, de la importancia universal y ejemplar de su testimonio del Evangelio, de la confianza en su intercesi&oacute;n y la eficacia de su patrocinio, de las m&uacute;ltiples funciones maternas que tiene, ya que ella es una verdadera madre en orden de gracia para todos y cada uno de sus hijos&quot;. El acto de consagraci&oacute;n se hace al Padre, por medio de Cristo en el Esp&iacute;ritu Santo, implorando la intercesi&oacute;n de la Sant&iacute;sima Virgen Mar&iacute;a, a quien nos encomendamos completamente para mantener nuestros compromisos bautismales y vivir como sus hijos. Nuestra consagraci&oacute;n es simplemente un acto voluntario y amoroso de devoci&oacute;n que reconoce esta relaci&oacute;n filial que tenemos con nuestra Madre Celestial.</p> <p>Es importante que tengamos una comprensi&oacute;n propia de la consagraci&oacute;n a Mar&iacute;a. Podemos ver claramente que el Coraz&oacute;n Inmaculado de Mar&iacute;a es la imagen del discipulado; Su coraz&oacute;n est&aacute; completamente conformado al Sagrado Coraz&oacute;n de su Hijo, ardiendo con el amor de Dios. Es un modelo para el tipo de coraz&oacute;n que debemos tener, el coraz&oacute;n vivo que reemplaza nuestros corazones de piedra (cf. Ezequiel 36:26). Mar&iacute;a es un camino seguro y cierto hacia la uni&oacute;n con la voluntad de Dios y la uni&oacute;n con su Hijo. La consagraci&oacute;n a Mar&iacute;a profundiza y fortalece nuestro compromiso con Cristo. Por esta raz&oacute;n, la consagraci&oacute;n a Mar&iacute;a debe declarar expl&iacute;citamente que nuestro &uacute;ltimo fin y meta es Dios y Su voluntad. Nos confiamos y encomendamos a su Inmaculado Coraz&oacute;n, pues ella nos lleva al Coraz&oacute;n de Jesus sin falla.</p> <p>Mar&iacute;a no es Dios; Ella no es la cuarta persona de la Sant&iacute;sima Trinidad. Su papel no es rival al de su Hijo, sino que siempre est&aacute; destinado a magnificar al Se&ntilde;or por las maravillas que &Eacute;l ha trabajado a trav&eacute;s de ella. Sin embargo, fue la voluntad de Dios que Mar&iacute;a desempe&ntilde;ara un papel importante en nuestra vida cristiana y, en particular, con nuestra santificaci&oacute;n. Mar&iacute;a es perfectamente honrada cuando nos asociamos con su coraz&oacute;n y abrazamos sus palabras: &quot;He aqu&iacute;, la sierva del Se&ntilde;or. Que se haga conmigo conforme a tu palabra&quot;(Lucas 1:38).</p> <p>Aprovecho tambi&eacute;n esta ocasi&oacute;n para animar fuertemente a cada uno de nosotros, y a nuestras familias, a que adoptemos los actos espec&iacute;ficos que nos ha recomendado Nuestra Se&ntilde;ora de F&aacute;tima: ponernos el escapulario del Monte Carmelo, realizar actos de reparaci&oacute;n y sacrificio, ser devotos a los cinco primeros s&aacute;bados y, sobre todo, orar diariamente el Santo Rosario.</p> <p>Es mi oraci&oacute;n que este acto de devoci&oacute;n sea una oportunidad de gracia para todos y que sea agradable al Hijo amoroso de la Virgen Mar&iacute;a, nuestro Se&ntilde;or Jesucristo, a quien sea la gloria y el honor para siempre.</p> Fri, 28 Apr 2017 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Chrism Mass 2017]]> <p></p> Tue, 11 Apr 2017 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[A Reflection on the Office of Bishop]]> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/Screen%20Shot%202017-02-22%20at%2010_36_44%20AM(1).png" style="width: 650px; height: 272px;" /></p> <p>As we celebrate thirty years as a local Church among the global gathering of communities that make up the Roman Catholic Church, I revert to one of my favorite frames of reference regarding this great mystery that we know as the Body of Christ.&nbsp; I often think of the Church and her mission in terms of one individual disciple, so to speak; the Church is the disciple writ large.&nbsp; Thus our thirty year old diocese is well beyond her infancy, stepping into the community of disciples as a young adult, firmly set on her &ldquo;career path,&rdquo; with the world and its future before her.&nbsp; Our thirtieth anniversary speaks to our community of faith beyond her teens or twenties:&nbsp; a young adult ready to take on her mission.</p> <p>Four shepherds have guided this local Church as she has faced the challenges of birth and infancy, youthful adolescence and the challenges of maturing into early adulthood.&nbsp; As a priest, I have been blessed to be a part of the whole journey of the Diocese of Tyler, and I have embraced the challenging call of being her fourth shepherd as she navigated her late twenties.&nbsp; I know that many join me in expressing our profound gratitude to the three bishops who guided this new local Church for her first twenty-five years.&nbsp; Their hard work and collaboration with priests, deacons, religious and the lay faithful, who came from three dioceses to form one local Church, has placed us on a solid footing which allows us to face the future with great hope and strength. &nbsp;</p> <p>Continuing with this framework of the progress of the diocese sharing similarities with the progress of an individual disciple, I turn to some basic guiding principles for me as a shepherd and for all of us as disciples of Jesus Christ as we seek to fulfill our mission.&nbsp; We have all been baptized into the saving life of Jesus Christ, and from that moment we share His anointed mission as priest, prophet and king.&nbsp; The beautiful sacrament of baptism is richly celebrated in our Roman Catholic tradition as we are anointed with sacred chrism and from that moment called to take on this threefold mission of the Son of God.&nbsp; We are literally united with the anointed one, and being anointed ourselves, we take on His life, death and resurrection and are incorporated into His body the Church. &nbsp;</p> <p>The ancient tradition of our Catholic faith guides all of us from the Bishop of Rome, to the bishop of a local diocese, to the most recently baptized member, to always address the life of the Church with these three goals in mind.&nbsp; We the baptized are to live kingly, priestly and prophetic lives in the world and thus transform the human family.&nbsp; We can say this another way: we the baptized, we the Church, the Body of Christ, are to govern, sanctify, and teach the world the wondrous message that the Son of God has revealed to us.&nbsp; As I mentioned above, we have been blessed with shepherds in the first quarter century of our life as a diocese who have done an outstanding job of embracing these three aspects of our mission. &nbsp;</p> <p>Certainly, the missionary challenge of our Catholic faith is to always seek to be moving forward in all three areas, and in the life of the Diocese of Tyler, we have made great progress in all three areas.&nbsp; Acknowledging that this three-fold challenge is always necessarily present, I wish to offer, from my perspective, some thoughts regarding the specific ways my predecessors have brought strength and blessings to the life of the diocese. &nbsp;</p> <p>As a young priest, I worked with our first bishop, Charles E. Herzig, and I would frame his too short time with us in terms of the mission of governing.&nbsp; By necessity, he was faced with countless decisions of governance as he sought to unify three regions of East Texas and bring to birth a new local Church.&nbsp; I can only imagine the daunting task he faced as virtually every aspect of this new ecclesial entity, called the Diocese of Tyler, had to be decided.&nbsp; Of course, as he made basic decisions of governance, he had to make many decisions regarding the teaching and sanctifying offices of the Church as well, but as I reflect on the legacy of Bishop Herzig I focus primarily on his gifts of governance. &nbsp;</p> <p>As I continue to consider the progress of the diocese with our second and third shepherds, I can see the numerous ways they each contributed to the three-fold mission of the Church.&nbsp; Bishop Edmond Carmody came to the diocese as our second bishop in May of 1992.&nbsp; Many of us remember the tremendous growth he inspired and fostered, and I have to say as a priest who was working at his side&mdash;it was hard to keep up!&nbsp; In terms of these reflections on our thirtieth anniversary, I would also characterize Bishop Carmody&rsquo;s eight years with us as a time of significant decisions of governance.&nbsp; Bishop Herzig had laid the basic foundations of the diocese with his critical decisions regarding how the diocese would be established.&nbsp; Bishop Carmody faced the challenge of deciding how, when and where the Church would grow in these thirty-three counties that were becoming the Diocese of Tyler.&nbsp; As you read this, many of you are living your faith in parishes and missions that didn&rsquo;t exist when the diocese was first formed.&nbsp; We should all say a prayer of gratitude to the Holy Spirit in thanksgiving for our first two shepherds who cooperated with God&rsquo;s grace and helped us to become a Church founded firmly on rock. &nbsp;</p> <p>In January 2001, Bishop Alvaro Corrada del Rio was installed as the third bishop of the Diocese of Tyler, and thus began more than ten years of growth and development.&nbsp; Under the faithful shepherding of Bishop Corrada, the diocese continued to grow and move forward with her mission.&nbsp; The foundations and new communities established by Bishops Herzig and Carmody continued to flourish and gain strength.&nbsp; As with his predecessors, Bishop Corrada continued to make important decisions about the life of the diocese. He embraced the call to teach with great strength, but I would characterize the years of Bishop Corrada with us as bearing a primary focus on the sanctifying office of the Church and the bishop.&nbsp; Due to his own personal love of the liturgy and developments in the universal church like the new edition of the Roman Missal, Bishop Corrada made great strides in forming the priests, deacons, religious and laity in a love for Christ in His liturgy.&nbsp; As with the entire mission of Jesus Christ in His Church, we can never say that we have completed the task of sanctifying the world in His name.&nbsp; We continue to seek to be more deeply sanctified in the Eucharist,&nbsp; all of the sacraments and all of the means of grace that the Lord in His mercy offers to His body the Church.</p> <p>These reflections on the thirty year journey of the Diocese of Tyler bring us to our present reality and the joyful challenges of the next thirty years and beyond.&nbsp; As disciples baptized into the life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and confirmed in the grace of the Holy Spirit, we are all called to live out this triple challenge of our lives.&nbsp; In many ways the greatest hope for this local Church is that, as individual disciples, we all embrace the mission with great energy, strength and joy.&nbsp; We are all called to govern our own lives and make Gospel-based decisions.&nbsp; We are all called to seek a greater sanctity in our own personal lives and develop an ever closer relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.&nbsp; How are we called as disciples to move forward with the mission of the Church facing the challenges of today?&nbsp; How is the Lord challenging me as your shepherd to lead you into a bright future, imbued with the Light of the Gospel that our world so desperately needs?&nbsp; I believe the answer lies in the prophetic teaching office that we all share and that serves as one of the pillars of my work as bishop. &nbsp;</p> <p>As we look to the next thirty years and beyond, I believe we must embrace the call to teach the truth in new and profound ways.&nbsp; It is impossible for us to make the wise decisions of Gospel-guided governance or to seek authentic and life sustaining holiness and thus be sanctified, if we do not know the truth that sets us free.&nbsp; Many circumstances from past and present converge in our present day and demand that we humbly acknowledge that there is much of the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that has been ignored or rejected.&nbsp; I often use the colloquial expression that we in the diocese, and really throughout much of the Church, are in need of &ldquo;meat and potatoes Catholicism.&rdquo;&nbsp; I believe this rather quaint image brings home the truth of what our focus needs to be for our future.&nbsp; There is much of the beautiful wonder that is our Catholic faith that remains unknown and unexperienced by the people of God today.&nbsp; It is my firm belief that we can make great progress in addressing the ills of our day if we are able to know and share the basic truth that has inspired disciples to lives of holiness through the ages. &nbsp;</p> <p>Taking the call to teach a step further, I would propose that the journey develops into two paths that constantly intersect, intertwine and invigorate each other.&nbsp; The teaching office we share as disciples involves a path of catechesis, of learning clearly and deeply what it is that we believe as followers of Jesus Christ in our Catholic tradition.&nbsp; It also involves a second, equally important path of evangelization, of learning why we believe as we do as Catholics, and why it makes a difference for the human person.&nbsp; I am confident that, after only a few moments of reflection on these two paths of the teaching mission of the Church, we will all recognize that we face a daunting task for the next years of our journey of faith.&nbsp; There are many false voices that will try to shout us down.&nbsp; There is much apathy and ignorance that can derail our efforts before we can even begin.&nbsp; But let us be inspired by the glorious early days of the Church when she was just taking shape, when many of the solid truths that guide us now were only beginning to be discovered. &nbsp;</p> <p>Let us be teaching disciples that are constantly seeking to learn more deeply ourselves.</p> <p>Let us joyfully and clearly catechize with the basic message of what we believe and set God&rsquo;s people free in the wonder of His truth.</p> <p>Let us evangelize young and old, rich and poor, weak and strong, thus sharing the dynamic why of our faith. &nbsp;</p> <p>Let us be on our way in Christ.</p> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[30th Anniversary Mass: Teaching Jesus Christ]]> Fri, 17 Feb 2017 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[World Marriage Day Mass 2017]]> <p></p> Mon, 13 Feb 2017 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Christmas Message 2016]]> Sat, 24 Dec 2016 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Pastoral Exhortation: God's Mercy through the Ministry of the Church]]> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: "><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/Confession%20Letter%20Small%202016.png" style="height: 425px; width: 850px;" /></p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: ">To conclude the Year of Mercy, I have written a pastoral exhortation to the faithful of the Diocese of Tyler on the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. The complete text of the exhortation is below in and it can also be&nbsp;<a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Confession-Exhortation.pdf" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;">printed in English and Spanish from this PDF</a>.</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: " text-align:="">JOSEPH EDWARD STRICKLAND<br /> BY THE GRACE OF GOD AND THE APOSTOLIC SEE<br /> BISHOP OF TYLER</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: " text-align:="">TO THE &nbsp;CATHOLIC FAITHFUL OF THE DIOCESE OF TYLER,<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> HEALTH AND BENEDICTION</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: " text-align:="">The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation: God&rsquo;s Mercy through the Ministry of the Church</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: ">As we bring the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy called by Pope Francis to a close, a year in which we have contemplated the Lord Jesus as the face of the Father who is rich in mercy, my hope is that the clergy and faithful of the Diocese of Tyler have come to better understand that the mystery of God&rsquo;s mercy is truly a wellspring of joy, serenity and peace.<a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/11/pastoral-exhortation-gods-mercy-through-the-ministry-of-the-church/#_ftn1" name="_ftnref1" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border-width: 0px; border-style: none; border-color: initial; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;">[1]</a></p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: ">During this Year of Mercy, we have continually been reminded that God&rsquo;s mercy is infinitely greater than even the most heinous sin we might commit, and that God&rsquo;s unfathomable love for us is made tangible and visible through acts of mercy. This tangibility and visibility means that God&rsquo;s mercy is not an abstract theological concept or an act that is hidden, but rather something we can feel, hear and touch as human beings. This is how God has interacted with his people throughout history, and it is why Christ instituted the sacraments and entrusted them to his Church &ndash; so that down through the ages we might personally experience through our senses the visible reality of the invisible grace that is being given to us.</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: ">With this in mind, I write to you at this time to focus our attention more deeply on the sacrament most directly associated with mercy &ndash; the sacrament of reconciliation, also called penance, confession and forgiveness. My experience as a priest has often led me to reflect on the personal encounter with Jesus Christ that occurs in this outward and visible sign of his mercy.&nbsp; Our faith as Catholics is firmly founded on the beautiful gift of the real presence of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, the fundamental mystery of our faith that the consecrated bread and wine become the body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ. Many converts are drawn to the Catholic faith because they come to understand that they are experiencing a true and deep encounter with the Son of God when they receive the Eucharist. With regard to the to the sacrament of reconciliation, I believe we need to nurture a similar statement of faith and remind ourselves that this sacrament is also an intimate personal encounter with the living presence of Jesus Christ. No one can come to the Father except through the person Jesus, and in the sacrament, Jesus himself has given us the method for doing this.<a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/11/pastoral-exhortation-gods-mercy-through-the-ministry-of-the-church/#_ftn2" name="_ftnref2" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border-width: 0px; border-style: none; border-color: initial; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;">[2]</a></p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: ">Through the centuries, saints and scholars have written volumes about the great beauty of this sacrament and the richness of the Divine Mercy, and I will not endeavor to add to that here or to try give a complete overview of all the various aspects of reconciliation. Rather, the purpose of this letter is to help us, in some small way, better understand the &ldquo;why&rdquo; of this encounter with the Lord and to answer a question that we have probably been asked before and that we may have even had ourselves: why do we confess our sins to a priest? This question can take many different forms, but a clear understanding of why the Lord wants us to experience his mercy in this very personal way can allow us to enter more deeply into our relationship with him.</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: ">As Christians, we understand that pardon for our sins comes from Christ&rsquo;s work on Calvary, the offering of himself as the perfect and once-for-all sacrifice to the Father. However, this does not immediately have its full effect &ldquo;since Christ, after redeeming the world at the lavish cost of His own blood, still must come into complete possession of the souls of men.&rdquo;<a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/11/pastoral-exhortation-gods-mercy-through-the-ministry-of-the-church/#_ftn3" name="_ftnref3" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border-width: 0px; border-style: none; border-color: initial; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;">[3]</a>&nbsp;Each of us must individually choose to participate in the Lord&rsquo;s work, so, in his great love, he provided a path for us to receive his pardon and experience the effects of his forgiveness. Sacred Scripture tells us that he established two means by which our sins can be taken away: the sacraments of baptism and reconciliation.</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: ">Baptism, by imparting the life of Christ&rsquo;s grace, washes away all sin, both original sin transmitted to us from Adam and any personal sins committed before receiving the sacrament. Through baptism, we are united to Christ, transformed by grace and saved, but the consequences of the first sin still impact all humanity and we are left with a human nature that is weak and inclined to evil. Consequently, in this earthly life Christians are in the midst of a spiritual struggle, striving daily for holiness and to avoid sin with the help of grace.<a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/11/pastoral-exhortation-gods-mercy-through-the-ministry-of-the-church/#_ftn4" name="_ftnref4" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border-width: 0px; border-style: none; border-color: initial; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;">[4]</a>&nbsp;Because of his infinite mercy, God never abandons us, even if we turn away from him. Deeply aware of our human frailty and our tendency to sin, the Lord instituted the means to provide forgiveness of sins and to restore us to grace and communion with God and one another after our baptism. On the evening of his Resurrection, Jesus breathed on his Apostles and said, &ldquo;Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained&rdquo; (John 20:22-23). Jesus, who had the authority on earth to forgive sins, now unconditionally entrusted this same authority to the Church he had established.<a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/11/pastoral-exhortation-gods-mercy-through-the-ministry-of-the-church/#_ftn5" name="_ftnref5" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border-width: 0px; border-style: none; border-color: initial; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;">[5]</a></p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: ">Knowing that he would soon ascend to heaven, Christ told his Apostles that they were now to take on his mission and act in his place and with his authority, &ldquo;As the Father has sent me, so I send you&rdquo; (John 20:21). Just as the Apostles were to carry Christ&rsquo;s message to the whole world, they were also instructed to carry his forgiveness, &ldquo;Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven&rdquo; (Matthew 18:18).</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: ">This authority Christ gave the Apostles and their successors, the bishops, was twofold: to forgive sins or to hold them bound, or unforgiven. Several things logically follow from this. First, Christ does not give gifts needlessly &ndash; in handing this power to the Church, he intended for it to be used. Next, in order to know what sins to forgive or retain, the Apostles must be told the sins &ndash; which is the act of confession. This is further established later in the New Testament when the early Christians are enjoined to &ldquo;confess your sins to one another&rdquo; (James 5:16). Further, the Apostles were not merely to preach of God&rsquo;s forgiveness, but they were told to go exercise the same power that Christ possessed. Christ&rsquo;s ministers understood that this power was not their own, but was coming from God, &ldquo;And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation&rdquo; (2 Cor. 5:18). St. Paul expressed this reality clearly, &ldquo;So we are ambassadors for Christ&rdquo; (2 Cor. 5:20).</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: ">The bishop and his priests, the ambassadors for Christ, act as the instruments of the Lord&rsquo;s forgiveness. The power of binding and loosing which Christ gave to the Apostles calls the priests to an important and necessary role in discerning who is eligible to receive the Lord&rsquo;s forgiveness, but it is always and only God who forgives.<a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/11/pastoral-exhortation-gods-mercy-through-the-ministry-of-the-church/#_ftn6" name="_ftnref6" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border-width: 0px; border-style: none; border-color: initial; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;">[6]</a>&nbsp;Christ is always freely offering his forgiveness in the power of the Holy Spirit seeking to reconcile us to the Father, but the priest&rsquo;s crucial role makes this forgiveness visible and tangible, and ensures that the penitent is truly sorry for their sins and has a sincere desire to amend their lives.</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: ">The answer to our question, &ldquo;why do we confess our sins to a priest?&rdquo; is clear: we confess to a priest because it is the way that Christ Jesus established and intended for us to have a personal relationship with him in faith and objectively experience his forgiveness. We do not confess our sins to a priest &ldquo;instead of God,&rdquo; no, we make our sins known through a priest because God the Father encounters men in Christ the Son, and Christ encounters us in his body the Church.</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: ">This is a great gift! The sacrament of reconciliation is a visible and external sign of Christ&rsquo;s mercy available to us 2,000 years after his Ascension. When the priest, acting for the Church and in the person of Christ, pronounces the beautiful formula of absolution, we are able hear God&rsquo;s forgiveness with our own ears and know with absolute and unconditional certainty that he has forgiven us. Moreover, we are strengthened in our efforts to resist sin and we grow in humility before God.</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: ">Pope Francis, like his predecessors, has emphasized again and again that the true heart of our Catholic faith is an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, the Son of God.&nbsp; An authentic and theologically sound celebration of the sacrament of reconciliation is a beautiful example of what that intimate relationship is truly about. There are few experiences more deeply personal than an honest, soul-searching confession in which we bare our souls before God and encounter Jesus Christ in the mystery of his mercy through the person of the priest. As I write these words, I am reminded, as I have been many times, of the awesome responsibility this sacrament places on the shoulders of the priest. It is the responsibility of the priest to make present the true forgiving mercy of the Savior of the World, and this is only possible when the priest is deeply rooted in the reality that he too is a sinner in desperate need of the Lord&rsquo;s mercy. When the priest approaches his role in the sacrament of penance in this way, he allows the Lord&rsquo;s mercy to flow through him and he is always humbly aware of the great mystery he is celebrating.</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: ">This is what the Church celebrates in this beautiful sacrament: the reality that the healing love of Jesus Christ the Forgiver is really present in the world today, longing to allow His Mercy to flow over us and forgive our sins. When we examine our conscience, have sorrow for our sins, firmly resolve to amend our lives, make a good confession, and receive the penance and absolution, we hear Christ&rsquo;s words in the Gospel echo through the world as words of great mercy for every sinner today, &ldquo;Your sins are forgiven, go and sin no more.&rdquo;</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: ">Given at the Diocesan Chancery on November 1, 2016, the Solemnity of All Saints.</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: " text-align:="">+Joseph Edward Strickland<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> Bishop of Tyler</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: "><a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/11/pastoral-exhortation-gods-mercy-through-the-ministry-of-the-church/#_ftnref1" name="_ftn1" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border-width: 0px; border-style: none; border-color: initial; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;">[1]</a>&nbsp;Papal Bull&nbsp;Misericordiae Vultus, 2</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: "><a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/11/pastoral-exhortation-gods-mercy-through-the-ministry-of-the-church/#_ftnref2" name="_ftn2" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border-width: 0px; border-style: none; border-color: initial; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;">[2]</a>&nbsp;John 14:6</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: "><a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/11/pastoral-exhortation-gods-mercy-through-the-ministry-of-the-church/#_ftnref3" name="_ftn3" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border-width: 0px; border-style: none; border-color: initial; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;">[3]</a>&nbsp;Encyclical Letter&nbsp;Mediator Dei&nbsp;77</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: "><a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/11/pastoral-exhortation-gods-mercy-through-the-ministry-of-the-church/#_ftnref4" name="_ftn4" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border-width: 0px; border-style: none; border-color: initial; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;">[4]</a>&nbsp;Catechism of the Catholic Church&nbsp;(CCC) 405, 1426</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: "><a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/11/pastoral-exhortation-gods-mercy-through-the-ministry-of-the-church/#_ftnref5" name="_ftn5" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border-width: 0px; border-style: none; border-color: initial; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;">[5]</a>&nbsp;Matthew 9:6; CCC 1461</p> <p droid="" font-size:="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: "><a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/11/pastoral-exhortation-gods-mercy-through-the-ministry-of-the-church/#_ftnref6" name="_ftn6" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border-width: 0px; border-style: none; border-color: initial; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;">[6]</a>&nbsp;CCC 1441</p> Thu, 10 Nov 2016 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Coming Together as Faithful Citizens for the Common Good]]> <p>I am pleased to join the statement of Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and I encourage&nbsp;all Americans to come together following Tuesday&rsquo;s election.</p> <p>I would also add: With this historic election concluded, I encourage all to pray for President-Elect Trump and our reelected or newly-elected officials from both parties, that they might work together to unify and strengthen our great nation. Most importantly, let us&nbsp;recommit ourselves to joyfully living and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and inviting all to join with us in promoting the common good and the sanctity of all human life &ndash; the unborn, the poor, the immigrants, the forgotten, and the marginalized.</p> <p>Below is the statement of Archbishop Kurtz:</p> <p>The American people have made their decision on the next President of the United States, members of Congress as well as state and local officials. I congratulate Mr. Trump and everyone elected yesterday.&nbsp; Now is the moment to move toward the responsibility of governing for the common good of all citizens. Let us not see each other in the divisive light of Democrat or Republican or any other political party, but rather, let us see the face of Christ in our neighbors, especially the suffering or those with whom we may disagree.</p> <p>We, as citizens and our elected representatives, would do well to remember the words of Pope Francis when he addressed the United States Congress last year, &ldquo;all political activity must serve and promote the good of the human person and be based on respect for his or her dignity.&rdquo;&nbsp;Yesterday, millions of Americans who are struggling to find economic opportunity for their families voted to be heard.&nbsp; Our response should be simple: we hear you.&nbsp; The responsibility to help strengthen families belongs to each of us.</p> <p>The Bishops Conference looks forward to working with President-elect Trump to protect human life from its most vulnerable beginning to its natural end. We will advocate for policies that offer opportunity to all people, of all faiths, in all walks of life. We are firm in our resolve that our brothers and sisters who are migrants and refugees can be humanely welcomed without sacrificing our security. We will call attention to the violent persecution threatening our fellow Christians and people of other faiths around the world, especially in the Middle East. And we will look for the new administration&rsquo;s commitment to domestic religious liberty, ensuring people of faith remain free to proclaim and shape our lives around the truth about man and woman, and the unique bond of marriage that they can form.&nbsp;</p> <p>Every election brings a new beginning.&nbsp; Some may wonder whether the country can reconcile, work together and fulfill the promise of a more perfect union. Through the hope Christ offers, I believe God will give us the strength to heal and unite.</p> <p>Let us pray for leaders in public life that they may rise to the responsibilities entrusted to them with grace and courage.&nbsp; And may all of us as Catholics help each other be faithful and joyful witnesses to the healing love of Jesus.</p> Wed, 9 Nov 2016 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[We Dare to Say: Election 2016]]> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/blog.png" style="width: 650px; height: 293px;" /></p> <p>As we prepare for the election in November, I think it was important that I address the critically significant issues that we face.&nbsp; I agree with the statement that I have often heard that the choice of a leader for a society is primarily a reflection of where a society already is rather than an indicator of where that society is going.&nbsp; As we ponder these words, I&rsquo;m sure that the vast majority of us would agree that this is not a comforting realization.&nbsp; Too many indicators in our world today signal an outright rejection of God, morality and revealed truth.&nbsp; Even if hopeful hearts lead us to shy from the word &ldquo;rejection,&rdquo; we must acknowledge, at the very least, a profound confusion regarding all that the Gospel of Jesus Christ holds as of the highest value.&nbsp; Thus as we consider our choice in November, it is essential that we acknowledge that no single person, even the president, can reverse these trends singlehandedly.</p> <p>Our Catholic tradition, in regard to the election process, is that we do not endorse candidates. Instead, we urge citizens to choose the candidate who most fully embraces the deposit of faith expressed in the ancient teachings of our Catholic faith.&nbsp; I must say very candidly that especially in this election year this approach is a great relief for me.&nbsp; I find myself unable to endorse any presidential candidate in good conscience.&nbsp; Certainly it would be na&iuml;ve if, as Catholics, we were only willing to embrace the perfect candidate, but this election cycle presents us with candidates who are all severely flawed.&nbsp; This does not focus primarily on the personal failings of these candidates but rather on their ability or desire to guide our society according to the truth that God has revealed to us. &nbsp;</p> What are we to do?... <p>Given this state of affairs, many have asked me, &ldquo;Bishop what are we to do?&rdquo;&nbsp; I suppose all of this brings me to what my primary role is as your bishop, and to my mind it is truly to give, &ldquo;A Shepherd&rsquo;s Care.&rdquo;&nbsp; Thus, all of the above comes down to my responsibility to help you be faithful Catholics who are engaged citizens who can use your own well-formed conscience to choose between the seriously flawed candidates that our electoral process will likely present to us.&nbsp; At the same time, I am well aware of the limitations of my knowledge of the complex issues that we face as a society.&nbsp; Many of you have greater knowledge in various aspects of the issues, and I am grateful for your wisdom in these areas.</p> <p>A Shepherd&rsquo;s Care sounds nice.&nbsp; I can imagine many of you thinking, &ldquo;Bishop, we need much more than nice,&rdquo; and I wholeheartedly agree.&nbsp; A Shepherd&rsquo;s Care does sound nice, but viewed through a realistic lens of the devastating threats we face as a nation and as the Body of Christ, it should evoke strength, clarity and tenacious care for the flock.&nbsp; The best images flow directly from the Gospel.&nbsp; We as the sheep of His flock face vicious wolves at every side.&nbsp; The Shepherd&rsquo;s Care I am challenged to offer should be imbued with the strength of the Gospel and the power of the truth the Lord has revealed to us. &nbsp;</p> <p>As I ponder the grave responsibility that is mine, I turn to the Mass for words that frame the answer I offer to the question, &ldquo;Bishop what are we to do?&rdquo;&nbsp; The Roman Missal prescribes specific words to be used by every priest to introduce the Our Father, the Lord&rsquo;s Prayer.&nbsp; These words are very familiar to us: &ldquo;At the Savior&rsquo;s command, and formed by divine teaching, we dare to say...&rdquo; I propose the three phrases in this simple introduction as the framework of my advice.</p> At the Savior&#39;s Command... <p>&ldquo;At the Savior&rsquo;s command&rdquo; reminds us that this model prayer which Church Fathers, Popes and Saints have reflected on throughout the history of the Church truly is a command regarding how we approach God and the life He has given us.&nbsp; Embedded in these simple words is a reminder that we must take seriously the call that we share to live as the baptized.&nbsp; In the context of our present reflection, it is a reminder that we must engage with our society; we must speak the truth; we must seek to share the light of the Gospel in whatever darkness we encounter.&nbsp; The command of the Lord impels us to know God as Father and to seek His will.&nbsp; This is the imperative of all humanity, and we ignore it at our peril.</p> <p>Although significant forces in society have always sought to deny that the Savior has commanded anything, and although these forces seem to be seriously on the rise in our time, as people of faith, we know in the depths of our being that these forces spread a lie.&nbsp; Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, and as our Savior he has revealed to us the commands of God Our Father.&nbsp; He has promised that no matter how powerful evil becomes it will not triumph, but He has commanded us to engage in the world and to fight against evil in our hearts and in every aspect of society.</p> <p>Because of this, because of our faith in God&rsquo;s ultimate victory, we must never despair over the present situation. Even when everything seems to be going wrong in politics, and we feel we have no good choices, we must not give up. We must not give in to that despair, for that is what Satan wants each and every Christian to do: to give up. One thing we can know for sure, the outcomes of elections in our country will not be better if Christians stay home and give up on our political process. At the Savior&rsquo;s command, we must do what we can.</p> Formed by Divine Teaching... <p>The second phrase in the introduction, &ldquo;and formed by divine teaching,&rdquo; moves us into the realm of revelation and the truth that we know because God has chosen to open His heart to us.&nbsp; Especially in the context of our questions regarding the coming election, it is essential that we acknowledge that there are divine teachings and that we seek to be formed by them. Our modern media promotes the idea that there is no objective truth.&nbsp; One could easily get the impression that virtually anything is acceptable if it has a strong enough opinion poll to back it up.&nbsp; Even beyond the public media, the interactions between individuals on social media support the idea that there is no such thing as objective truth: that all is relative and a matter of opinion.&nbsp; The introduction of the Lord&rsquo;s Prayer makes it clear that a well formed conscience is essential to living the way of the Father.&nbsp; In order to choose the best candidates, not only for president, but for any public office, a well formed conscience is essential.&nbsp;</p> <p>Recently, I had the opportunity to re-visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland. Whenever I travel to such a place, and think of the unspeakable evil which occurred there, I am struck by the fact that the guards who ran the camp, and everyone else who participated in these atrocities, were average people, just like us. They were seduced by the ideas of Nazism and turned into villains. This is an extreme example of a lack of formation of conscience.&nbsp;</p> <p>What the Church asks of us, what Christ asks of us, is to learn and live the teachings of His Church, even the difficult ones. Our sense of right and wrong, that judgement we make before committing to a course of action (like voting for a particular candidate) must use the teachings of Jesus as its standard. By knowing what Jesus wants of us, we can act with a formed conscience to choose the good, even in difficult situations. This doesn&rsquo;t mean our choices will be easy, but it does mean we can know that we are acting in accordance with God&rsquo;s will. We can avoid being seduced by platforms and rhetoric that may sound good to our human ears, but are contrary to the principles of Christianity.&nbsp;</p> <p>When we are faced with any moral choices, including those posed by our participation in the political process, we must make a habit of asking, &ldquo;What does the Church teach us about this matter?&rdquo; If we are unsure of the answer, we should consult the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is the basic guide to Catholic teaching. The Catechism is a great gift to us, and is a resource we should all use. I encourage all Catholics to own a copy, and it is also available on the internet free from various Catholic websites. In many previous ages of the Church, it was sometimes difficult for individual Catholics to know the details of the Church&rsquo;s teaching, but we live in an age of information. Let us use this advantage to better understand the teachings of the Church.</p> <p>Once we have learned the teachings of the Church and informed ourselves, then it is necessary to spend time in prayer over these principles, to let God help us accept them fully. Everyone will find at least one teaching of the Church difficult to bear, and the Apostles themselves said to Jesus on more than one occasion, &ldquo;This teaching is hard.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>Finally, once we know and have worked to accept the teachings of the Church, we must apply them wisely to the choices we are faced with.&nbsp; The Church teaches us, clearly, that certain moral principles are foundational and we must place emphasis upon them in making our decisions about voting.&nbsp;</p> <p>In the pages of the Catholic East Texas over the past year, I have a few times written on human dignity and the value of the human person. In an election year, each individual Catholic has the opportunity to put these Catholic teachings to good use.</p> <p>As the Church teaches us in the Catechism and bishops and popes re-iterate to us, we must never support the taking of innocent human life. The right to life is foundational to all other rights, and our own Declaration of Independence famously reads, &ldquo;We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.&rdquo; We as Catholics believe very strongly that God has in fact endowed everyone with the right to life, and in choosing to vote for a particular candidate, we must first take into account their position on human life.</p> <p>What we as Catholics should desire are candidates who share our respect for all human life and who pledge to work in every situation to protect life. When the political parties do not offer us candidates who have even a consistent respect for human life, we should work to change this sad state of affairs.</p> We Dare to Say... <p>The final phrase in the introduction to the Lord&rsquo;s Prayer, &ldquo;we dare to say,&rdquo; is possibly the most important for our present discussion.&nbsp; We must be bold.&nbsp; We must dare to live the Gospel values when they are becoming more and more unpopular.&nbsp; We must be willing to speak and live the truth that God has revealed to us, even when that truth falls on deaf ears.&nbsp; We must dare to pray when the world around us warns that someone may be offended.&nbsp; Many would say, &ldquo;How dare you speak of Jesus Christ?&rdquo; and the response this introduction should evoke is, &ldquo;How dare we not speak of Him?&rdquo;</p> <p>It is in this arena that the Church confirms to us that religion is not private. There is a public and social dimension to Catholicism which we must not ignore. Jesus Christ called us &ldquo;The light of the world,&rdquo; and that light must shine in the public square, to call all people to help build a holy society. We dare to say what Jesus taught us, sometimes very boldly, even when it is tremendously unpopular.&nbsp;</p> <p>As your bishop, I certainly urge you to pray, pray fervently for our nation and our world, pray for all of the candidates seeking office, and pray for whomever is elected at whatever level of government.&nbsp; We must accompany our prayer with our actions, with the way we live our daily lives. &nbsp;</p> <p>I suppose the best response I can give to the question, &ldquo;What are we to do?&rdquo; is ultimately both quite simple and profoundly difficult to accomplish. We must know that At the Savior&rsquo;s Command, we are to recognize our resposibilities to our nation and to each other. We must live the life of the Baptized, working to bring about God&rsquo;s will on Earth without despair. We must never give up, even in dark times.&nbsp;</p> <p>We must live our lives Formed by Divine Teaching, no matter how the world threatens us for doing so.&nbsp; We must form our conscience as fully as possible and understand how divine teaching guides us through all the complex challenges of our world.</p> <p>And, we must Dare to Say. We must set a good example for our families, our neighbors and our co-workers.&nbsp; We must seek daily to live according to the will of the Father and not our own.&nbsp; We must be the light of the world.</p> <p>As we dare to live God&rsquo;s truth, we pray that our society may begin to change, to return to God, to re-establish Gospel values, to turn from every form of immorality and decadence.&nbsp; Then our society will demand a leader who embraces the values of divine teaching and seeks to join us in seeking the kingdom of God.</p> <p><a href="http://cetmag.org/fcfc2016">ONLINE: Read Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, the U.S. Bishops&rsquo; teaching document on Catholics and politics.</a></p> Fri, 14 Oct 2016 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[The Absurdity of Catholics for Choice]]> <p><a href="https://www.twitter.com/bishopoftyler"><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/Screen%20Shot%202016-09-14%20at%208_48_15%20AM.png" style="width: 650px; height: 371px;" /></a>&acirc;&euro;&lsaquo;</p> <p>A full page ad placed in the San Antonio Express-News, the Houston Chronicle and the Dallas Morning News on Monday, September 12, by so-called &quot;Catholics for Choice&quot; attempted to mis-lead the public by claiming that they are a legitimate voice of the Catholic Church. I applaud my brother bishops in those dioceses who quickly and clearly disavowed this group and made it crystal clear that they do not speak for Catholics in any legitimate way.</p> <p>Although I am thankful that this group did not deem the Tyler market to be one that was worth their effort, I still felt I should speak out.</p> <p>The teaching of the Catholic Church regarding the sanctity of life in the womb is ancient and clear. Certainly not every Catholic embraces this truth as fully as I would hope. But it is truly absurd and diabolical for a group which embraces the pro-choice, pro-death agenda, and denies life to countless human beings simply because they haven&#39;t yet been born, to attempt to co-opt the term Catholic. As a Catholic Bishop, I often find myself ranting at the television in response to the latest statement of a politician, actor or other public figure, but I must remind myself that ranting at the television does no good.</p> <p>As the November election approaches, let us all reflect deeply on the ills of our society and how we can find our way back to the truth. I believe we must start with the basics. When we choose a candidate for whatever level of public office, we MUST inquire as to their stand with regard to the life of the unborn. Of course it is not the only question, but the questions don&#39;t get more basic than that. Our vote is very often the only voice we have and we MUST VOTE NO to abortion, to the selling of the body parts of aborted children, to the further erosion of the moral teachings that flow from the Gospel and to all the threats to the&nbsp;Sanctity of Life&nbsp;that our society faces.</p> <p>I am well aware that very often we are unable to find a candidate who upholds the Sanctity of Life in all of its dimensions, but I believe we must begin with the most basic issues.&nbsp;If a candidate for whatever office callously demands the slaughter of unborn children as a so-called right and vigorously supports organizations that profit from the multi-billion dollar abortion industry, then how can any other human right they may champion be truly meaningful?</p> <p>Our beautiful Catholic faith, guided by the Holy Spirit teaches the world that human life begins at conception. In order to re-build our fractured human family, we must return to that precious beginning and stand tall for the Sanctity of Life. Let us pray that we may re-learn the beautiful truth that the conception of a child through the sexual union of a man and woman in Holy Matrimony is our most wondrous human act and that the child conceived is God&#39;s most precious gift to the world.</p> <p><a href="http://www.txcatholic.org/single-post/2016/09/13/Statement-in-response-to-Catholics-for-Choice-campaign" style="line-height: 1.6em;">Read the statement of Cardinal Daniel DiNardo (Galveston-Houston), Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, M.Sp.S (San Antonio), Bishop Steven J. Lopes (Personal Ordinatriate of the Chair of St. Peter), and Bishop Kevin J. Farrell (Dallas).</a></p> Tue, 13 Sep 2016 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Sunday: The Lord's Day and Our Day]]> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px; text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/Pastoral%20Exhortation%20Sunday%20Obligation%202016.png" style="width: 850px; height: 383px;" /></p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px; text-align: center;">JOSEPH EDWARD STRICKLAND<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> BY THE GRACE OF GOD AND THE APOSTOLIC SEE<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> BISHOP OF TYLER</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px; text-align: center;">TO THE CLERGY, RELIGIOUS &amp; CATHOLIC FAITHFUL<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> OF THE DIOCESE OF TYLER,<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> HEALTH AND BENEDICTION</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px; text-align: center;">Sunday, The Lord&rsquo;s Day and Our Day</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">As we continue in the liturgical season of Ordinary Time, a large portion of which falls during the summer months, it is appropriate for us to briefly reflect on our participation in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on Sundays, and the Christian duty that each of us has to offer praise to God on this day.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Having instituted the Sabbath Day at the creation of the world, the Lord commanded the people of the Old Covenant to keep the day holy by resting from labor.<a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/08/pastoral-exhortation-sunday-the-lords-day-and-our-day/#_ftn1" name="_ftnref1" rel="nofollow" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;" target="_blank">[1]</a>&nbsp;The chosen people rested in him, on his day &ndash; the Lord&rsquo;s day &ndash; as a sign of the covenant he had made with them. This was a day to remember and praise the Lord for the many blessings he had given to the Israelites, from creation through the exodus from slavery in Egypt.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">When Jesus Christ, the long-awaited Messiah and God incarnate, dwelling among us, rose from the dead and appeared to his disciples on Easter Sunday, the day after the Sabbath and the first day of the week, this became the day for his followers to mark the new beginning, the New Covenant formed by Christ&rsquo;s victory over sin, darkness and death. Christ fulfilled the promises of the Old Covenant, thus Jesus became the true place of rest, the true Sabbath.<a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/08/pastoral-exhortation-sunday-the-lords-day-and-our-day/#_ftn2" name="_ftnref2" rel="nofollow" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;" target="_blank">[2]</a>&nbsp;In time, and by the authority of the Church, the followers of Christ began to celebrate the day of the Resurrection as the preeminent day while continuing to honor the moral and spiritual command of the Sabbath.<a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/08/pastoral-exhortation-sunday-the-lords-day-and-our-day/#_ftn3" name="_ftnref3" rel="nofollow" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;" target="_blank">[3]</a></p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Sunday distinguishes Christians from the world around us and is an indispensable element of our Christian identity.<a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/08/pastoral-exhortation-sunday-the-lords-day-and-our-day/#_ftn4" name="_ftnref4" rel="nofollow" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;" target="_blank">[4]</a>&nbsp;In the words of St. Jerome, &ldquo;Sunday is the day of the Resurrection, it is the day of Christians, it is our day.&rdquo;<a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/08/pastoral-exhortation-sunday-the-lords-day-and-our-day/#_ftn5" name="_ftnref5" rel="nofollow" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;" target="_blank">[5]</a>&nbsp;It is &ldquo;our day&rdquo; because it is when we participate in Jesus&rsquo; saving action, by celebrating and living his passion, resurrection and ascension.<a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/08/pastoral-exhortation-sunday-the-lords-day-and-our-day/#_ftn6" name="_ftnref6" rel="nofollow" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;" target="_blank">[6]</a></p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">How then do we participate in this work of Christ and offer God worship in the manner most pleasing to him? We do so by following the command of our Lord who, on the night before he died, divinely instituted the Holy Eucharist as a living memorial of his sacrifice and instructed those present to &ldquo;do this in memory of me&rdquo; (Lk. 22:19). When the priest, acting as Christ by virtue of his ordination, does as the Lord commanded, the once-for-all sacrifice on Calvary is made present; through our participation in it, we are filled with &ldquo;every grace and heavenly blessing.&rdquo;<a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/08/pastoral-exhortation-sunday-the-lords-day-and-our-day/#_ftn7" name="_ftnref7" rel="nofollow" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;" target="_blank">[7]</a>This re-presentation, which we call the Mass, is the true and perfect means of worship established by Christ, given to the Apostles and handed down to us today through their successors, the bishops, so that we can abide in Christ, and him in us (Jn 6:56). The Mass is the only worship a Christian can offer that is truly worthy of God, because it is a participation in the Son&rsquo;s worship of the Father, in the Holy Spirit. All other worship flows from this.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Out of justice for all that he has given us, we have the privilege and responsibility to worship our Creator. Because there is no other way to adequately give thanks and praise to the Father than by joining our worship to Christ&rsquo;s, and because the Sacraments, most especially the Eucharist, are the source of the grace we need for our salvation<a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/08/pastoral-exhortation-sunday-the-lords-day-and-our-day/#_ftn8" name="_ftnref8" rel="nofollow" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;" target="_blank">[8]</a>, the Church obliges us in conscience to participate in the Eucharistic Sacrifice on Sundays and other holy days.<a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/08/pastoral-exhortation-sunday-the-lords-day-and-our-day/#_ftn9" name="_ftnref9" rel="nofollow" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;" target="_blank">[9]</a>&nbsp;The obligation is fulfilled by assisting at (attending) Mass offered any time after 4 p.m. on the preceding evening, or anytime on the Sunday or holy day.<a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/08/pastoral-exhortation-sunday-the-lords-day-and-our-day/#_ftn10" name="_ftnref10" rel="nofollow" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;" target="_blank">[10]</a>&nbsp;This also necessitates that we avoid any activities that would prevent the worship that is due to God or the rest of mind and body that is proper to Sunday.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">While attending Mass should always be seen as a great privilege, the Church knows that in our human weakness, we may be tempted to put other things before God. In light of this, the Church has established that Catholics who willfully miss Mass on a Sunday or holy day without being excused for a serious reason (like illness, the care of infants or the sick, or obligatory work to support one&rsquo;s family) commit a grave sin.<a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/08/pastoral-exhortation-sunday-the-lords-day-and-our-day/#_ftn11" name="_ftnref11" rel="nofollow" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;" target="_blank">[11]</a>&nbsp;By divine law, anyone who is conscious of grave sin may not receive the Body of the Lord without having previously been to sacramental confession.<a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/08/pastoral-exhortation-sunday-the-lords-day-and-our-day/#_ftn12" name="_ftnref12" rel="nofollow" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;" target="_blank">[12]</a>&nbsp;It should be noted that even though an individual may be in a situation which prevents them from worthily receiving the Eucharist, the obligation to attend Mass remains.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Despite the pressures which can make our Sunday obligation difficult, none of us should be &ldquo;deprived of the rich outpouring of grace with the celebration of the Lord&rsquo;s Day brings.&rdquo;<a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/08/pastoral-exhortation-sunday-the-lords-day-and-our-day/#_ftn13" name="_ftnref13" rel="nofollow" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;" target="_blank">[13]</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;It is important for us to understand that Sunday worship is not merely a matter of discipline, but an expression of our relationship with God which is inscribed on the human heart (Ex 20:8).<a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/08/pastoral-exhortation-sunday-the-lords-day-and-our-day/#_ftn14" name="_ftnref14" rel="nofollow" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;" target="_blank">[14]</a>&nbsp;While this relationship calls us to praise and thanksgiving at all times, it demands of us a special time of renewal and detachment when our prayers become explicit.&nbsp;<a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/08/pastoral-exhortation-sunday-the-lords-day-and-our-day/#_ftn15" name="_ftnref15" rel="nofollow" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;" target="_blank">[15]</a></p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Many who profess faith in Jesus reject the idea that formal, communal worship of God is necessary. They would offer that the Sunday can be honored and God can be worshiped in nature, or in private prayer or by reading Scripture from the comfort of one&rsquo;s home. In part, this is true: God can and should be given worship at all times and from all places.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">But we worship &ldquo;in spirit and truth&rdquo; most perfectly in the way that Christ handed on to us through the Apostles. Further, we do not worship alone because we are not saved alone, but as members of the body of Christ &ndash; the Church. We are one in Christ and we share at the one table (Gal 3:28), so that we can strengthen one another under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">I will conclude this reflection with two requests of great significance. To the pastors and priest-administrators of the Diocese of Tyler, I exhort you to ensure that the faithful, reverent and beautiful celebration of the Sunday Eucharist is and remains the central and most important activity of your parishes and missions! Never must the Mass be treated casually or as anything less than the moment when heaven and earth meet. Every liturgy we celebrate must be given the very best we have to offer. Everything in the life of your parish or mission must be ordered to it, and all of your other important works should flow from it. In the liturgy, God&rsquo;s grace is poured on us so that he can be glorified and we can be made holy.<a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/08/pastoral-exhortation-sunday-the-lords-day-and-our-day/#_ftn16" name="_ftnref16" rel="nofollow" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;" target="_blank">[16]</a>&nbsp;As an&nbsp;alter Christus, may the Holy Mass also be your source of strength and constant renewal as you bring God&rsquo;s loving mercy to his holy people.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">To the mothers and fathers, commitment to weekly participation at Holy Mass, especially in our world today, is the most important thing you can do for your family. You must teach your children to understand and participate in the Sunday Mass. By your example, Mass should not be presented as a burden or something to be done before the fun can begin, but rather as a true source of joy and unity for your family. Further, flowing from your encounter with Christ as a family at Holy Mass, I encourage you to use Sundays as an opportunity for true recreation to build up your family relationships; perhaps this can be done by taking the opportunity to practice the Works of Mercy as a family.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">For all of us, may Sunday &ndash; the Lord&rsquo;s Day and Our Day &ndash; always be a time when we celebrate the work of the Creator, remember our baptism, enter into the rest of God, renew our relationship with him, profess our faith, and offer back in sacrifice what God has given to us by celebrating the Paschal Mystery of Christ and receiving him in the Eucharist that feeds us.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Given at the Diocesan Chancery on June 29, 2016, the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">+Joseph Edward Strickland<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> Bishop of Tyler</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;"><a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/08/pastoral-exhortation-sunday-the-lords-day-and-our-day/#_ftnref1" name="_ftn1" rel="nofollow" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;" target="_blank">[1]</a>&nbsp;Exodus 20:8-11<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> <a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/08/pastoral-exhortation-sunday-the-lords-day-and-our-day/#_ftnref2" name="_ftn2" rel="nofollow" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;" target="_blank">[2]</a>&nbsp;Apostolic Letter&nbsp;Dies Domini, 18<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> <a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/08/pastoral-exhortation-sunday-the-lords-day-and-our-day/#_ftnref3" name="_ftn3" rel="nofollow" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;" target="_blank">[3]</a>&nbsp;Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), 2175<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> <a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/08/pastoral-exhortation-sunday-the-lords-day-and-our-day/#_ftnref4" name="_ftn4" rel="nofollow" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;" target="_blank">[4]</a>&nbsp;Ibid., 30<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> <a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/08/pastoral-exhortation-sunday-the-lords-day-and-our-day/#_ftnref5" name="_ftn5" rel="nofollow" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;" target="_blank">[5]</a>&nbsp;In Die Dominica Paschae II, 52:&nbsp;CCL&nbsp;78, 550<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> <a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/08/pastoral-exhortation-sunday-the-lords-day-and-our-day/#_ftnref6" name="_ftn6" rel="nofollow" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;" target="_blank">[6]</a>&nbsp;Dies Domini, 19<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> <a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/08/pastoral-exhortation-sunday-the-lords-day-and-our-day/#_ftnref7" name="_ftn7" rel="nofollow" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;" target="_blank">[7]</a>&nbsp;Roman Missal, Eucharistic Prayer 1: The Roman Cannon<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> <a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/08/pastoral-exhortation-sunday-the-lords-day-and-our-day/#_ftnref8" name="_ftn8" rel="nofollow" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;" target="_blank">[8]</a>&nbsp;CCC, 1129<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> <a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/08/pastoral-exhortation-sunday-the-lords-day-and-our-day/#_ftnref9" name="_ftn9" rel="nofollow" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;" target="_blank">[9]</a>&nbsp;Code of Canon Law (CIC), 1247<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> <a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/08/pastoral-exhortation-sunday-the-lords-day-and-our-day/#_ftnref10" name="_ftn10" rel="nofollow" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;" target="_blank">[10]</a>&nbsp;Ibid., 1248<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> <a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/08/pastoral-exhortation-sunday-the-lords-day-and-our-day/#_ftnref11" name="_ftn11" rel="nofollow" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;" target="_blank">[11]</a>&nbsp;CCC, 2181<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> <a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/08/pastoral-exhortation-sunday-the-lords-day-and-our-day/#_ftnref12" name="_ftn12" rel="nofollow" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;" target="_blank">[12]</a>&nbsp;CIC, 916<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> <a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/08/pastoral-exhortation-sunday-the-lords-day-and-our-day/#_ftnref13" name="_ftn13" rel="nofollow" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;" target="_blank">[13]</a>Dies Domini, 30<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> <a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/08/pastoral-exhortation-sunday-the-lords-day-and-our-day/#_ftnref14" name="_ftn14" rel="nofollow" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;" target="_blank">[14]</a>&nbsp;Ibid., 13<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> <a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/08/pastoral-exhortation-sunday-the-lords-day-and-our-day/#_ftnref15" name="_ftn15" rel="nofollow" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;" target="_blank">[15]</a>&nbsp;Ibid., 15<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> <a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2016/08/pastoral-exhortation-sunday-the-lords-day-and-our-day/#_ftnref16" name="_ftn16" rel="nofollow" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;" target="_blank">[16]</a>&nbsp;Apostolic Constitution&nbsp;Sacrosanctum Concilium, 10</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px; text-align: center;">JOSEPH EDWARD STRICKLAND<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> POR LA GRACIA DE DIOS Y LA SEDE APOST&Oacute;LICA<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> OBISPO DE TYLER</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px; text-align: center;">A TODO EL CLERO, RELIGIOSOS &amp; FIELES CAT&Oacute;LICOS<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> DE LA DI&Oacute;CESIS DE TYLER,<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> SALUD Y BENDICI&Oacute;N</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px; text-align: center;">Domingo, D&iacute;a del Se&ntilde;or y D&iacute;a Nuestro</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Mientras continuamos en la estaci&oacute;n lit&uacute;rgica del Tiempo Ordinario, gran parte de la cual transcurre durante los meses de verano, es apropiado que reflexionemos brevemente acerca de nuestra participaci&oacute;n en el Santo Sacrificio de la Misa los Domingos, y el deber cristiano que cada uno de nosotros tiene de ofrecer alabanza a Dios en este d&iacute;a.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Habiendo instituido el d&iacute;a s&aacute;bado (sabbat jud&iacute;o) en la creaci&oacute;n del mundo, el Se&ntilde;or orden&oacute; al pueblo del Antiguo Pacto guardar el d&iacute;a santo reposando de sus labores . El pueblo escogido descans&oacute; en &eacute;l, en su d&iacute;a&mdash;el d&iacute;a del Se&ntilde;or&mdash;como signo del pacto que hizo con ellos. Este era un d&iacute;a para recordar y alabar al Se&ntilde;or por las muchas bendiciones que les hab&iacute;a dado a los israelitas, desde la creaci&oacute;n hasta el &eacute;xodo de la esclavitud en Egipto.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Cuando Jesucristo, el mes&iacute;as esperado y Dios encarnado, habitando en medio nuestro, resucit&oacute; de los muertos y se apareci&oacute; a sus disc&iacute;pulos el domingo de Pascua, el d&iacute;a despu&eacute;s del s&aacute;bado y el primer d&iacute;a de la semana, este se convirti&oacute; en el d&iacute;a en que sus seguidores marcaron un nuevo comienzo, el Nuevo Pacto llevado a cabo por la victoria de Cristo sobre el pecado, la oscuridad y la muerte. Cristo cumpli&oacute; las promesas del Antiguo Pacto, convirti&eacute;ndose as&iacute; en el verdadero lugar de reposo, el verdadero s&aacute;bado. Con el tiempo, y por la autoridad de la Iglesia, los seguidores de Cristo comenzaron a celebrar el d&iacute;a de la resurrecci&oacute;n como el d&iacute;a preeminente, mientras continuaban honrando el mandamiento moral y espiritual del s&aacute;bado .</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">El domingo distingue a los cristianos del mundo a nuestro alrededor y es un elemento de nuestra identidad cristiana . Como dijo San Jer&oacute;nimo, &ldquo;el domingo es el d&iacute;a de la resurrecci&oacute;n, es el d&iacute;a de los cristianos, es nuestro d&iacute;a.&rdquo; Es &ldquo;nuestro d&iacute;a&rdquo; porque es cuando participamos en la acci&oacute;n salvadora de Jes&uacute;s al celebrar y vivir su Pasi&oacute;n, Resurrecci&oacute;n y Ascensi&oacute;n .</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">&iquest;C&oacute;mo, entonces, participamos en esta obra de Cristo y le ofrecemos a Dios adoracion en la manera que m&aacute;s le complazca? Lo hacemos siguiendo el mandamiento del Se&ntilde;or quien, la noche antes de morir, instituy&oacute; divinamente la Santa Eucarist&iacute;a como el memorial viviente de su sacrificio e instruy&oacute; a los presentes dici&eacute;ndoles &ldquo;hagan esto en conmemoraci&oacute;n m&iacute;a&rdquo; (Lucas 22:19). Cuando el sacerdote, actuando como Cristo en virtud de su ordenaci&oacute;n, hace lo que el Se&ntilde;or orden&oacute;, el sacrificio ofrecido una vez por siempre en el Calvario se hace presente; por nuestra participaci&oacute;n en &eacute;l, somos &ldquo;colmados de gracia y bendici&oacute;n&rdquo; . Esta re-presentaci&oacute;n, que llamamos la Misa, es el medio verdadero y perfecto de adoraci&oacute;n establecido por Cristo, dado a los Ap&oacute;stoles y transmitido a nosotros hoy por sus sucesores, los obispos, para que permanezcamos en Cristo y &eacute;l en nosotros (Juan 6:56). La misa es la &uacute;nica adoraci&oacute;n que un cristiano puede ofrecer que es verdaderamente digna de Dios, porque es una participaci&oacute;n en la adoraci&oacute;n del Hijo al Padre, en el Esp&iacute;ritu Santo. Toda otra adoraci&oacute;n fluye de esto.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Tenemos el privilegio y la responsabilidad de adorar a Dios nuestro Creador, como un acto de justicia por todo lo que nos ha dado. Ya que no hay otro modo de dar alabanza y acci&oacute;n de gracias al Padre adecuadamente, y porque los sacramentos, especialmente la Eucarist&iacute;a, son las fuentes de gracia que necesitamos para nuestra salvaci&oacute;n , la Iglesia requiere en consciencia participar en el sacrificio eucar&iacute;stico los domingos y otros d&iacute;as santos. Se cumple con la obligaci&oacute;n asistiendo a misa ofrecida en cualquier momento despu&eacute;s de las 4 PM en la tarde del d&iacute;a anterior, o en cualquier momento durante el domingo o el d&iacute;a de fiesta de precepto. Esto tambi&eacute;n nos impone la necesidad de evitar cualquier tipo de actividades que impidan la adoraci&oacute;n que se le debe a Dios o el reposo de mente y cuerpo que es propio del domingo.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Aunque asistir a la misa siempre debe ser visto como un gran privilegio, la Iglesia sabe que en nuestra debilidad humana podemos estar tentados a colocar otras cosas antes que Dios. A la luz de esta realidad, la Iglesia ha establecido que los cat&oacute;licos que voluntariamente no van a la misa en domingo o en d&iacute;as de fiestas de precepto sin haber sido excusados por una raz&oacute;n seria (como enfermedad, el cuidado de infantes o de los enfermos, o la obligaci&oacute;n de trabajar para sostener la familia) cometen un pecado grave. Por ley divina, cualquiera que est&eacute; consciente de pecado grave no puede recibir el Cuerpo del Se&ntilde;or sin previamente haber ido a confesi&oacute;n sacramental. Tenemos que tener en cuenta que aunque una persona pueda estar en una situaci&oacute;n que le impida recibir dignamente la Eucarist&iacute;a, la obligaci&oacute;n de asistir a la misa permanece.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">A pesar de las presiones que puedan hacer dificultosas cumplir nuestra obligaci&oacute;n dominical, ninguno de nosotros debe estar &ldquo;privado del flujo abundante de gracia que lleva consigo la celebraci&oacute;n del d&iacute;a del Se&ntilde;or.&rdquo; Es importante que entendamos que la adoraci&oacute;n dominical no es meramente una disciplina, sino una expresi&oacute;n de nuestra relaci&oacute;n con Dios que est&aacute; inscrita en el coraz&oacute;n humano (&Eacute;xodo 20:8). Aunque esta relaci&oacute;n nos llama a alabar y a dar gracias en todo momento, tambi&eacute;n nos exige un tiempo especial de renovaci&oacute;n y desprendimiento cuando nuestras oraciones se hacen expl&iacute;citas.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Muchos que profesan fe en Jes&uacute;s rechazan la idea que la adoracion a Dios formal y en comunidad sea necesaria. Ellos argumentan que el domingo puede ser honrado y Dios adorado en la naturaleza, o en la oraci&oacute;n privada o leyendo la Escritura en la comodidad de su casa. En parte, esto es verdad: Dios puede y debe ser adorado en todo tiempo y en todo lugar.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Pero adoramos &ldquo;en esp&iacute;ritu y verdad&rdquo; m&aacute;s perfectamente cuando lo hacemos en la manera que Cristo nos lo transmiti&oacute; a trav&eacute;s de los ap&oacute;stoles. M&aacute;s aun, no adoramos solos porque no somos salvados solos, sino como miembros del Cuerpo de Cristo&mdash;la Iglesia. Somos uno en Cristo y compartimos la misma mesa (G&aacute;latas 3:28), para poder fortalecernos unos a otros bajo la gu&iacute;a del Esp&iacute;ritu Santo.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Concluir&eacute; esta reflexi&oacute;n con dos peticiones de gran significado. A los pastores y sacerdotes administradores de la Di&oacute;cesis de Tyler, les exhorto a que se aseguren que la celebraci&oacute;n fiel, reverente y hermosa de la Eucarist&iacute;a Dominical es y permanezca siendo la actividad central y m&aacute;s importante de sus parroquias y misiones. La misa nunca deber ser tratada casualmente o como algo menos que el momento en que el cielo y la tierra se encuentra. A cada liturgia que celebramos se le debe dar lo mejor que podemos ofrecer. Todo en la vida de su parroquia o misi&oacute;n debe estar subordinado a ello, y todo el resto de su importante trabajo debe fluir de ello. En la liturgia, la gracia de Dios es derramada sobre nosotros de tal modo que &eacute;l sea glorificado y nosotros seamos hechos santos. Como alter Christus, que la Santa Misa sea su fuente de fortaleza y renovaci&oacute;n constante mientras le llevan la misericordia amorosa de Dios a todo su pueblo santo.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">A las madres y padres, la cosa m&aacute;s importante que ustedes pueden hacer por sus familias, especialmente en el mundo de hoy, es el compromiso a la participaci&oacute;n semanal en la Santa Misa. Ustedes tienen que ense&ntilde;arle a sus hijos a entender y a participar en la misa dominical. A trav&eacute;s de su ejemplo, la misa no debe ser presentada como una carga o como algo que tiene que hacerse antes de que comienze el entretenimiento, m&aacute;s bien debe presentarse como una verdadera fuente de gozo y unidad para sus familias. M&aacute;s aun, fluyendo de su encuentro con Cristo en la Santa Misa como familia, los animo a que usen los domingos como una oportunidad de verdadera recreaci&oacute;n para edificar sus relaciones familiares; quiz&aacute;s esto pueda hacerse aprovechando la oportunidad para practicar las Obras de Misericordia como familia.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Para todos nosotros, que el domingo&mdash;el D&iacute;a del Se&ntilde;or y Nuestro D&iacute;a&mdash;sea siempre un tiempo cuando celebramos la obra del Creador, recordemos nuestro bautismo, entremos en el reposo de Dios, renovemos nuestra relaci&oacute;n con &eacute;l, profesemos nuestra fe, y le ofrezcamos de vuelta en sacrificio lo que Dios nos ha dado celebrando el Misterio Pascual de Cristo y recibi&eacute;ndolo en la Eucarist&iacute;a que nos alimenta.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Dado en la canciller&iacute;a diocesana el 29 de junio de 2016, la Solemnidad de los Santos Pedro y Pablo.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">+Joseph Edward Strickland<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> Obispo de Tyler</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: &quot;Droid Sans&quot;, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">1. &Eacute;xodo 20:8-11<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> 2. Carta Apost&oacute;lica Dies Domini, 18<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> 3. Catecismo de la Iglesia Cat&oacute;lica (CIC), 2175<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> 4. Ibid, 30<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> 5. In Die Dominica Paschae II, 52: CCL 78, 550<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> 6. Dies Domini, 19<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> 7. Misal Romano, Oraci&oacute;n Eucar&iacute;stica 1: El Canon Romano<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> 8. CIC, 1129<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> 9. C&oacute;digo de Derecho Can&oacute;nico (CDC), 1247<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> 10. Ibid., 1248<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> 11. CIC, 2181<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> 12. CDC, 916<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> 13. Dies Domini, 30<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> 14. Ibid., 13<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> 15. Ibid., 15<br style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;" /> 16. Constituci&oacute;n Apost&oacute;lica Sacrosanctum Concilium, 10</p> Fri, 12 Aug 2016 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau]]> <p></p> <p>On Wednesday, we left the joyful atmosphere of World Youth Day and entered one of the darkest places on Earth. It was a very emotional, but powerful experience for all of us, and our young people left knowing that the light of Christ Jesus can never be extinguished.&nbsp;</p> Fri, 29 Jul 2016 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[World Youth Day 2016 #wydtyler]]> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/World%20Youth%20Day%202016%20Follow%202.png" style="line-height: 1.6em; width: 750px; height: 338px;" /></p> <p>We are having an incredible adventure in Poland for World Youth Day 2016 as we grow in faith and fraternity with our group of 55 from the Diocese of Tyler, as well as with millions of others from the Church universal who have gathered with Pope Francis to learn about and experience the Father&#39;s mercy. Please check our special web site to follow our pilgrimage:&nbsp;<a href="https://wydtyler2016.tumblr.com/">https://wydtyler2016.tumblr.com/</a>. You can also follow us on the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/dioceseoftyler/">Diocese of Tyler Facebook page</a>.&nbsp;</p> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Photos of Father Jonathon Frels' Ordination and the Seminarian Softball Classic]]> <p>If you haven&#39;t checked out the photos recently posted to my Photo Gallery I encourage you to take a look.&nbsp; Great slices of the life of the diocese.</p> Thu, 7 Jul 2016 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[St. Maria Goretti]]> <p>July 6th we celebrated St. Maria Goretti and the liturgy brought back pleasant memories of the visit of her relics to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception last November.&nbsp;</p> <p>The readings of the liturgy were especially appropriate for the wonderful witness that this young girl continues to give to the faithful.&nbsp; 1 Corinthians says &quot;glorify the Lord with your body&quot; and this is exactly what Maria did.&nbsp; Even as a young woman, hardly more than a child, she had the great wisdom to understand that her body was a sacred temple which was meant to glorify the Lord.&nbsp;</p> <p>Her example is nothing short of critical for our society today because the vast majority of us have forgotten the essential truth expressed in those simple words, &quot;glorify the Lord with your body&quot;.&nbsp; Sadly, instead it is the body that is glorified and exalted.&nbsp; The modern glorification of the body is a direct rejection of the truth that God has revealed to us.&nbsp;</p> <p>All of us are effected by the messages of our culture and we face the daily challenge of filtering all of these influences through the lense of Christ.&nbsp; We should be conscious of our physical appearance, our health and the condition of our bodies but we must also be careful to do so according to the Christian message.&nbsp; When a healthy and attractive body becomes our ultimate goal then it becomes an empty shell.&nbsp; When we remember that the body is a vessel of the Holy Spirit then we seek physical health with the proper balance.</p> <p>May St. Maria Goretti remind us to always seek this proper balance and to trust in the Lord&#39;s mercy when we fail.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Thu, 7 Jul 2016 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[When Being Judgmental is a Good Thing]]> <p>In recent weeks I have read several articles dealing with the issue of being judgmental in today&rsquo;s society. &nbsp; It seems that the whole concept has become a four letter word, and I believe that in a rather whimsical way this gets to the heart of the matter. &nbsp;Judgmental is literally not a four letter word, it is actually a ten letter word and these extra letters remind us that everything cannot be reduced to sweeping generalizations as is the tendency today. &nbsp;The human journey is ultimately quite complex, beautifully complex, and if we are to fulfill our destiny sorting through those complexities is essential.</p> <p>In order to truly be human it is necessary that we make judgments on a daily basis, actually constantly throughout each day of our lives. &nbsp;God has created us in His image and one of the most basic ways in which this is manifest is in our ability to make judgements. &nbsp;The human person is alone in creation as the only species that truly has the capacity to choose the good. &nbsp;Many animals have amazing abilities built on their instincts, but none of them can truly make a judgment in the manner of a human person. &nbsp;When we abdicate our capacity to make judgments, in reality we abdicate that which makes us human. &nbsp;</p> <p>At the root of our modern proclamation that we must avoid being judgmental at all costs is the choice to ignore these basic realities of our humanity. &nbsp;It seems certain that those who tend to label any moral choice as being judgmental have not stopped to reflect more deeply on what they are really saying. &nbsp;I do not believe that they intend to shun the basic human faculty of making choices. &nbsp;More properly they seem to be acknowledging that we of course make choices but at the same time they advocate a world where there is no right or wrong choice. &nbsp;This stance ultimately negates a moral code and leaves us with a world where all choices are of equal value. &nbsp;If all choices are of equal value, is there any real basis for making choices at all?</p> <p>Certainly the negative connotation which being judgmental can have is a real aspect of our human reality which should be avoided, but the popular generalization that all judgment is bad must be avoided as well. &nbsp;In the context of this issue of the CET regarding matters of conversion and faith it is truly impossible to even contemplate significant changes in the direction of our lives if we never make judgements regarding the world we encounter. &nbsp;The idea that all judgement is bad is truly nonsensical if one begins to reflect more deeply on the connotations of such a stance. &nbsp;In order to live as those created in the image of God one of the basic elements of our lives is that we make judgments regarding our surroundings.</p> <p>One of the fundamental elements of today&rsquo;s demand that we should be non-judgmental in all things is the idea that there is no right or wrong, good or bad, true or false in any aspect of our lives. &nbsp;If we take this to its logical conclusions the whole construct begins to collapse. &nbsp;Rather than giving in to the concept that making a judgment must necessarily equate with being intolerant, we as Christians are called to make judgments about our lives in light of the truth that God has revealed to us. &nbsp;At the root of this is the belief that goodness, beauty and truth are real and that we who are created in God&rsquo;s image are charged with the life long quest of seeking these eternal truths. &nbsp;In this context to be judgmental is ultimately to be discerning about our own lives and the lives of others. &nbsp;It is a profound act of love to be willing to speak the truth and guide another person to their ultimate destiny. &nbsp;May we embrace this very human challenge with great strength and remind the world that judging is really an essential element of loving each other.</p> <p>// This reflection by Bishop Joseph E. Strickland appeared in the <a href="https://issuu.com/catholiceasttexas">May 2016 issue of the Catholic East Texas</a> magazine. //</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Thu, 2 Jun 2016 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Why be Catholic? The Catholic Conception of Mankind]]> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/whybecatholic.jpg" style="width: 1000px; height: 450px;" /></p> <p>When I consider the question, &ldquo;Why be Catholic?&rdquo; I know that most people expect an answer involving a specific Bible verse or a specific logical principle, but in reality the answer is so much bigger. Catholicism built the good parts of the culture we live in, and Catholicism continues to try to fix the bad parts, and to be Catholic is to be on the side of goodness and mercy in the world.</p> <p>We live at a time when many claim to have no belief in God. &nbsp;If we take this atheistic worldview to its logical conclusion, &nbsp;then the human person has no ultimate destiny and is merely an intriguing cosmic accident. &nbsp;I do not believe that there are many true atheists even in today&rsquo;s secularized world.&nbsp;Although many claim to be atheists and seem to wear this as a proud badge of independence from any system of belief, I simply can&rsquo;t believe that many human beings have taken their atheism to its logical conclusion. &nbsp;It is simply not natural for human beings to reject the supernatural. &nbsp;Ancient nature religions testify to the innate sense of the supernatural that seems to be embedded in the human psyche. This common thread runs through every human culture, and it seems to testify clearly that even if God had never chosen to reveal Himself, human beings would still be seeking Him, even if blindly.</p> <p>It is popular, in this current age, to blame many of the world&rsquo;s problems on the Church and on religion in general. We&rsquo;ve all seen bumper stickers that say that religion is the cause of all wars, and we know that on campuses around the world, it&rsquo;s taken for granted that the Catholic Church is a stumbling block to human progress. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Catholic Church brought a radical new conception of humanity into the world, one which gave birth to human rights, universal education, and the conception of morality which everyone today uses without thinking about it. &nbsp;</p> <p>Indeed, those who most proudly proclaim their atheism are often genuinely concerned about the state of their fellow man and try to reason and act according to the shared morality which we all inherit from the Catholic Church. They don&rsquo;t realize it, but they are speaking the Catholic language of human dignity.</p> <p>The world the Church was born into was a brutal and unmerciful place. The Roman emperors and their legions regularly killed thousands of people to show force and keep the Roman peace, the Pax Romana. At the fringes of the empire, warlord chieftains presided over violent societies. Everywhere, kings and rulers were declared to be gods whose word was absolute law, and might made right. Infanticide and torture and slavery were just facts of life.</p> <p>In ancient religion, while man universally believed in and sought the divine through the expression of many religions, the gods they worshipped were typically unconcerned about humans or the human condition. The ancient pagan gods were often portrayed as narcissistic, concerned with their own conquests and jealousies, and were not usually interested in teaching mankind morality.</p> <p>Into this world came the humblest group of people, a dozen Jews who were not royalty or warlords, not scholars or philosophers. They had a radical message: God has become man, and died for everyone&rsquo;s sins, and thus every single human being has a destiny with God.&nbsp;</p> <p>This understanding of humanity, this Christian anthropology, has created the world around us. It is the only true and complete understanding of mankind, and it is the key to the eternal happiness of every single person.</p> <p>The very early Church, the Apostles and the followers of Christ who knew that He is risen, immediately began to act differently than the people around them. As just one example, historians inform us of the poor treatment of children in the ancient world, from outright child-sacrifice by many cultures to Roman and Greek practices of drowning unwanted children, or selling them into slavery, or exposure &ndash; placing unwanted children outside of the city walls at night to be killed by animals or weather. Strabo, a Greek author who lived at the time of Christ, wrote about the peculiar practice of the Egyptians who did not kill any of their children. It was literally &ldquo;something to write home about&rdquo; in the ancient world. These ancient pagans did not recognize value in the life of children who were not useful. The value of human life for them was not intrinsic, but was based upon usefulness. The Church, by contrast, knew from its beginning that the value of a human being comes from God.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Church immediately began to teach this new anthropology, its understanding of the nature of humanity, which was in opposition to almost the entire world. In the Didache, a training manual for converts written in the first century, the Church teaches &ldquo;thou shalt not procure abortion, nor commit infanticide.&rdquo; The Roman world didn&rsquo;t pay much attention, since Christianity was a disrespected and sometimes outlawed religion.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Church acted to save infants when possible, and in some places, it was the special mission of deacons to rescue children exposed to the elements, and deliver them to Christian families for care. These children are sometimes referenced as &ldquo;orphans&rdquo; in early Christian writing.</p> <p>Widows, orphans, the sick and disabled, these were the people who had no &ldquo;value&rdquo; in much of the ancient world. From its first days, the Church held a new understanding of human beings: all people have dignity and value given to them by God which cannot be taken away. Because of this understanding, the Church cared for the outcasts as important people, beloved of God.</p> <p>This principle is beautifully demonstrated by St. Lawrence, Archdeacon of Rome in the year 258 AD. Ordered by the persecuting emperor Valerian to hand over all of the &ldquo;treasure of the Church,&rdquo; Lawrence brought the poor, the sick, the blind and the lame to the emperor and said, &ldquo;Here are the treasures of the Church.&rdquo; St. Lawrence was martyred soon after, and his act of holy defiance speaks to us of the real difference between the early Christians and the societies they lived within. Lawrence knew that every sick and disabled person, dismissed by Roman society as useless, had an eternal destiny with God; a value and dignity which nothing on Earth could take away.&nbsp;</p> <p>Since Pentecost, the Catholic Church has had this mission, to boldly proclaim the real nature of mankind, and the Church has never ceased doing it. We continue this mission in our charitable works and social activities all over the world. Anywhere people are not valued for their intrinsic, God-given dignity, the Church is there, to care for those cast aside by the world.</p> <p>Societies of the ancient world, using a conception of man based only in the present, often did not understand the moral teachings of the Church. Christians, recognizing their eternal destiny, made choices oriented toward eternal happiness with God. The ancient world marveled at the joy of Christian martyrs led to their death, and could not understand.&nbsp;</p> <p>Modern Catholic moral teaching maintains the very same understanding, and its principles reflect the application of our Christian anthropology. Catholics, when faced with difficult moral decisions, are called to consider the eternal destiny of everyone involved, and not to reason merely from the present, earthly situation.</p> <p>This makes many of our moral teachings unpopular in the world today. We desire that everyone make choices that will bring them to eternal happiness with God and the fulfillment of their destiny, even if it means their life on Earth is more challenging. So many issues come to mind such as abortion, contraception, marriage and divorce, and many others. In each of these cases, the world demands that the Church get on the side of people&rsquo;s immediate happiness. Instead, the Church is always on the side of humanity&rsquo;s eternal happiness.</p> <p>The secret of the Catholic moral life, however, is that it is not merely the postponement of happiness until the afterlife. No, because it is rooted in a genuine anthropology, a true understanding of humanity, it often brings a special kind of happiness to our earthly lives as well. Our eternal happiness can begin here and now, if we orient ourselves to this particular kind of life.</p> <p>What our Christian anthropology tells us is that we are made for our eternal destiny with God; it is what is natural for us. In doing what we are made for, we can experience real joy, even in hardship and suffering, and it is a kind of joy that comes from no other source.&nbsp;</p> <p>This is the relationship God offers each person: surrender yourself to Me, the One who knows you best, and I will show you true happiness that surpasses anything the world can offer. One cannot help but be reminded of Christ being tempted by Satan, who showed him all the riches and pleasures of the world, and see that in fact this is exactly how we are all tempted as well. The only right choice is the one rooted in our nature, which points us to our eternal destiny.</p> <p>And so this idea, that mankind has an eternal destiny which is all-important, has shaped the world around the Church. The Church, which at first rescued exposed infants by dark of night and took food to the hungry in secret, eventually came to be the conscience of the entire western world, and built the culture we live in.</p> <p>Medicine, as a separate practice from religion, began in the Catholic Church. Hospitals began to be built in Europe and the Middle East after the Council of Nicea in 325 AD, and by the turn of the first millennium there were hospitals attached to most churches and monasteries. This Catholic dedication to the sick and suffering has never wavered, and today the Catholic Church remains the largest non-government provider of health care in the world, with around 40,000 separate facilities dedicated to health, including hospitals, clinics and nursing homes. It was the Catholic Church which invented the concept of medical care as a natural right for all people, specifically because of our belief that all people possess the same God-given dignity.</p> <p>The Church invented the concept of education for all people, where previously education had been a matter of status for wealthy elites. Monasteries through Christendom became centers of learning, and in particular Ireland became known as the &ldquo;Island of Saints and Scholars,&rdquo; thanks to the educational efforts of monks there. Church councils in the Middle Ages decreed the existence of Cathedral schools and ordered the appointment of teachers for children who could not afford typical tuition. This was the beginning of what would become our modern concept of universal education. Modern government school systems are patterned after the Catholic educational system, and despite challenges brought in the last few centuries, the Catholic Church continues to operate the largest non-government school system in the world. The need to teach every child, everywhere, comes from our Catholic anthropology which tells us that every single child on earth is equal in dignity and destiny.</p> <p>There are so many more examples in Catholic culture. Our art and music form a &nbsp;beautiful, universal meditation on our destiny and the incarnation of Christ by which we understand it. The concept of legal rights was born within the Church as a logical consequence of our conception of humanity. International law had its beginnings in the brave protests of Friar Antonio de Montesinos, Father Francisco de Vitoria and Bartolom&eacute; de las Casas against poor treatment of native Americans by Spanish conquistadors. It is only Christian anthropology which drove Catholics to see conquered peoples as humans equal in dignity to themselves. This was a radical shift in outlook, brought about by Catholic meditation on the destiny of all mankind.&nbsp;</p> <p>In sum, the societal structures and moral conventions we have today which are good - our nearly universal respect for human rights, our condemnation of oppression and genocide, our willingness to defend the innocent against the unjust - and which so many people take for granted as &ldquo;the way things ought to be,&rdquo; was a hard-fought development in human culture brought about by the Catholic Church&rsquo;s patient application of the fundamental truth of mankind over centuries. These developments did not come quickly or easily, but thanks to the Church they did come.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Church which sent its first deacons out by night to rescue innocent children from a cold and merciless world has matured by the grace of God into the conscience of the entire planet. We are everywhere, caring for the sick and hungry, the oppressed and marginalized, the same as we have always done. We believe in human education and progress, in the arts and sciences, and in the equality of all people in their dignity. We do all of these things because we hold the true Christian anthropology, the only way to truly understand humanity.&nbsp;</p> <p>We live in a world which often does not remember where these good things have come from, and too often thinks the Catholic Church is in some way a barrier to human progress. Let us all work together to help the world remember how these things came to be, and to help humanity see itself as it truly is:&nbsp;</p> <p>One human family, with a God-given dignity and an eternal destiny.</p> <p>And so, my answer to the question &ldquo;Why be Catholic?&rdquo; is: The Catholic Church best understands mankind, and can best show mankind the way to reach our destiny with God.</p> <p>// This article by Bishop Joseph E. Strickland appeared in the <a href="https://issuu.com/catholiceasttexas">May 2016 issue of the Catholic East Texas</a> magazine. //</p> Mon, 23 May 2016 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Welcoming Amoris Laetitia]]> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Droid Sans', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Today the Church welcomes a beautiful teaching from our Holy Father Francis on the splendor of Christian marriage and the family.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Droid Sans', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Entitled&nbsp;<i style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;">Amoris</i><i style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;">&nbsp;Laetitia</i>&nbsp;(&ldquo;The Joy of Love&rsquo;), this letter recalls the essential aspects of the Church&rsquo;s teaching on marriage and the family which are based on Divine Revelation found in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. The document is intended to &ldquo;gather the contributions of the two recent Synods on the family, while adding other considerations as an aid to reflection, dialogue and pastoral practice, and as a help and encouragement to families in their daily commitments and challenges.&rdquo;</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Droid Sans', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;"><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/17765950503_2c2a900cbf_z.jpg" style="opacity: 0.9; width: 550px; height: 283px;" /></p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Droid Sans', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">The Pope provides encouragement and instruction for those planning to be married, newlyweds and families, offering approaches that can help these individuals and families create &ldquo;sound and fruitful homes&rdquo; according to God&rsquo;s plan. He also laments the threats to authentic love and marriage which are so prevalent in the world around us.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Droid Sans', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">The Holy Father offers advice&nbsp;to&nbsp;those who are struggling and facing challenges, especially those in irregular situations, recognizing the uniqueness of each situation and providing them with guidance on the path to fully realizing the common and constant teaching and care&nbsp;of the Church in their own lives.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Droid Sans', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Pope Francis also provides important guidance to pastors and parishes on how to support and accompany couples and families throughout their lives.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Droid Sans', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;"><i style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;">Amoris</i><i style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;">&nbsp;Laetitia</i><i style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;">,</i>&nbsp;which&nbsp;is to be read&nbsp;with and in light of&nbsp;the other magisterial teachings of the Church, including&nbsp;the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM" rel="nofollow" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;" target="_blank"><i style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;">C</i>at<i style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;">echism of the Catholic Church</i></a>, the&nbsp;Encyclical Letter&nbsp;<a href="https://w2.vatican.va/content/pius-xi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xi_enc_19301231_casti-connubii.html" rel="nofollow" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;" target="_blank"><i style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;">Casti</i>&nbsp;<i style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;">Connub</i><i style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;">i</i><i style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;">i</i></a>&nbsp;of Pius XI, the Encyclical Letter&nbsp;<a href="http://w2.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae.html" rel="nofollow" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;" target="_blank"><i style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;">Humanae</i><i style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;">&nbsp;Vitae</i></a>&nbsp;of Blessed Paul VI, and&nbsp;the Apostolic Exhortation&nbsp;<a href="http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_jp-ii_exh_19811122_familiaris-consortio.html" rel="nofollow" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;" target="_blank"><i style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;">Familiaris</i><i style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box;">Consortio</i></a>&nbsp;of St. John Paul II, strongly proclaims the beauty, dignity and absolute essentiality of the family and life-long marriage between a man and a woman ordered toward sanctification and procreation.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Droid Sans', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">In this Year of Mercy, I encourage the priests, deacons, religious and lay faithful of the Diocese of Tyler,&nbsp;especially our families,&nbsp;to engage in a careful reading and prayerful&nbsp;reflection on this extensive exhortation of Pope Francis&nbsp;so that marriages&nbsp;and families may be strengthen by both the pastoral care of the Church, and by the beauty of the truth which was taught by Christ and is faithfully proclaimed by His Church.</p> Fri, 8 Apr 2016 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Photos from the Paschal Triduum]]> <p>Across the Diocese, thousands upon thousands of you celebrated the most holy days of our faith and offered praise and thanksgiving to God&nbsp;with joy, reverence and love. May the entire 50 days of Easter be a time that you are drawn into the hope that comes from the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/25416855113_faacc4ea47_z.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 685px;" /></p> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/25436157123_9a1d3f82b6_z.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 334px;" /></p> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/25470214264_b291773fd3_z.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 334px;" /></p> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/25470230544_4040e6f453_z.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 332px;" /></p> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/25470296534_c6fc73c547_z.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 749px;" /></p> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/25982545982_d14d37f074_z.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 373px;" /></p> Wed, 30 Mar 2016 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Celebrating the Sacred Triduum]]> <p>The most sacred time of the year is upon us.&nbsp;In this time, we walk with our Lord as we commemorate the Paschal Mystery &ndash; the passion, death and resurrection of Christ through which he set us free.</p> <p></p> Wed, 23 Mar 2016 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Chrism Mass 2016]]> <p>Our annual Chrism Mass was a beautiful celebration with my brother priests of the Diocese of Tyler. &nbsp;We are renewed in our resolve and commitment to more closely conform ourselves to Christ and to faithfully carry out our mission of teaching, governing and sanctifying.&nbsp;<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/dioceseoftyler/albums/72157665725368620" style="line-height: 1.6em;" target="_blank">See all the photos from the Mass here&gt;&gt;&gt;</a></p> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/Chrism2016_20160322_016.jpg" style="line-height: 1.6em; width: 750px;" /></p> Tue, 22 Mar 2016 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Diocesan Marriage Anniversary Mass]]> <p>Please take a look at the photo gallery of beautiful pictures from the anniversary mass on Saturday, February 13.&nbsp; Congratulations and prayerful thanksgiving for the couples who filled the Cathedral.&nbsp; They celebrated their marriages from 5 years to 70 years.</p> Mon, 15 Feb 2016 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Diocesan Scouting Mass]]> <p>We celebrated a great mass at the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul on Saturday, February 13.&nbsp; The mass honored scouts from around the diocese who had earned religious awards.</p> <p>You can go to the gallery and scroll down past the Marriage Anniversary pictures to find some great pictures from the Mass for Scouts.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Mon, 15 Feb 2016 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Jan. 22: Sanctity of Life Announcement]]> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Droid Sans', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Using the occasion of the U.S. Bishop&rsquo;s National Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children, I am announcing that I will place&nbsp;the Diocese of Tyler&rsquo;s efforts to promote the sacredness of human life under the&nbsp;new title of &ldquo;Sanctity of Life&rdquo; and will be expanding&nbsp;the ministry to include a wider range of groups in the diocese.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Droid Sans', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">I will be bringing together several apostolates that are already established to each be a piece in a mosaic more consciously witnessing to the sanctity of life.&nbsp; This effort will include groups and ministries like Catholic Charities, our prison ministry, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, the Knights of Columbus, the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women&rsquo;s Gabriel Project, the permanent diaconate, and all of&nbsp;our pro-life efforts.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Droid Sans', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">At&nbsp;the first&nbsp;<a href="https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2015/10/sanctity-of-life-banquet-love-never-fails/" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out;">East Texas&nbsp;Sanctity of Life Banquet last October</a>, I reflected&nbsp;on the sacredness of human life in all stages and circumstances. &nbsp;This event brought attention to the many threats against the sacred dignity of the individual person&rsquo;s life and conscience and I called on the Church in East Texas must do more to witness the Gospel of Life.</p> <p></p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Droid Sans', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">In changing the name of the diocesan efforts from &ldquo;Respect Life&rdquo; to &ldquo;Sanctity of Life,&rdquo; I hope&nbsp;to promote&nbsp;closer collaboration between those involved in Church apostolates that specifically&nbsp;encourage&nbsp;the goodness and inviolability&nbsp;of every human life.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Droid Sans', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">As we remember the anniversary of the Supreme Court&rsquo;s tragic Roe vs. Wade decision, I am even more convinced that recognizing the concept of Sanctity of Life is fundamental for our great nation. Our Founding Fathers believed it was self-evident that our Creator endowed each person with unalienable rights. If there was any doubt in 1972 that an unborn child was human person, scientific study of DNA and ultrasound imaging show clearly each child is a unique human being.&nbsp; We join with many believers and unbelievers alike who recognize this right given to the unborn by the Creator.&nbsp; We pray that the fundamental right to life will be recognized by our society and protected in law and in fact.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Droid Sans', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">There was a point in our nation&rsquo;s history where slavery was judged by the Supreme Court to be a protected right.&nbsp; Please join me in prayer that we will soon reach a point that abortion, like slavery, will be recognized as an evil that is fundamentally wrong.</p> Fri, 22 Jan 2016 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[January CET: The Family]]> <p class="p1"><a href="http://issuu.com/catholiceasttexas/docs/onlineeditionjan2016pages" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/jan16-cover.png" style="width: 300px; height: 388px; float: right;" /></a>I am pleased to be able to share some personal reflections in regard to marriage and family as part of the January 2016 edition of the <a href="http://issuu.com/catholiceasttexas/docs/onlineeditionjan2016pages" style="line-height: 1.6em;"><b><i>Catholic East Texas</i></b></a>. As I ponder these central elements of our human journey, my thoughts move from my own personal experience of family to some of the beautiful teachings that our Catholic tradition offers us.&nbsp;</p> <p class="p2">Although we must acknowledge that the institutions of marriage and family are threatened in our modern era, it is my hope that as believers we can truly celebrate marriage and family and all the goodness they bring to our world. As our bodies are composed of a myriad of cells with diverse functions and purposes, the Body of Christ is composed of a similarly diverse community of &ldquo;cells&rdquo; which are the family. To take the analogy a step further, every marriage between a man and a woman committed to each other for life is the nucleus of a &ldquo;cell&rdquo; that is the family.&nbsp;</p> <p class="p2">It is essential that we hold on to this ideal image of family. The basic model of family is the union of a man and a woman for life surrounded by children. Because the variations on this model are countless, we are often tempted to ignore the fact that this basic definition of family is the model that God our creator offers us. Too often in modern society when we hold up this model of family we are accused of being judgmental, uncaring or bigoted. It is essential that we embrace every individual and whatever family they are a part of with great compassion. It is a great challenge for us to keep all of this in balance because there are so many complex elements that enter into how an individual family is composed. There are many variations from the above model of family that create great challenges and are not by anyone&rsquo;s choice, but we must also acknowledge that many times our personal choices impact our family in significant ways. Often in numerous ways every family fails to be a model of the ideal. This should not cause us to ignore the ideal but guide us to compassionately embrace every family, however fragmented.&nbsp;</p> <p class="p3">During his recent visit to the United States, Pope Francis spoke of the family as &ldquo;God&rsquo;s masterpiece.&rdquo; I encourage us all to embrace this image and glean from it the joy and hope that our loving God wants to share with every family. Just as in the world of art there are many variations on how a masterpiece is expressed, the same is true for the family. Seeing the family as God&rsquo;s masterpiece reminds us that God is an essential member of each family. Every member of every family is a sinner and in need of God&rsquo;s masterful work of mercy in their lives. God, the master artisan, is at work on each of us offering His mercy, His love and His life.&nbsp;</p> <p class="p4">The ideal of family is God&rsquo;s masterpiece, but we acknowledge that each of our individual families is an unfinished masterpiece. The call of our Catholic faith is individually and within our families to cooperate with the master artisan as He transforms us in His image. The Year of Mercy is an ideal time for each of us to reflect on how we can be models of mercy in our own family and the wider family of God&rsquo;s people. Ultimately the family itself is a beautiful expression of God&rsquo;s love, mercy and compassion for every human person. He knows that we need family as a place to grow and develop and become more and more fully His children. May we continue to journey in the Lord as we seek to gather one day at the family table that is His heavenly banquet.&nbsp;</p> Thu, 7 Jan 2016 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Thanks to All]]> <p>I want to thank Fr. Hank Lanik and all the individuals involved in preparations for the opening of the Holy Door at the Cathedral as we officially began the Year of Mercy.&nbsp; The liturgy was a beautiful opportunity to celebrate the Father&#39;s Mercy in the gift of His Son Jesus Christ and the model of discipleship the Father offers us in the Virgin Mary.&nbsp;</p> <p>I encourage you to visit the Media Gallery on this page.&nbsp; There are some beautiful pictures of the mass.</p> <p>+Joseph</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Wed, 9 Dec 2015 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Anniversary Reflection: The Holy Hearts of Jesus & Mary]]> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Droid Sans', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;"><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/2-hearts.jpg" style="width: 660px; height: 330px;" /></p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Droid Sans', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">On the occasion of the third anniversary of his elevation to the episcopate, which occurred on November 28, 2012, Bishop Joseph E. Strickland has offered this reflection.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Droid Sans', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">As I celebrate my third anniversary as Bishop of the Diocese of Tyler, I continue to be in awe of the call I have been given.&nbsp; It goes without saying that I will never be worthy to be your apostle but I do take this call to heart in a powerful way.&nbsp; I am deeply grateful for the wonderful support of the priests, deacons, religious and lay faithful of the diocese.&nbsp; I believe we have taken some significant steps in regard to the mission of Our Lord among us, but of course there is always much more to be done.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Droid Sans', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">As I speak of taking this daunting call to heart, my reflection moves to the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart.&nbsp; My earliest memories include images of the Sacred Heart and you may remember that I dedicated my episcopacy to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart if Mary.&nbsp; I deeply believe that this dedication was inspired by the Holy Spirit and any good I have done in these three years has been inspired and guided by these Holy Hearts.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Droid Sans', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">There are numerous writings regarding these Hearts, from St. Margaret Mary Alacoque to several popes including Pope Leo XIII who consecrated the world to the Sacred Heart. These writings and mystical reflections are beautiful and valuable for deepening our faith.&nbsp; I tend to go back to the image of Mary at the foot of the cross of her divine Son.&nbsp; This scene depicts the Divine Heart of Christ and the sinless human heart of Mary engaged in the saving mystery of salvation that continues to reverberate through the world.&nbsp; It is the scene of love, the greatest power in the world, offering hope to humanity for all time.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Droid Sans', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">On a personal note, I want to share with you some simple prayers that have become part of the rhythm of my life: &nbsp;&ldquo;O Sacred Heart of Jesus I place my trust in thee.&rdquo; &nbsp;&ldquo;O Sacred Heart of Jesus have mercy on me a sinner.&rdquo; &ldquo;Immaculate Heart of Mary I ask you pray for me&rdquo; &nbsp;I offer these simple prayers in the car, in the office, on a plane and on a run, basically anywhere I am.&nbsp; I share them with you with the hope they might become a blessing for you as they have been for me.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Droid Sans', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Let us pray that these Holy Hearts will guide me as your bishop and guide the mission of the diocese for many years to come.</p> <p style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: none; list-style: none; border: 0px none; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: 'Droid Sans', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">&ndash; Bishop Strickland</p> Sat, 28 Nov 2015 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Jesus Christ, True Mercy]]> <p align="center"><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/mercyletter.png" style="width: 651px; height: 293px;" /></p> <p align="center">Joseph Edward Strickland<br /> By the Grace of God and the Apostolic See<br /> Bishop of Tyler</p> <p align="center">TO THE CLERGY, RELIGIOUS &amp; CATHOLIC FAITHFUL OF THE DIOCESE OF TYLER,<br /> HEALTH AND BENEDICTION</p> <p align="center">Jesus Christ, True Mercy</p> <p>This Sunday we begin the holy season of Advent and with it our solemn preparations for Christmas when we welcome our Lord Jesus Christ, the incarnation and true face of the Father&rsquo;s mercy. We also make ourselves ready to enter the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, a time in the life of the Church declared by Pope Francis to encourage us to contemplate the mystery of mercy as a wellspring of joy, serenity, and peace. The Holy Year will begin on December 8, 2015 and conclude on November 20, 2016. Bearing in mind these two events, I would like to take a moment to share this reflection on mercy and how it is incorporated into our lives as disciples of Jesus Christ, and specifically as Catholics.&nbsp;</p> <p>We live in the Age of Mercy because we live in the world after the saving work, the Paschal Mystery, of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.&nbsp; In this context I believe we can say that the Catholic Church, founded by Christ Himself, exists as an instrument of mercy, a house of mercy, and a place from which the mercy of God should always flow.&nbsp; We see the foundation of mercy in the oft quoted and beautiful Gospel verse of John 3:16: the Father&rsquo;s preeminent act of mercy was to share with humanity His only begotten Son.&nbsp; Embedded in this profoundly loving act of the Father is an acknowledgment that humanity was broken and deeply in need of a savior, deeply in need of mercy.&nbsp; The mercy which Jesus Christ offers to the world through His Church is hard-won, not only through his passion, death and resurrection, but truly through every moment of his time on earth as the God-Man.&nbsp; I believe placing mercy in this context is essential if we desire to pursue true mercy in the way we live.&nbsp;</p> <p>True mercy always flows from God&rsquo;s love and directs us toward God&rsquo;s will for us - that we share His gift of everlasting life.&nbsp; This focus regarding mercy is essential because we are so easily tempted to move toward a superficial understanding and application of mercy that is actually not mercy at all.&nbsp;</p> <p>In our modern culture, mercy is too often equated with &ldquo;being nice&rdquo; or &ldquo;being soft.&rdquo; Rather, if we return to the foundation of true mercy mentioned above, the mercy rooted in God&rsquo;s will, which is love and mercy itself, we find that mercy is actually anything but soft.&nbsp; Real mercy is strong and powerful because it does not shy away from our broken existence, but instead it stands face to face with the ugly and the broken and calls us to turn away from those things by bringing the healing balm of truth and genuine freedom to bear. True mercy is transformational! Ultimately mercy is bound up with facing the truth and being challenged to move from brokenness to wholeness. The denial of this is possibly at the very heart of our modern dilemma.&nbsp; Too often mercy is interpreted as removing the challenge, being tolerant of the transgression and passing over the consequences of our broken reality, rather than facing it head on and being freed by that very confrontation.&nbsp;</p> <p>Once again I cannot resist returning to the model of mercy that is the life of Jesus Christ.&nbsp; In the ultimate act of mercy, He embraces the cross in order to open the floodgates of mercy. In the same way, any authentic mercy demands that we hold the cross close as well. If we ignore the only authentic model of mercy we are at risk of promoting a false mercy which leads us away from life and ultimately abandons us to death. The mercy that Christ shows the world through every act of His life here on earth, and especially in His crucifixion, is a mercy that faces down the power of sin by allowing the power of love to overcome the darkness. In this way, the grace of God not only covers our sins, but it transforms us in Christ&#39;s image.</p> <p>Through the intercession of the Mother of Mercy, I pray that this Jubilee Year may have a profound effect on the human family by allowing us to live more deeply in the Gospel message of the author and face of mercy, Jesus Christ.&nbsp;</p> <p align="center">Given at the Diocesan Chancery on November 21, 2015,<br /> the Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.</p> <p align="center">-------</p> <p align="center">Joseph Edward Strickland<br /> Por la Gracia de Dios y la Sede Apost&oacute;lica<br /> Obispo de Tyler</p> <p align="center">AL CLERO, RELIGIOSOS Y FIELES CATOLICOS DE LA DI&Oacute;CESIS DE TYLER,<br /> SALUD Y BENDICI&Oacute;N</p> <p align="center">Jesucristo, Verdadera Misericordia</p> <p>Este domingo comenzamos con el santo tiempo de Adviento y con &eacute;l, nuestras preparaciones solemnes para la Navidad cuando le damos la bienvenida a nuestro Se&ntilde;or Jesucristo, la encarnaci&oacute;n y el verdadero rostro de la misericordia del Padre. Tambi&eacute;n nos disponemos a entrar al Jubileo Extraordinario de la Misericordia, un tiempo en la vida de la Iglesia decretado por el Papa Francisco para animarnos a contemplar el misterio de la misericordia como tambi&eacute;n el manantial de gozo, serenidad y paz. El A&ntilde;o Santo comenzar&aacute; el 8 de diciembre de 2015 y concluir&aacute; el 20 de noviembre de 2016. Teniendo en cuenta estos dos eventos, me gustar&iacute;a tomar un momento para compartir esta reflexi&oacute;n acerca de la misericordia y como es incorporada en nuestras vidas como disc&iacute;pulos de Jesucristo y espec&iacute;ficamente como cat&oacute;licos.</p> <p>Vivimos en la Era de la Misericordia porque vivimos en el mundo despu&eacute;s de la obra salvadora&mdash;el Misterio Pascual&mdash;de Jesucristo, el Hijo de Dios. En este contexto creo que podemos decir que la Iglesia Cat&oacute;lica, fundada por Cristo mismo, existe como un instrumento de misericordia, una casa de misericordia, y un lugar desde el cual la misericordia de Dios siempre debe fluir. Vemos el fundamento de la misericordia en el hermoso y frecuentemente citado vers&iacute;culo del Evangelio de Juan 3:16: el acto preeminente de la misericordia del Padre fue compartir con la humanidad su Hijo unig&eacute;nito. Incrustado en este profundo acto de amor del Padre, est&aacute; el reconocimiento de que la humanidad estaba quebrantada y en profunda necesidad de un salvador, en profunda necesidad de misericordia. La misericordia que Jesucristo ofrece al mundo a trav&eacute;s de su Iglesia fue ganada a duras penas, no solo por su Pasi&oacute;n, Muerte y Resurrecci&oacute;n, pero verdaderamente a trav&eacute;s de cada momento de su tiempo en la tierra como el Dios-Hombre. Creo que colocar la misericordia en este contexto es esencial si deseamos seguir la senda de la verdadera misericordia en el modo en que vivimos.</p> <p>La verdadera misericordia siempre fluye del amor de Dios y nos dirige hacia la voluntad de Dios para nosotros&mdash;que compartamos su regalo de vida eterna. Este enfoque acerca de la misericordia es esencial porque somos muy f&aacute;cilmente tentados a aceptar un entendimiento y aplicaci&oacute;n superficial de la misericordia que en verdad no es misericordia en absoluto.</p> <p>En nuestra cultura moderna, la misericordia muy frecuentemente se iguala a ser amable (&ldquo;nice&rdquo;) o a ser blando. Pero si retornamos al fundamento de la verdadera misericordia mencionada arriba, la misericordia que est&aacute; enraizada en la voluntad de Dios, que es amor y misericordia misma, nos damos cuenta que la misericordia es todo menos blanda. La verdadera misericordia es fuerte y poderosa porque no se acobarda de nuestra existencia quebrantada, m&aacute;s bien se para cara a cara con lo feo y lo quebrantado y nos llama a rechazar esas cosas trayendo el b&aacute;lsamo sanador de la verdad y llevando la libertad genuina. &iexcl;La verdadera misericordia es transformativa! A la larga, la misericordia no puede hacer otra cosa sino enfrentar la verdad y uno es desafiado a moverse del quebranto a la integridad. Posiblemente, la negaci&oacute;n de esto posiblemente se encuentra en el coraz&oacute;n de nuestro dilema moderno. Con demasiada frecuencia la misericordia es interpretada como quitar los retos, ser tolerante de la transgresi&oacute;n e ignorar las consecuencias de nuestra realidad quebrantada, en vez de enfrentarla claramente y ser liberados por esa misma confrontaci&oacute;n.</p> <p>Nuevamente, no puedo evitar regresar al modelo de misericordia que es la vida misma de Jesucristo. En su &uacute;ltimo acto de misericordia, &eacute;l abraz&oacute; la cruz con el prop&oacute;sito de abrir las compuertas de la misericordia. De igual modo, cualquier autentica misericordia exige que nos abracemos a la cruz tambi&eacute;n. Si ignoramos el &uacute;nico modelo aut&eacute;ntico de misericordia nos arriesgamos a promover una misericordia falsa que nos conduce lejos de la vida y al final nos abandona a la muerte. La misericordia que Cristo le muestra al mundo a trav&eacute;s de cada acto de su vida aqu&iacute; en la tierra, y especialmente su Crucifixi&oacute;n, es una misericordia que confronta el poder del pecado haciendo que el poder del amor venza la oscuridad. De este modo, la gracia de Dios no solo cubre nuestros pecados, sino que nos transforma a la imagen de Cristo.</p> <p>Por la intercesi&oacute;n de la Madre de la Misericordia, ruego que este A&ntilde;o Jubilar tenga un profundo efecto en la familia humana permiti&eacute;ndonos vivir m&aacute;s profundamente en el mensaje evang&eacute;lico del autor y rostro de la misericordia, Jesucristo.</p> <p align="center">Dado en la Canciller&iacute;a Diocesana el 21 de noviembre de 2015,<br /> Memoria de la Presentaci&oacute;n de la Bendita Virgen Mar&iacute;a.</p> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Photos from the Christ the King celebration]]> <p>Check out the great photos from the Christ the King celebration at Christ the King Parish in Kilgore.&nbsp;</p> <p>Congratulations to the Christ the King community on the occasion of the groundbreaking for their new churuch.&nbsp; Numerous priests, deacons, religious and laity have worked long and hard to make this day possible.&nbsp; It was a blessing to be able to celebrate with them and I look forward to the dedication of the church when it is completed.</p> <p>Christ the King Parish is just one of many examples of growth and development in the diocese.&nbsp; We have much to be thankful for as we celebrate Thanksgiving Day with family and friends.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>+Joseph</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Photos from visit of Relics of St. Maria Goretti]]> <p>I encourage you to check out the beautiful photos recently posted from the visit of the relics of St. Maria Goretti to the Cathedral in Tyler on November 2. 2015.</p> <p>Just click on Media Gallery above.</p> <p>+Joseph Strickland</p> Wed, 4 Nov 2015 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[To the Editor...]]> <p>Below is a letter about Pope Francis&#39; recent visit that I sent to the editors of many of our newspapers in East Texas. It appeared in a number of newspapers this past Sunday.</p> <p align="center">September 30, 2015</p> <p>To the Editor:</p> <p>I would like to thank the good people of East Texas for their openness to the message of Pope Francis during his historic visit to our nation last week.</p> <p>The main reason Pope Francis came to the United States was to attend the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, and he carried this theme of the family to a Joint Meeting of Congress in Washington and the United Nations in New York.</p> <p>With emotion, elegance and enthusiasm, Pope Francis reminded our political leaders of the importance of the family:&nbsp; &ldquo;How essential the family has been to the building of this country! And how worthy it remains of our support and encouragement! Yet I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without. Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and the family. I can only reiterate the importance and, above all, the richness and the beauty of family life.&rdquo;</p> <p>Pope Francis addressed many topics during his visit, some of which require significant thought and unpacking. But on the most important topic, he was very clear: Christians and all people of good will must do all we can to support and build up families, which include the poor, the sick, the homeless, the immigrant, the elderly, and the unborn.&nbsp;</p> <p>I also heard his clear call that we must steadfastly proclaim the model of family as a man and a woman committed for life in marriage and bearing the fruit of their children.&nbsp; Although many find themselves in circumstances that diverge from the model family, it remains the template for living God&rsquo;s plan for humanity.&nbsp; As we minister to those who experience family as fragmented in some way, may we cherish every person as a member of the family of God.&nbsp;</p> <p>May Pope Francis&rsquo; visit and the words he spoke challenge all of us to recognize Jesus in our midst, and that our care for one another is care for Christ himself.</p> <p>Most Reverend Joseph E. Strickland<br /> Bishop of Tyler</p> <p>Bishop Strickland is the fourth bishop of the Diocese of Tyler, which includes the 33 counties of Northeast Texas.&nbsp;</p> Mon, 5 Oct 2015 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Where Did the Bible Come From?]]> <p>In the September 2015 issue of the Catholic East Texas, Fr. Joshua Neu writes about the history of Sacred Scripture. Here&#39;s my reflection on his great article.</p> <p></p> Fri, 11 Sep 2015 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[The New Catholic East Texas]]> <p></p> <p>I am excited as we launch this new format for the Catholic East Texas. I believe it will provide great new possibilities for the diocese. The Catholic East Texas has been an award winning publication since its inception in 1987 as part of the vision of our first bishop the Most Reverend Charles E. Herzig. I believe you will agree that this new format captures the wonderful spirit of the Diocese of Tyler which has always held the people of God at the very center.&nbsp;</p> <p>As I spoke to Peyton Low, Diocesan Director of the Office of Communications and Ben Fisher, Managing Editor for the Catholic East Texas several months ago we agreed that we wanted the CET to highlight our greatest gift, people of faith. The stories of cradle Catholics and converts to the faith resonate with wonderful experiences of a simple faith lived out in profound ways. The emphasis I spoke to Peyton and Ben about was that I envisioned the CET always serving a catechetical purpose. This focus probably seems to be self-evident at first but I believe it is an important one for the Catholics of East Texas.&nbsp;</p> <p>Through the years some of my favorite stories in the CET were the profiles of faith often found on the last page. I suppose this &ldquo;last word&rdquo; that has been part of the newspaper edition of the CET for many years was a significant part of my inspiration for our approach to this new format. Our assistant editor, Susan De Matteo has profiled many diverse people of faith in these articles for many years. The focus on individual journeys of faith harkens back to the stories of saints that all of us have grown up with. It is my hope that this focus for the CET will help us all reflect more deeply on the call to sanctity we share.&nbsp;</p> <p>Another focus of the CET as a magazine is that it lends itself to great photography. We are blessed with some talented photographers whether on the staff or as contributors from the diocese and they do a marvelous job of utilizing the tools available to photography today. I&rsquo;ve enjoyed watching this first edition develop and the photography is truly outstanding. Since the diocese began almost thirty years ago we have all become accustomed to pictures as an important element of whatever story we may be reading. This is due in large part to the video format of computers, tablets and smart phones and the beautiful photographs in the CET fit seamlessly into our modern frame of reference. I can imagine many of these photographs framed and proudly displayed in homes across the diocese. There is probably no higher compliment.&nbsp;</p> <p>I believe the photographs and the stories they accompany work together to emphasize the idea that the CET is all about people of faith just like us. People&rsquo;s stories shared in words and pictures help to illuminate our individual faith journeys and remind us that we truly are on this journey together.&nbsp;</p> <p>The piney woods of East Texas are a picturesque setting where the ancient Catholic faith is lived out every day by people who are seeking to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I hope that this focus of the CET will help us all to see more clearly that our ever ancient ever new faith is real and present right here where we live. All too often in modern society the richness and depth that faith brings to our lives is ignored. The CET can be a tool that reminds us that whether it&rsquo;s the story of a newly ordained priest or a married couple celebrating fifty years of marriage, our beautiful ancient faith is being lived out by real people who live just down the road.</p> &nbsp; Thu, 10 Sep 2015 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[August]]> <p>I&#39;m sorry for the lack of posts recently.&nbsp; Busy summer days and still trying to develop a good rythym of staying in touch with all of you.</p> <p>I hope it has been a good summer for you.&nbsp; Our Catholic schools here in Tyler begin classes August 12 and that always seems to mark the official end of summer in our community.&nbsp; Let us pray that it is a school year blessed with the guiding light of Jesus Christ.</p> <p>Please be careful with the heat.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Tue, 11 Aug 2015 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[July 4th]]> <p>As we recently celebrated the July 4th holiday I am sure that many of us reflected on the state or our nation.&nbsp; Although too many basic values have eroded in popular culture I still believe our nation includes millions of people who believe in God and the truth He has revealed to us.&nbsp; God is our loving creator and we are His creatures, nothing can change that fundamental truth.&nbsp; Although many choose to believe they can create themselves, as believers we know this is simply foolishness.&nbsp;</p> <p>I have said to many recently that we must remember the oft spoken words of St. John Paul II, &quot;Be not afraid&quot;.&nbsp; Let us move forward not in fear but in joy and hope in the truth that God has revealed to us.</p> <p>+Joseph</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Mon, 6 Jul 2015 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[My June Reflection]]> <p>As we have just celebrated the Feast of Pentecost, we mark the completion of another Easter journey in the liturgical life of our Catholic faith.&nbsp; In our busy world it is easy to allow these great feasts to slip past us without much acknowledgment, but especially because we are so busy and easily distracted it is all the more important that we reflect on the significance of these celebrations of faith. &nbsp;</p> <p>There is such wisdom in the rhythm that the Church offers us guiding us through the entire liturgical year.&nbsp; It is designed to remind us that every day is part of a season of faith steeped in the word of God and the power of the sacraments.&nbsp; Recently I&rsquo;ve been reading a wonderful book on the Fathers of the Church, and on virtually every page is a reminder that the sacraments, feast days and other elements of the Church didn&rsquo;t just happen but were the result of great people of faith pondering the mysteries and seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p>I would recommend to all who are reading this reflection to make an effort to explore the Fathers of the Church.&nbsp; There are a multitude of volumes on this topic, and although they can be challenging to comprehend in our time, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/When-Church-Was-Young-Fathers/dp/1616367776">many authors</a> have made them truly accessible. &nbsp;</p> <p>I am confident that a study of the Fathers of the Church will bear good fruit whether you are a relatively new convert to the Catholic faith or you have a doctorate in some theological discipline.&nbsp; The wisdom of these early Christians, the challenges they faced and the depth of their commitment to the person of Jesus Christ, is a great inspiration to anyone seeking to live their own personal commitment to Jesus Christ. &nbsp;</p> <p>My reflection on the Fathers focuses especially on the sacraments of initiation because these sacraments remain a part of the rhythm of our Catholic faith which is virtually the same as it was for the early church.&nbsp; I have said before that I believe it is essential that we as Catholics in the Diocese of Tyler seek to gain a deeper understanding of Sacred Scripture and how the Bible actually came into existence.&nbsp; If you have begun to seek this deeper understanding of the Bible it is virtually guaranteed that you are becoming acquainted with the writings of the Fathers.&nbsp; I would recommend a study of the origins of especially the New Testament and a study of the earliest Fathers of the Church as two foundational elements of deepening your appreciation of the Catholic faith.&nbsp; You will find that the study in many places actually becomes one path because the writings of the Fathers are so woven into the Church&rsquo;s discernment of what is ultimately the inspired word of God.</p> <p>As I write this reflection it occurs to me that I have used the word study several times.&nbsp; This touches on a very important reality for all of us who seek to deepen our life in Jesus Christ and to live our beautiful Catholic faith more richly.&nbsp; We live in an age of texts and soundbites which are in many ways antithetical to the work of all the baptized.&nbsp; We are all called to ponder and learn more about the mysteries of faith.&nbsp; I know that this idea of deep and sustained study is not necessarily very attractive to many of us, and even if it is in principle attractive many of us will say &ldquo;where can I find the time?&rdquo;&nbsp; This is a reality for all of us whether Pope or neophyte in the faith.&nbsp; Our lives are over scheduled and densely packed with obligations on many different levels.&nbsp; My suggestion would be to approach growing in your Catholic faith from the perspective of coming to know a beloved friend more deeply.&nbsp; Ultimately the Fathers, the Bible and all the wonderful teachings of our Catholic faith are simply about coming to know Jesus Christ more deeply.&nbsp; As we learn more about the inexhaustible mystery that is Jesus Christ we learn more about ourselves and the meaning of life itself.</p> Fri, 12 Jun 2015 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel]]> <p>I recently tweeted the following from <a href="http://twitter.com/bishopoftyler">@bishopoftyler</a>: &quot;I encourage you to make the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel part of your personal prayer....we must invoke God&#39;s grace as we face evil.&quot;&nbsp;This is beautiful and powerful prayer that was written by Pope Leo XIII in 1884 after seeing a frightening vision: evil spirits, trying to fulfill Satan&rsquo;s boast to destroy our Lord&rsquo;s Church within a century, were engaging in fierce attacks against it.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/PrayerToStMichael.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 302px;" /></p> <p>St. Michael makes a great general in this fight between Christ and Satan for our souls! After all, we read in Revelation (12:7-9) that &ldquo;there was a great battle in heaven; Michael and his angels fought with the dragon...and that great dragon...who is called the devil and Satan, who seduces the whole world...was cast unto the earth, and his angels [the demons] were thrown down with him.&rdquo;</p> <p>St. Michael&rsquo;s very name (in Hebrew, Micha&rsquo;el meaning &ldquo;Who is like to God?&rdquo;) denotes the war cry uttered in that battle. Note that when we talk about Satan or the devil here we are also referring to his &ldquo;army&rdquo; of fallen angels, the evil spirits referred to in the Saint Michael prayer.</p> <p>As a special patron and protector of the Church, St. Michael has been assigned to fight against Satan; to protect faithful souls from him, especially at their death; to champion God&rsquo;s people; and, further along this line, to escort them to their judgment.</p> <p>Pope Leo XIII saw to it that the Saint Michael prayer was recited after every low Mass throughout the world. This prayer is not said at Mass today, but in 1994 Pope John Paul II urged the faithful keep to reciting it.</p> <p>Although we tend to downplay the notion of the devil as being too quaint or outmoded today, he does indeed exist and not just as a symbol of evil, or as character in a fairytale to frighten us.</p> <p>We obviously can&rsquo;t excuse all our sins and failures by saying, as the comedian Flip Wilson did in a line he made famous, &ldquo;The devil made me do it!&rdquo; After all, God allows us to be tempted but gives us the grace and the free will to choose Him and not the devil.</p> <p>Still, we shouldn&rsquo;t assume the devil is just some cartoon figure. Priests such as Father Malachi Martin and Father Gabriele Amorth have written extensively of their struggles with demons during exorcisms.</p> <p>One of Satan&rsquo;s greatest assets is his camouflage, the belief that he doesn&rsquo;t exist, as Father Martin once noted in his acclaimed book&nbsp;Hostage to the Devil. Father Martin felt strongly that disbelief in Satan and the forces of evil leaves us unable to resist them.</p> <p>On the subject of resistance, keep in mind that we can and should say<br /> the Saint Michael prayer at church or just on our own during the day for spiritual protection for ourselves and for others as well!</p> <p>Satan was unable to destroy the Catholic Church in the 20th century, but certainly our faith withstood terrible onslaughts just from Hitler and Stalinalone. We are still engaged in that war that has gone for all of human history, in one form or another, between God and the devil.</p> <p>Each of us has had our own battles against the dark side trying to turn us away from eternal life with our Creator. Satan&rsquo;s idea for our eternal life is one spent with him in hatred and misery and he&rsquo;s after as many souls as he can get!</p> <p>As St. Peter once noted &ldquo;be sober and watch, because your adversary the devil as a roaring lion, goes about seeking whom he may devour&rdquo; (1 Peter 5:8). &ldquo;The evil spirits who roam about the world seeking the ruin of souls&rdquo; mentioned in the Saint Michael prayer have surely been busy, but in asking for help we can fight back against them&nbsp;every day.</p> <p>Prayer and the sacraments are an essential part of what St. Paul called the &ldquo;armor of God&rdquo; in his letter to the Ephesians. The Saint Michael<br /> prayer can help us indeed &ldquo;stand against the deceits of the devil&quot; (Eph 6:11) by &ldquo;taking the shield of faith&rdquo; (Eph 6:16). Remember, God permits us to be tempted by the devil but gives us the grace to resist him through prayer in our daily lives.</p> <p>Let us not be afraid to ask for St. Michael&rsquo;s help in this prayer and others&nbsp;like it. We need to remember that each time we pray we work to defeat our&nbsp;real&nbsp;enemies, not each other, but rather the devil and his evil spirits.</p> <p>As St. Paul put it, we fight &ldquo;not against flesh and blood but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness&rdquo; (Eph 6:12). With God&rsquo;s help in prayer they can all be overcome.&nbsp;</p> <p>The above commentary is from&nbsp;http://www.ourcatholicprayers.com/the-saint-michael-prayer.html</p> Fri, 8 May 2015 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[On the Road: Good Shepherd Sunday]]> <p>Here are my thoughts on Good Shepherd Sunday and the role of our pastors as shepherds of their parishes.&nbsp;</p> <p></p> Mon, 4 May 2015 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Chrism Mass: A Model for Diocesan Liturgies]]> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/chrism.jpg" style="width: 400px; height: 453px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; float: right;" />As we continue the Easter Season I want to repeat my encouragement for all of us to focus on the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary during these days which lead to Pentecost.&nbsp; The Resurrection of the Lord, the Ascension of the Lord, the Descent of the Holy Spirit, the Assumption of Mary and the Crowning of Mary all touch on very basic elements of our Catholic faith that are celebrated in some way in every Mass.</p> <p class="p1">At the Chrism Mass on Tuesday of Holy Week I spoke of a &ldquo;transcendent celebration&rdquo; and I thought it would be helpful to all who read these reflections to join with me in pondering what that phrase means.&nbsp; The directives of the Roman Missal for the Chrism Mass call for a renewal of priestly commitment for all the priests of the diocese, and I experienced the beauty of that at our Mass on March 31.&nbsp; I believe this renewal on the part of the priests enhances the gift of Holy Orders for bishops, priests, deacons and all the royal priestly people of God.&nbsp; As the liturgy focuses on priests it reminds all of us, ordained, vowed religious and baptized, of the high priesthood of Jesus Christ and His resplendent beauty. &nbsp;</p> <p class="p1">As I mentioned in my homily that evening, part of the transcendence that I experienced was in the music of the liturgy.&nbsp; I have always loved singing our hymns of faith and the various elements of the Mass and hearing the entire community raising their voices in English, Spanish and Latin was truly transcendent for me.&nbsp; This annual liturgy warrants a greater solemnity than a daily Mass or even a Sunday Mass in ordinary time, and I experienced it as offering a good balance.&nbsp; I know that throughout the diocese we encounter a significant diversity in regard to priestly styles, musical capacity, community make up and available resources.&nbsp; I hope we can continue down a path of greater devotion and solemnity in our liturgies while respecting this rich diversity.&nbsp; I encourage all of our priests to be loving fathers and gentle shepherds, especially when it comes to celebrating the Mass, and I ask them to help me seek the same tone as I guide them.&nbsp; The Mass should always be our greatest point of unity as we seek to pray the sacred rites that Christ offers us through His Church.</p> <p class="p1">I can also say that part of the transcendent nature of the Chrism Mass as I experienced it was the number of priests, deacons, religious and faithful gathered.&nbsp; When the liturgy is celebrated in a full church it seems that the Holy Spirit is powerfully present.&nbsp; Certainly at one level this is simply a feeling because whenever &ldquo;two or three are gathered&rdquo; in His Name the Lord is present, but there is a special blessing when so many are present and actively engaged in the prayer of the Church.&nbsp; Although you could say that the Chrism Mass is focused on the ordained priesthood, the presence of so many expresses the Church&rsquo;s love for her priests and their role in the mystical body. &nbsp;</p> <p class="p1">Finally, I believe that my description of the Chrism Mass as transcendent touches on the reality that it can be a model for all of our liturgies throughout the diocese.&nbsp; This points more to the tone of the gathering than any specific language, style or musical setting.&nbsp; We gathered for this liturgy in a spirit of love for the Lord and His Church and a desire to pray the liturgy the way the Church calls us to.&nbsp; I suppose this desire to be faithful to the liturgy which is outlined in the documents of the Church is at the core of what made it transcendent for me.&nbsp; When we humbly seek to follow the Lord&rsquo;s command and &ldquo;do this in memory&rdquo; of Him, setting aside personal preferences in service to the Church and her people, then we open the door to the transcendent and allow the grace of God to powerfully touch our lives.</p> <p class="p1">This reflection from Bishop Strickland appears&nbsp;in the May 2015 issue of the Catholic East Texas.</p> Thu, 30 Apr 2015 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[On the Road: Holy Week]]> <p>As we enter the most sacred time of the year, here are my thoughts about the liturgies and prayers that will draw us closer to our Lord in his passion, death and resurrection.&nbsp;</p> <p></p> Fri, 3 Apr 2015 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Chrism Mass Photos]]> <p>Here are some beautiful pictures from Tuesday night&#39;s Chrism Mass at the Cathedral. &nbsp;To view all the images taken by Ben Fisher of the Catholic East Texas, go to&nbsp;<a href="http://cetmag.org/chrism2015">http://cetmag.org/chrism2015</a></p> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/16999977322_69359c6df4_o.jpg" style="height: 567px; width: 750px;" /></p> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/16794009157_c6b6265ffc_o.jpg" style="width: 750px; height: 500px;" /></p> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/16381294683_71e2dd02de_o.jpg" style="width: 750px; height: 1226px;" /></p> Wed, 1 Apr 2015 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[On the Road: Diocesan Pilgrimage Thoughts]]> <p>As you are no doubt aware, from March 2-19, I hit the road and visited almost every parish and mission&nbsp;in the Diocese of Tyler as part of what I called my &quot;Lenten Pilgrimage.&quot; This was an incredible opportunity to visit with the clergy and people of the Diocese. We prayer together and talked about the good things in our diocese and parishes. &nbsp;We also talked about some challenges that our communities face and how we can tackle those together. &nbsp;In this &quot;On the Road&quot; I talk about some of what I heard and experienced. May you continue to have a blessed Lent, and pray for me as I pray for you each day!</p> <p></p> Mon, 23 Mar 2015 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[On the Road: Generosity & Stewardship]]> <p>This past weekend, we kicked off the 2015 appeal for the ministries of the Diocese of Tyler. &nbsp;Over the years, your support of our appeal has been nothing short of remarkable. &nbsp;I&#39;d like to share some of my thoughts with you about being good stewards of the funds that you are so generous with.</p> <p></p> Wed, 11 Feb 2015 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[On the Road: Youth and Truth]]> <p>Thanks to your commitment to supporting our diocesan ministries, especially sharing the truth of our Catholic faith with the youth&nbsp;of the Diocese of Tyler, we&#39;ve been able to hire a full-time youth minister. &nbsp;Mark Knox started at the Chancery this week. It is eternally important to me and all of us that we share the treasure of our ancient faith, the faith of the Church that Jesus Christ founded, with our younger generations. In my latest edition of &quot;On the Road&quot; where I share my thoughts with you as I travel around the diocese, I talk about this vital ministry and what it means for the Church.&nbsp;</p> <p></p> Tue, 3 Feb 2015 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[On the Road: Celebrating Funerals]]> <p>Already in 2015, I&#39;ve celebrated the Church&#39;s funeral rites for a number of people in the Diocese, including one of our deacons. &nbsp;While it may sound strange to use the word &quot;celebrate&quot; in conjunction with a funeral, the liturgy and rites for the dead focus&nbsp;us on exactly that - our celebration of Christ&#39;s victory over death and our share in everlasting life. &nbsp;I have some thoughts on this in my latest &quot;On the Road&quot;...</p> <p></p> Thu, 15 Jan 2015 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Communicating Jesus Christ: My Thoughts on the CET]]> <p>I wanted to share my reflection for the January issue of the Catholic East Texas with my blog readers. &nbsp;I reference a survey which is underway about communications in the Diocese of Tyler. &nbsp;Please consider taking about 60-seconds to complete that survey online. &nbsp;Your responses will be of tremendous benefit for us...</p> <p><a href="http://www.dioceseoftyler.org/survey">dioceseoftyler.org/survey</a></p> <p>Bishop Strickland&#39;s Reflection<br /> Catholic East Texas - January 2015</p> <p>As I offer my reflections for the last edition of the Catholic East Texas for which Jim D&rsquo;Avignon will serve as editor I thought it would be appropriate to share my thoughts on the Catholic East Texas, past and future.&nbsp; I&rsquo;ve always believed that one of the wisest decisions of Bishop Charles Herzig, the first bishop of the Diocese of Tyler, was to establish our diocesan newspaper.&nbsp;&nbsp; I was a young priest in the diocese at that time and this was one of the many decisions of Bishop Herzig and his advisors that I have benefited from along with the entire diocese.&nbsp; One of the first assignments that Bishop Herzig gave me was to serve as the first Vocation Director of the diocese and the Catholic East Texas was immediately a tool that provided great assistance.</p> <p>The diocese will celebrate its 28th Anniversary on February 24, 2015 and many of us remember that exciting day at what Bishop Herzig dubbed, &ldquo;the Holy Oil Palace&rdquo; when the diocese began.&nbsp; The Catholic East Texas (commonly referred to by so many of us as the CET) was right there and has been there reporting on virtually every milestone in the diocese since that cold February day in 1987.&nbsp; The issues of the CET have become a tremendous archives of the history of the diocese, highlighting important moment s in the life of the universal Church, the diocese and local parishes and missions.&nbsp; I&rsquo;m sure that many of you who are reading this have more than a few of your own past issues tucked away in a scrapbook or stashed a box overflowing with other memorabilia.&nbsp;</p> <p>The CET truly does have a great legacy that I hope will continue to grow and develop in parallel with the diocese as it continues to build up the Catholic community of East Texas and proclaim Jesus Christ to every corner of our thirty-three counties.&nbsp; Jim D&rsquo;Avignon and all of the past editors have brought their own flavor and focus that has become a part of the history of the diocese as well.&nbsp;</p> <p>I know that we are all aware of the great changes that have taken place in our society and in the life of the Church during the twenty-eight year history of the diocese.&nbsp; Some of the most dramatic changes have been in the area of media and communications.&nbsp; The internet, cell phones, Facebook, Twitter etc. etc. were the stuff of science fiction in 1987 but now they are commonplace.&nbsp; These developments have led some to predict the complete demise of print media.&nbsp; We have witnessed our local newspapers shrinking in size and many have disappeared.&nbsp; The CET has been effected by these changes, a few years ago we moved to a monthly publication and just last year the CET staff began to publish an online version.&nbsp; Although the CET is likely to change in format and focus in the years to come I believe it will remain an important tool for quite some time.</p> <p>I encourage you to complete the survey that you will find included in this edition of the CET.&nbsp; Your input will help us to optimize the effectiveness of the CET in concert with the other media that we are using in the diocese to promote communication.&nbsp; I would also encourage you to continue to give us feedback regarding all elements of communication in the diocese.&nbsp; Ultimately the whole purpose of communicating is to share the Good News of Jesus Christ in our Catholic Tradition.&nbsp; We need to use every opportunity to get the word out that Jesus Christ brings His light to every person and every corner of the diocese.&nbsp; The Catholic Church has proclaimed this truth for two millennia and this proclamation will continue to be our mission until the end of time.&nbsp; Please help us to use the CET and every other means of communication to continually return to this most basic mission.&nbsp; The truth sets us free and Jesus Christ is the truth Incarnate at the heart of our Catholic faith.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> Mon, 5 Jan 2015 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[The Silence of Christmas plus My Favorite Gift!]]> <p>Please read my Christmas Message below, but first, can you guess what my favorite toy was as a kid? &nbsp;</p> <p></p> <p>Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Newborn Christ,</p> <p>Merry Christmas to all of you in Northeast Texas and beyond! In the Diocese of Tyler, 2014 has been a blessed year. &nbsp;Because of your prayers, support and generosity, we have been able to spread the good news of Jesus Christ with more people, strengthen the ministries to our Catholic community, support our seminarians and priests, and increase our charitable works to those in need.&nbsp;</p> <p>The prophet Habakkuk wrote, &ldquo;But the LORD is in his holy temple; silence before him, all the earth!&rdquo; (Hab 2:20). This is the basis for the ancient Christian hymn, Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence, which has been sung by the Church since at least 275 AD.</p> <p>As we celebrate this holy season with great joy and exultation, I also ask each one of you to heed the words of this ancient text and become silent before the Lord - even for just a moment.</p> <p>In that brief silence, &ldquo;ponder nothing earthly minded&rdquo; as the hymn says, but reflect on the true wonder and glory of God himself becoming man and walking the earth with us. This great mystery, the Incarnation, is at the heart of our Catholic faith &ndash; the King of kings and the Lord of lords took on flesh and blood and became man.&nbsp;</p> <p>In our mortal state, we can never fully appreciate the magnitude of this great event upon which all of human history hinges. &nbsp;But we can offer praise and gratitude to the Lord for the gift of Himself - that gift which came in a manger, a trough for feeding animals, and which is the very same gift on which we, the faithful, feed as the heavenly food we receive at Holy Mass.</p> <p>In this same moment of silence, join with the Angles who looking at that baby with holy fear and trembling cried out, &ldquo;Alleluia, Lord Most High!&rdquo;</p> <p>I impart my blessing to each of you and your families during this Christmas season and I wish you peace, happiness and holiness in 2015.</p> <p>+ Joseph E. Strickland<br /> Bishop of Tyler</p> <p>&#8203;</p> Wed, 24 Dec 2014 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[On the Road: Priesthood & Christmas]]> <p>Yesterday as I headed to the annual Christmas Party for the priests of the Diocese, I had some thoughts I wanted to share with you about my priesthood and the great joy of the Christmas season when we celebrate the coming of the Lord. Please keep me and all of our priests in your prayers during this special time of year.</p> <p></p> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[On the Road: My New Video Series]]> <p>I am excited to announce and present a new feature for my personal blog. &nbsp;It&#39;s a video series that we&#39;re calling &quot;On the Road with Bishop Strickland.&quot; &nbsp;</p> <p>With over 90 Catholic parishes, missions and institutions spread across 23,000 square miles in our 33 coutines of northeast Texas, it&#39;s not hard to imagine that I&#39;m on the road a lot! </p> <p>These videos will give me an opportunity to use my time in the car to let you know my thoughts about things going on in the Church universal and local. &nbsp;So, join me on the road by&nbsp;watching and sharing these videos.&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8DY-XVMBlI" style="line-height: 1.6em;">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8DY-XVMBlI</a></p> <p></p> Mon, 15 Dec 2014 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!]]> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/1531_Nuestra_Se%F1ora_de_Guadalupe_anagoria.jpg" style="width: 640px; height: 960px;" /></p> <p>In 1910 Our Lady of Guadalupe was declared Patroness of Latin America, and in 1945 Pope Pius XII declared Her to be the Empress of all the Americas. She appeared to an Indian convert named Juan Diego on December 9, 1531. She left a marvelous portrait of herself on the mantle of Juan Diego. This miraculous image has proved to be ageless, and is kept in the shrine built in her honor, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalup - See more at: <a href="http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2014-12-12#sthash.s5qnHlAW.dpuf">http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2014-12-12#sthash.s5qnHlAW.dpuf</a></p> <p>Our Lady of Guadalupe,<br /> Mystical Rose,<br /> make intercession for holy Church,<br /> protect the sovereign Pontiff,<br /> help all those who invoke you in their necessities,<br /> and since you are the ever Virgin Mary<br /> and Mother of the true God,<br /> obtain for us from your most holy Son<br /> the grace of keeping our faith,<br /> of sweet hope in the midst of the bitterness of life<br /> of burning charity, and the precious gift<br /> of final perseverance.</p> <p>Amen.</p> Fri, 12 Dec 2014 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Advent is Here!]]> <p>A voice is heard, crying out in the wilderness: &quot;Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight the path of our God!&quot;</p> <p>This is our call during Advent as we prepare for the Solemnity of the Lord&#39;s Nativitywhen we recall his first coming, and as we use this time to prepare our hearts and minds for his second coming.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-advent1">10 Things You Need to Know About Advent</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.ncregister.com/site/article/reclaiming-advent/#ixzz3KNtS78aS">Reclaiming Advent for Your Family</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/overviews/seasons/advent/">CatholicCulture.org Advent Workshop for Families</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Tue, 2 Dec 2014 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Congratulations St. Gregory Cathedral School!]]> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/IMG_0041.JPG" style="width: 800px;" /></p> <p>Sorry that it&#39;s been a while since I&#39;ve posted here. &nbsp;The last few months have been very busy with multiple trips to Rome, the USCCB Fall Meetings and lots of great things going on in the Diocese! &nbsp;We&#39;ve got some plans for my web site that I think you&#39;ll enjoy.</p> <p>Today in Tyler, I joined the St. Gregory Cathedral School community in celebrating their U.S. Department of Education National Blue Ribbon Award. &nbsp;Incredibly, this is the THIRD time St. Gregory has won this award - something that less&nbsp;than 1% of schools in the country have accomplished! &nbsp;Congratulations to principal Kathy Shields Harry and all those who made it possible for St. Gregory to be recognized again for their exemplary high performance.&nbsp;</p> <p>We are so blessed with wonderful Catholic schools in the Diocese of Tyler. Let us continue to support them with our prayers, our gifts and our talents.</p> <p>To see more pictures from today, check out the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/cathedraltyler">Cathedral&#39;s Facebook page</a>.&nbsp;</p> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[News]]> <p>Our new Director of Communications is doing a great job. &nbsp;Check out the website dioceseoftyler.org&nbsp;</p> Sat, 6 Sep 2014 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[August]]> <p>A good friend was teasing me about updating my website since July 4 was rather a long time ago!!!</p> <p>I thought it was quite appropriate that my update should include information that will hopefully make my website and all communication in the diocese look a lot different and be much more up to date.</p> <p>As of September 2, 2014 the Diocese of Tyler will welcome Mr. Peyton Low as our Director of Communication.&nbsp; I baptized Peyton and he is a lifelong member of the Tyler Catholic&nbsp;community and attended St. Gregory Catholic School and Bishop Thomas K.&nbsp;Gorman Catholic School.&nbsp; He brings a wealth of experience in internet media and I believe he will be a tremendous asset in coordinating all aspects of communication in the diocese.</p> <p>One of the wisest steps our first bishop, the Most Reverend Charles E. Herzig, took was to establish the Catholic East Texas, our award winning diocesan newspaper.&nbsp; I look forward to Peyton working the the CET staff and all other media to help us communicate even more effectively the message of Jesus Christ in our Catholic Tradition here in Northeast Texas.&nbsp;</p> <p>I know you will be able to look&nbsp;utilize our diocesan website, my personal website and many other media instruments to enhance your life as a Catholic in the diocese and support your daily journey with Jesus Christ.</p> <p>Welcome Peyton!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[A Blessed 4th of July]]> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/fireworks.jpg" style="width: 275px; height: 183px;" /></p> <p>I&#39;m sure we are all concerned at times for the future of&nbsp;this great nation. &nbsp;Let us pray and trust in the Lord. &nbsp;Our currency still says &quot;In God We Trust&quot; and for so many of us that is not an outdated slogan but truly words to live by. &nbsp;We must be &quot;sober and alert&quot; to the reality that too many in our nation are not guided by trust in God but hopefully this reality simply strengthens our resolve and places us in close solidarity with the throngs through the ages who have sacrificed so much for the faith. &nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/Liberty.jpg" style="width: 540px; height: 360px;" /></p> Thu, 3 Jul 2014 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[The Sacred Heart of Jesus]]> <p>As we celebrate the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ I wanted to share a brief reflection that I read this morning.&nbsp;</p> <p>Speaking of the fear of the Lord this author says, &quot;True fear of the Lord is when we are not afraid but are in fear of and jaw-dropping amazement at how much God loves us.&quot;&nbsp; I really liked this concept as an approach to the myster of the fear of the Lord.&nbsp; It captures the idea that it is based on awe at just how much God loves us and wants us to share His life.&nbsp; He loves us to the point that He gives His Son to us and His Son takes on a heart of flesh that He ultimately pours out entirely for us.&nbsp; If that doesn&#39;t make us quake in our boots what does?&nbsp; The quaking is probably based in the fear in our heart of what it truly is that our all loving God expects of us.&nbsp;</p> <p>Have a blessed Feast of the Sacred Heart and tomorrow the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.</p> <p>+Joseph</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Fri, 27 Jun 2014 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Priestly Anniversaries]]> <p>As I mentioned in my Tweet this morning during May and June we celebrate the ordination anniversaries of a lot of our priests.&nbsp; Like wedding anniversaries these milestones for our priests are a time to reflect on the joys and the challenges of living the priestly commitment.&nbsp;</p> <p>I tend to have a habit that a lot of us have.&nbsp; I often tell people how blessed I am as the Bishop of Tyler to have a presbyterate (another name for the group of brother priests in a diocese) that is full of men who are dedicated to the Lord and to the Catholic community that He established.&nbsp; I should tell the priests more often individually and as a group of brothers that I do appreciate their dedication</p> <p>&nbsp;I specifically highlight&nbsp;the qualities I mentioned above&nbsp;because as Catholic priests our commitment to the Lord goes hand in hand with our commitment to His Church.&nbsp; Through the ages the Church has honored the early disciples who were committed to the Lord, many of them to the point of being martyred and literally giving their lives for the Lord and His Church.&nbsp; Clearly the commitment to our Lord Jesus Christ is the foundation stone of our priestly lives and a deep relationship with Him in a very personal way is essential to living a joyful and effective priestly life.&nbsp; Our commitment to His Church is always in the context of our intimate relationship with Jesus Christ and as we listen to His words and follow His teachings we are always challenged to purify and strengthen His Church.&nbsp;</p> <p>I have always had a great admiration for St. Francis because he was as much a reformer of the Church as Martin Luther was but his reform flowed from his deep commitment to Jesus Christ and to &quot;rebuilding His Church&quot;.&nbsp; We have to be careful that the mistakes of one like Luther do not dampen our desire for constant reform of the Church.&nbsp; Certainly through history and&nbsp;today this spirit of reform has called for great strength as it does for Pope Francis.&nbsp; Pope Francis constantly reminds us that we must seek to reform our own lives and the life of the Church not in order to make it Holy but because the Church is Holy as the Lord has promised the Church will be until the end of time.&nbsp;</p> <p>I suppose I would frame all of this in terms of our own individual journeys of faith.&nbsp; As priests and faithful we are daily called to &quot;turn from sin and be faithful to the Gospel,&quot; as we seek this reform in our personal lives it naturally flows into seeking to help the Church be more and more the bride of Christ that She is called to be.</p> <p>&quot;Ad multos anos&quot; to my brothers celebrating anniversaries during these weeks.</p> Thu, 29 May 2014 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[A different St. Augustine]]> <p>I tweeted this morning a brief note about Augustine of Canterbury.&nbsp; The optional memorial to celebrate this &quot;other&quot; St. Augustine is on the calendar for May 27.&nbsp; As I read briefly about this St. Augustine it occurred to me that we have such a great blessing in the communion of saints through the ages and very often I have to admit I know very little about a lot of them.&nbsp; St. Augustine of Canterbury lived approximately two hundred years after his much more famous namesake.&nbsp; As the more famous Augustine was bishop of Hippo, this St. Augustine was bishop of Canterbury and he died around 604 AD.&nbsp;</p> <p>Although in terms of the world and in terms of Church history one of these Augustine&#39;s had much more of an impact than the other, in terms of the Kingdom of God both served as faithful disciples.&nbsp; It is a reminder to all of us that recognition by the world and even by the Church is not our goal.&nbsp; Instead the goal of all the baptized is that we seek the kingdom in this life and that we share in the life of the kingdom in life everlasting.&nbsp; Hopefully St. Augustine of Canterbury can remind us all that none of us are insignificant when it comes to living and sharing the message fo Jesus Christ.</p> Tue, 27 May 2014 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Constitution on the Liturgy- Chapter III]]> <p>~~CHAPTER III</p> <p>THE OTHER SACRAMENTS AND THE SACRAMENTALS</p> <p>59. The purpose of the sacraments is to sanctify men, to build up the body of<br /> Christ, and, finally, to give worship to God; because they are signs they also<br /> instruct. They not only presuppose faith, but by words and objects they also<br /> nourish, strengthen, and express it; that is why they are called &quot;sacraments of<br /> faith.&quot; They do indeed impart grace, but, in addition, the very act of<br /> celebrating them most effectively disposes the faithful to receive this grace in<br /> a fruitful manner, to worship God duly, and to practice charity.</p> <p>It is therefore of the highest importance that the faithful should easily<br /> understand the sacramental signs, and should frequent with great eagerness those<br /> sacraments which were instituted to nourish the Christian life.</p> <p>60. Holy Mother Church has, moreover, instituted sacramentals. These are sacred<br /> signs which bear a resemblance to the sacraments: they signify effects,<br /> particularly of a spiritual kind, which are obtained through the Church&#39;s<br /> intercession. By them men are disposed to receive the chief effect of the<br /> sacraments, and various occasions in life are rendered holy.</p> <p>61. Thus, for well-disposed members of the faithful, the liturgy of the<br /> sacraments and sacramentals sanctifies almost every event in their lives; they<br /> are given access to the stream of divine grace which flows from the paschal<br /> mystery of the passion, death, the resurrection of Christ, the font from which<br /> all sacraments and sacramentals draw their power. There is hardly any proper use<br /> of material things which cannot thus be directed toward the sanctification of<br /> men and the praise of God.</p> <p>62. With the passage of time, however, there have crept into the rites of the<br /> sacraments and sacramentals certain features which have rendered their nature<br /> and purpose far from clear to the people of today; hence some changes have<br /> become necessary to adapt them to the needs of our own times. For this reason<br /> the sacred Council decrees as follows concerning their revision.</p> <p>63. Because of the use of the mother tongue in the administration of the<br /> sacraments and sacramentals can often be of considerable help to the people,<br /> this use is to be extended according to the following norms:</p> <p>a) The vernacular language may be used in administering the sacraments and<br /> sacramentals, according to the norm of Art. 36.</p> <p>b) In harmony with the new edition of the Roman Ritual, particular rituals shall<br /> be prepared without delay by the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority<br /> mentioned in Art. 22, 2, of this Constitution. These rituals, which are to be<br /> adapted, also as regards the language employed, to the needs of the different<br /> regions, are to be reviewed by the Apostolic See and then introduced into the<br /> regions for which they have been prepared. But in drawing up these rituals or<br /> particular collections of rites, the instructions prefixed to the individual<br /> rites the Roman Ritual, whether they be pastoral and rubrical or whether they<br /> have special social import, shall not be omitted.</p> <p>64. The catechumenate for adults, comprising several distinct steps, is to be<br /> restored and to be taken into use at the discretion of the local ordinary. By<br /> this, means the time of the catechumenate, which is intended as a period of<br /> suitable instruction, may be sanctified by sacred rites to be celebrated at<br /> successive intervals of time.</p> <p>65. In mission lands it is found that some of the peoples already make use of<br /> initiation rites. Elements from these, when capable of being adapted to<br /> Christian ritual, may be admitted along with those already found in Christian<br /> tradition, according to the norm laid down in Art. 37-40, of this Constitution.</p> <p>66. Both the rites for the baptism of adults are to be revised: not only the<br /> simpler rite, but also the more solemn one, which must take into account the<br /> restored catechumenate. A special Mass &quot;for the conferring of baptism&quot; is to be<br /> inserted into the Roman Missal.</p> <p>67. The rite for the baptism of infants is to be revised, and it should be<br /> adapted to the circumstance that those to be baptized are, in fact, infants. The<br /> roles of parents and godparents, and also their duties, should be brought out<br /> more clearly in the rite itself.</p> <p>68. The baptismal rite should contain variants, to be used at the discretion of<br /> the local ordinary, for occasions when a very large number are to be baptized<br /> together. Moreover, a shorter rite is to be drawn up, especially for mission<br /> lands, to be used by catechists, but also by the faithful in general when there<br /> is danger of death, and neither priest nor deacon is available.</p> <p>69. In place of the rite called the &quot;Order of supplying what was omitted in the<br /> baptism of an infant,&quot; a new rite is to be drawn up. This should manifest more<br /> fittingly and clearly that the infant, baptized by the short rite, has already<br /> been received into the Church.</p> <p>And a new rite is to be drawn up for converts who have already been validly<br /> baptized; it should indicate that they are now admitted to communion with the<br /> Church.</p> <p>70. Except during Eastertide, baptismal water may be blessed within the rite of<br /> baptism itself by an approved shorter formula.</p> <p>71. The rite of confirmation is to be revised and the intimate connection which<br /> this sacrament has with the whole of Christian initiation is to be more clearly<br /> set forth; for this reason it is fitting for candidates to renew their baptismal<br /> promises just before they are confirmed.</p> <p>Confirmation may be given within the Mass when convenient; when it is given<br /> outside the Mass, the rite that is used should be introduced by a formula to be<br /> drawn up for this purpose.</p> <p>72. The rite and formulas for the sacrament of penance are to be revised so that<br /> they more clearly express both the nature and effect of the sacrament.</p> <p>73. &quot;Extreme unction,&quot; which may also and more fittingly be called &quot;anointing of<br /> the sick,&quot; is not a sacrament for those only who are at the point of death.<br /> Hence, as soon as any one of the faithful begins to be in danger of death from<br /> sickness or old age, the fitting time for him to receive this sacrament has<br /> certainly already arrived.</p> <p>74. In addition to the separate rites for anointing of the sick and for<br /> viaticum, a continuous rite shall be prepared according to which the sick man is<br /> anointed after he has made his confession and before he receives viaticum.</p> <p>75. The number of the anointings is to be adapted to the occasion, and the<br /> prayers which belong to the rite of anointing are to be revised so as to<br /> correspond with the varying conditions of the sick who receive the sacrament.</p> <p>76. Both the ceremonies and texts of the ordination rites are to be revised. The<br /> address given by the bishop at the beginning of each ordination or consecration<br /> may be in the mother tongue.</p> <p>When a bishop is consecrated, the laying of hands may be done by all the bishops<br /> present.</p> <p>77. The marriage rite now found in the Roman Ritual is to be revised and<br /> enriched in such a way that the grace of the sacrament is more clearly signified<br /> and the duties of the spouses are taught.</p> <p>&quot;If any regions are wont to use other praiseworthy customs and ceremonies when<br /> celebrating the sacrament of matrimony, the sacred Synod earnestly desires that<br /> these by all means be retained&quot; [41].</p> <p>Moreover the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Art.<br /> 22, 52, of this Constitution is free to draw up its own rite suited to the<br /> usages of place and people, according to the provision of Art. 63. But the rite<br /> must always conform to the law that the priest assisting at the marriage must<br /> ask for and obtain the consent of the contracting parties.</p> <p>78. Matrimony is normally to be celebrated within the Mass, after the reading of<br /> the gospel and the homily, and before &quot;the prayer of the faithful.&quot; The prayer<br /> for the bride, duly amended to remind both spouses of their equal obligation to<br /> remain faithful to each other, may be said in the mother tongue.</p> <p>But if the sacrament of matrimony is celebrated apart from Mass, the epistle and<br /> gospel from the nuptial Mass are to be read at the beginning of the rite, and<br /> the blessing should always be given to the spouses.</p> <p>79. The sacramentals are to undergo a revision which takes into account the<br /> primary principle of enabling the faithful to participate intelligently,<br /> actively, and easily; the circumstances of our own days must also be considered.<br /> When rituals are revised, as laid down in Art. 63, new sacramentals may also be<br /> added as the need for these becomes apparent.</p> <p>Reserved blessings shall be very few; reservations shall be in favor of bishops<br /> or ordinaries.</p> <p>Let provision be made that some sacramentals, at least in special circumstances<br /> and at the discretion of the ordinary, may be administered by qualified lay<br /> persons.</p> <p>80. The rite for the consecration of virgins at present found in the Roman<br /> Pontifical is to be revised.</p> <p>Moreover, a rite of religious profession and renewal of vows shall be drawn up<br /> in order to achieve greater unity, sobriety, and dignity. Apart from exceptions<br /> in particular law, this rite should be adopted by those who make their<br /> profession or renewal of vows within the Mass.</p> <p>Religious profession should preferably be made within the Mass.</p> <p>81. The rite for the burial of the dead should express more clearly the paschal<br /> character of Christian death, and should correspond more closely to the<br /> circumstances and traditions found in various regions. This holds good also for<br /> the liturgical color to be used.</p> <p>82. The rite for the burial of infants is to be revised, and a special Mass for<br /> the occasion should be provided.</p> <p>REFLECTIONS</p> <p>This section begins by stating once again the significance of the sacraments for<br /> every person.&nbsp; They serve to sanctify us and draw us more deeply into the life<br /> of The Lord.&nbsp; The Constitution emphasizes that the &quot;how&quot; of the celebration goes<br /> hand in hand in importance with the &quot;what&quot; of the sacraments.</p> <p>Paragraph 62 speaks of the importance of updating the sacramentals so they are<br /> more clearly understood.&nbsp; In subsequent paragraphs the document emphasizes the<br /> appropriate use of the vernacular for sacramentals as it has emphasized the use<br /> of the vernacular for sacramental rites.</p> <p>A very significant emphasis of the Constitution is addressed in paragraphs 64 to<br /> 69.&nbsp; What has been commonly called the RCIA finds it&#39;s seminal form in these<br /> paragraphs.&nbsp; This renewed way of welcoming adults into the Roman Catholic Church<br /> has had a significant impact on the life of the Church in East Texas.&nbsp; Much has<br /> been written through the years on the topic of Christian Initiation of adults<br /> but it is always instructive to return to the basic message contained here.</p> <p>The Constitution continues by calling for the renewal of all the sacraments.&nbsp;<br /> Notably &quot;extreme unction&quot; becomes &quot;anointing of the sick&quot; and is emphasized as a<br /> sacrament<br /> &nbsp;not only for those at the point of death but any &quot;in danger of death&quot;.&nbsp; At<br /> times the bounds of this case ament have been stretched and it is helpful to<br /> return to the Constitution as we seek to clarify what &quot;danger of death&quot; means in<br /> the pastoral setting.</p> <p>The final paragraphs of this section emphasize that sacramentals should be<br /> accessible to the people and the appropriateness of celebrating the marriage and<br /> religious profession within mass.&nbsp; Many of these elements have been incorporated<br /> into our basic understanding of the sacraments and sacramentals but it is always<br /> helpful to refresh ourselves with new reflection on these basic texts.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Further Reflections on the Constitution on the Liturgy]]> <p>~~CHAPTER II</p> <p>THE MOST SACRED MYSTERY OF THE EUCHARIST</p> <p>47. At the Last Supper, on the night when He was betrayed, our Saviour<br /> instituted the eucharistic sacrifice of His Body and Blood. He did this in order<br /> to perpetuate the sacrifice of the Cross throughout the centuries until He<br /> should come again, and so to entrust to His beloved spouse, the Church, a<br /> memorial of His death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a<br /> bond of charity [36], a paschal banquet in which Christ is eaten, the mind is<br /> filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us [37].</p> <p>48. The Church, therefore, earnestly desires that Christ&#39;s faithful, when<br /> present at this mystery of faith, should not be there as strangers or silent<br /> spectators; on the contrary, through a good understanding of the rites and<br /> prayers they should take part in the sacred action conscious of what they are<br /> doing, with devotion and full collaboration. They should be instructed by God&#39;s<br /> word and be nourished at the table of the Lord&#39;s body; they should give thanks<br /> to God; by offering the Immaculate Victim, not only through the hands of the<br /> priest, but also with him, they should learn also to offer themselves; through<br /> Christ the Mediator [38], they should be drawn day by day into ever more perfect<br /> union with God and with each other, so that finally God may be all in all.</p> <p>49. For this reason the sacred Council, having in mind those Masses which are<br /> celebrated with the assistance of the faithful, especially on Sundays and feasts<br /> of obligation, has made the following decrees in order that the sacrifice of the<br /> Mass, even in the ritual forms of its celebration, may become pastorally<br /> efficacious to the fullest degree.</p> <p>50. The rite of the Mass is to be revised in such a way that the intrinsic<br /> nature and purpose of its several parts, as also the connection between them,<br /> may be more clearly manifested, and that devout and active participation by the<br /> faithful may be more easily achieved.</p> <p>For this purpose the rites are to be simplified, due care being taken to<br /> preserve their substance; elements which, with the passage of time, came to be<br /> duplicated, or were added with but little advantage, are now to be discarded;<br /> other elements which have suffered injury through accidents of history are now<br /> to be restored to the vigor which they had in the days of the holy Fathers, as<br /> may seem useful or necessary.</p> <p>51. The treasures of the bible are to be opened up more lavishly, so that richer<br /> fare may be provided for the faithful at the table of God&#39;s word. In this way a<br /> more representative portion of the holy scriptures will be read to the people in<br /> the course of a prescribed number of years.</p> <p>52. By means of the homily the mysteries of the faith and the guiding principles<br /> of the Christian life are expounded from the sacred text, during the course of<br /> the liturgical year; the homily, therefore, is to be highly esteemed as part of<br /> the liturgy itself; in fact, at those Masses which are celebrated with the<br /> assistance of the people on Sundays and feasts of obligation, it should not be<br /> omitted except for a serious reason.</p> <p>53. Especially on Sundays and feasts of obligation there is to be restored,<br /> after the Gospel and the homily, &quot;the common prayer&quot; or &quot;the prayer of the<br /> faithful.&quot; By this prayer, in which the people are to take part, intercession<br /> will be made for holy Church, for the civil authorities, for those oppressed by<br /> various needs, for all mankind, and for the salvation of the entire world [39].</p> <p>54. In Masses which are celebrated with the people, a suitable place may be<br /> allotted to their mother tongue. This is to apply in the first place to the<br /> readings and &quot;the common prayer,&quot; but also, as local conditions may warrant, to<br /> those parts which pertain to the people, according to the norm laid down in Art.<br /> 36 of this Constitution.</p> <p>Nevertheless steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say<br /> or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which<br /> pertain to them.</p> <p>And wherever a more extended use of the mother tongue within the Mass appears<br /> desirable, the regulation laid down in Art. 40 of this Constitution is to be<br /> observed.</p> <p>55. That more perfect form of participation in the Mass whereby the faithful,<br /> after the priest&#39;s communion, receive the Lord&#39;s body from the same sacrifice,<br /> is strongly commended.</p> <p>The dogmatic principles which were laid down by the Council of Trent remaining<br /> intact [40], communion under both kinds may be granted when the bishops think<br /> fit, not only to clerics and religious, but also to the laity, in cases to be<br /> determined by the Apostolic See, as, for instance, to the newly ordained in the<br /> Mass of their sacred ordination, to the newly professed in the Mass of their<br /> religious profession, and to the newly baptized in the Mass which follows their<br /> baptism.</p> <p>56. The two parts which, in a certain sense, go to make up the Mass, namely, the<br /> liturgy of the word and the eucharistic liturgy, are so closely connected with<br /> each other that they form but one single act of worship. Accordingly this sacred<br /> Synod strongly urges pastors of souls that, when instructing the faithful, they<br /> insistently teach them to take their part in the entire Mass, especially on<br /> Sundays and feasts of obligation.</p> <p>57. 1. Concelebration, whereby the unity of the priesthood is appropriately<br /> manifested, has remained in use to this day in the Church both in the east and<br /> in the west. For this reason it has seemed good to the Council to extend<br /> permission for concelebration to the following cases:</p> <p>1.</p> <p>a) on the Thursday of the Lord&#39;s Supper, not only at the Mass of the Chrism, but<br /> also at the evening Mass.</p> <p>b) at Masses during councils, bishops&#39; conferences, and synods;</p> <p>c) at the Mass for the blessing of an abbot.</p> <p>2. Also, with permission of the ordinary, to whom it belongs to decide whether<br /> concelebration is opportune:</p> <p>a) at conventual Mass, and at the principle Mass in churches when the needs of<br /> the faithful do not require that all priests available should celebrate<br /> individually;</p> <p>2.</p> <p>1. The regulation, however, of the discipline of con-celebration in the diocese<br /> pertains to the bishop.</p> <p>2. Nevertheless, each priest shall always retain his right to celebrate Mass<br /> individually, though not at the same time in the same church as a concelebrated<br /> Mass, nor on Thursday of the Lord&#39;s Supper.</p> <p>58. A new rite for concelebration is to be drawn up and inserted into the<br /> Pontifical and into the Roman Missal.</p> <p>REFLECTIONS</p> <p>This section begins by restating the most basic understanding of the purpose of<br /> the mass in our Catholic faith.&nbsp; It exists to &quot;perpetuate the sacrifice of the<br /> cross through the centuries&quot; this simple description reminds us of the very<br /> heart of the meaning of the mass.&nbsp; We are awestruck to realize that on any given<br /> day, in any given year, in any given century, in whatever place the faithful<br /> gather the mass has been celebrated and the wondrous power of the cross has once<br /> again been made available to the people of God.</p> <p>The document goes on to describe more in depth what the focus of the mass should<br /> be and calls for revisions that simplify the rite.&nbsp; We have witnessed this<br /> process of simplification through the years since the Council.&nbsp; At times it has<br /> gone awry and our experience tells us how important it is to return to the<br /> cautions contained in this text.&nbsp; The Constitution urges these revisions to<br /> preserve what is ancient and true to the liturgy and remove anything extraneous.&nbsp;<br /> We have all lived through the debates these revisions have prompted.&nbsp; It seems<br /> especially worthwhile to return to the mandate this text proclaims in order to<br /> constantly purify our efforts to understand more clearly where the liturgy is<br /> today.</p> <p>We can see that subsequent documents through the years have seen fit to repeat<br /> the admonitions contained here. A clear reminder that we are on a journey which<br /> continues and it is easy to slip off the path which these words lay out for us.</p> <p>These paragraphs touch on the significance of the Word of God in the mass, the<br /> homily, the prayers of the faithful, communion under the species of bread and<br /> wine and concelebration.&nbsp; It is worthwhile to return to this seminal text as we<br /> seek to clarify these elements which can easily be taken for granted.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Tue, 1 Apr 2014 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Constitution Chapter I Section III]]> <p>~~III. The Reform of the Sacred Liturgy</p> <p>21. In order that the Christian people may more certainly derive an abundance of<br /> graces from the sacred liturgy, holy Mother Church desires to undertake with<br /> great care a general restoration of the liturgy itself. For the liturgy is made<br /> up of immutable elements divinely instituted, and of elements subject to change.<br /> These not only may but ought to be changed with the passage of time if they have<br /> suffered from the intrusion of anything out of harmony with the inner nature of<br /> the liturgy or have become unsuited to it.</p> <p>In this restoration, both texts and rites should be drawn up so that they<br /> express more clearly the holy things which they signify; the Christian people,<br /> so far as possible, should be enabled to understand them with ease and to take<br /> part in them fully, actively, and as befits a community.</p> <p>Wherefore the sacred Council establishes the following general norms:</p> <p>A) General norms</p> <p>22. 1. Regulation of the sacred liturgy depends solely on the authority of the<br /> Church, that is, on the Apostolic See and, as laws may determine, on the bishop.</p> <p>2. In virtue of power conceded by the law, the regulation of the liturgy within<br /> certain defined limits belongs also to various kinds of competent territorial<br /> bodies of bishops legitimately established.</p> <p>3. Therefore no other person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove, or change<br /> anything in the liturgy on his own authority.</p> <p>23. That sound tradition may be retained, and yet the way remain open to<br /> legitimate progress careful investigation is always to be made into each part of<br /> the liturgy which is to be revised. This investigation should be theological,<br /> historical, and pastoral. Also the general laws governing the structure and<br /> meaning of the liturgy must be studied in conjunction with the experience<br /> derived from recent liturgical reforms and from the indults conceded to various<br /> places. Finally, there must be no innovations unless the good of the Church<br /> genuinely and certainly requires them; and care must be taken that any new forms<br /> adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing.</p> <p>As far as possible, notable differences between the rites used in adjacent<br /> regions must be carefully avoided.</p> <p>24. Sacred scripture is of the greatest importance in the celebration of the<br /> liturgy. For it is from scripture that lessons are read and explained in the<br /> homily, and psalms are sung; the prayers, collects, and liturgical songs are<br /> scriptural in their inspiration and their force, and it is from the scriptures<br /> that actions and signs derive their meaning. Thus to achieve the restoration,<br /> progress, and adaptation of the sacred liturgy, it is essential to promote that<br /> warm and living love for scripture to which the venerable tradition of both<br /> eastern and western rites gives testimony.</p> <p>25. The liturgical books are to be revised as soon as possible; experts are to<br /> be employed on the task, and bishops are to be consulted, from various parts of<br /> the world.</p> <p>B) Norms drawn from the hierarchic and communal nature of the Liturgy</p> <p>26. Liturgical services are not private functions, but are celebrations of the<br /> Church, which is the &quot;sacrament of unity,&quot; namely, the holy people united and<br /> ordered under their bishops [33]</p> <p>Therefore liturgical services pertain to the whole body of the Church; they<br /> manifest it and have effects upon it; but they concern the individual members of<br /> the Church in different ways, according to their differing rank, office, and<br /> actual participation.</p> <p>27. It is to be stressed that whenever rites, according to their specific<br /> nature, make provision for communal celebration involving the presence and<br /> active participation of the faithful, this way of celebrating them is to be<br /> preferred, so far as possible, to a celebration that is individual and<br /> quasi-private.</p> <p>This applies with especial force to the celebration of Mass and the<br /> administration of the sacraments, even though every Mass has of itself a public<br /> and social nature.</p> <p>28. In liturgical celebrations each person, minister or layman, who has an<br /> office to perform, should do all of, but only, those parts which pertain to his<br /> office by the nature of the rite and the principles of liturgy.</p> <p>29. Servers, lectors commentators, and members of the choir also exercise a<br /> genuine liturgical function. They ought, therefore, to discharge their office<br /> with the sincere piety and decorum demanded by so exalted a ministry and rightly<br /> expected of them by God&#39;s people.</p> <p>Consequently they must all be deeply imbued with the spirit of the liturgy, each<br /> in his own measure, and they must be trained to perform their functions in a<br /> correct and orderly manner.</p> <p>30. To promote active participation, the people should be encouraged to take<br /> part by means of acclamations, responses, psalmody, antiphons, and songs, as<br /> well as by actions, gestures, and bodily attitudes. And at the proper times all<br /> should observe a reverent silence.</p> <p>31. The revision of the liturgical books must carefully attend to the provision<br /> of rubrics also for the people&#39;s parts.</p> <p>32. The liturgy makes distinctions between persons according to their liturgical<br /> function and sacred Orders, and there are liturgical laws providing for due<br /> honors to be given to civil authorities. Apart from these instances, no special<br /> honors are to be paid in the liturgy to any private persons or classes of<br /> persons, whether in the ceremonies or by external display.</p> <p>C) Norms based upon the didactic and pastoral nature of the Liturgy</p> <p>33. Although the sacred liturgy is above all things the worship of the divine<br /> Majesty, it likewise contains much instruction for the faithful [34]. For in the<br /> liturgy God speaks to His people and Christ is still proclaiming His gospel. And<br /> the people reply to God both by song and prayer.</p> <p>Moreover, the prayers addressed to God by the priest who presides over the<br /> assembly in the person of Christ are said in the name of the entire holy people<br /> and of all present. And the visible signs used by the liturgy to signify<br /> invisible divine things have been chosen by Christ or the Church. Thus not only<br /> when things are read &quot;which were written for our instruction&quot; (Rom. 15:4), but<br /> also when the Church prays or sings or acts, the faith of those taking part is<br /> nourished and their minds are raised to God, so that they may offer Him their<br /> rational service and more abundantly receive His grace.</p> <p>Wherefore, in the revision of the liturgy, the following general norms should be<br /> observed:</p> <p>34. The rites should be distinguished by a noble simplicity; they should be<br /> short, clear, and unencumbered by useless repetitions; they should be within the<br /> people&#39;s powers of comprehension, and normally should not require much<br /> explanation.</p> <p>35. That the intimate connection between words and rites may be apparent in the<br /> liturgy:</p> <p>1) In sacred celebrations there is to be more reading from holy scripture, and<br /> it is to be more varied and suitable.</p> <p>2) Because the sermon is part of the liturgical service, the best place for it<br /> is to be indicated even in the rubrics, as far as the nature of the rite will<br /> allow; the ministry of preaching is to be fulfilled with exactitude and<br /> fidelity. The sermon, moreover, should draw its content mainly from scriptural<br /> and liturgical sources, and its character should be that of a proclamation of<br /> God&#39;s wonderful works in the history of salvation, the mystery of Christ, ever<br /> made present and active within us, especially in the celebration of the liturgy.</p> <p>3) Instruction which is more explicitly liturgical should also be given in a<br /> variety of ways; if necessary, short directives to be spoken by the priest or<br /> proper minister should be provided within the rites themselves. But they should<br /> occur only at the more suitable moments, and be in prescribed or similar words.</p> <p>4) Bible services should be encouraged, especially on the vigils of the more<br /> solemn feasts, on some weekdays in Advent and Lent, and on Sundays and feast<br /> days. They are particularly to be commended in places where no priest is<br /> available; when this is so, a deacon or some other person authorized by the<br /> bishop should preside over the celebration.</p> <p>36. 1. Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be<br /> preserved in the Latin rites.</p> <p>2. But since the use of the mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the<br /> administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the liturgy, frequently may<br /> be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be<br /> extended. This will apply in the first place to the readings and directives, and<br /> to some of the prayers and chants, according to the regulations on this matter<br /> to be laid down separately in subsequent chapters.</p> <p>3. These norms being observed, it is for the competent territorial<br /> ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Art. 22, 2, to decide whether, and to what<br /> extent, the vernacular language is to be used; their decrees are to be approved,<br /> that is, confirmed, by the Apostolic See. And, whenever it seems to be called<br /> for, this authority is to consult with bishops of neighboring regions which have<br /> the same language.</p> <p>4. Translations from the Latin text into the mother tongue intended for use in<br /> the liturgy must be approved by the competent territorial ecclesiastical<br /> authority mentioned above.</p> <p>D) Norms for adapting the Liturgy to the culture and traditions of peoples</p> <p>37. Even in the liturgy, the Church has no wish to impose a rigid uniformity in<br /> matters which do not implicate the faith or the good of the whole community;<br /> rather does she respect and foster the genius and talents of the various races<br /> and peoples. Anything in these peoples&#39; way of life which is not indissolubly<br /> bound up with superstition and error she studies with sympathy and, if possible,<br /> preserves intact. Sometimes in fact she admits such things into the liturgy<br /> itself, so long as they harmonize with its true and authentic spirit.</p> <p>38. Provisions shall also be made, when revising the liturgical books, for<br /> legitimate variations and adaptations to different groups, regions, and peoples,<br /> especially in mission lands, provided that the substantial unity of the Roman<br /> rite is preserved; and this should be borne in mind when drawing up the rites<br /> and devising rubrics.</p> <p>39. Within the limits set by the typical editions of the liturgical books, it<br /> shall be for the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in<br /> Art. 22, 2, to specify adaptations, especially in the case of the administration<br /> of the sacraments, the sacramentals, processions, liturgical language, sacred<br /> music, and the arts, but according to the fundamental norms laid down in this<br /> Constitution.</p> <p>40. In some places and circumstances, however, an even more radical adaptation<br /> of the liturgy is needed, and this entails greater difficulties. Wherefore:</p> <p>1) The competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Art. 22, 2,<br /> must, in this matter, carefully and prudently consider which elements from the<br /> traditions and culture of individual peoples might appropriately be admitted<br /> into divine worship. Adaptations which are judged to be useful or necessary<br /> should then be submitted to the Apostolic See, by whose consent they may be<br /> introduced.</p> <p>2) To ensure that adaptations may be made with all the circumspection which they<br /> demand, the Apostolic See will grant power to this same territorial<br /> ecclesiastical authority to permit and to direct, as the case requires, the<br /> necessary preliminary experiments over a determined period of time among certain<br /> groups suited for the purpose.</p> <p>3) Because liturgical laws often involve special difficulties with respect to<br /> adaptation, particularly in mission lands, men who are experts in these matters<br /> must be employed to formulate them.</p> <p>E) Promotion of Liturgical Life in Diocese and Parish</p> <p>41. The bishop is to be considered as the high priest of his flock, from whom<br /> the life in Christ of his faithful is in some way derived and dependent.</p> <p>Therefore all should hold in great esteem the liturgical life of the diocese<br /> centered around the bishop, especially in his cathedral church; they must be<br /> convinced that the pre-eminent manifestation of the Church consists in the full<br /> active participation of all God&#39;s holy people in these liturgical celebrations,<br /> especially in the same eucharist, in a single prayer, at one altar, at which<br /> there presides the bishop surrounded by his college of priests and by his<br /> ministers [35].</p> <p>42. But because it is impossible for the bishop always and everywhere to preside<br /> over the whole flock in his Church, he cannot do other than establish lesser<br /> groupings of the faithful. Among these the parishes, set up locally under a<br /> pastor who takes the place of the bishop, are the most important: for in some<br /> manner they represent the visible Church constituted throughout the world.</p> <p>And therefore the liturgical life of the parish and its relationship to the<br /> bishop must be fostered theoretically and practically among the faithful and<br /> clergy; efforts also must be made to encourage a sense of community within the<br /> parish, above all in the common celebration of the Sunday Mass.</p> <p>F) The Promotion of Pastoral-Liturgical Action</p> <p>43. Zeal for the promotion and restoration of the liturgy is rightly held to be<br /> a sign of the providential dispositions of God in our time, as a movement of the<br /> Holy Spirit in His Church. It is today a distinguishing mark of the Church&#39;s<br /> life, indeed of the whole tenor of contemporary religious thought and action.</p> <p>So that this pastoral-liturgical action may become even more vigorous in the<br /> Church, the sacred Council decrees:</p> <p>44. It is desirable that the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority<br /> mentioned in Art. 22, 2, set up a liturgical commission, to be assisted by<br /> experts in liturgical science, sacred music, art and pastoral practice. So far<br /> as possible the commission should be aided by some kind of Institute for<br /> Pastoral Liturgy, consisting of persons who are eminent in these matters, and<br /> including laymen as circumstances suggest. Under the direction of the<br /> above-mentioned territorial ecclesiastical authority the commission is to<br /> regulate pastoral-liturgical action throughout the territory, and to promote<br /> studies and necessary experiments whenever there is question of adaptations to<br /> be proposed to the Apostolic See.</p> <p>45. For the same reason every diocese is to have a commission on the sacred<br /> liturgy under the direction of the bishop, for promoting the liturgical<br /> apostolate.</p> <p>Sometimes it may be expedient that several dioceses should form between them one<br /> single commission which will be able to promote the liturgy by common<br /> consultation.</p> <p>46. Besides the commission on the sacred liturgy, every diocese, as far as<br /> possible, should have commissions for sacred music and sacred art.</p> <p>These three commissions must work in closest collaboration; indeed it will often<br /> be best to fuse the three of them into one single commission.</p> <p><br /> REFLECTIONS</p> <p>This final section of Chapter I touches on some critical issues which have been<br /> the source of significant discussion and controversy in the years since the<br /> Council.&nbsp; I will highlight elements mentioned in sections 22, 25, 28, 30, 34,<br /> 35, 36, 41 and 45 as only a few examples of concepts that we need to revisit in<br /> the life of the diocese today.&nbsp;</p> <p>Paragraph 22 reminds us that regulation of the liturgy is in the hands of the<br /> Pope and the bishops as a body and individually in limited ways.&nbsp; No individual<br /> priest has the authority to change the mass.&nbsp; Reflecting on the past fifty years<br /> we must admit that this paragraph is on which should have been revisited more<br /> often.&nbsp; Abuses have occurred which were rooted in a failure to follow this<br /> important guide.&nbsp; We have learned a lot and hopefully we can keep this principle<br /> firmly in mind.</p> <p>Paragraph 25 mentions the revision of liturgical books.&nbsp; The Roman Missal 3rd<br /> Typical Edition is the latest iteration of this revision and it sets the<br /> structure of the Ordinary Form mass for today</p> <p>Paragraph 28 states that the roles of each liturgical ministry must be properly<br /> respected.&nbsp; Whether bishop, priest,deacon or lay minister in a specific role<br /> each has their place and should be respected.&nbsp; Through the years much confusion<br /> has sprung from forgetting this basic principle.</p> <p>Paragraph 30 gives us food for thought regarding active participation and<br /> reminds us that at times silence is active participation.</p> <p>Paragraph 34 uses the often repeated image of noble simplicity.&nbsp; We continue to<br /> explore what this really means in concrete terms.&nbsp; It is a matter of balance and<br /> through the years we have witnessed many instances of going to one extreme or<br /> the other.&nbsp; Hopefully we can begin to strike a better balance between these<br /> seemingly disparate terms.</p> <p>Paragraph 35 focuses on the liturgy of the word and the Councils call for it to<br /> be expanded and given greater emphasis.&nbsp; This is an area that has seen much<br /> development since the Council but we still have much to do.</p> <p>Paragraph 36 addresses the use of Latin and the vernacular in the liturgy.&nbsp; The<br /> document makes it clear that it is not a question of either or but is rather<br /> both and.&nbsp; This is possibly the greatest area of controversy in the years since<br /> the Council and it remains a question that sparks great controversy and<br /> resentment on both sides.&nbsp; Once again it is a matter of balance.&nbsp; It is one of<br /> those specific areas where we are challenged not to simply do what is most<br /> comfortable for us but instead continually ask, &quot;What is the Church asking us to<br /> do&quot;.&nbsp; Hopefully we can make progress in finding a healthy balance regarding<br /> Latin and the vernacular.</p> <p>Paragraph 41 reminds us of our basic Catholic theology that the bishop is the<br /> primary celebrant of the liturgy for a given diocese.&nbsp; The mindset of the Church<br /> is that the bishop would preside at every mass if it were possible.&nbsp; This leads<br /> some to see the individual priests as merely substitutes for the bishop.&nbsp;<br /> Instead it should remind us that the mass is ultimately Christ celebrating with<br /> His Church.&nbsp; It is the role of the bishop and the priests to make Christ<br /> present.&nbsp; When we forget this we lose touch with the wondrous mystery that the<br /> liturgy is.</p> <p>Paragraph 45 outlines the role of the Liturgical Commission and it&#39;s function in<br /> the diocese.&nbsp; It is a reminder of the significance of this body and an<br /> acknowledgement that the liturgy is a living ritual and question will always<br /> arise that this body can address.</p> <p>This section gives us much food for thought and important guidance as we seek to<br /> celebrate the liturgy of the mass with greater joy and reverence.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Sat, 29 Mar 2014 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Constitution Reflections Continued]]> <p>~~II. The Promotion of Liturgical Instruction and Active Participation</p> <p>14. Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that<br /> fully conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is<br /> demanded by the very nature of the liturgy. Such participation by the Christian<br /> people as &quot;a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people<br /> (1 Pet. 2:9; cf. 2:4-5), is their right and duty by reason of their baptism.</p> <p>In the restoration and promotion of the sacred liturgy, this full and active<br /> participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before all else; for<br /> it is the primary and indispensable source from which the faithful are to derive<br /> the true Christian spirit; and therefore pastors of souls must zealously strive<br /> to achieve it, by means of the necessary instruction, in all their pastoral<br /> work.</p> <p>Yet it would be futile to entertain any hopes of realizing this unless the<br /> pastors themselves, in the first place, become thoroughly imbued with the spirit<br /> and power of the liturgy, and undertake to give instruction about it. A prime<br /> need, therefore, is that attention be directed, first of all, to the liturgical<br /> instruction of the clergy. Wherefore the sacred Council has decided to enact as<br /> follows:</p> <p>15. Professors who are appointed to teach liturgy in seminaries, religious<br /> houses of study, and theological faculties must be properly trained for their<br /> work in institutes which specialize in this subject.</p> <p>16. The study of sacred liturgy is to be ranked among the compulsory and major<br /> courses in seminaries and religious houses of studies; in theological faculties<br /> it is to rank among the principal courses. It is to be taught under its<br /> theological, historical, spiritual, pastoral, and juridical aspects. Moreover,<br /> other professors, while striving to expound the mystery of Christ and the<br /> history of salvation from the angle proper to each of their own subjects, must<br /> nevertheless do so in a way which will clearly bring out the connection between<br /> their subjects and the liturgy, as also the unity which underlies all priestly<br /> training. This consideration is especially important for professors of dogmatic,<br /> spiritual, and pastoral theology and for those of holy scripture.</p> <p>17. In seminaries and houses of religious, clerics shall be given a liturgical<br /> formation in their spiritual life. For this they will need proper direction, so<br /> that they may be able to understand the sacred rites and take part in them<br /> wholeheartedly; and they will also need personally to celebrate the sacred<br /> mysteries, as well as popular devotions which are imbued with the spirit of the<br /> liturgy. In addition they must learn how to observe the liturgical laws, so that<br /> life in seminaries and houses of religious may be thoroughly influenced by the<br /> spirit of the liturgy.</p> <p>18. Priests, both secular and religious, who are already working in the Lord&#39;s<br /> vineyard are to be helped by every suitable means to understand ever more fully<br /> what it is that they are doing when they perform sacred rites; they are to be<br /> aided to live the liturgical life and to share it with the faithful entrusted to<br /> their care.</p> <p>19. With zeal and patience, pastors of souls must promote the liturgical<br /> instruction of the faithful, and also their active participation in the liturgy<br /> both internally and externally, taking into account their age and condition,<br /> their way of life, and standard of religious culture. By so doing, pastors will<br /> be fulfilling one of the chief duties of a faithful dispenser of the mysteries<br /> of God; and in this matter they must lead their flock not only in word but also<br /> by example.</p> <p>20. Transmissions of the sacred rites by radio and television shall be done with<br /> discretion and dignity, under the leadership and direction of a suitable person<br /> appointed for this office by the bishops. This is especially important when the<br /> service to be broadcast is the Mass.</p> <p>REFLECTIONS</p> <p>Paragraph 14 is yet another example of the often quoted aspects of this<br /> Constitution.&nbsp; The reality that we still struggle with understanding what &quot;full<br /> and active participation&quot; really means fifty years after we first received this<br /> document is a reminder of the mystery we encounter in the liturgy.&nbsp; We have<br /> learned much in these fifty years but we can never say we have exhausted the<br /> mystery.&nbsp; Many attempts to implement this fully participation have ultimately<br /> left us empty.&nbsp; At times we may be tempted to &quot;throw up our hands&quot; in<br /> frustration.&nbsp; In my personal experience we seem to have learned more about what<br /> this full and active participation is not rather than what it is.&nbsp; I pray that<br /> we can continue to return to these challenging and inspiring words, making every<br /> attempt to make them real in the Church today.</p> <p>This section continues by going into some detail regarding how priests should be<br /> formed in the liturgical arts.&nbsp; Probably the most important point the document<br /> makes is that the priests of the Church must be the first to live and promote<br /> this full and active participation.&nbsp; I think we can all agree that if the priest<br /> is not engaged at this level then extending this approach to the entire faithful<br /> will always come up short.&nbsp; Underlying the message of this section is the call<br /> for all priests to fall ever more deeply in love with Christ and His Church.&nbsp; As<br /> this happens we open the door for the Holy Spirit to accomplish what we cannot.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Reflections on the Constitution on the Liturgy]]> <p>The following is the introduction and first section of Chapter I of the Constitution on the Liturgy from the Second Vatican Council.&nbsp; I hope to periodically post sections from the Constitution with a few personal reflections.&nbsp; The documents can be lengthy but they are rich with wonderful teachings that help to deepen our faith.&nbsp; I hope you will find these posts to be helpful.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Constitution on the Liturgy-&nbsp; Introduction and Chapter I Section 1</p> <p>1. This sacred Council has several aims in view: it desires to impart an ever<br /> increasing vigor to the Christian life of the faithful; to adapt more suitably<br /> to the needs of our own times those institutions which are subject to change; to<br /> foster whatever can promote union among all who believe in Christ; to strengthen<br /> whatever can help to call the whole of mankind into the household of the Church.<br /> The Council therefore sees particularly cogent reasons for undertaking the<br /> reform and promotion of the liturgy.</p> <p>2. For the liturgy, &quot;through which the work of our redemption is accomplished,&quot;<br /> [1] most of all in the divine sacrifice of the Eucharist, is the outstanding<br /> means whereby the faithful may express in their lives, and manifest to others,<br /> the mystery of Christ and the real nature of the true Church. It is of the<br /> essence of the Church that she be both human and divine, visible and yet<br /> invisibly equipped, eager to act and yet intent on contemplation, present in<br /> this world and yet not at home in it; and she is all these things in such wise<br /> that in her the human is directed and subordinated to the divine, the visible<br /> likewise to the invisible, action to contemplation, and this present world to<br /> that city yet to come, which we seek [2]. While the liturgy daily builds up<br /> those who are within into a holy temple of the Lord, into a dwelling place for<br /> God in the Spirit [3], to the mature measure of the fullness of Christ [4], at<br /> the same time it marvelously strengthens their power to preach Christ, and thus<br /> shows forth the Church to those who are outside as a sign lifted up among the<br /> nations [5] under which the scattered children of God may be gathered together<br /> [6], until there is one sheepfold and one shepherd [7].</p> <p>3. Wherefore the sacred Council judges that the following principles concerning<br /> the promotion and reform of the liturgy should be called to mind, and that<br /> practical norms should be established.</p> <p>Among these principles and norms there are some which can and should be applied<br /> both to the Roman rite and also to all the other rites. The practical norms<br /> which follow, however, should be taken as applying only to the Roman rite,<br /> except for those which, in the very nature of things, affect other rites as<br /> well.</p> <p>4. Lastly, in faithful obedience to tradition, the sacred Council declares that<br /> holy Mother Church holds all lawfully acknowledged rites to be of equal right<br /> and dignity; that she wishes to preserve them in the future and to foster them<br /> in every way. The Council also desires that, where necessary, the rites be<br /> revised carefully in the light of sound tradition, and that they be given new<br /> vigor to meet the circumstances and needs of modern times.</p> <p>CHAPTER I</p> <p>GENERAL PRINCIPLES FOR THE RESTORATION AND PROMOTION OF<br /> THE SACRED LITURGY</p> <p>1. The Nature of the Sacred Liturgy and Its Importance in the Church&#39;s Life</p> <p>5. God who &quot;wills that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth&quot;<br /> (1 Tim. 2:4), &quot;who in many and various ways spoke in times past to the fathers<br /> by the prophets&quot; (Heb. 1:1), when the fullness of time had come sent His Son,<br /> the Word made flesh, anointed by the Holy Spirit, to preach the the gospel to<br /> the poor, to heal the contrite of heart [8], to be a &quot;bodily and spiritual<br /> medicine&quot; [9], the Mediator between God and man [10]. For His humanity, united<br /> with the person of the Word, was the instrument of our salvation. Therefore in<br /> Christ &quot;the perfect achievement of our reconciliation came forth, and the<br /> fullness of divine worship was given to us&quot; [11].</p> <p>The wonderful works of God among the people of the Old Testament were but a<br /> prelude to the work of Christ the Lord in redeeming mankind and giving perfect<br /> glory to God. He achieved His task principally by the paschal mystery of His<br /> blessed passion, resurrection from the dead, and the glorious ascension, whereby<br /> &quot;dying, he destroyed our death and, rising, he restored our life&quot; [12]. For it<br /> was from the side of Christ as He slept the sleep of death upon the cross that<br /> there came forth &quot;the wondrous sacrament of the whole Church&quot; [13].</p> <p>6. Just as Christ was sent by the Father, so also He sent the apostles, filled<br /> with the Holy Spirit. This He did that, by preaching the gospel to every<br /> creature [14], they might proclaim that the Son of God, by His death and<br /> resurrection, had freed us from the power of Satan [15] and from death, and<br /> brought us into the kingdom of His Father. His purpose also was that they might<br /> accomplish the work of salvation which they had proclaimed, by means of<br /> sacrifice and sacraments, around which the entire liturgical life revolves. Thus<br /> by baptism men are plunged into the paschal mystery of Christ: they die with<br /> Him, are buried with Him, and rise with Him [16]; they receive the spirit of<br /> adoption as sons &quot;in which we cry: Abba, Father&quot; ( Rom. 8 :15), and thus become<br /> true adorers whom the Father seeks [17]. In like manner, as often as they eat<br /> the supper of the Lord they proclaim the death of the Lord until He comes [18].<br /> For that reason, on the very day of Pentecost, when the Church appeared before<br /> the world, &quot;those who received the word&quot; of Peter &quot;were baptized.&quot; And &quot;they<br /> continued steadfastly in the teaching of the apostles and in the communion of<br /> the breaking of bread and in prayers . . . praising God and being in favor with<br /> all the people&quot; (Acts 2:41-47). From that time onwards the Church has never<br /> failed to come together to celebrate the paschal mystery: reading those things<br /> &quot;which were in all the scriptures concerning him&quot; (Luke 24:27), celebrating the<br /> eucharist in which &quot;the victory and triumph of his death are again made present&quot;<br /> [19], and at the same time giving thanks &quot;to God for his unspeakable gift&quot; (2<br /> Cor. 9:15) in Christ Jesus, &quot;in praise of his glory&quot; (Eph. 1:12), through the<br /> power of the Holy Spirit.</p> <p>7. To accomplish so great a work, Christ is always present in His Church,<br /> especially in her liturgical celebrations. He is present in the sacrifice of the<br /> Mass, not only in the person of His minister, &quot;the same now offering, through<br /> the ministry of priests, who formerly offered himself on the cross&quot; [20], but<br /> especially under the Eucharistic species. By His power He is present in the<br /> sacraments, so that when a man baptizes it is really Christ Himself who baptizes<br /> [21]. He is present in His word, since it is He Himself who speaks when the holy<br /> scriptures are read in the Church. He is present, lastly, when the Church prays<br /> and sings, for He promised: &quot;Where two or three are gathered together in my<br /> name, there am I in the midst of them&quot; (Matt. 18:20) .</p> <p>Christ indeed always associates the Church with Himself in this great work<br /> wherein God is perfectly glorified and men are sanctified. The Church is His<br /> beloved Bride who calls to her Lord, and through Him offers worship to the<br /> Eternal Father.</p> <p>Rightly, then, the liturgy is considered as an exercise of the priestly office<br /> of Jesus Christ. In the liturgy the sanctification of the man is signified by<br /> signs perceptible to the senses, and is effected in a way which corresponds with<br /> each of these signs; in the liturgy the whole public worship is performed by the<br /> Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, that is, by the Head and His members.</p> <p>From this it follows that every liturgical celebration, because it is an action<br /> of Christ the priest and of His Body which is the Church, is a sacred action<br /> surpassing all others; no other action of the Church can equal its efficacy by<br /> the same title and to the same degree.</p> <p>8. In the earthly liturgy we take part in a foretaste of that heavenly liturgy<br /> which is celebrated in the holy city of Jerusalem toward which we journey as<br /> pilgrims, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God, a minister of the<br /> holies and of the true tabernacle [22]; we sing a hymn to the Lord&#39;s glory with<br /> all the warriors of the heavenly army; venerating the memory of the saints, we<br /> hope for some part and fellowship with them; we eagerly await the Saviour, Our<br /> Lord Jesus Christ, until He, our life, shall appear and we too will appear with<br /> Him in glory [23].</p> <p>9. The sacred liturgy does not exhaust the entire activity of the Church. Before<br /> men can come to the liturgy they must be called to faith and to conversion: &quot;How<br /> then are they to call upon him in whom they have not yet believed? But how are<br /> they to believe him whom they have not heard? And how are they to hear if no one<br /> preaches? And how are men to preach unless they be sent?&quot; (Rom. 10:14-15).</p> <p>Therefore the Church announces the good tidings of salvation to those who do not<br /> believe, so that all men may know the true God and Jesus Christ whom He has<br /> sent, and may be converted from their ways, doing penance [24]. To believers<br /> also the Church must ever preach faith and penance, she must prepare them for<br /> the sacraments, teach them to observe all that Christ has commanded [25], and<br /> invite them to all the works of charity, piety, and the apostolate. For all<br /> these works make it clear that Christ&#39;s faithful, though not of this world, are<br /> to be the light of the world and to glorify the Father before men.</p> <p>10. Nevertheless the liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the<br /> Church is directed; at the same time it is the font from which all her power<br /> flows. For the aim and object of apostolic works is that all who are made sons<br /> of God by faith and baptism should come together to praise God in the midst of<br /> His Church, to take part in the sacrifice, and to eat the Lord&#39;s supper.</p> <p>The liturgy in its turn moves the faithful, filled with &quot;the paschal<br /> sacraments,&quot; to be &quot;one in holiness&quot; [26]; it prays that &quot;they may hold fast in<br /> their lives to what they have grasped by their faith&quot; [27]; the renewal in the<br /> Eucharist of the covenant between the Lord and man draws the faithful into the<br /> compelling love of Christ and sets them on fire. From the liturgy, therefore,<br /> and especially from the Eucharist, as from a font, grace is poured forth upon<br /> us; and the sanctification of men in Christ and the glorification of God, to<br /> which all other activities of the Church are directed as toward their end, is<br /> achieved in the most efficacious possible way.</p> <p>11. But in order that the liturgy may be able to produce its full effects, it is<br /> necessary that the faithful come to it with proper dispositions, that their<br /> minds should be attuned to their voices, and that they should cooperate with<br /> divine grace lest they receive it in vain [28] . Pastors of souls must therefore<br /> realize that, when the liturgy is celebrated, something more is required than<br /> the mere observation of the laws governing valid and licit celebration; it is<br /> their duty also to ensure that the faithful take part fully aware of what they<br /> are doing, actively engaged in the rite, and enriched by its effects.</p> <p>12. The spiritual life, however, is not limited solely to participation in the<br /> liturgy. The Christian is indeed called to pray with his brethren, but he must<br /> also enter into his chamber to pray to the Father, in secret [29]; yet more,<br /> according to the teaching of the Apostle, he should pray without ceasing [30].<br /> We learn from the same Apostle that we must always bear about in our body the<br /> dying of Jesus, so that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our<br /> bodily frame [31]. This is why we ask the Lord in the sacrifice of the Mass<br /> that, &quot;receiving the offering of the spiritual victim,&quot; he may fashion us for<br /> himself &quot;as an eternal gift&quot; [32].</p> <p>13. Popular devotions of the Christian people are to be highly commended,<br /> provided they accord with the laws and norms of the Church, above all when they<br /> are ordered by the Apostolic See.</p> <p>Devotions proper to individual Churches also have a special dignity if they are<br /> undertaken by mandate of the bishops according to customs or books lawfully<br /> approved.</p> <p>But these devotions should be so drawn up that they harmonize with the<br /> liturgical seasons, accord with the sacred liturgy, are in some fashion derived<br /> from it, and lead the people to it, since, in fact, the liturgy by its very<br /> nature far surpasses any of them.</p> <p>II. The Promotion of Liturgical Instruction and Active Participation</p> <p>14. Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that<br /> fully conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is<br /> demanded by the very nature of the liturgy. Such participation by the Christian<br /> people as &quot;a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people<br /> (1 Pet. 2:9; cf. 2:4-5), is their right and duty by reason of their baptism.</p> <p>In the restoration and promotion of the sacred liturgy, this full and active<br /> participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before all else; for<br /> it is the primary and indispensable source from which the faithful are to derive<br /> the true Christian spirit; and therefore pastors of souls must zealously strive<br /> to achieve it, by means of the necessary instruction, in all their pastoral<br /> work.</p> <p>REFLECTION</p> <p>The introduction and first section of Chapter I clearly lay out the purpose and<br /> focus of the Constitution.&nbsp; I am struck by the beautiful scope of these initial<br /> paragraphs as they remind the Church what the Liturgy is.&nbsp; It is Christ&#39;s action<br /> and this message takes us back to His time, His words and His desire.&nbsp; It truly<br /> is timeless and it applies to the Church today as profoundly as it did 50 years<br /> ago.</p> <p>I call your attention especially to paragraphs 7 and 10.&nbsp; The message of these<br /> paragraphs has been repeated countless times since this document was originally<br /> promulgated.&nbsp; Paragraph 7 speaks of the fourfold presence of Christ in the<br /> liturgy.&nbsp; In His minister, in the Eucharistic species, in His Word and in the<br /> people assembled.&nbsp; These words remind us of the challenge we face at every<br /> liturgy to be aware of Christ present in each of these ways.&nbsp; We have all felt<br /> the ways our experience of the liturgy is diminished when this balance is<br /> seriously lacking.</p> <p>Chapter 10 includes the image of the liturgy as the summit and font of the life<br /> of the Church.&nbsp; This is probably one of the most quoted images of the<br /> Constitution but the depth of its meaning is something we continue to explore.&nbsp;<br /> In many ways it captures much of the reflection contained in this initial<br /> section.&nbsp; The document reminds us that the liturgy is something we must always<br /> return to as it is always something we must draw strength from as we seek to<br /> live Christ.</p> <p>Let us pray that as bishop, priests, deacons, religious and faithful in the<br /> diocese we may continually ponder these beautiful words and be guided by them as<br /> we seek to live Jesus Christ.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Saint Francis]]> <p>I recently had the opportunity to visit the city of Saint Francis again.&nbsp; Assisi is a beautiful place that seems to reverberate with the spirit of Saint Francis.&nbsp; His message of poverty and simplicity is so important for us in todays busy and complex world.&nbsp; He is a great patron saint for the Lenten season because his message is really what Lent is all about.&nbsp; Focus on the Lord.&nbsp; Simplify your life.&nbsp; Let go of the material distractions and allow a spirit of poverty to pervade your life.&nbsp;</p> <p>This call is a great challenge for us today but it continues to bear the fruit of peace and tranquility that the Lord Himself promised.&nbsp; Let us look to Saint Francis to inspire us in the Lord as we continue our Lenten journey.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Mon, 17 Mar 2014 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[A Beautiful Image]]> <p>In his most recent Exhortation Gaudium Evangelii Pope Francis encourages all Christians and especially priests to &quot;Be joyful messengers of challenging proposals&quot;.&nbsp; I believe this captures the attitude of discipleship that we should all have.</p> <p>The Gospel for yesterday, the Seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time offers Jesus admonition that we are to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect.&nbsp; That is a profoundly challenging proposal but Christ seems to lay it down as a clear goal for all of His followers.&nbsp; We can easily dismiss this Gospel ideal as simply impossible to attain and in reality it is but in the face of this challenge being joyful messengers is part of the work.</p> <p>As the title of the exhortation emphasizes, Pope Francis is constantly calling us back to the joy of our life in Christ.&nbsp; Let us present all of His challenging messages with the joy of knowing that His truth set us free.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Mon, 24 Feb 2014 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Letter of St.James]]> <p>During these days the daily readings have come from the letter of James.&nbsp; We are all probably more familiar with Paul&#39;s letters to the various communities but the Letter of James presents some wonderfully practical food for our spiritual reflection.&nbsp; Whether acknowledging the temptations that we all face or the patience we need in the midst of suffering James goes right to the heart of the issues of living the Christian way.&nbsp;</p> <p>Let us savor the words of James and listen to their message as the challenging words of a brother in the Lord inspired by the Holy Spirit.&nbsp; This balance between very practical advice and inspired insight truly helps us to apply God&#39;s word in our day to day lives.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Wed, 19 Feb 2014 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Saint Valentine's Day]]> <p>Today I gave my staff a couple of hours off for Saint Valentine&#39;s Day and they were all extremely grateful. As I thought about it I realized that their gratitude is probably connected to how busy their lives are. &nbsp;</p> <p>We all live a hectic pace with a lot of demands on our time. &nbsp;I think my staff has taught me a valuable lesson that the gift of time is probably one of the most precious gifts we can give to each other. &nbsp;</p> <p>We should all remember this when the next gift giving opportunity arises. &nbsp;We all have more than enough stuff but very often precious little time. &nbsp;On the next birthday, anniversary or holiday rather than a gift consider giving that friend or loved one a little extra time. &nbsp;It may well turn out to be the best gift of all.</p> Fri, 14 Feb 2014 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Reflections of a Shepherd]]> <p>~~As I move along into my second year as bishop of Tyler I must say there have been many things to reflect on.&nbsp; I thought I would use my website as a medium for sharing some of those thoughts.&nbsp; I hope what I share will help all of us to work together in the Diocese of Tyler and I hope that those who read them in other places may benefit in some way as well.&nbsp;</p> <p><br /> Since my assignment as bishop of the diocese where I grew up allows me to interact with people that I have known for many years they often ask &ldquo;what is different?&rdquo; about being a bishop.&nbsp; My standard response has become that it is a much busier life than I lead as a priest.&nbsp; I must say I didn&rsquo;t feel &ldquo;not busy&rdquo; before and I always had plenty to do but as a bishop I am definitely busier.&nbsp; I suppose there is a danger in that which is somewhat magnified because as bishop I believe it is essential that I am a man deeply in touch with Jesus Christ and His Gospel message.<br /> Maybe the word &ldquo;magnified&rdquo; is a good one to use to attempt to capture the differences in my life from my almost thirty years as a priest.&nbsp; It seems that everything is magnified, the challenges and the blessings, the calendar and the responsibilities.</p> <p><br /> One of the greatest challenges I have faced as a bishop is how best to work with and guide the men who serve with me in the diocese as priests and deacons.&nbsp; I am more aware than ever that the work of these good men is essential and I truly understand that anything I can accomplish is only possible because the priests and deacons (along with consecrated religious and committed laity) are working with me.&nbsp;</p> <p><br /> We are blessed with a diverse group of men who make up the presbyterate of the Diocese of Tyler and one of my greatest challenges is bringing the proper balance of unity to this diversity.&nbsp; At times I laugh at myself because through the years I&rsquo;ve often seen fellow priests who seemed to really enjoy telling people what to do but that were never a major part of my priesthood.&nbsp; I suppose my approach has always been to try to do my very best and for the most part leave others to presumably do the same.&nbsp; I&rsquo;ve come to realize as a priest and even more now as a bishop that sometimes I need to instruct and correct and I must admit that at times I fail to do so.&nbsp;</p> <p><br /> I hope that I, along with the priests and deacons of the Diocese of Tyler, can continue to make good progress in seeking greater unity and caring for the people of God in these thirty-three counties.&nbsp; I always want to respect each individual priest and deacon but at times it is necessary that I shepherd them with a firm hand.&nbsp; Thankfully our diocese is blessed in that there are not major doctrinal issues that have to be addressed.&nbsp; We are faithful to the teachings of our Catholic faith in all its aspects.&nbsp; I would characterize my responsibility more in terms of fine tuning and thus shepherding to a greater unity and respect for each other.</p> <p><br /> At my ordination Cardinal DiNardo said at times I will need to correct the flock and her shepherds and I realize more than ever how true those words are.&nbsp; I hope that I can always guide and correct out of love for the Lord and His Church but I know I have and will make mistakes along the way.&nbsp; I laugh because I realize that when I &ldquo;put my foot down&rdquo; I&rsquo;m likely to &ldquo;step on some toes&rdquo;.&nbsp; The imagery is really quite appropriate because it captures in many ways what it means to shepherd with love.&nbsp;</p> <p><br /> If you are reading this I ask you to pray for Pope Francis and all bishops throughout the Church.&nbsp; He is inspiring us to return to the heart of the Gospel and our relationship with Jesus Christ.&nbsp; I will continue to do my best to shepherd the flock of East Texas closer to our Lord and His Church.&nbsp; Let us pray that the Holy Spirit will guide me to be the shepherd His good people need.&nbsp;</p> Sat, 18 Jan 2014 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Pope Francis' Exhortation ]]> <p>These words of Pope Francis challenge all of us to live and share the treasure of our Catholic faith.</p> <p>&quot;<font size="2">49. Let us go forth, then, let us go forth to offer everyone the life of Jesus Christ. Here I repeat for the entire Church what I have often said to the priests and laity of Buenos Aires: I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security. I do not want a Church concerned with being at the centre and which then ends by being caught up in a web of obsessions and procedures. If something should rightly disturb us and trouble our consciences, it is the fact that so many of our brothers and sisters are living without the strength, light and consolation born of friendship with Jesus Christ, without a community of faith to support them, without meaning and a goal in life. More than by fear of going astray, my hope is that we will be moved by the fear of remaining shut up within structures which give us a false sense of security, within rules which make us harsh judges, within habits which make us feel safe, while at our door people are starving and Jesus does not tire of saying to us: &ldquo;Give them something to eat&rdquo; (<i>Mk</i>&nbsp;6:37).&quot;</font></p> Wed, 8 Jan 2014 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Time Magazine Person of the Year]]> <p>We must all be thankful for Time Magazine&#39;s choice of Pope Francis as Person of the Year.&nbsp; I had heard other names mentioned as being in the running and it is very positive that ultimately Pope Francis was chosen.&nbsp;</p> <p>Certainly Time Magazine is a completely secular publication and the criteria they use for making these choices is at best questionable many times but I am pleased that they have made this choice.&nbsp;</p> <p>As we continue this journey of Advent 2013 and once again seek the renewal of faith that Advent represents it is worth noting that one year ago no one would have dreamt of all that has unfolded since February 11, when Pope Benedict XVI announced his decision to resign.&nbsp; I doubt most of us had even heard of Cardinal Bergoglio and now he is the Vicar of Christ and Person of the Year.&nbsp; Certainly Pope Francis&#39; unique gifts and his&nbsp;at times unusual approach to his duties as the Supreme Pontiff have attracted a lot of attention in the media but his message of caring for the poor and re-focusing the efforts of the Roman Catholic Church on the person of Jesus Christ have also resonated with many.</p> <p>As we continue these Advent days let us pray that not only the personality of Pope Francis but most importantly his message as Vicar of Christ may deeply move the people of God closer to their Lord and His Light.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Thu, 12 Dec 2013 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Thanksgiving for Liberty]]> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/Liberty.jpg" style="height: 360px; width: 540px" /></p> <p>As we celebrate Thanksgiving Day let us be thankful for the freedom of religion that we enjoy and let us be vigilant that this liberty may be protected for many, many years to come.</p> <p>GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY ON THANKSGIVING DAY.</p> <p>BISHOP JOSEPH STRICKLAND</p> Wed, 27 Nov 2013 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Reflection on Vocations]]> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/Archbishop%20Sheehan%20at%20Ordination.png" style="height: 144px; width: 224px" /></p> <p>I announced on November 21, at the Priest&rsquo;s Study Day that I have appointed Father Justin Braun as Vocation Director of the Diocese of Tyler.&nbsp; As I made this announcement I expressed my profound gratitude for the work of Father Jesudoss Thomas and Father Jesus Arroyave who have served as Co-<br /> Directors of Vocations for the past six years.&nbsp; They have continued this important work during the especially challenging time when we were without a bishop and I deeply appreciate their dedication and hard work.</p> <p>I am pleased that Father Braun has enthusiastically agreed to take on this additional responsibility.&nbsp; He will continue to serve as Parochial Vicar at the Cathedral and Priest Chaplain at Bishop Gorman Regional Catholic Schools.&nbsp; I know it will be a challenge for him to balance these various responsibilities but as a fine young priest I feel sure that he is up to the task.&nbsp; Father Braun has already been assisting Father Arroyave and Father Thomas as part of the Priestly Vocation Team along with our Chancellor, Father Hank Lanik, Father Victor Hernandez and Father Nolan Lowry.</p> <p>The theme of the Priest&rsquo;s Study Day where I announce the appointment of Father Braun was a Reflection on Priestly Vocations in the Diocese of Tyler and it was the perfect time to announce this development in the diocese.&nbsp; As I met with Father Braun to ask him to take on this responsibility I shared with him something of my experience as the first Vocation Director of the Diocese of Tyler.&nbsp; Bishop Charles Herzig, the first bishop of the diocese appointed me in March 1987 about a month after the diocese was formed and Bishop Herzig was ordained.&nbsp; It is a blessing for me to have been part of the growth of the diocese since those early days and especially in the area of Vocations it is easy to see the work of the Holy Spirit among us.</p> <p>While Father Braun&rsquo;s primary focus will be priestly vocations he will also be available to support the efforts of Sister Angelica Orozco EFMS who has done beautiful work in promoting the vocation of women to Vowed Religious Life.&nbsp; I know he will also be supportive to men who are discerning the Permanent Diaconate and in general he will be a voice encouraging every baptized Catholic to consider their specific vocational call.&nbsp; The world today demands that we support the call of the Lord in whatever form it takes and of course married life is a vocation that must be promoted as well because so many have little understanding of the importance of the commitment of marriage.</p> <p>As I reflect on the promotion of vocations I want to highlight a beautiful tradition that has become part of our diocesan life.&nbsp; Once again on November 30, I will gather with all the altar servers who are able to attend as we celebrate their service in our parishes.&nbsp; These young people are a blessing as they assist the priests and deacons at the Eucharistic altar.&nbsp; I encouraged the priests to highlight the possible vocation of the boys to consider priesthood or permanent diaconate and for the girls to consider vowed religious life in the Church.&nbsp; Serving at the altar is an opportunity for boys and girls to become more comfortable with the mass and the beauty of the Eucharistic liturgy.&nbsp; The Lord calls all of us to live deeply committed lives in His Church and serving at the altar is an opportunity for boys and girls to reflect on the Lord&rsquo;s call in very concrete ways.&nbsp; As Father Braun begins his work as Vocation Director I ask for your prayers that many boys may consider ordained ministry as priests or deacons and many girls may consider serving the Church as vowed religious.&nbsp; Let us pray that Mary the Mother of God may intercede for us all so that we may follow her example and say yes to the movement of the Holy Spirit in our lives.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Fri, 22 Nov 2013 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Daily Reflection]]> <p>The liturgical calendar today offers us the option of celebrating St. Albert the Great, a renowned Dominican of the 13th century.&nbsp; He was a learned scholar who was also a man of great faith and theological depth.&nbsp; The first reading for today&rsquo;s mass is especially significant in light of the life of St. Albert the Great.</p> <p>Friday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time<br /> Lectionary: 495</p> <p>Reading 1 <a href="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/bible/wisdom/13:1">Wis 13:1-9</a></p> <p>All men were by nature foolish who were in ignorance of God,<br /> and who from the good things seen did not succeed in knowing him who is,<br /> and from studying the works did not discern the artisan;<br /> But either fire, or wind, or the swift air,<br /> or the circuit of the stars, or the mighty water,<br /> or the luminaries of heaven, the governors of the world, they considered gods.<br /> Now if out of joy in their beauty they thought them gods,<br /> let them know how far more excellent is the Lord than these;<br /> for the original source of beauty fashioned them.<br /> Or if they were struck by their might and energy,<br /> let them from these things realize how much more powerful is he who made them.<br /> For from the greatness and the beauty of created things<br /> their original author, by analogy, is seen.<br /> But yet, for these the blame is less;<br /> For they indeed have gone astray perhaps,<br /> though they seek God and wish to find him.<br /> For they search busily among his works,<br /> but are distracted by what they see, because the things seen are fair.<br /> But again, not even these are pardonable.<br /> For if they so far succeeded in knowledge<br /> that they could speculate about the world,<br /> how did they not more quickly find its Lord?</p> <p>I would encourage all of us to reflect on this message as very pertinent to our day.&nbsp; The last sentence is especially worth pondering.</p> <p>God bless you.&nbsp; Bishop Joseph Strickland</p> Fri, 15 Nov 2013 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Approaching the Feast of Christ the King ]]> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/Letter.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 750px;" /></p> Fri, 15 Nov 2013 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Something Worth Sharing]]> <p>Therefore, when talking about same-sex &ldquo;marriage,&rdquo; the debate is not about personal libert&eacute; or &eacute;galit&eacute;. Rather, the debate is about whether the State should publicly sanction and monetarily support disordered sex or whether the State, society, and the individual have a vested interest in maintaining the biological definition of sex and discouraging disordered acts? Professor Anthony Esolen from Providence College sums it up quite nicely:</p> <p>&ldquo;Before we ask whether a man and a man may mate, we must notice that in fact a man and a man are incapable of mating. There has never been such a thing as a man marrying a man, and there never will be. There can only be the pretense, just as a man in drag can only pretend to be a woman. At base, there is nothing at all to debate. What is up for debate is whether we should pretend that something exists which not only does not exist but can never exist, and whether this act of make-believe will conduce to the common good&mdash;to stronger marriages, families richer in children, fewer divorces, fewer births out of wedlock, fewer abortions, a more wholesome public square, the withering of pornography, more harmony between men and women, more understanding between the generations, children who retain their innocence till the threshold of adulthood; fuller churches, men and women motivated less by pleasure than by what is good and noble; a world in which a young person would be ashamed for the shameless, and in which there need be no laws against public filth, because custom alone would more than suffice.&rdquo;</p> Tue, 29 Oct 2013 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[The Sancitity of Life]]> <p>&quot;In reality it is only in the mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of man truly becomes clear&quot;.</p> <p>This quote from Gaudium et Spes in the Catechism gives us much to ponder.&nbsp; It speaks to the foundations for the sanctity of life that the Church proclaims with such joy and hope.&nbsp; We know that the earliest words of scripture in Genesis tell us that we are created in God&#39;s image.&nbsp; This quote reminds us of the astounding reality that God has entered into this creature created in His image in a wondrous way.&nbsp; God has given His own Son that human life might be profoundly sacred once again as He originally intended.</p> <p>Let us continue to work in our society in order to wake up God&#39;s people to this tremendous truth.<img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/Holy%20Spirit%20Visit.jpg" style="height: 1200px; width: 900px" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Thu, 10 Oct 2013 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[A Prayerful October]]> <p>As we begin the month of October with its focus on the Sanctity of Life I encourage all of us to refocus on the core values that guide us in our Catholic faith and that we are called to live and proclaim as leaven in our society.</p> <p>I&#39;ve had numerous questions from the faithful in the diocese regarding Pope Francis&#39; recent interview reported in America magazine and other Jesuit periodicals.&nbsp; The secular press and even at times certain Catholic periodicals tend to take brief quotes out of context when it comes to interviews like the one Pope Francis has given.&nbsp; I would encourage anyone who is unsure or concerned about what the Holy Father is saying to read the interview in its entirety.&nbsp; This is always a good principle in our age of sound bites but it is especially important when something addresses Catholic teaching.&nbsp; After having read the text of the Holy Father&#39;s interview some may still have questions but they can be dealt with much more effectively in the context of his whole message.</p> <p>What the Holy Father is saying in regard to the sanctity of life issues is especially important during the month of October when we traditionally pray and work for a greater respect for life.&nbsp; Clearly the Holy Father is not calling for a retreat from the importance of these issues but instead he is reminding us that they make sense when we are deeply rooted in our relationship with Jesus Christ the Lord of Life.&nbsp; Too often secular society rejects our beautiful Catholic faith as a list of thou shalt nots.&nbsp; I understand Pope Francis&#39; words as a reminder that when we come to know and love Jesus Christ then who we must be and what we must do becomes very clear.&nbsp; As a consequence what we must not do also gains a greater clarity and becomes part of our relationship with Him and His powerful love.&nbsp; Then we are able to say from deep in our hearts.&nbsp; I will not violate the sanctity of life or commit any grave sin......because I LOVE HIM.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Fri, 4 Oct 2013 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Christ at the Center]]> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/Sistine%20Chapel.jpg" style="height: 640px; width: 480px" /></p> <p>The Last Judgement as depicted by Michaelangelo in the Sistine Chapel places Jesus Christ af the very center of the fresco which covers the entire wall.&nbsp; As I have just returned from Rome and my experience of studying with new bishops from around the world this image seems to capture the essence of what we were reminded of in our seminar.&nbsp; This famous image depicts Christ at the end of time dividing the saved from the damned.&nbsp; There are of course many striking elements of this fresco but one that is quite significant is that Michaelangelo depicts the book of the damned as a volume which is quite large while the book of the saved might be described as pocket sized.&nbsp; This probably says a lot about the artists own perspective and struggles especially as we note that this was painted toward the end of his life.&nbsp; The significant difference in the size of these symbolic books seems to be something that Pope Francis is trying to address in a recently released interview.&nbsp; As the Bishop of Rome and thus the leader of the Roman Catholic Church today Pope Francis is urging us not to be satisfied with the small volume of those who are ultimately saved and share eternity with God.&nbsp; The Holy Father is urging us to share and live the good news of Jesus Christ.&nbsp; He urges us to rely on God&#39;s mercy as we seek the strength of His grace to guide us away from sin and damnation.</p> <p>Christ at the center, this seems to summarize well the message of Pope Francis.&nbsp; When we place Christ at the center His mercy heals us, His life inspires us and His grace guides us to our true fulfillment.&nbsp; Let us resolve to do our daily best to place Christ at the center of all that we do.</p> Sat, 21 Sep 2013 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Reflections in Rome]]> <p>Reflecting on the first couple of days here in Rome at the Bishop&#39;s School with 120 bishops from all over the world I have to say the operative word is overwhelming. &nbsp;We have only begun several days of talks and there is already more to do than I could ever accomplish. &nbsp;Even as I say this I&#39;m aware that probably the most important thing is to remember I CAN NOT do it all. &nbsp;Ultimately we only cooperate with the grace of God. &nbsp;</p> &nbsp; I hope this reflection is helpful to you where ever you find yourself. &nbsp;Whether a student, a parent, a professional, a priest, a woman religious, a deacon or some combination of these roles I suppose we all feel overwhelmed at times. &nbsp;One of the bishops spoke of the grace of office and I definitely feel the strength that brings. &nbsp;The Lord truly does give us the grace to fulfill His call for us. &nbsp; We had an excellent presentation last night where a bishop from Brazil touched on some very practical points. I laughed when he reminded us that time is very democratic. &nbsp;Whether the Pope or a kindergartener we all get the same 24 hours every day. He emphasized that as bishop I need to manage my time well. &nbsp;I know that is a challenge we all face. &nbsp; The most important message I heard yesterday was to focus on the essentials. This resonates with my own prayerful reflection on what we need in the diocese. &nbsp;I believe we all need to live the essentials of our Catholic faith. &nbsp;There are so many distractions and fragmentations of life for all of us. &nbsp;These include serious threats to the very fiber of our life in Christ. &nbsp;Catholic teaching through the ages guides the people of God to be fully alive in this world and to live with Him eternally in the next. &nbsp; When we begin to speak of the essentials I&#39;m sure many priorities flood our minds. &nbsp;I would propose the following as at least&nbsp;a beginning list. &nbsp; 1. &nbsp; &nbsp;Our relationship with Jesus Christ God&#39;s only begotten Son who guides us in His Spirit 2. &nbsp;The Virgin Mary Mother of God and model of Christians 3. The Eucharist &amp; all the sacraments especially marriage, signs of Christ alive with us 4. The Word of God nourishment for our souls 5. &nbsp;The sanctity of life from conception to natural death &nbsp; Some may be surprised at my second essential. &nbsp;I place Mary immediately after our personal relationship with Christ because she constantly points us back to Christ. &nbsp;As our loving Mother she always nudges us back on the path of her son. &nbsp; We immediately think of a multitude of important things that radiate from these five essentials. &nbsp;Hopefully these five help us to constantly refocus on the essentials of our life in Christ while not neglecting these important things. &nbsp; Let us continually return to these in all that we do and let us support each other in living the essentials. Fri, 13 Sep 2013 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Bishop's School]]> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/image(1).jpg" />Rome at Bishop&#39;s School........Pilgrimage to the Tomb of Peter........quite an experience</p> Thu, 12 Sep 2013 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[A Visit with Pope Francis]]> <p>As I go to Rome for Bishop&#39;s School I don&#39;t hope to have the chance to greet the Holy Father in the informal way that this picture suggests.&nbsp; But he may surprise me as he has surprised the world.<img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/Pope%20Francis.jpg" style="height: 338px; width: 600px" /></p> <p>Please know that you will be in my prayers as I visit Rome.</p> <p>God bless you, Bishop Strickland</p> Sat, 31 Aug 2013 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[School Days]]> <img alt="" height="355" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/Gorman(1).jpg" width="350" /> <img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/Gorman2.jpg" style="width: 350px; height: 354px;" /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The photos are from our Catholic schools in Tyler on the first day of the new school year.</p> <p>All over the diocese schools are preparing to start a new year or have already started.&nbsp; We are blessed to have Catholic Schools in Tyler, Longview, Marshall and Lufkin.&nbsp; Our Catholic schools do a great job of educating children and supporting families and have the opportunity to form our children in the context of life in Jesus Christ.&nbsp; As bishop I support all efforts to provide sound education whether public or private but our Catholic schools are a special treasure that allows us to form the whole person according to God&#39;s will.</p> <p>I&nbsp;appreciate all who are involved in education at whatever level because I know it demands an intense commitment.&nbsp; As schools begin please know that all educators and students are in my prayers.</p> Wed, 14 Aug 2013 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Knights of Columbus in the Diocese of Tyler]]> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/Knights%2025th%20Anniversary.jpg" style="height: 480px; width: 640px" /></p> <p>This picture was taken on February 24, 2012 when the Diocese of Tyler celebrated its 25th Anniversary.&nbsp;&nbsp;It includes only a portion of the Knights who have served the diocese throughout its history.&nbsp; I thought it was an appropriate photo to pull from my archives as I head to the 2013 Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus in San Antonio.&nbsp; The Convention begins on August 5.</p> <p>In a few weeks Bishop Carmody will join me as the Knights of Columbus present a check in excess of $50,000 which is designated for the support of the education of future priests for the diocese.&nbsp; This very generous donation comes from the hard work of all of the Knights of Columbus Councils in the diocese in supporting the charitable works of the order.&nbsp; The Knights have been a tremendous support to all four bishops of the diocese and their dedication to faith, our nation and assistance to those in need is an example for us all.&nbsp; Congratulations Sir Knights and your Ladies.&nbsp; See you in San Antonio.</p> Sun, 4 Aug 2013 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[World Youth Day and Pope Francis' First Encyclical ]]> <p>Pope Francis has had a tremendous impact on the youth at World Youth Day in Brazil and on the whole world.&nbsp; As I reflect on some of his statements and encounters in Rio his encyclical Lumen Fidei, &ldquo;The Light of Faith&rdquo; is brought to mind.</p> <p>Pope Francis quotes Saint Justin Martyr saying that, &ldquo;No one has ever been ready to die for his faith in the sun&rdquo;.&nbsp; Pope Francis is referring to the age old tendency for the human person to turn to idolatry in our quest for faith.&nbsp; Saint Justin&rsquo;s play on words refers to the prevalent worship of the sun god in the culture which first encountered Jesus Christ the Son of God.</p> <p>Although today worship of a sun god has been marginalized to the fringes of our culture we are challenged by the words of Pope Francis to be aware of our tendencies toward idolatry even today.&nbsp; We may not be urged to worship the sun in any literal sense but we are urged to worship the idols of wealth, pleasure, power and excess.</p> <p>Let us take Saint Justin&rsquo;s words to heart and reflect on the ways we are called to die to self because of our faith in the Son of God.&nbsp; Let us pray that the youth who have been greatly touched by Pope Francis as he proclaims Jesus Christ may joyfully embrace devotion to the Son of God and His Light that guides their daily lives.</p> Mon, 29 Jul 2013 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[A Flock of Shepherds]]> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/Holy%20Trinity%20Alumni.jpg" style="height: 480px; width: 640px" /></p> <p>This photo was taken on July 9, 2013 at the Installation of Bishop Mark Seitz as Bishop of El Paso.&nbsp; It also happened to be the birthday of Archbishop Michael Sheehan third from the left.&nbsp; Archbishop Sheehan was rector at Holy Trinity Seminary in Irving, Texas during the seminary formation of the five bishops pictured.&nbsp; It was great to have us all together.</p> <p>The bishops pictured are from left, Bishop Doug Deshotel, Auxilary Bishop of Dallas, Bishop Mark J. Seitz, newly installed Bishop of El Paso, the Archbishop, Bishop Daniel Flores, Bishop of Brownsville, yours truly and Bishop Michael Duca, Bishop of Shreveport.&nbsp; Archbishop has been a great mentor to all of us and to many other priests that he helped to train during his 6 years at Holy Trinity.</p> <p>While I was in El Paso about 300 parishioners and supporters drove to Austin in support of legislation to help limit abortions in Texas.</p> <p>How&#39;s that for a multitasking diocese! Way to go Cathedral and those who joined in the trip.&nbsp; The pictures indicate that it was not only a holy trip but a pretty fun time too!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Thu, 11 Jul 2013 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[True Independence]]> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/fireworks.jpg" style="height: 332px; width: 511px" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As the fireworks of another 4th of July celebration fade I pray that all of you are blessed and have had the opportunity to celebrate with family and friends.</p> <p>It seems that we live in a time of great contrasts and at times great contradictions.&nbsp; As we celebrate Independence Day for our nation let us do so as people always rooted in faith.&nbsp; The glow of the fireworks for this 4th of July shed light on a nation in great turmoil in regard to the basic values that have been the foundation of our society since its inception.&nbsp; Our forbearers spoke of rights endowed by the Creator yet many today deny the existence of our Creator or at least want to ignore His commandments.&nbsp; Every society from Sodom and Gomorrah, to the Roman Empire, to Nazi Germany, to Communist Russia that has chosen to ignore God has ultimately crumbled into dust.&nbsp; We have to pray that we may learn from the errors of the past while trusting that &ldquo;even if only ten are faithful&rdquo; God will sustain us in His mercy.&nbsp; Let us choose daily to be among those faithful few no matter how deeply our society falls into error.</p> <p>I recommend a brief article by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput entitled &ldquo;Christian Witness and America&rsquo;s Birthday&rdquo;.&nbsp; It was shared with me and can be accessed on Zenit.org.</p> <p>I&rsquo;m grateful for the fidelity of prayer and action that I continue to witness in the people of the Diocese of Tyler.&nbsp; Many have participated in various efforts of prayer on the public square promoting the sanctity of life, the value of traditional marriage and the need for a just immigration policy for our nation.&nbsp; As I share these reflections a group is organizing to make a pilgrimage to Austin in support of our legislator&rsquo;s efforts to at least eliminate abortions in our state after twenty weeks of gestation.&nbsp; It is a sad commentary that we have to fight so hard for this minimal protection for the unborn but fight we must and I commend those who are organizing this prayerful and peaceful effort to uphold the sanctity of life.</p> <p>If you are interested in participating in this trip to Austin you can contact Mr. Jim Franz via the Bishop Gorman School website bishopgorman.net &nbsp;or Fr. Justin Braun at the Cathedral at thecathedral.info</p> <p>Lest we grow despondent because of the apparent crumbling of values we need to also note the tremendous signs of God&rsquo;s grace unfolding in our lives.&nbsp; The contrasts and contradictions I mentioned above are highlighted in the fact that this 4th of July also finds us contemplating the announcement that two popes that have served in the last fifty years are to be canonized as saints.&nbsp; Blessed John the XXIII and Blessed John Paul II are both to be elevated to sainthood, likely before the end of the year.&nbsp; The miracle that allows Blessed John Paul II to take this final step has been described as &ldquo;truly astounding&rdquo;.&nbsp; Hopefully those words remind us that the power of God&rsquo;s grace always has been and always will be truly astounding.&nbsp; Let us continue our journey of faith encouraged and challenged to live our lives always seeking the Grace of God.</p> Sat, 6 Jul 2013 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Marriage]]> <p align="center">God&rsquo;s Gift of Marriage</p> <p>The Supreme Court has chosen not to uphold the definition of marriage that has guided human society for much of recorded history.&nbsp; As people of faith this decision saddens and deeply troubles us but we must continue to look to scripture and tradition to address the important questions of our time and specifically the meaning of marriage.&nbsp; Our Catholic faith constantly reminds us to turn to these fonts of truth.</p> <p>Let us begin with the word of God.&nbsp; &nbsp;In the Gospel of Mark 10:6 Jesus reminds the disciples that in the beginning God made them male and female and the two shall become one.&nbsp; Here we have Jesus Christ taking us back to the very beginning of creation to indicate that marriage involves one man and one woman in a covenant of unity.&nbsp; We have to acknowledge that the Hebrew Scriptures tell the story of the chosen people of God gradually coming to understand what was God&rsquo;s plan from the beginning of creation.&nbsp; We can point to numerous instances where this original plan of God was not followed but as Christ appears on the scene he clearly calls His flock to recognize that marriage as the commitment of one man to one woman was God&rsquo;s plan from the beginning of creation.</p> <p>Now let us look to the Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 1601 as it speaks of our Tradition.</p> <p>&ldquo;The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.&rdquo;</p> <p>The phrase, &ldquo;partnership of the whole of life&rdquo;, speaks beautifully of the reality of marriage.&nbsp; It is God&rsquo;s will that a man and a woman enter into this partnership and if we take a moment to reflect on what this is saying it truly reinforces the basic meaning of marriage.&nbsp; Only a man and a woman can share the whole of life as is intended in marriage.&nbsp; This phrase reminds us that marriage is about sharing physical, emotional, personal, sexual and intellectual aspects of life.&nbsp; We must acknowledge that this sharing is a great challenge and often breaks down in one aspect or another.&nbsp; It is intriguing that even the failures of this partnership that occur between a man and a woman seem to reinforce the reality that it is simply impossible for any other configuration of marriage to have any real success.&nbsp; No matter how much some may want to distort marriage and shape it in new ways it is simply not possible.</p> <p>At this point I would like to reflect on the word offspring.&nbsp; It is a term that somehow harkens back to a different time and a society more rooted in the earth.&nbsp; The term from old English has been in use for more than one thousand years.&nbsp; In a beautiful way it seems to speak organically of how children come to be as they are an offshoot of the relationship of a man and a woman.&nbsp; Although modern medical technologies can separate the conception of a child from the sexual union of a man and woman ultimately offspring are only possible when a man and woman come together.</p> <p>These brief reflections only begin to touch on some of the issues that we need to address in light of the Court&rsquo;s decision let us continue to pray and focus on the truth that our loving God has revealed to us.</p> Fri, 28 Jun 2013 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[More on Marriage]]> <p>I wanted to add a brief follow up to my reflections on marriage in light of the decision of the Supreme Court.&nbsp; The media tends to paint these complex issues with a very broad brush but as I read more about the actual decision of the Supreme Court it is clear that we still have significant opportunities to ensure that the definition of marriage that comes from scripture and tradition is upheld.&nbsp; Let us pray and advocate in our state legislature and in any national forums available to us that our belief that marriage is between one man and one woman should be the law of the land.&nbsp; I would expect that you will hear much more about this controversy in the weeks and months to come, let us stay anchored in the truth that our loving God has revealed to us and do our best to share this good news with all.</p> Fri, 28 Jun 2013 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Source and Summit]]> <p>The Feast of Corpus Christi, the Body and Blood of Christ, reminds us of an essential teaching of our Catholic faith embodied in the documents of the Second Vatican Council and quoted in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.&nbsp; The Eucharist is the &ldquo;source and summit of the Christian life&rdquo;.&nbsp; As we have just celebrated the Feast of Corpus Christi it is appropriate for us all to ponder anew whether this is true in our own daily faith journey.</p> <p>As an ordained priest it is essential that this truly is my reality, the truth that guides every day, the essential focus for all that I do.&nbsp; It is also important that we pay attention to the specific wording of this teaching.&nbsp; It speaks of the Christian life and thus reminds us that the Eucharist is the &ldquo;source and summit&rdquo; or the &ldquo;fount and the apex&rdquo; of the life of every Christian.&nbsp; Thus for all of us it is the fount of all that we are in Christ and we return everything in thanksgiving to the Eucharist.</p> <p>We heard these words many times.&nbsp; Let us continue this Year of Faith by striving to live them more fully each day.&nbsp; May we all live the truth these words express and allow the altar of thanksgiving that is the Eucharist to dwell at the very center of our lives.</p> Mon, 3 Jun 2013 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Wednesday Audience Message from Pope Francis]]> <p>These words from a recent Audience of the Holy Father at St. Peter&#39;s in Rome resonate with my prayers for the Diocese of Tyler.&nbsp; Let us reflect together on our loving God&#39;s call for us to be a Holy Family.&nbsp; </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Dear brothers and sisters,<br /> <br /> Last Wednesday I stressed the deep connection between the Holy Spirit and the Church. Today I would like to start some reflections on the mystery of the Church, a mystery that we all live and of which we are part. I would like to do this, using some well-known phrases taken from the documents of the Second Vatican Council.<br /> <br /> Today the first: the Church as Family of God<br /> In recent months, more than once I have made reference to the parable of the prodigal son, or rather of the merciful father (cf. Lk 15:11-32). The youngest son leaves the house of his father, squanders everything, and decides to return because he realizes he made a mistake, though he no longer considers himself worthy of sonship. He thinks he might be welcomed back as a servant. Instead, the father runs to meet him, embraces him, gives him back his dignity as a son, and celebrates. This parable, like others in the Gospel, shows well the design of God for humanity.<br /> <br /> What is this God&rsquo;s plan? It is to make us all the one family of his children, in which each of you feels close to Him and feels loved by Him &ndash; feels, as in the Gospel parable, the warmth of being the family of God. In this great design, the Church finds its source. [The Church is] is not an organization founded by an agreement among [a group of] persons, but - as we were reminded many times by Pope Benedict XVI - is the work of God: it was born out of the plan of love, which realises itself progressively in history. The Church is born from the desire of God to call all people into communion with Him, to His friendship, and indeed, as His children, to partake of His own divine life. The very word &ldquo;Church&rdquo;, from the Greek ekklesia, means &ldquo;convocation&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> God calls us, urges us to escape from individualism, [from] the tendency to withdraw into ourselves, and calls us &ndash; convokes us &ndash; to be a part of His family. This convocation has its origin in creation itself. God created us in order that we might live in a relationship of deep friendship with Him, and even when sin had broken this relationship with God, with others and with creation, God did not abandon us.<br /> <br /> The whole history of salvation is the story of God seeking man, offer[ing] humanity His love, embracing mankind. He called Abraham to be the father of a multitude, chose the people of Israel to forge an alliance that embraces all nations, and sent, in the fullness of time, His Son, that His plan of love and salvation be realised in a new and everlasting covenant with humanity. When we read the Gospels, we see that Jesus gathers around him a small community that receives His word, follows Him, shares His journey, becomes His family &ndash; and with this community, He prepares and builds His Church.<br /> <br /> Whence, then, is the Church born? It is born from the supreme act of love on the Cross, from the pierced side of Jesus from which flow blood and water, a symbol of the sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist. In the family of God, the Church, the lifeblood is the love of God that is realised in loving Him and others, loving all without distinction, without measure. The Church is a family that loves and is loved.<br /> <br /> When does the Church manifest itself? We celebrated [the Church&rsquo;s manifestation] two Sundays ago: the Church manifests itself when the gift of the Holy Spirit fills the hearts of the Apostles and pushes them to go out and start the journey to proclaim the Gospel, to spread the love of God.<br /> <br /> Even today, some say, &ldquo;Christ yes, the Church no,&rdquo; like those who say, &ldquo;I believe in God, but in priests, no.&rdquo; They say, &ldquo;Christ: yes. Church: no.&rdquo; Nevertheless, it is the Church that brings us Christ and that brings us to God. The Church is the great family of God&#39;s children. Of course it also has the human aspects: in those who compose it, pastors and faithful, there are flaws, imperfections, sins &ndash; the Pope has his, as well: he has lots of them; but the beautiful thing is that, when we become aware that we are sinners, we find the mercy of God. God always forgives: do not forget this. God always forgives, and He receives us in His love of forgiveness and mercy. Some people say &ndash; this is beautiful &ndash; that sin is an offence against God, but it is also an opportunity: the humiliation of realising [that one is a sinner] and that there is something [exceedingly] beautiful: the mercy of God. Let us think about this.<br /> <br /> Let us ask ourselves today: how much do I love the Church? Do I pray for her? Do I feel myself a part of the family of the Church? What do I do to make the Church a community in which everyone feels welcomed and understood, [in which] everyone feels the mercy and love of God who renews life? Faith is a gift and an act that affects us personally, but God calls us to live our faith together, as a family: as the Church.<br /> <br /> We ask the Lord, in a special way in this Year of the faith, that our communities, the whole Church be ever more true families that live and carry the warmth of God.<br /> <br /> &nbsp;</p> Thu, 30 May 2013 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[The Whole Spectrum]]> <p>I thought I would take the time to share a few random thoughts that have been on my mind during these days following the Feast of Pentecost.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p align="center">The Sanctity of Life</p> <p>Atrocities</p> <p>Dr. Kermit Gosnell is a name that should ring through the ages, as does the name of Adolph Hitler, as personifying evil in our world.&nbsp; Sadly, many probably don&rsquo;t even recognize the name and those who do most likely have only a vague idea of the atrocities that he has committed. Thank God the jury saw fit to convict him of murder which is clearly the crime he committed. Our nation&rsquo;s main stream media largely ignored the story offering the excuse that it was too horrible.&nbsp; The clear reality is that it was ignored because it exposes the ugly reality of abortion for what it is; taking the life of an innocent human being.&nbsp; I pray that we can be a local church that proclaims the pro-life message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with great joy and strength.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Disasters</p> <p>The tornadoes that have struck Texas and Oklahoma in the past week, once again, remind us of the fragile nature of our lives.&nbsp; It is uplifting to see the heartfelt response of God&rsquo;s good people after they witness these tragedies and give so generously of themselves to assist their brothers and sisters.&nbsp; It is especially poignant to witness the loss of children and it speaks to the deep down goodness that rests in the human heart that so many join in expressing concern and support.&nbsp; Our faith compels us to see clearly the stark contrast between this genuine and natural response to the tragic loss of life as opposed to the selfish and evil actions of Dr. Gosnell.&nbsp; We must thank God for the expressions of value for the sacred nature of the life He has given all of us and pray that many more will see the tragic dichotomy which exist in our fractured society.&nbsp; Let us pray that our society may be moved to recognize that the loss of any life from conception to natural death is always a tragedy and a poverty for the human family.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>End of Life</p> <p>You may be aware of the storm of controversy surrounding a Bill in the Texas Legislature known as SB 303.&nbsp; The substance of this legislation deals with some much needed reforms of our state laws which pertain to end of life decisions.&nbsp; Once again, it highlights the essential teaching of our Catholic faith that life is sacred from conception to natural death.&nbsp; Certainly, we can never cease to speak out for the sanctity of the life of the unborn, but our teaching reminds us that life at the other end of the spectrum is often threatened as well.&nbsp; It is my firm belief that we will only bring an end to abortion when we as a society begin to embrace a true culture of life which values the sick and infirmed as well.&nbsp; I am proud to stand in solidarity with the bishops of Texas as we support the values this Bill reinforces.&nbsp; Our legal systems will never be able to perfectly express the fullness of God&rsquo;s justice, but it is our duty to continue to seek that perfection and refinement of our laws.&nbsp; The policies expressed in SB 303 are clearly a step in the right direction and we need to support it with our prayers and action.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>ACTS Retreats</p> <p>Many in the Diocese of Tyler have been blessed with the opportunity to participate in an ACTS Retreat and I encourage all of you who have been touched by this wonderful experience to do all you can to promote the growth of ACTS in our parishes.&nbsp; ACTS stands for Adoration, Community, Theology and Service and these retreats originated in the Archdiocese of San Antonio in the late 1980&rsquo;s.&nbsp; This Catholic movement has spread to many other dioceses and has proven to be an instrument of wonderful faith renewal for many Catholics. It has also supported the faith journey of many non-Catholics.&nbsp; As you read my reflections under the general heading of The Sanctity of Life you may wonder about my inclusion of comments about the ACTS Retreat experience.&nbsp; I choose to address this element of our diocesan family&nbsp; because I believe it truly does speak to the sanctity of life from conception to natural death.&nbsp; As noted above, many of the life controversies we deal with focus on the beginning of life or the end of life.&nbsp; I believe ACTS is a wonderful way to make all those days in between more sacred as well.&nbsp;&nbsp; As bishop of the Diocese of Tyler I wholeheartedly endorse ACTS as a wonderful Catholic retreat experience and I encourage all of our priests, deacons, religious and laity to support ACTS in their local parish.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Knights of Columbus</p> <p>The final focus I bring to these reflections on the Sanctity of Life highlights the work of the Knights of Columbus in the diocese.&nbsp; As is the case with the ACTS Retreats, I believe the Knights of Columbus and their generous spouses who support them are a great force for enhancing the sacred nature of the lives we lead every day.&nbsp; It is probably not as widely known as it should be that the Knights of Columbus do a tremendous amount of charitable work that reaches well beyond the boundaries of the Diocese of Tyler.&nbsp; Recently, Daniel Cardinal DINardo recognized the Diocese of Tyler Knights of Columbus Councils for their accomplishment of meeting or exceeding their charitable donation goal. The recognition notes that the Diocese of Tyler is the only diocese in the state where every Council has met or exceeded its charitable donation goal for twenty years in a row.&nbsp; Their efforts also garnered a check of almost $50,000.00 in support of our diocesan seminarians.&nbsp; These charitable donations address many needs of the body of Christ and further support the sacred nature of life in our day to day journey.</p> <p>I hope you will agree with me that these seemingly random thoughts actually do come together as expressions of the sanctity of life.</p> Tue, 21 May 2013 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Bishop Strickland meets with His Holiness Pope Francis]]> <p><img alt="" height="410" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/bishopandpope.JPG" width="621" /></p> Fri, 26 Apr 2013 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Pope Francis and a dark week]]> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/Pope3.png" style="width: 400px; height: 533px;" /></p> <p>I was blessed with the opportunity to meet Pope Francis at his audience in St. Peters Square on April 10.&nbsp; His presence at the audience was truly a reflection of all that we have heard and read about this man since his election to the See of Peter in March.&nbsp; It was truly a joy to see him interact with the people at the audience.&nbsp; As you can imagine it was quite an experience for me as a newly ordained bishop.&nbsp; I have been blessed to shake the hand of John Paul II, Benedict and now Pope Francis.&nbsp; In the interest of full disclosure ALL I did was shake the hand of Pope John Paul II.&nbsp; I was a seminarian at the time and was just lucky enough to shake his hand as he moved through the crowd.&nbsp; I at least was able to exchange a few words with Pope Benedict and now with Pope Francis.&nbsp; Each of these men are very different individuals but as the succesors of St. Peter they all bring unique gifts to their Petrine ministry.</p> <p>My experience on April 10 stands in stark contrast to the events of April 15 and April 17.&nbsp; First the horror of the bomb blasts at the Boston Marathon and then the devastation of the explosion of the fertilizer plant in West, Texas left us all reeling and deeply saddened.</p> <p>I suppose my reflection is that all three events speak to us of the deep meaning of these Easter days we continue to celebrate.&nbsp; My encounter with the Vicar of Christ was a moment of great hope and excitement.&nbsp; The bombing in Boston represented the darkest of diabolical intentions that sadly can spring from the human heart.&nbsp; The explosion in West (apparently totally accidental) reminds us of the frail and uncertain world we live in at all times.&nbsp; They come together to remind me that Our Lord and Savior has truly encountered the world we live in and has brought everlasting light that penetrates the deepest darkness.&nbsp; Christ is our Light.&nbsp; Christ is our Hope. Christ is our Joy.&nbsp; Let us pray that whatever happens we will always turn to Christ.&nbsp; Let us turn to him when we are joyful to acknowledge that He is the source of all joy. Let us seek Him when we are frightened and remember that He is our refuge.&nbsp; Let us turn to Him when we are shocked and confused and remember that He is the Lord of Truth.</p> <p>I have asked our parishes to take up a special collection that we will send to the Diocese of Austin to support those who are suffering in the aftermath of the explosion on Wednesday.&nbsp; I know our wonderful people will be generous with their resources and with their prayers.</p> <p>May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Sat, 20 Apr 2013 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[A Blessed Easter]]> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/God's%20Grandure.png" style="width: 600px; height: 390px;" /></p> <p>I pray that this Easter brings special blessings to you and your family.&nbsp; We have seen God&#39;s love expressed through His Holy Spirit in wonderful ways.&nbsp; Let us continue to strive to live as people of the resurrection every day.&nbsp; As I celebrate the Triduum for the first time as Bishop of Tyler I offer these beautiful liturgies for you and all who are dear to you.&nbsp; We give thanks for the election of Pope Francis and we pray that he will continue to be a powerful beacon of the light of Christ for the entire world.</p> <p>God bless you, Bishop Joseph Strickland</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Thu, 28 Mar 2013 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Ringing in the Joy]]> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/image.jpg" style="width: 480px; height: 640px;" /></p> Fri, 15 Mar 2013 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Photo]]> <p>The photo&nbsp;comes from the 2005 election of Pope Benedict XVI. &nbsp;It shows me and several St. Gregory School students ringing the bell at the Cathedral the day he was elected. &nbsp;It is hard to believe that was eight years ago and so much has happened since then. &nbsp;We have joyfully rung in the papacy of Pope Francis and all that I have seen of him in the media gives me great hope that he will build on the good work of Benedict XVI.</p> <p>Many are calling for dramatic changes in basic Church teachings but as faithful Catholics we know that the Pope&#39;s responsibility is to faithfully pass on the message of Jesus Christ. &nbsp;As we joyfully and prayerfully embark on this new chapter in the life of the Church with Pope Francis let us always remember that it is the teaching of Jesus Christ that we are called to follow. All of us from the Holy Father to the Holy people of God must remember that the teachings of Christ were often rejected and misunderstood in His day. &nbsp;As many voices call for significant changes in those basic teachings we must remember that the work of the Church is to guard the faith and share its beauty with all who seek the Good News of Jesus Christ.&nbsp;</p> Fri, 15 Mar 2013 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Habemus Papam]]> <p align="center">&nbsp;</p> <p>I join Catholics throughout the world in rejoicing at the announcement of the election of our new Holy Father Pope Francis I.&nbsp; The Cardinal Electors guided by the Holy Spirit have chosen a man from the new world, from Argentina, a Jesuit and from all reports a man of simplicity that whose lifestyle echoes the name he has chosen.&nbsp; I find it to be significant that Pope Francis I was chosen after a relatively short Conclave.&nbsp; It signals a unity among the Cardinals that is a blessing.&nbsp; The fact that he is not only a non-Italian but also is from Latin America, the new world, is also a sign of the vitality of the Church as She is guided by the Holy Spirit.</p> <p>Let us all pray for the Holy Father Francis I, he has a tremendous task ahead of him but as all Popes before him the Lord is with him and the Holy Spirit will guide him.&nbsp; Let us pray that his heart will always be open to face the challenges with joy and that he may listen attentively to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.</p> Wed, 13 Mar 2013 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Reflections]]> <p>Reflecting on the Word of God to be proclaimed at our masses for the 4th Sunday of Lent (Cycle C Readings) I focus especially on the reading from the Book of Joshua, the Responsorial&nbsp;Psalm&nbsp;and the familiar Gospel story of the Prodigal Son (Luke Chapter 15).&nbsp; The thread I see running through each of these readings is the idea of sharing food together.&nbsp; Although the specific details of how a meal is served and how people come together to share a meal have changed over the centuries and vary significantly in different cultures even today, there is something truly universal and timeless about eating together that God embraces and His Word acknowledges.</p> <p>The reading from Joshua speaks of the end of mannah, the food of the desert, and states that the people began to eat of the &quot;yield of the land of Canaan&quot;.&nbsp; There is a great significance in this statement in that it implies that the wandering Israelites are beginning to truly &quot;settle&quot; in the land of Canaan.&nbsp; They are moving away from being foreigners eating foreign food to being residents who eat the &quot;yield of the land&quot;.&nbsp; In the context of the great struggle of the people of isreal to move from slavery to freedom, from wandering to being citizens in the land this simple act of eating home grown local food is very important.</p> <p>The Responsorial Psalm, Psalm 34, uses those beautiful and familiar words &quot;taste and see the goodness of the Lord&quot;, echoing again the idea of eating together, of being nurtured in the presence of the Lord by the Lord himself.&nbsp; The beautiful word of the psalm clearly call us beyond merely eating food together to a powerfully intimate relationship with the Lord.&nbsp; Especially in the context of the other readings for the mass this psalm clearly has Eucharistic overtones.&nbsp; We can never cease to be in awe of the wonderous gift we celebrate in the Eucharist, being fed of the &quot;yield of the land&quot; the Kingdom of God by the Son of God Himself.</p> <p>Finally, I focus on the words in the Gospel that cause all the commotion that prompts the Lord to tell the marvelous story of the Prodigal son.&nbsp; The lament of the people is that Jesus &quot;sits with sinners and eats with them&quot;.&nbsp; This is a marvelous gift of the Lord&#39;s mercy and we must acknowledge the irony that it is in the&nbsp;protest of this wondrous gift that the Lord is able to once again reinforce His message.&nbsp; Christ makes it clear that the heart of His mission is to &quot;sit with sinners and eat with them&quot;, rather than join the protest let us pray that we might acknowledge that we ARE sinners and rejoice that the Lord longs to dine with us, to show us real food and thus to free us from our sins and call us to &quot;go and sin no more&quot;.</p> <p>As we continue this Lenten journey with all the challenges we face individually and communally, as we pray for the Cardinals who enter into Conclave on Tuesday and as we strive to &quot;turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel&quot;, let us do our best every day to &quot;taste and see the goodness of the Lord&quot;.</p> <p>God bless, +Joseph</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Sat, 9 Mar 2013 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[A Simple Prayer]]> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/Tulips.jpg" style="width: 810px; height: 370px;" /></p> <p>As we hear the news that the Conclave will begin on Tuesday March 12, 2013 let us pray that the Cardinals in Conclave will hear the beautiful voice of God&#39;s Holy Spirit, that the Church may blossom forth in a new springtime of faith, hope and love.</p> <p>+Joseph</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Fri, 8 Mar 2013 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[The Resignation of the Holy Father]]> <p>I thought I would share a few words of personal reflection on this historic day on which the Holy Father has announced his resignation effective February 28, 2013.&nbsp; As you can imagine it created a whole new layer of activity on my calendar which was already fairly busy.&nbsp; I can imagine that it will become one of those moments when I will remember exactly where I was when I received the news.</p> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/bigstock-BARCELONA--NOVEMBER--Pope-B-28226066(1).jpg" style="width: 708px; height: 401px;" /></p> <p>Although as you probably have read by now the resignation of a Pope is not completely without precedent it certainly is uncharted territory for the modern history of the Church.&nbsp; As various people have asked about my reaction and my thoughts in light of this announcement I suppose I have begun to focus on the following.</p> <p>I am impressed by the humility and the deep faith of this man who has served for the past eight years as Pope Benedict XVI.&nbsp; Although of course the work of the Pope is a tremendous burden it is also an office with great prestige. &nbsp;I am impressed that Pope Benedict has seen fit to relinquish all of the &ldquo;position&rdquo; that the papacy entails for what he believes is the good of the Church.</p> <p>This news calls us to prayer especially as we will soon enter into the Retreat of the Church known as Lent.&nbsp; As we receive Ashes this Wednesday we will be reminded in a different way that we are &ldquo;dust and unto dust we shall return&rdquo;.&nbsp; The resignation of the Holy Father is in a beautiful spiritual sense another example of dying to this world in order to seek the everlasting life the Lord came to share with us.&nbsp; I hope that we can all pray in thanksgiving for this good man, Joseph Ratzinger, who has served the Church as His Holiness Benedict XVI, that he many continue to be a vibrant part of the Church he has loved so well.</p> <p>The announcement of the Holy Father&rsquo;s resignation also reminds us that the Church continues her journey through history guided by the Holy Spirit.&nbsp; The unique nature of our Roman Catholic Faith is that we do not ultimately have an earthly head.&nbsp; Instead our head is Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.&nbsp; Although this transition is unusual it reminds us that is simply is another transition in regard to the earthly leadership of the Church.&nbsp; Whether a Pope dies or resigns it is always true that they are only temporary, the Lord and the guidance of the Holy Spirit is our constant.</p> <p>Let us pray for the Cardinals who will soon be traveling to Rome to meet in Conclave.&nbsp; They are only human but with the Lord&rsquo;s promise that His Holy Spirit will always guide His Church they take on a very special role as instruments of the Lord.&nbsp; Let us pray that they will keep Him always before them as they deliberate.&nbsp; Our own Daniel Cardinal DiNardo will join them and for the first time a Cardinal from Texas will participate in the election of the Bishop of Rome.</p> <p>Please be assured of my prayers as we enter into the Lenten Season and once again experience history making events in our lives.</p> <p>+Joseph</p> Mon, 11 Feb 2013 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Welcome to my new Website]]> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/bishop-temp.jpg" style="width: 708px; height: 308px;" /></p> <p>I&#39;ve finally found a moment to greet you from bishopstrickland.com&nbsp;I hope you are enjoying these last days of January.</p> <p>This past Monday I celebrated my two month anniversary as a bishop.&nbsp; The whirlwind has continued and in some ways the two months seem much longer.&nbsp; I continue to be blessed in my new role.&nbsp; The challenges are great but the people around me are greater and the blessings far outweigh the headaches.</p> <p>I have been busy this week visiting our Catholic schools in celebration of Catholic Schools Week.&nbsp; It is great to see the kids flourishing.&nbsp; One little girl at St. Joseph&#39;s in Marshall amazed me with her poise and excellent diction.&nbsp; She was just about knee high and she offered the prayers of the faithful using some large words that would have challenged many adults.&nbsp; God has given all of His children gifts and it is a blessing to see those gifts unlocked in our Catholic Schools.</p> <p>Even as we celebrate the great work our Catholic Schools are doing it makes me realize how hard we have to work to make these wonderful opportunities available to as many children as possible.&nbsp; Our schools are never an exclusive club but instead they are a resource for all.&nbsp; I thank the administrators, faculties, parents and community members who work so hard to make our schools stronger so that they can reach out to more and more kids.&nbsp; Wouldn&#39;t it be wonderful to say that every child in East Texas had the opportunity to experience Catholic education for at least a portion of their schooling.&nbsp; We are a very long way from realizing such a dream but I hope we can keep creatively working toward it.&nbsp; All of our children deserve the very best we can offer.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Wed, 30 Jan 2013 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[A Brief Update]]> <p>I&#39;m on retreat but I wanted to break away for a moment to let you know you are in my prayers and<br /> to share a couple of calendar updates.<br /> <br /> January 13- &nbsp;6:30 AM Mass at the Cathedral<br /> &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;8:00 AM Mass at the Cathedral<br /> <br /> January 20- &nbsp;9:00 AM Mass at the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul<br /> &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;11:00 AM Mass at the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul<br /> <br /> I will share more updates when I return to the office the week of January 14.<br /> <br /> God bless.</p> Thu, 10 Jan 2013 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Wishing You All a Blessed New Year]]> <br />I just wanted to take a few moments to wish you all a Blessed New Year and to promise my prayers.&nbsp; <br />I finally got around to editing my profile.&nbsp; People are still getting used to calling me bishop, as I am getting used to the title myself but at least it is a little less of a mouth full than bishop-elect!!!&nbsp; <br />The great people at Group M7, the internet company that hosts our diocesan website, are working on a website that I can use personally.&nbsp; It is still in the design phase but before too long I will be switch to that and ending my use of this blog.&nbsp; Don?t worry!!!&nbsp; I will offer you plenty of notice for the switch and I will be able to use the new website like a blog but with other great features also.&nbsp; There will also be a link from the official website of the Diocese of Tyler, dioceseoftyler.org so in case you do miss the information on my blog you will always be able to catch up with me there.<br />I spoke to one of our seminarians this morning and when we were both hanging up and wishing each other a happy new year he laughed.&nbsp; He explained that he was laughing because 2013 will be a VERY NEW YEAR for me and for the diocese.&nbsp; His laughter was quite appropriate because each step along this new year will be a brand new experience for me as bishop of this family that I have come to love so deeply called the Diocese of Tyler.&nbsp; Through the years I?ve often commented to newly weds and newly ordained priests that they have to realize how important their first year in their new vocation is.&nbsp; Every experience is a first time event in their new role.&nbsp; It dawned on me a couple of weeks after my ordination that I need to heed my own advice.&nbsp; The coming months will bring many new experiences for me.<br />One of those brand new experiences has already passed.&nbsp; Celebrating my first Christmas as bishop was a joyful and blessed event for me.&nbsp; People have commented that I seem so comfortable in my new role and I have to say that their perception is accurate.&nbsp; I know it is the Grace of God that allows me to enter into this new role so smoothly and I also appreciate the kindness and support of the people and so many who are assisting me directly with liturgies etc.&nbsp; I feel everyone ?pulling for me? and that is a great comfort.&nbsp; I suppose it is just another manifestation of the blessing I feel in being called to be bishop of my family!!!<br />Speaking of family, I?ll share a picture of my niece Megan Schnurbusch.&nbsp; You can probably guess that she is Cinderella in this picture.&nbsp; You can see that she is enjoying her new role also!!! <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wilW18pxGNU/UOIBK8jVP7I/AAAAAAAAAko/f6o-utTp0XE/s1600/Megan.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wilW18pxGNU/UOIBK8jVP7I/AAAAAAAAAko/f6o-utTp0XE/s320/Megan.png" width="239" /></a>&nbsp;<br />GOD BLESS YOU AS WE ENTER INTO 2013.&nbsp; LET US CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR EACH OTHER<br />&nbsp; Mon, 31 Dec 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Christmas Greetings]]> <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-rC0Ala0-e0Y/UNiGKApKE-I/AAAAAAAAAkU/1M_9-nRW8j4/s1600/Chrysanthemum.jpg" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-rC0Ala0-e0Y/UNiGKApKE-I/AAAAAAAAAkU/1M_9-nRW8j4/s320/Chrysanthemum.jpg" style="border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; width: 320px; height: 240px;" /></a> A Blessed Christmas to All- <p>&nbsp;</p> As I celebrate my first Christmas as Bishop of Tyler I wanted to greet all of you and assure you of my prayers during this holy season.&nbsp; <p>&nbsp;</p> As you can imagine it is exciting to return to the Cathedral this evening for my first Midnight Mass as bishop.&nbsp; I have celebrated many midnight masses at the Cathedral through the years, as an assistant priest, as rector of the Cathedral, concelebrating with Bishop Corrada and now as bishop.&nbsp; The Cathedral is always beautiful for Christmas and I look forward to this wonderful liturgy. Christmas is such a busy time for all of us that it is easy to forget what it is all about.&nbsp; I pray that where ever you are this Christmas that you take the opportunity to go to mass and celebrate the birth of Our Lord.&nbsp; I was always mystified as a kid by the reality that many believing Christians don&rsquo;t go to church to celebrate Christmas.&nbsp; The liturgical basis of our worship as Catholics helps us to stay rooted in the basic events of salvation that have unfolded for us all.&nbsp; I know that many of you have a tradition of inviting non-Catholics to join us for our Christmas masses especially for Midnight Mass.&nbsp; I encourage you to continue that tradition.&nbsp; There is no limit to what God can accomplish in all of our lives when we open our hearts to the truth of His saving plan.&nbsp; Let us pray that all Christians, Catholic or not, may grow in a deeper contemplation of the wonders God has done for us as we celebrate Christmas 2012. <p>&nbsp;</p> Sincerely in Christ&rsquo;s Name, <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> + Joseph <p>&nbsp;</p> Mon, 24 Dec 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Reflections and Calendar Update]]> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-59EMWCMxwiA/UNYAgbU_JyI/AAAAAAAAAkA/IWLzygwm_e8/s1600/Ordination8.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="213" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-59EMWCMxwiA/UNYAgbU_JyI/AAAAAAAAAkA/IWLzygwm_e8/s320/Ordination8.png" width="320" /></a>&nbsp;<br />This picture includes (seated on the front row, from the left) Bishop David Fellhauer, Bishop Edmond Carmody and Archbishop Michael Sheehan. All three of these men along with Bishop Herzig, Bishop Corrada and so many others have played significant roles in my formation. <br /><br />It is a special blessing to me personally that Bishop Carmody, bishop emeritus of Corpus Christi has agreed to return to Tyler to serve as my Vicar General. I look forward to working with him and especially asking him to assist us in development for the future of the diocese. He and Bishop Corrada have placed the diocese on a firm foundation after Bishop Herzig began the diocese and formed the basic administrative offices. It is an exciting time to continue the work of these fine men and a special blessing that one of them will be working as my "right hand man" as the diocese continues to develop.&nbsp;&nbsp;<br /><br />Many people have commented on the abundant blessings our diocese has received with the three fine men of Christ and His Church who have shepherded the diocese since it began. Herzig, Carmody and Corrada will be names that will always be remembered as a triumvirate of strength in the Catholic faith.&nbsp; I am humbled to realize that it is my charge to take up their yoke and continue their fine work.&nbsp; I know that I will rely on the prayers and support of all in the diocese and beyond.&nbsp; &nbsp;<br /><br />Midnight mass for Christmas 2012 will be a very blessed celebration for me.&nbsp; Please know that all of you will be in my prayers in a special way at that mass.&nbsp; I ask that you also pray for me and the Diocese of Tyler, by the grace of God may the coming years also be blessed as we seek to live and proclaim Jesus Christ more abundantly in north east Texas.<br />&nbsp;<br /><br /><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">GOD BLESS YOU AND MERRY CHRISTMAS</b><br /><br /><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</b><br /><br /><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">MY CALENDAR</b><br /><br />December 26-&nbsp; No public mass<br /><br />December 27-&nbsp; No public mass&nbsp;<br /><br />December 28-&nbsp; 8:00 AM Mass at the Bishop?s Chapel in the Chancery&nbsp;<br /><br />December 29-&nbsp; 5:30 PM Mass at the Cathedral&nbsp;<br /><br />December 30-&nbsp; 9:00 AM Mass at the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 11:00 AM Mass at the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul&nbsp;<br /><br />December 31-&nbsp; 6:00 PM Mass at the Cathedral&nbsp;<br /><br />January 1, 2013-&nbsp; 10:00 AM at the Cathedral&nbsp;<br /><br />January 2- No public mass&nbsp;<br /><br />January 3-&nbsp; 8:00 AM Mass at the Bishop?s Chapel in the Chancery&nbsp;<br /><br />January 4-&nbsp; No public mass&nbsp;<br /><br />January 5-&nbsp; 5:00 PM Mass at St. Joseph?s in Marshall&nbsp;<br /><br />January 6-&nbsp; 9:30 AM Mass at Holy Spirit Church in Holly Lake, Texas&nbsp;<br /><br />January 7-&nbsp; 11-&nbsp; Bishop?s Retreat in San Antonio&nbsp;<br /><br />January 12-&nbsp; 5:00 PM Confirmation Mass at St. Augustine Church, St. Augustine, Texas&nbsp;<br /><br />January 13-&nbsp; 1:00 PM Mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Tyler Sat, 22 Dec 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[More Pictures]]> These pictures are from 10:00 Mass at the Cathedral on December 2, when I officially took possession of the Cathedral.<br /><br />The other pictures are from the Gala celebration of the Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital..........me getting a little exercise and learning how to do heart surgery.<br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EbFTytACaUY/UMNxhBj1RxI/AAAAAAAAAi4/hrB2O6Con-Q/s1600/December+2+Mass.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="214" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EbFTytACaUY/UMNxhBj1RxI/AAAAAAAAAi4/hrB2O6Con-Q/s320/December+2+Mass.jpg" width="320" /></a><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-BK_NhRSNB_c/UMNxku3je3I/AAAAAAAAAjA/g9mkyNRcJ2U/s1600/December2b.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-BK_NhRSNB_c/UMNxku3je3I/AAAAAAAAAjA/g9mkyNRcJ2U/s320/December2b.jpg" width="214" /></a><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-lp58AlVkCEM/UMNxm_fQzgI/AAAAAAAAAjI/4rYS4rXp_DI/s1600/December2c.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="214" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-lp58AlVkCEM/UMNxm_fQzgI/AAAAAAAAAjI/4rYS4rXp_DI/s320/December2c.jpg" width="320" /></a><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1nZv4bgkNuc/UMNxqG-6rRI/AAAAAAAAAjQ/gAyFHuafJlc/s1600/December2d.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="214" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1nZv4bgkNuc/UMNxqG-6rRI/AAAAAAAAAjQ/gAyFHuafJlc/s320/December2d.jpg" width="320" /></a><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-9oATFWEfXDo/UMNxu4lH9lI/AAAAAAAAAjY/i-YBvkaN804/s1600/December2f.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="214" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-9oATFWEfXDo/UMNxu4lH9lI/AAAAAAAAAjY/i-YBvkaN804/s320/December2f.jpg" width="320" /></a><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-l_HQoqfw85c/UMNxxtriJ-I/AAAAAAAAAjg/1Vd9NW6VfI0/s1600/Heart+Hospital+2.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-l_HQoqfw85c/UMNxxtriJ-I/AAAAAAAAAjg/1Vd9NW6VfI0/s320/Heart+Hospital+2.png" width="239" /></a><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-zH4Z9410qw8/UMNx2bt6JTI/AAAAAAAAAjo/mUI_2p3 zSg/s1600/Heart+Hospital.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-zH4Z9410qw8/UMNx2bt6JTI/AAAAAAAAAjo/mUI_2p3 zSg/s320/Heart+Hospital.png" width="239" /></a> Sat, 8 Dec 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[A Few Pictures]]> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-h3omepuBLEw/UL6FGeFpStI/AAAAAAAAAhY/Hp-1V1yuSac/s1600/Ordination+1.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-h3omepuBLEw/UL6FGeFpStI/AAAAAAAAAhY/Hp-1V1yuSac/s320/Ordination+1.png" width="213" /></a>&nbsp;Yep that's me in the miter!!<br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-BeyfCMPFEcc/UL6FL6Z6GxI/AAAAAAAAAhg/t5ECY-1bEOE/s1600/Ordination2.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-BeyfCMPFEcc/UL6FL6Z6GxI/AAAAAAAAAhg/t5ECY-1bEOE/s320/Ordination2.png" width="213" /></a>&nbsp;A great partnership Bishop and Vincent Meinzer<br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-a0MCRJcEmV4/UL6FSNOrz_I/AAAAAAAAAho/zOL7Y3rTLlQ/s1600/Ordination3.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-a0MCRJcEmV4/UL6FSNOrz_I/AAAAAAAAAho/zOL7Y3rTLlQ/s320/Ordination3.png" width="213" /></a>&nbsp;Bishop and Archbishop Sheehan&nbsp; <br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-IHZy6BuuidE/UL6FWydrXZI/AAAAAAAAAhw/qwwrsnqWg4Q/s1600/Ordination7.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-IHZy6BuuidE/UL6FWydrXZI/AAAAAAAAAhw/qwwrsnqWg4Q/s320/Ordination7.png" width="213" /></a><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-aFN7o-IEkCQ/UL6FbRxefkI/AAAAAAAAAh4/5IbmdkX6D1U/s1600/ordination5.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-aFN7o-IEkCQ/UL6FbRxefkI/AAAAAAAAAh4/5IbmdkX6D1U/s320/ordination5.png" width="213" /></a><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-TaVTUbZZTCw/UL6FgJGrIMI/AAAAAAAAAiA/4dsTOg9OXfM/s1600/Ordination6.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-TaVTUbZZTCw/UL6FgJGrIMI/AAAAAAAAAiA/4dsTOg9OXfM/s320/Ordination6.png" width="213" /></a>&nbsp;Bishop Corrada laying on of hands<br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-rYOLwws8mwA/UL6Fk8_o2rI/AAAAAAAAAiI/kZy0SPP5-PA/s1600/Ordination8.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="213" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-rYOLwws8mwA/UL6Fk8_o2rI/AAAAAAAAAiI/kZy0SPP5-PA/s320/Ordination8.png" width="320" /></a>&nbsp;Bishop Carmody, Archbishop Sheehan&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; (first row)<br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-lnFzsVfeHGY/UL6FsH0Z4AI/AAAAAAAAAiQ/xZjwh4JLyzo/s1600/ordination10.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="213" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-lnFzsVfeHGY/UL6FsH0Z4AI/AAAAAAAAAiQ/xZjwh4JLyzo/s320/ordination10.png" width="320" /></a>&nbsp;Me with Dennis, Stephen, Barbara, Katherine and Megan Schnurbusch (my baby sister and her family)<br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-n2ARCtufj4k/UL6Fyan2JxI/AAAAAAAAAic/UaH8gW3LDC8/s1600/ordination15.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="213" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-n2ARCtufj4k/UL6Fyan2JxI/AAAAAAAAAic/UaH8gW3LDC8/s320/ordination15.png" width="320" /></a>&nbsp;Archbishop Sheehan and ski buddies from New Mexico, Fr. Dennis Garcia, Fr. Larry Brieto, Archbishop, Fr. Francis Malley<br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-8iC-X8EWYs4/UL6F3_myLQI/AAAAAAAAAik/2MAjTgX0cT8/s1600/ordination11.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="213" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-8iC-X8EWYs4/UL6F3_myLQI/AAAAAAAAAik/2MAjTgX0cT8/s320/ordination11.png" width="320" /></a>&nbsp;Me with my sister Ann and family,&nbsp; Julie Smith McManus, Beth Smith, Michael Smith and Macy McManus<br /> Tue, 4 Dec 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[A Tremendous Week]]> <br />As I try to share a few reflections about the most awesome week in the life of this kid from Atlanta, Texas; I realize that there is no way I can capture everything.&nbsp; Acknowledging that my reflections will be inadequate I will go ahead and make a stab at it.<br />It seems especially significant that Bishop Gorman School was highlighted in the Bull (mandate) from the Holy Father Pope Benedict naming me as the 4th Bishop of Tyler.&nbsp; That is one element of awesomeness that Bishop Gorman School was actually mentioned in the Bull.&nbsp; It reflects all the wonderful people in my school family who have been a part of this tremendous week and truly a part of my entire journey.&nbsp; Although St. Gregory Cathedral School was not mentioned directly I hope that those who are part of that wonderful ?branch? of my family realize that they really were in the message also.&nbsp; St. Gregory and Bishop Gorman are sister schools and they BOTH did a tremendous job for me personally and for the diocese of adding a WHOLE LOT OF AWESOMENESS to this past week.&nbsp; I could go on for a very long time mentioning the behind the scenes and ?in the spotlight? contributions that Bishop Gorman administration, staff, faculty and students made to the event of my ordination.&nbsp; I can say DITTO for all that the administration, staff, faculty and students of St. Gregory offered as well.&nbsp; I suppose what this expresses for me is that as children and families have been so much a part of my journey it is especially appropriate that the children and families of our schools have been right at the middle of my ordination.<br />I know that all of our Catholic schools contributed in beautiful ways to my ordination and in addition to Bishop Gorman and St. Gregory I want to especially thank St. Mary?s, St. Patrick?s and St. Joseph?s.&nbsp; Even though I haven?t had as much interaction with these schools they stepped up beautifully to participate, &nbsp;send wishes of congratulations and add materially to the celebration in wonderful ways.&nbsp; I look forward to embracing all of these kids into my growing family also.<br />I commented on a couple of the posts of a fellow blogger in regard to my election and ordination as the 4th Bishop of Tyler and stated that his words were ?over the top?.&nbsp; Somehow that may be a good description of the wonders that God has done among us after all.&nbsp; The Lord has been truly ?over the top? in the grace that He has offered me.&nbsp; The event of my ordination was a blessing to me in a deeply personal way; the same can be said for my family and my wonderful extended family that encompasses the Cathedral and the whole diocese.&nbsp; It was a blessing for the visiting bishops who had nothing but praise for ALL the elements of the two days that many of them spent with us.&nbsp; <br />I wish that I could take the time to publically and personally thank each and every person involved but I know if I made the attempt I would leave some dear people off the list and I?m afraid I?d be accused of neglecting my pastoral duties.&nbsp; We do have some celebrations in the works to say thank you to key groups in a small way.&nbsp; My expressions of gratitude will forever be inadequate expressions of thanks for the wonderful people who have done so much but maybe realizing that makes it all the more important that I at least try.<br />I?m reading a book on spiritual leadership these days and I loved a quote from a Chinese monk from centuries before Christ that said, a true leader is one who can accomplish a great work and leave the people saying ?we did this?.&nbsp; In reality my ordination isn?t a good example because I really had very little to do with it but I rejoice that the feeling I do get is that all of you who have worked so hard do come away from this week with exactly that feeling, ?WE DID SOMETHING GREAT BY THE GRACE OF GOD?.&nbsp; I feel my prayers is already being answered in wondrous ways that your hard work will reap tremendous benefits now and for a long time to come.<br />We all love Bishop Carmody, (the 2nd Bishop of Tyler) and he has often told us after various efforts in the diocese, ?You done good?. &nbsp;It was such a beautiful moment when Bishop Corrada greeted us as his fellow East Texans, the response of the congregation symbolized the significance of his warm statement for all of us.&nbsp;&nbsp; It seems to be most fitting that I close and thank you in true East Texas style<b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">.&nbsp; GOD BLESS YOU DIOCESAN FAMILY, YOU DONE GOOD!!!!!!</b> Tue, 4 Dec 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Calendar Revisions and Update]]> REVISION<br /><br />December 2,&nbsp; 8:00 AM Mass at the Cathedral<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;10:00 AM Mass at the Cathedral<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 1:30 PM Mass at the Cathedral<br /><br />NEXT WEEK<br /><br />December 3- No public Mass<br /><br />December 4-&nbsp; 7:40 Mass at Gorman School Chapel<br /><br />December 5-&nbsp; No public Mass<br /><br />December 6-&nbsp; 7:40 Mass at Gorman School Chapel<br /><br />December 7-&nbsp; 7:40 Mass at Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul<br /><br /> Thu, 29 Nov 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Thanksgiving Thoughts]]> <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7K7QujV0wlk/UKz4ku73OSI/AAAAAAAAAg4/GKToMIpAkxM/s1600/Koala.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7K7QujV0wlk/UKz4ku73OSI/AAAAAAAAAg4/GKToMIpAkxM/s320/Koala.jpg" width="320" /></a><br /><br />I thought this little guy was an appropriate image as I reflect on all I give thanks for <br />at this time. I can imagine that some would question what a koala has to do with <br />Thanksgiving Day in the USA. &nbsp;If you've been following my blog you probably know <br />that Australia has a very significant place in my story.&nbsp; &nbsp;Aussie isn?t just ?the land down <br />under? for the Strickland kids, it is part of who we are and part of our story.<br />I suppose the picture of a koala serves to remind me of the wonder of God?s plan in <br />each of our lives.&nbsp; The story of how my father from Clarksville, Texas and my mother <br />from Sydney, Australia met during the second world war sounds a bit like a movie <br />script.&nbsp; It is a story that includes joy and triumphs as well as sadness and heartache but<br />isn?t that the case for all of our stories.&nbsp; &nbsp;As I give thanks for God?s blessings in my life <br />I am profoundly aware of all the graces and challenges that have brought me here.&nbsp; The<br />act of giving thanks is deeply embedded in what it means to be Christian and what it means<br />to be Catholic.&nbsp; As we celebrate this holiday I pray that all of us can be more aware of all<br />we give thanks for and I pray that our gratitude will strengthen us to face the joys and the <br />sorrows of tomorrow.&nbsp; May God bless you and all who are dear to you on this Thanksgiving Day<br />2012.<br /><br /><br /> Wed, 21 Nov 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[The kindness of Shepherds Part 2]]> <br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-MBAG_bg0y64/SuDNo-uPshI/AAAAAAAAABo/chRB5I6BTRQ/s1600/IMG_6932-edit.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-MBAG_bg0y64/SuDNo-uPshI/AAAAAAAAABo/chRB5I6BTRQ/s320/IMG_6932-edit.jpg" width="297" /></a><br /><br />As I continue to enter into this new life I am more and more aware of the joys and the pitfalls that await me. &nbsp;Through the years people have often told me not to change. &nbsp;I have to admit I probably haven't fully understood their message but I think I'm getting more and more of the idea. &nbsp;So many new things have entered my life and so many new influences that it is probably more important than ever that I stay grounded. &nbsp;It is probably easy to begin to separate myself from the people but I realize more profoundly all the time that this would be a huge mistake. &nbsp;My success as a shepherd will depend a lot on whether I remember that whether limos or pick up trucks, whether mansions or mobile homes, whether fine robes or running shorts, my primary work is to love and serve all of God's people however I encounter them. &nbsp;<br />It probably sounds strange to a lot of people but there is a lot of glitz associated with being a bishop and it seems that it would be very easy to get carried away with it all. &nbsp;The bishops that I am meeting inspire me because as I said earlier they seem very down to earth. &nbsp;Many of them are in major cities and play major roles not just in the Church but in their entire communities. &nbsp;Their experiences make the "glitz" that I have experienced seem very minor but they are very real. &nbsp;I suppose Timothy Cardinal Dolan the Cardinal Archbishop of New York is a prime example. &nbsp;He gave me a big bear hug and a slap on the back that almost knocked me down but his warmth and welcome was a great blessing. &nbsp;He is just returned from Rome and playing a major role at the just concluded Synod of Bishops. &nbsp;Here he is fresh from audiences with the Holy Father at the Vatican and he takes the time to warmly welcome me to the College of Bishops.<br />Cardinal Dolan and so many of the bishops remind me that we must always stay rooted in humble service to the people The Lord has called. &nbsp;I suppose I always turn to the children to help me stay rooted and real. &nbsp;It occurs to me that these men are a good reminder that Jesus Christ has said "let the children come to me". &nbsp;It is truly a profound message that goes much deeper than kindness to the little ones even though that is so important. &nbsp;Christ reminds us that we are all His children and that we need to humbly serve each other in that relationship. &nbsp; The children often cut through any over blown "adult" importance we may grasp to ourselves. &nbsp;I pray that they will always remind me that I'm a heart a kid from Atlanta,Texas who has been greatly blessed by God's kindness and grace. Tue, 13 Nov 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[The Kindness of Shepherds]]> <br />I am in Baltimore at my first Bishop's Meeting and even though I have not been ordained yet all of the bishops have been very welcoming. &nbsp;I wanted to share what a great experience it has been to join them as I prepare to enter into this new role. &nbsp;I suppose I presumed that since I have not been ordained I would more or less take a back seat at this meeting but the opposite has really been true. &nbsp;Kindness is the word that I have to use to describe the way I have been welcomed by each bishop that I have encountered as we have been arriving and preparing for the official opening of the meeting tomorrow. <br /><br />I know that I am still in awe of this call from God and Pope Benedict XVI and I suppose that awe continues to color my experiences. &nbsp;I see bishops, archbishops and cardinals in the hall and all of them are so kind and seem so genuinely happy that I am joining their college. &nbsp;I've reflected on that word a bit these past few days. &nbsp;The College of Bishops is really a good way of describing this group of men who all have the same purpose of fostering and promoting the message of Jesus Christ. &nbsp;It is so much more than a club or organization. &nbsp;These men are called to be "collegial" in doing their best to share the burdens and celebrate the joys of shepherding God's people. &nbsp;I have felt that collegial spirit since the moment I arrived here, literally in the shuttle van from the airport to the hotel. &nbsp;I met one of the bishops from a diocese in the midwest and we visited a bit and compared notes on our dioceses etc. &nbsp;He was kind enough to invite me to dinner when I'm sure he had several other opportunities that he could have accepted. &nbsp;As we visited at dinner I commented how nice it is for priests and bishops to be able to meet as total strangers and have so much in common immediately. &nbsp;I have already been blessed to experience the goodness of these men with whom I will be working for the rest of my life.<br /><br />It is also good to see that these bishops with all their responsibilities and important positions are ultimately just men. &nbsp;They have all the human issues that any other group of men from their late forties to their late seventies would have but it is truly inspiring to see their goodness and dignity. &nbsp;Too often even in Catholic circles bishops are seen as distant authorities and maybe occasionally that perception is accurate but I have to say that does not describe my experience of them at all. &nbsp;I have to believe that the "grace of office" truly does bring out the best in these men. &nbsp;I hope you will pray with me that this grace will strengthen and bless me as well. <br /><br />Let us pray for the Church and for these men who are called to be apostles today. &nbsp;May The Lord guide us in His Ways and strengthen us in His Spirit. <br /> Sun, 11 Nov 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Official Portrait]]> Another piece of the puzzle..........<br />Official Portrait<br /><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-YiS9K9HonTQ/UJwzp8LzSdI/AAAAAAAAAgo/1NDJ0UMGRhs/s1600/Official+Portrait.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" rea="true" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-YiS9K9HonTQ/UJwzp8LzSdI/AAAAAAAAAgo/1NDJ0UMGRhs/s640/Official+Portrait.jpg" width="425" /></a>?I especially like this picture because Our Lord in the image of the Sacred Heart is&nbsp;watching over me.&nbsp; Please pray that I will always be strengthened by the special grace that Our Savior's Sacred Heart offers the world.&nbsp; It is also a great blessing that I stand at the altar in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception the same altar where I celebrated mass as a newly ordained priest assigned to the parish of the Immaculate Conception and where I have celebrated countless masses since.&nbsp; Thu, 8 Nov 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[A Quote]]> I liked this quote from Matthew Warner's Blog.<br /><br />"Elections are not the leading edge of change. Elections are the lagging indicators of what's already changed"<br /><br /><br />Read more: <a href="http://www.ncregister.com/blog/matthew-warner/heres-the-lesson-from-the-election-folks#ixzz2BZyDcFCo">http://www.ncregister.com/blog/matthew-warner/heres-the-lesson-from-the-election-folks#ixzz2BZyDcFCo</a><br /><br />I believe there is a lot of truth in that statement.&nbsp; It is not good news but it is important that as people of faith we recognize that it describes the realities we face.&nbsp; Let us be strong in the Lord in professing and living our faith more fully each day so that the lost may be found and so that we may continue to seek the narrow path.&nbsp; <br /><br /><br /><br /> Thu, 8 Nov 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Bishop Elect's Calendar]]> Calendar November 16 to December 2<br /><br /><br />********November 9- 16 Meeting out of town<br /><br />November 16-&nbsp; 9:00 AM Mass at St. Patrick's School in Lufkin<br /><br />November 17-&nbsp; No Public Mass <br /><br />November 18-&nbsp; Out of town<br /><br />November 19-&nbsp; No public Mass<br /><br />November 20-&nbsp; 8:00 AM Mass at the Bishop's Chapel in the Chancery<br /><br />November 21-&nbsp; 8:00 AM Mass at the Bishop's Chapel in the Chancery<br /><br />November 22-&nbsp; 9:00 AM Mass at the Cathedral<br /><br />November 23-&nbsp; No public Mass<br /><br />November 24-&nbsp; No public Mass<br /><br />November 25-&nbsp; 10:00 AM Mass at the Cathedral with Bishop Corrada<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 12:00 PM Mass at the Cathedral as Celebrant<br /><br />November 26-&nbsp; No public Mass<br /><br />November 27-&nbsp; 7:40 Mass in Gorman School Chapel<br /><br />November 28-&nbsp; 2:00 PM Ordination Mass at Caldwell Auditiorium<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;(Televised live on cable and EWTN)<br /><br />November 29-&nbsp; 8:15 St. Gregory Cathedral School Mass at Cathedral<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 9:45 Bishop Gorman School Mass<br /><br />November 30-&nbsp; 7:40 AM Mass at the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul<br /><br />December 1-&nbsp; 10:00 AM Altar Server's Mass at Cathedral<br /><br />December 2-<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 10:00 AM Mass at Cathedral<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 12:00 PM Mass at Cathedral<br /><br /><br /><br /> Wed, 7 Nov 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Coat of Arms]]> <br />This is the Coat of Arms that has been produced as part of my ordination to the episcopacy.&nbsp; One of the first things that Cardinal DiNardo said when we talked on September 14, just after I had received the call from the Nuncio was "start working on your Coat of Arms".&nbsp; I can see why he said that because it is quite a process and I'm afraid several people were in danger of getting ulcers as they kept asking, "is it here yet"!!!!!!<br /><br />A funny point in that story is that I emailed the priest who was working on the design and as it turned out he was in New Jersey and caught up in the disaster of Hurricane Sandy.&nbsp; He apologized for being delayed but explained that he had no power after the storm, then I APOLOGIZED and felt like a bum after finding out he was dealing with much bigger problems than my Coat of Arms!<br /><br />I will add the official description in a later post but the basic imagery in the Coat of Arms includes the following elements.&nbsp; The left side is the Coat of Arms of the Diocese of Tyler.&nbsp; The right side includes my personal images, at the top are the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart, the shell represents the Strickland family crest and is also in Pope Benedict XVI's Coat of Arms.&nbsp; The wavy line is taken from the Coat of Arms of the Diocese of Dallas where I studied and was ordained to the priesthood.&nbsp; The cross of stars represents the Southern Cross which is visible in Australia and is part of the Australian flag.&nbsp; <br /><br />All is coming together well for my Ordination.&nbsp; I suppose one of the greatest challenges is the limited seating in Caldwell Auditiorium but our "team" is doing a great job of seeing to it that all of the diocese is at least represented.&nbsp; <br /><br />Thank you all for your continued prayers.&nbsp; Please don't stop!!!!!!!!!!!<br /><br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0NeqF3Yz204/UJqAsvMhT4I/AAAAAAAAAgQ/2MU8 _HS1WQ/s1600/Coat+of+Arms+Official+Version.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="400" rea="true" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0NeqF3Yz204/UJqAsvMhT4I/AAAAAAAAAgQ/2MU8 _HS1WQ/s400/Coat+of+Arms+Official+Version.JPG" width="325" /></a> Wed, 7 Nov 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Reflections]]> <br /><br /><br />I wanted to share a few reflections as I continue my journey to the episcopacy. Even as I begin I realize that it is more accurate to speak of our journey to the episcopacy. Don?t worry I?m not adopting the ?papal we? as the Holy Father at times speaks of himself in the plural. My point is that it really is the journey of a community to my ordination on November 28, at Caldwell Auditorium in Tyler at 2:00 PM. I keep repeating the details of the date, time and place so that no one makes the effort to drive in and they?ve been given the wrong time!!!!!!<br /><br /><br />It is our journey because the events that are unfolding are truly remarkable for the Catholic Church of East Texas. I have often tried to express the feeling that comes over me but I never seem to be satisfied that I have conveyed the message very well. I laughed with my sisters this past week as we celebrated my birthday because I often referred to this ?feeling? in my conversation with them. I suppose one way of saying it is that the goodness and support of so many constantly reminds me that it truly is not so much about me as it is about the power of the Grace of God. I feel like part of a vast crowd looking on to see&nbsp;the wonders that God creates in our lives.<br /><br />Those wonders presently are taking concrete form in a virtual of army of people working to make sure all the details of the Solemn Vespers and Ordination Mass are arranged perfectly. I am humbled by this loving service of so many. I know it springs from their commitment to faith and I also know that there is a genuine excitement because this army is made up of people who ?know the guy? being ordained. I can say from my perspective that I share the excitement because these same people have been part of my family of faith for many many years. It calls to mind the words of Our Lord, ?I know mine and mine know me?, it is a powerful blessing to really know the flock that I am being ordained to serve. <br /><br />As I continue to prepare I am aware that the Lord has truly been molding me for quite some time. I am humbled to realize that I have been blessed with opportunities that many bishops elect have not experienced. I have celebrated enough Confirmations that I already have a way of celebrating that I am comfortable with but of course I realize some adjustments will have to be made as I begin to celebrate them as a bishop rather than a delegate of the bishop. <br /><br />One of the more profound experiences for me was the recent dedication of the newly remodeled church of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha in Buffalo, Texas. By special delegation Bishop Corrada allowed me to preside over this dedication because he was not able to return to the diocese on that date. Normally the dedication of a church is reserved to a bishop but Bishop Corrada saw fit to delegate me as bishop elect. The moment of the liturgy that I found to be profoundly moving was the anointing of the altar. I had watched Bishop Corrada and other bishops celebrate this moment in the rite and it was always a very blessed ritual. I have to say that it was extremely moving to be the minister actually conducting this anointing. I was profoundly aware of the beauty of the Eucharistic altar as an image of Christ Himself and I very much felt his presence as I spread the sacred chrism across the top of the altar. I often speak of being humbled by various aspects of this journey but I must say that these words are not adequate for how it felt to anoint this altar as an image of Christ Himself. <br /><br />All of this reminds me that saying to people ?please pray for me? is not merely a way of responding to their kind greetings and congratulations. Indeed ?please pray for me? should resonate through my ministry as bishop and profoundly remind me of my great responsibility to always follow with ?as I pray for you?. Only in prayer can we begin to fathom even the tiniest elements of the wonder of Jesus Christ in His Church. <br /><br /> Sat, 3 Nov 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Calendar Update]]> I thought it would be helpful to update my calendar.&nbsp; The items posted earlier have not changed.<br /><br />October 29- No public mass scheduled<br /><br /><br />October 30- 7:40 Mass in Gorman School Chapel<br /><br />October 31- 8:00 AM Mass in Bishop's Chapel at Chancery<br /><br />10:00 AM Mass at Christ the King Church in Kilgore<br /><br />Nov 1- No public mass scheduled<br /><br />Nov 2- 7:40 AM Mass in Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul <br /><br />November 3 to November 9<br /><br />November 3- No public mass scheduled<br /><br />November 4-&nbsp; 9:00 AM Mass at St. Charles in Frankston<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 4:00 PM Candle Light Ceremony for Alzheimers<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;5:00 PM Prayer Vigil on the Square in Tyler<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 6:00 PM Mass at the Cathedral<br /><br />November 5-&nbsp; 8:30 AM Mass at St. Joseph's School in Marshall<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <br />November 6-&nbsp; 7:40 AM&nbsp;Mass in Gorman School Chapel<br /><br />November 7-&nbsp; 8:00 AM Mass in Bishop's Chapel in Chancery<br /><br />November 8-&nbsp; 7:00 PM Memorial Mass for Knights of Columbus<br /><br />November 9-&nbsp; 7:40 AM Mass in Chapel of Sts. Peter and Paul<br /><br />November 9- 16&nbsp; Meeting out of town<br />&nbsp; &nbsp; Sun, 28 Oct 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Images]]> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ataQCQOOVhM/UIg42lWMheI/AAAAAAAAAfk/sbViDVYFtDU/s1600/images.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" oea="true" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ataQCQOOVhM/UIg42lWMheI/AAAAAAAAAfk/sbViDVYFtDU/s320/images.jpg" width="240" /></a><br />Our Catholic faith is rich with images and as I take on this new role of shepherding the Diocese of Tyler I am aware that many new images are entering my day to day vocabulary.<br /><br />The images of the zucchetto and pectoral cross depicted in the attached photograph are only a few of the ?new things? that I will have to get used to. As I?ve mentioned to friends and family I have tended to travel pretty lite. I?ve never worn hats or rings but I will necessarily have to become more comfortable with both. I realize even as I share this reflection that I truly am ?only just beginning? to understand the impact of the decision of Pope Benedict XVI to call me to the Episcopacy. The miter, crozier and episcopal ring that I will receive as part of the Ordination Rite bring even more beautiful imager and profound meaning that speaks to the work that I am called to take on.<br /><br /><br />As you can probably imagine it is easy to get caught up in all of these images and signs of the office of bishop but I ask you to pray with me that I may stay focused on the most important elements of what these images represent in our ancient Catholic tradition. As I look at the simple silver cross that I have been wearing since the announcement on September 29, it occurs to me that I have seen much more ornate and beautiful crosses. Many crosses are layered in gold and encrusted with precious stones. In a very real sense this ornamentation is appropriate because the cross represents the greatest treasure of human history. On the other hand it is important to remember the origin of the cross in Christian tradition. Staying focused on the reality that the cross of Jesus Christ was a rough wooden instrument of torture and death calls us back to the most powerful elements of what the cross represents. <br /><br />Catholic art has had a unique role in the history of civilization as we have seen the mysteries of God and the mission of His Son woven into virtually every aspect of human life and artistic expression. This is truly quite appropriate as we listen to the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that every element of our human journey is to be transformed by the truth he has lived for us all. When we see a beautiful piece of art such as a golden crucifix or a beautiful marble altar let us remember that these images are very appropriate as they depict treasures beyond price but let us afford them the greatest power by allowing them to remind us of the simple elements in the life of our Lord and Savior that they represent.<br /><br />God bless you all and let us continue to pray for one another. <br /><br /> Wed, 24 Oct 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Two quotations]]> Since we last visited the whirlwind has continued with a wonderful time of Retreat at Subiaco Benedictine Abbey in Arkansas, a trip to Chicago to order cassocks etc. and my first opportunity to preside over the Dedication of a Church this past Sunday in Buffalo, Texas.&nbsp; All of these events are material for lengthy reflections and hopefully I can share more of my thoughts soon.&nbsp; <br /><br />I wanted to share these two quotations that I have encountered over the past couple of days.&nbsp; The first is a few lines from the remarks given by Pope John Paul II on the occasion of his election as Bishop of Rome.&nbsp; The second is a prayer offered by Cardinal Burke who presently serves in Rome.<br /><br />Please pray with me that these words of Blessed John Paul will always guide my service as Bishop.<br /><br />"Perhaps in the past the tiara, that triple crown, was placed on the Pope?s head in order to signify by that symbol the Lord?s plan for his Church, namely that all the hierarchical order of Christ?s Church, all ?sacred power? exercised in the Church, is nothing other than service, service with a single purpose: to ensure that the whole People of God shares in this threefold mission of Christ and always remains under the power of the Lord; a power that has its source not in the powers of this world, but instead in the mystery of the Cross and the Resurrection."&nbsp; <br /><br />As the election on November 6, draws near these words of Cardinal Burke remind us of the precious gifts we have and the values we must cling to with all our might.<br /><br /><br />AN ELECTION YEAR PRAYER FOR THE FAITHFUL<br /><br /><br />WITNESS OF CATHOLICS IN THE UNITED STATES<br /><br />By His Eminence Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke,<br /><br />Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura<br /><br />O Lord Jesus Christ,<br /><br />You alone are the Way, the Truth, and the Life.<br /><br />In Your Church You show us the Way,<br /><br />You teach us the Truth, and You give us Your Life.<br /><br />Grant, we humbly beg You,<br /><br />that, always and in all things, we may<br /><br />be faithful to You in Your Holy Church,<br /><br />and to Your Vicar on Earth, the Supreme Pontiff,<br /><br />Pope Benedict XVI.<br /><br />Grant also, we beg You,<br /><br />that, in these times of decision,<br /><br />all who profess to be Catholic<br /><br />and who are entrusted with the sacred duty<br /><br />to participate in public life,<br /><br />may, by the strength of Your grace,<br /><br />unwaveringly follow Your Way and<br /><br />faithfully adhere to Your Truth,<br /><br />living in You with all their mind and heart,<br /><br />for Your greater glory, the salvation of souls,<br /><br />and the good of our nation. Amen.<br /><br />Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of America,<br /><br />Pray for us.<br /><br />Saint Thomas More, Patron of Religious Freedom,<br /><br />Pray for us.<br /><br /><br />Let us join in prayer for our nation and for our world.&nbsp; <br /><br />God bless you.&nbsp; <br /><br /><br /> Tue, 23 Oct 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Bishop Elect's Calendar October 22- November 2]]> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4NIZ5po7dHA/UIMC3NqMPlI/AAAAAAAAAe8/D4k6x79duPw/s1600/fall+color+IV.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; cssfloat: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" nea="true" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4NIZ5po7dHA/UIMC3NqMPlI/AAAAAAAAAe8/D4k6x79duPw/s200/fall+color+IV.jpg" width="150" /></a>Note:&nbsp; As I continue to become accustomed to my new responsibilities I will publish this as my public calendar.&nbsp; Please assume that if a mass is posted here it will happen! I will do my best to update the calendar as needed but I apologize in advance because I know I will often not be able to respond to questions individually.&nbsp; It has always been a joy to gather with you in prayer at the altar of the Lord, please know that if a mass is listed here you are welcome.&nbsp; If you are not able to attend any of these masses let us be together in prayer as we gather at the altar of the Lord where ever we are.&nbsp; God bless you.&nbsp; <p>&nbsp; <p>&nbsp; <p><br /> Calendar October 22 until November 2<br /> <br /> October 22-&nbsp; No public mass scheduled<br /> <br /> October 23-&nbsp; 7:40 AM Mass in Gorman School Chapel<br /> <br /> October 24-&nbsp; 8:00 AM Mass in Bishop&#39;s Chapel at Chancery<br /> <br /> October 25-&nbsp; 2:30 PM Mass at Cloistered Dominican Monastery in Lufkin<br /> <br /> October 26-&nbsp; No public mass scheduled<br /> <br /> October 27-&nbsp; 5:00 PM Mass at St. Mary Magdalene in Flint<br /> <br /> October 28-&nbsp; 8:00 AM Mass in Chapel of Trinity Mother Frances Hospital<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;11:00 AM&nbsp;Confirmation Mass at St. Jude&#39;s Church in Henderson<br /> <br /> October 29-&nbsp; No public mass scheduled<br /> <br /> October 30-&nbsp; 7:40 Mass in Gorman School Chapel<br /> <br /> October 31-&nbsp; 8:00 AM Mass in Bishop&#39;s Chapel at Chancery<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;10:00 AM Mass at Christ the King Church in Kilgore<br /> <br /> Nov 1-&nbsp; No public mass scheduled<br /> <br /> Nov 2-&nbsp; 7:40 AM Mass in Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul</p> </p> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Sat, 20 Oct 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Mea Culpa]]> I've often said that&nbsp;I am a firm believer in the premise that priests should always be willing to say "I'm sorry".&nbsp; I'm sure there are more significant infractions that I have failed to acknowledge but a dear friend alerted me to the fact that I've published some grammatical errors on this blog.&nbsp; I won't promise that because I've been alerted I won't on occasion fall back into the abyss!!!&nbsp; But I will promise to try to be more careful and remind myself that this is not just an email I'm zipping off to a friend.&nbsp; <br /><br />As I head into a busy weekend and then begin my retreat I wanted to share the following quote from St. Gregory of Nyssa.<br /><br />"Those, then, who are in a position of authority must look after their brothers as conscientious teachers look after the young children who have been handed over to them by their parents. If both disciples and masters have this loving relationship, then subjects will be happy to obey whatever is commanded, while superiors will be delighted to lead their brothers to perfection. If you try to outdo one another in showing respect, your life on earth will be like that of the angels."<br /><br />Please pray that these days of retreat might help me to live these words more deeply as I prepare for ordination to the episcopacy.<br /><br />I will do my best to post again on October 22, and continue to share my journey to ordination.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> Fri, 12 Oct 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Serenity]]> <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-VGUcBSR1qgs/UHSPscC8F3I/AAAAAAAAAeo/qx9hWq9ZuU8/s1600/Chapel+Form+II.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="426" nea="true" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-VGUcBSR1qgs/UHSPscC8F3I/AAAAAAAAAeo/qx9hWq9ZuU8/s640/Chapel+Form+II.jpg" width="640" /></a><br />I like this picture of the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul under construction.&nbsp; It has a nice peaceful feel and I need to breath, smile and find the quiet moments.&nbsp; As you can imagine the calendar has revved up slightly in the past 10 days.&nbsp; I'm enjoying every moment but I have to admit they are starting to blur together.&nbsp; <br /><br />I've managed to cover a few miles in the past few days.&nbsp; Masses in Grand Saline and Emory on Sunday, mass with the Daughters of Divine Hope at their Convent in Marshall on Monday and Mass this morning for Saint Mary's School at St. Mary's Parish in Longview.<br /><br />Things are coming together for the Ordination on November 28.&nbsp; We have a major committee meeting on Friday.&nbsp; I have ordered a ring and pectoral cross.&nbsp; The design for the Coat of Arms has been sent to the artist.&nbsp; The crozier is being ordered and I will be fitted for vestments next week.&nbsp; Bishop Corrada was kind enough to fed ex a choir cassock and the other items I need for a formal portrait so that is being scheduled also.&nbsp; <br /><br />I'm glad I already have my retreat scheduled for next week in Subiaco, Arkansas,&nbsp; it will be a great opportunity to get away from all of this planning and remember what it is really all about.&nbsp; I said at the Press Conference that my main job is to be a man of prayer.&nbsp; I'm beginning to see how challenging that is and how very important it is.&nbsp; As people continue to congratulate me I constantly say please pray for me.&nbsp; If you are reading this please know that is the greatest gift you can give me.&nbsp; PRAY PRAY PRAY and then PRAY some more!!!!!!!!!<br /><br />We launch the Year of Faith as proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday, October 11.&nbsp; Let us rejoice together in this opportunity to give thanks for the Gift of Faith and seek new ways to deepen our Faith and share it with others.<br /><br />God Bless.&nbsp; <br /><br /> Tue, 9 Oct 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Calendar of the Bishop Elect October 13 - 21]]> October 11-&nbsp; Mass to Begin the Year of Faith<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 10:30 Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception<br /><br />October 12-&nbsp; Daily Mass at Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul- 7:40AM<br /><br />October 13-&nbsp; Confirmation at St. Joseph's in Marshall, 10:00 AM<br /><br />October 14-&nbsp; Masses at St. Catherine's in Atlanta, Texas<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;9:00 AM English&nbsp; 11:30 AM Spanish<br /><br />October 14-&nbsp; Closing Banquet of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;6:00 PM Tulsa, Oklahoma,&nbsp; Renaissance Marriott<br /><br />October 15-18&nbsp; Retreat in Preparation for Episcopal Ordination <br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Please Pray for the Bishop Elect<br /><br />October 20-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Confirmation at St. Luke's, Wills Point, 5:00 PM<br /><br />October 21-&nbsp; Confirmation at St. Mary's Longview, 11:30 AM<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Confirmation at St. Peter's Mineola, 5:00 PM Tue, 9 Oct 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[A Tribute to my brother priests]]> If you read this and your not a priest please pass it on to all the priests you know.&nbsp; If you are a priest please receive it as a small expression of thanks for all you do and pass it on to a brother who may need a boost.&nbsp; <br /><br />A Catholic priest is a man of God but shares all the hopes, fears, dreams, concerns and daily challenges of every other man.&nbsp; <br /><br />He often finds himself alone but at any moment he may be called into the most significant moments of another person's life.&nbsp; The door bell rings, a cell phone buzzes, there's a knock on the door or the office phone clangs and in a moment he goes from alone and quiet to "ministry mode" congratulating on a new birth, consoling in the midst of crisis, accepting an invitation to dinner, offering comfort at the news of a death, trying to calm a complaining parishioner or simply accepting the latest blurb that MUST be included in the next bulletin.<br /><br />He often finds himself surrounded by a crowd of people but at any moment transported to a deep and quiet place where he encounters the Lord alone.&nbsp; Often this occurs at mass when the words from a hymn, a glimpse of a familiar face, as favorite phrase from scripture or an oft repeated line from the ritual of the mass cause him to pause and be reminded of the deep purpose of his life.&nbsp; <br /><br />In between these moments the priest finds himself going about the business of life with all his brothers and sisters.&nbsp; The myriad of normal daily life images that every man encounters from the sublime thoughts of the mysteries of God encountered on a marble altar to the realization that he really does need to see what that "check engine" light on the dashboard of his car is all about.&nbsp; <br /><br />When priests fail those they are called to serve, when they stumble in their own sinfulness or when their patience wears thin..........remember they are just men.<br />Men called by the Lord to do great things in the name of Jesus Christ God's own son.&nbsp; <br /><br />Pray for your priest as they pray for you.<br /><br />Dedicated to the priests of the Diocese of Tyler Thu, 4 Oct 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[A Photo]]> I have to laugh because I thought there were already more than enough photos of me especially with all the Confirmation photo ops lately...........but I have the feeling the photo ops are just getting started.&nbsp; <br /><br />Another busy day learning how to be a bishop.&nbsp; I truly enjoyed the masses at Gorman and St. Gregory.&nbsp; I've always loved the kids and they definitely make me feel loved in return.<br /><br />One cute moment to share.............I was talking to the St. Gregory students about the fuchsia zuchetto a bishop wears and explaining that Cardinals wear a red zuchetto and the Pope wears a white one.&nbsp; As kids often do one little guy raised his hand and said, "I don't like the cardinals", for a brief moment I was surprised but then I realized and said to him, "oh you mean the baseball team" and he noded yes.<br /><br />I was relieved to clarify that little misunderstanding.&nbsp; I would hate to think one of our third graders had a grudge against the Pope's College!!!!<br /><br />Thanks for all your great support.&nbsp; I'll try to keep sharing the little stories as they occur.&nbsp; <br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-F4Ccp3Mv4bs/UG4KIYSUp7I/AAAAAAAAAeY/FBB7XHHkXtQ/s1600/Bishop+Joseph.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" mea="true" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-F4Ccp3Mv4bs/UG4KIYSUp7I/AAAAAAAAAeY/FBB7XHHkXtQ/s640/Bishop+Joseph.jpg" width="426" /></a>God Bless.&nbsp; Thu, 4 Oct 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Signs of the Times]]> <br />Couldn't resist sharing this!!!<br />Thanks to Msgr. Xavier Pappu and the community of St. Matthew'sin Longview for their prayers and support.<br /><br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-42QPVmMTOXQ/UGy9ghLhkgI/AAAAAAAAAeI/ye28_nQBfgk/s1600/Longview+Sign2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" mea="true" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-42QPVmMTOXQ/UGy9ghLhkgI/AAAAAAAAAeI/ye28_nQBfgk/s640/Longview+Sign2.jpg" width="384" /></a>? Wed, 3 Oct 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[That's what calendars are for................]]> I'm sure you aren't surprised that there is already a change in the calendar I posted.&nbsp; I am blessed to be able to have mass at St. Mary's Catholic School in Longview next Tuesday, October 9, at 8:00 AM so I will not be able to have mass at the Gorman School Chapel that morning.&nbsp; <br /><br />This picture is of the beautiful crucifix that hangs in the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul.&nbsp; I love this picture especially because it is unique.&nbsp; Now the backdrop of this crucifix is not the sky but the image of the Risen Christ in stained glass.&nbsp; The stained glass is beautiful but I'm glad we have this beautiful image of the crucifix with the sky as the backdrop also.&nbsp; <br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-dGIVLyonGV8/UGywNl9u3uI/AAAAAAAAAd4/eFLkOj9hOY8/s1600/Crucifix.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="426" mea="true" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-dGIVLyonGV8/UGywNl9u3uI/AAAAAAAAAd4/eFLkOj9hOY8/s640/Crucifix.jpg" width="640" /></a>Speaking of school masses, I really enjoyed celebrating my first mass with the Bishop Gorman School community as bishop elect this morning at 9:45 in the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul that you have read so much about.&nbsp; The students seemed to enjoy it also since I baptized so many of them and now I am their bishop.&nbsp; <br /><br />Today Bishop Corrada left to return to Puerto Rico and I have to admit the reality "sunk a little deeper" that I will soon be the Ordinary and the canonical head of the Diocese of Tyler.&nbsp; The Church has a tradition that every bishop is canonically attached to a specific diocese.&nbsp; Auxiliary bishops are assigned what is called a titular see which is usually a surpressed diocese somewhere in the world.&nbsp; I have to say when I first learned this I was a little taken aback, what do you mean a surpressed diocese.&nbsp; I have come to learn that it is a beautiful example of the organic reality of the Catholic Church as she moves through history.&nbsp; Capital cities, governments and even nations come and go; populations centers develop and then recede and the Catholic&nbsp;Church is there through it all.<br /><br />The United States is such a young nation compared with other nations and the history of the Church. It is hard for us to relate to some of the realities that develop through the march of history.&nbsp; I feel especially blessed that I have been named to a diocese that is not only very much alive but is poised for tremendous growth in the next twenty-five years.&nbsp; Even in this country in the north east older diocese face the grim realities of having to close and reconfigure parishes.&nbsp; Through it all the Church continues to proclaim the message of Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior.&nbsp; <br /><br />What a blessing to be working in a young diocese, in a young nation in the ancient Catholic Church that spans 2000 years of history.&nbsp; Let us pray together that we may take advantage of these exciting times and joyfully build the Kingdom of God guided by His Word, His Love and His Abundant Grace.&nbsp; Wed, 3 Oct 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Calendar of Bishop Elect Joseph Strickland]]> October 3 to 12<br /><br />October 3-&nbsp; Bishop Gorman Regional School Mass at the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul..........9:45AM<br /><br />October 4-&nbsp; St. Gregory Cathedral School Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception at 8:15 AM <br /><br />October 5-&nbsp; Daily mass at the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul 7:40 AM<br /><br />October 7-&nbsp;&nbsp; Sunday Masses in Emory and Grand Saline<br /><br />October 9-&nbsp; Daily mass in Bishop Gorman School Chapel 7:40 AM<br /><br />October 11-&nbsp; Mass to begin the Year of Faith&nbsp;at the Cathedral with priests of the diocese 10:30 AM<br /><br />October 12-&nbsp; Daily mass at the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul 7:40 AM<br /><br />Let us continue to pray for one another Tue, 2 Oct 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[A New Dawn]]> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xHlqO1xDF5A/UGruzrp3yzI/AAAAAAAAAcg/bMwVtOEIdu4/s1600/Dawn2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="480" mea="true" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xHlqO1xDF5A/UGruzrp3yzI/AAAAAAAAAcg/bMwVtOEIdu4/s640/Dawn2.jpg" width="640" /></a><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oJQxNRd6dAc/UGru4N3-FGI/AAAAAAAAAco/XEyi2WDcZTE/s1600/Dawn.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" mea="true" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oJQxNRd6dAc/UGru4N3-FGI/AAAAAAAAAco/XEyi2WDcZTE/s320/Dawn.jpg" width="320" /></a><br />?I know the title of this post is a little "over the top" but I guess I feel a little over the top right now.&nbsp; I think most of you will forgive me at least for a few more days!!!&nbsp; Somehow it seems completely fitting to me that this "new dawn" picture has the announcement of my call to the episcopacy with the Chapel of Saint's Peter and Paul in the background.&nbsp; I'm sure for a lot of us these images conjur up a lot of reflections on the wonder of God's grace in this community.<br />I've appreciated the on line comments and in person comments of so many of you and it seems that my idea of sharing my journey to the episcopacy is accomplishing exactly what I hoped it would.&nbsp; I hope that as you hear the&nbsp;touching or humorous stories that it will draw you closer to your deacons, priest and bishops and most importantly closer to the Lord.&nbsp; After all he lived his life as a simple carpenter.&nbsp; I like to imagine what His reaction would be.&nbsp; Ultimately the images and symbols of the episcopacy of His Church have a beautiful and rich history that speaks of the devotion of God's people through the ages.<br />Speaking of symbols of the episcopacy, Bishop Corrada has been a tremendous help in guiding me regarding the proper protocols and customs of this time between the announcement that Pope Benedict XVI has named me Bishop of Tyler and my ordination on November 28, at 2:00 PM in Caldwell Auditorium.<br />The miter (triangular bishop's hat) the crozier (bishop's staff) and the bishop's ring are all given to the bishop as part of the ordination liturgy.&nbsp; During these two months the bishop has instructed me that it is proper for me to use the pectoral cross (cross the bishop wears on a chain around his neck) and the zuchetto (the dark pink skull cap).&nbsp; As Bishop Corrada and I discussed the announcement last week and his introduction of me at the Cathedral liturgies at first I was just going to borrow one of his zuchettos and his pectoral cross.&nbsp; As it turned out I am able to use the pectoral cross that Bishop Herzig received for his ordination as our first bishop.&nbsp; This was a very special gift for me to be able to use his pectoral cross because I was there at his ordination and served as one of the masters of ceremonies.&nbsp; <br />Father Anthony McLaughlin was going to let me use a zuchetto that he keeps on had at the Cathedral but Bishop Corrada was kind enough to give me one so that is the zuchetto I will use during this time.&nbsp; I have to admit it takes a little getting used to wearing the pectoral cross and the zuchetto.&nbsp; As I mentioned in an earlier post I've already had one slight "wardrobe malfunction" when I had the zuchetto on at the wrong time during the mass.&nbsp; I guess the bright side is that most of us don't know these protocols of a bishop so maybe my mistakes won't be too noticable.<br />It occurs to me that a lot of my time will be taken up in the next several days with getting "things" in order.&nbsp; Please pray that I can stay focused on "the people" I am preparing to serve.&nbsp; The things can be beautiful images as long as they stay connected to the service of the People of God that they signify.&nbsp; <br />Bishop Corrada has been more than kind throughout this time.&nbsp; He is a very gracious man.&nbsp; Last night it was a joy for me to preside at the Red Mass at the Cathedral at the invitation of the bishop.&nbsp; After the mass last night he said, "you truly presided like a bishop" and from Bishop Corrada who is truly an expert I receive this comment as the highest of compliments.<br />Today is the Feast of the Guardian Angels.&nbsp; I celebrated mass this morning in the small chapel upstairs in Gorman School and I mentioned that my guardian angel had received an upgrade in responsibility.&nbsp; I will need him whispering the constant message of God's love and grace as all our guardian angels do as I continue this journey.<br />More to come....................so stay tuned.<br />OH SACRED HEART OF JESUS I PLACE MY TRUST IN THEE..............IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY I ASK THEE PRAY FOR ME.&nbsp; GOD BLESS.<br /><br /> Tue, 2 Oct 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[A Blessed Weekend]]> <b>September 29 and 30</b><b><br /></b>Just a few thoughts about the most amazing weekend in my 53 years. &nbsp;<br />As you might guess I woke up early on Saturday morning and was already composing emails before the embargo lifted and the secret of my appointment could be shared. &nbsp;I'm not sure how many emails and texts I sent but as I said in the Press Conference my iphone was overheating!!! &nbsp;Since that 5:00 AM opening of the floodgates it has been a blur of activity.<br />Wisely, Jim Smith (Finance Officer of the Diocese and a Huge support to me) suggested that Bishop Corrada and I should wait in his office until people were in place in the St. Paul Conference Room. &nbsp;It was a great quiet before the storm for Bishop Corrada and I to discuss a few things that we hadn't had the time to talk about. &nbsp;<br />I will always remember that image of the conference room when I walked in with Bishop Corrada and saw the crowd. &nbsp;It will always be for me a visual image of what OVERwhelming really means. &nbsp;I'm so glad that we have video of the PC because it was all a blur for me. &nbsp;It is nice to be able to go back and realize what actually happened. &nbsp;The rest of that day unfolded as a wonderful gift of the goodness of the people I have served for 27 years. &nbsp;Some of you may have kept up with a blog that had a slight influence in my life <b>whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com </b>Rocco Palmo's posts there have been truly over the top but very gratefully received. &nbsp;<br />Sunday I joined Bishop Corrada for 10 and 1:30 mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. &nbsp;I can't describe the joy I felt in being assigned to serve this wonderful community for the 3rd time. &nbsp;First as a newly ordained assistant priest, second as Rector and now as the Bishop. &nbsp;Bishop Corrada was wonderfully gracious as he allowed me to take the principle post for distribution of communion and left the cathedra (official bishop's chair) empty as a symbol of waiting for my ordination when I will formally take it as the chair from which I will serve the 33 counties, 80,000 Catholics and over 1,000,000 souls in the Diocese of Tyler.<br />I'll share a funny moment before I close. &nbsp;As bishop elect I wear the pectoral cross and the zuchetto (the dark pink beanie) because the other symbols of the office of bishop the crozier, miter and episcopal ring are all given to the new bishop during the ordination liturgy. &nbsp;I've never worn hats or rings but I guess I will have to get used to both. &nbsp;I managed to keep the zuchetto on during the mass and as the Eucharistic prayer began I even remembered to remove it. &nbsp;My mistake came after communion. &nbsp;I was so anxious to remember to put the zuchetto back on that I put it on too early. &nbsp;The bishop does not put the zuchetto back on until the Blessed Sacrament has been returned to the tabernacle. &nbsp;Our great Master of Ceremonies, Vincent Meinzer, just looked at me and kind of waved his hand over is head.......I got the hint and blushing profusely tried to remove the zuchetto as unobtrusively as possible. &nbsp;Bishop Corrada was gracious enough to pretend he didn't even notice!!!!!I have a lot more to learn than the protocol for zuchettos but hopefully I've got that little detail memorized!!!!<br />Stayed tuned. &nbsp;More to come as this amazing journey unfolds. &nbsp;God bless you and let us pray for one another. Mon, 1 Oct 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[It all started with a phone call]]> <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-u4ffKCiR7Ls/UGNe7BvhHGI/AAAAAAAAAcA/vS_8BIBTDD8/s1600/Pope+Benedict+005.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; cssfloat: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="425" kea="true" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-u4ffKCiR7Ls/UGNe7BvhHGI/AAAAAAAAAcA/vS_8BIBTDD8/s640/Pope+Benedict+005.jpg" width="640" /></a>Pope Benedict XVI greets the 4th Bishop of Tyler-&nbsp; No I didn't just make a quick trip to Rome.&nbsp; This picture was taken at the ad limina visit to which I accompanied Bishop Corrada last March.&nbsp; Some said at the time "is this picture prophetic??" I suppose it was.&nbsp; <br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <br />I thought it would be fun to use my blog therunningpriest.blogspot.com to let you all walk this journey with me.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />On Friday, September 14, at about 9:30 am I was in my office and the phone rang. I answered as I usually tend to ?Fr. Joe? and on the other end of the line a rather soft accented voice said ?Is this Msgr. Joseph Strickland?? I said yes and my mind began to race! I have to admit I cannot accurately tell you what the Nuncio said next but the gist of it was that he Archbishop Vigano was calling on behalf of the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI to inform me that the Holy Father was asking me to be Bishop of Tyler. The Nuncio simply said ?do you accept?. After a pause during which I was attempting to restart my heart, untie my tongue and unscramble my brain all at the same time I must have said something resembling ?yes?!!!<br /><br /><br /><br />I must have said yes because Archbishop Vigano then began immediately to talk about what would happen next. He said he would contact Bishop Corrada as the most recent bishop of the diocese and Cardinal Archbishop Daniel Dinardo, the Metropolitan for this part of Texas and inform them. He then said that he would like to schedule the announcement for September 29, 2012. He noted that it was a Saturday but said that should be alright and that it was the best date for the announcement in light of his schedule. My first thought was that I had a class to teach that Saturday morning and I blurted that out to the Nuncio. At that point there was simply silence so I quickly got the message and said ?but I can arrange my schedule for the announcement on September 29?.<br /><br /><br /><br />Very soon after this phone call Bishop Alvaro Corrada called to congratulate me and then also Cardinal Dinardo. Immediately they both began advising me regarding choosing a date for the ordination etc. etc. etc. Believe me there is a lot of etc. there!!!!!!!!!<br /><br /><br /><br />I will always remember the Cardinal?s kindness in immediately beginning to give me pointers regarding what I should do next. So here I was within the space of an hour going from routine work in my office to working on a ?how to be ordained a bishop? to do list. <br /><br /><br /><br />As you can imagine one of the things that began to sink in was that I could not share this news until September 29th, two weeks to keep the biggest secret of my life. I?m a pretty quiet guy but even for me keeping this a secret for two weeks won?t be easy.<br /><br /><br /><br />September 15<br /><br /><br /><br />The next day I went to pick up my dear friend Archbishop Michael Sheehan at the airport in Dallas because he was scheduled to celebrate mass and speak at the Cathedral?s Roses and Rosaries event on September 16. You can imagine how my mind raced through various memories during that weekend. A bit of a disclaimer here???.if anyone happened to witness me walking down the hall or on the sidewalk and just laughing hysterically now you know I hadn?t completely lost my mind???.or maybe!!!!!!!???<br /><br /><br /><br />September 18 &amp; 19<br /><br /><br /><br />It was certainly interesting to represent Bishop Corrada at the Texas Catholic Conference and meet with the bishop?s of Texas with my little secret. Of course Cardinal Dinardo knew but none of the other bishops were aware or at least they didn?t let on that they had heard my news. <br /><br /><br /><br />I have to share a funny moment at the meeting. The lay staff and I stepped out of the room as the bishops went into executive session. As we sat in the lobby area of the hotel waiting for the bishop?s to call us back in as you can imagine some of the staff members were asking me when Tyler was going to get a bishop. I gave one of my usual vague responses and one of the ladies just looked at me and asked ?Are we talking to him?? I?ve always had a tendency to turn beet red at moments like that so I may have let the cat out of the bag!!!! After I made a feeble attempt to answer the question the group was kind enough to just move on with the conversation. <br /><br /><br /><br />September 22 and 23<br /><br /><br /><br />This weekend I participated in the St. Gregory Fun Run and celebrated Confirmation at the Cathedral at 5:30 mass on Saturday and then again at 1:30 mass in Spanish on Sunday. I have to say that it was a great joy to know that in a week it would be announced that I would be bishop of this flock. Joy has been the pervasive emotion I have felt since that phone call on September 14, but I?m also well aware of the great responsibility to serve the people of God that I will take on. <br /><br /><br /><br />September 24<br /><br /><br /><br />One week and counting until the big announcement. I?ve stayed busy with the usual activities plus things like preparing a Curriculum Vitae for the Press Conference on September 29, preparing remarks that I will give at the Press Conference and writing letters of thanks to the Holy Father and Bishops that will be sent as soon as the news becomes public. <br /><br /><br /><br />Today I participated in an event for the Alzheimer?s Alliance of Smith County where Leeza Gibbons spoke. As you can imagine my mother who suffered with Alzheimers for ten years was very much on my mind. I know that my parents reaction to the news that I am to be the fourth bishop of Tyler would be a mixture of great joy and concern for the responsibilities the role involves. I have an idea that the reaction of my siblings will very much mirror the joy and concern my parents would have felt.&nbsp; In the later years before my mother became very ill with alzheimer's and my responsibilities in the diocese continued to grow, my mother often said, "I need to talk to your bishop and tell him to quit piling on".&nbsp; I guess I'll be the one "piling on work" for my brother priests to do now.&nbsp; I'll try to remember they have mom's too!!!!!!!!<br /><br /><br /><br />I will pick up Bishop Corrada at the airport on Wednesday, September 26. As soon as the news hit that Bishop Corrada had changed his original dates for a visit the speculation began to heat up with people asking if an announcement was coming soon. I suppose my primary technique for fielding the questions has been simply to laugh a lot and say that we certainly hope it will be soon. It will be interesting to know how many people have begun to suspect my news. I have never been much of a poker player!!!!!<br /><br /><br /><br />September 26-28<br /><br /><br /><br />A nice interlude here with the installation of the Lamb of God window in the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul (see earlier post for pictures).<br /><br /><br /><br />I picked up the Bishop Wednesday evening and we had dinner at his home and discuss various details of the announcement and ordination. He was a big help because he has been involved in the life of bishops since his ordination as auxiliary of Washington, D.C. in 1985.<br /><br /><br /><br />I didn?t? get much sleep last night, just a busy mind racing with many things. I?m hoping I get a good nights sleep tonight so that I don?t look exhausted at the Press Conference.<br /><br /><br /><br />More to come as the Journey to the Episcopacy continues. <br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-KasmUSHExuA/UGX8QqfyOXI/AAAAAAAAAcQ/OWrGQDlrfuE/s1600/Pope+Benedict+007.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" kea="true" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-KasmUSHExuA/UGX8QqfyOXI/AAAAAAAAAcQ/OWrGQDlrfuE/s640/Pope+Benedict+007.jpg" width="426" /></a>? <br />The Third and Fourth Bishops of Tyler greet <br />Pope Benedict XVI Sat, 29 Sep 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Behold the Lamb of God]]> The windows over the main doors of the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul have been installed.<br /><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-riSntZ9W_sc/UGNZ83OFwcI/AAAAAAAAAbA/7wsbwMflSKg/s1600/Supper+of+the+Lamb.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" kea="true" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-riSntZ9W_sc/UGNZ83OFwcI/AAAAAAAAAbA/7wsbwMflSKg/s320/Supper+of+the+Lamb.jpg" width="320" /></a><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-iPQiApONZvE/UGNaFK9-6dI/AAAAAAAAAbI/11DvyDbGNB4/s1600/Lamb+1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" kea="true" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-iPQiApONZvE/UGNaFK9-6dI/AAAAAAAAAbI/11DvyDbGNB4/s400/Lamb+1.jpg" width="400" /></a><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-c5SX1PoQiAA/UGNacdbolQI/AAAAAAAAAbg/upx1WvZ6feY/s1600/Lamb+2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" kea="true" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-c5SX1PoQiAA/UGNacdbolQI/AAAAAAAAAbg/upx1WvZ6feY/s400/Lamb+2.jpg" width="400" /></a><br />Lynchburg Stained Glass continues to do a beautiful job.&nbsp; They plan to have the rest of the windows installed by December 8, 2012<br />The Chapel is open during daylight hours and all are invited to stop by for a look.?? Wed, 26 Sep 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Here come the Saints]]> Hello again. &nbsp;I'm not sure how many of you are still checking the pages of The Running <br />Priest. &nbsp;I know it has been a long time between posts but things have been happening <br />behind the scenes.<br /><br />The week of September 24, the large window over the main doors of the Chapel of Saints Peter <br />and Paul is set to be installed. &nbsp;The theme of the window is "The Supper of the Lamb"<br />referring to the apocalyptic image of Christ's Eucharistic sacrifice. &nbsp;It promises to be <br />truly beautiful.<br /><br />The title of this post refers to the remaining windows depicting a procession of the<br />Saints which we hope to have installed in time for the first anniversary of the dedication of the chapel<br />on December 8.<br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-aBC21H3agEs/TJax9bQNwXI/AAAAAAAAAFI/yqT_OD2zXZo/s1600/Saints+Peter+and+Paul+Logo.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="213" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-aBC21H3agEs/TJax9bQNwXI/AAAAAAAAAFI/yqT_OD2zXZo/s320/Saints+Peter+and+Paul+Logo.jpg" width="320" /></a>As you can see things are revving up again so stay tuned!!!!!!! Sat, 15 Sep 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Now it's Easter]]> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-iuOEzfbh_bM/T4ietSkwTUI/AAAAAAAAAa4/3lNBDQswFSw/s1600/Pope%2Bat%2BAd%2BLimina.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5731005026746256706" border="0" alt="" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-iuOEzfbh_bM/T4ietSkwTUI/AAAAAAAAAa4/3lNBDQswFSw/s320/Pope%2Bat%2BAd%2BLimina.jpg" /></a> Hello,<br /><br /><br /><br />Sorry for the lack of posts but it's been a little busy since I last posted on March 11.<br /><br />Speaking of busy..............the pictures say it all. Pope Benedict says hello to all the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul supporters!!!!! Fri, 13 Apr 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Lenten Waiting]]> The Supper of the Lamb window over the main doors of the Chapel is in production. I'll try to update as much as possible as it develops.<br />We also await the announcement of our 4th bishop. This makes one both nervous and excited as we enter into these early days of our next 25 years as a diocese, a "local Church" of the universal Catholic Church. I'll try to use my blog for updates regarding developments as our new bishop begins to shepherd us. <br />As we pray during these Lenten days for our own renewal, for our families and for our 4th bishop let us embrace Mary's response to the angel.....FIAT VOLUNTAS TUA........thy will be done, echoed by Christ himself in the garden before his crucifixion. <br />This phrase echoes through the ages as THE response of the Christian disciple. Let us embrace it as we continue our Lenten journey. <br />God Bless. Sun, 11 Mar 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[All's Quiet]]> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-qDA4AJLyIm0/TxCXSrynF2I/AAAAAAAAAaU/rGszFyyqbJ0/s1600/Peter%2Band%2BPaul.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5697219875872118626" border="0" alt="" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-qDA4AJLyIm0/TxCXSrynF2I/AAAAAAAAAaU/rGszFyyqbJ0/s320/Peter%2Band%2BPaul.jpg" /></a><br /><br />Just thought I would post a brief message on the blog. The dedication of the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul brings to a close the blog's focus on that effort. There are still some stained glass windows to be completed and installed and I will keep you up to date as they develop. <br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />I'll probably try to share an occasional picture and post with images of the Chapel in action also.<br /><br />Beyond that I'll be pondering where the Blog goes next.<br /><br />Thanks for all your support. Fri, 13 Jan 2012 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[First Christmas at the Chapel]]> <p><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6KvgCaCciVc/Tv3-SwXyQAI/AAAAAAAAAaI/cMViV-p0oMM/s1600/cross7.jpg"><img alt="" border="0" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5691985102241939458" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6KvgCaCciVc/Tv3-SwXyQAI/AAAAAAAAAaI/cMViV-p0oMM/s320/cross7.jpg" style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" /></a> The Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul celebrates the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ for the first time, December 25, 2011. We pray for God&#39;s special blessings for all who helped to make this beautiful Chapel a reality. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-LEr0jY5LbIE/Tv3-MJFnGvI/AAAAAAAAAaA/dL9uAPJ2g48/s1600/cross8.jpg"><img alt="" border="0" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5691984988617513714" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-LEr0jY5LbIE/Tv3-MJFnGvI/AAAAAAAAAaA/dL9uAPJ2g48/s320/cross8.jpg" style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> &nbsp; <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-L424aezf-NY/Tv3-F32X1fI/AAAAAAAAAZw/zcpNupATetE/s1600/cross9.jpg"><img alt="" border="0" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5691984880910980594" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-L424aezf-NY/Tv3-F32X1fI/AAAAAAAAAZw/zcpNupATetE/s320/cross9.jpg" style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> &nbsp; <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5PkOnXqniqs/Tv3-AhtWzMI/AAAAAAAAAZk/rEb4uYWdn50/s1600/cross10.jpg"><img alt="" border="0" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5691984789068238018" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5PkOnXqniqs/Tv3-AhtWzMI/AAAAAAAAAZk/rEb4uYWdn50/s320/cross10.jpg" style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> &nbsp; <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-j3rnptOHftY/Tv39593YkxI/AAAAAAAAAZY/6UAC3MN-b90/s1600/cross11.jpg"><img alt="" border="0" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5691984676367405842" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-j3rnptOHftY/Tv39593YkxI/AAAAAAAAAZY/6UAC3MN-b90/s320/cross11.jpg" style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> &nbsp; <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8vZvXS6Xltw/Tv39zmI3P8I/AAAAAAAAAZM/966pVba8z1w/s1600/cross12.jpg"><img alt="" border="0" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5691984566919053250" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8vZvXS6Xltw/Tv39zmI3P8I/AAAAAAAAAZM/966pVba8z1w/s320/cross12.jpg" style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> &nbsp; <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-kY1ncWBOWxE/Tv39tzrRDuI/AAAAAAAAAZA/VtGv4-Zt8Nc/s1600/cross13.jpg"><img alt="" border="0" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5691984467473796834" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-kY1ncWBOWxE/Tv39tzrRDuI/AAAAAAAAAZA/VtGv4-Zt8Nc/s320/cross13.jpg" style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> &nbsp; <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-oa1DvHrgLNc/Tv39np-8x0I/AAAAAAAAAY0/-ZX1gK9th_A/s1600/cross14.jpg"><img alt="" border="0" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5691984361792784194" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-oa1DvHrgLNc/Tv39np-8x0I/AAAAAAAAAY0/-ZX1gK9th_A/s320/cross14.jpg" style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> &nbsp; &nbsp; <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Fri, 30 Dec 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Finishing Touches]]> <p><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-6HVjWoNMZFI/Tv386 -ZfYI/AAAAAAAAAYo/uedLhHg8oVI/s1600/cross19.jpg"><img alt="" border="0" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5691983582790778242" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-6HVjWoNMZFI/Tv386 -ZfYI/AAAAAAAAAYo/uedLhHg8oVI/s320/cross19.jpg" style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-pLq1eLWDC2s/Tv380JdNyWI/AAAAAAAAAYc/XDJq2l07Z08/s1600/cross17.jpg"><img alt="" border="0" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5691983476888029538" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-pLq1eLWDC2s/Tv380JdNyWI/AAAAAAAAAYc/XDJq2l07Z08/s320/cross17.jpg" style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> &nbsp; <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pQ2lyTQnoVg/Tv38tZuDYkI/AAAAAAAAAYQ/qaYVFcojOHY/s1600/cross16.jpg"><img alt="" border="0" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5691983360994533954" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pQ2lyTQnoVg/Tv38tZuDYkI/AAAAAAAAAYQ/qaYVFcojOHY/s320/cross16.jpg" style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> &nbsp; <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-VVMsTll_nUI/Tv38m6RnNSI/AAAAAAAAAYE/nn7FGobqEdM/s1600/cross15.jpg"><img alt="" border="0" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5691983249474532642" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-VVMsTll_nUI/Tv38m6RnNSI/AAAAAAAAAYE/nn7FGobqEdM/s320/cross15.jpg" style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> &nbsp; <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-O4NtLtwpW_A/Tv38gOVb1XI/AAAAAAAAAX4/II4vPKPXO3g/s1600/cross6.jpg"><img alt="" border="0" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5691983134600189298" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-O4NtLtwpW_A/Tv38gOVb1XI/AAAAAAAAAX4/II4vPKPXO3g/s320/cross6.jpg" style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> &nbsp; <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-kazDIzPWgT8/Tv38Ycs42-I/AAAAAAAAAXs/K5jxILQk-aw/s1600/cross4.jpg"><img alt="" border="0" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5691983001017703394" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-kazDIzPWgT8/Tv38Ycs42-I/AAAAAAAAAXs/K5jxILQk-aw/s320/cross4.jpg" style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> &nbsp; <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-k2fGTBXUl-c/Tv38R6orSrI/AAAAAAAAAXg/XMSaxZLQvwU/s1600/cross3.jpg"><img alt="" border="0" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5691982888794016434" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-k2fGTBXUl-c/Tv38R6orSrI/AAAAAAAAAXg/XMSaxZLQvwU/s320/cross3.jpg" style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> &nbsp; <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1L1GwydK69o/Tv38JunbbmI/AAAAAAAAAXU/mNLa3hIMrNk/s1600/cross2.jpg"><img alt="" border="0" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5691982748128603746" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1L1GwydK69o/Tv38JunbbmI/AAAAAAAAAXU/mNLa3hIMrNk/s320/cross2.jpg" style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> &nbsp; <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-F1J8iVIZjAc/Tv38CT50jbI/AAAAAAAAAXI/_Ip6io3HjGM/s1600/cross1.jpg"><img alt="" border="0" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5691982620698906034" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-F1J8iVIZjAc/Tv38CT50jbI/AAAAAAAAAXI/_Ip6io3HjGM/s320/cross1.jpg" style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> &nbsp; Photos of crosses and statues installed on the exterior of the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Fri, 30 Dec 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Outdoor Crosses and Statues]]> Workers are installing the Crosses and Statues for the exterior of the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul.<br /><br />I hope to post pictures soon. <br /><br />Remember to walk these last days of Advent in prayer as the business of the season tempts us to run instead!!!!!! Wed, 21 Dec 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Scenes from a Dedication]]> Finally some photos from the dedication on December 8, 2011<br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/--kVsto6LzaQ/TvIeQiPpVYI/AAAAAAAAAWw/J0yhMix2Oow/s1600/dedication11.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 219px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 146px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5688642548741526914" border="0" alt="" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/--kVsto6LzaQ/TvIeQiPpVYI/AAAAAAAAAWw/J0yhMix2Oow/s320/dedication11.jpg" /></a> <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-zvHynVjiLQA/TvIc9sB_V5I/AAAAAAAAAU4/i2-9NG7z9Hc/s1600/dedication2.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 110px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 165px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5688641125439461266" border="0" alt="" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-zvHynVjiLQA/TvIc9sB_V5I/AAAAAAAAAU4/i2-9NG7z9Hc/s320/dedication2.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-HxC8UXT-kbg/TvIeJeVjGQI/AAAAAAAAAWk/jPtJAEklCaw/s1600/dedication12.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 219px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 146px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5688642427433457922" border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-HxC8UXT-kbg/TvIeJeVjGQI/AAAAAAAAAWk/jPtJAEklCaw/s320/dedication12.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-oRewDRu6CQ0/TvId3F_7G2I/AAAAAAAAAWM/HbH0DmcjOoU/s1600/dedication9.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 219px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 146px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5688642111662660450" border="0" alt="" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-oRewDRu6CQ0/TvId3F_7G2I/AAAAAAAAAWM/HbH0DmcjOoU/s320/dedication9.jpg" /></a><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-PhAIHwlVhTY/TvIeAPUx4fI/AAAAAAAAAWY/u-oJfGrlcRU/s1600/dedication10.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 219px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 146px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5688642268784878066" border="0" alt="" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-PhAIHwlVhTY/TvIeAPUx4fI/AAAAAAAAAWY/u-oJfGrlcRU/s320/dedication10.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-deFLL_TGn-Y/TvIdxPXEBeI/AAAAAAAAAWA/RPDlhnOBMq4/s1600/dedication8.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 219px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 146px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5688642011096417762" border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-deFLL_TGn-Y/TvIdxPXEBeI/AAAAAAAAAWA/RPDlhnOBMq4/s320/dedication8.jpg" /></a> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-D4yinfT1jDU/TvIdpezptGI/AAAAAAAAAV0/DvKLVGmyEMM/s1600/dedication6.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 219px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 146px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5688641877803906146" border="0" alt="" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-D4yinfT1jDU/TvIdpezptGI/AAAAAAAAAV0/DvKLVGmyEMM/s320/dedication6.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Xsx-5AnpRAg/TvIdGNFqUPI/AAAAAAAAAVE/9ElB9Rf6S0c/s1600/dedication3.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 110px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 165px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5688641271752184050" border="0" alt="" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Xsx-5AnpRAg/TvIdGNFqUPI/AAAAAAAAAVE/9ElB9Rf6S0c/s320/dedication3.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-EUb1Q9QAsac/TvIfk7-p47I/AAAAAAAAAW8/JIEuCl0Obd8/s1600/dedication4.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 110px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 165px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5688643998758593458" border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-EUb1Q9QAsac/TvIfk7-p47I/AAAAAAAAAW8/JIEuCl0Obd8/s320/dedication4.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-jGxFpOGB_CA/TvIdNtSiooI/AAAAAAAAAVQ/MrbC0FDvdJs/s1600/Dedication1.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 110px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 165px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5688641400655225474" border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-jGxFpOGB_CA/TvIdNtSiooI/AAAAAAAAAVQ/MrbC0FDvdJs/s320/Dedication1.jpg" /></a><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-oV2bE0BDIzI/TvIdhO55kXI/AAAAAAAAAVo/aQhepqnExZI/s1600/dedication5.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 110px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 165px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5688641736096190834" border="0" alt="" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-oV2bE0BDIzI/TvIdhO55kXI/AAAAAAAAAVo/aQhepqnExZI/s320/dedication5.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> Wed, 21 Dec 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Coming Soon........Selected Pictures from the Dedication Mass]]> Thu, 15 Dec 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[]]> <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-SpEmwpCZ-Ys/Tuphk2jC-GI/AAAAAAAAAUs/8hxll6R5kRk/s1600/Glass%2Binstalled.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5686464765254367330" border="0" alt="" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-SpEmwpCZ-Ys/Tuphk2jC-GI/AAAAAAAAAUs/8hxll6R5kRk/s320/Glass%2Binstalled.jpg" /></a><br /><br /> Thu, 15 Dec 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[The Symbolism in the Main Altar Stained Glass]]> The Meaning of the Stained Glass Window behind the Altar at the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul<br /><br />As promised I wanted to share some of the background regarding the various symbols that you see in the stained glass depicting the risen Christ and the twelve apostles.<br /><br />The Risen Christ- of course this image is self explanatory, the artistic idea was to bring together the full imagery of Christ Crucified, Christ on the Eucharistic Altar and Christ Risen and gloriously reigning<br /><br />The Four Evangelical Figures- These winged figures come from the prophet Ezequiel and the Book of Revelation and have traditionally been associated with the Four Evangelists since at least the 5th century. The Man (Incarnation) represents Matthew traditionally because he begins his Gospel with the human genealogy of Christ, the Lion (Resurrection) represents Mark referring to John the Baptist the Lion in the Desert, the Ox (Passion) represents Luke and calls to mind Luke?s emphasis on the sacrifice of Christ and the Eagle (Ascension) represents John?s Gospel which sores to the heavens with its deeply theological themes. <br /><br />The Chalice and Loaves of Bread- These images which hover directly over the tabernacle and altar clearly draw us to reflect on the Eucharistic Sacrifice which takes place at the altar at every mass.<br /><br />The Apostles on either side of the Risen Christ- These chosen ones gather around the resurrected Lord as they gathered with Him at the Last Supper. Because the Chapel is dedicated to Peter and Paul the artists used some license in replacing the image of Judas Iscariot the betrayer with the image of Paul carrying his sword. Paul is traditionally depicted with a sword and a scroll both calling to mind the power of the Word of God.<br /><br />Looking at the window from top left we begin with Bartholomew (also called Nathaniel) depicted with a knife or spear due to he manner of his death. Tradition says he was flayed alive. Next is Andrew who is represented with the X shaped cross because of the tradition that he died on a cross shaped like an X. Then we see Jude who is depicted with a flame over his head calling to mind his presence at Pentecost. Phillip is depicted holding a loaf of bread he is the apostle who answers Christ at the multiplication of the loaves. James the Younger is depicted with a saw because of the tradition that he was martyred by being thrown from the roof of the temple and his head was sawed off as an expression of hatred and persecution. Finally, at the bottom of the left window is Peter who is presented holding the keys to the kingdom which Christ gave him as the head of the Apostles. <br /><br />At the top of the right hand window we have Thomas holding a spear because that is how he was martyred. He is also sometimes depicted with a carpenters square because he built the church in India. James the Elder holds a scallop shell symbolic of his great travels across the oceans of the world. Next is John who holds a cup with a serpent because tradition says someone attempted to murder him with poison in the communion cup. Simon is depicted with a fishermen?s net calling to mind the Gospel passage where he and the others are called to be fishers of men. Matthew is depicted with a money bag because he was called away from is tax collecting tables to follow Christ and then we find ourselves back with Paul and the two edged sword of the Word of God.<br /><br />You may find other symbols and images used as well because there are many traditions concerning the twelve apostles. The artists chose to use the symbols describe above because they have strong roots in the history of the Church,<br /><br />It is worth noting that the images refer to the ways the apostles lived the Gospel and often the way they died for the Gospel as well. <br /><br />The next window to be installed in the Chapel will be over the main entry doors. It depicts the Supper of the Lamb which comes from the Apocalyptic Visions in the Book of Revelation.<br /><br />The windows along the sides of the Chapel will be installed in the coming months and depict the Communion of Saints processing to the altar of the Lord through the ages. <br /><br />The choir area includes windows depicting St. Cecelia and St. Gregory tradionally saints associated with music and in the side entry vestibule we will have the three Archangels, Michael. Raphael and Gabriel. Thu, 15 Dec 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[No Flash Photography at Dedication Mass]]> We are requesting that there be no flash photography at the Dedication Mass on December 8, at 7:00 PM. The professional photographer who will be taking the official pictures will be using digital eqipment and the flash interferes with the quality of these images. <br /><br />Thanks for your understanding Tue, 6 Dec 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[A Few Pictures]]> <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-FyPEnhiMSks/Tt40WKCEPuI/AAAAAAAAAUg/wQjiYMb9Fnw/s1600/Peter%2Band%2BPaul.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5683037335042932450" border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-FyPEnhiMSks/Tt40WKCEPuI/AAAAAAAAAUg/wQjiYMb9Fnw/s320/Peter%2Band%2BPaul.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-syu98j2goGQ/Tt40Oq69NTI/AAAAAAAAAUU/HemuMycWUPM/s1600/pp%2Bfont.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5683037206432527666" border="0" alt="" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-syu98j2goGQ/Tt40Oq69NTI/AAAAAAAAAUU/HemuMycWUPM/s320/pp%2Bfont.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-h4u5NVjjPe0/Tt40HpaACfI/AAAAAAAAAUI/llD3_EESvW4/s1600/PP%2BGuadalupe.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5683037085766781426" border="0" alt="" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-h4u5NVjjPe0/Tt40HpaACfI/AAAAAAAAAUI/llD3_EESvW4/s320/PP%2BGuadalupe.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> Mon, 5 Dec 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Live Streaming of Chapel Dedication]]> As you know Bishop Alvaro Corrada will be presiding over the mass of dedication for the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul on December 8, at 7:00 PM. All are welcome to attend but we certainly understand that for many it will not be possible. <br />Thanks to generous support from members of the Cathedral community we will be able to offer the ceremony streaming live over the Internet. If you are interested you can access the live feed at www.tkgorman.net. <br />God bless you and we hope you can join us at least virtually.<br /><img src="webkit-fake-url://BE5B981D-77CD-4F40-B96A-923A2BF10784/imagejpeg" /> Sat, 3 Dec 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Drawing Near]]> December 8, is just around the corner. If you've ever moved into a new home and decided to have a house warming party on move in day then you have some idea of how we feel. <br />Lots of details still to be addressed but things are moving along well. It is exciting to see it all coming together.<br />Just a note for any who are planning to attend the dedication liturgy which is set to begin at 7:00 pm on December 8. The flow of the liturgy has everyone gathered outside the front doors as Bishop Corrada formally accepts the building from the architect and builders, then we all enter together and begin the liturgy during which the building becomes a sacred space consecrated for Divine Worship. <br />The main thing to note is that we will all be outside so "getting a good seat ahead of time" will not really be a practical option. We will certainly accommodate everyone who has difficulty walking or standing for an extended time as best we can. We just wouldn't want people to come two hours early thinking they could "get a good seat" that way.<br />Please don't let the above discourage you from coming. All are welcome and we want as many as possible to join in this beautiful historic moment for the Catholic community of Tyler. You won't regret being a part of the congregation to witness the "baptism" of this beautiful building as she becomes a House of God consecrated for His Worship and dedicated to His glory.<br />AD MAIOREM DEI GLORIAM Mon, 28 Nov 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Days Away]]> December 8, drawing near. <br />If you've ever moved into a new house and planned housewarming Mon, 28 Nov 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[A Stroll Down Memory Lane]]> I can imagine that you are laughing because it had been so long between posts and now I'm posting more than once a day!! I suppose it simply is an illustration of the rapid pace of the final elements of the Chapel coming together as we approach December 8.<br /><br />I invite you to visit the YouTube video of the original DVD we used to launch the campaign for the Chapel back in 2007.<br /><br />The link is...............<br /><br /><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCHHKcUuXYk&amp;feature=youtube_gdata_player">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCHHKcUuXYk&amp;feature=youtube_gdata_player</a> Fri, 18 Nov 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Feast of the Dedication of the Basilicas of Saints Peter and Paul- the first Stained Glass Window t]]> <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-C-R_bxVaHFc/TsZ9CtoufTI/AAAAAAAAAT8/0vGkJQ8q1m8/s1600/Glass%2Binstalled.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5676361865910713650" border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-C-R_bxVaHFc/TsZ9CtoufTI/AAAAAAAAAT8/0vGkJQ8q1m8/s320/Glass%2Binstalled.jpg" /></a><br /><br />The first stained glass window is complete. Lynchburg Stained Glass did a wonderful job.<br /><br />Next week the Baptismal Font is to be installed and the week after the statues and crosses for the exterior and interior of the Chapel.<br /><br />It is all coming together thanks to wonderful donors and the support of so many in our community. <br /><br />Today, November 18, is a special day for the Chapel because it is the Feast of the Dedication of the Basilicas of Saints Peter and Paul in Rome. The feast reminds us that places and things become sacred in our Catholic tradition because they are associated with gifts of God's grace and growth in faith. The numerous holy sites in Rome have inspired the faithful from the earliest days of the Church. Thanks to the generosity and hard work of so many the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul has already been a "holy site" right here in Tyler. We look forward to the Chapel being a place of prayer and pilgrimage for many years to come. Fri, 18 Nov 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Relics for the Altar]]> <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-tHaS3vSqYjQ/TsUr0R2AlII/AAAAAAAAATw/dNSPR0Ap8WE/s1600/relic%2B3.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5675991082513503362" border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-tHaS3vSqYjQ/TsUr0R2AlII/AAAAAAAAATw/dNSPR0Ap8WE/s320/relic%2B3.jpg" /></a> These relics will be sealed in the altar at Saints Peter and Paul as the altar is consecrated at the Liturgy on December 8. Since the earliest days of the Church the Liturgy of the Eucharist (the Mass) was celebrated in the presence of the remains of faithful disciples. Because of the persecutions in the early Church many of these "faithful disciples" were martyrs. We are blessed to continue the tradition as the altar of the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul is consecrated with the special gift of relics for three who were martyred, Saints Peter and Paul and Saint Maria Goretti.<br /><br />Relic of Maria Goretti<br /><br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-3 rwPgwcVNk/TsUrtjiCdbI/AAAAAAAAATk/MDfOCTw20_0/s1600/relic8.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5675990967002494386" border="0" alt="" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-3 rwPgwcVNk/TsUrtjiCdbI/AAAAAAAAATk/MDfOCTw20_0/s320/relic8.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Relic of Saints Peter and Paul<br /><br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XDKEvZnmie0/TsUrlK1wj7I/AAAAAAAAATY/z8stJAuwYmM/s1600/relic7.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5675990822935367602" border="0" alt="" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XDKEvZnmie0/TsUrlK1wj7I/AAAAAAAAATY/z8stJAuwYmM/s320/relic7.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Relic of Saint John Newman<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-vC6y1n8uSeg/TsUreQBMCFI/AAAAAAAAATM/1go6q5r3 84/s1600/relic6.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5675990704066398290" border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-vC6y1n8uSeg/TsUreQBMCFI/AAAAAAAAATM/1go6q5r3 84/s320/relic6.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Relic of Saint Pius X, Pope<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-BQjolGD8L5s/TsUrXE_bOiI/AAAAAAAAATA/FVGeJyFjVcE/s1600/relic2.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5675990580847131170" border="0" alt="" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-BQjolGD8L5s/TsUrXE_bOiI/AAAAAAAAATA/FVGeJyFjVcE/s320/relic2.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Relic of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Watch for future posts sharing something of the lives of these Saints. Thu, 17 Nov 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Habemus Stained Glass]]> <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-HWfppibWYvs/TsUeUt8bwUI/AAAAAAAAAS0/s1HiZQ_Y9qU/s1600/glass4.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5675976246649667906" border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-HWfppibWYvs/TsUeUt8bwUI/AAAAAAAAAS0/s1HiZQ_Y9qU/s320/glass4.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-cIOwrNs7tZk/TsUeMS95QjI/AAAAAAAAASo/mf_4dEEfHxs/s1600/glass3.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5675976101969084978" border="0" alt="" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-cIOwrNs7tZk/TsUeMS95QjI/AAAAAAAAASo/mf_4dEEfHxs/s320/glass3.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wt51o12zIuU/TsUeE6pDJ3I/AAAAAAAAASc/M0Ul8luqXss/s1600/Glass2.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5675975975180117874" border="0" alt="" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wt51o12zIuU/TsUeE6pDJ3I/AAAAAAAAASc/M0Ul8luqXss/s320/Glass2.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-HPE9HD22fyU/TsUd9_7ftCI/AAAAAAAAASQ/-tVgn0m0olc/s1600/Glass1.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5675975856340579362" border="0" alt="" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-HPE9HD22fyU/TsUd9_7ftCI/AAAAAAAAASQ/-tVgn0m0olc/s320/Glass1.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Sorry for the slow posting. Although we haven't seen a lot of visible changes lately there has been a lot happening behind the scenes. These pictures of the Main Altar Stained Glass demonstrate just how busy our artisans have been. Enjoy and we look forward to seeing you on December 8, at 7:00 PM. Thu, 17 Nov 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Relics and Art]]> <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-AIKHXJhgd3g/TsQkmcAWehI/AAAAAAAAASE/f-HP07QeMgA/s1600/relic2.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5675701673164962322" border="0" alt="" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-AIKHXJhgd3g/TsQkmcAWehI/AAAAAAAAASE/f-HP07QeMgA/s320/relic2.jpg" /></a><br /><br /> <br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Q0w2DFACasI/TsQkbAx6MuI/AAAAAAAAAR4/srLjsUWNoTo/s1600/relic6.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5675701476878070498" border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Q0w2DFACasI/TsQkbAx6MuI/AAAAAAAAAR4/srLjsUWNoTo/s320/relic6.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /> <br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-U0MM5JbNk9Q/TsQjmjI0RQI/AAAAAAAAARs/ClefjjjQ5-k/s1600/relic8.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5675700575567889666" border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-U0MM5JbNk9Q/TsQjmjI0RQI/AAAAAAAAARs/ClefjjjQ5-k/s320/relic8.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-hYAVhNEp9DA/TsQjbVCK3bI/AAAAAAAAARg/ApLk4cZ_U3w/s1600/relic7.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5675700382803353010" border="0" alt="" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-hYAVhNEp9DA/TsQjbVCK3bI/AAAAAAAAARg/ApLk4cZ_U3w/s320/relic7.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-6bbiYlUNmgU/TsQjPmu2dCI/AAAAAAAAARU/7lUQH8d_kJc/s1600/relic6.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5675700181395731490" border="0" alt="" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-6bbiYlUNmgU/TsQjPmu2dCI/AAAAAAAAARU/7lUQH8d_kJc/s320/relic6.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-uc32Y9dzoAU/TsQjFi4pu_I/AAAAAAAAARI/XEoicAJYsDA/s1600/relic%2B3.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5675700008564407282" border="0" alt="" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-uc32Y9dzoAU/TsQjFi4pu_I/AAAAAAAAARI/XEoicAJYsDA/s320/relic%2B3.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-T3bLROG6CkQ/TsQi1hvYNfI/AAAAAAAAAQ8/1kZagCFNtFQ/s1600/relic8.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 2px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 179px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5675699733379167730" border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-T3bLROG6CkQ/TsQi1hvYNfI/AAAAAAAAAQ8/1kZagCFNtFQ/s320/relic8.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-QGZBuCqz5mc/TsQioOIYBaI/AAAAAAAAAQw/34lf-UD2mBs/s1600/stained%2Bglass%2Bpanel%2B2.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5675699504777004450" border="0" alt="" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-QGZBuCqz5mc/TsQioOIYBaI/AAAAAAAAAQw/34lf-UD2mBs/s320/stained%2Bglass%2Bpanel%2B2.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <br />Apologies for the slow posting. Things are really starting to develop to finalize the Chapel for the Mass of Dedication on December 8, at 7 PM.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <br />Photos include the main altar stained glass being installed and the relics that will be placed in the altar at the Dedication.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <br />We have relics for Saints Peter and Paul, Saint Maria Goretti, Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, Saint John Newman and Pope Saint Pius X. These relics are a beautiful echo of the Procession of the Saints which will be depicted in the stained glass windows. We have documentation of the authenticity of these relics which will be displayed in the Priest's Sacristy at the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <br /> Wed, 16 Nov 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Chapel at Night and Crucifix]]> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-cFHnY7FsW48/ToTkFxZ1isI/AAAAAAAAAQo/lAsdM3BVVVw/s1600/Crucifix.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 214px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5657897819696368322" border="0" alt="" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-cFHnY7FsW48/ToTkFxZ1isI/AAAAAAAAAQo/lAsdM3BVVVw/s320/Crucifix.jpg" /></a> A local photographer has fallen in love with the Chapel and took these beautiful pictures of the Chapel at night and the newly installed crucifix over the altar. <br /><br />Bishop Corrada has chosen December 8, at 7:00 PM for the Chapel Dedication Mass. <br /><br />All are welcome but I have a feeling the Chapel will definitely not be big enough for her first mass!!!!!!! It will be a beautiful celebration of the marvels God's Grace and your generosity has accomplished so come if you can and be part of the crowd!!!!!!!!!<br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-4ElJuyXBiak/ToTj7vcPWhI/AAAAAAAAAQg/WzLvfbRiSl0/s1600/Chapel%2Bat%2Bnight.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 214px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5657897647370885650" border="0" alt="" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-4ElJuyXBiak/ToTj7vcPWhI/AAAAAAAAAQg/WzLvfbRiSl0/s320/Chapel%2Bat%2Bnight.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /> Thu, 29 Sep 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Then and Now]]> <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-_uMqholVDV8/TnNXjDto_NI/AAAAAAAAAQY/xptJeiDWoZw/s1600/June%2B2.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5652958217083878610" border="0" alt="" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-_uMqholVDV8/TnNXjDto_NI/AAAAAAAAAQY/xptJeiDWoZw/s320/June%2B2.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-o9Y8SMR5R14/TnNXY_AyUmI/AAAAAAAAAQQ/Sv4PFqAMEmo/s1600/then%2Band%2Bnow%2B2.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5652958044023312994" border="0" alt="" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-o9Y8SMR5R14/TnNXY_AyUmI/AAAAAAAAAQQ/Sv4PFqAMEmo/s320/then%2Band%2Bnow%2B2.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Was looking through the pictures of the Chapel's progress on my Blog and noticed that the one of the dirt work was taken on September 11, 2010. We've come a long way in a year.<br /><br />We hope to set a dedication date soon and we will get the word out ASAP after a firm date is chosen. Fri, 16 Sep 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Progress is Showing]]> <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5hVKkUQJLKY/TnJ3mXQ_WBI/AAAAAAAAAQI/jlG8FhUS-d0/s1600/Furnishings.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5652711983267403794" border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5hVKkUQJLKY/TnJ3mXQ_WBI/AAAAAAAAAQI/jlG8FhUS-d0/s320/Furnishings.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KBukgI7bzko/TnJ3gE5MhTI/AAAAAAAAAQA/MIPjTP9RSW0/s1600/furnishings7.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5652711875256550706" border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KBukgI7bzko/TnJ3gE5MhTI/AAAAAAAAAQA/MIPjTP9RSW0/s320/furnishings7.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4f4JhWsxUVQ/TnJ3ZXEd1KI/AAAAAAAAAP4/U2769clrbXo/s1600/furnishings6.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5652711759876576418" border="0" alt="" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4f4JhWsxUVQ/TnJ3ZXEd1KI/AAAAAAAAAP4/U2769clrbXo/s320/furnishings6.jpg" /></a> Pews and ambo under construction<br /><br /><br /><br />Altar to the left and Crucifix below<br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-jOFld9BT6EQ/TnJ3RgtoNiI/AAAAAAAAAPw/qXfbjW8rDHo/s1600/furnishings5.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5652711625026188834" border="0" alt="" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-jOFld9BT6EQ/TnJ3RgtoNiI/AAAAAAAAAPw/qXfbjW8rDHo/s320/furnishings5.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-abGNX2xVSVM/TnJ3KhJqH5I/AAAAAAAAAPo/vX2Q9hVUmXI/s1600/furnishings4.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5652711504884670354" border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-abGNX2xVSVM/TnJ3KhJqH5I/AAAAAAAAAPo/vX2Q9hVUmXI/s320/furnishings4.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Another view of Altar and Ambo<br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-MUwQUkUFkg8/TnJ3C068XXI/AAAAAAAAAPg/lXLmpWbtc6U/s1600/furnishings3.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5652711372752706930" border="0" alt="" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-MUwQUkUFkg8/TnJ3C068XXI/AAAAAAAAAPg/lXLmpWbtc6U/s320/furnishings3.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oENf5HEC9S4/TnJ289Zh48I/AAAAAAAAAPY/WIEgtpdjE0s/s1600/furnishings2.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5652711271949263810" border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oENf5HEC9S4/TnJ289Zh48I/AAAAAAAAAPY/WIEgtpdjE0s/s320/furnishings2.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2I1k7ktVHx0/TnJ22VVe2UI/AAAAAAAAAPQ/rmHd6ntWNus/s1600/Furnishings1.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5652711158115653954" border="0" alt="" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2I1k7ktVHx0/TnJ22VVe2UI/AAAAAAAAAPQ/rmHd6ntWNus/s320/Furnishings1.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />As you can see the Chapel is coming together pews, altar, ambo and crucifix are being installed. We hope to set a Dedication Mass soon. Thanks for all your support. Thu, 15 Sep 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Progress]]> The Chapel is coming together.&nbsp; As you can see from these pictures the pews are going in, the Crucifix over the altar is hung, altar and ambo are being installed.&nbsp; We hope to set the Dedication Date soon.&nbsp; <br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-cmnoRscFIa0/TnJ2GEE3uEI/AAAAAAAAAPI/j4n-6xOI88s/s1600/Furnishings1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240px" rba="true" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-cmnoRscFIa0/TnJ2GEE3uEI/AAAAAAAAAPI/j4n-6xOI88s/s320/Furnishings1.jpg" width="320px" /></a> Thu, 15 Sep 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Getting Closer]]> <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-28uTIWJHBPc/TkP8QphGRdI/AAAAAAAAAPE/XY-rKfX1jDg/s1600/August%2B4.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5639628521350776274" border="0" alt="" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-28uTIWJHBPc/TkP8QphGRdI/AAAAAAAAAPE/XY-rKfX1jDg/s320/August%2B4.jpg" /></a> <br /> <br /> <br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-RsevB7r-b-g/TkP5igtofuI/AAAAAAAAAO8/a3gHx-7O0pY/s1600/August%2B3.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5639625529690193634" border="0" alt="" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-RsevB7r-b-g/TkP5igtofuI/AAAAAAAAAO8/a3gHx-7O0pY/s320/August%2B3.jpg" /></a> These pictures don't show it too well but lots of progress continues on the interior of the Chapel. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />I've also included the artists rendering of the stained glass of the Risen Christ and the 12 apostles over the main altar. The picture doesn't do it justice but hopefully gives you some idea. I'm finding that the stained glass is one of the most challenging elements of the Chapel because it is expensive and such an intricate process but thanks to lots of help we are making good progress. <br /> <br />I thought you would be interested in the following list of items still pending. <br /> <br /> <br />1. Exterior Crosses on both ends of the Chapel and exterior statues of Peter and Paul, Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Sacred Heart. <br /> <br />2. Exterior brick screens around a/c units and landscaping <br /> <br /> <br />3. Interior statue of Peter and Paul and of the Virgin Mary. <br /> <br />4. Altar, ambo, baptismal font and tabernacle throne. <br /> <br /> <br />5. Bronze Crucifix suspended over main altar. <br /> <br /> <br />6. Pews and chairs <br /> <br /> <br />7. Presider and Deacon chairs and altar servers stools. <br /> <br /> <br />8. Stained Glass in the main sanctuary area. <br /> <br /> <br />I'll do my best to post pictures of these items as they are installed. Thanks be to God the Chapel is really developing beautifully and all of the elements are fitting together nicely. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-RAHlrs2nwEU/TkP5ca2kR2I/AAAAAAAAAO0/VXWEdL-2UJ4/s1600/August.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5639625425037838178" border="0" alt="" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-RAHlrs2nwEU/TkP5ca2kR2I/AAAAAAAAAO0/VXWEdL-2UJ4/s320/August.jpg" /></a> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-eCn_y4rSKdM/TkP5Wv-xwkI/AAAAAAAAAOs/sEtOt44OQVI/s1600/August%2B2.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5639625327630205506" border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-eCn_y4rSKdM/TkP5Wv-xwkI/AAAAAAAAAOs/sEtOt44OQVI/s320/August%2B2.jpg" /></a> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Thu, 11 Aug 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Exciting]]> Various interior views. Just a note to all who donated stained glass..........it is quite a process but we are moving forward. We are hoping to have the main altar window completed for the Dedication of the Chapel but a lot has to happen before that. Our approach is to address the main altar window first and then those in the main sanctuary and over the main entrance doors. Beautiful drawings are under development and with the help of a host of your fellow parishioners we are making good progress. As you can imagine it is an extremely complex process but as a lover of stained glass I am very pleased with all that is developing and I believe all of you will be as well. I look forward to the day (soon I hope) when I can post some of the designs for the windows. They are stunning.<br /><br />The pictures are of various interior elements of the Chapel. Lots still to do but it is moving along nicely.<br /><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-1LtDHuMBmSA/Thch6-RtxYI/AAAAAAAAAOk/aaSg7cnX6Ic/s1600/Interior%2B6.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5627003556456154498" border="0" alt="" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-1LtDHuMBmSA/Thch6-RtxYI/AAAAAAAAAOk/aaSg7cnX6Ic/s320/Interior%2B6.jpg" /></a> To the left a view of one of the sacristies.<br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-41uNNDV-sjc/ThchzBaXtmI/AAAAAAAAAOc/tBmaEdX73EE/s1600/interior%2B4.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5627003419858810466" border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-41uNNDV-sjc/ThchzBaXtmI/AAAAAAAAAOc/tBmaEdX73EE/s320/interior%2B4.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />To the left a view of the main sanctuary.....you can see a Statue nitch in the center of the photo<br /><br /><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-pBu4_ZD-82s/ThchqlUO-lI/AAAAAAAAAOU/fCkmUsT_6Rs/s1600/Interior%2B3.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5627003274877925970" border="0" alt="" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-pBu4_ZD-82s/ThchqlUO-lI/AAAAAAAAAOU/fCkmUsT_6Rs/s320/Interior%2B3.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br />To the left a view of one set of main entrance interior doors<br /><br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-NkH7gZCkRYo/Thchg9c6pSI/AAAAAAAAAOM/UWZ4IOGfgXg/s1600/Interior%2B2.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5627003109558101282" border="0" alt="" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-NkH7gZCkRYo/Thchg9c6pSI/AAAAAAAAAOM/UWZ4IOGfgXg/s320/Interior%2B2.jpg" /></a> To the left a view of one of the Reconciliation Rooms<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-6W8_xTeSbS8/ThchYLMoGhI/AAAAAAAAAOE/3EixMaEgaYs/s1600/Interior.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5627002958629050898" border="0" alt="" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-6W8_xTeSbS8/ThchYLMoGhI/AAAAAAAAAOE/3EixMaEgaYs/s320/Interior.jpg" /></a><br />To the left another view of main sanctuary, left of altar as congregation faces it<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-OL66 Wgb3dI/ThchRPVV0DI/AAAAAAAAAN8/E_Eff4fyRRw/s1600/Interiors.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5627002839480258610" border="0" alt="" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-OL66 Wgb3dI/ThchRPVV0DI/AAAAAAAAAN8/E_Eff4fyRRw/s320/Interiors.jpg" /></a><br />To the left a view of the main entrance as seen from the main altar<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YmARSznaHsI/ThchHvRFbyI/AAAAAAAAAN0/vAsG97ZjcN8/s1600/interior5.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5627002676253650722" border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YmARSznaHsI/ThchHvRFbyI/AAAAAAAAAN0/vAsG97ZjcN8/s320/interior5.jpg" /></a><br /><br />Close up of a statue nitch.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />We have statues ordered to fill these nitches and the exterior statue nitches. They are due to arrive around mid-August. <br /><br />The transfer of Bishop Corrada took us all by surprise but just to reassure you the Chapel will move forward as scheduled. Bishop Corrada is our Administrator until he takes canonical possession of his new diocese in Puerto Rico on September 12. At that time an Administrator will be chosen to lead the diocese as we await the naming of our 4th bishop. The Administrator will assist us in determing plans for the Dedication of the Chapel. <br /><br />Let us continue our prayers for the construction of this beautiful worship space and let us pray in a special way for Bishop Corrada and for the man that Pope Benedict will name as the 4th Bishop of the Diocese of Tyler. We won't know who he is for several months but he needs our prayers even now. <br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> Fri, 8 Jul 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[More pictures]]> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xjzT4FK4SzI/TfpxT9cbvOI/AAAAAAAAANs/JYPHbHlqG28/s1600/Late%2BJune%2B3.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5618928072823389410" border="0" alt="" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xjzT4FK4SzI/TfpxT9cbvOI/AAAAAAAAANs/JYPHbHlqG28/s320/Late%2BJune%2B3.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-QuTXb_l3xdA/TfpxKCWWyDI/AAAAAAAAANk/Ufvv9he-yzU/s1600/Late%2BJune%2B2.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5618927902341384242" border="0" alt="" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-QuTXb_l3xdA/TfpxKCWWyDI/AAAAAAAAANk/Ufvv9he-yzU/s320/Late%2BJune%2B2.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-586mJ8s1n7w/TfpxA76MPLI/AAAAAAAAANc/px3iaY36IMA/s1600/Late%2BJune.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5618927745993817266" border="0" alt="" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-586mJ8s1n7w/TfpxA76MPLI/AAAAAAAAANc/px3iaY36IMA/s320/Late%2BJune.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />We continue to make great progress with the Chapel. I know that it is hard to tell from the pictures because the basic structure has been in place for quite a while. It was easier to see the progress when we were looking at walls going up and huge beams being put in place. <br /><br /><br />It reminds me of our spiritual journey. At least in my experience most of the time we progress spiritually in ways that aren't so obvious and easy to see but as we continue on the path of Christ we do continue to make progress growing in wisdom, age and grace (for sure the age part!!!!!)<br /><br />God bless and try to stay cool. Thu, 16 Jun 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Photo Update........Finally]]> <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-kwVK0s8-W7k/TeZUpJORKwI/AAAAAAAAANQ/Gk1co5esaSw/s1600/June%2B12.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5613267051391036162" border="0" alt="" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-kwVK0s8-W7k/TeZUpJORKwI/AAAAAAAAANQ/Gk1co5esaSw/s320/June%2B12.jpg" /></a> Views to the left and below are looking toward the choir area to the right of the main altar.......from congregations point of view<br /><br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-jVchj-3zcOA/TeZUjyjM1wI/AAAAAAAAANI/jx5liQSd-y4/s1600/June%2B11.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5613266959405471490" border="0" alt="" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-jVchj-3zcOA/TeZUjyjM1wI/AAAAAAAAANI/jx5liQSd-y4/s320/June%2B11.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xy6ITvc5s6Y/TeZUeQqi6LI/AAAAAAAAANA/K5MJQbbopwA/s1600/June%2B10.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5613266864410126514" border="0" alt="" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xy6ITvc5s6Y/TeZUeQqi6LI/AAAAAAAAANA/K5MJQbbopwA/s320/June%2B10.jpg" /></a><br />View of the large window over the main altar area. This is being developed as an image of the Risen Christ with the four evangelists in the bottom portion of the window. The twelve apostles will be in the two windows at either side of the large altar window.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-KdW1Z9Y8dmk/TeZUMwl3x3I/AAAAAAAAAMo/Z1kDpLsZQSg/s1600/June%2B7.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5613266563742812018" border="0" alt="" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-KdW1Z9Y8dmk/TeZUMwl3x3I/AAAAAAAAAMo/Z1kDpLsZQSg/s320/June%2B7.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-E-QQvvOr_xI/TeZUGEBy56I/AAAAAAAAAMg/M8r3-nHWRfM/s1600/June%2B6.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5613266448701122466" border="0" alt="" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-E-QQvvOr_xI/TeZUGEBy56I/AAAAAAAAAMg/M8r3-nHWRfM/s320/June%2B6.jpg" /></a> A view of the window over the main doors and a view of the skylight which is in the narthex (vestibule)<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-9XKZkA02ju4/TeZUAUqWxMI/AAAAAAAAAMY/42__tEpnaYw/s1600/June%2B4.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5613266350086997186" border="0" alt="" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-9XKZkA02ju4/TeZUAUqWxMI/AAAAAAAAAMY/42__tEpnaYw/s320/June%2B4.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />The North Facade of the Chapel facing Loop 323<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-a6tnN3WPBRE/TeZT6mV3jiI/AAAAAAAAAMQ/qw4VnrC4SAk/s1600/June%2B3.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5613266251753688610" border="0" alt="" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-a6tnN3WPBRE/TeZT6mV3jiI/AAAAAAAAAMQ/qw4VnrC4SAk/s320/June%2B3.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-3191vkKMOC4/TeZTzqijRYI/AAAAAAAAAMI/ydJiv4MXaEY/s1600/June%2B2.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5613266132621542786" border="0" alt="" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-3191vkKMOC4/TeZTzqijRYI/AAAAAAAAAMI/ydJiv4MXaEY/s320/June%2B2.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Front Entrance Facade of the Chapel facing South toward the Gorman School campus<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-NtAmd0MarWE/TeZTua6p2RI/AAAAAAAAAMA/a0zgHDMr7bU/s1600/June%2B1.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5613266042528323858" border="0" alt="" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-NtAmd0MarWE/TeZTua6p2RI/AAAAAAAAAMA/a0zgHDMr7bU/s320/June%2B1.jpg" /></a><br />Another angle on the North Facade looking at the Chapel coming from Copeland to Paluxy on Loop 323<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> Wed, 1 Jun 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[The story continues]]> <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-lGfg-hN7J94/TaYQZUt0WBI/AAAAAAAAAL4/LZbs3Q17MJE/s1600/interior%2B3.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5595177614298077202" border="0" alt="" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-lGfg-hN7J94/TaYQZUt0WBI/AAAAAAAAAL4/LZbs3Q17MJE/s320/interior%2B3.jpg" /></a> <br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Q6sJYnDXuGk/TaYQSbM3pGI/AAAAAAAAALw/cEPfgZ_GW7A/s1600/interior%2B2.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5595177495779845218" border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Q6sJYnDXuGk/TaYQSbM3pGI/AAAAAAAAALw/cEPfgZ_GW7A/s320/interior%2B2.jpg" /></a> <br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-XDMrZWzKWN0/TaYQFGI844I/AAAAAAAAALo/TrlPWcAzcf4/s1600/Interior%2B1.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5595177266787967874" border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-XDMrZWzKWN0/TaYQFGI844I/AAAAAAAAALo/TrlPWcAzcf4/s320/Interior%2B1.jpg" /></a> <br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-4OGeGZyvNWA/TaYP_HQokwI/AAAAAAAAALg/OKBflPrdEXQ/s1600/Exterior.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5595177164009411330" border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-4OGeGZyvNWA/TaYP_HQokwI/AAAAAAAAALg/OKBflPrdEXQ/s320/Exterior.jpg" /></a> <br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Thought I would share a couple of interior shots of the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul.<br /><br /> Wed, 13 Apr 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Running Back]]> <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-RhKzZTbIdlw/TZ8 GnmhVnI/AAAAAAAAALY/sRSPUoGW76M/s1600/St.%2BStephen%2527s%2Bin%2BVienna.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5593210266648139378" border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-RhKzZTbIdlw/TZ8 GnmhVnI/AAAAAAAAALY/sRSPUoGW76M/s320/St.%2BStephen%2527s%2Bin%2BVienna.jpg" /></a> Apologies for the length of time between posts. I had the "rough duty" of a trip to Poland, Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary as a Lenten pilgrimage and just returned on April 1. The picture is of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna. Europe is full of the beautiful churches and I couldn't help think of the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul. Our Chapel could fit inside some of these grand Cathedrals and Basilicas of Europe but regardless of its size I pray that it will be a place of prayer and worship that is significant in the lives of the people of Tyler as the basilicas have been significant in the lives of the people in Europe. It was a wonderful trip that covered the spectrum from glorious Cathedrals, the beauties of the country side and the memory of the Nazi concentration camps. I prayed for all of the diocese and all who have requested special prayers as we traveled. As you can imagine that is quite a long list but it was a blessing to be able to pray for all of you at the font where John Paul II was baptized, at the cell where St. Maximillian Kolbe was imprisoned before he was martyred, at the Shine of Saint Faustina and at some many other holy sites. The Chapel is going well. Lots of details to work on simultaneously but when I get overwhelmed I think of what it must have been like to build the Cathedrals of Europe in the Middle Ages............no Email or cell phones for sure!!!!!!!!! I didn't manage to run in Europe but we of course did a lot of walking and I did take the chance to exercise in the fitness rooms of a couple of the hotels..........have to work off all that Polish and Austrian food!!!! Since I've been back I've gotten some good runs in as I prepare for the 25th St. Gregory fun run. I was there for the first Fun Run in 1986 and although I've missed a few I've been there for most of them. I'll try to keep you "posted" more frequently as the Spring continues into summer. Fri, 8 Apr 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Springing Forward]]> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-FtAXO9fgwj0/TX_DsdEkspI/AAAAAAAAALQ/J8vsZ8poyt8/s1600/6_29_peter_paul.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 200px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 234px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5584397231448175250" border="0" alt="" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-FtAXO9fgwj0/TX_DsdEkspI/AAAAAAAAALQ/J8vsZ8poyt8/s320/6_29_peter_paul.jpg" /></a><br />These Apostolic Patrons are watching over us as we continue to build a Chapel dedicated to their wholehearted discipleship in Jesus Christ.<br /><br />As we move into the Lenten Season let us pray that our faith can gain strength as theirs did. It seems that Peter and Paul are especially good Lenten patrons because they both stumbled along the way but relying on the Lord's mercy they were able to get up and continue the journey and grow in faithfulness along the way.<br /><br />If Peter had despaired after his threefold denial rather than being the Prince of the Apostles and the first Pope he could have been known through the ages as "The One who Denied Christ".<br /><br />If Paul had failed to continue to seek the truth of His Lord he could have been forever remembered as "The Great Persecutor of Christ".<br /><br />Instead both of them became great witnesses, Great Apostles and they continue to inspire us today. Tue, 15 Mar 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Coming Together]]> <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jFzU2BWE8es/TWWETJs6rFI/AAAAAAAAALA/Q81UoqjfYm0/s1600/Chapel.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 214px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5577009178124921938" border="0" alt="" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jFzU2BWE8es/TWWETJs6rFI/AAAAAAAAALA/Q81UoqjfYm0/s320/Chapel.jpg" /></a><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-vZ2pOs0-dQc/TWWEJ6PlhwI/AAAAAAAAAK4/0Yb1oC0UO-U/s1600/Chapel%2BII.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5577009019356546818" border="0" alt="" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-vZ2pOs0-dQc/TWWEJ6PlhwI/AAAAAAAAAK4/0Yb1oC0UO-U/s320/Chapel%2BII.jpg" /></a><br /> A little harder to see on this cloudy day but the Chapel does continue to come together. I've had information from the firm that is designing the altar, ambo, baptismal font and tabernacle throne. I just spoke to one of the companies making a proposal for the stained glass. We've heard from the pew company that we've chosen based in North Dakota. Lots of moving parts but things are progressing well. The time seems to slip through my fingers. I went to New Mexico for a couple of days of skiing and managed not to break anything. I also managed to come home with a bug that layed me low for a couple of days...........pretty powerful virus I suppose. I didn't feel like doing much of anything for a couple of days there. I'm better now but still feeling the after effects. A friend told me the doctor told them that the cough would last for a month............sounds fun. Today is the Feast of the Martyr Polycarp. I had mass with the Gorman students this morning and I told them I bet no one has a friend or family member named Polycarp...............sounds like something industrial to me!!!! Polycarp was martyred sometime in the 2nd Century of the Church. I encouraged the kids to respect the name of Jesus Christ because there is Power in His Name and martyrs like Polycarp were willing to die rather than to deny the name of Jesus. I urged them to be very careful not to use the name of Jesus as a meer exclamation or even worse to use the name of Our Lord in any blasphemous way at all. Sadly they hear examples of the misuse of the Lord's name on a daily basis but hopefully we can all remember to be extra cautious about the sacred name of the Son of God. Let us pray that the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul will be one more place where the name of the Lord is held Sacred and proclaimed as our Savior. May it be a "Light on the Loop" reminding all who pass by to keep Holy the Name of the Lord.<br /> Wed, 23 Feb 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Pictures Continue to tell the story]]> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TVGbsLaQedI/AAAAAAAAAKw/OIB0UJUKU_c/s1600/Chapel%2BStill%2BGrowing%2BII.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 214px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5571405397313485266" border="0" alt="" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TVGbsLaQedI/AAAAAAAAAKw/OIB0UJUKU_c/s320/Chapel%2BStill%2BGrowing%2BII.jpg" /></a> As you can see the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul continues to take shape. The beautiful blue sky in these pictures is a wonderful backdrop for the pictures. I'm sure the workers are glad to see it and be able to work in some warmer temperatures. The forecasters tell us that tomorrow February 9, we are likely to get more snow and have the temperatures drop into the teens again. <br /><br />If you look closely at the picture below you can see the roofline taking shape over what will be the choir area to the congregations right of the main altar. We are hoping for bids from various stained glass companies in mid-February. There is still a lot to develop regarding the stained glass but we are making progress. <br /><br />We are also hoping to receive plans for the altar, ambo, baptismal font and tabernacle throne in the next few days. I'll do my best to keep you posted.<br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TVGbjhHRh-I/AAAAAAAAAKo/stXGkJMB5lg/s1600/Chapel%2BStill%2BGrowing.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5571405248520620002" border="0" alt="" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TVGbjhHRh-I/AAAAAAAAAKo/stXGkJMB5lg/s320/Chapel%2BStill%2BGrowing.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TVGbbmjSaxI/AAAAAAAAAKg/K0t1pFZOVUk/s1600/Growing.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5571405112541342482" border="0" alt="" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TVGbbmjSaxI/AAAAAAAAAKg/K0t1pFZOVUk/s320/Growing.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /> Tue, 8 Feb 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[A Photo Update]]> <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TUNLFrLB-bI/AAAAAAAAAKU/bwA9Ic5SvUQ/s1600/Chapel%2BJan%2B28%2BVI.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5567376125220485554" border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TUNLFrLB-bI/AAAAAAAAAKU/bwA9Ic5SvUQ/s320/Chapel%2BJan%2B28%2BVI.jpg" /></a><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TUNK8vQjywI/AAAAAAAAAKM/nV9ijh966cc/s1600/Chapel%2BJan%2B28%2BIV.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5567375971698592514" border="0" alt="" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TUNK8vQjywI/AAAAAAAAAKM/nV9ijh966cc/s320/Chapel%2BJan%2B28%2BIV.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TUNK0J8OeyI/AAAAAAAAAKE/G084GxJkIC8/s1600/Chapel%2BJan%2B28%2B%2BVII.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5567375824242244386" border="0" alt="" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TUNK0J8OeyI/AAAAAAAAAKE/G084GxJkIC8/s320/Chapel%2BJan%2B28%2B%2BVII.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TUNKqaRaJ-I/AAAAAAAAAJ8/x01W5nFEh90/s1600/Chapel%2BJan%2B28%2B%2BV.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5567375656827365346" border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TUNKqaRaJ-I/AAAAAAAAAJ8/x01W5nFEh90/s320/Chapel%2BJan%2B28%2B%2BV.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TUNKh7KEBCI/AAAAAAAAAJ0/-t1zBA6c8Jg/s1600/Chapel%2BJan%2B28%2B%2BIII.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5567375511036101666" border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TUNKh7KEBCI/AAAAAAAAAJ0/-t1zBA6c8Jg/s320/Chapel%2BJan%2B28%2B%2BIII.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TUNKZiLw7tI/AAAAAAAAAJs/f4cZQNeAXzg/s1600/Chapel%2BJan%2B28%2BI.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5567375366893399762" border="0" alt="" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TUNKZiLw7tI/AAAAAAAAAJs/f4cZQNeAXzg/s320/Chapel%2BJan%2B28%2BI.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TUNJ7vSfAYI/AAAAAAAAAJk/oXNAL5cnqrw/s1600/Chapel%2BJan%2B28%2B%2BII.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5567374855015170434" border="0" alt="" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TUNJ7vSfAYI/AAAAAAAAAJk/oXNAL5cnqrw/s320/Chapel%2BJan%2B28%2B%2BII.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> Fri, 28 Jan 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Taking Shape]]> This <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TUCIcmjrfNI/AAAAAAAAAJc/PjOx9-OIJG0/s1600/Chapel%2BForm.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 214px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5566599164397845714" border="0" alt="" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TUCIcmjrfNI/AAAAAAAAAJc/PjOx9-OIJG0/s320/Chapel%2BForm.jpg" /></a> silhouette of the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul show that it is really taking shape. It is exciting to see the architectural notes that call to mind the Cathedral while at the same time highlighting the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul as a new Catholic sanctuary for the city of Tyler. <br /><br />In the Catholic liturgical calendar today we celebrate two very early bishops who were mentioned in the bible, Timothy and Titus. The epistles of Paul advising them on their work in the early Church are often called the pastoral epistles because of the pastoral advice and guidance they offer to these two early leaders and ultimatlely to all disciples of Jesus Christ. <br /><br />I find it to be especially inspiring to witness the construction of this Chapel dedicated to the two great apostles Peter and Paul on this day that the universal Church celebrates two leaders of the next generation of Christians, Timothy and Titus. It is a reminder that the mission they shared continues for all of us. Like Peter and Paul, Timothy and Titus and Lois and Eunice mentioned in Paul's letters as part of Timothy's family, we continue to be called to the same work........proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ the Son of God. <br /><br />Hopefully Timothy and Titus will inspire all of us to serve the Lord with Joy and proclaim His wonderful message. I have to laugh a bit as I'm reminded of Paul's famous words about "running the race". This blog started as a page about running but with the excitement of the Chapel I've allowed it to be "hijacked" a bit. I think that is ultimately a good thing because the most important "race" we run is the spiritual journey that our Lord calls us to share. <br /><br />Let us pray that the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul will be a place that inspires many to a deeper faith in Jesus Christ and a fuller life in our Catholic Church. Wed, 26 Jan 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[A Chapel Rises]]> The Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul continues to make good progress. I felt for the workers on the cold days last week still working away, putting decking on the roof and laying brick. I was cold as I served as Crossing Guard on the Gorman campus for only a few minutes..........I know the workers were cold way up in the rafters!!!!<br /><br />I confess I didn't get in any runs during the coldest days but I did keep up with my indoor workouts. I have a stair stepper that I use for days when I can't run and it gives you a pretty good workout. <br /><br />I need to get a "set of runs" on the calendar!!<br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TTYTnDVzLZI/AAAAAAAAAJU/f-6802DkJlg/s1600/Chapel%2BRising.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5563655951295393170" border="0" alt="" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TTYTnDVzLZI/AAAAAAAAAJU/f-6802DkJlg/s320/Chapel%2BRising.jpg" /></a> Tue, 18 Jan 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Saint Andre Bessette]]> <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TSZA2EP0ftI/AAAAAAAAAJM/8421xd9dmIU/s1600/Chapel%2BProgress.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5559202087632666322" border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TSZA2EP0ftI/AAAAAAAAAJM/8421xd9dmIU/s320/Chapel%2BProgress.jpg" /></a><br />Today, January 6, we celebrate the feast of Saint Andre Bessette. This date has been designated for "Brother Andre" for several years but this year 2011 is the first time we celebrate his feast with Brother Andre having been canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 17, of 2010.<br /><br />Saint Andre is a beautiful example for all of us and especially for young students. As a religious brother his work for many years at a school in Canada was as doorkeeper. The world would see this is a rather lowly calling and would dismiss this type of position as insignificant. Because of his great faith and love Brother Andre transformed this work that the world would so easily dismiss into the mission of a Saint. He had a tremendous impact on all who entered through the doors of his school because he showed the kindness and care that the Lord calls us to show all of his children as we encounter them on any given day.<br /><br />As you can see the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul is continuing to progress. I hope that Saint Andre can be a kind of unofficial patron for the Chapel, reminding all who enter there that the greatest power in the world is that of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Let us heed the call and following Saint Andre Bessette's lead "Open wide the doors to Christ". Thu, 6 Jan 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[New Year and the Building Goes On]]> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TSNtp4pyscI/AAAAAAAAAI0/j8mTqHNOPtg/s1600/beam3.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5558406931455062466" border="0" alt="" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TSNtp4pyscI/AAAAAAAAAI0/j8mTqHNOPtg/s320/beam3.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br />The wooden support beams for the Chapel roof were installed on January 3, and as you can see the building is making a lot of progress. <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TSNt19 sL5I/AAAAAAAAAI8/Cbh9 NVk39Y/s1600/beam6.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5558407138862968722" border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TSNt19 sL5I/AAAAAAAAAI8/Cbh9 NVk39Y/s320/beam6.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TSNu9_u7koI/AAAAAAAAAJE/FO03Bxhwxf4/s1600/Beams%2BDone.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 214px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5558408376464675458" border="0" alt="" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TSNu9_u7koI/AAAAAAAAAJE/FO03Bxhwxf4/s320/Beams%2BDone.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> Tue, 4 Jan 2011 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Continuing to Build]]> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TRoajHd71ZI/AAAAAAAAAIk/jFrKksTX6UA/s1600/A%2BSunny%2BSite%2B2.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5555782280917276050" border="0" alt="" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TRoajHd71ZI/AAAAAAAAAIk/jFrKksTX6UA/s320/A%2BSunny%2BSite%2B2.jpg" /></a><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TRoabssDu9I/AAAAAAAAAIc/d9anBS8f5w8/s1600/A%2BSunny%2BSite.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5555782153469672402" border="0" alt="" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TRoabssDu9I/AAAAAAAAAIc/d9anBS8f5w8/s320/A%2BSunny%2BSite.jpg" /></a><br /><br />The construction of the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul continues as you can see. Brick is going on and soon the wooden trusses will be installed. It will be exciting to see the Chapel continue to develop in 2011. The contract indicates a completion date of sometime in September. Let us continue to pray in thanksgiving for the generous donors who have made this possible and to pray for the safety of all the workers involved. I'm reading Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett and it reminds me that all the workers who are involved in constructing the Chapel have their own stories of joys and struggles. Let us pray for them as they serve our community in such an important way. The skills they use are God Given and we pray that they are a blessing for the individual workers and for the community they serve. Tue, 28 Dec 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[A Blessed Christmas to All]]> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TRU_OxNoJmI/AAAAAAAAAIU/K85aLk4AAEU/s1600/Rome%2BChristmas%2B2010.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 204px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5554415238392587874" border="0" alt="" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TRU_OxNoJmI/AAAAAAAAAIU/K85aLk4AAEU/s320/Rome%2BChristmas%2B2010.jpg" /></a><br />Apologies for slow posting lately but I did want to wish everyone a Blessed Christmas and Happy New Year. I'll try to get some more Chapel Progress pictures posted and reflect with you a bit regarding the exciting events of 2010 as we approach the beginning of 2011.<br /><br />God Bless you in the Love of His Child. Fri, 24 Dec 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[The Great Inspector]]> You saw the earlier post with Chapel Inspectors but now you have the chance to see the Grand Inspector!!!!! Believe me she put the architect, designer and contractor through their paces making sure the Chapel would be kid friendly and solidly built. She wanted to make sure that when she's all grown up and running things the Chapel will still be in great shape and very low maintenance. You could hear the crew saying repeatedly................Yes ma'am, Yes madame inspector!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Great job Ms. Sattler!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!<a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TPu7R4IOPxI/AAAAAAAAAII/2-7a_F5vEgs/s1600/Greatest%2BChapel%2BInspector.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5547233281835941650" border="0" alt="" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TPu7R4IOPxI/AAAAAAAAAII/2-7a_F5vEgs/s320/Greatest%2BChapel%2BInspector.jpg" /></a><br /> Sun, 5 Dec 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Chapel Inspection]]> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TPkSptOOTCI/AAAAAAAAAIA/wJdJNmmrTuM/s1600/Chapel%2BInspection.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5546484923806665762" border="0" alt="" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TPkSptOOTCI/AAAAAAAAAIA/wJdJNmmrTuM/s320/Chapel%2BInspection.jpg" /></a><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TPkSkJOqd1I/AAAAAAAAAH4/3RJZtO91wk0/s1600/Chapel%2BInspection%2BIV.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 240px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 320px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5546484828245489490" border="0" alt="" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TPkSkJOqd1I/AAAAAAAAAH4/3RJZtO91wk0/s320/Chapel%2BInspection%2BIV.jpg" /></a><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TPkSfXqkCfI/AAAAAAAAAHw/MqFfjBcRXnE/s1600/Chapel%2BInspection%2BII.jpg"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 240px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5546484746221259250" border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TPkSfXqkCfI/AAAAAAAAAHw/MqFfjBcRXnE/s320/Chapel%2BInspection%2BII.jpg" /></a> Some of the Chapel Committee took a tour of the progress on the Chapel on December 2 and then had a meeting with our Liturgical Designer to discuss preparations for the stained glass windows. I think the Chapel Committee members would join me in saying that we have learned a lot in this process from pews to stained glass. These Advent days remind us to be especially grateful for the wonderfully generous gifts from so many individuals and families that have made the construction of this Chapel possible. <br /><br />I often get the question from Catholics and non-catholics.........Why are you calling it a Chapel........it seems to big to be a Chapel. It is large and I suppose that was the overwhelming impression of the Chapel Committee members as we looked around. We have all seen much larger churches but the Chapel has a feeling of ample space and presence that I hope will contribute greatly to the worship that takes place there. This is all possible because of the loving sacrificial donations of so many. <br /><br />Let us continue to pray together during these Advent days.......in thanksgiving for the greatest gift of all.......God's own Son and in prayer that we might live in His light always.<br /><br />Today, December 3, we celebrate St. Francis Xavier a missionary of the 16th century who is described as "the greatest missionary since the Apostles". Let us pray that St. Francis Xavier may inspire all of us to "go out to all the world and proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ.<br /><br />I have had some great runs lately........the weather in East Texas has been its usual "changeable" but today is beautiful and sunny with a temp of about 70 degrees.......I hope to get in a good run at lunchtime. If you haven't gotten any exercise during these busy Advent days.......why not get out there and join me. A nice brisk wall or even just a leisurely stroll will do you good!!!!!! Fri, 3 Dec 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Chapel Photo Album]]> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TOFdkz59_hI/AAAAAAAAAHY/jm5SbTvKxho/s1600/Chapel%2Bview%2Bof%2Bfront%2Bentry%2Bfrom%2Bdriveway.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 240px; height: 320px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TOFdkz59_hI/AAAAAAAAAHY/jm5SbTvKxho/s320/Chapel%2Bview%2Bof%2Bfront%2Bentry%2Bfrom%2Bdriveway.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5539811903632440850" /></a><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TOFdWdY5xYI/AAAAAAAAAHQ/TgUxbQj7wtI/s1600/Chapel%2Bview%2Bof%2Bday%2Bchapel.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 320px; height: 240px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TOFdWdY5xYI/AAAAAAAAAHQ/TgUxbQj7wtI/s320/Chapel%2Bview%2Bof%2Bday%2Bchapel.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5539811657070003586" /></a><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TOFcsL7SmpI/AAAAAAAAAHI/xn2QXNSu6gI/s1600/Chapel%2Bview%2Bfrom%2Bmain%2Baltar%2Btoward%2Bmain%2Bentry.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 240px; height: 320px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TOFcsL7SmpI/AAAAAAAAAHI/xn2QXNSu6gI/s320/Chapel%2Bview%2Bfrom%2Bmain%2Baltar%2Btoward%2Bmain%2Bentry.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5539810930827893394" /></a><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TOFcUNY2dEI/AAAAAAAAAHA/hlAgmzhc5VM/s1600/Chapel%2Bview%2Bof%2Bfront%2Bentry.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 240px; height: 320px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TOFcUNY2dEI/AAAAAAAAAHA/hlAgmzhc5VM/s320/Chapel%2Bview%2Bof%2Bfront%2Bentry.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5539810518903452738" /></a> These photos show the Chapel main entry, a view from the altar to the main entry and a view of the Day Chapel. Mon, 15 Nov 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Building a Sign of Faith]]> <p><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TNq8QKuVrII/AAAAAAAAAG4/MvPT3vCfLfU/s1600/Chapel%2BConstruction.jpg"><img alt="" border="0" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5537945677748087938" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TNq8QKuVrII/AAAAAAAAAG4/MvPT3vCfLfU/s320/Chapel%2BConstruction.jpg" style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 320px; height: 240px;" /></a><br /> As you can see the Chapel continues to take shape. It is interesting to see it from different angles around the area. I realized yesterday that I can look out the back window of my house and see the Chapel rising on the campus.<br /> <br /> Yesterday, November 9, we celebrated the anniversary of the dedication of St. John Lateran. This beautiful basilica in Rome is not as well known as St. Peter&#39;s but it is actually the Pope&#39;s cathedral. As Bishop of Rome the Pope has a cathedra church or cathedral like all other bishops. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Rome you certainly want to see St. John Lateran. There has been a Catholic church on that site since the 4th century. The present structure was built in the 17th century.<br /> <br /> I can imagine that many non-catholics and even many Catholics would wonder a bit why the Church would have a day on the calendar to celebrate a building. I suppose there are many answers to that question. Of course part of the answer is that St. John Lateran (the Pope&#39;s Cathedral) is the mother Church of all Churches in the world. As we build the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul which is part of our local Cathedral parish for the Diocese of Tyler, I find it inspiring that this new Church especially through its connection to the Cathedral is truly connected to all the other Catholic communities around the world in all the different languages and cultures.<br /> <br /> I suppose the reason for celebrating a building that I find most compelling is that it is part of the sacramental character of our Catholic faith. Christ has given us the sacraments as sensory tangible manifestations of His Grace and Life. Certainly a building is not a sacrament but it is a sacramental. Very often sacramentals are small images etc. that help enhance our experience of the seven sacraments where Christ is truly acting and especially in the Eucharist is truly present. I guess I don&#39;t often think of a building as a sacramental but I believe it fits the definition especially in the case of the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul. It is a reminder of the faith and goodness of so many faithful people who have lived Christ in this community and so many who are still living that journey in their Catholic faith. Let us all say a little prayer as we pass this new Church literally rising on the Loop in Tyler. Let us pray that it truly will be a place where God&#39;s people grow in faith for years to come.<br /> <br /> Guess I got a little carried away!!! By the way I am still running. Beautiful weather here lately. I hope to get in a nice run after a meeting I have in a few minutes.<br /> <br /> God bless you today and always.</p> Wed, 10 Nov 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Reaching Higher]]> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TNGXoeVPzUI/AAAAAAAAAGw/z10INebAQSA/s1600/Chapel+Heights+3.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 320px; height: 214px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TNGXoeVPzUI/AAAAAAAAAGw/z10INebAQSA/s320/Chapel+Heights+3.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5535372138607791426" /></a><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TNGXhzPe4bI/AAAAAAAAAGo/oz_Uww92gO0/s1600/Chapel+Heights+2.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 240px; height: 320px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TNGXhzPe4bI/AAAAAAAAAGo/oz_Uww92gO0/s320/Chapel+Heights+2.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5535372023961674162" /></a><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TNGXX1VRLUI/AAAAAAAAAGg/js9XMZM4zQg/s1600/Chapel+Heights.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 240px; height: 320px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TNGXX1VRLUI/AAAAAAAAAGg/js9XMZM4zQg/s320/Chapel+Heights.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5535371852724120898" /></a><br />The Chapel is definitely reaching higher now. I thought you would enjoy these pictures as some of the steel goes up. Exciting stuff.<br /><br />Also today I was contacted by a generous donor who wants to donate a beautiful crucifix for the main altar. I had the chance to go by and see the crucifix where it is stored. It is a gorgeous bronze, the classic Christ figure is life size or a bit larger on an 8 foot cross. Beautiful piece that I believe will be perfect over the main altar. A special prayer of thanks for this wonderfully generous donor. Wed, 3 Nov 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[The walls are going up]]> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TMhuvGTlI5I/AAAAAAAAAGY/xolnHbytt8U/s1600/On+the+grow.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 320px; height: 240px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TMhuvGTlI5I/AAAAAAAAAGY/xolnHbytt8U/s320/On+the+grow.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5532793897650299794" /></a><br />The Chapel continues to make progress. Letus pray as these walls rise that this place will truly be holy ground and a place to worship God for generations to come.<br /><br />Had a good run at the noon hour today. Pretty warm for last days of October but I heard a report recently that it is supposed to be a warmer than usual winter in these parts. Pretty great running weather over all.<br /><br />I've heard and read a number of comments lately regarding how bad off our nation and our world is. We certainly have to acknowledge that there is much evil in the world, there are dire problems and many ignore faith. We all have the obligation to continue to grow and learn. As disciples life should always be a journey seeking a closer relationship with Our Lord. <br /><br />We do have to acknowledge all that is wrong with our world but we also have to be aware of the abundant goodness that God always makes available to us. If we study history virtually every generation has its serious problems and seemingly insurmountable difficulties. The Saints are people who proclaimed and gave their lives for the values that the Church still teaches, rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, God's Divine Son. <br /><br />I suppose I would summarize by saying that we are ALWAYS obligated to seek and live the truth. The beauty of our Catholic faith guided by the Holy Spirit is that day in and day out the Church has proclaimed the truth through the ages. Often the world rejects that truth but as a loving mother the Church continues to proclaim the truth with great strength. Let us listen and learn. Wed, 27 Oct 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[On the Move]]> <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TMGWv032WEI/AAAAAAAAAGQ/far-QeBSOZk/s1600/Going+Up.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 320px; height: 214px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TMGWv032WEI/AAAAAAAAAGQ/far-QeBSOZk/s320/Going+Up.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5530867565778589762" /></a><br />I think this picture says it all........the Chapel is well on its way. Have a great day. Fri, 22 Oct 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Three Thousand Words]]> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TL30pv22tnI/AAAAAAAAAGI/rz69wCWLg6U/s1600/Chapel+on+the+way.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 240px; height: 320px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TL30pv22tnI/AAAAAAAAAGI/rz69wCWLg6U/s320/Chapel+on+the+way.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5529844915539195506" /></a><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TL30ja6yb5I/AAAAAAAAAGA/JqeqMPd3Dzg/s1600/Chapel+going+up.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 240px; height: 320px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TL30ja6yb5I/AAAAAAAAAGA/JqeqMPd3Dzg/s320/Chapel+going+up.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5529844806839332754" /></a><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TL30dc1_TpI/AAAAAAAAAF4/JtOPDVnVKbY/s1600/Making+Progress.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 240px; height: 320px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TL30dc1_TpI/AAAAAAAAAF4/JtOPDVnVKbY/s320/Making+Progress.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5529844704276860562" /></a><br /><br /><br />I guess if a picture is worth a thousand words then............<br /><br />We should see some steel soon..........talk about getting verticle. Tue, 19 Oct 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Living Stones]]> <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TLyNsuJ93OI/AAAAAAAAAFw/QSGLg9hlWsg/s1600/Living+Stones+in+place.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 240px; height: 320px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TLyNsuJ93OI/AAAAAAAAAFw/QSGLg9hlWsg/s320/Living+Stones+in+place.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5529450241947720930" /></a><br /><br />As I mentioned in the earlier post, we placed "Living Stones" in the foundation of the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul. I thought you would enjoy this picture of them in place before they are incased in concrete!!! Great to know that we will literally be founded on the thoughts and prayers of so many who helped to make this Chapel happen. A special thank you to all who were a part of the "Living Stones" from all who signed one to those who helped gather them and those who helped get them in place "just in time"!!!!! Mon, 18 Oct 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Pouring the slab]]> <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TLnCaJGqGRI/AAAAAAAAAFg/SYD1vEJiCHg/s1600/Pouring+the+slab.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 320px; height: 240px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TLnCaJGqGRI/AAAAAAAAAFg/SYD1vEJiCHg/s320/Pouring+the+slab.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5528663771950225682" /></a><br />It may not be easy to see but there are a lot of workers in this picture smoothing the just poured concrete for the foundation of the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul. <br /><br />Due to the efforts of many "living stones" were placed in the slab at the main entrance to the Chapel. These were stones that parishioners signed and put their favorite bible verse on or wrote a little prayer. These stones were part of the original efforts to build the Chapel and have been added to as we've progressed to this point. I find it inspiring that these "living stones" pave the way for all who will enter the Chapel in the years to come to worship God and to grow in faith. They serve as a reminder that we are all connected in the communion of saints and faithful that is the Church. We "pave the way" for each other as we all journey to fulfill God's will for us.<br /><br />I had a good run this morning with a running buddy that I've managed to reconnect with recently. He and I found some new trails and had a little adventure "blazing our way" through uncharted territory. Nothing too exotic..........just some good ole East Texas woods. We laughed because we both thought that before we know it they'll build another housing development where we ran today!!!!!<br /><br />These fall days are really beautiful. They make it easy to get out and exercise........see you out there!!!!! Sat, 16 Oct 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[A view from the altar]]> <p><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TLIDyjbU5vI/AAAAAAAAAFY/hPAb8FhFnvw/s1600/View+from+the+Altar.jpg"><img alt="" border="0" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5526483859775219442" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TLIDyjbU5vI/AAAAAAAAAFY/hPAb8FhFnvw/s320/View+from+the+Altar.jpg" style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 240px; height: 320px;" /></a><br /> <br /> It is probably difficult to tell the difference between this picture and the last one posted but this one is the view from the altar area of the new Chapel. I stood on the slab that has been poured for the elevated area of the altar and took the picture. It was about 4 in the afternoon and I could imagine the sun streaming in from the west which will be the left side of the Chapel if you are seated in the pews.<br /> <br /> Today is 10/10/10........we&#39;ll all have to stop and say a prayer for our nation, our families and our world at 10:10 PM on 10/10/10.<br /> <br /> I&#39;ve always been intrigued by those day and date alignments. The first on I remember was 7/7/77 the summer after I graduated from high school. I remember remarking to my mother wondering what the future would hold from that day forward. Little did we know that my brother would die before that month was out. That tragedy in my family in so many ways laid the groundwork for my entering the seminary that August. I remember people telling me that dealing with a loss like that at 18 really made me grow up fast and I have been amazed by the ways God has used that experience to make me a better priest.<br /> <br /> We can&#39;t know what the days beyond 10/10/10 will hold. I&#39;m sure they will hold tragedies and triumphs as always but most importantly let us remember........whatever the future holds.........God holds us in the palm of His hand.</p> Sun, 10 Oct 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Beautiful Days and Moving Forward]]> <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TKdSCdJCCXI/AAAAAAAAAFQ/UfcHhDo3G7E/s1600/Strong+Foundation.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 240px; height: 320px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TKdSCdJCCXI/AAAAAAAAAFQ/UfcHhDo3G7E/s320/Strong+Foundation.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5523473670128929138" /></a><br />These beautiful October days are perfect for a run, a walk or any other outdoor activity that you enjoy. Get out there and celebrate the beauty.........you'll create memories that will help you deal with 100+ temperatures next summer!!!!<br /><br />The picture doesn't show a lot of progress but there is great progress on the foundation etc. of the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul. A thank you to all the workers who are part of building this beautiful place to worship God. Many of those working on this building will probably never enter it to pray or attend a mass but I pray that they will all know that they are welcome and that as the Catholic community gathers to pray there in the years to come these workers, their families and all of God's people will be part of our prayer.<br /><br />I recently attended a workshop on the renewal of the Romand Missal that the Roman Catholic Church uses for our most important prayer, the mass. The workshop discussed the precise wording of prayers in the mass and emphasized how much of the mass comes from Sacred Scripture. One specific word choice caught my attention.......rather than speaking of Christ's salvation for All.........it speaks of Christ's salvation for many. The precise meaning of this wording is to acknowledge that Christ does offer Himself for all of us but He leaves us free to choose to embrace His gift or not. I believe that makes Christ's love for us even more profound. He completely pours Himself out but still loves us so much that He gives us the choice to embrace His saving gift or not. The mission of the Church, of every baptized Christian is to "go out to the world" and share the life and message of Jesus Christ. Let us work faithfully so that "the many" mentioned in the prayers of the mass becomes the overwhelming throngs of humanity who HAVE chosen to follow Christ. Because God loves us so much that He leaves us free to choose there will always be some who choose to reject Christ let us do all we can to make sure that ultimately that number is very few!!!!!!!! Sat, 2 Oct 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[September 19 Making Progress]]> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TJax9bQNwXI/AAAAAAAAAFI/NE7unfueDFg/s1600/Saints+Peter+and+Paul+Logo.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 320px; height: 214px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TJax9bQNwXI/AAAAAAAAAFI/NE7unfueDFg/s320/Saints+Peter+and+Paul+Logo.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5518794062235025778" /></a><br />The construction crew is making progress with the Chapel. It is interesting how much work goes into the foundation. I suppose it is appropriate and really quite biblical. If the foundation isn't firm the building will collapse...........and we DEFINITELY don't want that. So many centuries have passed and new technologies have developed but the basic wisdom is still there........make sure the foundation is solid before you move ahead with the rest of the building. All that I have seen indicates that the foundation of the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul will be FIRM!!!!!<br /><br />I had a good run this aftenoon. It is amazingly hot and muggy for mid September but the weather people assure us that is about to change. I'm ready!!!<br /><br />The Gospel for this Sunday reminds us that real wealth is the Life of God. Hopefully we were all reminded today that our life in Christ is the Pearl of Great price. I'm sure we've all known very poor people who were truly wealthy because of their faith and conversely we've known very wealthy people who were actually quite poor because they had no faith. Of course the Gospel calls us to give help and aid to those who are materially poor but we always have to remember that the ultimate purpose for assisting the poor is so that they can have the basic needs of life to flourish and seek the lasting wealth of the Kingdom of God. If people are hungry and truly in need it is very difficult for them to "seek the higher things" that God longs to share with us. All of God's people deserve their basic needs so that they can then have the strength and freedom to seek the Life God longs to share with us.<br /><br />Have a Blessed week. Sun, 19 Sep 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[September 11 Reflections]]> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TIu2H5JqhbI/AAAAAAAAAFA/82mHmImZANc/s1600/Foundation+Work.jpg"><img id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5515702415362000306" style="FLOAT: left; MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 240px" alt="" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TIu2H5JqhbI/AAAAAAAAAFA/82mHmImZANc/s320/Foundation+Work.jpg" border="0" /></a><br />I suppose that many of us are in a reflective mood as we mark the 9th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Hopefully the ultimate reminder for all people everywhere is that we need to pray and seek the wisdom of God in order to overcome the violence and hatred that so easily develops among us.<br /><br />I have a prayer application on my iphone that allows you to see a globe spinning with points of light representing others who are using the application in prayer at that moment. As the globe spins it is a great reminder to me of Almighty God's perspective. A world filled with His precious children that he has given life. How it must grieve the Father, Son and Spirit to see how we use the free will God has given us to attack and destroy each other.<br /><br />Certainly the headlines nine years after 911 indicate that we haven't really learned very much. How patient and merciful God is. Hopefully we can all strive to learn to live with each other seeking the guidance of that divine patience and mercy.<br /><br />Let us pray for all who died on that sad day nine years ago, let us pray for their families who still grieve, let us pray especially for young people all over our world that anger and bitterness may never lead them to commit such devastating and destructive acts. That all of us given life by the One Loving God might hold that life for ourselves and others as a sacred gift.<br /><br />On a lighter note I share a picture of the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul....... as I told a friend we are just beginning to see "something verticle". It will be exciting to see the Chapel gradually grow out of the ground. Let us pray that it will truly be a place to worship God and deepen the desire and ability for all of us to respect life from conception to natural death. Sat, 11 Sep 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[September 10]]> <p><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TIpza1O1HCI/AAAAAAAAAE4/m8RX2nQzONc/s1600/j0427607.jpg"><img alt="" border="0" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5515347598471666722" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TIpza1O1HCI/AAAAAAAAAE4/m8RX2nQzONc/s320/j0427607.jpg" style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 320px; height: 213px;" /></a><br /> Just realized I&#39;ve let several days slip by again without a post to my blog.<br /> <br /> Running has been good with cooler weather lately. Chapel construction continues with the work on the foundation. I&#39;ll try to post a picture soon when there is a bit more progress evident.<br /> <br /> Let us all pray for our nation and for our world as we commemorate 9/11 tomorrow.<br /> <br /> God bless America.</p> Fri, 10 Sep 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Running and Digging]]> <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/THMA5bSWGvI/AAAAAAAAAEo/JtCorAShwbg/s1600/Construction+Photo.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 240px; height: 320px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/THMA5bSWGvI/AAAAAAAAAEo/JtCorAShwbg/s320/Construction+Photo.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5508747755781495538" /></a><br />I thought I'd share this photo of Chapel construction in progress. As you can see "lots of dirt". The photo is looking at the excavations for the Chapel foundation. I have a friend who talks about the "red dirt" in East Texas and you can certainly see red dirt in the photo.<br /><br />Beyond what you can see in the photo there has been a lot of work done on the parking and some work done where the re-located ball fields will be. Thanks to cooperation between the school and construction crew things have gone pretty smoothly with the beginning of school on August 16. It has been hot and dry which seems to be the best weather for this part of the construction. We could use some rain but I'm sure the construction crews would prefer to keep moving dirt.<br /><br />I have been able to keep up with my runs..........hot but good. I hope to schedule another "batch" of runs soon. I'll keep you posted.<br /><br />Chapel funding is about $600,000 short of having the construction and initial furnishings fully pledged thanks to so many generous members of the Cathedral community. I recently visited a church under construction in another diocese and they were just about the reverse of our situation with about $500,000 in the bank and looking at debt around $5,000,000. Even though we continue to work to cover our entire cost of just under $5,000,000 we have to be very grateful to God and His generous people that we have only several hundred thousand still to cover. Mon, 23 Aug 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[August 12 Hot and Fast]]> A bit of an update on the progress with the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul. The dirt is flying on site and with the start of school looming on the horizon the construction crews are working hard to have as much drive and parking area available as possible. They are working on the foundation of the Chapel also so as you can imagine the corner of Loop 323 and Easy Street is a busy place right now.<br /><br />We have had some great meetings discussing the interior liturgical design of the Chapel. Another busy agenda there with stained glass, altar furnishings and pews to look at. The basic theme that is developing is a journey of the saints depicted in the stained glass windows along the Chapel walls and culminating in the main window over the altar with Christ in Glory surrounded by the 12 apostles. The initial drawings are very exciting and even though we have to keep costs down as much as possible we agree that the windows will be beautiful and inspiring. <br /><br />I'll do my best to share some site photos once it is more than dirt moving and then also share sketches of the windows etc. as they develop.<br /><br />Running has been good lately too heat advisories and all!!!!!!!!!!<br /><br />I really have tried to be sensible about the heat and run in the late evenings as much as possible. It really has felt good. After school starts I'll have to put together another set of runs!!!!!!! Thu, 12 Aug 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Scenes from a Groundbreaking]]> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TFs8vETum4I/AAAAAAAAAEg/wOw7A0tMWtg/s1600/047-Copy.JPG"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 320px; height: 240px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TFs8vETum4I/AAAAAAAAAEg/wOw7A0tMWtg/s320/047-Copy.JPG" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5502058149071199106" /></a><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TFs8ut5D5rI/AAAAAAAAAEY/zJk9ZfyCXCk/s1600/012-Copy.JPG"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 240px; height: 320px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TFs8ut5D5rI/AAAAAAAAAEY/zJk9ZfyCXCk/s320/012-Copy.JPG" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5502058143053768370" /></a><br />Finally have a chance to share some pictures from the official groundbreaking for the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul by Bishop Alvaro Corrada on June 29,2010. Thu, 5 Aug 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Hello Again............its August]]> <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TFs6h7X5UsI/AAAAAAAAAEQ/4PbkZDhPB94/s1600/iceberg.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 233px; height: 320px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/TFs6h7X5UsI/AAAAAAAAAEQ/4PbkZDhPB94/s320/iceberg.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5502055724311204546" /></a><br />Sorry for letting July slip by with no posts. It was a busy month with several trips out of town.<br /><br />Great things are happening with the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul. Crews are working hard to get things in shape for the beginning of school and other activities.<br /><br />I have been running but haven't organized myself around another "set of runs". I'll try to remedy that soon. I have to admit I will probably wait until the temperatures are mostly below 100 degrees instead of trying to get in too many runs with 100 plus temperatures. I may be a crazy runner but I'm not that crazy!!!!!!!!! Thu, 5 Aug 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Building Excitement]]> <p>We have a construction trailer at the site of the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul and we should see some dirt moving any day now. The ground breaking was cancelled due to a down pour but we got great press coverage anyway. As people look back at newspapers years from now the ground breaking for the Chapel will go down in history as a great event even though it didn&#39;t actually happen. We will probably have a blessing of the site in the next few days but keep it pretty low key.<br /> <br /> I&#39;ll do my best to keep you posted on Chapel progress as the construction gets under way.<br /> <br /> I guess you may start to think this blog should be called the building priest instead of the running priest but I really have been running. I&#39;ll have to get organized and get another set of runs underway. It was just about this time last year that the original idea for therunningpriest.blogspot.com came to me while I was running!!!!!!!!<br /> <br /> Thanks to all who have supported my efforts. God bless America on July 4, 2010!!!!!!!!!</p> Wed, 30 Jun 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Runnin' into June]]> Have had some good runs in the June heat..........actually ran at Bachman Lake in Dallas after dropping a friend off at the airport. I enjoy taking the opportunity to run in various locations when I'm on the road. Bachman Lake is one of my favorite places in the Dallas area..........can be kind of exciting as planes from Love Field fly over.........you can see all the stuff under the plane very clearly.........always glad they keep flying.<br /><br />Still counting down for launch day for the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul...........generous pledges continue to flow in and we are right at $1,000,000 in new or continuing pledges with about $600,000 to go for the Chapel to be fully funded as we begin construction........exciting stuff!!!!!!<br /><br />THANKS AGAIN TO THE REMARKABLY GENEROUS PEOPLE OF THE CATHEDRAL OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION WHO ARE MAKING THIS CHAPEL HAPPEN!!!!! GOD BLESS YOU ALL. Fri, 4 Jun 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Finish Line # 30 and 31]]> I actually finished my 31 runs several days ago...........just been "running" to much to report in.<br /><br />The Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul is coming along well. We are still gathering pledges and thanks to the generosity and sacrifice of so many we are getting there. The next couple of weeks we are really trying to close the gap on our needed $1,600,000 more in pledges...........we are just over half way there. <br /><br />We are asking all Cathedral parishioners to make a pledge if they possibly can. If you are reading this and want to make a pledge WE ACCEPT!!!!!!!!! Just send your pledge to.............<br /><br />Msgr. Joseph Strickland<br />Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul Pledge Drive<br />1015 ESE Loop 323 <br />Tyler, Texas 75701<br /><br />God bless. Fri, 28 May 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[# 27, 28 and 29 A Highway Runs through it]]> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/S-8HL5crIgI/AAAAAAAAAEI/UEuG1elYa-k/s1600/GROUNDBREAKING05-09-10045.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 320px; height: 214px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/S-8HL5crIgI/AAAAAAAAAEI/UEuG1elYa-k/s320/GROUNDBREAKING05-09-10045.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5471599973259485698" /></a><br />Had some good runs this week in an area that used to be wilderness. If you are familiar with Tyler it is along the Grande Extension recently completed. I ran between Paluxy and Troup Highway. They've put in a sidewalk along the highway with about a yard of grass in between the road and the sidewalk. It makes a great running path for me.<br /><br />The earth moving that I mentioned in my last post went very well. I think you'll enjoy the picture. Sat, 15 May 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[#27, 28 and 29 A Highway Ran through it]]> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/S-8Fw8uidpI/AAAAAAAAAEA/w3OomtJ6GDg/s1600/GROUNDBREAKING05-09-10045.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 320px; height: 214px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/S-8Fw8uidpI/AAAAAAAAAEA/w3OomtJ6GDg/s320/GROUNDBREAKING05-09-10045.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5471598410771625618" /></a> <br /> <br /> <br />My last post mentioned the Earth Moving Event for the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul. It went really well. A lot of laughs as I tried to learn how to use a backhoe and Father McLaughlin tried to stay alive!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <br /> <br /> <br />Coming down to the home stretch with my 31 runs. Couple of good ones this week. I ran in an area that used to be wilderness and now it has a four lane highway running through it. <br /> <br />If you are familiar with Tyler I ran along the Grande Extension between Paluxy and Troup Hwy. As I said it used to be wildnerness. It is still a great area for me to run because I try to stay on the grass and off of the pavement and there is a nice yard wide green strip along the side of the highway. They keep it mowed and it is pretty even so it makes a great running path. <br /> <br />My last post mentioned the Earth Moving Event for the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul. It went really well. A lot of laughs as I tried to learn how to use a backhoe and Father McLaughlin tried to stay alive!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sat, 15 May 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[#26 I feel the earth move]]> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/S-cJ4acwJTI/AAAAAAAAAD4/4zB2N96E94s/s1600/Madonna+Picture.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 266px; height: 320px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/S-cJ4acwJTI/AAAAAAAAAD4/4zB2N96E94s/s320/Madonna+Picture.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5469351137241998642" /></a><br /><br />The picture of course honors Mary the Mother of God and as we honor Jesus Christ's own mother we honor all of our mothers. Let us pray that Mary will intercede for all mothers and for all of us before throne of Almighty God.<br /><br /><br /><br />Great run and an exciting day. I ran around the perimeter of the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul this afternoon and later today at 4 PM the Catholic Community of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception will gather on the site for a historic "earth moving event". Today we will "move some dirt" as we begin the initial site work for the Chapel.<br /><br />The symbolic event this afternoon will be followed shortly by real construction workers beginning the site work for the chapel. <br /><br />We are right in the middle of our "9th Inning Lap" to raise the pledges necessary to cover the 1.6 million we still need for the chapel to be fully funded. Great generosity and excitment has already been expressed by so many and we are asking everyone to join us as we build the first new Catholic Church in the city of Tyler in more than 70 years.<br /><br />We plan to have a formal groundbreaking with our shepherd Most Reverend Alvaro Corrada, S.J., Bishop of Tyler presiding as soon as we have the pledges and are ready to begin building the chapel.<br /><br />As you can imagine with all of these exciting plans to reflect on my run went by in a flash this afternoon.<br /><br />As I sign off..........a special prayer of blessing for all mothers living and deceased on this Mother's Day 2010. Sun, 9 May 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[#23, 24 and 25]]> Hey Gang.<br /><br />A bit more "on track".........all puns intended.........these last few days. It is warming up but not terribly humid yet so the runs have been good. Actually ran on our Bishop Gorman Catholic High School track at noon today. I don't usually run on tracks but it wasn't bad for a change.<br /><br />If you are reading this in the Tyler area join us on Sunday, May 9, at 4 PM for some "dirt moving fun" as we launch the site prep for the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul. If all goes well we will be starting the actual building construction after the site prep work is done.<br /><br />If you wish to make a donation to the Chapel.........WE ACCEPT.......just give me "the running priest....AKA.......Msgr. Joseph Strickland.......Fr. Joe.........a call!!!!!!!!! Fri, 7 May 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[#21 and 22 May Days]]> Slow going with lots of interference in the schedule but managed to log two more runs<br />in the last couple of days. <br /><br />I'll have to post a picture of the roses that the St. Gregory faculty planted in my back yard when I moved in. They are blooming beautifully. Appropriate for these beautiful may days.<br /><br />I'll keep trying to get those runs in................promise not to "stop and smell the roses" until AFTER the run.<br /><br />EXCITING THINGS ARE HAPPENING WITH THE CHAPEL OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL<br /><br />I spoke at all the masses last weekend and the people were very kind and receptive. We need 1.6 million in pledges in order to get the Chapel fully pledged. We want to get as close to that as possible before signing a contract for the construction but we do have a firm bid in hand.............so please get those pledges in. All parishioners at the Cathedral in Tyler will be receiving pledge cards and information in the next few days. <br /><br />I realize with the wonder of the internet you may be reading this and not be a part of the Cathedral parish in Tyler, Texas. If you want to help with the Chapel.......YOU ARE MOST WELCOME!!!!!!!!! Just give me a call at 903 534 1077.<br /><br />We had a great gathering last night as the first of several with our generous donors. They had some great ideas that we will pursue. Things like getting the students involved and reaching out to Alumni. The enthusiasm is a great blessing.<br /><br />This Sunday, May 9, at 4 PM on the Gorman campus on the site of the Chapel at the corner of Loop 323 and Easy Street we will be celebrating the beginning of initial site work and "moving some dirt" all are welcome. You'll even have the chance to take home some "chapel dirt" as a momento. <br /><br />By the way...........blessings to all mothers this Mother's Day.........bring mom out for the "dirt moving celebration" and we'll have a special remembrance for her.<br /><br />CATHEDRAL PARISH.............LET'S BUILD THIS CHAPEL!!!!!!!!!!!!! Tue, 4 May 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Run #20]]> Finally broke into the 20's...........sorry about the slow pace of this set of 31 runs but it has been an especially crazy time.<br /><br />Things are good and there is light at the end of the tunnels!!!!!!<br /><br />If you read this say a prayer for "the running priest" and all of us priests throughout the world starting with the Holy Father. I was thinking the other day..........if I am blessed to reach old age (no wisecracks any youngsters out there!!!!!!!!) Ahemmmmmmmmmm If I do reach old age I think I will be able to look back and realize that I lived my priesthood during some very challenging times for our dear Catholic Church......and I realize all of you Catholics out there can join in and say..........yea Father and it was a bit of a bumpy ride being Catholic at times.<br /><br />But as my dear mother would say............quoting the first Pope....."Lord to whom shall we go" <br /><br />Let us pray Thu, 22 Apr 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Run # 19]]> <p><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/S85DGvBnsJI/AAAAAAAAADw/TARAsd8Xm0k/s1600/Cathedral+Images+036.jpg"><img alt="" border="0" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5462377181028528274" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/S85DGvBnsJI/AAAAAAAAADw/TARAsd8Xm0k/s320/Cathedral+Images+036.jpg" style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 320px; height: 240px;" /></a><br /> Beleve it or not my last run was in Rome........yes Rome.......as in Italy.......not Texas!!!! I had a great run along the Tiber and then the next morning unexpectedly was back on a plane to Texas. I was actually lucky to get back home with the Volcanic Ash Cloud hanging over Europe!!!!<br /> <br /> Thankfully wasn&#39;t breathing any Volcanic Ash along the Tiber.<br /> <br /> Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul is still moving along well. It will be so much fun when I can post photos of the construction as it unfolds. I know many of us look forward to that day!! And it is approaching.<br /> <br /> I am set to speak at all Cathedral masses on the weekend of May 1 &amp; 2. Then shortly after, as early in May as the school calendar will allow we will begin the initial site work.<br /> <br /> We still have pledges to raise so that the entire cost of the Chapel is pledged. Thankfully we don&#39;t have to have all the money &quot;in the bank&quot; as soon as we have pledges to cover the cost we can begin construction on the actual Chapel itself.</p> Tue, 20 Apr 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Runs # 16, 17 and 18]]> <p>Some great running weather lately. Run # 18 was the St. Gregory fun run. It was a perfect morning for a run and I came in third in my age group. Managed to keep my time below 8 minute miles so not too bad.<br /> <br /> Lots of meetings going on for the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul. Plan is for me to speak at all masses at the Cathedral on the weekend of May 1 &amp; 2 and update the entire parish on where we are with plans, costs and the pledges we need to get started.<br /> <br /> If your schedule allows plan to join us for a special event on the afternoon of May 2, at the Gorman School Campus at 3:00 PM. You will see &quot;the running priest&quot; in a whole new role!!!!!!!!!!!<br /> <br /> Exciting things in the air!!!!!!!!!!!!</p> Sat, 10 Apr 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Run 12,13,14 and 15]]> Some good runs for Holy Week. Managed to catch up with a running buddy the last several days that I hadn't run with in months. Good to have the companionship again and we got in tosme good runs.<br /><br />I'm writing this on Holy Saturday afternoon and this evening the Church will celebrate the Easter Vigil in many ways THE liturgy of the year. <br /><br />I pray you all have a Blessed Easter and that our Resurrected Lord brings you strength and hope. Sat, 3 Apr 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Run #11]]> <p><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/S7InVvbRnKI/AAAAAAAAADo/SA3srkJX3xc/s1600/TheDaffo.jpg"><img alt="" border="0" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5454465353160694946" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/S7InVvbRnKI/AAAAAAAAADo/SA3srkJX3xc/s320/TheDaffo.jpg" style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 320px; height: 212px;" /></a><br /> Had a good run today around the loop from my house.<br /> <br /> As we enter into the celebrations of Holy Week it is great to see the spring flowers<br /> popping and the trees beginning to bud.<br /> <br /> Have a great Tuesday of Holy Week.</p> Tue, 30 Mar 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Days 9 & 10]]> Finally made it to 10 runs........won't make any promises since we're heading into Holy Week but I'll do my best to get some runs in along the way. The weather is perfect for running right now so I will try to get out there!!!!!!!!<br /><br />THE CHAPEL OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL continues to progress. As I've mentioned before the plan right now is to present an update to the entire parish at the end of April. I'm really excited about the way plans are coming together. We hope to see some dirt moving with initial site work sometime this spring. I have a fortune cookie slip I got a few weeks back posted in my office....it says..."Rome was not built in a day....be patient". We've all heard that before and I thank you for your patience. I'll add another familiar saying, "Good things come to those who wait"....Let us continue to pray that the Lord will guide us to those "good things". Have a blessed Holy Week. Mon, 29 Mar 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Day 7 & 8..........Running into Spring]]> Well at this rate it will take me a while to get to 31 runs. I'll do my best to get in some good ones this coming week.......starting today. Did manage a couple of good runs this week but a couple of days out of town sort of knocked me off schedule again.<br /><br />UPDATE ON CHAPEL OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL<br /><br />We've had meetings of the full committee,several meetings with the architect and another meeting with the Liturgical Designer since my last update. Things are really coming together........keep an eye out for a full parish update and plan for moving forward the last weekend of April. <br /><br />Meanwhile we are entering into Holy Week. Let us pray together that the troubles that plague our world may diminish and answers may come more clearly into focus as we celebrate the Life, Deat and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. If you usually attend the liturgies of Holy Week we'll see you there........if you haven't had the habit of attending I'd encourage you to check the schedule at your local church and do your best to attend any liturgies you can. You will be blessed.<br /><br />Meanwhile................keep on runnin' Sat, 27 Mar 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Days 5 & 6]]> Some great running weather lately. Had a good run Sunday afternoon and then ran on the track on Monday. <br /><br />Looks less than sunny today but I'll try to get one in.<br /><br />Things are hopping with the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul.........meeting later this week for revised cost estimates, trying to arrange a meeting next week to plan a strategy for pledges to "get this Chapel built", and working on site plan to get things done later this spring and clear the way for construction of the Chapel. <br /><br />A word of thanks to the volunteers..........your fellow parishioners who put in countless hours to keep the Chapel efforts moving forward. I'm really excited about the progress on multiple fronts........a bit of a challenge to keep it all moving along but a good challenge. We meet this Friday, March 19, which you may remember is the feast of St. Joseph.............for me a good sign that the Holy Spirit is guiding us. St. Joseph is often the saint people pray to regarding real estate deals!!!!!!!!!!! Let's all say a prayer to St. Joe that he will pray with us and bring the good work of the Chapel to fulfillment.<br /><br />Meanwhile...............I'll keep running. Tue, 16 Mar 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Day 4]]> Got in a great run today right about noon. A bit cool but nice and sunny.<br /><br />No rash promises about keeping this up EVERY day but...........27 days to go!!!!<br /><br />Have a blessed weekend. Sat, 13 Mar 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Confession is good for the soul!!!!!!]]> <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/S5sFqgnCTQI/AAAAAAAAADg/b-rRqRTboMY/s1600-h/rainbow2.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 253px; height: 320px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/S5sFqgnCTQI/AAAAAAAAADg/b-rRqRTboMY/s320/rainbow2.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5447954402101054722" /></a><br />Well gang...........I have to confess that my plan for 31 runs in March has kind of fallen apart. I have managed to run some and Nordic Track some but my schedule has been so erratic that I'm not sure when I've done what!!!!!!<br /><br />Obviously since it is March 12, I've lost a little ground since the last post was March 3!!!!!!!!!!<br /><br />If you've made any pledges I promise I'll make up for the shortfall in recorded runs!!!!<br /><br />GOOD NEWS ON THE CHAPEL OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL PLANS<br /><br />Thankfully I've made much better progress on the Chapel plans. We are meeting with the architect, meeting with the funraising group and meeting with the initial site work group all at the same time!!!!!!!!! HEY MAYBE THAT'S WHY I HAVEN'T KEPT UP WITH THE RUNS!!!!!!!! <br /><br />We are moving forward with plans that look at a 20% cost reduction in the price of the Chapel and furnishings. Our architect and other advisers are doing a great job of finding cost savings while still maintaining the beauty and stature of the Chapel.<br /><br />We hope to have some news to share with the Cathedral parish shortly after Easter.<br /><br />Let us continue to pray that the Holy Spirit will guide us to the very best outcome for this important project. God bless...........now to get back on track as THE RUNNING PRIEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Fri, 12 Mar 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Day 3]]> Had a great run. Beautiful sunny day.<br /><br />I was out of town for a couple of days at a pro-life event in College Station. Governor Jeb Bush spoke and it was a great event in support of the most vulnerable among us, the unborn.<br /><br />I was most impressed by Governor Bush's comments linking how we treat all of those who are vulnerable in society. If the unborn who are the most vulnerable are not safe then the same attitudes threaten the disabled, the elderly virtually everyone that society "decides" are less valuable for some reason. I thought he really hit the nail on the head when he said that we have to return to the notion of absolute values for our society. I believe he is right and I also believe it will only happen by the grace of God. Sadly we have lost our way when it comes to the virtues proclaimed by God's word. <br /><br />I hope we can all use this Lenten journey as a time to strengthen our own resolve and encourage others to embrace the basic truths that God has revealed to us through His Son. These truths are a tremendous challenge and we all fail but God's abundant mercy is always there for us.<br /><br />Keep on running and when you stumble just look to the Lord once again. Fri, 5 Mar 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[March 2- Time Marches On]]> It felt to get out for a run today. Still a little cool but nice and sunny and for me that always makes the difference.<br /><br />I hope the Lenten season is moving along well for all of you. It is a different Lent for me with my new responsibilities but it has been good so far. Very different not to be at the Cathedral but I'm certainly involved in Lenten activites in many places. <br /><br />My special prayer this Lent is for Catholics who have not been practicing their faith. Let us pray that all will always know that they are welcome and that Our Lord is always ready to bless us with his mercy. <br /><br />God bless. Tue, 2 Mar 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[March 1- A Nordic Day]]> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/S4yOPuhDz0I/AAAAAAAAADY/_DZEtimmQNY/s1600-h/Chapel+View+from+Loop+323.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 320px; height: 206px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/S4yOPuhDz0I/AAAAAAAAADY/_DZEtimmQNY/s320/Chapel+View+from+Loop+323.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5443882450419961666" /></a><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/S4yNtZ1y11I/AAAAAAAAADQ/rcKf8-750Xk/s1600-h/Front+View+of+Chapel.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 320px; height: 212px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/S4yNtZ1y11I/AAAAAAAAADQ/rcKf8-750Xk/s320/Front+View+of+Chapel.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5443881860754233170" /></a><br />I didn't manage to get a run in because of the blustery weather but I did get started with my March through March with a good workout on the Nordic Track. My cat has an interesting approach to this machine. She seems to be afraid of it but she doesn't run out of the room. Instead she just kind of crouches as if she is ready to pounce on it any minute and come to my rescue!!!!<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />I'm attaching renderings of the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul. They are on display at St. Paul's Chapel in the Chancery building but I know some of you may not have had the opportunity to see them there. We continue to work on reducing costs in every reasonable way we can while at the same time we are planning to meet next week to get started on the additional fundraising that will be required. Let us pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit so that we can bring this project to completion in the very best way possible in service to our Catholic community in Tyler. Mon, 1 Mar 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Tyler's Winter Wonderland]]> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/S4SB-4y91OI/AAAAAAAAADI/d5OBOXFwTDI/s1600-h/Snow+Uschi.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 240px; height: 320px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/S4SB-4y91OI/AAAAAAAAADI/d5OBOXFwTDI/s320/Snow+Uschi.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5441617167168427234" /></a><br />Tylerites of the two legged and four legged varieties have been surprised by the amount of white stuff we've seen. I was actually in West, Texas today for meetings and they got alot more snow than we did here in Tyler. I'm sure the kids were hoping for a free day...........well at least they got a "late day". <br /><br />Didn't manange to get in a run today but I'm headed to the Nordic Track in a bit. Tue, 23 Feb 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[February 22........The Chair of Peter]]> Well February has kind of slipped through my fingers. When I last wrote I had hoped to get in a Saint Valentine's Day series of runs but obviously that didn't happen.<br /><br />I am planning to run through March with another 31 runs in 31 days. Your pledges to the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul and to the Soceity of Saint Vincent de Paul are welcome. In October you donated just shy of $9,000 which was split between the two causes. THANK YOU!!!!!<br /><br />UPDATE FOR CHAPEL OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL<br /><br />We had a good meeting with Bob Brown our architect. Lots of things to look at as we balance reducing costs with maintaining the beauty of the design. If you haven't seen the drawings of the Chapel they are on display at St. Paul's Chapel. I encourage you to take a look. It is a challenging process but I am pleased with how things are moving forward. So many of you have been such a tremendous support and I know we all look forward to getting the Chapel started. We hope to have some adjusted cost estimates soon and we will share them as soon as we do.<br /><br />Let us continue to pray that the Holy Spirit will guide this good work to completion. Please encourage your friends to check my blog for updates on the Chapel. I'll do my best to post new information as it is available...........in between my runs!!!!!!!!!!!! Mon, 22 Feb 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Yes I'm still here]]> Howdy. I know it has been a month since my last post. As you probably know it has been quite a month for me. As of February 2, 2010 I have left my position as rector of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and have been named Vicar General for the Diocese of Tyler by Bishop Alvaro Corrada. I replace Msgr. Xavier Pappu who has done a great job as Vicar General for the past nine years. His work helped move the position of Vicar General from being mostly a title to actually being a functioning office. I know I will benefit from all of his hard work as I move into the office of Vicar General full time. <br /><br />I have to laugh because we often speak of "full time" positions in the Church when in reality we have other jobs as well. I'm not sure exactly what full time means but I have a feeling I will still be very busy. I guess it really isn't very different from what all of us deal with.......after all fathers and mothers, husbands and wives have "full time" jobs that don't include all that they do for the family etc. etc. I think of an old saying "idle hands are the devils workshop" so I guess it is a good thing that I won't have to worry about idle hands!!!!!!!<br /><br />I'm still adjusting to actually being gone from the Cathedral after almost 16 years. I guess it will take time to embrace my new schedule, new office, new house and new duties. I will always cherish my time at the Cathedral but I have to admit I'm glad to lay down the pressures and responsibilities of that office. I pray that Father Anthony McLaughlin who takes my place as the new rector will be able to build on and expand the good things that are happening in the Cathedral family. He is a talented man and I know he will bring many good things to the Catholic community of Tyler. I hope I will be able to support him in all kinds of ways since my "big move" is only three miles down the road.<br /><br />Speaking of "miles" your probably wondering.........what's up.........isn't this blog called "the running priest"???? I have to admit the running priest has been more the "box moving priest" lately but I go on retreat this week and I plan to take the opportunity to get back on the running track!!!!!!!!!<br /><br />I'm thinking of a set of runs to celebrate Saint Valentine's Day.................I'll keep you posted as that develops. Sun, 7 Feb 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[The 12th Day of Christmas]]> Well. Finally posting my 12th run.<br /><br />We celebrate the baptism of the Lord this Sunday and officially end the Christmas season. I pray this Christmas has been a blessing for you and your loved ones. God Bless. Sat, 9 Jan 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Days 10 & 11, January 4 and 5]]> Had a little get away for my day off but managed to get a couple of good Nordic Track workouts in. I guess I should have called this session "The Twelve Nordic Track workouts of Christmas" between the weather and the schedule I think I did more Nordic Track than actual runs for these 12 Days. Oh well the NT is a good workout and in some ways it requires more discipline..........at least mental discipline. When you're running you "gotta get back anyway" so you might as well keep on running. The NT tempts you to stop early so you have to "stay with it" and complete the time you've committed to.........in my case 31 minutes and 31 seconds!!!!!!<br /><br />I think my next session will be something to honor St. Valentine's Day. We often hear that we need to put the Christ back in Christ-mas and I whole heartedly agree........maybe we can also tackle putting the "Saint" back in St. Valentine's day!!!!! I have to admit I'm biased (as the running PRIEST I guess I should be) but it really is amazing how many holidays, place names, and customs find their origin as part of faith. Faith is thankfully very much woven into the history of our nation and our cultures.......let's all work to keep it that way. Wed, 6 Jan 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[8th and 9th Days of Christmas- January 2 & 3]]> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/S0IZxPNbSpI/AAAAAAAAADA/Sn3dvH3At30/s1600-h/I+Phone+Pictures+111.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 320px; height: 240px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/S0IZxPNbSpI/AAAAAAAAADA/Sn3dvH3At30/s320/I+Phone+Pictures+111.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5422925234994629266" /></a><br />I had a couple of good Nordic Track workouts for the 8th and 9th Days of Christmas. The picture just reminds me of what the weather feels like around here these days........not really quite THAT cold but it has been pretty chilly for this East Texas kid. <br /><br />Sunday January 3, we celebrated the Feast of the Epiphany. It is always one of my favorite Feasts in the calendar of the Church. As you probably know Epiphany means "shining forth" and as we read of the Magi, the three wise men it always reminds us that Christ has come to all people for all time. It seems we need to remember that message more and more in today's world.<br /><br />I don't want to get too preachy but I will share a couple of points that I made at the Epiphany masses that I celebrated. I tried to emphasize the greatest gift of all, Jesus Christ God's only begotten Son and I encouraged the people to celebrate this Greatest Gift throughout the year by making sure they come to mass every Sunday and by taking the time during the week to reflect on the Word of God for the coming Sunday. These are pretty basic steps and I acknowledged at the masses that I was more or less "preaching to the choir" because the people at mass are pretty committed to being there. But I think it is still worth saying because even faithful Catholics can be tempted by the business and distractions of the world to skip a Sunday here and there. Of course Sunday mass is an obligation in the Catholic faith but hopefully on the feast of the Epiphany we can be reminded why the Church has raised this to the level of obligation in her law........BECAUSE IT IS SO IMPORTANT. <br /><br />So much for not getting too preachy!!!!............well, anyway let's all treasure the opportunity to celebrate the Greatest Gift of All every Sunday at Holy Mass and take the time to reflect on the Word of God so that we can hear it more profoundly when it is proclaimed on Sunday. <br /><br />I know some of you reading this may not be Catholic............I'd just encourage you to apply this to your own Sunday worship and recommit with us to honoring the Lord's Day every week. Mon, 4 Jan 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Day 7, January 1]]> I had a good run on the first day of the year. Nice sunny day, cool but really perfect for running.<br /><br />I'm sure we all saw fireworks televised or otherwise as we rang in 2010. Let us pray that the new year brings greater harmony among nations and all of God's people.<br /><br />Only 5 runs to go for the 12 runs of Christmas. <br /><br />GOT EXERCISE???? Sat, 2 Jan 2010 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[4th, 5th and 6th Day of Christmas- December 29,30 and 31]]> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/Szz1_qgnGjI/AAAAAAAAAC4/_7gQ6gw_EsU/s1600-h/Cathedral+Images+009.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 239px; height: 320px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/Szz1_qgnGjI/AAAAAAAAAC4/_7gQ6gw_EsU/s320/Cathedral+Images+009.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5421478525538867762" /></a><br />Ok. Gang. Obviously I'm playing a little catch up these last days of 2009. <br /><br />Actually have to confess that I did'nt make it on the 4th Day!!!! Just ran out of time. Don't worry........I'll make it up......maybe I'll even throw in another day at the end..........make it a "bakers dozen" Days of Christmas.<br /><br />I did have a good Nordic Track work out on the 5th Day. I laugh because you could get the impression that I'm on contract with Nordic Track!!!!! Actually it is a pretty old machine and I'm not even sure they make them anymore. It is really a simple contraption that simulates cross country skiing. Skiing cross country is a real workout and the machine does a decent job of simulating it!!! I went and donated blood after my workout on Day 5. The city has made a special push for blood donors during the holidays and the staff at the Blood Bank said they have been unusually busy. Thanks to all who responded with a blood donation.......there really is no substitute.<br /><br />Today is Day 6, December 31, the last day of 2009 and I had a good run to close out the year. It was chilly, wet and foggy but one of those nice quiet days for a run. I don't know if it is my imagination but foggy and misty days like today seem to be quieter. It seems as if all the traffic noise etc. is muffled as if it were blanketed in cotton!!!!<br /><br />We had a nice mass this morning for the last day of the year. Today is the 7th Day in the Octave of Christmas so I guess officially my 12 days are off by one day. Oh well!!!!!!<br /><br />Let us pray together for our families, our communities, our nation and for all of God's people throughout the world. Hopefully 2010 will prove to be a year when we finally begin to welcome the Prince of Peace in a more profound way. <br /><br />In the mean time...........KEEP ON RUNNIN' Thu, 31 Dec 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Third Day of Christmas- December 28]]> Another good workout. I was laughing with a fellow runner because both of us have encountered people that thought we were crazy for running. We've had people get really upset saying it was to hot to run or too cold to run. I even had one lady say she was going to call the police! Oh well......we just keep on running.<br /><br />Today, December 28 is the feast of the holy innocents, it commemorates the boys two and younger that Herod had killed after his visit with the Magi. I guess it teaches us something to be reminded that there was violent resistance to Christ even as a baby. It seems the very idea that God could be so close to us is threatening to some. We shouldn't be surprised that even to this day the strong resistance continues. Maybe we like the idea that we can pretend we are God. Let's use these Days of Christmas to rejoice that God has loved us so much and rid ourselves of the ways we resist His coming. Tue, 29 Dec 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Second Day of Christmas- December 27]]> <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/SzjMuWZeuQI/AAAAAAAAACw/5E_uIQmplrU/s1600-h/Cathedral+Print.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 320px; height: 254px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/SzjMuWZeuQI/AAAAAAAAACw/5E_uIQmplrU/s320/Cathedral+Print.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5420307248198891778" /></a><br />Another beautiful day, still pretty chilly but nice and sunny. I confess I ran out of daylight and ended up on the Nordic Track after dark. It is always a good workout but I miss the fresh air.<br /><br />Today was Sunday and the Catholic calendar celebrated the Feast of the Holy Family. This is celebrated on the Sunday immediately after Christmas. It always seems appropriate to me that we celebrate the family in the midst of the holidays when so many of us are gathering with our families. It is a good time to reflect on the blessing of our families.<br /><br />I'm also aware of the difficult time that many have because of the loss of loved ones. The holidays can be especially difficult if we have recently lost loved ones or if we are far away from home and unable to be with family. I have been blessed as a priest to always have family within a reasonable driving distance. I try to especially pray for the priests who are half a world away from their families during the holidays. We are blessed with many priests in our diocese in Tyler who have left home and family far behind in order to serve the people of God. We need to be especially thankful to them during the holidays. <br /><br />As we approach the New Year why not go ahead and get started on that "new years resolution" to get some exercise!!!!!!!! Mon, 28 Dec 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[First Day of Christmas- December 26]]> Well I made the first run of my "Twelve Runs of Christmas". It was a nice day for a run, a little cool but nice and sunny. I guess you could count December 25 as the first day of Christmas nut I doubted I'd get a run in on Christmas day and I was right.<br /><br />I hope that my 12 runs of Christmas will remind us all to keep celebrating the birth of our Lord for the whole Christmas season. The Catholic liturgical calendar offers us a whole season to celebrate the Feast of Christmas. It is still easy to slip back into regular routines leaving "the season" as something that only happens in Church.<br /><br />One suggestion I make is to continue gift giving during the Christmas season. Gifts given during the season really aren't late.........it's still Christmas!!!!!!! <br /><br />I hope you can get back out there and get some exercise. All of us have some "turkey and pumpkin pie" to get rid of!!!!!!! Sun, 27 Dec 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[December 7]]> Howdy........it's been a while but I am still here. Getting in some good runs as we zip through Advent. <br /><br />I do have my next set of runs on the calendar........the 12 runs of Christmas beginning on December 26. <br /><br />Have a blessed Advent. Mon, 7 Dec 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Thanksgiving]]> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/Sw1QTTwnCnI/AAAAAAAAACo/7yFt6Wc2kAI/s1600/I+Phone+Pictures+340.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 320px; height: 240px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/Sw1QTTwnCnI/AAAAAAAAACo/7yFt6Wc2kAI/s320/I+Phone+Pictures+340.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5408067020193729138" /></a><br /><br /><br />Hello out there. I'm sorry I've gotten behind on posting to the blog, just busy with the usual stuff. I intended to take a bit of a break after my October runs but the time kind of got away from me. <br /><br />The picture of St. Peter's reminds me of the Thanksgiving I spent there a couple of years ago. It was interesting to be out of the country for the Thanksgiving holiday. It made me that much more thankful for the blessing we have here in the good ole USA. We certainly have our problems but this is a great country because of the goodness of the people here and the freedoms we enjoy. Let us pray that we can live these freedoms more responsibly. <br /><br />It has been great running weather lately and I got in a nice run at Faulkner Park yesterday. I hope to get in another out there this afternoon. I actually saw another runner out there yesterday. I believe that is the first time I've seen another runnner on the trail. There were lots of bikers too and I frequently see people walking but it was good to see a running comrade. I guess the park was busier than usual with people anticipating that they were going to eat too much turkey.<br /><br />As we celebrate Thanksgiving we all reflect on the blessings of family and friends in our lives. Let's remember to be thankful all year........not just on one day. A good thought for our exercise also.......good thing to do all year not just one day!!!!<br /><br />I hope to organize myself for another set of runs during Advent and leading up to Christmas. In the mean time have a blessed Thanksgiving. Wed, 25 Nov 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[The 8th of November]]> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/Svb0aE9bQoI/AAAAAAAAACg/xkTaN5ebuPo/s1600-h/j0427607.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 320px; height: 213px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/Svb0aE9bQoI/AAAAAAAAACg/xkTaN5ebuPo/s320/j0427607.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5401773531922645634" /></a><br />I had a good run today after a couple of days off after completing my 31 runs in 31 days trek. I'm planning to put something together around the Thanksgiving holiday............turkey trots seem to be popular and I can definitely supply the turkey!!!!!!<br /><br />The picture reminds me of the theme that the Catholic liturgy sets for November. We celebrate All Souls Day on November 2. This is a traditional time to pray for all who have died. As Catholics we offer masses for the repose of the soul of loved ones and remember them especially in our prayers. Many people both Catholic and non-catholic have expressed to me how comforting it is to be able to pray for loved ones who have died. Some Christian traditions see this as simply a Catholic thing but it has always seemed to me that it is a logical aspect of our belief in Jesus Christ. The Catholic doctrine of Purgatory reminds us that the absolute separation between this life and the next is not reality. Our faith reminds us that life is a journey that continues through all the phases of this life and into the next. My personal experience of the loss of loved ones serves to deepen my faith that this is the reality.......those who have passed from this life continue to be alive in God and so we pray for them as we hope they pray for us.<br /><br />Pretty heavy stuff on a November Sunday!!!! I pray that whatever your experience of death and loss may be you may find the ancient tradition of praying for the dead to be a source of great consolation and deeper faith. <br /><br /> Sun, 8 Nov 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Day 30 & 31]]> I finally got a chance to finish up the first installment on my blog with run #30 and 31.<br /><br />#30 was a Nordic track day. It was actually a nice day but I just didn't have time. Someone asked me if they still make Nordic Tracks. I'm really mt sure. I may be working out on an antique!!!<br /><br />#31 Got'er Done<br /><br />had a good final run of my thirty-one. I haven't decided what my next installment will be......maybe something with Turkey Day. Mon, 2 Nov 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Day 29]]> I had a good run. The weather has been pperfect. I hope you are getting out to enjoy these fall days Mon, 2 Nov 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Day 28]]> I managed to get a run in before the rain returned. I ran in the neighborhood around UT Tuler. <br /><br />We honored two mothers last night at the Tyler Catholic School Foundation dinner. Mary Prudhomme and Martha Ann Roy Lehnertz exemplify the qualities we celebrate in our mothers. They were women of faith and family who dedicated their lives to others. As we celebrated them last night I celebrated my mother also and I'm sure the people present thought of their mothers also. Thu, 29 Oct 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Day 27]]> <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/SunPjnnkcbI/AAAAAAAAACY/NiyH8cC82cs/s1600-h/Iphone+October+010.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 320px; height: 240px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/SunPjnnkcbI/AAAAAAAAACY/NiyH8cC82cs/s320/Iphone+October+010.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5398073839217570226" /></a><br />I had a nice sloppy run today! We've been blessed with so much rain lately that the trail I run on in Faulkner Park was very much like a swamp for my last run.<br /><br />I'm planning to head out for a run in a few minutes. Storm clouds are approaching but maybe I can squeeze it in before more rain. Thu, 29 Oct 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Day 26]]> I had another good workout on the Nordic Track.<br /><br />I'm still catching up on getting my runs posted. I'm glad I'm better with the exercise than with getting my runs posted to the Blog!!<br /><br />I went to a conference on spirituality and health and Gertrude the world's oldest person was quoted. When Gertrude was asked, why have you lived so long she said, "God, ask him, I took care of myself the way he wanted me to". Gertrude at 114 sounds like a very wise woman. Got exercise? Wed, 28 Oct 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Day 25]]> Had a good workout on the Nordic Track Wed, 28 Oct 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Day 22, 23,24 Catching Up]]> <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/SuW7n50nWTI/AAAAAAAAACQ/d5K8mnipalE/s1600-h/Cropped+Nativity.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 208px; height: 320px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/SuW7n50nWTI/AAAAAAAAACQ/d5K8mnipalE/s320/Cropped+Nativity.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5396926022684203314" /></a><br />I guess you could say the weekend kind of slammed my schedule at least as far as keeping up with the blog postings. The weather has been standard for East Texas, "sunny..........I mean cloundy........no sunny.............wait it is cloudy". I guess it's called "mostly changable". I've had some good runs and some good workouts on the Nordic Track when the weather wasn't cooperating.<br /><br />I'm heading into the home stretch. Thanks for all the support and I hope here and there you've been inspired to keep up or "get with" your own exercise program. I'd have to say that the whole RunFatherRun experience has been an inspiration to me and I hope it has inspired you in some way.<br /><br />The Catholic liturgical calendar is counting down to the Feast of Christ the King and the end of another liturgical year. The cycle begins again with the First Sunday of Advent. The image attached to this post is the Christmas window from the Cathedral. As of yesterday Christmas is two months away. I guess it will get busy soon!!!!!!!!! Mon, 26 Oct 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[A Nice Day]]> <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/SuDNo-uPshI/AAAAAAAAABo/36m9bKMcang/s1600-h/IMG_6932-edit.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 297px; height: 320px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/SuDNo-uPshI/AAAAAAAAABo/36m9bKMcang/s320/IMG_6932-edit.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5395538457505280530" /></a><br />Just thought I'd share this picture of Fr. Joe "at work" on a pretty day. Thu, 22 Oct 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Day 21 Runnin' Down Hill]]> At day 21 I'm pleased that I have been able to keep up with the running pretty well. I admit it has been a challenge to fit them in but I'm always glad I did.<br /><br />Today was a quick run in the neighborhood South of the Cathedral down College Street etc. It is fun to just kind of "run where the wind blows", I discover new little side streets and house that I'd never paid attention to before.<br /><br />I've always noticed there is something about running in an area that gives me a much better picture of the actual layout of things. I might get lost in a car in a new area but after I run there a few times I'm really much more oriented. I guess it is some primordial instinct!!!!!!!!!!!!!!<br /><br />Got Exercise. Thu, 22 Oct 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Day 20]]> I had to go to West,Texas today (the town) yes there is a West,Texas. I guess they named it West after they had exhausted their more creative ideas like Waxahachie and Italy!!! I had a good run in the countryside outside West. <br /><br />The beautiful weekend we had was taken over by clouds and rain but it really wasn't bad in West. <br /><br />Keep on Runnin'!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thu, 22 Oct 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Day 17, 18 & 19 Catching Up!!!!]]> The weather has been what I call "perfect running weather" the past three days. It has been a challenge to wedge a run into my schedule these past days but I managed to get it done and I'm glad I did. <br /><br />Day 17 I ran in the neighborhood near the Cathedral. It is always challenging to play "find the turf" since I do my best not to run on concrete or asphalt these days. Saturday was a packed day but getting the run in really helped give me the energy to keep going.<br /><br />Day 18 was another busy day with 4 masses but I managed to run in the Stonegate addition off of Paluxy and South of the Loop. I even saw a few parishioners along the way. It is always fun to see the reaction of the kids when they see me running. They seem surprised to see a priest doing normal things!!!!<br /><br />Today, Day 19 was another beautiful day in the Piney Woods. I ran at Lindsey park which is a soccer and baseball complex on the West side of town. <br /><br />I hope you got some exercise today............perfect day for a nice walk. Mon, 19 Oct 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Day 16 Get 'er Done]]> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/Stk24lJC-VI/AAAAAAAAABg/uhNZFpF8eyQ/s1600-h/Sacred+Heart+002.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 240px; height: 320px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/Stk24lJC-VI/AAAAAAAAABg/uhNZFpF8eyQ/s320/Sacred+Heart+002.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5393402374423509330" /></a><br /><br />The picture is of the Statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. It is special to me because today, October 16, is the memorial of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque who had a special devotion to the Sacred Heart. My mother Monica Clare Margaret Hart Strickland was born on October 17, and always had a special devotion to the Sacred Heart. It is one of those very Catholic images that our non-catholic brothers and sisters don't really understand. I believe it is important to all of us that we recognize the clear and scriptural foundation of sacramentals like the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ. They flow from century after century of faithful disciples of Jesus Christ the Son of God reflecting on the Gospels. The Gospels clearly speak of the Sacred Heart of Christ pierced as He dies for us. It seems tremendously appropriate for all Christians to reflect on the beautiful Sacred Heart of God's Son as it beats its very last as an expression of love for all humanity. It's not just a Catholic "thing" it is a gift to all who believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, Redeemer of the World. God bless you Monica Claire Margaret. <br /><br />Sorry I got so preachy above but after all I am The Running Priest!!!!! As I hoped I managed to get a great run in this afternoon. I have to laugh because it was not easy to "stay with the program". I had a day of non-stop meetings and just barely managed to squeeze in a run before a wedding rehearsal at the Cathedral. I was literally on the phone dealing with an issue and trying to change into running clothes at the same time......a bit of a challenge to say the least. It was a beautiful October afternoon after I finally got out there and managed to get in a run with just enough time to get cleaned up and over to the Cathedral for the rehearsal. <br /><br />As I was reflecting on my hectic day and the "barely squeezed in" run I realized that I can't remember a single time when I "got the run in" and said afterward "I wish I hadn't done that!!!!!!!!!" It seems I'm ALWAYS glad I got a run in....the only regrets come when I don't manage to run and often think "I wish I'd been able to run". <br /><br />Have a great weekend and get out there and get some exercise. Fri, 16 Oct 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Day 15 I Confess]]> I bet you don't often have a chance to hear the confession of a priest!!! I have to confess that after planes, trains and automobiles yesterday I wasn't able to get in a run, a treadmill session or even a Nordic track!! I'm determined to get one in today and it looks like a really nice day for it!<br /><br />Don't worry and please don't deduct from your donation!!!!! I'll plan to do a make up run on November 1, for 32 minutes so that you are sure to get all the "virtual running" you paid for!!!!<br /><br />Have a blessed day. Got Exercise??? Fri, 16 Oct 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Day 14]]> Another good workout on the treadmill, it will be good to get back to the trails in Tyler. I only saw a couple of my canon law classmates. I guess a lit of places are really struggling with their budgets so mist of the participants are from fairly close by.<br /><br />The talks have been helpful, one I went to was about proper evaluation of seminarians, I'll have to pass that on to Jorge Sanchez our pastoral year seminarian. <br /><br />I'll sign off now........Got Exercise? Wed, 14 Oct 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Day 13]]> I had a good workout on the treadmill today. Thirty one minutes on the treadmill isn't exactly a run but it felt good. Tue, 13 Oct 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Day 12 Thanks to All]]> I realized I haven't said thank you to all of you who have pledged your support for my running project. I don't have any totals yet but I know a number of you have been really generous. It has bee fun. Thank You!!!!<br /><br />I managed to get out to the Kentucky countryside today for a nice run. This is called "bluegrass country" but it looks pretty green to me!!! Have a great day........Got Exercise??? Mon, 12 Oct 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Day 11]]> I had a good workout tonight on the treadmill in the hotel fitness center. Certainly not the same as a run in the park but still gets the blood pumping. The machines were full of gadgets, even a virtual fitness trainer!!<br /><br />I'll scout out the area tomorrow to see if I can work a run in between sessions. Sun, 11 Oct 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Day 10]]> <p>The run today felt really good. I ran down Front street to Vine and around to 4th street and then wound my way back to the Cathedral. I do my best to stay on turf these days because I have some problems with my feet so it is always a challenge to find the &quot;green stuff&quot; in the midst of streets, sidewalks and driveways. The temp etc. was just about perfect for running today, cool and crisp. I was glad to be able to get outside again after the Nordic Track Trek yesterday.<br /> <br /> Reflecting on the readings for this Sunday as I ran I kept going back to the portion of the Gospel where the young man walks away sad. My homily will somehow focus on that basic theme for this weekend and I would encourage all of us to reflect on it. How am I tempted to &quot;walk away sad&quot; from the call of Jesus Christ? In our sinfulness and weakness I believe all of us face that temptation. Sometimes living the Way of Jesus Christ the Son of God just seems to be so far beyond what we can manage we can think all we can do is &quot;walk away&quot;. Whatever the challenges of living Christ in our own personal journey, in our families and in our society let&#39;s not &quot;walk away sad&quot; but instead trust in the Lord and continue to see His Way.<br /> <br /> I&#39;m off to a Canon Law meeting in Kentucky after masses tomorrow. It will be interesting to see how I can get Day 11 taken care of with the travel and all. Hopefully next installment will be &quot;live from Kentucky&quot;.<br /> <br /> HAVE A BLESSED SUNDAY.</p> Sat, 10 Oct 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Follow Up]]> <p>I wanted to report that I did get in a good Nordic Track Trek. In some ways it&#39;s harder to use a treadmill or other exercise machine because it can be so boring. You have to get creative with music or something to move the clock along a little faster.<br /> <br /> Exercise equipment makes a great clothing rack but I encourage you to move those shirts and sweaters and put your exercise equipment to good use. Have a great Saturday!</p> Sat, 10 Oct 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Day 9 A Rainout?]]> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/Ss91kfUQ8ZI/AAAAAAAAABY/5Kiy5L3-v_c/s1600-h/Alergies.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 240px; height: 320px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/Ss91kfUQ8ZI/AAAAAAAAABY/5Kiy5L3-v_c/s320/Alergies.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5390656548728009106" /></a><br />Just making a wild guess but I'm guessing today will be another Nordic Track day. I'm doing things a bit differently today, writing my blog post before I go for a run or Nordic Track Trek!!<br /><br />As I've been working in my office at the Cathedral this morning I've been watching the steady rain and not seeing any sign of one of those last minute changes in the weather that East Texas is famous for, we'll just have to see.<br /><br />A friend who is a fellow runner sent the picture of the beautiful yellow flowers....not!!! You may recognize these plants as the source of your sneezes and headaches at this time of year. East Texas may be the top producer in the world of these little yellow buds of allergy producing stuff.<br /><br />Got Exercise?? Fri, 9 Oct 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Day 8]]> <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/Ss450wBVP6I/AAAAAAAAABQ/zeASKgeml3Q/s1600-h/Cathedral+Images+001.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 228px; height: 320px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/Ss450wBVP6I/AAAAAAAAABQ/zeASKgeml3Q/s320/Cathedral+Images+001.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5390309382415531938" /></a><br /><br />I ran through the Azalea District today taking a route that wound through streets like College, Rusk, Robertson, Dobbs and Shaw. Recognize any of those?<br /><br />It was very humid and I don't know if it was just because it was Day 8 or because of the humidity but it was a hard run to finish. I had to motivate myself by saying "Remember the Bloggers!!!!!!!" Hopefully I'm inspiring you to get some exercise, obviously you're inspiring me to keep it up.<br /><br />The stained glass window in the picture is one that many who regularly attend the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception may not recognize. It is in the Bishop's Sacristy on the right as you face the main altar so usually only the Bishop and altar servers who vest there would get to see it. Thu, 8 Oct 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Day 7 A Very Special Day]]> I had an early run this morning down College St to Bergfeld Park etc. Then I joined our St. Gregory Catholic School community for the National Walk to School. I thought it was a great experience that reminded me of simpler days. I rode the bus but however we got ourselves to school every day I'm sure we all have memories of that daily trek. <br /><br />We also celebrated Our Lady of the Rosary in our Catholic calendar today. This feast of the Catholic liturgy originates from a papal decree in the Middle Ages. Many probably wonder why the Catholic Church continues to hold onto these ancient traditions in our modern world. Certainly many ask us why we focus on Mary, isn't it all about Jesus? We respond as Catholics, ABSOLUTELY it's all about Jesus and we honor Mary because she is the original disciple who is all about Jesus. Let's follow her example and ponder the works of God in our lives. I believe we need that more than ever in our modern world.<br /><br />Got Exercise???? Wed, 7 Oct 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Day 6 so Far So good]]> I had another good run on the Faulkner Trail this afternoon. It was a lot more humid today and almost 90 degrees.<br /><br />Continued to reflect on today's Gospel passage from the Gospel acccording to Luke. Today's passage is the encounter with Martha and Mary when Jesus says Mary has chosen the better part. I think most of us feel for Martha and envy Mary. Especially in today's world we are "busy about many things". The passage seems to clearly indicate that being busy and worried about many things is not just a modern problem. It also reminds us that we are called to seek the better part just like Mary did. The business still needs to be taken care of but being focused on "the better part" gives us the strength to do the business well. Tue, 6 Oct 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Day 5]]> I had a good run this afternoon. I ran at Faulkner Park on the bike trail. I always enjoy the woods after a heavy rain like yesterday, everything is peaceful and quiet. <br /><br />By the way, I wanted to apologize for typos on these posts. I've written several of them on my iPhone and sometimes I hit the wrong letter. iPhone has a great autofill feature but sometimes it assumes I've transitioned to a different language!!!!!<br /><br />I hope you got some exercise today!!!!!<br /><br />Our grade school, St Gregory Catholic Elementary, is participating in the national Walk to School event on Wednesday this week. I plan to walk/run with the group......it should be interesting. God bless. Mon, 5 Oct 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Day 5 So Far So Good]]> Mon, 5 Oct 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[A Runner's Tribute to Saint Francis of Assisi]]> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/Sso6XIkulmI/AAAAAAAAABI/InxUyuljQr4/s1600-h/balcony001.jpg"><img id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5389184073215153762" style="FLOAT: left; MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 239px" alt="" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/Sso6XIkulmI/AAAAAAAAABI/InxUyuljQr4/s320/balcony001.jpg" border="0" /></a><br />The Catholic Church celebrated the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi yesterday, October 4th and as we remember this italian saint who lived hundreds of years ago he reminds us that we must care for Mother Earth as a gift from God.<br /><br />Saint Francis celebrated the beauty of every aspect of creation and reminds us to respect these sacred gifts. The diverse beauty of our planet is something we can celebrate through technology in ways that Francis never imagined but we must also be careful that the same technology doesn't bring harm to our fragile world. Let us celebrate Saint Francis by doing all we can to protect the world he loved so much. Mon, 5 Oct 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Day 4]]> Well gang I must confess I didn't run today, too much rain. I know that's a wimpy excuse but I didn't think it would be very smart to get soaking wet. I did get in a good workout on my Nordic track so hopefully that counts. My cat always reacts to the Nordic track. She seems to waiver between attacking it or hiding under the bed. She usually chooses the bed!<br /><br />In my homiily today I asked the question, "is this God's plan?" I think we can apply that to all of the important decisions we have to make. Too often the world says we should just follw our own plan. That seems to get us in trouble all the tiime as individuals, as nations and as a global society. Sun, 4 Oct 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Runnin']]> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/SsfGbT5cFlI/AAAAAAAAABA/Y8QCup0HbrU/s1600-h/I+Phone+Pictures+365.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 320px; height: 240px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/SsfGbT5cFlI/AAAAAAAAABA/Y8QCup0HbrU/s320/I+Phone+Pictures+365.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5388493651672045138" /></a> Sat, 3 Oct 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Day 3]]> Had another good run today. A bit warmer but that's how it goes with weather in East Texas. I ran out at Faulkner Park on the bike trails. There are more and more bikers out there especially in this gorgeous weather. So far no collisions!!!!!<br /><br />On today's run I was reflecting on the readings for this Sunday. I think it all comes down to a basic question. Is what I am about to do God's plan or my plan? We can apply that to all of our choices and I think it will help a lot.<br /><br />I'm trying to include a picture from last year when I had a chance to run in the Italian countryside in the Tuscany area. If the picture doesn't make it I guess you'll just have to use your imagination!! Sat, 3 Oct 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Day 2]]> <p>Day 2<br /> <br /> Great day for a run. I was a little short on time so I took the route down College to Hamvasy back up Chilton then cut back over to College. Pretty quiet and peaceful run.<br /> <br /> Today we celebrated the feast of th Guardian Angels and I asked the people at 7 am mass if there angel had &quot;grown up&quot;. I think it&#39;s a good question for all of us to ponder because we probably need our guardian angels more now than ever. Isn&#39;t it a consoling thought to realize that the angels represent the will of God that we all share everlasting life with him.<br /> <br /> Godbless and have a great weekend.</p> Fri, 2 Oct 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Have a Beautiful October Day]]> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/SsYMkyWfMXI/AAAAAAAAAAw/amib5hwmwP0/s1600-h/Cathedral+Print.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 320px; height: 254px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_7Fq13_cwesU/SsYMkyWfMXI/AAAAAAAAAAw/amib5hwmwP0/s320/Cathedral+Print.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5388007830326292850" /></a> Fri, 2 Oct 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Have a Beautiful October Day]]> Fri, 2 Oct 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[Photo Finish]]> Thu, 1 Oct 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[DAY 1]]> Well gang I had a great run for my first official day. If you are one of my virtual companions you'll want to know that today we ran at the UT Tyler campus for 31 minutes. It had looked like rain earlier in the day but by about 4 pm it was clear to partly cloudy "with a chance of meatballs"!! We ran in and out of the nature trail that winds through the woods along university headed toward the main entrance to UT Tyler.<br /><br />It appeared that the UT baseball team was having a practice as we ran by the back of the baseball field. Occasionally I see criters as I run through the woods but it was pretty quiet today. I often reflect on the day as I run and visit with God along the way. God seems to share some of his best stuff while I'm "runnin' and sweatin' " I suppose Our Lord likes the idea that as I run I'm a bit more aware that every breath I take is a gift from Him. It has been a very busy and stressfull week but a good run always seems to help. God bless. I encourage you to get out there and exercise. Whatever form it takes exercise that gets the heart rate going is A GOOD THING. See you tomorrow for DAY 2. Thu, 1 Oct 2009 00:00:00 CST <![CDATA[First Attempt]]> <p>Well friends I suppose I&#39;ve entered the &quot;blogosphere.&quot; Is that a place where you breath &quot;blogxogen&quot;?<br /> <br /> I hope this Blog will be a companion to my little RunFatherRun.com effort.<br /> <br /> My plan is to give you a few tidbits now and then about how my running is going. The sites I see etc. etc.<br /> <br /> Had a good run today after a stressful day of phone calls, meetings etc. etc. The running seems to feel especially good after a rough day. Did you exercise today? Make sure you start tomorrow if you didn&#39;t.</p> Wed, 30 Sep 2009 00:00:00 CST