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Family separation policy is immoral

June 24, 2018
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley

One of the memorable moments of the spring U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ General Assembly occurred during a discussion on immigration, migrants and refugees.

Regarding the recent extreme measure authorizing the separation of families who have crossed our southern border illegally, one bishop said the policy is symptomatic of a dangerous case of “cardiosclerosis,” a hardening of the heart.

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Is State Question 788 a good idea?

June 10, 2018
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley

On June 26, Oklahomans will go to the polls to vote on candidates and issues that will impact the quality of life of all for us here in the Sooner State. Among the ballot measures that we must address is State Question 788, which, if passed, will legalize medical marijuana for persons over 18 years of age. We would be wise to study this carefully.

The Catholic Church has a rich history of concern for the well-being of the whole person and fostering a more just society.

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Easy to take for granted

May 27, 2018
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley

All of us are creatures of habit. The habits we form become part of the daily rhythm of our lives. We may not even be aware of these habits until something disrupts our routine. Part of my morning routine is to grab the morning paper from the driveway before my first cup of coffee.

The day is off to a rocky start when, for one reason or another, the paper is delayed. Maybe I’m old school, but I like to spend time with the paper before starting my day. That’s not to say that I haven’t grown accustomed to using various smart devices or my laptop for accessing digital media or tuning in to my favorite radio stations for programming so I can stay connected.

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A new Pentecost

May 13, 2018
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley

Pentecost is the birthday of the Church. As I write this column in anticipation of Pentecost Sunday, I have been reflecting on the presence and power of the Holy Spirit who has been bringing forth such abundant fruit in the life of this local church. We have been blessed in so many ways!

On this great feast, which concludes the Easter Season, we celebrate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles and those disciples who had gathered in prayer after Jesus’ Ascension into heaven.

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Rejoice and be glad

April 29, 2018
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley

In Pope Francis’s recent and very approachable Apostolic Exhortation, “Gaudete et Exsultate” (Rejoice and Be Glad), the Holy Father reflects on the call to holiness in today’s world. But, it’s probably not what you think. It’s not a theoretical treatise. It’s a pastor’s reflection born out of lived experience. “My modest goal,” he writes, “is to repropose the call to holiness in a practical way for our own time.” It is very practical!

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A good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep

April 15, 2018
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley

“The shepherd cannot run at the first sign of danger.” Those of us who have become familiar with the life and witness of Blessed Stanley Rother immediately recognize those words. They were his words.

When his life was in danger, he made the conscious decision to remain with his flock. He laid down his life. Blessed Stanley made his own the words of Jesus that we hear in the Gospel for Good Shepherd Sunday.

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The prophetic vision of Blessed Paul VI

April 1, 2018
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Blessed Paul VI’s prophetic encyclical letter, “Humanae Vitae” (Of Human Life) published on July 25, 1968.

Pope Paul VI reminded Catholics and all people of good will that something as sacred as the transmission of human life cannot be cut loose from its moorings without grave consequences to individuals, marriages and families, and to society as a whole. The transmission of life and dignity of married love are integrally entwined. Both are sacred.

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Pray with me

March 18, 2018
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley

It has been nearly five years since the publication of my pastoral letter, “Go Make Disciples.” In that statement, I laid out a pastoral vision and three clear priorities for our archdiocese: the new evangelization, faith formation and Hispanic ministry.

The letter was the fruit of an in-depth process of listening sessions, focus groups, surveys and prayerful discernment. In seeking to align our efforts with what the Holy Spirit is saying to the Church in Oklahoma and the pastoral guidance of recent popes, we have been focusing on forming missionary disciples.

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In God we trust

March 4, 2018
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley

During the 1995 memorial service following the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City, the late great evangelist Billy Graham said, “The spirit of this city and nation will not be defeated. Our deeply rooted faith sustains us.” We characteristically turn to faith during times of crisis. It is what we do in Oklahoma.

In fact, a measure recently passed out of committee at the state legislature proposes the nation’s motto “In God We Trust” be posted in every classroom. At a time when our nation is experiencing tragedies with devastating frequency, why aren’t we turning to God to help shape our response to injustice and vulnerability?

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A season of new beginnings

February 18, 2018
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley

Each year, the Church offers us the season of Lent as a time of repentance and renewal. We began our Lenten journey last week on Ash Wednesday. Though not a Holy Day of Obligation, Ash Wednesday liturgies are among the most popular and well-attended of the whole year.

It resonates with a deep yearning and recognition within us. As we are signed with ashes, we are reminded of our own mortality. We come from dust and to dust we shall return.

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