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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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Do all things for the glory of God

February 4, 2018
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley

Dear Brothers and Sisters In Christ,

You are a blessing to the Church in central and western Oklahoma!

A strong parish, a strong community and a strong personal faith commitment all contribute to a strong Archdiocese. Your support of the 2018 Annual Catholic Appeal can make the Church stronger as we journey together as missionary disciples.

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Catholic schools are a gift to share

January 21, 2018
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley

Each year, we set aside time to celebrate the unique value of Catholic schools during Catholic Schools Week. This year’s observance runs from Jan. 28 through Feb. 3 and will include local Masses, open houses and other activities for families, students, parishioners and community members.

During the year, I travel to every one of our Catholic schools for Mass and classroom visits, and try to schedule at least one visit during Catholic Schools Week. This year, the theme is “Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.”

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World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2018

January 7, 2018
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley

The mystery of the Cross already casts its shadow even as we are concluding the Christmas Season. Very soon after the birth of Jesus, Joseph was forced to flee with his young family because of the murderous threats of King Herod. The Holy Family made the treacherous journey to Egypt as migrants who sought asylum in a foreign land where they remained until it was safe for them to return (Mt 2:13-15).

The story of the Holy Family, the Chosen People, the experience of the Church and the history of our nation share this similar characteristic: we have been a people on the move, often finding ourselves strangers in a foreign land, a pilgrim people.

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Christmas is more than a day

December 24, 2017
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley

As I write, we are drawing near to the beautiful feast of Christ’s birth and the end of the calendar year, 2017. Many of you will not read this until after Christmas Day. But, Christmas is more than a day, so I want to take this opportunity to wish each of you a very blessed Christmas Season.

As the year draws to a close, I am remembering with gratitude the countless ordinary and extraordinary ways that the Lord has blessed our archdiocese this year.

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Jesus comes in history, mystery and glory

December 10, 2017
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley

The season of Advent prepares us to welcome Jesus Christ who comes in history, mystery and glory. What does that mean?

Jesus of Nazareth is an historical figure. He is not a myth. During these weeks of Advent leading to Christmas, most of our attention is focused on Jesus’ coming in history. More than 2,000 years ago Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem of Judea. The accounts of his birth are preserved in the Gospels. The word became flesh and dwelt among us. The Eternal Son of the Father truly became a human being. Jesus’ sojourn and saving mission among us began at a particular time and place. On Dec. 25, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Nativity, Jesus’ birth in history.

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