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NFP says ‘yes’ to God’s plan for married love

July 9, 2017

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley

Let’s face it; couples who embrace the practice of natural family planning (NFP) are counter-cultural. They are swimming against the tide. They bear witness to a value that has lost its luster in our society: the beauty and goodness of fertility. NFP couples recognize that fertility is neither a nuisance nor a curse, but a great blessing. It is not a disease to be treated and suppressed with chemicals, but a gift to be received with respect and reverence.

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We are all migrants on a journey 

June 25, 2017

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley

People have been on the move as long as human beings have inhabited the planet. Migration is a persistent phenomenon of human history.

Why are people on the move? Often people move from one place to another seeking security in time of war or political unrest or perhaps in search of food in times of famine, a livelihood in time of economic hardship brought on by any number of factors.

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A national conversation

June 11, 2017

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley

1917 was a momentous year in many ways. The world was already at war and the United States was entering the fray in the conflict that we know today as World War I. There was revolution in Russia and atheistic communism was gaining a foothold in that proud country. Our Lady appeared to three shepherd children at Fatima, Portugal, urging them to pray the Rosary for conversion and for peace.

In August, 1917, American bishops and representatives of 68 dioceses, 27 Catholic organizations and the Catholic press met in Washington, D.C. to coordinate their efforts in response to the considerable challenges of those times. That meeting in Washington eventually resulted in the organization that we know as the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

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Do not cling to me!

May 28, 2017

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley

On Sept. 23, we will celebrate the beatification of the Venerable Servant of God Father Stanley Francis Rother.

Since opening his cause for beatification and canonization in 2007, we faithfully have adhered to the rigorous protocols that govern every step leading to the official declaration that Father Rother is indeed worthy to be honored among the blessed in heaven.

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Fatima after one hundred years

May 14, 2017

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley

There are dates and events that are forever linked in our memories. If we are old enough, we remember precisely where we were when we heard or perhaps even felt the rumblings from the Murrah bombing on April 19, 1995. Similarly, I remember the moment when I heard that Saint John Paul II had been shot in Saint Peter’s Square on May 13, 1981. I recall vividly my shock and disbelief.

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May is Mary’s month

April 30, 2017

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley

“May is Mary’s month, and I muse at that and wonder why.” So begins Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem, “The May Magnificat.” It is good for us to wonder also. May crownings, Mother’s Day, the Feast of the Visitation and the abundance of springtime growth all remind us of Mary’s special association with this beautiful time of year.

During the month of May, all creation is bursting with beauty and new life. Perhaps here is the reason that Mary is so easily associated with this season of abundance. May is a reflection of the continuing fruitfulness of Mary’s virginal womb.

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Faithful shepherds

April 16, 2017

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley

Each year during Holy Week, priests serving in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, like priests everywhere, gather with one another and with their bishop for the Chrism Mass. It is during this solemn liturgy that the bishop blesses and consecrates the holy oils and sacred chrism that will be used during the year ahead in the celebration of the sacraments. It is during this Mass that priests reflect upon and renew their sacred priestly promises in the presence of the bishop and the gathered faithful.

This is a very important day for priests. It reminds us of what an awesome gift it is to share in the eternal priesthood of Jesus Christ. It brings to our attention the importance of our sacred duties and our communion with the bishop and with one another in the brotherhood of priests.

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Embrace unique value, importance of Saint Gregory’s University

April 2, 2017

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley

The following is the homily given by Archbishop Coakley for Mass on the occasion of the inauguration of Michael Scaperlanda as the 16th president of Saint Gregory’s University on March 21, 2017.

Abbot Lawrence, Archbishop Beltran, members of the monastic and university communities, my brother priests, deacons, consecrated women and men, friends and distinguished guests of Saint Gregory’s Abbey and University, my brothers and sisters in Christ, today we rejoice with Benedictines around the world as we celebrate the liturgical feast of the Transitus of Saint Benedict.

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Our Lenten journey

March 19, 2017

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley

Each year on Ash Wednesday, the entire Church embarks on its annual Lenten journey. We are already well into that journey now. Lent calls to mind the 40 days that Jesus spent in the desert following his Baptism in the Jordan at the outset of his public ministry. During those days, Jesus prayed, he fasted and he was put to the test. We enter these 40 days of Lent in the same spirit of prayer, penance and charity to prepare ourselves to celebrate, with mind and heart renewed, the saving mystery of our Redemption: the passion, death and resurrection of the Lord.

Lent leads us by stages to the celebration of the Sacred Triduum, beginning on Holy Thursday evening and culminating on Easter Sunday. These sacred days are the very heart and center of the Church’s liturgical calendar.

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Bearing one another’s burdens

March 5, 2017

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley

Recall the biblical story of suffering Job. When Job’s three friends heard of his afflictions they set out to visit him. But, when they arrived to console their friend “they sat down upon the ground with him seven days and seven nights, but none of them spoke a word to him; for they saw how great was his suffering” (Job 2:11-13).

How often in the face of profound suffering and anguish do we struggle to find the appropriate words to console and show our compassion for others. Sometimes just being present is enough. It’s certainly a good start. Simply a willingness to be with others in their suffering demonstrates our solidarity with them and assures them they are not bearing their burden alone. This is a profoundly human response in the face of suffering. It shows respect without attempting to minimize, demonize or explain away suffering.

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