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A personal Invitation

September 17, 2017

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

When I returned for my second year at Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md., everyone was talking about the death of Father Stanley Rother, an Oklahoma priest who had been killed at his mission parish in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala. He was a “Mount” alumnus. It was big news; in all of the newspapers. It captured my attention and fired my imagination. From that time on I have always been eager to learn all that I could about the life of this heroic parish priest.

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Racism is a sin

September 3, 2017

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley

It has been a few weeks since violent confrontations in Charlottesville, Va., drew our attention with renewed urgency to the troubling fact of racism in our society. These ugly events have been the latest manifestation of an age-old wound in our national consciousness caused by the sin of racism.

Racism is an attitude of mind and heart that rejects the fundamental equality of all human beings. This basic equality is rooted in our shared dignity as persons created in the image and likeness of God. We are members of the one human family. God is the Creator and Father of us all. We are brothers and sisters.

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Are you going?

August 20, 2017

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley

On Monday, Aug. 21, many Americans will witness an extremely rare astronomical phenomenon, a total solar eclipse. The sun will appear to be darkened for a time as the moon passes between the earth and the sun, casting its shadow over much of the earth’s surface. The last time such an event occurred across the whole of the contiguous United States was in 1918! Thousands of people will travel great distances to experience this extraordinary phenomenon.

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The Convocation of Catholic Leaders: an historic moment of grace

August 6, 2017

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley

After years of planning, more than 3,500 Catholics from across the United States gathered in Orlando from July 1-4 for an historic event. As an initiative of the American bishops, “The Convocation of Catholic Leaders: The Joy of the Gospel in America” brought together bishop-led delegations from around the country as well as other Catholic apostolates and movements to pray, reflect and engage in a crucial dialogue about the significant challenges and opportunities offered to the Church at this moment in our history.

Our archdiocesan delegation consisted of 14 dedicated participants who engaged with fellow Catholics by sharing perspectives, experiences and aspirations, and learning from each other.

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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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