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.
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.
February 19, 2017
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley
A few weeks ago, I “shared” a Facebook post. It was a brief pastoral statement issued by the president and vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Cardinal DiNardo and Archbishop Gomez offered a joint message as bishops in response to President Trump’s recent executive order on refugees. The Facebook comments were so harsh and divisive that I quickly removed the post. It was painful to be reminded of how difficult it often is to engage in civil discourse without resorting to name calling and imputing motives to others.
The joint message of these two bishops was not subversive, except in the way that the Gospel is subversive to conventional thinking. Speaking about the experience of the millions of refugees fleeing their homes in the Middle East and other troubled parts of the world they said, “Our desire is not to enter the political arena, but rather to proclaim Christ alive in the world today. In the very moment a family abandons their home under the threat of death, Jesus is present. And he says to each of us, ‘whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me’ (Mt 25:40).” These are truths of our faith. These are truths of which we need to be reminded.
Reverendísimo Pablo S. Coakley
5 de febrero, 2017
Como pueden ver, gran parte de este número de la publicación "Sooner Catholic" está dedicada a nuestra Campaña Católica Anual. Espero que usted lea cada sección y considere como "La Luz de Dios Brilla a Través de Nosotros" de manera tan bella cuando actuamos juntos como miembros del único Cuerpo de Cristo.
A estas alturas, cada uno de ustedes debería haber recibido información sobre la solicitud de este año y los muchos ministerios y servicios vitales que este compromiso anual hace posible a través de las 108 parroquias y misiones que componen la Arquidiócesis de Oklahoma City. ¡Estamos todos unidos en esto!
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley February 5, 2017
As you see, much of this current issue of the Sooner Catholic is dedicated to our Annual Catholic Appeal. I hope you will read each feature and consider how beautifully “God’s Light Shines Through Us” when we act together as members of the one Body of Christ.
By now, each of you should have received information about this year’s appeal and the many life-affirming ministries and services that this annual commitment makes possible across all 108 parishes and missions that comprise the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. We are all in this together!
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley January 22, 2017
Delivered at Corpus Christi Church
Jan. 14, 2017
This Sunday marks the return of the liturgical season we call Ordinary Time. In today’s Gospel (Jn. 1:29-34), we are introduced to John the Baptist. In the Fourth Gospel, John’s primary mission is to give testimony to Jesus: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” “He is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.”
A witness testifies to the truth based on personal experiences of that truth. In some mysterious fashion, God had revealed to John that the one upon whom he saw the Spirit descend is God’s chosen and anointed One. The very reason John was sent to baptize with water was ultimately to make known to Israel the One that God would send to baptize with the Holy Spirit. And, so he bears witness: “Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley January 8, 2017
If you periodically scan my calendar in the Sooner Catholic, you might notice that I spend a lot of time visiting our Catholic schools. It’s a priority for me. Every year, I make it a point to travel to each of our 21 Catholic elementary and secondary schools around the archdiocese.
Among these, we have two high schools, 18 elementary schools and one school for children on the autistic spectrum. I am proud of each of these institutions. Each represents a shared commitment among parents, pastors, administrators, faculty and staff, the parishes and the archdiocese. In the fall, we will welcome another Catholic high school, Cristo Rey Oklahoma City Catholic High School. Though not part of the archdiocesan system, it will provide a unique opportunity for more families to experience the benefit of Catholic secondary education.
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley December 25, 2016
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As I write this message, we are drawing very near to the beautiful feast of Christ’s birth. I want to take this opportunity to wish each of you a very blessed Christmas season.
This time of year is filled with many celebrations and customs, which we observe with family, friends and loved ones. It is an especially rich time of year to celebrate with fellow believers. The liturgical celebrations of Christmas help us gaze more deeply into the wonder and mystery of the Incarnation.
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley Dec. 11, 2016
On Friday, Dec. 2, we received the long awaited news that Pope Francis had declared Father Stanley Rother, Oklahoma priest and missionary, a martyr of the Catholic Church. This official announcement paves the way for his eventual beatification, sometime in 2017, after which he will be known as Blessed Stanley Francis Rother. Once beatified, his name will be included in the Roman martyrology, the official list of saints and blesseds of the Catholic Church.
Though this news surely has been received with tremendous rejoicing here in Oklahoma, it is a gift and blessing for our whole country and for the universal Church.
Born in Okarche in 1935, ordained a priest in Oklahoma City in 1963, Father Rother eventually volunteered to serve the Oklahoma mission in Guatemala. He spent the remainder of his life, from 1968 until his death in 1981, ministering to his flock in the remote villages of Santiago Atitlan and Cerro de Oro along the shores of beautiful Lake Atitlan. Father Rother, or Padre Aplas as he was known to his Mayan parishioners, was murdered in his rectory at the parish church of Santiago Apostol on the night of July 28, 1981.
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley November 27, 2016
This is not the column I expected to write this week. Truth be told I expected to be writing about the prospects and challenges of a Clinton presidency. It would have been a notable first for the country had we elected our first woman president. That will have to wait. On the other hand, there would certainly have been many very serious concerns: the HHS mandate, same-sex marriage and transgenderism would have secured another powerful and influential advocate in the White House. Foremost in my mind was concern for the type of Supreme Court nominees that a President Hillary Clinton would almost certainly have proposed to the Senate. There would be little or no hope of turning back the expansion of abortion access for the next few decades.