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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


A true compass

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.


La luz de Dios brilla a través de nosotros

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!


God’s light shines through us

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!


A homily for the annual MLK observance

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.”


Catholic Schools: Communities of faith, knowledge and service

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.