March 1, 2017
From Mumbai to Monaco and from Los Angeles to Le Havre, beggars ply their trade in every major metropolis. Sprawled in front of stores and restaurants or standing guard at busy train stations, the poor and the destitute compete with those playing the part to win some monetary gift from passers-by. In New York City, there are nearly 4,000 individuals begging for assistance. Comparable numbers roam the streets of London, Lisbon and Rio de Janeiro. Today’s tourist or pilgrim to St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome cannot enter the safe embrace of Bernini’s colonnade without being approached by some mendicant with plaintive moans.
September 22, 2016
I want to take the opportunity at the beginning of a new academic year to write to you as your bishop. I am very proud that you have chosen to continue your pursuit of truth at the university level. The time spent in undergraduate and graduate studies is a time of growth and change. More than just providing you with the skills and knowledge necessary for whatever profession you choose, a college education forms you intellectually, assists you in discovering your personal identity and helps you grow into a mature individual who contributes to the common good.
February 11, 2016
With the keen eye of a pastor and the skillful pen of a journalist, G. Jeffrey MacDonald has offered an unusual critique of religion in America. In his book, Thieves in the Temple, he surveys many of the Protestant mega-churches dotting our religious landscape today. He notes that their worship services, while including traditional forms of Christian worship, place a high priority on entertainment. Even their church structures resemble a multiplex theater or mall.
January 28, 2016
For some time, I have wanted to write to you. I congratulate you on taking the path through higher studies to knowledge and wisdom. Whether you are moving toward a career in medicine, law or any other profession or whether you are seeking to learn a trade that serves the common good, all education is a gift.