Monsignor’s Message – Corpus Christi Sunday

Posted on Jun 15, 2017

This is a message from Msgr. Kieran Harrington, Vicar for Communications for the Diocese of Brooklyn that appears in The Tablet:

Corpus Christi Sunday is one of my favorite celebrations in the liturgical calendar. In a mystical way, at each Mass, we stand beside Christ at Calvary. Not all Christians share this belief. Baptists, Pentecostals, and non-denominational churches are all non-liturgical communities. These services are a mixture of scripture and preaching, prayer and praise. The charismatic nature of these worships is appealing to many. The focus is on the experience of the worshipper. Catholics, Orthodox churches, Lutherans, and Episcopalians all belong to liturgical communities. We all place an emphasis on Eucharistic celebrations. Our worships are very similar. Despite these similarities in worships, the theological differences are significant. By the laying of hands, our priests act in the person of Christ – the Head of the Church – and they represent for us the saving acts of Christ. The power of the words of our Lord manifested as His own Body and Blood upon the Altar. Saint Thomas Aquinas explained that even as the chemical composition is the same (accident), the underlying reality (substance) is now the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. How can we fail in gratitude to worship so great a mystery?

May God bless you,
Monsignor Kieran Harrington, V.E.

Pope Francis Letter To Young People

Posted on Jun 13, 2017

LETTER OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
TO YOUNG PEOPLE ON THE OCCASION OF THE PRESENTATION OF THE PREPARATORY DOCUMENT OF THE 15th ORDINARY GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS

My Dear Young People,

I am pleased to announce that in October 2018 a Synod of Bishops will take place to treat the topic: “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.” I wanted you to be the centre of attention, because you are in my heart. Today, the Preparatory Document is being presented, a document which I am also entrusting to you as your “compass” on this synodal journey.

I am reminded of the words which God spoke to Abraham: “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” (Gen 12.1). These words are now also addressed to you. They are words of a Father who invites you to “go”, to set out towards a future which is unknown but one which will surely lead to fulfilment, a future towards which He Himself accompanies you. I invite you to hear God’s voice resounding in your heart through the breath of the Holy Spirit.

When God said to Abram, “Go!”, what did he want to say? He certainly did not say to distance himself from his family or withdraw from the world. Abram received a compelling invitation, a challenge, to leave everything and go to a new land. What is this “new land” for us today, if not a more just and friendly society which you, young people, deeply desire and wish to build to the very ends of the earth?

But unfortunately, today, “Go!” also has a different meaning, namely, that of abuse of power, injustice and war. Many among you are subjected to the real threat of violence and forced to flee their native land. Their cry goes up to God, like that of Israel, when the people were enslaved and oppressed by Pharaoh (cf. Ex 2:23).

I would also remind you of the words that Jesus once said to the disciples who asked him:
“Teacher […] where are you staying?” He replied, “Come and see” (Jn 1:38). Jesus looks at you and invites you to go with him. Dear young people, have you noticed this look towards you? Have you heard this voice? Have you felt this urge to undertake this journey? I am sure that, despite the noise and confusion seemingly prevalent in the world, this call continues to resonate in the depths of your heart so as to open it to joy in its fullness. This will be possible to the extent that, even with professional guides, you will learn how to undertake a journey of discernment to discover God’s plan in your life. Even when the journey is uncertain and you fall, God, rich in mercy, will extend his hand to pick you up.

In Krakow, at the opening of the last World Youth Day, I asked you several times: “Can we change things?” And you shouted: “yes!”. That shout came from your young and youthful hearts, which do not tolerate injustice and cannot bow to a “throw-away culture” nor give in to the globalization of indifference. Listen to the cry arising from your inner selves! Even when you feel, like the prophet Jeremiah, the inexperience of youth, God encourages you to go where He sends you: “Do not be afraid, […], because I am with you to deliver you” (Jer 1:8).

A better world can be built also as a result of your efforts, your desire to change and your generosity. Do not be afraid to listen to the Spirit who proposes bold choices; do not delay when your conscience asks you to take risks in following the Master. The Church also wishes to listen to your voice, your sensitivities and your faith; even your doubts and your criticism. Make your voice heard, let it resonate in communities and let it be heard by your shepherds of souls. St. Benedict urged the abbots to consult, even the young, before any important decision, because “the Lord often reveals to the younger what is best.” (Rule of St. Benedict, III, 3).

Such is the case, even in the journey of this Synod. My brother bishops and I want even more to “work with you for your joy” (2 Cor 1:24). I entrust you to Mary of Nazareth, a young person like yourselves, whom God beheld lovingly, so she might take your hand and guide you to the joy of fully and generously responding to God’s call with the words: “Here I am” (cf. Lk 1:38).

With paternal affection,
FRANCIS

Given at the Vatican, 13 January 2017

Monsignor’s Message – Most Holy Trinity

Posted on Jun 7, 2017

This is a message from Msgr. Kieran Harrington, Vicar for Communications for the Diocese of Brooklyn that appears in The Tablet:

The Holy Trinity is a mystery and all mysteries elude our grasp. Just when we have an insight that leads to some understanding, deeper questions emerge. For me, what is central about the Trinity is relationships. We believe in one God. Yet, God is in relationship — God is Father, Son and Spirit. This relation is not a relationship of rivals, but of love. This love is not sterile, but generative. We human beings who are created in the image and likeness of our creator might consider, on this feast of the Most Holy Trinity, the quality of our relationships. Do our relationships give life or drain life? Are they manipulative or free? Do we become selfish or are we more selfless? On this feast day, perhaps we might consider how our relationships resemble or disfigure this image of the Trinity.

May God bless you,
Monsignor Kieran Harrington, V.E.

Monsignor’s Message – Feast of the Ascension

Posted on May 26, 2017

This is a message from Msgr. Kieran Harrington, Vicar for Communications for the Diocese of Brooklyn that appears in The Tablet:

The feast of the Ascension marks a moment of transition in time. In Lent and Easter we have celebrated the saving works of Christ. Now, the inspiration of the Holy Spirit assists us in understanding how the salvation won for us by Jesus is being worked out in the world and our lives. We are unafraid! Yet the devil remains determined to undermine faith by stoking flames of fear. The evil one deploys his weapons skillfully. The manipulation of religious faith to extremism and terrorism in order to spread fear is but one weapon in his arsenal. We have witnessed that most recently with a suicide bombing in England. So what is the response of a person of faith? It is the example of Pope Francis who traveled to Egypt despite the violence there against Christians, and walked amid the people to remind them to be courageous. Christ has indeed ascended to the Father, but He has not left us orphans. Indeed, He sent us a powerful Advocate: the Holy Spirit. We are convinced, and thus fearless that by His power, the Accuser Satan will be cast out! May God bless you.

May God bless you,
Monsignor Kieran Harrington, V.E.

Monsignor’s Message – The Passing of Bishop Thomas Daily

Posted on May 18, 2017

This is a message from Msgr. Kieran Harrington, Vicar for Communications for the Diocese of Brooklyn that appears in The Tablet:

This past week, we mourn the passing of Bishop Thomas Vose Daily, the sixth Bishop of Brooklyn. Bishop Daily displayed in his office a picture of himself as a young priest surrounded by poor children in Peru, while spending five years in the Missionary Society of St. James the Apostle. He told me this was his favorite picture. He was, in his heart, a missionary. When Bishop Daily left Palm Beach for Rockaway Beach, it said a lot about the man. As Bishop of Brooklyn, he loved to spend time in the Farragut Housing Projects, knocking on doors and inviting people to come back to the Church. He was committed to the dignity of every human life, and it is no wonder that each Saturday he could be found outside doors of abortion clinics praying for the women contemplating having an abortion. Bishop Daily was born into privilege. His family was wealthy and established. He preferred, however, to be with the poor and vulnerable because that is where Christ could be found. Rest in peace, Thomas Vose Daily, a priest and apostle of Jesus Christ.

May God bless you,
Monsignor Kieran Harrington, V.E.

Cardinal Tobin Calls for Solidarity With Immigrants in Keynote Speech

Posted on May 17, 2017
Cardinal Tobin at DeSales Media Group's World Communications Day conference

“Congress and the president could pass comprehensive immigration reform tomorrow if they wanted to,” Tobin said. “They could bring 12 million people out of the shadows if they wanted to.”

On May 17 in Brooklyn, Cardinal Joseph Tobin applied Pope Francis’ World Communications Day message of “communicating hope and trust in our time” to the plight of immigrants in the United States today.

Cardinal Tobin, the archbishop of Newark, NJ, made headlines in March when he accompanied Catalino Guerrero, a 59-year-old grandfather, to a deportation hearing. On Wednesday, in his keynote speech at the DeSales Media Group’s annual Catholic Media Conference, he talked about the message he was trying to convey by standing beside Guerrero.

“First, it put a face on people who are frequently dehumanized,” he said, referring to immigrants. “Secondly, it put a face on us and the call to solidarity.”

Accompanying Guerrero, he said, was a “symbol that communicated hope that the Church does not live in some ivory tower, that our faith has not been privatized, that the Church, the body of Christ, has a right to a voice in the public square.”

Without the solidarity of the brothers and sisters from a variety of faiths who stood up for Guerrero, Tobin said, he might have been taken away.

Tobin was critical of the news media, saying that they needed to resist engendering fear as a way of driving ratings and profits, but he saved his harshest criticism for the Trump administration.

“Congress and the president could pass comprehensive immigration reform tomorrow if they wanted to,” Tobin said. “They could bring 12 million people out of the shadows if they wanted to.”

He continued: “A person unbound by Christian charity would say that you really have to believe in inflicting cruelty on innocent people to choose to support the policies [on immigration] we’ve seen in recent months while possessing the power to change the law.”

Cardinal Tobin, who also received the St. Francis DeSales Distinguished Communicator Award from Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn, delivered his speech on a day dedicated to examining communication and the media from a Catholic perspective.

Howard Kurtz, Antonio Mora, Lauren Ashburn and Ray Suarez in Wednesday's media panel

From left, Howard Kurtz, Antonio Mora, Lauren Ashburn and Ray Suarez in Wednesday’s media panel.

Before his keynote, four national television reporters — Howard Kurtz, Ray Suarez, Lauren Ashburn and Antonio Mora — participated in a discussion of the state of their industry entitled “Fact or Fiction: Journalism’s Last Stand?”

In a wide-ranging discussion, the panelists talked about the political polarization of the American public; the blurring of lines between news, opinion and entertainment; the obligations of the media and their audience; the lack of public confidence in the media; and what to do when opposite sides of the political spectrum can’t even seem to agree on the facts.

Early in the discussion, Suarez posed this question to his colleagues: “How are we doing?”

“In a word, lousy,” Kurtz responded. “There’s a credibility crisis fueled in part by a lot of self-inflicted wounds.” He talked about news organizations’ allowing bias to creep into news coverage, about reporters’ motivation to stand out on social media with snark and personality, and about an unwillingness for news organizations to own up to their mistakes.

While the journalists on the panel were certainly self-critical, they also pointed out that some of the change in discourse was due to their audience. Mora said research has shown that the American news consumer is not that interested in international news, not that interested in serious local news, not that interested in civil discourse.

Social media was seen by the panelists as both part of the problem and part of the solution. Everyone can have a voice, Kurtz said, but that can make it hard for news consumers to assess credibility.

Ashburn said it was the media’s responsibility to deliver facts and balanced perspective, and the audience’s responsibility to seek the truth. Social media is one way they can find it, she said, pointing out the Pope’s millions of Twitter followers.

“I challenge the audience to find new ways of understanding and interpreting the news,” she said, “and they’re out there.”

The afternoon was dedicated to a screening of “Sacred,” a documentary that captures milestones of spiritual life across religions and around the world, and a panel discussion with the filmmakers, Thomas Lennon, Dr. William Baker, and Julie Anderson. Tim Glemkowski, a national Catholic speaker and evangelist, moderated the discussion. He also delivered the day’s opening talk and served as emcee.

The day began with an introduction by Rev. Monsignor Kieran Harrington, the Vicar for Communications for the Diocese of Brooklyn, and an original song, “Fear Not,” performed by Christian hip-hop artist Kei-Landa. (You can download it here.)

 

 

Cardinal Tobin to Address Church’s Support for Immigrants

Posted on May 16, 2017

Joseph William Cardinal Tobin, Archbishop of Newark, will address the Church’s support for immigrants in his keynote address at the DeSales Media Group’s World Communications Day Catholic Media Conference on Wednesday.

Cardinal Tobin, a champion of immigrant rights, made news recently when he accompanied a 59-year-old grandfather facing deportation to federal court.

“A person unbound by Christian charity would say that you really have to believe in inflicting cruelty on innocent people to choose to support the policies [on immigration] we’ve seen in recent months while possessing the power to change the law,” Cardinal Tobin said.

A live stream from the conference will begin at WCDnyc.org at 10:45am. Read the complete press release from the Diocese of Brooklyn here.

Pope Francis Canonizes Two Shepherd Children in Front of Huge Crowds at Fatima

Posted on May 13, 2017

As Pope Francis celebrated Saturday’s canonization Mass at the Shrine of Fatima in front of more than half a million people, the DeSales Media Group was up early to cover the historic event.

“We declare and define Blessed Francisco Marto and Blessed Jacinta Marto as saints,” Pope Francis said.

He focused on Mary’s message and example as much as the appartition.

“The Virgin Mother did not come here so that we could see her,” he said in his homily. “We will have all eternity for that, provided, of course, that we go to heaven. Our Lady foretold, and warned us about, a way of life that is godless and indeed profanes God in his creatures … Mary came to remind us that God’s light dwells within us and protects us.”

DeSales coverage of the Mass included live video on NET TV with commentary by Ed Wilkinson, editor of The Tablet, and Liz Fabulas, anchor of Currents. Our journalists and outlets also brought real-time quotes and images, some of which you can see below, to their audiences via social media.

Follow us on social media and our websites for more coverage of this historic visit.

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Pope Francis Fatima Homily

Posted on May 13, 2017

(Vatican Radio) The highlight of Pope Francis’ apostolic visit to Fatima is the canonization Mass this Saturday morning, during which the two shepherd children, Blessed Francisco and Blessed Giacinta are being to the sainthood.

During his homily the Pope said, “we can take as our examples Saint Francisco and Saint Jacinta, whom the Virgin Mary introduced into the immense ocean of God’s light and taught to adore him.”

Below find the English translation of the Pope’s Homily

Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis

Holy Mass, Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima

13 May 2017

“[There] appeared in heaven a woman clothed with the sun”.  So the seer of Patmos tells us in the Book of Revelation (12:1), adding that she was about to give birth to a son.  Then, in the Gospel, we hear Jesus say to his disciple, “Here is your mother” (Jn 19:27).  We have a Mother!  “So beautiful a Lady”, as the seers of Fatima said to one another as they returned home on that blessed day of 13 March a hundred years ago.  That evening, Jacinta could not restrain herself and told the secret to her mother: “Today I saw Our Lady”.  They had seen the Mother of Heaven.  Many others sought to share that vision, but… they did not see her.  The Virgin Mother did not come here so that we could see her.  We will have all eternity for that, provided, of course, that we go to heaven.

Our Lady foretold, and warned us about, a way of life that is godless and indeed profanes God in his creatures.  Such a life – frequently proposed and imposed – risks leading to hell.  Mary came to remind us that God’s light dwells within us and protects us, for, as we heard in the first reading, “the child [of the woman] was snatched away and taken to God” (Rev 12:5).  In Lucia’s account, the three chosen children found themselves surrounded by God’s light as it radiated from Our Lady.  She enveloped them in the mantle of Light that God had given her.  According to the belief and experience of many pilgrims, if not of all, Fatima is more than anything this mantle of Light that protects us, here as in almost no other place on earth.  We need but take refuge under the protection of the Virgin Mary and to ask her, as the Salve Regina teaches: “show unto us… Jesus”.

Dear pilgrims, we have a Mother. Clinging to her like children, we live in the hope that rests on Jesus.  As we heard in the second reading, “those who receive the abundance of the grace and the free gift of righteousness exercise dominion in life through the one man, Jesus Christ” (Rom 5:17).  When Jesus ascended to heaven, he brought to the Heavenly Father our humanity, which he assumed in the womb of the Virgin Mary and will never forsake.  Like an anchor, let us fix our hope on that humanity, seated in heaven at the right hand of the Father (cf. Eph 2:6).  May this hope guide our lives!  It is a hope that sustains us always, to our dying breath.

Confirmed in this hope, we have gathered here to give thanks for the countless graces bestowed over these past hundred years.  All of them passed beneath the mantle of light that Our Lady has spread over the four corners of the earth, beginning with this land of Portugal, so rich in hope.  We can take as our examples Saint Francisco and Saint Jacinta, whom the Virgin Mary introduced into the immense ocean of God’s light and taught to adore him.  That was the source of their strength in overcoming opposition and suffering.  God’s presence became constant in their lives, as is evident from their insistent prayers for sinners and their desire to remain ever near “the hidden Jesus” in the tabernacle.

In her Memoirs (III, 6), Sister Lucia quotes Jacinta who had just been granted a vision: “Do you not see all those streets, all those paths and fields full of people crying out for food, yet have nothing to eat?  And the Holy Father in a church, praying before the Immaculate Heart of Mary?  And all those people praying with him?”  Thank you, brothers and sisters, for being here with me!  I could not fail to come here to venerate the Virgin Mary and to entrust to her all her sons and daughters. Under her mantle they are not lost; from her embrace will come the hope and the peace that they require, and that I implore for all my brothers and sisters in baptism and in our human family, especially the sick and the disabled, prisoners and the unemployed, the poor and the abandoned.  Dear brothers and sisters, let us pray to God with the hope that others will hear us; and let us speak to others with the certainty that God will help us.

Indeed, God created us to be a source of hope for others, a true and attainable hope, in accordance with each person’s state of life.  In “asking” and “demanding” of each of us the fulfillment of the duties of our proper state (Letters of Sister Lucia, 28 February 1943), God effects a general mobilization against the indifference that chills the heart and worsens our myopia.  We do not want to be a stillborn hope!  Life can survive only because of the generosity of other lives.  “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (Jn 12:24).  The Lord, who always goes before us, said this and did this.  Whenever we experience the cross, he has already experienced it before us.  We do not mount the cross to find Jesus.  Instead it was he who, in his self-abasement, descended even to the cross, in order to find us, to dispel the darkness of evil within us, and to bring us back to the light.

With Mary’s protection, may we be for our world sentinels of the dawn, contemplating the true face of Jesus the Saviour, resplendent at Easter.  Thus may we rediscover the young and beautiful face of the Church, which shines forth when she is missionary, welcoming, free, faithful, poor in means and rich in love.

DeSales Offers Extensive Live Coverage as Pope Visits Fatima

Posted on May 12, 2017

Huge crowds greeted Pope Francis on his trip to the Shrine of Fatima in Portugal on Friday, and DeSales Media Group again brought live coverage across platforms to its readers and viewers.

Just two weeks after the Pope’s trip to Egypt, he is visiting Fatima to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Mary’s apparition to three shepherd children there. On Saturday, Pope Francis will canonize two of the three, Blessed Jacinta Marto and her brother Blessed Francisco Marto.

At Fatima on Friday, Pope Francis led a crowd of thousands in prayer, including a recitation of the rosary and the Hail Mary. NET TV brought viewers live coverage of the Pope’s visit, including commentary by Ed Wilkinson, editor of The Tablet, and Liz Fabulas, host of Currents, and provided up-to-the-minute reports via social media.

Tune in early on Saturday as the Pope celebrates a huge open-air Mass to declare the two shepherd children saints.

Follow us on social media and our websites to stay up to date on this historic visit.

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