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 Wednesday 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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Monsignor’s Message – Mother’s Day

Posted on May 10, 2017

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

This Sunday is Mother’s Day. It is our parish custom to give a rose to all the women who are mothers or mother figures at the Masses. One year, we ran out of roses. Displayed prominently in the sanctuary was an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and it was surrounded by bouquets of roses. I took some of the roses surrounding the image and gave them to the women who remained without a rose to take home. Mary would deny nothing to her daughters. The following year, we gave flowers to everyone entering the church. At the offertory, everyone was asked to bring up a rose and place it before Mary. On Mother’s Day, many mourn that they have never had the opportunity to be mothers; children mourn mothers who have died, and sadly it is sometimes mothers who mourn their lost children. Some people are angry due to their mothers’ shortcomings; all mothers consider the ways in which they may have failed. So this Mother’s Day, let us honor Mary, our heavenly mother and her daughters, for whom she would give everything – even her own Son.

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

Monsignor’s Message – The Month of Mary

Posted on May 3, 2017

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

All humanity traces its origin to Eve. Saint John speaks of Mary as the new Eve. It was through Eve that we have life but through Mary’s offspring that we have life eternal. It is appropriate that this month of May be dedicated to Mary Mother of God. Mary is the moon who reflects the light of Christ, her sun. There would be no life without the Son and no Son without the mother. In the incarnation, the Almighty chose humility and became a creature. God becomes vulnerable to His creation and this reaches its climax when we chose to reject God’s Son by sinning and crucify Him. Yet the Lord is never undone in mercy, for even as He hung upon the cross, Christ bequeathed to you and me His most intimate relationships. We will share in His life. Mary becomes our Mother and we are called to honor her. For by His Cross and Resurrection He has redeemed His creation, and she who never betrayed her Creator reigns with Him in heaven as our Queen. May God bless you.

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

Papal Visit, and DeSales Coverage, Continues With Mass in Cairo

Posted on Apr 29, 2017

DeSales Media Group’s coverage of the papal visit to Egypt continued early this morning as Pope Francis celebrated Mass in a stadium in Cairo.

“Religiosity means nothing unless it is inspired by deep faith and charity,” Pope Francis said at the service, which drew about 15,000 people. “True faith is one that makes us more charitable, more merciful, more honest and more humane.”

DeSales coverage of the trip has included live video on NET TV with commentary by Ed Wilkinson, editor of The Tablet, and Liz Fabulas, host of Currents. Our journalists and outlets have been bringing real-time quotes and images to their audiences via social media.

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Pope Francis In Egypt: Homily At Sat AM Mass

Posted on Apr 29, 2017

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis was the principal celebrant and homilist at Mass for Egyptian Catholics in the “Air Defense Stadium” in Cairo on Saturday, April 29, 2017. Below, please find the full text of the Holy Father’s prepared remarks, in their official English translation from Vatican Radio.

***********************************

Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis
Holy Mass, Cairo
29 April 2017

As-salamu alaykum!   Peace be with you!

Today’s Gospel of the third Sunday of Easter speaks to us of the journey to Emmaus of the two disciples who set out from Jerusalem.  It can be summed up in three words: death, resurrection and life.

Death.  The two disciples are returning, full of despair and disappointment, to life as usual.  The Master is dead and thus it is pointless to hope.  They feel disappointment and despair.  Theirs is a journey of return, as they leave behind the painful experience of Jesus’ crucifixion.  The crisis of the cross, indeed the “scandal” and “foolishness” of the cross (cf. 1 Cor 1:18, 2:2), seems to have buried any hope they had.  The one on whom they had built their lives is dead; in his defeat, he brought all their aspirations with him to the tomb.

They could not believe that their Master and Saviour, who had raised others from the dead and healed the sick, would end up hanging on the cross of shame.  They could not understand why Almighty God had not saved him from such a disgraceful death.  The cross of Christ was the cross of their own ideas about God; the death of Christ was the death of what they thought God to be.  But in fact, it was they who were dead, buried in the tomb of their limited understanding.

How often do we paralyze ourselves by refusing to transcend our own ideas of God, a god created in the image and likeness of man!  How often do we despair by refusing to believe that God’s omnipotence is not one of power and authority, but rather of love, forgiveness and life!

The disciples recognized Jesus in the “breaking of the bread”, in the Eucharist.  Unless we tear apart the veil clouding our vision and shatter the hardness of our hearts and our prejudices, we will never be able to recognize the face of God.

Resurrection.  In the gloom of their darkest night, at the moment of their greatest despair, Jesus approaches the two disciples and walks at their side, to make them see that he is “the Way, and the Truth and the Life” (Jn 14:6).  Jesus turns their despair into life, for when human hope vanishes, divine hope begins to shine in its place.  “What is impossible with men is possible with God” (Lk 18:27; cf. 1:37).  When we reach the depths of failure and helplessness, when we rid ourselves of the illusion that we are the best, sufficient unto ourselves and the centre of our world, then God reaches out to us to turn our night into dawn, our affliction into joy, our death into resurrection.  He turns our steps back to Jerusalem, back to life and to the victory of the Cross (cf. Heb 11:34).

After meeting the Risen Lord, the two disciples returned filled with joy, confidence and enthusiasm, ready to bear witness.  The Risen One made them rise from the tomb of their unbelief and their sorrow.  Encountering the Lord, crucified and risen, they discovered the meaning and fulfilment of the whole of Scripture, the Law and the Prophets.  They discovered the meaning of the apparent defeat of the cross.

Those who do not pass from the experience of the cross to the truth of the resurrection condemn themselves to despair!  For we cannot encounter God without first crucifying our narrow notions of a god who reflects only our own understanding of omnipotence and power.

Life.  The encounter with the Risen Jesus transformed the lives of those two disciples because meeting the Risen One transforms every life, and makes fruitful what is barren (cf. BENEDICT XVI, General Audience, 11 April 2007).  Faith in the resurrection is not a product of the Church, but the Church herself is born of faith in the resurrection.  As Saint Paul says: “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain” (1 Cor 15:14).

The Risen Lord vanished from the sight of the disciples in order to teach us that we cannot hold on to Jesus as he appeared in history: “Blessed are those who believe and yet have not seen” (Jn 21:29; cf. 20:17).  The Church needs to know and believe that Jesus lives within her and gives her life in the Eucharist, the scriptures and the sacraments.  The disciples on the way to Emmaus realized this, and returned to Jerusalem in order to share their experience with the others: “We have seen the Risen One… Yes, he is truly risen!” (cf. Lk 24:32).

The experience of the disciples on the way to Emmaus teaches us that it is of no use to fill our places of worship if our hearts are empty of the fear of God and of his presence.  It is of no use to pray if our prayer to God does not turn into love for our brothers and sisters.  All our religiosity means nothing unless it is inspired by deep faith and charity.  It is of no use to be concerned about our image, since God looks at the soul and the heart (cf. 1 Sam 16:7) and he detests hypocrisy (cf. Lk 11:37-54; Acts 5:3, 4)[1].  For God, it is better not to believe than to be a false believer, a hypocrite!

True faith is one that makes us more charitable, more merciful, more honest and more humane.  It moves our hearts to love everyone without counting the cost, without distinction and without preference.  It makes us see the other not as an enemy to be overcome, but a brother or sister to be loved, served and helped.  It spurs us on to spread, defend and live out the culture of encounter, dialogue, respect and fraternity.  It gives us the courage to forgive those who have wronged us, to extend a hand to the fallen, to clothe the naked, to feed the hungry, to visit the imprisoned, to help orphans, to give drink to those who thirst, and to come to the aid of the elderly and those in need (cf. Mt 25).  True faith leads us to protect the rights of others with the same zeal and enthusiasm with which we defend our own.  Indeed, the more we grow in faith and knowledge, the more we grow in humility and in the awareness of our littleness.

Dear brothers and sisters,

God is pleased only by a faith that is proclaimed by our lives, for the only fanaticism believers can have is that of charity!  Any other fanaticism does not come from God and is not pleasing to him!

So now, like the disciples of Emmaus, filled with joy, courage and faith, return to your own Jerusalem, that is, to your daily lives, your families, your work and your beloved country.  Do not be afraid to open your hearts to the light of the Risen Lord, and let him transform your uncertainty into a positive force for yourselves and for others.  Do not be afraid to love everyone, friends and enemies alike, because the strength and treasure of the believer lies in a life of love!

May Our Lady and the Holy Family, who dwelt in this venerable land of yours, enlighten our hearts and bless you and this beloved country of Egypt, which at the dawn of Christianity welcomed the preaching of Saint Mark, and throughout its history has brought forth so many martyrs and a great multitude of holy men and women.

Al Masih qam!  Bi-l-haqiqa qam!

Christ is risen!  He is truly risen!


[1] Saint Ephraim exclaims: “Just tear off the mask that covers the hypocrite and you will see only corruption” (Sermon). “Woe to them that are of a double heart”, says Ecclesiasticus (2:14, Vulg).