Category Archives: Reflections

Celebrating the Lenten Season

Rite of Election TweetLent is always a time for reflection on the year past. More than Advent, which begins the new church year and embraces preparation for the Incarnate God, Lent challenges us to prepare for the Salvific God, the Paschal Lamb, the Risen Christ.

With its acts of fasting, charity and prayer, Lent is a time for spiritual “exercise”… yet, it’s also a time to reflect on how we celebrate those who have made the decision to embrace the faith. I found this year’s Rite of Election at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception to be an awesome celebration of all that Lent prepares us for. Standing by so many Catechumens from throughout our diocese confirmed for me that we, as Catholic Christians, have much to celebrate!

As we continue our Lenten journey towards Holy Week and Easter, let us celebrate the a season that provides such tangible rites as these that connect us to the earliest Christian Church!

A wider, deeper appreciation for contemplation

Not often do like-minded souls benefit from the opportunity to gather in the relaxed surroundings of a small, rural religious community and “sip the nectar of wisdom” from Benedictine Sr. Donald Corcharan. This past

IMG_0983.JPGweekend, we did just that, as Sr. Donald offered reflections on Thomas Merton and the spiritual journey: a celebration of his life and work, in honor of the 100th anniversary of his birth.

The setting for the day-long conference/retreat was Transfiguration Monastery in Windsor, NY. The seating at the Guest House conference room was comfortable, the lunch hospitality simple and delicious, and the exchange of ideas, stories and experiences about this giant of a 20th century theologian, author and contemplative enough to engage any person seeking to know more about Merton.

The session will be repeated this coming Saturday, November 29th. Check the Monastery’s blog for more information:

Coming up for the Advent Season: Creating Sacred Spaces

The Face of War

In the Aleppo souq, inside the ancient old walls of the city, four children enter an apartment with their mother.

In the Aleppo souq, inside the ancient old walls of the city, four children enter an apartment with their mother.

Our time in Syria, spring of 2011 was, without a second thought, an unequaled exploration of country, culture, religions and people. The Syrian people… welcoming, ever-inquisitive, generous… revealed to us the true face of this nation.  Daily as I reflect back, I see those faces knowing that they are the face of this war; a war dubbed a civil war… a war that illustrates the inhumanity of man and the cold, cruel heart of a regime desperate to maintain power.

Today, on the eve of Pope Francis’ worldwide appeal for a day dedicated to peace in Syria, I ask all to join us:

Next Saturday [September 7, 2013] we will live together a special day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, in the Middle East, and in the whole world. Also for peace in our hearts, because peace begins in the heart! I renew the invitation to the whole Church to live this day intensely and, right now, I express my gratitude to the other Christian brothers, to the brothers of other religions and to men and women of good will who wish to join us, in the places and ways proper to them, for this moment. I exhort in particular the Roman faithful and pilgrims to participate in the Vigil of Prayer here, in St. Peter’s Square, at 7:00 pm to invoke from the Lord the great gift of peace. May the cry for peace be raised strongly throughout the earth!

(Pope Francis, in Rome at the conclusion of his General Audience 4 Wed 2013.)

For more information on the 7 SEP 2013 Day of Prayer & Fasting for Peace , follow this link:  On the Plea for Peace | ZENIT – The World Seen From Rome

Also, considering acting in accord with Pax Christi:  Advocate and act to stop military intervention in Syria! or on Twitter via #constantcontact.

Finally, from Bishop Cunningham, a pdf containing additional information:  Day of Fasting and Prayer

(Photo Credit:  My wife, Linda, snapped this photo in the alley way as we walked backed to our small hotel in the Aleppo Souq. The children paused for just a moment when we greeted them.  As a woman, Linda’s ability to capture an image like this was possible. The Arab women often turned away from my camera.)

My Reverie With God

Our friend Dennis has been working toward his Masters in Theology now for several years. Each time we get together, our exchanges about “all things of faith” are truly moments of kindred souls that I’d be pressed to put into words. And yet, that’s just what Dennis has done in the several years.


Beginning in the fall of 2009, he began to craft one-page “arguments” on a topic of theological or spiritual interest. Each one received a rigorous wordsmith treatment… honing the ideas into succint thoughts encapsulated in tight sentences bursting with thought.

When I suggested that he begin a blog with his statements of faith, he quizzed me about the “why” and “how”. Yet, after a short period of deliberation, he agreed that a blog might just be the vehicle to convey these to a broader audience. And so, the birth of My Reverie With God.

Dennis has now posted nearly 100 “reveries”, from “Christ is a Conservative” to We May Stumble. Each is worth a thoughtful visit.

I have called you friends…

Five men… a single calling: to serve God and His church through “tasks of practical charity”.  And so we welcome these five men who have answered that call — “welcome, brothers!”


“I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another.”

Robert Burke, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Syracuse
Dare Dutter, Holy Cross, DeWitt
Paul Lehmann, St. Mary, Hamilton
David Losito, St. Margaret, Mattydale
Mark Shiner, Newman Center at Colgate Univ, Hamilton

What is wrong with the world today?

The scriptures for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time describe the End Times, and yet the eschatology of both the prophet Malachi and Gospel author Luke provide an important insight into our preoccupation… our “distraction” with the cataclysmic events in the world.  Instead of focusing on our own sinful ways and being true to Christ’s teachings, we are in Paul’s words from the 2nd Letter to the Thessalonians:  “conducting themselves among you in a
disorderly way,
 by not keeping busy but minding the business of others.

Listen to Dc. Tim’s homily at

In our prayers…

As men of faith, we unite in prayer each day:  Morning, Evening & Night to pray the Liturgy of the Hours, the sacred prayer of the church.  Especially at those times we remember those who are in need:  for healing, guidance, courage in the face of life’s challenges, and of course, those departed and no longer with us.

We believe that our prayers are both heard… and acted upon by our gracious and loving God.  Yet we know that often the answer to the prayer requests may be answered in ways that we neither expect, nor necessarily understand.  Truly, our prayers are in God’s hands!

Join us in adding your requests to our daily prayers:  our deacons will receive your Prayer Request and pray on your behalf for the next 30 days. It’s very easy to make a request… it will take you but a moment.  Then it’s in our helping hands and His.  Here’s the link:

God Bless!