Tag Archives: charity

The Best Lenten Season Ever!

THE SECRET TO A GREAT LENT

When a helping hand is “giving alms” – a selfless gesture of true generosity.

How Can I Make My Lenten Resolutions Truly Meaningful?

On our Lenten Journey we are called to fast, pray and give alms in preparation for Our Lord’s Passion, Death and Resurrection. Fasting, praying and almsgiving… we know what they mean, or do we? This Lent, I’ve challenged myself to move beyond conventional thinking about the Lenten season and consider the “secret” of having the best Lenten season ever. It’s something that is before each of us all the time, yet it’s incredibly easy to loose sight of.

The Forgotten Partner

Fr. Anthony Giambrone feels that almsgiving is the forgotten partner in our Lenten resolutions. He writes that “Works of mercy hold the key, for they animate our acts with love.” He concludes by saying that “Charity is the supernatural secret of this season.” But where do we find this CHARITY? And how do we make ACTS OF MERCY bring our love into our actions for others?

The Secret is Generosity

St. Gregory of Nazianzen writes: “Resolve to imitate God’s generosity, and no one will be poor. Let us not labor to heap up and hoard riches while others remain in need. Is it not God who asks you now in your turn to show yourself generous above all other creatures? Because we have received from him so many wonderful gifts, will we not be ashamed to refuse him this one thing only, our generosity?”

Photo Credit:  Colleen McNerney

The secret then, is GENEROSITY in giving of ourselves, just as God has given everything to us. Far more than our monetary resources, true generosity demands the love and mercy of the Father, who showed his generosity in the gift of Christ Jesus… incarnate. One who knows us, loves us and sacrificed himself for us. Can we truly be any less generous?

(Deacon Tim McNerney, at The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C.)

Joyfully Proclaiming the Cross of Jesus Christ

Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano

Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano

In the run-up to this year’s Clergy Convocation at the Edgewood Resort and Conference Center in Alexandria Bay, NY, I was considering the title of Bishop Caggiano’s presentation: “We Are Called to Joyfully Proclaim the Cross of Jesus Christ”. Recalling an encounter with another presentation on the Cross at the Oblate Seminary and College in San Antonio, TX, I was moved by Richard Rohr’s insightful lecture on the contradiction of the Cross and left to wondering if another presentation on the Cross of Christ Jesus was indeed something I needed. How wrong I was!

In his opening remarks on Monday evening, September 15, 2014, this remarkably insightful Bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut challenged the nearly 150 priests and deacons in attendance to refocus, look beneath the surface at the roots of our faith, consider the Holy Scriptures and to ask the hard questions. In the end, he said, “Everything that we do, everything we are as clergy rises and falls at the Cross of Jesus Christ.”

Providing ample time for dialogue as well as thoughtful reflection, Bishop Caggiano presented concise, insightful and actionable comments on our call “to be covered by the dust of the rabbi’s sandals… called by sure grace… sure and uncertain love, to receive the gift of joy“.

With the Bishop’s permission, I have attached a 2-page pdf with my notes of his presentation. They are in no way complete or authoritative, and they miss the richness of his address punctuated by personal anecdotes and meaningful side notes from Mother Theresa, Pope Francis and others.

My hope is that in some small way, our fellow laborers in the vineyard will have cause to reconsider our mission, as Bishop Caggiano framed it, and to embrace the Cross, seeing in Jesus Christ’s extended arms an embrace for all humanity in unconditional love, and from his crown of thorns to the pierced feet an unbroken line between God and man uniting heaven and earth… reestablishing the kingdom.

Convocation Notes:  2014 Syrdio Convocation Notes

Photo Credit:  Dc. Tim McNerney

Welcome brothers!

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

The emotions ran deep as each was ordained to the order of Permanent Deacon.  Outside the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, family, friends and dozens of well-wishers gathered to congratulate our new deacons. These men and their wives completed a rigorous 6 years of preparation and formation.

Today, they entered their ministries with full hearts and a commitment to service that was clear to the hundreds who participated in the Ordination Mass. They join over sixty deacons whose outreach encompass ministries in health care, for the elderly, schools, community programs for those in need and prisons.  They are preaching the Gospel news in word and deed each day in communities throughout the Diocese of Syracuse.

Welcome!

Putting deacons in their place?

Omnium in Mente, “In the Mind of All”,  a document written by Pope Benedict XVI in October but released on December 15, 2009 “clarifies” the role of the Permanent Deacon, by updating Canon Law in a new third paragraph, [Canon 1009].  The revision states in part,

…while deacons are enabled to serve the people of God in the diaconate of the liturgy, the word and charity.

According to Zenit and the National Catholic Reporter, the change brings the canon in line with the Catechism of the Catholic Church and clarifies the role of bishops and priests, as distinctly different than permanent deacons. Makes sense?  As I read the change, the “while” in the new paragraph has a “line in the sand” quality… a demarc point that doesn’t reflect the balance of the current canon.

What do you think?  Here’s a link to the current canons…  ORDERS