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12/23/01 Christmas and the Gift of Peace
At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace. Jesus is the Prince of Peace because peace is a sign of God’s presence and Jesus is God made man. The prophet Isaiah spoke of God’s kingdom, God’s presence among his human creatures, as a reign of peace. What is the peace we speak of and desire this Christmas, 2001?

12/09/01 How do we welcome God Incarnate?
‘Come, Lord Jesus,” the Church prays during Advent, taking for her prayer the cry of God’s people at the end of the Apocalypse of St. John, the Book of Revelation. The Jesus we long and cry for, however, is the Word made flesh, the second Person of the Blessed Trinity incarnate. There are consequences to welcoming and worshiping a God who assumes human nature, body and soul, for our salvation. Human flesh, the human body itself, takes on a sacred character beyond what it has by reason of being created by God.

11/25/01 Entering into the Mysteries of Christ through living the Liturgy
During last week’s annual fall meeting of the United States Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Wilton Gregory, a Chicago Archdiocesan priest who became an auxiliary bishop here and is now the Bishop of Belleville, was elected the president of the conference.

11/11/01 November and the Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven, Hell
One of the pictures from the events of September 11 that restored a sense of hope after the destruction of the World Trade Center was the photo taken of firemen carrying out of the rubble the body of the Franciscan priest who was their chaplain. Father Michael Judge’s death spoke of hope in the midst of hatred.

10/28/01 Bishop Jerome Listecki
Celebrating confirmation: The joy and the challenge
I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I enjoy confirmations. Confirmations (which are celebrated mostly in the spring) are taxing and a large number of candidates always takes time. But it’s wonderful to experience young people of faith who have worked so hard to prepare for this sacrament.

10/14/01 World Mission Sunday atthe Synod of Bishops
As one of four U.S. bishops elected to the Synod of Bishops this October, I’ll be observing World Mission Sunday in Rome. It’s a wonderful place for recognizing again the universal mission of the Church, particularly because this Synod is discussing the vocation of bishop in the Church.

09/30/01 Respecting life while responding to deadly attack
The Church in the United States celebrates October 7 as Pro-Life Sunday. This year we do so in the wake of an attack on our country by people who considered their own cause more valuable than innocent human life.

09/23/01 It’s hard to discover that you’re hated
The destruction of symbols of America’s financial prowess and her military might on Sept. 11, along with rumors of attacks on the nation’s capitol, has brought home the animosity and resentment towards the United States felt by those behind the attacks and those who agree with them. We are used to seeing our country as a beacon of freedom rather than a source of oppression.

09/12/01 Statement of Francis Cardinal George, CHICAGO, September 12, 2001
Even before we fully grasp the terrible tragedy of the September 11 events, we stand together in mutual solidarity and support.  Even before the analyses that will fill the coming days and weeks, we know that nothing can justify the evil that has caused this tragedy. 

09/02/01 Why the Church has schools
God wants us to love him. Since it’s hard to love what we don’t know, God instructs us. He uses nature itself and he also intervenes in history to tell us who he is. God entered human history definitively in sending his only begotten Son to be our Lord and Savior. Jesus taught about God and our life with God and then, in dying and rising to save us, brought us to know more fully who he is.

08/19/01 Immigrants and the Catholic Church
Last Spring, I preached at the seminary graduation at St. Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe, Pa. It is the motherhouse of the Benedictine Order in this country. It was founded by Abbot Boniface Wimmer, O.S.B., who came to the United States from Bavaria in 1846 because he was concerned that Catholic German immigrants were losing their faith here.

08/05/01 When the medium is the message: tales of the Southside Catholic Conference
…It’s often easy … to blame the messengers for the news they deliver. I tend to do the same when I read some of the coverage of the Southside Catholic Conference’s travails.

07/22/01 Bishop Edwin M. Conway
Why was I made?
One of the fertile founts for the cynical satirist or late night comedian is quoting the Baltimore Catechism. It seems that the pithy and pointed annunciation of the truths of the Church either lacks the “color” of modern discourse or is very forceful in its message and therefore is best handled by the critic through humor or satire. The laughter, however, in no way dilutes or defuses the truth or the message.

07/08/01 Freedom and its discontents: Cooperating with evil in ordinary life
In May I gave a lecture at the University of Lublin, Poland, on Catholic faith and American culture.

06/24/01 Corpus Christi: the parish, the feast and the doctrine
On June 17, the feast of Corpus Christi, I was part of the 100th anniversary celebrations of Corpus Christi parish, whose buildings fill the block at 4900 South Martin Luther King Drive.

06/10/01 The Spirit of Unity with God and the Signs of Unity in the Church
The evening before the Church celebrated Pentecost, I returned from a visit to Poland preceded by participation in the Extraordinary Consistory of Cardinals from May 21 to May 24. Each Pentecost Sunday, the Church celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary. They were gathered in the upper room in Jerusalem, where they had been instructed to wait by Jesus before he ascended to the Father.

05/20/01 How the Latin Liturgy gets put into English
Translating is integral to our faith. Trying to translate God’s will for us into our actions and behavior is the path to holiness. God’s eternal Word was “translated” into human language in the incarnation, when God’s only begotten Son took human flesh and a human name. Born of the Virgin Mary, he assumed human nature for us and for our salvation. Translation bridges gaps.

05/13/01 In Christ: Shepherd and King
“I am the good shepherd,” we hear Jesus say in the Scripture for Easter time. The passages, especially from the Gospel according to St. John, which help us understand our relation to the Lord as our shepherd, are also used to draw our attention to those ordained to represent him to his people, to shepherd Christ’s flock as Christ would shepherd it.

05/06/01 From Jubilee to Mission: the footsteps of Christ and the journeys of St. Paul
During the Great Jubilee of the year 2000, Pope John Paul II visited many of the places where God’s self-revelation took place. … The Pope wanted to visit all the places linked historically with divine revelation as we celebrated the 2000th anniversary of the birth of our savior.

04/29/01 Easter Tales: Are we happier when we’re confused?
The tales of Christ’s resurrection, read during this Easter season, are, first of all, stories of an empty tomb. That the tomb is empty is clear to all; what it means is not at first clear. The discovery that Jesus’ body is not in his tomb is greeted with consternation and confusion.

04/22/01 Break the cycle of violence; find peace in Christ
Remembering the forty-year journey of the Chosen People through the desert on their way to freedom in the promised land is one of the ways we imagine and come to understand our own observance of the forty days of Lent.

04/15/01 Happy Easter: Who is Risen?
Easter is a feast of faith in Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and in his being also the first born from the dead. … What he is now, we will become then. What and who is the risen Christ? What does he tell us about our future?

04/08/01 Lent: leaving no one behind on the journey of faith
Remembering the forty-year journey of the Chosen People through the desert on their way to freedom in the promised land is one of the ways we imagine and come to understand our own observance of the forty days of Lent. Just as the forty years in the desert brought the people led by Moses to a new life, so the forty days of Lent bring the disciples of Jesus into the new life of the risen Christ at Easter.

04/01/01 Cardinal’s letter on racism due April 4
Cardinal George’s long-anticipated pastoral letter on racism, “Dwell in My Love,” is scheduled to be released April 4, the 33rd anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

03/11/01 He was crucified for our salvation …
During Lent, we make our lives more sacrificial in order to enter more intentionally into the self-sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. … (Jesus) died because of our sinfulness; we have to join him in that death if we are to be saved from our sins. That is our Lenten journey.

02/25/01 Lent, 2001: giving up our resentments
It’s time to think about Lent, which begins this week on Ash Wednesday. Giving something up for Lent, making a Lenten sacrifice, has been complemented in recent years with resolutions to also do something positive during Lent.

02/18/01 Celebrating St. Valentine’s Day…
My own take on St. Valentine’s Day is influenced by the fact that it’s the anniversary of my baptism. Baptism is the beginning of a love affair with God that issues into eternal life. It is also the sacrament that makes participation in all the other sacraments, including marriage, possible.

02/11/01 Blessings: in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit
In the last couple of weeks, I’ve blessed a car dealership in the neighborhood where I grew up and a police station in the district where I now live. … Catholics say grace before meals and ask God to bless the food they will eat. We ask God to bless our projects and our plans. Why all this blessing?

2/4/01 St. Thomas Aquinas: between ecumenism and schools
January 28 is the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274). It fell this year between the week of prayer for Christian unity, which always ends on the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, January 25, and Catholic Schools Week, which is celebrated this year from January 29 to February 2.

01/28/01 On being 'fully funded... in Christ
At this time of year, many are looking to prepare their tax returns and are reviewing budgets in the light of increased costs for heating and other unforeseen expenses. The parishes and schools of the Archdiocese are looking at possible new sources of revenue to compensate for reduced grants.

01/14/01 Life and numerical indicators of life
As a country, in the third week of January, the pro-life movement gathers in Washington to take stock of the value of human life in our country since abortion became a civil right by arbitrary judicial decree in 1973.

01/07/01 What’s really New about the New Year?
On New Year’s Day, 2001, the Church celebrated the feast of Mary, Mother of God, by focusing again on the quest for world peace.

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