Monthly Archives: July 2012


As we in northcentral and western Wisconsin deal with unpleasant and uncomfortable temperatures and more and more political “hot air” blowing our way, it might be nice to take a look at what’s happening with our brothers and sisters “across the pond” in preparation for the Olympic Games in London that start on Friday, July 27 and continue until Sunday, Aug. 12.

Always exciting to watch, the Summer Olympics have provided some interesting forms of “new evangelization” in London and its environs. The Catholic Church in England and Wales initiated More Than Gold, an ecumenical program, that enables Britain’s Christian communities to engage with the 2012 Games in the hope that churches will taste the excitement of reaching their wider communities in fresh and ongoing ways in Jesus’ name.

More Than Gold was originally launched in Britain in 2007 in the presence of various significant members of Parliament, His Eminence Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor (Cardinal-Archbishop Emeritus of Westminster [London]) and Archbishop Rowan Williams (Archbishop of Canterbury).

To date, 15 denominations ranging from the Orthodox to the Seventh Day Adventists to the black-led independent churches are all jointly praying, planning and working to serve the 2012 Games under the banner of More Than Gold.

More Than Gold is concentrating on three specific ways of making the most of the 2012 Games: community engagement, hospitality and service.

In 2012, More Than Gold serves as an interface between the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Games’ organizing committee, and churches;More Than Gold programs, however, have no official relationship with the committee.

As part of the Catholic Church’s engagement alongside the 2012 Games, there will be two large official Masses. The first will mark the start of the 30th Olympic Games at Westminster Cathedral (in London) on Saturday, July 28 at 2:30 p.m. The second will be offered in September.

So, if you’re planning to beat the heat and head over to England, you may want to take note of some solid gold Gospel in action on the part of the Church!

… and I’ll see you at Sunday Mass!


What a day! I have to tell you that I am so proud of all of you. So many people from many parts of the diocese made it to the cathedral yesterday – the Fourth of July – for the Mass we celebrated in thanksgiving to God for the blessings of liberty and the opportunity to live in this great country. Our cathedral was nearly filled with faithful Catholics who value the gifts of freedom that are guaranteed by our founding documents. Citizenship in these United States, however, certainly requires vigilance from us. There are always those who will fight to remain enslaved to ideologies and philosophies contrary to those expressed in those hallowed documents. We celebrated the Author of liberty and freedom as we bowed our heads, listened to God’s Word, received Him into our hearts and went forth to proclaim His presence in the world in us.

Thanks to all the faithful and good pastors of our diocese who made freedom ring from the bell towers of our parish churches across Wisconsin. That was another act of liberty and a simple proclamation that we are here and we are not going away…

Just let me close by sharing a few quotes from the homily of Archbishop Charles Chaput of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia during the Mass he celebrated at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. I think you may find some further food for thought and inspiration.

The Archbishop spoke, quoting Paul Claudel, the French poet and diplomat of the last century, who once described the Christian as, “A man who knows what he is doing and where he is going in a world [that] no longer [knows] the difference between good and evil, between yes and no. He is like a god standing out in a crowd of invalids. … He alone has liberty in a world of slaves.”

Continuing, Archbishop Chaput said, “We’re free only to the extent that we unburden ourselves of our own willfulness and practice the art of living according to God’s plan. When we do this, when we choose to live according to God’s intentions for us, then – and only then – will we be truly free.

“This is the freedom of the sons and daughters of God. It’s the freedom of Miguel Pro, of Mother Teresa, Maximillian Kolbe, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and all the other holy women and men who have gone before us to do the right thing, the heroic thing, in the face of suffering, adversity and death.

“This is the kind of freedom that can transform the world. And it should animate all of our talk about liberty – religious or otherwise.”

And I sure hope to see you at Sunday Mass!