Monthly Archives: April 2013


There are very few things in life that make me rise to my feet and shout out loud more than the single issue of the sacredness of human life. Over my thirty-six years of priestly ministry, I have delivered some of my most passionate homilies on the beauty and sacredness of human life. I find it personally disturbing that in the wake of the sexual revolution we are becoming less and less concerned with the value of human life. Abortion is at the forefront of the matter, but all life and its value has succumbed to human ignorance and the pursuit of transitory moments of pleasure. These instances are becoming more intense in their violence against women and their ruthlessness in actions of aggression against any and all human beings.

Thus, much of the public has been denied access to the trial of Kermit Gosnell, an abortionist who ran a “clinic” in Philadelphia. He faces 43 criminal counts, including eight counts of murder, one adult and seven newborn infants. The infants, it is alleged, were born in the midst of a procedure known as late term abortion—more commonly called partial-birth abortions. Partial-birth abortions were banned by Congress and signed into law by President Bush in 2003. In that law, partial-birth abortions were defined as: “An abortion in which the person performing the abortion, deliberately and intentionally vaginally delivers a living fetus until, in the case of a head-first presentation, the entire fetal head is outside the body of the mother, or, in the case of breech presentation, any part of the fetal trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother, for the purpose of performing an overt act that the person knows will kill the partially delivered living fetus; and performs the overt act, other than completion of delivery, that kills the partially delivered living fetus.” (18 U.S. Code 1531)

Most of us would agree that once a child is delivered from his or her mother’s womb, it is no longer a fetus, but a viable human being. Most attempts to kill those babies would be seen as horrifying and, indeed, criminal. Arguments in this trial have been trying to “split the hair” of what to call those living babies who were murdered. Let’s try “babies.” Let’s try to at least give these abortion victims the benefit of the doubt—let’s try “human beings.”

You may not have seen or even heard about this trial, because there are many people who are preventing you from hearing about it. The mainstream media has not brought this story to the prominence it deserves. Government and business leaders have not brought it forward. The abortion industry does not want to talk about this, because they know this mess undoes all of their hard work trying to tell us how they are providing “healthcare for women.”

Abortion is such an insidious evil in our midst. It has done such harm to our society, and it continues to dull our consciences. This case manifests the damage done and cries out for justice and common sense to return to our troubled lives. Pray for those affected. Support and promote the sacredness of life—it is a divine gift!

Come celebrate life at Sunday Mass in your home parish.


Today is the feast of Saint Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr. He was murdered in his cathedral while he was celebrating the Mass on 8 May 1079. His crime: reproaching King Boleslaus and excommunicating him for his bellicose and immoral actions against the poor and the oppressed. This hero and patron saint of Poland led me to further reflect on our own “Polish hero,” Fr. Joe Walijewski.

Today, 11 April, is the seventh anniversary of Fr. Joe’s death. “Joe the Pole,” as he was affectionately called, ministered to children and to the poor and oppressed people of South America, specifically in Peru and Bolivia. Fr. Joe died during Holy Week of 2006 in Peru and his tomb is on the hill overlooking the orphanage he founded, Casa Hogar Juan Pablo II, which still flourishes today.

It is exciting for us to think about the saints. As we pray for the canonization of Fr. Joe, how wonderful it is for us to consider the fact that he has only been dead for seven years. Many people in our Diocese and around the state and, indeed, around the world, have stories they tell about him and their direct encounters with him.

On 1 May, the Solemnity of Saint Joseph the Worker, the principal patron of our beloved Diocese, we will gather at our Cathedral and celebrate the Mass in honor of our Patron Saint. At that Mass, we will witness the formal convoking of the Tribunal (the officials), who will formally work at the task of assembling, evaluating, and collating the data that will be sent to Rome for the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of Saints to consider and, hopefully, recommend to the Pope for formal declaration in the Church.

The Mass will be celebrated at 12:10 in the afternoon, and everyone in the Diocese is welcome and encouraged to attend. Even if you are not able to participate in person, I sure hope that you will take some time to pray to Saint Joseph, our Patron, for all workers and for families in these tough economic times. Please also offer a prayer that God will give Fr. Joe to us as a saint for our times. A noble man of Polish heritage, who like Saint Stanislaus, defended the poor and the orphan; a virtuous man, like Saint Joseph, who supported the integrity of the Incarnation in heroic love and care for God’s “little ones.”

The saints are all around us. They are us. While we have the time, let’s try to recognize and encourage each other to be the best person we can be.

I look forward to seeing you at Sunday Mass!


I often catch the O’Reilly Factor on TV. The anchor, who refers often to his Catholic roots, is a protagonist of some style and grace, yet not without strong and unfettered opinion. There is much to ponder given the world scene and I appreciate the delivery of commentary that sometimes dances on the edge of the insightful and the caustic without too much self-indulgence. I find that here, more often than not.

One troubling thing O’Reilly has said more than once is that there is no strong voice in America speaking a unified message of faith and morals. He specifically notes the aging of Reverend Billy Graham without an heir-apparent; I think of the Venerable Servant of God,Archbishop Fulton Sheen. No one was able to hold a candle to him (pardon the pun) in his day—not even Milton Berle! Mother Angelica does not have a wide enough audience to inspire a nation. So what has happened and where is our voice?

Quite frankly, I am sadly beginning to think that Catholics do not believe there is “one” voice. Some have become quite comfortable with a “cafeteria” style of practice and belief that has muddied our mindset to a considerable degree in recognizing, hearing, and understanding the Truth about our Faith. The cafeteria approach, while being selective and subjective, is also arrogant and dismissive. The very “judgmental” attitude that many wish to avoid is easily displayed in choices made precisely by bad judgments. The loser is, more often than not, the Faith itself. Jesus taught clearly: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” Equivocations about that could become disheartening, if not downright misleading.

So much in our secular society speaks differently to today’s Catholics. It’s almost as if there is a different language, different signs and symbols. Personal sacrifice and commitment find their expression in new ways relative only to those making up the definitions. Subjective realities dictate new moralities. Objective thinking, reliance on natural law, and morality founded on virtue is disputed, debated, and denied. I believe that everyone seems to be making it up as he or she goes along.

We must remember: the Holy Spirit still guides the Church. With that guidance the Church does not mislead or deceive the Faithful. The Year of Faith, proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI, is not an empty call to private piety, but rather an announcement of the presence of an old friend: Jesus Christ. He speaks in His Church with a relevance that is born of personal association, unique love and immense passion. He suffered, died, and rose again so that a clear message could be communicated across time with its personal relevance. It is staggering Good News that Jesus entrusted to His Church—His mission for Her to guard and teach: He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is the voice for Catholics today!