Reflecting the Good News of Christ

Archbishop Paul Etienne

Holy Thursday Homily; Marked With The Blood Of The Lamb

Our first reading tonight gives not only historical perspective for this night, but reminds us specifically of the history of salvation; the saving work of God on behalf of his people. The Book of Exodus (12:1-8, 11-14) recalls how God heard the cry of the people Israel, held captive as slaves in Egypt for so many years. After sending Moses as his servant to speak and perform signs on his behalf, one final act is necessary to convince Pharaoh to let the people go. God sent the angel of death to destroy the first born […]

Chrism Mass: The Priority of Christ; Christ’s Priorities

Chrism Mass Homily Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral March 21, 2018 There are fundamental realities of the church that we celebrate tonight; The priority of Christ in his Church, and the life of Christ at work in the Church through the bishop, priests, and all those who are members of the Church through baptism. Here is what the Roman Pontifical says about the significance of the Chrism Mass: (please listen closely, as this will be a long quote.) The Bishop is to be looked on as the High Priest of his flock. The life in Christ of […]

New Church Document Renews Focus On Christ And Salvation

Today, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Fatih released a document entitled Placuit Deo, On Certain Aspects of Christian Salvation.  The focus is on the gift of Salvation that is ours through Jesus Christ.  Likewise, the document draws attention to some of the errors in today’s concept of the human person as well as certain concepts of Christian Salvation that can be difficult for people to properly understand. The document seeks to correct two modern ways of thinking, which are called a ‘neo-pelagianism’ which is an extreme individualism which believes each person is capable […]

How Good Is The Lord To Us!

Several years ago, while I was still a pastor of a parish, I felt that some parishioners were beginning to treat their religion as one more item to be consumed. Their consumer practices and attitudes were corrupting their understanding of what it means to be a member of the Body of Christ, the Church. Particularly concerning where parishioners who were leaving not only our parish, but were leaving the Catholic faith. On the occasion that I had the opportunity to speak with people who were making this transition, I heard things like: “I’m not being […]

Listening Sessions Are Underway: Come Help Us Discern Our Future

With fifteen months now under my belt, I’m excited to begin a series of listening sessions as we begin a formal process of discerning and defining our Mission as the local church of the Archdiocese of Anchorage.  We held the first session last week at Sacred Heart in Wasilla, and it yielded the kind of input that I have been hoping for.  I’m sure the remaining sessions will also be fruitful. We envision the first round of sessions to be complete by June, with a more focused round of sessions to resume in the Fall. […]

Bishops Of Alaska Issue Pastoral Letter On Human Dignity And Sanctity Of Life

For the past several months, the bishops of Alaska have been discussing how we might best exercise our role as teachers. There are a growing number of social issues today that need to be addressed from a faith perspective, and yet require more than a ‘sound byte’ to adequately outline the theological principles which underpin our beliefs and teachings. At the same time, as we looked at the numerous issues we wished to address, we realized that what is fundamentally at the heart of each of the issues is the need for a proper understanding […]

Lent, A Time For Personal Conversion

Over the years, I have noticed that the crowds that attend Mass on Ash Wednesday rival any other day of the year, including Easter and Christmas. This tells us there is something attractive about being called to renew our relationship with God, about the penitential nature of the day and season that is fundamentally about conversion. Traditionally, the three pillars of the Lenten journey are prayer, fasting, and giving alms. Each of these practices are ways to renew our love for God and neighbor. By definition, prayer is time spent with God. Giving alms is […]

A Final Tribute To Mom

As I prepare to leave southern Indiana behind once again to return to Anchorage, I wish to share some final thoughts about our family’s experience of accompanying Mom through her final days.  Please bear with me for one final reflection. At the prayer service the night before Mom’s funeral, each of the family members offered some reflections about Mom. I could not think of Mom without thinking of Pop.  The two naturally went together, and it is barely possible to separate them.  I recalled a plaque that hung over the kitchen entrance to our home […]

Homily For Vigil Of Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein, OSB

Homily: Vigil Prayer Service For Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein, OSB Archbishop Paul D. Etienne, January 30, 2018, Cathedral of Saints Peter & Paul, Indianapolis Psalm 121 – 130 – Philippians 2:6-11 – 1 Corinthians 15: 51-57 Archbishop Buechlein is now experiencing the truth of what he preached in and with his life: “Death is swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15: 55) +Daniel’s work in the Lord was not in vain, and his reward is in Christ, Risen from the dead. The priesthood, […]

Rest In Peace, Mom: Carolyn (Kay) Agnes Voges Etienne (1935-2018)

After 60 years of marriage and 82 years of life, mom’s journey of faith reached its goal Sunday evening around 7:30pm. I think she must have scripted the ending. By God’s providence, I was already in Southern Indiana rather than Alaska when we put her in the hospital Friday evening.  After approximately a nine year battle with Alzheimer’s, and a thyroid crisis, she went into a comatose-like state, and was unable to communicate anymore. But, the human heart at the core of our being, surely allowed her to be aware of the presence of the […]

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