Tag: Faith

USCCB Retreat

Just a few days ago, our USCCB Retreat concluded.  We gathered at the request of Pope Francis, and enjoyed the direction and wisdom of the Preacher of the Papal Household, Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM.  With nearly 280 bishops registered, which is a similar number of those who are present for our plenary assemblies, we experienced a unique opportunity over the course of six days to pray together.  While Bishops gather regularly for retreats on a Regional basis, this year’s retreat was a rare gathering of the entire body of bishops from the United States. As […]

Saints Peter & Paul; The Foundation Of Our Faith

June 29, every year the Church celebrates the great Feast of Saints Peter & Paul.  As a sign of the significance of this feast, every year on this date, the Holy Father invites to Rome all the newly created Archbishops from the previous year to receive their pallium, which is a sign of their unity, thus the entire Church’s unity, with the successor of Peter. While the Church is certainly capable of great solemnity, and a Mass with the Holy Father at St. Peter’s Basilica is one such moment, we must look very closely to […]

For The Love Of God & Catholic Schools

I recently heard a father speak about his daughter’s upcoming wedding. He said: “I’ll be glad when it is over.” He was excited for his daughter and son-in-law-to-be, but was also frustrated with how the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony was getting lost in all the other details of planning for the day. That seems to be a good analogy for young parents today who have many other challenging, but less important matters to contend with in fulfilling their greatest responsibility of raising their children in the faith. It can be difficult to keep this priority […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

On The Feast Of St. John, The Importance Of Friendship With Jesus

One of his disciples, the one whom Jesus loved, was reclining at Jesus’ side.  (John 13:23) These words describe the profound relationship that existed between Jesus and the Apostle, John.  The same reference is made in the Gospel for today’s Feast, (John 20:2).  Does this describe my relationship with Jesus? Does this define your own? If we call our self Christian, especially Catholic, then Jesus must be at the center of our life, and the point of reference for our self-understanding, our vocation, our values and priorities. Jesus must hold preference of place in and […]

Strong In Faith, Generous Of Heart; St. Nicholas, Pray For Us!

From my years as a student in Rome, I have had a great love for the Communion of Saints.  But, St. Nicholas, whose feast we celebrate today, has been a favorite from my youth. Granted, my early memories are of the excitement going to bed the night before, anticipating what small gift would be found in the morning, whether in my shoe or an unexpected stocking with my name on it found somewhere in the house.  I also remember visiting my grandparents home, and there would be a knock on the window or door, a […]

The Encounter With Christ; Compelling, Continuous, Contagious

Yesterday, St. Andrew’s Parish in Eagle River celebrated their 50th Anniversary as a parish. Coincidently, their pastor, Archbishop-Emeritus Schwietz is celebrating next month his 50th anniversary as a priest! To say the least, we had a lovely Mass and celebration! The Gospel for Mass, Matthew 4: 18-22 recalled Jesus walking along the Sea of Galilee and calling Andrew to follow him, along with his brother Peter and two other brothers, James and John. What happened in this encounter with Jesus that caused Andrew to leave his familiar surroundings to follow Jesus? This question is great […]

Sharing God’s Gifts

Today is the 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time, a day which Pope Francis dedicated as the World Day of Prayer for the Poor. Our Gospel today comes from St. Matthew (25:14-30) and is the familiar story of the talents.  As is often the case, a clue for understanding this passage lies in the first line: “A man going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.” Do we recognize that all we have is given us by God? And what we have is given us according to our ability.  God […]

By Daniele Zedda • 18 February

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By Daniele Zedda • 18 February

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