May Christmas foster peace and solidarity in our hearts

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, We are nearing the end of the Advent season, a time of waiting and preparing for the coming of Christ as a baby in the manger at Bethlehem and also for his second coming at the end of time. The church encourages us to use these weeks before Christmas…

Election highlights need to bridge divisions, work for common good

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, This year’s elections were the most contentious I’ve experienced in my lifetime. The presidential race in particular shined a spotlight on the deep divides that exist in our nation. These divisions — over issues such as race, economic disparities and immigration — have been festering for a long time….

Building the body of Christ throughout the world

“When mercy encounters a person, it brings deep joy to the Father’s heart; for from the beginning the Father has lovingly turned towards the most vulnerable because his greatness and power are revealed precisely in his capacity to identify with the young, the marginalized and the oppressed. He is a kind, caring and thoughtful God…

Answering our call to be faithful citizens

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, “Do not be afraid,” Jesus told his disciples. In this election year, as we prepare to vote for candidates who will make important decisions for our country and our state, I would add: “Do not be discouraged!” We modern-day disciples face many challenges when it comes to voting and…

Let us be instruments of Christ’s peace, healing

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Last September, I had the privilege of attending Pope Francis’ address to Congress during his visit to the United States. During his talk, he spoke about the challenges facing immigrants and refugees — including those coming to the United States — and what our response needs to be. He…

Healing the wounds of violence and division

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Shock. Sadness. Frustration. Like many of you, I have felt a range of emotions over the last 10 days in the wake of the shootings in Dallas, Baton Rouge and right here in Minnesota. The violent loss of life, no matter the circumstance, is always a tragedy. I ask…

Prayer, love, mercy are best response to Orlando shootings

  Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Over the last several days, I have been praying for the victims of the horrific mass shooting in Orlando and for their loved ones who must cope with this senseless act of violence. I have felt a range of emotions: shock, sadness and anger. But I have also…

‘The Joy of Love’: Accompanying families on their journey of faith

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, A few weeks ago, Pope Francis released an important document on the family, “Amoris Laetitia” (“The Joy of Love”), reflecting the discussion that occurred at the 2014 and 2015 synods of bishops on the family. The pope convened those gatherings because he believes strongly that healthy families are essential…

Risen Christ is source of our hope, even in difficult times

  “Our soul waits for the Lord, he is our help and shield. For in him our hearts rejoice; in his holy name we trust. May your mercy, Lord, be upon us; as we put our hope in you.” — Psalm 33:20-22 Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Earlier this month, St. Mary Church in…

Building up the kingdom of God

“Whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.”   — 1 Corinthians 10:31 Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, This weekend, I will be spending the day with hundreds of men from across the Diocese of St. Cloud for the annual Catholic Men’s Conference. In addition to celebrating Mass together, we will listen to…