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Thoughts on Fidelis Care

Please allow me to update you on something you may have seen in the news today, and about which you may have questions.


Categories: Bishop Malone

Join Us for the Respect Life Mass

"Be Not Afraid" has been a consistent theme of St. John Paul II and Pope Francis and one that has particular urgency today.  This year's theme for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Respect Life Program fills us with encouragement and hope and calls us to love, defend and celebrate all human life. It calls us to joyfully follow the example of Christ, to love without limits, and further, to act on that sense of true Christian charity.


Categories: Bishop Malone

Hope Amid an Epidemic of Violence

"I pray for all the victims of these days. May the blind violence of terrorism no longer find room to exist in the world." - Pope Francis

Turku, Finland. Barcelona and Cambrils, Spain. Charlottesville, Virginia. Stockholm, Sweden. Paris, France. Manchester and London, England. The Middle East, Africa ... and Buffalo. There are so much more, just in recent months, including 3,000 preborn children's lives snuffed out through abortion every day in the United States. 


Categories: Bishop Malone

A Book Review or Three

As I write this column, I am in Massachusetts, the "land of my birth," where I have been blessed to step out of the whirlwind for a few quiet summer days of R and R. I should add a third R to Rest and Relaxation, as a vacation priority for me always is to catch up on Reading. 


Categories: Bishop Malone

Missionary Discipleship: A Sacred and Urgent Call

Do you sometimes wonder, though, why so many people, maybe even beloved relatives or friends, can't seem to find that joy that comes from knowing Jesus?


Categories: Bishop Malone

Sealed, Strengthened and Sent: The Sacrament of Confirmation

Late on Easter afternoon, driving east on the Thruway, I stopped for coffee. The woman at the counter asked me, "How was your Easter?" A gracious, well-intended expression of hospitality, but ... was? How was my  Easter? ... and this on Easter Day!  I said, "My Easter is great, thank you, and it will be for the next 50 days. I pray it will be for you, too." I never miss a teachable moment, in this case, an opportunity to make a simple reference to the Great 50 Days, the season from Easter to Pentecost when the Church basks in the radiance of the Risen Lord and longs for a new coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.


Categories: Bishop Malone

Open Wide Your Hearts!

By Bishop Richard J. Malone

Isn't it a curious and concerning thing that so many of our Christian feasts have been overlaid - better, co-opted - by all sorts of customs that, though nice, have little to do with the essence of those feasts. Christmas comes first to mind, which for too many folks seems more a consumer-driven winter wonderland festival than the celebration of our Savior's birthday. And don't get me started on what popular American culture has done to the Vigil of the Solemnity of all Saints ... better known, sadly, as Halloween.


Categories: Bishop Malone

It's a matter of life and death

By Bishop Richard J. Malone

As I write this February blog, I am with my brother bishops from across New York state on our annual five-day retreat.  I must confess a bit of guilt that I am disregarding the strong suggestion of our Jesuit retreat master that we all disconnect from diocesan business and shut down our iPhones so as to listen more attentively to the Holy Spirit.  Even in my quiet prayer, though, I have been so distracted by two looming concerns that I finally suspected that maybe the Lord was nudging me to deal with them even while on retreat.


Categories: Bishop Malone

On this World Day of Peace, peace be with you and in you

Jan. 1, 2017, marks the 50th World Day of Peace, which is an observance that was initiated by Pope Paul VI. In his message for this 50th World Day of Peace, Pope Francis invites us to reflect on "nonviolence as a style of politics for peace."


Categories: Bishop Malone

Closing Out the Year of Mercy

As I write these words to you, we are experiencing the end of two long-term events: the presidential election and the Jubilee Year of Mercy. While the close of the Year of Mercy is bittersweet, the end of the election could not come soon enough. Yet the close proximity of these two closures offers us much food for thought and reflection.


Categories: Bishop Malone

Election Reflection II

It's a common experience for bishops.  Often enough, after we have addressed some controversial moral issue (which may also be a neuralgic political issue), we get mail.  This intensifies during an election season. No surprise there. 


Categories: Bishop Malone

Election Reflection I

By Bishop Richard J. Malone

I haven't met many people who are not by now exasperated, confounded and dismayed by the ongoing presidential election campaign.  Ordinarily in an election year I would be looking forward to the day after the election; at least the war of words would be (pretty much) behind us.  This time, however, I expect that I will feel no better about the national situation then than I do right now, a few weeks away from Nov. 8. In fact, I may feel worse.  I say that in a completely nonpartisan spirit. As an FYI, I have been an independent (undeclared is the official word, I guess) voter for over four decades. Over those many years, I have sometimes voted for Democrats, sometimes for Republicans.  This year, as with just about every election, neither of the major presidential candidates completely aligns with all of our key Catholic principles. 


Categories: Bishop Malone

Join us for a celebration of life

"Moved by Mercy" has been a consistent theme of Pope Francis and one that has particular urgency today. This year's theme for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Respect Life Program fills us with encouragement and hope and calls us to love, defend and celebrate all human life. It calls us to joyfully follow the example of Christ, to love without limits, and further, to act on that sense of true Christian charity.


Categories: Bishop Malone

Back to school ... for all of us!

For a few weeks now, the "back to school" ads have been signaling the waning of summertime (for which I, a cold weather aficionado, am very grateful this year - apologies to you heat lovers out there!)


Categories: Bishop Malone

On my mind ...

It was American Protestant theologian Reinhold Niebuhr who famously declared that the Christian teaching on original sin is "the only empirically verifiable doctrine of the Christian faith."

While it might be debated that original sin is the "only" empirically verifiable Christian doctrine, there can be little doubt that there is plenty of evidence to validate the Church's teaching about the fact and consequences of original sin.  Just read the papers and view the evening TV news. And, if you dare, look into the mirror of your own conscience.


Categories: Bishop Malone

Opening our hearts to strengthening marriage

If we care about addressing poverty, promoting the well-being of children, building stronger communities—we must at the same time care about strengthening marriages and families. The social science is clear on this point.
 
But a decisive question must be faced in order to move forward: What is marriage?


Categories: Bishop Malone

Papal priorities

Pope Francis has given to the Church four major teaching documents - two encyclical letters and two apostolic exhortations. We can add to these his announcement of a Jubilee Year of Mercy. In each of these documents, the pope invites us to deeper, stronger, and more authentic ways of living our faith as friends and followers of Jesus Christ sent on mission to bring the Gospel to the world. Consider a few examples ...


Categories: Bishop Malone

Pope Francis on the Joy of Love: A brief appetizer for the Apostolic Exhortation

By Bishop Richard J. Malone on 5/4/2016 9:26 AM

Pope Francis' eagerly awaited apostolic exhortation, fruit of the two Vatican synods on marriage and family, has arrived. It is titled "Amoris Laetitia," or the "Joy of Love." The title, as is the custom with major papal documents, is taken from the text's first line: "The joy of love experienced by families is also the joy of the Church." (This sentence is reminiscent of the first line of Vatican II's Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World ("Gaudium et Spes") which reads "The joys and the hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the people of this age ... these too are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ."

While the Holy Father does not avoid the difficulties and challenges experienced in family life - in fact he address them candidly and straight on - "The Joy of Love" is from beginning to end a celebration of the gift of marriage and family to the Church and, indeed, to the world.


Categories: Bishop Malone

The gift of confession (Have you been lately?)

By Bishop Richard J. Malone 3/2/2016

My confirmation homily this year begins with a question addressed to the confirmands: If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?  In more direct terms, what is different about my life because I am a Christian, a Catholic?  Can those who know me tell the difference Jesus makes in my life?  Can I?

Lent is the graced season to take an honest look at the authenticity and quality of our discipleship.  How intentional are we in our following of Christ?  How faithful is our living of the Gospel?  How grateful are we for the gift of faith?  How eager am I to share the joy of the Gospel with others?  And ... can I admit that, yes, I am a sinner?


Categories: Bishop Malone

New Year musings

By Bishop Richard J. Malone 1/5/2016

    The motto for this Jubilee Year of Mercy is, "Merciful like the Father." What will we allow this to mean in our lives? With God? With one another?

    • Vatican II declared: "Upon the Muslims, too, the Church looks with esteem." How dare any American suggest that refugees who profess the faith of Islam be prohibited from entry into the United States solely on that basis? 
    • Studies show that teens who practice the faith most often have parents who practice the faith.
    • Pray for vocations to the priesthood, consecrated life, diaconate and Christian marriage!
    • College and university students: seek out and become active in your school's campus ministry community!


    Categories: Bishop Malone

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