Welcome Bishop-Elect Barres!

The Most Reverend W. Francis Malooly, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, made the following statement on the appointment of the Rev. Msgr. John O. Barres as Bishop of Allentown.

“Today, three bishops of the Diocese of Wilmington - the seventh bishop, Bishop Robert Mulvee, now retired Bishop of Providence; Bishop Emeritus Michael Saltarelli, the eighth bishop; and myself, the ninth bishop - are very proud.

Our spiritual son and brother in priesthood, Monsignor John O. Barres, has been named Bishop-elect of the Diocese of Allentown by our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.

In Bishop-elect Barres, the Church of Allentown will receive a shepherd who is deeply spiritual, exceptional in his theology and dedicated to his ministry.

In my first year in the Diocese of Wilmington he has shepherded and guided me around the diocese. In that time I have seen his pastoral concern, much like The Curé of Ars. When we would enter a church before a Saturday or Sunday Mass and he would see people standing in line for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, he would immediately go into one of the other confessionals to help minister that sacrament.

You receive a bishop with a missionary spirit not unlike Saint Paul. He is always looking to see how he can invite others to experience the Lord in their lives. You will quickly discover why, for twenty years of priesthood, he has been one of the most loved and respected priests of our diocese.

We are saddened to lose his ministry here in Wilmington. We are delighted that the Church Universal, and especially the Diocese of Allentown, will benefit from his assignment today.”


Happy Mother's Day!

Dear Loving Father,
We ask You to bless
our Mothers with the unmistakable gift
of Your love this Mother's Day.
May we honor them in word and deed,
and teach our children to do the same.
On this beautiful day,
we thank you for Jesus' selfless gift
of His Mother Mary to be our Mother as well.
May we honor her,
draw close to her,
and help her bring His kingdom to earth.
Through Mary's intercession,
may all Mothers be blessed today
and every day,
for they are truly an awesome gift to us!
In Jesus' name we pray.

The Vine And The Branches

For centuries we have had this metaphor of the relationship between us and Jesus Christ -- the Vine and the branches. It is not hard to understand who is who in the equation, however, it might be difficult for us to understand what exactly it entails.

Jesus makes it quite clear to His disciples that just following Him is not enough. Rather, one must take the gifts and talents given and use them appropriately as a sign of being that disciple. For example, one cannot claim to be a follower and no longer reach out to those in need. Generosity is good, but the giving of self is better. Money does make things happen, but love transforms.

Question: What do you find yourself attached to right now in life? Answer: Possessions, money, career, sex, drugs, alcohol or Christ? Think hard!


Our Musical Pope

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 30, 2009 -Benedict XVI proposed that music becomes prayer and the "abandonment of the heart to God" when he gave thanks for a concert held in honor of his fourth anniversary as Pope.

The concert was held in his honor at the Vatican by the president of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano. The Holy Father listened to the music seated in the center of Paul VI Hall, together with Napolitano and the Italian First Lady.

Benedict XVI marked four years as Pontiff on April 19.

The music was offered by the Giuseppe Verdi Symphonic Orchestra and Choir of Milan, directed by Xian Zhang and Erina Gambarini, respectively. They interpreted Haydn's "Symphony 95," Mozart's "Haffner Symphony," Vivaldi's "Magnificat in G minor" and Mozart's "Ave Verum Corpus."

At the end of this last piece, the Holy Father said that "meditation gives way to contemplation: The gaze of the soul rests on the Blessed Sacrament to recognize the Body of the Lord, the Body that was truly immolated on the cross and from which sprung forth the fountain of universal salvation."

Staying Catholic

WASHINGTON, D.C., APRIL 28, 2009 -If parents want their children to carry the Catholic faith from childhood to adulthood, take them to Mass, say a U.S. bishops' conference spokesman.

Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, past chairman of the bishops' Committee on Catechesis and next chairman of the Committee on Doctrine, said this in response to a Pew Forum survey that revealed a key factor in whether or not one remains Catholic as an adult is whether or not one attends Mass as a child or teenager.

"The report highlights the importance of Mass attendance among children and teenagers," the archbishop said. "Adolescence is a critical time in religious development and, as the poll shows, what happens in the teen years has a long-lasting affect. We have to help young people and their parents appreciate the importance of going to weekly Mass so teenagers know Jesus is there for them now and always."

The study also revealed a 68% retention rate of Catholics in the Church, which is higher than most other Christian churches. The key reason people leave their church, the study reported, is that "they just gradually drifted away from the faith."

The study said only 2%-3% percent of those polled cited sexual abuse of children as a reason for leaving when asked in an open-ended question why they left.

When people were asked to choose why they left from a list of possible reasons, the number jumped from 21% for Catholics who became Protestant, and 27% for former Catholics who are now unaffiliated with any church. Other reasons for leaving the Church, such as disagreement on doctrinal matters, figured much higher.