VOICES

Lent, a time for personal conversion

Over the years, I have noticed that the crowds at Mass on Ash Wednesday rival even Christmas and Easter. There is something attractive about being called to renew our relationship with God, about the penitential nature of the day and of this season that is fundamentally about conversion.

The Ratzingerian constants and the maintenance of harmony in the church

Some years ago, my friend Msgr. Francis Mannion wrote an article concerning the three essential features of the eucharistic liturgy — namely, the priest, the rite and the people. When these elements are in proper balance, rightly ordered liturgy obtains. Further, from these categories, he argued, we can discern the three typical distortions of the liturgy: clericalism (too much of the priest), ritualism (a fussy hyper-focus on the rite) and congregationalism (a disproportionate emphasis on the people). It was one of those observations that just manages to spread light in every direction.

Spending time with my spiritual father

I write these words from the Eternal City of Rome, whither I’ve come with my brother bishops from Region 11 (California, Nevada and Hawaii) for our ad limina visit. This is a regular and canonically required trip to pray at the limina apostolorum (the threshold of the apostles), the tombs of Sts. Peter and Paul, and to meet with the successor of Peter. Yesterday (January 27) was the first official day of the pilgrimage, and it was extraordinary indeed. We gathered early in the morning for Mass in the crypt of St. Peter’s Basilica, in the presence of the tomb of the Galilean fisherman to whom Jesus gave the keys of kingdom of heaven. And then, just about a half-hour later, we were ushered into the Apostolic Palace, and after traversing a number of elaborately decorated corridors and receiving a few salutes from Swiss Guards (I’ll confess that I rather like the salutes!), we lined up to meet the pope.

Rejoice! Our God Comes To Save Us

Archbishop Paul D. Etienne's 2019 Christmas Homily

St. James Cathedral, Seattle

On this Holy Night, we experience once again what the Prophets foretold of old. The One who is to comfort God’s people is born. (Isaiah 40) The desire of all nations, (Haggai 2:6-7) of every human heart is found wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.