Reflections by Patti Murphy Dohn on the Church, family, grief, saints, and hope amidst the storms in our lives... May you always find that God is in the clouds! 

Patti Murphy Dohn retired in 2014 after 33 years of service as Campus Minister, retreat director, and Religion teacher at The John Carroll School in Bel Air, Maryland. Committed to making a difference in the lives of our youth and their families, she has served the school community since 1981. Presently, she continues her ministry through bereavement outreach, coordinating the school's alumni prayer chain, while archiving the school's history.  

Patti was awarded the Medal of Honor in Youth and Young Adult Ministry by the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 2012. She served the Archdiocese on the Screening Board for the Office of Vocations under Cardinal Keeler, Cardinal O'Brien, and Archbishop Lori. She is also a past-board member for the Msgr. O'Dwyer Retreat House in Sparks, MD. and Saint Margaret School in Bel Air.

Along with writing for "The Catholic Review," Patti is a member of the Catholic Press Association, as well as the Catholic Writers Guild and the Associated Church Press. She is available for speaking engagements, consulting, and retreat work.

Patti and her husband George split their time between their homes in Bel Air, Maryland and Singer Island, Palm Beach, Florida.

Email: pattimurphydohn@gmail.com

Twitter: @JCSMinistry

Facebook: Patti Murphy Dohn

Instagram: @PattiMurphyDohn

 God is good!! All the time!!

 

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Beautiful story! thank you for continuing to inspire us Patti.

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And your BFF didn't know this story? Great article to read. I,can envision it! What an amazing intuition you followed. Someday soon we will talk more!

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God is in the clouds

Remembering Archbishop John Carroll and his devotion to the Blessed Mother on the bicentennial of his death




December 3 has been an important day in my calendar for years now.
It was on this date in 1815 that the first bishop in our United States went Home to our Lord. 

John Carroll, a native Marylander and Jesuit priest, was born on January 8, 1736 in Upper Marlboro, less than 40 miles south of the site where he would later have the first Catholic cathedral built.

Father Carroll was appointed the first bishop of Baltimore to serve our newly-formed nation by Pope Pius VI in 1789. He was 53 years old.

Considered to be the patriarch of American Catholicism, John Carroll later became the nation’s first archbishop in 1808 when Pope Pius VII elevated Baltimore to the status of archdiocese when he created the Dioceses of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Bardstown, Kentucky.
 
Archbishop Carroll’s final resting place is now located in the crypt of the Baltimore Basilica, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, America’s first Catholic cathedral. He had commissioned the building of this cathedral in 1806 with the design of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, architect of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Though he never lived to see its completion, Archbishop Carroll's body was transferred there from the seminary crypt upon its completion. 

My life with John Carroll:

When I attended high school four decades ago at John Carroll in Bel Air, I did not yet realize that my life would be so richly influenced by the scholar and patriot for whom the school was named. Though other institutions of learning bear his name, this Harford County school is the only one located in the diocese where he served for so many years.

Returning in 1981 to teach Religion and later serve as Campus Minister at John Carroll (the school), I found John Carroll (the man) becoming part of the fabric of my life. 

As I taught about his life and influence on the American Church during the early years of our nation, I discovered more and more that John Carroll (the scholar) was both a pioneer and an early patriot. His zeal for the Faith and for our country was inspiring on so many levels.

But it was his deep devotion to our Blessed Mother that resonated most strongly with me. For years I shared with my John Carroll students that the best way to pay tribute to the man for whom our school was named was to imitate his devotion to Our Lady, reciting the rosary regularly, and visiting the cathedral that he named in honor of her Assumption. 

While on his deathbed, Archbishop John Carroll reflected,

“Of those things that give me most consolation at the present moment is, that I have always been attached to the practice of devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, that I have established it among the people under my care, and placed my Diocese under Her protection.” 
(From The Life and Times of John Carroll, by Peter Guilday, Encyclopedia Press, NY, 1922) 

Connecting at his cathedral:

For a number of years, I gave tours of the Baltimore Basilica to my sophomore students after we had served the lunchtime meal next door at Catholic Charities’ Our Daily Bread. The highpoint of our tour was always the visit to the crypt where Archbishop Carroll is buried. The marble cover to his burial spot is engraved in Latin with his name. It never ceased to amaze me how my students felt a kinship with our school’s namesake through this visit to his tomb.

Since my retirement in 2014, I have had the opportunity to read more from Archbishop Carroll’s writings and deepen my affection for the man whose name and initials have became engraved on my heart. 

As we remember Archbishop Carroll today on the 200th anniversary of his death, may we be inspired to rediscover our own connections to the Church in Baltimore and the roots of American Catholicism, and like him, deepen our devotion to Our Lady.


Read more:



December 03, 2015 02:08
By Patti Murphy Dohn


This week in Church History: Marking the 226th anniversary of the Archdiocese of Baltimore


Today is the 226th anniversary of the Archdiocese of Baltimore:

Baltimore was named the first diocese in the United States by Pope Pius VI on November 6, 1789 by the papal brief “Ex hac apostolicae.” The Holy Father also approved the election of John Carroll, SJ as the first bishop. In an unusual twist of circumstances, the local priests voted for their bishop with Carroll getting 24 of the 26 votes. This first American diocese was comprised of the 13 original states and the territories. 

Baltimore was elevated to the status of an Archdiocese on April 8, 1808 with the establishment of the Dioceses of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Bardstown (Kentucky).

Today, the Archdiocese has 145 parishes covering a territory of nine Maryland counties (Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore County, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Harford, Howard, and Washington), as well as Baltimore City.





Anniversary Mass:

The Archdiocese culminated its 225th anniversary last year with a Mass of Thanksgiving on November 2 at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen. Principal celebrant Archbishop William Lori was joined by Archbishop-Emeritus Cardinal Edwin O’Brien, former bishops of Baltimore and bishops from neighboring dioceses.

Read more about that festive celebration:

2,000 pack cathedral to celebrate archdiocese’s 225th jubilee” by Catholic Review editor Christopher Gunty.


Enjoy more memories from the 225th anniversary:



“Former Catholic Review photographer Tom McCarthy Jr. spent the course of 40 hours, from sunrise Oct. 1 until after sunset Oct. 2, chronicling these daily happenings as he traveled 530 miles.” 

Click on this link to read more about the making of this 5-minute video-documentary:


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Special thanks to the Baltimore Sun for providing special coverage of this historic event:

Read more in "Baltimore Catholics celebrate 225th anniversary of nation's oldest archdiocese."  



November 06, 2015 04:09
By Patti Murphy Dohn


This Week in Church History: The 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate and much more




Last week, I started a new feature in "God is in the Clouds":  “This Week in Church History.” 

Here is a look at events which occurred this upcoming week in years past, as well as a glimpse at next week’s highlights:

Historic events that took place over dates in the upcoming week:

October 26, 2011:

Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport, Connecticut (the current Archbishop of Baltimore) called for the defense of “the American legacy of religious liberty” during a hearing before the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. The bishop was addressing Congress in his new role as head of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty.

Read an account of Bishop Lori’s day before Congress from the U.S. Bishops’ website:
 



The transcript of Bishop Lori’s full testimony before Congress can be read here.

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October 28 has great significance:


October 28, 1510:

The birth of St. Francis Borgia, SJ (1510-1572): 
Francis Borgia was the fourth Duke of Gandía (Spain), a Spanish Jesuit priest, and the third Superior General of the Society of Jesus. He expanded the Jesuit order into the Americas and Asia.



Borgia was canonized on June 20, 1670 by Pope Clement X and his feast is celebrated on October 10.
He is the patron saint of Portugal, as well for protection against earthquakes. 

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October 28, 1958: The election of Pope John XXIII:

On this date, Cardinal Angelo Guiseppe Roncalli (1881-1963), the Patriarch of Venice, was elected the 261st pope on the eleventh ballot of the 1958 conclave. The conclave that elected him took place from October 25 to 28, 1958, following the October 9 death of Pope Pius XII whose papacy lasted from 1939 to 1958.

On why he choose the name John:

"We choose John...a name sweet to Us because it is the name of Our father, dear to Us because it is the name of the humble parish church where We were baptized, the solemn name of numberless cathedrals scattered throughout the world, including Our own basilica...We love the name of John because it reminds Us of John the Baptist, precursor of our Lord...and the other John, the disciple and evangelist...Perhaps We can, taking the name of this first series of holy Popes, have something of his sanctity and strength of spirit, even—if God wills it—to the spilling of blood.”

--Excerpt from: Religion: “I Choose John…” from Time Magazine, November 10, 1958 edition.



Newly-elected Pope John XXIII extending his first papal blessing:
(Getty Image: Ullstein Bild)

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October 28, 1965:

2015 is the Golden Anniversary of "Nostra Aetate" (Latin for “In our time”):
This Vatican 2 document was promulgated on this date in 1965 by Pope Paul VI.
  
The document’s formal name is "DECLARATION ON THE RELATION OF THE CHURCH TO NON-CHRISTIAN RELIGIONS." It was passed by a vote of of 2,221 to 88 by the assembled bishops at the Second Vatican Council and was one of the most influential documents issued by the Council Fathers, paving the way for much-improved relations between Jews and Catholics.


50th Anniversary:

The Council of Centers for Jewish-Christian Relations has published “Resources for the 50th Anniversary of Nostra Aetate.” 



(Photo: Courtesy of American Jewish Committee)
March 31, 1963: Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel (Polish-born American rabbi (1907-1972) meeting in New York with Cardinal Augustin Bea, SJ (1881-1968), who shepherded the process of Catholic reflection that led to Nostra Aetate. A leading biblical scholar and ecumenist, Cardinal Bea was the first president of the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity from 1960 until his death in 1972. 

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October 29, 1950:

65 years ago: Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Johannes Baptist Neuhäusler (1888-1973), the auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising. 

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November 1:


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November 1, 1946: 


Pope St. John Paul II was ordained to the priesthood by by Cardinal Adam Stefan Sapieha, the Archbishop of Kraków, just 12 days after becoming a deacon. 

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Looking ahead:

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November 6, 1789:

Baltimore was made the first diocese in the United States on this date in 1789 with Fr. John Carroll, SJ as the first bishop.


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Do you have a special date that you would like me to include?


Be sure to email me:  Pattimurphydohn@gmail.com.


God is good! All the time!

October 25, 2015 10:52
By Patti Murphy Dohn


A new school year is here: Time to reflect and pray about the transitions




The photos are all over Facebook… 
Bright smiling faces (mostly), new book bags, shiny shoes, fresh haircuts, clean school buses, and some teary-eyed Moms (and Dads).

The new school year has started for most of the schools in our area. As a matter of fact, our grandson Tyler started third grade this morning at Piney Ridge Elementary School in Sykesville. Both Tracy and Stephen walked him to the bus stop with cameras in hand (from their smart phones). Even their sweet dog Stella was on hand to see all the children off to their first day of school.


Our grandson Tyler was back to school on Monday


I'm not going back to school...again:

For me, the start of the new school year, as always, brought the anticipation of new beginnings and challenges. 

And then I remembered… I’m not going back to school.  Again
This is the start of the second school year since my retirement from John Carroll in June of 2014. 

It was a new and strange experience last year to not be there for the first day of the new school year after 33 years on campus. My husband and I tried to fill up our newfound freedom. We even went to the beach.



Change, change, change:

But transitions can be tough. Not only for adults who may be experiencing change due to retirement or new jobs, but also for all the children who are experiencing new changes in their lives… Including those who are new to preschool or kindergarten, those starting elementary, middle or high school, and all those making transfers to new schools in new areas.

Hopefully, we pray, the parents and teachers of those most affected by change this school year will provide much comfort and will guide our children in their transitions with patience and compassion.

What’s the toughest part of back to school?

I have heard from quite a few parents and children who share that the challenges in starting a new school year include:
 
-reestablishing a weekday/school night routine after the freedom of summer vacation, 
-having earlier bedtimes,
-packing lunches again,
-waking up to the alarm clock’s early call, 
-getting back in the habit of doing homework,
-balancing school, sports, and other outside activities,  
-and much more.

Every household is different and thus faces different challenges.




A prayer from the patroness of Catholic education:

One of the principal patron saints of Catholic education is St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. She started the Catholic school system here in the United States under the direction of our first bishop, Archbishop John Carroll.

The following prayer from her writings is a wonderful way to start each day this year, especially for teachers and older students. 
    
Prayer of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton:

O Father, the first rule of our dear Savior's
life was to do Your Will.
Let His Will of the present moment be the first rule
of our daily life and work, with no other desire but for
its most full and complete accomplishment.
 
Help us to follow it faithfully, so that in doing what
You wish we will be pleasing to You.
 
Amen.
 
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Another great prayer for the new school year is from Sadlier Publishing Company:

It is excellent for teachers, parish catechists, and for families too:


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May your first weeks of this new school year be filled with new adventures and a smooth transition to a new routine.
May God richly bless our families and our teachers!
Amen. 

September 01, 2015 02:47
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Fortnight for Freedom: Prayers and flashback photos



Archbishop Lori kicked off the fourth annual Fortnight for Freedom on Sunday (June 21) at the Baltimore's Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. With the theme "Freedom to Bear Witness" to the truth of the Gospel, the fortnight runs until the Fourth of July with the concluding Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.

Archbishop Lori, the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, has been a leading spokesman for religious freedom. On the day of his installation as Archbishop of Baltimore on May 16, 2012, he advocated for this continuing legacy which is traced back to Archbishop John Carroll:

“We defend religious liberty because we are lovers of every human person, seeing in the face of every man and woman also the face of Christ, who loved us to the very end of his earthly life and who still calls on us to love and serve our neighbor with the same love he has bestowed on us.

“We do this because Archbishop John Carroll’s generation of believers and patriots bequeathed to us a precious legacy that has enabled the Church to worship in freedom, to bear witness to Christ publicly, and to do massive and amazing works of pastoral love, education, and charity in ways that are true to the faith that inspired them in the first place.”

May 16, 2012


July 4th tribute:

Last year, I featured a flashback look with photographs from the first three years of the Fortnight for Freedom on the Fourth of July.

The Fortnight for Freedom started in 2012 and is a two-week period of prayer, education, and action each year from June 21 to July 4. Sponsored by the U.S. Catholic Bishops, this timeframe was chosen specifically as "the liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power--St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher, St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome."




(CNS photo/Leslie E. Kossoff)

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O God our Creator,
from your provident hand we have received
our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
You have called us as your people and given us
the right and the duty to worship you, the only true God,
and your Son, Jesus Christ.
Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit,
you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world,
bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel
to every corner of society.

We ask you to bless us
in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.
Give us the strength of mind and heart
to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened;
give us courage in making our voices heard
on behalf of the rights of your Church
and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.

Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father,
a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters
gathered in your Church
in this decisive hour in the history of our nation,
so that, with every trial withstood
and every danger overcome—
for the sake of our children, our grandchildren,
and all who come after us—
this great land will always be "one nation, under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

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June 23, 2015 10:44
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Prayers and good wishes: God bless the Class of 2015



Photos by Patti Murphy Dohn


It seems as though every year goes by faster and faster…
My first year of retirement from Campus Ministry has gone by in the blink of an eye.

Now that the John Carroll Class of 2015, as well as all their senior high school peers across this nation, have finished their studies and are ready to graduate, it is fitting that I share a prayer for them and for all the graduates of the Class of 2015.




Praying for God’s grace and blessings on the Class of 2015:

High School Graduation Prayer: 

Dear Heavenly Father,
We come to you with thankful hearts for all those near and dear to us who are graduating from high school.   
We thank you for giving each graduate the talents, abilities and self discipline required for this wonderful accomplishment.  
We are grateful to You for providing the teachers, mentors, coaches and youth counselors who have taught them, nurtured them and challenged them along the way. 
Now that their minds have been well equipped with the basic knowledge of many different subjects, we pray that their hearts and spirits will also be well equipped for successful living.  
Add heavenly wisdom and discernment to their knowledge.  
Infuse their ambitions and dreams with Your love.  
Help them to desire Your good way for their future.  
Remind them that you are only a prayer away when they meet obstacles, heartbreaks and challenges.  
May they always be courageous enough to ask for help, advice and support when they need it.  
May they never needlessly suffer alone without reaching out to You and to others who care. 
As they become independent adults, help them learn the secret of dependence on You.  
Give them a desire to know more about You.  
May they find you in the Scriptures, in the joy of new love, in the gathering of Your people, in the beauty of Your creation and in the strength of their youth. 
And now may Your blessings be theirs as they begin a new life full of joy and promise.  
Amen.





When I was Campus Minister, I invited the members of the junior class during their ring ceremony to place their new high school rings on their fingers with the open end of the embossed design facing toward them. This signified that the student still had more than a year left to learn and take to heart all the traditions of the JC school community and to be ready to represent that legacy as graduates at the end of the following year.

So today, on the graduation day for the Class of 2015, I invite the newest alumni, after receiving their diplomas, to take off their JC ring, turn it around, and place it back on their fingers with the embossed opening facing outward. 

This commissions the Class of 2015 to go forward and share with all those they meet along their life-journey the lessons they learned from their John Carroll experience. 

Lessons such as: 

~Go, make a difference; 

~Let your light shine; 

~To be “compelling, considerate, and uncompromising,” characteristics which were attributed to our patron, Archbishop John Carroll; 

And to always remember: 
~In good times and in bad, that God is good... All the time!!


May our loving God richly bless the Class of 2015!!


May 29, 2015 11:09
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Celebrating the heroic ministry of Cardinal Edwin F. O'Brien in Baltimore and beyond



The inspiring ministry of Cardinal O'Brien:

Archbishop Edwin Frederick O’Brien became the fifteenth Archbishop of Baltimore on Oct. 1, 2007.

In the five years that he served as the shepherd of our Premier See and the last two years as our Archbishop Emeritus, now-Cardinal O'Brien has shared some of the most poignant moments of local Church history with us, as well as the recent changes that have impacted the entire Church in our era.

For today's edition of Catholic Throwback Thursday, we honor the ministry and continued legacy of Cardinal O'Brien.



At the July 12, 2007 press conference announcing the appointment of Edwin Frederick O'Brien, Archbishop for the Military Services, as the fifteenth Archbishop of Baltimore:

This is one of my favorite photos of Cardinal O'Brien who looks so happy as he and Cardinal Keeler share the news of his appointment with our local Church. (Photo: Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun)

"He has leapt from military airplanes, served in jungles during the Vietnam War and travelled extensively to current battle zones in Afghanistan and Iraq. From his working-class roots...to the upper echelons of Catholic power—carrying a Christian message of peace and love to some of the world's worst war-torn terrain." --The Baltimore Sun on the military service of Archbishop O'Brien

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Archbishop O'Brien greeting the auxiliary bishops before his installation as Archbishop of Baltimore on October 1, 2007  (Photo: Baltimore Sun/ Lloyd Fox)

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Elevating the chalice during his Mass of Installation at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, Archbishop O'Brien is joined on left by Archbishop William D. Borders, the thirteenth Archbishop of Baltimore  (Photo: Baltimore Sun/ Algerina Perna)

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Receiving his pallium from Pope Benedict XVI on June 29, 2008 (Photo: CNS/ L'Osservatore Romano)

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"If Joseph Martin is not in heaven, I don't think any of us has a chance."

Cardinal O'Brien presided at the March 13, 2009 funeral Mass at the Baltimore Basilica for Sulpician Father Joseph C. Martin, the co-founder of Father Martin’s Ashley addiction treatment center in Havre de Grace, who died on March 9 at age 84. The Baltimore Sun called Father Martin "the 'wounded healer' who overcame alcoholism and, through his 'chalk talk' and the home he co-founded, helped some 40,000 others to do the same."  (Photo: Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun)

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Archbishop O'Brien leads the procession to the crypt at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen following the funeral for Archbishop William D. Borders, the thirteenth Archbishop of Baltimore who served from 1974 to 1989. He passed away on April 19, 2010 of colon cancer at Stella Maris at age 96. At the time of his death, Archbishop Borders was the fourth-oldest living Catholic bishop in United States history, and the longest-surviving bishop of both Orlando and Baltimore. (Photo: Baltimore Sun/ Lloyd Fox)

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Archbishop O'Brien announced the reorganization of Catholic schools in March of 2010 in a program called "Preserving the Tradition, Transforming the Future: The Rebirth of Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore." (Photo: Baltimore Sun/ Algerina Perna)

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Archbishop O'Brien joined the Sisters for Life for the John Cardinal O’Connor Conference at Georgetown University on the day prior to the 2011 March for Life. Entitled “Building a Culture of Life Today: Learning from the Life and Legacy of Cardinal O’Connor,” the panel of presenters included from left: Bishop William Lori, Professor Helen Alvare, Fr. Joseph Koterski, SJ (moderator), Mother Agnes Mary, SV, and Archbishop O'Brien. (Photo: Sisters of Life)

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Archbishop O'Brien presided over a Divine Mercy Sunday Mass on May 1, 2011 at the Basilica of the Assumption marking the beatification of Pope John Paul II earlier that day in Rome. After Mass, the archbishop led a procession around the block to the Pope John Paul II Prayer Garden. (Barbara Haddock Taylor, Baltimore Sun / May 1, 2011)

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Archbishop Giuseppe De Andrea, the assessor of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, formerly a priest in the Diocese of Greensburg, welcomes Archbishop O'Brien to the Rome headquarters on September 16, 2011 after the August 29 announcement of his appointment as Grand Master.

As Archbishop De Andrea placed the medallion around his neck, he said that this new role "is like a chain that ties him to the Holy Land" and to the knightly order of the Holy Sepulchre. (Photo: Paul Haring/CNS)

"I am grateful to the Holy Father for his trust in me and hope in the years ahead I will be a help to the Holy See and to the wonderful land where Christ walked." --Archbishop O'Brien

Archbishop O'Brien follows the leadership of U.S. Cardinal John P. Foley who stepped down due to health concerns in February. He passed away on December 11, 2011 at age 76 in Darby, Pennsylvania.


"We look to forward the cause of peace in the Holy Land — that’s the Holy Father’s burning desire — and to stopping the exodus of Christians, to make more available the holy places to more people and to encourage pilgrimage to the Holy Land."  --Archbishop O'Brien in an interview with CNS.

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Celebrating Mass at Saint Peter's Tomb on Jan. 16, 2012:

Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl (center) with Cardinal-designate Edwin O'Brien and Archbishop Timothy Broglio to his left. (Photo: CNS)

This marked the beginning of the ad limina visit to the Holy See for the bishops of Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, West Virginia, the Virgin Islands and the U.S. Archdiocese for Military Services.

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New member of the College of Cardinals Edwin Frederick O'Brien receives the red biretta from Pope Benedict XVI in Saint Peter's Basilica on February 18, 2012. (Photo: Franco Origlia, Getty Images Europe)

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Among the twenty-two new cardinals created that day were two from the United States, both sons of New York: Cardinal O'Brien and Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York. (AP Photo)

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New Cardinal Edwin Frederick O'Brien is congratulated by Archbishop Georg Ganswein, personal secretary of the Holy Father, during the courtesy visits at the Paul VI Hall on February 18, 2012 (Photo: Franco Origlia/Getty Images Europe)

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Archbishop of Baltimore-designate William E. Lori, along with Cardinal O'Brien, prays at the crypt of Archbishop John Carroll in the Baltimore Basilica on May 15, 2012, the eve of his elevation as the sixteenth Archbishop of Baltimore, Afterwards a vespers service was held there at the Basilica. (Kenneth K. Lam/Baltimore Sun / May 15, 2012 )

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Twenty-year reunion for the Pontifical North American College Class of 1992. Cardinal O'Brien was their seminary rector at the NAC:

From left: Fr. Brian McGrath, Msgr. Jim Checchio (the current rector of PNAC), Fr. Don Henke, Bishop Paul D. Etienne, Fr. Brian Hayes, Bishop Liam Cary, Bishop William Waterscheid, Msgr. Charles Antonicelli; kneeling Fr. Joe Fonti, with Cardinal O'Brien. (Photo: Bishop Paul D. Etienne

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On the eve of his first trip to the Holy Land as Grand Master of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, Cardinal O'Brien said he hoped to encourage the region’s Christian minority with a message of solidarity from Pope Benedict XVI and other Catholics in the West.

Shown here in his Rome residence on November 24, 2012, Cardinal O'Brien shows near a replica of the crosier of Pope John Paul II and other personal mementos. (Photo: CNS/Paul Haring)

“The church in the Holy Land has been under unfriendly domination throughout the centuries, and the fact that we still exist there is almost a miracle... We have to do everything we can as a Catholic people to encourage them and to let them know that we are one with them in their struggle.” --Cardinal O’Brien told Catholic News Service

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Video:





Enjoy this two-minute video with Cardinal O'Brien previewing his first pilgrimage to the Holy Land

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Cardinal O’Brien is greeted by students at the Catholic seminary in the West Bank town of Beit Jalla on November 28, 2012.

His Eminence was making his first visit to the Holy Land as Grand Master of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, a chivalric order that supports church institutions and Christians in the Holy Land. (Photo: CNS/Heidi Levine

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Flashing back to 2009:

Ten Episcopal nuns, all members of the All Saints Sisters of the Poor convent in Cantonsville, Maryland, along with their chaplain, Father Warren Tanghe, became Catholics during Mass in their chapel back on September 3, 2009. Archbishop O'Brien blessed each of them as they renewed their vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

Four years later on the Solemnity of All Saints, November 1, 2013:

The All Saints Sisters of the Poor look back to their feast day in 2011:

"For us Sisters, the Feast of All Saints has always been special since it is our Titular Feast, but since 2011, it has taken on even more importance. On that day, in the Basilica of the Assumption, in Baltimore, which is also the first Metropolitan Cathedral in the United States, we were erected as a new institute of Consecrated Life in the Roman Catholic Church, and our public vows."--All Saints Sisters of the Poor

Photo of the Sisters with then-Archbishop O’Brien following that November 1, 2011 Mass.

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Cardinal Edwin F. O'Brien at the March 20, 2012 press conference announcing that Bishop William E. Lori of the Diocese of Bridgeport was named the sixteenth Archbishop of Baltimore at the Baltimore Basilica. (Photo: Baltimore Sun/ Karl Merton Ferron)

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The Installation Mass for William E. Lori as the sixteenth Archbishop of Baltimore on May 16, 2012 at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen. Archbishop Lori was shown wearing the pectoral cross that belonged to Archbishop John Carroll, the first United States bishop and first Archbishop of Baltimore.

With Cardinal O'Brien is retired Auxiliary Bishop William Newman (far left), and Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the apostolic nuncio to the United States (second from left).

(Photo: Catholic Review)

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Cardinal O'Brien dedicated a new Latin Patriarchate school at Rameh (Northern Galilee) on November 29, 2012. He was joined by Patriarch Fouad Twal, as well as Bishop Marcuzzo, the Patriarchal Vicar for Israel who originated the project 18 years prior.

“I had prepared a written text, but when I saw the crowd, the followers of the different religions living together in joy and brotherhood, when I saw the enthusiasm of the parents and the students, I set aside my speech and my heart … spoke.”'--Cardinal O’Brien

The first stone for the building project had been blessed by Pope Benedict XVI at his Mass in Nazareth on May 14, 2009 during his pilgrimage to the Holy Land. For the village of Rameh, population 8,000, with 51% Christian, 29% Druze, and 20% Muslim, the school is central to the unity of its people. The Patriarch noted that “the school was not only a place of learning but also a place of dialogue between religions and culture, which must always be at the service of man and the construction of new bridges of friendship and love for all without distinction.”

(Photo: Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem)

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King Abdullah of Jordan met with Cardinal O'Brien and the Latin Patriarch, His Beatitude Fouad Twal December 2, 2012 in Amman. They discussed the fragile situation in the Middle East and their quest for lasting peace. (Photo)

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Who could ever forget the day that Pope Benedict XVI told the world that he was stepping down from the papacy?

On February 11, 2013, Cardinal O'Brien and his priest-secretary Msgr. Adam Parker witnessed the historic announcement from Pope Benedict XVI. This photo was taken by Msgr. Parker immediately following the announcement and published by The Catholic Review.

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American cardinals gather at the Pontifical North American College before the March, 2013 conclave:

From Left: Cardinal Justin Rigali, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Cardinal Francis George, Cardinal Seán, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Cardinal Roger Mahony and Cardinal Edwin O’Brien (Photo: BostonCatholic-Flickr)

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Cardinal O'Brien greets newly-elected Pope Francis (Photo: L’Osservatore Romano)

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Cardinal O’Brien, the Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem carries woven palm fronds in the procession for Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Square on March 24, 2013. (Photo: CNS/Paul Haring)

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Thank you, Your Eminence, for your outstanding service to our Archdiocese and your commitment to peace and understanding in our world.

We are grateful for your ministry and assure you of our prayers.

Ad multos annos!!

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The coat of arms of Cardinal Edwin F. O'Brien:

Father Edwin Frederick O'Brien was ordained a bishop by New York Archbishop Cardinal John J. O'Connor at St. Patrick's Cathedral on March 25, 1996, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of New York by Pope John Paul II.

Bishop O'Brien chose as his episcopal motto: Pastores Dabo Vobis ("I will give you shepherds") from Jeremiah 3:15.




October 02, 2014 01:54
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Music Monday: "With You By My Side" and the prayer of St. Francis de Sales for the Class of 2014


The Class of 2014 has been sent forth to let their light shine in the world:

David Haas' beautiful hymn "With You By My Side" is a joyful prayer for all who move on this year into a future filled with newness and perhaps some fear of the unknown. This song is quite moving and will fill you with hope, as no matter what is to come, our loving God is there to guide us through it.






In a similar manner, the prayer of St. Francis de Sales exhorts us to trust in the Lord to care for us and guide us along all the paths of our lives:

Do not look forward in fear to the changes in life;
rather, look to them with full hope that as they arise,
God, whose very own you are,
will lead you safely through all things;
and when you cannot stand it,
God will carry you in His arms.

Do not fear what may happen tomorrow;
the same understanding Father who cares for
you today will take care of you then and every day.

He will either shield you from suffering
or will give you unfailing strength to bear it.
Be at peace,
and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.

--Saint Francis de Sales

God is good... All the time!!







June 02, 2014 07:07
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Easter Sunday at the Vatican: He is risen, Alleluia!!


Happy Easter and many blessings from Rome!!

Easter morning:

The sound of people making their way to St. Peter's Square outside our hotel windows at the Palazzo Cardinal Cesi just after 6 a.m. "encouraged" us to skip breakfast and head out earlier than we had planned. We approached the piazza only to discover that the quickly-growing queues were not allowed to enter until 8 a.m. Hurry up and wait, right? That's exactly what we did for over an hour.

I had to keep looking up at the basilica dome and the statues of the apostles in an attempt to not think about the enormous number of people crowding in around us. When security finally started letting people in at 7:55, there was an enormous crush with the massive crowds trying to get into single opening metal detectors from every possible direction. It was overwhelming to say the least.

Once through, we worked our way to the reserved area where our early start gained us chairs on the center aisle. We were not as close as during the Wednesday audience, but we were indeed lucky to get seats at all, considering the enormous crowds on this bright and sunny Easter morning.

There were people of all ages and races, speaking so many different languages, many carrying banners and flags. There were nuns in religious habits of all styles, and priests and seminarians in cassocks and religious robes from many different orders among the crowds.

The liturgical practice with Msgr. Guido Marini for those participating that morning began at 8:30. The choirs also started warming up. 

During the three hours that we waited in queues and at our seats for the 10:15 Mass, I could see people in every corner and from every angle of St. Peter's Square. It was truly a representation of the Universal Church. Fox News later estimated the crowds to number 150,000, but my friends who work at the Vatican said that it could have easily been over 250,000. (Next Sunday's numbers for the canonizations of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII could be well over one million in attendance.)

The rosary and processions of the Swiss Guard:

Around 9:45, greetings for Easter were extended over the speakers throughout the piazza, with an invitation to join in the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary in Latin. Perhaps you could not see this on EWTN's live broadcast, but midway through the second mystery, music was heard in the distance growing louder and louder. After the next Ave Maria, the rosary stopped completely as we could see the Swiss Guard marching in formation in full ceremonial attire, led by their corps of musicians into the piazza from the Santa Anna Gate. It was spectacular for those able to see and hear. 

After they took their places to the left side facing the altar, the recitation of the rosary resumed. But wait... more music was soon heard and more Swiss Guards marching in formation processed through St. Peter's Square to the right side facing the altar. It was magnificent!! 

The rosary was never finished, as the cues on timing must have gotten mixed, and Mass was about to start. Those near the front definitely had a treat in witnessing this twice-annual solemn procession of the Swiss Guard, done only on Christmas and Easter.


Pope Francis on the steps before the altar at the beginning of Mass.

A "small world" story:

Ironically, my husband and I were seated at Mass next to two teens from another high school named for my school's patron, Archbishop John Carroll. It was not until Holy Communion when I saw and greeted a young man wearing a "Bishop Carroll High School" jacket, that one of the young men next to us told me they were part of that Canadian school's band, and were traveling and performing in various Italian towns. 

Popemobile ride through the piazza:

After Mass, the Holy Father hopped on the Popemobile for a fast loop around St. Peter's Square. They were being very time-conscious since he had to be up on the high balcony over the basilica for the 12 noon Urbi et Orbi ("To the city and to the world") message and blessing which was broadcast across the globe.


I went to the back of the seated area, facing the standing-only sections, to get this photo which really shows the huge crowds spread throughout St. Peter's Square. Notice that Pope Francis is riding in a completely open jeep, even the front windshield is down flat. 


From the front of my section facing the altar area and basilica.


Pope Francis looked so tiny when he came out onto the balcony over St. Peter's Basilica for the Urbi et Orbi message and blessing. It put into better perspective how truly massive is this largest church in the world. I also realized how it must have looked when he was presented to the crowds gathered there after his election last March. 

Heading home:

We are heading back to Maryland on Easter Monday after 12 amazing days in Italy. I so enjoyed sharing the daily "Buon giorno, Italia" journal and photos from the first week with my students.  

During the days that followed, my husband and I extended for five extra days near the Vatican after they departed. We kept busy with special tours, Vatican events, good food and wine, and some once-in-my-lifetime opportunities. I have lots of photos and great stories to share with you after the jet lag wears off.

Arriverderci, Roma!! We loved every minute!!

April 21, 2014 03:51
By Patti Murphy Dohn


A prayer from George Washington for Presidents' Day

 

 

George Washington and Bishop John Carroll

 

 

Happy Presidents’ Day!!

Formerly known as Washington’s Birthday, this federal holiday celebrates the contributions of Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, as well as all our nation’s presidents over the course of our history.

 

First U.S. Bishop:

Bishop John Carroll, the first bishop (and later archbishop) in the United States and patriarch of American Catholicism, wrote and delivered the beautiful “Prayer for the Nation” in 1791, urging American Catholics to recite it regularly with their parish communities for God’s blessings on our nation, our president, and on our Church. Read Bishop John Carroll's “Prayer for the Nation” here

 

Eulogy for President Washington: 

Two months after the death of President Washington, Bishop John Carroll delivered a moving eulogy at St. Peter’s Church in Baltimore on February 22, 1800. It honored our first president and his legacy, and was called by one biographer the “best specimen of Carroll’s eloquence.”  The eulogy was published in Peter K. Guilday’s 1922 book, “The Life and Times of John Carroll, Archbishop of Baltimore, 1735-1815 (Two Volumes)” Read his eulogy here.

 

 

Prayer at Valley Forge

 

President Washington’s Prayer for the Nation:

 

Today’s prayer was adapted from George Washington’s Circular Letter to the States, written on June 8, 1783 at Newburgh, New York.

 

Almighty GOD; we make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection, that thou wilt incline the hearts of citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States of America at large. And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of The Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech thee, through Jesus Christ Our Lord.

Amen.


February 17, 2014 10:03
By Patti Murphy Dohn

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