"You are the future of the world, you are the hope of the Church, you are my hope.”
—The greeting of Pope John Paul II to youth during his papal inauguration Mass on October 22, 1978
In less than two weeks, hundreds of thousands of young people and youth ministers from all over the world will descend upon Kraków, Poland for World Youth Day 2016
The Archdiocese of Baltimore
will be represented among the huge crowds. A delegation of 40 young adults, led by Father Matt Buening, Catholic chaplain at Towson University, as well as seminarians Matt Himes and Tyler Kline, will be in attendance. Local teen groups from Mount de Sales Academy and St. Mary’s Church, Annapolis are traveling to Poland as well.
The homeland of Pope Saint John Paul II is the perfect location for a celebration for World Youth Day (WYD) during this Jubilee Year of Mercy. This year’s theme, which was one of three Beatitude-inspired WYD themes announced by Pope Francis in 2013
, is “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy." (Mt 5:7)
During the 1983-1984 Holy Year of the Redemption (which marked 1950 years after Jesus’s crucifixion, death, and resurrection), as well as the 1985 United Nation’s International Youth Year, Pope John Paul II invited young people to come to Rome to pray with him each year on Palm (Passion) Sunday. Though organizers initially expected about 60,000 to attend, crowds ranged from 250,000 in 1984 to 300,000 in 1985. These youth from many nations, who gathered with the Holy Father at the Vatican, affirmed their desire to be actively connected to Christ and their Catholic faith.
The next year, in December of 1985, Pope John Paul II announced the institution of local events, which he called “World Youth Days,” to be held on the diocesan level every Palm Sunday, commencing in 1986. The Holy Father would also attend international gatherings for WYD, to be held every two or three years in different countries which he would select.
“No one invented the World Youth Days. It was the young people themselves who created them. Those days, those encounters, then became something desired by young people throughout the world. Most of the time these Days were something of a surprise for priests, and even bishops, in that they surpassed all their expectations."
The first international World Youth Day was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1987. Pope John Paul II also presided over seven more before his death in 2005. They were held in the following locations:
- Santiago de Compostela, Spain, 1989;
- Częstochowa, Poland, 1991;
- Denver, Colorado, 1993;
- Manila, Philippines, 1995;
- Paris, France, 1997;
- Rome, 2000 for the Jubilee Year;
- Toronto, Canada, 2002;
Above: Then-Archbishop of Baltimore William H. Keeler took this photo in the helicopter with Pope John Paul II, who was praying his rosary when he sees the enormous crowd gathered in Cherry Creek State Park for the WYD-Denver closing Mass on Aug. 15, 1993.
He later told the youth there:
“Place your intelligence, your talents, your enthusiasm, your compassion and your fortitude at the service of life.”
(Photo by Archbishop W. H. Keeler)
To the 800,000 youth gathered at the closing vigil in Toronto in 2002, which would be the last international WYD for Pope John Paul II:
“When, back in 1985, I wanted to start the World Youth Days… I imagined a powerful moment in which the young people of the world could meet Christ, who is eternally young, and could learn from him how to be bearers of the Gospel to other young people. This evening, together with you, I praise God and give thanks to him for the gift bestowed on the Church through the World Youth Days. Millions of young people have taken part, and as a result have become better and more committed Christian witnesses.”
—Pope John Paul II, July 28, 2002, Toronto
Pope Benedict and Pope Francis continue the legacy of WYD:
Four months after the death of Pope John Paul II in April 2, 2005, Pope Benedict XVI presided over World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany (August, 2005), followed by Sydney, Australia (2008), and Madrid, Spain (2011).
Pope Benedict greets the crowds after arriving at WYD in Madrid (AP photo).
Pope Francis, who was elected in March of 2013 after the resignation of Pope Benedict, traveled to Rio de Janeiro just four months later for WYD (July, 2013). At the closing Mass at Copacabana beach, he joyfully announced that he would meet again with youth from all over the world for WYD 2016 in Kraków, Poland, the homeland of now-Saint John Paul II.
Three million people gathered on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro for the closing Mass of WYD 2013 with Pope Francis.
(Photo: AP/ Felipe Dana)
WYD 2016 in Kraków:
According to Rome Reports
, registrations for this upcoming WYD have been received from thousands of youth representing 107 countries, along with more than 10,000 priests, over 800 bishops and almost 50 cardinals. Poland, Italy, France, Spain, and the United States are the five countries with the most registrations.
As Pope Francis prepares to join our young people in Kraków, organizers are expecting as many as 2 million to attend the overnight vigil and closing Mass on July 31.
These young people who gather in Kraków next week are in for one of the most exhilarating spiritual experiences of their lifetime. Not only will they meet people from around the world, attend catechetical sessions and Mass each day, but they will have countless opportunities to open their hearts to hear God’s call to live a life of mercy as they experience His love in new and profound ways.
Let’s keep all the youth in our prayers.
God is good!
Read more of my reminisces on World Youth Day here in:
July 14, 2016 01:59
By Patti Murphy Dohn
“Never measure your generosity by what you give, but rather by what you have left.”
~ Archbishop Fulton John Sheen (1895-1979)
One Year Ago Today:
My Facebook memories this morning reminded me of the sad announcement from the Diocese of Peoria
, Illinois last September 3, 2014: The cause for beatification and canonization of their native son, Archbishop Fulton John Sheen, was put on indefinite suspension. The reason was a dispute between his hometown Diocese of Peoria and the Archdiocese of New York over the final resting place of Sheen’s earthly remains.
Archbishop Sheen (1895-1979), who was the face of American Catholicism for decades before his death in 1979, is interred in the crypt under the main altar at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. He served the Archdiocese of New York as auxiliary bishop from 1951 to 1966.
Bishop Daniel Jenky, CSC, of Sheen’s hometown of Peoria where his cause is headquartered, and who led the way for his possible canonization with the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in 2002, requested transfer to his diocesan cathedral.
This request came after ten years of inquiry into Sheen’s life, writings, and virtue; the investigation of two alleged miracles, and the 2011 presentation of the positio by Bishop Jenky to Pope Benedict XVI who noted that he had worked with Archbishop Sheen during Vatican II.
According to the timeline of events
, the Holy Father declared Archbishop Sheen to be “Venerable” on June 28, 2012. Bishop Jenky held a Mass of Thanksgiving at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Peoria on September 9. Archbishop Sheen had attended the cathedral school as a youth, and he received his First Holy Communion at the cathedral, where he was ordained in 1919.
“In this Dec. 11, 2011 file photo, Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky, center, gives a sermon next to a painting of Archbishop Fulton Sheen and the sealed box of documentation for the alleged miracle performed by Sheen, during a Mass at Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Peoria, Ill. The documents were sent to the Vatican. A bid for more than a decade to canonize the late archbishop, an Illinois native, has stalled indefinitely because the Archdiocese of New York won't release Sheen's body to the Peoria diocese as part of the process, the Peoria diocese said." (AP Photo/Journal Star, Eve Edelheit)
Prayers that God's will be made manifest:
After the two dioceses were unable to reach an agreement or compromise on the matter, the following statement was issued on September 3, 2015, one year ago today, by the Sheen Foundation, the official promoter for canonization:
“It is with immense sadness that the Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, Bishop of Peoria and President of the Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Foundation, announced today that the Cause for Sheen’s beatification and canonization has for the foreseeable future been suspended…
The Holy See expected that the remains of Venerable Sheen would be moved to Peoria where official inspection would be made and first class relics be taken. Subsequently, the Archdiocese of New York denied Bishop Jenky’s request to move the body to Peoria. After further discussion with Rome, it was decided that the Sheen Cause would now have to be relegated to the Congregation’s historic archive…
The Bishop is heartbroken not only for his flock in Peoria but also for the many supporters of the Sheen Cause from throughout the world who have so generously supported Peoria’s efforts. It should be noted, however, that saints are always made by God not by man. Efforts for many causes have sometimes taken decades or even centuries. Bishop Jenky urges that those who support the Sheen Cause continue their prayers that God’s will be made manifest.”
The response of the Archdiocese of New York:
The following statement was issued by the communications office of the New York Archdiocese the next day:
“The Archdiocese of New York joins Bishop Daniel Jenky of the Diocese of Peoria in his invitation to prayer that “God’s will be made manifest” concerning the cause for sainthood of Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen…
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen expressly stated his desire that his remains be buried in New York, a request that was granted by Cardinal Terence Cooke when he was laid to rest beside the Archbishops of New York in the crypt beneath the high altar of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. To date, the only official instruction that the Archdiocese of New York has received from the Holy See regarding this matter was, from a decade ago, that his body not be moved to Peoria. To date, we have not received any further direction or request from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints…
The Congregation for the Causes of Saints did recently ask the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Peoria to enter into a dialogue to see if there was a way to continue progress in moving the cause forward…”
He spoke to my heart:
I have loved Archbishop Sheen and been inspired by his charismatic proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus and unwavering devotion to Our Lady since I first heard him preach during my teen years. His beautiful message of faith and hope spoke to my heart.
During my days teaching Religion to the high school students at John Carroll
, I frequently showed them excerpts from his popular TV series, “Life is Worth Living.” I always hoped that he would inspire them too.
"Everyone, make the Holy Hour, and you will discover as you leave the divine Presence that if you move among people in the world, they will say of you as the maid said of Peter, “You have been with Christ.” And then at the end of a lifetime spent in adoration of the Lord, and in love of the Blessed Mother, of the Blessed Sacrament, when you come before the Lord do you know what He will say to you? He will say, “I heard my Mother speak of you.”
~Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen on Eucharistic Adoration
A call to reopen the process for beatification:
Our nation needs native-born saints and role models to inspire the hearts and minds of all Catholics, especially our youth. It would be a tremendous loss to the American Church if the opportunity to beatify, and maybe one day canonize, this good and holy bishop was lost due to the inability of two dioceses to agree on his final resting place.
The years are quickly passing by, and we are losing immediate members of the Sheen Family, as well as the faithful who loved his TV show and listened to his sermons.
I pray… no, actually, I plead that Church officials in Peoria and in New York can get together after the visit of our Holy Father Pope Francis and work out their concerns and differences so that this effort can move forward for the good of the American Church.
Archbishop Fulton John Sheen, a native-born son, preached the Gospel with a passion to reach all generations across the years. Our young people need religious heroes to emulate in these days of secularism and relativism.
May we see his cause move forward in our lifetimes.
Heavenly Father, source of all holiness,
You raise up within the Church in every age men and women who serve with heroic love and dedication.
You have blessed Your Church through the life and ministry of Your faithful servant, Archbishop Fulton J Sheen.
He has written and spoken well of Your Divine Son, Jesus Christ, and was a true instrument of the Holy Spirit in touching the hearts of countless people.
If it be according to Your Will, for the honor and glory of the Most Holy Trinity and for the salvation of souls,
we ask You to move the Church to proclaim him a saint.
We ask this prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
+Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C., Bishop of Peoria
For more information:
3. The March 15, 2015 Catholic World Report article
on Thomas Reeves’ biography "America's Bishop: The Life and Times of Fulton J. Sheen,” with new final chapter available online at no cost; Calls Sheen’s ‘intense life of holiness worthy of sainthood’
Read more here.
4. The June 18, 2014 Catholic Herald article
about the first proposed miracle, the survival of a child delivered stillborn, to be attributed to the intercession of Archbishop Sheen. A board of physicians “convoked by the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints in March of 2014 agreed that there was no natural explanation for why the child’s heart started beating over an hour after his birth.”
“You have written and spoken well of the Lord Jesus. You have been a loyal son of the Church!”
~Pope John Paul II, as he embraced Archbishop Sheen during an October 3, 1979 audience in New York City
September 03, 2015 03:17
By Patti Murphy Dohn
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)
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.
June 23, 2015 10:44
By Patti Murphy Dohn
Today is the 88th birthday of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI:
Born in Marktl am Inn, Bavaria, Germany, on April 16, 1927, on my Grandmother’s sixth birthday, the former Joseph Ratzinger was elected to the papacy on April 19, 2005 after the death of Pope John Paul II. Then 78 years old, the new Pope Benedict XVI became the oldest pope to serve the Church in 300 years.
Waving from the balcony of St Peter's Basilica after being elected in April 2005 (EPA Photo)
Where were you…?
Where were you when you heard that news on February 11, 2013 that Pope Benedict XVI, at age 85, had announced that he would step down from the papacy citing a "lack of strength of mind and body due to advanced age” seventeen days later on February 28?
He shocked the world with this monumental announcement, making him the first pope to step down from his pontificate since Pope Gregory XII in 1415.
Announcing his resignation during a consistory with Vatican cardinals on February 11, 2013 (AP Photo)
“After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God,
I have come to the certainty that my strengths due to an advanced age
are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.
“I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature,
must be carried out not only by words and deeds but no less with prayer and suffering.
“However, in today's world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions
of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the barque of St. Peter and proclaim the Gospel,
both strength of mind and body are necessary-
strengths which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me
to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.”
--Pope Benedict XVI on February 11, 2013
Pope Benedict XVI walks with his cane following his final general audience on Feb. 27, 2013.
(Photo: L’Osservatore Romano/CNS)
Above: The final tweet of Pope Benedict XVI as @Pontifex: February 27, 2013
Pope Benedict left the Vatican on February 28, 2013 by Italian air force helicopter, circling Rome during the sunset hour while bells rang out from St. Peter’s Basilica and from every church in the region.
He would spend the next three months at the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo until the renovations were completed at his new home in the Vatican Gardens at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery.
"I am a simple pilgrim who begins the last stage of his pilgrimage on this earth.
"With all my heart, with all my love, with my prayers, with my reflection, with all my interior strength, I still want to work for the common good and the good of the church and humanity.”
--Pope Benedict XVI to those gathered outside Castel Gandolfo on February 28, 2013
Glimpses into the retired life of the Holy Father Emeritus:
So what has Pope Benedict been doing since his retirement?
He has kept a low profile with a quiet schedule during the past two years.
Here are some of the highlights:
First meeting of two living popes in modern times:
Just days after his election, Pope Francis traveled by helicopter from the Vatican for this private first meeting with the former pontiff on March 23, 2013 at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo. During the visit, they prayed together and had lunch. Pope Francis gave his retired predecessor a gift, an icon of Mary and Jesus that the Russian Orthodox delegation to the inauguration had given him the previous week:
“They told me this was Our Lady of Humility. If I may say, I thought of you.
You gave us so many examples of humility and tenderness.”
(CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters)
Pope Francis welcomes Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI back to the Vatican
after two months at the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo;
(Photo: Reuters/L'Osservatore Romano)
Pope Francis visited the Holy Father Emeritus at his new home, the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery on May 2, 2013.
(CNS/L'Ossevatore Romano via Reuters)
Living with Pope Benedict at the monastery will be his secretary, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, who also serves as prefect of the papal household to Pope Francis, along with four staff, all consecrated laywomen from Memores Domini. His home includes a chapel, library for his large book collection, and a guest room for his brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger of their native Germany.
The music room with piano is especially important to Pope Benedict, an accomplished pianist, who plays daily. His favorite composer is said to be Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
“His music is by no means just entertainment; it contains the whole tragedy of human existence.”
—Pope Benedict XVI on Mozart
Besides piano practice, the Holy Father Emeritus is said to spend his time in prayer, reading and study, in informal private meetings with friends and associates, and keeping up with the daily news from the L’Osservatore Romano and the evening news broadcast.
A private concert was held on January 14, 2014 for the occasion of the 90th birthday of the brother of the Holy Father Emeritus, Msgr. George Ratzinger, the former music director of the Regensburger Domspatzen, the Boys’ Choir of the Cathedral in Regensburg.
“...the honor of a lifetime…”
Lauren Green, who serves as Fox News Channel's chief religion correspondent based in New York and has a degree in piano performance from the University of Minnesota, was the classical music pianist.
“To be asked to perform for the pope seemed like Divine intervention alone. But other things happened that convinced me God’s hand was in it, guiding my path.”
Read how Lauren Green knew it was “a God thing” in “It was a God thing -- adventures in faith on the way to concert for Pope Benedict, his brother.”
Attending the Consistory in Saint Peter's Basilica on February 22, 2014 for the creation of 19 new cardinals:
Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, age 86, embraced Pope Francis before the start of the consistory where these new members were elevated to the College of Cardinals.
Sister Gisela Upunto Msuya, a Dominican nun from Same in East Timor, who studies at the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum) and lives in Rome, visited the Holy Father Emeritus on July 25, 2014. (Photo: Facebook)
In his third public appearance since retirement, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI joined Pope Francis on September 28, 2014 for a celebration for grandparents and the elderly in St. Peter’s Square. (Photo: Reuters)
“He is discreet, humble, he doesn’t want to get in the way... It feels like having grandpa at home, because of his wisdom.
It does me good to listen to him. And it also encourages me a great deal.”
--Pope Francis said of his predecessor, noting that elderly persons transmit 'wisdom and faith, the most precious inheritance.’
Archbishop Georg Gangwein serves as the secretary to the retired Holy Father.
Selfies with the Pope Emeritus:
This photo of the Holy Father Emeritus, at age 87, with seminarian Giuseppe Ricciardi
who hails from the southern Italian diocese of Aversa was posted on Twitter:
"Ecco il primo #selfie in assoluto del #Papa Emerito #BenedettoXVI, in compagnia di Giuseppe Ricciardi di Aversa." pic.twitter.com/ejZFJcXjnW
— Gianluca Barile (@GianlucaBarile1) on September 11, 2014
"Here is the first #selfie ever of #Papa Emeritus #BenedettoXVI, in the company of Giuseppe Ricciardi of Aversa."
Shortly thereafter, Gianluca Barile (@GianlucaBarile1) tweeted a second selfie of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, this time standing with Italian priest Fr. Sebastiano Sequino.
"Non c'è uno senza due! Ecco il secondo selfie di oggi di #Papa #BenedettoXVI, stavolta con Don Sebastiano Sequino." pic.twitter.com/lYEc66vseZ
— Gianluca Barile (@GianlucaBarile1) September 11, 2014
“There’s two, not just one!
This is the second selfie from today of Pope Benedict XVI, this time with Father Sebastiano Sequino”
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI exchanging the Sign of Peace with cardinals during the Beatification Mass for Blessed Pope Paul VI. This liturgy was celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square on October 19, 2014.
(Photo: CNS/Paul Haring)
Archbishop of Panama Jose Domingo Ulloa, with Bishop David Bishop, Monsignor José Luis Lacunza, and women from their delegation meet with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on November 19, 2014 at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery.
This year's Epiphany/ birthday visit for the brothers:
Msgr. Georg Ratzinger flew from Munich to Rome on December 29, 2014 to visit with his brother, the Holy Father Emeritus, until January 16. They would celebrate Msgr. Ratzinger's birthday, now the 91st, there again at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery.
This year’s celebration included another concert, with music by Il Trio Böhm, held in the same room at Vatican Radio as the 90th birthday concert the previous year.
The chamber musicians were Michela Berti paying flute, Claudio Cavallaro on the clarinet, and Daniele Veroli playing the horn.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI again attended the consistory held this year on February 14, 2015 for the creation of 20 new cardinals
The Archbishop of Lviv Mieczysław Mokrzycki, took his brother bishops to meet Benedict at the Lourdes Grotto in the Vatican Gardens on February 21, 2015 while on their ad limina visit to Rome. The Archbishop served as second secretary to St. John Paul II and also to Pope Benedict XVI until he was appointed Archbishop of Lviv in western Ukraine. Pope Benedict ordained him to the bishopric in St. Peter's Basilica and now invited the Archbishop to lunch at the monastery and expressed a wish to meet his brother bishops.
For his 88th birthday, Pope Benedict XVI will once again enjoy the company of his brother, Msgr. Ratzinger, for a ten-day visit.
The Holy Father celebrated his 81st birthday at the White House with President and Mrs. Bush on April 16, 2008 during his pastoral trip to the United States.
Ad multos annos!!
April 16, 2015 04:31
By Patti Murphy Dohn
Msgr. O'Dwyer Retreat House in Sparks, Maryland
(Photo by Patti Murphy Dohn)
For over five decades, the Msgr. O’Dwyer Retreat House
has served the spiritual needs of the young people of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Affectionately called ‘the House’ by those of us who have ministered there, O’Dwyer hosts thousands of youth and young adults each year.
Founded in 1963 as the CYO Retreat House, this archdiocesan facility was founded by Msgr. Clare O’Dwyer who envisioned a “spiritual powerhouse” for our youth. Cardinal Lawrence Shehan
(the 12th Archbishop of Baltimore from 1961-1974) approved the purchase of an old lodge with twenty acres in the northern Baltimore County town of Sparks. Msgr. O'Dwyer directed the students from Mount St. Joseph High School on the first retreat in September of 1963. The House was renamed for Msgr. O'Dwyer after his death in 1982.
A great story from the Director of the House:
has served as O'Dwyer's director since 2011. He shared with me this beautiful story about how retreats often impact lives many year later, sometimes in the most amazing ways. Enjoy this heartwarming story and his personal reflections that follow.
“God sending a note from her younger self to her older self”
“Last November, I received a completely unexpected phone call, and had the opportunity to hear another of those wonderful stories about the impact that being at the Msgr. O’Dwyer Retreat House had on someone’s life. It is a great story for all those who work in ministry and work with young people.
“Kathy, who lives in Oregon now, was on the phone. She let me know that she had attended a retreat here at the House as a teenager in 1972, and had greatly enjoyed being here. Kathy also let me know that during the retreat the participants wrote a letter to themselves, which after the retreat was mailed home to them. Kathy got her letter, but never opened it. The letter got put aside and forgotten about.
"Fast forward nearly 30 years later to 2000. Her mom is cleaning out the house and sends a bunch of Kathy’s things to her in a box. One of the things Kathy comes across is the letter from her retreat. This discovery came during a particularly trying time for herself and her husband. She didn’t go into a lot of detail of what was in the letter, but she did tell me a few things.
“Kathy thought of it as God sending her a note from her younger self to her older self, reminding her of the important lessons from retreat. It contained things such as love yourself as God loves you, take time to be with God in prayer, that God is in the people you meet, and that you have much to offer.
“…God giving her just what she needed when she needed it.”
“She (Kathy) also said it was God giving her just what she needed when she needed it. The letter was put away for safe keeping, and for a time, forgotten about again.
“Kathy then told me that a few months ago she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Luckily it has been found early and her treatment is going well. It is also about this time Kathy rediscovered the letter from retreat in a jewelry box. Once again it was just what she needed to hear in a tremendously difficult time in her life. It was yet another, and now a familiar way, that God reached out to her and provided what she needed.
“This time she felt compelled to call the House and tell someone about her experiences, and it was my good fortune to be that person. Kathy talked about what a special place the House is for young people, how she was so grateful for the experience she had here as a teen, and how grateful she is for the effect her retreat has had on her 30 and 40 years later! She told me she was praying for the young people coming here on retreat, for the staff, and for the work of the House.
“…so much of what we do in ministering to youth is planting seeds…”
“The call was such a blessing and another amazing example of God’s grace. It gave a clear reminder of how so much of what we do in ministering to youth is planting seeds, and that in God’s time it bears fruit. In the busyness and the sometime frustrations of the day, in the grind of the week, we might lose sight of what we’re trying to do in our ministry, of what our mission is, and what it’s really about. The fruits of our labors might be seen that day, or in a week, or a month, or a year; or sometimes 40 years from now!
“Reminders like Kathy’s help us to know that our work with young people does bear fruit even though we realize many times we’ll never get to see it, or hear about these types of experiences. I am so grateful to Kathy for being God’s messenger in this instance.
“God wants us all to know that the work we do with youth every day is important and does matter. It helps to provide us the strength and hope we need to continue on in our ministry.
“This is but one of literally hundreds of thousands of stories of young people who have experienced the ministry of the Retreat House. Young people, now adults, who were given the opportunity to come on retreat, and to deepen their relationship with the Living God through activities, games, talks, prayer, reflection, Reconciliation, and Eucharist. Young people who today still continue to deepen that relationship with their Savior, who are this generation’s disciples. We pray they develop what will be a lifetime relationship with Jesus, and spread the Good News to others.
May God continue to bless us all, and continue to bless our ministry to youth!”
—Mike Downes, Director, Msgr. O’Dwyer Retreat House
Read more about the Msgr. O'Dwyer Retreat House here:
1. Read about what the House has meat to John Carroll students since the late 1970s:
4. Welcoming new director Michael Downes in 2011:
February 26, 2015 03:00
By Patti Murphy Dohn
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
Archbishop O'Brien greeting the auxiliary bishops before his installation as Archbishop of Baltimore on October 1, 2007 (Photo: Baltimore Sun/ Lloyd Fox)
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)
Receiving his pallium from Pope Benedict XVI on June 29, 2008 (Photo: CNS/ L'Osservatore Romano)
"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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.
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.
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)
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)
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)
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 )
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)
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
Enjoy this two-minute video with Cardinal O'Brien previewing his first pilgrimage to the Holy Land
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)
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.
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.
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)
Cardinal O'Brien greets newly-elected Pope Francis (Photo: L’Osservatore Romano)
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)
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!!
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
Omnia in caritate "All things (be done) in charity." (I Cor. 16:14):
The motto of Lawrence Cardinal Shehan (Photo: Archdiocese of Baltimore)
Looking back thirty years:
The summer of 1984 was extremely hot. And I would know, as I was expecting my daughter Meighan. But the overwhelming heat did not keep me and several thousand other faithful Catholics from attending the August 30 Funeral Mass for our beloved shepherd: a role model of staunch faith and a pioneer in the fight for human rights, fair housing, racial equality, Catholic education, and a leader in ground-breaking ecumenical relations.
Cardinal Lawrence Joseph Shehan, the twelfth Archbishop of Baltimore, passed on to Eternal Life on August 26, 1984 at the age of 86. Born in 1898 on Greenmount Avenue in Baltimore City to Thomas P. and Anastasia Dames (Schofield) Shehan, Shehan went to school at St. Ann’s right down the street, before going on to study at St. Charles (high school) College Seminary, St. Mary’s Seminary, and the Pontifical North American College in Rome, where he was ordained on December 23, 1922 at St. John Lateran Basilica.
I had a particular love for Cardinal Shehan since he had confirmed me, as well as had founded John Carroll School (1964) where I spent 33 years of my career. It was an honor and a privilege to pray with people from every walk of life who honored his memory at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen on that bright, sunny day, August 30, 1984.
"Without question, he was a man who was convinced of the mission of the church. His entire life, up to the end, was devoted to having people appreciate the civilizing influence of the church." —Archbishop William D. Borders, the 13th Archbishop of Baltimore
Funeral Mass booklet, alongside “A Blessing of Years: The Memoirs of Lawrence Cardinal Shehan”
Some of the highlights of the Cardinal’s more than six decades of ministry:
1. Parish ministry at St. Patrick Church, Washington, D.C.;
2. Catholic Charities in D.C.: Assistant Director from 1929-36, then Director from 1936-45;
3. Auxiliary Bishop to the archbishop of Baltimore and Washington in 1945;
4. Auxiliary Bishop to the Archbishop of Baltimore in 1947;
5. Named first Bishop of the newly-established Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut by Pope Pius XII (serving from 1953-1961);
6. Twelfth Archbishop of Baltimore (from 1961 until his 1974 retirement);
Archbishop Shehan throwing out the first pitch at an Orioles game on Holy Name Night at Memorial Stadium in 1964; Seated to the immediate right is then-Msgr. (later Bishop) Frank Murphy, who served the Archbishop as priest-secretary; On the far right is Father Joseph L. Muth, Jr.; (Photo/ Joseph F. Siwak)
7. Served as a Council Father for all four sessions of Vatican II (1962-1965);
Seen here in St. Peter’s Basilica on November 18, 1965 during a public session of the Second Vatican Council (Photo: AP/Gianni Foggia)
Seen here in Rome after one of the Vatican II sessions, Cardinal Shehan, an unidentified monsignor, and Rev. James Laubacher, S.S., who served as "peritus" (expert) to Cardinal Shehan, meet with the Holy Father. (Photo: Society of Saint Sulpice)
8. Elevated to the College of Cardinals in 1965; Was the second cardinal in our Premier See following Cardinal James Gibbons;
Cardinal Shehan’s Cappa Magna (great cape) is on permanent display in the museum room on the lower level of the Baltimore Basilica (Photo: Cardinal Seán's Blog)
9. Became Archbishop-Emeritus in 1974, continuing to live at the Basilica and celebrating early morning Mass there every day until his illness in 1984;
Last official duty before retirement: While serving as papal legate for Pope Paul VI to the 40th Eucharistic Congress in Melbourne, Australia in 1973, Cardinal Shehan presided over an Aboriginal Mass attended by almost 30,000. This liturgy featured “100 aborigines in full war paint and native dress performing an interpretative dance of the Last Supper in lieu of the first scripture reading.” (Photo: MDHC Archdiocese of Melbourne)
10. The final resting spot for Cardinal Shehan is the crypt of the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen.
Did you know?...
A. Cardinal Shehan ordered the desegregation of all the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 1962, and mandated that administrators at all Catholic hospitals and institutions abide by a strict practice of nondiscrimination.
B. A champion for equal rights and harmonious race relations, he issued a pastoral letter Racial Justice (italics) in March of 1963, stating that "discrimination has no place in the Church."
C. Five months later, Cardinal Shehan participated in the March on Washington (August 28, 1963) with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
"In his work with the Bishop’s Conference, Cardinal Shehan was instrumental in shaping the rules and the changes for the diaconate that enabled African Americans to become deacons." —Charles Tildon, appointed by Cardinal Shehan as the first chair of the Archdiocesan Urban Commission in 1966
D. Cardinal Shehan joined other bishops in appealing to the Supreme Court in 1967 to overturn bans on interracial marriages.
E. A leader in ecumenism from 1962, he was appointed by Pope Paul VI to the Vatican Secretariat for the Promotion of Christian Unity, and was named to represent the Holy Father at meetings with the Orthodox Church, which resulted in the lifting of the mutual excommunication made between Rome and Constantinople in 1054. (Cardinal Shehan also established this country’s first Commission for Christian Unity.)
Cardinal Augustin Bea, SJ (1881-1968), the first president of the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity, visited Baltimore in 1963. A noted biblical scholar and ecumenist, he worked with Cardinal Shehan on Jewish and Christian relations both during and after the Second Vatican Council. Seen here with Cardinal Shehan at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen. (Archives Photo)
F. He spoke out regularly against the Vietnam War, which he called (archbalt.org) "uncontrolled violence and senseless wholesale destruction of human life and moral values." He reiterated in 1971, ''It is a scandal the Christian conscience can no longer endure.''
G. He was unable to participate in the 1978 conclave due to the new changes implemented by Pope Paul VI that a cardinal over the age of 80 was ineligible to vote.
''I wish to assure you of my spiritual closeness at this time.'' —Part of a telegram sent by Pope John Paul II the week before Cardinal Shehan’s death; Seen here greeting the newly-elected Pope John Paul II after the 1978 conclave (Photo: Pontificia Fotografica Felici)
Celebrating St. Joseph’s Day at St. Martin Home for the Aged in 1974; The adorable little one, now grown up with a family of her own, is Megan Wheltle. (Photo: "A Blessing of Years," University of Notre Dame Press)
Short in stature, Cardinal Shehan often joked about his height. According to a New York Times article published upon his death:
“Once when asked about his success as a fund raiser, he quoted ''Shehan's Law'': ''The smaller the individual, the more likely he is to receive help from others.''
Senator Edward Kennedy visits Cardinal Shehan, retired Archbishop, on May 11, 1980 while in Baltimore on his presidential campaign trip. (Photo: AP/William Smith)
Cardinal Shehan School in Northwood celebrated their 25th anniversary last year with a Mass celebrated by Archbishop Lori on September 23, 2013: (Photo: Tom McCathy, Jr./ Catholic Review)
Archbishop Lori spoke of Cardinal Shehan during his homily: “He was a great friend of everyone... a great peacemaker in our community back in his day. We’ve gathered to celebrate a Mass to pray for peace and I know that all of you want a very peaceful, beautiful world.”
Celebrating our 225th Anniversary:
As the Archdiocese of Baltimore celebrates this special anniversary year, may we always remember the legacy of this faithful shepherd who loved the Lord and His Church. May his example inspire us to live our lives standing up for peace and justice for all God's people.
Lawrence Cardinal Shehan (1898-1984)
(Photo: Catholic Review Archives)
August 28, 2014 01:55
By Patti Murphy Dohn
“I came that they might have life, and have it to the full.” –John 10: 10
Theme for World Youth Day, Denver 1993
Photo: Helen H. Richardson/ Denver Post
“Imagine Woodstock with all of the good and none of the bad… It was an event of more than 100,000 young people that changed society, but there was no marijuana; no beer bottles on the ground.” –Sister Mary Ann Walsh, RSM, communications director for World Youth Day Denver
Looking back to 1993:
The third visit of Pope Saint John Paul II to the United States (not counting two flight layovers in Alaska) was held in Denver for the 1993 World Youth Day (August 10-15, 1993). The Archdiocese of Denver, under the leadership of then Archbishop J. Francis Stafford, hosted this historic event.
This marked the eighth WYD, which was started by Pope John Paul II in 1986 in Rome. Denver’s event was the first World Youth Day to be held in North America, as well as in an English-speaking nation. Pope John Paul II initiated plans for World Youth Day in 1984, with the first celebration in 1986. The Denver event was the eighth celebration and the first to become an international media sensation.
Photo: Denver Catholic Register
The Holy Father arrived in the Mile High City on August 12 following the first-ever papal visit to the island nation of Jamaica (August 9-11), and a brief stop in Mexico. He arrived by helicopter. The photos taken on board showed him, rosary in hand, as the young people gathered at Mile High Stadium gave thunderous applause, pointing to a rainbow that lit up the southern sky.
“Young people were pointing to it [the rainbow] in wonder…The Pope wept openly before the thunderous ovations of the universal Church.” --Cardinal Stafford reminisced last year during the 20th anniversary of the event .
President Bill Clinton met with the Holy Father at the Welcome Ceremony on August 12, just eight months after his inauguration as the 42nd President of the United States. This was the first of four meetings of President Clinton with this Holy Father.
Photo: James Baca/ Denver Catholic Register
Photo: Denver Catholic Register
"Jesus has called each one of you to Denver for a purpose! You must live these days in such a way that, when the time comes to return home, each one of you will have a clearer idea of what Christ expects of you."
–Pope John Paul II to the youth at Mile High Stadium
Photo: Denver Catholic Register
Gifts for the Holy Father--Photo: Denver Catholic Register
The August 15 Closing Mass on the Solemnity of the Assumption had to be moved to Cherry Creek State Park because the massive crowds could not be accommodated at Mile High Stadium. Estimates mark upwards of 750,000 in attendance.
Photo: Denver Catholic Register
Photo: Denver Catholic Register
“It was predicted that the papal initiative would attract no more than 20,000 young people. Mile High Stadium would be more than adequate, they said, for the activities culminating with the vigil and papal Mass.” --Cardinal Stafford recalled.
Photo: Denver Catholic Register
The History of World Youth Day:
Enjoy this ten-minute video which traces the history of World Youth Day with Pope John Paul II.
August 14, 2014 03:42
By Patti Murphy Dohn
Anniversary of the first Father's Day:
Today is the 104th anniversary of Fathers Day. The driving force behind this celebration in our nation was Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington. The daughter of a single father who raised six children on his own, Dodd was inspired to push for a similar day to honor all fathers when she heard a sermon at her Central Methodist Episcopal Church in 1909 about Anna Jarvis' establishment of Mother's Day.
(Fun Fact: Anna Jarvis emphasized that "Mother's" should "be a singular possessive, for each family to honor its mother, not a plural possessive commemorating all mothers of the world.")
Dodd urged her pastor to join her campaign to honor Dads starting on the June 5 birthday of her father, William Jackson Smart, a Civil War veteran. Local pastors claimed they did not have enough time to plan their sermons, so the date was moved to later in June. The following year, on June 19, 1910, the first Father's Day was observed throughout Spokane, Washington with sermons honoring fathers given at area churches.
Though observed annually on the third Sunday in June, it was not until 1972, six years after President Lyndon B. Johnson's presidential proclamation honoring fathers, that President Richard Nixon made Father's Day into a national holiday by signing it into law.
Honoring and remembering some influential Dads:
For this week's edition of Catholic Throwback Thursday, I'm looking back at some of the Dads who raised many of the Catholic leaders whom we have admired over the years.
Pope Francis was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio on December 17, 1936 in Flores, Buenos Aires, the eldest of the five children of Italian immigrant Mario José Bergoglio, an accountant, and Regina María Sívori.
Pope Francis as a young priest is seen with his father, Mario José Bergoglio, an accountant, and Regina María Sívori. (Photo: AFP)
Formal family portrait of the Bergoglios in Buenos Aires: Standing from left: Alberto, Padre Jorge, Oscar, Marta;
Seated: María Elena (the only sibling of the Holy Father still alive today), with their mother, Regina María Sívori, and father, Mario José Bergoglio. (Photo: Archives, Reuters/ AP)
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was born and baptized as Josef Aloisius Ratzinger on Holy Saturday, April 16, 1927 in Marktl, Bavaria, Germany. He was the youngest of the three children of Josef Ratzinger, Sr. and Maria Peintner Ratzinger. His sister Maria, who never married, managed the household of her Cardinal-brother in Germany until her death in 1991. Their brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, is still alive today.
The brothers attended seminary together after the end of World War II and were ordained in Munich on June 29, 1951.
Father Josef Ratzinger (standing right), and his brother Father Georg Ratzinger (standing left), with their father Josef, sister Maria, and mother Maria on their ordination day, June 29, 1951.
The Very Rev. G. Gregory Gay, CM, whose family members have been lifelong parishioners of Saint Stephen Church, Bradshaw, is a native of Kingsville and a 1971 graduate of The John Carroll School in Bel Air. Since 2004, he has served as the Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission, the Daughters of Charity, and the 24th successor of Saint Vincent de Paul.
But when he's here in town, it is all about family....
One of ten children, Fr. Greg is seen with his brothers (from left) Joe, Bill, and John with their father George Gay at the August 16, 1987 wedding of their sister Mary Anne Gay Halloran. Mr. Gay, who passed away in December of 2006, and his late wife Jeanne left a legacy of strong faith and family values to their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
(Photo courtesy of Patty Gay O'Brien, Rebecca O'Brien, and family.)
Read more about Fr. Greg in my three-part series from last September and October on his family, vocation to Vincentian priesthood, and his life of service to the poor and disenfranchised all over the world: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, Archbishop of New York, was born in St. Louis, Missouri on February 6, 1950, the eldest of the five children born to Shirley Radcliffe Dolan and the late Robert Dolan. Mr. Dolan passed away from a fatal heart attack less than ten months after their son's June 19, 1976 ordination to the priesthood.
Family members have recalled the importance to Mr. Dolan of sending his children to Catholic schools, going to Mass, and having a strong work ethic. When son Timothy was in the seminary in Rome, his Dad sent a handwritten letter every week and often included a cassette tape with his thoughts and musings so his son could stay in touch with home and family in a more personal way.
Cardinal Dolan's Mom, Shirley Dolan displays her family portrait at her home in Ballwin, Missouri:
Seated with her late husband Robert, and surrounded by their children
(from left): Lisa, Debbie, Timothy, Bob and Patrick. (Photo: Debbie Egan-Chin/NY Daily News)
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, our only Catholic president of the United States, was born on May 29, 1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts to Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Sr. (1888–1969) and Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald Kennedy (1890–1995).
JFK at right and his brother Robert with their Dad, Joseph Kennedy, in July of 1938.
Photo by AFP/Getty Images.
Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. with his famous family: This formal Kennedy Family portrait was taken on September 4, 1931 at the family estate in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts:
From left: Robert Kennedy, "Buddy" their dog, John F. Kennedy (at back), Eunice Kennedy, Jean Kennedy on her Dad's lap, wife Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy (who was expecting Edward "Ted" Kennedy), Patricia Kennedy, Kathleen Kennedy, Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. (at back), and Rosemary Kennedy.
(Photo by Richard Sears, on display at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston)
Rev. James Martin, SJ, editor-at-large of "America" magazine, best-selling author, popular speaker and retreat master, was born in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania on December 29, 1960 to James and Eleanor Martin.
Enjoy Fr. Jim's stories about faith, family, and saints in "My Life with the Saints," one of my favorite books.
After a brief career in the business world, Jim entered the Society of Jesus in the summer of 1988. He was ordained to the priesthood eleven years later on June 12, 1999. Holy Orders were conferred by Jesuit Archbishop Lawrence Burke, SJ (1932-2010), then serving as Archbishop of his native Kingston, Jamaica, after earlier episcopal ministry as the first Archbishop of Nassau, Bahamas.
This family portrait was taken on Father Martin's ordination day, June 12, 1999:
His Dad, James Martin, who passed away in 2001, beams with pride as he stands next to his newly ordained son, with daughter Carolyn and her baby Charles, wife Eleanor, and son-in-law Charles, Sr. (on left).
(Photo courtesy of Rev. James Martin, SJ)
Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen was born Peter John Sheen on May 8, 1895 at the apartment above the family hardware store in El Paso, Illinois. He was the eldest of four sons of Newton Morris "Newt" Sheen and Delia Sheen, and was called Fulton, which was his mother's maiden name. Baptized by Father Jeremiah H. Quinlan, the pastor of St. Mary's Church, four days later as Peter John, the future bishop was usually called P. J. as a child, before being known exclusively by his mother's maiden name.
Fulton Sheen was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Peoria in 1919. An early radio and TV evangelist, he hosted "The Catholic Hour" on radio (1930-1950), followed by his Emmy Award-winning program "Life is Worth Living" 1951-1957). He served as Auxiliary Bishop of New York in 1951, and then as Bishop of Rochester from 1966 to 1969. His cause for canonization opened in 2002, with the title "Venerable" bestowed by Pope Benedict XVI in June of 2012.
Early 1930s photo of Mr. and Mrs. Sheen with their sons (from left): Joseph, Fulton, Aloysius, and Thomas (Photo: Fulton J. Sheen Archives)
Can you name this famous father-son? They directed and starred in "The Way," a film about the pilgrimage on "El Camino de Santiago." HINT: The father actually adopted the last name of the famous clerical televangelist whom I featured above.
June 19, 2014 08:51
By Patti Murphy Dohn
It's Catholic Throwback Thursday:
Yesterday I posted 20 interesting, fun facts about meetings of popes and U.S. presidents.
Today we are flashing back to the eight visits of popes and presidents that were held on American soil for this week’s Catholic Throwback Thursday.
1. Today’s Vatican visit of President Obama marks the 28th meeting of a president with the pope.
2. Of our 44 United States presidents, only 12 have ever met with the then-current Holy Father.
3. These papal-presidential meetings, which include 6 different popes and 12 U.S. presidents, have occurred over a span of 95 years.
4. Eight meetings between presidents and popes have taken place here in the United States.
Let's flash back:
First visit of a pope to the United States: Pope Paul VI, the first Pontiff to visit our nation, had a full day on October 4, 1965, including an address to the United Nations and a meeting with President Lyndon B. Johnson at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. This was his third trip outside Italy and his only trip to our nation during his papacy. (AP Photo/File)
First White House visit by a pope: President Jimmy Carter met with Pope John Paul II at the White House on October 6, 1979. This was the first of 15 meetings between Pope John Paul II and a U.S. president.
Fairbanks, Alaska was the meeting place for a quick visit between President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II on May 2, 1984. The Holy Father’s plane was refueling on his trip to Seoul and President Reagan was on his way home from a trip to China. (PHOTO: Ronald Reagan Library, Austin, Texas)
Note: When my husband and I went on an Alaskan land-sea tour in 2004 we landed at Fairbanks International Airport where a large plaque marked the meeting room from this papal-presidential visit.
President Ronald Reagan’s second meeting with Pope John Paul II here in the United States took place at the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Miami on September 10, 1987. Pictured here with Mrs. Reagan, the Holy Father and President Reagan later strolled in the gardens and talked privately. (Photo: Vizcaya Museum)
President Bill Clinton and Pope John Paul II addressed the media at a news conference before World Youth Day in Denver on August 12, 1993. (Getty Images)
President Bill Clinton again meets with Pope John Paul II on October 4, 1995 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo: Getty Images)
President Bill Clinton’s third U.S. meeting with Pope John Paul II took place in St. Louis on January 26, 1999. (AP: Ron Edmonds)
The most recent visit of a Holy Father to the United States took place on April 16, 2008 when President George W. Bush hosted Pope Benedict XVI at the White House. More than 13,000 guests gathered on the South Lawn and sang “Happy Birthday” to mark the Holy Father’s 81st birthday. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images North America)
President Bush met with Pope Benedict in the Oval Office after the Welcome Ceremony. Pictured is the birthday cake baked by White House Pastry Chef Bill Yosses. (White House photo by Eric Draper)
Catholic Throwback Thursday:
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March 27, 2014 12:33
By Patti Murphy Dohn