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Sermons/Reflections Archive

My dear Sisters and Brothers in Jesus Christ,

Not a day goes past but the image of those terrible events that took place on September 11th in New York and Washington come to my mind. Not a day passes but the aftermath of that atrocity appears in the newspapers and on the radio and television. All of us are waiting and wondering as to how proper justice can be done and what the future will bring. I would like to say a few words about that but, first of all, I want to speak to you about another kind of waiting, because that is the word that sums up Advent - 'waiting'. 'Waiting' is a tireless refrain - be ready and waiting. Today's reading from St. Paul reminds us that 'the night is almost over, it will be daylight soon'. (Romans 13:12). The Gospel warns you to ' stand ready because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect' (Mt. 24:44). Later in Advent, Isaiah will tell the Jews in exile not to be afraid, ' Your God will come'. And we are told to wait till the Lord comes. ...
02 December 2001

I have just returned from Rome where I've spent the last month taking part in a Synod of Roman Catholic bishops from all over the world. We were reflecting with Pope John Paul on the role of the bishop in a rapidly changing world, but also a world in which people continue to experience a tremendous longing for God. It is our particular challenge as Christians to live our own faith in Christ in such a way that we can help others discover the place in their lives where they too can welcome God's gift of faith. ...
28 October 2001

Westminster Cathedral:

This sermon was given by Bishop Joseph Fiorenza of Galveston-Houston, President of the US Bishops' Conference at the invitation of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor

It was very thoughtful of His Eminence, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, to arrange a gathering of the American community in London for this Eucharistic celebration, to pray for the victims and their surviving families and friends, following the catastrophic attack on the United States. I am grateful to His Eminence for this gracious invitation to me to participate in this special Mass with so many fellow citizens who are far from home at a time when our thoughts and hearts are very near to our native land...
28 October 2001

First of all, I wish to express my deep and personal gratitude to the Holy Father for having given me this beautiful basilica of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva as my Titular Church in Rome. It is a great honour for me to be so intimately involved with the Bishop of Rome's pastoral care for a city whose people have borne outstanding witness to the faith throughout the ages. I am also honoured to be linked with so many illustrious predecessors, not least among whom is Cardinal Philip Howard, who is buried in this Church and who in no small part rebuilt the English College here in Rome, which is so dear to my heart and the hearts of English and Welsh Catholics.

20 October 2001

Ghandi said that an eye for an eye leads to a world that is blind. Would it be too much to hope that since 11 September the world is opening its eyes to a new reality?
For there is another cry that touches my heart as daily more than six thousand children die from hunger and disease. The ravages of world hunger cry out for justice for the poor. Globalisation and its implications for interdependence are very familiar. As a Christian I like to think of the world as one family, where everyone feels an obligation for their sister or brother.

I pray each day to the God of all humanity to change the world. May the alliance against the threat of terrorism become a common struggle for justice for the world's poorest, motivated not by what we stand against, but by what we stand for.
11 October 2001

Westminster Cathedral:

No one who heard on the radio or saw on the television the horrific events that took place in New York and Washington yesterday can fail to be deeply moved and horrified at what had occurred. Yesterday was a day of national tragedy for the American people, and indeed, brought tragedy to the hearts and minds of people across the globe. ...
12 September 2001

Westminster Cathedral:

It is good to remind ourselves of what shapes our celebration today. For this liturgy of the Requiem Mass tells us that we are to comfort one another with words of faith; that we are to praise God for his majesty and glory; that we are to invoke in the Holy Eucharist the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which for we Christians, is our ultimate hope - and we express our faith in God's love for Frank Longford as we pray for the repose of his soul...
10 August 2001

One of the most consoling aspects of our Catholic faith is that when one of our number dies we can speak a language of remembrance and love with the constant hope that our lives are all in God's hands. I feel this very deeply today when we mourn the death of Cardinal Thomas Winning. I can speak of him in the context of family, friendship and faith. For a bishop, while he knows and loves his own personal family, there is a sense in which the people of his diocese are his family. For over 24 years that he was Archbishop of Glasgow, the priests and people of that diocese were in a very real sense the familiars, the family to which he gave his love, his service, his dedication. Day in, day out, year in, year out, Cardinal Tom Winning had no other agenda but to serve, together with the priests, the people of the diocese. The object of that service was quite simply that the people be formed in the image and likeness of Jesus Christ. ...
18 June 2001

Arundel Cathedral:

I am very happy indeed to be with you today - at last! People have written to me and people have rung me and they have asked, 'What has happened? Has Pope John Paul forgotten your old Diocese? When are we going to have a new bishop?' I kept saying, 'Be patient - do not worry - all will be well.' And today, the long period of waiting is over and your new bishop, Kieran Conry, will take over the helm and be your new shepherd. It is, indeed, a day of thanksgiving and rejoicing.

But I have known well what the Diocese has felt since the departure of your former bishop. You see, a Diocese without a bishop is somehow like a ship without a sail, a boat without a rudder. It lacks something essential for it to steer by, so that without a bishop, the Diocese is somehow becalmed, because a bishop assures the Diocese of its authenticity. The Church is always one, holy, catholic and apostolic and the bishop assures the local Church of Arundel and Brighton of its apostolicity, almost of its faith and its rightful place among all the local churches within the universal Church of Jesus Christ...
09 June 2001

Portsmouth Cathedral:

It is a pleasure for me to be back in this great City of Portsmouth. It evokes many memories, memories of years of ministry in the North End and particularly here in your Cathedral. It is a particular happiness to be present at this Solemn Mass of Thanksgiving for the Restoration of St. John's Cathedral. So much has been done, and I am particularly happy that much of the work is associated with previous bishops of this great diocese. The Font reminds us all of Bishop Anthony Emery and is a reminder of our Baptism and of all that springs from that gift of God by which we are brought into communion with Christ and with one another by the seeds of faith...
20 May 2001

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