This year marks the 50th anniversary of the beginning of World Day of Peace begun by Pope Paul VI. The Holy Father initiated this day of prayer based on the message of St. John XXIII and his Encyclical, “Pacem in Terris” (“Peace on Earth”). It was the wish of John XXIII that peace would be the prayer at the beginning of each New Year. He said, “Peace is the only true direction of human progress.”
The 20th century gave us two world wars and the threat of nuclear disaster. In our present century, the wars in the Middle East and Africa, as well as terrorism in Europe and in the United States all have truly been a legacy of unpeacefulness.
Last week, we went to the polls to elect a new President, as well as legislators and judges. This past week, the winning candidates began the process of transition from campaigning to governing.
President Obama and Secretary Clinton were gracious in their calls for us all to come together as a nation. As President Obama reminded us, “We are all on one team.”
The peaceful transition of power is one of the defining characteristics of our Nation. Yet, since the election, the protests and riots that have erupted not only in our own city, but also in other parts of the country, are deeply troubling.
The fears of some in our community must be acknowledged. Undocumented immigrants and the children of undocumented immigrants fear that they will be deported. The Trump slogan “Make America Great Again” has been adapted by some to become “Make America White Again.” Consequently, many in the African-American community fear a rollback of the many advances made in recent years. Meanwhile, many of the anti-Trump protesters are proponents of anarchy, some even of violence and boldly waving socialist flags in the streets of our cities.
First, I thank you for your presence today as I celebrate 20 years of Episcopal ministry. As I reflect back on these past 20 years, it was certainly a surprise to be asked to accept the episcopacy. When the nuncio of that time, now Cardinal Agostino Cacciavillan, called me and began speaking in Italian and said, “Chiedere niente e rifiutare niente,” which I later realized were the words of Saint Frances deSales, “Ask for nothing and refuse nothing.” Truly, the then-Archbishop Cacciavillan meant that he wanted me to answer yes. Well, I did answer yes, not knowing what lay before me.
Our second reading today was the reading I used in 1970 at my first Mass as a priest. Jesus was a high priest taken from among men. In fact, I had my sister, Donna, who was in high school at that time, make a banner where those words were displayed, “A Man Among Men.”
A priest is taken from among men to serve as their representative before God. Truly, the episcopacy accents this work of a priest. One always remains a priest. The work of the episcopacy is always the work of the priesthood. Sometimes the isolation of the episcopacy can be a burden in itself. The separation from family, friends and priest friends is sometimes difficult, especially if one is serving in a diocese other than one’s home diocese.
Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, regrets to inform you of the death of Reverend Thomas D. J. Dolan, a retired senior priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn, who was in residence at the Bishop Mugavero Residence. Father Dolan was born on September 7, 1924, in Brooklyn, was ordained to the Priesthood on June 9, 1951, and died Saturday, October 29, 2016.
Father Dolan served the Diocese of Brooklyn as Parochial Vicar of Saint Francis Xavier (Brooklyn), Good Shepherd (Brooklyn) and Saint Elizabeth (Ozone Park). Read more »
Of all the political campaigns that I have witnessed, this certainly has been one that has most frustrated the American people.
Both major party candidates are so unpopular, it is unprecedented. A recent ABC/Washington Post poll shows 60 percent of likely voters see Hillary Clinton unfavorably while 58 see Donald Trump unfavorably. In September, the Washington Post reported that 60 percent of voters did not consider either candidate honest or trustworthy.
But unless they wish to cast a vote for the Independent or Green Party candidate, many voters are faced with choosing between two candidates they do not wholeheartedly support.