My Dear Parishioners, Friends of the Cathedral Basilica and Saint Elizabeth, and Visitors,

There’s somebody I want you to meet… 

I entered the Seminary in August 2009. That Fall at our annual Class Retreat, I asked myself how I envisioned or personified Jesus in my life. A day or two later, the image came to me of a Youthful Jesus running beside me telling me that there are places He wants me to go and people He wants me to meet.


Upon reflection, it certainly was true during my 35-year career from 1974 to 2009 as I worked throughout Colorado, several of the Western States and the High Plains States, and Washington DC. I met many people with whom I am still in contact with today. 


Even my schooling in Barnum at Newlon and Perry Schools, Presentation of Our Lady School, Regis High School, and the Colorado School of Mines, there were people that Jesus wanted me to meet with whom I am still in touch today. 


So that thought gave me great Peace as I began the greatest Spiritual Adventure of my life. 


Certainly, in my time in Seminary it was true. In Summer 2010, I was assigned to Saint Helena Parish in Fort Morgan and its Mission Church Saint Francis of Assisi in Weldona. My second year in Seminary I was assigned to Saint Bridget’s Parish in Abington Massachusetts. My second Summer, I was assigned to Saint Mary of the Crown Parish in Carbondale and Saint Vincent de Paul Parish in Basalt. My third year in Seminary I was assigned to Saint Paul’s Parish in Hingham Massachusetts. The Summer of my Transitional Deaconate I was assigned to Saint Frances Cabrini Parish in Littleton. During my fourth year I was assigned to Saint Mary the Hills Parish in Milton Massachusetts. And whenever I was in Denver, I would assist at my parish of 40 years — Mother of God Parish just down the street. 


So, by the end of my Seminary training at Pope Saint John XXIII National Seminary in Weston Massachusetts, I met people at eight parishes here in Colorado and in Massachusetts of whom many I am still in touch. 


My first assignment as a Priest was at Light of the World Parish in Littleton Colorado. I met many people whom I still see regularly. Many of my friends from there have assisted us here at the Cathedral for the last six years in various ministries.


In 2014, I was appointed to the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher … and  I have met many Knights and Ladies of the Order here, around the country, and in Rome.


I have met many Knights of Columbus…first at St Frances Cabrini, then Light of the World where I still serve as Faithful Friar of the Fourth Degree, then Downtown 539 where I am serving through this weekend as the Faithful Fryer.

And then in July 2015, I met you…and in July 2016, I met St Elizabeth of Hungary Mission Church. 


Over the last six years, 

We’ve met at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

We’ve met at Adoration

We’ve met in the Sacrament of Reconciliation

We’ve met in the Sacrament of Baptism

We’ve met at the Sacraments of Holy Communion and Confirmation 

We’ve met at Funerals

We’ve met at Weddings

We’ve met at the Anointing of the Sick

We’ve met at Franklin Park Nursing Home

We’ve met at Presbyterian Saint Luke’s Hospital and Saint Joseph’s Hospital

We’ve met in the Sandwich Line

We’ve met at the Pantry 

We’ve met at Snacks in the Afternoon 

We’ve met at the Sunday Concerts

We’ve met at Friday Night at the Movies

We’ve met over Waffles and Champagne on New Year’s

We’ve met at the Mardi Gras Party 

We’ve met at the Young Adult Cathedral Catholic Club Socials 

We’ve met at the Trail of Early Colorado Catholicism mountain hikes and history dinners

We’ve met at the Julia Greeley Guild

We’ve met at the Auraria Catholic Club

We’ve met at the Saint Elizabeth of Hungary Retreats

We’ve met at Saint Elizabeth Second Sunday Programs

We’ve met at the Ancient Order of the Hibernians with whom I have been associated this past year

We’ve met on the baseball fields, the basketball courts, and the BBQ grills of Catholic Sports

We’ve met at the Labor Day camping weekends of Catholic Sports and Creatio

We’ve met at the Bible Studies of Catholic Sports

We’ve met at the events of the Young Catholic Professionals to whom I served as Chaplain

We’ve met in our Sunday Morning Religious Education and Sacramental Prep Programs

We’ve met at Quo Vadis — our Catholicism in Brief series

We’ve met at the Sunday After Mass Programs

We’ve met at the RCIA Program

We’ve met at the Metro State University Musicano Mariachi Masses

We’ve met at the Newly Married and Young Families Bible Studies

We’ve met in the Marriage Preps

We’ve met in Pastoral Counseling…


Jesus was right… they were MANY people here that he wanted me to meet…



And now there are people that He wants me to meet at Guardian Angels Parish in Mead Colorado…


Just once before I go, I want you to know, that each time we’ve met over the last six years, YOU have touched my heart…YOU have made a difference in my Priesthood…through YOU I became a Priest…


And I love you very much… 


My Sisters and Brothers, you will always be in my prayers of Thanksgiving…until we meet again…


+May God Bless You and Keep You+



“Jesus requests that we abide in His love so that we might bear much fruit…God’s call is love and it should be responded to only with love… the spontaneous desire will arise even in us to communicate it to the people that we love: ‘I met Love’, ‘I found the meaning of my life’. In a word: ‘I found God.’

— Pope Francis



How do we BEAR FRUIT in Our Lives? Perhaps it is the product of what Jesus Sows in Our Life and what the Holy Spirit Cultivates in Our Life.

Saint Paul reminds us that the Fruits of the Spirit are Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. What do these fruits Cultivate In Us? Lives of Virtue…the DNA OF THE SAINTS!

LOVE. Love is more than an emotion or a sentiment. St Thomas Aquinas tells us that Love is Willing The Good Of Another…whether we know them or not…whether we like them or not…whether they are a stranger or a friend…whether they are local or global. Loving with Your Heart rather than Your Mind BEARS MUCH FRUIT In Your Actions.

JOY. JOY defines the Priorities In Your Life – – JESUS, OTHERS, and YOU.  All Humankind are Beloved Children of God. We are claimed for Christ through our Baptism. Thus, Jesus becomes our Core Value. In living out the Two Great Commandments to Love God and to Love Our Neighbor, Our Brothers and Sisters in Christ become our Second Priority. You and I become Third priority simply as Brothers and Sisters of Jesus who came Not To Be Served but TO SERVE. JOY based in Jesus and Others BEARS MUCH FRUIT.

PEACE.  When Jesus says, ‘Peace be with you,’ He wishes for you to Live His Father’s Will for Your Life…it is there that we find the TRUE PEACE which overcomes the Chaos in the World and Culture today.  As Saint Augustine reminds us, ‘My heart is restless until it rests in You.’  Abiding in God’s Peace BEARS MUCH FRUIT Every Day.

PATIENCE.  In God’s Mercy and Compassion, He is Patient With Us until our last breath. Why? Because He Wants Us to spend Eternal Life With Him.  Since God is Patient With Us, He expects us to be Patient With Others. Without Patience we become Judgmental, Prideful, and Intollerant. With Patience we become Generous, Thoughtful, and Forgiving. Patience Modeled For Others BEARS MUCH FRUIT in Others and in Us.


KINDNESS. Kindness is essential to Building Relationships. It Generates Compassion and Forgiveness. Kindness extended to the Unkind will overcome loneliness, brokenness, and bitterness in others. Kindness reflects the Love of Jesus and draws Them to Him. Kindness BEARS FRUIT in the Hardest Heart.

GOODNESS. Goodness is the opposite of selfish, unloving, and evil. It encompasses Moral Integrity.  When all else is lost in our life, our Integrity is our most important asset. It reflects the Commitment To Do The Right Thing For The Right Reason. A Conscience Centered On God, Formed By Holy Scripture, and Nourished By Sacramental Grace BEARS GOOD FRUIT.

FAITHFULNESS. Our Innate Attraction To God is our Spiritual Radar honed on Trust In God. If we are Faithful To Him, we Share His Love with others, Follow His Commandments, and Live A Life Of Beatitudes. This is a Journey which we are Called To Share with all those God Has Placed In Our Lives. Faith-Filled Grace BEARS MUCH FRUIT.

GENTLENESS. The Meekness of the Beatitudes defines Gentleness. It is the Strength To Keep Peace And Persevere…in Right Relationship To God. It is the Humility And Obedience of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. It is an Outward Posture To God rather than an Inward Focus on our Emotions, Pride, and Self-Worth. It Moves Our Reactions from Superiority and Revenge to Actions of Love and Compassion…BEARING MUCH FRUIT for the Giver and the Receiver.

SELF-CONTROL. A Life Focused On Goals requires Self-Control. The Achievement of those Goals through Human Self-Control can appear selfish, pushy, self-promotional, and insensitive to individuals or communities. It becomes Divine Self-Control when the Achievements of the Goals are Based on Virtues, Applied with Love, and Centered on God’s Will, God’s Plan, and Your Call…BEARING MUCH FRUIT for the Kingdom Of God.



+May God Bless You and Keep You+

“I would also like to draw attention to the tens of thousands of children who migrate alone, unaccompanied, to escape poverty and violence: This is a category of migrants from Central America and Mexico itself who cross the border with the United States under extreme conditions and in pursuit of a hope that in most cases turns out to be vain. They are increasing day by day. This humanitarian emergency requires, as a first urgent measure, these children be welcomed and protected. These measures, however, will not be sufficient, unless they are accompanied by policies that inform people about the dangers of such a journey and, above all, that promote development in their countries of origin. Finally, this challenge demands the attention of the entire international community so that new forms of legal and secure migration may be adopted.” 

— Pope Francis



Jesus calls us to, “Welcome the stranger among us.” For over 20 years, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops has invoked the Catholic Social Doctrine principles of the Dignity of the Human Person, the Preferential Option for the Poor and Vulnerable, and Solidarity with our Sisters and Brothers Worldwide in their dialogue on Immigration.

Their positions have not always coincided with those of Federal, State, or Local Governments in the United States…or the Civil Laws.

But their positions are grounded on the Moral Law as Lived By Jesus Christ and Proclaimed By the Catholic Pontiffs.

The US Bishops use the following definitions: an Immigrant is a person who moves to another country to take up permanent residence; a Legal Immigrant is a person who has been admitted to reside and work on a permanent basis in the United States — admission is most commonly based on reunification with close family members or employment; a Migrant is a person on the move, either voluntarily or involuntarily, in the person’s own country, internationally, or both —  unlike refugees, migrants are commonly considered free to return home whenever they wish because their lives are not in danger there; a Refugee is any person, who, owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his or her nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling, to avail himself or herself of the protection of that country — or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his or her habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it; and Undocumented Immigrant is a person who is in a country without the permission of that country’s government — such persons are called “undocumented” because they lack the required paperwork.

Unity in diversity is the vision of the US Bishops. The diversity of ethnicity, education, and social class of the Immigrants and Refugees challenge the local Churches to welcome them and help them join our communities in ways that are respectful of their cultures and in ways that mutually enrich the Immigrants and the receiving Church. But the universal call is to Conversion, Communion, and Solidarity…to SAVE SOULS FOR JESUS CHRIST.

The Bishops reject the Anti-Immigrant stance that has become popular in different parts of the Country, and the nativism, ethnocentricity, and racism that continue to reassert themselves in communities. The new Immigrants call most of us back to our ancestral heritage as Descendants of Immigrants and to our Baptismal Heritage as members of the BODY OF CHRIST.

My Maternal Grandparents immigrated from Italy to New York and Colorado in the 1880s. My Paternal Grandparents immigrated from the Sud Tyrol of Germany and Austria in the 1880s. They came to Colorado because it provided opportunity, and in some respects looked geographically like the communities from which they came.

The US Bishops, through their statement, Welcoming the Stranger Among Us:  Unity in Diversity, and their joint statement with the Bishops of Mexico, “Strangers No Longer:  Together on the Journey of Hope, have committed themselves and all the members of our Church communities in these areas: advocacy for laws that respect the Human Rights of Immigrants and preserve the Unity of the Immigrant Family; the extension of Social Services; Citizenship Classes; Community Organizing and Inter-Denominational  Efforts that secure improved housing conditions, decent wages, better medical attention, and appropriate educational opportunities for Immigrants and Refugees; Immigration Law Reform to reflect basic human rights for Immigrants; and Legalization Opportunities for the maximum number of undocumented persons, particularly those who have built equities and otherwise contributed to their communities.

The desire of the Bishops is for a more orderly system that accommodates the reality of migration and promotes just application of civil law. They seek to measure the interests of all parties in the migration phenomenon against the Guidelines of Catholic Social Teaching and to offer a Moral Framework for embracing, not rejecting, the reality of migration between nations. On the ground, this is reflected in a growing consciousness of migrants as bearers of faith and culture; an outpouring of hospitality and social services, including migrant shelters; a growing network of advocates for migrants’ and immigrants’ rights; a more organized effort at welcome and intercultural communion; a greater development of a social conscience; a greater recognition by other nations of the importance of the issue of migration; and the cooperation of government personnel who enforce, implement, and execute the immigration laws.

The images we see in the media today are the outcomes of Isolated Ideologies… a Respect for Life from Conception to Natural Death…and the Desire to Live in Peace and Harmony. Solutions rest in the Human Heart Inspired by Jesus Christ…Not the Human Mind Conflicted by the Ways of the World.

THEY, like you and me, are BELOVED CHILDREN OF GOD…

+May God Bless You and Keep You++May God Bless You and Keep You+

“The Church is or should go back to being a community of God’s people, and priests, pastors and bishops, who have the care of souls, are at the service of the people of God…The Parish is the presence of the Church in a given territory, an environment for hearing God’s word, for growth in the Christian life, for dialogue, proclamation, charitable outreach, worship and celebration. In all its activities the parish encourages and trains its members to be evangelizers. It is a community of communities, a sanctuary where the thirsty come to drink in the midst of their journey, and a centre of constant missionary outreach.”

— Pope Francis


How has the Cathedral Basilica, OUR CHURCH, touched your life?

For me, these sacred walls speak volumes of personal history…and for each of us, our Parish Church should be an essential center of our life.

The funerals of my Grandparents, Louis and Louise Cattany, were conducted here in 1919 and 1920. My Dad, Ted Cattany, was Godfather at the Baptism of his Nephew, Terry O’Brien, in 1939. My Dad attended the Corporate Communion Services of the Knights of Columbus here in the 1960’s. Many of my aunts and uncles attended Mass here through the decades.

During my 35 year career two blocks away, every time I would have an argument with a boss, I would walk over to the Cathedral, sit in the back pew, and glare at the Tabernacle saying, ‘Jesus, why are you doing this to me?’ I attended Mass here on Holy Days, and made regular visits for prayer and guidance.

I remember the day my folks and I were here for Mass. We were in front of the Mary Altar. My Mother looked over to the West Door and said, ‘I think that’s my brother Ted (Bottone)’…it was the only time I ever saw my Uncle in my life…and she had not seen him for several decades.

The last time the three of us were here together was for the Easter Vigil in 2000. It was a beautiful service with Archbishop Chaput. But it was extremely cold in the Church! I was afraid that my parents, well into their 90s, would turn into popsicles!

And never anticipated was my Vocation to the Priesthood. During my discernment, I attended the 5:30pm Weekday Mass where I prayed before the Mary Altar, and the 6:30pm Sunday Mass at which I later serve as a Seminarian when I was in town.

My Transitional Diaconate Ordination on March 17, 2012, included a grace-filled reuniting of my Denver Family. During my Ordination on May 18, 2013, my eyes were fixed on the image of the Blessed Mother atop the High Altar.

Parishioners, friends, and visitors fill the pews once occupied by the Who’s Who of Colorado History including legendary business leaders like John K Mullen and Helen Bonfils… and even Molly Brown who sat in Pew #6!

The Saints Among Us who have prayed at the Cathedral include Saint Pope John Paul II, Saint Frances Cabrini, and Saint Teresa of Calcutta, Saint Pope Paul VI (as Monsignor Montini),  the Venerable Fulton Sheen, Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman, Servant of God Julia Greeley, and Saint Katherine Drexel (as the Cathedral was under construction.

Today, we continue the Faith and Tradition of those who have come before us…

Your stories are just as poignant and precious. Some of you have shared them with me over the past six years…some going back to the construction of the Cathedral over a 100 years ago.

Your HOME Church, Your PARISH, wherever it is, should be a Center of Your Life – – spiritually and emotionally. The Cathedral certainly has been in my life. And the Cathedral in a Diocese is a jeweled box from which the gems of our Faith emanate through its Liturgies, Sacred Music and Art, Spiritual Formation, and Community Outreach.

On June 3, 2015, while concelebrating Mass at the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome which is also the first church dedicated to Our Blessed Mother dating to the time of Constantine, I consecrated my rectorship, our people, our programs and our challenges to Our Blessed Mother – the Patroness of my Priesthood — May Mary keep us safe under her mantle and guide us through her Immaculate Heart to the Sacred Heart of her Son.

I close with the beautiful words of Cardinal Stafford, our Archbishop from 1986 to 1996, from a note he sent to me upon my appointment:

“The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception stands out as two exclamation points in downtown Denver – the exclamation points of diverse peoples and the Virgin Mary’s Seat in Colorado. Its crowning glory is the stained glass…full of human and divine pathos and filial consolation. In the Litany of Loreto, two titles of Our Lady seem especially appropriate when the Denver Cathedral comes to mind – Cause of Our Joy and Comforter of the Afflicted…”

+May God Bless You and Keep You+




“Sometimes our prayers seem to go unheard, what we have asked for — for ourselves or for others — is not fulfilled. Why does he not respond to our requests? The Catechism of the Catholic Church (2735) asks people to think more deeply about why they demand to see the results of their petitions: What is the image of God that motivates our prayer — an instrument to be used? or the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. This passage warns people to avoid the risk of not living an authentic experience of faith, but of transforming the relationship with God into something magical. Prayer is not a magic wand. It is a dialogue with the Lord. Indeed, when we pray, we can give in to the risk of not being the ones to serve God, but of expecting him to serve us. When we pray, we need to be humble and believe that God will give me what is right to give. He knows. Looking at the Gospels, Jesus heals many people, either responding to their pleas immediately or much later. Over time, people may see that some things do work out, but in God’s way, the divine way, not according to what we wanted at that moment. God’s time is not our time. May people pray that the Lord give them real faith, because Jesus said faith moves mountains, and Jesus feels special tenderness before that faith and he listens.”

— Pope Francis


What is PRAYER?

Holy Scripture tells us that PRAYER is being IN UNION WITH GOD in Faith and in Love.  That UNION allows us to Open Ourselves totally to God as His Beloved Children, made in His Image and Likeness, and Claimed for Christ in our Baptism.

Jesus shows us How to PRAY. In the Our Father, He begins by giving Glory to God, then Presenting Petitions, and most importantly Seeking and Giving Forgiveness.

In His Public Ministry, Jesus always Begins in PRAYER — on a mountain or in a desert or in a room — before He would Preach, Teach, Heal, or Raise from the Dead.

In living this model, Jesus teaches us to Open Our Heart. As He Speaks to Our Heart, our PRAYER becomes fruitful as we become more perceptive to God’s response to our PRAYER.

Jesus was effective in His PRAYER because His Heart was in Special Relationship to God formed by key VIRTUES:

> FAITH — Confidence and Trust in God through PRAYER will allow your Actions to Transcend the Natural into Supernatural Realities in your life and in the life of those God places in your care.

> HUMILITY — A Right Relationship with God reveals Our Dependence on His Divine Providence and allows us to recognize through PRAYER the Graces He places in our life to put others before ourselves.

> OBEDIENCE — Surrender of our Personal Attitudes, Ambitions, Addictions, and Anxieties to the Will of God for Our Personal Life will allow us to accept and do whatever He Tells Us in response to our PRAYER.

> GRATITUDE — Everything We Are and Everything We Have are Gifts from God to be used in Praise and Honor to Him, in Service to Our Neighbor, and in Thanksgiving through PRAYER.

> FORGIVENESS — To Forgive Is Divine and the Depth of Our Forgiveness is not only proportional to the Depth of the Hurt and our Anger, but the Sincerity of Our PRAYER for the Healing of Ourselves and Others.

When our PRAYER LIFE embraces these Virtues, our Heart Is Open to God as we Offer Our Petitions, Seek His Response in the People and Events and Circumstances of our daily life, and Accept His Response in terms of What We Need rather than What We Want…as we Live The Daily Battle…


+ May God Bless You and Keep You +


“The gift of the Spirit from on High was revealed with a ‘sound’ they suddenly heard come from heaven, like the ‘rush of a mighty wind’ that filled the house they were in…it reveals that the Holy Spirit is like a strong and freely flowing wind. He cannot be controlled, stopped, nor measured; nor can his direction be foreseen. The Spirit proceeds from God the Father and from his Son Jesus Christ and bursts upon the Church – upon each one of us –, giving life to our minds and our hearts. As the Creed states: he is ‘the Lord, the giver of life.’ We too, at times, prefer to remain within the protective walls of our surroundings. But the Lord knows how to reach us and open the doors to our hearts. He sends upon us the Holy Spirit who envelops us and overpowers all our hesitations, tears down our defences, dismantles our false certainties. The Spirit makes us new creatures, just as he did that day with the Apostles. The Spirit changed the heart and broadened the disciples’ view enabling them to communicate to everyone the great, limitless works of God, surpassing the cultural and religious confines within which they were accustomed to thinking and living. It is the gift of the Spirit which makes us feel all the beauty and truth of God’s love in the dead and Risen Christ, spurring us to go out, to witness to this Love that always precedes us with his mercy. The world, he said, needs the courage, hope and faith of the disciples of Christ. It needs us to become yeast, leaven, salt and light in different situations and in the many cultural and social contexts. And the Holy Spirit alone creates all this.”

— Pope Francis


What does Jesus mean when he says, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit?’

The basic answer is that to receive the Holy Spirit means that you live a HOLY LIFE and be a FRUITFUL WITNESS for Jesus. IT MEANS TAKING A GIFT AND PUTTING IT TO USE!

Sacramental Theologians remind us that though you are filled with the Holy Spirit through the Grace of Faith, several factors contribute to preparing your HEART for the Filling of the Spirit.

First, you must DESIRE to live a life that will please God. You have the promise of Jesus, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”

Second, you must be willing to SURRENDER your life totally and irrevocably to Jesus…living a life that is holy and pleasing to God…ignoring the pressures of a godless culture by the renewing of your heart to discern what is of the World and what is of God…to test and accept God’s pleasing and perfect will for you.

And Third, to CONFESS every known sin which the Holy Spirit calls to your mind and experience the cleansing and forgiveness in your heart which God promises.

We RECEIVE the Holy Spirit in Baptism; we GROW in the Holy Spirit in Eucharist; and we EXPERIENCE the GIFTS of the Holy Spirit and the FRUITS of those GIFTS in Confirmation.

These GIFTS translate into VIRTUES:

  • The Gift of WISDOM corresponds to the Virtue of CHARITY.
  • The Gifts of UNDERSTANDING and KNOWLEDGE correspond to the Virtue of FAITH.
  • The Gift of COUNSEL (right judgment) corresponds to the Virtue of PRUDENCE.
  • The Gift of FORTITUDE corresponds to the Virtue of COURAGE.
  • The Gift of FEAR OF THE LORD corresponds to the Virtue of HOPE.
  • The Gift of PIETY corresponds to the Virtue of JUSTICE.

These Gifts and Virtues help us engage more deeply in worshiping our Heavenly Father through His Son, Jesus Christ. And it is through these SACRAMENTS that we make our FAITH A WAY OF LIFE just as Jesus did with his Twelve Apostles…allowing us to GROW IN FAITH AND IN HOLINESS…



YOU and I are MARKED WITH THE CROSS – just as Jesus carried His Cross, He asks each of us to carry Our Cross for Ourselves or Others — as the outward sign of the CHRISTIAN WAY OF FACING LIFE.


It is the SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION that determines the efficacy of all the other Sacraments in your life. The State of Grace in your Soul greets each Sacrament. If your Soul is Clouded with Sin, you diminish the Spiritual Nourishment God wants to give you. GRACE BUILDS UPON GRACE.


It is the SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION which brings to fulfillment in YOU the Holy Spirit that fills YOU with the Courage for the JOURNEY OF YOUR LIFE. In this Sacrament, YOU are Anointed with the Holy Spirit who keeps YOU connected to Jesus and makes YOU want to be like Him as you accept the MISSION GOD PLANNED FOR YOUR LIFE FROM THE BEGINNING OF TIME…allowing Him to work WITH YOU and THROUGH YOU.


It is the SACRAMENT OF THE HOLY EUCHARIST which is the SOURCE AND SUMMIT of Your Faith. The REAL PRESENCE OF JESUS in the Eucharist satisfies the deepest desires of your Heart for the One who Loves You, for the One who Saved You, for the One who Intercedes for You, and for the One who Knows You better than you know yourself.


This is YOU — A Beloved Child of God, Claimed for Christ, Living in God’s Mercy, and Reflected in His Love — As we accompany each other on the path that leads to God’s Glory…




+May God Bless You and Keep You+


“There are none of the usual feelings of loss or abandonment among the disciples when Jesus ascended in the Heaven. Instead, despite their separation from the Lord, they do not appear grief-stricken, but rather, are joyful and ready to go into the world as missionaries. Why are the disciples not sad? Why should we too rejoice at seeing Jesus ascend into Heaven? The Ascension completes Jesus’ mission among us. After descending into our humanity and redeeming it, now Jesus ascends to heaven, taking our flesh with Him. Jesus is the first human being to enter Heaven, precisely because He is both true God and true man. Our flesh is in heaven, and this gives us joy! His Ascension is not ‘an abandonment,’ because Jesus remains forever with the disciples, with us, in prayer. Jesus shows the Father the wounds with which He redeemed us, and this should give us security, and even joy, great joy! The second reason for joy, is the promise of Jesus to send the Holy Spirit. After His Ascension, Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit. He promises us the Holy Spirit, in order to go out to evangelize. This is the reason for the joy of today, for the joy of this day of the Ascension. Mary, Queen of Heaven might help us to be in the world courageous witnesses to the Risen One in the concrete situations of life.”

.                                                                                            — Pope Francis



What is the impact of the Ascension on Your Spiritual Journey? The answer – – today you move from Being A Spectator To Salvation History to Being A Participant In Salvation History!


The Ascension is day 80 of the 90 day journey from Ash Wednesday to Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and ultimately to this weekend, Pentecost.


During that time there are four major actions: to DIE, to RISE, to ASCEND, and to DESCEND. Jesus had to DIE to atone for the SINS OF ADAM AND EVE…and You and Me. Jesus would RISE from the dead to CONQUER DEATH TO SIN. Jesus would ASCEND into Heaven where he mounted its throne next to God the Father as KING OF THE UNIVERSE. And finally, the PRODUCT OF THE LOVE of the Father and the Son is the HOLY SPIRIT which will DESCEND on us for that journey.


Jesus is the ONLY ONE to ever RISE FROM THE DEAD. That action proved that He Is God, and the Act of Our Redemption has been COMPLETED. His Apostles and Disciples saw the Risen/Resurrected Jesus in his Glorified Body, with the Wounds We Inflicted as He appeared and disappeared from them. He Commissioned Them to be HIS WITNESSES to this Central Event of Human History to the ends of the Earth.


In Ascending to His Throne, Jesus has proved that Human Existence is a minor part of Eternal Existence. That applies to you and me. Our life began at the moment of Our Conception in Our Mother’s Womb…and it continues for ETERNITY. Our Earthly Life is only a Dot on that Continuum.


Yes, we CARRY Many Crosses, we SUFFER Many Trials, we ENDURE Many Things…but we do it all IN ANTICIPATION of Eternal Life with Jesus, Our Heavenly Father, and Our Blessed Mother. The Purity and Love of THAT REALITY will Outweigh any of the SCARS OF THIS VALE OF TEARS.


The SPIRIT that Descends Upon Us today will provide the WISDOM for us to find our HOPE IN JESUS CHRIST who is ABOVE every Power on Earth, who continually DESTROYS SATAN proclaimed by Jesus as the Ruler of This World, and who REMAINS the Head of the Church — His Mystical Body — until the end of time. This SACRAMENTAL PRESENCE — Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity – – is OUR HOPE.


The Ascension embodies our Christian HOPE that where He, Our Head, has gone before us, there We, His Body, will one day follow… to live forever in the Kingdom of the Father. Only we, by OUR ACTIONS IN THIS LIFE, will SEPARATE OURSELVES FROM THIS REALITY in the next.


The Reality of the Ascension DECLARES TO US that JESUS IS IN CHARGE, that JESUS IS OUR INTERCESSOR as we seek God’s Grace and Mercy to Fight the Daily Battle, and JESUS WILL SEND US THE HOLY SPIRIT to be OUR ADVOCATE with the FATHER AND THE SON.


We LIVE THIS REALITY in three ways: YOU AND I are now the VOICE OF JESUS as we Spread His Word, YOU AND I are now the HEART OF JESUS as we Share God’s Mercy and Forgiveness with others, and YOU AND I are the FEET OF JESUS as we Live a Life of Service to others.


Bottom Line…in this way, we ASCEND as a SPECTATOR on Ascension Sunday, and we DESCEND as a PARTICIPANT IN SALVATION HISTORY on Pentecost — transforming our Gifts from the Holy Spirit into the Fruits of the Holy Spirit which will build up the KINGDOM HERE ON EARTH.




+May God Bless You and Keep You+


“Spiritual help is help for freedom…reflection in order to obtain fruit – from what has been contemplated and that has done us good…to give oneself time to feel the emotion of the Spirit and to seek in concrete terms the will of God through the reform of one’s own life. To take on a new form: to conform to what is new, that is, what has life, has a style, has the criteria and the choices of the Lord. Reform does not have a functional character, nor one of self-perfection, but rather is aimed at mission, at the vocation of each of us in life. St. Peter was always called by the Lord to follow Him each time he confessed to be a sinner. He underlined that Our Lord perfected him, not in everything, but in what he needed to be a fisher of men and to shepherd His sheep. The Lord will not ask Peter to reform all the faults he carries with him from his past life; these faults – so many of them – will accompany him to the end. The Lord rather invited him to ‘go out of himself to proclaim the Gospel’ – a mission in which the past will be referred to with regard to certain things and not so much with regard to others…the divine will on the relevant issues of our spiritual life.”

— Pope Francis




How is the LOVE of GOD the Father and JESUS the Son made manifest in YOUR LIFE by the PRESENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT?


Jesus wants to WORK THROUGH US to do Great Things… and to have a Life Through Him. He is constantly seeking us out.


How does that happen? Through the Intercession of the Holy Spirit…OUR ADVOCATE…OUR HELPER…THE ONE WHO IS FOR US AND NOT AGAINST US!


In BAPTISM we receive the Holy Spirit…and in CONFIRMATION we are sent on MISSION as Intentional Disciples and Evangelizers to PROCLAIM THE WORD and WITNESS THE FAITH — GUIDED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT!


The HOLY SPIRIT is the product of the LOVE of GOD the Father and JESUS the Son.  He Proceeds from that LOVE as we Profess in the CREED.  This is the TRINITARIAN LOVE of Heaven present in OUR DAILY LIFE!


We learn from the Humility and Obedience of the EARTHLY LIFE OF JESUS that GOD must be the CENTER OF OUR LIFE.  One of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit is FEAR OF THE LORD. Scripturally, this is not a cowering fear – – but a RESPECT AND AWE OF THE LOVE AND POWER of Our Heavenly Father, coupled with a SUBMISSION TO HIS WILL and His Perfect Plan for Our Life…as He Works With Us and Through Us.


As Beloved Children of God and Claimed for Christ in our Baptism, we must EXHIBIT THAT LOVE in ALL WE DO and ALL WE ARE. In sending His Son, God demonstrated that He did not want Original Sin to prevent us from HIS LOVE. We are reminded in Holy Scripture that we are in this relationship not because of Our Love For God, but because GOD LOVES US IN OUR SINFULNESS AND IN OUR GOODNESS.


How do we live in that love? We live it by Following the Commandments, Living a Life of Beatitudes, Loving God, and Loving Our Neighbor as witnessed by the CORPORAL AND SPIRITUAL WORKS OF MERCY.


When we LIVE THIS LIFE, it is not only the basis of JESUS’ JOY IN US, but it is OUR PATH TO FULFILLMENT — NOT based on what is OF THE WORLD AND MATERIALISM but based on what will FRAME OUR ETERNAL LIFE IN THE PRESENCE OF PURE LOVE.


What are the GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT given to YOU – – Wisdom, Fortitude, Understanding, Counsel, Knowledge, Piety, or Fear the Lord?


What are the FRUITS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT in YOUR LIFE – – Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Generosity, Gentleness, Fidelity, Modesty, Self-Control, or Chastity?




If you are looking for examples, you need not to look further than the SAINTS – – – most of them are ORDINARY PEOPLE THRUST INTO EXTRAORDINARY MISSIONS … led by the FIRE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT!




+May God Bless You and Keep You+




 “Be holy. Be original…Don’t follow negative people but radiate the light and hope that come from God. You have been taught — and it is true  — that at Holy Mass, that small piece of bread becomes the Body of Christ and the wine in the chalice becomes the Blood of Christ. Your eyes do not see Jesus, but your heart and your lips adore him. It is true, Jesus is there as real and perfectly as he is in heaven. Offer Jesus your hands, your thoughts and your time, and he will not fail to reward you, granting you true joy and making you feel where the most complete happiness is found.  Do not let yourselves fall into mediocrity, which debases us and makes us gray. Life is not gray. Life should point as toward grand ideals.  Holiness does not mean becoming an extraterrestrial, but begins with small gestures of service and your families and groups of friends.”

                                            — Pope Francis


Where do YOU FIND YOUR HOLINESS…in what YOU DO or who YOU ARE?

Part of the answer lies in our Sacramental Life, and part of the answer answer lies in Our Life As A Disciple. 

By virtue of OUR CREATION, we are Beloved Children Of God made in His Image and Likeness. Our Life is Shaped by God. Through OUR BAPTISM, we are Claimed For Christ and become His Brother and Sister. In doing so, we take on a FAMILY role in terms of Our Relationship with Jesus and His Heavenly Father. This defines WHOSE WE ARE. 

This Relationship opens us to a SACRAMENTAL LIFE that makes Catholics different from other religions. Jesus’ Gift at the Last Supper to the Apostles,  and ultimately to you and me through Apostolic Succession, makes Jesus present to us — Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity — in the Holy Eucharist. 

Tragically, 75% of Catholics do not believe in The Real Presence. And therefore, they are less inclined to spend time with Jesus. Currently, we are at 20% of our available capacity at weekend Holy Mass. The numbers are even less for weekday Adoration. And as we expand our hours of Confession, there are many times that the confessionals are empty. 


Begin that Journey with the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We are reconciled with the Church when we bring our failings and our frailties to God for Him to HEAL US and TRANSFORM US through His Love and Mercy.

Coming Home has an additional meaning found in Holy Scripture. The Inspired Word of God can Change Our Behavior and Change Our Relationships.  Jesus’ Preaching, Teaching, Healing, and Raising the Dead CHANGED those who encountered Him. Many of these activities happened over a Meal. Guess What? Jesus wants to have a Meal With You – – at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass where HE SHARES HIMSELF TO BECOME ONE WITH YOU…SPIRITUALLY AND PHYSICALLY! 


How? When we BECOME ONE WITH JESUS inspired by Holy Scripture From Mass, and filled With the Holy Spirit contained in the Sacraments, we go into the World as Intentional Disciples and Evangelizers, assuming the Life of Jesus in selflessness and love. In a CULTURE moving Away From God and smothered in Secular Decline, this is more important than ever!

YOUR DISCIPLESHIP STARTS AT HOLY MASS!  The Dismissal at the End of Mass is when we are Commissioned To Be Disciples and Evangelizers in the World. That is why we DO NOT LEAVE before the end of Mass — the ACTION OF THE MASS needs to be completed…FOR US AND IN US.

As Disciples, YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE A THEOLOGIAN! Saint Josemaria Escriva reminds us to LIVE OUR FAITH in the Marketplace…putting YOUR PRAYERS AND YOUR SKILLS IN ACTION.

The Apostles were Successful Businessmen, but they were not Theologians or Rhodes Scholars!  And neither are most of the Saints. They are people LIKE YOU AND ME who were called to conversion, and used their Sacramental Life to change them and the lives of those God placed in their care. THEY GREW IN HOLINESS. Did they Fail, You Bet! Did they have Doubts, You Bet! Did they experience Desolation, You Bet!  AND, they DID NOT get to Heaven ON THEIR OWN…and NEITHER WILL YOU! Their accomplishments– their ACTIONS — were grounded the THEOLOGICAL VIRTUES of Faith, Hope, and Charity MADE REAL TO US in the Life of Jesus. 


Jesus traveled 3125 miles in His Public Life…and the distance from the Sea of Galilee where He was Baptized to Jerusalem where He was Crucified is 120 miles…and HE CHANGED THE WORLD! 

The Apostles travelled to Europe, Africa, and Asia…and THEY EVANGELIZED THE WORLD!

HOLINESS – – is it Costly? You Bet! Is it Demanding? You Bet! Will it Change Your Life? You bet! 


+May God Bless You and Keep You+

“Our concern is to see that the environment is cleaner, purer, and preserved, and to take care of nature so that it takes care of us. For some time now, we have been becoming more aware that nature deserves to be protected, even if only because human interaction with God’s biodiversity must take care with utmost care and respect. God always forgives, men forgive from time to time, nature no longer forgives. We will be more resilient when we work together instead of alone. World leaders must act with courage and justice and to always tell the truth to the people, so that they may know how to protect themselves and the planet from the destruction that we cause.”

— Pope Francis



The Holy Father is reminding everyone of the importance of working together to protect our planet as he commemorated Earth Day, which began in 1970, on April 22nd.


I was a Junior at the Colorado School of Mines on that first Earth Day. I served on a panel discussion about the impacts of growth on the environment and our natural resources. Seven years later, I was one of the co-founders of the Governor’s Office of Energy Conservation.


Care for God’s Creation is a principle of Catholic Social Doctrine. The US Council of Catholic Bishops reminds us: We show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of creation. Care for the earth is not just an Earth Day slogan, it is a requirement of our faith. We are called to protect people and the planet, living our faith in relationship with all of God’s creation. This environmental challenge has fundamental moral and ethical dimensions that cannot be ignored.

These truths are reflected in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: The mineral, vegetable, and animal resources of the universe cannot be divorced from respect for moral imperatives (CCC 2415).

The Care for God’s Creation has been a Cornerstone of the Papacy since Earth Day began.

Pope Francis: A true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor… Everything is connected.

Pope Benedict XVI: Our duties towards the environment are linked to our duties towards the human person, considered in himself and in relation to others. It would be wrong to uphold one set of duties while trampling on the other.

Pope John Paul II: When it comes to the natural world, we are subject not only to biological laws but also to moral ones, which cannot be violated with impunity. A true concept of development cannot ignore the use of the elements of nature, the renewability of resources and the consequences of haphazard industrialization – three considerations which alert our consciences to the moral dimension of development.

Pope Paul VI: To rule creation means for the human race not to destroy it but to perfect it; to transform the world not into a chaos no longer fit for habitation, but into a beautiful abode where everything is respected. No one can take possession in an absolute and selfish way of the environment, which is not something not belonging to anyone, but the patrimony of mankind.

At the time of the first Earth Day, the popular slogan was, ‘Think Globally, Act Locally.’ The Marians of the Immaculate Conception have a great way to do this in their Ecological Examination of Conscience:


>Do I look for ways to reduce my consumption of goods more generally?
>Do I help act as a steward of our common home by planting a tree or garden, generating less trash, observing the Church’s days of abstinence from meat, buying my clothes second-hand, or arranging a home energy efficiency assessment through my power company or state agency?
>Have I embraced the spirit of poverty to which the Church calls me (CCC 2407)?
>Do I recognize that I am a steward of a portion of the goods of the earth for a time, and have an obligation to use resources with consideration of those who come after me (CCC 2402-2405)?

What about YOU?

How do YOU CARE for God’s Creation?

What of the Created World are YOU A STEWARD?

How has it changed YOUR LIFESTYLE?

Are they actions that benefit YOUR WORLD-WIDE SISTERS AND BROTHERS in name of Justice and Equity?

+May God Bless You and Keep You+