World Youth Day: A blessing for us

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Bishop Ricken

Blessed John Paul II truly left a legacy for our Catholic youth when he instituted World Youth Day in 1985. This past week, millions from around the world joined together in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the 13th International World Youth Day. And what could have been more powerful for our young people than to have worshipped with Pope Francis in his native Latin America? Read More

Freedom is not free

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Bishop Ricken

On Memorial Day, I was delighted to celebrate Mass at our wonderful Allouez Catholic Cemetery. Around 850 people were in attendance at this outdoor memorial Mass. In my homily, I had occasion to reflect on freedom and what it really means, on liberty (what it is and what it is not) and on solidarity (what it means to be “one nation under God.”)
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Christ’s disciples are images of God

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Bishop Ricken

What does it mean to be human?

The answers vary. Some think they are what they do. They identify with their profession, their skills, what they do to make a living. They connect with their function in society. Another group speaks in terms of their property, bank account, investments and possessions. They are what they own. A third group identifies with their sexuality. They are self-conscious about gender and what it means to them. In an extreme form, such an inclination may lead to exploiting others. They may boast, “I am a sexual subject seeking a sexual object.”
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Have a personal relationship with Christ

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Bishop Ricken

The Gospels report that Jesus sought a personal relationship with all the apostles. When some of Christ’s followers walked away from him at Capernaum after his clear teaching about Eucharist, Jesus turned to the apostles and asked, “Do you also want to leave?” (Jn 6:67) The Gospel also notes that John was the “disciple whom Jesus loved.”
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Women in the new evangelization

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Bishop Ricken

Called to be holy, engaged and fully alive!

The Year of Faith, as we know, began on Oct. 11, 2012, the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, and the 20th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
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On evangelization

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Bishop Ricken

The last scene in Matthew’s Gospel pictures the apostles gathered around the risen Christ. He has called and trained them to be disciples. Now he gives them the great commission. “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Mt 28:18-20).
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The tenderness of God

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Bishop Ricken

Since becoming pope, Francis has been so impressive in his outreach to many people in just a few weeks and his messages have been about the great love and mercy our Lord Jesus has for us. In his recent homily at St. John Lateran Basilica, the diocesan church of the Diocese of Rome, he reiterated this truth about the great patience God has for us to return to him. Citing the example of the forgiving father from the Gospels, he highlights the patience of the father in waiting for his prodigal son to return home.

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Christ has risen!

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Bishop Ricken

Dear brothers and sisters,

Let us rejoice for Christ has risen! This Sunday we celebrate Easter, Christ’s triumph over death and the promise of eternal life given to us. While reflecting on Christ’s life, death and resurrection during this Holy Week, we have been reminded that after every darkness comes light, after every winter comes springtime. As Venerable Fulton J. Sheen once said, “Unless there is a Good Friday in your life, there can be no Easter Sunday.”

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A tale of two humilities

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Bishop Ricken

The last four weeks have almost seemed surreal. The unexpected resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and the preparation of the church to elect a new pope — with an ample portion of speculation about who would be his successor — and then the surprise election of a cardinal from Latin America have seemed like watching a very fast- paced movie or reading a novel about another time.

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In support of school vouchers

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Bishop Ricken

It seems quite clear to me that public policies should support the best interests of parents and children. This is especially true when it comes to educating the young people in our communities. After all, parents are the primary educators of their children.

 

Thus, it is logical that parents should have a choice as to where their children attend school. By implementing a voucher system, public funds may be used by parents to pay for education at the school which they believe best meets their child’s needs. This would include the option of attending a private, faith-based school.

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