Friday, September 30, 2011

Woman and a Fork

Chipotle after the 7:30 Sunday night student Mass.  If 300 people come to Mass (this Sunday or any Sunday this year), I will hit a local nightclub in my cassock.   Nothing would make me happier than to have to make a fool of myself (and my "dress") on a dance floor. 

Here is a cool little parable that a friend sent me:

Woman and a Fork

There was a young woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So as she was getting her things 'in order,' she contacted her Pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes.

She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in.

Everything was in order and the Pastor was preparing to leave when the young woman suddenly remembered something very important to her.

'There's one more thing,' she said excitedly..

'What's that?' came the Pastor's reply.

'This is very important,' the young woman continued. 'I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand.'

The Pastor stood looking at the young woman, not knowing quite what to say.

That surprises you, doesn't it?' the young woman asked.

'Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request,' said the Pastor.

The young woman explained. 'My grandmother once told me this story, and from that time on I have always tried to pass along its message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement. In all my years of attending socials and dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, 'Keep your fork.' It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming ... like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance!'

So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder 'What's with the fork?' Then I want you to tell them: 'Keep your fork ... the best is yet to come.'

The Pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the young woman good-bye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the young woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She had a better grasp of what heaven would be like than many people twice her age, with twice as much experience and knowledge.

She KNEW that something better was coming.

At the funeral people were walking by the young woman's casket and they saw the cloak she was wearing and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over, the Pastor heard the question, 'What's with the fork?' And over and over he smiled.

During his message, the Pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the young woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her. He told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either.

He was right. So the next time you reach down for your fork let it remind you, ever so gently, that…

The BEST is yet to come!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"Mars vs. Venus diaries" (this is funny)

Our Tuesday discussions continue to rock with another solid turnout last night. We had two powerful and inspiring chastity speakers, Ty and Ellen. Ty spoke to the men and Ellen spoke to the women. My sense was that the talks were very helpful and well received. Part of the reason we separated the men from the women is that we are different and so we have different struggles living chastity. The principles are the same for males and females in living chastity (or any virtue) and we share Christ throughout, but approach them differently. Put another way, “men are from Mars, women are from Venus”; they share the sun, but approach its rays differently.

Along these lines, a friend sent me the following, “Mars vs. Venus Diaries”, which is hilarious. I know what students who know of my affinity for golf will think: this would have been my diary if I had gotten married.

Wife’s diary:

Tonight, I thought my husband was acting weird. We had made plans to meet at a nice restaurant for dinner. I was shopping with my friends all day long, so I thought he was upset at the fact that I was a bit late, but he made no comment on it. Conversation wasn't flowing, so I suggested that we go somewhere quiet so we could talk. He agreed, but he didn't say much.

I asked him what was wrong; He said, 'Nothing.' I asked him if it was my fault that he was upset. He said he wasn't upset, that it had nothing to do with me, and not to worry about it. On the way home, I told him that I loved him. He smiled slightly, and kept driving.

I can't explain his behavior I don't know why he didn't say, 'I love you, too.' When we got home, I felt as if I had lost him completely, as if he wanted nothing to do with me anymore. He just sat there quietly, and watched TV. He continued to seem distant and absent. Finally, with silence all around us, I decided to go to bed. About 15 minutes later, he came to bed. But I still felt that he was distracted, and his thoughts were somewhere else. He fell asleep; I cried. I don't know what to do. I'm almost sure that his thoughts are with someone else. My life is a disaster.

Husband’s diary

Four putt; Who The Heck Four Putts!?

Here is an excerpt from last week's epic speaker, Fr Bill Byrne, talking about joy:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Homily - 26th Sunday

Please click on today's title to listen to Sunday's homily through our website.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Please pray for our freshmen on retreat this weekend!  NO Confessions or Vigil Mass this Saturday, but the usual student Sunday Masses will be celebrated this Sunday at 5:30, 7:30, and 10 pm at St. Stephen's.

Here's a little video I posted on Youtube the other day on Confession.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Catholic Life in the Ivy League

Catholic Life in the Ivy League

NLM Guest Article by Stephen Schmalhofer

In 2004, Yale University admitted only 9.9% of the 20,000 applicants to Yale College. I enrolled in August and found myself on an Ivy covered playground. Yalies are often named among the happiest undergraduates. Administrators blanket the campus with self-congratulatory nods to Yale's U.S. Presidents, CEOs, and academic stars. The promise is that a Yale degree is a sorcerer’s stone, turning leaden undergraduates into gold, joining the brilliant, wealthy and powerful.

Why would anyone numbered among the chosen 9.9% decide to go to Mass?

In Yale's gothic courtyards, libraries, residential colleges, and Payne Whitney Gymnasium aka "the cathedral of sweat", I wandered. On Hillhouse Avenue, "the most beautiful street in America", I stepped into St. Mary's. It was an experience of beauty, an aesthetic wrapped in virtue and truth. On an Ivy League campus, it was a rare thing: unashamed, confident Truth! Not a self-conscious peer-reviewed hypothesis or a timidly footnoted factoid. Not a smug wink at old traditions and certitudes or a dissolving intellectual fad. It was the Truth, stripped naked, hung on a Cross, offered on an altar, Flesh to eat, Blood to drink.

I breathed the air of St. Mary's, taking deep drags thick with the Presence that separates a Catholic Church from an oddly decorated room. Incense burned with the prayers of two millennia. Candles flickered and kneelers dropped on hard wood. A bell chimed and I heard something come floating down from the choir loft. What was that music? It was so beautiful, so sublime, and so... sacred. I had never heard chant and my soul leapt like John in the womb of St. Elizabeth. My previously spoken prayers and off-tune responses seemed so inadequate. Chant returned my voice at Mass. The Kyrie was finally a suitable expression of penitence, before rolling into thanksgiving at the Gloria. Instead of sounding like the Pledge of Allegiance, the chanted Credo turned dogma into prayer. While every Mass is the source and summit of our faith, here was a place that worshipped as though that were true and not just a rote line in the Catechism. It reduced other campus religious offerings to ersatz ritual: Yale Divinity students burning the 10 Commandments for Ash Wednesday, Campus Crusaders for Christ huddling around a guitar, the campus chapel emptied out for silent "meditation."

If the liturgy wars were raging at St. Mary's, I was blissfully unaware. Instead of pandering to the fickle tastes of college students, I found something wonderfully consistent on Hillhouse Avenue. Priests said Mass without egotism. Instead of stumbling towards "relevance," homilies stayed fresh by addressing the saint's daily feast or the Holy Father's recent remarks. Ignoring pop songs and movie quotes, source material came from the great deposit of Catholic theology that every Dominican masters. Mass was never hurried or impatient, always paced with moments of silent reflection. Latin was simply the language for the Ordinary and most of the Propers, not a tribal totem. The schola stayed in the loft, only their chants entered the sanctuary.

An Ivy League athlete is naturally adjusted to sacrifice. A full load of classes is scheduled around morning film sessions, afternoon weight-lifting and evening practices. Without "redshirt" years, we race to gain weight. To make the switch from linebacker to defensive tackle, I learned new math: 7 daily meals for a total of 5000 calories = 60 lbs. I have felt the crushing weight of 500 lbs. on my back and oxygen starved lungs after morning runs. I have seen teammates limp into Mass with ice bags on their knees and neck, twisting with cramps as they kneel. This liturgy was demanding and that suited me perfectly. Disciplined eating made sense and fasting was the religious corollary. Prayerful posture was inoffensive as technique is drilled hundreds of time at practice. A football player told to face the sideline to receive a play-call will find "facing East" to be an appropriate liturgical orientation. My best coaches understood that they could not coerce us into effort or excellence. They must propose, instruct, and motivate with the unique and delicate temperament of each player in careful consideration. While liturgy at St. Mary's was demanding, it never imposed a specific emotion. I felt joy on the darkest of Good Fridays, and deep sadness on the most glorious feast days.

Even on an idyllic campus, there were crises of confidence. Why was I propping my eyes open over some dry textbook? Why did I wake up early to sweat in the gym? Why did my back hurt? Why was I force feeding myself? What is the point of a history major? Across campus the Friars' bore greater burdens. Their study was more intense than mine. Their regimen of prayer was more strict than any offseason training program. What animated them? Where did they draw strength? I have charged into the Yale Bowl on game day. At commencement, I watched the university president march to the podium. But when an elderly Friar exited the sacristy and tenderly processed to the altar, I saw a strength unmatched. Leaning forward, each step was a prayer with the weight of a thousand confessions and midnight calls pressing down. He wasn't walking aimlessly for a procession demands a destination. His destination was his strength: to the altar of God, to the God who gives joy to my youth!

There is the lesson for campus chaplains, for youth ministers, for parents, for pastors. The temptation is to provide undergraduates with an endless supply of activities, bands, dinners, trips, and lectures. These can be great blessings. But first consider: Why are they wandering? Instead of a diversion, make sure they find something beautiful and true. A soft-spoken Bavarian whose primary focus is the Queen of the Sciences, not biology or physics, remarked that “as soon as one recognizes the incomparable grandeur of the whole, one's vision penetrates farther and the question arises about a God who is at the origin of all things."

Monday, September 19, 2011

Homily - 25th Sunday

Please click on today's title to listen to Sunday's homily through our website.

Friday, September 16, 2011

"Values ought to shape our choice and not be trumped by it"

Rosary for Life today, 3 pm.  Please meet at the Newman Center and then we will walk down to pray the rosary outside the abortion facility on campus (Washington Surgi Clinic, next to the Dakota Hall dorms).

A student sent me the following video on Youtube involving Fr. Robert Barron.  Fr. Barron has done numerous videos, most notably the "Catholicism Project" which we will show at the Newman Center soon.  In this video, he addresses the issue of "two minus one pregnancies" in which mothers with twins choose to abort one of their babies.  It's a very good video commentary. 

Fr. Barron might get some grief from people over his laughs and sarcastic remarks. My suggestion would be to do another take without all of those.  They serve a point that some of the rationale from pro-choice advocates and even mothers who have chosen abortion is so crazy that it is just laughable.  But, in our hyper-senstitive culture, his reactions are perceived as being insensitive and condescending.  Then, Fr. Barron would be perceived as being mean and insensitive even though he is not and does not intend to give this impression.  In all of this, the message might get lost because people often look for any reason to attack the messenger when they can't substantially attack the message. 

My favorite line is the last one: "values ought to shape our choice and not be trumped by it"

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"Even demons believe!"

Happy Feast of the Triumph of the Cross!!

Today, we begin Wednesday Adoration at the Newman Center which goes from 12:30-10 pm every week this semester.  Over 30 students have made a weekly commitment to adore our Lord in the Eucharist for 30 minutes.  (The 30/30 club)  They have come to recognize and believe what even demons believe: that "this is my body" means this is my body.

Even Demons Believe!

Is The Lord Truly Present In The Eucharist? You Better Believe It!

Take From: "The Light Is On For You".

Msgr. Charles Pope - It was almost 15 years ago. I was At Old St. Mary’s here in D.C. celebrating Mass in the Latin (Extraordinary Form). It was a solemn high Mass. I don’t suppose I thought it any different than most Sunday’s but something quite amazing was about to happen.

As you may know the ancient Latin Mass is celebrated “ad orientem” (towards the Liturgical East). Priest and people all face one direction. What this means practically for the celebrant is that the people are behind him. It was time for the consecration. The priest is directed to bow low,his forearms on the altar table the host between his fingers.

As directed I said the venerable words of Consecration in a low but distinct voice, Hoc est enim Corpus meum (For this is my Body). The bells rang as I genuflected.

But behind me a disturbance of some sort, a shaking or rustling in the front pews behind me to my right. And then a moaning or grumbling. What was that? It did not really sound human,more like the grumbling of a large animal such as a boar or a bear,along with a plaintive moan that did not seem human. I elevated the host and wondered,“What was that?” Then silence. I could not turn to look easily for that is awkward for the celebrant in the ancient Latin Mass. But still I thought,What was that?

But it was time for the consecration of the chalice. Again,bowing low and pronouncing clearly and distinctly but in a low voice: Hic est enim calix sanguinis mei,novi et æterni testamenti;mysterium fidei;qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem pecatorum. Haec quotiescumque feceritis in mei memoriam facietis (for this is the cup of my Blood, of the new and eternal covenant; the mystery of faith; which will for the many be shed unto the remission of sins. When so ever you do this,you do it in my memory).

Then,I heard another sound this time an undeniable moan and then a shriek as some one cried out:“Leave me alone Jesus! Why do you torture me!” Suddenly a scuffling as some one ran out with the groaning sound of having been injured. The back doors swung open,then closed. Then silence.

Realization – I could not turn to look for I was raising the Chalice high over my head. But I knew in an instant that some poor demon-tormented soul had encountered Christ in the Eucharistic,and could not endure his real presence displayed for all to see. And the words of Scripture occurred to me: Even Demons believe and tremble (James 2:19).

Repentance – But just as James used those words to rebuke the weak faith of his flock I too had to repent. Why was a demon-troubled man more aware of the true presence and astonished by it than me? He was moved in the negative sense to run. Why was I not more moved in a positive and comparable way? What of the other believers in the pews? I don’t doubt that any of us believed intellectually in the true presence. But there is something very different and far more wonderful in being moved to the depth of your soul! It is so easy for us to be sleepy in the presence of the Divine,forgetful of the miraculous and awesome Presence available to us.

But let the record show that one day,almost 15 years ago,it was made quite plain to me that I held in my hands the Lord of Glory,the King of heaven and earth,the just Judge,and Ruler of the kings of the earth. Is the Lord truly present in the Eucharist? You’d better believe it, even demons believe that!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Homily - 24th Sunday

Please click on today's title and then "click here to listen" on the GW Catholics site.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Thoughts on 9/11

My father died when he was 51. One day, he was on a beach and loving life, saying that it was the most relaxing weekend of his life. The next day, he dropped dead of a heart attack. It was such a complete shock to our family, parish, and local community (which for our family lasted about a year). Nothing of any serious nature had happened to our family in my first seventeen years, so this was definitely a moment of crisis. The word crisis literally means something that can go one way or another. Would this tragic event bring us closer together or divide us permanently? Which way would we go? Thankfully, it brought us closer together. We remain close, and that closeness is being passed to the next generation.

In a similar way, 9/11 was a definite moment of crisis for our country. It was a total shock to all of us who watched the horror unfold before our eyes. Nothing like this had ever happened to our country. Would this tragic event bring us closer together or divide us permanently? The immediate days that followed September 11, 2001 showed incredible signs of unity. Our goodness seemed to triumph over the evil inflicted on us (as big as it was) through the widespread and overwhelming response of faith and prayer, acts of charity and generosity, and heroic commitment to national service. It seems to me that when we remember 9/11, we remember all of this and are united. This weekend will bring all of this back as we celebrate the 10th anniversary. So, we can enjoy a deeper unity as we happily celebrate the goodness of 9/11 even with the painful reliving of the evil.

The Archbishop of New York has offered his thoughts about where we are on the 10th anniversary. What are your thoughts or remembrances?

Archbishop Dolan: Let 9/11 Legacy Be One of Hope

Says 10-Year Anniversary a Time to Remember, Go Forward

WASHINGTON, D.C., SEPT. 8, 2011 ( The tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks that took place in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, is a moment to not only remember, but also to go forward, says the president of the U.S. bishops' conference.

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York wrote this in a statement released days ahead of the anniversary that marks a decade since four hijacked planes crashed in New York, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. In total, some 3,000 died as a result of the attacks, including 19 hijackers.

"We reverently recall those who were most directly affected by this tragedy -- those who died, were injured or lost loved ones," Archbishop Dolan wrote. "In a special way we recall the selfless first responders -- firefighters, police, chaplains, emergency workers, and other brave persons -- who risked, and many times lost, their lives in their courageous efforts to save others."

It is estimated that more than 400 first responders, including 343 members of the New York City Fire Department, died in New York on 9/11. Most died when the north and south towers collapsed.

The archbishop said that it's important to not only to remember the attacks, but also the response: "We turned to prayer, and then turned to one another to offer help and support. Hands were folded in prayer and opened in service to those who had lost so much."

Going forward, Archbishop Dolan said that as a country "we remain resolved to reject extreme ideologies that perversely misuse religion to justify indefensible attacks on innocent civilians."

"This tenth anniversary of 9/11 can be a time of renewal," he added. "Ten years ago we came together across religious, political, social and ethnic lines to stand as one people to heal wounds and defend against terrorism.

"As we face today's challenges of people out of work, families struggling, and the continuing dangers of wars and terrorism, let us summon the 9/11 spirit of unity to confront our challenges. Let us pray that the lasting legacy of 9/11 is not fear, but rather hope for a world renewed."


In a column published Wednesday on the Web site of Catholic New York, Archbishop Dolan reflected that in addition to what took place on 9/11, there was a lot to be learned from 9/12.

He recounted how the parish priest of St. Peter's, located near Ground Zero, told him: "We New Yorkers don’t just remember the horrors and sorrows of 9/11; we also celebrate 9/12."

"It took me awhile to get the insight of his statement," the archbishop admitted. But then he explained: "New Yorkers were shocked, scared, angry, saddened and shaken by the unforgettable death and destruction of 9/11, true; but, New Yorkers were not paralyzed or defeated!

"They immediately rallied, becoming people of intense faith, prayer, hope, and love, as the rescue, renewal, resilience, rebuilding, and outreach began. And it has not stopped since."

"9/11 could have turned us into petrified, paranoid, vicious animals, and our demented attackers would thus have won," Archbishop Dolan continued, "or, it could bring out what is most noble in the human soul, such as heroic sacrifice, solidarity in service, non-stop rescue efforts, communities bonding, prayer for those perished and families mourning, healing and renewal."

"9/11 did not have the last word," he added. "9/12 did."

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

GW Catholics at World Youth Day (video)

A HUGE thanks to Kara Dunford for putting together this amazing video of our WYD pilgrimage!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Maryland, Monopoly, Mass

I was asked to make video posts more often on the blog rather than typed ones all the time. Also, the suggestion was for me to answer your questions on here via send me your questions!!

Feedback on the video approach would be much a commercial used to say, "it's not fancy, just fabulous".

Monday, September 05, 2011

23rd Sunday - homily

Students have asked me to podcast my homilies.  Click today's title for yesterday's homily.  Please invite other GW students (Catholic and non-Catholic) to listen to them on here or through our website,  It's a simple way to spread the Gospel (i.e., do the work on salvation as we celebrate Labor Day)!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Pope to youth: "The world needs the witness of your faith"

Here is Pope Benedict's homily at the closing Mass of World Youth Day:

Dear Young People,

In this celebration of the Eucharist we have reached the high point of this World Youth Day. Seeing you here, gathered in such great numbers from all parts of the world, fills my heart with joy. I think of the special love with which Jesus is looking upon you. Yes, the Lord loves you and calls you his friends (cf. Jn 15:15). He goes out to meet you and he wants to accompany you on your journey, to open the door to a life of fulfillment and to give you a share in his own closeness to the Father. For our part, we have come to know the immensity of his love and we want to respond generously to his love by sharing with others the joy we have received. Certainly, there are many people today who feel attracted by the figure of Christ and want to know him better. They realize that he is the answer to so many of our deepest concerns. But who is he really? How can someone who lived on this earth so long ago have anything in common with me today?

The Gospel we have just heard (cf. Mt 16:13-20) suggests two different ways of knowing Christ. The first is an impersonal knowledge, one based on current opinion. When Jesus asks: “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”, the disciples answer: “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets”. In other words, Christ is seen as yet another religious figure, like those who came before him. Then Jesus turns to the disciples and asks them: “But who do you say that I am?” Peter responds with what is the first confession of faith: “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God”. Faith is more than just empirical or historical facts; it is an ability to grasp the mystery of Christ’s person in all its depth.

Yet faith is not the result of human effort, of human reasoning, but rather a gift of God: “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven”. Faith starts with God, who opens his heart to us and invites us to share in his own divine life. Faith does not simply provide information about who Christ is; rather, it entails a personal relationship with Christ, a surrender of our whole person, with all our understanding, will and feelings, to God’s self-revelation. So Jesus’ question: “But who do you say that I am?”, is ultimately a challenge to the disciples to make a personal decision in his regard. Faith in Christ and discipleship are strictly interconnected.

And, since faith involves following the Master, it must become constantly stronger, deeper and more mature, to the extent that it leads to a closer and more intense relationship with Jesus. Peter and the other disciples also had to grow in this way, until their encounter with the Risen Lord opened their eyes to the fullness of faith.

Dear young people, today Christ is asking you the same question which he asked the Apostles: “Who do you say that I am?” Respond to him with generosity and courage, as befits young hearts like your own. Say to him: “Jesus, I know that you are the Son of God, who have given your life for me. I want to follow you faithfully and to be led by your word. You know me and you love me. I place my trust in you and I put my whole life into your hands. I want you to be the power that strengthens me and the joy which never leaves me”.

Jesus’ responds to Peter’s confession by speaking of the Church: “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church”. What do these words mean? Jesus builds the Church on the rock of the faith of Peter, who confesses that Christ is God.

The Church, then, is not simply a human institution, like any other. Rather, she is closely joined to God. Christ himself speaks of her as “his” Church. Christ cannot be separated from the Church any more than the head can be separated from the body (cf. 1 Cor 12:12). The Church does not draw her life from herself, but from the Lord.

Dear young friends, as the Successor of Peter, let me urge you to strengthen this faith which has been handed down to us from the time of the Apostles. Make Christ, the Son of God, the centre of your life. But let me also remind you that following Jesus in faith means walking at his side in the communion of the Church. We cannot follow Jesus on our own. Anyone who would be tempted to do so “on his own”, or to approach the life of faith with kind of individualism so prevalent today, will risk never truly encountering Jesus, or will end up following a counterfeit Jesus.

Having faith means drawing support from the faith of your brothers and sisters, even as your own faith serves as a support for the faith of others. I ask you, dear friends, to love the Church which brought you to birth in the faith, which helped you to grow in the knowledge of Christ and which led you to discover the beauty of his love. Growing in friendship with Christ necessarily means recognizing the importance of joyful participation in the life of your parishes, communities and movements, as well as the celebration of Sunday Mass, frequent reception of the sacrament of Reconciliation, and the cultivation of personal prayer and meditation on God’s word.

Friendship with Jesus will also lead you to bear witness to the faith wherever you are, even when it meets with rejection or indifference. We cannot encounter Christ and not want to make him known to others. So do not keep Christ to yourselves! Share with others the joy of your faith. The world needs the witness of your faith, it surely needs God. I think that the presence here of so many young people, coming from all over the world, is a wonderful proof of the fruitfulness of Christ’s command to the Church: “Go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel to the whole creation” (Mk 16:15). You too have been given the extraordinary task of being disciples and missionaries of Christ in other lands and countries filled with young people who are looking for something greater and, because their heart tells them that more authentic values do exist, they do not let themselves be seduced by the empty promises of a lifestyle which has no room for God.

Dear young people, I pray for you with heartfelt affection. I commend all of you to the Virgin Mary and I ask her to accompany you always by her maternal intercession and to teach you how to remain faithful to God’s word. I ask you to pray for the Pope, so that, as the Successor of Peter, he may always confirm his brothers and sisters in the faith. May all of us in the Church, pastors and faithful alike, draw closer to the Lord each day. May we grow in holiness of life and be effective witnesses to the truth that Jesus Christ is indeed the Son of God, the Saviour of all mankind and the living source of our hope. Amen.