March 10, 2019, First Sunday of Lent
Mar05

March 10, 2019, First Sunday of Lent

Every week we offer 10 hours of Confession time at the Cathedral.  Many people take advantage of the opportunity during Lent to “Fulfill their Easter Duty”.  Those of you under the age of about 55 are likely asking yourself what exactly is meant by the term Easter Duty.  One of the ongoing duties of Catholics is to participate in the life of the Church.  In order to assist in this, the Church requires as a bare minimum, that Catholics will receive Holy Communion at least once a year during the Easter Season. Now, in order to do that sincerely and well, it will be necessary, or at least helpful, to first approach the Sacrament of Reconciliation to prepare for reception of Holy Communion.  Anyone aware of having consented to knowingly to grave sin must first reconcile through the Sacrament of Penance or Confession as we familiarly call it. The benefits to you far outweigh any fear or discomfort you may feel about the prospect of Confession.  So Please, Do your Easter Duty, and start with a worthy Confession! Confession FAQ When do I need to go to confession? There are several instances when confession is necessary. First, every Catholic is required to go once a year if he or she has committed a mortal sin. However, this is the bare minimum and will not be enough for most of us to fully live the Christian life. Second, every Catholic should go to confession when he commits a mortal sin since that means he has separated himself from God. Third, every Catholic must go to confession before receiving the Body and Blood of Christ in communion if they are aware of having committed a mortal sin. Fourth, even for people who are unaware of a mortal sin, going to confession once a month is a great spiritual practice, if only to confess venial sins and receive the grace to stay free from mortal sin in the future. Ok then; what is a mortal sin? St. John speaks of sins that lead to death and sins that don’t lead to death (1 John 5: 16-18). Thus, the Catholic Church speaks of mortal (leading to death) and venial sins (not leading to death).  Mortal sins cut us off from God and lead to hell (which is a cutting off from God), while venial sins merely weaken charity. In order for a sin to be mortal, it must have three components: grave matter (in other words be classified as a serious sin because it is a direct violation of a commandment in a serious matter), full knowledge (we must know what we’re doing...

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March 3, 2019, Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Feb28

March 3, 2019, Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Gift of the Father Pastoral Letter from the Most Reverend James Sean Wall On the Restoration of the Order of the Sacraments of Initiation (Final in Series) To the Faithful of the Diocese of Gallup: How will it take place? Our new diocesan policy will be fully implemented over the next three years.  The progressive lowering of the age for Confirmation will take place as follows: Invite all those of High School age to begin preparation in the Fall of 2019 to be celebrated in the Spring of 2020, 8th graders  if the pastors wish, may be included in this group. Invite all 6th graders and older to begin preparation in the Fall of 2020, to be celebrated in the Spring of 2021. Invite those in 4th grade and older to begin preparation in the Fall of 2021 to be celebrated in the Spring of 2022. Invite those in 3rd grade and older to begin preparation in the Fall of 2022 to be celebrated in the Spring of 2023. In smaller parishes this schedule can be adjusted to allow for a quicker step down process, keeping in mind that children of very different ages will require different approaches in preparation for the sacraments. There will always be the possibility of children older than 3rd grade seeking the Sacrament, especially those who move into our diocese from other areas, as well as adults who seek the reception of Confirmation.  For this reason, there will have to be available an intergenerational model of catechesis or catechists prepared to take on classes of different age groups to prepare them for Confirmation. Living the life-long commitment As we know, the sacraments (particularly the Sacraments of Initiation) are means and not ends in themselves.  They are an introduction and aids to living an authentically Christ-like life, to prepare ourselves for our passage into our longed-for eternal life in heaven and to give a clear witness to the world.  Perhaps the biggest challenge parishes will face with this change in policy will be the need to develop creative programs to accompany, form and integrate young members of the parish – now fully initiated – into the life of the Church.  Therefore, our catechetical program after the 3rd grade will no longer be tied to the reception of a sacrament, which will offer the diocese and parishes the possibility of developing resources, programs and activities that will help our young Catholics grow in their faith, discern their vocation and prepare for that Christian vocation as they approach adulthood.  The diocese welcomes the possibility of discerning new experiences and best practices that the parish communities develop...

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February 24, 2019, Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Feb20

February 24, 2019, Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Gift of the Father Pastoral Letter from the Most Reverend James Sean Wall On the Restoration of the Order of the Sacraments of Initiation (Second in Series) To the Faithful of the Diocese of Gallup:  Some Pastoral Considerations Receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation long after the reception of Holy Communion tends to weaken the understanding of the bond and relationship that the Sacraments of Initiation have with one another.  Since the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation lead the faithful to the culmination of their initiation into the Christian Life in Holy Communion,  the practice of postponing the reception of Confirmation until the teenage years has not always been beneficial.  An alarming percentage of our Catholic children who were baptized and received First Holy Communion, do not continue their formation for the Sacrament of Confirmation, and in too many cases, never receive the Sacrament.  As your shepherd, I believe it is important for our children, before they reach their adolescent years, to receive the strength of this important Sacrament. The Effects of the Sacrament All the Sacraments of the Church are wonderful gifts left to us by Christ to unite us more closely to the Blessed Trinity.  After being born anew in the Sacrament of Baptism, Confirmation gives us an outpouring of the Holy Spirit which strengthens us.  This Sacrament brings the life in the Spirit, which was begun in Baptism, to maturity and enables us to be “more perfectly bound to the Church”[3].  This bond with the Church brings in practice the obligation “to spread and defend the faith both by word and deed, as true witnesses to Christ”[4]. Although grace builds upon nature and much depends upon the disposition in faith, the piety and charity of the one who receives it, the sacraments work in us in a different way.  As long as the recipient does not have any impediment, the sacraments will produce in us their grace on their own (ex opera operato) [5].  This is important when we consider the age of the reception of the sacraments.  Confirmation, sometimes called the Sacrament of Christian maturity, does not require the recipient to be physically mature in order to transmit its grace.  On the contrary, the Sacrament brings the recipient into Christian maturity and is given the strength through the Sacrament to live one’s Christian life even in a heroic way.  Although the recipient of the Sacrament always must seek to remove obstacles to grace in his or her life and cooperate with the strength of the grace that is offered to the individual, the power of the sacraments to transform one’s life has been well established....

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Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C
Feb13

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

The Gift of the Father Pastoral Letter from the Most Reverend James Sean Wall On the Restoration of the Order of the Sacraments of Initiation (First in the Series) To the Faithful of the Diocese of Gallup:  “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth…” John 14: 16-17 Through the grace of Christ each baptized person is called to share in God’s divine nature.  The Sacrament of Baptism itself immerses us into the Divine Trinity, Whose light eliminates all darkness of sin and allows us to begin a life in which we are capable of understanding through faith the eternal life to which we are called. “…What has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love Him, this God has revealed to us through the Spirit.”[1]  In Baptism, each of us has become in a unique way a child of God called to give witness to His love in the world. The Sacrament of Confirmation is important because its grace confirms and strengthens the supernatural life we have received in Baptism and it also enables us with its grace to live in a more mature way our lives as Christians giving witness to Christ in all that we do.  Through this Sacrament, the Holy Spirit, Who gives witness to Christ, enables us to give Him witness. [2]  The Sacrament of Confirmation is sometimes called the Sacrament of the Holy Spirit because it “marks” the soul with His indelible seal and confers on those who receive it the grace-filled power of carrying on His mission in the world. At the same time, the Sacrament of Confirmation is ordered toward a deeper communion with the Lord and to His Church through this witness to Him, a communion which receives its greatest expression and grace in this life in the sacrament of Holy Communion. After consultation with the Presbyteral Council and having prayerfully considered it, I have decided to restore the Sacraments of Initiation to their original order, that is, Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist.  Together with this Pastoral Letter of presentation, I am sending you the new Policy for the Restored Order of the Sacraments of Initiation for the Diocese of Gallup. Historical Background During the first five hundred years of the Church the three Sacraments of Initiation were celebrated together, whether those who received them were adults or children.  From the fifth century until the 13th century, the Sacrament of Baptism was separated from the sacraments of Confirmation and Communion, Baptism being celebrated during infancy and Confirmation at about the age of...

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February 10, 2019, Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Feb06

February 10, 2019, Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, It is with deep humility and gratitude to you, the people of the Diocese of Gallup that I announce the theme of our 2019 Bishop’s Annual Appeal: “Be Trustworthy Stewards”. The Catholic Church in the United States, as well as world-wide, is experiencing much pain and anger over the recent revelations of abuse on the part of some of the hierarchy. These actions are inexcusable, and call for repentance and renewal throughout the Church. I’d like to invite you to join me in these actions so that the Kingdom of God might be made known throughout our diocese and the world. I would like to invite you to prayerfully consider a contribution to the Annual Bishop’s Appeal. This year’s theme “Trustworthy Stewardship”, which is taken from 1 Corinthians 4: 1-2,5: “thus one should regard us: as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Now it is of course required of stewards that they be found trustworthy…the Lord will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will manifest the motives of our hearts.” When you consider a contribution to the Appeal, think of the message and example of Christ, who came to serve, and not to be served. My desire is to use your contributions in a trustworthy manner, to serve the least of these as Christ commands us (MT 25:40). Barring the small cost of producing these Appeal materials, all of your contributions help the ministries of the Diocese of Gallup. These ministries serve those who, here and now, every day, have great need. Priests and sisters throughout the Diocese, who tirelessly serve our communities, rely on funds from the Appeal for food, clothing, and living expenses. The homeless, poor, and needy people of our communities, regardless of religious background, visit our Catholic Charities agencies for emergency shelter, food, and housing help. Our Catholic schools, which educate and evangelize entire communities, require aid for supplies, maintenance and utilities. All these, and many more receive the benefit of your generous prayers and contributions. I ask you to consider these, your neighbors, during this introductory Appeal season, and I ask that you pray for me, that I be a faithful steward of your gifts. One day I must face God in judgment, as will we all, and I will answer for how I have acted as a shepherd for the souls in my care. For as the Gospel reminds us, “there is nothing done in darkness that will not be brought to light.” (Luke 8:17) I remain yours in the living Christ   Bishop James S....

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February 3, 2019, Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C
Jan31

February 3, 2019, Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

All of us are called to exercise the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Here is a little memory device that we can use by looking around the inside of the Cathedral church to remind us of the Spiritual works of mercy. Recalling the 7 Spiritual Works of Mercy   A method of learning and then remembering the 7 spiritual works of mercy. Instructing the ignorant Stained glass windows Studying the stained glass we are instructed about many things in the life of Christ and the teachings and history of the Church. One of ours at the Cathedral shows Jesus teaching the little children. Counseling the doubtful Image of Our Lady Beholding Our Lady’s image brings to mind her title, Our Lady of Good Counsel. When the servants at the wedding feast of Cana didn’t know what to do, she counseled them, “do whatever He (Jesus) tells you”. Comforting the sorrowful Image of Our Lord Look at the image of Our Lord who said, “come unto me all you who are heavily burdened and I will give you rest.” Reproving the sinner Pulpit See and hear the priest exhorting us to “turn away from sin and believe in the gospel.” St. John Vianney was said to be as ferocious as lion in the pulpit to bring sinners to repentance, but as gentle as a lamb as their confessor. Forgiving injuries Confessional When we see the confessional occupied by a priest, it calls us to come and seek forgiveness. “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them.” Bearing wrongs patiently Stations of the Cross Upon seeing what Our Lord endured in carrying the cross, we are astonished and inspired by His patience in bearing wrongs. Praying for the living and the dead Votive candles The bright flame that consumes the candle is a symbol of our intense prayer for the living and the dead....

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January 27, 2019, Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C
Jan23

January 27, 2019, Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

How do we know what God wants us to do? Here’s a little lesson from the Catechism of the Catholic Church to help us understand how to seek God’s Will and try to accomplish it. Discernment of God’s Will and Abandonment to God’s Will.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church on discernment and the Will of God. 2826 By prayer we can discern “what is the will of God” and obtain the endurance to do it. Jesus teaches us that one enters the kingdom of heaven not by speaking words, but by doing “the will of my Father in heaven.” 1835 Prudence disposes the practical reason to discern, in every circumstance, our true good and to choose the right means for achieving it. 2706 To meditate on what we read helps us to make it our own by confronting it with ourselves. Here, another book is opened: the book of life. We pass from thoughts to reality. To the extent that we are humble and faithful, we discover in meditation the movements that stir the heart and we are able to discern them. It is a question of acting truthfully in order to come into the light: “Lord, what do you want me to do?” 2677 Holy Mary, Mother of God: With Elizabeth we marvel, “And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” Because she gives us Jesus, her son, Mary is Mother of God and our mother; we can entrust all our cares and petitions to her: she prays for us as she prayed for herself: “Let it be to me according to your word.” By entrusting ourselves to her prayer, we abandon ourselves to the will of God together with her: “Thy will be done.” Helps to discernment: Looking for God’s Will in the needs of our neighbors Looking for God’s Will in the needs of the Church Looking for God’s Will in our current obligations Looking for God’s Will in His expressed Commands Looking for God’s Will through the events that He permits to occur for the greater good. Asking in a given situation what would seem to be more pleasing to God. Helps to abandonment: Desiring to do God’s Will in all things big and small Accepting that God’s Will  may not be to our liking Loving God’s Will even when we don’t understand it Believing Jesus’ words that only the one who does the Will of His Father will enter the Kingdom. Promptly and cheerfully doing what we know to be God’s Will. Pitfalls which keep us from abandonment: Wanting to serve God on our own terms Attachment to sin, worldly...

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