Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Thursday, May 27, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church

Thursday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 350
Reading I
Sir 42:15-25
Now will I recall God’s works;
    what I have seen, I will describe.
At God’s word were his works brought into being;
    they do his will as he has ordained for them.
As the rising sun is clear to all,
    so the glory of the LORD fills all his works;
Yet even God’s holy ones must fail
    in recounting the wonders of the LORD,
Though God has given these, his hosts, the strength
    to stand firm before his glory.
He plumbs the depths and penetrates the heart;
    their innermost being he understands.
The Most High possesses all knowledge,
    and sees from of old the things that are to come:
He makes known the past and the future,
    and reveals the deepest secrets.
No understanding does he lack;
    no single thing escapes him.
Perennial is his almighty wisdom;
    he is from all eternity one and the same,
With nothing added, nothing taken away;
    no need of a counselor for him!
How beautiful are all his works!
    even to the spark and fleeting vision!
The universe lives and abides forever;
    to meet each need, each creature is preserved.
All of them differ, one from another,
    yet none of them has he made in vain,
For each in turn, as it comes, is good;
    can one ever see enough of their splendor?
Responsorial Psalm
33:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
R.    (6a)  By the word of the Lord the heavens were made.
Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
    with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises.
Sing to him a new song;
    pluck the strings skillfully, with shouts of gladness.
R.    By the word of the Lord the heavens were made.
For upright is the word of the LORD
    and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
    of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
R.    By the word of the Lord the heavens were made.
By the word of the Lord the heavens were made;
    by the breath of his mouth all their host.
He gathers the waters of the sea as in a flask;
    in cellars he confines the deep.
R.    By the word of the Lord the heavens were made.
Let all the earth fear the Lord;
    let all who dwell in the world revere him.
For he spoke, and it was made;
    he commanded, and it stood forth.
R.    By the word of the Lord the heavens were made.
Jn 8:12
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Mk 10:46-52
As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd,
Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus,
sat by the roadside begging.
On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth,
he began to cry out and say,
“Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.” 
And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent.
But he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me.”
Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called the blind man, saying to him,
“Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.”
He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus.
Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?”
The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.”
Jesus told him, ‘Go your way; your faith has saved you.”
Immediately he received his sight
and followed him on the way.

Prayer to Make a Spiritual Communion-

People who cannot communicate now make spiritual communion
At your feet, O my Jesus I bow down and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abysses itself into its nothingness and Your holy presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I wish to receive you in the poor home that my heart offers you. In anticipation of the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, oh my Jesus, that I may come to you. May Your love inflame my whole being, for life and death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you. So be it. Amen

Saint May 27 : St. Augustine of Canterbury the 1st Archbishop of Canterbury, Apostle of England and the Patron of England - Died in 604 AD

St. Augustine of Canterbury

Feast Day:
May 27
early 6th century, Rome, Italy
26 May 604, Canterbury, Kent, England
Patron of:
Today, May 27, we celebrate the feast of Saint Augustine of Canterbury (sometimes referred to as “Saint Augustine the Lesser,” died 605), called the “Apostle of England,” and the eventual first Archbishop of Canterbury. Not to be confused with his namesake, Saint Augustine of Hippo, the work of Saint Augustine of Canterbury is widely regarded as the birth of conversion in England, beginning the slow process of conversion of Celtic tradition and reconciliation with Rome. Much of what is known of Saint Augustine of Canterbury is taken from letters written by Pope Saint Gregory the Great, and through the written ecclesiastical history of England written by Saint Bede. Little is known about Augustine’s early life.
We join his story as he serves as Prior of a Benedictine monastery of monks in Rome, during the papacy of Pope Saint Gregory the Great. In 596, when historians suggest that Saint Augustine was already past middle age, he was sent by the pope, with a delegation of approximately 40 monks, to England to preach the Gospel.
News of the ferocity of the Anglo-Saxons, and their treatment of Catholics, was widespread, but with encouragement—and out of obedience—Augustine undertook this difficult and potentially dangerous mission… but not before returning to the Pope and seeking reassurance. Pope Gregory provided encouragement, stating, “Go on, in God’s name! The greater your hardships, the greater your crown. May the grace of Almighty God protect you, and permit me to see the fruit of your labor in the heavenly country! If I cannot share your toil, I shall yet share the harvest, for God knows that it is not good-will which is wanting.” Upon reaching England, following a difficult crossing of the channel, Saint Augustine announced their arrival to King Ethelbert of Kent, telling him they brought the message of eternal life. King Ethelbert was a pagan, although he had married a Christian, his wife, Bertha. On her request, he promised to receive the monks and consider their message. Saint Augustine led the monks in procession to the king, carrying a silver cross and singing litanies to God for the salvation of this people. King Ethelbert allowed them to sit and share the Good News with him, which was unexpected.
When Augustine was finished, King Ethelbert said: “Your words and promises are very beautiful. But because they are new and uncertain, I cannot approve them and leave everything that I along with all my people have followed for so long a time. However, since you have traveled from afar and made a long journey in order to share with us what you deem to be truer and better, I will not place obstacles in your way, but will receive you well and offer what is necessary for your subsistence. Nor will I impede you from bringing to your religion all those whom you are able to persuade.” He allowed them to remain on the isle, providing them a place to live and land on which to build (in what would later become Canterbury), and the opportunity to preach as they wished. Eventually, impressed with the community under the direction of Saint Augustine, King Ethelbert converted and was baptized. Despite the fact that the king did not force his subjects to become Christian, and instead instituted a policy of religious choice, many of his subjects converted to Catholicism (sources place the number at “10,000” subjects). In the midst of this mild success, Pope Gregory cautioned him against pride, writing “fear lest, amidst the wonders that are done, the weak mind be puffed up by self-esteem.”
Augustine, following his initial success in England, traveled to France, where he was consecrated as a bishop, and subsequently returned to Canterbury to establish a vigorous community of religious life. With him he brought a priceless collection of illuminated manuscripts, still present and preserved today. He reconsecrated and rebuilt a church at Canterbury, and founded the monastery of Saint Peter and Saint Paul Outside the Walls (now sometimes known as Saint Augustine’s). He is further credited with founding the King’s School at Canterbury, the world’s oldest school. The remains of some of these early buildings remain near the now famous cathedral, built in later years at Canterbury.
Despite the spread of Christianity throughout England, progress was slow, and Augustine met with considerable failure along the way, reminding us that the lives of the saints are not always easy or joyous. He was met with much opposition and disappointment, and frequently turned to Pope Saint Gregory for encouragement and inspiration. Pope Gregory wisely suggested that Augustine work within the customs of the English people (much like Saint Patrick did in Ireland), purifying rather than destroying pagan temples and customs, transforming pagan rites and festivals into Christian feasts, and retaining local customs whenever possible and appropriate. Pope Gregory wrote:
“The temples of the idols among that people should on no account be destroyed... it is a good idea to detach them from the service of the devil, and dedicate them to the service of the true God. And since they have a custom of sacrificing many oxen to demons, let some other solemnity be substituted ... so that they may learn to slay their cattle in honor of God and for their own feasting . . . If they are allowed some worldly pleasures in this way, they are more likely to find their way to the true inner joys. For it is doubtless impossible to eradicate all errors at one stroke . . . just as the man who sets out to climb a high mountain does not advance by leaps and bounds, but goes upward step by step and pace by pace. It is in this way that the Lord revealed himself to the Israelite people.”
Augustine followed this directive, encouraging his monks to do the same. Even so, by the time of Saint Augustine’s death in 605, the work of evangelization of England had only just begun. It is believed, however, that he lay the groundwork for the eventual spread of Christianity throughout the kingdom.
Augustine was obedient and steadfast, despite meeting many obstacles. He lived the Benedictine doctrine of “presence, not confrontation” in preaching the Gospel. His perseverance, in the face of opposition and difficulty, is inspiring even today. He was a man of humility, who doubted his ability to make small decisions, seeking counsel and writing to Pope Gregory for reassurance and advice. He truly followed the advice of his counselor, who wrote: "He who would climb to a lofty height must go by steps, not leaps." Augustine died after just 8 long years, toiling in England. He was buried in Canterbury, at the monastery he founded. Throughout his life, Saint Augustine of Canterbury realized that he was but one man, who reported to a higher authority. He sought guidance from Pope Saint Gregory during his times of great difficulty, turning to God whenever he met obstacles (which were all too frequent!). The great pope sent many letters of support and spiritual counsel, including the one excerpted here: Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth, because the grain of wheat has fallen into the earth and has died. Christ has died in order to reign in heaven. Not only that: by his death we live; by his weakness we are strengthened; by his passion we are freed from suffering; impelled by his love, we are seeking in Britain brothers whom we do not know; through his help we have found those for whom we were searching, although we were not acquainted with them. Who, dear brother, is capable of describing the great joy of believers when they have learned what the grace of Almighty God and your own cooperation achieved among the Angles? They abandoned the errors of darkness and were bathed with the light of holy faith. With full awareness they trampled on the idols which they had previously adored with savage fear. They are now committed to Almighty God. The guidelines given them for their preaching restrain them from falling into evil ways. In their minds they are submissive to the divine precepts and consequently feel uplifted. They bow down to the ground in prayer lest their minds cling too closely to earthly things. Whose achievement is this? It is the achievement of him who said: My Father is at work until now and I am at work as well. God chose illiterate preachers and sent them into the world in order to show the world that conversion is brought about not by men's wisdom but rather by his own power. So in like manner God worked through weak instruments and wrought great things among the Angles. Dear brother, in this heavenly gift there is something which should inspire us with great fear and great joy.
For I know through your love for that people, specially chosen for you, that Almighty God has performed great miracles. But it is necessary that the same heavenly gift should cause you to rejoice with fear and to fear with gladness. You should be glad because by means of external miracles the soul of the Angles (English) have been led to interior grace. But you should tremble lest, on account of these signs, the preacher's own weak soul be puffed up with presumption; lest, while seeming externally raised aloft in honor, it fall internally as a result of vainglory.
We should remember that when the disciples on their joyous return from their preaching mission said to their heavenly master: Lord, in your name even devils were subjected to us, he immediately retorted: Do not rejoice about this but rather that your names are written in heaven.
The life of Saint Augustine of Canterbury reminds us that we all need the support of those around us, and more importantly, the grace of God to persevere in our daily lives. We are confronted each day with obstacles—many quite small—but some which seem insurmountable. We have ample opportunities to turn from our faith, to give up, to give in. Saint Augustine’s obedience and zeal for his work, accompanied by the patient counsel and encouragement of Pope Saint Gregory, remind us that the Lord provides the support we need to accomplish great things—both in heaven and on earth. We may not always seek that support. We may not even be aware that it exists. Or it may come from the most unlikely of places (like a pagan king intrigued by the Gospel!). When we are lost and confused, we are reminded that we are not alone, and have the Lord to assist us in taking our steps (not leaps) toward the achievement of His lofty goals for each of us!

God, Our Father,
by the preaching of Saint Augustine of Canterbury, you led the people of England to the Gospel. May the fruits of his work continue in your Church. Grant that through his intercession, the hearts of those who err may return to the unity of your truth and that we may be of one mind in doing your will.
Saint Augustine,
Help us to work in a spirit of trust and love, as well as a spirit of prudence and understanding, so that we may grow as God’s faithful. May harmony reign ever among us. Because of your example in living the Gospel, we dedicate ourselves,through your intercession, to live that same Gospel.
Implore on our behalf the favor of an ever-deepening trust in God’s goodness and love. Obtain God’s grace for us that we may grow in faith, hope, love and all virtues. Grant that by imitating you we may imitate our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ. Watch over us and help us to reach that place where you live with all the saints for ever and ever. Amen.
Text shared from 365 Rosaries Blog

Novena to St. Philip Neri and Litany Prayers to SHARE - #Oratory Founder

A novena is a powerful prayer said over 9 days. (This novena has been adapted from the prayers and devotions of Cardinal Newman.) Say 1 Our Father,  1Hail Mary and 1 Glory Be each day of the novenas.
1. Philip, my glorious Patron, who didst count as dross the praise, and even the good esteem of men, obtain for me also, from my Lord and Savior, this fair virtue by thy prayers. How haughty are my thoughts, how contemptuous are my words, how ambitious are my works. Gain for me that low esteem of self with which thou wast gifted; obtain for me a knowledge of my own nothingness, that I may rejoice when I am despised, and ever seek to be great only in the eyes of my God and Judge. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
2. Philip, my glorious Patron, gain for me a portion of that gift which thou hadst so abundantly. Alas! thy heart was burning with love; mine is all frozen towards God, and alive only for creatures. I love the world, which can never make me happy; my highest desire is to be well off here below. O my God, when shall I learn to love nothing else but Thee? Gain for me, O Philip, a pure love, a strong love, and an efficacious love, that, loving God here upon earth, I may enjoy the sight of Him together with thee and all the saints, hereafter in Heaven. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
3. Philip, my holy Patron, teach me by thy example, and gain for me by thy intercessions, to seek my Lord and God at all times and in all places, and to live in His presence and in sacred intercourse with Him. As the children of this world look up to rich men or men in station for the favor which they desire, so may I ever lift up my eyes and hands and heart towards heaven, and betake myself to the source of all good for those goods which I need. As the children of this world converse with their friends and find their pleasure in them, so may I ever hold communion with Saints and Angels, and with the Blessed Virgin, the Mother of my Lord. Pray with me, O Philip, as thou didst pray with thy penitents here below, and then prayer will become sweet to me as it did to them. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
 4. Philip, my glorious Patron, who didst ever keep unsullied the white lily of thy purity, with such jealous care that the majesty of this fair virtue beamed from thine eyes, shone in thy hands, and was fragrant in thy breath, obtain for me that gift from the Holy Ghost, that neither the words nor the example of sinners may ever make any impression on my soul. And, since it is by avoiding occasions of sin, by prayer, by keeping myself employed, and by frequent use of the Sacraments that my dread enemy must be subdued, gain for me the grace to persevere in these necessary observances. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
5. Philip, my glorious Advocate, teach me to look at all I see around me after thy pattern as the creatures of God. Let me never forget that the same God who made me made the whole world, and all men and all animals that are in it. Gain for me the grace to love all God's works for His sake, and all men for the sake of my Lord and Savior who has redeemed them by the Cross. And especially let me be tender and compassionate and loving towards all Christians, as my brethren in grace. And do thou, who on earth wast so tender to all, be especially tender to us, and feel for us, bear with us in all our troubles, and gain for us from God, with whom thou dwellest in beatific light, all the aids necessary for bringing us safely to Him and to thee. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
6. Philip, my glorious Advocate, who didst ever follow the precepts and example of the Apostle Saint Paul in rejoicing always in all things, gain for me the grace of perfect resignation to God's will, of indifference to matters of this world, and a constant sight of Heaven; so that I may never be disappointed at the Divine providences, never desponding, never sad, never fretful; that my countenance may always be open and cheerful, and my words kind and pleasant, as becomes those who, in whatever state of life they are, have the greatest of all goods, the favor of God and the prospect of eternal bliss. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
7.Philip, my holy Advocate, who didst bear persecution and calumny, pain and sickness, with so admirable a patience, gain for me the grace of true fortitude under all the trials of this life. Alas! how do I need patience! I shrink from every small inconvenience; I sicken under every light affliction; I fire up at every trifling contradiction; I fret and am cross at every little suffering of body. Gain for me the grace to enter with hearty goodwill into all such crosses as I may receive day by day from my Heavenly Father. Let me imitate thee, as thou didst imitate my Lord and Savior, that so, as thou hast attained heaven by thy calm endurance of bodily and mental pain, I too may attain the merit of patience, and the reward of life everlasting. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
8.  Philip, my holy Patron, who wast so careful for the souls of thy brethren, and especially of thy own people, when on earth, slack not thy care of them now, when thou art in Heaven. Be with us, who are thy children and thy clients; and, with thy greater power with God, and with thy more intimate insight into our needs and our dangers, guide us along the path which leads to God and to thee. Be to us a good father; make our priests blameless and beyond reproach or scandal; make our children obedient, our youth prudent and chaste, our heads of families wise and gentle, our old people cheerful and fervent, and build us up, by thy powerful intercessions, in faith, hope, charity, and all virtues. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
9. Philip, my holy Patron, the wounds and diseases of my soul are greater that bodily ones, and are beyond thy curing, even with thy supernatural power. I know that my Almighty Lord reserves in His own hands the recovery of my soul from death, and the healing of all its maladies. But thou canst do more for our souls by the prayers now, my dear Saint, than thou didst for the bodies of those who applied to thee when thou wast upon earth. Pray for me, that the Divine Physician of the soul, who alone reads my heart thoroughly, may cleanse it thoroughly, and that I and all who are dear to me may be cleansed from all our sins; and, since we must die, one and all, that we may die, as thou didst, in the grace and love of God, and with the assurance, like thee, of eternal life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
 Look down from heaven, Holy Father, from the loftiness of that mountain to the lowliness of this valley, from that harbour of quietness and tranquility to this calamitous sea. And now that the darkness of this world hinders no more those benignant eyes of thine from looking clearly into all things, look down and visit, O most diligent keeper, this vineyard which thy right hand planted with so much labour, anxiety, and peril. To thee then we fly, from thee we seek for aid: to thee we give our whole selves unreservedly.
Thee we adopt for our patron and defender: undertake the cause of our salvation, protect thy clients. To thee we appeal as our leader, rule thine army fighting against the assaults of the devil. To thee, kindest of pilots, we give up the rudder of our lives; steer this little ship of thine, and placed as thou art on high, keep us off all the rocks of evil desires, that with thee for our pilot and our guide we may safely come to the port of eternal bliss. Amen.
Lord have mercy.
Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy. Christ hear us. Christ graciously hear us.
 God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
 God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
God the Holy Ghost,
Holy Trinity, one God,
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Holy mother of God,
Holy virgin of virgins,
St. Philip, Vessel of the Holy Ghost,
Child of Mary,
Apostle of Rome,
Counsellor of popes,
Voice of prophecy,
Man of primitive times,
Winning saint,
Hidden hero,
Sweetest of fathers,
Flower of purity,
Martyr of charity,
Heart of fire,
Discerner of spirits,
Choicest of priests,
Mirror of the divine life,
Pattern of humility,
Example of simplicity,
Light of holy joy, Image of childhood,
Picture of old age,
Director of souls,
Gentle guide of youth,
 Patron of thy own,
Who didst observe chastity in thy youth,
Who didst seek Rome by divine guidance,
Who didst hide so long in the catacombs,
Who didst receive the Holy Ghost into thy heart, Who didst experience such wonderful ecstasies, Who didst so lovingly serve the little ones,
 Who didst wash the feet of pilgrims,
Who didst ardently thirst after martyrdom,
Who didst distribute the daily word of God,
Who didst turn so many hearts to God,
Who didst converse so sweetly with Mary,
Who didst raise the dead,
Who didst set up thy houses in all lands,
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us. Remember thy Congregation, which thou hast possessed from the beginning.
Let us pray O God, who has exalted blessed Philip, Thy Confessor, in the glory of thy Saints, grant that, as we rejoice in his commemoration, so we may profit by the example of his virtues, through Christ our Lord. Amen. This litany was composed by the Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman (1800-1891), who founded the first Oratory in the English speaking world, in Birmingham in 1848.

A Tale of Two Bishops - The Eucharist, the Unborn and the President

A Tale of Two Bishops  
For the first time in over half a century, and for the second time in the history of  the nation, the president of the United States is a self-proclaimed Catholic. However,  President Joe Biden’s professed commitment to his Catholic faith has raised a few  eyebrows because during his lengthy public career, Biden has defended and promoted  legalized abortion. His election to the White House and his frequent referrals to the  importance of the Catholic Faith in his life, have caused many in the Church to debate  whether and how the Church’s hierarchy should respond to the contradiction between  his public support of abortion and his public profession of faith. Neighboring bishops  from one of the largest states in the union have taken different approaches in their  responses to this dilemna. In an article published in America, the Jesuit Review, Bishop  Robert McElroy of San Diego argued that denying pro-choice politicians the Eucharist  will bring “destructive consequences” and that doing so is a “weaponization of the  Eucharist…in political warfare.” Several miles north in San Francisco, Archbishop  Salvatore Cordileone published the pastoral letter, “Before I Formed in the Womb, I  Knew You,” and in it Cordileone states that pastors of the Church may determine that  public figures giving the public example of cooperation with abortion may be publicly  corrected by being excluded from the reception of Holy Communion.  
Bishop McElroy opens his piece saying that he is responding to a “growing  movement [that] has emerged in the church in the United States that calls upon the  bishops of our nation to publicly exclude President Joseph R. Biden and other Catholic  public officials from the Eucharist.” His commentary, published on May 5th, 2021, is  entitled, “Bishop McElroy: The Eucharist is being weaponized for political ends. This  must not happen.” The editor notes that it is part of a series called The Conversation which offers “diverse perspectives on important and contested issues in the life of the  church.” McElroy begins by outlining his understanding of the argument to refuse the  Eucharist to Catholic political leaders who support legalized abortion. He summarizes a  three-part argument: “The president supports positions on abortion that clearly depart  from the teaching of the church on an extremely grave moral issue; the long tradition of 
the church requires personal worthiness to receive the Eucharist; and the persistent  rejection of clear Catholic teaching extinguishes that worthiness.”  
Admitting that it is “an immense sadness” that it does not appear that there will  soon be legal protection for the unborn against abortion, McElroy warns that, “the  proposal to exclude pro-choice Catholic political leaders from the Eucharist is the wrong  step.” He defends his position by affirming that the sacred nature of the Eucharist,  demands that it must “never be used for a political end.” He refers to the crux of the  argument to exclude proabortion politicians from the Eucharist as a “theology of  unworthiness.” He sees it as a twist on the traditional “theology of the worthiness” that is  rooted in St. Paul’s exhortation to the Corinthians that no one should eat the bread nor  drink the cup of the Lord unworthily. For McElroy, those advocating for excluding  proabortion politicians are focused on the disciplinary elements of the theology rather  than the other elements. In a church of sinners, he argues, equating “worthiness” with  the full acceptance of all the teachings of the Church is an improbable standard.  Secondly, he asserts that abortion and euthanasia ought not be singled out as the  particular grave evils, support of which deems one “unworthy.” He questions, “why  hasn’t racism been included in the call for eucharistic sanctions against political  leaders?” For racism, he reminds readers, is also intrinsically evil. The bishop recalls the  teaching of Pope Francis that the Eucharist is “not a prize for the perfect but a powerful  medicine and nourishment for the weak.” McElroy concludes by asking, “Is the central 1 identity of the invitation of Christ to the Eucharist a sign of personal worthiness or the  graced call of the God of mercy?” He urges that Christ’s “unrelenting invitation to all” be  emphasized over exclusion and unworthiness.  
On May 1, four days before McElroy’s piece was published online, Archbishop  Cordelione released the pastoral letter, Before I Formed You in the Womb, I Knew You.  In it, Cordelione takes an entirely different approach from his brother bishop. A pastoral  letter is an official communication from the bishop to the people of his diocese, and as  such, is a formal exercise of his ministry. The letter, which addresses the evil of abortion  and the participation of Catholics in public life, is fundamentally pastoral in nature.  
Francis, Apostolic Exhoration, Evangelii Gaudium, (24 November 2013), 47. 1
Through it, the Archbishop teaches his flock, calls them to conversion and to the  avoidance of all cooperation with evil, and he defends the possiblity of discipline for  those who publicly cause scandal. The letter, which is introduced by recalling the horror  of legalized abortion in this nation, consists of four sections that demonstrate: the  gravity of the evil of abortion, the way to avoid cooperation in this evil, the implications  of sinful cooperation and the reception of Holy Communion, and the “special  responsibility that Catholics prominent in public life have with regard to the common  good.” 
Although the letter is addresses specific Catholic teaching on the sacred dignity  of human life and the methodology of discerning Catholic morality, this article focuses  on Cordelione’s words both directed to and about Catholics in public life who do not  abide by the Church’s clear teaching on abortion. First, the Archbishop devotes several  paragraphs to the problem of anyone, not just public figures, who present themselves at  the Eucharistic banquet while rejecting the teachings of the Church on the sanctity of  human life. He is clear that they “should not receive the Eucharist”(11). He further  acknowledges that “worthiness” is an inner state, and “only God can judge that”(11). He  affirms, no one is truly worthy to receive Jesus Christ himself, rather, it is a great gift and  mercy to which God invites us. Furthermore, he admonishes that we must be reconciled  to God through the sacrament of Penance before reception of Holy Communion if we  are aware of grave sin. Granting that this is generally a private matter, he states that the  case of public figures “who profess to be Catholic and promote abortion,” is a different  reality. The Archbishop writes, “this is a matter of persistent, obdurate, and public  rejection of Catholic teaching”(12). This situation, he explains, makes unique demands  of the pastors of the Church, who are charged “in caring for the salvation of souls”(12),  because it opens into the realm of scandal. Cordileone quotes the Catechism of the  Catholic Church, defining scandal as “an attitude or behavior which leads another to do  evil.” The Archbishop explains that not only is the pastor called to exercise his ministry 2 in calling a proabortion Catholic leader to conversion, but out of care for all souls  entrusted to him, he must make clear the seriousness of Church teaching on the  
2 Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2284
“inviolate sanctity of human life.” If the public figure, who cooperates in evil by actively  promoting abortion does not respond to private admonitions, and other avenues of  corrections, then because of his/her public example “this correction can also take the  public form of exclusion from the reception of Holy Communion”(14). Cordelione  implores his fellow Catholics “who openly advocate for the legitimacy of abortion…to  heed the perennial call of to conversion…,” but if they are unwilling to abondon their  advocacy, he instructs them, “you should not come forward to receive Holy Communion” (14). The Archbishop concludes his letter by defending the timeliness of this exhortation.  He recalls the U.S. bishops’ pronouncement that abortion is the “preeminent issue” of  our time for it is “a specific act that perpetuates a grave moral evil”… and that by ending  20% of pregnancies in this nation it is inflicting a “genocide against the unborn”(15). The  letter closes with a particular call to various individual groups to do their part to help  build a society that respects all human life. 
Before evaluating the two different approaches to the question of pro-abortion  politicians receiveing the Eucharist, it is worth reviewing what the Catholic Church  professes about the Eucharist, and considering the bishop’s ministry within the life of  the Church. St. John Paul II in his encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, quoted Vatican II  teaching, “For the most holy Eucharist contains the Church's entire spiritual wealth:  Christ himself, our passover and living bread. Through his own flesh, now made living  and life-giving by the Holy Spirit, he offers life to men”. The Eucharist makes present 3 the paschal mystery of Jesus’ saving life, death and resurrection. Being the true  presence of the Incarnate Lord, the Eucharist is an efficacious sign of the unity of the  Mystical Body of Christ, the Church. It both unites her to Christ and symbolizes the unity  of members of the Body with each other and with Jesus Christ the Head. 
While all of the baptized are incorporated into the mystical Body of Christ and  thus share in the Lord’s offices of priest, prophet and king, the ministerial priesthood,  conferred in the sacrament of Holy Orders is an essentially unique participation in  Christ’s priesthood. It “is the means by which Christ unceasingly builds up and leads his  
 Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests Presbyterorum 3 Ordinis, 5.
Church.” The fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders is conferred on the bishop 4 through ordination. In each bishop’s service to the Church, “Christ himself … is present  to his Church as Head of his Body, Shepherd of his flock, high priest of the redemptive  sacrifice, Teacher of Truth.” Through the sacrament, the bishop is charged with and 5 given the grace to teach, govern and sanctify the local Church under his care.  
 The question of whether or not Catholics who publicly promote abortion should  receive Holy Communion is an important one, especially now that both the President of  the United States, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives are self-proclaimed  Catholics who adovate for abortion. Furthermore, it is fitting and appropriate that the  bishops, as ministers within their local Churches and as members of the collegial body  of bishops discuss and discern the best way forward in this question. It must be  emphasized that the Eucharist is “source and summit of the Christian life,” therefore it 6 is the most serious responsiblity of the bishops to protect and hand on the sacred gift  that Christ gave to his Apostles on the night before he died. 
Bishop McElory’s warning is valid, the Eucharist must never be “weaponized.”  The dispensation of all of the sacraments, but especially this “the sum and summary of  our faith.” cannot become a chess piece in a political game. McElroy predicts that 7 excluding “pro-choice Catholic political leaders from the Eucharist… will bring  tremendously destructive consequences—not because of what it says about abortion,  but because of what it says about the Eucharist.” Wisdom and prudence demand that  pastors prayerfully consider this grave form of discipline, and the message that would  be professed by such and action. 
Archbishop Cordileone’s pastoral letter is likewise deeply concerned for what  such an action would “say about the Eucharist,” and this concern permeates the entirety  of the letter. First, the seriousness of his concern is apparent in his decision to issue a  pastoral letter which is a formal exercise of his ministry as successor to the Apostles.  
CCC 1547. 4 
CCC 1548. 5 
CCC 1324. 6 
 CCC 1327. 7
McElory’s peice in the America magazine, is an important contribution to the discussion  facing the bishops, particularly considering that many speculate that the bishops of the  United States Conference of Catholic Bishops may take up the issue as a body. It is not,  however, a pastoral letter directed to teaching, governing and sanctifying the flock. In  the first section of Cordileone’s letter, “The Human Foundation, Law and Science” he  takes questions of law and science “off the table,” so to speak, so that he might direct  the bulk of his work to theological and pastoral questions.  
Second, the Archbishop points out that the determination of “unworthiness” is  based soley on public advocacy of grave evil in stubborn resistance against Church  teaching. He writes, “It is important to state that “worthiness” in this matter does not  concern the inner state of one’s soul: only God can judge that.” The Archbishop does  
not confine his message to the problem of proabortion politicians, rather his exhortation  extends to any Catholics who promote abortion or advocate for its legitimacy.  Third, McElroy quotes the Catechism teaching that Our Lord instituted the  Eucharist, and entrusted it to the Church as, “a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a  bond of charity…,” and he warns that “A national policy of excluding pro-choice political  leaders from the Eucharist will constitute an assault on that unity, on that charity,”  however, it is precisely that unity and charity that Cordileone defends with his letter.  There is no unity or integrity in publicly affirming the Catholic faith while stubbornly  opposing one of her “most fundamental teachings,” and public support for killing  innocent human life is enimical to charity.  
Bishop McElroy’s commentary published a few days after Archbishop  Cordelione’s pastoral letter deserves thoughtful consideration. However, it is clear that  the Archbishop of San Francisco is not weaponizing the greatest mystery of the Church,  but rather, safeguarding it. His is a bold statement on the evil of abortion, the  impossibility of Catholics to cooperate with it, and the insistance that those who publicly  reject this teaching have severed their communion with the Incarnate Lord and his  Body, the Church. It is their public, persistent, and willful attachment to the grave sin of  abortion that makes it tenable for pastors to withhold the Eucharist from pro-abortion  Catholic leaders. In writing the document, the Archbishop of San Francisco fulfills the  call of his vocation to teach the faith, govern the Church under his care, and encourage worship “in spirit in truth” for the building up of the Kingdom of God and the 8 sanctification of souls.  

Sent to Catholic News World by Author: Margaret Elizabeth Gillson is a wife of almost 25 years and a mother of 10 children. She has a Masters Degree in Theology from Catholic Distance University and a Bachelors Degree in History and Spanish from the University of Virginia. She is the author of the blog: and of a series of scripture reflections for children based on the mysteries of the rosary. She and her family live in the Catholic Diocese of Arlington Virginia.

Works Cited
Catholic Church. Catechism of the Catholic Church. 2nd ed. Vatican: Libreria Editrice
Vaticana, 2012.
Robert McElroy, ”Bishop McElroy: The Eucharist is being weaponized for political ends.
This must not happen.”America, Jesuit Review, (May 5, 2021) Accessed May 14, 2021,
Salvatore Joseph Cordileone, Before I Formed You in the Womb, I Knew You, A
Pastoral Letter on the Human Dignity of the Unborn, Holy Communion, and Catholics in

Former Priest Dies After Being Found Guilty of a 1972 Murder of a Young Altar Boy - Bishop Releases Statement of Apology

The District Attorney in Massachusetts, USA, say a defrocked (removed from the priesthood) priest was responsible for the death of a child, Danny a 13-year-old altar boy, in a case from 1972 — however, Richard Roger Lavigne, died last week, at age 80, before he could be arrested. Richard Roger Lavigne (February 18, 1941 – May 21, 2021) was a former priest of the Diocese of Springfield in Massachusetts and a convicted sex offender. Lavigne had many claims of sexual abuse of minors placed against him. He was removed from ministry by Bishop John Marshall in 1991. He pleaded guilty to 2 counts of child sexual abuse in 1992. Lavigne was removed from the priesthood by the Vatican on  November 20th, 2003. (See Full Text Statement of Apology by Archdiocese at bottom)
Statement from the District Attorney:
May 24, 2021 - Hampden District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni announced the investigation into the murder of Danny Croteau has been officially closed. The investigation began after Danny was found deceased on April 15, 1972, in the Connecticut River in Chicopee, still dressed in his clothes from his previous school day at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart school. The search for answers and proof of what happened to Danny has ensued for over 49 years.
This past Friday, detectives with the Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Hampden District Attorney’s Office were authorized by DA Gulluni to present the case against Richard Lavigne to a magistrate in order to obtain an arrest warrant for the murder of Danny Croteau. However, Lavigne died this past Friday evening, May 21, in a hospital facility in Greenfield.
Hampden District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni stated, “Danny’s parents, Carl and Bernice, told reporters that they just wanted answers. Based on the accumulation of historical evidence, the evidence gained in the last year, and the admissions of Richard Lavigne, I believe we now have those answers. While they didn’t come in time for Danny’s parents to hear them, I hope that the answers provided today are helpful to Danny’s remaining family who have suffered for so long.”
At the time of Danny’s death, Richard R. Lavigne, was a Roman Catholic priest and friend of the Croteau family.  Lavigne was assigned to Saint Mary’s Parish in Springfield.  Lavigne met the Croteau family in 1967, while he was assigned to the Croteaus’ parish, Saint Catherine of Sienna in Springfield.  Danny was the youngest of five boys in the Croteau family.  He and his brothers had served as altar boys at Saint Catherine’s, and assisted Lavigne at Mass.  Lavigne also socialized with the Croteau family, and frequently took some of the Croteau boys, including Danny, on outings without their parents.  Father Lavigne also maintained contact with Danny and his family after he was reassigned to St. Mary’s Parish in late June 1968, and continued to take the Croteau boys on trips. Lavigne also invited the boys, either together or alone, to stay overnight at his parents’ home in Chicopee, Massachusetts. 
After Danny’s murder, Lavigne became a person of interest for investigators in the early stages of the investigation because of the inconsistent and unusual statements he had made to them in the days after the murder. Investigators also determined that initially he lied about the last time he had seen Danny, and witnesses disputed Lavigne’s claim that he was never alone with Danny. Lavigne was also observed alone at the river’s bank at approximately 4:30 p.m. on April 16, 1972. On April 17, 1972, a police report of Lavigne’s interview with investigators notes one question asked by Lavigne, “If a stone was used and thrown in the river, would blood still be on it?”
On April 17, 1972, a telephone call was made to the Croteau family home.  Carl Croteau, Jr., then nineteen years old, answered the telephone.  A male voice said, “we’re very sorry what happened to Danny.  He saw something behind the Circle he shouldn’t have seen.  It was an accident.”  The caller would not identify himself and hung up.  Carl, Jr. told investigators that the male voice was familiar to him, and that he recognized the caller’s voice as belonging to Father Lavigne.  When interviewed on January 27, 2021, Carl Croteau, Jr. stated that within a month to a month and a half before Danny’s murder, he remembered that Danny would return from being with Lavigne and Danny would be sick to his stomach from drinking alcohol.  Carl also stated that his brother Danny usually was with Lavigne on the weekends, specifically Friday nights.
Over the many following years, forensic testing was conducted on some of these items. While It was determined that the application of modern forensic testing might provide answers, it was also understood that given the many years that passed, significant degradation of the evidence was likely and testing might prove unsuccessful. Earlier this year, the Hampden District Attorney’s contracted with DNA Labs International, a forensic lab in Florida, that worked together with the Massachusetts State Police Lab to conduct dozens of forensic tests over several rounds of testing. While this process provided moments of hope, ultimately, other than confirming that Danny’s blood was present on stones, the resulting information failed to provide significant additional evidence to investigators.
As the investigation continued over the years, and on March 23, 2004, Lavigne showed an acquaintance, an employee of the Diocese of Springfield, that he received a typed, unsigned letter in the mail, and further said that it must have been written by the murderer himself because of the guilt it described. This person documented these conversations with Lavigne in emails to his superiors at the Diocese; however, the Springfield Diocese did not notify investigators of the letter’s existence until they were forced to produce the emails referencing the letter in answering to a grand jury subpoena in a separate criminal investigation of another clergy member of the Springfield Diocese.  

During all of the interviews, Lavigne refused to specifically admit that he killed Danny Croteau, and at times, was cagey and evasive, continuing his long-running attempts to mislead and distract investigators. However, he made several statements to indicate that he was the last person to see Danny Croteau alive, that he brought him to the riverbank on April 14, 1972, that he physically assaulted him there, and after leaving Danny there and returning a short time later, that he saw Danny floating face down in the river. He stated further that he neither attempted to rescue him nor alert Danny’s parents or police of Danny’s whereabouts or condition. Police then discovered Danny’s remains the following day on April 15, 1972. (Shortened from source:

FULL TEXT STATEMENT from The Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts 
Office of Communications and Public Affairs 

“Today’s news that Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni was prepared to charge Richard Lavigne in the murder of Danny Croteau in 1972 brings sad closure to a tragic event which I know has hung over our faith community for decades. I was angered and sickened to hear Lavigne’s unapologetic admissions in the heinous murder of this innocent child. It is incredibly disheartening to learn that a priest, a person ordained to care for God’s people, would have committed such an evil crime and then not taken responsibility for his actions. This is all totally contrary to the teachings that we as Catholics believe in and hold sacred. It is also another reminder of our past failures as a Church and a diocese to protect children and young adults from such terrible predators in our midst. Although we have made great strides in improving our child protection efforts, that is little consolation to the victims of Richard Lavigne and the numerous other sexual predator clergy who preyed upon our youth. 
I want to extend my personal and sincerest apology to the Croteau family and know that they will be in my prayers; especially Danny’s loving parents who sadly did not live to see this tragic matter resolved. I wish to thank Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni and his staff for their tireless pursuit of the truth in this horrific case. I am also mindful that while today’s announcement resolves this case, there may still be many other victims of clergy sexual abuse who have not yet come forward. My message to them is that even if your abuser is deceased, you can still report the abuse you suffered to law enforcement and to the diocese. It is important that you be heard and that we acknowledge your suffering and trauma. You can reach out to the diocese via our toll free abuse reporting phone line (800)842-9055 or via email at”

Pope Francis explains "When we pray we must be humble, so that our words are actually prayers and not just idle talk that God rejects." FULL TEXT Catechesis + Video


San Damaso courtyard  - Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Catechesis on prayer: 35. The certainty of being heard

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

There is a radical objection to prayer, which derives from an observation that we all make: we pray, we ask, and yet sometimes our prayers seem to go unheard: what we have asked for - for ourselves or for others - is not fulfilled. We have this experience, very often… If the reason for which we prayed was noble (such as intercession for the health of a sick person, or for the end of a war, for instance), the non-fulfilment seems scandalous. For example,, for wars: we are praying for wars to end, these wars in so many parts of the world. Think of Yemen, think of Syria, countries that have been at war for years, for years, ravaged by wars, and we pray, but they do not come to an end. But how can this be? “Some even stop praying because they think their petition is not heard” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2734). But if God is Father, why does He not listen to us? He who has assured us that He gives good things to the children who ask Him for them (cf. Mt 7: 10), why does He not respond to our requests? We all have experience of this: we have prayed, prayed, for the illness of a friend, of a father, of a mother, and so it went. But God did not grant our request! It is an experience we have all had.

The Catechism offers us a good summary of the matter. It puts us on guard against 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 (cf. 2735). This is, then, a prayer that is always demanding, that wants to direct events according to our own design, that admits no plans other than our own desires. Jesus, on the other hand, had great wisdom in teaching us the Lord’s Prayer. It is a prayer of questions only, as we know, but the first ones we utter are all on God's side. They ask for the fulfilment not of our plan, but of His will for the world. Better to leave it to Him: "Hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done" (Mt 6:9-10).

And the Apostle Paul reminds us that we do not even know what it is appropriate to ask for (cf. Rm 8: 26). We ask for necessities, our needs, things that we want: “But is this more convenient or not?” Paul tells us, we do not even know what it is right to ask. When we pray, we need to be humble: this is the first attitude for going to pray. Just like the attitude in many places for going to pray in church: women who wear a veil or take holy water to begin to pray, in this way we must tell ourselves, before praying, that it is the right way; that God will give me what it is right to give. He knows. When we pray we must be humble, so that our words are actually prayers and not just idle talk that God rejects. We can also pray for the wrong reasons: such as, to defeat the enemy in war, without asking ourselves what God thinks of such a war. It is easy to write “God is with us” on a banner; many are keen to ensure that God is with them, but few bother to check whether they are actually with God. In prayer, it is God Who must convert us, not we who must convert God. It is humility. I go to pray but You, Lord, convert my heart so that it asks for what is convenient, for what will be best for my spiritual health.

However, the scandal remains: when people pray with a sincere heart, when they ask for things that correspond to the Kingdom of God, when a mother prays for her sick child, why does it sometimes seem that God does not listen to them? To answer this question, we need to meditate calmly on the Gospels. The accounts of Jesus’ life are full of prayers: many people wounded in body and in spirit ask Him to be healed; there are those who pray for a friend who can no longer walk; there are fathers and mothers who bring sick sons and daughters… They are all prayers imbued with suffering. It is an immense choir that invokes: “Have mercy on us!”

We see that at times Jesus’ response is immediate, whereas in some other cases it is delayed: it seems that God does not answer. Think of the Canaanite woman who begs Jesus for her daughter: this woman has to insist for a long time to be heard (cf. Mt 15: 21-28). She even has the humility to hear a word from Jesus that seems a little offensive towards her: we must not throw bread to the dogs, to mere dogs. But this humiliation does not matter to the woman: her daughter’s health is what matters. And she goes on: “Yes, but even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters”, and Jesus likes this. Courage in prayer. Or think of the paralytic brought by his four friends: Jesus initially forgives his sins and only later heals his body (cf. Mk 2:1-12). On some occasions, therefore, the solution to the problem is not immediate. In our life too, each one of us has this experience. Let us look back a little: how many times have we asked for a grace, a miracle, let’s say, and nothing has happened. Then, over time, things have worked out but in God’s way, the divine way, not according to what we wanted in that moment. God’s time is not our time.

From this point of view, the healing of Jairus’ daughter is worthy of particular attention (cf. Mk 5: 21-33). There is a father who is in a hurry: his daughter is ill and for this reason he asks for Jesus' help. The Master immediately accepts, but on their way home another healing occurs, and then the news comes that the girl has died. It seems to be the end, but instead Jesus says to the father: “Do not fear, only believe” (Mk 5:36). “Continue to have faith”: because it is faith that sustains prayer. And indeed, Jesus will awaken that child from the sleep of death. But for a time, Jairus had to walk in the dark, with only the flame of faith. Lord, give me faith! May my faith grow! Ask for this grace, to have faith. Jesus, in the Gospel, says that faith moves mountains. But, having real faith. Jesus, before the faith of His poor, of His people, is won over; He feels special tenderness, before that faith. And He listens.

The prayer that Jesus addresses to the Father in Gethsemane also seems to go unheard. “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me”. It seems that the Father does not listen to Him. The Son must drink fully from the chalice of the passion. But Holy Saturday is not the final chapter, because on the third day, Sunday, is the Resurrection. Evil is lord of the penultimate day: remember this well. Evil is never the lord of the last day, no: the penultimate, the moment when the night is darkest, just before the dawn. Then, on the penultimate day, there is temptation, when the devil makes us think he has won: “Have you seen? I have won!”. The evil one is the lord of the penultimate day: on the last is the Resurrection. But the evil one is never lord of the last day: God is the Lord of the last day. Because that belongs to God alone, and it is the day when all human longings for salvation will be fulfilled. Let us learn this humble patience, to await the Lord’s grace, to await the final day. Very often, the penultimate is very hard, because human sufferings are hard. But the Lord is there. And on the last day, He solves everything. Thank you.

Special Greetings

I cordially greet the English-speaking faithful. United in this month of May with Our Blessed Lady, may we grow in the certainty that our heavenly Father always hears our prayers. Upon you and your families I invoke the joy and peace of the Lord. May God bless you!

FULL TEXT Source: - Image Screen shot Vatican media

RIP Fr. Graham Golden, O. Praem. - Catholic Priest Killed after being Hit by a Car and Brother Lorenzo Injured

 Archdiocese of Santa Fe Office released the following statement after the death of a Catholic priest from their archdiocese (biography below) :

 Archbishop John C. Wester Offers Deepest Sympathy & Prayers to the Norbertine Community and Family of Reverend Graham Golden, O.Praem. ALBUQUERQUE – Sunday, May 23, 2021–

-- Archbishop John C. Wester offers prayers and support to the Norbertine Community and family of Rev. Graham Golden, O. Praem., pastor of St. Augustine – Shrine of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, Isleta Pueblo, who was killed on Friday, May 21, 2021. Fr. Graham and Brother Lorenzo (Edgar) Romero, who was injured but is recovering, were leaving Santa Maria de la Vid 

Abbey when they were struck by another vehicle. It is with profound sadness that we in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe heard the news of Father Graham Golden’s tragic death as a result of a car accident this past Friday night. I extend to Abbot Joel Garner, O. Praem., and all the Norbertines, our deepest sympathy and assurance of prayers during these days of grief and loss. Father Graham lived the charisms of the Norbertines fully and with great enthusiasm. He was deeply contemplative and energetically apostolic. He found the time to be present at just about every archdiocesan event, meeting, celebration, and liturgy one could imagine. He sat on numerous boards and was always available to help. He was filled with a contagious joy and at the same time, capable of plumbing the depths of human struggle and challenge. I cannot even imagine how much he will be missed by his beloved community at Santa Maria de la Vid Abbey. He will be missed by all of us in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe as well and by all those whose lives he touched – and there were many. Eternal rest grant unto Father Graham, O Lord. May he rest in peace. May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.


Biography of Fr. Golden: 


Graham Golden, O. Praem., 35, died in an automobile accident on May 21. Fr. Graham was born to Dan and Deborah Golden on January 8, 1986, in Albuquerque. He was a proud graduate of St. Pius X High School (2004) and a magna cum laude graduate of the University of New Mexico with a BA in Music and Spanish (2008). He entered the Norbertine Community of Santa Maria de la Vid Abbey in 2008. After his two-year novitiate, he attended Catholic Theological Union and the University of Chicago where he received a Master's Degree from each school.

In 2015 he was ordained a Catholic priest. Fr. Graham entered the Norbertine Community with a desire to serve the poor and marginalized. Already as a seminarian he served as an intern for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. The Campaign works to address the plague of poverty. After ordination, Fr. Graham worked with The Catholic Foundation as a Regional Council Coordinator to assess the needs of rural communities, particularly in Northern New Mexico. Subsequently, he served as associate and then pastor of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Catholic Community (2018), and most recently became pastor of St. Augustine Parish at Isleta Pueblo. Fr. Graham was also the archdiocesan coordinator for the annual Pilgrimage for Vocations.

At Santa Maria de la Vid Abbey he had multiple responsibilities: vocation director, formation director for seminarians, founder of the Office of Christian Discipleship and Religious Vocation, as well as initiator of the annual Art at the Abbey Exhibition.

Fr. Graham was an extraordinarily dedicated, talented, and intelligent young priest. His pastoral heart touched many individuals and groups during the short six years of his priesthood. There is no replacing him.

Fr. Graham is survived by his parents, Dan and Deborah Golden, his sister Aiyuan and nephew Qiao Rong, and his Norbertine Brothers and Sisters.

A viewing will begin at 5:00 pm on Thursday, May 27, 2021, followed by a Vigil Service at 7:00 pm, both at Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 5415 Fortuna Rd. NW, Albuquerque. The Funeral Mass will also be celebrated at Holy Rosary Church on Friday May 28, 2021, 10:30 am with Abbot Joel Garner, O. Praem., presiding.