May 2019 Supreme Chaplain’s Challenge

Scripture Reading – Jesus said, “My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another” (John  13:34).

Archbishop Reflection – “I give you a new commandment: love one another,” we hear in the Gospel reading. We’ve heard this saying of Jesus before, but do we personalize it this and truly know it to be true? Statistically, we as Catholics in America today are not renowned for loving one another to the point that we risk sharing our faith with others. One recent poll found that only 6% of Catholics characterized sharing their faith as a “high priority.” But Jesus invites us to do more. He does not call the equipped; he equips the called. And each one of us is called to love one another in the most profound way—by caring about others’ eternal well-being.

May Goal – This month I challenge you to invite one person out for coffee, to your home, or an event at your parish. Tell them what you enjoy about the Catholic faith. Secondly, if they have been away from the Catholic Church, invite them back. If they are not Catholic, ask them if they would consider joining. Either way, be welcoming and nonjudgmental when they give their response.



April 2019 Supreme Chaplain’s Challenge

Scripture Reading – And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning [within us] while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?” ( Luke 24:30-32)

Archbishop Reflection – A “fire in the belly,” passion, a drive: these are some of the ways we talk about others who can summon a deep, inner motivation and who make a difference. My brothers, can we say the same about our inner drive to go deeper in our Church’s teaching? Do our hearts “burn within us” and cause us to daily familiarize ourselves with the riches of our faith? Do we have a fire in the belly to be the kind of men who don’t stand silent at the water cooler when we hear our Church’s teaching denigrated by colleagues? In order to lead with faith we need to know our faith. We can’t give what we don’t have. By God’s grace, may we each become disciples whose “hearts burn within us.”

April Goal – This month I challenge you to deepen your desire to have a heart ‘burning within you’ for new knowledge of the Church’s teaching and doctrine. Invest five to ten minutes a day reading the Catechism or other resource, watching a Catholic talk online, or taking advantage of a local formation opportunity. Secondly I challenge you to talk with a brother in Christ about what you’re learning.


March 2019 Supreme Chaplain’s Challenge

Scripture Reading – So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. (Luke 15:20)

Archbishop Reflection – My brother Knights, here we encounter upon some of the most stunningly beautiful words in the entire Gospel: the reunion of the prodigal son with his father. As Jesus describes the scene, I invite you to put yourself in three different sets of shoes. First, imagine that you are the father, seeing your own flesh and blood, your son, coming home. Second, imagine that you are the prodigal son, expecting the worst, but finding that your father is moved with compassion. Third, imagine that you are the hard-working older brother, watching this reunion from a critical distance. Becoming the man we are means that we can learn from all three: embracing others with the mercy of the father; running to our heavenly Father like the Prodigal, and with the older brother, hearing the father’s words spoken to us—that “all that I have is yours’.”

March Goal – This month I challenge you to be like the Prodigal Father by making the first move: take the first step toward another person in your life to encourage or forgive them. Secondly I challenge you to prayerfully write a list of things in your life for which you are grateful.


February 2019 Supreme Chaplain’s Challenge

Scripture Reading – Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” When they brought their boats to the shore, they left everything and followed him.(Luke 5:10-11)

Archbishop Reflection – “They left everything and followed him.” My brothers, these words shock me every time I hear or read them. If we are honest, we have to admit how hard it is to leave everything to follow Jesus. After all, we are so good at taking stuff with us as we attempt to follow him—our pride, our possessions, our desire for power, more comfort and pleasure. We attempt to drag this heavy luggage along, or sometimes try to sneak little trinkets into our bags to take with us: maybe it’s our wandering eyes, our temper, a critical spirit, or our workaholism. But Jesus and his disciples travel lightly. He invites us to leave everything and follow him. Let’s experience this genuine freedom of being his disciple: a freedom which hits the open road with our Lord, free of everything that hinders us.

February Goal – This month I challenge you to join other Catholic men who are striving to “leave everything and follow him.” Join them for some time of prayer, fellowship and encouragement, possibly at a Knights meeting, for breakfast, or a drink after work. Secondly I challenge you to be open with a brother in Christ about some area of your life where you are facing challenges. “Leaving everything” means that we also need to leave behind our pretense and appearances, and meet each other as true brothers.