The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

January 1, 2023 at Saint Agnes, Saint William and Saintt Peter the Apostle Churches in Naples, FL

Numbers 6: 22-27 + Psalm 67 + Galatians 4: 4-7 + Luke 2, 16-21

4:00 p.m. at Saint Agnes Catholic Church in Naples, FL

At some point early in my life as my birthday was coming up, I said something to my father about what gift I was hoping to receive on my birthday. He took that occasion to put me in the car and take me to a gift shop where I thought I would be invited to make my own choice. However, when we got inside, he handed me a five-dollar bill and told me to pick out a gift for my mother telling me with all seriousness that I would not be having a birthday were it not for her. … more »


December 25, 2022 at St Agnes, St William, St Peter the Apostle Churches in Naples, FL

Isaiah 62, 11-12 + Psalm 97 + Titus 3, 4-7 + Luke 2, 15-20

Saturday 7:00 pm Christmas Eve at Saint Agnes Catholic Church in Naples, FL

We proclaim this Gospel and celebrate this Christmas in an age of uncertainty and controversy. Some in the church believe Pope Francis has taken the church off the rails while others think he is the answer to prayers completing the promises of the Second Vatican Council. Meanwhile, in nearly every country there is a political crisis than never seems to go away no matter who is elected. There is corruption and distrust over serious questions about the future of our planet and the ability of institutions to resolve conflict and stop violence. … more »

The Fourth Sunday of Advent

December 18, 2022 at St Peter and St William Parishes in Naples, FL

Isaiah 7, 10-14 + Psalm 24 + Roman 1, 1-7 + Matthew 1, 18-24

11:00 Sunday at Saint Peter the Apostle, Naples, FL

Matthew gives us a great gift today, unique to this Gospel. The gift is Joseph. In Matthew’s Gospel, the central human character is not Mary. It is Joseph who receives a message from an angel. Matthew calls it a “dream.” I would call it a nightmare. I think when he woke up it was the worst day of his life. He had every reason to feel furious, betrayed, shamed, and devastated. He is caught between Moses and the commandments or the word of an angel in a dream. … more »

The Third Sunday of Advent

4:00 pm Saturday at Saint Agnes Church in Naples, FL

December 11, 2022 at St William, & St Agnes Churches in Naples, FL

Isaiah 35, 1-6 & 10 + Psalm 146 + James 5, 7-10 + Matthew 11, 2-11

I cannot count the times people have come to me troubled because they have doubts. It sometimes stirs up guilt which they then bring to the confessional. Over the years, I have begun to believe that doubt is really a very healthy thing that gives some evidence that there is thought, reflection, and some searching going on. That’s a lot better than just sliding along without ever wondering or pushing the limits of faith. Having been given the name, Thomas, as a child, I decided that doubt was just part of life, part of faith, and a reason for hope. … more »

The Immaculate Conception

Genesis 3, 9-15, 20 + Psalm 98 + Ephesians 1, 3-6, 11-12 + Luke 1, 2-38

It does not take a scholar to realize that the church would have us look and reflect upon the two women put before us in the readings today. Both of them are loved by God from the very beginning. Yet, there is a difference between them that we can hardly ignore. One says, “Yes”. The other says, “No.” One listens to a serpent. The other listens to an angel. As Luke tells it, the one who says, “Yes” stands before us as a figure of hope because she is the reminder that the one who listened to the serpent is not forgotten nor abandoned by the God who loved her into existence. … more »

Listening to Matthew Part 1 The Infancy Narrative

Given at St William November 29, St Agnes December 6, St Peter December 14 Naples, Florida

It was sometime between the year 80 and 90 that a devout follower of The Way sat down somewhere with a copy of something called “The Good News” that tells the story of Jesus Christ from the sudden appearance of John the Baptist to the beginning of the mission taken up by those who went forth preaching as many signs confirmed the message to those who would listen. He also had at hand a collection of sayings that had been handed down by those who actually heard Jesus speak, and another collection from an oral tradition that recalled events and customs that had been shared by several communities whose members sought to more faithfully follow The Way Jesus had revealed. … more »

The Second Sunday of Advent

December 4, 2022 at St Peter and St William Churches in Naples, FL

Isaiah 11, 1-10 + Psalm 72 + Romans 15, 4-9 + Matthew 3, 1-12

Saint William Catholic Church in Naples, FL Saturday 4:30 p.m.

Something happens between the third and the fourth grade. If it’s not true for everyone, it certainly was true for me. Somehow the innocence of childhood begins to fade, and an awareness of right and wrong awakens and begins to haunt us. It was 70 years ago, but it is as clear to me as if it happened five minutes ago. I could have said “yesterday”, but then I might not be so sure about what happened yesterday. I was sitting in a row by the windows on the second floor of Saint Paul the Apostle School in Davenport, Iowa. … more »