The thoughts and writings of Fr. Ed Namiotka as taken from his weekly parish bulletin columns.
Sunday, October 30, 2022
Tuesday, October 25, 2022
Taking the Dirt Nap
Sunday, October 23, 2022
Tuesday, October 18, 2022
Listening to a Ukrainian Archbishop
As I write today, I am attending our annual Presbyteral Convocation, which is fancy terminology for a meeting or gathering of priests. We are in Avalon for three days enjoying some priestly fraternity, listening to and reflecting on a few talks, sharing some meals and discussions, praying together and honoring our priest jubilarians at Mass and being encouraged to minister with more dedication and love for all of you.
This year’s guest speaker is the Most Rev. Borys Gudziak, Archbishop-Metropolitan for Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia. Some information from his official biography:
The Archbishop gave the priests two talks based on the words of the Mass describing Jesus' consecration of the Holy Eucharist, and then presented his unique perspective on the war in Ukraine during a third talk. I am currently digesting his words and insights for use at a later time.
This evening, during the Mass (the feast of St. Luke the Evangelist), we will honor our priest jubilarians celebrating 25, 40, 50 and 60 years of ordained priesthood. I watch as our diocesan priests grow older with the number fewer. I see how many foreign-born clergy, fortunately, now supply what the decreasing number of our own native-born clergy are unable to do.
What will the future hold for the Diocese of Camden? Only the Lord knows for certain. However, today we celebrate the ministry of those who have answered the call to priesthood and have remained faithful to it. Ad multos annos!
Monday, October 17, 2022
Tuesday, October 11, 2022
God, Are You There?
Sunday, October 9, 2022
Tuesday, October 4, 2022
Huge Financial Burden on Board
Driving down Route 70 yesterday, I stopped for a red light. The car in front of me had a window decal on it. I read it carefully. No, it was not your typical Baby on Board sticker that I had seen many times in the past. This one, with its silhouette of a baby on it, read: Huge Financial Burden on Board. While I initially chuckled—after all, I do have a somewhat quirky sense of humor—I soon realized how sad it was to depict a baby in this manner. We are talking about a person made in the image and likeness of God. Someone who has been given the gift of life through a unique cooperation between parents and Almighty God. This human person was now sadly viewed through the perspective of household economics.
From a Catholic Church perspective, October is set apart as Respect Life month. The Church continues to teach that every human life is sacred from the moment of conception until natural death. Recall that Jesus—the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity—chose to become one of us, His creatures. Jesus was conceived in His mother Mary’s womb. At a given point in time He was an embryo, a fetus, an infant, a child, an adolescent and an adult human being. Our life has so much dignity and importance that Christ not only became one of us, but He also willingly gave His life to save us from sin and death.
In addition, October is also the month of the Holy Rosary. Just think of some of the joyful mysteries of the Holy Rosary and their connection to various human life issues. The first joyful mystery, the Annunciation (Lk. 1: 26-38), shows us how with Mary’s “yes” to the angel, the Word became flesh in her womb. God became Incarnate with Jesus’ human life beginning at conception. After Jesus was conceived in Mary’s womb, when Mary greeted her cousin Elizabeth [the Visitation (Lk. 1: 39-56)], John the Baptist leaped for joy in Elizabeth’s womb. Remember Elizabeth was in advanced years—a situation that today may be too easy an excuse to have an abortion. When Jesus is born in a stable in Bethlehem [the Nativity (Lk. 2: 1-7ff.)] with no room for Him anywhere else, I can just imagine someone today saying: “This child is a huge financial burden for us! We can’t afford this child!” Sadly, these are just some reasons that can be rationalized for terminating an unwanted or inconvenient pregnancy.
Later in the evening that same day, after dinner with a brother priest, I had the privilege of viewing the new movie about Mother (Saint) Teresa of Calcutta. Sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, Mother Teresa: No Greater Love combined her life history with the work of her community (Missionaries of Charity) throughout the world today. Her expressed desire was not only to serve the poor, but the poorest of the poor. The film brilliantly shows how she respected the dignity of every human person without counting the cost and regardless of any danger or perceived difficulty. Unfortunately, the film was only in theaters for two days (October 3 and 4) but I am sure will be made available by other means (streaming, DVD, etc.) in the future. It is well worth your time to watch it!
I find it quite frustrating and tragic today, when so many politicians want to show others how they will support a women’s right to choose, they continue to deny and disregard the value and dignity of the developing child in the womb. If people are honest and have integrity, they will admit how science definitively shows that a new human life begins at conception. This new, innocent person deserves to be given a chance to live in this world.
Mother Teresa saw that so clearly.
Fr. Ed Namiotka