Saturday, August 25, 2007

articles still comin

Ugh... it's muggy and hot, 80 degrees overnight here in Baltimore... dang harbor.
But, we find relief from another wonderful article in The Record on Archbishop Kurtz. This time I post in full this piece on his pastoral visit to St. Joseph's Proto-Cathedral and Minor Basilica in Bardstown, KY - the place where it all began:

Archbishop celebrates Mass at historic St. Joseph
Marnie McAllister
Record Staff Writer
The new archbishop celebrates Mass in Bardstown, where the diocese first set its roots

BARDSTOWN, Ky. — Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz celebrated his first public Mass since his installation last week in Bardstown, Ky., where the Catholic roots of Kentucky first took hold. The Aug. 18 celebration filled the Basilica of St. Joseph-Proto Cathedral with parishioners as well as members of other area Catholic churches.

Archbishop Kurtz told members of the congregation, “What a joy it is to be with you and to begin my service as your archbishop.”

It was his second visit to the area, he said. The first was in July 2001 when he traveled to Bardstown “to see St. Joseph and to visit the beautiful Holy Land of Kentucky, which enriches all of us through the whole United States.”

He added, with a touch of mirth, “I experienced the same warm weather then.”

Archbishop Kurtz also recognized and thanked the priests, deacons and laypeople who serve at St. Joseph and other rural area parishes.

He spent little time talking about his installation as the new leader of the Archdiocese of Louisville — a sign, perhaps, that the time for speeches has passed and that his pastoral work has begun.

Demonstrating that he is already invested in the day-to-day life of the Archdiocese of Louisville, the archbishop noted that Father Joseph Batcheldor, a retired priest who resides at St. Joseph, was celebrating his golden jubilee as a priest. He also recognized the first anniversary of Father Pablo Hernandez’s ordination. Father Hernandez is associate pastor at St. Joseph.

Then, he began his homily, urging the faithful to “pray for the gift of fire in our lives.”

Quoting a Jesuit martyr, Archbishop Kurtz noted that for people, “Bread is important. Freedom is more important. But most important of them all is unbroken fidelity and faithful admiration” of the Lord.

People spend most of their time getting “bread,” he said. “Even deeper than any material possessions we have is freedom — freedom to say yes to God. But even deeper is that fire that allows you and us to be unbroken in our fidelity to God and faithful in our admiration.

“We need fire in order to do that,” he said, denoting three purposes of fire.

First, fire purifies, enabling one to live virtuously.

Fire also gives people the zeal to “live our faith perfectly.” And finally, “the fire Jesus spoke about in the Gospel is Pentecost — the fire that gives us energy. How can I do the things God asks me? The gift of baptism gives us energy.”

In closing, he said, “God calls us to renew the face of the earth and to start with ourselves.”

Before Mass ended, Father William Hammer, pastor of St. Joseph, presented Archbishop Kurtz a portrait of Bishop Benedict Joseph Flaget, the diocese’s first bishop. It was a birthday gift for Archbishop Kurtz who turned 61 on Aug. 18. The choir led the congregation in singing “Happy Birthday.”

Father Hammer also presented the archbishop a few other “gifts” to help him adapt to life in Kentucky. He counseled that “three syllable words are contracted to two syllables, such as Luh-vall, Naz-reth and Leb-nan.”

He gave the archbishop a map of Kentucky that has both blue areas and red areas, and depending upon where he is, he should say either, “How ’bout them Cats” or “How ’bout them Cards.”

He also presented him with a set of keys. The set included a key to the church, the bell tower, the school and keys to the city, county and My Old Kentucky Home, Father Hammer quipped.

“And here,” he said, “the biggest key of all is the key to our hearts.”

Archbishop Kurtz said he plans to celebrate Mass at the Cathedral of the Assumption, 433 S. Fifth St., this Sunday, Aug. 26, at 9:30 a.m. He also plans to celebrate Masses at the Little Sisters of the Poor, 15 Audobon Plaza Drive, Aug. 30 at 10:30 a.m.; St. James Church, Edenside Avenue and Bardstown Road, Sept. 2 at 11 a.m.; and Our Lady Help of Christians, 13512Dixie Highway, Sept. 16 at 11 a.m.

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