Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Humor and Joy in the Journey of Faith.

In this webcast from the Church in the 21st Century Center at Boston College, James Martin, S.J., author of "My Life with the Saints" and "The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything," speaks about the importance of humor and joy in the journey of faith. 

Evangelization and the Internet (Podcast - Part 4)

This podcast completes my conversation with Fr. Mark Hunt of Holy Family University in Philadelphia.  We have been discussing the numerous ways in which the internet can be used to spread the "good news."


It has been a while since my last post.  Sorry about that.  Things have been a bit busy of late. I never realized how much reading and writing (homilies and talks) I would have to put together in my work as a bishop.  I could spend all day just reading the materials from the Holy See, the Conference, and the various agencies of the archdiocese... not that I'm complaining.  Anyway it has not all been work.  I have been able to celebrate some Confirmations, visit some parishes, attend my first Spanish Mass, have dinner with priests, and get to a Pacers game (my Celtics lost).  I now have a "Butler" hoodie (Go Dawgs!) and I joined a gym.  I've worked out a three mile walking route around the canal here in the city and it is 1.7 miles from the rectory to the Catholic Center.  I've also been prowling around the city and its environs looking for good ethnic food.  Maybe that's why I had to join a gym.  I like Shapiro's Deli.  I've been there twice and their pastrami is first rate.  I have tried a couple of Italian places but they have not been all that good.  I will happily settle for Italian-Italian or American- Italian, if you know what I mean.  I am also looking for good Chinese (not Polynesian Chinese), Greek, and Korean food.  Any suggestions my readers might have for me in the Indy area are greatly appreciated.

I went to see Archbishop Daniel at the rehab hospital.  He is convalescing well and is alert and lucid.  We had a good conversation and he gave me some direction regarding things that are going on in the archdiocese and answered some of my questions for me.  His physical recovery will take some time but he says his spirits are good and he thanks everyone for their prayers.

And I am going to stop procrastinating ....  starting tomorrow.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Evangelization and the Internet (Podcast - Part 3)

Having clarified different terms like "evangelization," "conversion," and "catechesis" in the previous podcasts, part 3 of my conversation with Fr. Mark Hunt focuses on some possible strategies for evangelizing through the internet.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Homily from the Rite of Election, Sunday, March 13, 2011

For many of you, this is the first time that you have been to this cathedral for a liturgy.  This is my first time, too, the first time that I have been in the main part of the Cathedral for a celebration. I am a bit unsure of the layout of this place. This is also the first time that I have ever celebrated the rite of election as a bishop so if I make a mistake, please forgive me.  All of this is going to take some getting used to but I’m sure over time and through many future celebrations it will all become very familiar to me.   Ritual bears repetition.  As we participate in something over and over again, it becomes familiar to us and we are soon free from having to worry about what comes next.  Ritual frees us to be able to plug ourselves into the deeper meaning of what it happening.  So, as time goes on, by participating in the ritual celebration of the Church’s sacraments and becoming more and more familiar with the rites of the church, we are able to easily move into the deeper reality of prayer, worship, and an encounter with the real presence of Jesus Christ.  
Catechumens and candidates, at the end of this season of Lent you will be invited to join us in our faith and share in the full celebration of our worship life.  Many of you already attend Sunday Mass with your family or friends.  Many of you have been to a Catholic funeral or wedding.  Many of you have probably spent more time in church than many who bear the name Catholic.  But after you are baptized or make a profession of faith in the Catholic Church and are confirmed, you will participate for the first time in the sacrifice of the Mass and the reception of the Eucharist.  You will celebrate the first of what will be many celebrations of the Eucharist.  Soon, it will become very familiar to you and as it does so, Christ will become more familiar to you as you become what it is you receive, the Body of Christ.  All of us here in this cathedral rejoice with you and for you.
To the Catechumens, yours is a full journey of conversion from unbelief to belief.  You have received the good news, the gospel.  You know, in the ancient world, the “good news” or in the Greek, the “euangoulion,” was in its original sense an announcement by the king or the emperor that war was over. Runners would be sent to the far reaches of the empire or kingdom and they would announce the good news that the king was victorious over his enemies.  So when at the very beginning of Mark’s Gospel, we read, “The beginning of the gospel (the euangoulion) of Jesus Christ (the Son of God)” we are, in effect, hearing the announcement of Christ’s victory, His victory over sin and death, the victory of good over evil.  Catechumens, you have heard the good news and have responded to this announcement by saying, “yes,” to it,  “yes,” I want to share in that victory, “yes,” I want to align myself and configure myself to that victory in the person of Christ, “yes,” in baptism, I want to die with him in the tomb of the waters and rise with him in the rebirth of faith.  In these final few weeks, I invite you to ponder Christ’s victory and its meaning for all of creation and the newness of life that awaits you.
To the candidates for full reception into the Catholic faith, my fellow Christians, in the past you have heard the “good news” announced with a different voice than that of the Catholic Church.  You have heard many good words of encouragement and Christian faith within your families, friends, and other churches and faith communities.  But now you have heard a different voice announcing the good news, the voice of the Church, and in a few weeks, you will make a profession of faith and join the Roman Catholic Church.  You will be anointed in the sacrament of Confirmation and participate at the Eucharistic table where you will receive the resurrected and glorified Body of Christ, substance, soul, and divinity.  You, as will the catechumens, will become members of the Church, founded by Christ, maintained through apostolic succession, lead by the pope, the successor of Peter himself and we are glad for you and for the Church. You will enrich us with your presence,
My brothers and sisters in this cathedral who already bear the name of Christ as Roman Catholics, pray with me and Archbishop Beuchlein over these final weeks of preparation for these catechumens and candidates.  They are already our brothers and sisters in our shared humanity.  They will soon be our brothers and sisters in our shared faith.  To those of you who have been and continue to be their teachers and guides on the path to faith, thank you for all that you do and know of our prayers for you as well.  And finally, to the catechumens and candidates, keep up the good work of the good news.  May God who has begun his good work in you bring it to conclusion.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Evangelization and the Internet

This week's podcast contains Part 2 of the conversation that I had with Fr. Mark Hunt of Holy Family University in Philadelphia about how the internet can become a means of evangelization.

I will try and post a new podcast every week, usually late Friday, early Saturday.

Friday, March 11, 2011


In keeping with my having moved to the Hoosier state and it being high school basketball tournament time, I thought that I would center this week’s blog around quotes from the movie “Hoosiers,” the all time best sports movie ever made! (Aside from the DVD of the New England Patriots 2001-2 Super Bowl Season. “The kick is up and it’s … GOOD! The kick is good!!!!)  I think there is a lot of wisdom and personal synergy in “Hoosiers” for me … (quotes in italics)

- I think you'll find it's the exact same measurements as our gym back in Hickory. Yup, and they say Mass here the same way they do back in Boston.

- We're way past big speech time.  The ordination is over, time to get to work.  When Archbishop Buechlein said he was going to put me to work, he meant it.  Not that I’m complaining ….

- Ref: You need one more, coach. 
CoachMy team's on the floor!  The team’s on the floor; all of the priests, deacons, lay staff, religious, and volunteers are already on the floor and doing a good job.  I just got to plug myself in and try and not mess up the works. Wait! They don't need one more! I can stay right here in my office.

 - Strap, God wants you on the floor.  That’s kind of what Archbishop Buechlein said to me the other day, “Bishop Coyne, I don’t want you to be in this office too much.  I want you out in the archdiocese."  God wants you on the floor.  Fine by me.  Where’s my GPS? I’m there.  Just as soon as I get through all these Confirmations….

- Use the force, Jimmy. He’s talking about the Holy Spirit!  I’m sure of it! Praise the Lord!  Use the Spirit!  Yeah!

- Now, boys, don't get caught watching the paint dry – Hmmm.  Does this refer to the fact that my rooms still smell like paint?  Not that I’m complaining….

-Welcome to Indiana basketball. I was out to dinner the other night at a sports bar.  The Miami Heat were playing the L.A. Lakers.  It was like the NBA game of the month!  Was it on?  No!  Every TV in the place was tuned to an early round game of the Men’s Big Ten Basketball Tournament.  Every TV! And everyone was watching the game! No NBA!  Thank God I finally got cable. Welcome to Indiana basketball.

- Look, mister, there's... two kinds of dumb, uh... guy that gets naked and runs out in the snow and barks at the moon, and, uh, guy who does the same thing in my living room. First one don't matter, the second one you're kinda forced to deal with.  I don’t really have anything to say here.  It’s just my favorite quote from the movie.

- Leave the ball, will you, George? Got a text mail from the administrator of my former parish wanting to know when I would send him back my keys.  Sigh!  Why didn't he just say, “And don’t let the door hit you in the backside on the way out!”

Feel free to add your own favorite quote from the movie "Hoosiers."

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Another "goes where no [bishop] has gone before" (I think).

Check it out: Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York posted a video on the internet concerning the meaning of Ash Wednesday.  I believe this is a first for a bishop's blog.  Another great way for us to spread the good news!  Now, if I can only find me a video camera ....

You’re watching You’ve Got Archbishop Timothy Dolan. See the Web's top videos on AOL Video

Saturday, March 5, 2011

"To go where no [bishop] has gone before ..."

Welcome to my first podcast.  Pardon any glitches, noises or hiccups as this is all new to me.

In this first podcast, I begin a conversation with my good friend and colleague, Fr. Mark Hunt, about using the internet for evangelization and catechesis.  Our conversation was sparked by the recent publication of the "Lineamenta" in preparation for next year's Synod of Bishops.  (see the post of Friday, March 4 below)

Click the word "conversation" to open the podcast.

Settling in.

I cannot begin to express the gratitude that I feel towards all those who worked so hard to plan, prepare, and carry out both my ordination and the events surrounding it. First of all, the ordination itself was a beautiful ceremony on so many levels. This is not just me speaking. So many people, especially my family and friends from Boston, have been absolutely effusive in their comments about the music, the service, Archbishop Buechlein's presiding and preaching, and the obvious care given to the smallest of details within the liturgy.  In addition, the hospitality and friendliness shown to all those who came from Boston and elsewhere, the food, and the accommodations were first rate. Again, I cannot thank Archbishop Buechlein, his staff, and all the volunteers enough. Thank you, thank you.

I'm starting to get around Indianapolis. With all of the moving an unpacking you can well imagine that I have had to make a lot of trips to the Home Depot (found the one out on Southport Rd) and other stops at various stores to buy laundry supplies, sheets for the bed and all the things that one needs to get settled in a new home. Yesterday, I was able to get some laundry done (had to learn how to use a different washer and dryer than the one I was used to) and began to write some thank you notes. That duty will certainly take a while! But lest you think it's all been work, I've been able to get out and about with some new as well as old friends. Thursday night found me at the Vogue Theater up in Broad Ripple for a concert by the group Gaelic Storm. I am definitely going to have to make a return visit to the area as there was so much to do and see. There also appears to be a couple of good concerts coming up at the Vogue as well. Last night (Friday) was a whole different scene but just as a good a time. I was invited to attend the Peyton Manning Children's Hospital fundraiser at the J W Marriott. I was able to meet a lot of great people, meet both Peyton and Archie Manning, and sit down for a delicious meal and fine entertainment, all for a good cause.

So I am beginning to feel a little bit more at home everyday.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Publication of Preparatory Document for the November 2012 Synod of Bishops discussion on the "New Evangelization"

The Synod of Bishops today released a "lineamenta" in preparation for next year's Synod of Bishops which Pope Benedict has directed towards a discussion of the "new evangelization." 

The document can be found at:

A lineamenta document "is a text written in preparation for the convocation of the special assembly of bishops, before a synod occurs. It is intended to encourage bishops to invite the participation of all in the Church so that they can enter into discussion and take a pastoral inventory." [quote taken from Wikipedia].

I am still working my way through the text.  More to follow.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Post-Communion Remarks from my Ordination

[I have left out the preliminary "thank-you" comments]

Today in this sacred space I have committed myself to join with Archbishop Daniel in his work as principle shepherd of this archdiocese. This is a place with a lot of  history.  St. John’s is the oldest Catholic parish in Indianapolis and its former pro-cathedral.  Many happy events including this one have been celebrated here.  There are many words that seem to echo in this building: the words of Scripture, the words of ritual, words of prayer, words of encouragement, all captured in the faith that we share in the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ.  In the midst of this beautiful symphony, it is hard to hear the words of just one instrument ringing through, but I seem to hear voice of the prophet Jeremiah saying, "I will give you shepherds after my own heart" (Jer. 3:15).  Shepherds after my own heart - shepherds who in word and action pour forth the love of God that flows from the heart of God.  This was the ministry I was ordained to as a priest and it is now the ministry I have been ordained to more deeply as a bishop. 

We don’t often use the word shepherd in our day to day work of ministry.   We prefer, the Latin word for shepherds – pastores – pastors.  But either word points us to the heart of the ministry of both the priest and the bishop – to be shepherds and pastors, men who seek to lead others to the glorious pastures of salvation.  We can all be good administrators, liturgists, preachers, healers, teachers, good and friendly guys, but if we are not about spreading the good news of salvation in and through the Catholic Church, then we are missing the point of our ministry.  In my almost four and a half years as a pastor in suburban Boston, I came to realize this truth more deeply each and every day.   The truth of what the Church offers to humanity is an immeasurable gift.   It is a gift that frees us to live in the knowledge that we are all in God’s hands.  It is a gift that strengthens us to live in the surety of Jesus’ ultimate victory over sin and death.  It is a gift that is to be shared.  Jesus Christ has asked all those who have accepted this gift and taken on the name of Christian to in turn offer it to others, to spread the good news that He is Lord and Savior to the praise and glory of God the Father forever and ever, amen.  

As a shepherd, the priest or bishop is a bearer of this εαγγέλιον – this “good news,” this gospel.  We proclaim this Gospel through our authenticity of lives, our sincere and diligent efforts on behalf of the mission of the Church, and the care and fraternal love that we show for men and women entrusted to us.  We proclaim this Gospel from the pulpit, the altar, and the baptismal font.  We proclaim this Gospel at the hospital bedside, the dining room table, the school classroom, the university hall, the senior center, and the nursing home.  We proclaim this Gospel on the phone, in the email, and on the blog – btw, if you need the address to my blog, just ask.

My friends, we can never lose sight of the fact that the mission of the Church is about salvation.  Whether we are ordained, religious or laymen and women, each of us in our way is asked to participate in spreading this good news.   As it has in the past and as it is now, all that we do as Christians must be formed by this truth of faith.   Both Pope John Paul II and our present Holy Father, Benedict, have called us to the work of the new evangelization, the renewed announcement of the “good news.”  We are being asked to commit ourselves to a new effort to reach out to those who have never heard the Gospel, those who are indifferent to the Gospel, and those who have lost the Gospel.  It is quite the challenge that we face but it is one that we do in and through the Church, supported by each other and the sacraments we share.

As we take up this challenge, however, we may have to first recognize the need to evangelize and renew ourselves.  When I became a pastor, the parish staff and I determined that before we could invite people to the table, we first had to get our house in order.   If we were going to go to all the work of reaching out to those who have no faith, or a looking for something more in faith, or have lost their faith, we first had to make sure that when they walked through the door of the church, they were encountering a warm welcome, a clean church, good liturgy, good preaching, a strong Catholic identity, and parish social and educational programs that encouraged them to get involved.  The later success that my parish came to know over the last few years in terms of a significant growth in membership was I believe directly tied to the foundation we laid as a community to make sure that our house was in order when they came through the door.  

My desire as I come to this archdiocese is to do something of the same here but on a much larger scale, to work with Archbishop Beuchlein, the priests, deacons, religious, and laity to strengthen and build upon the good works already taking place in our parishes and Catholic institutions, to renew ourselves and to enter into the work of the new evangelization.  I do so, as a servant to the Church universal and local, as a brother who walks with you, and as someone who seeks to be a friend to all.  I am truly excited about coming to Indianapolis and to being a bishop for you. I promise you that I will try and do all that is possible to be a shepherd after God’s own heart.  Archbishop Beuchlein, thank you for giving me that chance.  My brothers and sisters in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, thank you for opening your door to me and welcoming into your house.  Let us walk together in faith.  God bless.
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