I was delighted to see that our friends at the Catholic Key Blog just posted Bishop Finn’s homily from last month’s national meeting of the Institute on Religious Life (IRL). Bishop Finn is not only the Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph, but also the new president of the IRL.
The entire homily was worth hearing for those of us who were blessed to be in attendance, and is now worth reading online.
As the conference took place the weekend of Pope John Paul II’s beatification, it was wonderful to hear Bishop Finn’s reflections as a “John Paul youth”:
“This is a particularly important Divine Mercy Sunday. Tomorrow Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, will proclaim Pope John Paul II ‘Blessed’–Blessed John Paul! We cannot fail to include in our reflection tonight, on the vigil of the beatification, some thoughts on this holy apostle who, as Pope, walked us through the door of the Third Christian Millennium. He announced the New Evangelization. He became the best known person in the world–in part because of the new media. He invited us again and again to contemplate the face of Christ. He charged us ‘Duc in Altum’: Put out into the Deep. He saw and helped us see the dawning of a New Springtime of Christianity. He echoed for us, as Christ’s own Vicar, the encouragement, ‘Do not be afraid.’
“These words, ‘Do not be afraid,’ were among the first I myself heard from the Pope’s mouth. I had the privilege as a student–then a young man recently ordained a deacon–to be under the window that night in St. Peter’s Square when Karol Wotyla was presented to the world. Instantly I became a ‘John Paul youth,’ and in some ways I still think of myself as a John Paul youth.”
So do I!