Patti Murphy Dohn recently retired after more than three decades of service as Campus Minister and Religion teacher at The John Carroll School in Bel Air, MD. Committed to making a difference in the lives of our youth and their families, she served the school community since 1981.  

Patti continues her service to the Archdiocese on the Screening Board for the Office of Vocations. She was previously a board member for the Msgr. O'Dwyer Retreat House in Sparks, MD. and St. Margaret School in Bel Air.

Along with writing for "The Catholic Review," Patti is a member of the Catholic Press Association, as well as the Catholic Writers Guild. 

She can be reached at:

God is good!! All the time!!


October 2014
September 2014

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StJoseph of Cupertino thank you for hearing my prayer and answering me. I passed my test and am truly grateful thank you and i hope others get the opportunity to experience your grateness


St.Joseph of Cupertino please help me in my CSC exam on October 26, 2014. Please give me divine wisdom to answer all the exams rightfully. I really need to pass this CSC exam needed in my work. St. Joseph of Cupertino please guide me. Thank you very much.

God is in the clouds

Focusing on courtesy and safety on the roads: Ten Commandments for drivers

"Roads are simply no longer communication routes; they have become places where we spend a great part of our lives." --Guidelines for the Pastoral Care of the Road

Have you ever been the victim of road rage? Have you caused road rage? 

Does heavy traffic become an occasion of bad language?

Do you shake your head when witnessing the bad driving habits of motorists who share the road with you?

"We know that as a consequence of transgressions and negligence, 1.2 million people die each year on the roads... That's a sad reality, and at the same time, a great challenge for society and the church."

--Cardinal Renato Martino, Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People

Car accidents have long been the leading cause of death among young people. Every time we turn on the news we hear of yet another person who lost their life in a car accident. Even Pope Francis's family has been in mourning due to tragedy on the road. The wife and two young children of his nephew were killed in a crash this August in Argentina.

Did you know that the Vatican published "Guidelines for the Pastoral Care of the Road" in 2007?

Issued by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, the 59-page document urges prayer for safe traveling, including the recitation of the rosary, and provides a section modeled off the biblical Ten Commandments.

The “Drivers’ Ten Commandments:"

1. You shall not kill.

2. The road shall be for you a means of communion between people and not of mortal harm.

3. Courtesy, uprightness and prudence will help you deal with unforeseen events.

4. Be charitable and help your neighbor in need, especially victims of accidents.

5. Cars shall not be for you an expression of power and domination, and an occasion of sin.

6. Charitably convince the young and not so young not to drive when they are not in a fitting condition to do so.

7. Support the families of accident victims.

8. Bring guilty motorists and their victims together, at the appropriate time, so that they can undergo the freedom of forgiveness.

9. On the road, protect those who are more vulnerable.

10. Behave responsibly in relation to others.

Safety first:

Perhaps reading over this set of "Ten Commandments" with our families will provide opportunities for good discussion, as well as reflection on personal practices and attitudes. May these opportunities lead to better habits on the road and peace of mind while traveling.

October 23, 2014 09:26
By Patti Murphy Dohn

Historic photos and quotes to honor the beatification of Blessed Pope Paul VI

"When we look to this great Pope, this courageous Christian, this tireless apostle, we cannot but say in the sight of God a word as simple as it is heartfelt and important: thanks! Thank you, our dear and beloved Pope Paul VI! Thank you for your humble and prophetic witness of love for Christ and his Church!"

--from the October 19, 2014 homily of Pope Francis at the Closing Mass of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family and the Beatification of Pope Paul VI


Pope Paul VI canonized saints on twenty-one occasions between 1964 and 1977; Included were:

**St. Julie Billiart (1751-1816), the founder of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur;

**St. Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton, (1774 - 1821), the first native-born American saint who established the first Catholic school in the U.S., as well as the Sisters of Charity; and

**St. John Nepomucene Neumann, C.Ss.R. (1811 – 1860), Redemptorist and fourth Bishop of Philadelphia, who became the first American bishop to be canonized.

My first canonization:

The first Vatican ceremony that I distinctly remember watching was the canonization of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774–1821) held on September 14, 1975. Pope Paul VI presided on the telecast broadcasted on our twelve-inch black and white kitchen television. The English-language commentator, pre-Archbishop Foley, translated quietly in the background. I was especially interested since Mother Seton was the first American-born Catholic saint, and she worked so closely with our nation's first bishop, John Carroll, in creating the first Catholic school system. 

Yesterday that same presiding pontiff was beatified by Pope Francis at the closing Mass for the 2014 Extraordinary Synod on the Family, following a certified Vatican miracle attributed to his intercession. A California boy, whom doctors predicted would be born with serious birth defects, was born healthy and is now a teenager. His identity has been kept confidential due to his parents’ request. Canonization to sainthood requires a second certified miracle.

This ceremony marked the third pope from the twentieth century that the Holy Father has elevated in the past six months. Pope Francis canonized Pope St. John Paul II and Pope St. John XXIII on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 20, 2014.

Notably, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was in attendance for both occasions.

Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at the Closing Mass of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family and the Beatification of Pope Paul VI:  (Photo: Gregorio Borgia/Associated Press)

"In his personal journal, the great helmsman of the Council wrote, at the conclusion of its final session: “Perhaps the Lord has called me and preserved me for this service not because I am particularly fit for it, or so that I can govern and rescue the Church from her present difficulties, but so that I can suffer something for the Church, and in that way it will be clear that he, and no other, is her guide and saviour” (P. Macchi, Paolo VI nella sua parola, Brescia, 2001, pp. 120-121). In this humility the grandeur of Blessed Paul VI shines forth: before the advent of a secularized and hostile society, he could hold fast, with farsightedness and wisdom – and at times alone – to the helm of the barque of Peter, while never losing his joy and his trust in the Lord."

"Paul VI truly “rendered to God what is God’s” by devoting his whole life to the “sacred, solemn and grave task of continuing in history and extending on earth the mission of Christ” (Homily for the Rite of Coronation: Insegnamenti I, (1963), 26), loving the Church and leading her so that she might be “a loving mother of the whole human family and at the same time the minister of its salvation” (Encyclical Letter Ecclesiam Suam, Prologue)."

--Homily of Pope Francis at Closing Mass of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family and Beatification of Pope Paul VI on October 19, 2014


Quick facts on Pope Paul VI:

Born Giovanni Battista Montini on September 26, 1879 in northern Italy, the future Pope Paul VI was ordained to the priesthood in 1920. He became Archbishop of Milan in 1954 and was elected to the pontificate on June 21, 1963.

He reconvened and presided over the last three sessions of the Second Vatican Council (1963-1965) and led the implementation of the conciliar reforms. He is also remembered as an advocate for building world peace, a champion for social justice issues, and for advancing ecumenical relationships.

Pope Paul VI went Home to our Lord at age 80 on August 6, 1978 while at Castel Gandolfo, the papal summer residence. His feast day has been observed annually on his birthday, September 26.


Pope Paul VI (Pontificate: 1963-1978)

Shown after his June 21, 1963 election, the former Cardinal Montini chose his pontifical name to reflect his apostolic focus on spreading the Gospel throughout the world.  (AP Photo/Luigi Felici)


News footage in Italian from the 1963 conclave and election of Pope Paul VI:



Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani, Proto-Deacon and Secretary of the Holy Office, placed the tiara crown on the head of Pope Paul VI during the June 30, 1963 coronation ceremony, held nine days after his election, at St. Peter's Square.  (AP Photo/Luigi Felici)

Weighing ten pounds, the tiara was last worn by Paul VI on November 13, 1963, who laid it on the altar of St. Peter's Basilica following Mass with the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council "in response to the many grave words spoken in this Ecumenical Council on the misery and hunger in the modern world."

Cardinal Francis Spellman, Archbishop of New York, requested that the tiara be sent to the U.S. Catholic Church, which Pope Paul VI granted in 1968 in recognition of the generosity of the American people to the hungry and dispossessed peoples of the world. It has been on permanent display in the Crypt Chapel of the The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception since February 6, 1968. The National Shrine contributes to the Holy Father's fund for the poor each year.


Paul VI after his coronation on June 30, 1963.


The Pilgrim Pope:

When Pope Paul VI took the very first trip in an aircraft for a pontiff, longtime Vatican photographer Arturo Mari was with him.

Paul journeyed to Jordan and Israel from January 4 - 6, 1964, for the first papal pilgrimage to the Holy Land, also marking the first time that a pontiff had left Italy in more than a century.

Later travel included:

**Lebanon and India in December 1964,

**the United Nations and New York in October 1965,

**the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugual in May 1967,

**Turkey in July 1967,

**Colombia and Bermuda in August 1968,

**Switzerland in June 1969,

**Uganda in July-August 1969,

**Iran, Pakistan, the Philippines, Samoan Islands, Australia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka in November-December 1970.


Ending nearly 1000 years of negative relations between Catholics and Orthodox Christians, Pope Paul VI met with Orthodox leader, Patriarch Athenagoras I of Constantinople, on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.  (AP file photo)


Pope Paul VI with Patriarch Athenagoras I of Constantinople in Jerusalem:

Their historic meeting took place on Jan. 8, 1964, on the Mount of Olives in a part of Jerusalem that was controlled by Jordan at the time, marking the first meeting since the East-West Schism of 1054.


Pope Paul VI travels through the crowd estimated at 200,000 on a portable throne in St. Peter's Square on March 29, 1964.

(AP Photo/Jim Pringle)


Pope Paul VI met with President Lyndon B. Johnson before his address at the United Nations headquarters. (AP file photo)

He met with four U.S. presidents during his 15-year pontificate: John F. Kennedy (1963), Lyndon Johnson (1965, 1967), Richard Nixon (1969, 1970), and Gerald Ford (1975).


"No more war, never again war. Peace, it is peace that must guide the destinies of people and of all mankind."

--Pope Paul VI addressing the United Nations, October 4, 1965 (CNS photo/Yutaka Nagata)


Pope Paul VI celebrated the first pontifical Mass on U.S. soil at the Yankee Stadium on October 4, 1965.


Pope Paul VI closing the final session of the Second Vatican Council on December 7, 1965. (AP file photo)


Jacqueline Kennedy, widow of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, meets with Pope Paul VI on January 31, 1966 at the Vatican.


“When we fight poverty and oppose the unfair conditions of the present, we are not just promoting human well being; we are also furthering man’s spiritual and moral development, and hence we are benefiting the whole human race." --Pope Paul VI

Caritas International, founded in 1954, became one of the largest aid and development agencies in the world:

Here Pope Paul VI blesses aid for floods in 1966 in Italy.
Photo: Caritas International

“For peace is not simply the absence of warfare, based on a precarious balance of power; it is fashioned by efforts directed day after day toward the establishment of the ordered universe willed by God, with a more perfect form of justice among men.” 

--Pope Paul VI


Pope Paul VI met at Fatima with last surviving visionary, Sister Lucy, on May 13, 1967, the fiftieth anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima. She offered the Holy Father a pall that she had made.


Pope Paul VI bestows the ring on the newly-created Cardinal Karol Wojtyla on June 26, 1967.  (Photo: Sygma-Corbis)


Island paradise:

Blessed Pope Paul VI had a brief three-hour layover at the Hamilton, Bermuda airport on Saturday, August 24, 1968. He was on his way home to the Vatican after attending the 39th International Eucharistic Congress in Bogotá, Columbia.

"How strange it would have seemed until recently that the Successor of St. Peter would find sufficient a few hours to cross broad continents and mighty seas, and visit distant lands whose very existence was unknown to the first Pope! Yet such journeys are but the continuation into this century of the apostolic wanderings of the first who held the high office of representing Christ for men of all continents and races.

...We are well pleased that Our return journey from the Eucharistic Congress at Bogotá permits Us to visit, though it be for a few brief moments only, these islands so justly famed for their beauty, and so find Ourself among you and greet you all.

May God bless all of you who have come to meet Us. May He bless your homes and all whom you hold dear. And before We leave these islands of the Atlantic, so distant on the map, yet so close to Our heart, We lovingly impart Our special blessing to you and to your spiritual and temporal leaders, praying that God may abundantly bestow on Bermuda the blessings of true peace and prosperity."

--Excerpt from the brief, seven-sentence address of Pope Paul VI to the people of Bermuda at the Hamilton Airport


Pope Paul VI in Bermuda, with Lord Martonmere, Governor General of Bermuda (left), and the Bishop of Bermuda Bernard J. Murphy (right) (Photo: Bermuda Online)


Assassination attempt:

Immediately after Pope Paul VI arrived in the Philippines, disembarked and kissed the ground in Manila on November 27, 1970, the Holy Father was enveloped by the crowd who came to greet him. Almost immediately a man dressed in cassock as a priest, with a crucifix in one hand, approached and stabbed the pope twice in the chest with a dagger. The Holy Father's private secretary, Msgr. Pasquale Macci (C), pushed away the assailant (right), identified as 35-year old Benjamin Mendoza y Amor. Originally from La Paz, Bolivia, Mendoza was a painter living the Philippines.

Pope Paul VI, who is seen partially at the left, was accompanied by Philippine President, Ferdinand Marcos, of whom Mendoza referred, "But when I pulled out the knife President Marcos stopped me. I was amazed when he hit me with his hand. It was a karate blow and terribly painful. The President was so strong, so powerful. I couldn't believe the pain."  (UPI Photo/Files)

This averted tragedy provided the relic, part of his blood stained vest, which was presented and placed on display in its reliquary for yesterday's beatification.


Pope Paul VI with Patriarch Albino Luciani, the future Pope John Paul I, during his March, 1972 pastoral visit to Venice. (Photo: CNS/ Giancarlo Giuliani)

It has been written that the Holy Father "publicly placed his red stole around Luciani’s shoulders, a gesture many interpreted as a sign that Paul wanted the patriarch of Venice to be his successor. The next year, Paul named Luciani to the College of Cardinals."

Luciani would serve as Patriarch of Venice from 1969 until his election as the next pontiff in 1978.


The historic 80-minute meeting of Pope Paul VI with Golda Meir at the Vatican, January 15, 1973 was the first audience granted to an Israeli Prime Minister.

(Photo: Archives Department of the UWM Libraries)


Pope Paul VI elevated Patriarch Albino Luciani to the College of Cardinals at the March 5, 1973 consistory. (Photo: Catholic Voice)


An undated photo of Pope Paul VI (263rd pope) with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (future 266th pope) --(CNS file photo)


"Gaudete in Domino:"

May 9, 1975 apostolic exhortation of Pope Paul VI on Christian joy:

"But how can we ignore the additional fact that joy is always imperfect, fragile and threatened? By a strange paradox, the consciousness of that which, beyond all passing pleasure, would constitute true happiness, also includes the certainty that there is no perfect happiness. The experience of finiteness, felt by each generation in its turn, obliges one to acknowledge and to plumb the immense gap that always exists between reality and the desire for the infinite."

October 20, 2014 11:58
By Patti Murphy Dohn

Reflections on courage, mercy, and humility: Baltimore Deacon Josh Laws serves Mass for Pope Francis

Photo: Lauren Cater/CNA

“Missionaries are those who, in docility to the Holy Spirit, have the courage to live the Gospel…they have gone out to call everyone, in the highways and byways of the world."

--Pope Francis in his October 12 homily at the Mass of Thanksgiving for the canonization of St. François of Laval and St. Marie of the Incarnation

Deacon Josh Laws:

He had just graduated from college when Josh Laws was hired to teach Religion at John Carroll. A graduate of Loyola Blakefield and Loyola University Maryland, Josh was young and joyful, the perfect faith-filled role model for our youth. As the Campus Minister, I was delighted to see such a fine young adult become part of the Religion faculty and witness to his faith in the classroom and on the sports field.

This past Sunday, that young teacher, now an ordained deacon finishing his degree at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, was chosen to serve at Pope Francis' Mass of Thanksgiving for two new Canadian saints. Held at St. Peter's Basilica, this papal liturgy honored the April 3 canonization of St. François of Laval and St. Marie of the Incarnation, who were missionaries in Canada’s New France territory in the 1600s.

St. François of Laval and St. Marie of the Incarnation

Reflecting on the new saints:

Deacon Josh Laws writes:

"St. Francis de Laval and St. Mary of the Incarnation were French missionaries who journeyed to Canada to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ.  St. Francis was the first bishop of the region and St. Mary founded a school to provide education and formation in the faith for poorer families in the area. These missionaries were canonized by Pope Francis last April, and on Sunday October 12th Pope Francis celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving for these two saints, accompanied by a large group of Canadian pilgrims.  In his homily Pope Francis commented on how these missionaries had a heart for "the smallest and most remote."  He went on to describe missionaries as people with hearts open to allow God to work in through their lives, setting the world ablaze with the love of God.  Great examples for us today as we seek to respond to God's call for us to be missionaries, abandoning ourselves for the service of God and others."

Corresponding with me from Rome:

On his experience of serving this liturgy and being in such close proximity to the Holy Father:

"Another great example of being a selfless missionary, at least in my life, is Pope Francis.  At that Mass of Thanksgiving I had the awesome opportunity to meet, speak with, and serve as a deacon for one of my biggest heroes.  Before Mass begins all the Vatican liturgy team gathers all of the servers together (after the second/third walk-through), gets us vested for Mass, and then brings us into ;8the Pieta Chapel where we prayed the Rosary.  Lying on the altar is another set of vestments, a miter, and a crosier.  Towards the end of the fifth mystery we heard the words, "He is here" and were quickly lined up.  All eyes turned as the big wooden door opened and out walked Pope Francis with a huge smile on his face.  He then started making his way down the line, greeting each person.  And during that time, I couldn't help but think of Baltimore.  I thought of my family and friends, my brother seminarians and priests.  I thought of all of the awesome people who have formed me and taken part in my life from all of the different schools and parish communities that I have been with.  And I prayed, "God, whatever joys or graces I experience from this encounter today, I ask that it be shared with all of them..." and I started recalling so many people who I wanted to share in the moment with."

Deacon Josh continues recounting:

"Eventually Pope Francis made it down the line and after almost two years now, I met a man who has become one of my best spiritual friends.  A man who has inspired and challenged me.  A man that I have prayed for and with.  A man who has, just by his example, rejuvenated my own vocation and given all of us a great deal of hope.  He reached out, grabbed my hand, and we shared a firm handshake.  I said, "Holy Father, we are praying for you.  Thank you, because you have brought us much hope."  He smiled and said, "Thanks."  Our Holy Father has a bright and warm smile and has such a way of communicating a peace-filled joy.  He is quick to engage too; one of my buddies said something along the lines of, "Pope Francis, you're friends with Jesus.  I'm friends with Jesus.  That makes us friends.  Will you give me a hug?"  Pope Francis immediately reached out and hugged the guy.  It was so cool."

Reflecting on his role during the liturgy:

"During the Procession and throughout the Mass my job was to stay on the Pope's left... I was pretty relieved when I found out that I wouldn't really have to remember or say anything.  It was amazing, though, to be next to him and see the people who had come there from all over the world from his perspective.  It was incredibly moving to see the expressions on their faces at Francis passed by them.  Expressions of relief, of joy, of excitement and of fervent prayer."

The most meaningful moments for Deacon Josh:

"There were several moments throughout the Mass that were particularly moving.  One of the biggest, I'd say, was the Penitential Act.  As we were singing the Kyrie, something we say or sing every time we celebrate the Mass, I was totally overcome with emotion and started to cry.  It was as if in that moment my whole life came together.  As if everything that I have done, everything that I have been through, the great times and the not so great times, were there and were being brought to Jesus to be healed, reconciled, embraced, loved, and blessed.  It was an amazing experience of reconciliation and celebrating God's great mercy.  And it hit me that this man, standing to my right singing under his breath, has talked so much about mercy and about poverty that I guess I know my own poverties a little more acutely and can taste the loving mercy of God a little more readily, receiving it as a free gift."

On the humility of the Holy Father:

"One other moment in the Mass that particularly struck me was during the Eucharistic Prayer when one of the concelebrating bishops read the line, "Together with Francis our Pope..."  I looked up at Pope Francis and watched as he closed his eyes and gently bowed his head--as if he were consciously receiving those prayers from everyone gathered there, from everyone across the world that makes those prayers every time they celebrate the Eucharist.  It reminded me of that great moment after being elected to be the next Pope, when at St. Peter's Square he bowed his head to people all over the world, asking for their prayers."

In spite of the crowds and cameras:

Sometimes, serving at big liturgical celebrations can be hectic, a little distracting, and nerve-wracking.  But this time, even though there tons of cameras, lights, and crowds- the experience was one of peace.  It was actually surprisingly easy to enter into the eternal moment, into what was really going on, into giving thanks to God for so many blessings, most of all for God's enduring love for us and presence with us.

Deacon Josh on Pope Francis:

Pope Francis is a man that reminds me of Jesus.  I would be willing to bet that those "smallest and most remote" who knew them would have said the same of their encounters with Saints Francis de Laval and Mary of the Incarnation.  I'm so grateful for all of the people in my life who have reminded me of Jesus and reminded me of our communal call to announce the Good News by acting justly, loving tenderly, and walking humbly with our God.  Also incredibly excited and eager for the opportunity to serve back home in Baltimore and join our faith community as we recall and discover anew who God is, who we are, and celebrate all the more.

Photo: AP/Andrew Medichini

Rome-based priest recalls serving Mass for Pope Emeritus Benedict:

"It's certainly a privilege for Josh! And a most unforgettable experience."

--Fr. Ernest W. Cibelli, priest-secretary to our Archbishop Emeritus, Cardinal Edwin O'Brien, the Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, based in Rome

Fr. Ernest W. Cibelli at Cardinal Edwin F. O'Brien's pallium Mass in 2008. (L'Osservatore Romano)

Corresponding with me from his office in the Eternal City, Fr. Cibelli told me that it is "actually not uncommon for men studying here in Rome, whether they be enrolled at the Pontifical North American College or another national seminary to serve for the Holy Father." He actually served as one of the deacons for Pope Benedict's June 29, 2008 Mass for the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul. This occasion was made even more special since then-Archbishop Edwin O'Brien received his pallium as the new Archbishop of Baltimore. "It's a great privilege to do so, one not to be taken for granted. It affords the opportunity to see the Pope at prayer and to pray with him in such a unique way."

Fr. Cibelli recalls, "One particular memory I have from serving for Pope Benedict is how he very deliberately exchanged the kiss of peace with each of the deacons serving, even though we were initially being ushered out of the way. And then to see the reverence with which he celebrated the Mass. These are things I will never forget and will help make me a better priest."

Reflections from Deacon Josh's parents:

Mrs. Duffy Laws shared with me, "We were thrilled to hear that Josh would be serving with the pope.  Frank (Deacon Josh's Dad, her husband Deacon Laws of St. Stephen Church, Bradshaw) set the alarm for 4 am so we could watch it on EWTN.  I watched it again later on YouTube which shows a lot more of Josh than the EWTN broadcast."

Recounting part of her conversation with their son later that day, Mrs. Laws told me, "During the penitential rite, Josh was moved by the people in the congregation.  He saw in their faces a faith, need, hope that was quite exquisite."

Deacon Josh Laws receives Holy Communion from Pope Francis on Sunday

Photo: EWTN Broadcast

Well-wishes from home:

"I've known Josh since he and my brother, Alex, were in first grade at St. Stephens and I was in the sixth grade. My family has attended St. Stephens since 1991, so we know the Laws' family, and especially enjoyed hearing the homilies of Josh's dad, Deacon Frank Laws.  Later, Josh and I became colleagues when we taught together at John Carroll. In his first year at JC, he had such a positive rapport with the students that you would have thought that Josh was a veteran teacher. Josh has always been very humble and caring, so seeing him with the Holy Father was no surprise. I could see why he was bestowed with such an honor. On behalf of the Pyzik family, we wish Josh nothing but the best in his final year before ordination to the priesthood and will be praying for him."

--Elizabeth Pyzik Devine, John Carroll Class of 1998


"Most of my interactions with Josh were in the John Carroll faculty dining room as we shared some mutual time off. I remember the day we talked about his decision to go into the priesthood, and he seemed quietly exhilarated and confident. When I saw the picture of him at Mass with Pope Francis, I was thrilled for him, knowing how happy he must be!  I recently read a book about the serenity prayer, and the whole time I read it I kept thinking about Josh.  He has a wisdom that belies  his years.  As he finishes up his studies for the priesthood and beyond, I wish him serenity, courage, and continued wisdom. He will continue to make a difference in this world!"

--Mrs. Susan Fisher, retired English Department Chair, The John Carroll School


"When I had Mr. Laws as a religion teacher at JC, the most important thing I learned from him was that judgment is a thing of the past. He always taught that we are all children of God and everyone is fighting a battle that we know nothing about. He insisted on making the world a better place and he always accepted everyone for who they truly were. I also was fortunate enough to attend the Micah 6:8 retreat with him, which was focused on social justice issues and for young adults. He changed my view of the world on that retreat. Being in the medical field, I am going to treat my patients with the utmost respect regardless of race, gender, sexual preference, etc. Because of Mr. Laws, I have a wonderful understanding of human respect and a better view of religion as a whole! I wish him the best on his final year in Rome and cannot wait to attend a Mass where he is the priest! I am so proud of all he has accomplished and wish him nothing but the best, because he deserves it!"

--Brandi Loga, John Carroll Class of 2010, Alvernia University Class of 2014, Salus University Physician Assistant student


"I was fortunate enough to have Mr. Laws as my World Religions teacher during my junior year at John Carroll. When I saw the picture of him at Mass with Pope Francis, I was delighted to see how far his journey has brought him and how excited he must be to serve at the Pope’s side. I distinctly remember the day he walked into my junior year religion class and revealed his decision to embark on his journey to the priesthood. He spoke with great reverence and awe about God’s plan for him and left a lasting impact on those of us nestled in his third floor classroom. On that day, he took time to discuss his upcoming journey and he did not shy away from answering hesitant or confused questions about his decision. Mr. Laws always had an aura of patience surrounding him and his drive to serve God, which certainly influenced me and my classmates to reflect more upon our individual relationship with the Lord. As he continues his journey in Rome, I wish him all the best and the knowledge that the entire John Carroll community is proud to call him one of our own."

--Morgan Seiler, John Carroll Class of 2010 and George Washington University Class of 2014


"Mr. Laws was my senior year religion teacher at John Carroll. When I heard he was serving as deacon for Pope Francis, I couldn't have been happier for him. I could tell from his classes that he was a strong believer in the Faith and I knew that is where his passion was in life. The biggest lesson I learned from Mr. Laws was probably something he didn't even realize he taught me. Since my locker was on the third floor, I walked past his door every class change. And Mr. Laws was ALWAYS standing at his door with a smile on his face greeting each and every student that walked by. Although this doesn't seem like much, it would make my day and taught me just how important it is to be happy and smile at others because you don't know what that person is going through. That is why I think he is going to be a great priest - he understands people and is willing to be there with advice or an ear to listen. As he finishes his road to priesthood, I wish him the best of luck and know that he will have a profound impact on many more people's lives. We are all so proud of him!"

--Jenna Selvy, John Carroll Class of 2008


Watch the full video of the Mass of Thanksgiving here:

October 16, 2014 03:17
By Patti Murphy Dohn

Being Transformed at the Maryland Catholic Women's Conference


"Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect."  ~ Romans 12:12

This year's Maryland Catholic Women's Conference was held this past Saturday and Sunday at Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg. With the theme of "Transformed: Pursuing God’s Will," the conference was attended by women from as far away as New York and Florida.

Chairperson Jeanne Link and her committee offered a full program of spiritual, educational, social, and motivational components. Mass and confessions were offered both days, as well as music, five break-out sessions, and keynotes each day. Meals were also included in the conference cost.

After morning prayer, praise and worship music, and the opportunity for confession, the first day's program officially started with Mass in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception. Father Brian Nolan, university chaplain, was principal celebrant and homilist. He spoke about the Blessed Virgin Mary as the role model for all women.

Father Brian Nolan sings the Communion meditation at the opening Mass:



Saturday's keynote speaker, Vinita Hampton Wright, senior editor at Loyola Press, addressed the assembly twice. Published numerous times, she is the host of "Days of Deepening Friendship: for Women Growing Wiser," a blog of Loyola Press.

According to committee member Ruth Schnauble, this was the fourth conference held for Maryland Catholic Women, in its second year at the Emmitsburg location. The first two conferences were held at St. John's Church in Westminster and were then called "Illuminate Catholic Women’s Conference." Kathy Ogle, also of the conference committee, called this year's gathering "a great success."

Six break-out sessions offered this year:

- "Faithfully: Catholic Women in the 21st Century" --by Megan Mastroianni

- "Finding Your Joy" --by Vinita Hampton Wright 

- "Theology of the Body: The New Feminism" --by Katie Dardis Singleton

- "Spiritual Direction: A Map for the Labyrinth of Life" --by Ellen Marie Dumer

- "Setting the World on Fire: Spiritual & Practical Habits for Making a Difference in the World" --by Patti Murphy Dohn

- "A Call to Go Deeper: A Look At Third Orders" --by Dawn Walsh

Patti Murphy Dohn addresses a full session on the exhortation of St. Catherine of Siena to "Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire."


Saturday evening included a candlelit walk at sunset through the Rosary Garden into the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, followed by a Renegade Productions presentation of "The Blood and the Rose" in the glass chapel at the Grotto. The film is the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  


According to Leo McWatkins Films, this 97-minute documentary investigates "the historical, scientific, and spiritual significance of the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Tepeyac Hill in Mexico to St. Juan Diego."

"On December 9, 1531, the Blessed Virgin Mary first appeared to Juan Diego, an ordinary man of extraordinary faith. Juan Diego humbly embraced the call to serve as a Messenger Eagle. Today this apparition is known as "the Virgin of Guadalupe."The beautiful miracle of that day is chronicled in this story that begins with Mary's faith filled yes. This eternal struggle of good versus evil is the battle for our souls."  --Leo McWatkins Films

On Sunday morning, the keynote was given by the film's director, Tim Walkins.

Order a copy of the DVD from Leo McWatkins Films here.

Watch the trailer here:

The 2014 conference concluded on Sunday with Mass celebrated by Fr. Michael DeAscanis, Vocations Director for the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

Kellie Reynolds, the Youth and Young Adult Minister at St. Stephen Church in Bradshaw, reflected on her experience, "What I enjoyed about the conference was a chance to be with other women who are encouraging and supporting one another as we try to live and grow in our faith the best we can. I am very uplifted by the community we shared, not only in Liturgy, but in sessions, and during meals." 

The mission of the conference is stated on their website:

Maryland Catholic Women’s Conference is committed to give witness to our faith in Christ and His Holy Church, and to affirm our dignity as women and daughters of God.  Our goal is to humbly seek the Lord, the Light of the World (John 8:12); to brighten our lives, families, parishes, and the world through the liturgy, education, formation, prayer, evangelization and service to those in need.

For more information or to get involved in next year's conference, visit their website at or contact Mrs. Jeanne Link at:

October 14, 2014 08:37
By Patti Murphy Dohn

Our Lady of the Rosary: Praying for peace in the world and in our families

October has always been the month of the Rosary, with the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary celebrated annually on October 7.

Formerly known as the feast of Our Lady of Victory, the day honors the Virgin Mary for her intercession which led to the victory over the Turks at Lepanto on October 7, 1571. Pope St. Pius V and crew members from more than 200 ships prayed the Rosary to prepare for the battle, and were joined in prayer in churches throughout Europe by the faithful.

Pope St. Pius V established this feast two years later in 1573 to give thanks to God for this victory, with Pope Clement XI extending the feast in 1716 to the universal Church.

Saints on praying the Rosary:

"The greatest method of praying is to pray the Rosary." --St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622)


"Pray the Rosary everyday to obtain peace for the world." --Our Lady to the children at Fatima

The Blessed Mother appeared with a rosary in her hand when she gave her first message to the three shepherd children, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta, in Fatima, Portugal on May 13, 1917. She prayed the rosary with them monthly on the 13th from May through October.

"There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot solve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary." --Sister Lucia of Fatima


"The Rosary is a school for learning true Christian perfection." --Pope John XXIII (1881-1963)


"The Rosary is the 'weapon' for these times." --Saint Padre Pio

Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, O.F.M. Cap (1887-1968), Franciscan stigmatic and popular Italian confessor, who almost unfailingly ;had the rosary in his hands:

Sitting in his famous rattan chair, he prayed to the Blessed Mother every waking hour of the day.


"The Rosary is the best therapy for these distraught, unhappy, fearful, and frustrated souls, precisely because it involves the simultaneous use of three powers: the physical, the vocal, and the spiritual, and in that order."  

--Archbishop Fulton Sheen (1895-1979) 


"The Family that prays together, stays together." --Father Patrick Peyton, The Rosary Priest (1909-1992)

"If families give Our Lady fifteen minutes a day by reciting the Rosary, I assure them that their homes will become, by God's grace, peaceful places." 

Father Peyton's cause for sainthood began on June 1, 2001: Go to his website for canonization to submit your prayer petitions and testimonials of miracles through the intercession of Father Patrick Peyton.


Read about the miracles attributed to Mother Teresa's (1910-1997) rosary here.


"The Rosary is my favorite prayer. A marvelous prayer! Marvelous in its simplicity and its depth. In the prayer we repeat many times the words that the Virgin Mary heard from the Archangel, and from her kinswoman Elizabeth."

--Pope Saint John Paul II (1920-2005)


"With the Rosary, we allow ourselves to be guided by Mary, model of faith, in meditating on the mysteries of Christ, and day after day we are helped to assimilate the Gospel, so that it shapes all our lives,” --Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI


Pope Francis praying the rosary (Photo: Getty Images)

During the November 20, 2013 Angelus, Pope Francis prescribed praying the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet daily as volunteers gave away about 20,000 boxes containing a rosary, a Divine Mercy holy card and a medical-style instruction sheet:

"I would like, now, for all of you to consider a medicine. But some may think, ‘The Pope is being a pharmacist now?’ It is a special medicine to make the fruit of the Year of Faith that is coming to a close more concrete.  This little box contains the medicine, and some volunteers will distribute it to you as you leave the square. Take it! It’s a rosary with which one can pray also the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, spiritual help for our souls and for spreading love, forgiveness and brotherhood everywhere. Don’t forget to take it. Because it does good, eh?  It does good for the heart, for the soul, for all of life.”

October 07, 2014 08:40
By Patti Murphy Dohn

Celebrating the heroic ministry of Cardinal Edwin F. O'Brien in Baltimore and beyond

The inspiring ministry of Cardinal O'Brien:

Archbishop Edwin Frederick O’Brien became the fifteenth Archbishop of Baltimore on Oct. 1, 2007.

In the five years that he served as the shepherd of our Premier See and the last two years as our Archbishop Emeritus, now-Cardinal O'Brien has shared some of the most poignant moments of local Church history with us, as well as the recent changes that have impacted the entire Church in our era.

For today's edition of Catholic Throwback Thursday, we honor the ministry and continued legacy of Cardinal O'Brien.

At the July 12, 2007 press conference announcing the appointment of Edwin Frederick O'Brien, Archbishop for the Military Services, as the fifteenth Archbishop of Baltimore:

This is one of my favorite photos of Cardinal O'Brien who looks so happy as he and Cardinal Keeler share the news of his appointment with our local Church. (Photo: Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun)

"He has leapt from military airplanes, served in jungles during the Vietnam War and travelled extensively to current battle zones in Afghanistan and Iraq. From his working-class the upper echelons of Catholic power—carrying a Christian message of peace and love to some of the world's worst war-torn terrain." --The Baltimore Sun on the military service of Archbishop O'Brien


Archbishop O'Brien greeting the auxiliary bishops before his installation as Archbishop of Baltimore on October 1, 2007  (Photo: Baltimore Sun/ Lloyd Fox)



Elevating the chalice during his Mass of Installation at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, Archbishop O'Brien is joined on left by Archbishop William D. Borders, the thirteenth Archbishop of Baltimore  (Photo: Baltimore Sun/ Algerina Perna)


Receiving his pallium from Pope Benedict XVI on June 29, 2008 (Photo: CNS/ L'Osservatore Romano)


"If Joseph Martin is not in heaven, I don't think any of us has a chance."

Cardinal O'Brien presided at the March 13, 2009 funeral Mass at the Baltimore Basilica for Sulpician Father Joseph C. Martin, the co-founder of Father Martin’s Ashley addiction treatment center in Havre de Grace, who died on March 9 at age 84. The Baltimore Sun called Father Martin "the 'wounded healer' who overcame alcoholism and, through his 'chalk talk' and the home he co-founded, helped some 40,000 others to do the same."  (Photo: Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun)


Archbishop O'Brien leads the procession to the crypt at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen following the funeral for Archbishop William D. Borders, the thirteenth Archbishop of Baltimore who served from 1974 to 1989. He passed away on April 19, 2010 of colon cancer at Stella Maris at age 96. At the time of his death, Archbishop Borders was the fourth-oldest living Catholic bishop in United States history, and the longest-surviving bishop of both Orlando and Baltimore. (Photo: Baltimore Sun/ Lloyd Fox)



Archbishop O'Brien announced the reorganization of Catholic schools in March of 2010 in a program called "Preserving the Tradition, Transforming the Future: The Rebirth of Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore." (Photo: Baltimore Sun/ Algerina Perna)


Archbishop O'Brien joined the Sisters for Life for the John Cardinal O’Connor Conference at Georgetown University on the day prior to the 2011 March for Life. Entitled “Building a Culture of Life Today: Learning from the Life and Legacy of Cardinal O’Connor,” the panel of presenters included from left: Bishop William Lori, Professor Helen Alvare, Fr. Joseph Koterski, SJ (moderator), Mother Agnes Mary, SV, and Archbishop O'Brien. (Photo: Sisters of Life)


Archbishop O'Brien presided over a Divine Mercy Sunday Mass on May 1, 2011 at the Basilica of the Assumption marking the beatification of Pope John Paul II earlier that day in Rome. After Mass, the archbishop led a procession around the block to the Pope John Paul II Prayer Garden. (Barbara Haddock Taylor, Baltimore Sun / May 1, 2011)


Archbishop Giuseppe De Andrea, the assessor of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, formerly a priest in the Diocese of Greensburg, welcomes Archbishop O'Brien to the Rome headquarters on September 16, 2011 after the August 29 announcement of his appointment as Grand Master.

As Archbishop De Andrea placed the medallion around his neck, he said that this new role "is like a chain that ties him to the Holy Land" and to the knightly order of the Holy Sepulchre. (Photo: Paul Haring/CNS)

"I am grateful to the Holy Father for his trust in me and hope in the years ahead I will be a help to the Holy See and to the wonderful land where Christ walked." --Archbishop O'Brien

Archbishop O'Brien follows the leadership of U.S. Cardinal John P. Foley who stepped down due to health concerns in February. He passed away on December 11, 2011 at age 76 in Darby, Pennsylvania.

"We look to forward the cause of peace in the Holy Land — that’s the Holy Father’s burning desire — and to stopping the exodus of Christians, to make more available the holy places to more people and to encourage pilgrimage to the Holy Land."  --Archbishop O'Brien in an interview with CNS.


Celebrating Mass at Saint Peter's Tomb on Jan. 16, 2012:

Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl (center) with Cardinal-designate Edwin O'Brien and Archbishop Timothy Broglio to his left. (Photo: CNS)

This marked the beginning of the ad limina visit to the Holy See for the bishops of Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, West Virginia, the Virgin Islands and the U.S. Archdiocese for Military Services.


New member of the College of Cardinals Edwin Frederick O'Brien receives the red biretta from Pope Benedict XVI in Saint Peter's Basilica on February 18, 2012. (Photo: Franco Origlia, Getty Images Europe)


Among the twenty-two new cardinals created that day were two from the United States, both sons of New York: Cardinal O'Brien and Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York. (AP Photo)



New Cardinal Edwin Frederick O'Brien is congratulated by Archbishop Georg Ganswein, personal secretary of the Holy Father, during the courtesy visits at the Paul VI Hall on February 18, 2012 (Photo: Franco Origlia/Getty Images Europe)


Archbishop of Baltimore-designate William E. Lori, along with Cardinal O'Brien, prays at the crypt of Archbishop John Carroll in the Baltimore Basilica on May 15, 2012, the eve of his elevation as the sixteenth Archbishop of Baltimore, Afterwards a vespers service was held there at the Basilica. (Kenneth K. Lam/Baltimore Sun / May 15, 2012 )


Twenty-year reunion for the Pontifical North American College Class of 1992. Cardinal O'Brien was their seminary rector at the NAC:

From left: Fr. Brian McGrath, Msgr. Jim Checchio (the current rector of PNAC), Fr. Don Henke, Bishop Paul D. Etienne, Fr. Brian Hayes, Bishop Liam Cary, Bishop William Waterscheid, Msgr. Charles Antonicelli; kneeling Fr. Joe Fonti, with Cardinal O'Brien. (Photo: Bishop Paul D. Etienne


On the eve of his first trip to the Holy Land as Grand Master of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, Cardinal O'Brien said he hoped to encourage the region’s Christian minority with a message of solidarity from Pope Benedict XVI and other Catholics in the West.

Shown here in his Rome residence on November 24, 2012, Cardinal O'Brien shows near a replica of the crosier of Pope John Paul II and other personal mementos. (Photo: CNS/Paul Haring)

“The church in the Holy Land has been under unfriendly domination throughout the centuries, and the fact that we still exist there is almost a miracle... We have to do everything we can as a Catholic people to encourage them and to let them know that we are one with them in their struggle.” --Cardinal O’Brien told Catholic News Service



Enjoy this two-minute video with Cardinal O'Brien previewing his first pilgrimage to the Holy Land


Cardinal O’Brien is greeted by students at the Catholic seminary in the West Bank town of Beit Jalla on November 28, 2012.

His Eminence was making his first visit to the Holy Land as Grand Master of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, a chivalric order that supports church institutions and Christians in the Holy Land. (Photo: CNS/Heidi Levine


Flashing back to 2009:

Ten Episcopal nuns, all members of the All Saints Sisters of the Poor convent in Cantonsville, Maryland, along with their chaplain, Father Warren Tanghe, became Catholics during Mass in their chapel back on September 3, 2009. Archbishop O'Brien blessed each of them as they renewed their vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

Four years later on the Solemnity of All Saints, November 1, 2013:

The All Saints Sisters of the Poor look back to their feast day in 2011:

"For us Sisters, the Feast of All Saints has always been special since it is our Titular Feast, but since 2011, it has taken on even more importance. On that day, in the Basilica of the Assumption, in Baltimore, which is also the first Metropolitan Cathedral in the United States, we were erected as a new institute of Consecrated Life in the Roman Catholic Church, and our public vows."--All Saints Sisters of the Poor

Photo of the Sisters with then-Archbishop O’Brien following that November 1, 2011 Mass.


Cardinal Edwin F. O'Brien at the March 20, 2012 press conference announcing that Bishop William E. Lori of the Diocese of Bridgeport was named the sixteenth Archbishop of Baltimore at the Baltimore Basilica. (Photo: Baltimore Sun/ Karl Merton Ferron)


The Installation Mass for William E. Lori as the sixteenth Archbishop of Baltimore on May 16, 2012 at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen. Archbishop Lori was shown wearing the pectoral cross that belonged to Archbishop John Carroll, the first United States bishop and first Archbishop of Baltimore.

With Cardinal O'Brien is retired Auxiliary Bishop William Newman (far left), and Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the apostolic nuncio to the United States (second from left).

(Photo: Catholic Review)


Cardinal O'Brien dedicated a new Latin Patriarchate school at Rameh (Northern Galilee) on November 29, 2012. He was joined by Patriarch Fouad Twal, as well as Bishop Marcuzzo, the Patriarchal Vicar for Israel who originated the project 18 years prior.

“I had prepared a written text, but when I saw the crowd, the followers of the different religions living together in joy and brotherhood, when I saw the enthusiasm of the parents and the students, I set aside my speech and my heart … spoke.”'--Cardinal O’Brien

The first stone for the building project had been blessed by Pope Benedict XVI at his Mass in Nazareth on May 14, 2009 during his pilgrimage to the Holy Land. For the village of Rameh, population 8,000, with 51% Christian, 29% Druze, and 20% Muslim, the school is central to the unity of its people. The Patriarch noted that “the school was not only a place of learning but also a place of dialogue between religions and culture, which must always be at the service of man and the construction of new bridges of friendship and love for all without distinction.”

(Photo: Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem)


King Abdullah of Jordan met with Cardinal O'Brien and the Latin Patriarch, His Beatitude Fouad Twal December 2, 2012 in Amman. They discussed the fragile situation in the Middle East and their quest for lasting peace. (Photo)


Who could ever forget the day that Pope Benedict XVI told the world that he was stepping down from the papacy?

On February 11, 2013, Cardinal O'Brien and his priest-secretary Msgr. Adam Parker witnessed the historic announcement from Pope Benedict XVI. This photo was taken by Msgr. Parker immediately following the announcement and published by The Catholic Review.


American cardinals gather at the Pontifical North American College before the March, 2013 conclave:

From Left: Cardinal Justin Rigali, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Cardinal Francis George, Cardinal Seán, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Cardinal Roger Mahony and Cardinal Edwin O’Brien (Photo: BostonCatholic-Flickr)


Cardinal O'Brien greets newly-elected Pope Francis (Photo: L’Osservatore Romano)


Cardinal O’Brien, the Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem carries woven palm fronds in the procession for Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Square on March 24, 2013. (Photo: CNS/Paul Haring)


Thank you, Your Eminence, for your outstanding service to our Archdiocese and your commitment to peace and understanding in our world.

We are grateful for your ministry and assure you of our prayers.

Ad multos annos!!


The coat of arms of Cardinal Edwin F. O'Brien:

Father Edwin Frederick O'Brien was ordained a bishop by New York Archbishop Cardinal John J. O'Connor at St. Patrick's Cathedral on March 25, 1996, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of New York by Pope John Paul II.

Bishop O'Brien chose as his episcopal motto: Pastores Dabo Vobis ("I will give you shepherds") from Jeremiah 3:15.

October 02, 2014 01:54
By Patti Murphy Dohn

Opus Fac Evangelistae: Celebrating 35 years as a bishop with Cardinal William H. Keeler

"Opus Fac Evangelistae" (Do The Work of an Evangelist):

The episcopal motto of Cardinal William H. Keeler: The retired Fourteenth Archbishop of Baltimore (1989-2007)

(Baltimore Sun Photo/ Kim Hairston)

Happy Episcopal Anniversary!!

Our beloved Cardinal Keeler celebrates thirty-five years as a bishop this week.

Born in 1931 in San Antonio, Texas, William Henry Keeler was ordained to the priesthood at age 24 at the Church of the Holy Apostles (Santi Apostoli) in Rome in 1955.

Father Keeler was named Auxiliary Bishop of Harrisburg by Pope John Paul II in July of 1979, with his episcopal ordination on September 21, 1979 at Harrisburg's St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Following the death of Bishop Joseph T. Daley in late 1983, he was appointed Bishop of Harrisburg. His Installation Mass was celebrated by Cardinal John Joseph Krol, then-Archbishop of Philadelphia, on the feast of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, January 4, 1984.

Five years later, Pope John Paul II named him the fourteenth Archbishop of Baltimore, following the retirement of Archbishop William Donald Borders. The installation liturgy was held on May 23, 1989 at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen to a standing room only crowd.

Archbishop Keeler was elevated to the College of Cardinals by Pope John Paul II on November 28, 1994. A large contingency from the Archdiocese went to Rome for the consistory.

Some highlights from the years as Archbishop of Baltimore:

Cardinal William Keeler named Marylander of the Year:

(Baltimore Sun Photo/ Algerina Perna)

The Baltimore Sun named newly-elevated Cardinal Keeler "Marylander of the Year" when he was named to the College of Cardinals by Pope John Paul II, "a position that reaffirmed Baltimore's importance as the seat of American Catholicism."

"For leadership in interfaith dialogue, for strengthening the Archdiocese of Baltimore and for restoring Baltimore's prominence in the Church to what history (but no longer size) requires, Cardinal William H. Keeler is The Baltimore Sun's Marylander of the Year. He has been a preeminent force for good will and understanding since becoming a Marylander five years ago."

The Baltimore Sun, November 27, 2012


(Baltimore Sun/ file photo)

One of Baltimore's proudest moments: The October 8, 1995 visit of Pope John Paul II to our city:

Sharing a welcoming embrace with Cardinal Keeler before Mass at Oriole Park at Camden Yards


Cardinal Keeler leading an ecumenical prayer service on April 4, 2005 at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen after the death of Pope John Paul II

(Baltimore Sun/Karl Merton Ferron)


In Rome for the Funeral of Pope John Paul II:

President George W. Bush greets the U.S.-based Cardinals on Thursday, April 7, 2005, in Rome at Villa Taverna, the residence of Mel Sembler, U.S. Ambassador to Italy.

From left are: Roger Cardinal Mahony, archbishop of Los Angeles; President Bush; Francis Cardinal George, archbishop of Chicago; Justin Cardinal Rigali, archbishop of Philadelphia, and William Cardinal Keeler, archbishop of Baltimore.”

(White House photo/ Eric Draper)


At the Rededication Mass for the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on November 5, 2006:

Cardinal Keeler, seen here wearing the pectoral cross of Archbishop John Carroll, delivered the homily at this historic Mass. He had invited Cardinal James Francis Stafford, former Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore, then serving in Rome, to be principal celebrant of this first public liturgy after the $34 million project to restore the basilica to its original design.

(Photo/ Archdiocese of Baltimore)


Archbishop for the Military Services Edwin F. O'Brien was appointed the fifteenth Archbishop of Baltimore on July 12, 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI:

Seen here in the Basilica sacristy after the press conference: Retired Archbishop William D. Borders (left), and Cardinal Keeler (center), with Archbishop O'Brien.

(Baltimore Sun Photo/ Algerina Perna)


Saying goodbye to his predecessor at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen on April 22, 2010:

Archbishop William D. Borders, the thirteenth Archbishop of Baltimore, died on April 19, 2010 at age 96.

(Baltimore Sun photo/ Kenneth K. Lam)


At the Installation Mass for Archbishop William E. Lori on May 16, 2012:

Cardinal Keeler (left) with Cardinal Edwin O'Brien (center) at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen for the installation of former Bishop of Bridgeport, Connecticut William E. Lori as the sixteenth Archbishop of Baltimore.

(Baltimore Sun Photo/ Algerina Perna)


(Photo: Archdiocese of Baltimore)

With love and prayers of gratitude for your service to our Archdiocese and to the Church:

Happy Anniversary, Cardinal Keeler!!

September 25, 2014 12:20
By Patti Murphy Dohn

My first time at the beach in September: Collecting wisdom from the sea

"When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused." ― Rainer Maria Rilke

I wasn't sure how I would adjust to life as a retiree. After 33 years in ministry and education at The John Carroll School, I knew all about the joys of summer vacation, but how would I get used to "a new normal" once the school year started up again without me?

Anyone in education can tell you that the freedom of our summers keeps us rejuvenated and ready for another year in the classroom or the office... As a new retiree, my body clock feels like it is still on summer mode. And that's not a bad thing...

The week after Labor Day found us loading up the car and heading south on I-95 with Daisy our pug to spend the Fall Season in South Florida. I have never been to Florida in September, not even for five minutes, since the month of September has always meant back to school. That was when my calendar would be filled with a multitude of meetings, the start of new routines and programs, and the readjustment that always follows summer vacation.

This year, instead, we are loving the feeling of endless summer here on Singer Island. This includes the option of wearing flip flops each day, enjoying the water views while walking Daisy, and making sure that we always catch the sunset over the Intracoastal Waterway. I confess that there are times when I have forgotten the date... That points to a good adjustment, doesn't it?

"One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach; one can collect only a few, and they are more beautiful if they are few." ―Anne Morrow Lindbergh

It's not all play...

While I am spending a lot of time here working on a history writing project, I am able to do things at my own pace and that has made all the difference. I take my camera everywhere and try to capture the beauty that surrounds us.

"Let the heaven and the earth praise Him, the seas and whatever moves in them!"  Psalm 69:35

An afternoon on the beach:

We headed across the street on Monday to spend the afternoon on the beach. Again, I've never been at the beach in September in my entire life. Not once.

And it was so peaceful and relaxing. There were very few people around since most folks were at work or school. The number of vacationers at the seaside hotels is down too.

Being at the beach, watching the birds fly over the waters, feeling the salty air on your face, and listening to the waves gently rolling toward the shore, brings about a deep attitude of gratitude. This peaceful time for meditation leads to a deep sense of inner tranquility.

"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever." ―Jacques Cousteau

What can we learn from the sea?

“The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach—waiting for a gift from the sea.”  ―Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

"We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop." ―Mother Teresa

"Seeing death as the end of life is like seeing the horizon as the end of the ocean." ― David Searls

"Just as the wave cannot exist for itself, but is ever a part of the heaving surface of the ocean, so must I never live my life for itself, but always in the experience which is going on around me." ― Albert Schweitzer

"Longing Soul"

My soul is full of longing

For the secret of the sea,

And the heart of the great ocean

Sends a thrilling pulse through me.

― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The storms of life:

Just as Hurricane Season lasts until the end of November, I'm sure that there will also be some challenges to deal with in our retired life, but for now I'm drinking in the sights and sounds of life by the water's edge. Though I miss my students and my school friends, I am content enjoying the slower pace of life with my husband and our dog.

George looked at me last night and said, "Life is good." What better confirmation can there be?

God is good... All the time!!


Two great videos:

Enjoy the 3D sounds of life on the beach from wherever you are with this 60-minute video:

Baby sea turtle video:

Last week one of the locals recorded a newly-hatched sea turtle making its way out of its nest of sand on nearby Jupiter Island and into the ocean waters. Enjoy his three-minute video:

"I could never stay long enough on the shore, the tang of the untainted, fresh and free sea air was like a cool, quieting thought." ―Helen Keller

September 18, 2014 02:39
By Patti Murphy Dohn

Catholic Throwback Thursday: Celebrating the golden anniversary year at The John Carroll School

Celebrating fifty golden years:

This past Tuesday marked fifty years since the doors opened to admit the first students at Harford County's first and only Catholic secondary school. Known then as John Carroll High School, this new Archdiocesan school, along with Bishop Walsh in Cumberland, were built with funds left over from the $7 million bequest to the Archdiocese from businessman Thomas O'Neill (1849-1919).

His generosity was in thanksgiving for prayers answered which he believed saved his business, O'Neill and Co. Department Store, from the Baltimore Fire of 1904. His bequeath doubled by the 1950s and funded building projects including the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, which was dedicated in 1959 by Archbishop Keough, as well as school and hospital endeavors.

Today we look back at a few of the special events held during this anniversary year:

The year kicked off on September 9, 2013 with a full day of festivities to kick off the anniversary year. Take a look at the great photos from that special day here.


The 2013-2014 school year opened under the theme “Let Your Light Shine!!”


A full school day of Eucharistic Adoration, started with Mass in the early morning, was held on September 6 in the Chapel. Students were invited to share their prayer intentions in baskets placed before the altar.


A beautiful new addition to our campus was the large ornate crucifix on the hill which was installed just in time for our 50th anniversary kick-off celebration. This is thanks to the generosity and stewardship of an alumni family and the Knights of Columbus. 


St. Joseph Hall is the new name of the former convent of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Chestnut Hill, whose community served our school for 45 years and which was dedicated for use as a dormitory for male international students on the afternoon of the September 9, 2013 festivities.


The central courtyard with the grotto area devoted to the Blessed Mother is particularly beautiful each fall with the changing color of the leaves. The 50th anniversary logo was proudly displayed last year.


A festive reunion of alumni who were part of our theatre productions was held before the November 16 performance of “Godspell”  in the Brown Room. Delighted to share some quality time were: Debbie Larney-Ruane (left) and Judy Wallace Fritz ’80 (right) with Sister Roseann Treston, SSJ, longtime director of John Carroll theatre productions in the late 1970s and throughout the 80s.


Holocaust survivor Leo Bretholz spoke to our JC seniors on February 25 at our annual Holocaust Remembrance Day, sadly marking his last public appearance before his death on March 8.

A delegation of seniors and faculty represented John Carroll at Leo’s funeral at Sol Levinson Chapel on March 11.


Our annual full class Senior Retreat changed locations to Cecil County and was held in March at Sandy Cove Ministries in North East, Maryland. Seen here, the closing prayer session was held in their chapel to our standing room only crowd.


During our Spring Break, a group of JC students and faculty travelled on pilgrimage to Italy and the Eternal City:

Here the group gathers by the Basilica di San Francesco in Assisi.


Three JC students are smiling widely as they pose by the portico at the Basilica of Saint Francis with two Indonesian nuns they met while in Assisi.


A Century of Service:

The three senior women on staff celebrated 100 years of service to the John Carroll community during the 50th anniversary year: From left: Campus Minister Patti Murphy Dohn (33 years), Spanish teacher Jane Michael (33 years), and Math teacher Claudia Reyerson (34 years).


A Golden Gala was held on April 26 in a festively-transformed gym:

Founding principal Dr. Raymond Wanner reminisced on the founding of John Carroll as he spoke on the importance of maintaining the “tradition, pride, and excellence” of our first fifty years as we journey “into the New” (Archbishop John Carroll) with future generation of JC families.  


Founding fathers at the Golden Gala:

Original 1964 faculty members Paul Cashour (Left) with his wife Mary, Bob Templeton (Center) and his wife, gather with Art teacher Frank Kelly (Right) with his wife Susan.


Enjoy this three-minute video with highlights from the Golden Gala produced by Henry Basta, JC Class of 2007. 


Longtime Russian language teacher Ed Miller (left) with his wife Billie raise their thumbs up in approval for a wonderful evening at the Golden Gala with good friend and alum Lieutenant General Mark F. Ramsay, JC Class of 1977, and his wife Patty.


Father Stephen R. Sutton celebrated Mass in our Chapel with a number of our international students on April 23 as we prayed for the victims of the Korean ferry tragedy.


Marking the end of 44 years of Russian language studies at John Carroll, instructor Ed Miller gathers with his final group of senior Russian students on their final day of class before senior final exams.


After our pre-summer closing school Mass, JC juniors who were classmates of Annie McGann Cumpston gather with her family (Top center) to honor the memory of their friend who died in a tragic accident while they were in Kindergarten at St. Margaret School.

The Cumpston Family, who were inspired to build Annie's Playground in Fallston in her memory, also honor Annie each year with the presentation of the scholarship fund established in her name at John Carroll and St. Margaret's. 


Annie on Video:

This heartwarming thirty-minute video on the life of Annie McGann Cumpston was made by her sister Susie as her senior project in June of 2013. Be sure to watch with tissues:


Fun-loving international youth retreat leader, musician, song writer, and speaker Chris Padgett joined us once again for the annual underclass retreat day at John Carroll: Here Chris is joined by a group of freshmen and sophomores. 


Senior Iris Jin was unexpectedly called home to China the week before her high school graduation, so we held an impromptu mini-graduation ceremony just for her. Attended by friends and teachers, Iris was showered with love and prayers as she took leave of John Carroll after receiving the first diploma for the Class of 2014.


The second diploma for the Class of 2014 was presented at the Senior Awards Ceremony on May 28 to the family of Xavia Kieran Borys Pirozzi who passed on to Eternal Life with Christ on March 21, 2012 during her sophomore year. Xavia’s youngest sister Alita is seen at center with their parents, Ralph and Nicolle, and grandmother Joanna Borys, along with five of Xavia’s closest friends on the far left and right. Xavia’s triplet siblings, Adria, Darius, and Ianna, continue family tradition as members of the JC Class of 2017.

Turning sorrow into hope, the Pirozzi Family have established a fund in Xavia's name for the annual photography award at John Carroll. Photography was one of Xavia's passions while a JC student.

Read more about Xavia’s legacy here


The Black and Gold Award is the highest honor bestowed on a graduating senior.

Travis Nelson and Kirsten Kyburz were honored to be selected as the recipients for the Class of 2014 during this anniversary year.


The Class of 2014 graduated on Saturday, May 31 after celebrating their Baccalaureate Mass that same morning. They dedicated an anniversary time capsule which will be opened during the school's centennial celebration in 2064. 

The sign at the entrance to the school reminds the graduates of our ongoing love and prayers and the challenge to always let their light shine.

Once a Patriot, always a Patriot!!


The school community gathered on Tuesday to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary with a special Mass, the opening of the 1989 time capsule, and a picnic on the grounds for all students and faculty.

Read more about this special day here.


Congratulations and Happy Anniversary to The John Carroll School!!

Let Your Light Shine!!

September 11, 2014 11:24
By Patti Murphy Dohn

Happy Birthday: The John Carroll School is 50 years old today

The logo for the 50th anniversary year was designed by A Bright Idea 

Today marks the 50th birthday of The John Carroll School in Bel Air. On Sept. 9, 1964, the doors opened to the newly-constructed academic wing to welcome 202 ninth graders to the first (and still only) Catholic high school in Harford County.

 The roots of Catholic secondary education in Bel Air:

This endeavor of the Archdiocese of Baltimore fulfilled the vision of Archbishop Francis Patrick Keough to expand quality Catholic education beyond the environs of Baltimore City. His vision was put into action by Archbishop (later Cardinal) Lawrence Shehan who hired the architectural firm of Thomas L. Gaudreau to design John Carroll High School in Bel Air, as well as Bishop Walsh High School in Cumberland. The archbishop said in his memoir that "it was thought that simultaneous planning and erection of the two would make possible notable economies." John Carroll though opened on schedule in 1964, whereas the construction of Bishop Walsh hit delays, not opening until 1966, due to "the rocky nature of the soil on top of the so-called "Haystack Mountain." (“A Blessing of Years: The Memoirs of Lawrence Cardinal Shehan”)

Marker indicating construction year 1963 at John Carroll  

Cardinal Shehan dedicated the John Carroll High School at the end of its second academic year on Sunday, May 22, 1966. The school had students in grades 9 and 10 at that time, adding an additional grade for each of its first four years.

Starting the 50th anniversary festivities:

Last year the John Carroll school community kicked off the start of the 50th year on Sept. 9, 2013 (the actual 49th birthday) with a huge celebration. The day included an anniversary Mass presided over by Bishop William Newman, with seven priests, a deacon and a seminarian on the altar. 

Seven of the 10 clergy gathering outside the Gym before the Sept. 9, 2013 Mass: (from left: Seminarian (now Deacon) Josh Laws, Deacon Victor Petrosino, Father Alphonse G. Rose (homilist), Bishop William C. Newman, Very Rev. G. Gregory Gay, CM, (JC Class of '71 who is serving his second term as Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission, the worldwide Vincentian Order); Monsignor William F. Burke, and Father Stephen R. Sutton (principal celebrant). 

Other concelebrating clergy included: Father Jerry Francik (front left) and Father Doug Kenney (front right). (JC Patriot)

Bishop William C. Newman worked in the Archdiocesan Office of Catholic Schools when John Carroll first opened. During the Anniversary Mass, he used a special blessing that would be repeated on three more special occasions throughout the year.
(JC Patriot)

Among the many special guests were founding principal Dr. Raymond Wanner, several original faculty members, including Father Alphonse G. Rose who gave the homily, and seven Sisters of St. Joseph of Chestnut Hill whose community served the school for 45 years. Their former convent, now known as St. Joseph's Hall, was dedicated after a festive luncheon that afternoon for use as a dormitory for international students. 

Monsignor G. Michael Schleupner, pastor of St. Margaret Church, blesses St. Joseph Hall for use as an international dormitory. Among those gathered were members of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, including Sister Judith Ridley, center, who served on the original faculty and returned years later as vice-principal. (Matt Button | The Aegis)

Several members of the first graduating Class of 1968 attended the Mass and luncheon:

Classmates from the first days of John Carroll: (from left) Kathy Morley Grapski, Lois Townsend Dieter, Charlene Muth Wallbillick and Kathy Crocken Barnes (Photo: Matt Button | The Aegis) 

See more photos:

Read about this historic start of the 50th anniversary year and view the photographs here.

 Coming this Thursday:

Watch for this week's edition of Catholic Throwback Thursday where we will be taking a look back at some of the events of this past 50th anniversary year at John Carroll. 


September 09, 2014 10:20
By Patti Murphy Dohn

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