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The Blog of Father Michael Seavey

Father Michael Seavey is pastor/administrator of the Portland Peninsula and Island Parishes. In addition to his diocesan responsibilities, Fr Mike also makes time for issues related to Catholic social teaching, particularly issues of workplace justice and immigration, as he advocates for low-income workers and secures rights for workers here as refugees, immigrants, and those seeking asylum.

for low-income workers and secure rights for workers here as refugees, immigrants, and those seeking asylum. - See more at: http://portlanddiocese.org/FrMichaelSeavey#sthash.UXOjEPwt.dpuf
for low-income workers and secure rights for workers here as refugees, immigrants, and those seeking asylum. - See more at: http://portlanddiocese.org/FrMichaelSeavey#sthash.UXOjEPwt.dpuf
for low-income workers and secure rights for workers here as refugees, immigrants, and those seeking asylum. - See more at: http://portlanddiocese.org/FrMichaelSeavey#sthash.UXOjEPwt.dpuf

Fr. Seavey's blog begins below. To view his seven-part series explaining the Catholic Church's teachings on immigration, click here.

Fr. Seavey co-wrote two articles for the Maine Sunday Telegram addressing the collapse of Rana Plaza in Dhaka, Bangladesh, which killed more than a thousand people and injured more than 2,500. Many of those killed and injured were migrant girls who were employed in a garment factory in the building. To view the articles: Maine Sunday Telegram, April 27, 2014 / Maine Sunday Telegram, June 9, 2013


What Do We Do Now?

In the gospel, Jesus is gathered with the disciples at The Last Supper. The Lord prepares them for the transition of his dying and passing from this world to the Father in heaven. His disciples cannot comprehend the Son of God experiencing death, let alone being tortured and sentenced to death for crimes he was not capable of committing. Yet, such would be the case, leaving the disciples scattered in grief and hiding in fear. Read Full Entry


The Octave of Easter

God destines all our wounds to be healed by the wounds of the Risen Jesus. God also uses our wounds, now redeemed and healed by Christ, to heal others. We need to choose God’s healing. Our wounds can isolate us and lead us to cycles of anger, retribution or corrosive bitterness.  We can use our wounds to manipulate or control others with self-pity and guilt. We can turn our wounds inwardly and continually harm ourselves. Or we can let God’s mercy touch our wounds and then with others form and shape communities based on mutual care and respect, justice, and forgiveness. The strongest communities are those built on the healing of common wounds. Read Full Entry


Easter

Resurrection becomes the lens through which we view the world. The glorified humanity of the Risen Christ becomes “the end all and be all” of what it means to be truly human. Through that lens we interpret our own life, the lives of family and friends, and the life of all communities as to whether or not they build up or tear down a truly human identity. Read Full Entry


Passion Sunday

Judy Collins sings of Jesus watching all of us from “a lonely wooden tower,” a symbol of the cross. When Jesus stretched out his hands on the cross, he rescued all of us. But why can “only drowning men” see him? Read Full Entry


The Woman Caught in Adultery

A woman caught in adultery (although there is no sign of the man she was with) is brought before Jesus to decide what judgement she deserves. In his response, Jesus is clear that while mercy does not close the eye to sin, it opens the heart to the sinner. Read Full Entry


The Prodigal Son

When considering the prodigal son in our present time, we almost always consider him to be an individual. But there are times when the prodigal son is a group of people, even a large group of people. Sometimes the prodigal son can be an entire generation, maybe even my generation. In many ways, the prodigal son is the last couple of generations that squandered an inheritance on dissolute living, refusing to acknowledge the price tags and running up debts in many categories. Read Full Entry


Burning Bush

Moses’ encounter with the living God is one of the most dramatic and important epiphanies in all of Sacred Scripture. From the burning bush God calls out to and reveals himself to Moses.  Moses experiences great paradox at the burning bush. His experience of God seems to raise more questions than before and settles none of the older ones. Read Full Entry


Encounter with Mercy

The encounter with mercy occurs in our daily life in the midst of our daily activities. Christ is still in our midst Incarnate and Risen. The Lord is present with us every moment of our day. How do we imagine Jesus looking at us? Do we live in fear of seeing a look of disappointment on Jesus face? Or perhaps a look of anger? In spite of their great failings and sins, that was not what St. Peter, St. Paul or any other person saw when they realized Jesus looking at them. Read Full Entry


Wisdom vs. Information

Wisdom is an action involving the mind and the heart as information becomes analyzed, and measured by such spiritual realities as human dignity, the common good, and moral responsibility. Information can become simply superficial but wisdom runs deep into the interior of our heart and souls. Read Full Entry


St. Francis de Sales

St. Francis de Sales chose a different path. He believed that combining a spirituality of interior transformation with a daily life of intentional love would restore the church. The rigorists criticized St. Frances for promoting a road to sainthood that was far too easy. But St. Frances believed differently. Maintaining such intentional love and gentle peace in the face of constant scorn, ridicule and even violence is a great challenge. This interior peace persevering such abuse and radiating outwardly would be the attraction opening hearts to God. Read Full Entry


Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

The Blessed Mother conceived the Prince of Peace in her womb and gave birth to this same Prince of Peace. In her story, we find our life. We are called to conceive this Prince of Peace in our hearts and to give birth to the Prince of Peace in our daily lives. Read Full Entry


Holy Family

Children can teach us a lot about what “holy families” are. Read Full Entry   


Christmas

Begin this Jubilee Year discovering the length and depth and height of God’s love for you and the power of God’s mercy in your life. Simultaneously, discover the depth of your ability to grow mercifully toward others. Read Full Entry


Visitation

Our society today promotes a rugged individualism often claiming, “I don’t need you and you don’t need me. I am all I need.” Combine that with the great fears inflicting us can become a society enduring great isolation and loneliness. Into these vacuums many demons enter. Our call is to live lives of visitation in the name of God. Read Full Entry


Moral Choices

Sometimes the moral life is so obvious we need someone else to point out the right choice for us. There can be a raging blizzard outside and even though we cannot open the garage door let alone get the car out of the garage, we need to hear someone else tell us, “stay home.” Read Full Entry


God's Word

God’s word moves to where it can stir things up, kick up a storm, create a disruption. God’s word travels to the least likely places, stirring within the least likely people moving towards the least likely destinations. God’s word is unpredictable, unexplainable, and forever beyond our ability to understand. Read Full Entry


Jubilee Year of Mercy

Pope Francis has emphasized God’s mercy since his election and this Jubilee Year is a wonderful way of both celebrating God’s mercy in our own lives and becoming sources of mercy for the world around us.
Read Full Entry


Solemnity of Christ the King

Last Saturday I attended a wedding in Rhode Island and was asked to offer a blessing at the banquet following the ceremony. Although I had spent a lot of time preparing the blessing, the events in Paris the night before led me to offer an unscripted prologue taking into account the terrorist attacks. The carnage was on all our minds and the topic could not simply be avoided nor could we pretend it had no effect on us. I offered to the approximately 200 wedding guests gathering with tremendous joy and enthusiasm that “our time to celebrate should not be seen as merely a distraction from the morning’s horrific headlines. Rather we should see our gathering as a response, a response from God. Evil’s works are known when malice divides with fear and hatred. God’s works are known when love gathers and unites. Read Full Entry


Experiences During Papal Visit: Part II

In addition to sitting in the House gallery to witness Pope Francis’ speech to Congress, I was also able to read an advance copy earlier that morning. The written words themselves brought tears to my eyes as I read the beauty and poetry of his thoughts. I have selected five significant quotes from that speech and offer my own commentary. Read Full Entry


The Right Number

During my two days in Washington D.C., Senator King also invited me to sit in on his staff meetings with various discussions on both domestic and foreign policy. I must admit that sitting in on those meetings stirred the juices of earlier desires to enter that career and again realized how much I would have loved that type of work. I share this story because I relate to the man who approaches Jesus and kneels before him. Following graduate school in Minnesota and receiving a Masters’ Degree in Public Policy, I began to wrestle with the felt call to priesthood. After completing six years of study and hoping to return to Maine, and eventually hoping to marry and raise a family, I was convinced that God had dialed the wrong number. Read Full Entry


Realities of Divorce

When divorced people are able to move forward in their life, they manifest the healing power of the cross and the mercy of God. In an ironic sense, divorced people testify to marriage’s great sacramental beauty as they grieve its loss much like widowed people grieve. Read Full Entry


Pope Francis' Visit to the United States

On September 23, I was the guest of Senator Angus King at a White House reception welcoming Pope Francis. The following day, he arranged for me to sit in the gallery of the US House of Representatives while the Holy Father addressed The Joint Session of Congress. Having known Angus since I was 18 years old, this gift was an opportunity of a lifetime and beyond my ability to imagine. Read Full Entry


Compassion and Commitment

The photo of the body of three year Aylan Kurdi washed ashore on a Turkish beach in the refugee crisis captured and broke the heart of almost the entire world. Although over 140,000 have died in Syria since the civil war began, including seven thousand children, the photo of one child brought home the evil of war and the massive humanitarian crisis. We can see and hear the numbers of those fleeing so many war torn areas of our world. But the photo of one child’s body suddenly gives the story “a human face” the numbers all too often simply can’t convey. Read Full Entry


Deeds First, Then Words

If we say “Jesus is the Christ,” those words of faith need to be translated into action of daily life. The words of faith without the action in St. James words, become “dead.” By the same token, “the actions without words” can become self-serving and vainglory instead of “God serving and giving glory to God.” Read Full Entry


Speaking Kindness

Curt Schilling is a retired major league baseball pitcher completing his career brilliantly with the Boston Red Sox. Last spring, his daughter Gabby was admitted into Salve Regina College in Rhode Island, and like a proud dad, he posted the good news on his social media account along with a picture of his beautiful daughter. Read Full Entry


Chastity

“Chastity” conjures up images of ‘joyless prudes with rigid, uptight understanding of sex. Poor, repressed souls, pious perhaps but always uptight and often self-righteous as well.’ These are false stereotypes that do not reflect people who live their life chastely. People living chastely often are more joyful, and form the strongest and more trusting relationships and friendships. Read Full Entry


The Whole Christ

Holy Communion places The “Body” and Blood” of Christ into our hands or on our tongue or to our lips. But ancient Hebrew understandings of these terms teach us to receive one’s Body and Blood is to receive the whole person. The whole Christ is present under the signs of bread and wine on the altar. The whole Christ is given to us as gift in the form of Holy Communion. Read Full Entry


The Real Presence

Our mission is not to bring Christ into the world. Christ is already present there. Rather, our mission is to witness the Lord’s divine presence to others unable or unwilling to acknowledge Him in their daily lives. Uncovering this truth brings the light of God’s merciful love as liberating truth. Read Full Entry


Solidarity

Solidarity requires us to see ourselves and see the world around us through the vision of the Risen Lord. We are to re-evaluate our own values and society’s values through the lens of morality flowing from the glorified humanity of Christ. We are to seek the healing and renewal of the human community empowered by the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Read Full Entry


Joy is Discovered in the Eucharist

When we join our life to the Risen Lord’s and when we imitate his offering of life as a sacrifice of gratitude and sacrifice of praise, we discover joy. We discover “joy” because we come to realize the value God places on our life. Read Full Entry


Love Takes Imagination into Infinity

Many years ago, I offered a children’s homily and began by asking this question, “Your English teacher has given you an assignment to write an essay. You are asked to write three typed written pages, double spaced, with correct spelling with everyone using the same font and the same font size. You follow all the instructions to the exact detail, but you don’t write a good essay. Do you expect to get a good grade?”

One young girl responded to the question: “No, because we didn’t use our imagination.” Jesus asks Philip a question to test him. Read Full Entry


What is Our Vocation?

We are sent out to tear down walls of hostility throughout our society, communities and throughout the world. There are many walls and barriers in our world and society today. Some walls are physical and visible. Other walls are less visible but as divisive. Walls between the haves and have nots keep many from realizing their full potential as humans in the human community. Read Full Entry


Why Do We Need the Church?

This reality helps us respond to the question confounding our society and culture. “Why do we need The Church?”  Why Church at all? “I can be with God in the beauty of nature and in the warmth of my own home.” That is true as well and need not be denied or minimized. We are indeed called to relationship with God in a personal way and we are called to find God everywhere. But that is not the full realization of God. Read Full Entry


"Can Anything Good Come from Nazareth?"

Removing the Confederate flag is but one of many conversations our nation needs to engage about many issues. What is the common moral horizon under which we need to live as a nation of freedom and justice? What symbols continue to divide us and keep us from reaching that moral horizon together? What symbols summon us together as a nation where a diverse people share the only human nature we have? Read Full Entry


God's Mustard Seeds

Throughout the two plus millennia of Catholicism, it is often one man or one woman in a challenging set of circumstances called by God to take a stand against a prevailing social catastrophe or to change a prevailing attitude within the Church itself. Read Full Entry


The Most Holy Trinity

The truth of The Most Holy Trinity is one of the greatest and most important truths we profess. Read Full Entry


Asking the Right Questions

One of the most dangerous questions we can ask is, “What’s in it for me?” This question contains the five most dangerous words in the English language. Read Full Entry


Among the Saints

The greatest of saints are those who love, and love with the very love of the Lord Jesus Christ. The saints never stopped loving and never stopped growing in love. They grew in the Lord’s love for them and grew in loving others with God’s own love. The saints loved regardless of social status, ethnicity, family of origin, personal background, or past sins. They loved and grew loving those most marginalized, most excluded, and most convinced they simply do not measure up or belong. Read Full Entry


Time to Sing His Tune

St. Barnabas provides a wonderful model for a ministry so desperately needed in our church, society and world today. Recognizing the terrible and hostile divisions separating us, ministries of breaking down barriers separating and building bridges uniting are essential. Transforming hostility into hospitality might be one of the greatest ministries in the church today. Read Full Entry


Good Shepherd Sunday

If our voices and hearts are shaped by Our Good Shepherd, those in our care will also discover freedom and the joy of following Christ. They will be offered the opportunity to discover their true identity and the divine dignity already sealed in their heart and soul. Read Full Entry


Living Mercifully: The Two Streams of Mercy

Mercy is perhaps the most endearing quality of God. Mercy is impossible to define, defies logic, is beyond words to accurately describe, and is unreasonable in its experience. But mercy is positively true and undeniably real. Read Full Entry


Good Friday

Lampedusa is an Italian island off the coast of Sicily. A population of 4500 lives on this island’s landmass of about 8 square miles. For many decades in the last century, the island made few waves in daily news and was of little strategic importance. During World War II, the garrison of Italian soldiers defending it surrendered to 100 British soldiers when they ran out of water. Read Full Entry


Resuscitate or Resurrect?

Early in my seminary training, I made the mistake of asking a faculty member a question while he was trying to read the morning newspaper with his first cup of coffee. This professor’s class on St. John’s Gospel had recently focused on the raising of Lazarus. I asked, “How can we say that Jesus is ‘the first born of the dead’ when Lazarus was resurrected prior to Jesus?” Read Full Entry


“Unless the grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies…”

Earlier this week, we celebrated St. Patrick’s Feast Day. While the Blessed Mother under her title of The Immaculate Conception is the patroness of our diocese, St. Patrick along with St. John Baptist are secondary patrons of our diocesan family and diocesan life. St. Patrick’s life offers a great witness to our own times and the troubles we face in the world today. Read Full Entry


Contemplating the Pierced Side of Christ...

Early in his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI issued an Encyclical entitled "God is Love." In that teaching he wrote, “Jesus death on the cross is…love in its most radical form. By contemplating the pierced side of Christ, we can understand the starting of this encyclical letter 'God is Love.' It is there that this truth can be contemplated. It is from there that our definition of love must begin. In this contemplation the Christian discovers the path along which his life and love must move.” Read Full Entry


"We Proclaim Christ Crucified!"

Why is there so much suffering in the world? Why do bad things happen to such good people? Why do these same good people suffer so frequently? Why does lightning seem to strike certain folks over and over again? How can religion and belief in God dissolve into a murderous fanaticism using God’s very name? Why are good people capable of committing terrible actions of betrayal and decadency? These and so many other similar questions beg for answers. So often we can try to provide such answers. So often these attempts only simplify and gloss over the deepest and darkest mysteries haunting the human soul. Our Catholic faith does not provide answers as much a response.

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Blog of Father Michael Seavey

Special Items

Letter to the Editor:
Speech and Language in
the 2016 Election Season

Funeral Homily

Solemnity of Christmas

Internet Porn Addiction: An Epidemic

Thoughts on Pope Francis' Encyclical Laudato Si'

Asylee Assistance Statement

A Christmas Message

Fairpoint Rally Speech

Domestic Violence

What is Purgatory?

Blog Entries

The Octave of Easter

Easter

Passion Sunday

The Woman Caught in Adultery

The Prodigal Son

Encounter with Mercy

Wisdom vs. Information

St. Francis de Sales

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

Holy Family

Christmas

Visitation

Moral Choices

God's Word

Jubilee Year of Mercy

Solemnity of Christ the King

Experiences During Papal Visit: Part II

The Right Number

Realities of Divorce

Pope Francis' Visit to the United States

Deeds First, Then Words

Speaking Kindness

Chastity

The Whole Christ

The Real Presence

Solidarity

Joy is Discovered in the Eucharist

Love Takes Imagination into Infinity

What is Our Vocation?

Why Do We Need the Church?

"Can Anything Good Come from Nazareth?"

God's Mustard Seeds

The Most Holy Trinity

Asking the Right Questions

Among the Saints

Time to Sing His Tune

Good Shepherd Sunday

Living Mercifully: The Two Streams of Mercy

Good Friday

Resuscitate or Resurrect?

"Unless the Grain of Wheat Falls to the Ground and Dies..."

Contemplating the Pierced Side of Christ...

"We Proclaim Christ Crucified!"

"Divine Love Pouring Through and Outward From."

What Will We Profess?

"A Leper Approached"

Sacrament of the Sick

God is Always Present

The Beloved Community

Epiphany 2015: A Passion for God

Christ is Risen and Alive!

The Power of Words

Rededication of Sacred Heart/St. Dominic Parish Tower and Bell

Reclaiming Humanity

Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed (All Souls' Day)

Come to the Wedding Banquet

Who Do You Say that I Am?

The Canaanite Woman

The Man Born Blind

The Samaritan Woman

The Transfiguration

The Feast of the Triumph of the Holy Cross

Nothing Fair about Mercy

Go and Point Out His Fault...

A Matter of Love

"We know that all things work for good..."

The Mystery of Evil

"Come to me all who labor and are burdened."

Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul

Sunday in the Octave of Easter

Trinity Sunday

Pentecost

The Hour

The Storm on the Sea

The Feeding of Thousands

Temptations in the Desert

"Do Not Worry"