An Easter Message from Archbishop Jackels

AB Jackels suit 600x743For a lot of us the practice our religion is focused on belonging to the Church and going to Sunday Mass. Some do this for the social, business, or political connections that it affords. Some do this in order to feel good about themselves, or to think themselves better than others, or with the expectation of receiving something, like being entertained, instead of giving. Some do this motivated by obedience to laws and rules, hoping (expecting?) by their efforts to avoid hell and win heaven. These folk are more … Continue reading…

Zika, contraception and church teaching

AB Jackels suit 600x743Contrary to recent media stories, Pope Francis is not changing the Church’s teaching against the use of artificial means of contraception. This claim is based on the Pope’s answer to a question put to him during a press conference on the plane ride back to Rome after his trip to Mexico:

Journalist: Holy Father, for several weeks there’s been a lot of concern in many Latin American countries but also in Europe regarding the Zika virus. The greatest risk would be for pregnant women. There is anguish. Some authorities have … Continue reading…

Lent 2016

By Archbishop Michael Jackels
Witness Publisher

AB Jackels suit 600x743In last week’s issue of The Witness there was a reminder concerning the Church laws about abstaining from meat on Fridays of Lent and fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Before I go any further, let me say that penance, like abstinence and fasting, is good and needed:

To express our sorrow for sins we committed and our purpose of amendment;
To satisfy justice, repairing the harm caused to the order of creation caused by the selfishness of our sins, and hopefully reducing the likelihood of future … Continue reading…

Catholic Schools Week 2016

AB Jackels suit 600x743Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Dubuque serve a very important role in the faith formation of students. They not only offer Religion as an academic class, but gospel values are infused throughout the curriculum and service activities.

At an opening school mass in the Archdiocese, I was struck with the local tradition of high school seniors in the procession, each holding the hand of a kindergartner. The older students were there to help, guide, and be a role model for the younger ones. What a great metaphor for what … Continue reading…

Respecting life in all aspects

By Archbishop Michael Jackels
Witness Publisher

AB Jackels suit 600x743Not long ago I was driving down the highway, when a car with pro-life bumper stickers went speed­ing by, way past the limit. Maybe the driver had a reason for speeding; who am I to judge? But if there was no justification other than “I want to,” and if the driver will not slow down, then at the very least the bumper stickers should be removed. Why?

Because the behavior – exceeding the speed limit – contradicts the message of the bumper stickers, even holds it … Continue reading…

Archbishop’s Christmas Message 2015

AB Jackels suit 600x743In Jesus

The Father’s mercy has a human face

A voice that pardons and a hand that serves

A body to be laid down in sacrifice

And so, Merry Christmas!

In Jesus’ followers

His mission of mercy continues

In the ministries of the Church

In works of mercy by each of us

As a consequence, Happy New Year!


This story is provided courtesy of The Witness, the official publication of the Archdiocese of Dubuque.

Catholics and voting: understanding our duty

By Archbishop Michael Jackels
Witness Publisher

Archbishop Jackels

In response to a recent request to speak on Catholic social teaching, I spoke on our right to vote.

For every right there is a corresponding duty. And so we also have a duty to vote. The Catholic Church even speaks of a moral obligation to vote.

We also have a duty to inform ourselves about issues so as to vote conscientiously. Everyone guides his or her choices by something. For Catholics, that something should be the teachings of Christ and his church.

Two teachings in particular are meant to … Continue reading…

Archbishop’s instructions

Archbishop JackelsIntroduction

With the document Misericordiae Vultus (translation: The Face of Mercy), our Holy Father Pope Francis announced an Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy (from 8 December 2015 to 20 November 2016).

The purpose of the Year of Mercy is to remind us of what mercy is, that God is merciful, that Jesus is the embodiment of God’s mercy, and that the followers of Jesus continue his mission of mercy in the ministries of the Church, as well as in their personal lives of faith.

The Holy Father also wants to encourage us to take … Continue reading…

Iowa Catholic Conference statement on Syrian refugees

Nov. 17, 2015

4BishopsThe recent movement of 27 governors in the United States to apparently oppose entrance to Syrian refugees to their respective states (CNN, 11/16/2015) revives an embarrassing experience in our country’s history.

During World War II, those of Japanese nationality in the United States were rounded up and placed in confinement. In the aftermath of World War II, apologies and compensation were accorded to the victims of such unfortunate actions. As frequently occurs to families or nationalities, guilt was attributed by association.

In line with … Continue reading…

‘Spotlight’ and the church’s response to sexual abuse

Archbishop reflects on new film

By Archbishop Michael Jackels
Witness Publisher

AB JackelsSpotlight is a new movie about the Boston Globe exposé in 2002 on the scandal of clergy sexual abuse.

I haven’t seen the movie. But from the trailer it appears that the movie portrays historical events: the sin and crime of clergy sexual abuse, and the failure to report on or remove an offending cleric (and not just in Boston).

Would I prefer that this not be played out on the silver screen? Sure. The trailer alone is painful to watch. But that pain … Continue reading…