Every person has at least four vocations

By Archbishop Michael Jackels
Witness Publisher

Archbishop Jackels

When most people hear the word “vocation” they think of God calling someone to be a priest or sister. In truth, all human beings have at least four vocations:

God calls each person (1) to go to heaven, (2) to become holy by imitating Jesus, (3) to support the mission of the church and (4) to a state in life, not to live in Iowa, but to live as a single or married person, as a sister or priest.

Of the four vocations, the call to a state in … Continue reading…

Pope Francis and the ‘Spirit of truth’

By Archbishop Michael Jackels
Witness Publisher

Archbishop Jackels

Pope Francis has come and gone. What to think about the visit? One thought:

The Holy Spirit guides the church. As Jesus taught: the Spirit of truth will guide you into all truth (see John 6:13).

Under the Spirit’s guidance, our Holy Father Pope Francis was elected to pastor the universal church. Therefore, his teaching and example can be seen as the fruit of the cooperation of the pope with the Spirit.

With this in mind, inspired by trust in God, where the pope is leading deserves the acceptance and … Continue reading…

Iowa Bishops comment on Supreme Court marriage decision

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage saddens us. To make something legal does not mean that it is true or good. Take, for example, the ruling that legalized abortion.

Notwithstanding this ruling, we will continue to lead people to live under the Gospel, which requires us to be humble and loving to all others, regardless.

The Gospel also compels us to defend and share with others Jesus’ teaching on marriage, which re-asserted the original plan of creation, and which no one can rend asunder:

One man and one woman who freely give themselves to each other in a permanent and exclusive partnership, … Continue reading…

Thoughts on the Pope’s new Encyclical

Document called ‘Laudato Si’ focuses on ecology

By Archbishop Michael Jackels | Witness Publisher

AB JackelsOur Holy Father Pope Francis has written an Encyclical Letter on issues related to ecology. It is called Laudato Si, Praised Be, which is taken from the Canticle of Creatures by St. Francis of Assisi.

Pope Francis writes this Encyclical as a pastor, teaching moral guidelines drawn from a reflection on Sacred Scripture applied to daily life in the modern age. There are two important principles in the area of ecology: stewardship and solidarity.

From the creation stories in the … Continue reading…

Same-Sex Marriage

By Archbishop Michael Jackels

What the Irish recently did by popular vote could happen here by a Supreme Court ruling.

By the end of this month the Court is expected to declare on two marriage-related cases. A “yes” ruling would legalize same-sex marriage in the whole country.

At this point there is not much else that can be done except to pray that the Justices will be guided by respect for human dignity and for the common good.

We can also inform ourselves about the issue of marriage, so as to be able to talk about … Continue reading…

Reflecting on responses to family synod questionnaire

Archdiocese sent over 400 responses to the Vatican

By Archbishop Michael Jackels

Thanks to those who participated in the consultation on the report: The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and the Contemporary World. There were over 400 responses, offering comments, constructive criticism, and creative ideas.

All the responses were collated and sent to the Vatican Synod Office. The Vatican will consider the submissions from around the world to prepare the working document for the synod this coming October. Again, the purpose of the synod is to help people know, understand, embrace, and live the Gospel of the Family.

The … Continue reading…

Easter Message from Archbishop Jackels

Archbishop Jackels

Among my Lenten practices I swore off eating chili cheese flavored Frito brand corn chips and McDonald’s products (I know, heroic).

I chose to do this because they are not good for me, and because I like them so much, too much.

I intended to give them up just for Lent, and then consume mass quantities of them beginning on Holy Thursday evening, the end of Lent.

But for the reasons given above, and also because I feel inspired to practice more self-denial, I decided not to start up again after Lent.

(That will make … Continue reading…

Church teaching on the MMR vaccine

The measles outbreak in California has once again raised the issue of vaccination in general, and the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine in particular.

With regard to the MMR vaccine, some people object to using it because the rubella component was made from a cell line developed from a child aborted in the 1960’s. At present, in the United States the only available FDA-approved vaccine for measles is the combined MMR vaccine.

In 2003, some MMR vaccine opponents asked then-Cardinal Ratzinger, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to support their claim that using this vaccine is an … Continue reading…

The holy season of Lent

Archbishop JackelsWhat do you associate with the holy season of Lent?

Giving something up, right? We begin the holy season of Lent with resolutions about NOT eating, drinking, or doing certain things.

The Catholic Church even has rules about not eating too much on Ash Wed­­nesday and Good Friday, and not eating meat on the Fridays of Lent.

Fine, but giving something up is not an end in itself; rather, it is a means to another end. For example:

Creating the potential to establish a healthy habit by breaking an unhealthy one;
Strengthening the virtue (a spiritual … Continue reading…