Homilies and Talks

DEC 12, 2018           
Homily for Evening Prayer for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Bishop James F. Checchio presided at the evening liturgy, which marked the start of a yearlong intentional preparation that will lead to a consecration of the Diocese of Metuchen to Jesus through Our Lady of Guadalupe on the same date next year, in 2019. In his homily, Bishop Checchio remarked that the presence of those in attendance was an indication for a great expectation of what God wants to do in our diocese, and what He will do, saying: "This launching of a Year of Spiritual Renewal and Awakening of Faith is a new, historic moment for our diocese. In my travels around our diocese during these past two years, I have been blessed to see so many good, faith-filled people. I am humbled by so many good and generous lay people in every parish I visit throughout our four counties. I meet so many good priests, deacons and religious, and yet, we need more – we all deep down want more. It is this desire for more that we all share – the stirrings of God’s grace – 'I am with you.'"
AUG 29, 2018           
Homily for Eucharistic Holy Hour: For healing, truth and hope
Bishop James F. Checchio presided over a Eucharistic Holy Hour: For healing, truth and hope, intended to pray for victims of clergy sexual abuse, on Aug. 29. In his homily, Bishop Checchio shared his thoughts about the crisis facing the Church: "I can’t tell you all often enough how deeply saddened and ashamed I have been to hear accounts that one of my predecessors used his authority over seminarians and young priests for his own advantage and lustful desires, affronting their human dignity. It angers me too, that the trust of these young men, who came to the Church to follow their vocation to the sacred priesthood of Jesus Christ, was violated and what a terrible example they were shown. Making matters even worse is that some knew about this, but did not properly face it, refused to face it or simply hoped it would go away. I am moved to ask for forgiveness of you for these terrible sins and crimes of commission and omission. I recognize we cannot change the past. It is not at all helpful to try to rationalize, minimize or deny wrongdoing, even when it is gut wrenching to look at. One serious obligation that Church imposes upon us when we seek reconciliation for our sins is to forthrightly name our sins; in their unvarnished truth."
AUG 28, 2018           
Homily for the 2018 Mass for the Opening of the School Year for Catholic School Teachers
Bishop James F. Checchio presided at a Mass for the Opening of the School Year for Catholic School Teachers in the Diocese of Metuchen at Immaculate Conception Parish, Spotswood, the morning of Aug. 28. In his homily, the bishop said to the teachers, principals and administrators gathered, “Yours is a sacred vocation not only to impart practical knowledge, but, as Catholic School teachers, you have a far distant horizon to lead young hearts and minds. Today we proclaim in a definitive way, that it is Jesus - Jesus must be the heartbeat of everything we teach.”
SEP 28, 2017           
Homily for the 2017 Diaconate Ordination for the Pontifical North American College
The Most Rev. James F. Checchio returned to Pontifical North American College in Rome, where he previously served as rector, to ordain 31 new Deacons in St. Peter’s Basilica the morning of Sept. 28. In his homily, the bishop said to the men, “Brothers, by your ordination today, you will be configured to Christ the Servant, not only ontologically but your whole life must be effected, especially the way you think, the way you act and also your lifestyle. We look forward to seeing that configuration lived out in your daily life and ministry, and how the Church, our dioceses, our College, this city and our world need this witness."
JUL 16, 2017           
Keynote Address: 2017 National Diaconate Institute for Continuing Education Conference
The Most Rev. James F. Checchio gave the keynote address during the National Diaconate Institute for Continuing Education at Xavier University. The topic of his talk, "Deacons: Sharing the Joy of Love," focused on how the Pope's Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, impacts the ministry of deacons. In his talk, he pointed out three of those directions for reflection: the joy of love is joy in Jesus Christ, joy in family life, and joy in justice in the world.
OCT 12, 2016           
15th Annual Blue Mass
It is interesting to note that the Scripture readings we have just heard proclaimed are the same readings that will be heard at Masses offered in Roman Catholic parishes throughout the world today. They were not specially chosen with an eye towards the unique purpose of our Mass here, our annual Blue Mass. And yet, you would almost think they were. Because every one of them includes some reference to law. The word law is there in each one – twice in the first reading, twice in the Psalm, and twice in the Gospel. Six references to law in three passages from three different books of Scripture. What do these references offer us here at this Mass?
OCT 1, 2016           
Blessing of Roses Ceremony, Carmelite Monastery
We gather this evening on this great feast of St. Theresa of the Child Jesus in the Eucharistic presence – before Jesus Christ, truly present – body, blood, soul and divinity. We know that by our participation in the Eucharistic celebration – by our reception of the Lord’s body and blood, that we are drawn up into the eternal triune relationship of love which St. Matthew so beautifully wrote about in our Gospel. In receiving the Eucharist we are most intimately united to the person of Christ. He nourishes us spiritually, calling us to reconciliation and effecting a true communion amongst all who eat his flesh and drink his blood.
OCT 1, 2016           
Opening Mass of the 2016 Catechetical Conference
Our Gospel today comes from 10th chapter of Luke, where he appoints the 72 to go out two by two ahead of Him to every town and place to continue His mission. He had told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.” Brothers and Sisters, fellow catechists, you are now those 72 in our day….Thanks be to God!
SEP 23, 2016           
Red Mass, Archdiocese of Newark
It's a joy to gather with you this afternoon for this Red Mass to invoke the power of the Holy Spirit upon you, the distinguished judges, attorneys, and lawmakers, law professors and law students, clerks and paralegals, and all others who serve us in the various sectors of the legal profession. The Church holds the work you do in great esteem, we thank you for it, and we ask God's guidance and blessing upon you and your work.