Rev. James Blaney, OMI
July 30, 1937 – Dec. 4, 2013
Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God – rest in peace.
On Wednesday December 4th, 2013, Father Jim Blaney, OMI entered Eternal Life. He died in Sitka, Alaska, surrounded by his sister Mary and his brother-in-law Gary, as well as his brother in religious life – Pat Casey, OMI.
Tuesday, December 10th in Sitka, AK
Harrigan Centennial Hall
A reception will follow at St. Gregory of Nazianzen parish hall.
Complete Schedule for Funeral and Liturgies
Obituary for Fr. James Blaney
By Deacon Vince Hansen
Fr. Jim Blaney of the Diocese of Juneau
This week, during all of my morning and evening prayers, I couldn’t seem to stop thinking about my friend Father Jim Blaney. After hearing of his sudden illness during the Synod, I traveled to Sitka to visit with him. It was a blessing to sit with him, to talk about friends and shared experiences, and to pray together before heading back the next morning to Haines.
Today, hearing the scriptures for this first Sunday of Advent, from Isaiah, St. Paul and the Gospel of St. Matthew that we are to be awake, that we are to prepare for the Kingdom of God by living every day in a way that shows we are ready to meet our Lord, I couldn’t help but think of him more. I proclaimed the Gospel and gave the homily about not letting the Gospel fade into the background, but putting it at the forefront, and trying our best to live accordingly. I talked about how we have models in our lives of persons who have shown us that this can be done. One of the most significant ones for me is Fr. Jim.
The Jesus I know was a man of the people. He subtly and not so subtly ingratiated himself with people as though they were his relatives, his family. Father Jim is like that. Like Jesus talking with Zaccheus, he would say, “Hey, I’m coming to your house tonight.” It is never in an imposing way, but in the way of a brother or friend. Truly a man of God and of his people, Father Jim’s first objective always seems to be meeting people wherever they are and being accepted as one of them. He does this by taking time with them, by being their friend, by getting to know how they live and what they are dealing with. He does this in a nonjudgmental way. He is full of compassion. He believes that God is definitely in charge, but it’s up to us (and him) to show God to others. He has become my mentor and dear friend.
By Kevin J. Jones
Vatican City, Nov 27, 2013 / 02:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis’ new document on the “joy” of evangelization is an opportunity for Catholics to re-examine how to share the gospel in today’s world, several Catholic commentators note.
“Pope Francis says the Church has to focus on what is essential and most beautiful, that everyone has to have a personal encounter with the saving grace of Christ,” Vatican media adviser Greg Burke said Nov. 26.
“It’s a wide-ranging document, one that deals with everything from better Sunday homilies to the broadening gap between rich and poor.”
The Pope’s 85-page document, “The Joy of the Gospel,” was released Nov. 26. Also known as “Evangelii Gaudium,” the apostolic exhortation follows the 2012 bishops’ synod on the new evangelization, which was held as part of the Year of Faith.
LINK to downloadable document: “The Joy of the Gospel“
Despite a snowstorm and resulting travel complications, Synod members from throughout Southeast Alaska gathered in Juneau today for the opening mass and first session of the 2013 Synod. On the Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Bishop Edward Burns presided at the opening liturgy of the Synod at St. Paul the Apostle church, at which Synod members made a solemn profession of their Catholic faith. The Synod continues through Sunday morning, Nov. 24th.
Link to LiveStream broadcast of Synod events
Deacon Charles Rohrbacher carries the book of the Gospels at the beginning of the procession from St. Peter’s Hall into St. Paul the Apostle church for the opening mass of the Diocese of Juneau Synod 2013.
Catholic parishes from Alaska have been given a chance to weigh in on an upcoming Vatican conference dealing with modern challenges to family life.
Earlier this month, dioceses all across the world received a questionnaire from the Vatican aimed at identifying pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelization. The information will be compiled and used as a reference during a synod of bishops set to take place next October. This synod of bishops is an advisory group of bishops chosen from different regions of the world that then assist the pope in identifying effective methods of church outreach and pastoral care.
According to a Catholic News Agency report, the questionnaire is meant to be an advisory help to the bishops in their attempts to present effective pastoral responses to the problems of divorce, gay “marriage,” and other challenges to the health of families.
The process of requesting input from around the world for a synod of bishops is not without precedent. In 2012, the previous synod of bishops — dealing with the New Evangelization — asked bishops’ conferences to encourage discussion of topics related to evangelization and to summarize their findings.
Link to Preparatory Document “Pastoral Challenges to the Family in the context of Evangelization” distributed by the Synod of Bishops, III Extraordinary General Assembly.