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Ordained in 2011, Father Friel served for five years as Parochial Vicar at St. Anselm Parish in Northeast Philly. He is currently studying toward an STL in sacred liturgy at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
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On leaving the Vatican after his abdication: “I was deeply moved. The cordiality of the farewell, also the tears of my collaborators. [His voice breaks with emotion.] On the roof of the Casa Bonus Pastor there was written in huge letters «Dio gliene renda merito» [“May God reward you”]. (The Pope weeps) I was really deeply moved. In any case, while I hovered overhead and began to hear the bells of Rome tolling, I knew that I could be thankful and my state of mind on the most profound level was gratitude.”
— Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI (23 May 2016)

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Judas Iscariot
published 14 May 2013 by Fr. David Friel

ATTHIAS WAS OSTENSIBLY CHOSEN to replace Judas Iscariot among the Twelve Apostles. Yet, as Matthias probably understood better than any of us, it’s not really possible to replace another person. We can fill their position and assume their duties, but that is a long way from truly replacing the person.

This is a lesson our world needs to learn. A couple of weeks ago, in Boston, the senseless marathon bombings took the lives of 3 spectators. Each of those lives was unrepeatable and irreplaceable.

Yesterday, here in Philadelphia, we heard of the guilty verdict for Kermit Gosnell, who was convicted for the murders of three babies born alive. (The verdict, of course, doesn’t even take into consideration the thousands of unborn babies he also murdered.) Every one of those lives was unrepeatable and irreplaceable.

In two more weeks, our nation will commemorate all the men & women who have died fighting for our country at war. Every one of those lives lost was unrepeatable and irreplaceable.

Matthias was chosen to take over the duties of the twelfth Apostle, but he could never actually replace Judas Iscariot. We ask for the special prayers of St. Matthias today, that we and all the world might have a renewed appreciation for the preciousness of every human person.