Unconditional love: A tribute to mothers

The middle of May is already here. It has been a long winter for most of us and any sustained warm
weather which facilitates the signs of spring and new life has been in hiding. Yet, there is much to
celebrate during this month.

This month of Mary and the rosary is filled with important days and events – May Day, Cinco de Mayo,
confirmations, first Communions, graduations, and of course, Mother’s Day. It is wonderful that we set
aside one day each year to honor our mothers in a very special way.

When I think back on the importance of my mother in my life, I can’t help but offer my thanks for all
that she did for me. Though she died much too early, at fifty years of age, my mother was a very strong
influence on my life. My father was on the road much of each week with his work, so my mother was
the one, who every day, offered her support, guidance, encouragement, and her love, to each one of her

When I think of what she had to do, to raise five children born in the span of four years, one of whom
was a special needs child, her motherhood was heroic at times. Though not an outwardly deeply
religious person, she lived her vocation to motherhood in extraordinary ways. As I think back upon the
years, her love for her children always reflected the love of God. She cherished those whom God had
entrusted to her care.

Mothers have a tremendous impact on the lives of their children. A mother’s love helps shape the life of
each child, and through them, the culture is ultimately shaped. Because of the bond between mother and
child, a mother’s influence helps mold the child into who they will become. Most mothers realize the
importance of their love in the personal and emotional well-being of their children. There is also the
profound and long-lasting impact in the development of their children’s brains, teaching them the first
lessons of love, thereby shaping their consciences. The emotional foundation mothers and fathers give to
their children at home is foundational to their lives. The value of a quality home life and the power of a
mother’s love cannot be underestimated.

The humanity of Jesus reveals the many beautiful attributes acquired from his mother Mary. Jesus, in the
fullness of his humanity, was formed by the love of Mary and Joseph. His kindness, compassion and
love of others were instilled in him from the beginning through Mary and Joseph living out their
vocation as parents in the way they cared for and loved him. We could easily look at our Blessed Mother
as the model for all mothers and it is important that mothers ask her to assist them in their own
motherhood.As I reflect upon my life, I am very grateful for all that my mother taught me. I have become the person

I am today in large part due to my mother’s influence and her lessons. Though she did not live long
enough to see the road to which my path of life has taken me, I am sure that she would be proud, not just
of my life as a priest and a bishop, but because she was always proud of the accomplishments of all her

My home life growing up wasn’t perfect, nor was it always peaceful, but my mother’s unconditional
love was what created that special bond between mother and son. What a life-long gift I received!
Thanks, Mom! That is why we celebrate Mother’s Day.

Though the celebration of Mother’s Day has passed, may we look at everyday as a time to honor and
give thanks to our mothers for their love and the many sacrifices which they have made or make daily
for each of us.

I pray for many blessing upon all mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers, stepmothers, and
Godmothers. Through the intercession of Mary, our Blessed Mother, may the love of Jesus, formed from
her heart and the heart of the Father, guide you in all love and be poured out upon your families.
There is no greater love!