​​​​​ ​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ 

                      A salute to BVM in Darby on its 100th anniversary                           To the Times:
        Pride can lead to one’s downfall, but the humble acknowledgment of one’s achievements can lead to joy, gratitude and inspiration. Since Jesus told his followers to
let their “light shine before all,” allow me to shine some light on Blessed Virgin Mary’s parish school (BVM), because it is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.
        First,with our beloved Pope Francis we experience “The Joy of the Gospel,” knowing our parish school has given a holistic education to thousands of children from beautiful Darby, Pa., and the surrounding areas since 1917. It brings happiness to our hearts knowing our school has welcomed children from all religions, races as well as social and economic backgrounds for a century. We feel honored when we hear our parishioners describe our church and school as “a ray of light and a center of stability for the community through the dark times of war, depression, assassinations and 9-11.”

          Second,gratitude is our attitude. We acknowledge the dedication and work of our founding pastors who built our church and school. We are thankful that every generation of Catholics at BVM have willingly and unselfishly subsidized BVM school by contributing millions of dollars to keep faith, hope and love connected with education.
          We feel blessed the Sister Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary have taught, served and administered our school for 100 years. We applaud the sacrifices of many lay people for teaching in our school; those who served on our Home and School Association or our Advisory Committees. Our maintenance crew, coaches, office managers and volunteers have been dedicated to BVM School and students. We deeply appreciate the thousands of parents who decided BVM Parish School offered what they wanted most for their children.
          Our school would not have been affordable over the last 15 years without the support of people like Monsignor Chieffo and his congregation at St. Mary Magdalen in Upper Providence, and the contributions of sources outside of Darby (e.g. BLOCS and individuals) who believed in what we offered to the community and wanted to help families through BVM School Tuition Assistance program.

          Third,over the last 100 years, BVM school has received and has given inspiration. We have been encouraged by statements from our Popes and Bishops who have urged pastors not to abandon communities because of social or economic status. Consequently, since 1917, our school’s classrooms have been open to immigrants and children of all faiths. We have been motivated by people like James Baldwin, who reminded us “children have never been good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” We practice what we teach.

          The ancient Chinese proverb, “If there is not respect between teacher and student, learning does not take place,” captures our decades long requirement to establish mutual respect between teachers, parents and children.

        For the last ten decades, BVM Parish School has helped children discover, develop and share the talents placed in their minds, hearts, souls and bodies by God. We have provided an environment that is the right place to learn, grow and worship for all children. Most importantly, we have given parents what they want:  A school that is safe,  prepares children for the future, and provides a Christian spiritual atmosphere while teaching self-control and responsible behavior.

       Believing “The goal of education is the education of the soul, ”we have inspired thousands of children to have faith, confidence, self-respect and think critically. We agree with Dr. King, who said, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and critically. Intelligence and character that is the goal of good education.”

        Let me conclude by saying, blessed are they who have taught or received an education at BVM Parish School in beautiful Darby, Pa., where the sun is bright and BVM Parish school has been “placed on a lamp stand for all to see.”

The Rev. Joseph M. Corley, Pastor

               Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Darby

November 11, 2018​ 

                                                       THE GRACE TO “SEE”
          The gospel story for last Sunday was about the blind man,
Bartimaeus, who asked Jesus “to see.” Jesus opened his eyes, and Bartimaeus followed Jesus.
Try this: when you pray, ask God for the grace to see, to
recognize the power of God’s presence (grace) in your past, present
and future.
           Pray for the ability to remember your past and “see” how God’s grace helped you in good times and bad.
          Pray for the grace to recognize the power of God in your
daily life and relationships. 
Be attentive to how grace calls you
to be honest, forgiving, courageous, humble or repentful. Notice the
times when others go out of their way to help you.

          Pray for the grace to embrace the future with confidence in God’s goodness
and presence.

         Pray for the grace to approach the future, no matter what, with faith, hope and love in your heart.  Like Bartimaeus, ask that you might “see.” Be confident in God’s guidance.
          God will listen to you as he listened to the blind man.  Then, like Bartimaeus,

follow Jesus.                                                                                                                                               
Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

NNovember 4, 2018

“ I HEARD ”  

     Almighty God
I heard you are the source of all creation. 

Please create a new heart in me.  
I heard you made promises to Abraham and Noah.

Deepen my trust in your promises.  
I heard you offered hope through the prophets to Israel.

Please restore hope in all people. 
I heard you are the source of goodness

Open my eyes to the power of grace in my life and relationships.  
I heard that fear of you is the foundation of wisdom.

Please turn my fear of punishment into a fear of rejecting your mercy.  
I heard Jesus is the marriage of divinity and humanity.

In his name, help me defend the sacredness of life.  
I heard Jesus healed the sick.

In his name, heal me of sin, guilt, despair and resentment.  
I heard Jesus brought people together around a meal.

Let me participate in the Eucharist with joy and love for others.  
I heard Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead.

Please, in his namegive comfort to the innocent who suffer and lift up those who have fallen.  
I heard Jesus established a new way of looking at You, successes, failure and faith.
In his name give me the strength to repent.   
I heard Jesus promised the gift of the Holy Spirit

a lasting experience of freedom and courage to all.
Please, set me free from all darkness, and what enslaves me to superstitions.  
                                                Give us this day our daily bread.     


Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


October 28, 2018


       If you want to follow Jesus, remember he said, “Love your enemies, do good to them... Your reward will be great (LK. 6:35).” 

       1. Notice, Jesus does not say, “Like” or “befriend” enemies. He says,
“Love your enemies.” That means we are to pray for and respect those who oppose us. We should not dehumanize them. We should treat them the way we want to be treated. Love your enemies means you wish them well. That is not easy, we need help. 

        2. Grace helps us to do “the difficult good.”  Fortitude is the grace we need to love people who have hurt or made life difficult for us.    A few weeks ago I met a man (Peter) who had to work with another man who was always miserable, sarcastic, negative and cynical - a real “Danny Downer.” Peter asked my advice about how to deal with his difficult co-worker. I suggested he (Peter) change his response to the guy; “try to feel sorry for the man who has so much poison in his heart. Talk with him. Have fun with him. Share a joke. Bring some humor into the relationship. Introduce a positive story.”  

       Jesus challenges us to love our enemies. With the help of grace that leads to fortitude, we can.  If we do, Jesus promises us a place in his kingdom.                  

      Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


October 21, 2018

One of Michelangelo’s most recognized and appreciated works
of art is the “PIETA”, which he completed in 1449.  It presents the body
of Jesus on the lap of Mary after the crucifixion.  It reminds me of
the thirteenth station, which often has Mary holding Jesus after He is
“Taken down from the Cross.”
“Pieta” means pity in Italian. The sight of it always triggers
pity in me for Jesus and Mary. When I contemplate the sculpture, I am
moved with compassion for all “mothers of sorrow”
who have suffered
the loss of a child at birth, in an accident, through sickness, violence or
Psychologists believe it is good if we can feel pity and
compassion for others.
It reveals our humanity and prevents us from
becoming dehumanized.  As we continue our spiritual journey through
Respect Life month,we also celebrate the faith of Mary who trusted in
God’s providence and goodness. 

Let us always remember that three days
after her sacred heart was pierced by sorrow, she experienced the
greatest joy.

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

October 14, 2018


Saint Therese Lisieux - Oct. 1st 

Saint Francis of Assisi - Oct. 4th 

Saint Teresa of Avila - Oct. 15th  

       This month our tradition offers us the example and inspiration of three reformers and outstanding people:

St. Therese,  St. Francis and  St. Teresa.

 In this reflection I will share why these two women and one man, deserve our attention.  


After years of internal spiritual struggle and poor health, she discovered and reminded the Church that the only thing that really matters is that we grow in love for God, self, and others.  Her clear and freeing spiritual insight, “LOVE IS MY VOCATION,” reminds us  that money, role, status or meaningless rituals are not the foundation for our soul’s peace.  She restored the Church’s focus on the bible as a source of grace, wisdom and courage.  

​       St. Francis sacrificed wealth for a deeper faith built on the virtues of poverty, humility and obedience. While praying, St. Francis sensed God calling him, “Francis, go rebuild my house which is falling down.”
Francis, a reformer, reminded the Church to care for the poor, respect the gifts of the earth, avoid corruption and work for peace. 

He is respected by people throughout the world.  


         St. Teresa reformed the Church and Carmelite Convent in Avila by rejecting mediocrity in our vocations and relationships with God and others. Teresa (sometimes called big “T”) stressed internal conversion that took a lifetime. Her “classical way” to spiritual growth included three stages:

Purification, Illumination and Union.

       Based on her own experience and God’s grace, St. Teresa thought spiritual, mature persons continue to have temptations in life, but as one grew older she learned to choose virtue rather than evil.

Thank God for those three great Saints and Reformers.         Respectfully,     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


October 7, 2018

       A few weeks ago I spoke with a man from Darby who
“for years I blocked God out of my empty heart with drugs,
alcohol and wild behavior.
  My heart was restless.  I acted crazy
until I almost died.  It was
then I had to open my heart to Jesus,
Mother Mary and the Holy Spirit
.  Now I have a few friends. 
I am at peace.
       His story is a great one.
This October we focus on the
sacredness of life.
  In particular we are reminded that the dignity
of life is never lost, and can be redeemed.

For all those who suffer with addictions, mental illness,
despair or abuse,
we pray to the Lord.
                                                           Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


Sept. 30, 2018

               BLESSED ARE THEY WHO HUNGER AND THIRST FOR             

       Can you imagine meeting Jesus, and he says “I know you are not perfect, but I know you are humble.  I call you to be my disciple because you hunger, thirst and long for spiritual health.
Your perseverance will save you.”
       When I mentioned MT. 5:6 to 165 men on a retreat at Malvern, PA, it brought new life to their  souls. When I mentioned it in BVM Church a few weeks ago, it rang like a bell in the minds and hearts of a few people in recovery.
       Remember,since age seven, all of us have approached the altar of Jesus with our hands out (expressing our hunger for the peace of Christ).  Every time we do that, Christ says something like, “Blessed are you...your spiritual hunger will be satisfied...Blessed and humble are you who come to me when you are tired, weary and afraid.
You will be refreshed. Your spiritual desires will be filled.”
       Praise be to God!
                                                                       Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


                                                                              Sept. 23, 2018

      It is sad to notice our bulletin has a section called “Around
Darbywood”, because it brings our attention to three serious and
harmful issues:
suicide, addiction and abuse. The fact that we provide information about these life-denying experiences confirms Pope John Paul II’s observation that we raise our children in a “culture of death” and violence.
October is Respect Life Month.  As a people of faith, we are reminded that God will provide the grace we need to renew and deepen our respect for life from conception to natural death.
Life is one of the five greatest gifts (along with Faith,  Family,
Friends, and Freedom)
.  Because life is a blessing, we cannot only talk about respecting life, we must speak and act in ways that will help
peoplewho suffer with addictions, depression, suicidal thoughts, abuse
and the human trafficking of young and old, male and female.

Our children have to be protected  from the poisonous effects of
pornography, violence, abortion, prejudice, and a “throw away” culture
that wants to avoid responsibility for the disabled.

                          May the sacred heart of Mary inspire us 
                         to cherish life the way she loved Jesus.
                                                    Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


                                                  Sept 16, 2018


 1.      A hard working woman from Darby had a little legal problem. The Police Officer listened to her story and found out she was raising boys on her own. He got the boys into football camp and on a team free of charge. She gave him a basket of fruit to say thanks. 

2.      The elderly couple walked out of the hospital holding hands - just like they did for the last 61 years. 

3.      The elderly priest was in a nursing home. When the nurse found him half asleep with food on his shirt she said, “Fr., honey, let me clean you up so you can take a nap.”

4.      The young couple sat in Church with their three children sitting on their laps.  As the kids got restless, the dad kissed each one. They settled down (for a few seconds).  

5.      Two years after her husband’s death, a young widow met a gentleman and went out to lunch with him. Keep your eyes open!     


Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


                                                           Sept. 9, 2018

I BELIEVE                                   

1.  “Every generation has the potential to

            be and do something great.” 

2.  “Pray to God for the grace to

            look at life with faith, hope and love in your heart.”

3.  “Saints or Sinners, God has always been with us
             and will always be with us.”

4.  “The five greatest gifts are:
             Life, Faith, Family, Friends and Freedom.” 

5.  “Love is the willingness to change your comfort,
             routine, work or schedule in order to help another person.” 

6.  “Never love somebody more than you respect yourself.”

7.  “Christ frees us from sin and despair,
             the power of fear and the sting of death.” 

8.  “Jesus offers the spark of divinity to all who believe.” 

9.  “The mercy of God is beyond measure.
​              It is more than we expect and more than we deserve.” 

10.  “Keep your eyes, ears, heart and imagination open.” 

11.  “Pray you are not dominated by fear.” 

12.  “Foolishness is not paying attention. It is being so distracted, we miss what is right in front of us. Making quick judgments without enough information or presuming everyone tells the truth is unrealistic. God Bless our Church.”      


                                               Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


                        LABOR DAY: PRAYER AND WORK
       A local institution employs many people.  Their
orientation program for new employees includes explaining
what the word
work means, because some people think
showing up for work is “real work”.
  They don’t associate being at work with actually doing labor.
       Years ago I saw an article that said if you own a
business and your employees actually work five out of eight
you should consider yourself lucky.  I wonder if the five hour rule still holds today.  Anyway, some people work hard; some try to avoid real work as much as possible (don’t dare ask them to do something that is not written in their contract), and for a few people, work is “no problem.”
        Presently, it is reported, more people are working than
in recent times.  That is good, because a job gives men and
women a sense of pride and security.
       Years ago, Hannah Arendt, wrote a book,
“The Human
  She was respected for her intellect.  She died  in 1975.  In The Human Condition, after acknowledging the many positive things about human work, she concludes the most important work we can do is to “persevere in faith and  prayer.” Pope John Paul II said something similar when he wrote about the dignity of Human Labor in the Sixth Century. St. Benedict knew “prayer and work” are good for our souls.
                                 Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


August 26, 2018

      First, it brought joy to my heart as I watched a young
mother with her three teenaged boys in our Church.
They were
sitting in a pew, mom put a hand on the back of one boy, and the
two other boys gently stroked their mother’s back.  I saw a family
express love and support a mom with three sons praying together.

       Second, sitting on my favorite bench on the
boardwalk of Ocean City, NJ.  I saw a young man
lug a wagon
with beach chairs, a huge cooler, an umbrella, and three little
girls up the steps from the beach to the boardwalk.  The girls
asked for ice cream. He gave the oldest money to buy them cones.
He was standing near me, so I said, “Dad is working hard on
He said, “yes, and they are worth it.”

       That dad loved his children.  It was sacrificial, unselfish love I saw in him.
                                                   Msgr. Joseph M. Corle


August 19, 2018


       A large crowd followed Jesus. He knew they were hungry and wanted to feed their bodies and souls. A young boy had fivebarley loaves and two fish.  Jesus blessed them and fed the people. There were leftovers, so Jesus told his disciples to “pick up the pieces.”They did and filled twelve baskets.   
Faith helps us to pick up the pieces of our lives when they seem to fall apart due to personal failures, broken relationships and dreams, disappointment and loss.   Faith reminds us that God will not allow his grace to be wastedwhen we feel like our lives are broken beyond repair.

     Ask God for help to live one day at a time.   Do not live in the past,  fear or predict the future.

Trust that God will help youpick up and repair the pieces of your life.

     Never give up!         

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


August 12,, 2018


     I was sitting on my favorite boardwalk in Ocean City, NJ when I heard kids on a roller coaster ride. They were screaming for their lives!  As I continued to watch the people get off the roller-coaster, I noticed the ride started out slow and easy, but within a minute it was going up and down, sudden dips, the speed continued to increase (lots of really loud yelling) until finally it came to a gentle stop. Then the participants looked relieved, invigorated and happy.  Some said “never again”, others said “that was great!”.  

     Our lives are like a roller coaster ride. We start out young and think things are peaceful. We don’t have a lot of problems. As we get older, life goes faster with more excitement, fear, fun and hurts. We experience ups and downs, joys and sorrows. Things change. We get older.We slow down;   finally, we come to a stop. Faith,  family and friends make up our safety bar that helps us hold on to life.     

     Faith,  family and friends help us to love the ride with all it’s up and downs.      


Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


1. I find it amazing that people who rarely come to Church, volunteer for any service and fail to  financially support Church, expect the Church to give them whatever they want immediately and without cost (“let me borrow your...”).    It is not fair. 
2. It is interesting how friends or relatives (who are not connected to a Church), of active parishioners in a Church think they “deserve” what they want from us because “my grandmother, or friend” is involved with BVM. So what? We serve you because you know one of our active members? Not right. 
​3. If you expect to have surgery, let me know before you are in the hospital. Try not to call and expect me at the last moment. It is not real to expect a priest servicing 2000 people and others to always be available. 

4. Please be on time for all sacraments. “BVM goes by only one time- it is BVM time.”

5. There is a difference between g o i n g t o M a s s and receiving communion:

  Going to Mass means you are in Church for all the readings and Eucharist.
Going to Communion means you do not hear the distinctive Word and just come to “get my communion.”

This does not apply to parents of children.


August 5, 2018


       Micah, prophet sent by God to the people, tells them
God does not want empty rituals and burnt offers from his people. God wants us “to love kindness, to act justly and walk humbly with the Lord.”

       How do we do that? How can we recognize a person that is kind, just and humble?   

       A KIND PERSON enjoys doing good for others.  A kind person will go out of his or her way to help you out. Unexpected kindness restores our hope and respect for humanity. We have a lot of kind people in BVM.   
        A JUST PERSON tries to be fair with everyone.  A just person gives others what they need and deserve as human beings.  Sometimes it is very hard to be just and fair - to pay people a just salary or provide the same opportunities for all.   

       A HUMBLE PERSON knows he/she is not God, does not know everything and realizes all people (including self) have strength and weakness.   God wants us to be kind,  just and humble.  Do you have friends who you consider kind,  just or humble?

       We need grace, faith and courage to be disciples of the Lord - to learn from and follow his example.

       We can do it!     

                                      Msgr. Joseph M. Corley 


July 29, 2018


       Dear Lord, source of all goodness, mercy, hope and strength, you never stop searching for your lost children.  Hear our prayers for our brothers, sisters and friends who have wandered away from you and your Church, because of their own faults or the failures of others. 

       With the help of your grace enable us, by word and example, to be examples of your love and goodness.  Open their minds, hearts, souls, eyes and ears to your presence in their relationships.  Allow them to feel and know that, saint or sinner, you have always been with them and will always be with them.  Bless them with faith that goes beyond human failure or goodness. 

       We trust in, we have confidence in, your desire that all people find purpose and meaning in life, based on a trust in your immeasurable goodness and providence. 


       On Friday, July 20th, seminarian Roneld St. Louis and I visited Calvary Baptist Church in Chester, PA (1616 West Second St.).

       The Church is like a shrine for me, because it was the place where Dr. King, Jr., preached while he was a seminary student.   Roneld and I were greeted by a sweet woman by the name of Dorothy. She showed us around the Church and allowed us to stand where MLK preached.

       I felt like I was standing in a sacred place.     


Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


July 22, 2018

"We Are the  Miraculous,
the True Wonders of This World"   -  Maya Angelou

 In her poem, “A Brave and Startling Truth”, poet Maya Angelou longs for the day when we come to value making peace over hostility; when children are not saturated with violence and suffering; that human beings should are given more honor and respect; when we realize our hands are to heal, rather then harm. When men and women can live without self pity and fear, then we will understand “we are the miracles, the true wonders of the world.”  
Maya’s poem reminds me of the scene from Chapter 1, (Genesis), when after creating Adam & Eve, God says “This is very good.” Human beings - created in the image of God - are the greatest wonders of all creation.

Respect life!  


Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


July 15, 2018

                                            ARE YOU “ READY? ” 
     In Luke 12:35-40, Jesus using six synonyms, talks about “being ready".  Most people who read Luke 12:35-40 think the Lord is warning us to be prepared, on guard for the arrival of the Lord at death; “the Son of Man will arrive when you least expect it.”   I think Jesus is telling us to be attentive to God as we approach death, and how to “stay awake” to the gifts and challenges of life each day.  

     What does it mean to be “ready” to recognize the Grace of God “in all things” every day?   To be “ready for life” each day means you know life,  faith,  family,  friends and freedom are gifts from God.

     “Ready for life” means you understand that Christian Love requires sacrifice and willingness to change your schedule, routine or comfort to help another person. It means you know all things are possible with God,that the seeds of the resurrection are in all your experiences, and all your experiences can lead to God.

     To be “ready for each day” means your mind, heart, soul, eyes and ears are open to the presence of Grace in your relationships.   How does one become “ready” for life"?  It requires a humble prayer that acknowledges your dependence upon God for life, goodness, mercy, hope and courage.  

     Your humble prayershould include being aware of your own faults; a desire to let faith, hope and love influence your attitude and relationships; trust in divine providence and the ability to see Christ in the wounded and innocent who suffer.   A humble prayer leads to confidence in God’s promises and the Grace to stand up again and again to the challenges of life.  Be ready!        

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


July 8, 2018


       It was the beginning of Summer, June 21st. I was sitting on my favorite bench near 9th Street, on the boardwalk of Ocean City, N.J. - “The Family Capital Ocean Resort in the U.S.A.”.  The weather was perfect: sunny, warm and low humidity.   I sat there watching kids and families as they “walked the boards", bought ice cream, pizza and fries (the seagulls would come from nowhere and steal a fry  from an innocent person, who did not protect his/her food).   Along came a young woman, about 22, pushing another woman with a disability who was in a wheelchair. The young woman stopped, bought ice cream, took a big lick, and then fed it to the person in the chair, who was obviously delighted to taste the treat. The giver laughed and the receiver was happy.   The experience not only caught my eye, it touched my heart, soul and imagination. I saw an act of sharing, sacrificial love and an affirmation of life.

          Friends sharing ice cream on a beautiful day - a revelation of love, and what it means to respect life.      


Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


July 1, 2018


       The Gospel of Matthew (5:1-12) is part of the internationally known and respected “Sermon on the Mount”.  Let’s focus our attention on the first beatitude, “Blessed are the Poor in Spirit, for Theirs is the Kingdom of God”. 

First, keep in mind the word “Blessed” can be interpreted as “Happy.”

Second, when Jesus refers to the “Poor in Spirit”, he is talking about anyone, rich or poor, who is aware of his/her dependence upon God. Third,“for Theirs is the Kingdom of God” means those who acknowledge their dependence upon God,  do God’s will, and have already allowed God to rule their hearts. They give glory to God who is in them.

       How does the Beatitude apply to us?   Matthew wrote the Beatitudes to inspire disciples like us. The Evangelist wanted to turn the reader's attention to the most fundamental virtue of discipleship–humility (another word for being poor in spirit).

       The Sermon on the Mount assures the humble of God’s presence and favor in their struggles.   We live in a culture that admires independence and individualism.  The Gospels, however, praise spiritual dependence  and community life.The Beatitudes are a modern-day Christian’s “Declaration of Dependence” upon God.        

Pray for the virtue of humility, and be “happy” knowing that, like Jesus, you are poor in spirit. 

                             HappyFourthofJuly weekend! 

                             God Bless you!
                             GodBless America!       


Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

July 8, 2018


    It was the beginning of summer, June 21st. I was sitting on my favorite bench near 9th Street, on the boardwalk of Ocean City, N.J. -- “The Family Capital Ocean Resort in the U.S.A”.  The weather was perfect:  sunny, warm and low humidity.   I sat there watching kids and families as they “walked the boards”, bought ice cream, pizza and fries (the seagulls would come from nowhere and steal a fry from an innocent person who did not protect his/her food). 

       Along came a young woman, about 22, pushing another woman with a disability, who was in a wheelchair. The young woman stopped, bought ice cream, took a big lick, and then fed it to the person in the chair, who was obviously delighted to taste the treat. The giver laughed and the receiver was happy.   The experience not only caught my eye, it touched my heart, soul and imagination.  I saw an act of sharing, sacrificial love and an affirmation of life.  Friends sharing ice cream on a beautiful day - a revelation of love and what it means to respect life.                                                Respectfully,           

              Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


June 24, 2018


       A motto expresses a basic principle for life. It can be used as a guide
to all our goals and relationships.

       Here is my eight word motto:  

First, Go Slow.Do not rush through life. Try to avoid multitasking or being too busy to rest, play, pray or smell the roses.  

Second, Stay Cool. In the words of St. Teresa Avila, “Let nothing disturb you.” Don’t let fear, your imagination or anger capture your soul: “All things are passing.” Read ECCL. 3:1-13.  

Third, Be Warm.Love God, your neighbor and yourself. Be kind. Offer words of encouragement. Don’t be afraid to hug a person who needs comfort. Let others feel “safe” around you.  

Fourth, Have Hope. Trust in God’s promises, grace and loving intensions. Don’t be afraid to “experiment with the Gospel.” Do not always look for immediate success.

What is your motto for life?       


Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


June 17, 2018


       On June 8th, our Church directed our attention to the
Sacred Heart of Jesus.  Since “The Sacred Heart of Christ” is my favorite devotion, I’ll share my reflections about the Sacred Heart with you.  I hope they inspire you to contemplate the Heart of the Lord. 
        First,we know what is in a person’s heart by what they say. Jesus spoke about the kingdom of God, the need to repent, God’s love and mercy. He also revealed his heart in parables, the sermon on the Mount and the Lord’s prayer. 
        Second,a person’s heart is expressed in his/her relationships. Jesus loved the common, humble, and spirituality hungry - the outcasts, and the sinners. 
        Third,the attitude of Christ, his consistent values, were made known by his faith in God’s Love and Mercy, his courage and conviction about the Good News and his Love for all who longed to hear his message. His disposition expressed what was in his heart. 
        Fourth, the Heart of Christ was revealed in his desire, his motivation to free people from sin, despair, the power of fear and even the sting of death. 
        Finally, the actions of Jesus; touching the leper, eating with sinners, confronting authority leaders and his sacrificial death on the cross reveal a Sacred Heart in communion with the source of goodness.   Get a picture of the Sacred Heart.

       Contemplate the Heart of Jesus every morning and night.  May the Lord make our hearts like the heart of Jesus.     


Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


June 10, 2018

        Our Church and country have been blessed by a lot of good men who are Fathers. Although some shows on TV make Fathers look immature and unintelligent, every once in a  while we see a good Father image (Blue Bloods).   

       So, how do we recognize a “good” Father?  What qualities, characteristics or virtues are part of a “good enough” dad? Here are some I look for: 

1. Family and Faith come first. 

2. He is at home.  He provides for, protects and encourages   
     his children. 

3. He tells and shows his kids he loves them. 

4. He prays with his family - he is a spiritual leader. He is

5. He makes sacrifices for them but also teaches them to
     appreciate things - to say “thank you”. 

6. He laughs, sets rules and boundaries, and is consistent in

7. He knows how to say I’m sorry. 

8. He loves and honors his wife - and his kids know it
    He practices 1 COR 13:1-13.  

       Be sure to express your respect and love for your Dad as often as possible.  Especially on June 17th.     


Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

June 3, 2018 

WHO SAID IT?  (Answers found below)

1. Who said, “If I were a Catholic and believed Christ was present in Holy Communion, I would crawl on my hands and knees to receive the sacred host.”?

(Pick one: MLK, Jr., Joel Olsen, Dr. Billy Graham, Mahatma Gandhi, Bishop T. Jakes). 

2. Who said, “The hardest thing in life is to be yourself when everyday a thousand other people want you to be somebody else?” (Msgr. Corley, Fr. Kennedy, Larry Doran, Chuck Bradford, Sigmund Freud, E.E. Cummings). 

3. Who said, “Some people are Christ-haunted and others are Christ-centered”?
(Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Robert Frost, St. Ignatius, Flannery O’Conner) 

4. Who said, “To love another person is to see the face of God”? (President Bush, President Obama, President Trump, President Carter, from Les Miserables).  

5. Who said, “Love bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Real love never dies”? (St. Mark, Senator McCann, Stevie Wonder, St. Paul, Sister Rosie). 

6. Who said, “I have discovered my vocation, it is to Love”? (Wendell Berry, Lao Tzo, St. Martha, Cecily Tynan, St. Terese of Lisieux). 

7. Who said, “If you have not prayed or visited a Church in years, there is only one thing you can do - start to pray and go to Church”?

(Governor Rendell, St. Lucy, St. John, Msgr. Corley, St. Teresa of Avila). 

ANSWERS:  1) Gandhi.  2) E.E. Cummings.

3) Flannery O’Conner. 4) Les Miserables.  5) St. Paul.

6) St. Therese.  7) St. Teresa.     

God Bless.     


  Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


May 27, 2018

WHO SAID IT? (Answers found below)

1. Who said, “Love creates life. The greatest gift in life is Love. I believe    God is the source of all Love and Life.”
(Pick one: St. John, Dr. King, Mother Teresa or Stevie Wonder). 

2. Who said, “Love gives us the Freedom to Forgive.”                       
(JFK, President Obama, St. Francis or Maya Angelou).
3. Who said, “You got to serve somebody. It might be the devil or it might be the Lord, but, you gotta serve somebody.”

(Mahatma Gandhi, St. Mark, Natalie Cole or  Bob Dylan).

4. Who said, “We know God has always been with us and will always be with us through Christ the Lord.”

(Pope John Paul, II, Pope Francis,
                             President Bush or Msgr. Corley). 

5. Who said, “The seeds of the Resurrection are in all our experiences.”
(Pope Benedict, Oprah, Jay-z, Jimmy Fallon or Pope Francis). 

6. Who said, “Be as wise as a Serpent and as gentle as a Dove.”

(Jesus, Mother Angelica, President Trump or Senator Pelosi). 

7. Who said, “If  your holiness does not lead you to deeper trust in God and mature Love for others, you need to repent.”

(Msgr. Corley, Fr. Kennedy, Sister Virginia, Sister Rosie or Archbishop Chaput). 

1) Stevie Wonder. 2) Maya Angelou. 3) Bob Dylan.
4) Msgr. Corley. 5) Pope Francis. 6) Jesus. 7) Msgr. Corley.     

God Bless.     


Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


May 20, 2018



       I am fascinated with people who have a “generous Spirit.”
They don’t gossip, blame, make excuses, or seek revenge. Their willingness to help, without pay or public recognition, is attractive. Their willingness to make personal sacrifice for the good of another, without complaint or regret, wins my admiration. Their willingness to help people in need, without investigating the person’s “worthiness,” is an inspiration. Their ability to laugh at their own mistakes is charming. The ease with which they put aside their own interests in order to fulfill another person’s request is amazing.

       Being with a person who has a “generous Spirit” is refreshing. 

       Being with a person who has a “selfish Spiritis tiresome and draining.  

       This weekend we celebrate the Solemnity of the Pentecost, and the mystery of our sharing in the “generous Spirit” of God.  Because the Holy Spirit was in Jesus, and guides our Church, we believe God is our Advocate, who intercedes for our good. We believe God is open-hearted, kind and merciful, patient, and generous in his love for the human race. (Luke 6:27-38, Luke 15, Matthew 5:43-38).  

       As we pray, we ask to remain a Church
                      with a “generous Spirit”.

May the words of God to the Prophet Micah guide our speech and actions!            “I require you to act justly,

                   love kindly                        
                            and walk humbly with the Lord ."
  (Micah 6-8).

God Bless You!



Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


May 13, 2018


       Gertrude T. Corley, born July 8, 1919, died June 10, 2014.
She is my Mother.  It is almost four years since her funeral Mass on June 17, 2014.  Since it is Mother’s Day, let me share some of my memories of her with you.  Maybe they will remind you of your Mother.  

       Gertrude lived through the Depression.  So, she never wasted money or food.  She raised three boys by herself while often working two jobs.  She found grace and courage in life by going to the Marian Devotions in Germantown, Philadelphia  (she would drag me and my brothers on the bus with her).  She spoke with an IHM Sister every month. The Sister gave my Mom support and encouragement. At night, Mom would gather us in her room for family prayer.   As she grew older, she lived in the Philadelphia Protestant Home for 12 years, (I recommend it).  She wanted me to wear my Priest clothes when I visited, because she liked to “show me off” to her friends.  

       When I think of her, I have a few regrets but more joys. 
I regret not spending more time with her at the nursing home. 
I’m sorry I did not appreciate how hard it was for her to raise three kids by herself. 
It saddens me knowing I was not with her when she died.  

                                          I remember with joy:

1)  My Mother taught me how to dance.

2)  She was the only one I wanted to be with when I felt down.

3)  She let me use her car when I went on a date.

4)  She would tell me, in a nice way, “you are putting on too much weight.”       I said the same to her and we would laugh.

5)  In my office, I have her picture, our family cross, and the rosary she   
     had in her hand when she died.

6)  I have her engagement ring attached to the chalice I use for Mass every       day.

7)  Her death has enabled me to be more sensitive when helping a person           who has lost a loved one.  

                              Gertrude T. Corley deserves to rest in peace
                                          and enjoy the presence of God.  

                                       Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!   

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley



IN THE RISING of the sun, and in its going down, we remember them.  From the moment I wake till I fall asleep, all that I do is remember them. In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter, we remember them.  On the frigid days of winter and the moments I breathe the cold air, I warm myself with their embrace, and remember them.
In the opening of buds and in the rebirth of spring, we remember them
As the days grow longer and the outside becomes warmer, I am more awake and I remember them.
In the blueness of the sky and in the warmth of summer, we remember them. 

When I look above and see the images of the clouds and when I am comforted by the sun that shines down on me, I remember them.

In the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of autumn, we remember them. 

From the time in which I feel the cool, crisp breeze and see the colors of the leaves, I remember them.

In the beginning of the year and when it ends, we remember them. 

On the day I make resolutions for myself and on the day I reflect upon how I’ve grown, I remember them.

When we are weary and in need of strength, we remember them. 

As I am faced with challenges that enter my life, I remember all that they taught me, and remember them.

When we are lost and sick at heart, we remember them. 

When I have gone astray and feel uncomfortable, I ask for help and remember them.

When we have joys we yearn to share, we remember them. 

From those times of celebration, love, and happiness, I remember them.

So long as they live, we, too, shall live, for they are now a part of us, as we remember them. 

On every day, and in every way, I know that they are with me and
I remember them


May 6, 2018  


      Last week I attended the “ongoing formation program” for priests in the Archdiocese. Below are the major themes I took away from the talks: 

     1. The Archbishop encouraged the priests to defend the traditional                       teaching about marriage; stress it as a sacrament: the “goods” of        
         marriage include loving commitment and the procreation of         
the importance of supporting families and family life.   
         (BVM does this via school and social programs)
     2. One presenter reminded us that faith tells us a sexual relationship 
          requires the desire to have children.   

   3.  Another guest described how our culture, more and more, does not    
         support traditional marriage. 

     4. A husband and wife team talked about being responsible Christian
and the energy needed to raise children in a “post Christian”
They covered negative effects of social media. 

      5. The last conference focused on listening to and “walking with young
as they try to find their way in life.   As an aside, all the 
         priests I spoke with expressed love and admiration for parents and   
        married couples.
Priests know it can be hard to persevere in love and commitment - to grow in unselfishness.  
During the Easter Season, I promise to do my best to support all our parishioners and families as  we walk through life together in faith, hope and love.     


Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

April 29, 2018

T H E  C O M F O R T I N G  P O W E R  O F  T H E  H O L Y  SPIRIT 

Comfort: To strengthen, give hope, ease another’s grief, console. 

           Power:    To act or influence , to control or exercise authority,
                                      the ability to persuade orMARRIAGE AND FAMILY LIFE   Last week I attended the “ongoing formation program” for priests in the Archdiocese. Below are the major themes I took away from the talks:  1. The Archbishop encouraged the priests to defend the traditional teaching about marriage; stress it as a sacrament: the “goods” of marriage include loving commitment and the procreation of children; the importance of supporting families and family life. (BVM does this via school and social programs).  2. One presenter reminded us that faith tells us a sexual relationship requires the desire to have children.  3. Another guest described how our culture, more and more, does not support traditional marriage.  4. A husband and wife team talked about being responsible Christian parents and the energy needed to raise children in a “post Christian” environment. They covered negative effects of social media.  5. The last conference focused on listening to and “walking with young adults” as they try to find their way in life.   As an aside, all the priests I spoke with expressed love and admiration for parents and married couples. Priests know it can be hard to persevere in love and commitment - to grow in unselfishness.   During the Easter Season, I promise to do my best to support all our parishioners and families as we walk through life together in faith, hope and love.      Respectfully,      Msgr. Joseph M. Corley motivate. 
Come Holy Spirit, rekindle in us the fires of faith, hope and love. 
Come Holy Spirit, dwell in the hearts of all who have experienced any kind of loss this year. 
Come Holy Spirit, strengthen parents, care-givers, those in recovery, the troubled, sick, abandoned and those locked in fear of any kind. 
Come Holy Spirit, guide us in the truth about ourselves, others and Jesus.  Come Holy Spirit, heal the memories of those stuck in the past and the anxieties of those worried about the future. 
Come Holy Spirit, great comforter and consoler, influence what we say and how we treat each other. Motivate us to walk together through life confident you are always with us - drawing us into communion around the Life, Death and Resurrection of the Lord.     


Msgr.  Joseph M. Corley


April 22, 2018


HOLY SPIRIT:   At the dawn of creation you moved over the waters;
continue to move through and renew all of us.  

You overshadowed Mary;
overshadow our memories and imaginations,
our minds and hearts, souls and wills.

You were with John and Jesus in the desert;
give us spiritual leaders with conviction and courage. 
Guide us in the truth about you, ourselves and life itself. 
May your truth set us free. 
May we never sin against you by preventing what is good or denying the grace of the Father’s mercy. 

You come to us in a thousand different ways; 
open our eyes and hearts to your saving presence; help us surrender to the mystery of the Father’s goodness.
It is you who turns our thoughts to justice and peace.

You have the power to reconcile those who are separated. 

You put an end to hatred,

change our fears to courage, and restore our lost innocence. 
You inspire the Word and our sacraments; inspire our words and actions. 
Keep us in communion with
Francis, Charles, Mary and the Apostles,
the Saints and each other.  


Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


April 15, 2018


     Since Easter, the scriptures have described the workings of the Holy Spirit upon the followers of Jesus. They teach us the Holy Spirit brings us life, freedom, truth and grace - the Holy Spirit leads us to repentance and renewal.

     Allow me to give a few examples how the Holy Spirit works in our lives.  

     First, the Holy Spirit works through Doctors, Nurses and Scientists as they discover treatments and cures for the sick. The Holy Spirit works through family and friends who support each other in good times and bad, sickness and health, regrets and achievements.  

     Second, the Holy Spirit is at work when a person with an addiction accepts each step of the 12 Step Program to recovery.  

     Third, the Holy Spirit is at work when our thoughts turn from prejudice to respect, war to peace, vengeance to mercy, fear to courage, injustice to justice, hardness of heart to compassion, selfishness to generosity, despair to hope, anxiety to faith, slavery to freedom, isolation to intimacy, stagnation to renewal, defensiveness to repentance, deception to truth, and from illusion to reality.  

      Fourth, whenever our thoughts turn to God the Father or Son, whenever we cry out to God in sorrow, the Holy Spirit is stirring in our hearts.  The Holy Spirit is at work as we develop, discover and share our individual talents for the common good of the Church. The Spirit helps us grow in wisdom as we go through difficulties. 

     “Come Holy Ghost, creator blest, and in our hearts take up thy rest: Come with thy grace and heavenly aid to fill the hearts which thou hast made.”    


Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


April 8, 2018


The Resurrection of Christ
is God’s approval of his Son’s life and sacrificial death.

After he was raised from the dead, Jesus appeared: 

1. In the gardento restore the peace and the right relationships                   
with God and others that were lost by Adam and Eve. 

2. On the road to Emmaus:  we are reminded that God is always with us - even when we do not recognize God’s presence. 

3. He was with the Apostles and Mary                                                                       
in the upper room when they were afraid.
He offered them Peace and a new way of looking
at life through the Holy Spirit. 

4. When he prepared fish for them to eat,                                                                 
he reminded them that he would be with them
when they shared food in his name.  

May the Holy Spirit help us to experience the Peace and Courage
that comes from faith.

May we recognize the presence of God’s grace when it appears.     

Happy Easter!     

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018


       One year after my friend’s husband died, she asked me,                                   “What does resurrection mean?”
After a few minutes I said: “It means you stand up again.

It means your soul,  your full personality exists in a new way.

It means you are in a timeless communion withthe source of all goodness.

It means you are in the eternal flow of surprise, wonder,  joy and gratitude.

It means you give thanks for the love and life you shared with others because death has lost its sting,

     and you know In your heart

          life does not endit changes
            like a worm into a butterfly, or a seed into a tree.” 
                   "THE RESURRECTION MAN IS HERE” 

The Resurrection Man is here! 
Hang a sign on the tomb that says “empty.”
Open your eyes, smell the flowers, drop your crutches.
Take off your shoes,  Laugh at your demons and  jump into the river of life!  Anoint your hair with oil.  Put on new clothes.  Light a fire, fry some fish,  bake some bread, pour lots of wine,  pass the macaroni & cheese,  join us at the victory table!  Time to celebrate  - the departed have arrived.  Promenade with the universe.  Swing your partner,  stomp, shimmy, Merengue,  Rumba with the saints.  Polka with the poor,  jitterbug with the just,  samba with sinners
and cha-cha with Church ladies.     

                                        Get up and dance!

Stand up and joyfully shout,  
“The Resurrection Man is here!” 


Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


March 25, 2018


      This week we gather in faith to remember and celebrate the Lord’s entrance into Jerusalem, His Last Supper, His death on the cross and His glorious Resurrection. The Church encourages us to see these great events in the life of Christ, “the Paschal Mystery”, as a guide, a map or spiritual principles for our own lives.  

     Our participation in these sacred revelations about God, our lives and relationships is a heartfelt “Amen” to Jesus as the image of God’s mercy and love on earth. So, let me share some images from this Holy Week that express our basic spiritual beliefs about God, humanity and the Church: 
 Palm Sunday: Jesus is the man with conviction, confidence and courage. Although He is “troubled”, He will not change His message.  We are fickle: we accept the Lord one day and reject Him the next.  We are like a piece of palm blowing in the wind. 
Holy Thursday:The Archbishop blesses the Holy Oils. We are reminded that faith in Christ heals our troubled hearts. The Holy Spirit guides the Church to be an instrument of healing. 
 Holy Thursday Evening: Christ washes the feet of His disciples and calls His closet followers to “do this in remembrance of me”. The Church is called to sacrificial service. 
 Good Friday: The cross becomes the sign of  love  and spiritual power that Christians embrace when turning from darkness to the light.  Judas rejected the Lord, and Peter denied him, but found new life through repentance. 
Easter Vigil:The Easter candle reminds us Christ is the Light of the World. Faith in the mercy and goodness of God overcomes the darkness of sin, despair and death itself.

                     “Lord by Your cross and resurrection

                                  You have set us all free."

                                           Praise God!

                          Alleluia!   Alleluia!   Alleluia!        


                             Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


March 18, 2018

          “ B E C A U S E  Y O U  A R E  N E I T H E R  C O L D  O R  H O T , 
                   B U T  L U KE  W A R M,  I  W I L L  S P I T  Y O U 
                          O U T  O F  M Y  MOUTH ” (REV. 3:15-17)

Sister Suzanne, I.H.M., PhD, Neumann University, spoke here on March 1st, her theme was “Deliver us from Indifference.”
     Some words to describe “Indifference” include:  not caring, neither good nor bad, unimportant, apathetic, or a person who does not care about morality, religion or politics.  

     Jesus may have been upset with the Pharisees and angry with the money changers in the Temple, but in the book of Revelations, St. John says, “God thinks less of people who are indifferent.”  

     As a Catholic Christian, I pray I am not indifferent to the gift of life, to the grace of God, to the harm done by drugs and alcohol, to people being abused, to racism, to lies, or to people in need of medical treatment, shelter,  food, hope, kindness and mercy.  

     How about you?  Are you indifferent about things that really matter?  Are you “neither hot or cold” about the teaching of Jesus - to the mystery of his life, death and resurrection?      

    God is not indifferent to us.

     We should not be indifferent to each other.     


Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


March 11, 2018


     Last week, during the weekend Mass, I asked if anyone had a “word” for Church or God. One woman’s word was “Redemption”.   The biblical meaning of  “Redemption”  has something to do with buying back a person (family member or slave).
     In the New Testament, it was used to describe how the death and resurrection of Christ “paid the price”  for our sins.
    Our Liturgy reminds us we are “saved” by faith in the cross.  

     Allow me in the form of a prayer to connect the word “Redemption” with some serious and harmful matters in our own time that enslave us in darkness and lead to despair: 
Dear Lord, 

     Redeem our nation from the harmful effects of violence, illegal drugs, pornography, racism and outdated immigration policies. 

     Redeem us from pride, anger, greed, lust, envy, gluttony and sloth.

     Redeem whatever is in our minds and hearts that prevent us from recognizing the power of your grace in this life.           
     Redeem us from the worship of false gods, from exceptionalism, indifference, fake news and hard hearts. 
     Redeem us from our sins and the temptations that lead our souls to the darkness of despair.     

     We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, your Son, Our Lord.     


                                   Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


March 4, 2018


     During Lent we pray to be delivered from all evil.  Two evils that prevent us from being thankful for life and God
are fear and despair.   In the New Testament Jesus says,“Fear is useless, what is needed is trust,” and “do not let your hearts be troubled.” 

      Jesus knew how our fears, connected to loss or any “anticipated danger”, could prevent us from the freedom and joy that lead to gratefulness.

     What are your fears?  Are they real or imagined? Do you believe St. John, who said “Love (God’s) casts out all fear?”   Despair is giving up. It is living without hope or encouragement (think of poor Judas).  Now think of St. Peter, who when drowning did not give up, but reached out in hope to be saved by Jesus

     All of us go through “Dark Knights of the Soul,” and discouragement.  When discouraged, pray to be delivered from despair.  Ask for the grace of Hope and Confidence in God’s Providence.

     Remember, God who has always been with you and will always be with you.     

     God Bless.     


Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


February 25, 2018

“ W H A T  P R O F I T  D O E S  H E  S H O W 


A reflection on some of the things that can destroy our souls: 
1.  Being dominated by fear rather than  fortitude. 
Waiting for approval of those who think pleasure and comfort should be      the guiding motivations in our lives. 

3.  Opting for convenient and comfortable lies rather than the truth

4.  Not asking for the grace that leads us out of the temptations to
      anger, lust, greed, pride, envy, gluttony and indifference.

5.  Sins of Omission: we remain silent when we are sure something is         
     unfair, wrong or hurting others. 

6.  Not giving proper time and attention to prayer, friends,
     exercise and laughter. 

7.  Clinging to vengeance, resentment and hate

8.  Accepting constant abuse. 

9.  Falling from idealism to despair, because of your own denial or    
      inability to accept reality. 

10.  Not being able to trust one good person with what is going on in
       your mind, heart and soul. 

              The Lord continues to call us to REPENT
                               - to change our thoughts and actions.
When we
put faith, hope and love over despair, mistrust and violence,
we help to
build up the Kingdom of God.      


Msgr. Joseph M. Corley

February 18, 2018


     A few years ago I watched a documentary on TV about a summer basketball league in NY City. The show explained that each week a different professional B-Ball player visited the league, and played on a team for one game with the purpose of attracting more people (and donations) to the league.   The game I saw focused on an NBA player, (I forget his name) who had the right touch as he made seven three-point shots in a row. At the end of the game all the folks in the stands ran on to the court.  Each person wanted to touch “the man with the hot hand” to congratulate him or share in his “power.” 

      In the Gospels, Jesus touches  and heals people who are ill or possessed by demons. People in the Gospels, like the folks who wanted to touch the B-Ball player, wanted to touch Jesus to be healed by his spiritual power (MK 5:21-43).  

     Lent is good for our souls.It can be a time to repent and to heal. By regular prayer and making sacrifices for others we can get in touch with the spirit of Jesus, and bring more Gospel goodness to our relationships and communities.      

     Another way to feel the power of Christ is to participate in our Lenten Program on Wednesday nights (Feb. 21 - March 21st). You will be touched by the power of God’s grace as you join with your brothers and sisters in faith.       God bless!     


Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


February 11,2018

                    HEALING THE WOUNDS OF CHRIST  
       Let me begin by acknowledging that faith tells me the spark of divinity is in every soul, since every wounded human being is created in the image of God and worthy of respect, if you accept the words of Jesus, who said when we help the needy or wounded, we are helping to heal him.  

       Who are the wounded who reveal the pierced heart, hands and feet of Christ? 

1.  Whenever we reach out to the sick, we heal the wounds of Jesus.  2.  Whenever we show compassion to the poor,welcome the       
      stranger, provide clothes or housing to the stranger,
we heal
    the wounds of Christ. 

3.  Whenever we sit beside a lonely person or listen to the cries of a
  person who is suffering, we heal the wounds of Christ. 

4.  Whenever we forgive, or whenever we refuse to throw a stone,  
we heal the wounds of Jesus.   When we help people, who have    
      been wounded by life,
we help to heal the wounds of Christ, who
      continues to live in them.

Our world needs more people who heal.

Msgr. Joseph M. Corley



     An Impressionist Artist is interested in seeing theeffects of sunlight on an object - often something outside like a bridge, tree, building, river or haystack.

     An Impressionist tries to capture how the same object looks different through the day or seasons,depending on the time and amount of light. You might say he or she isalways looking for or noticing the changing effects of light on objects.  

     Jesus said “I am the Light of the World,” and “Let your Light Shine before all.” St. Paul saw a “Flash of Light”at the time of his conversion to Christ.  

     Allowingthe word “Light” in the New Testament to signify
the presence or grace of Christ
I pray that all of us are blessed to see, (like St. Paul),
look for, notice or discern the Light of Grace in our relationships.  I pray we learn to be like an Impressionist Artist recognizing and appreciating the effects of Light (Grace) throughout the days, changes and  of our lives.     

                     Msgr. Joseph M. Corle

January 28, 2018 



   While in a popular diner with two friends, I noticed two young adults (male and female) lead a group of eight persons with disabilities to a table near us.

    Their waitress was sweet as she and the young adults helped the eight order their food.

     When the food arrived, they ate, laughed and enjoyed a night out.

     When they got up to leave, each one thanked the waitress with a hug or shook her hand.  The experience was life affirming.

    When we share communion at Mass, in one way or another, everyone has some spiritual or emotional disability, and God welcomes us like that  sweet waitress welcomed the Holy Eight.


                                         Msgr. Joseph M. Corley



January 21, 2018


The other day I visited a woman in our parish who was in a nursing rehab center.  She has been in and out of the hospitals for months.   After we talked and prayed together,  I asked how her husband was doing (the last time I saw him he looked tired).  She answered, “He has been great.  He visits me twice a day.”  As I left her room and walked to my car, I          thought of the sacramental vows people make, when they are married in Church before God,  family and friends.                                                                  

        When the woman and her husband were married, they promised to love each other, “in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health”.    With the help of grace they were keeping their sacred promises,
and inspiring me to keep my promises.                                                                 


 Msgr. Joseph M. Corley     


Jauary 14, 2018


     Why do I admire Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?   

     First, like the Old Testament prophets, Dr, King interpreted the political, cultural, religious and economic situations of his times through the eyes of faith. 

        Second, Dr. King spoke with authority. He had confidence in the power of God and non-violence. Every time I hear his sermon on the “Drum Major Instinct”or his “I have a dream” speech, I hear the bell of truth ring in my ears, heart and soul. We should never forget his desire to see the day when his children would be “judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.” 

             Third, like many martyrs before him, he was willing to pay the      price for putting faith into action. He was jailed, stabbed and slandered. The FBI used various “dirty tricks” to decrease his credibility and  popularity in the USA. The same FBI lied about Rev. King and Catholic priests who protested the war in Vietnam. Despite numerous threats on his life, which made him nauseous before public appearances, Dr. King did not stop his protests against injustice.   I don't think Martin Luther King was perfect – nobody is. I do however, think he was an outstanding man, worthy of respect and ongoing admiration. I do not honor him because he was an African American – though being black, a preacher and a voice for the oppressed, increased the number of those who rejected him and his message. I honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. because of his faith, vision, courage, commitment and non-violence. His style of preaching and social action has influenced a generation of ministers and priests.                             Fourth, in a time when violence is an accepted response to the
slightest frustration; in an age of apathy, confusion and selfishness; in a time when vice is given more attention than virtue and the sacred is often mocked; when racism, prejudice and hate mark the identity of the ignorant; when teens are saturated with vulgarity and amused by the immaturity of some parents, celebrities, politicians and religious types; when there is a general mistrust of authority figures; when our nation desperately needs leaders with character, compassion and courage,
it is smart and good for our country to

remember the life, message, methods and sacrifices
of a leader and American hero -

The late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.       


Msgr. Joseph M. Corley 


January 7, 2018

- B U T -



Here are the reasons I was disappointed thatnot one public official from beautiful Darby, PAcalled to give BVM a “heads up” about the possibility of a Charter School, which would effect our school, coming into the borough.

1. BVM Parish and School have been loyal and committed to the                            community for over 100 years. 

2. For 100 years our doors, programs, schools, food and all of our services       have been open to people in need, Catholic or non-Catholic. 

3. BVM Parish School has saved the borough millions and millions of                  dollars over its 100 years of teaching children from all faiths and                    backgrounds. 

4. BVM Church has contributed to the common good of the community

     and its institutions. If we thought our Church and School would close,         we (out of respect and caring for the future well being of Darby), would       notify our Public Officials so they could prepare for the future. 

5. A good community is a community where people and institutions                    support each other, work for the common good, provide safe streets,              good education and opportunities for people to achieve. All this takes            the hard work of communication; a communication based on mutual           trust, respect and concern for it’s future.

     I’m disappointed, BUT... I’m not changing my faith 
      in the good people of  beautiful Darby, PA.    
Communication will always be the key to our success.     


Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


December 31, 2017


Every New Year’s Eve, for the last 44 years,

I have attended Mass in a Church at Midnight.

New Year’s Eve is sacred to me, because it is a night for reflection,anticipation and spiritual surrender to the mystery of God’s mercy
and loving kindness revealed in Jesus, the Son of Man.  
New Year’s Eve is a silent night of reflection for me.

I use it to review the past year with its joys,

disappointments, surprises and foolish worries.

It is a time to think back with gratitude for the good people I have met, and the good things our parish has accomplished.  

New Year’s Eve is also a time when I pray for the grace

to anticipate the coming year with deeper faith, hope and love

for God, family, friends, staff and parish.

I ask for the grace to do God’s will in the months to come

and not be tempted by anger or despair.  

I love being with a congregation on New Year’s Eve for Mass.

It is another opportunity for me to be with like-minded and like-hearted people, as we humbly and sincerely surrender our lives to God.

It is during Mass I share in the journey of faith with all who are gathered to share sacred time, place and the new Covenant.

We are like the Shepherds, who were awake during the night

watching their flocks, when an angel of the Lord appeared to them. Though shaken, they believed and found Jesus with Joseph and Mary.   Like Mary, who did not always understand

how God would work in her life, let us say “yes” to the voice of God

and the miracle of life itself.

All the best to you and your loved ones in 2018.     


Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


December 24, 2017


When we were kids, two days before Christmas, my mother would drag me and my two brothers to the Penn Fruit store

that was about five blocks from home.

We went to buy a Christmas tree.

If there was snow on the ground,

we took a sled in order to tie the tree to it.  

Once we arrived home, untied the tree

and carried it into the living room, war broke out.

My mother would try to referee, as we argued

about how to set the tree in the stand, where to place the tree,

the amount of tinsel to use, what kind of lights we would hang

and the proper placement of Christmas ornaments.  

As the years passed, my brothers got married, and I was in the seminary. Mom bought a “new artificial tree” (I like real trees - sorry environmentalists) that she put up with the help of our neighbors.

She would wait for me to come home before setting up the nativity scene.   One thing never changes about the Corley Christmas tree ritual:
the last two things to complete the project included putting the star on topof the tree and arranging the manger scene at the bottom of the tree.

The nativity scene continues to capture my attention,

stir my imagination

and brings joy to my heart.

I cherish the hope and grace the mystery of Christmas

brings to the world each year.     


Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


December 17, 2017

WhatI WantforChristmas
 This Third Sunday of Advent I find myself waiting
to celebrate the beauty , joy, hope and wonder that comes
with every Christmas chance to renew my trust in God,
who became a human being in Jesus Christ, born of Mother Mary.  
As I wait,I pray  for the renewal of heart.                                                          
As I wait, I seek the grace to forgive old injuries and to grow in virtue.
As I wait, I prepare for the grace to be free          
of past failures and future anxiety.
As I wait,I look for the light of peace, kindness and honesty                     
in others and in myself.
With the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I wait in joyful hope.  
I know what I want for Christmas!
I want to receive and share the grace of reconciliation.                               
I want the courage of John the Baptist.                                                               
I want the destiny of the Magi, the dreams of Joseph, the joy of the         Shepherds and the Spirit that overshadowed Mary.
I want the Beatitudes to be my “declaration of dependence upon God.” 
I want the wisdom to honor:
the sacrifice of parents, the fortitude of the widowed, the innocence of children, the wisdom of the elderly, the restlessness of teens, the inner strength of the single, the hope of the engaged, the recovery of the addicted, the commitment, love and fidelity of the married, the gentleness of religious and priests, the compassion of care-givers,
the generosity of volunteers, and the dedication of teachers.  
This week my eyes
search again(like the first time my Mother took me to see the Nativity scene in St. William’s Church, 1950)for the Baby Jesus.
I search, because
I know He is my light and hope.  
Have a blessed Christmas for2017!
Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


December 10, 2017


“Little Drummer Boy” is one of my favorite Christmas songs.
It is about a little poor boy who is called to provide a gift for the newborn King (Jesus).   Since he does not own any fine gifts to bring the infant,
he asks Mary for permission to play his drum for the baby. 
Mary says “yes,” he plays and the child smiles at him. 
The song is about humility.  
Before God we are “poor” little boys and girls. We lack any fine gifts to bring to Jesus except humility, trust, hope and love.  
During Advent remember, and tell your children,
Jesus is God’s Christmas gift to us.
Our response of faith and love for others, is our little gift to God.


Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


December 3, 2017

This First Sunday of Advent we light one candle in Church
to remind us to prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus the Lord.
This busy time of the year does not allow much time to get our
souls ready to rejoice at the birth of Jesus.
For too many people, the real happiness of the season is
determined by how much they didn't spend, and how many
gifts they remembered to buy.
“Peace finally comes to us when Christmas is over and we can rest

we are challenged, not to miss the reason for the season.
Here are three easy suggestions that might help you.
Be on guard”
so you don’t fall asleep from exhaustion, but
"stay awake”
to experience the good news of God revealing His love and mercy
for us through Christ, the Lord.
First, take time to pray.                                                     
Take a few minutes every morning, noon and night to reflect upon your life.

Ask the Holy Spirit to help you remember how faith helped you cope in difficult times.  

Second, take time to reflect each day.                        
Ask the
Holy Spirit to help you remember the good people

who have had a positive influence in your life - people who have loved,
corrected, encouraged and forgiven you.
People who taught you about God.
Third,  take time to be amazed.                                      
Take a few seconds every day, and allow yourself to be captured by
the beauty and wonder of creation. Think of what most attracts you to Jesus.
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you “see”
the times God’s grace has made you grateful to be alive.
As we grow older, we have to acknowledge we may not have
many more Advents to properly prepare our souls
to appreciate what the birth of Christ means for us and the world.
Don’t let this season pass by 

without giving praise to God for the birth of Jesus, our Savior.
Msgr. Joseph M. Corley


November 26, 2017


This weekend we celebrate the Solemnity of “Christ the King”.

We remember the spiritual power of Jesus extends beyond regional boundaries
and rules the hearts of those who follow Him.

Here are some of the reasons why Christ is the King of our hearts.

Jesus is King, because the integrity of His life encourages us to trust Him

and the Father’s goodness.      

  Christ is King, because He revealed what God is like and how human beings

should respond to God.

Christ is King, because He searched out sinners and ate with them.                
                    Christ is King, because he had pity and compassion on the crowds, wept at the death of loved ones, and refreshed all those who were weary and found life burdensome.

                 Christ is King, because He did not allow fear or anxiety to rule His life.  He                  strengthened the weak, forgave sinners, welcomed the outcasts,
and connected love of God with love for human beings. 

Christ is King, because He challenged us to reject pride, anger, lust, greed,
laziness, envy, hypocrisy and empty rituals.

           Christ is King, because He knew the complexity of the human heart,                        
could not be brought by money, confronted shallow religious and political leaders,
and was not impressed by a person's education, role, status, or material possessions.

        Christ is King, because he taught the Beatitudes, and gave us                                 
         Parables about the Father’s love and mercy. 
                       Christ is King, because faith in and like Him can change hearts, minds and souls.        
Christ is King, because he was raised from the dead,                                            
and sent His disciples the Holy Spirit.          

     Christ is King, because of His mature, sacrificial love for God and humanity.
   Christ is King, because for 2000 years His amazing grace has been revealed
in political and religious leaders, men and women, the rich and poor,
married and single, young and old,
and those recovering from loss, addictions and despair.

                 Christ is still King and will always be,                 
because His life, death and resurrection continues to provide
meaning, purpose and direction to people all over the world.
               Christ is King, because when we hear His Word and meet Him in the Sacraments,
we discover who we are, why we were created,
where we are going and what is important.

      Christ is King,

“through Him, with Him and in Him” we find
peace, hope and a reason to “lift up our hearts”
in gratitude to God, our Father.

God bless you.


Msgr.  Joseph M. Corley


November 19, 2017

"God Likes Humble"

In or out of the Reconciliation room most of us do not enjoy acknowledging our sins, but we need to remember God always embraces those who are humble.

To begin, I will explain what a humble person knows:
He knows that he is not God.

• He is a creature who will not always understand God’s ways.
• A humble person knows he, like every other person, can be a saint and a sinner.
• A humble person is not superior or inferior to others.

The gospel offers us several examples that reveal God likes humble people.

First,      in Luke Chapter 5, after Peter humbles himself before Jesus, he is called to follow the Lord.

Second,        in Luke Chapter 15, the loving father welcomes his humble son upon his return in the story of the Prodigal Son.

Third,      Luke 16:19–31, the story of the poor man, Lazarus,                     
starving outside of the home of the rich man.
The humble poor man is taken to God  
and the selfish rich man is not.

Fourth,                Luke Chapter 18, the story about the self-righteous Pharisee               
and the tax collector; teaches us that God prefers
the humble man who can admit his faults.

As disciples of Jesus, who humbled himself in obedience to God, we are always learning how to put the virtue of humility into practice. It is good to remember that pride can lead to separation from God, who favors those who are humble. Respectfully,

Rev. Joseph M. Corley  


November 12, 2017


from the album Celebrate Life

In remembrance of Me eat this bread

In remembrance of Me drink this wine

In remembrance of Me pray for the time

When God's own will is done

In remembrance of me heal the sick

In remembrance of me feed the poor

In remembrance of me open the door 

And let your brother in, let him in

Take eat and be comforted

Drink and remember too

That this is my body and precious blood

Shed for you, shed for you

In remembrance of me search for truth 

In remembrance of me always love

In remembrance of me don't look above

But in your heart, in your heart

Look in your heart for God

Do this in remembrance of Me

Do this in remembrance of Me

In remembrance of Me 

Rev. Joseph M. Corley 


November 5, 2017



Everyone wants to be happy. 
Some find it in material possessions or physical comfort (a house, good car, and fine foods). Others find happiness in having friends and belonging to groups.  Lots of people enjoy being able to pursue their own interests or hobbies. 
St. Augustine (born in North Africa) said happiness involved
 three things:
First,  Augustine said you need a clean and honest conscience before God. That is, you have some confidence that you have done your best to be a good person, and if you failed, you humbly repent
with trust in God’s mercy.  
Second, you must have a heart as pure as possible.                                                 This means you do your best not to speak, act or dwell on negative, cynical, pessimistic or heard-hearted thoughts. 

 Third, you persevere in faith, hope and love.                                                            

If you do all three, according to St. Augustine,

you will find inner peace and spiritual happiness.     


Rev. Joseph M. Corley


October 29, 2017


1. He believed in Providence and wanted us to do the same.                           
By Providence I mean trusting that God wants what is best for us and goodness will overcome corruption. 

2. The BEATITUDES (MT. 5-7), Jesus expected his followers to persevere, to be better then those who only cared about externals – e.g., money, status and empty rituals. 

3. He wanted us to recognizehim in the poor and needy (MT. 25).                

4. He wanted us to reject religious leaders and religions who did not help  or encourage people (MT.23). 

5. He believed the Kingdom of God existed in the hearts of individuals here on earth as well as in heaven (Luke 17:21), and God’s grace was offered to all (MT.5:43-48). 

6. He came to fulfill the Old Testament Law and promise of God (MT.            5:17). 

7. He said Marriage was a sacred bond - “Two become one”.                            

8. He used parables to get people to think and to teach a new way of            looking at experiences (LK. 14). 

9. He stressed the Mercy of God (LK. 5&7).                                                               

10. He believed that our souls replaced the Old Testament’s purpose of the temple. 

11. He was against murder and violence (MT. 5:21-24).                                        

12. He believed in the power of God’s Love, Mercy and Grace. He had             confidence and Faith in the Resurrection of the dead.  I suggest that all of us who struggle “to have the mind of Christ”, meditate on the twelve things Jesus cared about most.



      For some of us dark memories and fears from the past
continue to haunt, to possess our minds, hearts, souls and wills. 
Evil spirits and negative experiences from our youth determine the way we look at life, others, ourselves and God revealed in Jesus.   
     Halloween should be a joyful, fun-filled celebration of the divine victory over all the things that scare us in life - including sin, despair
and death itself. 


Rev. Joseph M. Corley


Blessed Virgin Mary Church

      1101 Main Street                                                                                          Rectory   610-583-2128
      Darby, Pa   19023-1407                                                                                     Fax          610-583-9829