May 26, 2019

Twelve Gates to the City (What Really Matters, IX

[The Angel] showed me Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down out of heaven from God… Its wall was of a great height and had twelve gates… — Rev. 21:10ff, today’s second reading The description goes on: city walls of diamond, streets of gold, foundations of precious stones…  A city that’s […]
December 16, 2018

Our Pagan Culture and Its Gods V: Bacchus

Bacchus is the Roman god of wine, of abandon, and of freedom from restraint.  (His Greek counterpart is Dionysius.) Traditionally Bacchus was presented as offering wine, music, and ecstatic dance that freed his followers from the limits of daily life.  Is this sounding familiar?
December 9, 2018

Our Pagan Culture and Its Gods IV: Aphrodite

Aphrodite (Venus in the Roman pantheon) is the goddess of erotic love and sexual desire.  This is a good and a necessary, God-created, part of our humanity. As with most instincts, it’s a good servant of human flourishing, but it makes a poor master.  Are there people around us today […]
December 2, 2018

Our Pagan Culture and Its Gods III: Mammon

It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God. Jesus in the Gospel, Mk 10:25 Architecture can tell us a lot.  If you think of a cityscape in cultures that existed before (or […]
November 25, 2018

Our Pagan Culture and Its Gods II: Mars

The pagan culture into which Christianity was born had a “god” for every aspect of life.  They were worshipped, in addition to their individual shrines, in structures like the Pantheon (literally: all the gods) in Rome, which we may have seen in our travels.  But the real worship of any […]
November 18, 2018

Our Pagan Culture and Its Gods I: Moloch

As our political, church, and cultural life continues to become more toxic by the day, it may be useful to think about our situation in a very traditional religious context: Our root problem is idolatry.   (There’s a reason that the warning against idolatry is in the first of the Ten […]
November 11, 2018

For Those Who Haven’t Heard

At the Masses last weekend, in my State of the Parish Report, I announced that Bishop Barres has accepted my request to retire as pastor here effective June 2019.  I believe that the mission of the parish – to change lives through the Risen Christ – can be well-served in […]
November 4, 2018

The State of Our Parish – 2018

There‘s more to be said than I have time for in my State of the Parish Report from the pulpit this week.  Here I want to address briefly two threads that connect us to the larger church and culture; we have to remember that we don’t live in a vacuum.
October 28, 2018

Saints and Souls – II

Friday is All Souls’ Day so let’s talk about Purgatory.  Start with a story. Some years ago I walked into a wake service to preside and, since I didn’t know the deceased, looked for a family member to give me a bit of background.  One of the sons came up […]
October 21, 2018

Saints and Souls – I

A week from Thursday is All Saints’ Day, and the day after is All Souls’.  So I want to use these two weeks’ columns to write about the Communion of Saints.