April 14, 2019

Regular Ritual Practice (What Really Matters – IV)

This being Palm Sunday I anticipate that many of you reading this don’t come to Mass every week but are here because it’s a special day.  First, welcome! Second, I’d like to invite you to think with me about the importance of church ritual.  (Yes, this is an “ad” for […]
August 26, 2018

Physicians in a Time of Plague

(I’m writing this two days after the release of the grand jury report on clergy sex abuse and its coverup in Pennsylvania, and in the wake of the earlier reports of the sordid activities of former-Cardinal, now Father Theodore McCarrick.  I usually don’t write my column during the summer and […]
June 24, 2018

Abuse of Scripture

The U. S. Attorney General, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, was widely reported last week as having said, in the context of administration policy that separates children from their parents at border crossings: I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to […]
June 17, 2018

The Church Visible

I usually have some fun with my final columns of the year before summer, so today I’m going to tackle a summer-y issue: Dress in church. Let’s get started: #1: How we dress communicates.  Any parent of a teenager knows this – but it’s no less true of adults.  We […]
June 10, 2018

Taking the Satan Seriously

Talking about the Satan makes people (including me) uncomfortable.  It’s unfashionable, certainly; who “believes in” the Satan anymore? Except the Holy Father, who talks about the Satan regularly; and not a few people who have faced square-on the nearly-incomprehensible sorts of suffering that humans all too often inflict on other […]
June 3, 2018

Reverence for the Blessed Sacrament

This might be a good topic to consider on this feast, called The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.  I fear we lose something important to our spiritual health when we’re too casual around Mass and the Blessed Sacrament.  Here are some observations and suggestions:
May 27, 2018

Will the Christian Church Survive?

Recently I came across an article with this title. I entered the major seminary in 1966, so I’ve been watching the church for more than a half-century at this point; and I think the author got things about right.  He says near the start, “Carried along by inertia, churchmen have […]
May 20, 2018

The Spirit of Truth

I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. When he comes, the Spirit of truth He will guide you to all truth. Jesus in today’s Gospel, John 16:12-13a If the Holy Spirit leads us toward truth, who leads us away from truth? Jesus himself tells […]
May 13, 2018

From the Holy Father: Rejoice and Exult!

On April 8 Pope Francis published a remarkable Apostolic Exhortation. It is, at root, a simple guide to everyday holiness.   It’s long, but the heart of it is a meditation on the ethical demands of the Beatitudes. I think that for those of us in the U.S. these paragraphs are […]
May 6, 2018

Our Pastoral Council and Our Future

We’re living through an age of remarkable change in our church and in our culture’s attitude toward religion.  While some aspects of the change are beyond our ability to control, there are some things we can do and have been doing.  And a key element in guiding our parish through […]