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“This Is All I Can Do Now” – Applying a Practice of St. Catherine of Siena to Our Current Crisis

September 24, 2018 6 Comments
“This Is All I Can Do Now” – Applying a Practice of St. Catherine of Siena to Our Current Crisis

Many Catholics have struggled to find a voice that has been nearly washed out of us by our training. We remember a time when it was unthinkable to criticize a priest; those who did were quickly rebuked, with little opportunity for explanation. Bishops and especially the Pope were not to be questioned let alone criticized. […]

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Rock-a My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham – the Wisdom of an Old Spiritual

August 20, 2018 0 Comments
Rock-a My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham – the Wisdom of an Old Spiritual

In times like these, you need a refuge, a place to rest. There is an old African-American spiritual that says, “Rock-a my soul in the bosom of Abraham. Oh, rock-a my soul!” At first glance its meaning may seem obscure, but it speaks to a deep tradition and a kind of spiritual strategy that has […]

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Love and Lament Alike – A Brief Reflection for All Who Care About the Church

July 30, 2018 10 Comments
Love and Lament Alike – A Brief Reflection for All Who Care About the Church

As a priest and pastor I work very closely with others: clergy, religious, laity who work for the Church, and laity who volunteer. We all work for the Church because we love her and her people. At times, though, there is disappointment, hurt, or even disillusionment. Perhaps these feelings result from issues in the wider […]

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The Pruning of the Church and Our Response to It

July 17, 2018 10 Comments
The Pruning of the Church and Our Response to It

As we go through the Book of the Prophet Isaiah at Mass this week, we read of Israel’s painful purifications as well as the subsequent punishment of the surrounding nations. God permitted the nations to persecute Israel in order that she be purified, but the iniquity and sin of the nations and of this world […]

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Regrettable Ruins: A Lament for a Lost Church Building

July 11, 2018 9 Comments
Regrettable Ruins: A Lament for a Lost Church Building

Many years ago, I saw the movie True Confessions  (1981), which was about an ambitious priest who discovered the truer meaning of the priesthood. Although the film was seedy in places, the outcome for the main character, Monsignor Spellacy, was salutary. Robert DeNiro (who was more discreet and refined in those days) starred as Msgr. […]

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Is the Church a Cruise Ship or a Battleship?

May 17, 2018 5 Comments
Is the Church a Cruise Ship or a Battleship?

Some years ago, Fr. Patrick Smith, a friend of mine and a priest of this archdiocese, preached a sermon in which he asked if the Church was a clubhouse or a lighthouse. It seems that many people want the Church just to be a friendly place where people can gather. Many of these same people […]

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That at Least Peter’s Shadow Might Fall on Them: A Challenge to the Church in the Acts of the Apostles

May 16, 2018 3 Comments
That at Least Peter’s Shadow Might Fall on Them: A Challenge to the Church in the Acts of the Apostles

As this Easter Season is nearing a close, we do well to ponder the picture of the early Church described in the Acts of the Apostles. The kind of persecution and suffering they endured in those days should serve to remind us of the sacrifices we are often unwilling to make. Yet these early descriptions […]

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Your Life is Not About You, As Illustrated in a Biblical Story

April 19, 2018 1 Comment
Your Life is Not About You, As Illustrated in a Biblical Story

In Wednesday’s reading, the Acts of the Apostles sets forth an event that amounts to a tale of one Church in two cities or regions. It illustrates well a couple of points: that the Church is always in need of reform and that our lives are not merely about us and what we want. Let’s […]

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