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Can Anything Good Come Out of 2018?

January 1, 2019 8 Comments
Can Anything Good Come Out of 2018?

It is hard to describe 2018 as anything short of a disaster for the Church, both in the United States and around the world. I will not recite every gory detail here but suffice it to say that this year will go down in history for its high-stakes drama and the discouragement that ensued among […]

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A Shocking Loss of Faith: Reflecting on the Closing of So Many Churches

December 6, 2018 26 Comments
A Shocking Loss of Faith: Reflecting on the Closing of So Many Churches

As I walk or drive through my Capitol Hill neighborhood here in Washington, D.C., I pass by more than twenty churches (all of them Protestant) that have been closed in the past decade. Many of them are grand and prominent buildings. (Click here to see four of them.) Most of the them have been converted […]

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The Office of Bishop

November 11, 2018 5 Comments
The Office of Bishop

Fortuitously, the first reading for this Monday, which is the day that the annual fall meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Baltimore begins, speaks to the qualifications of a bishop. The full reading from Titus is as follows: Paul, a slave of God and apostle of Jesus Christ for the sake […]

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All Things, Small and Great

November 8, 2018 5 Comments
All Things, Small and Great

There is a notion that ushering in reform or change requires large numbers, majority percentages, and the like, but a passage from the First Book of Maccabees reminds us that Heaven’s math is not always ours: But Judas said: “It is easy for many to be overcome by a few; in the sight of Heaven […]

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What Our Church Buildings Say About Us

October 15, 2018 5 Comments
What Our Church Buildings Say About Us

The week in the Office of Readings from the Liturgy of the Hours we are reading from the books of Haggai and Zechariah. Both these prophets wrote at the time of the return of the Jews from the Babylonian exile, which had begun in 587 B.C. The Jewish people were permitted to return to the […]

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Go with God, Cardinal Wuerl

October 12, 2018 41 Comments
Go with God, Cardinal Wuerl

On this significant day for the Archdiocese of Washington and the universal Church, I want you to know that I receive the news of the Holy Father’s acceptance of Cardinal Donald Wuerl’s resignation with mixed feelings. I hope you will understand that he has been a spiritual Father to me since 2006 when he came […]

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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 12 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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