The Synod’s End and an Advent Prayer Time for the Church


Pope Francis During Extraordinary Synod of Bishops; Advent wreath.  The Synod on the Family, called by Pope Francis to address: “The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and the contemporary world,” has come to a close. … [Read more...]

Fall Reading for October 2015


Rebuilding Your Message: Practical Tools to Strengthen Your Preaching and Teaching. Michael White and Tom Corcoran. (Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, Rebuilt Parish Book, 2015) 224 pages; $15.00. (Reviewed by Jon M. Ericson) Family and … [Read more...]

The Family as the Cultural Revolution

O'Shea photos 10-3-15

A week before his pastoral visit to Cuba and the United States, and his visit to the White House, Pope Francis spoke of a civilizational shift that is occurring in our times—a pivotal moment in which the mission of Christian families will … [Read more...]

Did Reno Get It Right?


I read with enthusiasm R.R. Reno’s First Things essay “The Return of Catholic Anti-Modernism” and, as always, appreciated his many insights. He helpfully pointed out some ways in which Pope Francis’s recent papal encyclical Laudato … [Read more...]

Pope Francis and the Just Third Way


This article is now available in Spanish and Spanish-English PDFs. Pope Francis faces many challenges in his efforts to modernize the application of Catholic social doctrine to today’s problems, particularly the growing global wealth, … [Read more...]

On Understanding Priestly Celibacy: A Suggestion


Discussion has recently arisen about priestly celibacy in the Catholic Church. Such discussion is not new. This time the discussion involves a pope, Pope Francis. The discussion springs from an interview with Eugenio Scalfari (published in … [Read more...]

Questions Answered

Mullady photos 4-9-15

Pope Francis seems to be placing a renewed emphasis on the teachings of the Church regarding the ethical pursuit of wealth and business. Are there practical norms for the correct use of economic power in a firm? Lumen Gentium was very … [Read more...]

St. Joseph: His Increasing Importance in Our Times

St. Joseph and the Infant Christ, Giovanni Battista Gaulli (1670-85).

In his Apostolic Letter Le Voci of March 19, 1961, the “Pope of St. Joseph,” St. John XXIII, invoked that saint as the Patron of the Second Vatican Council. Shortly after the beginning of that Council, he inserted the name of St. Joseph … [Read more...]

What Is the Spirit Saying through Pope Francis?

Photo credit: Tania Rego/ABr. The photo has been cropped.

When I was in seminary, I learned in moral theology the importance of avoiding moralistic preaching. In short, moralistic preaching is when a priest simply states the rules. For example: a priest preaches that abortion is wrong and sinful; … [Read more...]

Revisiting the Rabbits

Meconi photos 2-18-15

He said it. I wish he hadn’t said it, but he said it: “God gives you methods to be responsible. ... Some think that—excuse the word—that in order to be good Catholics, we have to be like rabbits. No.” Pope Francis’ unguarded … [Read more...]

“We Will Be Judged by Love”—and Other Insights of Jorge Bergoglio

Echeverria photos 2-17-15

We are still trying to figure out the thought of Pope Francis. Examining several insights in his collection of writings and talks, entitled, Only Love Can Save Us, will help. Embedded in letters, homilies, and talks he wrote between 2005 … [Read more...]

The Holy Land

The city of Jerusalem with the Dome of the Rock in the foreground.
(Photos provided by Fr. Meconi)

Spending the Christmas season in the Holy Land has made me much more sensitive to how communities are “ringing in” the New Year. As the date turned from 2014 to 2015, two very different calls for solidarity made the news. On the one … [Read more...]

Pope Benedict XVI’s Theology of Beauty and the New Evangelization

Pope Benedict XVI's allegory on faith and the search for truth, using the image of cathedral windows.

“I have often affirmed my conviction that the true apology of Christian faith, the most convincing demonstration of its truth…are the saints and the beauty that the faith has generated.”[1. Joseph Ratzinger, “The Feeling of Things, … [Read more...]

Winter Reading for January 2015

Book Review photos 1-25-15

New Evangelization: Passing on the Catholic Faith Today. Cardinal Donald Wuerl.  (Huntington, Indiana: Our Sunday Visitor, 2013) 91 pages. (Reviewed by Dr. Edward Peters) ______ A Future Built on Faith: Religious Life and the Legacy … [Read more...]

A Holy Priesthood for a Holy People

Richard photos 12-19-14

A groaning in the heart, of one seeking and waiting for God, is appropriate for Advent. A thirsting in the heart for his living water, in this world of dryness, is proper. In this waiting for the holy season of The Incarnation, however, a … [Read more...]

NeverWinter Astral Diamonds