Meditations Upon the Virgin’s Virtues for Contemporary Clergy, Part 2

This continues the meditation begun in Part 1, here. Generosity: Mark 3: 31-35 Before Dr. Phil, there was a story about a couple who sought marriage counseling. The wife went in to see the counselor first, and alone. And after she left, … [Read more...]

Meditations Upon The Virgin’s Virtues for Contemporary Clergy, Part 1

Introduction What is the difference between a furrow and a rut? A furrow is an intentional emptiness cut into the earth in preparation for fullness. A farmer’s plow intentionally cuts a furrow, opening the earth to produce a full harvest. … [Read more...]

Perceptions of Ministry, and Facilitators and Barriers of Self-Care, Amongst Roman Catholics and Anglicans in Full-Time Ministry

The work of clergy and others serving in full-time Christian ministry is unique. They are often intimately involved in important life transitions and events, such as births, baptisms, weddings, serious illnesses, deaths, and the grieving … [Read more...]

Discerning a Call to Priesthood? Some questions you should be asking yourself.

As Catholic seminaries across the country commence a new academic year and re-engage in the crucial work of priestly formation, so too a throng of young Catholic men—some finishing high school, some in college, some into the first years of … [Read more...]

Mary, Mother of Mercy, Mother of the Priest

Marian titles are so numerous, and devotions so diverse, the litany could confuse and confound those less familiar with Catholic popular piety. The various titles show the relationship of a mother with her children. She can be all things to … [Read more...]

Ministerial Rosary Reflections for Priests

The Church regards the month of October as the rosary month, a practice encouraged by many pontiffs, most especially Pope Leo XIII. Many of our parishioners will dedicate themselves to praying the rosary this month. Some will do so at their … [Read more...]

The Priest: The Gift of Self

Two fundamental principles run through the famous passage from Pope Paul VI’s Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes (24:3), which reads, “This likeness {between the union of the Divine Persons, and the … [Read more...]

Applying Some Thoughts on Preaching

Following my article, “Some Thoughts on Preaching” (March 13, 2015), I received an invitation from the editor to prepare homily notes for September 2015. This essay is not a "homily notes" example, but an example of assembling one’s … [Read more...]

Christian Friendship and the Communion of Saints

Not too long ago, the rector of the local Cathedral died after a battle with cancer. Though not entirely unexpected, his departure from this life affected me deeply. At his funeral, his usual chair next to the choir stalls remained empty, … [Read more...]

Winter Reading for January 2016

Introducing the Old Testament: An Overview of Its Content and Its Message. John F. Fink. (Staten Island, NY: St. Paul’s Publishing, 2015) 136 pages; $12.95. (Reviewed by Kenneth Colston) The Marian Mystery: Outline of a Mariology. Denis … [Read more...]

Priests and Penance: Confession and Confessors

The Call to Confession “Let us place the Sacrament of Reconciliation at the center, once more, in such a way that it will enable people to touch the grandeur of God’s mercy with their own hands.”[1. Francis, Bull of Indiction of the … [Read more...]

The Forgotten Vice in Seminary Formation

We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. —C. S. Lewis from The Abolition of Man.  (This article originally appeared in the May 2006 print … [Read more...]

The Resolution of Conflicts in Priestly Life and Relationships

Loving, supportive and mutually encouraging relationships among priests are essential to the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of priests and to their ministry[1. Richard Fitzgibbons. “The Origins, Manifestation, and Resolution … [Read more...]

Practicing What We Preach

As he struggled with the question of whether or not to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church, John Henry Newman expressed his desire to encounter ministers of Christ carrying out the mission of their Lord and his Apostles in … [Read more...]

Winter Reading for December 2014

31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator. Jared Dees (Notre Dame, Indiana: Ave Maria Press: 2013) 164 pages; $9.95. (Reviewed by Brandon Harvey) The Power of Four: Keys to the Hidden Treasures of the Gospels. Eduardo P. … [Read more...]