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...]

“You Can Always Give Them Kindness”

Fr. Robert C. Cieslinski was a priest in the mold of St. John Vianney ... He was self-effacing and humble, but realistic. “It is unusual to see so many people at the funeral Mass of a diocesan priest, especially one of his age.”  So … [Read more...]

Liberal education and the priesthood

“Like all great churches, that are not mere store-houses of theology, Chartres expressed, besides whatever else it means, an emotion, the deepest man ever felt—the struggle of his own littleness to grasp the infinite. You may, if you like, … [Read more...]

Scripture breathes the Holy Spirit

Recently I read a little book on the mystery of God’s word by Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M.Cap. (Jesus Began to Preach, Liturgical Press, 2010). The author is the well-known theologian and preacher to the papal household.  He has held … [Read more...]