“Do-it-Yourself” or Vocation: Coincidence or Providence

"Window dressing” or the Complementarity of the Sacraments of Marriage and the Eucharist?

Is marriage independent of sexual identity, an optional role or an unjust institution; or, alternatively, is there a deeper answer to the question of a man marrying a woman? We live in a time, then, when the foundations of marriage in the … [Read more...]

The Sacrament of Matrimony: A Conversation with Millennials

Abbreviations LG: Lumen Gentium, Second Vatican Council Dogmatic Constitution on the Church MR: Missale Romanum (Roman Missal) (2010) SC: Sacrosanctum Concilium, Second Vatican Council Constitution on the Sacred … [Read more...]

A “Categorical Silence” in the Preparatory Questionnaire for the 2015 Synod

“Make no mistake, my brothers: those who corrupt families will not inherit the kingdom of God.” —Ignatius of Antioch, To the Ephesians In his 2007 autobiography, Cardinal Giacomo Biffi, retired Archbishop of Bologna, recalled his … [Read more...]

Further Thoughts on the Synod

There was rejoicing at the first calling of the Synod because the family is in a bad way almost everywhere in the world. If there has been so much dissatisfaction with last year's—preliminary—Synod it is because the reports given, and the … [Read more...]

The Holy Land

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 hand, … [Read more...]

A Holy Priesthood for a Holy People

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...]

Homosexuality and Vocational Discernment and Choice

A Call for Evidence-Based, Astute Priestly Discernment in a Framework of Overall Moral Character Development

A seminary that is on-going in the cultivation and the learning of the skills of virtue as an expression of life-in-Christ, and as lived testimony to the Gospel, will be a seminary that is prepared to discern, and to equip, young men for a … [Read more...]

Combating the Contraceptive Understanding of Celibacy

On the one hand, we must appreciate how sex is holy. It might be good to say “holy” instead of “good.” Ironically, the idea that celibacy is a sacrifice treats sex as a good in the same way that a candy bar is a good. But this view belongs … [Read more...]

Chosen from Among Men

In Processu

When a bride makes thoughtful consideration of the necessary qualities to be found in her bridegroom, it surprises no one that she would look for a certain depth of heart in the relationship, an ability to properly perceive the difficulties … [Read more...]

The ingredient for priestly vocations

In order to fulfill their ideals and challenges, young people are in desperate need of priestly inspiration.

It is truly uplifting to read about the great number of people who are received into full communion in the Roman Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil in so many parishes across the United States. This gives the Church a reason to rejoice and … [Read more...]

Function of Catholic laity

CATHOLIC LAITY IN THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH. By Russell Shaw (Requiem Press, P.O. Box 7, Bethune, S.C. 29009; 2005), 191 pp. PB $14.95.

As with all his writings, Russell Shaw’s latest Catholic literary product, Catholic Laity in the Mission of the Church, is rich, balanced, reasoned, lucid, concise, poignant, and widely accessible. In the volume, he takes up a theme that he … [Read more...]

St. Paul and St. Ignatius on Retreat

SPIRITUAL EXERCISES BASED ON PAUL’S EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS. By Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S.J. (Eerdmans Publishing Co., 255 Jefferson Ave. S.E., Grand Rapids, Mich. 49502 [2004]), 235 pp. PB $20.00.

Most priests and religious make a retreat of some days each year, often eight. Those in the Jesuit tradition follow the lead of the Exercises of St. Ignatius. Every retreatant likes to spend considerable time during these days with … [Read more...]

Dynamics of the Exercises

LIKE THE LIGHTNING. The Dynamics of the Ignatian Exercises. By David L. Fleming, S.J. (The Institute of Jesuit Sources, 3601 Lindell Blvd., Saint Louis, MO 63108, 2004), xv + 191. PB $18.95.

In his introduction Father David Fleming tells his readers: “I do not intend to write a commentary on the Exercises…I am not writing a ‘how to’ book…I hope rather to reflect on the Exercises as a unit in their integral makeup and in their … [Read more...]

Priests and the Importance of Fatherhood

Priests are not just "hosts" to the parish community; they are really fathers and consequently the heads of their parish families.

Many thoughtful people today recognize that the United States—and indeed much of Western society—is in a cultural crisis. It takes little reflection to note that this crisis is centered in the family. The increase in divorce, the decrease … [Read more...]

Pornography, Electronic Media and Priestly Formation

The fundamental safeguard against sin and temptation is a deep and abiding relationship with God that is rooted in love.

Pornography and electronic media have had a profound impact on American society, which includes the lives of priests and seminarians in the American Church. As a psychiatrist working with a team of physicians and therapists in a medical … [Read more...]