Book Reviews – July 2021

Real Philosophy for Real People: Tools for Truthful Living. By Fr. Robert McTeigue. Reviewed by T.S. Barbarossa. (skip to review) Catholic Parishes of the 21st Century. By Charles E. Zech, Mary L. Gautier, Mark M. Gray, Jonathon L. … [Read more...]

Mother Church, Tota Pulchra

A Call for Ecclesial Communities

In the Gospel of John, we read “Neque vocem ejus umquam audistis, neque speciem ejus visistis” (John 5:37), or “Neither have you heard His voice, nor seen his ‘speciem.’” “Speciem” is defined as “visual appearance . . . splendour, beauty, vi … [Read more...]

Making Parishes Home Sweet Home

Parish-Based Homeschool Cooperatives for the Next Academic Year and Beyond

John Kingdon proposed that public policy change comes about when the three streams of problems, policies, and politics come together at the same time.[1. J.W. Kingdon, Agendas, Alternatives and Public Policies (Boston: Little, Brown and … [Read more...]

Father, Receive These Gifts

Pope Francis, in his 2016 annual meeting of the pontifical academies, called for local parishes to be “oases of beauty, peace, acceptance.” This is consistent with the Church being “Mother of us all” (Gal 4:26) — a place where all can be fed … [Read more...]

Absence­ — the Appeal for Love’s Presence

Three Points on Priestly Reform in a Time of Pandemic

“There are moments when you must physically absent yourself in order to learn what it means for something or somebody to exist in his own right.”[1. A. Bloom, Beginning to Pray, Paulist Press, New York 1970, 12.] The first days of pan … [Read more...]

Parochial Solipsism

It is not excessive to suggest that three quarters of the life of the American pastor is consumed with administrative governance. He is, for all intents and purposes, the head of a small business. He hires and fires, reviews budgets, … [Read more...]

Intensive or Extensive Religious Education?

Why do parish religious education programs so often seem to be one-size-fits-all? Whether a parish’s program is dubbed religious education, faith formation, or good ol’ CCD, parish-based catechesis of children tends to be rather coo … [Read more...]

An October Mystagogy

A Proposal

We count people in October. Each year in the parishes of the dioceses of the province of Atlanta, we count the number of people who are attending Mass each weekend. The reason for the choice of this particular month has been lost to … [Read more...]

Writing that Connects with Parishioners

In an essay about his father, William Buckley, Christopher Buckley wrote that he noticed that the parts that sounded most characteristic of his father were actually added to the drafts late in his process of writing. His father, a famously … [Read more...]

Sacramental Fruitfulness and the Power of Pentecost

It has become quite evident that there is something like a “sacramental crisis” occurring in the Church today, that Sr. Sara, in her opening remarks, referred to as “this extraordinarily critical moment.” I would like to briefly explore thre … [Read more...]

A Garden Unfinished

O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world. I offer them for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart: … [Read more...]

Summer Reading for June 2016

David L. Schindler and Nicholas J. Healy Jr. Freedom, Truth, and Human Dignity: The Second Vatican Council’s Declaration on Religious Freedom. A New Translation, Redaction History, and Interpretation of Dignitatis Humanae. Grand Rapids, MI: … [Read more...]

Anemic Parishes and Parish Life

We all know the Catholic Church can never die, because her Head, Jesus Christ, is alive and can never die. However, the Church can certainly be anemic and deathly ill—which she, no doubt, is in America. I will examine some of the reasons f … [Read more...]

Laying the Foundation for Forming Disciples in Our Parishes

A recent mailing of the Franciscan University of Steubenville declares, “The age of casual Catholicism is over. The age of heroic Catholicism has begun.”[1. Fr. Terrence Henry, TOR, Franciscan University of Steubenville. ] Men and women sta … [Read more...]