A Sacerdotal Summer

St. Ignatius of Loyola likened the “enemy of our human nature” to a cunning military strategist who sussed out each of our weakest defenses and thereby knew exactly where to strike. A war for souls is truly on, both on the individual as wel … [Read more...]

Letter of His Holiness Pope Francis to Priests

Letter of His Holiness Pope Francis to Priests on the 160th Anniversary of the Death of the Holy Curé of Ars, St. John Vianney To my Brother Priests Dear Brothers, A hundred and sixty years have passed since the death of the holy … [Read more...]

The Dark Spirit in Our Institutions

Catholics, Take Heed

There is a dark spirit, a spirit of unreason, stalking the world. In earlier times we might have characterized it as a Dionysian spirit attempting to oust Apollo. This spirit urges those who listen to it to throw off the constraints of the … [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...]

Parental and Spousal Alienation in Catholic Marriages

Marital separation and divorce in Catholic couples can result in intense levels of stress and sadness, particularly in the majority of spouses who report, while this is occurring, being happily married, committed to the marriage, and … [Read more...]

Why You Should Have Hope for the Future of the Church

It’s officially the heart of ordination season, and our family is attending our usual round of ordination Masses. For the second year in a row, I am sewing a chasuble and stoles for some of my seminarian friends. If you have never sewn a … [Read more...]

Questions Answered – May 2019

Handling the Precious Blood Question: During Mass, wine is consecrated in a chalice and we believe it becomes the Precious Blood of Jesus. I understand that it should not be poured out into any other vessel and given to Eucharistic … [Read more...]

Benedict XVI and the Absence of God

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s extraordinary letter on the sexual-abuse crisis in the Church generated expected, imprudent mixed reactions in the media and on social media. Almost immediately, some media organizations ran headlines that c … [Read more...]

Walking through Mud

How to Find Joy in Your Suffering with the Sorrowful Mysteries

Thirteen years ago, life changed dramatically for me and my children, then 10, 8, and 6. It’s the year I started walking through mud up to my neck. You know that feeling, right? It’s hard to get out of bed, to do once easy routine chores . . … [Read more...]

Book Reviews – April 2019

Reflections on the Sacred Liturgy, Vol. I: Lent & Holy Week By Fr. Thomas Hoisington. Reviewed by Stephanie A. Mann. (skip to review) Off the Hook: God, Love, Dating, and Marriage in a Hookup World By Timothy P. O’Malley. Reviewed b … [Read more...]

Clericalism

Betrayal of the Body of Christ

Why Is Clericalism so Bad? The most lethal consequence of clericalism, I believe, is the deadening it inflicts upon the Body of Christ, His Church ordered and intended for maturity — for holy, fervent, fruitful and glorious life! The c … [Read more...]

Book Reviews – March 2019

Servant of All: Status, Ambition, and the Way of Jesus By Craig C. Hill. Reviewed by Matthew K. Minerd, PhD. (skip to review) The Priestly Blessing: Rediscovering the Gift By Stephen J. Rossetti. Reviewed by Fr. John Cush. (skip to … [Read more...]

The “Experience” of Modernism

The Instrumentum Laboris (IL), or working document, of the recently concluded synod on youth states quite starkly that “personal experiences cannot be placed in question” (IL 55).[1. Instrumentum laboris, XV Ordinary General Assembly of Syn … [Read more...]