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...]

Culture of Encounter in Ferguson

Ferguson, Missouri has become a touchstone of contemporary discourse on race relations, usually juxtaposing African American and white populations. Yet, this Missouri town is also home to a Catholic parish that serves, among others, over a … [Read more...]

Corrupt Pastoral Practice Means Corrupt Doctrine

Amoris Laetitia’s Dirty Little Secret

When Amoris Laetitia (hereafter AL) was first published in March 2016, Pope Francis’s episcopal cheerleaders insisted that the document has introduced no changes to Church doctrine: it merely explores how we are to understand the “pastoral a … [Read more...]

Briefly Revisiting Pre-1983 Canonical Practice for a Better Response to Marriage Issues

The juridical significance of mental illness and psychic anomalies in marriage has shifted over centuries from a description of an illicit act to one of invalid consent. Early pronouncements on insane individuals who contracted marriage … [Read more...]

Understanding Anger in Those We Care For

A friend of mine conducted an informal survey of priests in the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul to find out which sins were heard most often in the sacrament of reconciliation. No surprise that #1 transgression for men involved … [Read more...]

A Reflection on Youth, College & Young Adult Ministries, Part II

Animating the Xennial, Millennial, and Post-Millennial Generations with the Spirit of Christ

In the first part of this two-part article, I had discussed the levels of youth, college, and young adult ministries. My emphasis was on why it is so important, and what is appropriate for each level and age of young people we serve. Now, I … [Read more...]

Geriatric Spirituality

Early in the last century, the specialty of geriatric medicine became an essential part of the American health system. It differed from the standard forms of medical treatment because it was directed toward the physical and psychological … [Read more...]

Late Winter Book Reviews

The Cardinal Müller Report: An Exclusive Interview on the State of the Church. By Gerhard Ludwig Müller with Carlos Granados. Translated by Richard Goodyear. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2017. pp. 221+xi. $17.95 pb. ISBN 9 … [Read more...]

A Reflection on Youth, College and Young Adult Ministries, Part I

Animating the Xennial, Millennial and Post-Millennial Generations with the Spirit of Christ

Part I Building, re-building and restoring youth, high school/college campus, or young adult ministries: this is what our work has been for the past decade. When someone first arrives in a new youth ministry, or is given the task of … [Read more...]

Conformed to a Vulnerable Savior

A Christmas Reflection for Priests

Msgr. Stephen Rossetti’s 2011 study, Why Priests Are Happy,[1. Stephen J. Rossetti, Why Priests are Happy: A Study of the Psychological and Spiritual Health of Priests (Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, 2011).] gave the lie to any number of p … [Read more...]

Recovering Our Bearings

The Role of the Common Life in the Rebuilding of Priestly Fraternity

Many priests consume themselves in work, but become alone and lose their bearings. It is thus all the more important that the unity of the presbyterate is lived and experienced. Support everything which strengthens priests to encounter and … [Read more...]

My Side of the Confessional

A Scrupulous Penitent’s Plea to Confessors

For months, I had been mustering the courage to go to confession. I had faced the terror of Hell to marshal my sins. I had waited in the empty church for half an hour, palms in a cold sweat, rehearsing my lines. It had been three months and … [Read more...]

Bringing the Gospel to the Troops

A Survey of American Military Homiletics

The record of preachers in uniform is a remarkable one, filled with physical bravery and moral courage in the face of internal and external pressures, ameliorated by a deep, and very personal sense of care for the ordinary combatants who … [Read more...]

Now Is the Time

The Urgency of the New Evangelization

At the beginning of his pontificate, Saint John Paul the Great coined the term “new evangelization” to describe a great urgency facing the Church. Nearly forty years on, the use of the term is now widespread among Catholics involved in alm … [Read more...]

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...]