Thinking About Ministry After Covid

Based On Ecclesiological Insights of Pope Francis

The opening paragraph of Lumen Gentium states, “Since the Church is in Christ like a sacrament or as a sign and instrument both of a very closely knit union with God and of the unity of the whole human race, it desires now to unfold more f … [Read more...]

Shepherding the Flock Out of the 1962 Missal

The time has come, says God to Moses. You must lead my people out of Egypt, out of captivity, toward the Promised Land.[1. Ex 3:10.] Unfortunately for the eager travelers, the journey lasts 40 years,[2. Deut 1:3.] and along the way the … [Read more...]

“Amoris Laetitia”: A Clarion Call for a Healthier Clergy

One of the often missed points in Amoris Laetitia (chapter 6, §203) is the Holy Father’s reference to the importance of improving the psycho-affective development of future priests. I am convinced that this is long overdue. Having been a … [Read more...]

Clericalism: Problems Past, Present, and Future

I am a permanent deacon, married and with children; at the same time, I am ministering in my parish. When I was first ordained, I used to joke that I “had a foot in both camps,” as I seemed to be both laity and ordained. But in reality, we a … [Read more...]

Contradiction: On Libertarianism and LGBTQ Orthodoxy

On February 23, Blaise Cardinal Cupich reiterated an objection to the hijacking of Catholic teaching by libertarian ideology. He was reflecting on how libertarianism impedes Catholics receiving Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ as the aut … [Read more...]

The Death Penalty Is a Failed Sacrifice

The final abolition of the death penalty in the 2018 revision of the Catechism[1. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2267.] and follow-up confirmation in the latest Pope Francis encyclical, Fratelli tutti,[2. Pope Francis, Fratelli … [Read more...]

Pope Francis and the Girardian Moment

The promulgation of the Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et exsultate constitutes a decisive moment in the Magisterial teaching of the Church. Perhaps its most obvious contribution is breathing the spirituality of St. Ignatius Loyola into the … [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...]

The Sweetness of the Yoke of Christ

Hope for those struggling to live out the teaching of Humanae Vitae

My wife, Kristina, and I were married just weeks after our twenty-second birthdays. We were still in our final year of college, young, naive — and in love. Our Catholic faith was always a central part of our lives and our relationship. We t … [Read more...]

Making Pastoral Sense of Pope Francis’ “Civil Arrangement” Proposal

Pope Francis’ recent comments on “civil arrangement/union” for same-sex couples have caused concern among many across the world. Several Catholic bishops, archbishops and even a few cardinals have not minced words in their criticism. Even so … [Read more...]

Book Reviews – December 2020

Art and Architecture for Congregational Worship: The Search for Common Ground. By Richard S. Vosko. Reviewed by Christopher Siuzdak. (skip to review) American Priest: The Ambitious Life and Conflicted Legacy of Notre Dame’s Father Ted Hes … [Read more...]

The Remarks of Pope Francis on the Legal Recognition of Homosexual Unions

In the documentary “Francesco,” which premiered on October 21, 2020, Pope Francis is recorded in an interview as arguing for the legal recognition of homosexual civil unions: “Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They’re c … [Read more...]

Pope Francis and the Feast of our Lady, Untier of Knots

Thanks to the effort of Pope Francis, the feast of Our Lady, Untier of Knots (or undoer of knots), is celebrated on September 28th. Though the feast is still relatively unknown in the United States, it is gaining in popularity. More about … [Read more...]

Book Reviews – October 2020

  Can Francis Change the Church? How American Catholics Are Responding to His Leadership. By Thomas P. Sweetser. Reviewed by Christopher Siuzdak. (skip to review) Into His Likeness: Be Transformed as a Disciple of Christ. By … [Read more...]

I Will Give You a New Heart

It was not until after I finished my undergraduate degree in theology that I was explicitly introduced to the idea of theosis, the doctrine of God making men sharers in his divine life. Based on my personal experience, as well as my … [Read more...]