The “Un-hefted” Vanishing Flock

When Irishman Declan Dinneny spoke, I caught every fifth word. His voice came in a wild chorus of undulated high pitches that crescendoed when he spoke of something important, like maybe a heifer who’d miscarried that morning. His farm was b … [Read more...]

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...]

Priesthood and Spiritual Childhood

Spiritual pride is an occupational hazard of the priesthood, and a potentially deadly disease. Because of our current ecclesiastical environment, I think it is important to mention clergy abuse cases. Quite apart from the personal emotional … [Read more...]

Real Celibacy Is an Invitation from Divine Beauty

The personal call of Christ to follow him in a life of chaste celibacy brings a seminarian into a suffering that involves his whole person. Seminary formation serves such a man by assisting him to integrate chastity within his body. Such … [Read more...]

A God with Skin

Recapturing the Incarnational Nature of the Sacraments

And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth. (Jn 1:14) Since her beginning, the Catholic Church has been an incarnational institution, a B … [Read more...]

Book Reviews for Winter 2018

Minor Setback or Major Disaster? The Rise and Demise of Minor Seminaries in the United States, 1958-1983 By Robert L. Anello, MSA. Reviewed by Fr. Scott Jones. (skip to review) One Beautiful Dream: The Rollicking Tale of Family Chaos, … [Read more...]

Perceptions of Ministry, and Facilitators and Barriers of Self-Care, Amongst Roman Catholics and Anglicans in Full-Time Ministry

The work of clergy and others serving in full-time Christian ministry is unique. They are often intimately involved in important life transitions and events, such as births, baptisms, weddings, serious illnesses, deaths, and the grieving … [Read more...]

Discerning a Call to Priesthood? Some questions you should be asking yourself.

As Catholic seminaries across the country commence a new academic year and re-engage in the crucial work of priestly formation, so too a throng of young Catholic men—some finishing high school, some in college, some into the first years of a … [Read more...]

Why Do Priests Need Philosophy?

When he (Aquinas) was not sitting, reading a book, he walked round and round the cloister, and walked fast and even furiously, a very characteristic action of men who fight their battles in the mind. (G. K. Chesterton, St. Thomas Aquinas.) … [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...]

On Smoking and Running

It becomes very clear that when we say “no” to things that threaten our vocations—sometimes even good things—we imitate Christ in saying “yes” to the will of the Father. I entered the seminary right out of high school. And believe it or n … [Read more...]