Saint John Bosco

Spiritual Father and Friend of Penitents

In the two-thousand year history of the Catholic Church, there have been many priests who have distinguished themselves as renowned confessors. These priests are important models for confessors today to be effective ministers of mercy. This … [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...]

Confirmation in the Church Fathers

It has been said — though I know not by whom — that Confirmation is “a sacrament in search of a theology.” Confirmation preparation programs often emphasize the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit and state that Confirmation, in some way, complet … [Read more...]

Questions Answered – April 2019

Do Baptized Converts Need Confession First? Question: During the Easter Vigil, non-Christians are baptized, receive First Communion and are confirmed, while converts are received into full communion with the Church, meaning also and above … [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...]

The Necessity of Confession and Its Seal

Any Catholic reading the report of Australia’s Royal Commission of Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse must be appalled by the multiple instances of child abuse in ecclesial institutions perpetrated by priests, religious, and l … [Read more...]

The Mystagogical Tradition

“Mystagogy” is a word that some parishes hear during Easter Time, and is often associated with the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). Yet, a proper understanding of mystagogy provides inspiration and wisdom, not only for cat … [Read more...]

Spring Book Reviews

Saint Mary Magdalene: Prophetess of Eucharistic Love by Fr. Sean Davidson (Ignatius Press, 2017). Reviewed by Rev. John P. Cush, STD. And Mary’s ‘Yes’ Continues. By the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, under the direc … [Read more...]

The Sacramental Ecclesiology of St. Ignatius of Antioch and Joseph Ratzinger

In a 1978 lecture entitled, “On the Meaning of Sacrament,” Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger describes modern man’s inability to understand symbolism and sacraments. Ratzinger was addressing an age greatly influenced by the historical-critical metho … [Read more...]

Encountering Christ’s Love in the Sacraments

In every way, the sacraments are about God’s love, fully revealed in Jesus Christ. In them, Jesus makes Himself present as the one who loves us “to the end” (Jn 13:1). In each Sacrament, He says: “I love you; I have given my life for you (Jn … [Read more...]

Sacraments in Brideshead Revisited

Years ago, a priest told me that he considered that the best thing ever written about the sacrament of anointing of the sick was Evelyn Waugh’s 1945 novel Brideshead Revisited. Although not a theological treatise, the book contains an a … [Read more...]

Questions Answered

Question:  If a couple is in the state of mortal sin because of cohabitation before marriage without confession, is the marriage still a valid sacramental marriage? If not, when does it become a sacramental marriage? Answer:  This q … [Read more...]

The Imperishable Crown

Martyrdom as the Fulfillment of the Baptismal Call

At the heart of the mystery of Christian life is a paradox: although those who are baptized receive all of the supernatural grace necessary for entering eternal life, they do not on that account escape the harsh reality of the present … [Read more...]

Sacramental Ecclesiology in the Loaves and Fishes

In Catholicism, there are those big-time verses that the Church has dogmatically defined as dealing with central questions of doctrine. The papacy is found at Mt 16:18 when Christ himself names Peter as the rock of the one Church he has now … [Read more...]

Questions Answered

Question: Can a person who has been involved in past homosexual acts become a priest if he has overcome this tendency? Answer: This question is urgent in the culture because homosexuality is almost celebrated today. This fact has led the … [Read more...]