Book Reviews – April 2021

The Sacraments: Discovering the Treasures of Divine Life. By Rev. Matthew Kauth. Reviewed by Aaron Martin. (skip to review) Telling Stories That Matter: Memoirs and Essays. By Marvin R. O’Connell. Reviewed by Christopher Siuzdak. (skip t … [Read more...]

The Month of the Priesthood

One of the relatively minor and nonetheless frustrating consequences of COVID’s rude invasion into society can be observed in diaconal and priestly ordinations. These typically large-scale celebrations have been reduced to minute g … [Read more...]

The Truth, the Priesthood, and the Eucharist

Is the Eucharist the Real Presence — Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity — of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, or is the Blessed Sacrament a mere symbol of the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? This que … [Read more...]

In the Midst of a Pandemic

The Priesthood Is a Beacon of Light

For centuries nautical explorers traveled the earth seeking new lands and civilizations. For weeks and months, they sailed following their maps by day and the stars by night. Often they would find themselves in the midst of horrific storms … [Read more...]

Liturgical Lessons from the Pandemic

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in many parts of the world has demanded swift and comprehensive adjustments to the daily life of the Church. Disruptions in the way we celebrate the sacraments, offer catechesis, and perform the works of … [Read more...]

Super-essential Work amid COVID-19

Has anyone else been a bit taken aback in realizing that you are not an “essential worker”? Of course, we Jesuits are supposed to pray for, and in fact are all in dire need of, humility. So perhaps this should be the Lenten lesson my bro … [Read more...]

Questions Answered – March 2020

Last Rites for the Clinically Dead? Question: Is it possible to perform the sacrament of the sick on someone who has been pronounced clinically dead? If so, up to how long after clinical death can this sacrament be performed? Answer: … [Read more...]

The Gift of the Liturgical Reform

Fifty years ago this Advent, on November 30, 1969, the reform of the Eucharistic liturgy called for by Vatican Council II and promulgated by Pope Paul VI went into effect, and Catholics around the world celebrated Mass for the first time in … [Read more...]

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...]