Book Reviews – August 2022

Configured to Christ: On Spiritual Direction and Clergy Formation. By Deacon James Keating. Reviewed by Rev. John P. Cush, STD. (skip to review) Married Priests in the Catholic Church. Ed. by Adam A.J. DeVille. Reviewed by John A. … [Read more...]

Questions Answered – July 2022

Roots of the Apostles’ Creed Question: In the Apostles’ Creed we profess: “On the third day he rose again from the dead.” What does it mean to say “again” in this context? Answer: The Apostles’ Creed has a long and pious tradition behind … [Read more...]

The Wheat and the Tares

A Reflection upon Contemporary Priestly Formation

In St. Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus tells the parable of the tares (13:24–30). Some tares had been sown by an enemy and grew up alongside the wheat. The wise owner of the field instructed his servants to let both grow together until the harvest “ … [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...]

A “Modest Proposal” for a Pastoral Year Apostolate

As the academic year winds down, administrators go into overdrive in planning for the next year, hence, the rationale for my present musings. Since it appears that most seminaries/dioceses are now moving (or have moved) to a mandatory … [Read more...]

Toward a Causal Account of Priestly Formation

A Reading of Pastores Dabo Vobis

Pope St. John Paul II published Pastores dabo vobis on March 25, 1992, when the Church celebrates the Annunciation, the initial moment of the Incarnation. No doubt he chose this date deliberately — and fittingly so. For when a man enters s … [Read more...]

The Gift of the Mind: Scholars and Saints

If one thing characterized priesthood fifty years ago (especially in Europe, even if less so here), it was the priest as a man of learning, that is, possessing a broad grasp of knowledge, a true Renaissance man — an in-depth knowledge of a f … [Read more...]

Alternate Views on the Root Causes of the Bishops’ Clergy Sex-Abuse Cover-Up

The Church is now in the throes of the second wave of the clergy sex-abuse crisis, which began June 20, 2018, with the exposé of former cardinal archbishop of Washington Theodore E. McCarrick’s abuse of minors and seminarians. Since then, at … [Read more...]

Book Reviews – June 2019

The Catholic Writer Today and Other Essays By Dana Gioia. Reviewed by Ken Colombini. (skip to review) Raymond E. Brown and the Catholic Biblical Renewal By Fr. Donald E. Senior. Reviewed by Rev. John P. Cush, STD. (skip to … [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...]

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...]

The Words Men Need to Hear

A Priest Speaks to College Seminarians

Speak only the words men need to hear, the things that really help them . . . (Ephesians 4:29) Introduction The effects of language—for good or ill—first occurred to me when I was five, during the summer before kindergarten. As my broth … [Read more...]

On Vulnerability and Self-Disclosure in Priestly Formation

Thoughts for Seminarians & Formators

By some accounts, millennials—the cultural cohort of young adults born in the early 1980s to the early 2000s—are the “vulnerability generation”, using their struggles, flaws, and personality quirks to their advantage, to connect with others … [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...]