Friday, Feb 24, 2017
OpinionThe message of Ash Wednesday
Feb. 20, 2017, By Brother John M. Samaha, SM
What is the message of Ash Wednesday? What does the Liturgy of the Word for Ash Wednesday say to you about Lent and following Christ?
Welcoming the stranger
Feb. 20, 2017, By Father Ron Rolheiser
In the Hebrew Scriptures, that part of the Bible we call the Old Testament, we find a strong religious challenge to always welcome the stranger, the foreigner. This was emphasized for two reasons: First, because the Jewish people themselves had once been foreigners and ...
How does the Catholic Church resolve new bioethical questions?
Feb. 20, 2017, By Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk
A number of years ago, I participated in a debate at Harvard on embryonic stem cell research which also included a Jewish rabbi, an Episcopalian clergyman, and a Muslim imam. The debate went smoothly and cordially, although I was the only voice in the group who defended the ...
God’s power as powerlessness
Feb. 6, 2017, By father Ron Rolheiser
The French novelist and essayist, Leon Bloy, once made this comment about God’s power in our world: “God seems to have condemned himself until the end of time not to exercise any immediate right of a master over a servant or a king over a subject. We can do what we ...
Christ ‘enough to satisfy every heart’
Feb. 6, 2017, By Sister Jean Evans, RSM
Each of us is called to be a disciple. We’re called to listen like disciples (Isaiah 50:4). “The Lord opened my ears that I may listen like a disciple. Morning after morning he wakes me to hear that I might learn from him how to offer a word of comfort to the ...
Taking our wounds to the Eucharist
Jan. 24, 2017, By Father Ron Rolheiser
Recently a man came to me, asking for help. He carried some deep wounds, not physical wounds, but emotional wounds to his soul.
March for Life
Jan. 24, 2017
On Jan. 27, thousands of young Americans – including nearly 200 from the Diocese of Green Bay – will fill the grounds of the Washington Monument in Washington, holding signs and chanting slogans that proclaim a pro-life message. From the iconic monument they will ...
Thinking through the temptation of cohabitation
Jan. 23, 2017, By Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk
Men and women clearly need each other and naturally gravitate toward arrangements of mutual support and lives of shared intimacy. Because women are frequently the immediate guardians of the next generation, they have a particular need to ascertain if there will be steady support ...
Theology isn’t math; but it is theology
Jan. 23, 2017, By George Weigel
During the heyday of the solidarity movement, a famous Polish slogan had it that, “For Poland to be Poland, 2 + 2 Must Always = 4.” It was a quirky but pointed way of challenging the communist culture of the lie, which befogged public life and warped relationships ...
Angels among us: How helping leads to healing
Jan. 23, 2017, By Christina Capecchi
Spend a day in a surgery waiting room and you’ll witness a hundred quiet acts of mercy.
Orthodoxy, sin and heresy
Jan. 10, 2017, By Father Ron Rolheiser
Recently, while on the road giving a workshop, I took the opportunity to go the cathedral in that city for a Sunday Eucharist. I was taken aback by the homily. The priest used the Gospel text where Jesus says, I am the vine and you are the branches, to tell the congregation that ...
New Year’s wishes for some Catholic brethren
Jan. 10, 2017, By George Weigel
2017 promises to be a challenging year for the Catholic Church. Thus some new year’s wishes:
Go in haste! Be amazed! Treasure!
Jan. 9, 2017, By Bishop Robert Barron
By now most of you are probably aware of the depressing statistics regarding the “nones,” that is to say, those in this country who claim no religious affiliation. The most recent survey showed that now fully one fourth of Americans belong to no religion at all ...
The pursuit of happiness this new year
Jan. 9, 2017, By Christina Cappecchi
Don Currey was a 30-year-old graduate student when he cut down the world’s oldest tree.
Our churches as sanctuaries
Dec. 13, 2016, By Father Ron Rolheiser
Whenever we have been at our best, as Christians, we have opened our churches as sanctuaries to the poor and the endangered. We have a long, proud history wherein refugees, homeless persons, immigrants facing deportation, and others who are endangered, take shelter inside our ...
The church in Cuba today
Dec. 13, 2016, By Father Kenneth Weare
Almost immediately following the announcement of the death of Cuban leader Fidel Castro, every shade of political pundit on social and mainstream media speculated on Cuba’s future. Some ventured to proclaim “the church will be free again,” assuming a current ...
The martyrdom of inadequate self-expression
Dec. 5, 2016, By Father Ron Rolheiser
Art too has its martyrs and perhaps our greatest pain is that of inadequate self-expression. That’s an insight from Iris Murdoch and it holds true, I believe, for most everyone.
Are your grandparents lonely?
Dec. 5, 2016, By Sister Constance Veit, LSP
In the past few weeks I’ve been asked to speak about loneliness in the elderly on numerous occasions. I was even quoted in a recent article by Catholic journalist Mary Rezac, entitled “Our Elders Are Lonely – Do We Care?” As we look forward to Christmas, ...
Why we should address Jesus as ‘thou’
Dec. 5, 2016, By Bishop Robert Barron
On the final morning of the November meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, we were treated to a fine sermon by Archbishop J. Peter Sartain. The leader of the church in Seattle spent a good deal of time discussing Pier Giorgio Frassati, a saint from the early-20th ...
The dangers in being a warrior prophet
Nov. 28, 2016, By Father Ron Rolheiser
A prophet makes a vow of love, not of alienation. Daniel Berrigan wrote those words and they need to be highlighted today when a lot of very sincere, committed, religious people self-define as cultural warriors, as prophets at war with secular culture.
On our need for the real Thomas More
Nov. 28, 2016, By George Weigel
Next month marks the 50th anniversary of the film, “A Man for All Seasons.” And if it’s impossible to imagine such a picture on such a theme winning Oscars today, then let’s be grateful that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences got it right by ...
A pilgrim, a bishop and his iPhone
Nov. 28, 2016, By Bishop Robert Barron
I’m in the process of re-reading a spiritual classic from the Russian Orthodox tradition: “The Way of a Pilgrim.” This little text, whose author is unknown to us, concerns a man from mid-19th century Russia who found himself deeply puzzled by St. Paul’s ...
Prayer box taps into spiritual hunger
Nov. 28, 2016, By Christina Cappecchi
The box went up on a Monday evening in August, a plain white box nestled inside a little wooden tent, mounted atop a fence and beneath the outermost reach of a maple.
Why dark nights of the soul?
Nov. 15, 2016, By Father Ron Rolheiser
Atheism is a parasite that feeds on bad religion. That’s why, in the end, atheistic critics are our friends. They hold our feet to the fire.
Catholicism embodied: ‘The pivotal layers’
Nov. 15, 2016, By George Weigel
Looking for some uplift after this tawdry election cycle? Some inspiration for tackling what lies ahead? A good way to enrich Advent? Examples of sanctity to help you be the missionary disciple you were baptized to be? Then let me recommend Bishop Robert Barron’s new DVD ...
Origin of our Thanksgiving Day
Nov. 15, 2016, By Brother John M. Samaha, SM
St. Paul urged us to give thanks to God always. Our forebears and our founding fathers, active Christians, often followed this sage counsel. And eventually our national day of Thanksgiving evolved.
Orphans in liquid nitrogen
Nov. 15, 2016, By Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk
Some humanitarian tragedies occur quietly and “in the background,” only gradually coming to light years or decades after serious harm has already occurred, like nerve damage in infants exposed to lead paint, or cancers in patients who were exposed to asbestos. More ...
Marijuana legalization would harm children, increase traffic deaths
Nov. 1, 2016, By Cardinal William J. Levada
From the earliest political philosophies, a measure of good governance has always been how well a proposed policy or legislation anticipates and prepares for the inevitable consequences. A prudent government makes decisions based on sound reasoning, accurate data and benefits to ...
No ‘safe path’ for children
Nov. 1, 2016, By Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ
Proposition 64 asks voters to legalize the sale and use of marijuana by anyone over the age of 21. The cannabis industry asserts that it is only for adults. But the measure actually endangers 10 million Californians’ children in ways that are entirely predictable ...
Protecting yourself against state’s new assisted-suicide law
Nov. 1, 2016, By Vicki Evans
In what will go down as a dark day in California history, an assisted-suicide law with minimal safeguards took effect June 9.
The Catholic vote?
Nov. 1, 2016, By Father Kenneth Weare
Ever since the 1960 U.S. presidential election of the Democratic Party nominee, John F. Kennedy, a Catholic, the political commentators, pundits, pollsters, and other so-called voting experts have repeatedly drawn attention to “the Catholic vote.”
Remember in November
Nov. 1, 2016, By Brother John M. Samaha, SM
Annually the month of November reminds us to pray for our beloved deceased. At the time of death we hope the deceased go directly to heaven, but more likely they are not ready to be in God’s presence immediately. The church explains that they go to a place called purgatory ...
Our resistance to love
Nov. 1, 2016, By Father Ron Rolheiser
There’s nothing simple about being a human being. We’re a mystery to ourselves and often our own worst enemies. Our inner complexity befuddles us and, not infrequently, stymies us. Nowhere is this truer than in our struggle with love and intimacy.
The multiple problems of surrogacy
Nov. 1, 2016, By Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk
Sometimes when there is infertility in marriage, couples make the decision to seek out the services of a surrogate in order to have a child. A surrogate is a woman who agrees to be implanted with an embryo produced by in vitro fertilization and to hand over the newborn baby to ...
Pray to the finish line
Nov. 1, 2016
The last stop for this year’s tumultuous presidential election season, which for so long seemed like a remote intangible, suddenly is within our sights. Soon, Americans will cast ballots for their preferred candidate. Unfortunately, for many American Catholics weighing ...
Oct. 17, 2016, By Father Ron Rolheiser
Contemplative prayer, as it is classically defined and popularly practiced, is subject today to considerable skepticism in a number of circles. For example, the method of prayer, commonly called centering prayer, popularized by persons like Thomas Keating, Basil Bennington, John ...
We, the people
Oct. 17, 2016, By Sister Jean Evans, RSM
“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and ...
The struggle to not make God our own tribal deity
Oct. 3, 2016, By Father Ron Rolheiser
I was blessed to grow up in a very sheltered and safe environment. My childhood was lived inside of a virtual cocoon.
A vote for dignity
Oct. 3, 2016, By Jeff Bialik
As Catholics, we are called to bring Christ’s love to our neighbors and to bear witness to the dignity of all human life.
A peaceful Ethiopia under threat
Oct. 3, 2016, By Belete Gebrewold
I write this article to share the gathering danger that might slide the regional security crisis to the worst level in the Horn of Africa.
Sep. 26, 2016, By Father Ron Rolheiser
When Pope Francis launched the Holy Year of Mercy, he promised that Christians could gain a special indulgence during this year. That left a lot of present-day Roman Catholics, and even more Protestants and evangelicals, scratching their heads and asking some hard questions: Is ...
Leaving our values at the door of the strip club
Sep. 26, 2016, By Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk
I was recently talking to a Massachusetts family with a 21-year-old son on the autism spectrum. Because of the Asperger syndrome and obsessive compulsive disorder that have affected him since childhood, he is only about 13 or 14 in his understanding and behaviors.
Listening at the keyhole: Loving better, learning more
Sep. 26, 2016, By Christina Capecchi
When two 20-somethings slung a wire across rooftops in Boston, they were hoping to hear each other’s voices transmitted across that line. It worked, and they did, but in the process, they also picked up a far more exotic sound: Powerful radio waves emitted from the ...
Apologists, catechists, theologians: Wake up!
Sep. 26, 2016, By Bishop Robert Barron
After perusing the latest Pew Study on why young people are leaving the active practice of Christianity, I confess that I just sighed in exasperation. I don’t doubt the sincerity of those who responded to the survey, but the reasons they offer for abandoning Christianity ...
From paranoia to metanoia
Sep. 19, 2016, By Father Ron Rolheiser
Sometimes we’re a mystery to ourselves, or, perhaps more accurately, sometimes we don’t realize how much paranoia we carry within ourselves. A lot of things tend to ruin our day.
They’re confessors, not ‘culture-warriors’
Sep. 19, 2016, By George Weigel
Like Shelby Foote’s three-volume masterpiece, “The Civil War: A Narrative,” Francis Parkman’s seven-volume colossus, “France and England in North America,” is worth reading and rereading for its literary elegance as well as its historical ...
Feeding off life’s sacred fire
Sep. 12, 2016, By Father Ron Rolheiser
See the wise and wicked ones Who feed upon life’s sacred fire
Hispanic Catholics of the archdiocese face a new challenge
Sep. 12, 2016, By Father Moisés Agudo
A few months ago, the Hispanic Pastoral Ministries of the Archdiocese of San Francisco agreed to bring a new element into the Pastoral Plan: a Hispanic School of Leadership that will start in September of this year. The School of Leadership has been created by the Hispanic ...
A call to lift arms – in prayer
Aug. 22, 2016, By Sister Jean Evans, RSM
In the face of ever-increasing violent attacks all over the globe and the turmoil, confusion and rancor that characterize our national election process at this time, I think we’re called to lift our arms in prayer.
Pax Christi urges prayer, study, action on abolishing nuclear weapons
Aug. 22, 2016, By Tom Webb
This month we recall the 71st anniversary of the atomic bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima in 1945. The horrific and devastating effects of the bombs encouraged Japan to request terms for surrender to end the four year conflict with the United States. But it also opened the door ...
Talking to kids about porn and human sexuality
Aug. 22, 2016, By Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk
A growing concern today involves the role of pornography as the next generation’s instructor in human sexuality. For many young people, pornography has become the only guide to sexuality they have ever known.
A happy death
Aug. 22, 2016, By Father Ron Rolheiser
In the Roman Catholic culture within which I grew up, we were taught to pray for a happy death. For many Catholics at the time, this was a standard petition within their daily prayer: “I pray for a happy death.”
Our fear of hell
Aug. 9, 2016, By Father Ron Rolheiser
Hell is never a nasty surprise waiting for a basically happy person. Hell can only be the full flowering of a pride and selfishness that have, through a long time, twisted a heart so thoroughly that it considers happiness as unhappiness and has an arrogant disdain for happy ...
Struggling with grandiosity
Jul. 12, 2016, By Father Ron Rolheiser
We live in a world wherein most everything overstimulates our grandiosity, even as we are handed fewer tools to deal with that.
The last Puritan statesman and the 2016 conventions
Jul. 12, 2016, By George Weigel
Had I the resources, the one new book I’d give every delegate to the national political conventions meeting later this month is James Traub’s masterful biography, “John Quincy Adams: Militant Spirit” (Basic Books).
Jul. 12, 2016, By Father Anthony Giampietro
This is the third in a series by Basilian Father Anthony Giampietro, archdiocese development director, on topics related to personal planning, especially estate planning. Father Giampietro’s goal is to provide up-to-date information for you and your loved ones as you plan ...
Two Catholics and the Catholic game
Jun. 21, 2016, By George Weigel
Baseball is by far the most Catholic of the sports on which we lavish such attention and passion.
The struggle to love our neighbor
Jun. 21, 2016, By Father Ron Rolheiser
“The most damaging idolatry is not the golden calf but enmity against the other.” The renowned anthropologist, Rene Girard, wrote that and its truth is not easily admitted. Most of us like to believe that we are mature and bighearted and that we do love our neighbors ...
World’s 20 million refugees deserve a compassionate hand
Jun. 21, 2016, By Mercy Sister Diane Clyne and Mercy Sister Marilyn
World Refugee Day was observed June 20, a time to consider the plight of refugees both historically and currently, not only in the Mediterranean but the world over. There are about 20 million refugees in the world now, a ghastly statistic that cannot possibly be ignored or ...
Seeing through intersex confusion
Jun. 21, 2016, By Father tadeusz Pacholczyk
On rare occasions, babies can be born with ambiguous genitalia, and parents and physicians may be uncertain about whether a newborn is a little boy or a little girl. While testing for sex chromosomes is invariably part of figuring out these cases, the genetics alone may not ...
Ordinary goodness and our spiritual journey
Jun. 7, 2016, By Father Ron Rolheiser
The spirituality writer Tom Stella tells a story about three monks at prayer in their monastery chapel. The first monk imagines himself being carried up to heaven by the angels. The second monk imagines himself already in heaven, chanting God’s praises with the angels and ...
Why ‘Last Days in the Desert’ is so boring
Jun. 7, 2016, By Bishop Robert Barron
With his latest film, “Last Days in the Desert,” Rodrigo Garcia has accomplished something truly remarkable. He has taken a portion of the life of the single most compelling person who has ever lived and turned it into a colossally boring movie. As I watched ...
Jun. 7, 2016, By Father Anthony Giampietro
In my first article in this series, I described the personal planning seminars we held earlier this spring. Our goal in the seminars was to provide practical advice in three important areas that are often confusing or unsettling: end of life bioethical decisions, funeral and ...
A convert in the kitchen
Jun. 7, 2016, By Christina Capecchi
Staci Perry bakes like she lives. She doesn’t measure. She works with what’s already in the fridge. And she scrapes every last bit out of the bowl.
Jun. 7, 2016, By George Weigel
Cardinal Pietro Parolin, secretary of state of the Holy See, recently told an Italian journal that relations between the Vatican and the People’s Republic of China “are living a positive phase, as there have been signals from both sides that there is a wish to keep ...
Intolerance and evangelization
May. 24, 2016, By George Weigel
Cardinal Robert Sarah is one of the adornments of the Catholic Church, although it’s very unlikely that this man of faith, humor, intelligence, and profound humility would appreciate my putting it that way. His 2015 book, “God or Nothing,” is selling all over ...
Faith and fear
May. 24, 2016, By Father Ron Rolheiser
A common soldier dies without fear, yet Jesus died afraid. Iris Murdoch wrote this and that truth can be somewhat disconcerting. Why? If someone dies with deep faith, shouldn’t he or she die within a certain calm and trust drawn from that faith? Wouldn’t the opposite ...
Planning ahead is a great gift to loved ones
May. 24, 2016, By Father Anthony Giampietro
Earlier this year, the development office hosted four seminars to address common questions and concerns about end of life decisions and planning. There were three brief presentations at each seminar, on bioethical decisions, funeral and burial planning, and estate planning.
Biblical preaching and healing the culture
May. 17, 2016, By George Weigel
If Catholics in the United States are going to be healers of our wounded culture, we’re going to have to learn to see the world through lenses ground by biblical faith. That form of depth perception only comes from an immersion in the Bible itself. So spending 10 or 15 ...
Call yourself a saint-in-training
May. 17, 2016, By Tony Rossi
Never call yourself a bad person, but rather “a saint-in-training.” That’s the advice of former director of The Christophers Father John Catoir, and it’s a truth he learned from his years counseling people as part of his priestly ministry.
Embryos and the ‘14-Day Rule’
May. 17, 2016, By Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk
Arguments in favor of research on human embryos typically play off our unfamiliarity with the way that we ourselves once appeared and existed as embryos. Humans in their tiniest stages are indeed unfamiliar to us, and they hardly look anything like “one of us.”
Daniel Berrigan and non-violence
May. 17, 2016, By Bishop Robert Barron
Last week Father Daniel Berrigan, SJ, passed away at the age of 94. Though many younger Catholics might not remember him, Father Berrigan was one of the most provocative and controversial religious figures of his time. Standing in the tradition of principled non-violence ...
Youth today: Who are they really?
May. 17, 2016, By Father Ron Rolheiser
A seminarian I know recently went to a party on a Friday evening at a local university campus. The group was a crowd of young, college students and when he was introduced as a seminarian, as someone who was trying to become a priest and who had taken a vow of celibacy, the ...
Election fatigue and the Year of Mercy
May. 17, 2016, By Judy Barrett
It’s only May, and many of us are weary of the never-ending news cycles about the 2016 Presidential election. I’d like to suggest an antidote for election fatigue but first, allow me to take this opportunity to gently nudge those news-weary voters: In addition to ...
Why you should read C.S. Lewis’ ‘The Great Divorce’
May. 9, 2016, By Bishop Robert Barron
In my capacity as regional bishop of the Santa Barbara pastoral region, which covers two entire counties north of Los Angeles, I am obliged to spend a good deal of time in the car. To make the long trips a bit easier, I have gotten back into the habit of listening to audio ...
May. 9, 2016, By George Weigel
Two days after that circular firing-squad known as the “Republican primaries” came to a de facto conclusion on the banks of the Wabash, The Wall Street Journal had this to say:
May. 9, 2016, By Brother John M. Samaha, SM
One of the marvelous treasures Catholics possess is their understanding of and devotion to Mary, mother of the Lord.
In this month of mothers
May. 9, 2016, By Sister Constance Veit, LSP
We celebrated Mother’s Day on May 8, and as Catholics we dedicate the whole month to our heavenly mother, Mary. And so, May is a natural time to reflect on the irreplaceable role of mothers and all women in our lives. In the weeks following our appearance at the Supreme ...
Daniel Berrigan, RIP
May. 9, 2016, By Father Ron Rolheiser
Before you get serious about Jesus, first consider how good you’re going to look on wood! Daniel Berrigan wrote those words and they express a lot about who he was and what he believed in. He died May 1at age 94.
Porn and the curse of total sexual freedom
Apr. 26, 2016, By Bishop Robert Barron
The most recent issue of Time magazine features a fascinating and deeply troubling article on the prevalence of pornography in our culture. The focus of the piece is on the generation of young men now coming of age, the first generation who grew up with unlimited access to ...
On ‘aging gracefully’
Apr. 26, 2016, By Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk
It seems odd, even a bit repulsive, when we encounter tales of elderly men running after women who are young enough to be their granddaughters. The wheelchair-bound billionaire oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall was 89 years old when he married the 26-year-old Anna Nicole Smith. He ...
I believe in mystery
Apr. 26, 2016, By Sister Carla Kovack, OP
A few years back, listeners of National Public Radio would recognize the program titled “This I Believe.” Around the same time I was in campus ministry at Dominican University in San Rafael. One of our student leaders who was active in our ministry wanted to reach ...
Marking an anniversary
Apr. 26, 2016, By Father Ron Rolheiser
What we cease to celebrate we will soon cease to cherish. This year, 2016, marks the 200th anniversary of the founding of the religious congregation to which I belong, The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. We have a proud history, 200 years now, of ministering to the poor ...
First thoughts on ‘Amoris Laetitia’
Apr. 19, 2016, By Bishop Robert Barron
On a spring day about five years ago, when I was rector of Mundelein Seminary, Cardinal Francis George spoke to the assembled student body. He congratulated those proudly orthodox seminarians for their devotion to the dogmatic and moral truths proposed by the church, but he also ...
Loyalty and patriotism revisited
Apr. 19, 2016, By Father Ron Rolheiser
In a recent article in America magazine, Grant Kaplan, commenting on the challenge of the Resurrection, makes this comment: “Unlike previous communities in which the bond among members forges itself through those it excludes and scapegoats, the gratuity of the resurrection ...
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