The Blessing of Children

Pope Francis got himself into trouble with the commentariat last week for some things he said during his January 5 audience that were critical of married couples who decide against having children.  “Many couples do not have children because they do not want to, or they [intentionally] just have one – but they have two dogs, two cats [that] take the place ofContinue reading “The Blessing of Children”

Family Matters

There’s an excellent essay by Helen Alvare in the current edition (Jan 2022) of Magnificat, entitled “Who is my Neighbor?”  Alvare is a tenured law professor at Antonin Scalia Law School (George Mason University), an advisor to the Vatican and the US Bishops Conference regarding issues of family policy and religious freedom, and the author of many articles and books. Here it is in its entirety:  I haveContinue reading “Family Matters”

Hopes and Resolutions

What do we hope for in this new year of 2022?  Certainly, we continue to suffer the effects of the pandemic. COVID-19 has exposed many of the hidden maladies of our society, including a widespread sense of isolation and a desperate yearning for meaning and purpose in life.  We have seen how social alienation is easily co-opted by political movements and ideologies that foment resentment andContinue reading “Hopes and Resolutions”

Christmas Lights

Lights make Christmas beautiful.  Driving around Stamford, it’s amazing to see the lengths people will go to coat their homes in the brilliant festive hues of Christmas.  I find there’s something mystical about sitting quietly before a Christmas tree in a darkened room, basking in the radiant glow pouring forth from among the branches.  It’s beautiful.   It’s also a fitting way to celebrate the birth of Jesus, Our Savior, in Bethlehem.  WeContinue reading “Christmas Lights”

Norm

Over the next couple of weeks, the media will begin its annual practice of reflecting on the events of the past year, including the passing of celebrities and politicians.  One of the people who surely will be mentioned is comedian Norm MacDonald, who died of cancer in September.  MacDonald was best-known as a cast member of Saturday Night Live and for anchoring theContinue reading “Norm”

Assembling the Assembly

I recently ordered a piece of furniture, a little television stand for the rectory.  It arrived requiring assembly.  I’m not much of a handyman, so when I saw all of the pieces, with different-sized screws, and various other pieces of hardware, I was a bit worried about how it would come out. Fortunately, there were instructions that I could follow.  It took aboutContinue reading “Assembling the Assembly”

Friends with Nones

I recently read a very sad article entitled, “’Nones’ at the Peripheries.”  It appeared on the website of a Catholic news provider called The Pillar and was the final installment of a series of articles about a survey commissioned by The Pillar which I also wrote about in this space a few weeks ago.  This particular article focused in on a segment of our country’s population that is religiously unaffiliated. They are often referred to as the “nones,” since their response to theContinue reading “Friends with Nones”

Remembrances and Anticipations

Advent has come quickly this year.  It is a season of anticipation, of looking forward to the fulfillment of divine promises. Yet, it doesn’t seem right to move on from Thanksgiving to Advent just yet. With time moving so quickly, it is important not to shortchange the opportunity that Thanksgiving provides, which is to remember. Unlike the anticipation of Advent, the gratitude of Thanksgiving is a backward-looking virtue, and aContinue reading “Remembrances and Anticipations”

Life in the Real World

Do we have a problem with reality?  You might think so based on the recent announcement by Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who has decided to rename his company “Meta” and unveiled his dream project of creating a virtual reality platform he calls the “metaverse.”  At first glance, it seems strange that a 37-year-old man who is worth $120 billion wouldContinue reading “Life in the Real World”

One of the Greats

In the two-thousand-year history of the Church, only two popes enjoy the honorific “The Great,” according to Church tradition.  The fifth century pontiff, St. Leo is one of them (his sixth century successor, Pope St. Gregory, is the other).  Prior to his election as pope at the age of 40, St. Leo was already known as a great administrator and promoter of political peace.  When conflicts brokeContinue reading “One of the Greats”