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”

Formation for Evangelization

Leonard DeLorenzo is a professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame.  He recently wrote an article in Church Life Journal entitled, “Evangelization: If We Just Keep Them, We’ll Lose Them.”  The “them” he refers to are the young people who are the object of intense concern in the Church.  DeLorenzo argues that the Church makes a mistake when framing the issue in negative terms,Continue reading “Formation for Evangelization”

Dr. Irenaeus

I remember years ago doing a little research to find out if my birthday was also the feast day of a saint.  When I found the answer, I said to myself in disappointment: “Who is St. Irenaeus?” As you read this, you might be saying the same thing. But these days St. Irenaeus has been making a big comeback.  Just a couple of weeks ago, Pope Francis announced hisContinue reading “Dr. Irenaeus”

Good Pope John

In October 1962, almost 60 years ago this month, Pope St. John XXIII opened the Second Vatican Council.  The First Vatican Council had been cut short and left unfinished in 1870 by the War of Italian Unification.  Prior to that Council was the Council of Trent, which was the Catholic Church’s response to the crisis of the Protestant Reformation in the 16th Century.  Less than 20 yearsContinue reading “Good Pope John”

God’s Minstrel

This Monday, October 4, is the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi (1881-1226).  St. Francis is one of the most beloved saints in the Christian tradition, especially among the people of his native Italy.  An Italian friend of mine once joked that Italians love St. Francis best, then comes St. Joseph, then Padre Pio, then Jesus!  St. Francis captured theContinue reading “God’s Minstrel”

Carthago Delenda Est

There was an article in the New York Times a number of years ago that reported on a place that scholars have called “the largest cemetery of sacrificed humans ever discovered.”  It’s located near the North African coast, not far from the city of Tunis, the site of the ancient Phoenician city of Carthage.  In its day, Carthage was one ofContinue reading “Carthago Delenda Est”