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”

Forming a Eucharistic Strategy

Last week someone shared with me a recent article from Commonweal by Cardinal Blaise Cupich, the Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago.  Cardinal Cupich is generally considered to be a “progressive” member of the American episcopate, though those types of political labels are often unhelpful when applied to the Church.  Irrespective of one’s leanings, the article offers some compelling observations. In it, the Cardinal outlines several themes about the Eucharist that he believes should be the foundation of a strategy to address the significant challenges the Church faces inContinue reading “Forming a Eucharistic Strategy”

Our Lady of Perpetual Help

In 1882, there was a terrible outbreak of smallpox in the small nation of Haiti.  Over the course of several months, tens of thousands of Haitians died of the disease.  The epidemic was made worse by a drought that was unusually long for the tropical island.  On February 5, 1882, Archbishop Alexis Jean-Marie Guilloux gathered the people to the church of St. Francis Xavier in the Bel-Air neighborhoodContinue reading “Our Lady of Perpetual Help”

Breaking the Spell

There was a very interesting opinion article in last Sunday’s New York Times (“How to Think Your Way Into Religious Belief” 8/15/21).  It was written by Ross Douthat, who has had a column in the Op-Ed section of the Times since 2009, and has on occasion used that space to write about religion.  Douthat is Catholic, and his writings demonstrate a broad interest in religious belief,Continue reading “Breaking the Spell”