The Memory of St. Polycarp

Years ago, prior to entering seminary, I worked in an office where, during their lunch break, a group of my co-workers would gather in the break room and watch their favorite soap opera. The show was sufficiently ridiculous to be entertaining, so occasionally I’d join them.  My favorite storyline was about a character who awokeContinue reading “The Memory of St. Polycarp”

Comprehending Brianna’s Choice

In this month’s edition of the Fairfield County Catholic (Jan 2022), there is a beautiful article about a young woman named Brianna Farens who grew up in Shelton, and is a graduate of St. Joseph High School (2010) and Providence College (2014).  She had always thought about pursuing a career in medicine, like her father,Continue reading “Comprehending Brianna’s Choice”

St. Josephine Bakhita

In 1877, a seven-year-old member of the Daju tribe in Sudan was kidnapped and sold into slavery. Her kidnappers sold her to people who treated slaves brutally, including frequent severe beatings which almost killed her.  One of her owners subjected her to an excruciating process of decorative cutting, which left her chest, abdomen, and rightContinue reading “St. Josephine Bakhita”

St. Francis De Sales

This Monday (1/24) is the feast day of St. Francis De Sales, the Bishop of Geneva from 1602-1622.  Born of a noble family, St. Francis was groomed by his father from a young age for service as an imperial magistrate.  He experienced a profound conversion at the age of 19, however, which set his life on a different path. It was around that time thatContinue reading “St. Francis De Sales”

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”