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”

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”

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”

Dressing Up

This is the time of year when people, young and old, dress up in costumes for trick-or-treating and Halloween parties.  For this reason, I thought it opportune to write about liturgical vestments and the significance of the garments that the priest wears for liturgy.  It’s important to note, however, that there is a fundamental difference between aContinue reading “Dressing Up”

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”

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”