What It’s All About

There’s a story about a young Italian priest who was travelling by train and found himself sharing a compartment with a group of high school students. Since it was 1952 and there were no smart phones to distract them, the priest and the young people engaged in conversation.  What the priest discovered through the conversationContinue reading “What It’s All About”

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”

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”

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”

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”