R.I.P. Sr. Mary Joseph, O.C.D.

Last weekend I received word that Sr. Mary Joseph, a member of the Carmelite Monastery of Des Plaines, IL., had passed away at the age of 92.  Sr. Mary Joseph was an unlikely member of her Carmelite community.  Born Ann Russell, she grew up as a wealthy San Francisco socialite whose father was the chairman of Southern Pacific Railroad.  She married Richard Miller atContinue reading “R.I.P. Sr. Mary Joseph, O.C.D.”

Receiving the Body of Christ

Last weekend we celebrated First Holy Communions for 44 young members of our parish. First Communions are always one of the best days of the year. As the priest celebrant, I had the special privilege of seeing them approach the sanctuary with deep reverence, and receive the Most Blessed Sacrament with obvious faith. It wasContinue reading “Receiving the Body of Christ”

Liturgy, part 4

When we think of the word “sacrifice,” we might think of it as a form of delayed gratification, where we deprive ourselves of something we want now for the sake of enjoying a better thing later on.  We might also think of the sacrifices that parents make for their children, or that members of the military make for the protection of our country.  ButContinue reading “Liturgy, part 4”

The Gift of Gratitude

Thanksgiving reminds me of my grandmother, Elizabeth. When we were little, our family used to make the trek down from Trumbull to Staten Island where she lived, braving both the BQE and the Verrazano Bridge – which is not for the faint of heart even on the best of days.  My grandmother was one of seven children born to the Fallon family in County Longford,Continue reading “The Gift of Gratitude”

Tough Love

The Book of Revelation is filled with dramatic images of great battles between angels and demons, the Lamb of God and the terrible dragon that vainly tries to destroy the Woman who appears in the sky, “clothed with the sun.”  Usually identified with an account of the end of the world, the Book of Revelation is really more than that.  It unveilsContinue reading “Tough Love”

Conspiracies and End Times

Conspiracy theories abound these days.  A conspiracy theory, according to Wikipedia, is “an explanation for an event or situation that invokes a conspiracy by sinister and powerful groups, often political in motivation, when other explanations are more probable.” By nature, conspiracy theories are extremely difficult to disprove, because proponents will use both the presence and the lack of evidence asContinue reading “Conspiracies and End Times”

Indulgences

The great celebrations of All Saints Day and All Souls Day traditionally come with special opportunities for what are called “indulgences.”  Indulgences are a subject fraught with misunderstanding, so it might be helpful to try to give a brief explanation in this space, especially since the pope has expanded the availability of certain indulgences for the sake of theContinue reading “Indulgences”

The Strong Back of Christ

posted 5/19/20 “Cast all your worries upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)  I have always found these words of St. Peter deeply consoling.  They remind us that we are never alone in the things that we suffer.  But, strange creatures that we are, there are times when we decide that we should just go it alone anyway.  WeContinue reading “The Strong Back of Christ”