PASTOR'S CORNER

AD LIMINA VISITS

You know the bishops of the United States are making what are called “ad limina” visits to Rome at this time.  The bishops of New England just finished, and those of New York are there now.  Archbishop Rodi (along with the bishops of Region V of the United...

A MATTER OF LIFE OR DEATH

I had a very painful and (for the person calling) traumatic conversation earlier this past week.  A relative had committed suicide, and the person calling me was terrified (because of having been educated in the “old school” of Catholic moral theology):  was...

REMEMBRANCE AND GRATITUDE

For many of us, November is a very somber time.  It is, after all, the traditional month of “holy souls,” particularly all the faithful departed that are not celebrated as saints—we pray and beg God’s merciful hand on them in a special way during this...

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE ‘CATHOLIC’?

Since the word “catholic” means “universal,” I guess to be “catholic” means, at least to some extent, to be a part of the universe—to know that there are no exclusions, only welcome.  Or in the famous description of the Irish novelist James Joyce:  “Here...

HOW TO (AND HOW NOT TO) RELATE

When I returned from the canonization of Cardinal Newman earlier this week, Eileen Rettig gave me an op-ed piece by John Garvey, currently President of Catholic University of America, an alumnus of Notre Dame, and a former law professor there.  The article is...

GIVING AND RECEIVING

The journey I’m on right now, as you all know, is for me the journey of a lifetime.  I’m in the Delta Sky Lounge right now, waiting for the flight to Rome, and then the train to Assisi.  But rather than focus on this week for me, I want to reflect on the...

CONVERGING IMPROBABILITIES

So everyone knows that I’m heading to Italy to attend (and concelebrate) the Mass of canonization of John Henry Cardinal Newman.  What could be better than taking (a very small!) active part in the honoring of my own personal spiritual and theological hero? ...

LET’S GET VULGAR

Before everyone freaks out, what do I actually mean?  The word “vulgar” has come to mean crude and/or obscene.  But that is not quite the original meaning that has morphed into this modern sense.  The earlier, original, meaning of the word was used to...

TWIN SAINTS

This Thursday is the Memorial of Saints Cosmas and Damian.  They are worth getting to know.           According to the tradition, they were twin brothers, born in Syria, and they were physicians.   Contrary...

GLORYING IN THE CROSS

As Catholics (and as many other Christians), we think nothing shameful about wearing a cross or crucifix (unless, of course, we’re reluctant to “identify” as believers).  But do we think of what we are doing and saying when we wear it?...