Welcome to the Pastor's Corner!

The Pastor’s take on all things Catholic

JOHN HENRY (CARDINAL) NEWMAN

Folks by now know that even more than C S Lewis, John Henry Newman is my spiritual and theological and ecclesial (= “church-conscious”) hero.  Finally, he is to be formally canonized as a saint.  My big question is whether or not he will also be declared (as...

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“I CONFESS TO ALMIGHTY GOD…

…to Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, to St Michael the Archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and to all the saints…that I have sinned…” This is how the “old form” of the Confiteor (“I confess”) began.  Back then, we touched...

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EUCHARISTIC FAITH: IS IT POSSIBLE?

It’s incredible, and honestly it’s disrespectful of the Lord:  God’s true and real Presence in that wafer and in that sip of “the fruit of the vine”?  Who can believe this? Yet, excluding debates in the 11th-12th centuries about the “how” of the Eucharist,...

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THREE IN ONE, ONE IN THREE

Helen Waddell was a mediaeval scholar who also wrote historical novels, including one about the famous 11th-12th century philosopher/theologian Peter Abelard.  Toward the end of the novel two characters are discussing Abelard’s new theological work, De Trinitate...

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COME, HOLY SPIRIT—FILL THE HEARTS OF THE FAITHFUL…

…and kindle in them the fire of your love.  Send forth your Spirit, O Lord, and we shall be re-created, and you shall renew the face of the earth. This is an ancient prayer, based in part on Psalm 104 (this weekend’s Responsorial) and in part on an ancient (8th...

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RETREATS, FORMAL AND PERSONAL

I think everyone knows that the annual priests’ retreat (where I am right now) is too short! Before we are ordained (either to the diaconate—transitional or permanent —or to the priesthood) we are expected to make a 5-day retreat. Every year in seminary I went to one...

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MEMORIALS AND VOWS

On this weekend we remember all those men and women military of our country who died in the course of combat:  in declared war, in “police actions,” in peace-keeping efforts (and, honestly, also those first responders who have given their lives for the sake of...

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BERNARDINE OF SIENA—WHO??

St Bernardine of Siena is a figure well worth getting to know (his optional memorial is celebrated on 20 May).  Let’s do this!           He was born near Siena (no surprise) in the end of the 14th century and lived...

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SHEPHERDS AND SHEEP

The Gospel image of this weekend (all three Lectionary cycles) is that of Jesus as the Good Shepherd.  It’s a beautiful image, and it’s one that has been enshrined in some of the earliest Christian art, including paintings and sculptures from the Roman...

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NOTRE DAME, OUR MOTHER

I was enjoying a bit of lunch when my friend Bob Grip blasted me a text:  “Are you watching CNN?”  When I said no, he messaged, “Notre Dame is burning.”  My first thought was my Alma Mater, the University in South Bend, IN.  When I asked,...

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