PASTOR'S CORNER

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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

THE NAME OF GOD IS MERCY

If we think that the theme of the mercy of God is something invented or discovered by Pope Francis, we need to re-think.  We have only to go back about a hundred years, actually.           Consider a prayer many of us...

EASTER AT LAST

So Lent is finally over, and the promises that were made just before Ash Wednesday are officially ended (most of them kept most of the time).  The discipline that made the past season worthwhile doesn’t have the “scaffolding” of the days of liturgical purple any...

WHAT DO WE SHOUT?

In the space of just a few minutes during our Liturgy of Palm Sunday we turn our chants from “Hosanna!” to “Crucify him!”  How can that happen? Perhaps we mean only one of the chants, and we “go through the motions” with the other.  Perhaps we cynically...

THE POPE SAYS THE CHURCH MUST CHANGE…

The Apostolic Exhortation Christus Vivit (“Christ Is Alive”), the result of the recent Synod on “Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment,” was published this past Tuesday.  In it, Pope Francis states: “This means humbly acknowledging that some things...

A TIME FOR JOY

It’s the middle of Lent—it’s the middle of our period of sorrow for our sins, attempts (often unsuccessful) to rein them in; it’s a time of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving in ways specially focused and extensive.  It’s the season of devotions that emphasize the...