Faith and Culture

Why Accompaniment Involves Apologetics

"Road to Emmaus" (detail) by Robert Zünd [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I recently granted an interview to the National Catholic Reporter concerning the upcoming Synod on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment, to which I was elected a delegate. We discussed a number of topics, including the rise of the “nones,” the purpose of the Synod, and creative ways of listening to the concerns of young people. In the course […]

All Sinners are Welcome!

"Christ and the Woman of Samaria" (detail) by Paolo Veronese

While I was in central Georgia, filming the Flannery O’Connor episode of my Pivotal Players series, I saw a sign on the outside of a church, which would have delighted the famously prickly Catholic author: “All Sinners Are Welcome!” I thought it was a wonderfully Christian spin on the etiquette of welcome that is so pervasive in our culture today. In a […]

Getting Out of the Sacristy: A Look at Our Pastoral Priorities

For the past several days, I’ve been with my Word on Fire team, filming for the Flannery O’Connor and Fulton Sheen episodes of our “Pivotal Players” series. Our journey has taken us from Chicago to New York to Washington, DC, and finally to Savannah and Milledgeville, Georgia. At every step of the way, we have met numerous people who have […]

Six Obstacles to Evangelizing in the Modern Age

"The Taking of Christ" (detail) by Caravaggio

“Indeed, let us continue to go out and teach all nations!” As members of the Body of Christ striving for communion with the saints, we are faced with an essential mission contingent upon first picking up our crosses. Our primary duty is to cultivate our interior habits of being by prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Good works follow the cultivation of […]

The Importance of Pilgrimages to the Holy Land

The Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem

At the beginning of Lent, I was privileged to help lead a pilgrimage of 40 young adults to the Holy Land. The pilgrims came from the Leonine Forum, a wonderful program founded in 2013 in Washington DC by the late Father Arne Panula and Mitch Boersma of the Catholic Information Center to form Catholics in their 20s and 30s in […]

Paul Tillich and “The Shape of Water”

SPOILER ALERT! I knew that The Shape of Water would win the Academy Award for Best Picture. It checked three of the major Hollywood boxes: celebration of oppressed people, valorization of complete sexual freedom, and a Christian villain. It used to be that a black hat or shifty eyes or a foreign accent would give someone away as the bad […]

A Case for Priestly Celibacy

There is a very bad argument for celibacy which has reared its head throughout the tradition and which is, even today, defended by some. It runs something like this: married life is morally and spiritually suspect; priests, as religious leaders, should be spiritual athletes above reproach; therefore, priests shouldn’t be married. I love Augustine, but it is hard to deny that […]

What Kindness Really Means

"Suffer the little children to come unto me." (detail) by Carl Bloch [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

We exited the restaurant with exuberance still lingering from our family dinner conversation. It was a rare treat to take everyone out to eat, so we relished the time spent ordering what we wanted, listening to catchy tunes, and watching diners gather on the dance floor for mid-meal entertainment. I’d forgotten that Sarah had Apert syndrome, as I tend to […]

The New Evangelization and the Catholic School

Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan, Italy

Holy Spirit Prep in Atlanta is a cut above the rest in its focus and commitment to participate in the New Evangelization. Holy Spirit Prep is on the Cardinal Newman Society Honor Roll and is known as the most faithfully Catholic prep school in Atlanta. The board is comprised mostly of faithful parishioners and parents who place Catholicism in its […]

True Versus False Human Rights

Eleanor Roosevelt and United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Spanish text.

2018 marks the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was proclaimed three years after the 1945 foundation of the United Nations to give definition to the “fundamental human rights” and “fundamental freedoms” mentioned in the UN Charter. The motivation behind it was to counteract the barbarous acts that occurred at the time of World War II, […]