Catholic Church

Four Critical Principles for Catholic Fathers

“It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father.” (Pope St. John XXIII) I often feel completely lost and befuddled as a Catholic father in today’s world. How do I set the right example? How do I help my sons grow up with a strong Catholic faith? How do I prepare them […]

"The Exhortation to the Apostles" (detail) by James Tissot

I Believe in God

CREDO When we say “I believe” as we recite the Apostle’s Creed we are making a statement about our Faith. The theological virtue of Faith is supernatural and infused by gift of the Holy Spirit. St. Thomas Aquinas points out that Faith is not only the first thing we need, but that we cannot be proper Catholics without it.1 St. […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

He’s No Ghost!

On the first Easter, the Risen Lord makes clear to his frightened disciples he not a ghost or specter and in so doing shows why the gnostic gospels are bogus and did not make it into the Bible. his post shows how the risen Lord was no ghost but had flesh and blood.  It reflects on the Mass readings for the […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

The Sacrament of Mercy

Divine Mercy Sunday or the Octave of Easter presents us with one of the most famous of gospel stories — the story of Doubting Thomas. But it shows us how and when the sacrament of pena This post focuses on the relation between Divine Mercy Sunday, the unbelief of Doubting Thomas, and the sacrament of penance, reconciliation and confession.  The […]

"Christ's Entry into Jerusalem" by Hippolyte Flandrin

Joy in the Midst of Sorrow

The Cross is the great paradox of Christianity. More than a few people have asked me over the years why the Catholic Church focuses so prominently and persistently on the Crucifix. One inquirer even suggested that the Crucifix hanging above the Altar is too intense a reminder of the sorrow in the world and that she would never join a […]

Why Do We Follow a Secular Compass?

I don’t know about you, but I rarely get through the day without feeling beaten up a little by the demands and pervasive negative influence of the world. It is difficult to find peace and block out the noise. I am challenged to avoid committing the same venial sins over and over each day. In my weakness, I tend to […]

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 […]

A Courageous Example and a Loving Parish

I recall a Sunday Mass in 2016 when I had an opportunity to witness a very special moment at my parish. An eighteen-year-old young man with high-functioning autism was taking his first turn as a lector at Mass. The lector role is an important one with serious responsibility, but this young man showed confidence and little fear as he read […]

Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan, Italy

The New Evangelization and the Catholic School

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 […]

Struggling with a Restless Heart

“Thou movest us to delight in praising Thee; for Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee” (St. Augustine, Confessions). I think most writers are naturally introspective and reflective.  While praying in preparation for Lent not long ago, I prayed for strength and courage to stay focused on the path Christ […]