Catholic Church

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 […]

A Simple and Public Act of Faith

Photograph © by Andy Coan

“Our behavior will be the proving ground of our deepest convictions.  This firmness in the Faith is often an excellent testimony to the beliefs of the Christian.  In some cases it can cause people to begin their return to the House of the Father” (Father Francis Fernandez; In Conversation with God). Several weeks ago I had lunch with one of my new […]

Extraordinary Faith from Ordinary Catholics

“In the doctrine of Christ there is no invitation to mediocrity, but a clear call to Heaven, to love and to cheerful sacrifice.” (Francis Fernandez, In Conversation with God) Feeling let down by politicians and public figures who say they are Catholic, but whose words and actions are often contrary to the teachings of the Church? Do we seek good examples […]

Miracles and the Enlightenment

Photography © by Andy Coan

Did Jesus really raise the daughter of Jairus and perform other miracles? The Deists, including several American founding fathers like Thomas Jefferson, said no, and their Enlightenment skepticism still influences us today. This post focuses on the raising of the daughter of Jairus, miracles, expectant faith and the Enlightenment religion of Thomas Jefferson and many American founding fathers.  It serves […]

John the Baptist’s Birthday!

"St. John the Baptist Preaching in the Wilderness" (detail) by Anton Raphael Mengs

On June 24, the Church observes a solemn feast in honor of the birth or nativity of John the Baptist.  No other saint’s birthday is celebrated with such solemnity.  The unique role of the Forerunner, the Voice crying out in the Wilderness, in the history of salvation is part of the reason.  But also the Church wants to draw our […]

The Heavy Burdens We Carry

Confessionals

I have been thinking a great deal about my experience at Reconciliation this past Saturday. I felt an intense and unexplainable urge to go and confess my sins when I woke up that morning. I try to go every six weeks or so, but this was no routine visit to the priest for me. I needed to unburden myself of […]

Powerful Lessons from St. Joseph for Father’s Day

As the father of a 20-year-old son with high-functioning autism, I am sometimes challenged to give my oldest child the focus and patience he needs from me.  I frequently feel inadequate when I advise and guide my 17-year-old son through the minefields of today’s culture.  My loving wife should expect my best efforts as a husband, yet I often feel […]