Priesthood

Our priests need us

“Your parish priest is a fallen human being. He may hurt your feelings or he may make bad decisions—just like the Apostles did to their contemporaries. But he needs your gratitude, your help, and your encouragement. He needs your prayers.” Spring teems with new life—not just in the form of budding trees and flowers, but also in the spiritual realm […]

Is it okay to call a Catholic priest “Father”?

"The Stoning of St. Stephen" (detail) by Rembrandt

[NB: Do not miss the video at the end of this article. You will be blessed. —Deacon Mike] Call no man father? “Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven” (Matthew 23:9). Throughout history, including that time since the days when Jesus uttered these words, we have referred to others on earth as father. […]

Courage in the Christian and Priestly Life

Stained glass window at the Melkite Catholic Annunciation Cathedral in Roslindale depicting Christ the King with the regalia of a Byzantine emperor. (January 2009 photo by John Stephen Dwyer [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

Two weeks ago I had the joy to preach the annual five-day retreat for Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, where 25 years ago this year I began my formation for the priesthood. It was an opportunity to express my thanks to the 150 men preparing there for the priesthood there for their courageous witness in faithfully following God’s […]

Jesus Christ—Cause of My Hope

Mission Dolores Altar (San Francisco) Photograph © by Andy Coan

“Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” Today is the final Sunday on the Church’s annual liturgical calendar.  Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King—King of the Universe. Not only is Jesus Christ the Messiah and our Savior, not only is he our brother and our friend, Jesus Christ is our Lord and King. To […]

Encountering the Word — John 20:19-23

Photography © by Andy Coan

On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw […]

Solanus Casey—Model for Our Times

Father Solanus Casey - CC 3.0 via Wikipedia.

Venerable Solanus Casey, O.F.M. Cap. was a holy Catholic priest whose faith and passion for the Lord and his poor were deep and abiding; and guided by an absolute trust in God’s Providence. He died in 1957. Although he became one of the most well known priests in Detroit, Michigan, many in the United States and around the world do […]

Come, Follow Me…

"The Prophet Elias" (detail) by Daniele da Volterra

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Each and every one of us has a hunger and thirst for God deep within our very being. God, himself, placed that desire for Him there. He has made us for Himself. Whether or not we realize it, God alone can satisfy our every […]

Boiled Potatoes and Personal Holiness

St. Jean-Baptiste Marie Vianney, Cure d’Ars

Today is the feast of St. John Vianney, the patron of parish priests. When we look at the life of a saint like John Vianney, we might be tempted to believe that we can never be a saint. He certainly set the bar high for parish priests, spending almost his entire day in the confessional.  He lived off boiled potatoes […]

The Power of a Habit

Photography © by Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

Last week my entire immediate family—8 adults, 8 kids—spent the week together on vacation. My sister is a Dominican Sister of St. Cecilia, or as they’re more commonly known, a “Nashville Dominican.” The Nashville Dominicans are recognizable by their full white habits and long black veils. When friends and family heard we were all going on vacation together—even Sister—we were […]

Lessons Learned from Hollywood about the Priesthood and Religious Life

What could Hollywood teach us about the religious life?  It’s easy to get discouraged by how badly movies and television portray the Catholic Church.  It was not always the norm, however, and I decided to host a summer movie series to remind everyone that “secular” movies can teach us something about religious life and even… holiness! For the series I […]