Men of Faith

A Checklist for Catholic Dads

St. Joseph and the Christ-Child, Belmont Abbey

I have had numerous conversations over the years with other Catholic dads about the challenges of raising kids in today’s world. The discussions usually center on the bad cultural influences affecting our children, our hectic schedules and our well-intentioned desire to be better fathers. We mean well, but how do we move from conversation to action? The stakes are high, […]

Four Critical Principles for Catholic Fathers

St. Joseph and the Christ-Child, Belmont Abbey

“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 […]

Practicing Acceptance and Seeing Burdens as Blessings

Some years ago a priest shared some guidance with my wife and me that has been the ongoing cause of a great deal of conversation and reflection in our home.  In response to learning that we pray every day about our oldest son’s future and that he be healed of his autism, he encouraged us to pray first for acceptance. […]

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 […]

Powerful Lessons from St. Joseph

St. Joseph and the Christ-Child, Belmont Abbey

As the father of a 23-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 20-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 […]

Dads, Do We Have Our Acts Together?

During a recent coffee meeting, a friend said, “You seem to have your act together on the fatherhood front. What’s your secret?” I was surprised and taken aback because I don’t think I have my act together at all. I don’t mean that out of false humility. I pray every day to be a better husband and father because I […]

Essential Lessons for Dads

Holy-Family"The Holy Family with dog" (detail) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Our state in life is where we live out our vocation; it is the path by which we journey to Heaven. God has called each of us by name to Himself. In baptism we each received a share in the divine mission and a responsibility to be faithful to that mission. When a man and a woman answer God’s call to […]

What are the Obstacles Between Catholic Men and Christ?

“As long as we live in the world our life is a constant struggle between love for Christ or giving into lukewarmness, to our passions, or to comfort seeking, which destroys love. Faithfulness to Christ is forged each day by struggling against what separates us from him, and by an effort to make progress in virtue. Then they will be […]

Restoring Essential Services

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)

In different parts of the United States and other parts of the world, we are reaching what many are calling “Phase 2” in the response to the coronavirus pandemic. Various restrictions are being gradually rescinded, some businesses reopened, supplementary emergency hospitals closed, panic and fear lessened and normal parts of life restored. But we are far from out of danger. […]

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 […]