After the Convocation

I had the honor last weekend to attend the National Convocation of Catholic Leaders, an unprecedented gathering of diocesan, parish, apostolate, and institutional leaders from around the United States. The Bishops had been planning the convocation for years. Frankly, anticipation would have been high for me… if I had known what to expect. But I’m not sure anyone knew what […]

Experiencing “the Church in miniature”

  It’s rare that I look forward to meetings, much less meetings that require sitting inside a conference room for days, that include more that forty people who probably test as “leaders” rather than followers, and that likely involve some sort of drawn-out discussion or even disagreement. Yet for the last four years, I’ve attended nine meetings that fit that bill […]

Catholic Quote of the Day — from St. Ignatius of Antioch

St. Ignatius of Antioch

  “You must all follow the bishop as Jesus Christ follows the Father, and the presbytery as you would the apostles. Reverence the deacons as you would the command of God. Let no one do anything of concern to the Church without the bishop. Let that be considered a valid Eucharist which is celebrated by the bishop, or by one […]

Religious Freedom — Why and How to Fast — A Family Guide

Have you heard? March 30th has been designated by many of our bishops to be as a day of fasting and prayer for religious freedom and conscience protection. “Most importantly of all, we call upon the Catholic faithful, and all people of faith, throughout our country to join us in prayer and penance for our leaders and for the complete protection […]

My Wish List for the American Bishops: Bring Back Kneelers and Confessionals!

I was thrilled to hear about the British bishops bringing back the fish-on-Friday rule for Catholics, and I wish the American bishops would follow suit. Forgoing burgers and chicken– and don’t forget pepperoni pizza–on Friday was something that defined Catholics in my childhood. And frankly, I know very few people who took on some other weekly sacrifice once that obligation […]

Thinking, Living and Embracing Life on the Digital Continent

Each year on January 24, the feast of St. Francis de Sales, the patron saint of journalists and communication, Pope Benedict publishes his routinely compelling annual message for the World Day of Social Communication. For the past two years, he has emphasized the crucial importance for the Church to evangelize by means of cyberspace. In 2009, he called on young […]

The Church’s Response to our Hurried and Anxious Society

Among the many means bishops have to form their people, one of the greatest teaching tools is the pastoral letter, in which the leader of a local church focuses the attention of the faithful, religious and clergy of his diocese on a subject he believes is important for living out the Church’s mission in the particular part of the vineyard […]

The Consistent Ethic of Christ’s Concerns for All His People

On November 16, at the U.S. Bishops’ Conference’s annual meeting, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago gave his final address as president Conference. In it he looked back over his three-year tenure as president, gave a penetrating analysis into current issues and trends and proposed various lessons— especially from the ongoing health care debate — that he and his brother bishops, […]

The Courage to Combat Violence Done in the Name of Islam

Halloween proved to be particularly ghastly for Syrian Catholics in Baghdad as they went to Church for the Sunday afternoon Mass. During the Eucharistic Celebration at Our Lady of Deliverance Cathedral, as these Christians were peacefully and prayerfully worshipping God, nine Muslim terrorists burst into the Church, gunned down three priests in the sanctuary and with bullets and bombs attempted […]

Voting a Truly Informed Catholic Conscience

Several state bishops conferences, including the four Massachusetts bishops who comprise the Massachusetts Catholic Conference, have published letters or guides to the Catholic faithful about tomorrow’s elections. Following upon the 2007 document of the U.S. Bishops as a whole, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” they have all sought to form the consciences of Catholics so that they may vote morally […]