In Defense of Beautiful Churches

I’m currently leading a pilgrimage in Italy, and one of my favorite parts of these pilgrimages—showing people the beauty of the Church—is often used by people who are looking to criticize the Church. Why does the Church have extravagant churches? Shouldn’t they sell all that art and gold and give the money to the poor? At first glance, the critique […]

The Church: Unlocking the Secrets to the Places Catholics Call Home

“If we help you to read a church, we do it with the hope that you’ll be better able to pray a church. If you want to understand a church, you need to read it as a prayer book and not as an architecture textbook.” –Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Mike Aquilina, authors of The Church: Unlocking the Secrets to the […]

Ancient Church Bells Tolling

“We’re the most tolerant society in the world here,” said the taxi driver as I made my way from the train station to my hotel. He seemed friendly, dressed in old clothes with a shaggy beard and a tattered cap turned backwards on his head.  I decided to ask him something about the Netherlands and Amsterdam, the port city on […]

The Lost Chalice

Written somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean… The church bell rang out loudly, like a glorious sound, over the hillside of this historic town.  I heard it proudly ringing across the water that separated my hotel from the city square.   For my European colleague who lives in Amsterdam, it was a normal sound, signaling the noon hour – time for lunch. […]