The Joy of A Faithful Community

Perhaps a lesser known fact about St. Catherine of Siena was that she lived with a small “spiritual family” around her in Rome toward the end of her life. Throughout her travels many people flocked to her because they saw St. … Continue reading

Tak, Babette

Faith and Film Friday: Babette’s Feast Editor’s Note: This is the sixth review in our series, Faith and Film Friday. Read the whole series here. Babette’s Feast makes plain two simple truths: Gifts beget thanks. And thanks, in turn, beget gifts. … Continue reading

Sharing More Than Germs

Even as a kid, if I wanted to drink from my brother’s water bottle, he asked me to “waterfall” it. When I was in college, it was alright to share a pint of ice cream with friends, even if there … Continue reading

Mass on a Roadtrip

Restless night in a hotel. Bad coffee. Unknown parish. Architecture from the 60s—white walls, strange angles, ambiguous stained glass. Pews of cheap wood stretch forward to the sanctuary. A candle burns before the tabernacle. An empty pew stands out, halfway … Continue reading

Every Crumb

This year, I am assigned to work in the sacristy, wherein we look after everything that is used in the liturgy. We do everything from setting up for Mass, to cleaning objects that I never knew the name of before … Continue reading

Time for a Check-Up!

“You’re dying.” It took a moment for those words to sink in. Dying. This thing will kill me. “How could I be dying? How could it be this serious? I mean, how long have I had it?” “Actually,” the doctor … Continue reading

Here He Comes

It’s been a long, cold, lonely winter. It feels like years since it’s been here. The Beatles have Good News for us: Here Comes the Sun! In this iconic song, George Harrison captures (even if unwittingly) the Advent sentiments that … Continue reading

Fruits of Redemption

“I’m starved…cheeseburgers…. …What was that idea I had for my ethics paper?… …Man, my knees really hurt right now…” During the final minutes of a Holy Hour, it’s pretty normal to find the mind wandering a bit. The act itself … Continue reading

In the Breach

One of the homeless men in the basement was snoring. Loudly. Some years before I entered the Dominican Order, in the middle of a Confirmation class I was teaching, one student announced that he didn’t really believe in the Real … Continue reading

Rise, and Have No Fear

Peter, James, and John were terrified at the Transfiguration, and rightly so. After all, according to the Gospels, it was a pretty scary scene. Their friend, Jesus, was transformed before their eyes, his face shone like the sun and his … Continue reading

The Treasure of the Church

Where are the treasures of the Church? Perhaps you have seen some in art museums. There are stunning reliquaries, beautiful chalices, and intricately decorated liturgical books. And yet behind glass these treasures appear dead. They sit sadly empty, no longer … Continue reading

1.2 Billion

In the Midwest, July is the official month for fireworks. The moment venders begin selling fireworks directly into the hands of patrons, quiet evenings spent outside in the balmy summer heat are a thing of the past. The sounds of … Continue reading

From the Lips of Babes

“Who is that?” “That is Jesus on the cross.” “Why is He all beat up?” “He loved us so much that he came all the way from heaven to suffer and die to save us, even when we killed Him.” … Continue reading

The Embrace of Christ

Entering the room, I was embraced at once by an eighty-nine-year-old Italian lady. First she grabbed my shoulder, and then she reached out to take hold of my elbow. Then the first big hug. She continuously clutched my hand, sometimes … Continue reading

The Beauty of the Soul

Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. –Rom 1:20 We learn and come to know what is invisible through … Continue reading

The Priesthood and Spiritual Maternity

The vocation to be a spiritual mother for priests is largely unknown, scarcely understood, and, consequently, rarely lived, notwithstanding its fundamental importance. It is a vocation that is frequently hidden, invisible to the naked eye, but meant to transmit spiritual … Continue reading

Happy Memorial Day?

The upbeat greeting of “Happy Memorial Day,” said with the same enthusiasm of Independence Day, has always seemed off to me. This somber national holiday honors the dead rather than focusing on a particular victory. Also known as Decoration Day, … Continue reading

Why Wine?

At Mass, bread and wine become, through Christ’s power in the actions of the priest, Christ’s body and blood. Why bread and wine? Well, because that’s what God decided. He was free to choose anything at all when instituting the … Continue reading

The Bitter Cup

“You make the grass grow for the cattle and plants to serve man’s need, that he may bring forth bread from the earth and wine to cheer the heart” (Ps. 104:14-15). And again: “Then he took a cup, gave thanks, … Continue reading

Never Again to Die

In Holy Week, we experience more than ever the interpenetration of Lent and Easter. Our focus on the Passion is growing, even as we prepare for our Easter celebration. On Friday, the Church makes procession to venerate the Cross, then … Continue reading

The Liturgy as Formation

Oftentimes friends and family ask me, “Well, how long until you become a priest?” I usually respond with a condensed version of our lengthy and seemingly complicated formation program. More questions ensue, and I continue to explain to them the … Continue reading

What Love Looks Like

To read about the life of a saint is to glimpse a world illuminated by a hidden light. The saint’s actions seem wild yet effective, spontaneous yet motivated by deep insight. As a dog responds to a whistle pitched far … Continue reading

Where Are the Poor?

There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linenand dined sumptuously each day.And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scrapsthat fell … Continue reading

Ablaze

Jesus said, “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” (Lk. 12:49). What kind of fire is Jesus talking about? Is he thinking of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19:23-25)? Fire certainly … Continue reading

Finding a Friend in the Folio

Until recently, I thought that I was the only person to have written a quirky, pious, ukulele song for St. Isidore the Farmer. Perhaps I still am. However, while searching through some medieval manuscripts I found that even in this, … Continue reading