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


No one shall appear before me empty-handed.  –Ex 34:20 That photo on your desk at work. Or on your nightstand. Or on your lockscreen. It obviously means a lot to you, but how often does it actually make an impression on … Continue reading

Laetare, Jersualem

An old tradition still permits priests to wear rose-colored (not pink) vestments on two Sundays each year: Gaudete Sunday (Third Sunday of Advent) and Laetare Sunday (yesterday, the Fourth Sunday of Lent). Both are named for the first word of … 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

Beauty That Makes You Want to Believe

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on April 24, 2013. At the reception of a Catholic wedding I lately attended, a groomsman made his way over to the table where a priest and I were sitting. After enthusiastically shaking … Continue reading

O Crux Ave

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on Ash Wednesday, February 22, 2012. Fr. Leo Checkai was ordained a priest in May 2014 and now teaches at Providence College. Today is Ash Wednesday. Lent is upon us once more, and … Continue reading

Know the Forest by The Tree

We can now consider ourselves to be in the liturgical season within the season within the season within the season. On September 14th, the Feast of the Holy Cross, the Church began the traditional penitential period stretching until Easter Sunday. … Continue reading

The Memory of His Passion

Why does the Catholic Mass focus so much on Jesus’s death on the Cross? For someone unaccustomed to Catholic worship, this may seem morbid or even embarrassing. Does not Christianity claim to be a religion that holds out the power … Continue reading

More Eloquent than the Blood of Abel

Growing up the third of four boys I have thought long and hard about the story of Cain and Abel. Beside pondering fraternal conflict and the effects of original sin, the story of the brothers intrigues me with regard to … Continue reading


Is it better to make resolutions or to keep them? To keep them, obviously, you might huffily reply. Then why do we continue to make resolutions, seeing as we so often and easily break them? New Year’s resolutions in particular … Continue reading