Disarming Beauty

Recently I was privileged to meet the rector of a major seminary. This wise priest pointed out a gap he perceives in seminary training today, one which wasn’t so relevant generations ago. Traditionally graduates of seminaries were assigned to parishes to assist older pastors for…

‘Newmanology’ and ‘Pneumanology’

In spite of its feeble attempt this pun bears some significance. One and a quarter century ago, in 1893, Timothy Harringon, a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, along with two other laymen and the pastor at St. James Parish founded a Catholic Club…

The sick patient

In a nation which claims (or at least used to) a Judeo-Christian heritage the public response to the horrors recently perpetrated in El Paso and Dayton and earlier in places like Pittsburgh and Columbine is remarkable.  Politicians, actors, news anchormen, and even journalists identify white…

"Woe to you, Chorazin!"

Recently I came across an article that has provoked considerable thought. The author reminds his readers that “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” and he wonders if we Americans have replaced the hard work of seeking wisdom with the easy allure of…

Pontificio Instituto Orientale

A cogent but little-known example of advancing the Kingdom is the work of an Institute created 102 years ago by Pope Benedict XV: Pontificio Instituto Orientale, or the Pontifical Oriental Institute (PIO) located in Rome. Since 1922 it has been entrusted to the Jesuits. According…

A Father's Day Reflection

Mothers are usually right. They are able to arrive at the appropriate conclusion without having to rely on logic. Perhaps because they have the greater responsibility of raising children, especially in the early childhood years, Providence has bestowed on them of a higher degree of…

A new Axial Age?

Some years ago I wrote in this column about Fr. George McLean OMI, founder of the Council for Research in Values and Philosophy (CRVP – www.crvp.org) and I suggested that in the not too distant future this now deceased philosopher will be recognized as a…

Happenstance?

St. Patrick’s Church is a small architectural jewel nestled in the heart of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. Because it is celebrating its sesquicentennial this year St. Pat’s First Holy Communion ceremony this weekend was particularly special. Thirty well-groomed and well-rehearsed young boys and girls processed down…

ETSI DEUS NON DARETUR

 Recently I was introduced to this Latin phrase by Fr. Robert Leavitt in his newly released book: “The Truth Will Make You Free: The New Evangelization for a Secular Age; A Study in Development” (www.litpress.org)).  Any believers – any monotheists – concerned about the future…

No why vs. Know why

Some time ago I asked a colleague if he knew how the date for Easter is set each year. As though it were a question beneath his dignity, he dismissed me with a curt reply: “Of course, it’s the Sunday after Good Friday”. Is such…