On Being Breathless: My Daughter’s First Holy Communion


 Last Supper by Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret When I saw her, I was breathless.I had just arrived home from a night of teaching. Tired and a little hunched over (with a slight resemblance to Willy Loman), I dropped my satchel of books on the ground and I headed for the stairs to see my wife and kids. Now, let it be understood, Sunday nights are typically frenetic at our house. Our home is filled with childrens' energy bubbling over. Squeals and giggles, leaps from perches … [Read more...]

“What Have You Done With My People?” – The High Calling of the Church & Cardinal George


Francis Cardinal George (photo courtesy of Adam Bielawski & Wikimedia Commons)Late last year on a blustery Sunday in November, Francis Cardinal George offered his last homily at his last Mass as presiding Archbishop of Chicago. And though weakened by cancer and seated for the duration of his message, he spoke with that sure baritone voice and looked around with that Georgian steel in his eyes. His message? Responsibility. Accountability. Legacy. Namely, his own."Every priest and … [Read more...]

Why Pope Benedict XVI Matters to Me


On this 88th birthday of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, I became a little nostalgic. And I started to think... Why does Pope Benedict XVI matter so much to me? I hope you'll allow me to explain.It was early April, 2005 and the world was in mourning. The long-suffering, deeply afflicted Pope John Paul II had slipped away and we were ushered into a period with which I was unfamiliar as a non-Catholic: The Interregnum. Sede Vacante. The period between popes. The time of St. Peter's vacant seat. I w … [Read more...]

Rediscovering The God I Had Forgotten About


 The Incredulity of St. Thomas by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio Something happened to me on Easter. Something extraordinary. It was like a longstanding logjam that had clogged up the flow of a heaving, impatient river suddenly, miraculously became free. And the dancing waters flowed once again. Effortlessly. And with exuberance.Let me explain.It was Easter Sunday and my wife, daughters and I had gone to Mass followed by a quick brunch. We returned home to a … [Read more...]

Behold the Pierced One: Spending Holy Week with Benedict XVI


 "Easter is concerned with something unimaginable." - Joseph Cardinal RatzingerI just returned from vacation. And it was terrific. The sunny climes of gulf coast Florida afforded an abundance of time to explore Busch Gardens (birds land on your head!), discover the Florida aquarium (I've never seen a bigger grouper), be dazzled by mind-bending art at the Dali Museum (pose with a gigantic Dali moustache!) and swim with my two daughters (both of whom I threw, splashed and chased to … [Read more...]

On Catholicism & Atheism…My Dogma & Yours


 Milan CathedralEarlier this evening I happened upon CNN's home web page where I encountered an engaging feature, Famous Atheists & Their Beliefs. Intrigued, I was drawn into the fashionable and attractive head shots and statements of actors and actresses, scientists and intellectuals, musicians and composers who had declared their creed (or refutation of a Creed) of Atheism. From many, they had become one. And CNN was happy to tell their stories.And so, the stories wo … [Read more...]