Tell me what church looks like

Last week  I joined a group of faith leaders as we decided to “live church” in the Rotunda of the Senate office building. We sang, we prayed and we read scripture. We continued our church in the back of the police van as they led us away handcuffed and strapped in. Again we continued to pray, share stories and sing sitting in our jail cell. When I participate in such actions of civil disobedience, I am often asked why? What… Read more

“When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist.”

Congress recently passed what they refer to as a tax reform bill. Some call it a pro-growth tax package. Their argument is that if you cut corporate taxes and taxes for the very wealthy it will stimulate growth. Others have called it a con job, arguing it will increase taxes for the middle class without doing anything to create jobs. Listening to this discussion, combined with knowledge of past proposals on the federal budget can leave one feeling a bit… Read more

Who are the Catholic Voices?

Last week I was invited to speak at a press conference on the Dream Act. After my comments someone came up to me, thanked me for my statement and asked me why there were no Catholic Bishops there. It is a question I am often asked. After Charlottesville many folks wrote articles about why there were no Catholic bishops or clergy protesting. Some have written articles suggesting this is a “come to Jesus moment” for the US Catholic Bishops. Sure,… Read more

A Tribute to My Friend, Anne

My friend Anne Dennean died last week. Her death did not merit a public announcement. There were no articles about her in the newspapers. No news flashes across the TV screens. Anne died quietly surrounded by her family and close friends, which is exactly how she wanted to go. Her obituary was just a simple statement about whom she left behind- her children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Anne was a mother, wife, teacher and friend and a regular church-goer who… Read more

Building the Kingdom as Equals

Last week I wrote a blog about gun violence. I started off mentioning how we have fallen into a pattern of outrage, offering prayers and then doing nothing and moving on. This week the prevalent story across the media was about Harvey Weinstein. If you Googled him you would get over 85 million hits. One headline from the New York Times says: “Harvey Weinstein’s Fall Opens the Floodgates in Hollywood.” Opens the floodgates to what I wonder?  Was there some… Read more

The Disease of Apathy

Express outrage, offer prayers, do nothing, repeat, express outrage, offer prayers, do nothing, repeat, express outrage, offers prayers, do nothing, repeat! Sound familiar? This is our pattern after every mass shooting. We hear about a horrific shooting where so many men, woman, children (fill in the blank) are killed by a, depending on if the person is white, black, or Muslim, terrorist, thug, or mentally unstable individual. We are shocked. The talking heads on TV all ask how could this… Read more

Building Heaven on Earth, Part 2

I am often challenged by the question of Heaven and Hell. I know that my Catholic faith teaches that when I die I will go to either Heaven or Hell. Or maybe if I was just okay but not real good I would go to Purgatory. Does purgatory still exist?  Maybe it went the way of some of the saints I learned about as a kid and then later found out they were not real. I also remember something about… Read more

Building Heaven on Earth

I am an early riser. I like to get up before the sun, make some coffee and sit on my porch. I listen to the morning symphonies of the birds, watch the sun rise. The beautiful painting that the sun creates against the sky combined with the melodies sung by the birds is truly awesome and each day is an entirely new experience. Many mornings I sit and reflect on heaven. Our Christian theology is based on dying and going… Read more

I’m right, you’re evil.

These past few weeks have seen a great deal of talk about Fr. Jim Martin being uninvited to speak at Theological College at the Catholic University of America in Washington DC. I don’t need to go into a lot of detail about the backstory. Fr. Martin is one of my favorite authors. His book Between Heaven and Mirth is one of my favorite books. Cardinal Tobin of Newark described Fr. Martin as brave, prophetic and inspiring. He is that and… Read more

Immigrants in God’s Land

In Jeremiah 7:5-7 it says: “If you do not oppress the alien…then I will dwell with you in this place…” This is just one of many passages in the Bible that talks about welcoming the stranger. The passage that is most quoted is  Matthew 25:31-46 “…I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” I could go on quoting passages from our sacred book about welcoming and caring for each other. Many passages from other sacred texts say something very similar…. Read more

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