October 17, 2018

After The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown The important thing about stories is that they’re always partly true. They’re fun to read, and sometimes they’re called fiction and sometimes they’re called nonfiction. Sometimes they’re called sermons and sometimes they’re called lyrical creative flash poetry. You may read them, or hear them through the keyhole, or know them in the depths of your heart from the time you’re born. But the important thing about stories is that they’re always partly true. The… Read more

October 8, 2018

The Witch: A New England Folktale, one of the best horror movies of the last decade, is now streaming on Netflix. It says a lot about current events that a few of us at Sick Pilgrim found it to be a comforting alternative to our social media feeds last week. We found relief in just straight up acknowledging how scary the world feels right now. (Comedy makes me want to punch someone in the face, one friend commented on FB)…. Read more

October 5, 2018

The last time I sat down to write a Dark Devotional, a meditation on the Bread of Life discourse and my experience with the Eucharist, it turned out to be only a couple days before the release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report. The gruesome report, detailing allegations of sexual assault against 1,000 minors by 300 priests, along with the arguably systematic coverups of the crimes by bishops, immediately threw my relationship to the Church hierarchy into crisis, and has… Read more

September 19, 2018

“He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, ‘Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.’” Mark 9:35   Four years ago, a dear friend and professor died on the lawn of my seminary while playing frisbee with students.  Jannie was a tall man from South Africa and was nothing like our other professors. I admit to hating him at first because he assigned reading BEFORE class started and he even sent… Read more

September 13, 2018

“Bruised. Derided. Cursed. Defiled. She beheld her tender child…” Many Catholics I know are wondering, “How do we come back from this level of corruption and evil?” Of course I am referencing the levels from Pennsylvania about all the sexual abuse and misconduct. I am wondering it. I have voiced it. Don’t each of the words used to describe Jesus in this sequence seem to also apply to our Church right now? Bruised- The victims and families and all members… Read more

September 11, 2018

At this writing, the grotesque moral stench of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report lingers in the nostrils, like a dead carcass. This only adds to pain inflicted by Cardinal McCarrick, the “Spotlight” scandals of 2002, along with Ireland, Chile, and more. In Canada, from where I write, the Indian Residential Schools unveil the same systematic abuses in the Truth and Reconciliation Report.   I am not sure what makes this feel so different this time. I was raised in a… Read more

September 4, 2018

  Bishops, Fight Your Own War (Or Better Yet, Remember Who You Are) Before August 14, 2018, I used to wake up and immediately experience a sense of gratitude. Even when I was exhausted, or knew we might be late for school or work, I would awake sensing the presence of Love, and of purpose. In the midst of waking up to news of worsening climate change, or violence against my neighbors, I would experience fear, and much sadness, but… Read more

August 29, 2018

Every autumn, I’m left scratching my head as friends and family begin to fill out their brackets for their fantasy football teams. Football is boring enough on its face, but fantasy football somehow involves math as well. Football + math is a recipe for no-thank-you. Fantasy football has always puzzled me – but now I get it! And, in fact, I see a promising replacement on the horizon: Fantasy Churchball. It will be great! Participants can choose their favorite clerics…. Read more

August 26, 2018

My friend says I can still talk to you, even if I don’t believe anymore. And after this week, I really don’t think I can believe anymore. But, like the prisoner-priest speaking to Edmond, she said it’s okay. Because you believe in me. And she believes in you. And well, I believe her. So I guess it’ll come out in the wash. You know, I’ve been warning you this was coming—the disintegration of my faith. I told you I’m drifting…. Read more

August 21, 2018

The past week has been eye opening. Not only is the world more aware than ever of the scope and severity of child abuse and its attending coverups – but we have seen some truly dreadful reactions from Catholic bishops, clergy, and commentators. Here are some of the worst.   1. The scandal is the fault of the media and of government officials who are prejudiced against Catholicism. Let’s not forget that we only know about these abuse cases because… Read more

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