Two Kings and Lord of the Rings

My essay  this week at Imaginative Conservative links two kings and Lord of the Rings. A minor observation in a recent essay began a series of connections that will please Catholics, conservatives, history hounds, and J.R.R. Tolkien fans. go here for the full article. … [Read More...]

Build Better Music Brick by Brick

A lot of Catholics complain about the music at their parish. The congregational singing is weak and half hearted, the choir members are trying hard, but they lack real training. Often the music choices are contemporary, drab, sentimental words with equally weak music.It's not easy to change a musical tradition--especially when the music in the American Catholic Church took such a drastic wrong turn fifty years ago. However things can be changed. Brick by brick something new can be … [Read More...]

Mary Magdalene: She’s One of the Family

Good news that Mary Magdalene's memorial has been promoted to be a Feast. Go here for the info.I've always liked that detail from the film Jesus of Nazareth where Mary Magdalene tried to get through the cordon to stand at the foot of the cross. The Virgin and John have just got through, but the c … [Read More...]

The Suburban Hermit Breaks His Silence

I see that I have not blogged at The Suburban Hermit since February!Today's Mass reading of Elijah in the cave at Mt Horeb has prompted the Suburban Hermit to break his four month silence and return to the keyboard.Go here to read today's post about Elijah and  how the monastic tradition has … [Read More...]

Can I Be a Catholic Ostrich Please?

The news is so uniformly bizarre and the world so amazingly insane and the storm clouds on the horizon so terrifying that I really would like to be a Catholic ostrich.In other words, I want to put my head in the sand, hunker down, mind my own business, try to do what I can to be a good priest … [Read More...]

Is It a Food Pantry or a Poison Pantry?

My Article at CRUX this week questions the effectiveness of our charity efforts. The poor-whether they are genuine or not-congregate around Catholic churches because the needy know we care. Down through the ages Catholics, along with other Christians have rolled up their sleeves and got to work … [Read More...]

Ten Things I Learned About Building a New Church

OK. This is a MUST READ if you or your parish are planning to build a new church or planning to renovate an ugly modern church.I learned these things through building the new Our Lady of the Rosary Church at OLRBeauty doesn't need to be expensive - when we got started and I was talking … [Read More...]

Mass? What’s the Point?

My article at Aleteia this week is a discussion of Cardinal Sarah's encouragement of ad orientem celebration of the Mass. Last week the French publication Famille Chretienne published a lengthy interview with Cardinal Robert Sarah, the Prefect for the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Dis … [Read More...]

A Pipe Organ or Kumbayah?

What is it about a pipe organ that is so important that the fathers of the second Vatican Council actually recommended its use in worship?In Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council, promulgated by His Holiness Pope Paul VI on December 4, 1963, … [Read More...]

Mob Violence: It’s Going to Get Worse

Embed from Getty ImagesI hate to be a harbinger of doom, but the mob violence we are witnessing in the United States is going to get worse.Don't imagine that this is a "right wing" or "left wing" problem. The mobs inside the Trump rallies and the mobs outside the Trump rallies are … [Read More...]

Be an Organ Donor of the Catholic Kind!

We're building a new church in our parish and we've taken the bold step of buying a pipe organ.The pipe organ adds beauty and dignity to our Catholic worship. It's a traditional instrument for the solemn significance of our Catholic Mass.We have factored the purchase price into our financial … [Read More...]

Give More Money!

Don't give it to me. Just give it.My blog post for the National Catholic Register this week explains why. Read that Gospel again. That’s exactly what the rich young man said to Jesus. He told Jesus how good he was.The underlying principle is very simple—“you cannot serve God and money”—and a … [Read More...]

The New Mass Translation. Is It Worth the Effort?

My article at CRUX this week reflects on nearly five years since the new translation of the Mass into English started to be used. Some people find it awkward and distracting.  Out of the priests and lay leaders in the 6,000 parishes surveyed, 51 percent said they either liked the new translation or … [Read More...]

Blood and Guts Catholicism

Go here to listen to my homily from Our Lady of the Rosary for Corpus Christi on Sunday. … [Read More...]

Ten Ways I See Jesus in Pope Francis

The Holy Father is the Vicar of Christ, and every faithful pope in his own way, through his own personality and charism will reveal an aspect of Christ to the world.In saying this, I should add that this is also the calling of every priest who is called to be perfectly conformed to the image of … [Read More...]

Why Spend Money on a Pipe Organ in a Poor Parish?

It's true. The little parish of which I am pastor is not only the smallest Catholic parish in Greenville, it is also the poorest.We're located by a run down interchange on I-85. The demographics indicate the most socio economically disadvantaged population in our prosperous city. In addition to … [Read More...]