Lent Reading

St. Patrick’s Day fell on a Friday this year. Thus, several Illinois bishops (though not all) and other bishops elsewhere “granted a dispensation” so that the faithful could thereby have corned beef on the feast. (Is there any evidence that workaday Catholics are incapable of making such decisions on their own? I met no such [Read More…]

Urban Holiness

Children in a generally peaceful home can acquire virtue more readily than those in a disruptive home—though moral growth or sin are possible in both situations. The same is true of a city. A vigorous city makes holiness more likely; a chaotic and corrupt city requires extraordinary individual moral striving. Again, sinners can be found [Read More…]

Chicago Neighbors

Nearly 250 people, including a fair number of high school students, filled St. Barnabas church on Chicago’s southwest side for an early March conversation on neighborliness with particular focus on immigration and refugees. It was a unique event because Christians, Jews and Muslims participated. There is general assent to the importance of neighborliness in our [Read More…]

Pure Faith

Fr. Isaac Hecker, CSP (1819-1888) founded the Paulist Fathers, the first United States-based religious order. His sermon on “The Feast of St. Joseph” gives a summary of Hecker’s spiritual outlook: “Our age is not an age of martyrdom, nor an age of hermits, nor a monastic age. Although it has its martyrs, its recluses and [Read More…]

Private and Public

The best-selling Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance (Harper Collins, 2016) is about fierce loyalty within Appalachian families, including those displaced to Ohio, Indiana and Michigan for lack of jobs in Appalachia proper. These close-knit families are a source of love and fidelity. In support of this pro-family theme Vance says, for example: My grandparents “were, [Read More…]

Stop Trafficking

The office of our county sheriff has an animal welfare unit. It received a tip about dog fighting as promoted by a small betting ring. The police rescued nearly all of the animals. Sheriff Tom Dart then held a press conference, warning the public about this illegal activity. The department’s website was immediately flooded with [Read More…]

Science

Pope Francis recently uttered what should be regarded as one more ho-hum statement: “Never before has there been such a clear need for science.” This comment, given to a group of scientists, is notable only because many people (Catholics included) think that Catholicism in general and specifically the papacy oppose science. The confusion can be [Read More…]

Income Chart

by Bill Droel and John Erb In a series for this blog we say that the majority of U. S. families are economically stressed. Some worry about income and expenses now and then during the year; some worry every week. The chart in this installment of our essay is an imperfect attempt to make a [Read More…]

Family Stability, Part III

by Bill Droel and John Erb In this and previous installments on this blog site we attempt to put a small frame around the expansive topic of family stability. We now come to a controversial juncture. The Lifestyle Variable Income parallels family stability. Family stability parallels lifestyle. That is, some lifestyles are more conducive to [Read More…]

Family Stability, Part Two

By Bill Droel and John Erb In a series of essays on this blog site we examine the factors that determine family stability or instability, which as we previously wrote, are namely income and a few socio-cultural trends. We stress that these factors do not form a neat equation nor does one of the factors [Read More…]