Because of the Church’s Position on War I

I can’t think of a better time than Thanksgiving morning to launch a series of posts about the Catholic Church’s position on war—which is a fundamental reason why I am proud to be Catholic and therefore fits comfortably within this blogging niche. I’ve thrown up that Roman numeral in the title of this post because this will be only a prologue.But what a prologue! I’m incited to write about Catholics and war by an exchange of comments with “Kneeling Catholic”… Read more

Happy Thanksgiving, Mr. President

It is difficult to imagine the 44th president of the United States delivering this Thanksgiving address as George Washington did 220 years ago. By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation. Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor– and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me… Read more

Thanks to Father Barnes IV

I don’t know what I would have done if I had walked into a Catholic Church two years ago this fall and not found Fr. David Barnes. I might never have stayed. Yesterday and again this morning, I was reminded of what an effective, persuasive priest he is, as he spoke from the pulpit on the Tobin–Kennedy matter.First, let me be clear that what follows is my understanding of what Father Barnes said. Please credit me with any misunderstanding. The… Read more

Because I am Peter, Revisited

Many thanks to Laura R. for sending this video tour of the scavi (excavations) under the Vatican referred to in my initial post about St. Peter.Readers may also be interested in information available at this link. Read more

Because I Am Peter

I went to bed last night re-reading George Weigel’s Letters to a Young Catholic, the chapter about St. Peter and Catholicism’s physicality. I woke up this morning to Peter’s second letter in the Office of Readings, where he says, “We were witnesses of His sovereign majesty.” Do you find that sometimes the Holy Spirit shouts at you?Peter was so many ways a failure, as I have been. Denying Christ three times is only the best-known example of Peter’s failings. A… Read more

Because “New Age” Will Soon Be Old Hat, Revisited

Following my post of Monday evening about her article in Catholic Exchange, “New Age: Still With Us and Still Dangerous, Part I,” Cheryl Dickow e-mailed me, “Please make sure you read part II today and reconsider your perspective—allowing people to feel lax about the New Age doctrine can indeed be dangerous.” I did read part II, and so can you. It doesn’t change my thinking. In fact, it makes this old mule even more obstinate.Part II is mostly an interview… Read more

Because “New Age” Will Soon Be Old Hat, and the Church Will Still Be Standing

I read Cheryl Dickow’s Catholic Exchange article for 11/23/09 with interest and a shrug. “New Age,” the title frets: “Still With Us and Still Dangerous.” Still with us? Sure. Still Dangerous? To me, the New Age, now in reruns, is no more dangerous than, say, “2012” or Britney Spears. You can judge for yourself about them.I fully agree with Dickow’s opening premise: There are millions of so-called Christians who believe they don’t need the Church. God is everywhere, even at… Read more

Thanks to Boston Catholics Who Came Before

I have often thought that I owe a debt to Katie’s Irish Catholic ancestors who helped populate our region north of Boston beginning around 1900. Now that I am reading Boston Catholics by historian Thomas H. O’Connor, however, I realize that my debt is far greater than I ever suspected. I have only read to 1900 so far, but here are some of the IOU’s I’ve rung up already.In Boston, as elsewhere, Catholics began as the enemy. The reasons, when… Read more

Thanks to Father Barnes and his Father

Our pastor, Father Barnes, is a superb preacher. He never works from notes, yet even at daily Mass he manages in a few short minutes to improvise a cogent message from the readings and Gospel, a message I can grab and take with me through my day. On Sundays he moves to another level, preaching at four Masses, clearly with much preparation but still without notes—yet always, it seems, hitting the ten or twelve bullet points he has set for… Read more

For Minor Miracles II

As my father lay dying and as I sat one night by his side, reading the Liturgy of the Hours, an angel appeared in the room. This is how it happened.I had been a Catholic less than six months; in fact, Dad would die six months to the day following my reception into the Church. He had been admitted to a hospice in Connecticut at the end of August, on the day following his 58th wedding anniversary. Mom and each… Read more