March 13, 2019

Morality: Memory and Desire (part 2) My continuing work for School of Community (Find part 1 here) : In the Christian experience, the night, in which people find themselves submerged and know things only in a groping way, gives way to something that starts to give meaning to everything. The clearest proof of this is that this dawning can happen for the most banal things, for everyday things. Thus, even the “routine” acquires a dimension of greatness and joy. This sense… Read more

March 8, 2019

For Lent, the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation in the US has proposed that we read a text by Luigi Giussani, Morality: Memory and Desire. As I read, I’d like to share my reflections on this book in the hope that others might want to engage in discussion with me. If you search amazon, you’ll discover that you can buy a used copy for a mere $112 – a veritable steal! The translation of that edition is also outdated and… Read more

February 11, 2019

This article was written in 2010 Entry into the enormous conference center, where the Meeting for the Friendship Among Peoples is held, is free.  Indeed, for each of the past 31 years that this extraordinary cultural festival has been held at the Italian seaside resort town of Rimini, entrance to the exhibits and talks has been free. We often think of “free entry” in negative terms: there is no charge, one does not pay; however, the gratuitousness of the Meeting… Read more

February 11, 2019

“It is the presumption of old age that reality is shaped by our ideas.  The experience of the child is wonder in front of something that is completely given, always new, unexpected and appealing.  Life is either the continuous, exciting discovery of something that was unknown, or it is an inevitable slide into boredom” (from the Mission Statement, published on the Crossroads Cultural Center website). The 2010 New York Encounter, a cultural festival that took place in Times Square, January… Read more

January 18, 2019

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January 16, 2019

There is a moment during the liturgy that can help children literally to “see” the mystery of communion. The preparation of the chalice, a gesture that is often completed in a matter of seconds, is a profound prayer of unity that children find particularly solemn and meaningful. Prepare a simple wooden or metal tray with the following items: a clear glass wine goblet, two small clear cruets, a dark dish rag or washcloth, and a hand-lettered prayer card with the… Read more

January 14, 2019

Lena Dougherty spent most of her adult life in Bulpitt, Illinois, where she raised five children. Her husband, Andy – his friends called him ‘Sad Eyes’, though I only ever heard her refer to him as ‘Bello’ – descended underground each day to manually remove coal in the nearby mine. Lena’s education had ended in the 8th grade, when her family hired her out as a farm laborer, for which she earned a dollar a day to work from before… Read more

January 13, 2019

All Paths Diverge One imposing human fact chases us and tags us with garish, looping graffiti. We can read it in everything we seek or strive after: preoccupations with trends, our serial relationships, the grasp for power that no one quite avoids, how we fill our free hours with diversions, or the embarrassing daydreams in which we win unearned honors, exposure, fame. Robert Pinsky’s The Want-Bone sets this quality to verse: My food my parent my child I want you my… Read more

January 9, 2019

Priesthood begins on Calvary but ends on Mount Tabor; while instead, marriage begins on Tabor but winds up on Mount Calvary. When my best priest friend shared this insight with me, I laughed knowingly, though I had not yet been to Calvary, so I really understood nothing. The Last Word I have since had the honor to witness as two different men, whom I love very much, cared for wives, both of whom suffered through years of debilitating and disfiguring… Read more

January 4, 2019

The Lives of the Saints: “I had to call, even though I’ll see you in a couple days, because I don’t want to forget,” said my friend. “Last night this guy told me that St. Gemma prayed to lose her sense of taste. He told me he’s 70% certain about it. Isn’t that amazing?” “Yes,” I said, “I’m amazed.” My friend knows that radiation to my tongue destroyed my sense of taste about a year ago and that I’ve been… Read more

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