October 4, 2022

During my freshman year in college at a secular university, there was a requirement to take either an introductory class on the Bible or a general religion course.  I opted for the second choice.  My professor was a German Catholic who specialized in Islam.  An assignment early in the semester was to read the Book of Genesis in order to discuss the similarities between the stories within it and various origin stories of ancient Mesopotamian civilizations.  As I opened the... Read more

September 30, 2022

The Passion Play of Oberammergau in Southern Germany was first performed in 1633 after the villagers made a promise to God: if the citizens of the village did not die from the plague that was ravishing the region, they would stage the Passion of Jesus Christ every ten years.  For 200 years the Passion Play was staged in the cemetery of the village, and due to the growing number of people who came to see it, an outdoor theater was... Read more

September 8, 2022

During my class on the sacraments while in seminary, the professor showed us a substantial part of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.  He explained to us that it was a big deal that cameras were allowed to record the celebration.  Some were scandalized that such a sacred rite would be profaned with the presence of cameras. To appease the opposition, an agreement was reached that the Act of Consecration, the most sacred moment of the rite when... Read more

September 7, 2022

Hace algunos años mientras estudiaba italiano en la hermosa ciudad de Siena en la Toscana, entré a la pequeña biblioteca de la escuela de idiomas y encontré un libro sobre el arte italiano. Ojeando el libro que estaba bien pesado hallé la obra maestra de Fra Angelico, la Anunciación. Después de haber visto esta pintura en diversos lugares, pensé que sería bueno admirarla en persona. Luego de regresar el libro a su lugar, tomé una guía turística de Florencia y... Read more

September 6, 2022

Several years ago while studying Italian in the beautiful Tuscan town of Siena, I went into the language school’s small library and found a book about Italian art.  As I browsed through the significantly heavy book I came across Fra Angelico’s masterpiece of the Annunciation.  Having seen it many times before I thought it would be amazing to see it in person.  After placing the book back into its place, I grabbed a sightseeing guide of Florence and opened it... Read more

August 26, 2022

One of the biggest hurdles today for young people to enter formation to the priesthood and religious life involves student loans.  As all are aware, it is easy for a student to amass thousands of dollars in loans as the cost of higher education continues to increase exponentially.  When I went to college 22 years ago, my private university was considered expensive, and it cost about $25,000.  Today, it costs almost $60,000! Religious communities for the most part require that... Read more

August 22, 2022

In the past few weeks, a considerable number of Crisis Pregnancy Centers that assist pregnant women and new mothers have been vandalized throughout the country.  This has been done by those who oppose the repeal of the Supreme Court Decision Roe v. Wade. Recently, I read about the vandalism at Bethlehem House in Easthampton, Massachusetts where people of good will assist women and their families facing a crisis pregnancy.  The words “Jane’s Revenge” and “If abortion isn’t safe, neither are... Read more

August 21, 2022

Most recall the well-known words of Jesus, “ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.” Today’s Gospel passage is also about asking, seeking and knocking, but the big difference is that door remains locked.  Not only that, but the master inside tells the person knocking to get lost because he does not even know him. “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell... Read more

August 13, 2022

One of the best-known Peruvian saints is Saint Martin de Porres.  Born of a Spanish father and a black mother from Panama in the late 1500s, Saint Martin became known during his lifetime as someone who took care of the sick, both inside and outside the convent.  When he’s represented in art, you will see him holding a broom since one of his jobs as a lay Dominican brother was to clean the convent, and most of the time, you... Read more

August 6, 2022

Cuando un niño es presentado por sus padres y padrinos para ser bautizado, el sacerdote o diácono hace esta pregunta a los padres del niño: “Ustedes, padres, que piden el bautismo para su hijo, deben darse cuenta de que contraen la obligación de educarlo en la fe, para que, guardando los mandamientos divinos, ame a Dios y a su prójimo, como Cristo nos enseñó.  ¿Se dan ustedes cuenta de la obligación que contraen?  Los padres sin duda siempre responden obedientemente... Read more

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