January 17, 2020

It was one of those ridiculous fake scandals you knew was going to be jumped on by the usual critics on Twitter. When Pope Francis, while walking in St. Peter’s Square on New Year’s Eve, reacted in anger to a pilgrim who grabbed and yanked his arm from behind, the world saw the Vicar of Christ in an unflattering light. He scolded the woman and smacked her hand when she wouldn’t let go. The Francis haters howled. “The mask is… Read more

January 16, 2020

  First things first; Happy 2020 everyone! I took a couple of weeks off from writing and blogging to begin the new year and recharge. I’m back today with a letter I received from a woman I know who is a regular adorer of the Blessed Sacrament. Every week, she does a Holy Hour at Our Lady’s Chapel in New Bedford, Massachusetts. She wrote me this letter around the time that I was working on a Faith feature story for… Read more

December 31, 2019

Every month, I’m fortunate that I get to explore an important topical issue in depth for Our Sunday Visitor. In 2019, I had the opportunity to write a primer on the Church’s social teachings on migration, a piece on what missionary work around the world looks like today, a look at what the virgin martyrs really teach us and a serious presentation on the Synod of Bishops on the Amazon, among others. In the coming months, I’ll have “In Focus”… Read more

December 29, 2019

“Can someone be uncanonized? Asking for a friend.” A Twitter follower asked that question in jest. But enough people have seriously asked me that – the answer is no, by the way – that it has me thinking about sainthood, the canonization process, sanctity, the universal call to holiness and what it means when we talk about Christian perfection. There are many misconceptions about what a saint is and isn’t. To put in succinctly, a saint is someone who exhibited… Read more

December 27, 2019

Over the next several days, I’ll be posting links to some of the in-depth Catholic news stories I wrote this year for Our Sunday Visitor. In 2019, I wrote several articles on bishops’ accountability for their handling of the clergy sex abuse crises. I interviewed bishops on their plans to restore trust, especially if they followed in the heels of disgraced predecessors who resigned amidst allegations that they had mishandled abuse cases. I also spoke with lay Catholics who shared… Read more

December 21, 2019

Fulton Sheen was supposed to have been beatified today. The Vatican signed off on the miracle. The date for the Beatification Mass was set. People from across the country had made travel plans. Final preparations, including the installation of a new handicapped-accessible ramp, were underway at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Peoria, Illinois. All that is now on hold, possibly for good. “The shock of this is so visceral,” said Rocco Palmo, the editor of… Read more

December 20, 2019

To her credit, Sarah Huckabee Sanders apologized. But I don’t believe for a second that she didn’t intend to mock the speech impediment that former Vice President Joe Biden demonstrated during last night’s Sixth Democratic Primary Debate. “I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I hhhave absolutely no idea what Biden is talking about. #DemDebate,” the former White House press secretary wrote in a since-deleted Twitter. When she started getting heat for it,… Read more

December 9, 2019

In Bristol County, Massachusetts, Sheriff Thomas Hodgson has made a name for himself over the years. From charging inmates a daily incarceration fee to offering inmate labor to build President Donald Trump’s border wall, the county sheriff has long demonstrated an innate knack for publicity. But even as a longtime local newspaper reporter who covered Hodgson for several years, I was taken aback by news last week that Hodgson, a staunch Republican, alerted White House senior adviser Stephen Miller in… Read more

December 5, 2019

I’ll admit, at first I thought it was a little weird, maybe even a tad morbid, that Pauline Sister Theresa Aletheia Noble seemed to always be talking about death on Twitter. “If it’s morbid to meditate on death then it’s morbid to face reality, to realize the truth of our sinfulness, and to accept the salvation that Jesus Christ has provided for us,” Sister Theresa told me in an interview last month for Our Sunday Visitor where we talked about… Read more

November 25, 2019

1. The life of St. Mark Ji Tianxiang. I wrote about this 19th century Chinese layman recently for Our Sunday Visitor. St. Mark Ji has become a symbol of hope and a patron for people who are struggling with opioid addiction, and who have lost loved ones to the disease of addiction. He struggled with opium addiction for 30 years, and was denied the Eucharist because his confessor thought he wasn’t serious about amending his life. St. Mark Ji never… Read more

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