June 6, 2015

We live in a soundbite world. Of that, there is no doubt. Before, during, and after the Extraordinary Synod on the Family last year, the question of whether the divorced and remarried can receive the sacrament of Holy Communion was and continues to be passionately debated. Sadly, too many Catholics, including some clergy, rely only on the headlines and soundbites to inform themselves and the result of the debate has been growing confusion that somehow the Church has changed it’s... Read more

June 4, 2015

What are you doing this summer? Vacation? Sounds good. But what about a graduate course on Christian Marriage? After all, marriage is a pretty hot topic these days. Plus, we’ve got the World Meeting of Families coming up, not to mention the Ordinary Synod on the Family in October. Are you ready? I’ll be teaching this course for the Augustine Institute in Denver, along with the esteemed Dr. Edward Sri and Lucas Pollice. Lest we rest in theory, we’ll be... Read more

June 4, 2015

On Monday, the new Vanity Fair cover introduced us to Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Bruce Jenner – husband, father, Olympic athlete, reality tv star. There’s been all sorts of conversation about the idea that Caitlyn is Jenner’s real self, that Jenner is finally being honest. I’m not going to question the validity of Jenner’s choice. I just want to have a real and honest conversation about her debut image. Just the magazine cover. Here are three initial thoughts – Does she look... Read more

June 1, 2015

And so it ended. Two weeks ago, the Mad Men finale aired. And – spoiler alert –  Don Draper didn’t hurl himself out of the window of a Manhattan skyscraper, even though he did have a few desperate glances out of windows in some of the last episodes. The series tended to generate two extreme reactions. Either people really liked the show or they had no patience for it – too dark, too retro, too whatever. I found the show dark, even disturbing at times;... Read more

May 21, 2015

Over at the CatholicCompany.com, Gretchen (a blogger whom I don’t know) posted some great advice for men and their marriages. I know, I know. Men don’t always like to be told what to do by a woman. In her defense – and mine! – she’s just passing along the advice of one of the [male] Doctors of the Church, St. John Chyrsostom. And, it’s actually in the Catechism (CCC 2365). You should check out her post and the meme she... Read more

May 14, 2015

I’m very excited to announce one of my new projects as Associate Dean of the Augustine Institute’s Orange County campus. While we haven’t – yet – arranged for Pope Francis to visit the west coast during his visit to the US in September, we are launching a quarterly lecture series with the Diocese of Orange. Dr. Jonathan Reyes, the Executive Director of the USCCB’s Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development will be our first speaker next Thursday, May 21.... Read more

May 13, 2015

Last week, the (developed) world held its breath for the birth of the new British baby whom we now know is a princess. And all the while, life kept happening for everyone in the world. There were joys, struggles, suffering, death, and more joys. Everyday life. But I couldn’t get over the stark contrast in which Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana was welcomed at the same time that Francesca Marina, the daughter of a Nigerian refugee, was born on an Italian... Read more

April 23, 2015

So, Francis Phillips at the Catholic Herald (UK) just reviewed a study guide that I prepared for St. John Paul II’s Letter to Families. The Letter was written in 1994 to participate in the United Nations “Year of the Family.” While more than twenty years old, in many ways it couldn’t be more relevant. Archbishop Chaput wrote the Forward. I provided the Introduction and the study questions. Phillips notes that there are two consistent aspects to the Saint’s work: He was... Read more

March 12, 2015

On Monday, I was a guest on Catholic Answers Live to discuss something really easy and noncontroversial….marriage, divorce, etc. There were a lot of calls and the conversation centered mostly around annulment. Here’s the podcast. A previous guest post: “Advice From An Annulment Advocate.” And a previous post of mine: “Annulment: A  Right And A Healing.” As we come up to the next Synod on the Family, it’s all too apparent that we, the Church, need to be doing a... Read more

March 8, 2015

In Rome, International Women’s Day is celebrated with small bouquets of mimosa flowers. The guys that typically sell you umbrellas and odd gimmicks come armed with these bouquets only for today, a lovely gesture. But my time in Rome taught me that International Women’s Day wasn’t as innocuous a celebration as it might sound. What I learned in Rome was word of mouth from those who grew up in communist or socialist countries, but there’s a current opinion piece by... Read more

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