Monday, October 26, 2015

When NFL players shy away from out

Quick back story for non-football fans

Jim Harbaugh is Catholic
Jim Harbaugh was a gritty, tough, scrappy football player in college and the NFL
Jim Harbaugh started coaching
His first head coaching job: San Diego State.  When he arrived they were terrible
Jim Harbaugh turned them around year 1 and went 7-4.  The next two years he went 11-1 twice
Jim Harbaugh went to Stanford.  Took them from mediocre to national title contenders
Jim Harbaugh went to the NFL and SanFrancisco 49ers.  He turned them into a team that was two plays away from playing for two superbowls
Jim Harbaugh took over this year as the head coach of Michigan.  They were terrible when he got there, and in a matter of a few months, they are one of the best teams in the country

The point here: Jim Harbaugh is the type of coach that, in sports terms, is a miracle worker.  The results above are UNHEARD OF!!!

If a good coach takes over a program, it ALWAYS takes a couple of YEARS to get good and Jim Harbaugh does it in a few weeks.

It's also important to know that Jim Harbaugh is known for his intensity.  The Onion had a hysterical fake newspaper story on Harbaugh the other day -

The "headline" is funny because in real life:
Jim Harbaugh is intense
Jim Harbaugh wants to win
Jim Harbaugh is a man of faith
Jim Harbaugh talks about toughness, intensity, masculinity, etc.

Here's why I mention all this - last year, when Harbaugh was coaching the 49ers, reports began to surface that players didn't like playing for Harbaugh because he was too intense, too into it, etc.

Your one job, in the NFL, is to WIN GAMES, and Jim Harbaugh does that for you, and you COMPLAIN that the guy is too intense?

Fast-forward to this year.  I sat down the other night and watched 10 minutes of the 49ers and it was an absolute disgrace to the game of football.  They were awful in every conceivable way, and it made it really easy to turn off.  That night the 49ers, when I stopped watching, were having one of the worst games in the history of the NFL

The 49ers were a great team under Harbaugh, one of the best, but the players were complaining that Harbaugh was too masculine.  And once the players got their wish, and Harbaugh was let go, the 49ers instantly became irrelevant and a joke, just like they were before he arrived.

Masculinity is mocked in a culture that thinks of gender lines as blurry (or at least wants them to be blurry).  When NFL players, who are supposed to want to win, and who are supposed to be hard-nosed and tough, when they start complaining that a guy is too masculine, we should probably start to prepare for the end of the world, or at least the invasion of our country by men who DO want to fight

Authentic masculinity is something that should be praised.  Intensity, hard work, discipline, etc. - these are helpful traits in our world, and we should celebrate them and hold them up when they are lived well.

I worry that cultures start to get soft and squishy and afraid of masculinity when things are plush, no one is invading, and everything is comfortable.  The day may soon come where we will once again look around and hope real men will step forward.  If that happens, I hope there are a few left in our country.  Evidence suggests that the 49ers locker room would not be a good place to start looking.

High School Religious Ed class 2 - virtues

I try to do a pushup, we watch a little bit of "Gladiator"...

Happiness. Class 1

This is class one of an online course I've been teaching to our high school students.  It's been great, as we've seen a 600% increase in participation vs. when we used to ask them to come to class in person.

If you'd like more information about the text book we use, let me know.

The process is pretty simple.  They watch the class.  Answer a few questions.  Email me the answers or hand them in at Mass.  I record that they did it.

If they don't participate, that's fine - the Church says the primary catechist of a child is their parents, so I assume the parents are doing something else to teach them the Faith.

It's been great. Hope these help.  I will post them here occasionally.  Here's class 1

Sunday, October 25, 2015

A Homily I Wish Everyone Could Hear

I think every priest, once or twice a year, gives a homily that they wish the world could hear...not because the priest thinks he's awesome but because he thinks it would help a lot of people.  This weekend's homily falls into that category for me personally

The text:

I mentioned one surprising thing about the priesthood a few weeks ago – how often people want particular questions answered that the Church says are actually left up to them using the gift of prudence to analyze the circumstances

Another shocking thing, perhaps the saddest surprise of the priesthood thus far – I’ve done a number of funerals at LOTS of parishes.  A lot of times it is for a big Catholic family, and in a lot of these situations, the vast majority of the kids, if not all of them, have stopped practicing their Catholic Faith.  And here’s what happens
At the funeral home or in conversation with the children or listening to them at the funeral meal I hear most of the kids say something like “Mom always sacrificed everything for us…or Dad gave everything he had of himself and worked two jobs so we could eat…and they laid down their lives for us…

And in these situations a part of me wants to say something but I don’t, and what I’d like to say to them, in a gentle way, is “do you know why they did this for you?  it’s because of their catholic faith.  because they believed that jesus christ was/is real, that he was/is present in the eucharist, and that he said we should lay down our lives for our friends.”

For many of the children in these situations, there is a complete failure to connect the dots of the love they received from their parents, and the Faith that nurtured their parents.  I get the sense that a lot of the kids in these situations see these heroic sacrifices from their parents, but then they think of their parents’ Catholic Faith as some sort of superstitious thing that mom and/or dad did on the side, but which didn’t really lead to the beautiful results that the kids speak so highly of.

I want to say – “What if your mom was an amazing mom BECAUSE she went to Mass EVERY Sunday and prayed a rosary and read Scripture daily, went to confession regularly, etc.?”

Some will offer objections at this point.

1)      There are bad Catholic parents.  Correct.  But perhaps the Catholic Faith kept a person from worse.

2)     There are good parents who aren’t Catholic.  Of course.  We’re talking specifically about YOUR family.  Did the Faith of your parents help them become the saints that you are mentioning as you talk about them?

3)     Sacrificing for one’s children is simply biological.  FALSE.  I can walk out my door at the rectory and within 30 seconds I can be at the door of people who buy heroine for themselves instead of food for their children.  I assure you, laying down your life for your children is NOT simply biological

Let’s take it out another level beyond the home.  A lot of times people praise their Catholic schooling.  “Those nuns gave everything to teach me.  Father worked really hard, year round, to keep the lights on at our Catholic school.”  And yet, how many people, after receiving that Catholic education, put it to use, become highly successful and leave the Catholic Faith behind?  I want to say to those people
            Do you think those priests, those nuns, those lay people who gave their lives to give you the best education in theworld, do you think they did that JUST so that you would make partner at the firm?  JUST so that you would become the CEO or a pharmacist or a well-paid engineer?
Do you think the nuns at Annunciation slept in closets their entire adult life, without air conditioning, giving up having a family of their own, a husband, wealth, vacations, etc. simply to teach you ALGEBRA?
NO!  They did all of that because they were motivated by the Eucharist, by the real presence of Christ in the Catholic Church, and if they can see what some have done with their sacrifice, they are surely rolling over in their graves. 

They didn’t do it to teach you algebra, they did it to teach you algebra AND that Jesus is real, that the Church is real, and that living your Catholic Faith and laying down your life are HARD but WORTH IT!!!

The same thing happens with regard to Blessed Mother Teresa, St. John Paul II, Pope Francis, etc.  “Oh wow, they’re so awesome, look what they did for the poor, look how they laid their lives down for others!”  THE reason these people did that is because of their Catholic Faith.  Mother Teresa did two holy hours before the Blessed Sacrament EVERY day, and went to Mass every day, and prayed a Rosary every day.  That’s WHY she became the person who did the things you are praising.   Her Catholic Faith was not some superstitious hocus pocus she happened to do before she went off to work each morning.

We can chalk all this up to them being “religious” but let’s look at the larger historical context here for a moment.  

What religious tradition gives more aid and charity than any other?  The Catholic Church.

What religious tradition married education and the Faith and invented the University system, and, particularly in our own country, the system of educating its young people in all things – the Catholic Church

What religious tradition invented the hospital and continues to provide health care to the poorest of the poor in our own country and indeed in countries throughout the world?  The Catholic Church.
This can’t all be coincidence.  The Catholic Faith must have something to do with all of this.

Why do I mention this?  We hear in the readings today:

“Behold, I will bring them back, I will gather them from the ends of the world, they shall return as an immense throng.  I will lead them to brooks of water, on a level road, so that none shall stumble.”

We know that the numbers say ex-Catholics are the second largest denomination in the US.  And yet, although the numbers don’t show it yet because polling data is always a few years behind, I get the sense that, like in the reading this weekend, people are starting to awaken to God’s call and are returning home to the Church. 

They are recognizing their blindness and want to see again.

God always calls us home, every moment of every day, but it seems, anecdotally at the moment, that people are starting to awaken.  In my lifetime, I would say it began with John Paul II showing the world that we don’t have to be ashamed of our Faith and that it is instead quite beautiful and is a source of strength, beauty, and light for us if we let it be that in our hearts.

Certainly our Holy Father Pope Francis has continued this thawing of hearts as he continues to call us to go out, to call people home, to open the doors of our church, to invite people in, to walk with them, etc.

What do we need to do? 

Do your children, even the ones who have fallen away, know that the reason you sacrificed for them and raised them the way you did was because of your Catholic Faith?  Perhaps consider writing them a letter informing them of that in your own words. Sometimes we take the approach of nagging “Are you going to Church?”  “You need to go to Church!”  “Why aren’t you going to Church?”  Maybe instead just write and say, in your own words, “Hey, David, I know I wasn’t a perfect parent, but I wanted to just let you know that whatever strength I did have as a parent, it was because of my Catholic Faith and I wanted you to know that.”

Do the people we help, the people we teach, the poor we reach out to, the people that visit our hospitals, do they know WHY we are helping them?  

We often choose to NOT talk about ourselves and our good works, as individuals, as parishes, and as a Church.  “Do not let your left hand know what your right is doing” but we do a disservice if we help someone but don’t say anything about why we’re doing it.  

This weekend I bring Communion to our sick and shutins.  I’ve realized that I don’t ever really share with them why I’m there.  I’m not saying I’m going to start walking in and shouting “I’M HERE BECAUSE OF JESUS AND I’M AWESOME!” but there might be an opportunity to work in my motivation for being there as we have a conversation. 

“Behold, I will bring them back, I will gather them from the ends of the world, they shall return as an immense throng.  I will lead them to brooks of water, on a level road, so that none shall stumble.”

Give us the strength to help get the word out that God is calling the world home to the Catholic Church

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Why I Love St. John Paul II

Tomorrow, October 22nd, is his feast day.  St. Pope John Paul II....pray for us!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Ridiculous Marriage Flow Chart Graphic

This has been around for a while, but I thought we'd take a look at it.

It is wrong on so many levels.  I'm not even going to get into anything in the chart because the question at the top is wrong on so many levels, the rest of the graphic doesn't even merit our time

Here's the graphic:

If someone shows you this and asks you want to think of it as a Catholic you can say the following:

1) No, I don't think homosexuality is sinful, if by homosexuality you mean a person that is attracted to people of the same sex.  

2) Even if you mean by "homosexuality" you mean people having same sex sex, which I do think is sinful, the sinfulness of same sex sex is NOT WHY I'M OPPOSED TO GAY MARRIAGE.  I'm opposed to gay marriage simply on secular grounds - I believe that marriage between a man and a woman is a first principle that any society has to be founded on.  I believe that children have a right to a mother and a father.  Lots of atheists are against same sex marriage - so no, my opposition to gay marriage is NOT based on my Christianity, but thanks for asking.

Rarely can one statement get as much wrong as the statement used at the beginning of this chart.

Monday, October 19, 2015

My Sister on Her Eating Disorder

Below you will find a guest post from my sister Laura.  When she let all of us siblings know about her struggles several years ago, at some point later I approached her and said if she'd ever like to share her story in this space, I'd be honored to post it.  This is a story that I think can help a lot of people:

"The intent of this post is to inform parents, siblings, and friends that those near you may struggle with an eating disorder. Eating disorders take many different forms, but I hope that by sharing my own experience with them, you might have a clearer understanding of them and how your daughter, sister, brother, or friend might be struggling. This post is also for anyone who may be dealing with an eating disorder. As I will mention later on, I truthfully didn't realize I had one until three years after I had first started. May this post help you in your journey to healing. 

In October of my junior year of high school, almost all of my friends began drinking and disagreeing with Catholic Church teachings. I didn't know how to go about discussing things with them, so I just stopped being friends with them. I went straight from having lots of friends and people to talk to to being the silent one at the end of a hostile lunch table. In January of my junior year, for cheerleading we began discussing the pairs for a Valentine's Day dance where each cheerleader dances with a senior guy. I was paired with a popular football player and started to worry. We would be doing a bunch of crazy flips, and I didn't want to be that girl that couldn't be lifted. I came home from one practice at the end of January, 2011, and decided I would eat less at dinner. The next morning, I had an apple for breakfast and packed a lunch of half a handful of grain flake cereal and a carrot. I kept it up for a week and lost five pounds. The dance went fine and everyone told me how great I looked. That weekend, I was at home looking at some cookies my mom had just made and thought how sad it would be to have everyone see me gain back my five pounds I had lost. I consciously decided in that moment that I didn't have to gain it back, and began struggling with eating disorders.  

The compliments were endless. Girls came out of nowhere to tell me how gorgeous, tiny, cute, etc. I looked and it was intoxicating. I had gone months without friends, so this attention was addicting and only encouraged me. Lunch was always a struggle, however. I would either take my lunch into the library and eat my ~70 calorie snack there, or I'd stay in the bathroom for the first ten minutes of lunch then come down and hurriedly eat and go to the bathroom again. When I got home from school I would walk 40 minutes on the treadmill. I lost 15 pounds that school year, and weighed less than my seventh grade sister, which I viewed as success. I went to Eurpope for two weeks with my brother that summer, and came home weighing ten pounds lighter than when I left. It never occurred to me that I had an eating disorder. In fact, I went on a retreat my senior year and heard other people talk about their eating disorders and thought "man, that would terrible!" It wasn't until three years later that I took an online quiz to see if one might be at risk for an eating disorder that I realized I was in its throws. In fact, I struggled with multiple eating disorders. My freshman year of college, I decided I didn't want to eat so little, but I couldn't bear the thought of returning to my original weight. I would eat myself stuffed, walk on the treadmill for ten miles at a time, then come back in and eat more. Although I never made myself get sick to get rid of the food, it was bulimia, a constant battle with myself over wanting to be skinny and wanting to never again feel that hunger and exhaustion I had experienced in high school. The fall of my sophomore year, I got a stress fracture in my femur from training for a marathon. That threw me into my third eating disorder, where I would simply binge on food and was unable to do the physical activity required to burn it off. Yet again, I was entirely unaware of what I was struggling with, but I knew it wasn't right to feel that way. Eventually my leg healed, and I was able to get my eating under control. My brother had asked all of my siblings to start a monthly sibling update email, so in April 2014, I decided to tell all my siblings. It was extremely difficult and I hated feeling that vulnerable. Everyone I cared about now knew my darkest struggles, and that was absolutely horrifying. However, Archangel Raphael is the patron saint of mental disorders and happy meetings, so with the help of his intercession, God took care of me. My siblings simply showered me with love and understanding, and it was the best decision I've ever made, telling them. I now have them on guard for me, and they notice if I start to eat too little or obsess over working out. After years of prayer, work, and many failures, I am now at a healthy weight, eat right, and lead a wonderful life!  

Thus far, I hope my story has informed parents, siblings, and friends of at-risk people what eating disorders can look like. I don't have all the answers for what to do, I don't even know what all my family did to get me out of those dark places. The only thing I can say with confidence is PRAY CONSTANTLY FOR THEM. My parents never made me eat a steak or stop my workouts, which was incredibly wise of them in hindsight. However, your daughter or son may need more drastic measures than I did. Also, I didn't even know I was suffering from anorexia and bulimia for three years, so trust your instincts over your sibling or friend's emphatic "I'm fine!"s. Made In His Image, a support website for those with eating disorders, has lots of resources that can direct you. But please always pray for those who struggle. Thank you! 

Now, for anyone reading this article that might be struggling with an eating disorder: you deserve to be free of this, and you CAN be! Firstly, take your pain to Jesus in Adoration; He has been waiting 2000 years to listen to your struggles and help you through them. Praying the Rosary daily has helped me tremendously, and Mary promises that any of her children who dedicate themselves to her in the Rosary will "receive her protection". In Mary we find ceaseless consolation; please look to her. 

Eating disorders are not something easily shaken, so don't hate yourself if you slip up. I have slipped up countless times, but each time I remember a line from the movie Robin Hood: 

Rise and rise again, until lambs become lions 

Each time you fall down, God is waiting with an outstretched hand to pull you back up. Grit your teeth, grab your rosary, and stand again. Also, you can use your suffering for good! Saint John Paul II loved to reflect on the beauty of suffering, writing an entire encyclical on it. He states 

"Come! Take part through your suffering in this work of saving the world, a salvation achieved through [Jesus'] suffering! Through [Jesus'] cross." 

Without a doubt, eating disorders are heavy crosses. However, we neither suffer alone nor for nothing. On a hard day, say a prayer to God, offering your pain for an intention such as those affected by abuse. Our beloved Father can take our suffering and use it to relieve that of others if we only ask Him to. Knowing we have the power to help others through our own challenges is such a beautiful thing and gives our suffering dignity. Lastly, realize that you deserve to be free of this and ask for help. It will be horrifying, but offer that fear up for your intention and bite the bullet. There are trained professionals that live to help you! You can do it; you're so worth it. God has a beautiful plan for you, and loves you more than can be comprehended. Know of my prayers for you, and may God always hold you in His loving arms!

Archangel Raphael, pray for us!"

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Saturday, October 17, 2015

THANKS! My Blog hits 1,000,000 views

I consider today to be a milestone for me and my priesthood.  1,000,000 times someone has visited the blog.  Another 3,000,000 have visited my YouTube channel to watch a homily or class!

Thanks a "million" for your friendships and all of you that I've been able to meet through this blog.

I would have never imagined that it would get to this point, so thank you.

I know a lot of blogs are much bigger than this one, but this has been a really cool adventure that I never would have taken the first step on if it weren't for Pope Benedict urging us priests to do this.

I must be honest, before Pope Benedict asked priests to blog, my opinion of blogs was very low.  I've come to realize the impact that they can have.

I pray that this blog may help make Jesus Christ more present in this world that is so badly in need of the light

Friday, October 16, 2015

My recommendation for a Synod topic

How about we preach what the Church teaches?  

Every time I've preached contraception, homosexual attractions vs. actions, annulments, divorce, etc. people say they've literally never heard a homily on that topic before.

I know a lot of priests ARE preaching the topics above, but I think we can fairly say that the vast majority of Catholics have never heard what the Church actually teaches on this topic.

We have a synod of a bunch of men trying to figure out what the threats are to the family.  I hope someone in the room stands up and asks "Are we bishops and priests and our cowardice the REAL threat to the family?"

Tips on Keeping the Sabbath Rest

You shalt rest and relax and enjoy life

And the people shouted "NO!!!"

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Real Problem Facing Marriage (and priesthood and RCIA etc.) in the West

... a lot of people don't give a rats rear end about oaths/vows anymore.

"She isn't the person I married anymore"

"The priesthood isn't what I thought it would be"

"I didn't know piresthood/marriage/religious life would be like THIS!"

That's why people walk away from marriage so much, and that's why more people walk away from the priesthood and religious life as well.

It's the same for people joining the Church.  They spend all this time coming to class for a year.  Every week.  And I tell them, multiple times, that one of the most fundamental things to being a Catholic is coming to Mass on Sunday.  Barring illness or caring for another who is ill, the obligation to come to Mass is not negotiable.

"Woohoo, I'm Catholic now.  Surely the priest didn't mean I'm obligated to go to Mass EVERY Sunday"

And people stand up at the Easter Vigil, make vows and oaths and promises to be Catholic, and half the people that join the Church fall away with a few years.  HALF!!!!

I just want to stand up sometimes and say to all of the people that break these vows in a definitive way:   "DIDN'T YOU MAKE A VOW?"

One thing is clear in the Scriptures - God DOES NOT mess around with oaths and vows and promises.  God even holds people to stupid vows that they made in order to make sure people understand that a vow is for real.  It isn't fake, and it is SERIOUS BUSINESS!

Catechsim 2147: Promises made to others in God's name engage the divine honor, fidelity, truthfulness, and authority. They must be respected in justice. To be unfaithful to them is to misuse God's name and in some way to make God out to be a liar.

The only thing that has kept me in diocesan priesthood on several occasions has been the fact that I made oaths and promises to this.  But if oaths and vows and promises are not binding, in their minds, anymore, then apparently they aren't binding.

After all, we're all our own gods now anyways, so if my mood changes, I can just rewrite or obliterate any promises I've made in the past anyway.

Do you promise...
Yes...unless it gets tough

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Synod Document Based on Evangelii Gaudium?

I've followed the Synod as closely as time permits, which is to say I've no doubt missed a lot.

One of the things that seems odd to me is the proposal by the more progressive groups to structure the final document of the Synod on the Pope's letter from a couple of years ago - Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel).

If the Synod were on the new evangelization, this proposal would make sense to me.

But "family" is only mentioned 11 times throughout the 288 paragraphs of Evangelii Gaudium.

Aren't there a lot of good things written EXPLICITLY ABOUT THE FAMILY over the past few years that this Synod could utilize as a framework, vs. a letter on evangelization?

But perhaps those making the suggestion that the Synod's final document be based on a letter the Pope wrote two years ago about evangelization are actually not wanting to structure the Synod document around anything the Church has ever taught before?

Caption this!

Here's mine: "Phillip, when you get a weak-side blitz, throw the hot route!  Ever since I had you in second grade, you've tried to over do it!  Your hot read on these blitzes is the four yard out, your tight end was open, just throw him the ball, get your four yards and a first down and keep the drive alive!!!!"

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Homily: "Father, should I go sledding?" - on the virtue of prudence

A Song for Sunday - Coldplay "A Message"

My song is love 
Love to the loveless shown 
And it goes on 
You don't have to be alone 

Your heavy heart 
Is made of stone 
And it's so hard to see you, clearly 
You don't have to be on your own 
You don't have to be on your own 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Synod Transparency

My one issue with way the Synod on the Family is going down is transparency

Whatever happened to this idea?

I'm all for the theological experimentation and I recognize that a Synod is a good time to look at controversial issues, be open to the Spirit, etc.   I also recognize that you want to keep the vast majority of the Church safe from confusion

But locking the doors and keeping the Synod under wraps does NOT PROTECT THE PEOPLE OF GOD, it EXACERBATES the confusion!

What happened to St. John XXIII's request to "Throw open the windows of the the people can see in."???

Yeah, ideally, all the cardinals and archbishops could go hide somewhere, have theological discussions, even yell and scream at each other, and then come back with a nice and neat Synod wrap-up press conference...but nothing is ever ideal on this side of Heaven.

So we're left with a couple of alternatives
1) close the doors, and let the media spin the Synod into whatever they want it to be

2) throw open the doors, and let people listen in on every word of the Synod and draw their own conclusions.

"BUT...the People of God will be confused/scandalized/not able to handle the messiness of these things if we open the doors and let people listen in on everything" some might say.

NEWSFLASH - this confusion/scandal/messiness is being conveyed despite the doors being closed.  Not only that, the people that want to explain the messiness/scandal/confusion CAN'T because we don't have anything definitive to point to and say "Be calm.  Take heart.  This is what is ACTUALLY happening."

These meetings used to happen behind closed doors.  That's impossible now.  Open doors then beat the disastrous alternative that is currently being employed.

If you want to know how to fight against confusion and let the truth speak for itself, we need look no further than what Bishop Coyne and his staff at the USCCB communications department did with the Pope Francis visit.  Read Bishop Coyne's blog post (Click HERE to read it) about how they covered the visit, engaged people, got the word out, etc.  It was a SMASHING SUCCESS.

The team from the USCCB working around the clock to get every word  of the
Holy Father's visit out to the world.  The Vatican should be doing this too.  If we
don't let the Truth tell the story of the Synod, the media will tell our story for us

There should be a TEAM of people at the Vatican broadcasting this Synod, getting every speech out there in text, video, etc.  LET IT ALL OUT, OPEN WIDE THE WINDOWS!

Implied in fearing to get the word out is the idea that the laity can't handle the messiness of what actually happens.  I think that is selling our lay people WAY short.  Our people understand that the process by which these things get pulled together is messy at times.  They can handle it.

"Open wide the windows of the Church so that we can see out and the people can see in."

Or are we only going to do this SOME of the time?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Pope Benedict Synod Quote?

What would Pope Benedict say to all the people running around hoping that the Church will change some fundamental teaching?

I think he already said it several decades ago.  There's a silver lining in the fact that people even care what the Church teaches in the first place.

He noted in Called to Communion:

"In the midst of a world full of harsh discipline and inexorable pressures, a secret hope still looks to the Church... Consequently, this rage at the Church, or disappointment with her, has a particular quality, because in their heart of hearts people expect more of her than of all worldly institutions.”

Not to be un-ecumenical here or anything but if the Budhists (or Anglicans or daoists, or wiccans, etc. etc.) were having something like our Synod on the Family, would there be anything approaching the interest that even those outside the Church are giving to this Synod?

A secret hope indeed!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Thanks to "The Depauw" for publishing my letter to the editor on priestly sex abuse

You can read my letter by clicking here:

BACKGROUND:  "The DePauw", the student newspaper of DePauw University (where I am the Catholic chaplain) published an editorial in the days following the Holy Father's visit, stating that the Pope should do more to prevent priestly child abuse than simply offer "papal platitudes".

I frankly found their article offensive.  It was the only article they published on the entire week-long papal if that was the major takeaway.

Anyway,  I wrote a letter to the editor, and I thank them for publishing it.

You can read my article by clicking here:

Sunday, October 4, 2015

"I wish the Church would change its teaching on __________________"

“We do not want, as the newspapers say, a church that will move with the world. We want a church that will move the world.”  -G.K. Chesterton

There is a GIGANTIC difference between saying
"I struggle with the Church's teaching on ____________"


"I've DECIDED the Church IS WRONG on ____________"

And before you say "the Church changed on usury or slavery" please look those issues up yourself and do some studying first.