Salvifici doloris

Irish Referendum

The Joyful Death of Catholic Ireland

Do you remember the joke about the Irish brewery worker who drowned in a vat of suds? “Poor Sean,” the new widow said upon learning her husband’s fate, “He didn’t stand a chance.” “Oh, I wouldn’t say that, Mrs. Reilly,” replies the foreman. “He did crawl out three times to use the bathroom.” The Republic of Ireland [...]

Of Saints, Suffering, and Scleroderma

In my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions (Col. 1.24). “Hello, Faddah!” I’m guessing it was probably the first time Pope John Paul II heard that one in the Vatican’s audience hall. It was my sister, Adeline, who was visiting Rome with my mom and dad many years ago. None of them were Catholic at [...]

The Measure of Humanity

Pope Benedict writes in Spe salvi, “The true measure of humanity is essentially determined in relationship to suffering and to the sufferer.” These words recently took on new meaning for me as I encountered the story of Edwarda O’Bara, who passed away at the age of 59 in late November. In January 1970 Edwarda slipped [...]

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