Editor's Desk

Understanding the Roots of the Ukraine-Russia Conflict

What is the actual history behind the conflict in Ukraine, and what has been the role of America and the West in fostering it?

On Facing East During Mass

It is very important that we return as soon as possible to a common orientation, of priests and the faithful turned together in the same direction—eastward or at least towards the apse—to the Lord who comes.  ∼ Robert Cardinal Sarah, Prefect, Congregation for the Divine Worship, London, July 5, 2016. Symbols mean something. A nephew of [...]

Marching Orders

I want people to go out! I want the Church to go out to the street!   ~ Pope Francis What is the most important moment in the Mass? The Anaphora and the Institution Narrative? Yes, of course, from a liturgical and sacramental perspective. If you had to choose just one, what could be more important [...]

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in Catholic Art

According to the new English edition of the Roman Missal, the priest, in the introductory rite, addresses the congregation as follows: “Brethren (Brothers and sisters), let us acknowledge our sins, and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.” The term, “sacred mysteries” in reference to the Mass is of ancient origin as is the [...]

What Your Pew Choice Might be Telling You

Have you ever gone to Mass and wanted to be somewhere else? Have you ever gone and loved every second of it? I have. And on both occasions I sat in two entirely different locations. When I was an undergraduate, I rarely attended Mass. I was spiritually adrift and couldn’t bear the thought of listening to [...]

Quodlibets: Two Recent Proposals

It is easier to see the problems than to find good solutions to them. How often have we heard the clear teaching of the Magisterium distorted, sometimes even from the pulpit? How often have we seen variations introduced into the liturgy, as if we are all bored with the official rite and needed relief from [...]

That Good Old Tridentine Mass

Is Its Attraction Due to Intrinsic Superiority or Its Link With Ancient Tradition? One of my sisters, a Park Avenue housewife, is not exactly a regular churchgoer, but she has duly had each of her three children baptized, and later, packed off to Saturday morning religion classes. When she brought the youngest to the font [...]

Common Wisdom: Back to the Future

Not long ago, Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk of Cincinnati looked out over his diocese and discovered something missing. Catholics. At Mass. Alarmed by diminished congregations, a plight shared with most of his colleagues, he asked American bishops to study reasons for the decline, and what could be done about it. Perhaps I missed it, but I’ve [...]

Preparing for the Synod on the Laity

I am probably not the likeliest contributor to a symposium on the vocation of the layman since I don't usually do the sort of things better Catholics do, like being active in the "faith community," the "parish family," and suchlike. Nor do I find myself caught up in any of the partisan movements which, to [...]

Documentation: Mass on Students’ Day

Cartegena, Colombia June 8-9, 1983  1.  INITIAL ACTIONS Priest — Liberation and peace in the name of the Father of the oppressed and Jesus our Brother, for all those present here and for all of the People. Response — Yes, let peace and liberation come for all the oppressed of our fatherland and the world. P [...]

Observations: Reverence in Ministry

I’ve just about had it with Eucharistic ministers. Yesterday, as I stood at the altar consuming the Precious Blood, a Eucharistic minister reached in front of me and leaned under the upturned cup to grab a ciborium. She had not yet received from the cup, and evidently did not intend to, for she spun around [...]

Sense and Nonsense: The Real Miracle

Tom and Barbara Donohue—now in Los Angeles—I had known during my early Roman days, when Tom was in the legal division of the Navy at the Embassy on the Via Veneto. When I came to Georgetown in the late 70s, they—such was my good fortune—had me look up Don and Connie Kerwin, old friends of [...]