Sainthood

When Catholics Fight Back

SB 360, also known as Senate Bill 360, a proposal requiring priests in California to break the sacramental seal of confession, was placed on hold by its sponsor, State Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), on 9 June, right before a hearing on the bill. For months before the vote, activists in California, across the nation, [...]

Those Unlikely Saints Among Us

With the death of Jean Vanier at age 90 on May 7 we are again reminded of his blessed vocation to the disabled. It was a visit to a psychiatric hospital that led him to give up his career both as a Naval officer and as a philosophy professor to take on the challenge of [...]

A Catholic Call to Courage

As he stood before the rain-soaked crowd estimated to be as great as 20,000, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn—with that truly Russian sense of solemn sincerity and conviction—suggested to the 1978 graduating class of Harvard University that what the West lacked above all else—and in his view the West lacked quite a good bit—was courage. Said Solzhenitsyn: A decline in [...]

Becoming Saints In A Time of Scandal and Crisis

If The Pilgrim’s Progress was written today, Bunyan could accurately depict our time, by having the allegory’s protagonist, Christian, be besieged by a cacophony of voices. These voices would emanate from within him and from without, from the DNA he had received from Adam and Eve, and from external voices from different sources that would echo and [...]

All God Asks

Ronald Knox once said, “He who travels in the barque of St. Peter had better not look too closely into the engine room.” In case you’ve been living under a rock the last five, ten, fifty years, the barque has been going through some heavy seas. Some would say we’re with Columbus sailing to a [...]

Black Lives Really Mattered to St. Peter Claver

Hollywood award shows used to be de rigeur viewing for most Americans. No more. Perhaps because a kind of collective delirium has set upon the artist class. Take the Emmy’s this past Sunday, for instance. One of the celebrity winners, Donald Glover—a black man—snidely remarked, “I want to thank Trump for making black people number [...]

Remembering St. Louis the Crusader Saint

In the city of St. Louis there are two great churches honoring its namesake—the “old” cathedral, a Greek revival edifice sitting on a block dedicated for church use by the city’s founder, Pierre Laclede, in 1764; and the “new” Basilica of St. Louis, a massive green-domed neo-byzantine structure adorned with the world’s largest interior expanse [...]

While Only God is Good, Everyone Can Be Perfect

The sonorous start of Lent jolts with the reminder that man is dust and shall return to dust. It is hardly what we call news: before there were calendars and clocks or Donne’s tolling bell, Abel learned it when Cain struck him. Even the immortals of our civic pantheon and postage stamps were immortalized by [...]

The Crises of Saints

We don’t have to go very far to recognize that there are abundant crises in our world today. We find crises of various proportions in every corner of the globe and in virtually all sectors of society. Check the news online, read the various blogs, twitter feeds, social media, or turn on the radio or [...]

The Bilbo Baggins Inside All of Us

This past summer my junior honors theology students read The Hobbit in preparation for their morality class this fall. While reading, I discovered why so many enjoy The Hobbit. We can connect so well with Bilbo Baggins and the other characters because they are so real, so like us. One can also find many "hidden" [...]

Are Canonizations Based on Papal Infallibility?

A few days previously Catholic Family News published an interview with Italian professor Roberto de Mattei.  The subject of the interview, which one should certainly read before perusing my own thoughts, is on the subject of the upcoming canonizations of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II.  In particular, de Mattei discusses his concerns regarding [...]

Chiara Corbella: A Witness to Joy

In worldly terms, Chiara Corbella’s life was not a success story: two children dying shortly after birth, herself ravaged by an aggressive cancer, which killed her at the young age of 28, leaving a beloved husband and a small son behind. This is not the kind of material dreams are made of. Yet when one [...]

Imitating the Saints: From Don Quixote to the Whiskey Priest

Readers should need no introduction to The Ingenious Knight Don Quixote de la Mancha. Infected with a madness focused on the bygone era of knight errantry, Don Quixote leaves home to enact a new golden age of chivalry. As Don Quixote says to his loyal squire: “Friend Sancho, I would have you know that I [...]

St. G.K.C.? The Process Begins

Eleven years ago I visited England for the first time. I was completely excited, of course, to see the place, but especially to see the sites connected to my hero, G.K. Chesterton. My very first stop, however, was the rather unlikely town of Northampton. I had scheduled a meeting with Bishop Kevin McDonald. My hosts [...]

Keeping Score: The Divine Meaning of Success

 Thou art indeed just, Lord, if I contend  With thee; but, sir, so what I plead is just.  Why do sinners’ ways prosper?  and why must  Disappointment all I endeavor end?                — Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J. If success in this world, never mind the numerous and noisy proponents of the health and wealth gospel, [...]

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