Food for the Journey

One of the many terms for Holy Eucharist is the Latin “viaticum.”   It means food or provision for the journey and gets used primarily to refer to our final communion that gives sustenance for the road to paradise and path to glory where there awaits a heavenly banquet feast for God’s children who are welcomed […]

Native Pilgrims

As little school children put on the silver belt buckled black hats of Pilgrims or colorful feathered head gear of Native Americans to sit in circles with paper turkeys traced from their handprint and to share candied corn, they retell the Thanksgiving story of 1621.  While they do, the rest of us might benefit from […]

Rebuild My Church

When Giovanni Bernadone (who we know as Francis of Assisi) rejected his father’s business to live among the poor in the thirteenth century, he walked the hills of his homeland, wandering into the little rundown church of San Damiano.  There he knelt before a large wooden icon crucifix and locked his eyes on those of […]

Days of the Dead

The twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew’s Gospel gives us an image of the final judgment.  There, Jesus tells us that we will be separated much like a shepherd separates sheep from goats.  Those chosen for the heavenly flock will be the ones who saw Christ in the hungry, poor, naked, sick, or imprisoned souls and responded […]

Food Request

In speaking with staff and volunteers at Saint Therese Little Flower (STLF) Parish this week, I learned that our food pantry shelves are nearly empty, while the number of hungry households in our area increases significantly.  Earlier this year, when Saint Louis Parish on Swope Parkway closed after a century of service, STLF absorbed the […]

The Penske File

In a particular Seinfeld episode, George has a job interview with a company president who is leaving town.  George shows up the next workday, but no one there knows that he was hired.  Nevertheless, he is given the Penske file.  Having no idea what do with it, he transfers its contents into an accordion folder […]

Ideology

People deal with difficult moral issues all the time: racism, immigration, abortion, invitro fertilization, medical care, homelessness, drugs, homosexuality, war and unjust aggression, etc.  Catholics often turn to the church when making important ethical decisions because she is a marvelous and steady guide for us.  We start with objective standards of morality, like the Ten […]

Basket of F-words

In past generations religion guided faith, shaped culture, and influenced art and entertainment.  Now culture tends to guide faith and influence religion in notable ways.  For example, the popular television series, The Chosen, is educating Christians and others about the Gospel stories in ways that churches cannot—or at least do not.  The producers bring biblical […]

Sacramental Marriage

A parent recently approached me about a daughter who was engaged to a guy who had been married before and is intimidated by the church’s annulment process.  The couple was informed by their local priest that they could not marry in the church because the groom’s prior bond of marriage renders him ineligible for the […]

Never On Sunday

The National Football League (NFL) is doing something that churches across America have not been able to do: deal with issues of racism, matters of justice, and other societal concerns on Sundays.  Each autumn, stadiums in major cities have taken the place of churches as sites for the masses to gather for ritual and to […]