The Piano Man

While my mom found sanctuary and peace in the little Catholic mission church of my hometown, amid statues, stained-glass, incense, and the quiet darkness surrounding a veiled tabernacle near a tiny flame symbolizing the light of Christ, my dad found energy, life, comfort, and motivation in local pubs.  During the forty years that I knew […]

While You Were Sleeping

We are told in the fourth chapter of Mark’s Gospel that Jesus once taught using an image of a farmer who tills soil, plants seed, waters it, and, while he is doing other things, the seeds begin to spout over time.  He knows not how it happens, but it is happening even while he sleeps.  […]

Team Spirit

It has been said that you can tell how good a coach or manager is at his job by how well the team plays after he departs.  The same is true for bosses or pastors.  If they bring a winning attitude of faithfulness, success, and confidence, it will remain after they leave.  I arrived at […]

Leave A Place Better

Many parental figures teach their children and others to always leave a place better than they found it.  We were fortunate if we had those kind of parents or guides; they encourage us to spend our lives improving our surroundings and those we encounter along the way.  In Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical, Laudato Si, written […]

Religious Insanity

In the aftermath of recent shootings and ongoing violence in our nation, we return to debates about gun laws and mental illness.  This time, it seems that evil’s presence is also central to our conversations as we acknowledge that various earthly enterprises contribute to the insanity that allows terrorizing acts to pervade.  As a Catholic […]

Rock Foundation

I will be going back to college this summer.  And not just any college—but the one I attended forty years ago, where I was formed in faith and received a solid education, where I heard about other famous rocks: the Rock of Gibraltar, Plymouth Rock, Knute Rockne, Rocky Balboa, Rock-n-Roll, and Peter-the rock upon which […]

Discharged From Saint Charles

The normal term for a pastor according to the Roman Catholic Code of Canon Law is six years.  I have completed my term at Saint Charles Borromeo and will commence a new charge in about five weeks.  I have never served a six-year term as pastor before this one: twice for around ten years and […]

Transfer Portal

I was informed yesterday that there are lots of conversations around the parish that I am being transferred: someone heard it from a chancery employee, someone else heard it from another priest, still someone else heard it at the beauty parlor.  I will share with you what I know from inside the transfer portal with […]

A Long Shot

The winner of this year’s Kentucky Derby, Rich Strike, a last-minute qualifier at eighty-to-one, was a long shot.  The colt is the focal point of the greatest upset at Churchill Downs in over 100 years.  His owner found out that he qualified for the race only thirty seconds before the deadline.  His final soaring strides […]

A Mother’s Journey

When I was a young priest my mom sent me a short story about motherhood by twentieth century author Temple Bailey.  It had helped her find comfort and feel gratitude after her own mom’s death and she thought that it might help me help others when bidding farewell to their mothers.  It is a classic […]