Parish Priest as Curator

Someone once compared parish priests to twentieth century housewives: you can’t explain completely to anyone what you do—only know that you’re busy from early morning to late night taking care of what needs to be taken care of. In olden days, and in some places today, a parish priest was called a “curate.”  A curate […]

Church Law–Not Always Just

On numerous occasions, Pope Francis has expressed concern about the judgmental stance of the church on issues of sexual relations, annulments, and remarriage of divorced Catholics.  Part of his concern, I suspect, is that our faith teaches that God is the one true judge and His ways are not our ways.  When we set ourselves […]

That May to This May

  In May of 2016, I was informed that I would be assigned to Saint Charles Parish amidst news reports that the school would close.  This column offers an update from that May to this one, as well as some hopes for future days and future Mays. A school sustainability team, formed during the summer […]

Mystery and Absolutism

An old adage states, “Life is not a problem to be solved; it is a mystery to be lived.” Absolutism is a philosophical stance that contends there is an absolute truth.  Every religion and most governments lay claim to certain absolute truths; we profess them in our creeds, our catechisms, and our laws.  They exist […]

Fall From Grace

The Irish rock band, The Pogues, sing a ballad entitled “If I Should Fall from Grace with God.”  To a Christian, the words might suggest that when we do things contrary to our faith commitments or unbecoming to our nature as God’s children–the kind of sins that are public and therefore shameful–we ought to remember that […]

A Call to Holiness

Last month, Pope Francis released an Apostolic Exhortation entitled “Gaudete et exsultate.”  A little different from a papal encyclical—a formal document addressing a universal church teaching—an apostolic exhortation presents a reflective discourse on an important topic.  The topic of this letter is On the Call to Holiness in Today’s World.  The title translates: “Rejoice and […]

Better Because of Christ

One aspect of classical education in a religious school that I like most is the emphasis that’s put on doing what we do in a better manner, on a higher level, or in a more integrated way, because we know Jesus: both the man of history and the God of faith. The learning community—which includes […]