Advent and self-denial

Rise up then in the morning with the purpose that (please God) the day shall not pass without its self-denial. . . . If, then, a person asks how he is to know whether he is dreaming on in the world’s slumber, or is really awake and alive unto God, let him first fix his mind upon some one or other of his besetting infirmities. Every one who is at all in the habit of Continue Reading →

Prior to Adult Faith Formation, One Thing Is Necessary – Homiletic & Pastoral Review

In a recent article in HPR, I stressed the need in the Church for adult formation. 1 Of course, the leadership of the Church knows the need very well! But, the inconvenient truth is that there is widespread neglect in following through on the well-documented magisterial recognition of that need. The many wonderful documents that teach the rightful priority of adult formation don’t seem to make it down to the pews. That, however, was the Continue Reading →

Praying for the Dead: Duty and Privilege | Daily News | NCRegister.com

After my mother died in October 2011 from cancer, I threw myself into cleaning her home. The last six months of her illness she hadn’t able to do any housework. As I cleaned in every corner, I contemplated the afterlife, wondering whether she was in heaven or purgatory and weighing her many virtues compared to her faults. Engrossed in organizing and dusting, I would unexpectedly happen upon books on purgatory and each time I felt Continue Reading →

What does Remnant Theology have to teach us about the Church Today? | Archdiocese of Washington

Yesterday on the blog we pondered that Mass attendance has held steady for Catholics at around 25% for at least a decade now and that there is a lot of coming and going in the number. So it is helpful to understand that things may be currently more stable than many of us presume. That said, as a Catholic and a priest I remain quite stunned at the decline in Mass attendance during my overall Continue Reading →

Is the Catholic Church in the U.S. Growing or Shrinking? Some surprising conclusions from CARA data.

There are different ways of assessing the relative health or distress of the Catholic Church here in America. In yesterday’s blog we discussed some signs of vitality, in terms of both clergy and laity becoming more focused on the urgency of evangelization, and of personal conversion. There are many other ways of noting our strengths and struggles. One of the most obvious metrics is to look at the raw numbers and ask, “Is the Catholic Continue Reading →

Quo Vadis — O, Bishops?

This is an exciting moment in Catholic history that offers opportunities for all the imagination, intelligence, and daring that you can bring to the many challenges at hand. I am not a big fan of taking the long view. It may sometimes be wise, even necessary, in human terms. But I’m far more attracted by what is probably the most neglected of Jesus’ sayings: “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how Continue Reading →

Catholics continue Sandy relief work as second storm approaches :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Catholics continue Sandy relief work as second storm approaches :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

Saints, Sinners, and the Perspective of Eternity

Saints, Sinners, and the Perspective of Eternity

On the 2012 Elections: A Statement of the Pennsylvania Catholic Bishops

On the 2012 Elections: A Statement of the Pennsylvania Catholic Bishops

Liberal Catholic Critics of Paul Ryan Misread Catholic Social Thought

Liberal Catholic Critics of Paul Ryan Misread Catholic Social Thought

Nature and Nature’s God

Nature and Nature’s God.

Why I Wrote The Catholic Tide Continues To Turn

Why I Wrote The Catholic Tide Continues To Turn