June 26 is the Feast of St. Josemaría Escrivá….Read More here.
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 TV, and you are guaranteed to be inundated with crises of every sort: crises in the world, crises in the Church, crises in the culture. We don’t even have to turn to news outlets to discover contemporary crises, we find them in the families around us, and in our own families……..
On March 22, 2013, Pope Francis addressed the Diplomatic Corps with a warning against the “tyranny of relativism.” He then explained his selection of the name Francis as in part stemming from St. Francis’ battle for peace, a peace which Pope Francis underscored was impossible without Truth. The necessary struggle for truth not only remains …
This was published by Homiletic & Pastoral Review in 2012.
This July 22-24, 2015, you are not going to want to miss the Applied Biblical Studies Conference at Franciscan University of Steubenville! It promises to be one of the most incredible conferences they’ve hosted, with a stellar line up of speakers. The conference theme this year is, “The Joy of the Gospel: Paul’s Letter
to the Philippians.” The event will kick off Weds. evening, the 22nd, with Scott Hahn overview of Philippians. His is just one of the many exciting talks that we’ll get to hear throughout the conference. We’ll hear about: Philippians 1 from Michael Barber; Philippians 2 as well as a second talk on the Eucharist from Brant Pitre; Philippians 3 as well as a second talk on Pope Francis from Edward Sri; Philippians 4 from John Bergsma; the joy of the Lord as our strength from Kimberly Hahn; recent scholarly discussions on Paul from Fr. Pablo Gadenz; a talk on Mary in the Old
For a while now, my three year old son has been telling us that when he grows up he wants to be a superhero. Recently, my five year old daughter asked me if superheroes are real. We spoke a little about how the Saints are the real superheroes. After that conversation it struck me how true that is: the Saints are the real superheroes.
Many of the superheroes we know and love from comic books, movies, and t.v., are people like Batman or Superman, who, most of the time, live ordinary lives without performing the superhero actions their hidden life selves are known for. They tend to dress, work, and speak as would anyone else in their specific state in life, in their line of work, in their economic status, etc. Unbeknownst to their neighbors and friends, they possess superhero abilities.
Very recently I got my free electronic copy of Brandon Vogt’s newest book, The Saints’ Favorite Books, and I must say, this is a deal you don’t want to miss! It’s short, but well worth the read, and it’s available for a limited time free here.
Brandon walks through many significant Saints, and Popes, throughout Christian history, and he shares what their favorite book was (or, in some instances, where they don’t say what their favorite book was, he makes a good case for which was one of their top books). He also provides links where you can acquire the books yourselves. This is a great way to start a great reading list, following the lead of the Saints and Popes. I highly recommend getting your free copy now.
On Pentecost, Pope Francis delivered a terrific message on the New Evangelization, answering a set of questions that were provided him in advance. In the talk, Francis shares some very moving moments from his own life. He tells the world about his own inklings of a calling, of his vocation; that God was calling him. He tells of a moving experience of confession, where he felt drawn by God to confess his sins to a priest he ran across on the street, only to encounter the God Who had been waiting for him. His words reminded me of Pope Benedict XVI’s comments about two years ago to the effect that, “the new evangelization will pass through the confessional.”
The day before Pope Benedict XVI resigned from his office, I was honored to participate in a colloquium on his legacy at Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology at Seton Hall University, where I teach. A portion of the colloquium was filmed and is available online here:
After some opening words by Msgr. Joseph Reilly and by Dr. Dianne Traflet, the first
presentation is by my dear friend and colleague, Fr. Pablo Gadenz. Fr. Pablo’s wonderful talk is entitled, “Pope Benedict: Leading Us to Jesus,” and deals with Benedict’s work on Scripture as it focuses on bringing us in contact with the living Jesus.
I give the second presentation, “Pope Benedict and the Interior Life,” where I discuss some
points concerning the importance of the Eucharist, frequent Confession, personal prayer, and devout reading of Scripture, in the thought of Benedict XVI.
In light of all the media buzz about Pope Francis, I have encountered a surprising number of criticisms aimed both at Pope Francis and at the Catholic Church, specifically concerning the wealth of the Vatican and the lack of the Pope’s “real” concern for the poor. In response, I’ve hastily written this overly large post. Hopefully someone will find it beneficial.
John Allen explains, in his National Catholic Reporter article, “Challenges to vision of a ‘Poor Church for the Poor,’” available here, http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/challenges-vision-poor-church-poor, that “the legendary wealth of the Vatican is to some extent more myth than reality.” He then points out the often ignored fact that the yearly budget for operating the Vatican is less than $300 million. He contrasts this with Harvard University (which he labels as “the Vatican of elite secular opinion”) whose annual budget is $3.7 billion. Allen points out further that the patrimony (or endowment) of the Vatican is about $1 billion. Harvard, on the other hand, as a whopping $30.7 billion endowment. Allen concedes that the Vatican bank is in charge of the equivalent of over $6 billion, but then points out how the majority of that money is not actually the Vatican’s, and thus the Vatican would not be at liberty to use most of that amount for any purpose whatsoever.