Whelp, today I embark on my Summer Epic Road Trip. After more than four months of pandemic isolation in Austin and a month of my sabbatical gone, it’s time for a change of scenery. Through all this time I’ve been good about pandemic protocols; staying masked when out of the house, staying distanced from people as much a possible. Last Tuesday I had my first … Continue reading Road Trip!!
In recent weeks lots of people have been asking me what’s next, after I depart the University Catholic Center on June 30th. This is a complicated and unstable time for all of us, and plans can change on very short notice, but here’s what I know right now. On July 1, we will turn over pastoral care of the University Catholic Center to Fr. Jonathan … Continue reading So, What’s Next?
Because it’s Pentecost, there’s a great temptation to preach about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. That’s how we know the Spirit is present, isn’t it? Because those gifts are manifested? If I asked you to list the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, could you do it? If you’re part of the Church’s more theological tradition, you’d probably list those gifts: Wisdom, Fortitude, Piety, Fear … Continue reading Pentecost: The Holy Spirit, and the Path Forward
Catholic Charities USA was founded in 1910 on the campus of the Catholic University of America in Washington DC. As the association of local Catholic Charities affiliates, Catholic Charities USA works to provide advocacy for the poor, and networking for the 1700 agencies across the country that are its members. In 2007, Catholic Charities member agencies provided hope and assistance to 7.7 Million people. … Continue reading Catholic Charities
This Lent, in many Catholic parishes, you may see people preparing for baptism and initiation into the Church. These people, called Catechumens, are on a journey of spiritual growth. The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is the formal process that guides that journey, and during Lent, there are particular markers along that road. On some of the Sundays of Lent, the catechumens are presented … Continue reading Catachumens
In ancient times, before the founding of the city of Rome, the Etruscans began the practice of burying their dead in underground chambers. Although the early Romans usually cremated their dead, the early Christians revived the use of catacombs because cremation was thought to deny the Christian belief in the resurrection of the body. By the second century, Christians had begun excavating extensive catacombs in … Continue reading Catacombs
When Pope Benedict XVI was elected on April 19th, he inherited more than just the leadership of the world’s 1.1 billion Catholics. He also got a really nice vacation property just 14 miles southeast of Rome. Castel Gandolfo is a small town on the shore of Lake Albano. It first came under the patronage of the Holy See in 1604, when it was acquired by … Continue reading Castel Gondolfo
Within the clerical hierarchy of the Catholic Church, there are really three levels: deacons, priests, and bishops. Among bishops there are several varieties: bishops, archbishops, and cardinals. The pope is, of course, a bishop: the bishop of Rome. But beneath the pope in the hierarchy are the cardinals: bishops or archbishops of higher rank. Although they have special responsibilities and greater prominence in the universal … Continue reading Cardinals
If you visit the campus of a large university in the US or Canada, and locate the office or building for Catholic campus ministry, it’s likely that it will be called the Newman Center. These ministries are named for John Henry Cardinal Newman, an English cleric of the 19th Century. You may be wondering what the connection is between the two. Cardinal Newman was born … Continue reading Cardinal Newman
If you quizzed most Catholics about their rights in the Church, you’d probably get more than a few who would summarize those rights with the words “pray, pay, and obey.” Apart from the fact that those are really responsibilities, not rights, they convey the common notion that the folks in the pews really don’t have any rights. But the Church’s Code of Canon Law makes … Continue reading Canonical Rights