Cheese & Cauliflower “Risotto”

I wanted something quick, meatless, and gluten-free for dinner on a Friday night during Lent (and during a Pandemic, which is why we couldn’t go out for dinner!). This takes about an hour total to prepare, and serves four. 1 medium head of Cauliflower, bottom stem and leaves removed 1/2 cup onion, finely minced 1/2 cup celery, finely minced 1/2 cup butter 1 cup dry … Continue reading Cheese & Cauliflower “Risotto”

Spiritual Communion From My Side of the Altar

Before this week, I can remember only one time I presided at a Mass with no congregation. I was on retreat at a very nice resort in California (long story), and there were Mass intentions assigned for the days I was there. On day one, no one else showed up. What to do? They were clearly expecting a Mass for the people listed in the … Continue reading Spiritual Communion From My Side of the Altar

This is What Ministry Looks Like Today

This was a busy day of ministry at the University Catholic Center, and I never saw anyone (apart from our skeleton-crew staff) all day. With the coming of the corona virus pandemic, we’re basically shut down. But not really. The bishop has asked us to keep the building open for prayer, but no more than 10 people can be in our (600 seat) chapel at … Continue reading This is What Ministry Looks Like Today

Apophenia

Recently someone asked me– in all seriousness– what the Church thinks of all the claims in the news of people seeing images of Jesus and Mary in all sorts of unexpected places.  Well-publicized examples include the famous Mary-in-the-tortilla, Mary-in-the-grilled-cheese, and Jesus appearing in the salt stains of a Chicago highway underpass. None of these were what the Church would call an apparition: an actual appearance … Continue reading Apophenia

Apocrypha

When choosing a Bible, one faces a wide array of choices.  Often the question is heard, “Is it a Catholic or a Protestant Bible?”  This question isn’t usually about the translation per se, or who the editors were.  Usually it’s about how many– and which — books are included. The Bible is a collection of writings written, edited, compiled, copied, and passed on over a … Continue reading Apocrypha

Anti-Catholic Literature

  It’s not uncommon today to hear Catholic apologists and intellectuals talk about the entrenched anti-Catholic bias in the mainstream media.  While the Church is unquestionably a dramatic “target of opportunity” for many screenwriters and novelists, contemporary works of fiction have nothing on the vituperative anti-Catholic literature of the 19th Century.      Much of the anti-Catholic media in the 1800’s was fueled by the political … Continue reading Anti-Catholic Literature

Annunciation

In the US, New Years Day is January first.  In other parts of the world, the new year is based on the lunar calendar.  But in many parts of the world, the celebration of the new year was connected to the religious calendar.  In fact, until the year 1752 (when the Julian calendar was adopted), the new year was observed on “Lady Day,” or March … Continue reading Annunciation

Alternative Christmas

In recent weeks, I’ve had conversations with my brothers and sisters about approaching  Christmas gift-giving a little differently this year.  We’re all adults with pretty well-established lives, and the fact is we don’t really need more “stuff.”  Still, we’d like to preserve the Christmas season’s sense of generosity and giving.  So, we’ve thought about some alternative ways of giving that we hope will extend the … Continue reading Alternative Christmas

All Souls Day

On the first two days of November each year, the Church commemorates two linked feast days:  All Saints, and All Souls.  All Saints is easy to understand:  we remember all those who have lived lives of heroic holiness, whether the Church has canonized them or not.  But on All Souls, we remember all those who have died, not just the spiritual superstars. From the earliest … Continue reading All Souls Day