Category: Columns

Invisible Man

The newspaper appears on your doorstep early Saturday morning. A bag of food is passed through a narrow window into your waiting hands. Miraculously, your sidewalk is shoveled and the driveway is cleared after a monster snowstorm. You open the closet door to find a crisp, pressed shirt ready to...

Eroding Reality

Father, my car broke down on the highway and my wife and children are waiting on the side of the road. Can you give me money to fix the car?” Based on the frequency of this request, priests could be most helpful in ministry if we operated a car-towing service....

Unimaginable Holy Light

Who is this that comes forth like the dawn, beautiful as the white moon, pure as the blazing sun, fearsome as celestial visions? Song of Songs 6:10 These words surely can be said about the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe. In her image to St. Juan Diego, she is...

Grandma’s Chair

My paternal grandmother was very dear to me. Many things contributed to our bond: I was named after her, she was the closest woman I had to a mother as I grew up, and she introduced me to the Catholic faith. She didn’t drive, and my grandfather—who did drive—passed away...

“The Best Name for God”

A mother sent her little girl to the store with instructions to come home immediately after making her purchase. When she returned more than an hour late, her worried mother asked, “What took you so long?” “I’m sorry, Mommy, for being late, but Annie broke her doll and I stopped...

New-look, Hybrid Parishes

Through the years, countless employees were coached to ask the faithful inquiring at the parish office, “Are you a registered parishioner?” Historically, church membership has been complicated. When ethnic parishes thrived, people were assigned membership by country of origin, culture, and language. Sadly, race was sometimes a factor. Parish membership...

Wed to a Heavenly Plan

What are your plans for the Easter season and beyond? Of course we celebrate our Savior’s rising from death on Easter Sunday. But in the days after, do we embrace the vocation Jesus Christ offers to us by way of his life, passion, crucifixion, and resurrection? I refer to the...

Readers, It’s Your Turn

Typically at this time every year, I am preparing to attend the annual Catholic Media Association Conference. It’s a time to mingle with and learn from colleagues and be inspired by speakers, educational sessions, and the awards program, where I learn if any of the previous year’s Liguorian content has...

Riddled with Faith

On his eighty-first birthday in 1962, Saint John XXIII said, “Any day is a good day to be born and any day is a good day to die.” Six months later, he was dead. On the other hand, according to Margaret Mitchell, there’s never a convenient time for “death and...

Check the Sources

Not all Catholic videos are worth viewing. I was buying a new suit. I wanted to make sure it was black and not navy blue, so I asked another shopper about the color. I’m color blind. I often have to ask someone about colors. Blue, pink, purple, and black can...

Our Lady of Light

As I noted in my January column, this year we will explore in detail the apparitions of our Lady. My hope is that this practice of reflection and prayer with the Blessed Virgin will awaken a deeper understanding of the meaning of these events in you and bring to light...

Painful, Necessary Work

This month marks a full year since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Many, myself included, never would have predicted that this virus would still be a topic of international concern today. Yet here we are, more than halfway through a new school year with parents...

Tarnished Treasures

The poet John Keats wrote, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” However, several art restoration projects gone awry in recent years suggest otherwise. Consider, for example, the seventeenth-century Spanish artist Bartolomé Murillo’s painting of the Virgin Mary disfigured by a furniture restorer in 2020; a wooden fifteenth-century statue...

Family Life: Lessons in Work

When my girls were younger, I established rules for when they would be paid for successfully finishing a particular chore. I never favored a “no obligations” allowance, so they understood that money they acquired from me in their youth would have to be earned. I classified some chores as their...

New Life for Sacramentals

Saint Blaise day arrives February 3, close to the beginning of Lent, when Catholics set aside meat and take up eating fish on Fridays. You may recall he saved a boy from choking on a fish bone, making the day easy to remember. The use of candles for the blessing...

Prayers, Perseverance, Patience

If someone asked me, “What helps you keep your faith from wearing out?” I would sum up my answer in three words: prayers, perseverance, and patience. Of course, our best role models are our Savior Jesus Christ and Mary the Blessed Virgin. Jesus and Mary patiently prayed and persevered throughout...

All Are Refugees, Going Home

Epiphany, when we remember the Wise Men who knelt before the Son of God to pay him homage, will always be a personal favorite day on our Church calendar. On one momentous January 5—the eve of Epiphany fifty-nine years ago—my parents, my brother, and I left our Cuban hometown of...

“I Do Solemnly Swear…”

Prescribed by the US Constitution, the oath of office of the president is a key part of the inauguration ceremony. It symbolizes the peaceful transition of power. The National Constitution Center, located in the cradle of US liberty—Philadelphia—offers a list detailing the use of the Bible at presidential inaugural ceremonies....

Much Ado about Everything

As we limp from the upheaval and uncertainty of 2020 and tip-toe carefully into 2021, do you think we should dub the first full year of COVID-19 as the worst twelve-month span of time in US history? Or is the pandemic going to get worse? In an article published in...

Exploring Marian Apparitions

We Redemptorists follow the example of our founder, St. Alphonsus Liguori, in his love for Mary, as we continue to preach and provide resources on the place of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Catholic tradition. Since the 1950s, those who devote their life to teaching about Mary in Catholic practice...