Category: From the President and Publisher

The column “From the President and Publisher” offers pastoral and theological insight to connect the reader with the spiritual message of each issue.

Are You Ready, Willing?

Let’s talk candidly about overworked clergy. Such a conversation automatically excludes low-energy, lethargic priests—the ones who are usually unavailable for extra tasks. Let us consider for example, pastors with few, if any, associate priests or deacons to share the taxing workload. Or pastors without a fluent Spanish-speaking minister when the...

Evergreen

A- mid the hustle and bustle of Christmastime,  count your blessings. Through random acts of  Christian kindness, give back to your family and community your counsel and compassion, your time and talent, your word and witness. ♠   Be attentive to the sounds of the holy season: a child’s laughter,...

We Thank You For Your Support

In Never Hug a Nun, novelist Kevin Killeen describes the weekly Catholic newspaper as an “important source of religious news and ads for honest tree trimmers.” Set in 1966, a scene from the book details a suburban housewife reclining on a sofa and reaching for the diocesan newspaper atop a...

The Age of Mortality

Age is relative. When primary school students were asked, “What’s a good age for marriage?” one respondent thought fifty was the right age to tie the knot because people had eliminated all the “excitements” from their system by then. Another student evidently felt it took far longer to get rid...

Hollywood’s Violent Streak

The year: 1974. The fad du jour: streaking. The spectacle: A streaker unabashedly darts across the stage at the forty-sixth annual Academy Awards (the Oscars). What could be more obscene than a guy baring what quick-thinking host David Niven immediately called “his shortcomings” on worldwide television? Flash-forward almost fifty years...

Pushing America’s Business Envelope

Saint Alphonsus Liguori—a prolific author of 111 spiritual works—called his writing the “apostolate of the pen,” and he wanted his fellow Redemptorists to engage in this ministry as well. Thus, Liguori Publications is foremost a ministry of the Redemptorists in the spirit of our founder. Our company also is a...

An Imbalanced Approach

The good news is the worldwide Catholic Church gained sixteen million new members in 2020, says the latest data from the Vatican’s Central Office of Church Statistics. At 1.36 billion, Catholics comprise just under 18 percent of the earth’s population. The vast majority of the millions of new Catholics are...

People of the Lies

Especially during the penitential season of Lent, we’re called to examine our lives in the sacrament of penance. This leads us to be in greater conformity with our faith and to better imitate our Lord. To that end, we may not only want to confess how often we’ve lied to...

Premature Death

In the Victorian era, a widowed bride wore a small vial around her neck—known as a tear catcher—to collect her tears, which she tenderly poured atop the gravesite of her husband on the first anniversary of his death.  Despite this poignant grieving ritual—possibly romanticized—the story is told of pallbearers carrying...

Another Year, A Different Me

Imagine receiving a traffic ticket in the mail for a violation you didn’t commit! That’s what happened to a relative of mine after an overnight hotel stay for a work-related seminar. When the valet at the hotel’s parking garage appropriated her vehicle at 4 am, he unwittingly sped through a...

A Treasure Found, a Lesson Learned

Writings of long ago make clear why forever friends are so invaluable. After the death of my father, I returned to the city of my youth to sort through accumulated belongings in our old family home. To my surprise, I discovered my high school journal, written when I was between...

Challenges Left and Right

At an art museum, three patrons gathered in front of a painting of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, executed by an anonymous artist. The first said, “Notice the great attention to detail in the vegetation. The artist must have been a botanist.” The second countered, “Observe how...

Where Are the Better Angels?

There once was a poor, elderly man who lost his only horse shortly before harvest. His friends commiserated with him about his misfortune, but the old man quietly countered, “How do you know this is misfortune?” Later, the old man’s steed came home, accompanied by a pack of wild horses,...

A Pro-vaccine Parable

“Having seen this up close and personal, I’d encourage ALL of you to put politics and other concerns aside and get it,” posted Mark Valentine on Facebook about the COVID-19 vaccine. He added that his brother Phil’s fight for his life “has persuaded me to go get vaccinated when I...

Driven by Vengeance

“An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth” is one of the oldest laws in the world, appearing three times in the Old Testament (Exodus 21:23–25, Leviticus 24:20, Deuteronomy 19:21). It was originally intended to limit a proportional punishment to the individual who committed the injury, rather...

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....

“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...

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...

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...

Sunday-morning Satire

“Welcome to our parish, Father. Do you have the Mass this morning?” grumbled the woman in the sacristy. “Yes. I’ll be taking your good pastor’s place at all three Masses today,” the replacement priest replied. “Anything I should know?” “Well, Father, we prefer no incense; it sets off the smoke...