Are You One of 700,000?

If you took part in a Synod Listening Session you are. That’s the estimated number of people throughout the United States who did, according to the national summary that the US bishops issued this week. It’s more than 1% of US Catholics. …

When the World Stops

It’s been interesting the last week watching the familiar rituals of a funeral blown up to world scale in the funeral for Queen Elizabeth. As I write this the “visitation” has just started and officials are warning people that the wait will …

When Mastro Titta Crossed the Bridge

A corruption of the Italian maestro di giustizia (or master of Justice), Mastro Titta was the nickname for Giovanni Battista Bugatti. For 68 years, from 1796 until 1864, Bugatti was the pope’s executioner, the longest serving papal executioner in history. Using axe, mallet and eventually …

Of Popes and Holidays

You probably wouldn’t think to connect a 19th century pope with an American Holiday but Leo XIII and Labor Day are at least related. Leo wrote the encyclical Rerum Novarum (Revolutionary Change) in 1891. It is subtitled: Rights and Duties of Capital and Labor. In …

Great Cathedral of Creation

Pictured: Redwood grove in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park That’s what Pope Francis called it in his message asking us to observe the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation on September 1st. It is the beginning of …

Prayers Requested

This coming Saturday our parish councils will be joining together for a day of prayer and reflection. We’ll be led by Jack Jezreel, a nationally known Catholic speaker and author who is based in Louisville. So as you’re going about …

A Very Ordinary Time

I write this column on Wednesdays. Some Wednesdays I have more than one thing to write about, and I have to choose. Occasionally I can’t seem to think of anything. This Wednesday would be one of those. But that’s ok. …

35 Years Already?

To start off this week’s article, I would like to say “Thank you!” for the wonderful shower of cards, notes, and gifts I’ve received this past week to celebrate my ordination. It made for a truly great anniversary. One of the questions I’ve gotten …

Pilgrimage of Penance

Pictured above- Pope Francis prays at a residential school cemetery Pope Francis’ trip to Canada this week began in a cemetery. The cemetery of an Indian residential school. From the 1870’s until the 1970’s the Canadian government maintained a system …

In Old Age They Will Still Bear Fruit

That is the theme for the second World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly. It is from Psalm 92. In the US we celebrate Grandparents’ Day in September, but last year Pope Francis started a day for the church around …