Last Wednesday the Junior Youth Ministry (JYM) group watched the movie Miracle (about the 1980 US hockey team and the “miracle on ice”). We used it as a follow up to a conversation we had about faith. Last year Fr. Michael reminded them that faith is like a team sport; it grows in community. If…

Theology of the Mountain For the past five weeks I have been living in beautiful Seattle, accompanying my youngest son as he attends a summer ballet program at the Pacific Northwest Ballet. I’m thankful for a pastor and administrator who respected my family needs and allowed me a short sabbatical. I’m thankful for organists and…

The Holy Medal of St. Benedict: “What does it all mean, and why should I wear one?” On the face of the medal is the image of Saint Benedict. In his right hand he holds the cross, the Christian’s symbol of salvation. The cross reminds us of the zealous work of evangelizing and civilizing England…

In honor of our two newest priests in the Diocese of Raleigh, Fr. James Magee and Fr. Edisson Urrego, let us offering the following prayer, by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI:   LORD JESUS CHRIST, eternal High Priest, You offered Yourself to the Father, on the altar of the Cross, and through the outpouring of the…

From Darkness to Light Then they seized [Jesus]and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house, and Peter was following at a distance. And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. Then a servant girl, seeing him as he…

“Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.”  Dietrich Bonhoeffer Some of my Catholic brothers and sisters in Christ may not be familiar with the story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Lutheran pastor who wrote the Christian classic “The Cost of Discipleship”, and who was martyred by the “thousand year Reich” just days before it fell….

[ NOTE: In April of 2016, Deacon Greg Kandra posted the following on his blog: “The Deacon’s Bench.” Recent events have brought it to my attention again — I thought it was imperative that I bring it to yours.] The conversation threw me for a loop. A religious ed teacher told me about a talk he…

One of the first concepts you learn in the study of the arts is “the willing suspension of disbelief.” This means that, when watching something like a movie or a stage play, you allow for liberties in the passage of time and other dramatic incongruities. For example, many days or even years can pass in mere minutes, and characters divided by…

Christmas 2016       Of all the special movies of the season, each of them with their unique and heart-warming message, one that has become my perennial favorite is “Polar Express.” I’m almost embarrassed to admit that it “gets me” every time. You remember the story; the young boy has become a cynic about Christmas, a…

Before I became Catholic, I had only a vague awareness of the different apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary which have been approved for devotion by the Church. In each place that Our Lady appeared, her message was entrusted to the poor and lowly, not to the strong and important and powerful. And there were…