School’s (Almost) Out

March 9, 2020

At 12:55 a.m. this morning, I sent a draft of my dissertation to my advisor, who will send it along to the committee.  It was a small action, simple, and done without anybody else even knowing what was going on.   Elena, starting to come down with a cold, was sleeping.  Faustina, Chiara, and Therese were all asleep in their rooms.  Karol had woken up at about 11 p.m. and was…


The Day the Fatima Prayer Was Revealed

July 13, 2017

Today, July 13th, is the 100th commemoration of one of the famous apparitions of Mary to the children at Fatima. On the date of the July apparition,  two of the most critical moments of the interaction between Mary and Lucia, (Saint) Francisco and (Saint) Jacinta took place: the visions commonly referred to as the “secrets” of Fatima, and the revelation of the so-called Fatima Prayer: O My Jesus, forgive us…


Ross Poldark and the Beauty of Ordinary Time

June 22, 2017

I’ve recently begun to watch the BBC’s Poldark, a period drama set in the UK at the end of the 1700s.  The series follows Ross Poldark, whose family name gives him entry into the well-to-do of Cornwall.  But Ross, after fighting and nearly dying in the Revolutionary War, returns with a different view toward society.  Rather than follow the typical model his family expects, or moving away from Cornwall due…


Some Tips on Reading the Bible, From Augustine

June 8, 2017

This summer, I’m doing some heavy-duty reading.  That’s right, it’s time for comprehensive exams, PhD-style.  So over the next couple of months I’ve got a steady diet of around 1,000 to 1,200 pages a week to keep me on track.  This week, I have been reading mostly about St. Augustine and I thought I might share a few points he makes in his classic treatise, On Christian Doctrine. If you…


Pentecost: Our Call to be More Than Average

June 1, 2017

In the Acts of the Apostles, the reception of the Holy Spirit transforms a band of cowardly and confused followers of Jesus, who were hiding in a room with Mary and praying, into the most radical team of evangelists the world’s ever seen.  Immediately, they go out, speak in tongues and thus are able to have a universal dialogue with those gathered in Jerusalem. And after Peter preaches to the crowds,…


First Communion and Fatima

May 18, 2017

This past weekend, the Church celebrated the 100th anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima, Portugal to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco back in 1917.  In addition to commemorating the 100th anniversary, Pope Francis also canonized Jacinta and Francisco Marto, the siblings who were present for the apparitions, but died just a few years later.  With the centenary year upon us, a lot of talk is going on about Fatima, usually focusing…


Some Wisdom from Visiting the Elderly

May 11, 2017

Last weekend, I was able to be in New Orleans for a few days to speak about the 100th anniversary of the Fatima apparitions and my new book, but I also had a chance to visit with some family members.  My wife is from New Orleans, and her family has deep roots in the city.  Whenever we come into town we always try to visit as many people as possible,…


What’s Good About Good Friday?

April 14, 2017

As a child, I often wondered why we would call this most holy of days “good.”  Good Friday is the height of the Church’s reenactment of the Passion of Christ.  We read the entire passion narrative from the Gospel, then symbolically empty our tabernacles of the Eucharist.  We further cover our statues, and depart from the church in total silence.  Sure doesn’t seem good to me.  Right? From a human…


A Meditation on Holy Thursday’s Readings

April 13, 2017

New Liturgical SeasonToday, the season of Lent ends and a new season, the Triduum begins.  Catholics who attend all of our services during these three days can really get an amazing lesson if they pay close attention to the readings the Church has selected for this holiest of weeks.  So, with this in mind, let’s examine today’s readings a bit. By paying attention to the entire Liturgy of the Word (all of the readings,…


March Madness and the Spiritual Life

March 23, 2017

The internet is a weird place, but sometimes it does great things.  This week, my Facebook “On this Day” has been showing me pictures and memories of last year’s Holy Week.  Mixed in with memories of our last Holy Week of Darkness, I’ve also been seeing lots of updates and stories about March Madness.  So after a couple of days of that, I got to thinking about the mix between…