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Last year, about a month after Pope Francis issued Traditionis Custodes limiting the celebration of the pre-Vatican II Mass, I received a text from a college friend. We’d once been very close, working together on our college newspaper, but had a falling out after he began identifying with the alt-right... Continue reading
Posted 33 minutes ago at Go, Rebuild My House
While recovering from a war injury in his family’s castle, Ignatius of Loyola, a soldier and courtier, asked for something to read, preferably his favorite genre of courtly adventure. Instead, he was presented with a book of lives of the saints. At first he found the stories boring. But eventually... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2022 at Go, Rebuild My House
More often than not it is through symbols rather than words that the important messages of a pontificate are communicated. So it has been with Pope Francis’ “penitential pilgrimage” to Canada, a visit aimed at making amends for the appalling abuse carried out against indigenous communities in state-funded, Catholic-run residential... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2022 at Go, Rebuild My House
Days away from Pope Francis’ long-awaited visit, after the horrific discovery of unmarked graves at Indian Residential Schools, in Canada we are bombarded by media coverage of tragic survivor stories and old film footage with unsmiling students under the watchful eyes of nuns. There is understandable outrage and intense scrutiny... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2022 at Go, Rebuild My House
Last Sunday, the Gospel reading was the parable of the Good Samaritan. At my parish Mass, the priest stated that the story is well known to all of us, but it’s important that we not let it become mundane. Love is not a mere emotion; rather, Jesus is asking all... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2022 at Go, Rebuild My House
The nation doesn’t simply need what we (women) have. It needs what we are. ~St. Teresa Benedicta (Edith Stein) In this blog space, I have written about the apparent dangers of a sector of American lay Catholicism to the moral and spiritual health of the Church and to the wider... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2022 at Go, Rebuild My House
About a fortnight ago (June 18), a motley crew of 160 people gathered in the upper room of a hotel in Athlone, the centre of the island of Ireland. They were the diocesan delegates and representatives of various ecclesial organizations and reform groups of the Irish Synodal Pathway. They comprised... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2022 at Go, Rebuild My House
On June 5th, the Feast of Pentecost, the charter for a substantial reform of the structures of the Roman Curia went into effect. Issued by Pope Francis without fanfare on March 19, 2022 and marking the entry into the tenth year of his pontificate, the apostolic constitution Praedicate Evangelium (Proclaim... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2022 at Go, Rebuild My House
The synod and its synodal process is Pope Francis’ aim to listen to and learn from all his flock—from the ground up. It is nothing short of revolutionary. The Catholic Church has seen nothing like this movement since Pope John XXIII called for Vatican II. Francis truly wants to hear... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2022 at Go, Rebuild My House
The state of Catholic journalism is a matter of intense debate in church circles these days, and for good reason. The U.S. bishops’ decision in early May to eviscerate Catholic News Service, a wire service that has reported on the church with professionalism for more than a century, came as... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2022 at Go, Rebuild My House
Well, the chatter has begun: Will Pope Francis retire? This, while speculation grows considering the possible repercussions of the synodal process initiated by the Pope. Our attention glues to those very important issues which are, alas, distant from the lives of everyday people. Who gets to be a Cardinal at... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2022 at Go, Rebuild My House
The LORD brings to nought the plans of nations; he foils the designs of peoples. But the plan of the LORD stands forever; the design of his heart, through all generations. - Psalm 33:10-11, Pentecost Vigil Mass Many Catholics are familiar with the Easter Vigil, the Mass on Holy Saturday... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2022 at Go, Rebuild My House
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone assures us that his decree barring U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from receiving holy Communion has nothing to do with politics: "I assure you that my action here is purely pastoral, not political." The assurance is laughable. As Melinda Henneberger pointed out in the Sacramento Bee, Cordileone's... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2022 at Go, Rebuild My House
Dunblane is a small town in Scotland, with a river tumbling through a wooded valley to the accompaniment of birdsong, and a beautiful medieval cathedral standing serenely amidst gravestones marking the many generations who have lived and died there. But some of Dunblane’s graves bear witness to a traumatic event... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2022 at Go, Rebuild My House
“I am visiting Francis. He is in very good health and his mind is sharp as always.” Thus began a message about the pope, which was posted May 14 on Twitter by Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernández of Argentina. “There’s a problem in one of his knees, but every day he... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2022 at Go, Rebuild My House
Justice Alito’s inept, inaccurate and ideologically motivated draft decision of the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade, if it becomes law in something like its present form, will pose a set of serious challenges for the Catholic Church’s pro-life stance. Let’s take them one at a time. First, the... Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2022 at Go, Rebuild My House
St. Paul, of course, was right. When I was a child I really did think like a child—and for that, I would like to apologize to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto, the wonderful women who ran the secondary school I attended way back in the 1970s. I arrived... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2022 at Go, Rebuild My House
We are now coming to the end of the spring semester within the University. For all colleges this time of the year is a wonderful opportunity to recall moments of joy, sorrow, achievements or failure. Whatever the case, it is a season of hope. The graduates prepare for the next... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2022 at Go, Rebuild My House
Synodality is experiencing growing pains, which is to be expected. Ever since the close of Vatican II, synodality has had a very uneven career, both in the various local churches and in the universal church. Under Pope Paul VI, the synod of bishops was still developing, trying to find ways... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2022 at Go, Rebuild My House
I did not expect to be so moved by candlelight when the lights went out. I was looking forward to the symbolic enactment of the Christ’s descent to the dead, light’s refusal to be subsumed. Plunged into near total shadow, the altar radiated. I knew the general structure of Tenebrae,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2022 at Go, Rebuild My House
Our intrepid blogger, Colleen Dulle, in her recent entry spoke of the pending publication of a report issued by the Department of the Interior on the history and legacy of government-funded and church-operated Native boarding or industrial schools in the United States. Indeed, the Secretary, Deb Haaland, is Indigenous and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2022 at Go, Rebuild My House
Reading Cardinal Mario Grech’s Oxford lecture on synodality recently, I was struck by his account—which draws heavily on St. John Henry Newman’s—of the consultation of the faithful that happened before the declaration of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. Grech writes: “[Pius IX] defined the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2022 at Go, Rebuild My House
On December 8, 2021, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Timothy Cardinal Dolan presided over a special Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York marking completion of the archdiocesan phase of the cause for the canonization of Servant of God Dorothy Day. During the course of the service he... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2022 at Go, Rebuild My House
Across large parts of the Catholic world, vocations to the priesthood and religious life are in steep decline. Whether it’s Puerto Maldonado in the Amazon or the Archdiocese of New York, the decline has long posed the Catholic Church an existential challenge to how it carries out its mission. Two... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2022 at Go, Rebuild My House
The Church entered this Synodal process weak and wounded from clergy sexual abuse, revelations of racism and colonialism and fraud; massive departures from the faith in the Global North and pandemic trauma. In this dark time, many have lost trust in the Church. Pope Francis’ call to “journey together” to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2022 at Go, Rebuild My House