“Take My Yoke Upon You”

A week ago I spent an hour with an old friend of our family, a woman who was in the final stages of life. She was a good friend of my mother, and welcomed me to her house when I was in grade school, and best friends with her son. When Mom was having trouble in years past, her friend would call me, and begin...

On the Making of Bishops

On Thursday, June 9, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, where I minister and where St. Anthony Messenger Press is based, received a great gift from Pope Benedict XVI. It came in a Roman document, held up high in the sanctuary of the cathedral, and read in an English translation from the pulpit. In the document,...

Real Sheep, Clueless Shepherd

The Fourth Sunday of Easter always brings us one of the “Good Shepherd” Gospel readings. I recall from seminary days that one of my classmates disliked being compared to sheep—he thought they were ugly and smelled. (I presume he’ll take his complaint “higher up,” since Jesus seemed to...

Listening to the Passion Story at Mass

Christ Nailed to the Cross, detail from Stations of the Cross, St. Francis Seraph Church, Cincinnati, Ohio Hearing the story of Jesus’ trial and death in Matthew’s Gospel version for “Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion” reminds me of an experience I had some years ago. I traveled to...

‘Untie him, and let him go free!’

I was privileged to be present at the bedside of both my father and mother as they died. In both cases, I watched life pass slowly out of the body, breath by breath. Each death was a moment to confront my faith in resurrection. Of course, I was too caught up in emotions to think a lot about my faith. Faith...

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