Escape from the Danger Zone

Just this month, I had an amazing opportunity to tour Jordan with some journalist friends and the Jordan Tourism Board. Many of my friends and family were worried about my safety while I was there. True enough, there were four shootings and two bomb threats during those ten days. But those all happened...

The View from Mt. Nebo

Franciscan Father Fergus Clarke greets our small group at his community’s residence on Mt. Nebo, a site sacred to three major religions and more than half the earth’s population. He’s dressed in his brown robe, some shockingly cool-looking sunglasses, and a radiant smile. “Welcome to Mt. Nebo,” he...

If You Want to Do Something Truly Countercultural

Like most big families, the Catholic Church has its share of sibling rivalry. There was some good-natured ribbing when the first Jesuit pope (Francis) took the name of the founder of the Franciscan order. In my hometown, parishes compete for market share in their Church festivals and Friday fish fries. And...

Faith Is Not a Popularity Contest

A study released yesterday by the Pew Research Center reports that Pope Francis’s popularity is steadily rising in the U.S., achieving numbers not seen since a saint held the chair of Peter. The current pontiff has an approval rating of 90% (compared to 16% for Congress—the people we actually voted...

Nobody Doesn’t Love Serra

Among all the announcements around Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to the United States, one of the most exciting for Franciscan-minded people was the unveiling of plans to canonize American missionary Junipero Serra. While my fellow residents of the USA might tend to think that Christianity has been here...

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