Pray for the courage to act

On April 22, 2015, at 7:30 AM, I was riding in a car, from Statesboro to Savannah, because I was going to have a tooth extracted — my right bicuspid if you really need to know—because I had bitten down on a Greek Kalamata Olive, which was supposed to have been pitted in Greece, but hadn’t been. I knew when I crunched the olive in the month prior to this trip that I had broken the tooth. 


After the atrocity in Orlando, where a shooter entered a gay nightclub and gunned down innocent people celebrating a Saturday night, our country is once again in mourning. I cannot believe that I am responding in a column, again, to a mass shooting. This one occurred in the city where I was born and raised.
The casualties (a word once used for war) are the greatest number in recent U.S. history since 9/11. 

In my life

As I write these words in the afterglow of the beautiful ordination Mass celebrated on June 4, I am experiencing a wave of memories concerning my own 40 years as a priest of the Diocese of Savannah.

One gorilla; hundreds of refugees

In the same week that an endangered gorilla was shot dead at the Cincinnati zoo, more than 700 migrants drowned in the Mediterranean. Social media exploded with outrage about the killing of the gorilla. Memorials, protests, and petitions were generated. The parents of the child whose life was saved by zoo officials were threatened and vilified. 
The deaths of the migrants were scarcely acknowledged, much less mourned. Where was the widespread outrage against the conditions and circumstances leading to their deaths?

It is time to call nonsense what it is: "nonsense."

It is time to call nonsense what it is: “nonsense.”
None dare call it nonsense
Treason doth never prosper, what’s the reason?
For if it prosper, none dare call it Treason.
—John Harington (1561-1612)
Nonsense is prospering at an unprecedented rate, in this country and elsewhere.
 It is time to call nonsense what it is: “nonsense.”

Writer's Block

In more than 20 years of writing a column, I don’t usually get writer’s block. Often, days before a column is due, an idea germinates. I play around with the idea in my mind before I sit down at the computer. And, if I’m lucky, the words spill out on the page.

Wanted: both truth and mercy

I grew up with the 1957 edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, which my parents had bought to answer my endless questions about everything. I love that set of leather-bound books, which I inherited when my father died. That 1957 edition is quirky, Anglo-centric, and often politically incorrect, which makes it fun to read. It also tends to reflect the English Establishments point of view, which is, among other things, Protestant. 

The Way to Wisdom

When Pope Francis recently visited the island of Lesbos where refugees were stranded, he returned to the Vatican with twelve Syrian refugees, six children among them. Some reacted with disappointment that the Pope rescued Muslim, not Christian, refugees. They feel that since Christians are being persecuted in parts of the world, Christians should take priority. 

Examining the motif of love

While in seminary, I wrote a paper about Agape and Eros by the Swedish Bishop Anders Nygren, a founder of the so-called Lundensian School of Theology, which aimed at “rediscovering major motifs of Reformation theology, and examining how such motifs had been employed in different ways throughout history.” Nygren examined the motif of “love” in particular.

Letter to my granddaughter

My only granddaughter turned one this week. In four months, she will become a middle child. Her mother, my oldest, will give birth to a boy.
My granddaughter will soon know what it’s like to share her mother and father with a younger sibling. And, for now anyway, she’ll know what it’s like to be the only girl in a family of boys. When I first announced that my third grandchild would be a boy, some people told me my granddaughter will receive extra protection surrounded by brothers. That may well be the case. 


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Southern Cross
Catholic Pastoral Center
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