Commentary

Not in my name

On January 31 in Augusta, Georgia, Bishop Felipe Estévez of Saint Augustine plans to hold a news conference at the Richmond County Courthouse, to let the court and public know that Father Rene Robert, a priest of the Diocese of Saint Augustine who was kidnapped in Florida but whose body was dumped in Burke County, in the Diocese of Savannah, had previously signed a Declaration of Life, stating, “Should I die as a result of a violent crime, I request that the person or persons found guilty of homicide for my killing not be subject to or put in jeopardy of the death penalty under any circumst

"Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor."

I like to joke that the older I get, the easier I find it to follow the Ten Commandments. On deeper reflection, however, I know that isn’t true. The Eighth Commandment — telling the truth  — is a challenge. I think we may tend to sugarcoat this commandment, as if it means only intentionally destroying a person’s reputation. Most of us wouldn’t deliberately try to destroy someone’s good name. And while that is one aspect of the commandment, it’s not the only one.

Through all time Christ is the eternal King

As I sit down to write this column on New Year’s Day, January 1, 2017, I can’t help but remember many New Years past, and wonder how many more I may live to celebrate.

I must decrease

When I was younger, there seemed to be more chances for a fresh start. Every fall brought a new school year when I entered a new grade. Every summer brought a newfound freedom. As I matured, new beginnings were marked by graduations and new jobs. Eventually, I began fresh with a new marriage, new homes, new pregnancies and new infants. Then the cycle continued with my own children, who embarked on new beginnings of their own. Thus, life in my younger years was replete with opportunities to begin again.

Ghosts of Christmases past

(Updated version of that which appears in the print Dec. 22nd newspaper)

 

War on Christmas

The “war on Christmas” has been a topic of concern for a segment of Americans, mostly media personalities, some pastors, politicians, and social media users. President-elect Trump made saying “Merry Christmas” one of his campaign promises. For over 60 years, no one has ever stopped me from saying “Merry Christmas” or writing and mailing Christmas cards or celebrating Christmas as I choose. So I’m clearly not on the front lines of this battle. I had to do a little research on the war to determine how it had begun.

A gift on the sixth day of Christmas

As of December 30, 2016, the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the use of the revised Order of Celebrating Matrimony will be obligatory at Catholic marriages celebrated in English in the United States. The publication of this Order provides an opportunity for priests, deacons, catechists, as well as prospective brides and grooms, to revisit the spiritual beauty of the Catholic rituals of marriage and to ponder their deeper theological meaning, as well as to reconsider some of the practices that may have been introduced into Catholic weddings from outside our tradition.

Advent hope

“Hope” is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops—at all
-Emily Dickinson

 

What does "Advent" mean?

This time within the Church’s liturgical year is a season of beginnings. Not only does Advent mark the beginning of the liturgical year, but it is meant to be a time where Christians everywhere are called to contemplate—or better, to relive those events that led up to the first coming of the Messiah—of Jesus who is called the Christ (or “anointed one”).

Confessions of an Eisenhower Republican

 

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