Commentaries

Finding a relationship made of true partnership

When it comes to functional relationships, it seems that celebrities these days don't have a chance. Take, for example, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, Katy Perry and Russell Brand. The gossip rags are full of stories about lost relationships and broken hearts. These days, we're not at all surprised when stars split up. We are naturally wary when we hear about a brand-new celebrity couple. (After all, this is the celebrity culture that gave us Kim Kardashian's 72-day marriage.) We celebrate a couple's happiness by wondering when they'll break up.

Every vote counts

Every four years arrives both a great opportunity to participate in the democratic process and a brutal marathon of attack ads and speechifying that can exhaust all but the most partisan of voters. Presidential election years seem to combine the best and the worst of American politics, but what is undeniable is that for months on end, little else gets much attention. This election year, it would be a big mistake to overlook what else is on the ballot. There are many ballot measures that require the attention of all voters, especially Catholics. The moral issues involved and the implications for our country are such that Catholics must school themselves in what the church teaches on a variety of issues, from the treatment of undocumented immigrants to abortion, same-sex marriage and physician-assisted suicide.

Prayer and hard work necessary in priestly formation

When we respond, “Lord hear our prayer” to the offertory petition at Mass, “Let us pray for priestly vocations,” what should we include in this petition? Having worked in seminary formation, I can say that the formation of seminarians is awesome work in need of much prayer. During a recent faculty seminary meeting, in which […]

More reasons against capital punishment

The death penalty ultimately provides no justice to victims and discredits us as citizens. Because we must be certain of guilt, appeals drag on for years. Repeatedly, families are forced to read again the gruesome details of crime. The money spent on the death penalty could be better spent on counseling or even financial support for the victims' families.

Caring for the frail and sick also is part of being pro-life

It's good to be reminded, or to realize for the first time, that caregiving is pro-life. What seems so obvious can be easily overlooked, especially if you're a caregiver. So busy (at times so overwhelmed) with your caregiving duties, you may tend to think that you no longer can contribute to normal duties. But you can also fail to notice what you are doing. You're the light of the world in a moment of darkness when it comes to the value of life.

Students should spend time outside our linguistic empire

Hablas espanol? What do you call someone who speaks two languages? Bilingual. And three languages? Trilingual. And someone who speaks just one language? An American, of course. It's an old joke that speaks for itself, but behind it there's a long back story. We Americans are victims of our own success -- with a bit of the credit going to our British forebears. By the 19th century the sun never set on the English language. And its world dominance came with the rise of America's military and then economic power in the mid-20th century. It has turned us all into linguistic imperialists.

America shrugged: What we lose without a sense of awe

Renewing our commitment to protect and heal

The theme of the National Safe Environment/Victim Assistance Coordinators Conference in Omaha, Neb., that I attended the week of Aug. 13 was “Chosen to Heal and Protect.” Over five days participants from dioceses across the nation learned from one another and renewed our commitment to protecting children and helping victims of clergy sexual abuse to […]

Thought-provoking issues about death are more than just table talk

What’s a floppy disc? How quickly the world changes

You can often judge a person’s age by learning about the toys he or she played with as a child. Some toys are timeless, such as Barbie. Others will always be associated with a certain moment in time. Children of the 1980s fondly remember the furor over Cabbage Patch Kids and Transformers. Those born a […]