Commentaries

Focusing on food waste as Lent nears

According to a study by Britain's Institution of Mechanical Engineers, up to 2 billion tons of food are wasted annually. This happens in a world where close to a billion people go to bed hungry. In my own city, while I indulge in an extra cookie I don't need, lots of little kids face hunger daily.

What’s good about a Catholic education

There were no Catholic schools in the farm town where I grew up. So, at our mission parish, the priest would travel to another town to bring religious sisters to teach catechism on Saturday mornings.

Time to consider national service for young people

What if we had a national service program in the U.S. today that included not just military service but elder care, child care, resource conservation, rebuilding the decaying urban infrastructure and more? What if we made the national service law applicable to all American men and women, ages 18 to 20?

Sacrifice for the State of the Union

A recent column I wrote on the necessity for gun control in light of the Connecticut elementary school killings resulted, not unexpectedly, in sharp reaction. One reader headlined his comment, “Off the Mark.” He’s right. Perhaps the earlier column was off the mark by not adequately explaining the degree of sacrifice that must be undertaken […]

Like a Connecticut pastor, young people can be heroes for Christ

Editorial Msgr. Robert Weiss, the pastor who was one of the spiritual first responders on the scene of the horrific shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School became somewhat of a hero in the media, recounting some of the words of comfort he spoke to families and friends of the slain and as important, his presence with them. For someone seeking to make a difference in the world, to live a life of high purpose but with humility, the priesthood or religious life may be the vocation to which God is calling them.

One hoped-for breakthrough in health care: Being nicer

Toward the end of 2012, I made the rounds of many of my doctors. There were tests to be done, results to review, and new tests and plans of action to put in place. We, my medical team and I, also discussed the changes unfolding in the medical field, affecting professionals and patients. Amid the talk of new scientific discoveries, equipment, tests and treatments, a particular comment by one of my doctors still echoes in my mind. "We're just not being nice to one another," he told me. "It's really sad."

‘Massacre management’ and the culture of life

A society increasingly desensitized to violence through entertainment and national policy has an effect on an understanding of the Second Amendment. It is time for our nation to renew a culture of life in our society. Unlimited access to weapons is not part of this life.

Find work/life balance not in a clock but in the heart

As the year begins, so do resolutions. Popular among these is the resolve to achieve more balance in one's life: balance in terms of time spent at work versus time for family, friends, exercise, leisure, community, prayer -- or simply time to finish thoughts and sentences.

Gun ownership is not an absolute right

The following column appeared in the Jan. 3 issue of the Rhode Island Catholic, diocesan newspaper of Providence, R.I. *** The right to own guns is not an absolute right. As a personal right it always has to be balanced with the legitimate rights of other people and with protecting the common good. That’s a […]

How capital punishment works, or doesn’t, in Pennsylvania

In the last four months, three men were scheduled to be executed: Terrance Williams, Hubert Michael and Mark Spotz. Last-minute appeals delayed those cases, which are now pending before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and a federal appeals court. Decisions will be made about these cases soon, meaning the death penalty will continue to be headline news in 2013. Nearly 200 others also sit on Pennsylvania’s death row.