On Easter Sunday this year I posted the following note on Facebook : “So my first Triduum as a deacon and all I can say is that Easter this year has been a totally different experience. I have been overwhelmed with such a level of gratitude for my family, my parish, my pastor, my faith, my Lord. A blessed Easter to all. He is risen!” The response to the post took me aback. Hundreds of people, some of whom I have not heard from for a while, reacted to the post and some even commented. One deacon, ordained only a couple years, responded affirmatively that it was totally different for him as well. And two friends asked me to extrapolate What happened? How was it different? Here is my attempt to explain.

I feel obliged to note a couple things for readers who are not exactly my close or even casual friends. First, my background is in theology. I have been working for the Church for 17 years now. When I talk about my family, I’m referring to my wife and our four kids. I was ordained on May 6, 2017.

I also feel obliged to say that I was rather happy as a layman. I was not “looking for more.” I love the Triduum. It has always been my favorite time of the liturgical year. It’s just that, this time, my perspective was different. Or rather, since we believe an ordained man is different in a fundamental way, I should say I was different fundamentally. My involvement in the liturgy was different and so physically I was looking at the movements of the event differently too. Read More

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Here is my latest column in The Catholic Voice on the folly of identity politics…

“Last month I wrote about how Christianity calls us to love the oppressed and the oppressor. It is this second part that we often forget. Indeed, when we talk about the church going out into the peripheries, we almost exclusively think of the areas of our culture and society occupied by the oppressed. ” ….

Charity in Truth in “The Catholic Voice”

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Here is my latest column in The Catholic Voice on virtue and politics…

“When I wrote last month about the purpose of politics, that politics provides a forum for the practice of virtue, I was reminded of a scene from the film ‘Gladiator.’ In the scene the upstart Commodus rejects the four chief virtues his father seeks in an heir: wisdom, justice, fortitude and temperance. Rather, he lists the virtues with which he has been gifted: ambition, resourcefulness, courage (not on the battlefield), devotion.I thought of this scene because one of the difficulties we face in our culture is our skewed understanding of virtue. ” ….

Charity in Truth in “The Catholic Voice”

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Here is my latest column in The Catholic Voice on the possibility of a good politics…

“Last month I wrote about a tendency to judge others according to their political choices. This can have negative effects on holiday gatherings. Friendships and family relationships can fray when political choices become the measure by which we decide whether our neighbor is worthy of our love. This is a result in part of a skewed vision of politics.” ….

Charity in Truth in “The Catholic Voice”

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Here’s my article at the National Catholic Register on Fr. James Martin and the question of the sensus fidei.

“The Catholic Church’s teaching on the sensus fidei (sense of the faith) has been given attention recently, due to appeals to the concept by Jesuit Father James Martin, author of Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter Into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion and Sensitivity..”…

 

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Here is my column in The Catholic Voice on the current state of affairs on politics…

“It’s been a year since the election and much of the acrimony still seems to linger. I was listening recently to a cultural commentator and convert to Christianity who was asked why he is so consistently joyful despite all the bad news. The trick, he said, is that he understands what politics is for.” ….

Charity in Truth in “The Catholic Voice”

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Here is my column in The Catholic Voice on World Mission Sunday.

“Later this month will be the collection for World Mission Sunday, a collection held all over the country for the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith. In our local diocese I am the director, and I’d like to write a bit about this collection and global solidarity.” ….

Charity in Truth in “The Catholic Voice”

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Here is my column in The Catholic Voice on the good work of Fr. Lawrence in Nigeria.

“As students return to school, I’m always reminded of the good work of the many Catholic saints who modeled for us the educational system from which we all benefit today: St. Jean Baptiste de La Salle, St. Joseph Calasanz and St. Lucy Filippini. Driven by their love of the Lord, they were called to bring hope and opportunity to the poor.” ….

Charity in Truth in “The Catholic Voice”

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Here is my column in The Catholic Voice on living mercy through being with others.

“In this, my final installment of reflections on living mercy, I wanted to draw from Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation ‘Evangelii Gaudium,’ the Joy of the Gospel. In that document, the Holy Father speaks to us about missionary discipleship, which is part of the pastoral vision of our archdiocese and which includes unity and living mercy. So what can we learn from Pope Francis that can help make living mercy a practical reality here?” ….

Charity in Truth in “The Catholic Voice”

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Here is my column in The Catholic Voice on physician prescribed suicide.

“I wish to continue this month with some meditations on living mercy, particularly as mercy relates to the question of physician assisted suicide, or more accurately, physician prescribed suicide. Twenty-five states introduced legislation in 2015 to advance this form of suicide. Last year, and again this year, the Nebraska Unicameral’s Judiciary Committee took up the question.” ….

Charity in Truth in “The Catholic Voice”

Also, here’s a link to a podcast from the Archdiocese of Omaha on the subject “It’s Good That You Are Here.”

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Here’s my article at the National Catholic Register assessing President Trump’s executive order on refugees from the perspective of Catholic Social Teaching.

“The recent refugee executive order from the Trump administration sparked protests and impassioned statements of concern across the country. Many Catholic pastors and the heads of Catholic charitable institutions released statements. The sudden increase in public comment varied widely in tone, message and guidance, leaving many Catholics wondering what the demands of the Church’s teaching are in this situation.”…

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