"Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name." --Psalm 100:4

Browsing News Entries

Browsing News Entries

Scrip sales returning after Mass this weekend

Scrip sales will return after weekend Mass starting this weekend - July 31/August 1. Make sure to complete a Scrip Agreement for the 2021-2022 school year. You can complete the form online here...

“The Chosen” Just Gets Better and Better!

Even as the positive reviews poured in and word-of-mouth continued to spread like wildfire, I’m sure that many Christians were—and still are—skeptical of The Chosen. Admittedly, I was once one of them. The skepticism is understandable. For one thing, the independent, crowd-funded, multi-season series about the life of Christ is the first of its kind—a high-risk and experimental production. The series (though its producers encourage viewers to read the Gospels) is also loosely based on Scripture, relying mostly upon the imaginative creativity of its writers—an approach fraught with difficulties and dangers. But most importantly, the series seems, at first glance, like the kind of project geared toward the Christian film market—a market generally saturated with soft-focus sentimentality and formulaic morality tales.  But from the first episode onward, it’s clear that Dallas Jenkins and the whole cast and crew of…

Friendship: It’s Essential to the Heavenly Life

We possess each friend not less but more as the number of those with whom we share him increases. In this, Friendship exhibits a glorious ‘nearness by resemblance’ to Heaven itself where the very multitude of the blessed (which no man can number) increases the fruition which each has of God. For every soul, seeing him in her own way, doubtless communicates that unique vision to all the rest. —C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves Have friends. Live life in communion. Don’t live life alone. (A very bold statement coming from a COVID-19-quarantined 30-year-old celibate living by himself in a rectory, sitting alone in his room.)  We believe God is a radiant communion of three persons in one nature. God is the opposite of alone; he is the antithesis of isolation. The very names “Father” and “Son” imply an “other.”…

The Evangelization of Snacks and Common Witness

Growing up Protestant, the path of life in church was a bit ambiguous. There was Sunday school (classes for all ages), youth group, singles group, and then a bunch of other evangelization ministries for your way to becoming married. When I became Catholic, that same rule of generality applied, and sometimes the line even blurred between youth and young adults. “Youth” seems to refer to anyone between the ages of twelve and eighteen, and “young adult” refers to “late teens, twenties, and thirties.” (Sons and Daughters of the Light: A Pastoral Plan for Ministry with Young Adults, USCCB, 1996) Young adult ministry has long been an uncertain phenomenon. Within the Church, there are often youth programs, but many parishes lack young adult outreach or only start to minister to them once they are married or out of college.  Many…

Kids Still Say the Darndest Things: One-Act Plays

This collection of plays in one act first appeared in the Summer 2021 issue of Evangelization & Culture, the quarterly journal of the Word on Fire Institute. Learn more and become a member today to read more pieces like this. Years ago, radio personality Art Linkletter hosted a show known as House Party. Thriving at first as an award-winning radio show, it turned into an equally successful television program, running for a combined total of twenty-five years. Arguably, the most popular segments of the show involved the straight man Linkletter asking questions of children only to find himself in stitches from what would come out of their mouths. The great acclaim these rib-tickling conversations generated led to a 1957 bestselling book, Kids Say the Darndest Things. Years after he had retired from television, Linkletter would smile and…

Making Visible the Faith: From Poland to America

Dr. David Fagerberg of Notre Dame has taken a personal vow to quote G.K. Chesterton to someone once a week. I would not be surprised if some here at Word on Fire believe that I have made an equivalent vow about discussing Poland because I inevitably bring up that lovely land nearly every day. It must drive my colleagues nuts, but I cannot help myself. Who does not want to tell everyone about things they love? And one thing I love is Poland.  Like many other nations with strong Catholic roots, Poles make visibly present their love for Christ and his Church. They have had to struggle and fight to be able to do so throughout their dramatic history. I greatly admire them for this, and I hope to do likewise.  As the saying goes, I am not Polish by ancestry but by marriage,…

“Ted Lasso” Returns: A Funny, Kind Balm for Humanity

In many places, the institutions that are supposed to form good men have failed. And they have failed because many of the men who run them have been failures. Scouting has been plagued by rampant abuse of boys that is still coming to light. The Church will be dealing for generations with what Bishop Barron calls a “diabolical masterpiece” of clergy sex abuse. In many communities, absentee fathers continue to be the norm for families rather than the exception. Organized sports used to be one of the institutions that formed decent men too, but it has failed just like the rest. Big money from big sports, and especially NCAA football, have caused some large universities to over-prioritize their sports programs, at times to the detriment of academics. Coaches have become the highest paid members of many college staffs, and locker rooms have become places where…

Will the Real St. Mary Magdalene Please Stand Up?

Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does your story go? During a recent content meeting, the subject of St. Mary Magdalene's feast day was raised. "The prostitute, right?" the masses queried. "Actually, no," responded Father Steve Grunow. And thus, a blog post was born. Today he explains how history and a very common name often make for some identity confusion for this most important saint.

Just Do It: Go to Mass On Sundays

A friend of mine went to a small Catholic college in New England on a baseball scholarship. His coach was the kind of friendly, no-nonsense journeyman they don’t seem to make anymore. At the first practice of the year, he told all the players to take a knee. Then in a thick Massachusetts accent, he said to them, “Now fellas, this is important, so listen up. If you’re gonna be on this team, it doesn’t matter what you believe. But we go to Mass on Sundays.” This happened almost two decades ago, but even at the time, it would have been considered more than a little politically incorrect. Fortunately, though, the young men understood that there was not an ounce of malice in him. He truly didn’t care about the players’ personal religious convictions. All were welcome on the team, regardless of creed. But this was…

The Claim of Christianity: Did Jesus Really Exist?

Christians believe that God acts—and has acted—in the world. In the present tense, we acknowledge that God here and now is the metaphysical first cause and sustainer of all things; in him “all things hold together” (Col. 1:17). In the past tense, we refer to Christianity’s unique claim that two thousand years ago, this same God took on human nature to enter the very world of which he is creator. In this awesome divine act of the incarnation—what C.S. Lewis calls “the Grand Miracle”—God entered history. Christianity is an irrevocably historical religion. It tells us who we are, where we come from, our purpose, and our destiny. So Christianity would be completely undermined if, in the end, it was not rooted in the reality of a historical redeemer. What is history? History deals with things that have already happened. More…