"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

Donut Sunday to be rescheduled

The Stewardship Committee had planned Donut Sunday for this Sunday, May 16 after 8 and 10:30 AM Masses. Due to scheduling conflicts, this event is getting rescheduled to a later date TBD. You will be notified when a new date is...

X-Files: 25 Years Later, the Truth Is Still Out There and I Want to Believe

I came of age in the 1990s. I remember watching the Berlin Wall come down on the cusp of the new age. I remember the Soviet Union disintegrating and the official end of the Cold War. When I was in fifth grade, my dad went off to fight in the first Gulf War. When I was in seventh grade, William Jefferson Clinton was elected president. It was a time of prosperity—the moment of triumph for international market economies and the spread of liberal democracy. The Catholic Church seemed poised to make gains amid the rest of the victories in the culture surrounding it. The American political scientist Francis Fukuyama famously theorized that we had reached “the end of history.” But under the surface, there was a lot wrong. In 1991, a black man named Rodney King was beaten by white police officers, and riots followed in Los Angeles. In 1993,…

“How Does One Make a Holy Hour?”: A Helpful Guide

The most influential chapter of any book I have ever read has to be the one entitled “The hour that makes my day” in the autobiography of Venerable Fulton Sheen, Treasure in Clay. I remember reading it over twenty-three years ago as a seminarian and being so inspired that I too resolved, from that time on, to make a Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament every day. Apart from the Mass itself, this hour of prayer remains the fulcrum of my day even still. Recently, I gave a talk to a group of promoters of Eucharistic Adoration in my diocese. These are the good folks who are involved in promoting Eucharistic Adoration in parishes. During the talk, I mentioned that while it is important to encourage people to commit themselves to regularly spending a Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament, it is also important to teach and guide them how to…

Good News: Pope Francis Creates Lay Ministry of “Catechist”

On the Optional Memorial of St. John of Avila, sixteenth-century Spanish priest and Doctor of the Church, Pope Francis established, by apostolic authority, the lay ministry of catechist. I have to admit that I did not know about this Doctor of the Church before reading this motu proprio, but with a little bit of research, I now see the fittingness of establishing this lay ministry on this day.  St. John of Avila  (c. 1500-1569) re-evangelized Andalusia during a time of ecclesial and spiritual crisis, a time much like ours. The Church was fiercely divided; mammon was unduly adored; doctrinal confusion was rampant; formal training in the faith, amongst both the clergy and the lay faithful, was poor. The list of issues (as in our day) could go on and on. Clearly, the Church needed reforming. But re-form in what? To what…

Chris McCandless, St. Francis of Assisi, and the Allure of the Wild

My wife and I recently re-watched the 2007 film Into the Wild, and this prompted me to re-devour the book upon which it is based. Author Jon Krakauer drew upon his own lived experience of wanderlust and mountain climbing in the Alaskan country to write the bestselling biopic on the life of Christopher McCandless, a young man who left behind his belongings to live off the land of Alaska until his tragic death in 1992. McCandless’ life has inspired some to dismiss him as a self-absorbed, witless fool and others to praise him as a modern Thoreau, heroically eschewing suburban society in the pursuit of the essence of life itself.   Re-engaging with the story of McCandless, I couldn’t help noticing that the fervor that relentlessly pushed McCandless forward was not dissimilar, in some ways, to what drove the equally polarizing figure of St. Francis of…

How “Godzilla vs. Kong” Tracks with Pope Francis and Laudato Si’

SPOILERS to follow for Godzilla vs. Kong On a superficial level, a giant-monster movie like Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) could easily be dismissed as mindless spectacle. Even as a lifelong Godzilla fan, I freely admit that the plot of this latest entry in the franchise is simply bonkers! The suspension of disbelief required to be immersed in the action will likely be unsustainable for less forgiving moviegoers. Most of the human cast is superfluous. Their only task is to provide the exposition necessary to contextualize the intermittent monster battles. Despite all this, I heartily enjoyed the film. Like the previous “Monsterverse” installments, Godzilla (2014), Kong: Skull Island (2017), and Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), this movie hit the sweet spot of nostalgia for someone who grew up on a steady diet of Japanese giant-monster (kaiju) films and other assorted “creature features.” Surprisingly, a closer analysis of the themes and…

“Fatima”: A Family Moviegoing Experience in Re-release

First released to positive reactions in August 2020, Fatima will be rereleased across the country Friday, May 7, 2021, exclusively at AMC Theatres. As the nation begins to open up, and this re-release is well-timed for both Mother’s Day and the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, we are offering another look at Word on Fire Fellow Andrew Petiprin’s earlier review. Venerable Fulton Sheen described October 13, 1917, as “the birthday of the modern world.” He noted, “It was on that day that the forces of good and evil seemed to reach their peak.” As the Bolshevik Revolution began in Russia and World War I raged on, a ten-year-old Portuguese girl named Lúcia dos Santos, along with her cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto, led tens of thousands of people to witness “the Miracle of the Sun,” the last in a peculiar series of Marian apparitions. There are countless testimonies…

First Friday Adoration time change

Due to scheduling conflicts this week, First Friday Adoration times have been changed. Adoration will be held this Friday, May 7 from 2PM - 5PM and not 8:30AM - 5PM as previously planned.  Those of you scheduled from 8:30 - 2 do...

“Chronicles of Faith: David”—Introducing Scripture to a New Generation

Are we twenty-first-century Catholics in the middle of an exciting renaissance of the Christian creative genius? It seems so. Thanks to social media and crowdfunding sites, it is easier than ever for independent artists, musicians, and writers to share their work with audiences who are hungering to be entertained and inspired. Even comic books are experiencing a resurgence in popularity and cultural influence, thanks in large part to the success of big-budget Hollywood franchises like the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As Voyage Comics founder Philip Kosloski and I discussed in a recent interview for Word on Fire, the comic book scene is currently dominated by secular voices, but Christian comic creators have never been better poised to evangelize the culture through this dynamic literary and artistic medium. Very recently, I had the pleasure of reading a new comic book, Chronicles of Faith: David, that, through its gorgeous artwork and…

How the Films of Terrence Malick Can Teach Christian Meditation

In his 1966 “Memorial Address”, German philosopher Martin Heidegger stated “man today is in flight from thinking.” By “thinking” he did not mean computation or what he calls “calculative thought” but “meditative thinking” which is an “openness to the mystery.” Identifying the special nature of man as a meditative being, Heidegger believed our greatest task in this thoughtless age is “keeping meditative thinking alive.” No one does this better through film than former Heideggerean scholar, now filmmaker, Terrence Malick.   American Film is often associated with thoughtlessness. As part of the entertainment industry, movies are becoming theme park extensions rather than art. But Malick’s movies are different. He has elevated film beyond mere entertainment, showing how it can be a medium of contemplation and wonder, instilling in audiences a meditative spirit ready to welcome the Lord and become “hearers of the Word.” …