"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

Heartbeats of Incarnation: Creativity in Crisis

During World War II, C.S. Lewis wrote an essay called “Learning in War-Time” in which he defended the continued pursuit of education during a time of global conflict. In his conclusion he admits the limits of human culture and its ultimate finitude in light of the eternity which Christians anticipate. And yet Lewis’ final words affirm that there is nonetheless some sort of echo of that eternity which the pursuit of knowledge makes visible, and which it may even reveal in a way: “If we thought that for some souls, and at some times, the life of learning, humbly offered to God, was, in its own small way, one of the appointed approaches to the Divine reality and the Divine beauty which we hope to enjoy hereafter, we can think so still.” The employment of the intellect opens up a window into the life of the divine mind itself, and…

Jesus of Nazareth, Breaker of Hearts

“Why do you think evil in your hearts?” Jesus of Nazareth directed the question to the scribes who lingered among us. He had landed in Capernaum only a short time earlier, and—after permitting him time to greet his hosts and joke and jostle with some of the children—we had brought him to see a friend of ours, recently struck down with a paralysis we could not understand. The scribes, who beyond their official capacities were naturally nosy types and self-appointed historians of our neighborhoods, had followed along, watching to see what he would do. What they saw was something quiet and mostly unspectacular, at least at first. The rabbi had squatted over our friend, surveying him with compassion—with a look of love that seemed at once familiar and detached, that asked nothing, expected nothing, demanded nothing. Seated head on, as I was, my heart was struck by the softness of…

Pastoral Council Voting Instructions/Meet the Candidates

Elections for the two open Pastoral Council spots will be held this weekend, July 4th and 5th. Voting options this year include: voting at Mass , voting online , or by absentee ballot . In person voting will be available to...

Video Games and the Hero’s Narrative

After finishing the Lord of the Rings spin-off Shadow of War, I was looking for a new RPG (role-playing game), and Dragon Age: Inquisition seemed appealing. It checked off all the right boxes for me—at least when it comes to RPGs: Box #1: Does it take place in medieval times? Box#2: Can I use magic? Dragon-Age meets both of these requirements quite splendidly. Plus, I get to battle wild dragons, so call it an all-around win. Yet what draws me to this game and others like it is not so much the cool fight sequences, amazing graphics, or expansive world-maps as its epic nature—its ability to stimulate within my soul a feeling of gallantry. As I mention in other articles, video game culture is not as superficial as one may think. There is a reason so many people are drawn to it. Simply put, video games tap into…

Online Signup now available for this weekend's Masses

Signup: St. Anne's Mass Signup Mass Signup July 4-5 Signup URL: stannels.flocknote.com/signup/5163    Online signup for this weekend's Masses is now available. Follow these simple steps to sign up. - Click  'Sign Up'  for the...

Should My Son Be a Father?

QUESTION: Should a father try to dissuade his son from pursuing the priesthood? “Last week my son asked me if I had ever thought of him becoming a priest. “I’m the first to offer money to the vocations collection; just ask our pastor. We never miss a Mass or a collection! I agree we need priests! But, my boy? A priest? Come on; not him. He’s got such a bright future ahead of him! “I just don’t think being a priest would be a good use of his talents, that’s all I’m saying. . . . It’d be a waste of his true potential. He’s top of his class—a natural leader.  We need our best men in charge of businesses, raising families, and leading governments! Not running the little parish. . . “It just seems like too many priests have some combination of being overweight, not taking care of themselves,…

Why Icons Should Be Part of Catholic Catechetics

When I first met Fr. Steve Grunow, CEO of Word on Fire, I was struck by a strange and beautiful image on his desk. It was an Icon of  the Christ Pantocrator of Mt. Sinai, and the Christ who stared at me was both of this world and beyond it.  Stranger than the image, however, was my feeling that Christ was staring right at me from within the depths of the icon. When I asked, Father Steve kindly explained the theology of the icon, cluing me in on how effectively they can help to engage us and deepen our faith, and even teach us.  Like the Gospels, icons present “the form of Christ” who reveals the “form of God”. With this in mind, I’d like to argue that icons deserve a more prominent  role in religious education.  One…

Joel Clarkson and the Importance of Human Creativity to Faith

Today, Matt Nelson catches up with Joel Clarkson, an award-winning composer, author, and voiceover performer. Joel has a degree in music composition from Berklee College of Music, a master’s degree in theology, and is currently pursuing his PhD in theology at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. He’s recently finished drafting his first solo book, Sensing God: Experiencing the Divine in Nature, Food, Music, and Beauty, which will be releasing at the beginning of 2021. In this interview, Matt and Joel talk about the undying importance of human creativity, even in a time of chaos. This conversation is a much-needed breath of fresh air in a time of anger, fear, and frustration. Enjoy! It says on your website that you can’t recall a time when either music or spirituality didn’t saturate your day-to-day life. Can you tell us a little more about your upbringing and the role that…

How Does a Christian Respond in Time of Social Crisis?

In the early 2000’s an infestation of bark beetles decimated the pine forest behind my childhood home in Central Florida. My father fought the insects for months, but to no avail. Over a year-long period, whole acres of trees were lost, some of which had stood on that ground for centuries. Our family was devastated. A once lush forest was reduced to barren dirt and shrubbery. Only one pine tree survived. We still do not know why. Originally, it was just one among many hundreds of trees, but now it stood boldly in an empty field, a sad reminder of what used to be. For years the tree grew alone withstanding lightning strikes, draughts and even a few hurricanes. Though the tree was strong, it appeared barren not producing any pine cones. We eventually reconciled with the fact that the forest would never grow back and resigned to making the…