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What’s going on?

March 4th, 2012

I am no longer updating this blog, as I have other more focused projects:

For homilies, see the website of my parish, Church of the Good Shepherd.

Check out my new project, Conciliaria, Fifty Years Ago Today at the Second Vatican Council.

My book is still available on Amazon and other retailers.

And of course my genealogy blog continues.

The Trinity and a Girl Named Alice

June 19th, 2011

A homily preached June 19, 2011, Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, at the Church of the Good Shepherd

Do you remember that famous moment in The Empire Strikes Back when Darth Vader said to Luke Skywalker: “I am your father”?

Talk about a shock. Now that’s a really bad surprise. Discovering your father is the most evil person in the universe is not going to be your best day ever. Imagine what Fathers Day was like for Luke after that. Awkward!

Now some have not had the best fathers, even some here in this church. And that complicates things today, not just because it’s Fathers Day, but because we as a global church are celebrating the Holy Trinity, and the idea of a Father is important in connecting to this mystery. Read the rest of this entry »

Dayenu on the Way to Emmaus

May 8th, 2011

Homily preached the Third Sunday of Easter, May 8, 2001 at the Church of the Good Shepherd

You may have noticed that the banners outside the front door of our church have a Hebrew word at the bottom. Probably a lot of you figured out that the Hebrew is a sort of subtitle to the word above it: “Alleluia.” If that’s what you think, you’re right. Alleluia is a Latin transliteration of the Hebrew hallelujah, which means “Praise the Lord.”

Like hallelujah, this season of Easter and Passover is also associated with another important Hebrew word that has a special significance for today’s Gospel reading.

That word is dayenu. Read the rest of this entry »

“I do believe, help my unbelief”

January 29th, 2011

Homily preached at the Church of the Good Shepherd, January 30, 2011, Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

From ancient times, Christians have been visiting an area of rolling hills overlooking the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. There a church was built as early as the Fourth Century to mark the traditional site of the Sermon on the Mount. According to tradition, it was here that Jesus taught the Beatitudes, which we just heard in today’s Gospel reading.

The modern church that sits on this site was built in 1938. It’s a small, octagonal church with a central dome. The surroundings are expansive and vast. From a plaza beneath the church you can sit and look out over the Sea of Galilee. It is so easy to imagine listening to Jesus teach in the open air.

I’ve been to that spot three times, leading pilgrimages. Generally I would take the group into the Church, and we would listen to the same Gospel reading we’ve just heard, sitting in a circle around the altar. After a short period of reflection, we would go outside and discuss what the Beatitudes meant to us. Read the rest of this entry »

“You shall love the alien as yourself”

January 6th, 2011

A parishioner wrote me a very kind and thoughtful letter that took issue with my remarks on immigration in a recent homily. Because I knew him to be an educated and professional person, I decided to respond with a rather comprehensive explanation of how our Catholic tradition views immigration. Because I feel that others may benefit from the letter I sent to this parishioner, I am posting it here, although it is a bit longer than the usual blog post: Read the rest of this entry »