Viewpoints

GUEST COLUMNIST | Cell phones and the real presence

It's a scene that's become more commonplace as technology: One or more of the people gathered for a meal is constantly interrupted by his or her phone. Conversation is stilted, light, and in short bursts between phone checks. Clearly, those gathered at the table aren't the complete group. They're not "the happening." The "others" never called or came, and nobody seems to have a very good visit.

AN EDITOR’S LIFE | Church teaching, faith formation and broad appeal guides our coverage

Readers frequently write or call to ask why we didn't cover an event or why we published a story. Often these aren't neutral inquiries — they're frequently complaints about news judgment.

The tone of these messages seems to have changed in recent years. Now, rather than simple inquiries, messages are infused with angst — "disgusted," "disturbed" and "disappointed" frequently appear. But ultimately, readers are simply curious about why certain stories are news worthy and others aren't.

The answer is easy: there is no easy answer.

BRIMMING WITH HOPE | The beauty of science and Catholic education

The 1633 trial of Galileo Galilei is often used as evidence that the Catholic Church opposes scientific thought. The reality is that the Catholic Church has had a fruitful relationship with science and has been one of its biggest proponents. Scientific historian J.L. Heilbron asserts, "The Roman Catholic Church gave more financial aid and social support to the study of astronomy for over six centuries ... than any other, and probably, all other, institutions."

INTELLECT AND VIRTUE | Apostolate to the Fourth World

When the U.S. Catholic bishops do their laudable work in looking out for the needs and rights of migrants and refugees, they are looking out for a large and vulnerable share of their flock.

For all of the articles and volumes written about the new Americans and their growing political importance, though, it was the progeny of yesterday's Catholic migrants and refugees who earned the national spotlight in the 2016 election.

When Donald Trump took the oath of office Jan. 20, he did so largely because working-class, white Catholic voters in key Midwestern states handed him the presidency.

GUEST COLUMNIST | Retirement: An invitation for something more

I recently finished my five-year term of service at Catholic Relief Services and now write in my status as "me" and not whatever titles I have held since starting my professional career in 1979. Yes, this is the big step: retirement.

Retirement is definitely about letting go. A friend told me that retirement was very difficult for him. After giving notice to his board, he found himself depressed and carrying a great deal of anxiety and hostility toward nothing in particular and everything in general. He eventually sought help from a counselor.

MAN OF THE HOUSE | Carrying the label of ‘sinner’

Once, in a confessional, I told a priest that I considered myself the worst sinner I had ever known — not really for the bad things I had done, rather more so for the thoughts I have conjured and encouraged in my head.

"That's not the first time I've heard that," he said. His smile quickly disappeared; his face turned stern and serious. "You need to not think that way. That's pride, thinking you're the 'best' at anything or the 'most' of anything. And pride is a bigger sin than most of the stuff in your head.

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