Viewpoints

TWENTY SOMETHING | The art of giving, the challenge of Advent

Oprah Winfrey sang and clapped when presented with the $69 lunch box that made her 2017 "Favorite Things" list.

"I looooove!" she belted out in mock falsetto.

She didn't need to finish her sentence by naming the object of her love. The list of items is expansive; in a video of the selection process for her biggest gift guide, it covers 102 items, totaling $13,400 in value and ranging from a $2,000 55-inch Samsung high-definition TV down to a $10 earbud case.

GUEST VIEWPOINT | Despite Maria’s devastation, Puerto Ricans celebrate God’s gifts

Have you ever given thought to how you would build a community from scratch? What would you build? How would you design it? What would be the important parts of this community? Would there be things in your life that you wouldn't incorporate into the new community? Think about your responses.

FAITHFUL FAN | CYC soccer teams, Musial Awards show sportsmanship is alive

When athletes behave badly, the public knows about it. Take, for example, University of Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield who last month taunted and made an obscene gesture toward the University of Kansas team in a game won by Oklahoma 41-3. Reports have detailed similar incidents in the NFL.

But sportsmanship is alive and well in the Archdiocese of St. Louis and across the country.

SEEKING LIFE | The lessons of our DNA

As I circulated among the guests at the wedding reception for my oldest daughter in the 1990s, a woman told me: "You look like a Jew, but you act like an Italian." I didn't know how to respond then, but now I do because I have had my DNA analyzed.

All human beings, our DNA shows, have a common ancestor, born hundreds of thousands of years ago in Africa. From that single ancestor come all the races and all the ethnicities on the planet.

IN THE LIGHT OF FAITH | Credible witnesses — like Blessed Solanus Casey — inspire holiness

Pope Francis stated in the preparatory document for the upcoming synod on "young people, faith and vocational discernment" that we need to see credible witnesses in order to be inspired to be holy.

Blessed Father Solanus Casey was an ordinary man who lived an extraordinary life. He was beatified Nov. 18 in Detroit. The beatification Mass perfectly reflected this ordinary man who truly lived an extraordinary life.

While some people may not have heard of Father Solanus prior to this weekend, I was raised with a devotion to him. Prayers to Blessed Solanus were commonplace in my family.

GOD'S OUTDOORS | Charitable conservation: Trophy buck rewards hunter, feeds the hungry

Tim Phillips, a parishioner at St. Paul in St. Paul, harvested this 31-point buck on the opening of the Missouri firearms season. While he will mount the head, he donated the meat to a state charity that distributes it to food pantries.

When Tim Phillips harvested the deer of a lifetime, he knew two things: The organic, high-protein meat would go to charity; the 31-point antlers would reside on his wall.

Phillips had been hunting this deer for years. It had been documented by remote trail cameras since 2012. He saw it opening day of the 2014 firearms season, but had to vacate his stand because a friend was getting married that day. A buddy had named the deer "Walter." (Hunters commonly name bucks so that they can speak to each other about an individual deer they're watching over seasons.)

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