effie caldarola

FOR THE JOURNEY | Volunteer corps offer experiences to build faith

The Jesuit Volunteer Corps was young — and so was I — when I arrived at a remote Alaskan village to teach school at a Jesuit boarding school for Native Alaskan students as a member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.

Cell phones and the Internet did not exist. In the village of St. Mary's, and in other villages on the far-flung Alaskan tundra, there was no television reception. A phone existed for the village — just one — and it was in a man's home.

GUEST COLUMNIST | Lent and the culture of greed

Once again, Pope Francis doesn't mince words.

In his 2017 Lenten message, our refreshingly candid pontiff takes on the subject of money in our lives and pulls no punches.

The love of money can become a "tyrannical idol," said Pope Francis, who reminds us that St. Paul stated "the love of money is the root of all evils."

Although society is saturated with consumerism and we obsess about money, the discussion of it remains a social taboo. It's rude to ask someone to divulge his or her salary, and we wouldn't ask someone what they paid for their new sofa.

FOR THE JOURNEY | Are outward signs of faith offensive?

I am settling into my cramped seat in a small aircraft when I smell it: the nauseating odor of fried food in close quarters. I turn, ready to glare, when I see that the culprit, a middle-aged man, is bowed in prayer over his meal, hands folded, eyes closed.

All is forgiven. I am a pushover for religious witness. As a person of faith, I welcome the expressions of others on their faith journey, whether my own tradition or another. I like to see people seeking God.

FOR THE JOURNEY | Follow Pope Francis’ example of ‘Mercy Fridays’

The photos were all over Facebook.

They showed Pope Francis, clad in the typical hospital green scrubs and a surgical mask, visiting the newborn section of an Italian hospital. This included the intensive care unit in which five little ones struggled for survival due to early births or other complications.

Facebook users love stories about babies, dogs and cats. If you get all three in one story, users really eat it up. But if instead you bring in a smiling pope dressed in hospital scrubs holding a baby, that's a winner as well.

FOR THE JOURNEY | The need for witnesses like Edith Stein

One can't overstate how strange and perplexing this U.S. election season has been.

The call to fear and isolationism, the occasional drumbeat of nationalism approaching xenophobia depresses me. Have we heard the whispers of scapegoating of certain people — especially those of a different religion?

I found it so consoling that in the midst of the campaign season, a Sunday Gospel reading in July yielded the parable of the good Samaritan.

Syndicate content