Church teaching articles and columns

Below are the latest columns from the St. Louis Review. Click on a title or the 'Continue Reading' link to read the whole story.

January 19, 2018

Who were the Church Fathers? 

Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman began life as a High Church Anglican. At Oxford, he became a leader within the Oxford Movement, which emphasized the Catholic elements of the Church of England to help reform it. Through his studies in this movement, particularly of the Church Fathers, he converted to Catholicism, eventually becoming a cardinal.

But who were these peop...

January 11, 2018

"El vino nuevo se vierte en recipientes nuevos" (Mc. 2;22)

Las lecturas de esta semana están llenas de historias acerca de nuevos recipientes para el vino. Y nos dan algo que pensar acerca del comienzo del año.

Por ejemplo, después que Saúl es rechazado por su desobediencia, David es ungido como el nuevo rey de Israel. Dios trató de hacer algo nuevo, y David es el nuevo recipiente.

Cuando David pelea con Goliat, Saúl trata...

January 11, 2018

"New wine is poured into fresh wineskins" (Mark 2:22).

This week's readings are filled with stories about new wineskins. And they give us something to think about at the start of the year.

For example, after Saul is rejected for disobedience, David is anointed as the new king of Israel. God is trying to do something new, and David is the new wineskin.

When David fights Goliath, Saul tries to outfit him in armor and give hi...

January 11, 2018

The Gospel for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time begins: "Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the Gospel of God: '... this is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the Gospel.'"

Just what does Jesus mean by "the time of fulfillment?"

The word "fulfillment" means the achievement of something desired, promised or predicted. The poet George Herbert reflects on this mystery in a poem entitled "Th...

January 11, 2018

Is there a biblical basis for Purgatory? 

When explaining this question, I like to begin by explaining the concept of Purgatory. The Catechism does this in an approachable way: "All who die in God's grace, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven" (1030).

January 4, 2018

Muchas cosas pueden suceder en un año.

Por ejemplo, si usted toma lecciones de piano por una hora a la semana, y toca el piano 10 minutos cada día, usted puede tocar cosas increíbles para el final del año.

Mi punto no es acerca de tocar el piano. Mi punto es una pregunta simple: ¿Qué quiere usted que sea diferente dentro de un año, cuando finalicemos la temporada de Navidad y volvamos al Tiempo Ordinario?

Antes que nada, c...

January 4, 2018

A lot can happen in a year.

For example, if you took piano lessons for one hour a week, and played the piano for 10 minutes a day, you could play amazing things by the end of a year.

My point isn't about playing the piano. My point is a simple question: What do you want to be different a year from now, when we close the Christmas season and shift into Ordinary Time again?

First of all, whatever your goal is, maybe that's n...

January 4, 2018

We would each do well to ask ourselves this question: "What am I looking for?"

At one time in our lives, each of us thought that we were the most important person in our world because that is all we knew. Others existed to love us, nurture us and take care of us.

But then we found out that we were in competition with others for attention, nurturing and toys. We came to realize that others have the same needs.

At first we d...

January 4, 2018


December 21, 2017

A medida que celebramos la Navidad este año, mi pregunta es: ¿Cómo la mantendremos? ¿Celebraremos la temporada completa de Navidad, y no solamente un día?

¿Recuerda el eclipse en agosto? Hubo una gran preparación de antemano. A medida que el eclipse progresaba aumentaba la emoción. Entonces, 30 segundos después de que terminó la totalidad del eclipse, ¡todo el mundo simplemente se retiró!

Nuestra cultura celebra los eventos de es...

December 21, 2017

As we celebrate Christmas this year, my question is: How will we sustain it? Will we celebrate the whole Christmas season, and not just a single day?

Remember the eclipse back in August? There was a huge buildup beforehand. As the eclipse progressed, excitement mounted. Then, about 30 seconds after totality was over, everyone just walked away!

Our culture tends to celebrate events that way. We don't sustain them — we turn to some...

December 21, 2017

Fittingly, the final Sunday of the year is devoted to family values, which hopefully reflects the grace-filled wisdom practiced over the past year. Christian virtues start in family living. That is where parents demonstrate how to integrate the word of God with daily living, model this behavior and teach these values to their children.

This can't happen in society unless parents from the very beginning decide how they wish to live and r...

December 21, 2017

One of the most recent and thorough studies of the nativity of Jesus was done by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI as the third volume of his "Jesus of Nazareth" series. This slim volume gives great insight and clarity to these questions and many others surrounding the birth of Christ.

Discerning exactly who the Wise Men, or Magi, were is difficult. In a general sense, they were in charge of a body of religious and philosophical knowledge. Evi...

December 15, 2017

The mystery of the birth, death and resurrection of Christ taken together is the central mystery of revealed religion. The readings for the Fourth Sunday of Advent help us enter into this mystery, using Mary as the model of how we're invited to participate in this incredible act of God becoming man.

In the first reading, David consults Nathan about building a house for God to dwell in. God then turns the tables...

December 15, 2017

The song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas," refers literally to the 12 days that occur between the celebration of Christmas and the traditional date of the Epiphany, Jan. 6. On each of the days, a suitor is said to give a gift to his beloved.

In 1982, Father Hal Stockert theorized that this song was an underground catechism for Catholics living in post-Reformation England. After King Henry VIII broke away from the Catholic Church to form...

December 14, 2017

"Así se anunció el nacimiento de Jesús". Estas son las primeras palabras del Evangelio del 18 de diciembre. Y toda la semana, las lecturas nos cuentan la historia de la Navidad. Lo que nos cuentan es que la historia es más profunda y rica que los nueve meses que la precedieron.

Por ejemplo, al comienzo de la semana, escuchamos la profecía de Jeremías: Dios levantará a un heredero de David, y el será el salvador de Israel. ¡Esto fue escr...

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson honored Pat and Leonard Dino with the Order of Saint Louis King award Dec. 7. The Dinos are members of St. Anselm Parish and were honored for leadership and stewardship through generous gifts of time, talent and treasure.
December 14, 2017

"This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about." These are the first words of the Gospel on Dec. 18. And all week long, the readings tell the back story of Christmas. What they tell us is that the story is far deeper and richer than just the preceding nine months.

For example, at the start of the week, we hear about a prophecy from Jeremiah: God will raise up an heir of David, and he will be the savior of Israel. This was written abo...

December 7, 2017

¿Cuál es el valor de una imagen?

La imagen de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe nos da una respuesta. Entre 1531 y 1538 aproximadamente 8 millones de mexicanos llegaron a creer en Jesús, fortalecidos, en gran parte, por esta imagen de María. Una imagen puede todavía cambiar al mundo.

El beato John Henry Newman nos da otra respuesta. Newman distinguió entre asentimiento real y nocional. El asentimiento nocional es creer algo con tu ment...