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 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...

December 7, 2017

What's the value of an image?

The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe gives one answer. Between 1531 and 1538 approximately 8 million Mexicans came to believe in Jesus — strengthened, in no small part, by this image of Mary. An image can indeed change the world.

Blessed John Henry Newman gives another answer. Newman distinguished between notional and real assent. Notional assent is when you believe something with your mind but it does...

December 7, 2017

The readings for the Third Sunday of Advent celebrate what the Lord has already done, as an indication of the even greater things He will do in the future.

In the first reading, Isaiah writes: "As the earth brings forth its plants and a garden makes its growth spring up, so will the Lord God make justice and praise spring up before all nations."

This allusion to the lushness of the earth's vegetation is a metaphor for the fresh s...

December 7, 2017

A simplex priest is ordained as a priest, but in exercising his priesthood, he's restricted in two areas. First, simplex priests can't preach at Mass. Second, simplex priests can't hear confessions.

The reasoning behind these restrictions lay in the 1917 Code of Canon Law. According to this code and understanding of the law, clerics had to be granted faculties to preach by their bishop. Further, bishops could give the faculty to hear co...

November 30, 2017

"Sin el Hijo de Dios, nada podría existir; sin el Hijo de María, nada podría ser redimido."

Estas palabras de San Anselmo son muy poderosas. ¡María no es Dios! Sin embargo, tiene un papel único en ayudar a Dios para lograr nuestra salvación. Esta semana celebramos el principio de este papel ­— su Inmaculada Concepción.

Las enseñanzas de la Iglesia sobre la Inmaculada Concepción — que fueron definitivamente declaradas por el P...

November 30, 2017

"Without God's Son, nothing could exist; without Mary's Son, nothing could be redeemed."

These are powerful words from St. Anselm. Mary isn't God! But she had a unique role in cooperating with God to bring about our salvation. We celebrate the beginning of that role — her Immaculate Conception — this week.

The Church's teaching on the Immaculate Conception — which was definitively declared by Pope Pius IX on Dec. 8, 1854 — holds...