Opinion

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

April 19, 2018

From a purely human standpoint, the closing of Immaculate Conception Parish in St. Mary brings a sense of sadness and perhaps grief, similar to the passing of a trusted, long-time friend.

Dating to its founding in 1874, the parish had been home as residents of St. Mary celebrated the rhythms of life — baptisms to funerals, with every significant sacramental life event in between. They received the sacraments, attended the parish school,...

April 19, 2018

I saw a lot of fantastic sights on a recent trip to Ireland. But it was only after I came home that I realized there was a seemingly common staple of life that I hadn't seen there.

This year's Earth Day theme is "End Plastic Pollution," and upon doing some research, I discovered that Ireland had passed a plastic bag tax in 2002. It was then I realized I hadn't seen any plastic bags in Ireland.

No bags blew through the air like ki...

April 19, 2018

Erica Tighe was 26 when she made the leap: She would set out on her own to be a calligrapher. Full time. In order to pay her $800 rent and cellphone bill and $1,000 college-loan payment and also hopefully afford some food.

She had a sociology degree and lingering burnout from teaching in Brooklyn, her latest stint. She'd recently moved to Los Angeles, but after a few months of looking for a nonprofit job, she couldn't find one that woul...

April 12, 2018

Sometimes, rights collide. Our rights to freely worship and to self-protection should not.

But bills in the Missouri Assembly would eliminate the need for people to obtain permission before carrying concealed firearms into a church or other religious space. If this bill were to pass, churches wishing to prohibit firearms would have to post signs in their sacred spaces specifically prohibiting guns.

Imagine this: a big sign readin...

April 12, 2018

It isn't uncommon to have an intense experience in our lives, only to discover that the ardor and enthusiasm quickly dissipates into mundane routine. For instance, take birthday fiestas, weddings, family reunions, graduations and other social celebrations. Once the intensity of the moment concludes, it doesn't take long to transition to the next thing.

The same holds true for the rhythm of spiritual and faith life. The liturgical calend...

April 12, 2018

For many people, God and money run "neck and neck" as the top priority. Ashamedly, for part of my adult life, money was a bigger priority for me than God. "No one can serve two masters. He will hate the one and love the other... You cannot serve God and mammon (wealth)" (Matthew 6:24).

In working with many St. Louis parishes over the past several years, a few things have become clear:

• People absolutely crave God, but are unsure...

April 5, 2018

Pope Francis is gravely concerned about the 3 billion people who live in impoverished conditions — places that are very hot but have no air conditioning, where clean water is scarce and where families depend on subsistence farming. They contribute less than 10 percent to the world's greenhouse gas emissions, yet these are among the people most affected by global climate disruptions.

That summary of Pope Francis' encyclical "Laudato Si'"...

April 5, 2018

The very fact that more than 300 young people — joined by another 15,000 virtual participants via social media — produced a document to be read and studied by bishops around the world in preparation for the Vatican's 2018 synod on "Young people, the faith and vocational discernment" is no small feat.

The near-unanimous consensus on a range of issues facing young people in the Church today offers an example to the rest of the Church at a...

April 5, 2018

Niele Ivey, a 1996 graduate of Cor Jesu Academy in St. Louis, played a part in both of the University of Notre Dame women's basketball NCAA championships.

Ivey played on the first championship team, when the finals were played in St. Louis 17 years ago. This year, she served as associate head coach and recruiting coordinator on the team that completed the second-largest comeback in Final Four history to defeat Mississippi Sate 61-58 wit...

March 29, 2018

Alleluia, Christ has risen! Happy Easter!

But wait ... there's more!

Easter is more than just a one-off celebration on Easter Sunday to be put aside until next year. Far from it. Easter is an attitude, and the fun is just beginning.

Easter Sunday starts the Easter Octave, the eight-day span of Easter Sunday through Divine Mercy Sunday. In this issue of the St. Louis Review, there's a list of parishes celebrating the feast...

March 29, 2018

We just left the spiritually rigorous season of Lent. We should be exhausted, tired and hungry. We spent 40 intense days facing our mortality, our depravity and our unworthiness. In a spiritual desert, we united ourselves to Christ, who spent His own 40 days in an actual desert fasting, praying and preparing Himself to go out and preach a new law; to change hearts and minds; to change the world.

Of course, He wasn't alone in the desert....

March 29, 2018

Feeling lonely? Well, you have company. In recent surveys, a full three quarters of the population admits to struggling with loneliness.

Dorothy Day, whom I admire tremendously, titled her autobiography "The Long Loneliness." In it, she wrote about how she frequently struggled with feeling alone. For instance, she described weeping in her bed each night after having moved out of the family house to attend college. She was desolate at no...

March 22, 2018

We like to see immediate results. We like success. But success is a process, and part of the process is failure. We tend to learn more from failure than success: "For the just man falls seven times and rises again..." (Proverbs 24:16).

Many of us have seen success and failure over the years, and from this we learn that building a stewardship culture takes time — you won't necessarily see immediate results.

Trusting God is key for...

March 22, 2018

One friend sat in the driver's seat of the car, transporting us on a six-hour journey to the site of our retreat last year. In the passenger seat, another friend kept the driver engaged in conversation.

With the entire backseat to myself, I I began my week of silence a few hours early. As much as possible, I waded into an interior room of quiet. I stared out the window as the world flew past at 70 miles an hour.

My eyes and thoug...

March 15, 2018

Good for them, and we hope it'll pay off for us.

Thousands of students and teachers walked out of their classrooms or took part in organized gatherings outdoors during the school day on March 14 as part of the the #Enough! National School Walkout to raise awareness about issues of school safety and the impact of gun violence. The nationwide march was organized by Women's March Youth Empower.

In St. Louis, students at a few Cathol...

March 15, 2018

Lent is a time for prayer, penance, and mounds of spaghetti on fried fish.

Look, I'm as surprised to have written that sentence as you may be to have read it. The Lenten fish fry is a cultural phenomena, and the Catholic fish fries in St. Louis are without compare. When I first encountered this curiosity, I quickly realized I was out of my depth. Sure, I have a Master of Divinity and can read Greek, but at a fish fry I'm surrounded by e...

March 15, 2018

In our culture of plenty, it's tough to imagine going without food or sustenance. Yet the sad reality is that the people in developing countries often experience hunger in staggering numbers. We simply don't have personal experiences of sustained physical hunger; rather, in many ways, we're able to satisfy even our smallest cravings.

Indeed, much of our preoccupation with food has to do with abundance. We aren't used to the idea of goin...

March 8, 2018

Little did he know what a noble purpose awaited him when Don Ritchie, a former Navy seaman and retired salesman, settled into a house on Old South Head Road back in 1964. Along with his wife, Don was eager to soak in the stunning view of The Gap, an ocean cliff at Watsons Bay in Eastern Sydney.

But just as the vista attracts tourists from across the globe, it also lures desperate souls looking to end their lives with a jump, claiming an...