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.

July 20, 2017

Being creative in evangelization means thinking differently, and reaching others in new ways. Sometimes it means connecting via outlets popular in the secular culture.

Take for instance last summer, when Pokemon Go was all the rage. The mobile game, which uses augmented reality to collect virtual creatures, attracted millions of users — driving swarms of players to unsuspecting churches, businesses and other landmarks. A number of paris...

July 20, 2017

In recent times, social conflict has become more pronounced and it's driving much of our human ethos both locally and globally. A glance at the news quickly illustrates the extent of the opposition and division in our world. Ancient quarrels and international divisions linger and find little resolution. At the same time, emerging global struggles aggravate and augment a broken humanity.

Similarly, in our local reality, we're often confr...

July 20, 2017

A seriously ill 11-month-old child in Great Britain has garnered the attention of President Donald Trump and Pope Francis and sparked an international debate.

Charlie Gard is unresponsive and totally dependent due to a severe genetic defect that compromises his brain cells' metabolism. His parents want to sustain his life and transfer him to an American hospital for a highly experimental treatment — one that has benefited children with...

July 14, 2017

When speakers at the Convocation of Catholic Leaders started making calls to be "radical," one would have expected cautious gasps.

Instead, a crowd of 3,500 let out enthusiastic applause. They knew why they'd been appointed as delegates to the historic meeting, and they knew that term would become a rally cry.

Radical.

In modern usage, the word tends to have a negative connotation, be it because of violent extremists or mo...

July 14, 2017

While preparing for the Convocation of Catholic Leaders, I paused on a statement describing a design principle for the event. In calling for missionary discipleship, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in the participant guidebook cites Pope Francis' caution that "'mere administration' can no longer be enough."

As I had held administrative posts for almost a quarter of a century with 20 years in Catholic ministries, I took this as o...

July 14, 2017

The old man with the typewriter would like to say to certain people among us: Don't be a blockhead.

David McCullough's bestselling new book, "The American Spirit," takes up a cause he has long championed, lends it added urgency and aims it squarely at young adults.

"We are raising a generation of young Americans who are by and large historically illiterate," McCullough writes.

At 83, the prize-winning historian has ample e...

June 30, 2017

It seems that for every generation in the last century, a public health crisis surfaced involving drug abuse. Cocaine, heroin, LSD, marijuana and amphetamines are among the illicit drugs that led to addiction and death by overdose.

Today, the United States is experiencing a new type of dependency involving legal, prescription drugs, particularly opioids.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, opioids are a class of dr...

June 30, 2017

My daughter posted these questions on an online chat thread one morning: "Would someone care to enlighten me on how we got to this place? This place being almost daily acts of terror or terrorism around the world. How did we, as a planet, fall to immediate violence as an answer to something as simple as being fired. I simply do not understand."

What response do I give to my daughter's plea, my daughter who is looking at the world into w...

June 30, 2017

In a marsh oxbow that was formed long before Europeans settled the confluence of two great North American Rivers, an ancient fish — a gar — skulked among the reeds and weeds, hunting for his prey.

On the bank of the marsh, I skulked with a bow — a modern version of an ancient sporting tool — hunting that ancient hunter.

I released a stout arrow, which flew toward the fish and penetrated the thick armor-like scales that have helpe...

June 22, 2017

Catholics should draw attention to Jesus, not to themselves 

The Catholic Way describes the manner in which Catholics should approach service — under the radar and without fanfare. Many Catholics adhere to this principle, doing good deeds for the sake of doing good deeds as opposed to doing them for personal attention.

The Bible tells us so.

Matthew's Gospel reports Jesus saying to h...

June 22, 2017

June is a natural time to review the previous school year and look forward to the next. While school years are linear on a calendar, they ebb and flow continuously. Recently I shared with our elementary principals that a good metaphor for the past school year is that of the labyrinth.

Originating in Greek mythology, the labyrinth took on special meaning to Christians of the medieval age. It was symbolic of a pilgrimage and the great cat...

June 22, 2017

I had a special photo as the screen-saver on my smartphone for a long time. Whenever I needed a smile, I just looked at that picture of one of the most memorable undertakings in my life — the day I went sky-diving. I had glanced at it countless times when out of the blue a certain realization struck me.

I look just like my dad.

The skin tone, the shape of my face, the gray hair and beard — spitting image. And the eyes. I've got m...

June 15, 2017

In 2013, Pope Francis suggested that when homeless people die of cold on the streets, it isn't considered newsworthy. In contrast, a 10-point drop on the stock markets is considered a tragedy.

He's on target with his remarks, aimed not at the news media but society in general. We often throw up our hands in frustration because housing homeless people is such a difficult task. Or we just write it off, blaming the homeless person for his...

June 15, 2017

An advantage of our technological world is the ability to engage almost any subject and quickly learn about it. We've grown accustomed to finding things at will, and become uncomfortable when online searches don't yield the desired information. What used to remain unknown or a mystery, now is met with technological searches satisfying our impulses, curiosity and thirst for knowledge.

It isn't unusual to have a conversation in which an u...

June 15, 2017

For the past 11 years, I have been blessed to walk in pilgrimage with the Archdiocese of St. Louis. As I prepare for my new assignment in Rome, I can only thank the Lord for all the wonderful people I have met during this time.

One of the outstanding features of the Archdiocese of St. Louis is its support to Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in the mission of forming priests for the Church throughout the region.

Kenrick-Glennon is among t...

June 8, 2017

Don't be discouraged.

President Donald J. Trump's announcement June 1 that the United States will not honor the Paris agreement on climate doesn't change on our obligation to take care of the earth.

The United States and China, the two largest carbon emitters, and 195 other nations signed the agreement that was ratified in November 2016. The Paris agreement establishes that nations must reduce their carbon dioxide emissions in or...

June 8, 2017

Don't be discouraged.

President Donald J. Trump's announcement June 1 that the United States will not honor the Paris agreement on climate doesn't change on our obligation to take care of the earth.

The United States and China, the two largest carbon emitters, and 195 other nations signed the agreement that was ratified in November 2016. The Paris agreement establishes that nations must reduce their carbon dioxide emissions in or...

June 8, 2017

Baseball and softball combined to rank as the team sport with the most participation in 2016, according to the annual report by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association.

The popularity is clear from the looks of the recent Homers for Health 2017 Home Run Derby Championships presented by Heartland Coca-Cola. Forty-two schools participated in the fundraising efforts to benefit SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital. Thirty-e...