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.

February 23, 2018

The deep divide. The Delmar divide. These are terms that are used in the discussion of race relations in St. Louis.

There's also a message of hope. That hope is rooted in actions such as in our parishes the weekend of Feb. 17 and 18 when clergy addressed racism. Archbishop Robert J. Carlson made the request of the priests and deacons, pointing out that all people should be treated with dignity and respect.

"With God as our Father...

February 23, 2018

On Feb. 16, our first granddaughter was born. The emotions elicited that day — and in other national events in the previous days — made me think about what I would write in a letter to her. Here are some of my thoughts:

Dear Madeleine Victoria,

What a glorious, exhilarating day — your actual birthday! So many people had been waiting so many months for your arrival. Indeed, quite a few of us have looked forward to your bi...

February 23, 2018

Do you remember when flipping the calendar from January to February seemed to signal "time to learn about black people?"

Teachers scheduled field trips and presentations. Anyone who desired could tune into assorted TV programs, find films and attend stage performances. Librarians extended recommended reading lists to include books by, for and about African Americans. Schoolchildren wrote reports, prepared recitations and explored histor...

February 15, 2018

The Nicene Creed.

Catholics succinctly express the profession of faith and Catholic belief in every city, in every state, in every country, hemisphere and continent on the planet.

Regardless of language and culture, the creed is the same worldwide, just as Mass and sacraments are the same between customs and traditions.

The Nicene Creed starts with a universal belief in "God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth,...

February 15, 2018

When my children attended St. Francis of Assisi grade school years ago, I coached a lot of volleyball, both at the CYC and club levels. As I learned more about coaching volleyball, one phrase has stuck with me over the years — "better the ball." That statement bears further explanation.

In volleyball, each team can touch the ball only three times before the ball has to go back over the net to the other team. To "better the ball" meant t...

February 15, 2018

Going to the movies is one of a few events with the power to bring people together and grab hold of our collective imagination. For many, the experience of going to the movies with friends or family is a common ritual. Each year, movie trailers announcing the new movie selections are critiqued and analyzed. For avid and devoted moviegoers, the fascination with the big screen often transcends genres, languages and cultures.

This visual p...

February 8, 2018

Visiting the sick or homebound is an art of virtue that deepens your Lenten experience.

It's just one of the many ways we can use Lent to refocus and brush away what may have been preventing us from following Jesus. It's neither easy to hear the message of discipleship nor to experience a Christian life amid the clamor of consumerism and the duties of daily life.

The Living Our Faith section of the Review this week includes sever...

February 8, 2018

When it came time to interview prospective sailors for his expedition across Antarctica, Ernest Shackleton had clear-cut criteria. He had to pick the right men for his journey to the bottom of the world, a newsmaking attempt to be the first to cross the continent via the South Pole.

It was 1914, the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, and the famed British explorer had received hundreds of applications. One applicant recalled Shackleto...

February 8, 2018

Super Bowl Sunday is over, but it's hard to let the football season go without commending Philadelphia Eagles defensive lineman Chris Long's contributions this year. The former St. Louis Ram was solid on the field, helping his team to the Super Bowl. In the NFC championship game against the Minnesota Vikings, Long had two tackles, two QB hits and a fumble recovery. He tipped quarterback Case Keenum's arm leading to an interception by Patrick R...

February 1, 2018

Two hundred years ago when Catholic education got its start in St. Louis, certainly the classroom experience was a bit rudimentary.

Our first educators, many of them women religious such as St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, didn't have much when they came to the New World. Their work was considered by many a heroic response to the needs of that day — often educating the poor and marginalized of society. In those early days, there was no for...

February 1, 2018

Upon hearing about the Latin Mass, the first response often is a question: Isn't the use of Latin in Catholic worship outdated — something Vatican Council II wanted the modern Church to leave behind?

In fact, the Council's Constitution on the Liturgy decreed, "The use of the Latin language is to be preserved, ... but since the use of the vernacular ... may frequently be of great advantage to the people, a wider use may be made of it, es...

January 31, 2018

What to do with unruly boys? Ask St. Don Bosco, mentor to the troubled 

I recently looked in the backyard and saw my 5-year old son enthusiastically beating a tree with a giant stick. His brother, 7, was shirtless and balancing precariously on top of the swing set. The shirt, I noticed, had been discarded for good reason — it was crumpled on the ground and soaked through with mud. Where he found the mud I'...

January 26, 2018

In December, Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed into law legislation prohibiting doctors from aborting a baby with a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome, much-needed legislation given the horrifying statistics.

In a study released in February 2012, "Prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome: a systematic review of termination rates (1995–2011)," researchers found that 67 percent of such cases resulted in death for the unborn among seven population-...

January 26, 2018

I had been attending outpatient group-therapy sessions for several weeks. Though my mental health still had much to be desired — my spiritual health, too, for that matter — I had settled into a comfortable place with these people. Not that I was overly chatty, but I talked more than I had in those first few reclusive, virtually mute days.

When I talked, usually providing feedback for others in the group, my words were "golden," they tol...

January 26, 2018

You may have heard this before: "The place to which God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet."

That line is from Frederick Buechner, an ordained Presbyterian minister, theologian and author.

Most of us, within the context of our busy lives, want to serve God, whether it's pursuing a whole new career or just finding a volunteer role. But sometimes we get bogged down in "what is God calli...

January 19, 2018

Love saves lives.

That's the theme of this year's March for Life, which commemorates the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision to legalize abortion. Forty-five years later, more than 59 million babies have been killed through abortion, according to statistics from National Right to Life.

But the commitment to stopping this travesty isn't just about attending the March for Life in Washington, D.C., every year. It's a commitment — rooted in l...

January 19, 2018

The cold invigorated us as my friend and I walked through campus after an evening Mass. The first snow had fallen a few days before, and the remnants glistened in the night sky. We were college seniors, engaging in another round of What-We-Should-Do-With-Our-Lives.

Conversation touched on our friends: Would she go to med school? Will he become a priest? Are they going to get married? We were hopeful, as we discussed the shape of our fut...

January 19, 2018

What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday? Let that question sink in for a minute. Would you even be around today? Would your family, friends, job, home, food, clothing, car, parish, etc. be around today? The list goes on and on.

That question gets to the very core of stewardship — recognizing all the gifts we have been given and being grateful for them, every day.

I read that question about six...