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.

March 23, 2017

Death is not a joyful mystery. Perhaps it should be.

Don't get me wrong, only with very extenuating circumstances will we find joy in the death of anyone, especially a loved one. I have missed my mom every day in the 21 months since she passed away. Yet, as I reflect, it was at least partly selfish of me to have asked for a miraculous cure of her brain cancer then.

And it would be even more selfish of me now to beg God to bring h...

March 23, 2017

You surely know about two significant events that took place in St. Louis during the summer of 1904 — the World's Fair and the Summer Olympics. But you may not be aware of another important event that happened that summer.

In July 1904, Catholic educators meeting in the "Rome of the West" founded what would become the National Catholic Educational Association. The NCEA is now the largest private, professional education association in th...

March 22, 2017

In a new pastoral reflection, the U.S. bishops are once again calling on Catholics "to accompany migrants and refugees who seek a better life in the United States."

The document, "Living as a People of God in Unsettled Times," was released March 22 by the bishops' Administrative Committee. The document, they said, was done "in solidarity with those who have been forced to flee their homes due to violence, conflict or fear in their nativ...

March 16, 2017

When our nation's political and cultural divisions strain goodwill and basic charity toward others, it may be helpful to turn our attention to an institution that considers politics and social issues as important, yet secondary concerns.

Yes, the Catholic Church regularly takes stands on contentious moral issues, but she does so from motivations that transcend politics. Any position she takes flows from prior fundamental beliefs about t...

March 16, 2017

Our culture places a high value on people's expertise and abilities. We treasure having the right person with the right skill set and personality for a given responsibility. In fact, a whole industry is devoted to researching and finding the perfect candidate for a job. High-performance companies and institutions typically hire trusted firms to run job searches.

Consequently, we spend time and resources attending seminars, workshops and...

March 16, 2017

I felt a sense of colossal relief after my doctoral defense, noting that I would never have to take a test again. But of course, bigger tests awaited.

Christ was frequently tested: In the desert by the devil, by the Pharisees who were threatened and envious, by the apostles who resisted a way without worldly glory and by His own doubts before the crucifixion when Jesus wondered whether His Father had abandoned Him.

In Lent, we re...

March 9, 2017

"One should leave a field better than you found it," an old farmer's saying went.

Sometimes that called for heavy lifting. Other times it just meant picking up a rock as you crossed and placing it at the field's edge.

That counsel stuck with Sister Amy Hereford, CSJ, who grew up on a 10-acre farm in Missouri where sheep roamed and blackberries grew wild. She planted whatever vegetable seemed to be lacking.

For Amy and thre...

March 9, 2017

Parishioners returned Feb. 25 to celebrate Mass at St. Monica Church for the first time since late December, when an arsonist burned its Nativity scene, severely damaged the altar and caused extensive smoke and water damage.

After the arson, the parish in Creve Coeur held sacramental events in the school, with Sunday Masses in the gymnasium. This displaced many basketball games that had already been scheduled there for the coming season...

March 2, 2017

It can be difficult to imagine how it's even possible to exude joy during Lent.

Those of us who give up the regular indulgences of ordinary time — chocolate, caffeine, fast food — often find ourselves feeling melancholy, maybe even downright cranky.

We're geared to focus on the penitential nature of Lent. Focusing on our sins isn't particularly pleasant. But as Pope Francis noted in his World Communications Day message for 2017,...

March 2, 2017

Catholic school students in the Archdiocese of St. Louis are blessed to be supported by parents, parishioners and benefactors. These individuals support our schools not only because they recognize the individual benefit each student receives, but they recognize that Catholic schools benefit our entire community.

National and state leaders are increasingly acknowledging this benefit and the injustice of asking parents to pay twice (taxes...

March 2, 2017

The best Lent of my life involved getting up every day at 5:30 a.m., hiking for miles through ankle-twisting, cobblestoned city streets, dodging drivers for whom traffic laws were traffic suggestions, avoiding the chaos of transit strikes and other civic disturbances and battling bureaucracies civil and ecclesiastical — all while 3,500 miles from home sweet home.

Lent 2011, which I spent in Rome working on "Roman Pilgrimage: The Station...

February 23, 2017

I like to accept compliments, to receive congratulations. I like to garner praise.

Who doesn't delight in hearing nice things about himself, right? Who doesn't enjoy having good efforts recognized? Externally, we might react with humility: "Please, anyone could have done that." We might dismiss it: "Come on, it wasn't anything special." We might display embarrassment and simple graciousness: "Thank you for saying that." But inside, it f...

February 23, 2017

Once again, Pope Francis doesn't mince words.

In his 2017 Lenten message, our refreshingly candid pontiff takes on the subject of money in our lives and pulls no punches.

The love of money can become a "tyrannical idol," said Pope Francis, who reminds us that St. Paul stated "the love of money is the root of all evils."

Although society is saturated with consumerism and we obsess about money, the discussion of it remains a...

February 16, 2017

The city named in honor of a saint and nicknamed "Rome of the West" is now a so-called "sanctuary" city for the right to choose abortion, the horrific act of killing innocent, unborn babies.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Our proud city, St. Louis ... it's shameful, embarrassing and disgusting.

"This is not what our city should stand for," Archbishop Robert J. Carlson wrote about Board Bill 203.

Though the St. Louis...

February 16, 2017

In our culture, it's fairly common to move from one job or career to the next. The average person is accustomed to reinventing himself or herself to accommodate the demands of an ever-changing world. We know the importance of updating and upgrading our work skills and status. We network and share gifts and talents, especially with those who might ease our transition from one work environment to the next.

While certain professional caree...

February 16, 2017

Pope Francis, in a few meaningful words, can pull together the work of our hands and the yearning of our hearts and minds. In his brief address Feb. 9 to the Congregation of Catholic Education at the Vatican, he affirmed the mission-rich approach to education embraced by Fontbonne University and other Catholic Universities.

"The school and the university make full sense only in relation to the formation of the person," the pope said. "A...

February 9, 2017

The tweet asks: Got nuns?

The answer in this town is a resounding, "Yes."

Where would we be without them? There's no denying their important role in building the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Strong-hearted, pioneering religious sisters came from Europe in the 19th century to lay the foundation for Catholic education, health care, social services and more. Then, smart and savvy religious sisters built on that foundation in the...

February 8, 2017

Spend a day in a surgery waiting room and you'll witness a hundred quiet acts of mercy.

Strangers gather for a host of reasons with a common cause: to sit beneath the slowest clock and wait it out. They make calls, utter prayers and flip through magazines, and in their anxiety, they extend morsels of compassion: smiles and small talk, directions to the cafeteria and tips on its offerings. One person shown the way by someone slightly les...