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.

August 31, 2017

Jim McIngvale, known as "Mattress Mack," opened up his two Gallery Furniture stores in Houston for people displaced by the effects of Hurricane Harvey.

He was housing 400 people by Aug. 28, according to media reports, providing breakfast, lunch and dinner for them.

Why? "I was raised as a Catholic. I continued my Catholic faith throughout my life, trying to do the right thing and hopefully, you do the right thing and help people...

August 31, 2017

I can't pray.

Well, that's not accurate. If only it was that cut and dried. In reality, the spiritual issue is exceedingly more complicated.

I can communicate with God — to God — in limited ways. I made promises to people that I would lift up their special prayer intentions on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. So I say those intercessory prayers, asking for blessings and love in a special way for those family, friends and stranger...

August 31, 2017

Every new school year is a chance for a fresh start. It's exciting, but as weeks go by, we can fall back into bad habits. There are ways to maintain your drive to succeed despite new (and old) challenges.

Here are some tips for the new academic year:

• Prioritize your physical, mental and spiritual health.

• Get enough sleep. Sleeping more than six hours allows for brain development (which occurs until age 25 or 30). A reg...

Diamond ring beams and solar flares during near totality of the solar eclipse on Aug. 21.
August 24, 2017

Praise be to you, my Lord." These are the words that open Pope Francis' encyclical on ecology and care for God's creation. Quoting St. Francis of Assisi's Canticle of the Sun, the pope reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us.

This was apparent on Aug. 21 when many in the archdiocese witnessed a total solar eclipse. What a spectacular scene as a...

August 24, 2017

Once, the Ku Klux Klan came out primarily at night, carrying torches with their faces covered by hoods with ghostly openings for eyes.

Not anymore.

They were out in droves in Charlottesville, Va., in mid-August. Their faces were unmasked and held high, unapologetic. They joined hundreds of white supremacists and others protesting the February vote by the City Council to remove a statue from Lee Park that has memorialized Confeder...

August 24, 2017

For some people, "stewardship" is the term the Church uses when she tries to get money — isn't "stewardship" the Catholic code word for fundraising sprinkled with holy water?

Unfortunately, the word has been misused and misunderstood for so long, many people tune out when they hear the word.

Stewardship, quite simply, is recognizing that everything we have and everything we are is a gift from God and being grateful and generous w...

August 18, 2017

The sad events recently in Charlottesville, Va., again remind us of the evils of intolerance and injustice.

Racism, or any ideology which seeks to undermine the dignity and worth of human beings simply because of the color of their skin, must be condemned. Our country has a detestable history with regard to the treatment of its citizens, including discrimination and hatred that undermine the God-given dignity of every human person. Unfo...

August 18, 2017

Resiliency is among the most laudable qualities of the human spirit. Throughout history, human beings have bounced back from all kinds of troubling and disastrous events. Wars and catastrophes from the past two centuries provide examples of how much the human condition has had to endure. There is hardly a time in recent history when people were free of pain, destruction and violence.

The picture is no less chaotic when we drill down to...

August 18, 2017

I hate dishwashing.

Laundry, I love: transforming jumbled heaps of tumbled clothes into neat, folded piles. Sweeping is satisfying. Wiping counters, even scrubbing sinks, brings simple pleasure.

But I cringe at crusty pots and pans. Any night of the week, I'd trade for any other chore. Yet life in a household requires rolling up sleeves and doing whatever dirty work needs to be done.

Even in the house of the Church. Turns...

August 11, 2017

When Amanda Pirih started coaching, her focus was on winning. But that left her unsatisfied. She asked herself if there were more to it, then recognized that there was a purpose greater than herself.

"I realized I was coaching for someone, Christ Himself," Pirih said last month at a CYC Sports Summit in St. Louis. "This is something my players needed to know, too. It draws them out and makes them play better. T...

August 11, 2017

Nicholas Owen was canonized 364 years after his death.

Such is often the case with the Catholic Church, charged with curating a 2,000-year treasure trove of saints and stories, rovers and relics.

Owen's tale is unlike any other. Born in Oxford, England, in the mid-16th century, his devout family prepared him well for his remarkable life's work. His father was as a carpenter who taught him the trade. Two older brothers became prie...

August 4, 2017

One of my favorite criticisms of the Church is that it is fixated on sex. "Why is the Church so obsessed with what I do in the bedroom," many people ask with great seriousness.

I find the observation hilarious because I watch TV, read books and go to the movies. And guess what? Our society is unbelievably obsessed with sex. Religion is no longer the opiate of the masses. Sex is.

The pornography business is bigger than the NFL, NB...

August 4, 2017

The appointment of Hispanic bishops as ordinaries of dioceses in California, Texas or Florida is rather common. This isn't surprising since most Catholics in the South and the West are Hispanic.

However, the recent appointment of Bishop Nelson J. Perez as the next bishop of Cleveland isn't business as usual. It's an historical milestone for U.S. Catholics.

Many reports have noted that Bishop Perez is the first Hispanic bishop of...

July 28, 2017

Lives matter.

In the last few years, we have seen variations of this phrase within concentrated movements: Black Lives Matter. Police Lives Matter. Unborn Lives Matter.

What unites all of these movements is the subject at hand — life.

All humans should see the value in other humans, but often that's what's missing from the conversation. This isn't to say we change the message to "all lives matter," as if to diminish the im...

July 28, 2017

During July 1-4, I had the honor to be part of the Archdiocese of St. Louis delegation to the national Convocation of Catholic Leaders. It was four days of praying for and thinking about the Church in the 21st century.

We reflected on what missionary discipleship looks like in light of Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation "Evangelii Gaudium" ("The Joy of the Gospel"). There were many excellent presentations, panels and breakout sessions....

July 28, 2017

In professional Catholic circles, a tired joke that still makes the rounds goes like this:

Q: What's the difference between a liturgist and a terrorist?

A: You can negotiate with a terrorist.

Most Catholics never use the word "liturgist" in everyday conversation, and may never have even knowingly met a liturgist, but the average Mass-going Catholic can be as opinionated as any liturgist:

The music is too contemporar...

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...