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.

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...

January 11, 2018

Almost 40 years ago, the Catholic bishops of the United States wrote a pastoral letter on racism. "Racism is a sin: a sin that divides the human family, blots out the image of God among specific members of that family, and violates the fundamental human dignity of those called to be children of the same Father," the bishops wrote.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day honors the achievements of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who spoke for nonv...

January 11, 2018

The themes emerge predictably. When it comes to New Year's resolutions, we gravitate toward the biggies: get healthy, get organized, get a life. We vow to travel more, read more, save more and volunteer more. We conjure visions of the expansive, to live life to the fullest.

Scan Twitter and you'll find a multitude of plans.

"In 2018, I will skydive. No exceptions."

"Put myself out there. Don't be afraid of making a mistake...

January 11, 2018

Every season brings unique challenges and opportunities. As humans preoccupied with many things, it's useful to calendar significant social events, historical moments and a variety of other spiritual and religious movements that are part of faith lives. The rhythm of our experiences has us moving physically, as well as in constant spiritual and psychological motion, seeking answers to our deepest questions and anticipating the future.

C...

January 4, 2018

With dangerous cold gripping the area through Christmas and into the New Year, the Catholic Church did what it does best, mobilizing to help in an immediate crisis, what a St. Patrick's Center official called "lifesaving mode."

This isn't an exaggeration. At least two people had died this winter as of Jan. 3, with one man found frozen to death in a trash bin where he apparently had been sleeping.

Agencie...

January 4, 2018

About five years ago, my wife and I were received into the Catholic Church along with our children. It was one of the happiest days of my life and is a moment that people are often curious to hear about. More precisely, they're curious about what exactly happened in the years before to lead us there. I'd love to be able to give a brilliant, intellectual explanation of my thought-process and how I'm super courageous and smart, but instead I ten...

January 4, 2018

The women's soccer team at Quincy University went 13-1 in conference play this past fall, with a 17-4-1 overall record — the second-most wins in the program's history.

The Hawks won their first game in the NCAA tournament against Bellarmine University before losing 3-1 to Grand Valley State University. Nevertheless, the team from the Catholic university in Illinois finished the season ranked 11th in the final National Poll United Soccer...

December 21, 2017

As we conclude the season of Advent, we enter into the true Christmas season. And with that, we must not let the celebration end.

As Archbishop Robert Carlson noted in this week's column, there was a huge anticipation leading up to the historic eclipse in August. After totality came and went, we quickly moved on with our lives.

With Christmas, we must resist the urge to move on. The culture sends its signs that Christmas is over,...

December 21, 2017

A phrase I hear too often is "I don't feel comfortable evangelizing."

This expresses a significant challenge in the world today: excessive desire for comfort and convenience. Christianity often is not comfortable. A relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church can be difficult. Being Christian means being willing to practice fasting and mortification, and proclaiming the news of salvation through words and actions — whether we feel lik...

December 21, 2017

For the past decade or so, I've been assembling a mid-sized Judean village of Fontanini crèche figures, including artisans, herders, farmers, vintners, blacksmiths, musicians, weavers and a fisherman or two. It's a reminder that the Lord Jesus was born in the midst of humanity and its messy history: the history that the child has come to set back on its truest course, which is toward God. The messiness of history is a caution against letting s...

December 15, 2017

In the apostolic exhortation "Evangelii Gaudium" ("Joy of the Gospel"), Pope Francis wrote that "an evangelizer must never look like someone who has just come from a funeral!"

Likewise, he has frequently admonished priests "not to look so glum" after or while celebrating Mass. And he reminds priests that "the confessional must not be a torture chamber."

His message is simple and quite clear: The good news, the Eucharist and the s...

December 15, 2017

Oprah Winfrey sang and clapped when presented with the $69 lunch box that made her 2017 "Favorite Things" list.

"I looooove!" she belted out in mock falsetto.

She didn't need to finish her sentence by naming the object of her love. The list of items is expansive; in a video of the selection process for her biggest gift guide, it covers 102 items, totaling $13,400 in value and ranging from a $2,000 55-inch Samsung high-definition...

December 15, 2017

"The purpose of vocational discernment is to find out how to transform (our choices), in the light of faith into steps toward the fullness of joy to which everyone is called." These words from the introduction to the Vatican preparatory document for the upcoming synod on "Young people, faith and vocational discernment" reiterate Pope Francis' call to our Church today: to live the joy of the Gospel.

However, as a college campus minister,...

December 7, 2017

When athletes behave badly, the public knows about it. Take, for example, University of Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield who last month taunted and made an obscene gesture toward the University of Kansas team in a game won by Oklahoma 41-3. Reports have detailed similar incidents in the NFL.

But sportsmanship is alive and well in the Archdiocese of St. Louis and across the country.

Fifth-grader Riley Coffman played CYC soccer...

December 7, 2017

Have you ever given thought to how you would build a community from scratch? What would you build? How would you design it? What would be the important parts of this community? Would there be things in your life that you wouldn't incorporate into the new community? Think about your responses.

Now, think about Puerto Rico, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria just a couple months ago. In those two months, the...