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 22, 2018

We like to see immediate results. We like success. But success is a process, and part of the process is failure. We tend to learn more from failure than success: "For the just man falls seven times and rises again..." (Proverbs 24:16).

Many of us have seen success and failure over the years, and from this we learn that building a stewardship culture takes time — you won't necessarily see immediate results.

Trusting God is key for...

March 22, 2018

One friend sat in the driver's seat of the car, transporting us on a six-hour journey to the site of our retreat last year. In the passenger seat, another friend kept the driver engaged in conversation.

With the entire backseat to myself, I I began my week of silence a few hours early. As much as possible, I waded into an interior room of quiet. I stared out the window as the world flew past at 70 miles an hour.

My eyes and thoug...

March 15, 2018

Good for them, and we hope it'll pay off for us.

Thousands of students and teachers walked out of their classrooms or took part in organized gatherings outdoors during the school day on March 14 as part of the the #Enough! National School Walkout to raise awareness about issues of school safety and the impact of gun violence. The nationwide march was organized by Women's March Youth Empower.

In St. Louis, students at a few Cathol...

March 15, 2018

Lent is a time for prayer, penance, and mounds of spaghetti on fried fish.

Look, I'm as surprised to have written that sentence as you may be to have read it. The Lenten fish fry is a cultural phenomena, and the Catholic fish fries in St. Louis are without compare. When I first encountered this curiosity, I quickly realized I was out of my depth. Sure, I have a Master of Divinity and can read Greek, but at a fish fry I'm surrounded by e...

March 15, 2018

In our culture of plenty, it's tough to imagine going without food or sustenance. Yet the sad reality is that the people in developing countries often experience hunger in staggering numbers. We simply don't have personal experiences of sustained physical hunger; rather, in many ways, we're able to satisfy even our smallest cravings.

Indeed, much of our preoccupation with food has to do with abundance. We aren't used to the idea of goin...

March 8, 2018

Little did he know what a noble purpose awaited him when Don Ritchie, a former Navy seaman and retired salesman, settled into a house on Old South Head Road back in 1964. Along with his wife, Don was eager to soak in the stunning view of The Gap, an ocean cliff at Watsons Bay in Eastern Sydney.

But just as the vista attracts tourists from across the globe, it also lures desperate souls looking to end their lives with a jump, claiming an...

March 8, 2018

Recently, there's been a fuss about Chaminade graduate Mike Lewis II, a sophomore guard on the Duquesne University basketball team.

No, he isn't another college player who got in trouble with the law or violated school or team rules.

He gave a pizza and chicken wings to a woman living in her car near his apartment and talked with her, a gesture that was recorded and placed on social media with an uplifting message: "Noticed a lad...

March 1, 2018

People were tickled to their romantic core when Pope Francis officiated at an impromptu wedding ceremony in January on an airplane 36,000 feet above Chile.

The marriage in the sky, a papal first, was the type of spontaneous gesture that has made Francis an endearing global figure. It played out like a script from the old TV series "The Love Boat." The only way it would have melted more hearts was if it occurred on Valentine's Day.

...
March 1, 2018

It was a bad afternoon at the ad agency. I was just finishing up a creative brief for a denture adhesive ad campaign when my boss came by to tell me about a new client, smokeless tobacco from Sweden.

The irony of trying to convince people to buy denture adhesive and smokeless tobacco wasn't lost on either of us, but it wasn't for us to make it an issue. This was business. It was our job to marshal all the persuasive power of media techn...

March 1, 2018

A horrific mass shooting at a Florida high school placed school violence and gun control at the forefront of public debate.

Proposals include stricter regulations on semiautomatic weapons, a ban on "bump stocks," broader background checks, a higher legal age for gun purchasing, making it easier to get restraining orders against gun possession by some people, and increased investment in mental health programs.

These should be cons...

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

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 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 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...