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.

July 14, 2017

The old man with the typewriter would like to say to certain people among us: Don't be a blockhead.

David McCullough's bestselling new book, "The American Spirit," takes up a cause he has long championed, lends it added urgency and aims it squarely at young adults.

"We are raising a generation of young Americans who are by and large historically illiterate," McCullough writes.

At 83, the prize-winning historian has ample e...

June 30, 2017

It seems that for every generation in the last century, a public health crisis surfaced involving drug abuse. Cocaine, heroin, LSD, marijuana and amphetamines are among the illicit drugs that led to addiction and death by overdose.

Today, the United States is experiencing a new type of dependency involving legal, prescription drugs, particularly opioids.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, opioids are a class of dr...

June 30, 2017

My daughter posted these questions on an online chat thread one morning: "Would someone care to enlighten me on how we got to this place? This place being almost daily acts of terror or terrorism around the world. How did we, as a planet, fall to immediate violence as an answer to something as simple as being fired. I simply do not understand."

What response do I give to my daughter's plea, my daughter who is looking at the world into w...

June 30, 2017

In a marsh oxbow that was formed long before Europeans settled the confluence of two great North American Rivers, an ancient fish — a gar — skulked among the reeds and weeds, hunting for his prey.

On the bank of the marsh, I skulked with a bow — a modern version of an ancient sporting tool — hunting that ancient hunter.

I released a stout arrow, which flew toward the fish and penetrated the thick armor-like scales that have helpe...

June 22, 2017

Catholics should draw attention to Jesus, not to themselves 

The Catholic Way describes the manner in which Catholics should approach service — under the radar and without fanfare. Many Catholics adhere to this principle, doing good deeds for the sake of doing good deeds as opposed to doing them for personal attention.

The Bible tells us so.

Matthew's Gospel reports Jesus saying to h...

June 22, 2017

June is a natural time to review the previous school year and look forward to the next. While school years are linear on a calendar, they ebb and flow continuously. Recently I shared with our elementary principals that a good metaphor for the past school year is that of the labyrinth.

Originating in Greek mythology, the labyrinth took on special meaning to Christians of the medieval age. It was symbolic of a pilgrimage and the great cat...

June 22, 2017

I had a special photo as the screen-saver on my smartphone for a long time. Whenever I needed a smile, I just looked at that picture of one of the most memorable undertakings in my life — the day I went sky-diving. I had glanced at it countless times when out of the blue a certain realization struck me.

I look just like my dad.

The skin tone, the shape of my face, the gray hair and beard — spitting image. And the eyes. I've got m...

June 15, 2017

In 2013, Pope Francis suggested that when homeless people die of cold on the streets, it isn't considered newsworthy. In contrast, a 10-point drop on the stock markets is considered a tragedy.

He's on target with his remarks, aimed not at the news media but society in general. We often throw up our hands in frustration because housing homeless people is such a difficult task. Or we just write it off, blaming the homeless person for his...

June 15, 2017

An advantage of our technological world is the ability to engage almost any subject and quickly learn about it. We've grown accustomed to finding things at will, and become uncomfortable when online searches don't yield the desired information. What used to remain unknown or a mystery, now is met with technological searches satisfying our impulses, curiosity and thirst for knowledge.

It isn't unusual to have a conversation in which an u...

June 15, 2017

For the past 11 years, I have been blessed to walk in pilgrimage with the Archdiocese of St. Louis. As I prepare for my new assignment in Rome, I can only thank the Lord for all the wonderful people I have met during this time.

One of the outstanding features of the Archdiocese of St. Louis is its support to Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in the mission of forming priests for the Church throughout the region.

Kenrick-Glennon is among t...

June 8, 2017

Don't be discouraged.

President Donald J. Trump's announcement June 1 that the United States will not honor the Paris agreement on climate doesn't change on our obligation to take care of the earth.

The United States and China, the two largest carbon emitters, and 195 other nations signed the agreement that was ratified in November 2016. The Paris agreement establishes that nations must reduce their carbon dioxide emissions in or...

June 8, 2017

Don't be discouraged.

President Donald J. Trump's announcement June 1 that the United States will not honor the Paris agreement on climate doesn't change on our obligation to take care of the earth.

The United States and China, the two largest carbon emitters, and 195 other nations signed the agreement that was ratified in November 2016. The Paris agreement establishes that nations must reduce their carbon dioxide emissions in or...

June 8, 2017

Baseball and softball combined to rank as the team sport with the most participation in 2016, according to the annual report by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association.

The popularity is clear from the looks of the recent Homers for Health 2017 Home Run Derby Championships presented by Heartland Coca-Cola. Forty-two schools participated in the fundraising efforts to benefit SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital. Thirty-e...

June 8, 2017

Stripping soaked sheets off a child's bed for the third night in a row. Scrubbing vomit out of a carseat. Listening to a bedroom door slam with an angry "I hate you!"

"This is not what I signed up for."

In the years since I became a mother, the tempting, selfish thought has sneaked into my mind a thousand times, dark and brooding.

But every time a quiet voice responds gently: "Are you sure?"

Before we had children,...

Father Clark Philipp was among four priests ordained by Archbishop Robert J. Carlson at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis on May 27.
June 1, 2017

Eight of every 10 men in the 2017 class of ordinations to the priesthood were encouraged by about four people, including parish priests, friends or other parishioners. According to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate's (CARA) annual survey, the ordinands also were, on average, 16 years old when they first considered a vocation to the priesthood, and religious ordinands reported they knew the members of their religious institute a...

June 1, 2017

Along the route of the Pilgrimage of Trust's Walk of Trust on May 28, people came out of their homes and churches to greet one another in expressions of trust and solidarity — gestures that feel uncommon today.

Not far to the west, a 32-foot high stone memorial to the Confederacy dedicated in 1914 inside Forest Park has become a flashpoint of disagreement whether it's a historical marker that shouldn't be moved, or a nod to slavery and...

June 1, 2017

Rachel Gardner has a bad habit, shared by many young adults: She says "yes" when she ought to say "no."

A friend might ask to do lunch on Wednesday.

"I say, 'Of course,'" Rachel recounted, "and in my head, I can see my totally squashed schedule."

The friend asks if noon works.

"I say, 'Sounds great,' knowing I have something at 1:30 p.m.," Rachel confessed.

Then comes the moment she knows she should leave the...

June 1, 2017

President Donald Trump is taking time to listen to his advisers on whether the United States should honor the Paris Agreement on climate change. The administration has repeatedly delayed its decision and an announcement is expected after the meeting of G-7 leaders in Sicily. This delay may be a good thing.

On his way to Sicily, President Trump met with Pope Fra...