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.

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...

November 30, 2017

In the majority of the 1800s, some Americans considered it American to own people. Even a Supreme Court chief justice legitimized the abhorrent idea of human beings as property to be bought and sold.

Bishop Edward K. Braxton from the Diocese of Belleville, Ill., recently wrote about this unfortunate reality in "The Horizon Of Possibilities — The Catholic Church and the Racial Divide in the United States: Old Wounds Reopened."

Bis...

November 30, 2017

Pope Francis stated in the preparatory document for the upcoming synod on "young people, faith and vocational discernment" that we need to see credible witnesses in order to be inspired to be holy.

Blessed Father Solanus Casey was an ordinary man who lived an extraordinary life. He was beatified Nov. 18 in Detroit. The beatification Mass perfectly reflected this ordinary man who truly lived an extraordinary life.

While some peopl...

November 30, 2017

As I circulated among the guests at the wedding reception for my oldest daughter in the 1990s, a woman told me: "You look like a Jew, but you act like an Italian." I didn't know how to respond then, but now I do because I have had my DNA analyzed.

All human beings, our DNA shows, have a common ancestor, born hundreds of thousands of years ago in Africa. From that single ancestor come all the races and all the ethnicities on the planet....

November 22, 2017

As Christmas nears, we get inundated with messages emphasizing the materialism of Christmas. There's so much to do. It's easy to succumb and begin to dread what's ahead.

The time before Christmas — Advent — should be filled with joy in anticipation of what is coming. Beginning the Church's liturgical year, Advent is the season encompassing the four Sundays leading up to the celebration of Christmas. This time of preparation directs our...

Mike Eisenbath
November 22, 2017

A look in the mirror often makes me wonder whose face is there. That guy has mostly gray hair, somewhat weather-worn skin and a white beard. It's a serious face with eyes peering somewhere beyond, appearing to be reflecting on something only mirror man might understand.

"He looks a lot older than me," I think. "Probably 50s, maybe getting close to 60. He's probably seen a lot in his life. I'll bet I could learn a lot from that guy."

...
Tim Phillips, a parishioner at St. Paul in St. Paul, harvested this 31-point buck on the opening of the Missouri firearms season. While he will mount the head, he donated the meat to a state charity that distributes it to food pantries.
November 22, 2017

When Tim Phillips harvested the deer of a lifetime, he knew two things: The organic, high-protein meat would go to charity; the 31-point antlers would reside on his wall.

Phillips had been hunting this deer for years. It had been documented by remote trail cameras since 2012. He saw it opening day of the 2014 firearms season, but had to vacate his stand because a friend was getting married that day. A buddy had named the deer "Walter."...

November 17, 2017

Throughout her life, Sister Mary Antona Ebo was known for standing for justice and equality for all.

With her death Nov. 11, there are many who desire to keep her spirit alive. The African-American woman religious, who marched in Selma, Ala., in 1965 for civil rights, told the crowd then that, "I'm here because I'm a Negro, a nun, a Catholic, and because I want to bear witness."

Sister Antona was a courageous witness beyond Selma...

November 17, 2017

In the current scientific and digital culture, working with one's hands or learning to play with mechanical systems and structures seems to be a thing of the past. We're more adept at engaging digital and virtual realities, yet our familiarity with physical labor often goes lacking.

Some may recall a family member or acquaintance whose mechanical abilities were impressive. He or she would easily break down and rebuild something that nee...

November 17, 2017

Do you struggle with packaging?

In opening a fresh box containing an over-the-counter pain reliever, I now need a double dose because of the discomfort caused by opening the bottle.

My neighbors probably think I ordered all of my Christmas gifts in one purchase because of the huge cardboard shipping "crate" blocking my front door — but all I did was order a few, small items from an online retailer.

And oh, the puzzle of pl...

November 10, 2017

Sometimes it takes just one case to blow the lid off a long-fermenting scandal.

Hollywood has seen the opening of a scandal of sexual abuse and cover-ups, with the primary impetus being the recent revelations concerning movie executive Harvey Weinstein, one of the film industry's most powerful men.

Weinstein's abuse of young women in the film industry, ranging from indecent exposure to alleged rape, are shocking, as is the fact t...

November 10, 2017

Have faith, St. Louis sports fans. The Houston Astros baseball team began in 1962, and it took them 55 years to win the World Series. That brings hope for the St. Louis Blues, which became an NHL franchise in 1967.

Despite the lack of a Stanley Cup championship, the Blues have missed the playoffs only eight times and have a plethora of highlights throughout their 50 seasons.

Dan O'Neill, a St. Margaret Mary Alacoque parishioner,...

November 10, 2017

This season sparkles with joy. We open our homes to family and friends, greeting each other at the doors under twinkling lights.

But a small moment often catches in our throat. We set one less place for Thanksgiving dinner. Or we cross a name off this year's Christmas list.

Wherever we gather around holiday tables this year, there will be holes left by those who aren't there. Relatives who have died. Loved ones lost to addiction....