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 2, 2017

It can be difficult to imagine how it's even possible to exude joy during Lent.

Those of us who give up the regular indulgences of ordinary time — chocolate, caffeine, fast food — often find ourselves feeling melancholy, maybe even downright cranky.

We're geared to focus on the penitential nature of Lent. Focusing on our sins isn't particularly pleasant. But as Pope Francis noted in his World Communications Day message for 2017,...

March 2, 2017

Catholic school students in the Archdiocese of St. Louis are blessed to be supported by parents, parishioners and benefactors. These individuals support our schools not only because they recognize the individual benefit each student receives, but they recognize that Catholic schools benefit our entire community.

National and state leaders are increasingly acknowledging this benefit and the injustice of asking parents to pay twice (taxes...

March 2, 2017

The best Lent of my life involved getting up every day at 5:30 a.m., hiking for miles through ankle-twisting, cobblestoned city streets, dodging drivers for whom traffic laws were traffic suggestions, avoiding the chaos of transit strikes and other civic disturbances and battling bureaucracies civil and ecclesiastical — all while 3,500 miles from home sweet home.

Lent 2011, which I spent in Rome working on "Roman Pilgrimage: The Station...

February 23, 2017

I like to accept compliments, to receive congratulations. I like to garner praise.

Who doesn't delight in hearing nice things about himself, right? Who doesn't enjoy having good efforts recognized? Externally, we might react with humility: "Please, anyone could have done that." We might dismiss it: "Come on, it wasn't anything special." We might display embarrassment and simple graciousness: "Thank you for saying that." But inside, it f...

February 23, 2017

Once again, Pope Francis doesn't mince words.

In his 2017 Lenten message, our refreshingly candid pontiff takes on the subject of money in our lives and pulls no punches.

The love of money can become a "tyrannical idol," said Pope Francis, who reminds us that St. Paul stated "the love of money is the root of all evils."

Although society is saturated with consumerism and we obsess about money, the discussion of it remains a...

February 16, 2017

The city named in honor of a saint and nicknamed "Rome of the West" is now a so-called "sanctuary" city for the right to choose abortion, the horrific act of killing innocent, unborn babies.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Our proud city, St. Louis ... it's shameful, embarrassing and disgusting.

"This is not what our city should stand for," Archbishop Robert J. Carlson wrote about Board Bill 203.

Though the St. Louis...

February 16, 2017

In our culture, it's fairly common to move from one job or career to the next. The average person is accustomed to reinventing himself or herself to accommodate the demands of an ever-changing world. We know the importance of updating and upgrading our work skills and status. We network and share gifts and talents, especially with those who might ease our transition from one work environment to the next.

While certain professional caree...

February 16, 2017

Pope Francis, in a few meaningful words, can pull together the work of our hands and the yearning of our hearts and minds. In his brief address Feb. 9 to the Congregation of Catholic Education at the Vatican, he affirmed the mission-rich approach to education embraced by Fontbonne University and other Catholic Universities.

"The school and the university make full sense only in relation to the formation of the person," the pope said. "A...

February 9, 2017

The tweet asks: Got nuns?

The answer in this town is a resounding, "Yes."

Where would we be without them? There's no denying their important role in building the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Strong-hearted, pioneering religious sisters came from Europe in the 19th century to lay the foundation for Catholic education, health care, social services and more. Then, smart and savvy religious sisters built on that foundation in the...

February 8, 2017

Spend a day in a surgery waiting room and you'll witness a hundred quiet acts of mercy.

Strangers gather for a host of reasons with a common cause: to sit beneath the slowest clock and wait it out. They make calls, utter prayers and flip through magazines, and in their anxiety, they extend morsels of compassion: smiles and small talk, directions to the cafeteria and tips on its offerings. One person shown the way by someone slightly les...

February 8, 2017

In a few days, former St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday will report to spring training for his new team, the New York Yankees. Infielder Matt Carpenter will do the same for the St. Louis Cardinals.

The two Matts are forever linked by their love for the children at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital. Carpenter is taking over Holliday's role as chairman of the Homers for Health Program.

Since Holliday and hi...

February 3, 2017

Human life is sacred. The dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society.

But at times, society operates contrary to that foundation.

We continue to see human life under attack through abortion and euthanasia. The value of human life is threatened by embryonic stem-cell research, the death penalty and hybridization — last month scientists announced a successful human/pig chimera: an organism containin...

February 2, 2017

Readers frequently write or call to ask why we didn't cover an event or why we published a story. Often these aren't neutral inquiries — they're frequently complaints about news judgment.

The tone of these messages seems to have changed in recent years. Now, rather than simple inquiries, messages are infused with angst — "disgusted," "disturbed" and "disappointed" frequently appear. But ultimately, readers are simply curious about why c...

February 2, 2017

It's a scene that's become more commonplace as technology: One or more of the people gathered for a meal is constantly interrupted by his or her phone. Conversation is stilted, light, and in short bursts between phone checks. Clearly, those gathered at the table aren't the complete group. They're not "the happening." The "others" never called or came, and nobody seems to have a very good visit.

I also notice in conversations, people see...

January 26, 2017

The news out of Our Lady School simultaneously heartened and disheartened Father Jeffrey Maassen, pastor at the parish in Festus.

On one hand, the school's eighth-graders wanted to be regulars at Sunday Masses, a precept of Catholicism.

On the other, if they expressed this desire, then it must not be happening on a regular basis.

"When I hear my eighth-graders saying, 'I want to go Mass,' that to me is 'Wow,'" Father Maass...

January 26, 2017

When the U.S. Catholic bishops do their laudable work in looking out for the needs and rights of migrants and refugees, they are looking out for a large and vulnerable share of their flock.

For all of the articles and volumes written about the new Americans and their growing political importance, though, it was the progeny of yesterday's Catholic migrants and refugees who earned the national spotlight in the 2016 election.

When D...

January 26, 2017

The 1633 trial of Galileo Galilei is often used as evidence that the Catholic Church opposes scientific thought. The reality is that the Catholic Church has had a fruitful relationship with science and has been one of its biggest proponents. Scientific historian J.L. Heilbron asserts, "The Roman Catholic Church gave more financial aid and social support to the study of astronomy for over six centuries ... than any other, and probably, all othe...

January 19, 2017

Much has changed in the 40 years since the calendar clicked over to 1977.

Numerous things have gone by the wayside, including — thankfully — bell-bottoms, disco and gas-guzzling vehicles. Secularly, we're on our seventh president and, in the Catholic world, our fifth pope and our fifth archbishop of St. Louis.

We've also experienced a drop in vocations to the clergy and to consecrated life, with Catholic education transitioning t...