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.

October 27, 2016

My wife, Donna, and I took the vacation of a lifetime earlier this month. Thanks largely to the unexpected Christmas generosity of our four adult children and three sons-in-law, we spent the last few days of September and first 10 days of October in Europe. Most of the memorable adventure was based in Madrid, with several day trips to smaller Spanish towns, and about 48 hours were in Florence, Italy. We walked more than 150,000 steps as we vis...

October 27, 2016

Election day — finally! (No, not the U.S. elections, the Jesuit superior general.) The overcast weather in Rome didn't lessen our enthusiasm. Though Mass was scheduled for 7:30 a.m. — at the Church of the Holy Spirit, across the street from our Curia — many Jesuits already had taken their places by 7:10 a.m., quietly praying about the events ahead. No one took this lightly.

Like the opening liturgy of General Congregation 36, the Mass o...

October 20, 2016

Respect for life and the word "belong" have a lot in common.

Pope Francis cites our "throwaway culture that treats human life as disposable." The elderly are marginalized and the lives of people with disabilities are deemed less worth living. Babies in the womb who are unwanted are aborted.

The fundamental truth that "the inalienable worth of a human being transcends his or her degree of development" is forgotten — leading to the...

October 20, 2016

In our contemporary culture, human interactions are often transactional and impersonal. More and more, we fill out online forms to record who we are and use anonymous surveys to find out who we are becoming. For just one example, we Google others, and without ever meeting them, find all kinds of information about their demographics and social behaviors. Our personal and group identities have become so measurable and accessible that others make...

October 20, 2016

In about a week, thousands of children will dress in costumes and assume an alter ego. On Halloween, they will dress up as movie characters, sports celebrities or scary figures. While trick-or-treating is fun, everyone knows this is a once-a-year chance to pretend to be something they will never become.

But on the following day, thousands of Catholic children will wear different costumes to their schools or parishes. The Feast of All Sa...

October 13, 2016

On World Mission Sunday, Oct. 23, all Catholics of the world join into one community of faith. At Mass that Sunday, we recommit ourselves to our common vocation, through baptism, to be missionaries, through prayer, participation in the Eucharist and by giving generously to the collection for the Society for the Propagation of the Faith.

Together with our brothers and sisters in the missions we offer our prayers and sacrifices so that ot...

October 13, 2016

I am settling into my cramped seat in a small aircraft when I smell it: the nauseating odor of fried food in close quarters. I turn, ready to glare, when I see that the culprit, a middle-aged man, is bowed in prayer over his meal, hands folded, eyes closed.

All is forgiven. I am a pushover for religious witness. As a person of faith, I welcome the expressions of others on their faith journey, whether my own tradition or another. I like...

October 13, 2016

To address the bishops of the U.S. mission dioceses on the topic "Economic Structures and Poverty," I spent a month poring over 300 pages of articles and reports, and I ended up reconnecting myself to some stark statistics and opening my eyes to some needed responses by us as a society.

Notwithstanding the bullish government report in September that showed income has risen and unemployment has returned to its pre-recession level, there...

October 6, 2016

The compelling story of Dr. Vansen Wong, told in an article in this issue of the Review, is a reminder of the need to continue the fight against legalized abortion in our nation

For almost seven years, the Sacramento, Calif., OB/GYN performed hundreds of abortions as part of his regular medical practice. He then experienced a conversion and now advocates for pro-life issues, also working as a medical director of the Alternatives Pregnan...

October 6, 2016

Football players at Christian Brothers College High School in St. Louis recently joined the national conversation on prejudice, race relations and social justice.

The topic affects all of us, their coach said, and the players courageously came together to talk about a difficult subject.

The best part was that the players, who represent diverse ethnicities and backgrounds, came away feeling better because they opened up about the...

October 6, 2016

When two 20-somethings slung a wire across rooftops in Boston, they were hoping to hear each other's voices transmitted across that line. It worked, and they did, but in the process, they also picked up a far more exotic sound: powerful radio waves emitted from the sun.

Alexander Graham Bell was 26 and working in a fifth-floor attic when he spoke those famous words into a mouthpiece: "Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you."

Th...

Statues and other items from Visitation-St. Ann Shrine Parish, which closed earlier this year, are being respectfully removed for future use in another sacred space.
September 29, 2016

When a parish closes, the emotions its congregation feels are akin to losing a family member.

These are the sacred places where the sacraments once came to life: attending Mass as a family on Sundays, baptisms, First Communions, confirmations, recociliations, and weddings.. School days, fall festivals and ice cream socials are forever implanted in the memories of those who called the parish their second home. Those memories often run ge...

September 29, 2016

The photos were all over Facebook.

They showed Pope Francis, clad in the typical hospital green scrubs and a surgical mask, visiting the newborn section of an Italian hospital. This included the intensive care unit in which five little ones struggled for survival due to early births or other complications.

Facebook users love stories about babies, dogs and cats. If you get all three in one story, users really eat it up. But if in...

September 29, 2016

Catholic children learn the corporal and spiritual works of mercy (seven each) about the same time they learn the seven sacraments. Most works of mercy come directly from the Gospel, especially from the description of the last judgment. They include feeding the hungry and visiting the sick, for example, as well as admonishing sinners and bearing wrongs patiently.

The works of mercy neatly reflect the fact that we're both flesh and spiri...

September 22, 2016

According to the Gospel, the Kingdom of God "will be like a man going on a journey who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey" (Matthew 25:14).

When he returned, the man praised the servants who had used their talents wisely with these words: "Well done, good and faithful se...

September 22, 2016

I noticed a curious phenomenon shortly after the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy began in December. Virtually every day, in something I read or heard, the word "mercy" appeared. The reference was purposeful at times, something written or said relating to the Jubilee Year. Other times it was in a selection from Scriptures that seemed noticeable because the word was prominently on my mind.

More often than not, the word just seemed to show...

September 22, 2016

Last week the Archdiocese of St. Louis announced that this will be the last school year for John F. Kennedy Catholic High School. The decision was made with regret and after a great deal of analysis and discernment.

Kennedy High School's creation was due to demographic trends. In 1968 when Kennedy opened, the growth of West County was outpacing the availability of Catholic secondary education. However, very few things in the St. Louis a...

September 15, 2016

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Today, we announce and celebrate the success of the 2016 Annual Catholic Appeal. More than 51,000 households contributed almost 15 million to help build the Church. Thank you for your unwavering stewardship. By giving like this, even in the midst of the Beyond Sunday Campaign, you once again have demonstrated our unity and shown why St. Louis is such a remarkable archdiocese.

Our Appeal this y...