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.

November 3, 2016

Catholic Church teachings on care for people at the end of life are helpful to people from any religious tradition.

Catholic moral theology has a long tradition that is as relevant today as when it was developed 500 years ago, as a booklet on "Caring for People at the End of Life" from the Catholic Health Association explains. The Church advocates reasonable care in terms of the benefits of such treatments being proportionate to the bur...

November 3, 2016

The souls of the just are in the hands of God.

Since the 1200s, the Roman Catholic Church has honored the faithful departed, and now we focus each November to remember the souls who have died. To that end, the members of the permanent diaconate community of the Archdiocese of St. Louis use this time to recognize their departed brothers and sisters — the wives of our deacons.

Each year, a memorial Mass is celebrated on a Saturday...

November 3, 2016

Just before the sun peeked over the horizon, a group of ducks circled overhead. A few greeting calls and a feed chuckle kept them interested for a pass. Then another. Then another.

"Take 'em!"

Eight shots. Five ducks.

This stewardship of wildlife gets in the blood. It's exhilarating, the food is good, and it helps manage wildlife — the whole "dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air" thing (Genesis 1:29)....

October 27, 2016

The Catholic Church teaches that Catholics are called to form their consciences based on Church teaching and vote in accordance with that well-formed conscience.

Going to the polls or casting an absentee ballot is not optional, folks.

Catholics are called to participate in promoting the common good and, as far as possible, to take an active part in public life. Indeed, "by fulfilling their civic duties, guided by a Christian cons...

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."


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...