When the ground moves and tradition changes

During my first visit to a foreign land there was an earthquake, but I was unaware of it until after the fact. I was an exchange student, staying with a host family in Mexico City. Within the first few days that I was there adjusting to everything — change of language, culture, climate, lifestyle andContinue reading “When the ground moves and tradition changes”

Back to the basics in a time of war

In the light of the epiphany star and the glowing headlines this week, the Spirit is convincing me that it’s time for us to get back to basics, to recenter on the core values of the Christian faith. It seems that from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed, theContinue reading “Back to the basics in a time of war”

Whitewashed Mary and White Supremacy

What image of Mary. the mother of God, do you remember seeing as a child? When you close your eyes and imagine Mary today, who do you see? What color is her hair? Her eyes? Her skin? What type of clothes is she wearing in your imagination? As a kid growing up in a tight-knitContinue reading “Whitewashed Mary and White Supremacy”

Toward the fire

In 2002, during the months in which the The Boston Globe released the findings of its investigation into wrong doing on behalf of the Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Boston, I was a high school junior preparing for confirmation. The investigation exposed a widespread pattern of sexual abuse from several Catholic priests, five ofContinue reading “Toward the fire”

Being part of a Church broken by sex abuse and lies

Imagine you were violently attacked and dropped off a balcony into a dark alley, and somehow you survived. Your body is broken, bloody, mangled; you are twisted and contorted into a mess upon cracked asphalt. Your arms and legs are shattered. The most private parts of you have been violated. All of your muscles acheContinue reading “Being part of a Church broken by sex abuse and lies”

Easter haikus

                    the ice drifted out fish, otter, loons released lake ripples broadly green gradually overcomes brown         building up diversity’s wisdom awoke, rising, bold every budding leaf shows how justice demands change love is feeding others love is breakfast on the beach loveContinue reading “Easter haikus”

Facebook: a contemporary parable

There was a woman who was kind, patient, loving and compassionate. She had a big family. In her later years, in her retirement, she explored new ways of loving and staying in touch with friends and family, especially her grandchildren. She surprised everyone by signing up for Facebook. In fact, she began to use theContinue reading “Facebook: a contemporary parable”

Honoring all the souls

It felt like an ordinary Sunday Mass. I knelt and prayed next to people I love. I sang hymns loudly, straight out from my heart. I bowed and received communion; chewing, sipping and swallowing all to gain union with the Body of Christ. Then, at the end of Mass, a nice man stood up andContinue reading “Honoring all the souls”

I Walked into Suffering on the Road to Santiago

“For as long as humans have walked, they have walked to get closer to their gods.” The words appear on top of a PBS website in white upon a black background—an over-simplified truth, smacking with arrogant certitude. At least that’s the way it feels to me when I stare at the screen just a fewContinue reading “I Walked into Suffering on the Road to Santiago”

Redefining faith on El Camino

Since high school, I’ve been teaching the Christian faith to others. In parishes, classrooms, and while camping in the woods, I’ve taught songs, explained Bible stories, instilled virtues and asked students to memorize definitions and lists. And, occasionally, over the years, a thoughtful youngster in one of those settings would interrupt my enthusiastic lectures andContinue reading “Redefining faith on El Camino”