A reflection on retreats and the “Benedict option”

Posted by - March 24, 2017

I got one of those self-administered automatic blood pressure monitors for my birthday a few months ago. I had slightly elevated blood pressure for several years and my physician put me on medication for it.  Last year I lost a lot of weight and have been exercising seriously since then, so that my blood pressure

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Lent: An invitation to celebration

Posted by - March 16, 2017

After living and working in Micronesia much of the time from January 1973 through November 1997 my family and I moved to Erie, Pennsylvania.  It was an extremely difficult decision and many issues, which I won’t go into here, played into the decision to move.  Since then I have worked for the Diocese of Erie

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Reflection on Evil and Sin Part 2

Posted by - March 9, 2017

Another understanding encountered in the Talmud draws on two images.   The first is the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil; and the second is the serpent who tricked Eve and Adam into eating of the fruit of the Tree. Adam and Eve are forbidden to eat the fruit of the tree. As the

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Reflection on Evil and Sin Part 1

Posted by - March 3, 2017

In recent years the prayer that the minister says when administering ashes on Ash Wednesday has become a bit more flexible, in that alternatives are allowed. Somehow it just doesn’t feel right putting ashes on a youngster and saying “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return!” Given the drinking and driving habits

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Posted by - February 23, 2017

I try to avoid partisan politics in the Along the Way articles, as my goal is present gospel values and Catholic teaching, rather than political ideology of any shade. However, the gospels have specific content that makes demands upon the believer and Catholic teaching is also specific. There are times when the policy of the government or

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On Gorsuch appointment and impact on abortion

Posted by - February 17, 2017

This installment of Along the Way is a bit different from my usual contribution, as it deals more with law and civics than with theology. However, as abortion has been such an important moral and social issue for the past few decades, I thought it would be helpful to explore the issues sparked by the appointment of

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The role of the church in helping to form consciences on issues of public policy

Posted by - February 11, 2017

Christianity, Judaism, Islam and other religious traditions offer a vision of the future in which God reigns supreme and all is right with the world. The lion lies down with the lamb and nations beat their swords into plowshares. In Christianity this ideal future world is described as the Kingdom of God. This ideal world

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Necessity of change

Posted by - February 2, 2017

Sometimes there is a tension in my gut that reflects the contradictions of life. On the one hand, I’m old enough to enjoy stability. I don’t like things constantly changing, as if I needed to jump from one block of ice to another in a swift flowing river just to keep from drowning. I seemed

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Pastoral Planning (Part 7)

Posted by - January 26, 2017

Effective implementation of the plan requires the efforts of the full body of Christ in the particular faith community. an ordered division of labor is essential. Part of the logic behind the assignment of responsibility for each objective is to remove confusion, and thus obstacles, to speedy implementation of plan objectives. One person coordinates plan

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Pastoral Planning (Part 6)

Posted by - January 19, 2017

The product of this phase of the pastoral planning process is a series of objectives which address the identified problems. Further, the objectives must be consistent with the doctrine of the Catholic Church and cultural values of the community. The most elegant plan ever developed is a waste of time, money, and effort if it

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