The diagnosis came like a bolt from the blue. As a priest, I have regularly been near death and dying, but I found myself unprepared for the inevitable in my case.
I'm currently in a phase of "secular" work (employed at a church, but not empowered to use my "magic hands" — that is, to function as a priest), and have had the opportunity to reflect quite a bit on the boundaries of Christian ministry.
There is a verse in the Bible that long vexed me. 1 Timothy 3:1 says, “Whoever aspires to the office of bishop desires a noble task.”
Maybe having children is a goad to holiness because it shows us just how little progress we actually make in holiness.
The sports turnaround saga has a very predictable but well-beloved story arc; often, we want to see this story in our churches as well.
The struggle of priests has nearly always been to relate to their flocks — to be, in Pope Francis’ memorable phrasing, “shepherds with the smell of sheep.”
As the Church enters the season for ordinations, I offer these reflections on a classic description of priestly ministry.
There are two things that reliably make me cry: Mary and babies.