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My father died 10 years ago on Oct. 4. We make what we can of a death, and so it seemed fitting that a man who loved the land and animals would take his earthly leave on the feast of St. Francis … more
The Bible, like all great literature, has boundless depth. No matter how familiar we are with a Scriptural passage, there is always some new insight that we can find, and often desperately need. I … more
During an historic pandemic, our country faces one of the most contentious presidential election campaigns in recent memory. Some of our fellow Americans may be wondering if they are living in the … more
This pandemic reminded me of serving Mass. At the lavabo, when I would pour water over the priest’s hands, he prayed in Latin words from Psalm 26: “I wash my hands in innocence and … more
We ventured out to visit a friend and sat on his deck, watching the sunset. The streams of golden light pierced the cedars and glanced across the still water of the lake. It was, like most … more
She was a Canaanite, an ethnic remnant of people who once occupied the land of Israel. Joshua defeated them, but they were never forgiven for being there first. She was a woman. She had few … more
“For as in one body we have many parts, and all the parts do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ and individually parts of one another.” — … more
August arrived disguised as May, and we ventured on a short hike with some of kids and grandkids. The children ranged in age from 10 to 1, the exact odds against them all enjoying the same … more
I’ve read that in Senegal, when an elder dies, they say, “A library has burned.”  It is appropriate when you think about it. Every person blessed with many years has … more
It was the best Father’s Day. For the first time in many months, we had all the kids and grandkids together. The weather was beautiful, with a gentle sun, a whispering breeze and comfortable … more
On June 21, 2020, the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the patroness of the Diocese of Jefferson City, Bishop W. Shawn McKnight preached a homily at the Cathedral of St. Joseph, in which he … more
“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” That quote of Martin Luther King Jr. has reappeared in recent days, encouraging a hope that we will get beyond the … more
It’s summer, and for some it’s a time of vacation and relaxation. For our pastors and parish pastoral councils, it’s a time to gather the discernment of parishioners and develop … more
“It’s time to quit patting the mule and start packing the wagon,” my grandfather would say, and I’d know it was time to get back to work. Like many of his time, and … more
The past weeks have been extraordinary and, by extraordinary I mean a singular time we hope never to repeat. It’s not just the number of cases and COVID-19 deaths. There are the lost jobs, … more
It’s hard. Children are off school, but playgrounds are taped off like crime scenes. In the fear of sickness and death, so many of the frightened are not allowed the comfort of a … more
This will be a Lent to remember. Almost everyone has accepted the challenge of sacrifice. You might say that all this self-denial and social concern wasn’t entirely free will. You might … more
When my adult children were young, they would occasionally inquire on a Sunday morning when having a hard time waking up, ‘Do we have to go to Church?” To which I would reply, … more
I was standing on a furrow of stripped leaves in a sugarcane field, waiting among the workers as they gathered for the five kilos of rice we were giving each of them. Something tickled the side of … more
It’s Lent. You pass on the steak and settle for shrimp. It’s a small sacrifice — very small, even meaningless, some would say. Others think we need to ramp up the … more
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