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The Lord spoke in parables because the people would not accept His words if He spoke plainly. Only to His Apostles did He explain the meaning of His words. Yet with His most difficult … more
On the six-month anniversary of my ordination and installation as the fourth bishop of Jefferson City, my heart is full of gratitude for all the good people of central and northeast Missouri who … more
He had been with his wife as she talked and dozed in the infusion chair next to mine. He left for a while, returning with a carryout with an aroma that suggested a succulence and satisfaction … more
Our society holds certain people in high regard. Celebrities, political leaders, the very wealthy. Fame sets them apart, makes them bigger than the life they lead and we see them for what they … more
Chemotherapy has given me fatigue, neuropathy and blood clots. My biggest concern though, is all about food. We humans have 10,000 taste buds. They are grouped into categories — salty, … more
In our Monday group, we start with Sunday’s gospel and see where it goes. This time, it was Mark’s Parable of the Mustard Seed — that tiny seed growing into “the … more
  I came upon a poem by David Whyte titled “What to Remember When Waking.”   It’s about that liminal moment when we first awaken — that fleeting time just … more
“Don’t take a vacation from your vocation!” These words are often repeated this time of year in seminaries across the country. The warning is to remind seminarians of the … more
There was no mistaking it for the upper room: concrete floor, plastic chairs and a thick steel door. But there we were, a bunch of guys, most in orange jumpsuits and shackles, trying to stumble … more
One of the most important duties of a diocesan bishop (and a humbling one, too) is the appointment of the clergy and others to pastoral positions. Several parishes learned last weekend that … more
Q. Recently I read an article in a Catholic magazine that suggested that, in addition to the Ten Commandments, we should use the beatitudes when examining our conscience before going to … more
I’ve always loved the movies. As a child, I dreamed of directing films. Obviously that didn’t work out. Nonetheless, I’ve seen hundreds of them. Many, like the current release … more
It was 50 years ago. Hours after our high school graduation, a friend and I took off to spend the summer working in the missions in Peru. In Lima, the migration from the countryside had begun, … more
“Love one another.” Such a simple command. Amazing how the master of destruction finds ways to make it difficult. Jesus knows the doubt the evil one sows in the hearts of women … more
In this column I want to reach out to all women, especially those who have had an abortion. Without diminishing the seriousness of the sin, I want to tell them about the Good News of the Gospel. … more
Our Memorial Day was originally known as “Decoration Day,” an opportunity to decorate many graves of the over 600,000 men who died in the Civil War. It was, by far, our nation’s … more
Q. A recent picture in a magazine showed Pope Francis signing a car that had been given to him. The cutline for the photo said that the Pope had signed and blessed the car before putting it up … more
Q. I confessed a grave sin more than 40 years ago and received absolution for it. I have, however, been haunted by this over the years and still feel guilt. My sin was that I had taken my 16-year-old … more
Q. Has the church ever considered Mother Angelica for sainthood? I recently read a book on her life, and she was an amazing woman. She not only started the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), but … more
Q. I attended a presentation by a Catholic deacon on end-of-life issues and medical ethics. If I understood correctly, he emphasized that when a person has had a stroke, even if he is not expected to … more
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