Forming Catholic Priests for a Changing World

'Our goal should be to ensure that all the priests ordained from our seminaries will possess the flexibility and affective maturity to live and thrive as holy shepherds and spiritual guides.'

Fr. John Kartje at Public Discourse. Among his observations,

"Unfortunately, contemporary American culture does not generally encourage young adults to become self-reflective and aware of the impact that their emotions have on their decisions and relationships. Our society seeks instant gratification and rejects anything that is perceived as critical or challenging. The effects of this atmosphere present new challenges for today’s seminaries. So, too, does the high degree of broken family structure in our society. Many young men who are beginning to discern a priestly vocation are dealing (or not dealing) with the impact of parental divorce. Others have never had a healthy paternal role model in their life."
Fr. Kartje, a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago, has since 2015 served as Rector of Mundelein Seminary, where he also teaches sacred scripture.

The Nadir of American Catholicism

Russell Shaw at Catholic Answers Magazine.

"What was the worst year ever for the Catholic Church in the United States? A lot of people would call that a no-brainer. The hands-down worst year, they’d say, was 2002, when disclosures of clergy sex abuse and cover-up rocked the Church from top to bottom.

"Others would no doubt point to other years as real stinkers. For my money, though, the all-time winner as worst year was 1976. Let me tell you why. ..."

Ignatius Press Bible Offers Something Ever-Ancient, Ever-New

Jeremy J. riest reviewed the Ignatius Note-Taking and Journaling Bible at Adoremus Bulletin.

"The pages of the new Ignatius Bible are thin so as not to make the volume too bulky, but sufficiently thick for writing notes with a ballpoint pen. While the font used for the biblical text is small (7 point, Palatino), the cream-colored paper helps the sharply printed text catch the eye of the reader. The small font provides room for the two inches of lined writing space for taking notes on each page."

A Complaint Against Liberal Modernity, and a Solution: Faith

Edmund Fawcett reviewed The Unbroken Thread: Discovering the Wisdom of Tradition in an Age of Chaos, by Sohrab Ahmari, in The New York Times.

"Iranian-born but raised in the United States and a convert to Catholicism, Ahmari is op-ed editor of the conservative, Murdoch-owned New York Post, which last year endorsed Donald Trump. He also writes a column in the conservative religious journal First Things. Although no foe of Western capitalism, Ahmari is aghast at what he takes for its ethical and spiritual desolation."

The Heart of John Henry Newman: Beating with the Spirit of the Liturgy

Jeremy J. Priest reviewed John Henry Newman on Worship, Reverence, & Ritual, edited by Peter Kwasniewski, at Adoremus Bulletin.

"As Newman’s writings witness, what he passed along to the faithful were the definite things he received from the Lord in prayer and the deep practice of the liturgical life of the Church. Indeed, the continued publication of Newman’s writings attest to this pithy precept: 'necessary is it to have something to say, if we desire anyone to listen' (424). Even huddled in the silence of his study, Newman never lacked 'something to say.'"

Wisconsin AG to launch statewide investigation of Catholic clergy sex abuse

Wisconsin authorities will launch an investigation into the state's Catholic dioceses and religious orders to determine how many clergy members have sexually assaulted children over the years.

Attorney General Josh Kaul notified the state's five dioceses as well as separate orders of Catholic priests that his office will review sexual abuse allegations against clergy and other faith leaders, according to a letter obtained by USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin. Wisconsin is home to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and dioceses in Madison, Green Bay, La Crosse and Superior.

"I agree with the many survivors of clergy abuse, and those who support and have advocated for them, that a review by our office is necessary to provide accountability and, ultimately, healing," Kaul wrote. "I hope you will welcome that review."

Kaul, a Democrat in his first term, invited representatives for the dioceses and orders to a meeting Monday to discuss next steps and indicated his office would announce the review soon after. The letter also asked that dioceses preserve any relevant documents or information.

continue at JS


Oh yeah, what if it's Athens, Georgia? -Tertullian

At Philosophia Christi, Vol. 11, No. 1:

Whether Augustine’s Name Should Be Pronounced AW-gus-teen or aw-GUS-tin?, by David A. Horner, Talbot Department of Philosophy, Biola University, La Mirada, California


Quid ergo Hipponium et Floridensis? Or, Does Horner Succeed in Referring? A Rejoinder, by Garry DeWeese, Talbot Department of Philosophy, Biola University, La Mirada, California

(via Jay Gold)

A Wisconsin mom gave birth in a COVID-19 coma before slipping to the brink of death

This is incredible! 

It's long but worth the read.  I could just not imagine going through something like this. 

I don't want to spoil it for you but:

Twice during Kelsey's long coma, priests visited her hospital bed to anoint her, one of the seven sacraments in the Catholic Church.

This tidbit is mentioned after the fact, but we are members of a Church of miracles!

JS: A Wisconsin mom gave birth in a COVID-19 coma before slipping to the brink of death

La Crosse St. Joseph Cathedral restoration kicks off with hopes of repairing both building and parish

Deterioration shows on the stone of the St. Joseph Catholic Cathedral bell tower. The stone will be carefully remove and inspected during the restoration project.
The historic St. Joseph the Workman Cathedral will be undergoing restoration this year, a project that officials hope will not only save the towering downtown building, but also restore its Catholic community.

The $6.1 million project officially kicked-off Friday with a blessing from church leaders at the cathedral, a “living parish” which is the landmark church of the Diocese of La Crosse, and home church to Bishop William Patrick Callahan. The entire restoration is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
“A 16 pound piece of stone, it fell from 130 feet, it hit the roof, and from there went 100 more feet down to the ground. It hit the ground with tremendous force, in the middle of winter, it was driven into the ground about six inches into frozen ground,” Mar-Pohl said, giving an example of the danger the crumbling infrastructure poses.

continue at LaC Trib


Ratzinger’s Way

'The first of a projected two-volume biography of the theologian-pope underscores his thought’s consistency and how it was shaped by Germany’s twentieth-century traumas.'

Samuel Gregg reviews Benedict XVI: A Life: Volume One: Youth in Nazi Germany to the Second Vatican Council 1927–1965, by Peter Seewald, at The Public Discourse.

Great American Fiction and the Catholic Literary Imagination

James Matthew Wilson reviewed Longing for an Absent God: Faith and Doubt in Great American Fiction, by Nick Ripatrazone, at National Review.

"Longing for an Absent God takes a long while to wend its way to its main subject, but when it finally arrives there, we see that Ripatrazone has taken upon himself a serious challenge. The authors he considers — Don DeLillo, Thomas Pynchon, Toni Morrison, Cormac McCarthy, Louise Erdrich — are some of the most widely acclaimed novelists of the last half century."

Kent Says Farewell to Argument of the Month Club

It has been a long time since I sent out an email blast, June of 2019 to be exact. Last time we talked I was looking to pass the AOTM on to others to manage and run, as I wanted to retire from running the event. Things were going well but I needed to attend to my family. My kids had become teenagers and I needed to spend more time with them; just be present if nothing else. The AOTM was not allowing me to do that, mentally or physically. It became evident by the fall of 2019 that I was not going to be able to pass on the AOTM. I tried to figure ways to modify the AOTM that could maybe fit my situation. I labored over the ideas for months then Covid hit. It was a hard decision, but I came to the conclusion a few months ago that AOTM’s time was done. Over the next few months I will be closing down the official organization. If I were to do anything like the AOTM again I would do it as a parish event.

Thank you Kent! 

Saying yes to the noosphere

David Roach reviewed American Catholics and the Church of Tomorrow, by Catherine Osborne, at the Society for US Intellectual History.

"So when translations of the French Jesuit Teilhard de Chardin began to appear in 1959, modernists found a theological touchstone they had long lacked. Particularly attractive was his idea that the world was progressing from biosphere to noosphere, a period, to quote Osborne, 'where thinking human beings would develop a unified network of thought and spirit' (120). Modernists understood themselves as contributing to an increasingly connected and extended 'network of thought and spirit' when they sketched plans for ecumenical submarines and lunar chapels—and when they augmented religious experience with drugs."