Comment and Dialogue Articles

  • Have you ever been to Emmaus?

    For me personally, one of the main highlights of our diocesan pilgrimage to the Holy Land last fall was to walk on the road to Emmaus. I took time away from the other pilgrims and had my beautiful walk in silence down this simple, dirt road — a road that was filled with tremendous blessings. For years of hearing and preaching the Easter Gospels I have longed to “get there” and allow myself the privilege to go and walk this road with great hope that I would encounter his presence. Read More
  • In all nations, we must learn to understand one another

    Anyone who goes to a synagogue or church might be excused for thinking negatively about Egypt. After all, it is in the Scriptures that God’s chosen people found their enemy in the Egyptians who had enslaved them. The canticle of Exodus chapter 15, perhaps the most ancient writing in the entire Bible, exults in proclaiming the Lord’s triumph as “horse and chariot are cast into the sea.” Read More
  • Healing the loss of a special loved one, my mother

    I lost my mother unexpectedly last November, after having lost my father after a long illness eight years earlier. My siblings and I suddenly found ourselves “orphans” as we marked our first Thanksgiving and Christmas without either of our parents. Now we are anticipating our first Mother’s Day without Mom. Read More
  • How many loaves do you have?

    When you are afraid of not having what it takes and doubt you are even able to love, you can offer this very poverty. With gratitude, Jesus will multiply your humble gift. For my power is made perfect in weakness. (2 Cor 2:19) The loaves we have are exactly the ones he needs: five, seven, a thousand … . Read More
  • Intentional disciples follow the leader

    They daily board the right ship Lent has come and gone. Those 40 days have led us to the Easter resurrection. This springtime journey in our liturgical year invites each of us to enter into the paschal mystery of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. Our encounter of the paschal mystery depended on how much we were willing to journey into the darkness of our own sin and then seek the conversion of our heart from darkness and sin to reconcile our life and find our way, through “the light” — back to the path of holiness. Read More
  • Persuasive disciples, not anarchic disrupters

    We are living through a dangerous moment in our national life, of an intensity and potential for destruction unseen since 1968. Then, a teenager, I watched U.S. Army tanks patrol the streets of Baltimore around the African-American parish where I worked. Now, a Medicare card carrier, I’m just as concerned about the fragility of the Republic and the rule of law.   Read More
  • Recognizing that race exists only in our minds

    The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Illinois and Wisconsin has been outstanding in its anti-racism work. I was pleased to be able to attend on April 7, a lecture by Jim Wallis at Eureka College (a Disciples institution) on the themes of Wallis’s recent book on racism, America’s Original Sin. Read More
  • Considering relics, saints and the resurrection

    Recently, Father Carlos Martins, of the Companions of the Cross, blessed all those who made a pilgrimage to our Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield to pray together and to see the Sacred Relics Exposition. Included in the exposition were over 150 relics of our faith, some dating back 2,000 years. While there, I talked to so many excited Catholics, like 9-year-old Marissa Davis of Riverton, who traveled from near and far. They shared with me they could “hardly wait” to see the relics. Read More
  • Seize opportunities to understand, be understood

    “We don’t wear that around here.” A Muslim woman in Decatur reports that she received this reaction from a woman in the place where both were shopping. The woman was referring to the Muslim hijab or veil. Read More
  • What it means to hunger and thirst for holiness

    Though the weather has not been all that bad this winter, I am ready for spring to get here. I like my lemonade (or Arnold Palmer, which is half tea and half lemonade) as my drink of choice when I go out for a meal. I get frustrated when restaurants tell me, “We do not have lemonade during the winter,” and yet they have iced tea? I don’t get it, but so be it! Read More
  • Sense of perspective in ‘being Catholic first’

    Discussions abound about “being Catholic first” — how our moral vision should judge partisan positions, not vice versa. Also essential for a Catholic view of politics is a sense of perspective, or “taking the long view.” Read More
  • Spring training can be exciting time

    Doesn’t it seem like it was just yesterday when the world was watching the Cubs win the 2016 World Series in baseball over the Cleveland Indians? Now, here we are and the 2017 exhibition baseball season is already under way. All the great players are gathering with their major league teams and have started their drills, and preparation for “spring time” baseball. Read More
  • It was a Lent to remember in Eternal City

    The best Lent of my life involved getting up every day at 5:30 a.m., hiking for miles through ankle-twisting, cobblestoned city streets, dodging drivers for whom traffic laws were traffic suggestions, avoiding the chaos of transit strikes and other civic disturbances, and battling bureaucracies civil and ecclesiastical — all while 3,500 miles from home sweet home. Read More
  • Looking into our hearts, conversing with other Christians

    The Jan. 29 ecumenical event at the Chiara Center in Springfield — a Lutheran-Catholic event intended to begin a series of commemorations of the beginnings, in 1517, of what came to be called the Protestant Reformation — was very well attended, giving evidence that there is great interest locally in addressing the mandate, implicit in the fact that there is one Lord Jesus Christ, that Christians seek the unity which Jesus intends for his people. A planning meeting for further events will be held Thursday, March 2, 7 to 8:30 p.m., at Grace Lutheran Church in downtown Springfield. Read More
  • Ask yourself, ‘Who do I hang around with?’

    You are only as good as the crowd you hang around.” I remember being told that by a guidance counselor at a school I attended. I probably didn’t want to hear those words of wisdom then, but now at 58, I have come to know how true these words are. In fact, I was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write this column because of an experience I had while attending a recent funeral Mass in Quincy. Read More
  • Gratitude and goodbyes after holidays

    The sun rose this morning in dramatic flourishes of pink and orange. Never mind that later the clouds and the gray winter reasserted themselves as members of my family left for the airport. I am grateful for the memory of standing in the front room with my youngest daughter and marveling at the stunning moment that was today’s brief sunrise. Read More
  • It’s time for a synod — we can make a difference

    On Jan. 22, approximately 300 clergy, religious and laity representing the seven deaneries and 129 parishes that make up the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois gathered in prayer with Bishop Thomas John Paprocki at our mother church, the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield. Read More
  • What about those Sign of Peace marathons?

    Q I belong to one of those parishes where the whole Mass stops for what feels like an hour during the Sign of Peace. What I want to know is, what does the General Instruction of the Roman Missal say is the proper way to do the Sign of Peace? Do you have to shake hands, or is polite nod acceptable? And was there talk a few years ago about changing when we do it during the Mass? It seems really disruptive where it is. Read More
  • Pastoral reflections: public officials and abortion

    Abortion is the killing of an innocent infant in the womb of its mother. That is an incontrovertible fact. The growing child is not a disease to be cured nor a “tumor” to be excised. There is no biological doubt but that the fetus is a human person in development and for that reason pro-abortion supporters will not even argue the issue any more. The evidence is clear. If the developing embryo were not a human being in development, why would there be a need to kill it? Given enough time the child would exit the womb and enter the Read More
  • ‘I don’t want to go to hell for 75 cents.’

    When I was a young woman, I went to the grocery store with my mom in the farm town where I grew up. It was before the days of computerized cash registers that automatically revealed the amount of change due. You needed some rudimentary math skills back then to work at a store. Read More
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