Month: April 2012

We do indeed need to show joy as Catholics.

My motto “Be happily and uncomplicatedly Catholic.” Michael J. Sheehan  Archbishop of Santa Fe


– In the Maindguri area of India, Hindu rebels attacked Christians, breaking a leg and injuring a score of other worshippers. The government authorities were complicit in this persecution of Christians.

– Phillip E. Johnson, Professor of Law at the University of California at Berkley, has written, “The all-important thing is not what I would like Islam to be. It is what millions of Muslims around the world would like. The question is particularly timely now, in the aftermath of Arab Spring when Muslim counties are debating and voting on what sort of society they want to have. Recent attacks on Christians in Egypt are not encouraging signs.”

– A study at Baylor University found that individuals with many friendships in a faith community show higher levels of religiosity. It showed that church-based friendships had greater impact on individuals’ behavior than on their beliefs. Unfortunately, Catholic congregations received diminishing participation returns for the congregational friendships of their members when compared to Protestant congregations. Many Protestants see their churches as a main facet in their social live. Catholics often attend Mass more for the sacraments than for socializing. “Building friendships within a parish can help Catholics feel supported living out their faith in the world, and it could help heal divisions within the church as well.”
(comment: In a past study when I interviewed Catholic who have left the church, I was the first and only one to ask why they had left.)

Today’s Martyrs
(Lest we forget)

“Let us purify ourselves through the martyrs, or rather, through him through whom they too were purified in blood and truth.”
St. Gregory Nazianzen (died 390)

In Uganda, Susan Ithingu, a 15-year-olf Christian convert lost both of her legs when her Muslim father locked her in her room for six months with little food and water. After 13 months in a hospital, she is now in the care of a Pentecostal church.

Interesting sayings

Believe me, don’t wait until tomorrow to begin being a saint.
St. Teresa of Lisieux (died 1897)

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Government is the great fiction, through which everyone endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.
Frederic Bastiat, French economist (1801-1850)

At times, even in the church, zeal can lead people to issue harsh judgments and impute the worst motives to one another. These attitudes and practice do irreparable damage to the communion of the church.
(speaking of the pro-life cause) Hysterical activity doesn’t bear fruit, and there’s been some hysteria in these areas. We’d be like the Amish, kind of isolated from society, if we kept pulling back because of a single issue.
Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names, advises a Chinese proverb. A little wisdom would be welcome now, as the world turns its back on the naughty naughties and its years of economic calamity, ill-judged war, terrorism and man-made climate change.
Adam Roberts (The Economist)

A Church that tries to keep itself pure and uncontaminated would not be a Church of God’s service to people. The authentic Church is one that does not mind conversing with prostitutes and publicans and sinners, as Christ did —and with Marxists — in order to bring them salvation’s true message.
El Salvadoran Archbishop Romero, killed in 1980

One of life’s greatest mysteries is how the boy who wasn’t good enough to marry your daughter can be the father of the smartest grandchild in the world.
Jewish Proverb

Chuckle Time

 In a revival meeting, the minister asked everyone who had no enemies and held no grudges to come to the front of the church. After a long pause, an old man slowly with two canes made his way down the aisle. The congregation burst with applause.
“Congratulations, you true Christian,” the minister cried in tears. “Tell us how you have achieved this holy state.”
The old fellow said, “I outlived them bastards.”


Some of your replies to: If Christ Returned, Would We Kill Him Again?


We do indeed need to show joy as Catholics.  

My motto …“Be happily and uncomplicatedly Catholic.”

Michael J. Sheehan, Archbishop of Santa  Fe


Some of your replies to: If Christ Returned, Would We Kill Him Again?

If Jesus returned today he would say….where are all the women priests?  Why did you think I would have objected to women priests?  And he would say it on Twitter, #jchrist2ndcoming.

Valerie Young


I very much enjoy your blog. With all respect for your recent question about Christ’s return, I think you are framing it the wrong way.

1. True Christian believers accept that Christ is in fact already and always with us: in the Eucharist; in the spirit that infuses the best examples of Christians who live their faith lovingly; in the example of those who die in the name of love and justice for all.

2. Those who await a second coming of Jesus as a time of great reckoning and an exciting moment of catalytic change are mistaken: every day we wake up and have a chance to live as Christ taught us, we are in some modest way recreating Christ’s presence among us.  The future is now; the second coming is today; and if we want it to be a joyous moment for everyone on earth, the responsibility sits squarely on our shoulders.

You are right that many negative forces conspire regularly to undermine the work of those who try to model Christ’s teachings.  But you don’t need to speculate about what would happen to Jesus if he were walking the streets of the USA today.  We can see countless examples, and each of them is a small reflection of the ongoing trampling of Christ:

– the slaughter of Christians who emulate the example of Christ, e.g. the murder of Jesuit priests in Central America in 1989 who were fighting for the rights of Christ’s most tenderly regarded group, the poor and oppressed.

– the systematic repression of defenseless populations, such as the Palestinians of Gaza and the non-violent reform-seekers of Syria who are being murdered daily as we watch passively

– the repression of freedom of religious expression (no matter what faith or denomination) in countries such as China

– the abusive misrepresentation of Christ’s teaching to bolster hateful speech and encourage marginalization and violence against homosexuals

– the insidious growth of a business-like mindset of “spin” and “public relations management” in corporate religious bureaucracies that leads to cover-ups of pedophilia in the Church.  These scandals undermine the spiritual mission of the Church and help drive away the faithful in droves.

In closing, I’d encourage you to re-think your response to Christ if he asked you when he should make his return.  I’d suggest you say: “Every day, we faithful are already pursuing lives that show the world that you never left us in the first place. That said, we need all the help we can get, and if you can bless our efforts with greater spirit and commitment, tell us how we can prepare for an infusion of your grace.”

Keep up the good work, and remember what Socrates said: “An unexamined life is not worth living.”  Your contribution to the faithful is to keep us re-examining and questioning the true nature of our faith, and for that reason, I am genuinely thankful for your work.

Faith Seeker


As the German Benedictine nun, Sister Aemiliana Lohr, wrote, “We are all true Christs, members of the one Christ and witnesses to God.”

          So, Christ returns to earthly being every time we joyful Catholics demonstrate our Faith.         

                                  Ernest Weber, Sacramento, CA


I quote from Francois Mauriac, the Nobel Prize winner who died in 1970: “Christ was a man; but he still is; he is always a man. He is always someone living, whose face we know, to whom we speak, and who speaks to us. The union of the least of Christians, if he be in the state of grace with the Word Incarnate is a union beyond all commentary.”

Mary Cohen, Dublin, Ireland


You are a kooky writer to have come up with this subject. Sure, “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.”     So why does a wise-ass like you have to question it?

                             Jon Liotti, New York City, NY


Thanks you for having given me a great thought-provoker. It reminds me that Christ said he would be with two or three who gathered in his name. I think of this when I pray alone and sign in as “me, myself and I”, hoping to qualify as a threesome.

                                      Piertro Choppa, Miami, FL


If Christ returned to the prosperous United States, he would give us a rough time in our race to the bottom with our lack of concern that 1 in 4 of our  children live in poverty, and that 95% of our economic growth benefit only 1% of our fabulously wealthy citizens.

                                       Ellen Mullen, Seattle, WA


Recommended Readings

–         “Peer Pressure” by Ronnie D. Rubit, in February 27 America.

–         “Leaving Iraq” by Ronald Osborn in March 9 Commonweal

–         “Peace-Seeking Muslims” by Phillip E. Johnson in March-April Touchstone

–         “The Secret Cell of the Heart” by Deborah Smith Douglas in Spring Spiritual   Life

–         “Religious Freedom” a statement by Evangelicals and Catholics Together in March First Things



The media loves to publicize bad priests, and we should give recognition to our Joyful Catholic Priests. Send me your recommendation for ones you think merit membership in this splendid group. (

Fr. Robert Aufieri (New York, NY)
Fr. John M. Bauer (Minneapolis, MN)
Fr. Edmund Connors, Katonah, NY
Fr. Paul Duchsch(Fargo,ND)
Fr. Edward Gorman, O.P. (Providence, RI)
Fr. Andrew Gries (Washington, DC)
Msgr. Edward Filardi (Bethesda, MD)
Fr. Raymond Kemp (Washington, DC)
Bishop Joseph N. Latino (Jackson, MS)
Archbishop Jerome Listecki (Milwaukee, MN)
Bishop Dennis Madden (Baltimore, MD)
Fr. Joseph Marini (San Mateo, CA)
Msgr. Joseph Mayo (Salt Lake City, UT)
Fr. John Mericantante (Pahokee, FL)
Msgr. Thomas Modugno (New York,NY)
Fr. Kevin Nelson, (Lantana, FL)
Fr. John O’Donoghue (San Antonio,TX)
Fr. Antony Pulikal (Lntana, FL)
Fr. James R. Purfield (Denver,CO)
Fr. Paul S. Quinter (Pittsburg, Pa)
Msg. David Robichcaux, V.F. (New Orleans, LA)
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi (Mobile, AL)
Msg. Paul L. Rohling (Birmingham, AL)
Fr. David Ross (Lima. OH)
Fr. Matthew Ruhl, S.J. (Kansas City, KS)
Fr. Michael Scanlon (Steubenville, OH)
Fr. Walter J. Szezesny (Buffalo, NY)
Fr. Richard Trout (Sanford, FL)
Fr. Hayden Vaverek (New York, NY)
Fr. Malcolm Sylvester Willoughby, O.P. (Washington, DC)
Canon Stuart Wilson (London, UK)


Fr. Michael Radermache, (Vancouver, WA)

Fr. Paul D.Counce (BatonRouge, LA