St. Ignatius of Loyola – July 31

In the journey of life, there are experiences that God gives us that help us to realign our lives more intimately to Him. Variations of this can happen every day. These experiences are the things of conversion. The conversion experience helps us to be more convicted of the reality that we are created by God and we are meant for Him. There are certain experiences in the Christian life that are meant to be capstones…

St. Philip Neri – May 26

At one point during my time in the seminary I returned to my room from class to find the entrance to my room “turned upside down.” The various pictures that were pasted to my door had been flipped over, and even the floor mat had been stuck to the ceiling. Such antics are not uncommon in seminary communities, and when done in good spirits they contribute to the building up of fraternity among seminarians and,…

Homily for the Chair of St. Peter

Do you have a problem with authority? It seems that many people do. It may not be outright rebellion, but at least skepticism. Do those in charge really have my best interests in mind? So much of what following a leader depends on is trusting that what is prescribed is really good for us. With so many examples of bad leadership, whether political, social, or religious, it is no wonder that many people, especially those…

Fra Angelico

FRA ANGELICO February 18 Each saint has a unique way of imitating Jesus. Fra Angelico’s way was as an artist. I like to think that as Jesus mixed dirt with spit and made mud to apply to the blind man’s eyes, so Fra Angelico mixed pigment with egg and applied it to canvas, opening eyes to the beauty of the Incarnation. Art springs forth from the inner experience of the artist. When one looks at…

St. John Neumann

ST. JOHN NEUMANN January 5 “Too many priests…” How we would like to hear those words today. We regularly hear the opposite. But for Saint John Neumann, that was the response he received again and again as he petitioned various bishops in Europe to be accepted as a candidate for ordination. Feeling strongly the call to the priesthood, and blessed to speak eight languages, he wrote to other bishops in Europe, all of whom already…

St. Ambrose

ST. AMBROSE December 7 What makes a priest fruitful? Some may say, “Great preaching” or “advanced degrees” or “hard work.” Even among priests, the answer varies from generation to generation. While some of this variation is healthy and good, often what is identified and praised as fruitful ministry revolves around unique gifts or certain charisms particular to an individual. And while each priest has his own gifts and talents that may contribute to his fruitfulness,…

St. Paul of the Cross

ST. PAUL OF THE CROSS October 20 “I have been crucified with Christ.” (Gal 2:19) Suffering, whether it is physical, mental, emotional or spiritual, seems to be an inevitable part of life. Some flee from suffering seeking relief and escape. Others, disillusioned by pain, become confused about the meaning of life and some, troubled by evil in the world, question the existence of God.1 Whether someone is fighting against injustice, enduring the consequences of one’s…

St. Peter Claver

ST. PETER CLAVER September 9 Saint Peter Claver dedicated 40 years of his life to ministering to the African slaves that were being sold in the Kingdom of New Granada (present day Colombia). When he made his final profession as a member of the Society of Jesus in 1622, by which time he had been ministering to the slaves for 12 years, he declared himself, “slave of the Africans forever.” He made himself all things…

St. John Vianney

ST. JOHN MARIE BAPTISTE VIANNEY May 8, 1786 – August 4, 1859 Of the many responsibilities and duties that clergy have in the modern world, it is easy to become distracted from our priestly identity. We need stark reminders of what the essence of the priesthood is in order to call ourselves out and get back to basics. In the life of St. John Vianney, patron saint for all priests, we have such a reminder…

St. James the Greater

I write this “saint reflection” on the Apostle St. James the Greater knowing full well I am not an expert or scholar on his life. But I have had a personal encounter with this Apostle in my own priestly life. No, I have not had a “vision” of him, sad to say, or have been brought up into the seventh heaven as his brother John had when he was receiving the mystical revelation called the…