I am the very model of a modern Vicar General

Not so long ago a parishioner asked me: “What exactly do you do as Vicar General of the diocese?” The answer: Officially, I administer the diocese’s affairs in the absence of the bishop.

And, indeed I had the opportunity to flex my quasi-episcopal muscle quite recently when Bishop Vaughan was on vacation in Ireland. However, . . . → Read More: I am the very model of a modern Vicar General

Down home truths about learning to read and write

My father—aka the Sage of Dedham Vale—maintained that the only way to be genuinely progressive was to be implacably opposed to progress. And the proof of this philosophical pudding is evident to all in the epidemic of functional illiteracy that afflicts our nation.

In 1900, some 90 percent of the American population were able to . . . → Read More: Down home truths about learning to read and write

There’s no such animal as a stereotypical hero

Fr Hawtin

The Hollywood stereotype of hero rarely holds true in real life. Whatever you might see in the movies, heroes are by no means invariably young, confident, and athletic. Sometimes they are old and wrinkly: Moses, for example, was nearly 80 years of age when God called him to lead the children of Israel out of . . . → Read More: There’s no such animal as a stereotypical hero

It’s time to let the Gospel take a bite out of crime

The crime rate is a major American preoccupation. And this is hardly surprising in view of statistics that indicate one in every three of us can expect to become a victim of violent crime at least once in our lives.

Our politicians’ response to this has been a stream of legislative measures—boot camps, “three strikes . . . → Read More: It’s time to let the Gospel take a bite out of crime

From the sublime to the utterly terrifying

The King James translation of the 13th Chapter of the First Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians must rank among the most sublime pieces of literature in the English language. Even in those clunky modern translations, Paul’s words are so inspiring they are frequently read at weddings.

That said, members of the Corinthian Church, . . . → Read More: From the sublime to the utterly terrifying

Socialism: A world of big pots and atomic disasters

As God, the Bible and, in fact, any expression of Christianity are being unceremoniously driven out of our schools, colleges, and universities, evangelists of a entirely different brand of faith—Socialism—are moving in to proselytize America’s millennials.

Socialism, of course, has been around for more than one and a half centuries, and, moreover, it has been . . . → Read More: Socialism: A world of big pots and atomic disasters

Angels aren’t pixies and cherubs aren’t cherubim

One of the vain superstitions of modern Christianity is a disbelief in angels. Cutting–edge protestants, particularly, write them off as the religious equivalent of fairies at the bottom of the garden—lumping them into the same category as gnomes, elves, and pixies.

Folks who call themselves Christian but reject the existence of angels, however, have a . . . → Read More: Angels aren’t pixies and cherubs aren’t cherubim

The high price of forsaking our Christian principles

Unpredictable weather in our corner of Maryland makes it difficult to plan a Lenten Series. This year we studied the deep-seated Christian foundations that undergird our culture and constitution. The final part discussed the abandonment of those basic principles—a subject eloquently illustrated by an article published in the Washington Times newspaper by Everett Piper, president . . . → Read More: The high price of forsaking our Christian principles

Jesus commands we pray for politicians we despise

The nation has rarely been so politically divided, and this, sadly, has once again rekindled debate over our obligations as Christians to pray for the men and women who pilot our ship of state.

Indeed, many more liberally inclined churches today have ostentatiously abandoned praying for the President of the United States. Others merely pray . . . → Read More: Jesus commands we pray for politicians we despise

Technological advance has radically changed ministry

Today’s rapid pace of technological advance has changed life in the parsonage just as radically as it has changed the secular workplace. And, as in the secular world, the most profound changes in the nature of parochial work have been wrought by the computer, the cell telephone, and the automobile.

Computers have radically changed the . . . → Read More: Technological advance has radically changed ministry