“We are not Orphans” (Homily for Lent 1)

Fr. Joel Homilies

Lent1 – We are not Orphans Lent, first Sunday. Jesus is tempted to give up the belief that God is his Heavenly Father. Here are the temptations: Turn stones into bread: God won’t provide for me. Jump off the temple: God won’t protect me. Worship Satan: Not content to be the Son of God. Jesus passes all these temptations. He …

St. Anthony school offers thanks; plans for the future

Fr. Joel Church meets World

OCONTO FALLS, Wis. (Feb. 24, 2012) – In the aftermath of the February 21 fire that caused extensive damage to their school building, St. Anthony Catholic Parish and School today expressed gratitude for the outpouring of community support, and outlined plans to ensure that classes resume with minimal disruption.

“Blood and Ashes” (Homily for Ash Wednesday)

Fr. Joel Homilies

Blood and Ashes [audio:2012lent0.mp3|titles=Blood and Ashes|artists=Fr.Joel] Ash Wednesday. Ashes from our burnt school give a new meaning to Ash Wednesday. They remind me that all that we have, own, and value is really just ashes. Everything is ashes except the Blood of Jesus Christ. In fact, only God and other people will survive the end of the world. That is …

Five reasons to fast on Fridays

Benjamin Being Catholic

In the Catholic tradition, a fast day is a day when you eat only one meal. This idea is not as strange as it seems: I remember reading once that a lot of Native Americans would only eat one meal a day. Originally, the practice of fasting was to delay this meal until after sunset. This is still the Muslim …

The birth control mandate: will the Church swallow the pill?

Benjamin Church meets World, Society Today

The recent birth control mandate of the US government forces the Church to face a serious decision. Beginning in August of 2013, every private insurance plan will have to cover sterilizations, contraceptives, and drugs that cause abortions. The exemption is extremely narrow, about the size of the eye of a needle. It exempts churches but not a huge number of …

Does God curse us with bad weather?

Benjamin Free Range

The first snowfall of the year is always something magical. I love to look out at the ordinary world that has been transfigured. Messy piles have disappeared, dirty things are covered over, and all the trees are clothed in white as if dressed for a wedding. I always feel that a new snowfall is a little invitation from God to …

Difficulties and Hopes of the Catholic Church in America

Fr. Joel Church meets World

In light of the recent developments, Pope Benedict’s comments to the US Bishops at their “ad limina” visit are particularly appropriate. Noticeably the solution he calls for is both a greater awareness on the part of the Bishops and also a greater witness on the part of lay Catholics (emphasis mine). VATICAN CITY, 19 JAN 2012 (VIS) – Today in …

“Jesus finds the antidote to Drudgery” (Homily for week 5)

Fr. Joel Homilies

Jesus finds the antidote to Drudgery [audio:2012ord5.mp3|titles=Jesus finds the antidote to Drudgery|artists=Fr.Joel] Ordinary Time, 5th Sunday. Today’s Old Testament reading from Job is quite the downer. But from time to time we have to admit that life looks just like drudgery. We are tempted to do more of the same, but it doesn’t work. We are also tempted to cut …

Mary of the Month (February 2012)

Benjamin Mary of the Month

This arch is above the entry way to a chapel that belongs to a community of sisters who are dedicated to serving those in need. Founded by the Italian priest, Fr. Luigi Gaunella, the community is called the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence, and this is conincidentally the title of their mosaic.