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Be merciful as God is merciful


When St. John* XXIII opened the Second Vatican Council almost 54 years ago, he set the tone for that great gathering with these words: "Now the Bride of Christ wishes to use the medicine of mercy rather than taking up the arms of security. ... The Catholic Church ... wants to show herself a loving mother to all; patient, kind, moved by compassion and goodness."

Welcome home


Dutch theologian and Scripture scholar Henri Nouwen first encountered Rembrandt van Rijn's "The Return of the Prodigal Son" on a poster on the door of an office at the L'Arche community in France. That encounter prompted Nouwen to go to the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, in order to see the original.

Free the Eucharist from the curse of clericalism


The Eucharist is strangling the Catholic church. Most anthropologists assure us that rituals are essential to human life and self-discovery. Good rituals can be informative and formative. Bad rituals can be inhibiting and harmful.

I believe in the Eucharist as the source and summit of our life of Catholic faith. As a diocesan priest for more than 30 years, I have reflected long and hard about the power and purpose of our central sacred ritual.



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In This Issue

October 21-November 3, 2016

  • Reformation's anniversary brings commemorations, reconsiderations
  • Picks further diversify College of Cardinals
  • Editorial: One-issue obsession imperils credibility
  • Special Section [Print Only]: SAINTS