Author: Fr John

Concerning Cardinal Pell

The charges against Cardinal Pell are another distressing blow to us Catholics. Speaking personally, I share the Cardinal’s hope that this development is a good one, putting an end to ‘trial by media.’ Fr Paddy has prepared a document related to this issue which he is distributing in the Hamilton parish this weekend. I have also prepared copies which you’re welcome to take home and study. I won’t repeat what is presented in the document, but I will briefly repeat remarks I’ve previously made on the subject of the clergy abuse scandal, and our response as Australian Catholics. I....

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Fatima = prayer and penance!

Pope Francis has canonised two of the youngest saints in the history of the Church. St Francisco Marto was just 10 years old when he died; and when his sister died a year later, St Jacinta was only 9 years old. The Church has also just celebrated the one hundredth anniversary of the first apparition of Fatima. The Collect of the feast reveals the key to the Fatima message: O God, who chose the Mother of your Son to be our Mother also, grant us that, persevering in penance and prayer for the salvation of the world, we may further more effectively each day...

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The need for holy priests

Dom Jean-Baptiste Chautard’s The Soul of the Apostolate presents the interior life — one’s personal relationship with the Lord, nourished by daily prayer — as the foundation of a life of work and service. It’s a very good book, suitable for Catholics in all states of life. It was, apparently, a book which Pope St Pius X dipped into so often, that it had a permanent place on his bedside table. I don’t read it as frequently as that, but there is a quote from the book which I meditate on every year during my annual retreat: “If the priest is a saint,...

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Strangely terrifying

Hours of driving is a daily requisite for a country priest. I usually fill in the time with rosaries, chaplets, and cultural ‘reading.’ By that I mean podcasts and audiobooks related to history, scripture, literature, theology, etc. In the week after Easter though, priests — country or otherwise — are generally exhausted. The mental and emotional energy expended on the lows and highs of the Triduum leaves me, at least, resembling a zombie. That state doesn’t really lend itself to an appreciative hearing of Scott Hahn’s The Lamb’s Supper, or even Barbara Tuchman’s inestimable Guns of August. As worthy as...

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Read this book, change your life

What if I told you Amazon sells a book for $20 that can change your life? I’m exaggerating somewhat, in that it’s how you read the book which can change your life. Also, there’s a good chance that you already own the book, so you can save yourself $20. I’m talking about the Bible. But specifically, I’m talking about the Reader’s Gospels, which makes for a unique reading experience, and is excellent value: The Reader’s Gospels, published by Crossway, is far and away the best edition of Sacred Scripture suited to spiritual reading. It employs the English Standard Version (ESV) translation, which is not my...

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Recent Comments

  • Fr John on The boundless limits of God’s mercy: “In further research, I learned that Höss did endure cruelty in one Krakow prison which "almost had me at the…Apr 10, 18:38
  • Peter on The boundless limits of God’s mercy: “This is where as a mere mortal I cannot begin to understand the depth of God’s forgiveness. I…Apr 10, 18:06
  • Peter on 12 Rules For Life: “I have the book, it is terrific.Apr 5, 06:10
  • Fr John on The Easter story: “Thanks Peter! It's a new resolution of mine to blog at least three times a week. Hence the "renovations," to…Apr 2, 22:28
  • Peter on The Easter story: “Dear Father it is a long time between posts. I always look forward to your posts. I pop in every…Apr 2, 12:46
  • Terry Maher on Living the sabbath: “Thank you Father John for celebrating the Mass for Life on January 27.Jan 5, 14:17
  • Maryse on Living the sabbath: “Sundays is the heaviest workday for priests – but what a great schedule for their usual day off, Monday, Father!…Jan 4, 09:09
  • Caroline on Living the sabbath: “I need the opposite – more work and less rest! There are too many sabbath days in my week! My…Jan 2, 12:40
  • Peter on Choosing an Advent motto: “Thank you Father, for your writings, I find them very inspiringDec 18, 18:24
  • Cisca on The loneliness of the priest: “Thank you for sharing such a beautiful insight to priesthood life.Dec 14, 13:29