• 10 articles

County Shepherd

by Fr. Matthias   It is my road trip home after a summer in a Midwest spiritual boot camp for diocesan seminarians. For 10 weeks, I have studied, pondered, and conversed with others about the spiritual life of a diocesan priest. We focused on the spousal elements of celibacy, the joys and demands of spiritual fatherhood, and the need to ...

11 24 2021

Fathers And The Adventure Of Life

This article was previously published in Sword and Spade magazine.   R.J. Snell, father and scholar, acknowledges that moms do a lot of the teaching, but dads have a pivotal role, still.   Leon Kass opens his book Leading a Worthy Life by noting the sad truth that our society has produced “a world prosperous beyond all pre...

11 17 2021

Barns and Bare Feet

When I was young, wearing shoes in summer was a luxury reserved for Sunday Mass. No shoes? No problem! Except when my father needed help sorting calves in the stables. “It’s good fertilizer,” he’d say. “It’ll make you grow.” Now that I’m retired, I’ve reverted to going shoeless much of the time. Not only that, my house is part ...

10 27 2021

Pilgrimage to Galilee, Part II

by Fr. Matthias I pound the last tent stake into the hardpan and toss the rock-turned-hammer down the hill. I pull a knife and a jar of peanut butter from my bag. Digging into the golden spread, I realize that I’m the one being carved—cut and chiseled—by the beauty that surrounds me: an evening sun that sends its Midas touch to golden the ...

09 24 2021

Travels with Guapo, Part III: The Cross Entangled

My four-legged companion, Guapo, gazes at the passing countryside with a contented expression. I, on the other hand, am caught up in complicated rumination. We have just passed a sign for Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and my thoughts are engaged in untangling the story of the founder of Cape Girardeau, a French fur trapper named Pierre Loramie. U...

08 31 2021

Pilgrimage to Galilee, Part I

by Fr. Matthias   I am sitting on the shore of the Sea of Galilee a month after being ordained a transitional deacon. Beneath my bare feet, under the surface of the blue-green water, lie black stones an arm’s throw from the house of the Rock’s mother-in-law. The grey hills surround the lake like the sides of a baptismal font in the h...

08 24 2021

Travels with Guapo Part II: A Good Hand

It’s 7 AM. The tent is folded, the cooler packed, and I’m gassing up at a filling station in Doe Run, Missouri. Yesterday, my dog, Guapo, and I logged over seven hundred miles on our Midwestern road trip. When the pump shuts off, I pull my truck next to the dumpsters at the edge of the parking lot. I turn off the ignition and offer Morning P...

08 03 2021

Requiescat in Pace

by Fr. Matthias   Our knees make a thud as they hit the carpet floor, fingers sliding on the imaginary strings of our air guitars. Our young voices strain to the Boston classic: “All I want is to have my peace of mii-iiind!!” When the song ends, I shoot a glance at my best buddy in the third grade, Zeke. “I wonder what that means...

07 27 2021

What Weddings Can We Attend?

This article was previously published in Sword and Spade magazine. Around the issues of belonging and communion, marriage is front and center. Setting aside the flagrant disregard for the obvious nature of marriage today, Catholics of goodwill can still be more than confused in regards to what weddings they can/should attend and which they ought...

07 26 2021

A Father’s Grief: Observed

This article was previously published in Sword & Spade magazine. by Joshua Johnson Fourteen years ago, I married a girl who is a twin from a twin family. At her family reunions, it is the singletons who are the freaks. So, sure enough, the first time we conceived, it was twins! Surprisingly, the second and third pregnancies were singleton...

07 23 2021

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