A Franciscan Moment

Evangelicalism is best understood as a renewal movement within the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church. Across time, evangelicals have drawn deeply from four wells of Christian wisdom: the christological and trinitarian faith of the undivided church prior to 1054; the Protestant Reformation, . . . . Continue Reading »

Torture and Witness to Life

I am a very proud alumnus of the Franciscan University of Steubenville. I earned a bachelor’s degree there, I earned a master’s degree there, I met my wife there, and I was formed, intellectually, spiritually, and personally, there. Scott Hahn has called Franciscan a “greenhouse for holiness.” The lives of alumni engaged in missionary and charitable apostolates across the globe are evidence for that claim. Continue Reading »

My Memories of Fr. Benedict

My memory of Fr. Benedict Groeschel goes back to 1964, when he was the Catholic chaplain at Children’s Village in Dobbs Ferry, New York where my wife and I lived for a year right after I was appointed Religion Editor of Newsweek. Friends told us we should attend his masses there if we wanted to hear good preaching. The children, orphans all, loved him, of course. But what I remember are the times when Benedict would clear the altar of its Catholic liturgical artifacts and preach the Protestant service as well whenever the Protestant chaplain was unable to do it himself. When our new house was finished, Benedict spent a day helping us move our furniture. Continue Reading »

The Rabbi and the Friar

Fr. Benedict Groeschel, whose death we all mourn, lived at Trinity House in Larchmont, a hundred yards from my late mother-in-law. Coming from Cologne, Germany, where Jews had good relationships with the Catholic Church, my late mother-in-law chose to continue that tradition. Whenever she cooked for the Jewish holidays, a portion was sent down the block to Fr. Benedict. Whenever objects had to be disposed of, they went to Fr. Benedict. In this way, everything, from used clothing to used cars, was recycled to the poor through Fr. Benedict. We always visited him on the days before Christmas with our children. Our youngest son came out of Trinity after a pre-Christmas visit and remarked, “It must be great to have so many brothers.” Another son went with him to distribute Thanksgiving Day meals to the poor. They made quite a picture, the friar is his habit and the young Orthodox Jewish boy in his head-covering distributing non-kosher meals to the poor on Thanksgiving Day. Continue Reading »

Almost a Franciscan

A long walk up the mountain from Assisi— my boot heel severed from my right foot Redwing, I smacked it back, using some broken pavement. I’d walked my little brother to l’Eremo, some thirty years later I’d be a Catholic. Now, I suppose, I’m almost a Franciscan. I’d come not to . . . . Continue Reading »