May 4, 2015

Friday night I had dinner at a Catholic Answers function. I sat next to Lenora, a loyal friend of the apostolate whose husband was unable to be there. I told her I was happy for Don, and she nodded. She understood when I said that, as much as I enjoyed the gathering and the company, I wished that I were with him.

As those at our table enjoyed salads in a lovely patio setting, Don was trudging along Silverwood Lake, in the hills north of Los Angeles. He was at mile 324 of the Pacific Crest Trail. One of three national scenic trails, it stretches from the Mexican border to the Canadian border, passing through the whole of California, Oregon, and Washington. Total length: 2,668 miles.

Don and I are the same age. We both came to backpacking late in life—he later than I—but he...

April 30, 2015

How can Catholics claim “works” are necessary for salvation for Christians who have reached the age of accountability when Romans 3:28 says:

For we hold that a man is justified by faith apart from works of law.

Romans 4:5 says:

And to one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness.

And Ephesians 2:8-9 says:

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God -- not because of works, lest any man should boast.

On the surface, these texts may sound problematic, but once we...

April 26, 2015

Saturday’s lead editorial in our local newspaper, the San Diego Union-Tribune, was titled “Who Should Represent California: Father Serra or Sally Ride?”

There is a movement afoot (and more than afoot: it seems to be running to the finish line with almost no opposition) to replace the statue of Junipero Serra that appears in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol with a statue of Sally Ride. Serra’s statue has been there since 1931. Ride’s statue is yet to be commissioned.

Statuary Hall is located immediately south of the Rotunda in the Capitol. The two-story, semicircular room was where the House of Representatives met from 1807 to 1857. Every state is allotted space for two statues to represent figures important in the state’s history or culture. Statuary Hall is...

April 20, 2015

I know Salvatore Cordileone from his stint on the monthly canon law segment on Catholic Answers Live. That was when he was the auxiliary bishop of San Diego. Today he is the archbishop of San Francisco. The notoriety he obtained by broadcasting from our studio for one hour a month is nothing compared to the notoriety he has received since his transfer to the Bay Area.

A native San Diegan, Cordileone was appointed bishop of Oakland in 2009, served there for three years, and moved across the bay in 2012. Some San Franciscans want him to move again—to anyplace else....

April 19, 2015

And I say this not just because I am in the movie. But yes, I am in the movie. Don't blink, though, or you might miss me. I have two speaking lines (I play a soldier in a hospital to visit wounded comrades). I say this because it is a magnificent movie. It opens April 24th in theatres across the country.

“Little Boy” comes to us from Metanoia Films, the same people who gave us "Bella" back in 2006. Their very first film project, it, and they, took Hollywood by surprise by winning the Toronto Film Festival. There could have been no better title for what was a truly “beautiful” movie.

...

April 15, 2015

There are usually a few Masses per year at which there can be expected to be a large number of non-Catholics present. Christmas and Easter Masses are popular with non-Catholics, mainly because they are visiting Catholic family and friends. Nuptial Masses, especially when one of the parties to be married is a non-Catholic Christian, will have large turnouts of non-Catholics (sometimes up to half the congregation). Non-Catholics can also be expected at Masses offered for other sacramental firsts and life-cycle events, such as confirmations and funerals.

This reality raises a common question for the apologists here at Catholic Answers: What should happen at Communion time? Here's a recent question I received on the issue.

At my granddaughter's First Communion,...

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