The Problem with Catholic Preaching
Father Roger J. Landry is a priest of the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts, where he was ordained by the Most Reverend Sean O’Malley, OFM Cap. in 1999. In addition to his duties as pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in New Bedford and as executive editor of The Anchor, the weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Fall River, Father Landry speaks widely on the thought of Pope John Paul II and on controversial and often misunderstood issues in Catholicism, especially in the realm of bioethics and the convergence of Catholic teaching and popular culture. He also has preached retreats in various states and leads pilgrimages regularly to Rome. Father Landry prepared for the priesthood at Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, St. Philip’s Seminary in Toronto and for five-plus years in Rome, where he lived at the North American College and studied at the Angelicum, Gregorian, and Lateran Universities.
After his ordination as a priest, Bishop Sean O’Malley sent Father Landry back to Rome to complete advanced degrees in moral theology — specializing in marriage, family, and sexuality issues — and bioethics. While in Rome, he was an official Vatican guide to the necropolis under St. Peter’s Basilica, did a multipart series for Vatican radio on the principle Churches of Rome, and led thousands of pilgrims to the other major Christian monuments in the city.
Upon return from the eternal city, Father Landry served for three years as parochial vicar of Espirito Santo Parish in Fall River and as chaplain at Bishop Connolly High School. After that, he spent two years as parochial vicar at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Hyannis. Prior to the priesthood, Father Landry worked in biological research and in politics. He graduated with a biology degree from Harvard College and worked for four years at Massachusetts General Hospital researching the circadian neuroendocrine control of metabolism and immunology in the laboratory of Anthony Cincotta, Ph.D.
During his years at Harvard, after the magazine he co-founded — Peninsula — started to receive national attention, Father Landry received political training from Virginia’s Leadership Institute. He put this to use, first, for the campaign of Congressman Frank R. Wolf from Virginia and then as the executive director of the Conservative Leadership Political Action Committee—a small PAC that focused on identifying, training and placing young people onto hotly contested congressional and senatorial campaigns in which the pro-life cause was at issue.
Father Landry was one of the six seminarians profiled in the 1997 book The New Men: Inside the Vatican’s Elite School for Priests by Brian Murphy and the subject of profiles by USA Today in June 2002, The National Catholic Register in October 2003, and Columbia Magazine in July 2004. He writes regularly for Catholic newspapers and magazines and pens a weekly column entitled Putting into the Deep for The Anchor.
In 2004, with Fr. Tad Pacholczyk, he founded the Donum Vitae Center for Bioethics, in order to make Catholic bioethical teaching accessible to non-specialists.