Review of “Silence” by Shūsaku Endō

Today marks the 420th anniversary of the twenty-six Japanese martyrs of Nagasaki in 1597 under the Tokugawa shogunate. Shūsaku Endō’s novel, Silence, takes place during the shogunate’s persecution of Christians in the 1640s when many Japanese Christians died for the faith. The controversial nature of the novel and the film has yielded negative reviews which claim the message of Endō’s work is the justification of apostasy and positive reviews which praise the moral ambiguity inherent in the novel devoid of clear black and white solutions.1 Both interpretations are valid for a surface level reading of Silence but there is a depth to the novel missed in many interpretations.2 Continue reading

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Our Lady of Fatima Statues

Today is the 99th anniversary of the last apparition of Our Lady of Fatima and the liturgical memorial celebration of this event. Last week on the eve of Our Lady of the Rosary (Our Lady of Victory), I was blessed to visit the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima at our parish. This statue is currently touring the United States coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the apparitions. Continue reading

The Rite of Consecrating a Fixed Altar

St. Stanislaus Oratory in Milwaukee celebrated its 150th parish anniversary and celebrated it with a consecration of the newly restored altar by His Excellency Joseph N. Perry, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago. The Rite of Consecrating a Fixed Altar according to the 1962 liturgy contains several beautiful elements including Gregorian Water, relics of saints, and even fire on the altar.1 Continue reading

The Role of a Godparent

I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my firstborn son and looking forward to his baptism to add another member to the Body of Christ. The rite of baptism includes the participation of a godparent/sponsor. However, I was surprised to see how difficult it was for me to find a suitable sponsor. The factors of family members not authentically practicing the Catholic faith and moving to various parts of the country made it difficult to select a sponsor who can live up to the responsibilities such a role entails. Continue reading

Catechetical Movie Review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Spoilers—including the major one—for this movie are present below so only read if you have seen the movie

The seventh installment in the Star Wars franchise is smashing box office records and overwhelmingly pleasing critics. It has returned the franchise to its roots while establishing a future trajectory for the saga that promises more intrigue and hope. More than any other movie franchise, Star Wars expresses the hopes and desires of the people throughout the planet. Continue reading