Category: Public Religion

A Meditation on the Feast Day of Saint Thomas

A Meditation on the Feast Day of Saint Thomas
This meditation begins with the Gospel of John, chapter 20, verses 19 through 31: 19) On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20) When... Read more »

Some thoughts on the "weirdness" of Catholicism

Some thoughts on the "weirdness" of Catholicism
I have been thinking about the best way to respond to Ross Douthat’s “Make Catholicism Weird Again” (NYT May 8, 2018). His column is a hot take on the Met Gala, where Catholic hierarchy mingled with Hollywood A-listers dressed out in Catholic-inspired costumes and regalia. My patron saint is Genesius of Rome – a somewhat... Read more »

Some thoughts from the #WomensMarch in Chicago today

1) Glad I wore comfy shoes. 2) An overwhelmingly large number of people. We stood by the Van Buren Paris Metro entrance for about twenty minutes, and watched a never-ending stream of folks go past us. Pretty impressive. 3) Not my kids’ first protest march. 4) Vast majority of folks we saw were white. More... Read more »

Ringling Brothers is Closing.

For a couple of years of my life, I was a professional juggler. I was part of the carnival world. I worked with Carrie Heller’s Circus Arts and Jest For Fun Productions. I was never that great a performer, but the folks I worked with were amazing – and some of the relationships that I... Read more »

Jeanne Bishop's Long Journey to Forgiveness

This afternoon I went to a luncheon at the First Friday Club to hear a presentation by my friend Jeane Bishop. It was what I needed to hear. I have heard her speak many times before. I know her story, and we have had many one-on-one conversations. But every time I hear her message, I... Read more »

God-given or Market-driven?

I was doing laundry this morning downstairs in our apartment building. My daughter was with me. Today she is six. Tomorrow she will be seven. The building management recently remodeled the laundromat. The same creaky washing machines, of course. Only now, they are in a remodeled room with bright colors on the walls and a... Read more »

We're having a party. Invite the lamp.

Thumbnail image for 'We're having a party. Invite the lamp.'
  I first saw this advertisement in a taxi cab. And like many taxi rides, I saw it about seven times before I reached my destination. By the second time around, I knew I wanted to write about it. It begins with a simple whistled tune. That old John Denver favorite, “Country Roads.” Your mind... Read more »

SCUPE and Seminary Education in the 21st Century

It’s not every day I get a hug in the crosswalk, but that happened yesterday evening. The hug was from my friend – and neighbor – Shanta Premawardhana. He’s a reverend. He’s a doctor. He used to pastor a church here in Hyde Park, not far from where the Obamas live. Then he went abroad... Read more »

Losing Carrie Fisher

This afternoon I went with my wife to a matinee of Rogue One. We held hands in the dark as we watched the story. We both shed tears at certain moments, because the whole film was just so good. For me, it did more even than The Force Awakens to rebuild my trust in the... Read more »

Sukkot in Chicago: The House Behind the Daley Center

One of the things I love the most about Chicago is the uneasy peace treaty we have made between our public spaces and our religious expressions. Nowhere is this more clearly visible than on the concrete bazaar surrounding the Daley Center. There’s a new building, and it’s here for Sukkot. Several times a year, the... Read more »