ALMOST A QUARTER-CENTURY AGO, Father Jay Scott Newman, back in Rome to finish a graduate degree after his priestly ordination in Charleston, N.C., took me on an extended ramble around the Eternal City: my first hike up the Aventine; my first visit to the crown jewel of paleo-Christian architecture, Santa Sabina; my first exploration of Santa Maria in Cosmedin – and later in the evening, some essential instruction as to what you don’t put on a pasta dish featuring seafood (hint: a certain hard cheese). I had a grand time but little idea then of the impact Father Newman would have on my life and work in the future. Now, as he celebrates the silver jubilee of his priestly ordination, it’s time to do some of what our evangelical Protestant friends would call “witnessing.”
WHEN I WAS in the sixth grade at St. Mary Star of the Sea and St. Gertrude in Far Rockaway, I was always struck by how joyful the priests would be during Mass and outside of Mass with the people. While I was growing up at the parish, I was an altar server and worked as a sacristan. I had the opportunity to watch the priests up close and that led the thought of priesthood to enter my mind.
When I began to discern my vocation to the Priesthood of Jesus Christ I was in high school, working and in the midst of researching and visiting prospective colleges. I went on to study criminal justice and law at the City University of New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice. While in college, I felt my call to the priesthood grow deeper.
The dark blue cap was emblazoned, in bold white all-caps letters with the phrase: “MAKE AMERICA READ AGAIN.”
The vacation season is an opportunity to escape TwitterWorld and do some serious reading. These books will help make your summer enjoyable, instructive – or both.
The Church’s custom of reading virtually all of the Acts of the Apostles at daily Mass during the Easter season struck me as particularly apt this year, and for three reasons.
One could say I was living the American Dream. I had a sizeable house in a good neighborhood, a respectable job paying a healthy salary and prospects for continued career advancement. The problem was a sense of incompleteness; a realization that there was something important missing in my life, a hole in my heart.
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH’S teaching on responsible parenthood is often overlooked, or simply unknown.
I STOOD AT the desk in my college apartment, holding a box of birth control pills. As I read the instructions, the lengthy list of side effects made me hesitate.
WITH HUNDREDS OF bishops coming to the Vatican in October 2001 for a Synod, I decided to spend that month in Rome conducting interviews for what would eventually become the sequel to “Witness to Hope” and the second volume of my John Paul II biography, “The End and the Beginning.”