Thursday, July 5


The Word on Fire

During my time in Chicago, I was blessed with several opportunities to encounter and converse with the Archdiocese's evangelist extraordinaire, Fr. Robert Barron of Mundelein Seminary. Fr. Barron is the author of several books, including most recently The Priority of Christ and Bridging the Great Divide, a book which has strongly influenced my own work on this blog. For the architecturally inclined, he is also the author of Heaven in Stone and Glass, a book about the spirituality of the Gothic cathedrals. He is gifted with the ability to express the truths of the faith in a clear, accessible and intellectually stimulating manner while also transcending ideological divisions within the Church. Notably, Fr. Barron has coined the term "beige Catholicism," which is an apt description of the American Church in the 1970's and '80's, as it accomodated itself too closely with American culture and lost touch with the riches of its tradition. Thankfully, in many places, including Chicago, the memory of these days is fading, but Fr. Barron's term is an apt descriptor for a period which many of us lived through or grew up in.

One of Fr. Barron's major evangelical projects is the website The Word On Fire, which features podcasts of his excellent weekly homilies as well as YouTube video clips of series that are in the works. I provide here an excellent discussion of The Sopranos and Christian morality - though I was not part of the Sopranos craze, as a big fan of The Godfather films I can certainly appreciate mafia stories as fertile ground for thinking about these subjects. I encourage Shrine readers to listen to and watch Fr. Barron as a good exemplar of the kind of thing we try to promote and do on this blog.

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