Led Into the Truth
March 10, 2014
Take up your electric chair
By Father Joshua Allen

“If anyone whishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

On the evening of Ash Wednesday, I went to the home of a family from the parish and watched the new movie “Mary of Nazareth.” For me, two scenes were of particular interest. The first was the Annunciation – it was the first time I have ever seen someone attempt to depict it. Frankly, it was a little creepy. Gabriel had a man’s voice and a woman’s body. I get the whole...

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November 27, 2012
Keeping Christmas in Christmas
By Father Joshua Allen

The stores are decorated, all of the Christmas fare has been out for purchase since shortly after Labor Day, trees are being snatched up at lots all over Atlanta, and lights will soon be going on, that is, in the homes that bothered to wait until after the Fourth of July to decorate.

In all seriousness, the Christmas blitz has begun. Two weeks ago, I started preaching about keeping Christmas simple and keeping the season of Advent intact. And in doing so, I have joined a chorus of voices from...

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July 13, 2012
Saying goodbye
By Father Joshua Allen

This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper.

As I boarded the my flight from Fiumicino to Atlanta – for the final time as a resident of Rome – the closing words of T.S. Eliot’s famous poem “The Hollow Men” came to mind. I thought of them because they invoke for me the essence of anticlimax.

I was scheduled to fly home on July 1. Because of an emergency at home, I had to change my flight. In fact – it happened quite hectically. I learned of a situation at home...

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June 29, 2012
On pilgrims and pilgrimages
By Father Joshua Allen

I have recently had the opportunity to participate in two pilgrimages: one in Italy with a family I know from home, and one in Jerusalem with a group from Texas led by a priest who is a friend of mine. Since I am fast approaching the end of my time in Italy, these pilgrimages were opportunities for me to revisit, as a priest, some of the places that have made such a difference in my life.

I recall four years ago, when I spent the entire summer in Jerusalem, encountering a priest in...

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June 15, 2012
Renewing Marriage
By Father Joshua Allen

It’s wedding season. If your parish is beautiful, chances are, it’s booked for the next couple of months or more. For many couples, the perfect wedding includes a May or June reception, and all the beauty that comes with spring, and it’s not without significance: spring is the birth of beauty, just as marriage should be the birth of an unbreakable union dedicated to beauty, holiness, and truth.

Marriage in the United States has been under political assault for some time — and I’m...

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May 17, 2012
The “New Evangelization”
By Father Joshua Allen

The other day I was on the train in the city of Rome, and I was approached by Mormon missionaries. 

These young men were well dressed, extremely friendly, and trained in the Italian language.  They were from the United States, so we spoke for a few minutes.  They asked me if I had a relationship with Jesus Christ and had accepted him into my life.  As we were speaking, I unzipped my jacket, and they saw my Roman collar, which pretty much ended the conversation (though I admit, I was...

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January 27, 2012
Abortion: A Catholic problem
By Father Joshua Allen

This week the United States endured the 39th Anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that expanded the breadth of Constitutional “privacy” to include the slaughter of the innocents. Thirty-nine years later, some 54 million deaths have been estimated (not including the under-counted medical abortions and the uncounted, untold thousands of children destroyed as excess baggage in IVF procedures or who were prevented from implantation by artificial birth control).

By the time this...

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January 13, 2012
Post-Christmas Diagnostics
By Father Joshua Allen

It’s over. The parties, the feasts, the gifts, the returns, the re-gifting, the feverish spending of gift card money. The leftovers are finally gone. The cakes and pies and candies and all of the other things that we accumulate but do not eat have been thrown away. Trees are back in their boxes or they are sitting by the street waiting to be mulched. Stockings are stored in dark cabinets and Nativity scenes have been carefully wrapped and put away for next year. The Christmas season, as...

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June 17, 2011
Draw near, O Lord!
By Father Joshua Allen

Draw near, O Lord, Holy Father, Almighty and Eternal God. These words mark the beginning of the prayer of consecration that my bishop will proclaim after he and the gathered presbyterate of Atlanta have laid their hands on me at my priestly ordination. He will invoke the Holy Spirit; he will recall the workings of God in the history of man, and with this prayer, I will be inserted into the mystery of salvation as an active agent, as the hands of Jesus Christ the High Priest in the world. And...

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June 10, 2011
Not in Kansas anymore
By Father Joshua Allen

My days as a seminarian are drawing to a close. These seven years have been nothing short of miraculous, and the end to which they lead will be even more so: in reflecting on my past, I am drawn into speechlessness at the thought of the grace God has showered upon me, staying with me as I have strayed, calling me into deeper and deeper communion with him. Now, in just a few days, God the Father will conform me to his Son definitively, in such a way that with just a few words, I will be able...

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