Led Into the Truth
May 02, 2011
The silence of St. Peter’s
By Father Joshua Allen

When the prayers began before the Mass of Beatification, the sky was a steely grey.  That morning at 5 a.m., the outlook had been grim, with heavy clouds threatening the hills outside of the city.  But, away we went, fortunate in some ways to not have been required to keep vigil all night, and in other ways somehow missing the experience of remaining awake in prayer, as did our Lord so many times. The air was chilly, but not uncomfortable. 

No matter the expectation ahead of time, there is...

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April 01, 2011
Laetare, Ierusalem
By Father Joshua Allen

This weekend, we celebrate Laetare Sunday. In Churches all over the world, “rose” will grace the altars of the Lord, the organ will be once again heard playing (while not simply assisting the choir), and the inevitable bevy of jokes and stubborn insistence that the chasuble is in fact not pink will ensue, even though we all know it is.

I honestly don’t know the origin of Laetare Sunday, but I have always liked the explanation that I heard years ago about its purpose. Lent is, we have...

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January 21, 2011
Beato Subito
By Father Joshua Allen

I was sitting in a little restaurant around the corner from the Vatican a couple of nights ago with some visitors from the United States whom I had just taken on a Vatican tour.  At the end of our meal, the owner of the restaurant came over to me and asked me a question in hurried Italian: “Did you hear what date Pope John Paul II will be beatified?”

I replied that I did not know. I knew that Cardinal Angelo Amato, the Prefect for the Congregation of Saints, had a scheduled audience with...

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January 04, 2011
Cantare amantis est
By Father Joshua Allen

I stood behind the altar, hands pressed together, glaring into the lights, seeing the faces of many of the fifteen thousand people gathered together to welcome the eruption of joy into the world that is the advent of the Christ. I waited. The servers rounded the massive altar, built over the tomb of St. Peter himself. From the other side of the altar, where the Vicar of Christ sat, smoke began to rise to heaven.

Then it was time. I rounded the altar, the place where centuries of Popes have...

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November 12, 2010
Diaconate ordination, part 1
By Father Joshua Allen

I was ordained to the transitional diaconate by the imposition of hands and the prayer of ordination on October 7, 2010, the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. The ordination was overpowering, unbelievable, and in many ways indescribable.

It’s been over a month, and this is the first column I have written on the subject. Please understand that it is not because there is nothing to say, but because there is so much. Nevertheless, I shall devote my next few columns to some sort of exposition...

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October 01, 2010
Reality Lurking
By Father Joshua Allen

Okay folks, it’s getting pretty real.

I am on retreat this week praying that I will be a faithful servant of God. Don’t worry – I’m not cheating on retreat. I wrote this column last week to be published while I was away.

So much has happened, and all of it has been a joy.  At the North American College, we return to Rome in early September even though classes do not begin until mid-October. In the month or so that we have before classes, we spend each day in conferences at the...

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September 24, 2010
Thirteen Days Left: Late Have I Loved You
By Father Joshua Allen

I remember how it happened, just like it was yesterday. I was sitting in my office at home. I was surrounded by theological books. I had "reverted" back to the faith only months before, and I found myself rereading St. Augustine’s Confessions as a man with nascent faith, breathless at the beauty of such mystical reflections. Late have I loved you, beauty so old and so new: late have I loved you (St. Augustine, Confessions, X. xxvii).

I was looking at vocations websites.

The tenth book...

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September 10, 2010
Gridiron virtue
By Father Joshua Allen

A few weeks ago, I attended a high school football game—something I haven’t done since I was in high school, so I was excited to have the opportunity. The teams playing were part of a special league for private schools: mostly religious including some home school families.

I don’t remember parents being a problem when I played sports as a younger man.  I recall that my little league games were pleasant; parents and teammates were supportive.  I don’t recall high school football...

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August 27, 2010
Spiritual Reading, Part II
By Father Joshua Allen

In my last column, I began a "Top-10" list of spiritual books. This column is a continuation and a conclusion of that list. You might be surprised by the more contemporary selections, and perhaps you will be reassured by the classics! In any event, I hope you enjoy the recommendations:

6) The Way, The Furrow, and the Forge by St. Josemaria Escrivá. This might be cheating. Technically these are three separate books, but the edition I have is only one volume, so I count it as one book. I...

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August 13, 2010
Spiritual Reading, Part I
By Father Joshua Allen

It’s the doldrums of August.  The kids are already running around the parking lot for the parish school, both excited and horrified that school has begun again, and I am nearing the end of my summer assignment.  A few days ago, a friend asked me an interesting question and I thought I would turn it into a column: “What are the top ten spiritual books, in your opinion?”

Since school is starting and people are feeling a bit more studious in general, I decided to give the list some...

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