The Word Among Us

September 2015 Issue

A Church in Dialogue

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Publisher's Letter

A Listening People

Next month, Pope Francis will open the Synod on the Family. As he did last year, he will call together bishops from around the world to address the challenges of family life in the modern world. And considering all the questions surrounding the previous synod, you can be sure that this gathering will attract just as much attention, if not more. More »


A “Wrestling Church”

When it comes to family matters, does it ever feel like you’re in the middle of a long, drawn out wrestling match? Maybe your daughter’s marriage is rocky, and you don’t know how to help. Maybe your grandchildren have stopped attending Mass, and it’s causing tension in your family. Maybe you and your spouse disagree on financial issues, like how much money you need to save. Maybe there’s an unmarried couple living together in your neighborhood, and you’re wrestling with the question of how to relate to them. More »

Method Matters

On October 4 of this year, the Synod on the Family will enter its second phase. At this gathering, the bishops will continue to discuss many of the issues they brought up during last year’s synod. But the issues are not the only important aspects of the synod. The process is equally important. Pope Francis wants everyone in the Church to have a voice in these complex issues related to marriage and family. More »

Dialogue, Not Discussion

When the Synod on the Family begins this October, Pope Francis, the bishops, and others in attendance will be wrestling with a number of challenging issues concerning marriage and family life. We know that Francis is bringing these issues to his brother bishops to seek their observations, their counsel, and their discernment. We know that he has asked that the synod be conducted in a spirit of transparency, dialogue, and humble listening. Repeatedly, he has stated that he wants everyone involved to be guided by the Holy Spirit, and so he has asked us to join him in prayer for the success of their gathering. More »

Embracing the “Spirit of Prophecy”

My wife, Theresa, and I have been married for thirty-one years. And in raising our six children, we have learned an important lesson: if we want our kids to know Jesus, it’s not enough to teach them theological truths; we have to witness to our own encounters with the living God. More »

Special Feature

Growing into Their Vocation

Do any bride and groom fully understand what they are getting into when they say, “I do”? The answer is probably yes and no. Yes, if they come to the altar with an appreciation of God’s plan for marriage. And no, because it’s only by living marriage out that a couple comes to see what it means and learns how to love each other as husband and wife. For some, the learning curve is steep. More »

Reconciliation on the Road

In four years I had never visited my younger sister Jane at the university she attended. She had often driven the 120 miles to our hometown, where I lived. But the thought of carving time out of my busy schedule to go to her college campus just didn’t appeal to me. More »

Me, Myself, and I

My stepfather, the man I call “Mr. Mike,” entered my life when I was six. He belonged to a deeply Catholic family and, as I came to appreciate only later, was an outstanding man of God. More »