I am a father of two wonderful boys living in Wisconsin, USA. I was born and am a Roman Catholic, but my faith journey has taken a very circuitous route. Despite having wonderful parents as role models and the privilege of receiving an outstanding Jesuit education during my college years, I drifted away from the church during my early adult years. It was not just that I had increasing concerns about the institutional Church (although that was true), I had serious doubts about the core doctrines of Christianity, beginning with the existence of God.
During these years of exile, which lasted almost 20 years, I focused on my career and worldly success. My belief system, to the extent I thought about it, varied from agnosticism to a vague Deism (with a dash of Ayn Rand’s objectivism thrown in for good measure).
As I approached middle-age, I had an increasing sense of anxiety. From an outsider’s perspective, I was living an ideal life: great job, great wife and children, good health, financial security. However, internally, I was exceptionally restless.
I went on a spiritual journey, studying the beliefs and practices of five major world religions (Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism), starting with the most basic questions of: is there a God and if so, what is the nature of God? This quest has given my tremendous respect for all of the faith traditions, but ironically, I came back to my original Catholic faith, albeit in a much different light. Key influences in my ultimate journey back home were Jesuit writers and teachers, especially Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and a deeper understanding of Ignatian Spirituality.
Today, I am a proud Roman Catholic. I try to eschew labels as I consider them divisive. Hence, you will not hear me say that I am a (fill-in-the-blank) traditional, progressive, orthodox, liberal, conservative Catholic. I believe that Catholicism is universal, and demands a way of life that is inclusive (both/and, not either/or). If others were to label me, I would likely be accused of being too conservative for “liberal” Catholics and too liberal for “conservative” Catholics.
My ultimate goal however, is to move beyond labels. I still have problems with the institutional Church but I believe that Christianity, and especially the Catholic Church with its deep history, traditions and emphasis on reason, offers the best description of the ultimate reality (or as William O’Malley, S.J. describes it, the “least leaky boat”). I believe that Teilhard de Chardin had the right ideas of staying true to his faith, including his vows of obedience at tremendous personal cost, while pushing the Church to embrace new insights into the nature of God and Christ.
I have created this blog as a vehicle to share my personal journey, promote what the Church is doing for science and highlighting scientific and theological ideas that are consistent with orthodox understanding but also take into account new scientific and other discoveries.
I hope that you will join me on this journey and share your experiences and contribute your ideas.