"In verbo veritatis" (2 Cor 6:7)

April 10, 2016

The Ordination of Women

Filed under: Essays, Uncategorized — Tags: — komonchak @ 1:38 pm

In November 1975, a conference in Detroit on the ordination of women attracted over a thousand participants. One of the results was the determination to hold similar conferences around the country. In the Spring of 1976, an all-day meeting on the topic was held in the Borough of Queens, in New York City, and I was invited to speak at it.

I constructed my talk as a commentary on a document issued in 1973 by the Committee on Pastoral Research and Planning of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops that gave various arguments against ordaining women to the priesthood. I rapidly reviewed seven of those arguments and offered my opinion about them.

Meanwhile, the acts of the Detroit Conference were being prepared for publication. Someone alerted the editor, Sr. Anne Marie Gardiner, to my paper and she expressed a desire to include my talk in the volume, but because it was so late in the editorial process, it could appear only as an appendix to that book, Women and Catholic Priesthood: An Expanded Vision (New York: Paulist Press, 1976). My essay also appeared in The Catholic Mind, 75 (1977) 13-28.

It was to such movements, of course, that subsequent magisterial statements were to respond.

You will find the essay here: JAK – Ordination of Women


February 16, 2016

Celibacy and Tradition

Filed under: Essays, Uncategorized — Tags: , — komonchak @ 3:51 pm

As the note on the page facing my page indicates, this essay originated as a study of the recent scholarly literature on the history of the discipline of sacerdotal celibacy.

JAK – Celibacy and Tradition

July 20, 2013

Martha and Mary (again)

Filed under: Uncategorized — komonchak @ 1:52 pm

In tomorrow’s Gospel we pay our tri-annual visit to the home of Martha and Mary, just at the time they are playing host to that Jesus of Nazareth.  Last time, we had quite a conversation about what we witnessed and heard.  Has anything changed meanwhile?

Here’s what I made of it then: https://jakomonchak.wordpress.com/2010/07/19/martha-and-mary/

St. Martha’s feastday is coming up: July 29th.

May 13, 2013

Nanuet Fire Siren 1953-1954

During the last year of the Korean War (1953-1954), my father, Joseph B. Komonchak, edited a newsletter for members of the Nanuet Fire Department and other citizens of the hamlet who were serving in the military to keep them informed about doings in the Fire Department and elsewhere in Nanuet and indeed in Rockland County, N.Y. I have copied and scanned the issues of the newsletter, which provide a series of snapshots of local history in the early 1950’s. Most of them are easily legible, but some issues were mimeographed on colored paper and are more difficult to read. (more…)

May 26, 2012


Filed under: Uncategorized — komonchak @ 9:58 am

Here is a lovely image of Pentecost, ca. 1230 in England, from the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore.

April 8, 2012


Filed under: Lent 2012, Uncategorized — komonchak @ 9:12 am

And now, to conclude, for it is hardly befitting on this Day to speak much, when God has done His greatest work. Let us think of it and of Him. Let us rejoice in the Day which He has made, and let us be “willing in the Day of His Power.” This is Easter Day. Let us say this again and again to ourselves with fear and great joy. (more…)

December 25, 2011

A Christmas Poem

Filed under: Uncategorized — komonchak @ 7:56 pm

By Robert Southwell

Behold the father is his daughter’s son,
The bird that built the nest is hatch’d therein,
The old of years an hour hath not outrun,
Eternal life to live doth now begin,
The word is dumb, the mirth of heaven doth weep,
Might feeble is, and force doth faintly creep.

O dying souls! behold your living spring!
O dazzled eyes! behold your sun of grace!
Dull ears attend what word this word doth bring!
Up, heavy hearts, with joy your joy embrace!
From death, from dark, from deafness, from despairs,
This life, this light, this word, this joy repairs.

Gift better than Himself God doth not know,
Gift better than his God no man can see;
This gift doth here the giver given bestow,
Gift to this gift let each receiver be:
God is my gift, Himself He freely gave me,
God’s gift am I, and none but God shall have me.

Man alter’d was by sin from man to beast;
Beast’s food is hay, hay is all mortal flesh;
Now God is flesh, and lies in manger press’d,
As hay the brutest sinner to refresh:
Oh happy field wherein this fodder grew,
Whose taste doth us from beasts to men renew!

Augustine on Christmas

Filed under: Uncategorized — komonchak @ 7:54 pm

Three texts from Augustine for our great feastday, already sent in separately on other occasions:

What praise of the love of God we should express! What thanks we should give! He loved us so that he through whom all time was made for our sakes came to be in time; he who in his eternity is older than the world became younger in age than many of his servants; he who made man became man; he was created from a mother he created; he was carried by hands he shaped, sucked breasts he filled, and the Word without which human eloquence is dumb squalled in a manger, dumb, unable to speak [in praesepi muta vagiret infantia Verbum , sine quo muta est humana eloquentia].

See what God became for your sake; learn the lesson of such great lowliness, learn it even from a teacher not yet able to speak. Once, in paradise, you were so fluent that you gave names to every living thing (Gen 2:19-20); but for your sake your Creator lay speechless, unable even to call his mother by her name. In that broad estate of fruitful trees you lost yourself by failing to obey; he obediently came as a mortal into a very narrow lodge in order by dying to seek you who had died. Although you were man, you wished to be God, and you were lost; he, although he was God, wished to become a man so that he might find what was lost. So deeply did human haughtiness press you down that only divine lowliness could raise you up. [Tantum te pressit humana superbia, ut te non posset nisi humilitas sublevare divina.]” (Augustine, EnPs. 188, 2-3; PL 38, 1004)

Word of God before all time, Word made flesh at the appropriate time; maker of the sun, made under the sun; disposing all the ages from his Father’s bosom, consecrating this day from his mother’s womb; remaining there, coming forth here; the creator of heaven and earth, born beneath heaven on earth; speechlessly wise, wisely speechless [ineffabiliter sapiens, sapienter infans]; filling the world, lying in a manger; ruling the stars, sucking at a breast; so great in the form of God, so small in the form of a slave, that the greatness was not diminished by the smallness, nor the smallness crushed by the greatness. (Augustine, Sermon 187, 1; PL 38, 1001)

And lest we counterpose Christmas and Easter, there is this from a Lenten sermon:

Eleemosyna, our word for alms, is Greek for “mercy” or “pity.” What greater pity could be shown to the piteous than the mercy that brought the creator of heaven down from heaven and clothed the maker of earth with an earthly body, that made him who was equal to the Father in eternity equal to us in mortality, that lay the form of a slave on the Lord of the world, so that bread hungered, fullness thirsted, strength became weak, health was wounded, and life died? And all this so that our hunger would be fed, our dryness watered, our weakness comforted, our wickedness extinguished, our charity set afire. What greater mercy than that the creator be created, the Lord serve, the redeemer be sold, the one who raises be lowered, the one who revives be killed? We are commanded to give alms, to give bread to the hungry (see Is 58:7); he, in order to give himself to us in our hunger, first handed himself over for us to those who raged against him. We are enjoined to receive strangers; he for our sake came to his own and his own did not receive him (Jn 1:11). So let our soul bless him who forgives all its iniquities, who heals all its diseases, who redeems its life from destruction, who crowns it with mercy and compassion, who satisfies its desires with good things (see Ps 102:3-5). Let us, then, continue at our works of mercy all the more eagerly and all the more constantly the closer comes the day on which the mercy shown to us is celebrated. A fast without mercy is useless to the one fasting. (Augustine, Sermon 207, 1: PL 38, 1043)

All the blessings of Christmas to you all!

December 11, 2011

Comments are welcome

Filed under: Uncategorized — komonchak @ 8:09 pm

I just want to make it clear that comments on my postings are welcome, with the usual exhortations, of course, to courtesy and charity….

December 6, 2011

At the front of the line

Filed under: Uncategorized — komonchak @ 11:54 am

My godmother has died, my uncle’s wife, at the age of 96, the last member of their generation, my parents’ generation. We–brothers and sisters and cousins–are now next in line. In fact, one sister and two brothers-in-law, as well as several cousins, are already gone, as well as a lovely niece, from the next generation. Linda Pastan has two poems that convey some sense of what we are feeling. The second of them, The Last Uncle, provides the title of a collection of her poems that has much on relations among generations.

For a Parent
By Linda Pastan

Move to the front
of the line
a voice says, and suddenly
there is nobody
left standing between you
and the world, to take
the first blows
on their shoulders. (more…)

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