May 26, 2017

Author Archive | Simcha Fisher

Behold! The recently released logo for World Youth Day in Panama, January 22-27, 2019. PHOTO: CNS

Simcha Fisher: WYD Panama logo or duelling lobster shell crackers?

What is a logo, anyway? You know what it is: It’s an image, often simple and stylised, used by a business or organisation. It’s supposed to be instantly recognisable, preferably eye-catching and memorable, and it’s supposed to convey what the business or organisation is about. Colour, font, and composition all contribute to the design, which […]

Fr Damien of Molokai on his deathbed, having spent 16 years' ministering among lepers - eventually developing Hansen's disease (leprosy) himself.

Simcha Fisher: The life of St Damien the Leper

Every saint’s story reflects the life of Christ in one way or another; but the biography of St Damien of Molokai, whose feast day was May 10, is full of unusually striking parallels. His sacrifice was entirely voluntary. After the Hawaiian government isolated its lepers on a peninsula to contain the disease, the Church realised […]

PHOTO: Ben Francis, cc 2.0

Simcha Fisher: Blessed are the ungifted. Everything’s a gift.

Timothy Jones, one of my favourite living American painters, is also a high school teacher, and his kids produce spectacular results. He once told me, A lot of the kids are surprised to learn that there are steps to making a work of art. They think you just come out of the womb with this talent, that you […]


Simcha Fisher: Of Our Lady, Lucia, and Literacy

Francisco and Jacinta Marto, the two children who saw visions of Our Lady at Fatima, are to be canonised on May 13 when Pope Francis visits Portugal. But their older cousin, Lucia dos Santos, also saw and spoke with Our Lady. Why isn’t Lucia being canonised along with her cousins? The cute answer is: Our […]


Simcha Fisher: Hey faithful Catholics, why are YOU here?

Last week’s post brought about a serious misunderstanding that I’d like to clear up. I imagined being a “Christmas and Easter” Catholic, who only attends Mass under duress or out of custom, and challenged these folks to think about why all the “regulars” keep turning up. It is not, as occasional visitors might imagine, because […]

Fr Rene Tacastacas SJ celebrating the liturgy with servers, Easter Vigil 2014, Ateneo de Davao University, Davao City, the Philippines. Photo: Br Jeffrey Pioquinto SJ, cc by 2.0

Simcha Fisher: Hey you! What are you doing here?

Easter! There you are at Mass. So … Why are you at Mass? I’m talking to you, the reader who hasn’t set foot inside a church since Christmas, or maybe since last Easter, or maybe longer. Maybe decades longer. Maybe the last time you were here, you were so young, you couldn’t even read or […]

PHOTO: Jon Rawlinson, cc 2.0

Simcha Fisher: We can’t just decide to stop being afraid, but we can manage it

Last week, the internet flipped out over a scary but fishy story about something that probably didn’t even happen. The details don’t matter. The question is, How can we avoid freaking out, especially when at least half of our brain recognises that there’s no good reason to be afraid? Most of us realise we’re not supposed to […]


Simcha Fisher: Bless me, father, for I have become neurally adapted

Does lying become easier with practice? Common sense and experience say, “Of course,” and now some neuroscience researchers agree with that assessment. In Aeon, Neil Garrett of Princeton describes how he and three other researchers tested a group of people to see whether and how they could be acclimated to dishonesty. Here’s how the study […]


Simcha Fisher: Six sermons I could do without

In Giovanni Guareschi’s celebrated series of stories about a faithful but very human priest, the beleaguered Don Camillo once pitifully prays to Christ to help him blow his nose in a way that won’t be offensive to the congregation. He knows that he is under more public scrutiny than any other man in the village, and no […]

Marija Pavlovic, left, prays in St James Church in Medjugorje, in what was then Yugoslavia, in this 15 August 1987, file photo. Pavlovic is one of six young people who had reported visions of Mary at Medjugorje as early as 1981. PHOTO: CNS

Simcha Fisher: The Lady of Medjugorje is not your mother

This morning, we had a blizzard. I lay blissfully in bed and heard my little girls clomp past the bedroom door in their heavy boots. “Don’t forget to cover your ears,” said one to the other. “Why?” the second one asked. “Mama always says to,” the first one replied. “So our ears don’t get cold.” […]


Simcha Fisher: God is in the crumbs

The time: A Friday in Lent. The place: A refrigerator in a Catholic home. The trivial little thing I want to talk about today: An American corn dog — meat on a stick, dipped in batter and deep fried — with all the batter carefully nibbled away, leaving a sheepish-looking hunk of red meat, denuded […]