On March 15, 2013, I published my first essay on Ignitum Today. Unfortunately, my original piece, “A Theology of Oz the Great and Powerful: A Movie Review,” was lost due to a server crash. The same was true for my second article, “Celebrating Easter with Our Lady.” In my nearly three years with this website, I have written over forty essays. Each one provided me an opportunity to reflect on scripture, life, culture, Marian devotion, and my personal experiences. The genesis of an article begins with a simple thought occurring at times when you least expect it. Thanks to the iPhone notes app, no thought went forgotten!
Stacy Trasancos invited me to start writing for Ignitum Today after I published a handful of essays on CatholicLane.com. I welcomed her invitation as it provided me an opportunity to develop my craft of writing and reflecting. It was with sadness that I recently decided this article would be my last monthly contribution to Ignitum Today. My decision was made with much deliberation. About six months ago, I entertained the idea, but decided to keep writing. Besides my ongoing work in the parish, the upcoming months present several projects: a) the publication of a new rosary devotional and the promotion which that entails; b) research for a new book; c) a paper presentation in Fatima, Portugal, as part of the PAMI conference; d) other special projects.
As I say au revoir to Ignitum Today, I’d like to reflect on some of my more significant essays published on this social network for the New Evangelization.
In January 2015, I visited Belgium to research for letter b of my ongoing projects—a new book. While I was there I visited Beauraing, a Marian apparition site that is not well known. I was moved by the simplicity of Mary’s messages to the Voisin and Degeimbre children. While dining at a restaurant for lunch, I met the last living visionary. Little did I know that a few months later she would go home to be with God. Gilberte Degeimbre died during the Lenten season, and in this article I reflected on the Lenten character of Mary’s message. This essay, as of today, is one of the top ten most-read articles on Ignitum Today. Michael Brown of Spirit Daily can be thanked for that.
During the summer of 2013, I lived with some Precious Blood priests as I completed my hospital chaplaincy. I celebrated the feast of their community with them, and as I did, I was struck by the connection between two other Christocentric devotions—the Sacred Heart and Divine Mercy. In this article I reflected on the fusion of the three devotions.
The Wisconsin Apparition
I have published extensively on the 1859 apparition received by Adele Brise in Champion, Wisconsin, in print and online. In addition to several books, I have contributed pieces to theological journals, most recently Chicago Studies, and have penned a few devotional items. I have been able to share my thoughts and reflections on the Wisconsin apparition with this readership in the following articles:
- Adele Brise and the Sign of the Cross
- The Queen of October: Fatima and Champion
- Rediscovering Our Lady of Good Help
- Help Mary in Her Mission
- Mary Help Us! A Litany
Devotion to Mary is near and dear to my heart, and several essays focused on that. My most popular Marian piece was “Twelve Other Forms of Marian Piety.” The rosary, while being the Marian devotion par excellence (in my opinion), is often a challenge for some people. In the aforementioned essay, I proposed several other forms of Marian devotion. Not praying the rosary doesn’t mean one dislikes Mary. We all show our love towards Mary in different ways. One should not consider this article exhaustive. Look under Ignitum Today on my personal website to see an overview of all my articles, and to search for the specific Marian-related topics.
From time to time, I wrote about some question I had or some realization I made about our culture. In “Are we a well-read culture?” I reflected on how I devoured the Hunger Games as a graduate student in my free time (or rather, created time) to finish the series. I couldn’t help but realize the books were written for teenagers, yet everyone and their brother read them. We have said au revoir to some of the classics in favor of the modern genre. This begs the question: are we a well-read culture? Another eye-opening culture experience was visiting an art museum for the first time. I realized there were many lessons we are taught in such institutions. Since that first visit, I now frequent other museums while traveling.
Sports and Television
In two articles, I turned my attention to questions of morality. In Seven Vices of Sporting Events, I reflected on the moral dilemmas of sports. I wrote the piece following the Packers’ heartbreaking loss to Seattle during the season opener, so maybe emotion drove it, but the points are legitimate. I’ve noticed in my own life a waning interest in sports. I’ll watch a game, but five years ago I scheduled my life around them. Now, I let life happen and watch games as I am able. I also questioned the morality of television in light of the secularization of society. I’m still following a few shows, but every now and again, I have a crisis of conscience as to whether or not I should continue watching the series.
I am grateful for the opportunity to journey with the readers of Ignitum Today. I started writing for the site as a seminarian and then transitioned into Holy Orders, first as a deacon, then as a priest. What a joy it has been to reflect with you all over these past three years.
When Mary appeared to the five children in Beauraing, Belgium, she said au revoir in all the apparitions save one, the final one, when she said adieu. I say au revoir to Ignitum Today because I might be back. That’s what au revoir means—until later. Adieu signifies until we meet in God. To quote the movie Johnny Q, “It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later.”
It has been a joy to be a part of this website for almost three years, but there is a time to come and a time to go, and that time has arrived. You can follow me on twitter @FrEdwardLooney or you can like me on Facebook. I periodically update my personal website, where I post links to articles I’ve written and link to my Sunday homilies at http://www.edwardlooney.com. And lastly, I’ll still be writing for Catholic Exchange.
Until we meet again, I say au revoir. Dieu vous protege.