Archive for daniel horan

‘Understanding Laudato Si’ Episode 03

Posted in Laudato Si, Pope Francis, YouTube Channel with tags , , , , , on September 29, 2015 by Daniel P. Horan, OFM

THUMBNAIL_ULS_EP03In this third episode of “Understanding Laudato Si,” we explore the first half of Chapter One of Pope Francis’s encyclical. The three subheadings of Chapter One examined here include the themes of: (A) Pollution and Climate Change; (B) The Issue of Water; and (C) Loss of Biodiversity. Stay tuned for next week’s episode in which I will discuss the second half of Chapter One.

If you haven’t checked out the earlier episodes, be sure to visit the YouTube Channel for them and more.

Please subscribe, like, share, and add your comments or questions below the video. Thanks!

Thomas Merton’s Prayer

Posted in Pope Francis, Thomas Merton, YouTube Channel with tags , , , , , on September 28, 2015 by Daniel P. Horan, OFM

THUMBNAIL_MertonPrayerA selection from Thomas Merton’s 1958 book Thoughts in Solitude, which has become one of Thomas Merton’s best-known prayers. In honor of Pope Francis’s mention and praise of Merton in his address to the joint session of Congress during his 2015 visit to the United States, it is read here by Daniel P. Horan, OFM with images from Merton’s life. Learn more about Thomas Merton by visiting and there join the International Thomas Merton Society (ITMS).

If you like this prayer, be sure to check out the book itself (it’s definitely worth it): Thoughts in Solitude 

[Here’s the link to the video: Thomas Merton’s Prayer]

Initial Reflections on Pope Francis, Dorothy Day, and Thomas Merton

Posted in Pope Francis, Social Justice, Thomas Merton, YouTube with tags , , , on September 25, 2015 by Daniel P. Horan, OFM

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 12.24.19 AMThis video was recorded “on location” in the side chapel of the Mercyhurst University Chapel in Erie, PA. Just minutes after Pope Francis delivered his historic address to the joint session of Congress, I had the great honor and privilege to preside and preach at the Mass of the Holy Spirit, which kicks off the academic year at the university. Being a Thomas Merton scholar and admirer of Dorothy Day, I wanted to share some initial reflections right away, so here they are! My apologies for the lower-than-average production quality, but such is the case when on the road. In addition to the initial reflections, there are a few glimpses of the beautiful campus of Mercyhurst University and a time-lapse video of the opening of this evening’s panel discussion on religious life.

Also, here is the full text of the Pope’s address to Congress.



New Liturgical Year, New ‘Homilies’ Volume!

Posted in Advent, Homilies with tags , , , , , , , , on November 30, 2014 by Daniel P. Horan, OFM

SickandYouCaredforMeWell it’s that time of year, with the First Sunday of Advent come a new Liturgical Year (Cycle B) and with that comes the last volume of the Homilies for the Homeless Series titled, Sick, And You Cared For Me (2014).

Those familiar with the previous two volumes (Hungry, And You Fed Me [2012], and Naked, And You Clothed Me [2013]) have come to appreciate the richly diverse collection of homilies and scriptural reflections that follow the Sunday celebrations and Solemnities of each respective Gospel cycle of the Liturgical Year.

The list of contributors is both impressive and has grown since volume one (and I’m not just saying “impressive” because I’m one of the contributors) — a quick glance at the list of authors illustrates what a rich resource this really is.

In addition to being a particularly helpful resource for preachers and an insightful book of reflections for those in the pews, the production of this series (Homilies for the Homeless) earns its title, for all the profits from the books goes to support several charities in the North East U.S. that feed, shelter, and cloth those in need.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough!  I know that I’m biased as a contributor, but precisely as one I want to attest to the commitment of each author and, most especially, the editor Jim Knipper, all of whom give of their time and talents to offer this resource to the church and help raise money for many of those who most need it. Order your’s today! (and they make great Christmas gifts!)


Endorsements for ‘Postmodernity and Univocity’

Posted in Postmodernity and Univocity, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2014 by Daniel P. Horan, OFM

FortressBookThough I’m currently on the road recording the audio version of my forthcoming book, The Franciscan Heart of Thomas Merton (Notre Dame: Ave Maria Press), which is due out in late September, I have been simultaneously involved in the final stages of the editorial production process for my book, Postmodernity and Univocity: A Critical Account of Radical Orthodoxy and John Duns Scotus (Minneapolis: Fortress Press). Yes, it seems like a lot (and it can feel like a lot), both of these books weigh in heavily at 280+ pp and 220+ pp respectively — nothing makes that so clear as sitting in a recording studio reading one out loud for several days on end.

I don’t have to worry about needing to read this manuscript for there will certainly not be an audio version of Postmodernity and Univoicty. As you might tell from the title itself, this is not one of my books aimed at a more-popular audience, but rather it is an academic monograph that evaluates the Radical Orthodoxy movement’s use of the thought and legacy of the medieval philosopher and theologian John Duns Scotus. In short, Radical Orthodoxy thinkers have established a widely embraced narrative that Scotus is responsible for laying the foundation for all that is wrong with modernity. However, their presentation of the subtle doctor‘s work is inaccurate and has subsequently positioned Scotus as the boogeyman and/or scapegoat of theology par excellence. This book offers an alternative reading as a corrective to the Radical Orthodoxy view.

My editors at Fortress Press have recently sent me the endorsements they solicited for the book and I am humbled and honored to have received these. I am delighted to share these with you here and hope that these blurbs may get you as excited about the release of this book in December as I am. I want also to express my gratitude to each of these four scholars for their generosity in reading the manuscript and responding so favorably.

“This book provides a careful and fair-minded rebuttal of the presentation of Duns Scotus’s thought proposed by the theologians of Radical Orthodoxy. Horan meticulously describes Scotus’s own view and in doing so offers a valuable corrective to the misrepresentations found so frequently in recent literature on the subject.”
——Richard Cross, University of Notre Dame

“This is an important book and a long overdue one. Dan Horan has boldly confronted the misreading of Duns Scotus by adherents of Radical Orthodoxy and brilliantly illuminates their metaphysical flaws. At the same time, he shows a correct understanding of univocal being and discusses why Scotus’s metaphysics provides a coherent basis for a postmodern theology. This book can help bridge the relationship between science and religion by providing a correct reading of univocal being, and it can open up new paths of dialogue that have become stifled by theological and philosophical differences.”
—— Ilia Delio, OSF, Georgetown University

“Daniel Horan argues meticulously that Radical Orthodoxy’s ‘Scotus Story’ seriously misunderstands the philosophy of John Duns Scotus. Hence, Scotus cannot be the villain of their story of the rise of secular, idolatrous modernity with its ‘space apart from God.’ By placing Scotus in the context of his actual debates (with Henry of Ghent more than Thomas Aquinas) and concerns (epistemological and semantic as primary, and metaphysical as derivative), Horan not only effectively undermines the keystone of Radical Orthodoxy’s historical narrative but offers a more persuasive portrayal of Scotus’s central achievements.”
—— Terrence W. Tilley, Fordham University

“Daniel Horan has presented a spirited challenge to Radical Orthodoxy’s ‘Scotist illiteracy’ by identifying the rhetorical sleights of hand of its major voices. Horan clearly inhabits the living tradition of a vital Franciscan theology, long overshadowed by a reactionary overdependence on Thomism in much of contemporary antimodern theology. Postmodernity and Univocity is at once a critical and constructive erudite study, but distinguished by exceptional accessibility and clarity in style.”
—— Susan Abraham, Loyola Marymount University 

Ordination: Reflections Two Years Later

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on May 19, 2014 by Daniel P. Horan, OFM

_DSC1563Two years ago today I was ordained to the presbyterate by Cardinal McCarrick in Washington, DC. It is hard to believe that it has been two years. On the one hand, time has flown and it seems like yesterday that my classmate Steve and I were processing into St. Camillus Church at the beginning of the ordination liturgy. On the other hand, it seems like my experience over the two years feels longer than the actual time, making me wonder whether it has really only been two years now.

These last two years have been marked by a number of grace-filled moments, experiences of both gift and challenge, encounters of joy and sorrow. During the first year of ordained ministry everything was new. First weddings, first masses, first funerals, first anointings, first confessions, first baptisms, and the like. During the second year of ordained ministry, the newness fades, but the diversity of experiences and the surprising moments of the Spirit continue.

As I have settled into this aspect of my life, I feel that the line from the Second Eucharistic prayer, which concludes, “…giving thanks that you have held us worthy to be in your presence and minister to you,” summarizes the experience of the ministerial priesthood.

Contrary to those who believe, either about themselves or others, that the ministerial priesthood is really about some sort of “magical change” that transforms someone into something else, this prayer of the church at the Eucharistic celebration reminds us that the work of the college of presbyters is one for which none of us is inherently worthy, but nevertheless remains a call from God to service within the whole community of the baptized. Some people get uncomfortable when I point out that being a priest is not “special.” It is important, it is a real vocation, it is a necessary office in the church, but any sense of exulted specialness or uniqueness distracts a minister and the rest of the People of God from the foundational truth that the ministerial priesthood is founded on the priesthood of all the baptized as Lumen Gentium no. 10 so pointedly states.

I have become more comfortable over these years with my role as presider, as one who calls the community to prayer, as one who serves and comforts, who preaches and teaches, as one who has been ordained for that purpose. But, nevertheless, I continue to be uncomfortable with a number of my brother priests and with lay women and men who want to make more of ministerial priesthood than our orthodox theology would affirm. I still encounter seminarians and young priests who hide behind habits, collars, and titles, who understand themselves to be above and apart, who view themselves more in a cultic sacerdotal sense than as servants in the community, as those called by the Spirit and affirmed by their sisters and brothers for an important and difficult, yet still human ministry. I remain even more allergic to the various cultures of clericalism that continue to infect the Body of Christ, which is the Church, even in the age of Pope Francis. And this is very saddening.

Yet, I remain hopeful that this might become a discomfort alleviated with time and deeper theological reflection on the part of the whole community and facilitated by the reflections, model, and challenge of Pope Francis.

I look forward to continuing to grow in this ministry, grateful that I have, although I don’t deserve it, “been found worthy to be in God’s presence and minister.” Whether presiding at the Eucharist at Babson College on the weekends or at various places around the country, whether teaching in the classroom or in a public space, whether trying to get out of God’s way so that the Spirit may comfort the afflicted in the sacraments of healing — I’m grateful for this particular call to ministry. Having done so for two years already, may God continue to guide me in the years to come and may I always be open in responding to that direction.

Photo:  The Catholic Sun




Thomas Merton Conference at St. Bonaventure

Posted in Thomas Merton with tags , , , , , on April 11, 2014 by Daniel P. Horan, OFM

merton-conferenceThere are only a few days remaining to take advantage of the discounted ‘early bird’ registration for the summer conference on Thomas Merton at St. Bonaventure University (prices go up after April 15). The conference, titled “Merton as Model and Mirror: Coming Home and Going Forth,” is scheduled to take place from June 19-22 and “will celebrate the relationship between St. Bonaventure University and Merton in anticipation of Merton’s 100th birthday in 2015.” This is one of the first of what will likely be many varying celebrations around the United States and world commemorating the Merton Centenary in 2015.

There are many reasons why you should consider coming to this conference, especially if you live in New York, PA, Ohio, or Ontario, Canada, for whom it would be just a couple hours by car. For starters, St. Bonaventure University was the last place that Merton lived and worked — he taught in the English department there before entering the monastery — and it is a place where his discernment to religious life blossomed into what would become his true vocation. SBU in June is absolutely breathtaking, located in Western New York amid the Allegheny Mountains and beside the river. Merton’s The Seven Storey Mountain and his journals from this time portray his experience walking the campus thinking, working, praying, and discerning. Also, there are opportunities to go out and actually visit the cabin in which he, Robert Lax, and their friends spent two summers writing, talking, drinking, and the like — you’ve likely read about the importance of that place in The Seven Storey Mountain too. You can follow in his footsteps. All this having only to do with the campus itself!

Additionally, and I’m of course biased here, there is a whole host of amazing speakers lined up. For the keynote addresses you have some very familiar names:

    • Dom John Eudes Bamberger, O.C.S.O., Fourth Abbot of the Abbey of Genesee;
    • Christine Bochen, Ph.D., professor of religious studies and the William H. Shannon Chair in Catholic Studies at Nazareth College;
    • Fr. Daniel Horan, O.F.M.,  America magazine columnist, author, St. Bonaventure alumnus, and doctoral student in systematic theology at Boston College ;
    • Michael Higgins, Ph.D., professor of religious studies and vice president for mission and Catholic identity at Sacred Heart University.

There will also be a number of excellent ‘break out’ or ‘concurrent’ sessions that include some other important folks from the world of Merton scholarship.

For a little overview of Merton’s time in Western New York and its significance, take a look at a 2013 feature article in The Buffalo NewsShadow of a Soul: Thomas Merton’s Spiritual Path Wound Through Bonaventure Campus.”

Check it out and consider coming, it will be a Merton experience of a lifetime! Visit:


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 936 other followers

%d bloggers like this: