Brian R Corbin's Reflections on Religion and Life

Living Your Faith as Citizens and Leaders in Politics, Culture, Society and Business

New Year Resolutions

As we celebrate Christmas 2010, New Year 2011 and

Epiphany 2011, we again are reminded that a new year

is beginning.  With that comes new year resolutions.

In am resolving that in 2011 that I will try to spend more time

reflecting on the Word together with others.  In order

to do that I am joining a group of Christian leaders

in the Mahoning Valley to facilitate an ALPHA group

exploring the foundations of Christianity.  We will meet

every Wednesday starting Jan 12 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm

at the Boardman YMCA.  All are welcome.

I am also resolving to use the YMCA downtown more


What are some of your personal, spiritual or other


Filed under: Personal Reflections, Uncategorized

Easter and new ways of living….

Lent has been a time to question our priorities and our worldview.  As a Christian, I am challenged to review the way I see the world.  Do I see the world as Jesus would have seen it?  Do I show compassion, love and mercy to those who disagree with me or irritate me?  Do I use my money for just causes or do I even think about it?

As we end this season of Lent, our work of prayer, almsgiving and fasting are not over, but transformed.

As we approach the Easter season, consider your spending habits.  Where do you purchase your teas, coffees and chocolates?  Where do you purchase your on-line gifts?

I encourage you to consider as part of your Easter reflection to visit Catholic Relief Services Fair Trade section.

Filed under: consumerism, Culture, Fair Trade, Personal Reflections, Spirituality, Uncategorized

Labor Day and Blessed Frederick Ozanam

Wishing everyone a Happy Labor Day.

It is also interesting this year that Labor Day falls on the memorial of Blessed Frederick Ozanam, the founder of the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

In the 1830’s he and a friend began visiting Paris tenements and offering assistance as best they could. Soon a group dedicated to helping individuals in need under the patronage of St. Vincent de Paul formed around Frederick.

In 1846, Frederick, Amelie and their daughter Marie went to Italy; there Frederick hoped to restore his poor health. They returned the next year. The revolution of 1848 left many Parisians in need of the services of the St. Vincent de Paul conferences. The unemployed numbered 275,000. The government asked Frederick and his co-workers to supervise the government aid to the poor. Vincentians throughout Europe came to the aid of Paris.

Frederick then started a newspaper, The New Era, dedicated to securing justice for the poor and the working classes. Fellow Catholics were often unhappy with what Frederick wrote. Referring to the poor man as “the nation’s priest,” Frederick said that the hunger and sweat of the poor formed a sacrifice that could redeem the people’s humanity.

In 1852 poor health again forced Frederick to return to Italy with his wife and daughter. He died on September 8, 1853. In his sermon at Frederick’s funeral, Lacordaire described his friend as “one of those privileged creatures who came direct from the hand of God in whom God joins tenderness to genius in order to enkindle the world.”

Frederick was beatified in 1997.

Frederick’s witness as a lay Catholic engaged in social ministry serves as a model for our own time.  He offered his talents to teach others incorporating the gospel message, as well as living out his witness by serving those, especially as an advocate and with direct material aid to help working class families.

What do you think Frederick Ozanam offers our time?

Filed under: Culture, Personal Reflections, Social Justice, Spirituality

What does Caritas in Veritate have to do with Labor and unions?

I was invited by the Youngstown State University Center for Working Class Studies to write a blog on the relationship between Caritas in Veritate, the new papal encyclical, and labor, unions, work and Catholic social teaching.

Please visit the blog at

Filed under: consumerism, Economic Policy, Market Place, morals, Personal Reflections

Do you think that the US Catholic community treats Obama differently than the Vatican?

In the 10 July 2009 edition of the New York Times, an article asserts that the Vatican treats Obama differently than the US Catholic leadership.

What are your thoughts or observations?

Filed under: Culture, Personal Reflections, Politics