Father Joseph Breighner

Father Joseph Breighner

Father Joseph Breighner, a Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, is a popular lecturer and retreat master in the mid-Atlantic region. He formerly hosted a regular weekly radio show, "Country Road," that was syndicated throughout the country. He has been writing a weekly column for The Catholic Review for decades. Father Breighner retired in 2013 and writes a monthly column for the Catholic Review magazine. Beginning in December 2015, he will publish additional columns that will appear exclusively on this page of the Catholic Review website. Purchase Father Joe's books in our store.


A request for prayers
Jul 22 2013
One of the challenges of writing my Catholic Review column is that it is published every other week. Events that have yet transpired as I’m writing may have already happened by the time you read this column. As an old cartoon character used to say, “What a revoltin’ development!”

Good deeds for God
May 30 2013
Since I love to tell stories, I find that they have a way of finding their way to me. Recently my good friend, Monsignor Ed Miller, the wonderful pastor of St. Bernardine in West Baltimore, told me a couple of them. They are both about children.

Body of Christ lasts forever
May 17 2013
How do we know when we love ourselves? We were taught by Jesus to love our neighbors as ourselves. We were commanded to love ourselves as the measure of our love for others.

To hear God's voice, you have to listen
May 14 2013
As I write this column, the events around the Boston Marathon are still unfolding. Allow me to share a true story. I know a couple from Minnesota, Darlene and Ron. Darlene is my official hair cutter.

Put faith in the Risen Lord
May 02 2013
Psychologists tell us that most of human behavior can be summed up in the three wants: approval, control and safety. The seven deadly sins could be summed up in some form of wanting.

Things aren't always pretty
Apr 26 2013
On the rear of a car I noticed a bumper sticker that read: “Thy Will Be Done!” Then I noticed that someone had run into the back of the car. The bumper was smashed in.

‘Be still and know that I am God’
Apr 18 2013
Occasionally, on retreats, I will use the following meditation.

The loss of a pet and the power of love
Apr 12 2013
I’m writing this column on Easter Sunday night. The sounds of the Exultet – the triumphal Easter hymn of the victory of life over death – is still ringing in my ears. This is a day of profound joy. Instead, however, I’m feeling sad.

I believe
Apr 05 2013
As I walk on a spring day (it feels more like winter as I write this column), I’m always touched by the sight of dead leaves on the sidewalk. Once they were but tiny buds.

Love yourself with all of your fears
Mar 29 2013
Holy Week is a time to look at the fears that run our lives. Let me begin with a story.

Reconcile to the divine within
Mar 22 2013
Early in Lent a saintly, elderly nun asked me if I would hear her confession. I told her I would be honored to do that. She prefaced her confession, however, by saying: “Father Joe, for the life of me I can't think of anything I've done wrong.”

Father Breighner’s column goes to the dogs
Mar 14 2013
Over the last several years, I have been assisting an older lady as she slowly develops dementia. With the assistance of her doctors and lawyer, I have assumed Power of Attorney and Medical Power of Attorney as she has slowly been less and less able to function cognitively.

See with new eyes
Mar 08 2013
Lent is a time that invites us to see with new eyes. Allow me to share a story of a visual miracle in my own life.

Let awareness lead you to Christ
Mar 01 2013
I recall the story of a newly married couple who got into financial difficulty very quickly. They sat down and hammered out a very tight budget, and agreed to spend nothing extra.

Focus on God this Lent
Feb 22 2013
One of my favorite Lenten stories is the story of the little boy who came home from the Ash Wednesday Mass. He said to his mother: “Mom, there's somebody under my bed!”

How do we transition from the sentimental to the sober?
Feb 14 2013
So how did this happen? How did it get to be Lent in the second week of February?

Old as we think
Feb 07 2013
So, when are we old? Let me tell you a story. It was half-time during the AFC championship game between the Ravens and the Patriots. I decided to come back to the rectory to watch the second half.

In the presence of love
Jan 31 2013
Now it’s time for love and romance! Last week I wrote the tragic column (check it on line) about cyber-bullying- how one boy’s bullying of a young girl led to her suicide.

Cyberbullying hurts
Jan 24 2013
I’m not sure that we “older” adults can fully comprehend how difficult it can be to be young, or to be a parent, today. Allow me to share what one mother shared with me:

Desperate times call for ... a colonoscopy
Jan 18 2013
I bet I did something for New Year’s Day that you didn’t do! I spent the day preparing for my colonoscopy. While you were drinking your bubbly – I was drinking my ugly! Don’t I know how to have fun?

Be for something
Jan 12 2013
By the time you read this column, the Christmas season will be mostly over. It officially ends, not with the Feast of the Epiphany, but with the Baptism of the Lord by John the Baptist. We see the babe in Bethlehem now grown to adulthood in Judea.

Love dissolves power of evil
Jan 04 2013
I felt honored to be quoted in the Radio Mass of Baltimore Newsletter. (You can tune in to the Mass each Sunday on WBAL – AM 1090 from 9:30 a.m. to10:00a.m.)

A reflection on time
Dec 28 2012
So the world didn’t end! If you’re reading my article, I bet you’re still alive. What can we learn from all of this? Well, we learn that we humans like to scare ourselves to death. I can’t remember a time when someone, somewhere, wasn’t predicting the end of the world!

The Christmas gift of a poem
Dec 21 2012
A humorist once commented that only Francis Scott Key knew all the verses to the Star Spangled Banner – Our National Anthem.

Like Mary, surrender to the Christ within
Dec 13 2012
Mary let go of her fears, worries, anxieties and doubts, and surrendered them to God. Can we do the same? I believe we can.