Father Joseph Carola, S.J.

+AMDG+ Please note that this is a page maintained for Fr. Carola, but he is not on Facebook himself. :)

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This summer, Father will be preaching a retreat for Catholic clergy and seminarians at the Jesuit Spirituality Center retreat house in Grand Coteau, Louisiana.

The retreat is from July 21-27, 2024. Cost is $140/day (scholarships available). For more information you can email [email protected] or call (+1)337-662-5251.

Website: https://jesuitspiritualitycenter.org/fr-joseph-carola-s-j-preached-retreat-for-priests-and-seminarians-july-21-27/

Spread the word and share/tag this post to any clergy who may be interested!

Scholarship at the Cathedral with Fr Joseph Carola SJ. Sydney, 12 September 2023 18/09/2023

Father Carola was in Australia 🇦🇺 last week, and gave a lecture on doctrinal development in the lecture series Scholarship at the Cathedral at St. Mary's Cathedral in Sydney.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney has posted his lecture on their YouTube channel, check it out at the link.

Scholarship at the Cathedral with Fr Joseph Carola SJ. Sydney, 12 September 2023 Scholarship at the Cathedral is an initiative of the Catholic Archdiocese Sydney, in partnership with The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Institute for ...


Now available for pre-order in the USA, Father Carola's fourth book that he has been working on for eighteen years, entitled "Engaging the Church Fathers in Nineteenth-Century Catholicism: The Patristic Legacy of the Scuola Romana"

About the book:
"The twentieth-century patristics movement that contributed theologically to the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council is generally well known. Less well known, but no less important, is the similarly dynamic return to the ancient ecclesial sources that took place in nineteenth-century theology, which profoundly shaped the Catholic articulation of the relation of faith and reason, the development of doctrine, the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God, and the nature of the Church.

In Engaging the Church Fathers in Nineteenth-Century Catholicism, Joseph Carola, S.J., tracks the theological movement of the Scuola Romana, a contemporaneous, interconnected return to patristic sources pursued by Jesuit theologians at the Roman College—Giovanni Perrone, Carlo Passaglia, Clemens Schrader, and Johann Baptist Franzelin—and their precursors, interlocutors, and intellectual progeny, including the Tübingen theologian Johann Adam Möhler, the Oxonian John Henry Newman, and the Cologne theologian Matthias Joseph Scheeben. Situating these seven theologians’ lives and labors within the broader historical context of nineteenth-century Catholicism, Carola introduces readers to a rich theological world rarely explored, providing both biographical depth and attentive distillation of their writings, methodologies, and impacts.

As Carola shows, these extraordinary theologians engaged the Church Fathers and the Church’s entire tradition with intellectual rigor, revitalizing the nineteenth-century Catholic Church at her very heart and providing, in turn, a refined patristic methodology and faithful theological vision that are just as vital for the Church in the twenty-first century as they were in the nineteenth."

Go here for more details and to pre-order: https://stpaulcenter.com/product/engaging-the-church-fathers-in-nineteenth-century-catholic-theology-the-patristic-legacy-of-the-scuola-romana/

Second Monday of Lent 2023.pdf 06/03/2023

(See the attached link to the PDF for Father's homily from this morning's Mass.)

"This morning I celebrated and preached at the Lenten Station Church of San Clemente in Rome. It takes place each year on the Second Monday of Lent. The North American College has invited me for many years to do so. It is always a blessing to celebrate Mass there.

Fraternally in the Heart of Jesus,
Father Joseph Carola, S.J."

Second Monday of Lent 2023.pdf

Podcast: Deep Down Things with Father Joseph Carola 04/02/2023

Hello friends, Mary (page admin) here. Thought you all would be interested to know about this recent interview with Father if you weren't aware of it yet.

Happy Candlemas/St Blaise day to you all!

Podcast: Deep Down Things with Father Joseph Carola Professor of Catholic Studies David Deavel talks with Father Joseph Carola about the Catholic tradition and the Church fathers.

Photos from Father Joseph Carola, S.J.'s post 14/03/2022

Greetings to all from Father after a long absence! Today's Lenten stational church in Rome is the Basilica San Clemente, and in keeping with recent years' custom Father Carola gave the homily at the Pontifical North American College English-language Mass there early this morning. He has sent along the full text and some selected images. A blessed and fruitful Lent to all.

A. M. D. G.
Praying for peace in the Ukraine

First Reading: Daniel 9:4-10
Psalm 78 (79)
Gospel: Luke 6:36-38

At the beginning of the eighteenth century, Pope Clement XI had the nave of the Basilica of San Clemente sumptuously renovated. The Supreme Pontiff commissioned works from Rome’s finest artists. Drawing upon the mid-fifth-century, legendary Passio or martyrdom account of the late-first-century Pope Saint Clement, Sebastiano Conca and Giovanni Odazzi painted respectively The Miracle and The Martyrdom of St. Clement that adorn the church’s upper nave. Odazzi also depicted St. Cyril’s ninth-century Transfer of the Remains of St. Clement to Rome. According to the Passio, Clement incurred the Emperor Trajan’s wrath for having successfully converted to Christianity many illustrious Roman senators and imperial friends. For this sacrilege against the Roman pantheon, Trajan commanded that Clement “be persuaded either to sacrifice to the gods, or else undergo exile across the Black Sea in a deserted place which lies next to the city of Cherson.” Clement refused to renounce his faith and consequently suffered exile to the Taurike Chersonesos, that is, to the Crimean peninsula, an historically tortured land. There Clement encountered two-thousand fellow Christians who, on account of their faith, were likewise “condemned to hewing rocks in the quarries.” On that dry, Crimean steppe, those Christians, condemned to hard labor, suffered immense thirst relieved only by water found six miles away. Merciful as our heavenly Father is merciful, Pope Saint Clement came to their aid.

Invoking Jesus Christ who through Moses in the desert had brought forth water from the rock, Clement prayed for those confessors of the faith. At the conclusion of his prayer, Clement beheld a lamb extending its right foot toward a particular spot. “St. Clement, picking up a light little hoe and striking under the feet of the lamb, opened up a spring graced with flowing water, which, pouring out with its own impetus, created a small river.” Not only then did those Christians quench their thirst, but many others also came to believe in Jesus Christ. Upon receiving news of Clement’s further success at evangelizing even the Crimea, the infuriated Emperor sent the military commander Aufidianus to compel Clement to sacrifice to the gods. Despite the military threat, Clement remained steadfast in the faith. For his refusal to comply, Aufidianus ordered that Clement “be taken to the sea, and have an anchor tied round his neck, and […] thrown into the midst of the sea.” The fifth-century Passio concludes that annually on the Martyr’s feast day the Azov Sea recedes miles from shore, revealing “a marble dwelling-place prepared by God in the shape of a temple, and […] within it the body of St. Clement the bishop, the disciple of Peter, placed in a stone coffin.” In the ninth century, St. Cyril, together with his brother St. Methodius, the founders of Slavic Christianity, found Clement’s reputed relics along the shores of the Azov Sea, and brought them to Rome. Soon afterwards, Saint Cyril himself was laid to rest in a tomb of the ancient church that lies below our feet.

While the Passio of St. Clement may lack an historical foundation, it is not, however, without contemporary historical relevance. For even now in that same troubled land, a world leader has demanded an impossible sacrifice from a people who have remained steadfast in their convictions despite military threat. Their consequent martyrdom presently ensues. As we gather to celebrate the Eucharist on this second Monday of Lent in the Basilica of San Clemente especially honored by Slavic Christians, Russian troops lay waste to the eastern Ukraine and in particular to the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, Mary’s City, on the northern shore of the Azov Sea. Earlier last week a Father Pavlo, along with other Pauline monks, barely managed to escape from that besieged city. Reporting how they had sought shelter from the bombardment, Father Pavlo relates:
Recently we also had no electricity, no water, and nothing to eat, only the supplies which we had brought with us. For two days I just had a tin: when you are going through something like this, you don’t feel hungry. You can survive without food, but not without water. People left their houses looking for water, and as a result many of them died brutal deaths. Walking in the streets in Mariupol amounted to su***de.

The Passio of Saint Clement had become the Passio of the Ukrainian people. Even Conca’s and Odazzi’s anachronistic depiction of the Roman Pontiff dressed in white soutane, red camauro, mozzetta, and shoes evokes images of wounded civilians wrapped against the bitter cold in blood-stained white blankets.

Amid this devastating war through which flow, in the words of the present Roman Pontiff, rivers of blood, the ancient Passio’s theological significance strikes a deep and pertinent chord. It reminds us that, in the words of Saint James, “the prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects” (James 5:16 RSVCE). It calls us to measure with the faithfully confident measure of Saint Clement as we pray to the God of justice and compassion in the psalmist’s words: “Let the groans of the prisoners come before you; according to your great power, preserve those doomed to die!” (Psalm 79:11 RSVCE). Like Saint Clement of the Passio, we look to the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, and beseech His mercy upon the Ukrainian people that He grant them, Europe, and indeed the entire world His peace. Offering the Eucharistic Sacrifice at the basilica’s high altar over the very relics that Saint Cyril brought centuries ago from the Azov Sea, we implore: Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis, dona nobis pacem! Praying toward the east whence comes the Rising Sun, we trust even now that, “in the tender compassion of our God, the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:78-79 NAB). Through the intercession of Pope Saint Clement, may it indeed be so.

Father Joseph Carola, S.J.
The Station Church of San Clemente
Rome, 14 March 2022
The Second Monday of Lent


Today, 17 May, is Father Carola's birthday - many prayers for him this day and for his teaching and ministry throughout the coming year! 🎉

I Skyped with him yesterday, he is in good spirits and life in Rome is slowly returning to normalcy. Restaurants are now open to people for eating outside, and such. He and most of the other Jesuits at the Gregorian now have been vaccinated 🙌 and he looks forward to a return to the United States in July for the summer! More news to come... -Mary (page admin)

(Photo of myself and Father from a previous visit to Rome with friends back in October 2013!)


"Here's a photo from yesterday, 30 December, when we still could go out for a walk. Let us continue to keep one another in prayer. Have a blessed New Year!

Fraternally in the Christ Child,
Father Carola, S.J."


🎄 Merry Christmas, from Father Carola! 🎄

Here is a message and photo from him (of the starlings, resting from their daily murmurrations over the city of Rome!), from last week, that he asked to be shared on this page for you all for Christmas:

"Even though the virus has made its way through most of the national colleges and many religious houses in Rome, the Jesuit community at the Gregorian and I have remained in good health to date--thanks be to God and Our Lady's intercession. Italy is about to enter into a period of severe lockdowns beginning on 21 December and lasting until 6 January. It will be a very different Christmas for us all. The birds, however, have remained unaffected. Despite all the COVID-19 restrictions, they celebrate in their own way these high holy days of our faith. In the present poverty of our own celebrations, let us remain united in prayer with the Blessed Mother and Saint Joseph who journeyed and labored "that our Lord might be born in extreme poverty, and that after many labors, after hunger, thirst, heat, and cold, after insults and outrages, He might die on the cross, and all this for [us]" (Saint Ignatius Loyola, The Spiritual Exercises § 116). Christ's birth brings us hope amid these present trials. For He was born to suffer so that we need never suffer alone. Let us not forget that the joy of Christmas heralds the glory of Easter. His birth assures our birth into eternal life. Have a blessed Christmas!

Fraternally in the Christ Child,
Father Carola, S.J."


Father Carola's birthday 🎉🎂 was yesterday, 17 May! We wish him a blessed birthday octave all this week!

📷 Photo is one Father sent from a brief excursion from covid quarantine he took recently, across the street from the Gregorian University in Rome.

Photos from Father Joseph Carola, S.J.'s post 25/04/2020

At the wedding feast at Cana, "the mother of Jesus was there" (John 2:1), along with Her Son and His disciples. Mary drew Jesus’ attention to the needs of the newlyweds. Even now, She draws His attention to the needs of all men and women amid the COVID-19 crisis. “They have no wine” (John 2:3), She told Jesus—“they have no vaccine.” In response Jesus neither calls Mary “mother” nor even mentions Her name. No. He rather jarringly retorts: “O woman, what have you to do with me?” (John 2:4). Please do not think that He means disrespect. On the contrary, by that vocative, “O woman”, He reveals the great mystery of who Mary is. She is the Woman of Scripture whom the stars crown, the sun clothes and the moon upholds (cf. Revelation 12:1). She is the New Eve whom the New Adam rhetorically interrogates in order to place in stark relief the fact that She does indeed have everything to do with Him. For just as He, the Divine Word through whom all things were made, had created Eve to be a fitting helpmate for Adam (cf. Genesis 2:18), so too He fashioned Mary Immaculate from the moment of Her Conception in order to be His Mother. Unlike the Old Eve who became Adam’s accomplice in evil, the New Eve is Her Son’s chosen accomplice in the good of our redemption. Mary models uniquely how God desires for us to co-operate in our own salvation. For without Mary’s yes there would have been no redemption. But at Her yes the Word became flesh. From Her sinless humanity God formed His own. Mary’s obedience enabled the Redemption wrought by Her Son. At the very hour of our Redemption, the hour that Mary by Her maternal intercession had anticipated at Cana, She stood faithfully at the foot of His Cross and singularly entered into His suffering as only a mother can share her own child’s pain. From His Cross Jesus gave us Mary to be our Mother—the Mother who, sharing our pain, accompanies us compassionately in this valley of tears.

Cana marvelously reveals Mary’s mission. Throughout the ages She continually exhorts us: “Do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5). In other words, She exhorts us to obey His word as She Herself had done at Nazareth. Just as the Triune God had looked with favor on Her lowliness, so too does Jesus look with mercy upon our misery. At His Mother’s insistence, He averted a crisis at Cana. He ordered the empty water jars to be filled to the brim, and then promptly turned that water into wine. In the present global crisis, His Mother continues to intercede for us before Her Son and to exhort us to do whatever He tells us. With His abundant grace Jesus fills the emptiness, the spiritual poverty, of those docile to His word. By means of the trials that such emptiness initially entails—“they have no wine”—Jesus perfects His love within us. Through the labors of the servants and the chief steward, He provided a superior wine for the feast. Through the labors of doctors and scientists, He will also provide a vaccine. Be confident that, in a post-COVID-19 world, we will once again acclaim: “You have kept the good wine until now” (John 2:10).

May Our Lady continue to wrap us in the folds of Her mantle as She places us deeply within the inner recesses of the Heart of Her Son. May the faithful departed rest in the peace of Christ.

Peace! Fraternally in the merciful Heart of Jesus,

-Father Joseph Carola, S.J.
Feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist
Rome, 25 April, 2020


A message from Father today, 14.3.2020:

During these tremendous days of global concern, I want to assure you all of my prayers. I am remembering you daily at the Altar of the Lord. May the good Lord keep us safe from all harm. May Our Lady wrap us in Her mantle as She places us in the Heart of Her Son. Through Her intercession, may the good Lord bring a swift end to this present trial.

May Christ grant to each and everyone of us His peace!

Let us remain united in prayer.

Fraternally in the Heart of Jesus,
Father Joseph Carola, S.J.

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