Into the Deep

"All Saints" by Fra Angelico

Do Catholics Really Pray To Mary and the Saints in Heaven?

I overheard a conversation after a morning bible study at my parish about praying to Mary and the Saints.  It went something like this (names changed)… “Thanks so much for inviting me, Beth. You have a wonderful group here. I have a question, though. I hope it doesn’t offend you, but being non-Catholic, I just don’t understand this praying to [...]

Praying the Rosary

Lepanto and Our Lady of the Rosary

The Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary Have you ever experienced the peace and grace that is gained from a fervent praying of the Rosary? For many Catholics, the prayers of the Rosary are like an old friend whose company never grows old. With Jesus as our brother, we cherish the time we are able to spend with His Blessed [...]

"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato

The Prophetic Voice of the Catholic Church — Dignity of the Human Person and the Right to Life

“Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what it wants.” (Blessed Teresa of Calcutta) We live in an age that is filled with signs and wonders, many of which are ominous and terrifying – our economies continue in turmoil, wars and the fears of terrorism rage, our environment [...]

Surrender & Strength

Pope Francis (neneo / Shutterstock.com)

Six Practical Steps to Catholic Joy

I recently had coffee with a fellow Catholic who gloomily shared his ongoing struggles with overtly living out his faith in the real world and reluctance to discuss his faith with others. He made it clear that going to Mass on Sunday was all he could or should be doing. Unfortunately, this is a very common tale. The conversation became [...]

Mission Dolores Altar (San Francisco)
Photograph © by Andy Coan

Let it Go

I grew up in a home where both my parents worked to make ends meet. There were years that my dad worked two jobs to help support our family. We had few extras, but we had what we needed. If I wanted spending money I worked a number of jobs to earn it. What our family did have in abundance [...]

Regular Feature

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You Owe It to Yourself to Read The American Catholic Almanac

I was cruising through my new favorite book, The American Catholic Almanac: A Daily Reader of Patriots, Saints, Rogues, and Ordinary People Who Changed the United States, when I came upon the April 7 entry, entitled “The Duke.” It began, “When asked about his religion, John Wayne usually gave one of two responses. Either he claimed to be a ‘presbygod____nterian’ or a [...]

St. Peter's Basilica at Night (and Ponte Sant Angelo over the Tiber)

I am struggling with resentment towards the Church, what should I do?

Dear Dan, I have been Catholic for three years now, and am very grateful for the gift of faith. However, I have recently been struggling with resentment towards the Church—feeling that there are too many demands, hardships, that too much is being asked of me. How does one combat resentment? Dear Friend, Welcome home! I am sorry to hear about [...]

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How Do I Evangelize My Atheist Friends?

A university student recently asked me, “How do I evangelize my atheist friends?” Here’s my angle based on experience. When I was a non-religious scientist working in lab, I sensed that science pointed to a greater truth. The order, symmetry, and predictability in this Book of Nature was not lost on me. I worked on artificial photosynthesis and nanotechnology and often stared [...]

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Two Vatican Scientists, One Great New Book

I’ve been enamored with Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial? since the blue galley copy showed up in my mailbox. I haven’t read it all, but I’ve nibbled enough to know it’s full of wit and wisdom. My science-loving self can’t walk away from the proposition that’s in all the marketing copy: “Witty and thought provoking, two Vatican astronomers shed provocative light [...]

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Children of God’s Debra Vinnedge Receives Evangelium Vitae Award

Cardinal Burke presenting Debi Vinnedge with the Evangelium Vitae Award. I was thrilled to learn that Mrs. Debra L. Vinnedge was honored with the Evangelium Vitae Award at the Catholic Medical Association (CMA) conference in Orlando last month. Debi has been an advisor and friend since I first read about vaccines grown in cell lines derived from aborted human fetuses. Our family has [...]

In the Spotlight

Artwork © by Jef Murray

On Dragons

[From a letter penned by Brother Azarias to his godson, Luke Lester. The letter is dated September 2, 2014, the Feast of the Guardian Angels]   My Dear Godson, You have asked me in the past how I came to be acquainted with your father and with his father before him. Now that you and your brother, Charles, are older [...]

Photography Copyright © by Colleen Duggan

How to Keep Your Kids Catholic

I don’t remember much of the arithmetic or history my fifth grade teacher, Sister Matthew Marie, a religious with the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, taught us. But I do remember that when she needed our attention, instead of yelling, she whispered. She sometimes played soccer with us on the playground during recess, and watching Sister run — with her [...]

Daily Extras

St. Ignatius of Antioch

Catholic Quote of the Day — from St. Ignatius of Antioch

  “You must all follow the bishop as Jesus Christ follows the Father, and the presbytery as you would the apostles. Reverence the deacons as you would the command of God. Let no one do anything of concern to the Church without the bishop. Let that be considered a valid Eucharist which is celebrated by the bishop, or by one [...]

Scripture Reflections

Photography © by Andy Coan

Render to Caesar

Despite their flattering words, they were trying to trap him, to force him into a no win situation. Consider the circumstances. They are living under the iron boot of a brutal empire which filled the earth with its idolatry. Patriotic Jews longed to throw off the tyrants’ yoke. They prayed for an anointed king who would free them from the [...]

Photography © by Andy Coan

True Peace and Security

A few years ago, I toured northern England. There, stretching 73 miles from coast to coast, the Roman Emperor Hadrian built a massive wall. Constructed of stone, it was built to last, since it marked the northernmost boundary of the greatest empire the world had ever known. Soldiers from every corner of the world were garrisoned there, and excavations tell [...]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Keeping Promises

There will never be a shortage of words. Words are plentiful because talk is cheap. It’s easy to make a promise. Keeping a promise is an entirely different matter, as this Sunday’s gospel makes abundantly clear. There are over a billion people on the planet who have solemnly promised to live a life of loving service to God. For that [...]