Calendar & Seasons

"The Parable of the Good Samaritan" (detail) by Jan Wijnants"The Parable of the Good Samaritan" (detail) by Jan Wijnants

We Cannot Excuse Ourselves

As Catholics, we have a wonderful opportunity over the next week as we patiently await the arrival of Jesus to show our co-workers, friends, family, community and the world the beauty of our faith and the great capacity for love in our hearts.  As we prepare ourselves, what are we doing to help others?  How do we keep our focus […]

"The Prophet Isaiah" (detail) by Michelangelo"The Prophet Isaiah" (detail) by Michelangelo

What are the “O Antiphons” and why should I care?

The “O Antiphons” refer to the seven antiphons that are recited (or chanted) preceding the Magnificat during Vespers of the Liturgy of the Hours. They cover the special period of Advent preparation known as the Octave before Christmas, December 17-23, with December 24 being Christmas Eve and Vespers for that evening being for the Christmas Vigil. Introduction On the evening […]

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Our Merciful Mother — Our Lady of Guadalupe

by Sister Ines, O.C.D. In every approved Marian apparition, Our Lady has a specific mission. Each one reveals a determined and specific message—a unique and necessary goal. In the Anáhuac Valley of Mexico, on a barren hill called Tepeyac, Our Lady of Guadalupe came as a “merciful Mother,” a healer and restorer of all who are broken in body and […]

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Ishmael: The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem

Ishmael is a newly released, beautifully illustrated, hard cover children’s book which tells an interesting Christmas story about a teen aged shepherd boy who encounters the Christ Child. Senior Editor, Vivian Dudro took time from her busy schedule to discuss the book and its potential impact on children today. Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle: Ishmael is a new children’s book with gorgeous […]

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Watching and Waiting — Advent in Carmel

by Sister Timothy Marie, OCD Advent in Carmel To experience Advent in Carmel is to enter into a rarified atmosphere that is filled to the brim with Carmel’s living legacy of Advent customs and observances. My first Advent in Carmel remains fresh in my memory today, still as vibrant and alive as when it happened. I feel at a loss, […]

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A Practical Plan for this Advent

“But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his […]

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

Thanksgiving and the Eucharist

For Americans, the term “Thanksgiving” conjures up images of turkey and cranberry sauce, parades and bowl games.  These “traditions” have come to mark an event made a perpetual institution of American life by President Abraham Lincoln. But why did Lincoln proclaim the last Thursday in November as a national holiday?  Because it was clear to him that the blessings of […]

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An Angel’s Message on All Souls’ Day

A thick fog has settled on the shore. The sun looks bleached and bone-white, almost like the moon. Usually I head to the beach in the warmer months, but some impulse has called me here on this crisp November morning. Strangely, the beach is filled with other people, walking slowly and huddled together against the chill. Suddenly I realize someone […]

"All Saints" by Fra Angelico"All Saints" by Fra Angelico

All Saints — A Call to Holiness for All

At age 16, I thought that aspiring to holiness was out of the question.  If you really wanted to be holy, I thought, you had to be a priest, nun, or brother.  And you had to spend your days doing “religious stuff” like praying, preaching, teaching catechism, or serving the poor.  But I had developed an interest in the opposite […]

"La Pentecôte" (The Pentecost - detail) by Jean II Restout"La Pentecôte" (The Pentecost - detail) by Jean II Restout

The Old Testament Roots of Pentecost

Glorious Pentecost! Fifty days after the death and resurrection of our Lord we in the Body of Christ are sanctified by the descent of the Holy Spirit and the abundant gifts and blessings that attend this most holy event. From the 10th day after the ascension of our Lord forward, the Church has been a perpetual Pentecost beginning when the […]