Evangelization

The Crown | NETFLIX

“The Crown” and the Fundamental Values of Society

***Spoiler Alert*** The Netflix original series The Crown, which has to do with the last months of the reign of King George VI and the first years of the reign of his daughter, Queen Elizabeth II, is just the kind of program that Americans in particular seem naturally to love. It features beautiful photography of palaces, processions, and formal receptions; and […]

St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church, Roswell, Georgia—Photography © by Michael Bickerstaff

What’s Holding You Back from a Deeper Faith

Looking back at my childhood, I am thankful for the many gifts the good God sent my way in the form of people who knew and loved Him and chose to share that knowledge and love with me. There are so many examples from the good Catholic sisters and priests who taught me to my Presbyterian friend, James, who announced […]

“Christ at 33” (detail) by Hofmann

Why We Should Address Jesus as Thou

On the final morning of the November meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, we were treated to a fine sermon by Archbishop J. Peter Sartain. The leader of the church in Seattle spent a good deal of time discussing Pier Giorgio Frassati, a saint from the early twentieth century to whom he and I both have a […]

"Adoration of the Shepherds" (detail) by Balestra

Go in Haste! Be Amazed! Treasure!

By now most of you are probably aware of the depressing statistics regarding the “nones,” that is to say, those in this country who claim no religious affiliation. The most recent survey showed that now fully one fourth of Americans belong to no religion at all—that’s approximately 80,000,000 people. And among those in the 18-29 age group, the percentage of nones […]

Women’s Leadership Conference Reveals the Gift of Feminine Genius

In a culture that lauds feminist ideology, many lay and women religious chose to respond to St. John Paul II’s definition of “feminine genius” this year instead.  In early June, a new women’s conference was held in Washington, D.C. with the title GIVEN, a word that, according to Sr. Mary Gabriel, SV, defines more than just the gifts we have.  […]

God in the dugout…

Two eleven-year-old kids on the baseball team are sitting in the dugout while their team is up to bat. Charlie, the first shortstop, turns to William, the catcher. “Does your school say anything about your purple hair?” curious about William’s hair which was purple that day—and green previously. “My school doesn’t care, my teachers don’t say anything.” William answered, “I […]

"Christ's Charge to Peter" (detail) by Raphael

“Do You Love Me? Feed My Sheep.”

In the twenty-first chapter of St. John’s Gospel, we find a gut-wrenching encounter between Jesus and Peter that defines the essence of Peter’s mission. To make this encounter unforgettable, Jesus takes Peter to the point of deep distress as he asks him not once, but three times, “Do you love me?” It is hard to imagine what this must have […]

"Conversion of Saint Paul" (detail) by Caravaggio

The Pain of Conversion

“Did you experience any loss of friends and family due to your conversion? If you did, how did you get through the grief and loss? Thanks.” The question, from a new Facebook friend, cut me to the heart. As I ponder his words, a rush of memories and emotions flood my mind. The answer to his first question, I assure […]

“All are Equal in Dignity in the Sight of God”

“By reason of their Baptism, all Catholics are equal in dignity in the sight of God and have the same divine calling.” (Guidelines for the Celebration of the Sacraments with Persons with Disabilities; 1995) When I became a mom of a child with a developmental delay who otherwise appeared typical, I wasn’t shaken enough to notice people who were marginalized. However, […]

"The Taking of Christ" (detail) by Caravaggio

Modern Man and the Difficulty of Evangelizing

“Indeed, let us continue to go out and teach all nations!” As members of the Body of Christ striving for communion with the saints, we are faced with an essential mission contingent upon first picking up our crosses. Our primary duty is to cultivate our interior habits of being by prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Good works follow the cultivation of […]