Blogs

Christmas Mass at St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican CityChristmas Mass at St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City

Full Pews Mean There’s Still Hope

’Tis the season for so many things: for carols and frenzy, for out-of-control to-do lists and calm lit-by-Christmas-lights rooms, for crazed children and too much. And then there’s Christmas Mass. We’ll have to get there really, really early, because we want a seat. And we’ll be squished and uncomfortable and the kids will be done well before we’re even close to […]

"King David in Prayer (detail)" by Pieter de Grebber"King David in Prayer (detail)" by Pieter de Grebber

Five Essentials for Discovering God’s Plan for You

When God has a Different Plan I think most of us can remember an occasion when we had something all planned out. It might have been something relatively minor or it might have concerned something of greater significance to our lives. And then, everything changed and the plans we had made had to be set aside for a while or […]

"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 […]

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Mary and Ecumenism: Our Mother Wants Her Family United

God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us. God the Son, Redeemer of the world, God the Holy Spirit, Holy Trinity; one God. Holy Mary, pray for us. The Litany of Loreto, also known as the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is a litany of praises to Mary approved by the Catholic Church in 1587 by Pope Sixtus V. The […]

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Joyful Witness — Everyday Heroes and More

I am 99% sure I’ve read all of Randy Hain’s books. And I’ve enjoyed them all. But his latest, Joyful Witness: How to Be an Extraordinary Catholic (Servant Books, 2014), is something different than the rest, and I can’t help but call it his best writing. Though it’s unmistakably Hain’s voice, it’s also something more, like he let go and […]

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The Lord Draws Near… Don’t Let Him Pass By

All across the parish I am encountering people who give witness to the nearness of the Lord. The consolations received, the passion expressed, the apostolic zeal displayed, all give evidence to the Lord’s grace in the life of the parish family. This is not unusual for our parish, but this Advent and the weeks that led up to the season […]

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These Children are a Blessing

Those whose lives are diminished or weakened deserve special respect. Sick or handicapped persons should be helped to lead lives as normal as possible.  —CCC 2276 One of the few issues my wife and I were concerned about when we decided to join the Catholic Church in 2005 was how to include our oldest son, Alex, who has high-functioning autism. […]

Hippolytus Astrology

Did You Know St. Hippolytus Refuted Astrology in the Third Century?

Astrology has its roots in the astral omens of ancient Mesopotamia dating back to the third millennium before the birth of Christ.[1] The ancient Babylonians presumed astronomical observations of the configuration of celestial bodies gave them the ability to predict the future. These astral omens (omina) involved occultic beliefs that events in the natural world, such as lightening, cloud movements, […]

Detail of Murillo's "Immaculate Conception"Detail of Murillo's "Immaculate Conception"

What my mother taught me about Our Mother

From my earliest years, the memories of my mother’s prayers to Our Blessed Mother and her praise and thanksgiving offered to Jesus, her Lord, still travel across the decades of time and touch my heart, especially on each feast day dedicated to Our Lady. My mom would tell me over the years that Our Blessed Mother’s love for me was […]

"The Beheading of St. John the Baptist" by Caravaggio"The Beheading of St. John the Baptist" by Caravaggio

Lessons from St. John the Baptist that will change your life…

As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, “Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, who shall prepare thy way; the voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight’” (Mark 1:2-3). St. John the Baptist is proclaimed by Jesus as the greatest of the Old Testament Prophets sent to prepare […]