Into the Deep

Into the Deep offer practical insight and encouragement for being a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ.  Deacon Bickerstaff draws from Sacred Scripture, Church teaching and personal testimony to help readers life the faith throughout the day. Each week, he reflects and teaches on a passage from the bible, a truth of the faith, a Person of God, an event in the life of Christ or his saints, in a way that resonates with readers more important questions about life.

The Assault on Children in the Womb

"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato

An oppressive darkness has settled upon the United States of America. Forty-six years ago, on January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court of the United States “legalized” abortion on demand and this country has never recovered from the damage inflicted on our moral fiber as tens of millions of children have been sacrificed on the “altar of self” out of expediency […]

Going to Jesus Through Mary at Cana

"The Marriage at Cana" by Gaetano Gandolfi [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

There have been many famous weddings in history, but I would argue that none more so than the Wedding Feast at Cana. This vignette in the life of Jesus is found in John’s Gospel and is traditionally held to record his first miracle – what John refers to as “the beginning of his signs.” We can better understand the importance […]

Making All Things New

"Baptism of Christ" (detail) by Perugino

The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord Most of us have at times felt that things were going so badly that we just wished we could start all over! A second chance! Or maybe your life is not going that well and you realize that you are just not the person you should be. I would bet that most […]

The Epiphany—God Has Come for You

"The Nativity" (Gerburt Christi detail) by Franz von Rohden

OUR SEARCH FOR GOD It is likely that each of us here actively seek the Lord. Jesus, Himself, instructs us to seek Him, saying, “Seek and you will find.” Man and woman’s search for God is a recurring story through the ages as we try to discover the meaning of our lives. While meditating on the Fifth Joyful Mystery of […]

God Chose Mary to be His Mother

"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato

The teaching that Mary is God’s mother was proclaimed to teach us that Jesus is true man AND true God. Each January 1 (the Octave of Christmas), the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.  I receive more comments and questions from non-Catholics, and even some Catholics, about the Church’s Marian practices and teachings than just about any other topic. […]

Lessons We Can Learn from the Holy Family

"The Holy Family (detail)" by Murillo

The Feast of the Holy Family celebrates the holiness and joy of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph of Nazareth. Each year, this celebration occurs on the Sunday following Christmas Day, unless Christmas falls on a Sunday, then it falls on the following Friday. The Church wants us to see the important link between the birth of our […]

Remembering the Holy Innocents

"The Flight to Egypt" (detail) by Carl Spitzweg

On the fourth day of our Christmas celebration, the Church reminds us that not everyone is joyful; that there exist those who are not of goodwill who do not wish to receive the season’s glad tidings. Today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents in which the Church recalls and honors those baby boys whose lives were taken in a […]

Love’s Greatest Gift

"Adoration of the Shepherds" (detail) by Murillo

“I am with you always, to the close of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) Merry Christmas! I love holidays. I love family. The two just seem to go together, don’t they?. Some holidays are joyful gatherings, some not so much. We are all too human, as the saying goes. But I say, give me holidays and family any day; warts and […]

Mary, Ark of the New Covenant, Leads Us to Her Son

"The Visitation" (detail) by Albertinell

We have arrived at the final Sunday of Advent. Christmas is just two days away. Hopefully, we have all completed our shopping and decorating. Our children have all mailed their letters to Santa! Many of us are completing preparations for our families to gather together to celebrate the birth of the Christ Child. I just learned that yesterday—the Saturday before […]

The Lord Draws Near… Rejoice!

St. Augustine of Hippo (detail) by Sandro Botticelli

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 again this Advent and during the weeks that led up to […]