Blessed Virgin Mary

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

Mary as “One of Us” in Our Lady of Lourdes

Over the years, I have wondered how much Mary and I have in common.  First I wondered, because I wasn’t a mother and we lived in such different times.  Now I wonder, because I am not so patient or flawless in my mothering as I imagine she was.  I asked myself if she could possibly understand the frustrations, the challenges, […]






"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato

A Mother Who Comforts the Afflicted

There was no evidence of misery or pain.  Her sleeping face was still, the fever invisible and her riotous bowels at rest. Earlier in the day, her small head had leaned against my shoulder, burning and sweaty.  It was my first experience of having a child sick enough to cause me to worry.  Her misery during her waking time made […]






Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Encountering the Word — John 19:26-27

A Daily Quote from Sacred Scripture “When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son!’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’ And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.” (John 19:26-27) Print this entry






Venerable Fulton J. SheenVenerable Fulton J. Sheen

Catholic Quote of the Day — from Venerable Fulton J. Sheen

“The mark of man is initiative, but the mark of woman is cooperation. Man talks about freedom; woman about sympathy, love, sacrifice. Man cooperates with nature; woman cooperates with God. Man was called to till the earth, to rule over the earth; woman to be the bearer of a life that comes from God.” (Venerable Fulton J. Sheen, The World’s First […]






The Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in French AlpsThe Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in French Alps

Small Town Mary: Our Lady of La Salette

In the 1980s, when I was growing up in a small town in Ohio, there was a popular song that we all loved.  It glorified life in a small town and made us feel that we were something special because we didn’t have all the conveniences of urbanity.  We could forget that we had a forty-five-minute drive to “civilization” and […]






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The Human Side of Mary: Our Lady of Tears

I had seen the various mothers in my life cry many times, but it wasn’t until I went to make funeral arrangements with my mother-in-law that I glimpsed a portion of the tears Mary must have shed during her lifetime, especially during Our Lord’s passion and death.  My mother-in-law was making arrangements for the third time, for the third grandson.  […]






"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato

Catholic Quote of the Day — from St. Ambrose of Milan

“For her part, Mary did not fail to live up to her station as the Mother of Christ. When the apostles fled, she stood before the Cross and gazed tenderly on the wounds of her Son, because she was waiting, not for her Son’s death, but for the salvation of the world.” (St. Ambrose of Milan, Bishop and Doctor of the […]






Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Cana Connection

In the past two weeks, the Church has celebrated the Epiphany and the Lord’s baptism. This coming Sunday we remember the Wedding Feast at Cana. What’s the connection between the Jordan’s water, Cana’s wine, and the Magi’s gifts? Actually, the link is not hard to see. The Magi’s homage shows divinity of this child-king who is to die for his […]






Blessed Virgin Mary with Roses (detail)
Artwork © by Jef MurrayBlessed Virgin Mary with Roses (detail) Artwork © by Jef Murray

Mary as Our Lady of Grace

She stood there, in the front, as she always did.  She was looking down, but I felt like I somehow caught her eye.  Maybe it’s because I had my small children with me at the midnight Mass.  Among all the families with small children in our parish, we were the only one who had woken our children in the middle […]






Our Lady of Prompt SuccorOur Lady of Prompt Succor

A Mother Running to Our Aid: Our Lady of Prompt Succor

Sometimes—often—in my Christian journey, I have discovered that God’s timeline is different than mine.  While I’m busy praying every prayer I can find, He’s at work.  The problem, for me, is that I don’t always see results immediately. “Hey God,” I call, “it’s been a week since I started that novena.  I know, a few more days to go.  But, […]