children

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Making a Pilgrimage with Kids in Tow

Before you think I’m a holy person, let me correct you; I’m not. And aren’t holy people the ones who go on pilgrimages? The word still strikes fear (or is that wonder?) in my not-raised-Catholic heart. It feels foreign in my mind, resounding with unattainable piety and perfectly behaved kids. Because, like it or not, the season of life I’m […]

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A Man I Know

I lit a candle and prayed in our parish chapel not long ago for a man I know in his mid-70s who is struggling with various health issues as he gets older.  The candle I lit burned brightly, more brightly than the others, for the hour I was in the chapel.  The light reminded me of his life filled with […]

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Is It Better to Love or Be Loved?

Is it better to love or be loved? It is a simple question, but it can change the way you orient your whole life. Wouldn’t being loved by more people mean that you are a better person? Wouldn’t it feel better to be loved by lots of people? Wouldn’t it bring you greater honor? Isn’t honor a good thing? Wouldn’t […]

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Four Critical Principles for Catholic Fathers

“It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father.” (Pope St. John XXIII) I often feel completely lost and befuddled as a Catholic father in today’s world. How do I set the right example? How do I help my sons grow up with a strong Catholic faith? How do I prepare them […]

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Try Hard, Love Much

“She tried hard and loved much.” Not to be morbid, but I hope that can be truthfully put on my tombstone. I’m not planning on dying any time soon, but I’ve been thinking about this a lot. Over the years I have come to realize that a great way to live is to really consider my own death. What is […]

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A Special and Courageous Young Man

This past Sunday I had an opportunity to witness a very special moment at my parish. A 17-year-old young man with high-functioning autism was taking his first turn as a lector at the 7:30 am Mass. The lector role is an important one with serious responsibility, but this young man showed confidence and little fear as he read what was a […]

The Virtual Family: Connected or Disconnected?The Virtual Family: Connected or Disconnected?

Six Ways to Avoid Becoming a Virtual Family

I took my family out to dinner one evening after my younger son’s lacrosse practice. As we were catching up on each other’s day and making plans for the coming weekend, I noticed a family had been seated at the table next to us. What struck me as odd was that the dad was on his iPhone answering an email, […]

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Five Questions From Catholics About Evolution

In elementary school, children learn about dinosaurs and fossils, how fossils form, how paleontologists reconstruct skeletons of animals from the past using those fossils. There seems no difficulty whatsoever accepting that all kinds of plants and animals lived on the Earth before people lived. Meanwhile, the Catholic children learn about Creation, Adam and Eve, Original Sin, Noah’s Ark, and the birth, life, death, […]

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Should We Pray Out Loud?

Elizabeth Pack Photography One of the questions St. Thomas Aquinas posed in his short treatise on prayer (Summa Theologiæ, II-II, Q. 13, Art. 12) was, “Should prayer be vocal?” The answer is: Yes, if it increases our devotion. Obviously, group prayer should be vocal. The priest at Mass must pray out loud so the faithful can know the prayers that are being offered, and so […]