Pope Francis in Philadelphia September 26, 2015
a katz / Shutterstock.comPope Francis in Philadelphia September 26, 2015 a katz /

What I Learned from Attending the Papal Mass in Philadelphia

Since we only live a few hours away, we decided at the last minute to attend the Papal Mass in Philadelphia. Making an appearance with our kids to this event—no matter how historic—made no sense. We did not have tickets. We have six children, one of whom is a toddler capable of shattering glass with his high-pitched screams. Two million […]

Mission Dolores Altar (San Francisco)
Photograph © by Andy CoanMission Dolores Altar (San Francisco) Photograph © by Andy Coan

Strengthen Your Eucharistic Faith

  Four Sundays ago, I mentioned here that the liturgical calendar of the Church was taking a short break from the Gospel of Mark, which we had been hearing this year at Sunday Mass. Next Sunday, we will return to Mark’s Gospel. Counting today, we have spent five consecutive Sundays hearing from the sixth chapter of John’s Gospel. Its content has […]

Pope Francis (neneo / Francis (neneo /

Catholic Quote of the Day — from Pope Francis

“Therefore the Eucharistic Celebration is much more than simple banquet: it is exactly the memorial of Jesus’ Pascal Sacrifice, the mystery at the centre of salvation. Memorial does not simply mean a remembrance, a mere memory; it means that every time we celebrate this Sacrament we participate in the mystery of the passion, death and resurrection of Christ.” (Pope Francis, […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Encountering the Word — John 6:66-69

A Daily Quote from Sacred Scripture After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him. Jesus said to the twelve, “Will you also go away?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan


Belief in God is rather widespread, at least in America.  Various surveys show that over 90% of Americans “believe in God.” But belief and faith are not quite the same thing.  When many people say “I believe in God” they mean that they believe that God exists, that “there is a God” somewhere up there.  Nothing wrong with having such […]

Pope St. John Paul IIPope St. John Paul II

Catholic Quote of the Day — from Pope St. John Paul II

“The Church draws her life from the Eucharist. This truth does not simply express a daily experience of faith, but recapitulates the heart of the mystery of the Church.” (Pope St. John Paul II) October 22 is the Optional Memorial of St. John Paul II (1920 – 2005).   Print this entry

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Life and the Feast of Faith

From time to time I run across sophisticated people who don’t, of course, believe in God, at least not in the way he’s represented by organized religion.  But they are very happy that the hoi polloi, the vast crowd of ordinary people, do believe in God.  For to them, religion promotes basic morality in society which is, of course, something […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Elijah’s Bread

It’s hard enough to do the right thing.  But when you get blame for it instead of praise, it really takes the wind out of your sails, even if you happen to be a prophet. This is background we need in order to understand this Sunday’s first reading.  Elijah had just brought an end to a two year famine by […]