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St. Ignatius Mission Church - founded by Father Pierre-Jean De Smet (Courtesy of Montana Department of Tourism)

Following in the Footsteps of Father Pierre-Jean De Smet to the Solar Eclipse!

There is arguably no one more well-traveled in the world in the nineteenth century than the Belgium-born Father Pierre-Jean De Smet, SJ (Father Peter-John). He was born in 1801 and traveled 180,000 miles in his lifetime, passing away in 1873. On behalf of raising money and awareness for Indian missions in America, the great Jesuit priest crossed the ocean nineteen times, visiting […]

"The Assumption of the Virgin" (detail) by Guido Reni

Celebrating the Dormition and Assumption of Mary

On August 15th of each Liturgical Year, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the United States, the Assumption is a Holy Day of Obligation unless it  falls on a Saturday or Monday, in which case the precept to attend Mass is abrogated: “Whenever January 1, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, or August 15, […]

Inside the Cathedral of the Assumption in Pisa, Photography by Mark Armstrong

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Assumption of the Virgin Mary (called the Dormition in the Christian East) has been celebrated as a solemn feast on August 15 since ancient times.  What is the meaning and basis of the dogma and the Solemnity? Reflection on the Mass readings for the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary — Revelation 11:19; 12:1-6, 10; Psalms 45:10, […]

"The Holy Family (detail)" by Murillo

Seven Essential Lessons for Dads

Our state in life is where we live out our vocation; it is the path by which we journey to Heaven. God has called each of us by name to Himself. In baptism we each received a share in the divine mission and a responsibility to be faithful to that mission. When a man and a woman answer God’s call to […]

"Christ Walking on the Waters" (detail) By Julius Sergius Von Klever [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Walking on the Water—Fear, Faith and Trials

The gospel story of Jesus walking on the water and Peter sinking has much to teach us about the difference between fear, little faith, and the kind of trust that endures waves and storms, trials and crisis. Reflection on the Mass readings for the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) — First Kings 19:9, 11-13; Psalms 85:9, 10, 11-12, 13-14; […]

Detail of bas-relief depicting Clare receiving Papal approval of her Order on her deathbed. From the convent at San Damiano

The Patroness of Television

There is a patron saint for everyone—accountants and authors, bankers and bee keepers—and everything—travel and toothaches, Kentucky and kidney stones.  So it shouldn’t surprise us that as they became commonplace in homes, Pope Pius XII realized we needed a patron saint of television. He chose Saint Clare of Assisi, the famous female follower of St. Francis. On Palm Sunday in […]

Photography © by Randy Hain

Undeniable

“Human intelligence is surely already capable of finding a response to the question of origins. The existence of God the Creator can be known with certainty through his works, by the light of human reason, even if this knowledge is often obscured and disfigured by error. This is why faith comes to confirm and enlighten reason in the correct understanding […]

"Baptism of Christ" (detail) by Perugino

Eight Ways to Be a Better Godparent

It is an honor to be asked to be a godparent.  But choosing a godparent is not merely a way to honor a friend or relative after the birth of a child; it is an invitation to take on a big responsibility in the child’s life.  No, you are not expected to raise the child in the event of the […]

Man of the House—A Book Review

Man of the House A Handbook For Building A Shelter That Will Last In A World That Is Falling Apart. C. R. Wiley Resource Publications (2017) ### In this age, we are suffering a crisis of fatherhood like no other. Notions of manly virtue, authentic fatherhood and manly leadership have been under attack for so long it is highly unlikely that […]

"St. Ambrose" by Matthias Stom

Musing on the Teeth of St. Ambrose

I write these words from Milan, Italy, where I am with my Word on Fire team filming new episodes for our Pivotal Players series. I’ve seen lots of marvelous things on this trip, including the ruins of the ancient baptistery under the Milan Cathedral where, in the spring of 387, St. Augustine was baptized by St. Ambrose. But the most […]