Holy Mass

St. Nicholas Cathedral - Ljubljana, SloveniaSt. Nicholas Cathedral - Ljubljana, Slovenia

New Freedom and New Challenges

“What religion are most people around here?” I asked the limo driver in Ljubljana, Slovenia heading for the cathedral. “Catholic, but, uh, well — Catholic,” she replied, obviously leaving something out. “Only sometimes?” I tried to pull it out of her since she was nice enough to tour me around the city on the way to the Cathedral after my […]

"Adoration of the Lamb" (detail) by van Eyck"Adoration of the Lamb" (detail) by van Eyck

Holding Hands During the Our Father?

This is going to be fairly a controversial topic, so fasten your seatbelts. I know this isn’t everyone’s opinion, but I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and research about it and feel strongly enough to finally step out of the shadows to speak my mind. I don’t think we should hold hands during the Our Father. If you try to […]

"Adoration of the Lamb" (detail) by van Eyck"Adoration of the Lamb" (detail) by van Eyck

Dreaming of the Lamb

“Dad, I had another dream about God last night,” said the nine-year-old son who had an intense dream about the Eucharist a few months earlier. “Oh? Tell me about it,” his Dad asked with a heightened curiosity. “Well, I woke up to the sound of destruction in our neighborhood.  Trees were falling and everything was being destroyed; it was dark and […]

"The Incredulity of Saint Thomas" (detail) by Caravaggio"The Incredulity of Saint Thomas" (detail) by Caravaggio

Witnesses for Christ and the Breaking of the Bread

The joy of Easter and the Risen Christ is upon us!  Christ is risen!  Truly He is risen! Do you know that you are a witness for Christ? When I was growing up in the southern part of the United States, I would from time to time encounter young, protestant teens and adults who would excitedly take to the streets […]

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

Good Friday and the Victory of the Cross

The terror of crucifixion Terrorism is nothing new.  It’s probably as old as the human race. In fact the cradle of civilization, now Iraq, was the home of the most infamous terrorists of antiquity, the Assyrians.  Their goal was to conquer their neighbors in a way that would minimize  initial resistance and subsequent rebellion.  To do this, they knew fear […]

"Christ on the Cross" (detail) by Velazquez"Christ on the Cross" (detail) by Velazquez

The Paradox of the Cross—Joy in the Midst of Sorrow

The Cross is the great paradox of Christianity. More than a few people have asked me over the years why the Catholic Church focuses so prominently and persistently on the Crucifix. One inquirer even suggested that the Crucifix hanging above the Altar is too intense a reminder of the sorrow in the world and that she would never join a […]

Father and SonFather and Son

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 […]

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

How am I to understand suffering?

One of the things with which we so often struggle is to understand our condition in a fallen world. Each of us, in our own way, has experienced the pain and suffering so often encountered as one journeys through this world on our road to heaven. The road to heaven is a way of suffering and sacrifice; and it leads […]

Pope Francis (neneo / Shutterstock.com)Pope Francis (neneo / Shutterstock.com)

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, […]

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Mass without My Kids: Not All It’s Cracked up to Be

Every so often, I find myself at Mass without my kids. And it never fails to shock me that…I’m just as distracted without them as I am when they’re with me! I wrote this piece back in 2007, when I only had one toddler to my name and was the full-time parish secretary. This toddler came to work with me every […]