Holy Mass

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 […]

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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 […]

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 […]

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

Leaving Early? Really?

You have been invited to a wonderful dinner by one of your friends and/or family. You had no worries about cooking the meal or going out that night, and were just able to relax and enjoy a nice home cooked-meal. As your host is walking in with the dessert that he/she spent an hour preparing, you get up, put your […]

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

Catholic Quote of the Day — from St. John Vianney

“When we leave the holy banquet, we are as happy as the Wise Men would have been, if they could have carried away the Infant Jesus.” (St. Jean-Baptiste Marie Vianney, Cure d’Ars) August 4 is the Memorial of St. John Mary Vianney, Priest (1786 – 1859). Print this entry

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Scientists Believe in Things They Cannot See

The opening line of the high school Prentice-Hall Chemistry textbook for the chapter “Atomic Structure” reads, “Have you ever been asked to believe in something you couldn’t see?” Christian students may chuckle at that question. Of course they’ve been asked to believe in things they cannot see—the soul, the angels, and mostly God. Atheists, on the other hand, are often quick to praise science […]

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Why Sacrifice is Necessary in this Life

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. It is a road of sacrifice paved with the cross of Christ. If we […]