A Family Saying Grace Before MealA Family Saying Grace Before Meal

Family prayer, one meal at a time

“Hail and blessed be the hour and the moment…” Growing up, visitors to our dinner table never quite knew when to make the Sign of the Cross at the end of grace. In addition to the usual “Bless us, O Lord,” we always added the invocation “Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us” after grace. During Advent, we added an […]

"The Parable of the Good Samaritan" (detail) by Jan Wijnants"The Parable of the Good Samaritan" (detail) by Jan Wijnants

Expanding Our Hearts

In these difficult times, it can be very challenging to think of others and not just ourselves. Our personal struggles often become obstacles to helping our brothers and sisters in Christ.  If these words resonate with you, I would like to provide some encouragement to break out of this inward focus and consider our Christian obligation to love and serve […]


Armed with My Rosary

According to my confessor and spiritual director, we all have habitual sins. Each of us has an area of weakness, and that’s where our personal tempters and/or the devil attack first. In fact, when we’ve talked about my habitual sin, he used the word “addiction.” I don’t know about you, but thinking of sin as an addiction took some getting […]

"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch

Being Grateful for…Our Challenges?

“If God sends you many sufferings, it is a sign that He has great plans for you and certainly wants to make you a saint.” (St. Ignatius Loyola) I woke up on Tuesday of this week not feeling very grateful.  I am not sure why, but I started my day in a “mood.”  Maybe it was the stress of having […]


Raising Independent Catholic Kids in an Age of Conformity

Sexting, drugs, alcohol, cyber-bullying, teen suicide, rampant materialism, technology addiction, and me-first mindsets – the list of challenges to young people today can seem overwhelming.  As parents of two boys, ages 14 and 18, I feel like my wife and I are on the front lines of a never-ending war for the very souls of our children.  I would love to […]

"The Transfiguration (detail)" by Raphael"The Transfiguration (detail)" by Raphael

Six Keys to fully Surrender to Christ

At the center of Mark’s Gospel, the Transfiguration of Christ (Mark 9:2-10) stands prominently as an encouragement along the walk from Baptism to Resurrection; a walk that must pass through the Cross. Place yourself in the position of the Apostles—they have journeyed with Jesus since he began his public ministry and I am sure that they could not have been […]

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

Fixing Catholic Boredom in Six Easy Steps

On a recent Saturday morning my 14-year-old son said: “Dad, I’m bored. What are we going to do for fun today?” Knowing my youngest son well, I translated this to mean that he was looking for something new and exciting and I was supposed to provide it. This all too frequent discussion with my children has been the cause of […]

"All Saints" by Fra Angelico"All Saints" by Fra Angelico

Seven Ways Devotion to Saints makes a Difference

One good way of understanding my belief is to ask: What differences does it make? Devotion to saints makes at least seven important differences to Catholics. In each case, fundamentalists find Catholicism too mystical for their tastes. First, saints make a difference to our prayer. We’re not alone when we pray. We’re surrounded by saints. If there was any one […]


What To Dump For a Better Life

We’ve got a dumpster coming today for some household cleanup, an October cleaning of sorts to purge the house of many things—old broken but non-antique furniture, a basketball hoop that has seen better days, wet carpet pulled up from a home improvement project, and a wooden swing that served us well for many summers but is now warped and falling […]

"The Virgin at Prayer" (detail) by Sassoferrato"The Virgin at Prayer" (detail) by Sassoferrato

Mary and the Saints are Powerful Intercessors

Today is the Solemnity of All Saints, a celebration of those who have died and attained Heaven. We will remember those who are undergoing purgation tomorrow on All Souls Day. In yesterday’s featured article by Dr. Marcellino D’ambrosia, we looked at All Saints Day and that God desires all of us to become saints. Today, I would like to look […]