Are we too casual at Mass?

“If a non-Catholic witnessed my behavior before, during, and after Mass, would they know what I believed?”  Traveling recently, I found myself at a Sunday Mass that seemed remarkably casual. The people were friendly and the priest was welcoming, but there was a marked feeling of imprecision or even complacency that hung in the church like incense. I came away […]

Five Attitudes We Have Toward Football that We Should Have Toward Church

Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, San Francisco North Beach Photography © by Andy Coan

In my days as an evangelical Christian (and even occasionally in my decade as a Catholic), I have heard many a pastor suggest that we would get a lot more out of our attendance at Church if we treated it with the same enthusiasm we display toward sporting events. Some of these pastors, no doubt, would like to see the […]

Reverence Please… Jesus is Present!

Photography © Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart

Our teenagers just came back from a Steubenville Retreat. They are fired up. They have had a palpable sense of the presence of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Then they come to Mass in the parish and that feeling begins to ebb away. Why? Why doesn’t every single Mass remind us and fill us with a sense of God’s real […]

Solemnity and Celebrations

Some months ago I was down to take a wedding on a Saturday. The couple had been prepared by the deacon. The groom was from a nominally Catholic family, the girl was unbaptized. So the wedding party turned up for the rehearsal on the Friday and, as usual, people were in high spirits, but in this case there was some […]

We Win!

What are Christians to think when thousands of atheists gather and make plans to mock and belittle them?  There’s only one thing to think… We win! In an intellectual debate, logic and evidence are the stuff a winner relies on. For Christians, prayer and love are added in.  But making fun of your opponent?  That is not an intellectual tactic. […]

Shhh… Be Still

Photography © by Andy Coan

Silence is not just golden, it’s essential. “Be still and know that I am God,” (Psalm 46:10) is a directive from on high. I am an unlikely candidate to deliver such a message as my former grade school and high school teachers can attest. They frequently moved me around on their seating charts in search of students who would not […]

Why Do We Kneel at Mass?

Do you know why we kneel at Mass?  We should all know and yet there may be some of us who do not, especially among our young people.   Read Archbishop John C. Nienstedt’s great little article on why we kneel.  Please take this to heart and help spread the word! Why do we kneel at Mass? By Archbishop John C. Nienstedt of […]