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Column Archives

Eight Portraits of Love: Mother Mary Alphonsa Hawthorne

Editor’s note: This is part of a series for Lent. Each of God’s holy ones stand with their own story. Imagine a friend of God who loses her son, suffers through her husband’s alcoholism, sees her marriage fall apart, and tries with everything in her being to see God’s providence and to make an act […]

Eight Portraits of Love: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

Editor’s note: This is the first of an eight-part series of columns for Lent. The saints can be great friends to us. This assertion might be surprising to some people. It can seem that the saints are removed from us and our daily lives. These friends of God are seen as holy, and somehow we […]

Lent is a time to take stock

My experience has been that far too much of our lives are often spent running in the fast lane. Many people, myself included, seem to go from one thing to the next without much time for reflection in between. There are times when I actually long for the days when I would complain to my […]

This I believe, a profession of faith for life

I take very seriously the Profession of Faith in the Liturgy of the Mass and believe everything it contains. I also believe that living on this planet at this time is a divine appointment, an order signed by the hand of God. I must be about my Father’s business, so I’d better be clear on […]

Prophets and every day talents we fail to recognize

Recently I reflected on the passage from the Gospel of Luke where Jesus gets up and preaches in his local synagogue and the people in his town write him off as just one of the kids from the neighborhood. They assumed that a child of a poor carpenter would have nothing of importance to say […]

Discovering God’s call requires listening to our hearts

One of the major tasks of young adults is to discover God’s call. It is a process we all go through in one way or another. Each of us has a unique call — one only we can answer. Discovering our call isn’t as easy as picking up the phone or texting a message to […]

Going all in can be a scary, yet rewarding challenge

A friend of mine has just taken the standardized entrance examination for admission to law school. Thousands of people do this each year in America, so it should be no big deal, except that my friend is in her 60s. She prepared for up to three hours per day most days for the past several […]

Guarding and preparing Advent hearts is a choice

An important and often overlooked pitfall of overconsumption of media information is what we do with the news stories we see and hear. Tales of high-profile personalities involved in marital infidelity fill the tabloids, television channels and Internet. Theft, murder—name the crime—the stories all go into one’s mind for processing. Much as the old technology […]

Death has no power: Why we pray for those who have died

People are often curious or shocked when they encounter the Catholic custom of praying for the dead. They ask, “Why do you pray for them? They’re dead!” The question reflects some strongly held cultural beliefs about death: it is a final end, we’re permanently separated from loved ones, and there’s nothing else beyond death. As […]

The Catholic funeral—from this life to the next

Editor’s Note: This column is part of a series on death and dying.Once, while in the parish, I was approached by a well-intentioned, non-Catholic funeral director who wanted certain things added to the funeral Mass. When I attempted to explain why these additions were not possible, the gentleman interrupted me and asserted, “Reverend, I understand, […]

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