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Mary Hood Hart

60 is just a number

“Sixty is just a number,” a friend wrote in my birthday card. Yes, I thought to myself, and so is my weight, just a number. Funny that out of all the ways I can be measured, age in years and weight in pounds have the greatest power to depress me. Sometimes our culture encourages me […]


The quiet influence of grandparents

My grandson came to my parish festival last Sunday. This is more remarkable than it sounds. Through a wonderful and dramatic turn of events, I recently moved from the North Carolina coast, where I lived over 30 years, to central North Carolina, where I began a new ministry and a new life. Tommy and his […]


Let compassion for others transcend fear

I’ll never forget when my sons were elementary school age, and they went to confession to a visiting priest. After leaving the reconciliation room, Jimmy turned to me and said, “You were wrong. Fear isn’t a sin!” Charlie chimed in with Jimmy. “Yes, you told us being afraid is a sin.” My immediate reaction was […]


Grieving my mother’s death

The anniversary of my mother’s death is approaching. While time is never a good measure of grief, I don’t feel as if I’ve truly come to understand that my mother has died. Part of the reason is my heart still feels so sensitive to the loss, so I try to protect myself against the pain. […]


Column: Growing through parenthood

Some experiences exceed our best efforts to describe them. Being a parent for the first time is one of those. Words fall short in describing the way our lives are turned upside down, and our hearts fill to bursting. We think we have our life together; we add a baby, and all our notions of […]


Column: Though we must experience change, God remains steadfast

When I was a small girl, I became disturbed by change. If my mother moved the furniturearound in our family room, I was upset. One of my earliest memories is crying, distraught, as I watched my parents remove my baby bed to replace it with a small twin. Maturity brought me relief from being disturbed […]


Father’s Day especially poignant for deployed military personnel

It was after 1 a.m. when I drove Jimmy to the airfield for his departure to Afghanistan. At least a hundred soldiers gathered in a large hangar where their family members had congregated to say their goodbyes. Later in the hour a “departure ceremony” would include a final farewell. Families were talking in hushed tones, […]


When bad things happen to faithful people

Last night, I dreamed that a massive oak fell on my roof during a fierce lightning storm. In my dream, I was unharmed. But trying to escape, I discovered my only exit blocked by the tree. I called 911 and the line rang and rang. No answer. The logic in my dream was that the […]


Because we love, heartbreak and loss are unavoidable

Last night, I dreamed that a massive oak fell on my roof during a fierce lightning storm. In my dream, I was unharmed. But trying to escape, I discovered my only exit blocked by the tree. I called 911 and the line rang and rang. No answer. The logic in my dream was that the […]


Welcome the marginalized at Christmas

Recently at my parish, I met with some young families to discuss ways to retain the spiritual side of Christmas in the midst of the secular frenzy so common in our society. Three themes were woven into the discussion. The first was that at home these parents tried to emphasize the Christmas story over the […]


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  • Diocesan Events Calendar
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    Dec 1 Black Catholics Heritage Celebration
    From the Calendar of African American Ministry
    Dec 15 Simbang Gabi for Filipino Catholics
    From the Calendar of Filipino Ministry
    Dec 25 Diocesan Television Christmas Special Fox 21
    From the Calendar of Ethnic Ministries
    Jan 412:00 am Class 2019 Ordination Retreat
    From the Calendar of Diaconate
    Jan 812:00 am Retiro Espiritual de Emmaus
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Jan 1210:00 am Junta de Equipo Diocesano de Emmaus
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Feb 911:00 am Ordination of Permanent Deacons
    From the Calendar of Diaconate