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Sister Pamela Smith

What possible good is there in suffering?

“Offer it up!” For more seasoned Catholics, this recommenda­tion conjures up images of a stern old nun denying children recess, candy, or a homework-free weekend. For all of us, though, the idea of offering any deprivation or suffering for the benefit of our own or others’ souls is a time-honored tradition. We give things up […]


Consider the contributions of all our immigrants, including Jesus

Bishop Gerald Kicanas, when he was still an auxiliary in Chicago, told the story of an encounter he had with a ragged woman who was pushing a shopping cart. When she hailed him, he admitted that his initial response was to wish he had been walking on the other side of the street. Moments later […]


A pro-life virtue, a family value

Docility sounds like the title of a character study of wimps. As a personal habit, docility has gotten a bad rap. Sorry to say, some believers seem to think that being docile means that they should decline making common-sensed decisions and taking responsibility for them. As students they may have been clobbered for independent thought […]


Waiting and working for peace on Earth

There is something about the physics of the universe that doesn’t tolerate chaos indefinitely. Scientific research shows that chaotic systems eventually tend to break into some sort of order and pattern. These days we have to hope that chaos theory has it right and that we will see the chaos brought on by terrorism, mass […]


One saint’s Christmas letter

There are a number of saints who can be ranked among the world’s collection of geniuses. St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Catherine of Siena, and St. Teresa of Avila would definitely be among them. In our own time, Pope St. John Paul II no doubt also qualifies. As they often say of geniuses, they […]


Here’s to a quiet Advent

One late afternoon some 20 years ago, I was walking behind a couple headed for a weekday Mass at the University of Scranton campus ministry center. The girl was reminding the boy that we don’t sing or say “alleluia!” during Lent. “You’re kidding!” he exclaimed. “No, you don’t have alleluias again till Easter,” she explained. […]


Choosing to be grateful amid physical challenges

Mary Jane and Craig were college students who left a decades-long impression on me. As a young teen, she had thought herself indestructible and fell from the far-too-tall tree she had climbed on a dare. She navigated the campus in a wheelchair, as did he. His was the result of having been born with no […]


Promises, promises: Some reflections during the Year of Consecrated Life

One of the prayers in the liturgy for Ordinary Time asks this: “Send us as witnesses of gospel joy into a world of fragile peace and broken promises.” We don’t have to study statistics to see that not only promises but also hearts get broken. All we have to do is go to family reunions […]


Laudato Si’: Ecospirituality is not New Age thinking

It was 1979 when St. John Paul II named Francis of Assisi the patron saint of ecology. But it was not until his January 1990 World Day of Peace message that people of faith took closer notice. In that message, he spoke of the call to prayer which we receive when we reflect on creation. […]


Celebrating 2,640 years of consecrated life

The Trappists at Mepkin Abbey are known to some as the state’s ace mushroom growers. Catholics also know them as one of the cloistered, contemplative powerhouses of our diocese, a role which they share with the Poor Clares in the upstate. Some of us also are aware that the monks repeatedly offer the gift of […]


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  • Diocesan Events Calendar
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    Oct 13 Diocesan Evangelization Conference
    From the Calendar of Ethnic Ministries
    Oct 278:00 am Day of Continuing Education for Deacons
    From the Calendar of Diaconate
    Nov 1 Black Catholic History Month
    From the Calendar of African American Ministry
    Nov 1010:00 am Junta de Equipo Diocesano de Emmaus
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Nov 1210:00 am Junta Diocesana
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Nov 17 Diocese of Charleston Native American Catholic Heritage Celebration
    From the Calendar of Native American Ministry
    Nov 18 Vietnamese Martyrs Celebration
    From the Calendar of Vietnamese Ministry
    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