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Unwrap the gifts God has given to you

When Jim and I celebrated the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony last October, we received so many wonderful gifts. We left them all, unopened, at my parent’s house until November, when we returned to visit my sister and brother-in-law and their three young children. My niece and nephews arrived a few days before we did and […]

The eternal flame

A distinguishing feature of any Catholic church is its tabernacle. Meaning “dwelling place” in Hebrew, the tabernacle may be made of diverse elements and found in different parts of a church, but always features a prominent light nearby. In the Old Testament, the tabernacle was first edified by the Israelites in the desert. After being […]

‘Laudato Si’ is not a total novelty

Among the summer’s newsmaking stories were wildfires in western states, an outflow of wastewater from an abandoned gold mine rushing downriver in Colorado, and searing temperatures worldwide. Just before summer, on Pentecost Sunday, Pope Francis sparked his own kind of wildfire by issuing the encyclical “Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home”. Almost immediately […]

The holy smoke

We live in strange times. Cigarette smoking is demonized, but recreational marijuana is decriminalized to the point that, according to the University of Michigan, daily usage is at a 35-year high on college campi. Like secondhand smoke, usage of incense in liturgical celebrations may be irritating. However, since Vatican II its usage has been permitted […]

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 […]

Contemplate the key ideas of ‘Laudato Si’

Pope Francis’ recent encyclical on the environment would be hard to reduce, in mathematical fashion, to lowest terms. But, for the sake of those who may never have a chance to read it, it may prove helpful to highlight some of its key ideas. From the outset, the Holy Father wields a double-edged sword. He […]

The heavenward rails

A consideration of the spiritual benefits of why Catholics kneel during Mass does raise other questions. Why do the faithful kneel during the time bread and wine become Christ’s Body and Blood, but remain standing to receive it? Kneeling prayerfully before Jesus occurs frequently in the New Testament. The sick, rulers, desperate parents and the […]

Kneeling before love’s fire

Christianity is often viewed as outdated. Admittedly, from unusual musical chant to burning incense, the Mass looks at times like something that has been dropped onto planet Earth from another world. At the heart of the criticism is the false premise that suddenly everything that ever happened before was incorrect and everything new is enlightened. […]

Unifying positions

One distinctive mark of the Mass is the sitting, standing, and kneeling that takes place at different moments throughout. Catholic liturgy asks worshippers to conform to certain formal gestures, but can be a point of confusion for non-Catholics who attend a Mass. Common postures have traditionally been observed out of deference, or respect. When a […]

Make a sacrifice of the ugly cry

A few weeks ago I was on staff at a Catholic summer camp, attended by teens from all over the diocese. They arrived not knowing each other and left as total BFFs, swearing to keep in touch, hold annual reunions and be in each other’s weddings. Something about sleeping on bunk beds and swatting mosquitos […]

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    Feb 911:00 am Ordination of Permanent Deacons
    From the Calendar of Diaconate