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Albert Gustaf Aristides Edelfelt — Jesus washing the feet of his disciples
The charitable mandate

The darkness of Lent grows brighter as Holy Week dawns. The Triduum, or three days of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday, showcase many rare liturgical actions. One example is the Washing of Feet at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday. Inspired by the texts of John 13, where at the […]

The Lenten veil

During Lent, many parishes cover their crucifix, images and statues with veils. While a curious custom, shadowing the sacred in God’s dwelling is ancient. In the Book of Exodus, God gives Moses the stone tablets on which He had written the rules for their soci­ety. God then asks that a tabernacle, or tent be built […]

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 […]

We all fight the battle between good and evil

While this may seem like heresy to some, I didn’t have plans to see “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. Jim was going with friends the same night I was supposed to chaperone a middle school dance (also very entertaining), so I was content to eventually catch the highlights from YouTube. However, Jim came home so […]

Surprising purification

Each year the Church observes a period before Easter. Called “Lent” from the old English “lencten,” meaning “springtime,” the discipline of the season is a walk with the God who surprises His people at every turn. In a culture of self-indulgence, a period of self-deprivation seems senseless. The best reason for the season is that […]

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 […]

SC Catholic Conference releases voters’ guide for primaries

CHARLESTON—The South Carolina Catholic Conference has released a brief voters’ guide to help people prepare for the state’s presidential primaries on Feb. 20 (Republican ) and Feb. 27 (Democrat). The flyer was sent to parishes in the Diocese of Charleston and is titled: “Not liberal. Not conservative. Simply Catholic.” It states that Catholics have a […]

My niece, fatherhood, and celibacy

I had two “prayer hours” left in my yearly silent retreat when I awoke in the wee hours of the morning to the most joyous news I had received in a long time. After almost nine months of Advent-like expectation, my niece, Alena Rose Nerbun, had been born. She is my younger brother’s first baby. […]

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 […]

Epiphany afterglow

In the Church’s Liturgy, each new calendar year begins with what may be called “Epiphany afterglow.” Until 1955, the Roman Church celebrated an octave, or eight days, of Epiphany, which means literally “to shine upon.” Pope Pius XII suppressed the octave of Epiphany, but the biblical texts that showed the “afterglow” were retained. Some non-Catholic […]

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