Columnists

Rev. Tucker Cordani
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The Call of the First Disciples

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one:  A lawyer, a cop, and a journalist enter Blessed John XXIII Seminary together. The lawyer ends up leaving to resume his practice but the cop and the journalist get ordained.  Two out of three isn’t bad.  You can take the man out of the law but you can’t […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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Called and Chosen

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3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A Flick on the television, turn to the news, and notice how hopeless it all looks.  Terrorists kill hundreds and intimidate millions.  Government debt in the US and Europe balloons out of control and whole countries need to be bailed out. Things did not appear much better in first […]

Rev. Tucker Cordani
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The Witness of John the Baptist

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John the Baptist stood waist deep in the Jordan River.  Thousands of faith-seekers came to be baptized by John for the forgiveness of sins.  John believed that baptizing was his calling in life, the reason that he was born; indeed it was.  Then one day Jesus arrived and the life and mission of the Baptist took on a […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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Behold the Lamb of God

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The Protestant Church is all about the Bible; the Catholic Church is all about the Sacraments.  Right? Not exactly.  When it comes to personal Bible reading, Protestants often put Catholics to shame.  But as far as Sunday worship goes, it is hard to find a more biblical service than the Mass. The readings are awesome […]

Rev. Tucker Cordani
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A Mission From God

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“We’re on a mission from God.” In the 1980 movie The Blues Brothers, outlaw musicians Jake and Elwood Blues receive a divine commission to save the orphanage where they grew up by playing a one-night-only charity concert.  Though Jake and Elwood could “use some churching up,” they are convinced that their plan will succeed because they saw […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

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At first glance, the scene makes little sense.  John’s strident call to repentance provokes an overwhelming response.  People of all shapes and sizes flock to him in the wilderness.  They are baptized in the Jordan as a sign of repentance and cleansing.  Suddenly, out of the crowd steps John’s cousin, Jesus.  Wait a minute.  What’s […]

Dr. Paul Kengor
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Barack Obama’s Church Attendance: An Interview With Dr. Gary Smith

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President Obama didn’t attend religious services this past Christmas.

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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The Epiphany

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Up until now, all has been quite humble. A donkey-ride to a dusty town south of Jerusalem. Hotel rooms all booked up. Giving birth in a stable and laying the baby in an animal’s feed trough instead of a cozy cradle. Into this scene of obscure poverty suddenly bursts an exotic entourage from a far-off […]

E. L. Core
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The Secret Life of Barack Obama

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Inspired by a commercial for a movie inspired by a short story.

E. L. Core
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Jeremiah, Christmas Trees, and the King James Bible

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Responding to an annual fundamentalist canard.

Fr. Frank Pavone
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Christmas and Holy Impatience

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Christmas is about self-giving love. God becomes human to set humanity free from the oppression of sin and death. Accepting Christ, and celebrating Christmas, means welcoming that freedom, and striving that every human being may experience it. Hence we evangelize. And hence we work for justice. “Truly he taught us to love one another; His […]

E. L. Core
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Vatican II One-Year Reading Plan

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One-year reading plans for Vatican II, New Testament, and Catechism.

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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The Incarnation and the Family

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Every year right after Christmas, we celebrate the feast of the Holy Family.  There is an important reason for this.  It’s easy to think the “incarnation” means God took on a human body, that he appeared in human flesh. But there is much more to it than that.  In Jesus, God unites himself to an […]

Rev. Tucker Cordani
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The School of the Gospel is Always in Session

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The home of Nazareth is the school where we begin to understand the life of Jesus—the school of the Gospel (CCC No. 533).   My parents married in 1969.  The day before the wedding my father got cold feet.  In the hotel bar he sat drinking beer with the lawyer Tom Wall who counseled my father […]

E. L. Core
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Ebenezer Scrooge: Christmas Eve Conversion

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“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”

Jake Frost
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The Christmas Metamorphosis

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I’m like a Christmas caterpillar. During the holidays, I put on a fuzzy sweater and eat my way through the season. By the Epiphany, the sweater is a little snug. But that’s ok. I think of it as just a phase in my evolving yuletide metamorphosis, as I pass through different stages of development on […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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The Deeper Meaning of Christmas

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In the days of Caesar Augustus, an era of peace was established in the Mediterranean world after centuries of strife.  But this peace was forged by the proud ambition of emperors and the edge of their armies’ swords. Upon this stage appears a baby acclaimed as king by eastern dignitaries.  Neither Caesar nor Herod will […]

E. L. Core
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Earthrise

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45 years ago today.

Rev. Tucker Cordani
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The Memoirs of the Apostles: The Epistles of Saints James, Peter, John and Jude

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The seven Catholic Epistles written by Saints James, Peter, John, and Jude form a small but integral portion of the New Testament. These letters have always interested me, ever since I learned about the epistolary genre of Scripture when I was a boy at Catholic school. I wonder how much attention these writings receive, written […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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The Christmas Story’s Best Supporting Actor

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In the drama of the incarnation, Jesus is, of course, the star.  That’s the way it is at every birth.  All eyes are on the baby.  The co-star, though, is definitely mom.  Without her love and labor, the event could not have happened.  In this case, without mom’s faith it couldn’t have happened either.  According […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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Keeping Christ in Christmas – Our Family’s Approach

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“Actions speak louder than words.”  “One picture is worth a thousand words.”  “Talk is cheap.”  There are lots of different sayings in the English language that generally express the same thing–words alone don’t do the necessary job of communicating, especially in the case of a personal message.  Like “I love you,” for instance. So human […]

Jake Frost
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Advent with King David

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My wife and I sat on the couch, the room dark except for a strand of colored lights  wound around the Christmas tree and the flickering candles in the Advent wreath.  We’d just finished reading our Advent reflection and saying the Rosary.  Now we sat together and watched snow swirl outside the window. This time […]

E. L. Core
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Remember Global Warming

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And Greens are getting rich.

Rev. Tucker Cordani
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Gaudete Sunday: Joyfully Waiting

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Saint James the Just, one of Christianity’s early leaders, counsels readers across the ages to be patient but productive while waiting for the fulfillment of God’s promises.  The canonical epistle composed by James (or by his community of disciples) urges his audience—“The Twelve Tribes of the Dispersion”—to be patient and to continue to live holy […]

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