Columnists

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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John the Baptist and the Path to Joy

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On the third Sunday of Advent, penitential purple gives way to pink and we celebrate “Gaudete” or “Rejoice!” Sunday.  “Rejoice heartily in the Lord, says Isaiah” (61:10).  “My Spirit finds joy in God my Savior,” says the Virgin Mary (Luke 1: 47). “ Rejoice in the Lord always,” says St. Paul (I Thes 5:16).  “Make […]

Mary Biever
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How 4-H Helps With College & Scholarship Applications

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“My 4-H achievement record is a waste of time that no one will ever look at,” a teen grumbled at me this summer. I disagreed. Now that I’m the mother of a daughter on the quest for college acceptance letters and scholarship offers, I can back up my disagreement. Each college has its own questions […]

Colleen Carroll Campbell
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Don’t Call Them Vegetables

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Four decades ago, American neurologist Fred Plum and Scottish neurosurgeon Bryan Jennett were searching for a jargon-free term to classify severely brain-damaged patients whom they considered awake but unaware. They combed through the Oxford English Dictionary and settled on “vegetative,” noting that the adjective describes “an organic body capable of growth and development but devoid […]

Louie Verrecchio
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The Rosary: A Weapon of Mass Instruction – Part 5

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We conclude our reflection on the mysteries of the rosary with an examination of The Luminous Mysteries 1. The Baptism of the Lord Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come […]

Russell Shaw
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Iraq Scorecard, December 2011

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As active U.S. military involvement in Iraq draws to a close, what does the moral scorecard on this adventure look like from an American point of view? Granted that a comprehensive weighing of results will only be possible some years from now, at the moment the picture is something like this. In a perverse way, […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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How Our Family Keeps Christ in Christmas

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“Actions speak louder than words.”  “A picture is worth a thousand words.”  “Talk is cheap.”  There are many sayings in the English language that generally express the same thing: words alone do not do the necessary job of communicating our thoughts and feelings, especially in the case of a personal message. “I love you,” for […]

Jann FritzHuspen
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The Book Browser, Early December 2011: For Tweens and 24/7 Catholics

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How to be a 24/7 Catholic! The Catholic Briefcase: Tools for Integrating Faith and Work, by Randy Hain, Liguori Publications, November 23, 2011 Reviewed by Mark Armstrong It is always interesting to see our Faith in action from those who arrive at Catholicism from a different Christian doorway.  Randy Hain integrates his life choices beautifully […]

Ebeth Weidner
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Grant Us Thy Peace

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There are days and then there are days. Have you ever felt like there was so much to say and do, and not enough time, concentration, or energy to accomplish half of your expectations? Lately, during my daily chores, blog ideas, article notes, and lessons pop into my head and I rarely write them down. […]

Fr. Frank Pavone
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Christmas for the Unborn

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Christmas is universal. “Behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people…A Savior has been born for you” (Luke 1:10-11). Christ the Savior becomes man precisely for all who share human nature. He excludes nobody. The good news of Christmas is for all people of all times […]

Jake Frost
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Theology Lessons from a Two-Year Old

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Human beings have a desire to impose order on the universe.  But much like a parent’s desire to impose order on their kids’ toys, it often goes unsatisfied.  With the toys, at least we have a fighting chance (depending on the age of the kids and the volume of plastic flowing in from grandparents – […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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Prepare Ye the Way

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Advent is a time of joyful anticipation.  For someone even bigger than Santa Claus is coming to town. The human race has been waiting a long time for his next and final visit.  Actually, it waited a long time for the first visit.  Things had gone awry quite early in the history of the human […]

Russell Shaw
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Silence is Important for… Communication?

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I have to admit that it really didn’t impress me very favorably the first time I read it: “Silence and Word: Path of Evangelization”—that will be the theme of next May’s World Day for Social Communications, the Vatican announcement said. That’s really strange, I thought. After all, even as it stands World Communications Day isn’t […]

Ebeth Weidner
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Preparing for Mass — A Real Necessity

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Celebrating Mass together is the most important activity we do in our lives, and yet it is the most misunderstood and under-appreciated. From the moment we wake up we have a list of things that fill our calendars and day planners, leaving the Mass barely surviving on Sunday mornings. When we finally get there, we […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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You Snooze, You Lose

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Have you ever had one of those days when you just wish God would show up, snap his fingers and work miracles?  The people of Israel had about 500 years worth of days like that, groaning under the oppression of one tyrant after another.  The book of Isaiah gives voice to these sentiments: “O that […]

Jake Frost
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Learning to Sing Like Saint Caedmon

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Children have a way of reaching into your heart to find love you didn’t even know was there.  I was working away in the kitchen, trying to cook dinner and get the dishes done at the same time, when my daughters came in looking for Daddy. “What are you doing, Daddy?” Liz, our older daughter […]

Marge Fenelon
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I’m Thankful for…That Conscience Thing

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This year, as we gather to give thanks for all God’s goodness to us, I’ll be offering thanks for something for which I never thought to offer thanks before.  Thanks to Nancy Pelosi, I’m thanking God for my conscience. Ms. Pelosi, it seems, would rather I don’t have a conscience, or “that conscience thing,” as she […]

Msgr. Richard Soseman
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Overcome and Flourish!

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When I was 19, the day before I was headed back to college, I was in an explosion at a quarry where I had been working for the summer.  Some rock misfired, and headed toward me, and I broke my leg very badly.  At the hospital two days after, they wanted me to start rehab, […]

Karen J Rinehart
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Once-a-Year Refrigerator Pride

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Blame it on another quirky “holiday” – in case you missed it, “Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day” was November 15th.   All I know is one minute I was praying to the light at the rear of the dark tunnel for dinner inspiration and the next minute I was waist deep in seven half-empty mustard jars.  […]

Peggy Bowes
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Polish Priest Discovers He is a Jewish Holocaust Survivor

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Imagine you are a Catholic priest in your 30s. Suddenly, at your mother’s deathbed, your world is turned completely upside-down. This was Polish Father Romuald Waszkinel experience when he learned that his real name is Yaacov (Jacob) Weksler and that his birth mother was a Jew. His Jewish Mother, Batia, had given him to Polish […]

Marge Fenelon
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Why Holidays Should Be Holy Days

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In an effort to grab a bigger piece of Holiday Shopper Pie, major retailers have altered their “after Thanksgiving” hours such that they’ve begun to cut deeper into the Thanksgiving Holiday itself. In recent years, chains such as Target, Kohls, Macy’s, Wal-Mart, and Best Buy had opened their doors to customers in the wee hours […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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Christ the King & Last Judgment

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On the final Sunday in the liturgical year, it is time to remember things that we’d prefer to forget. For starters, we recall that there is an infinite qualitative difference between God and us. He is immortal and infinite. We are not. Each one of us will come to our individual end. But so will […]

Marybeth Hicks
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Unwed Mom Factor Not in Maternity Leave Data

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It’s good news or bad news, depending on the headline. Last week, Census Bureau statistics on the percentage of working new mothers who receive paid maternity leave prompted two kinds of stories. There’s the “glass is half full” variety, such as this one from parents.com: “Census Report: Over half of working mothers get paid leave.” […]

Jann FritzHuspen
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A Coffee Break with Mother Teresa and Blessed John Paul II

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I am not a coffee drinker; my mother on the other hand, having grown up in New Orleans, would gulp down ten to twelve cups a day. But not me. So what do I do on my coffee break? I indulge in a quick read here at Catholic Lane or on my other favorite Catholic […]

Mary Biever
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Sandy – or the Making of a Pearl

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When I was in 4th grade, I wrote my first short story. My teacher was the first in my school who wanted to try a “creative classroom.” After we finished our assigned work, she had stations we could go to with extra projects. One included story starts. I took one of the cards and wrote […]

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