Category: Featured

Reflections for Sunday, December 27, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, December 27, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14 2nd Reading: Colossians 3:12-21 Responsorial: Psalm 128:1-5 Gospel: Luke 2:41-52 The Holy Family, Our Model of Faith and Trust and Love and Unity He went down with them … and was obedient to them. (Luke 2:51) Today is not a […]

From Loathing to Loving the Rosary
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From Loathing to Loving the Rosary

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One of the things I love about Advent and Christmas is the extra emphasis on the Blessed Mother. As a motherless Catholic, it’s been easy to embrace Mary as my own mother and I always love hearing the Scriptures about her this time of year. Reprinted with permission from CatholicSistas.com. For most of my years […]

The Holy Family: The Reason for Christmas
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The Holy Family: The Reason for Christmas

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Do you love Christmas? Before you answer, I don’t mean the nearly 4 weeks of frantic shopping or the crazy parties or the frenzied family gatherings or the warm, gushy feelings we get from receiving presents. I mean the real reason why we do those things in the first place. Do you love the real […]

Christmas Letters From the Middle East
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Christmas Letters From the Middle East

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Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako I—celebrating Christmas in ‘silence and amidst tears’ The feast of the birth of Christ is one of the greatest feasts celebrated by millions of Christians around the world and particularly in Iraq. But this year Iraqi Christians will celebrate Christmas in deplorable circumstances, one the one hand because of the deteriorating […]

It Is Good to Be Seen
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It Is Good to Be Seen

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It is that time of year again, the time when we gather together to remember our blessings and bestow gifts upon one another in celebration of our Savior’s birth. It’s easy to get caught up in the secular world of stress, worrying, and over-buying, but as Christians it is important that we remember the reason […]

A Christmas Hero: John Bruchalski, MD
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A Christmas Hero: John Bruchalski, MD

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I read a story this week about a doctor who changed his attitude toward abortion some years ago. His name is very familiar to those of us who are residents of Northern Virginia: John Bruchalski, MD. He is the founder of the Tepeyac Family Center. This change of heart wound up changing his entire life—and […]

Christmas Time Out of Time
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Christmas Time Out of Time

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My five year old daughter and I were playing a guitar duet together. On just one guitar: I fingered the chords, she strummed the strings. While she strummed, she made-up her own lyrics. This is a regular activity for us, and even without guitar accompaniment she loves to “write her own songs.” On the day […]

In Year of Mercy, Catholics in Middle East 'will pray for Daesh'
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In Year of Mercy, Catholics in Middle East ‘will pray for Daesh’

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By Oliver Maksan The Holy Year of Mercy, solemnly inaugurated by Pope Francis in Rome Dec. 8, 2015—on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception—is being hailed by Catholics throughout the Arab world International Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) gathered some impressions. Father Dankha Issa is a Chaldean monk in Alqosh. Last […]

A New Dawn of Reproductive Freedom in China?
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A New Dawn of Reproductive Freedom in China?

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Under China’s new two-child policy, forced and coercive abortions and sterilizations will continue, according to a panel of experts on China’s one-child policy who testified in a hearing before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) on Capitol Hill last Thursday. Experts believe abuses will continue. Due to 35 years of stringent population control, China’s rapid […]

An Unholy Alliance: When Mob Forgiveness Meets Selective Grace
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An Unholy Alliance: When Mob Forgiveness Meets Selective Grace

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A small town in Missouri recently came under fire for rallying around an accused child sex offender and shunning the abuse victim—even after the offender pleaded guilty in court. “If it takes a village to raise a child,” said a local prosecuting attorney, “what is a child to do when the village turns its back […]

Do You <em>See</em> Your Neighbor?
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Do You See Your Neighbor?

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Let’s reflect upon Luke 7:36–50: “A Pharisee invited him to dine with them, and he entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table. Now there was a sinful woman in the city who learned he was at table in the house of the Pharisee.” Are we not all sinners in vital need of God’s mercy? […]

Movie Review: <em>The Letters</em>
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Movie Review: The Letters

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The Letters is another film about the life of Mother Teresa of Calcutta (acted with aplomb by Juliet Stevenson) — specifically that part of her life where, posthumously, personal letters that revealed her prolonged dark night of the soul surfaced. The stunning revelation is chronicled in the book Come Be My Light–The Private Writings of […]

"Camp Virgin Mary." Displaced Iraqis get Chapel in Baghdad
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“Camp Virgin Mary.” Displaced Iraqis get Chapel in Baghdad

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By Oliver Maksan BAGHDAD—Father Luis Montes is glad and he has reason to be: “We have just consecrated a new chapel. It was high time that our refugees got their own small church. This gives them back a piece of the home they have lost. And the people can now go to Mass without risking […]

Learning from the Moms
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Learning from the Moms

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I’m a new priest and I have a lot to learn. Of course, working in a parish affords me many opportunities to work with different and diverse groups of people. A group of mothers approached me a few months ago and asked if I would be willing to lead a book discussion for them. I […]

Annual UN Report Repeats False Claims About Abortion
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Annual UN Report Repeats False Claims About Abortion

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As wars and natural disasters force increasing numbers of people from their homes, among the most vulnerable are mothers with infants and pregnant women. Unfortunately, maternal health suffers most in humanitarian settings, lags behind other global development goals, and is often tarnished with controversy by the pro-abortion lobby’s attempts to co-opt it. In its annual […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: Introduction to the Year of Mercy

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In his first General Audience during the Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis explained why he has called for this extraordinary jubilee year.  “Yesterday, I opened here, in Saint Peter’s Basilica, the Holy Door of the Jubilee of Mercy, after having opened it already in the Cathedral of Bangui in the Central African Republic,” during his […]

Mercy Has No Limits
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Mercy Has No Limits

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Mercy and forgiveness go both ways: God toward us, and us toward others. As concerns others’ forgiving us, we cannot control that. It is a futile waste of time and energy to try to control others. We can only control, with the help of God’s grace, our own attitudes and actions. In Matthew 18:23–35 we […]

Techno-Babies
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Techno-Babies

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David and Melissa Pineda wanted desperately to have another child. In 2013 the couple went to Dr. Rifaat Salem for an IVF treatment that they hoped would give them their fourth child. But what happened soon after nearly broke their hearts. They found out later that Salem allegedly discovered that he had “mistakenl?y implanted” embryos […]

A Guide to Intentional Christmas Giving
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A Guide to Intentional Christmas Giving

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A few years ago, I started making an effort to do my all my Christmas shopping before the start of Advent. I wanted to be free during Advent to focus on spiritual preparation for Christmas, rather than rushing around trying to buy everyone’s gifts at the last minute. As a born procrastinator, this proved to […]

Reflections for Sunday, December 13, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, December 13, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading Zephaniah 3:14-18 2nd Reading: Philippians 4:4-7 Responsorial: (Psalm) Isaiah 12:2-6 Gospel: Luke 3: 10-18 Advent, A Time to Trust in Jesus and His Power and Strength I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. (Luke 3:16) If you’ve […]

Did Neanderthals Have a Soul?
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Did Neanderthals Have a Soul?

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“The magisterium of the Church takes a direct interest in the question of evolution, because it touches on the conception of man, whom Revelation tells us is created in the image and likeness of God…. “Pius XII underlined the essential point: if the origin of the human body comes through living matter which existed previously, the […]

God's Grace Shines a Light in Syria's Darkness
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God’s Grace Shines a Light in Syria’s Darkness

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By Eliane També ALEPPO, Syria—War rages on in Syria. Aleppo, the country’s major business center—what’s left of it—is a city at war, subject to regular bombardments by various factions fighting for dominance. Last year, a mother of two sons, 48-year-old Joumana Jarjour, a Melkite Catholic, was gravely wounded by scrapnel from a rocket that landed […]

Climate Summit Frustrates Population Control Groups
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Climate Summit Frustrates Population Control Groups

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Population control advocates are miffed that the UN Climate Summit in Paris will not address fertility reduction. “It’s pretty hard to reduce your carbon footprint when you keep adding more feet…” said Population Media Center in a newsletter, a population control group that lingers on the fringes of the Paris negotiations. The group says world […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: Journey to Africa

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Pope Francis reflected on his first Apostolic Visit to Africa during his Wednesday Address on Dec.2.  He travelled to Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic with a message of hope in the Risen Jesus, calling Catholics to the mission field, “Please don’t exclude this possibility of becoming a missionary, to bring love, humanity and […]

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