Category: Featured

Is Indiana’s Debate the Precursor to a Forbidden God?
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Is Indiana’s Debate the Precursor to a Forbidden God?

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No matter what side of the debate you find yourself on, the heated discussion surrounding Indiana’s recently passed religious freedom restoration act is infuriating. For those who honestly condemn bigotry it appears to be a discriminatory power grab, one that is nothing less than downright disheartening. For those who welcome the measure, they see a […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: An Easter People on Easter Monday

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The overriding sentiment which prevails at my house and in my heart each Easter Monday is the same.  It is finished.  The long 40 days of Lenten fasting, prayer and penance are completed.  The late nights of the Triduum liturgies are over.  Crumbs of the traditional Italian Easter bread and a handful of neon colored […]

Dawn of the Living Dead
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Dawn of the Living Dead

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Mary Magdalene wept. Inconsolable. Bereft. Her mind raced. What’s going on here? she thought. I think I need to go lie down, put a warm towel across my forehead and drink a cup of herbal tea. Too much, too soon, too fast, and I can’t wrap my mind around it. They say it is darkest […]

Easter Sunday
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Easter Sunday

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The serpent’s bite was a deadly one.  The venom had worked its way deep into the heart of the entire human race, doing its gruesome work.  The anti-venom was unavailable until He appeared.  One drop was all that was needed, so potent was this antidote.  Yet it was not like Him to be stingy.  He […]

Can It Be?
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Can It Be?

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I celebrate my 21st Easter this year, 2015. For the first 38 years of my life I did not celebrate Easter because I was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, a pseudo-Christian group with a very strange economy of salvation. It is not easy to describe life in a cult like Jehovah’s Witnesses. It is very dark. Even […]

Waterboy, Where are You Hiding?
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Waterboy, Where are You Hiding?

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John Mark was only a boy when he met Jesus. His mother Mary, a prominent member of the seventy disciples who followed Jesus throughout his three-year ministry, opened her home to the Lord and his Apostles. In the upper room of Mary’s house they held the Last Supper. Six weeks later the Apostles and Mary […]

Enough is Enough
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Enough is Enough

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“I think all of us should have a respect for innocent life. With regard to the freedom of the individual for choice with regard to abortion, there’s one individual who’s not being considered at all. That’s the one who is being aborted. And I’ve noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born. […]

Do Small Things with Great Love
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Do Small Things with Great Love

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The older I get, the more time I spend enduring medical exams and “procedures.” Never willing to waste time, I often pray in my moments alone while waiting. I’m also fond of chatting up and observing people. That can provide flashes of grace. Recently, I was laying on a hospital bed in expectation of being […]

The Cross is for Wretches Like Me
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The Cross is for Wretches Like Me

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In his remarkably profound book, Lift Up You Heart, Bishop Fulton Sheen said, “The Cross is the most inescapable reality of life. If we will not accept it outside of ourselves, to pardon us and to heal, then we will have it inside, as frustration and despair.” The life changing reality of Calvary has been […]

Holy Week 2015: Sinai Pantocrator, John 15:18 Greek and English
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Holy Week 2015

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John 15:18

Flight Night
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Flight Night

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There are two kinds of stories. Someone goes on a journey. A stranger comes to town. Often these storytelling techniques occur simultaneously. For instance: years ago, the kind words of a Cuban rosary warrior named Rosemary Sharpe spurred me to begin anew my journey to the priesthood. One morning I was praying in the chapel […]

His Flesh is True Food
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His Flesh is True Food

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“Take and eat; this is my body… Drink from [the cup], all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant…” (Matthew 26:26-27). These are Jesus’ words at the Last Supper, on the first “Holy Thursday,” as he offered to his apostles what appeared to be bread and wine. As Catholics, we believe that Jesus […]

Unexpected
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Unexpected

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Our third son married his beloved fianceé just over 2 weeks ago. What a beautiful day it was. Everything was perfect. Family and friends were in town from both sides, great jubilation saturated the air. The weeks leading up to the wedding were filled with expectation and busyness. I remember a prayer I had raised […]

Holy Week, Choice and the Problem of Evil and Sin
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Holy Week, Choice and the Problem of Evil and Sin

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We are in Holy Week 2015, so it is most appropriate to consider the problem of evil and sin. The sacrificial Passion, death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ was to settle with God the problem of human sin and evil. I have often heard the question, “If there is a God, why does he permit […]

"The Orthodox Practice" on Divorce and Communion:  Part I
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“The Orthodox Practice” on Divorce and Communion: Part I

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At the close of the Extraordinary Synod of Catholic Bishops last October, the Synod’s Final Report ( the “Lineamenta”) included a questionnaire on pastoral practices on family issues. Among the questions was number 38, which opened with the following premise: “With regard to the divorced and remarried, pastoral practice concerning the sacraments needs to be […]

Reflections for Sunday, April 5, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, April 5, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading: Acts 10:34, 37-43 2nd Reading: Colossians 3:1-4 Responsorial: Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23 Gospel: John 20:1-9 Allowing the Resurrection of Jesus to Strengthen Our Faith He had to rise from the dead. (John 20:9) At the first miracle, the wedding at Cana, Jesus turned […]

A Catholic Perspective on Indiana’s Religious Freedom Law
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A Catholic Perspective on Indiana’s Religious Freedom Law

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This past week Indiana adopted a state-level version of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). This law imposes a higher standard of review when the state or a local government passes laws that interfere with the free exercise of religion. However, the law has unfairly been characterized as legislation that would authorize, or even […]

Why Ordinary Form Parishes Need Traditionalists
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Why Ordinary Form Parishes Need Traditionalists

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In your last letter, you told a compelling and heartbreaking story detailing how your rights as a traditionalist Catholic were curtailed. Not only are the prelates who persecuted you wrong, but as shepherds of the flock, they made a foolish decision to stamp you out in an age when faithful Catholic communities like yours are […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: Prayer and the Synod

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On Wednesday, March 25, in the Church the Annunciation, Pope Francis celebrated the Incarnation as Archangel Gabriel visited the humble Maiden of Nazareth and  announced she would conceive and give birth to the Son of God. The pope incorporated this feast day into his Wednesday address as he continued his course of catechesis on the family because, with Joseph, Jesus […]

Book Review: Gifts of the Visitation
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Book Review: Gifts of the Visitation

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The Visitation refers to the time when Mary, receiving the news from the angel Gabriel that she was going to become the mother of Jesus as well as that her cousin Elizabeth was going to have a baby, rushed to her elder cousin’s side. Gifts of the Visitation by Denise Bossert (Ave Maria Press, 2015) […]

Palm/Passion Sunday
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Palm/Passion Sunday

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We now come to the Sunday with a split personality.  It starts with an upbeat gospel recounting Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  It is a festive affair, complete with a parade route strewn with palm branches instead of ticker tape.  But we quickly progress to the stark reading of Jesus’ passion, bearable only because we […]

General Assembly Votes in Favor of Gay Marriage?
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General Assembly Votes in Favor of Gay Marriage?

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In an animated and unusually packed budget meeting this week, UN member states gave the go ahead to special benefits for any UN staff in same-sex legal arrangements. A proposal of Russia in the General Assembly fell well short reversing the Secretary General’s unilateral decision last June extending benefits of marriage to any UN staff […]

Lamenting Loss of Family-Owned Grocery
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Lamenting Loss of Family-Owned Grocery

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The old grocery store in my neighborhood is closing next month. Boy, does that make me sad. The family-owned store has been a staple in our community for more than 50 years. Its simple, spartan interior is a snapshot into the past, the way grocery stores were in the ’60s and ’70s — like the […]

Empty Houses
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Empty Houses

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Home is where… no one is. That seems to be the modern trend. City dwellers lead hectic lives, our suburbs are “bedroom communities”, and the talent of the next generation is quickly fleeing small rural towns. Our homes are empty for far too many hours of the day, and this trend has been steadily reshaping […]

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