Category: Catechesis

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 […]

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 […]

Reflections for Sunday, March 29, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, March 29, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading: Isaiah 50:4-7 2nd Reading: Philippians 2:6-11 Responsorial: Psalm 22:8-9, 17-20, 23-24 Gospel: Mark 14:1–15:47 Following Jesus’ Example of Self-sacrifice and Compassion Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! (Mark 11:9) When artists talk about contrast, they’re referring to the […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: The Joy of Youth

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In raising children, we rediscover the wealth in youth. On the most basic level, we re-learn the nursery rhymes, we re-memorize Dr. Seuss, and we are fascinated by door-knobs and blue skies and dandelion seeds. There is more to it than this, however. As Pope Francis notes, children are a gift because they witness to […]

Hebrews and the Obedience of Christ
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Hebrews and the Obedience of Christ

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Heb 5:7-9 Christ learned obedience and became the source of eternal salvation The Letter to the Hebrews is a singular spiritual work, one of the most unique books in the Christian Scriptures. For centuries church fathers believed Hebrews to have been written by the Apostle Paul, the great epistoleer of the New Testament, though modern […]

Free to Love: Marriage Vows
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Free to Love: Marriage Vows

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Our marriage vows reflect the fidelity of God’s love for us. The obligations of the marriage covenant – fidelity, love open to new life, and lifelong sexual exclusivity – ask a lot of another as it assumes a lot about ourselves. Too often we make promises we don’t keep, overextend our commitments, or intend fidelity […]

Unless the Grain of Wheat
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Unless the Grain of Wheat

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All of us want the very best for those we love. But as we pursue it, we often have a rude awakening. The best turns out to be quite expensive, whether you are dealing with homes, cars, or colleges. To get it will cost much time and money, maybe even some blood, sweat, and tears. […]

Fear and Natural Family Planning
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Fear and Natural Family Planning

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As far back as I can remember, heights have posed an unwelcomed challenge. I was the kid who scaled the jungle-gym only to become paralyzed at the summit and tearfully beg for rescue. Ferris wheels are totally off-limits and even today escalators require a mental strategy. I never dreamed of spending my days balancing atop […]

What I Told My Bishop About the Synod
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What I Told My Bishop About the Synod

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Last week was the final deadline to submit comments to our local bishop about the agenda for the upcoming Synod on the Family, to be reconvened this October at the Vatican. The Synod’s working document, or lineamenta, asked 46 questions about the pastoral care of the family, which the laypeople of our diocese were encouraged […]

Reflections for Sunday, March 22, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, March 22, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading:      Jeremiah 31:31-34 2nd Reading      Hebrews 5:7-9 Responsorial:    Psalm 51:3-4, 12-15 Gospel:              John 12:20-33 Welcoming Others into the Church and the Family of God Whoever serves me must follow me. (John 12:26)   You might wonder whether Jesus is giving the cold shoulder to […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: The Role of Grandparents

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If you had to ponder the most powerful alliance in human relations, how much strength would you accord to the “dynamic duo” of a young child and their grandparent? Playing on his celebrated phrase “How I would like a Church which is poor and for the poor,” Pope Francis closed his General Audience on Wednesday, […]

If God so Loves the World, Why is There a Hell?
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If God so Loves the World, Why is There a Hell?

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As the camera pans the crowd at a football game, you see a few fans holding up the sign. It simply says “John 3:16.” For years, evangelical Protestants have extolled this little bible verse as the heart of the Gospel. In their minds, if you only have a moment to tell people something about the […]

John 3:16 and Grace
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John 3:16 and Grace

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As the camera pans the crowd at a football game, you see a few fans holding up the sign.  It simply says “John 3:16.” For years, evangelical Protestants have extolled this little bible verse as the heart of the Gospel.  In their minds, if you only have a moment to tell people something about the […]

Reflections for Sunday, March 15, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, March 15, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading: 2 Chronicles 36:14-16,19-23 2nd Reading Ephesians 2:4-10 Responsorial: Psalm 137:1-6 Gospel: John 3:14-21 Serving the Lord in Accordance with His Will for your Life We are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared. (Ephesians 2:10) Wouldn’t […]

The Reality of the Traditionalist Ghetto
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The Reality of the Traditionalist Ghetto

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Hello William, In your previous letter you mentioned your concerns with the “indult ghetto” mentality that is evident in some (but not all!) traditionalist communities. Another way of saying this is that they tend to separate themselves from the Church at large, focus on only their liturgy and parish, and really not interact with the […]

Making a Powerful, Deep Examination
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Making a Powerful, Deep Examination

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You know, there are some really cool things about Jesus. For one, he was the Son of God. How awesome is that?! There’s more, though. He was a man. A dude. Like me. Well, kind of like me. Actually, He wasn’t really very much like me — but He hung around a lot of guys […]

The 10 Commandments and the Cleansing of the Temple
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The 10 Commandments and the Cleansing of the Temple

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When it started, all was fresh and new.  An unnamed but mighty God freed a motley crew of slaves and offered them a new way of life in a new land.  Most importantly, he offered them a privileged and exclusive relationship with Himself. In the ancient world, most nations worshipped their own god and believed […]

Reflections for Sunday, March 8th, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, March 8th, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion 1st Reading: Exodus 20:1-17 Responsorial: Psalm 19:8-11 2nd Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:22-254 Gospel: John 2:13-25 Lent, A Time to Allow the Lord to Cleanse Us as His Temple Zeal for your house will consume me. (John 2:17) If you remember just one thing from today’s Gospel, remember […]

The Sacrifice of Isaac
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The Sacrifice of Isaac

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Everyone knows that Lent is about sacrifice.  So it’s fitting that the first reading in the second Sunday of Lent recalls one of the most famous sacrifices of all time. Here’s the background.  Abraham really only desires one thing–a son who will lead to descendants as numerous as the stars of the sky.   The only […]

Fire on the Mountain:  The Transformation of Peter
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Fire on the Mountain: The Transformation of Peter

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Lightning struck. Thunder clapped. The disciples of Jesus—Peter, James, and John—buried their heads in their arms. What is happening? What is Jesus up to now? Another manifestation of the Spirit. We already know that Jesus is God and on this night another affirmation. How could we forget? Throughout their three-year ministry with Jesus the Lord […]

Reflections for Sunday, March 1, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, March 1, 2015

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Second Sunday of Lent Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion 1st Reading: Genesis 22:1-2,9-13,15-18 2nd Reading: Romans 8:31-34 Responsorial: Psalm 116:10,15-19 Gospel: Mark 9:2-10 Lent, A Time to Experience the Transforming Power of Christ He was transfigured before them. (Mark 9:2) Have you ever wondered why Jesus was transfigured? He never announced it. […]

How to Make Heaven Rejoice
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How to Make Heaven Rejoice

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The silence truly had been golden. I hadn’t heard or spoken many words for a couple of days — save for at the Liturgy of the Hours in the chapel. The immersion in the silence had been one of the most special, holiest gifts I could receive. That had been one of the overriding reasons […]

The Hijacking of the Catholic Mind
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The Hijacking of the Catholic Mind

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Dear William, In your last letter you expressed concern over fears a wave of polarization on the internet is hijacking the traditionalist movement, listing two individuals in particular.  Whether or not they are “traditionalists” (for reasons both have documented clear, they do not use the label, however they hold many views sympathetic to what your […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: The Joy of Siblings

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The memories of my first born getting to know his baby sister are forever etched in my mind. From the second she arrived home from the hospital, he watched her in awe and stood proudly beside her. He tried to include her in his games and delighted when she began to smile and giggle at […]

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