Category: Catechesis

Is the Antichrist Here?
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Is the Antichrist Here?

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Uprising after uprising in the Middle East; sexual and intellectual scandal in the Church; earthquakes in Chile and Haiti; tsunamis in Indonesia and Japan; and financial collapse in almost every market: given the startling increase in the frequency of global crises –political, religious, financial, natural — one is tempted to begin looking for the antichrist […]

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Son Day. Sunday. Some Day.

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Sunday is the Son’s Day.  So I thought once-upon-a-time in my little girl reasoning. Jesus is the Son of God. He rose from the dead on a Sunday.  Hence, Sunday is Son-day.  Little did I know back then that my silly little play on words was not far from the truth. This ever-ancient-yet-ever new Catholic […]

Easter
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Easter

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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 […]

Lazarus
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Lazarus

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Some find it hard to accept that God would love some people more than others.  That wouldn’t be fair, they say. But God became man.  If he did not love some more than others, Jesus wouldn’t be fully human.  For human beings have family and friends.  While we can do good and even risk our […]

Let's Practice the New Penitential Rite
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Let’s Practice the New Penitential Rite

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A few years ago, our pastor talked to us during homily about receiving the Eucharist reverently.  He noticed that more and more receive communion than ever before with very few being conscience of the sin in their lives.  Fewer are coming to confession, he said, yet are coming up for communion.  Sin has taken a […]

Lenten Transfiguration
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Lenten Transfiguration

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Imagine: you are ten years past customary retirement age.  It’s time finally to kick back and relax.  You live in a great city where everything is at your fingertips – shopping opportunities, cultural events, all your relatives and lifelong friends.  Suddenly God appears and tells you to pack up, uproot your life, and march into […]

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Understanding the Language of Lent

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If you will, you can keep the commandments, they will save you; if you trust in God, you too shall live; he has set before you fire and water to whichever you choose, stretch forth your hand. Before man are life and death, good and evil, whichever he chooses shall be given him. Immense is […]

Turn the Other Cheek?
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Turn the Other Cheek?

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“Love your enemies.”  “Turn the other cheek.”  (Mat 5:38-40).  This sounds admirable to some, but preposterous to others.  The 19th century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche thought such talk promotes a society of weaklings.  Karl Marx thought these words keep the oppressed under the thumbs of the capitalists.  Does Jesus want us to be doormats, suckers who […]

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Appreciating The Gift Of Suffering

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Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of His Body, that is, the Church (Col 1:24). When I first read St. Paul’s words to the people of Colossae, I was stunned and I’m sure that I’m not alone.  […]

Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 10: The Liturgy of the Eucharist
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Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 10: The Liturgy of the Eucharist

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We continue our examination of the Liturgy of the Eucharist at the Ecce Agnus Dei: After once again receiving the Lord’s blessing, The peace of the Lord be with you always, and responding, And with your spirit, the next change that we encounter takes place when the priest elevates the Host and Chalice and says: […]

Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 9: The Liturgy of the Eucharist
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Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 9: The Liturgy of the Eucharist

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In the final two installments of this series, we will focus our attention on the people’s parts in the Liturgy of the Eucharist, addressing each instance of change in the text as it comes. Suscipiat Dominus Shortly after the beginning of the Liturgy of the Eucharistic, we are encouraged to pray that our sacrifice may […]

Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 8: The Creed
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Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 8: The Creed

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We discover right out of the gate in the new translation that the Creed is a personal statement, Credo / I believe. Yes, we profess the faith of the Church in one voice with all of her members, but the Creed must be our own personal acceptance of that faith. And so we say, I […]

Catholic “Fluff” – The Enemy Within
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Catholic “Fluff” – The Enemy Within

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We don’t like to speak the truth about evil because we’re going to hurt somebody.  Let me tell you, you are going to hurt somebody, but that somebody is God.  If you would rather hurt God than your neighbor, there is something wrong with your spirituality.  It’s your obligation to speak the truth and everyone […]

Cults, Movements, World Religions
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Cults, Movements, World Religions

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The modern religious landscape appears increasingly confusing, even strange or frightening. No matter how strong in faith and regular in religious practice our families may be, we are not insulated from contact with a bewildering variety of religious expressions, a Babel of “prophetic” voices and a dizzying array of competing world views. Questions Abound in […]

Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 7: The Gloria
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Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 7: The Gloria

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Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth, in the new translation becomes, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will. This “new” wording represents a return to the Scriptural roots of the text (Luke 2:14) and the angels’ announcement of the Savior’s […]

Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 6: Penitential Rite
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Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 6: Penitential Rite

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Following the Introductory Rites, the next occurrence of change in the people’s parts of the Holy Mass occurs during the Penitential Rite, at the Confiteor, where three changes can be found. In the previous editions of the Missal we would say: I confess to almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I […]

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Best Practices of Faith Formation: Confirmation Requirements

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Some years ago, I was working on a video documentary for Ford Motor Company about the famous American industrial statistician, W. Edwards Deming, who is credited with transforming Japan’s industrial quality after WWII, and making the Japanese the competitive powerhouse they are today. Quality Control In 1950, Deming had been upset with the quality of […]

Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 5: Introductory Rites
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Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 5: Introductory Rites

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NOTE: In order to make this examination of the changes in the people’s parts of Holy Mass easier to navigate, all of the text taken from the Missal will be in italics, while the newly translated text (where changes are found) will be in bold italics. During the Introductory Rites when the priest says The […]

Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 4: Active Participation
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Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 4: Active Participation

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The widespread misunderstanding of “active participation” in the sacred liturgy has undoubtedly been one of the most disruptive forces in Catholic life after Vatican II. It is no surprise, therefore, that this has often been the subject of recent papal instruction. In his 2007 apostolic exhortation on the Eucharist, Sacramentum Caritatis, Pope Benedict XVI said, […]

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Best Practices for Adult Faith Formation: Evaluating Your RCIA Instruction

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Of the many volunteer jobs I’ve taken to promote the Church, one that I found most interesting was chauffeuring a well-known Catholic convert and evangelist from appointment to appointment. One day, I drove him to a television station where he was interviewed by his bishop about his conversion to Catholicism. On air, the bishop said he assumed the evangelist came […]

Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 3: Sacred Liturgy, Sacred Signs
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Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 3: Sacred Liturgy, Sacred Signs

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Fully conscious and active participation. This is a phrase that has been invoked so often over the last four decades that it can almost be considered a mantra, and not without good reason. After all, it is according to the council the “aim to be considered before all else” in the matter of liturgical reform […]

Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 2: Constructing a Solid Foundation
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Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 2: Constructing a Solid Foundation

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I’m sure that you’re anxious to explore the new prayers and responses contained in the forthcoming English translation of the Roman Missal, but before we delve into the text itself, it’s important for us to take the time to construct a solid foundation upon which our understanding may rest, and it is easily constructed of […]

Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 1: Introduction
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Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal 3rd Edition, Part 1: Introduction

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When Pope Benedict XVI received a hardbound copy of the recently approved English translation of the Roman Missal from members of the Vox Clara Committee on April 28, 2010 he said, “Soon the fruits of your labors will be made available to English-speaking congregations everywhere. Through these sacred texts and the actions that accompany them, […]

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Best Practices in Faith Formation

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“Dear Stan. I am a Catechist for 17 ninth graders. What would you suggest for me, the Catechist, that will grab their attention. I need to get them involved. Right now, they’re staring back at me as if the lights are on but nobody is home. I need something that will give them a piece […]

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