Category: Evangelization

Examining Our Consciences and Lent
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Examining Our Consciences and Lent

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Lent is our time to be with Jesus in the desert, where He, in His humanity, experienced weakness, hunger and temptation. Jesus entered fully into our humanity and was like us in all things except sin. This is the unique mystery of the Incarnation, where our God suffers as one of us. Jesus can identify […]

Hello, Church? Anybody Home?
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Hello, Church? Anybody Home?

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In the midst of decades of proclamations for a New Evangelization, I have a very easy, free suggestion that will yield a huge return. Ready for it, Church? Answer your phones, return calls, and return emails. Yep, it’s that simple. Whatever nonsense am I writing about, you might inquire. I’ve worked for the Catholic Church […]

A Case for Catholic Education
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A Case for Catholic Education

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The National Catholic Educational Association paints a bleak picture for Catholic education in America. There are currently only 6,568 Catholic schools remaining in the USA. During 2014 an additional 88 schools closed or consolidated, while only 27 new schools opened. About 2 million students attend Catholic schools, of which 328,000 plus are non-Catholic. This is […]

A Matter Of Penance or Radical Permission
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A Matter Of Penance or Radical Permission

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This past Advent as I attended Sacrament of Reconciliation, the priest mercifully imposed a seemingly unchallenging penance: say one “Our Father.” The 10-year-old Mike would have loved that penance a whole lot more than what the priest typically prescribed at the time. I’ll never forget the day he prescribed young Mike an entire Rosary as […]

Your 2016 Handy-Dandy List of Lenten Resources
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Your 2016 Handy-Dandy List of Lenten Resources

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Lent comes early this year. February 10th is Ash Wednesday! That’s just three weeks away, folks. So instead of waiting until the last minute and grasping at your old standbys (giving up chocolate or God forbid, coffee), why not plan ahead using our convenient list of resources below? Make this your most spiritually fruitful Lent ever! Reprinted with […]

Broken (Liturgical) Windows
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Broken (Liturgical) Windows

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In a large urban parish which I attended some years ago I have noticed that the liturgical life seems to be shrinking in both action and attitude. The priests no longer hear confessions before Sunday Mass. On minor federal holidays the two regular daily Masses are reduced to only one mid-morning when most working people […]

Family Ties that Lift Us Up
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Family Ties that Lift Us Up

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Jesus’ invitation to discipleship comes with a warning: “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me” (Mk 8:34). He made this statement shortly after Peter confessed him to be the Messiah, and he told his disciples what that role entails. The suffering involved in denying oneself and […]

Good Shelter Work
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Good Shelter Work

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I acted the devil’s advocate. “So here we are, driving to the animal shelter to volunteer when people are hungry. Shouldn’t we be helping at the Food Bank?” I grinned so she knew I was playing a bit. Reprinted with permission from CatholicSistas.com. She pursed her sassy, fourteen-year-old lips and dodged. “Well, you can go […]

A Figure Of Deep, Genuine Mercy
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A Figure Of Deep, Genuine Mercy

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The figure of the Pieta resides on the top shelf along the southwest wall of my living room, just a little higher and to the left of our 40-inch TV screen. Next to it stands a clear glass angel. Another foot-and-a-half to the left is a tall grey cross, the base of which proclaims “All […]

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 […]

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 […]

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? […]

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 […]

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 […]

Being Squeezed into (I Hope) Fine Wine
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Being Squeezed into (I Hope) Fine Wine

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I like wine, red and dry. My preferences are Chianti and Merlot. A bottle of Cabernet, Pinot Noir or Petite Syrah will do in a pinch. Some brands and years taste better than others, but I’m not a connoisseur. I’m not picky about the wine coming from Italy or California. For me, good wine is […]

Beware the Devangelization
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Beware the Devangelization

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The accepted dictionary definition of “evangelize” is: 1. To preach the gospel to. 2. To convert to Christianity. 3. To promulgate or promote (a doctrine or idea, for example) enthusiastically. Now, we know that a large part of our job as Catholics is to evangelize, that is, to bring others to Christ. The ways and means are up for discussion, often passionate discussion over the course of our Church’s history. […]

The Lonely Road of the Church's "New Minority"
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The Lonely Road of the Church’s “New Minority”

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A religious once said, “Being a missionary is like taking a pearl of inestimable value into a land where the people don’t want it, even as a gift.” The sad truth is that today, everyday faithful Catholics are called to be missionaries  in their own churches. Why? Because our fellow parishioners are often as in need of evangelization […]

O Me of Little Faith
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O Me of Little Faith

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I guess you never know how little faith you have, until it is tested. Faith never grows, unless it is tested. I have found it to be a vicious lifelong cycle. I think I have faith, it gets tested, and I realize how little faith I have after all. I have been praying for something […]

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

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Paris dominated the news cycle last week, thanks to the coordinated terrorist attacks by ISIS. But, if it weren’t for its utility as a political bargaining chip, who a month from now would remember Paris? Soon enough something new would have displaced Paris in our minds. In our active memory, we hold fast to only […]

Theology of the Body Revolutionized My Marriage
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Theology of the Body Revolutionized My Marriage

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I can’t fully explain it, because it wasn’t what my parents tried to teach me. But this is what I learned as a child: sex is dirty. I knew, in my head, that this wasn’t true, and that sex, in its proper context, was a blessed, holy thing. But even for good Catholic girls who […]

The Meaning of Human Sexuality
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The Meaning of Human Sexuality

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As the concept of gender grows ever more fluid (you can pick any one of 58 gender options on Facebook), it’s worth asking why God created humans as male and female. Bacteria have no gender and reproduce mostly by dividing their cells. Some species of fish are sequentially hermaphroditic, changing genders throughout their lifetime. Angels, […]

dating, marriage, love
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Let Your Spousal Love Grow

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This past summer, after nearly 16 years of marriage, my husband and I took our first bona-fide, airline-ticket “weekend away.” As you might imagine, it was quite a logistical undertaking for a family with four children. More than once I questioned whether we were being selfish for doing it at all. But something happened that […]

The Only Good Catholic
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The Only Good Catholic

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Driving my kids home from school on one of our faster moving country roads, I was stopped short by a dog wandering stupidly around the yellow lines.  I couldn’t get out of the car to help because my son has a life-threatening allergy, so my frustration mounted as I realized that, until someone else came […]

Feathers in the Wind: Scandal and Sharing Online
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Feathers in the Wind: Scandal and Sharing Online

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St. Philip Neri once told a woman that as penance for her gossiping, she should scatter a pillowful of feathers into the wind and then walk about the town collecting every feather. The task was impossible, of course, and it emphasized that we can’t take back our words once they’ve been uttered. That’s especially true […]

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