Category: Learn & Live the Faith

From Rubble to Reconstruction
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From Rubble to Reconstruction

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A few months ago, a group of neighbors representing some 40 families in the Port-au-Prince community of Delmas 62 banded together and knocked on the door of Catholic Relief Services’ office in Delmas 81 to ask for help. Displaced from their homes after the earthquake, they were living in a nearby camp and wanted to […]

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 […]

Eight Great Reasons To Be Single And Celibate
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Eight Great Reasons To Be Single And Celibate

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As a Catholic you’ll find some of these reasons interesting, if not ironic, because they do not come from the pen of a celibate Catholic theologian, monk, or priest cloistered in a Mongolian monastery. Instead, they come from a Protestant-Evangelical minister, John Piper in his book Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. John is married to […]

Prayer, the Heart of a Vocation
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Prayer, the Heart of a Vocation

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“Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” The Twelve had witnessed the deep communion that existed between Jesus and his Heavenly Father, and, as holiness does, it attracted them.  Seeing that peace that comes from that personal connection, they wanted to be drawn deeper into this very mystical communion. In many ways, […]

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 […]

CL23 -hbratton notxt
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Whoopin’ and Hollerin’

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The other day while I was at the YMCA, a group of mentally disabled adults and their caregivers joined us in the fitness room. It was obvious to me that this was a routine visit for them, because they knew exactly what to do. They found “their” machines, positioned themselves exactly right and waited patiently […]

Who Does God Use?
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Who Does God Use?

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“It takes no great military expert to predict the results of a war in which large numbers of the solders do not fight, do not even know there is a war on. The officers are essential, and obedience to them is essential. But an army in which only the officers fights is likely to have […]

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 […]

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Hard to Imagine the Afterlife?

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I know. St. Paul had the same problem though, “no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:10). Right now our knowledge of God is conceptual, we use analogies from this created world to speak of the Totally Other: […]

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 […]

Mary, Our Mother, in the Bible
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Mary, Our Mother, in the Bible

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When I returned the Catholic faith, or became what some like to call a “revert,” something new was added to my life that was not present before: devotion to Mary.  Actually, I believe it was Mary who brought me home, as so many mothers do their lost children. Having mixed with a fair share of […]

Master Game Maker
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Master Game Maker

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The other day, I was sorting through some of the kid’s toys and ran across the “Mouse Trap” game that John had received for his sixth birthday. If you’ve never played it before, you’re really missing something. “Mouse Trap” is an intriguing array of rickety old stairs, suspended bathtubs, winding chutes, wheels, cranks, and even […]

The Heart that Prays is the Heart that Loves
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The Heart that Prays is the Heart that Loves

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‘In the New Covenant, prayer is the living relationship of the children of God with their Father who is good beyond measure, with his Son Jesus Christ and with the Holy Spirit.’  With these words, from the introduction to the fourth section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we are reminded that the life […]

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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