Category: Vocations

Nothing 'Automatic' About Sacramental Marriage
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Nothing ‘Automatic’ About Sacramental Marriage

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By now, every Catholic — and a whole bunch of non-Catholics — are aware the Church faces a vocations crisis. Yes, we need more women and men discerning a call to join the religious life and the priesthood. It’s important that adults in the pews encourage such discernment as a legitimate, honorable and holy life […]

No, Son, You CAN'T Be Whatever You Want
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No, Son, You CAN’T Be Whatever You Want

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One thing most loving parents say to their kids at one time or another is, “Honey, you can be anything you want to be when you grow up!” I used to think this was a wonderfully affirming statement—until I became Catholic. Reprinted with permission from CatholicSistas.com. I was married and pregnant with my first child […]

Sad Anniversary for Women Religious Stranded in Kurdistan
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Sad Anniversary for Women Religious Stranded in Kurdistan

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By Daniel Konstantinovic NEW YORK—August 6, 2015 marks the one-year anniversary of the expulsion from their convent of a group of Dominican sisters who had been serving Christians on Iraq’s Nineveh Plane for many years. That day, ISIS forced the women religious into exile in Erbil, capital of Kurdistan. Discovering that Kurdish militia had fled […]

Family Graces: Joy in Parenting
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Family Graces: Joy in Parenting

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Despite the message our culture sends, marriage and parenting aren’t the frightful things they’re often made out to be. The hardships that come in family life are outweighed by true and lasting joy, when we keep the proper perspective – perspective being the key word here. Parenting isn’t easy, but it makes us into the […]

Getting to Yes: Courtship, Not Just Dating
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Getting to Yes: Courtship, Not Just Dating

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When my family migrated from the Philippines to the United States in 1986, I didn’t want to go. I wanted to finish college at home and settle down with whomever God picked out for me to marry, after a courtship of at least five years. But God laughed at my plans. I met my future […]

The Commitment Differences: 5 Reasons Faith-Filled Marriages Work
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The Commitment Differences: 5 Reasons Faith-Filled Marriages Work

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Countless articles, memoirs and studies explore why so many marriages in our society deteriorate and ultimately fail. Just recently, a blog post at USA TODAY by Anthony D’Ambrosio gained attention for identifying the top five reasons that marriages don’t work: intimacy issues, financial strife, failure to truly connect, desire for attention, and an obsession with […]

The Powerful Humility of Mothers
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The Powerful Humility of Mothers

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God gives mothers whatever good they ask for their children. Why? Because they are humble. They are living signs of humility and only the humble are filled with God. Jesus also gifts mothers with a share of His sorrows and passion to be applied to the salvation of their children. “It makes me happy to suffer for you, […]

Jesus, May You Increase
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Jesus, May You Increase

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Billboards around St. Louis recently are showing a new advertising slogan for a franchise of gyms: “What Will Be Your Legacy?” Nothing against people who enjoy working out and lifting weights — which I should do more often — but my idea of a real legacy to leave my family and friends has nothing to […]

Pastores Dabo Vobis (“I Will Give You Shepherds”)
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Pastores Dabo Vobis (“I Will Give You Shepherds”)

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Occasionally I am asked why I became a priest. My response is always the same: “Because God asked me to.” Is it really that simple? Basically, yes. Priests aren’t delivered by the stork, and we don’t fall from the sky. Well, in a way we do, because our vocation comes from on high. Ultimately a […]

The Profound Dignity of Motherhood
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The Profound Dignity of Motherhood

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Mothers are by far the most beautiful creatures in the world. There is nothing more beautiful than a mother. There has never been a beauty pageant winner more beautiful than a pregnant woman. A pregnant woman glows with the grace of God. She is one with God. Her love has borne fruit with the life […]

Devoted to Hearing His Voice
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Devoted to Hearing His Voice

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Not long ago, I did an exercise in which four words were listed horizontally and I had to rank them as they applied to me by giving a “4” to the one most descriptive of myself down to “1” for the least descriptive of me. For example, the first list of words was: independent, compassionate, […]

Another Step in a Spiritual Journey
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Another Step in a Spiritual Journey

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God guided me into the next step of my spiritual journey recently. I was accepted into formation with the St. Louis, Mo., group of the Secular Carmelites. I’m excited. I have my heart and soul open for what might be ahead. I recently completed my year of “aspirancy” with the Secular Carmelites. That stage involved […]

That They May Be One
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That They May Be One

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Marriage, being the most intimate of friendships, depends on trust. The friendship between spouses weakens if anything stands in the way of trust and, in weakening trust, the bond of marriage suffers. Each marriage is tried on the level of trust. Whether through past personal histories or present infidelities, illness or job loss, childlessness or […]

Transforming Prayer for Married Couples
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Transforming Prayer for Married Couples

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If someone told you that there was something you could do for as little as five minutes per day to virtually assure that your marriage would last unto death, wouldn’t you do it? Well this is it! Pray together daily. Marriage is not a couple, but a trinity. The third person is God. We need […]

Why Settle for Shades of Grey?
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Why Settle for Shades of Grey?

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Remember the scene in the movie The Passion of the Christ when the androgynous, almost-beautiful-but-not-quite Satan character is carrying a baby, and when the face of the baby is revealed, it turns out to be old, ugly, and creepy rather than a sweet baby face? This was confusing for a lot of viewers, and when […]

God's Gift: Husbands Should Reverence Their Wives
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God’s Gift: Husbands Should Reverence Their Wives

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It can be quite tempting for husbands to misuse their authority as the head of the household in relating to their wives. Within my own therapy experience, I have seen men misquote Scripture as justification for disregarding their wives’ opinions and wishes. The fifth chapter of Ephesians is a popular source for this kind of […]

Three Keys for Couples
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Three Keys for Couples

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Years ago, I shared a memorable conversation with Catholic author Taylor Marshall while we both worked at the Catholic Information Center in Washington, D.C. Taylor told me about some advice that, in his words, an “old, crusty Episcopalian priest” had given him shortly before his wedding: “The keys to a good marriage are threefold: to […]

Blessed Mother Knows Best
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Blessed Mother Knows Best

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Passing on the faith at home with Marian piety During his installation at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago last November, Archbishop Blase Cupich challenged those in attendance to pass on the faith to young people through their “authenticity of life, where words match deeds.” The message was not just for Catholic teachers and youth ministers, […]

Saved Through the Flesh
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Saved Through the Flesh

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Jesus Christ didn’t save us with an idea, with an intellectual program, no. He saved us with his flesh, with the concreteness of the flesh.” -Pope Francis This quote from Pope Francis slipped across my screen as I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed. I didn’t slow down as I was looking for something […]

TV Review: The Sisterhood: Becoming Nuns
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TV Review: The Sisterhood: Becoming Nuns

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Reality TV about five young women discerning their vocation at three different convents? How could this be the proper vehicle? Won’t the cameras interfere with or even hamstring this very personal and intimate process? Will it “work”? When I heard that such an animal was coming down the pike, I had great apprehension, even when […]

You're Safe with Daddy
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You’re Safe with Daddy

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There is a prevalence of inordinate fear and anxiety in Western culture today. Yet, we are called not to live a fear-driven life, but rather a life of deeply rooted faith and trust in our loving, all powerful, caring Father in heaven. Yes, He is your Father. We all innately desire safety and security. But, […]

Ode to Feminine Genius: A Family Woman
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Ode to Feminine Genius: A Family Woman

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When I was a child I always said I wanted 9 children. In fact, I said I wanted 9 boys! I would tell people I wanted my own baseball team, not a softball team, a baseball team. Family was important to me and I hoped and prayed that one day I would find someone who […]

Confessions of a Publicly Grumpy Mom
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Confessions of a Publicly Grumpy Mom

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Milk and toothpaste. That’s all that was left on my shopping list as I maneuvered myself, two shopping carts (one of the race car variety) and my five youngest sons toward the back of our local supermarket. The oldest boy was big enough to push a cart, only occasionally racing down an aisle or bumping […]

Weak Marriage Preparation Fuels the Vocations Crisis
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Weak Marriage Preparation Fuels the Vocations Crisis

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Articles relating to the sanctity of marriage have been churning out from Catholic media sources recently. The identity of marriage as between a man and a woman has been outlined and explained. Volumes have been written about the sacredness of sex and the scandal of contraception. Catholic couples with even limited exposure to Catholic media […]

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