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Author Archive for Marge Fenelon

Marge is a CatholicLane columnist.

The Play-by-Plays of Divine Providence
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The Play-by-Plays of Divine Providence

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Last week, I was asked to run commentary for the live stream of the Opening Ceremonies of the Apostolic Movement of Schoenstatt’s Jubilee Year held in Vallendar, Germany but broadcast worldwide through the EWTN Studios in Birmingham, Alabama. Because the need had come up suddenly, there was little time to prepare. I had to shift […]

The Gaze of the Crucified Christ
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The Gaze of the Crucified Christ

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Where did Francis’ journey to Christ begin? It began with the gaze of the crucified Jesus. With letting Jesus look at us at the very moment that he gives his life for us and draws us to himself.  If I read only those three lines from Pope Francis’ homily for the feast of St. Francis […]

What are You Giving Your Mother Mary for her Birthday?
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What are You Giving Your Mother Mary for her Birthday?

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What are you giving your Mom for her birthday? That question can make people cringe, either because they have no idea what to give her, or their relationship with their Moms is strained, or because they simply forgot about it altogether. Well, I’m here to solve all that. First, I’ll remind you of your Mom’s […]

Slip Slidin' Away
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Slip Slidin’ Away

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For the past many months, the refrain of singer Paul Simon’s song, “Slip Slidin’ Away” has kept rolling around in my head, repeating itself over and over again. For awhile there, it really did seem as though things were slip slidin’ away for Fenelon Clan. And, so, even though I didn’t initially like the song […]

Five Ways to Maintain Hope
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Five Ways to Maintain Hope

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Sadly, a priest recently committed suicide in the rectory a block down the street from my house. In my view, this priest (and anyone else who has committed suicide) must have lost all hope. To me, a person can only take his or her own life if steeped in utter hopelessness. That got me thinking […]

The Five Things that Impress Me Most About Pope Francis
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The Five Things that Impress Me Most About Pope Francis

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Since his election to the papacy on March 13, 2013, I’ve been following Pope Francis – at times actively, and at times passively, but always keeping me eye on him via the Catholic newspapers, Internet sites, and Vatican news bulletins. Although I was initially skeptical about what kind of pope Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio would become, […]

Mary is Not as Far Out There as We Think
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Mary is Not as Far Out There as We Think

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“I hate to admit it,” my friend confided in me. “But, I really have a difficult time feeling close to the Virgin Mary. She’s just so far out there.” She paused and revealed the rest of her dilemma to me. “I have an even harder time with the Church’s teaching that we should imitate her.” […]

Hope and Promise
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Hope and Promise

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When I first found it, I wasn’t even sure what it was. I was going through a trunk of personal items that had belonged to my dad when I ran across a little brown jewelry box. Dad passed away when I was just fifteen; I’d gathered an array of his possessions and kept them tucked […]

Holy is a Four-Letter Word
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Holy is a Four-Letter Word

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As I make my way through Lent, I like to periodically stop and assess how I’m doing, and re-orientate myself toward my Lenten goal. This year, I’m feeling a bit scattered, and although I’ve been doing a pretty good job at keeping my Lenten resolutions, I don’t feel as though I have a really good […]

Twelve Great Gratitude Quotes
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Twelve Great Gratitude Quotes

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Benedict XVI has given his final papal blessing, the doors of Castelgandolfo have been sealed, and the Swiss Guard has hung their halberds because there is no pope for them to guard. Now, the Church waits in prayerful anticipation of the upcoming conclave and the installation of a new pope who will lead the Catholic […]

Five Ways to Fast (That Don't Involve Food)
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Five Ways to Fast (That Don’t Involve Food)

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For medical reasons, some members of the Fenelon Clan are unable to precisely follow the Church’s precept to fast during Lent. Because of our conditions, we could receive dispensation from fasting altogether, but to us, that seems like the easy way out. We almost feel as if we’re cheating. So, we fast to the measure […]

10 Positive Things to Do for Lent
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10 Positive Things to Do for Lent

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My kids already know what I’m going to say. I can just picture them mouthing the words as I speak them, “Don’t forget to think about what you’re going to do for Lent, and make sure you do something positive, too.” There, I said it. And, I meant it. Of course I advocate the Church’s […]

The Homeless Reality
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The Homeless Reality

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As I write, the weather station says that it’s 1° F, but it feels like -17°F. With the wind chill, it’s expected to drop as low as -30°F tonight. Tomorrow will more of the same. Even with the furnace chugging away, the perimeters of the house are cold. Upon passing by the windows and doors, […]

Icing, Stretches, and Everyday Sanctity
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Icing, Stretches, and Everyday Sanctity

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I’m working my way through a book called Everyday Sanctity, written by Schoenstatt Sister of Mary, M. A. Nailis. With texts from it’s founder, Fr. Joseph Kentenich, this volume addresses one of the pillars of the Schoenstatt Apostolic Movement, everyday sanctity, which is the practice of giving everyday life the character of holiness. Although it’s become […]

Learning How to Be a Mother-in-Law
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Learning How to Be a Mother-in-Law

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Frankly, I was completely in shock. Not that we didn’t expect it – we’ve been expecting it for some time. And, it wasn’t that we weren’t happy about it, either, because we were and still are. No, I was in shock because this would make me the…you know…the… mother-in-law. I’ve heard about those creatures, the […]

Happy New Year!
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Happy New Year!

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Today, we celebrate a New Year’s Day in the Catholic Church. Not unlike the secular New Year’s Day we celebrate in the secular world, the First Sunday of Advent marks the beginning of the new liturgical year. It also marks our time of longing and anticipation for the coming of the Christ Child on Christmas […]

Ten Quotes About Hope to Lift Your Spirits
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Ten Quotes About Hope to Lift Your Spirits

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Scanning the various media outlets, it seems as though the bad news outnumbers the good! So, I decided that we all could use a proverbial shot in the arm to lift our spirits and  get us thinking, feeling, and acting positively again. I’ve chosen ten quotes about hope (real, Christian hope, not political jargon hope) […]

Ten Ways to Celebrate the Year of Faith
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Ten Ways to Celebrate the Year of Faith

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With his Apostolic Letter of October 11, 2011, Porta Fidei,  Pope Benedict XVI declared that a Year of Faith would begin on October 11, 2012, and conclude on November 24, 2013. The first day of the Year of Faith marks the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and the twentieth anniversary of the publication […]

G’head, Tell ‘em You’re Catholic
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G’head, Tell ‘em You’re Catholic

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It always happens. The person in the seat next to me on the plane asks, “So, where’re you headed?” Then I’ll say, “Oh, I’m headed to a conference.” Then they’ll ask, “So, what kind of conference?” Then I’ll say, “Oh, a Catholic such-n-such conference.” And then I’ll receive one of three responses: 1) Their smiles […]

The Name that Changes Water into Wine
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The Name that Changes Water into Wine

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We recently celebrated the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary. The seed of this feast day was planted in sixteenth-century Spain, and was extended to the universal church in 1683 by Pope Innocent XI, in honor of Sobieski’s victory over the Turks in the siege of Vienna. The Church teaches that, ”This motherhood of Mary […]

5 Ways to Stop Your Six Year Old from Becoming a Sex Object
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5 Ways to Stop Your Six Year Old from Becoming a Sex Object

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A new study just out from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, shows that girls as young as six are being conditioned by secular media to view themselves as sex objects. Yes, you read that right sex objects. At a time when they should be learning to read and exploring their artistic creativity, they are instead taking […]

What I Learned from Having the Sikh Temple Shooting (Practically) in My Backyard
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What I Learned from Having the Sikh Temple Shooting (Practically) in My Backyard

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Sunday, August 5 was the date of our first annual parish picnic; little did we know that it would be a date marked on calendars for another reason. As we gathered to begin the 11:00 a.m. Liturgy, an ambulance raced down the street past the park. I’m sure most of the parishioners offered a Hail […]

What Guys Need to Know about Women
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What Guys Need to Know about Women

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Some months back, my sister came to visit, and we had an interesting chat. Chris lives in New York and is a vice president at a very large and internationally-known corporation. She’s at the top of the corporate world, and at the forefront of women making their way in a “man’s world.” We were talking about the need […]

What is Community, Really?
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What is Community, Really?

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Lately, I’ve been involved in a number of ongoing efforts and conversations regarding community. Basically, we’ve been trying to get at the crux of what community really is and how to live it, and that’s got me yearning to dig deeper into the subject. We hear the word “community” all the time, used in many […]

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