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Author Archive for Msgr. Richard Soseman

Joy Suffering Joy
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Joy Suffering Joy

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The early Church had a rough go of things.  In addition to the refining of orthodox understanding of Christ’s teaching and intentions regarding the Church it was a challenging time internally, as some controversy resulted from those who felt that converts should be required to undertake the entire law.  The Council of Jerusalem resolved many […]

As an Athlete Running the Race
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As an Athlete Running the Race

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Jesse Owens was one of the fastest human beings who ever lived. Known as the Buckeye Bullet, he became famous at Ohio State in 1935 when, in the span of just 45 minutes at a Big 10 track meet, he broke three world records and tied a fourth. As a member of the U.S. Olympics […]

Perseverance: Lenten Wisdom from St. Teresa
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Perseverance: Lenten Wisdom from St. Teresa

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Overwhelmed? Sometimes Christians get into situations which seem overwhelming, leading us to feel bad both for the situation and for not seeming to measure up to our Christian calling. St. Teresa of Jesus, also called St. Teresa of Avila, underwent a similar experience.  St. Teresa is known for being in the highest union with God in […]

The Ship of the Soul
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The Ship of the Soul

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Gustavus Adolphus is known as one of the greatest kings Sweden has ever had.  He was very proud of Swedish power, and during his reign he triumphed over armies of what today are known as the nations of  Germany, Poland, Denmark, Finland, modern Sweden and other areas.    He ruled very powerful armies, but was a […]

Fasting for Freedom
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Fasting for Freedom

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A few weeks ago, the new Bishop of Manchester, New Hampshire, the Most Reverend Peter Libasci, called upon all people of good will to offer prayers and fast.  His request came at the same time as many Bishops asked their flock to pray, as Bishop Jenky of Peoria put it, “for the freedom of the […]

Snow and Palm Trees
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Snow and Palm Trees

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Across Italy, up and down both coasts, one notices a very unusual sight.  Driving down the Adriatic coast of Italy, along the eastern provinces known as Le Marche, all of the palm trees in sight are leafless.  Along beautiful beachfront boulevards the trees still stand tall, and look strong, but with no tops.  For the […]

Be Two-Faced... At Least this Week!
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Be Two-Faced… At Least this Week!

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The Roman god Janus had two faces, facing in different directions, so he could see what was coming and what was going.  The Romans named the first month of the year, January, in his honor.  Perhaps it might have been more appropriate to have named just this week January, for the end of the year, […]

The Drawing Power of the Infant Christ
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The Drawing Power of the Infant Christ

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Charley had a secret.  A secret he had been holding for several months.  It was a secret which would bring great happiness, he thought, if people only knew.  Charley’s family was suffering.  Dad was out of a job.  Mom was suffering from an illness, but they really couldn’t figure out what was happening to her.  […]

In the Dark, Remember, Grace Will Come!
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In the Dark, Remember, Grace Will Come!

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Charles de Foucauld was a dandy, a fop, or perhaps an epicure. Having lost his faith as a young teen, he learned to enjoy the good things in life and did all he could to continue to enjoy them.    Even amidst a military career, in which he performed quite daring exploits, he still loved to […]

Overcome and Flourish!
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Overcome and Flourish!

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When I was 19, the day before I was headed back to college, I was in an explosion at a quarry where I had been working for the summer.  Some rock misfired, and headed toward me, and I broke my leg very badly.  At the hospital two days after, they wanted me to start rehab, […]

Rain and Sun
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Rain and Sun

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A few years back, a Princeville, Illinois family I know hosted an Italian teen for the summer. This young man enjoyed many parts of his summer, but was mystified by the weather. In the rural Midwest, during the summer, a storm can pass every few days or so, so that at least three or four […]

Palm Sunday
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Palm Sunday

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The ceremonials of Palm Sunday were proceeding beautifully at St Peter’s Church, Volo, Illinois, as I celebrated Mass the day after my return from Rome. The statues were all veiled, which is an accomplishment in this Church, as there are so many. The saints, who share Christ’s glory in heaven, do not need to commemorate […]

Prayer in Action
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Prayer in Action

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Bishop Sheen was well acquainted with the media, through long years of experience.  After beginning work as a priest in the 1920s, Bishop Sheen became a famous preacher.  An elderly woman who had been a young lady in St. Patrick’s Parish in Peoria said that many of them would attend the Low Mass, early on […]

Growing in Faith
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Growing in Faith

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The Feast of the Annunciation (March 25th, nine short shopping months until Christmas!)  reminds me of the response we might make to questions of faith.  When confronted with these profound questions, we can dismiss them, we can scoff at them, or, even while not understanding, we can seek to know more. We can understand this […]

Do not hasten to bid me Adieu
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Do not hasten to bid me Adieu

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I always find the lyrics of the song “Red River Valley” to be haunting and beautiful.  Written in Iowa, and making reference to frontier days, the song is often performed as a cowboy song.  The song makes reference to the frontier days in Canada, and an expedition through the Red River Valley of the north, and […]

Tempted Yet?
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Tempted Yet?

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An Ice Cream Sundae.  At 11:30 p.m. or so on Mardi Gras.  My yearly custom, for many years, was to take a bowl of Whitey’s Ice Cream, cover it with Butterscotch and/or Carmamel and/or Chocolate Sauce, maybe throw on some peanuts, and enjoy my last indulgence before the start of Lent. Ice Cream.  I was […]

Can you intuit this?
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Can you intuit this?

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Apple.  McIntosh.  Golden Delicious.  Johnny Red.  My earliest memories of apples come from visits to Stone’s Apple Orchard in Hampton, Illinois. They were open year round, it seems, and whether in February or June, entering the apple barn where the lights were down low and there was a crispness in the air and the smell […]

Migrants, in a spiritual sense
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Migrants, in a spiritual sense

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The town of Princeville, where I was proud to serve for 10 years, has had migrant workers from Texas since the 1930′s, mostly to harvest and process pumpkins.  I quickly learned, upon arrival, that these good people and their children were often neglected when they returned home for Winter.  I would make the point, at […]

Are you Crazy? Preparing for Lent?
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Are you Crazy? Preparing for Lent?

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When I was a kid, preparation for Lent meant Mardi Gras, my mother was so good she always looked for fun things to do, also instructional things at the same time, which would help us both to learn and enjoy.  So, at St. Anne’s we would sometimes have candies or cupcakes on Mardi Gras.  Sometimes […]