Columnists

Rev. Tucker Cordani
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The Cross of Jeremiah

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Jeremiah was the loneliest and saddest of the prophets but he was one of the greatest.  He was a descendant of Eli, the priest who taught the prophet Samuel.  Jeremiah did not want to be a prophet.  “I know not how to speak,” he told God.  His oracles reveal a sensitive man and the prophetic […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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Peter as Satan

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Truth in advertising–after all the glowing reports of the benefits of a product, potential side effects need to be mentioned.  Informed consent–before surgery, patients have to be told of all the things that could possibly go wrong.  That way, they have the chance to opt out before it’s too late. As soon had the truth […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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Old Testament Roots of Peter and the Keys

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“More Catholic than the Pope.” There is nothing more quintessentially Catholic than the Papacy.  When we think “Catholic,” we think Rome, the Vatican, the dome of St. Peter’s. But the roots of the papacy actually go back to Jerusalem and the messiah-kings who ruled there. Like most heads of state, David and his descendants, the […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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Jesus and the Canaanite Woman

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The apostles thought she was a nuisance and asked Jesus to get rid of her.  Jesus had gone to the region of Tyre and Sidon, modern-day Lebanon, and a local woman approached him for a favor.  This was pagan country, home turf of the infamous Jezebel.  The inhabitants of these parts were fondly referred to […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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Walking on Water

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One of the most famous stories of the New Testament is the one about Jesus walking on the water. If there is any gospel story we never tire of hearing, this is it. The lake is rough.Though several of the apostles spent most of their life in a boat, they’re still worried. But when they […]

Fr. Frank Pavone
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A Special, Worldwide Church Focus on Family and Life

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One of the greatest privileges of my life was to work under Pope St. John Paul II at the Vatican during the late 1990’s at the Pontifical Council for the Family, which fosters the pastoral activities of the Catholic Church on behalf of the family and the right to life. Both in public and private conversation at […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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The Miracle of the Loaves

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Only one miracle of Jesus is recorded in all four gospels–the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. I once heard a homilist give what he said was the real meaning of the story: the people in the crowd took out food they were hiding under their cloaks and shared it. Jesus’ preaching inspired the melting […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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Old vs. New in the Kingdom of God

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“Liberal” and “conservative.” The definitions of these terms are seldom stated. Usually they are just presumed. Often people call “conservative” those who like old-fashioned things and “liberal” those who favor the latest ideas, trends, and values. But for the Christian, the ultimate question is not personal preferences of style, or whether something is old or […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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The Parable of the Wheat and Tares

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At one time or another, we’ve all dreamed of a perfect world.  Imagine a company where everyone is productive, a government full of honest politicians, a church where all are saints. Dreaming about such things is natural; expecting such things is dangerous.  Unrealistic expectations lead to discouragement, despair, even cynicism. That would be bad enough.  […]

Rev. Tucker Cordani
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Paul in Arabia: The History of the Temple

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The story of Paul’s journey into Arabia begins and ends in the Temple at Jerusalem (Acts 7:1—8:1; 22:17-21). Paul made his scriptural debut as the young prosecutor who guarded the cloaks of the members of the lynch mob who stoned Stephen (Acts 7:58; 8:1). Scripture offers scant details about the next few years of Paul: […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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The Sower and the Seed

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I’ve always loved gardening.  Seeds I’ve planted include carrot, cucumber, and of course, zucchini.  In each case, I’ve planted seeds in neat rows, expecting nearly all of them to sprout and yield fruit. But the farmer in Jesus’ parable (Mat 13:1-23) uses the broadcast method.  Lots of seed cast everywhere.  And predictably, many of these […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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Does Life Feel Like a Chore?

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I once knew a woman who called herself “a recovering Catholic.” It seems that as a child, she was taught a religion that was all about guilt. Impossible demands were placed on her requiring strenuous efforts that were doomed to frustration. Turn the other cheek. Don’t even THINK about romantic flings. Love your enemies. Attempting […]

Marge Fenelon
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Lines from the Declaration of Independence to Ponder this July

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As youth, many of us were required to memorize – or at least study – the Declaration of Independence. Although we might not be able to quote it now, we’re probably able to spot it if we hear it read or recited by someone else. At least I hope so. The Declaration of Independence is […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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The Feast of Sts. Peter & Paul

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“Self” Magazine is certainly a sign of the times. This is an age when it is socially acceptable to admit that life is all about me. But selfishness is nothing new. Ever since Eve bit into the apple, human beings have made the choice to dethrone God and put in His place the unholy trinity […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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The Eucharist: The Body of Christ?

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The Catholic Church teaches the doctrine of transubstantiation, namely, that in the Eucharist, the communion wafer and the altar wine are transformed and really become the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Have you ever met anyone who has found this Catholic doctrine to be a bit hard to take? If so, you shouldn’t be […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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Trinity Sunday: Is it Relevant?

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Many are ready to give a polite nod of some sort to Jesus of Nazareth. Most honor him as a great moral teacher. Many even confess him as Savior. But the Incarnation of the Eternal God? Second person of the Holy Trinity? God can’t be one and three at the same time. Such a notion […]

Jake Frost
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A Tale of Five Kings for Father’s Day

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My poor Dad. He made a ton of money his whole life. But he never had any. Instead, he had kids. Lots of them. Of course, when I was younger I never considered things from the perspective of my parents. The good things they gave us, as far as I could tell, were like the […]

Marge Fenelon
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How God Conquered My Fears in the Holy Land

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While I was in the Holy Land, many Scripture verses surfaced in my mind and heart as I stood in the places of the Old and New Testaments. But, the one I found myself recalling most often was Psalm 91: For you have made the LORD, my refuge,             Even the Most High, your dwelling place.      No […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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The Difference the Spirit Makes

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As a teen, I thought the clergy were supposed to do everything. We laity were just called to pray, pay, and obey. Oh yes, and keep the commandments, of course. The original 10 seemed overwhelming enough. Then I discovered the Sermon on the Mount and nearly passed out. Perhaps this is why many inactive Catholics […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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Why The Ascension Matters

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The celebration of the Ascension used to leave me a bit flat.  It was clear what Good Friday did for me.  And Easter Sunday’s benefits were indisputable.  But as for the Ascension, what’s in it for me? Christianity is about a kind of love we call agape or charity.  It is love that looks away […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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The Paraclete

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He wore steel rimmed glasses and had hair to the middle of his back.  The fringe on his buck-skinned jacket bounced as he walked. At least that was the way I was accustomed to seeing Mike as he bopped around town.  It was just a few years after Woodstock, and we were all taken with […]

Jake Frost
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Book Review: Something Other Than God

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I have a bone to pick with Jennifer Fulwiler:  she kept me up late for about week reading her book, Something Other Than God. And we’ve got four kids aged five and under, so sleep is at a high premium around here. I wasn’t planning on reading Something Other Than God at all right now.  […]

Marge Fenelon
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What Does Pope Francis’ Visit to the Holy Land Have to do With Us?

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It may seem as though Pope Francis’ trip to the Holy Land May 24-26 is something far away, both mentally and geographically. Trust me, it’s very close. Sure, he’ll be meeting with a number of dignitaries from positions and areas that don’t directly affect us. But, the main purpose for his trip is to meet […]

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life

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“As long as you believe in God and try to be a good person, your religion doesn’t matter.”  “There are different paths up the same mountain, but they all lead to the peak.” How many times have you heard people speak this way?  This is the prevailing wisdom.  It’s politically correct.  Tolerant.  Reasonable. But it’s […]

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