Category: Featured

Thinking Liturgically:  The Saints and God's Mercy
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Thinking Liturgically: The Saints and God’s Mercy

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When calling for the reform of the Sacred Liturgy, the Second Vatican Council said the following: The rites should be distinguished by a noble simplicity; they should be short, clear, and unencumbered by useless repetitions; they should be within the people’s powers of comprehension, and normally should not require much explanation. (Sacrosanctum Concillium 34) When […]

Mr. Blue - The Anti-Gatsby
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Mr. Blue – The Anti-Gatsby

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In the June 2014 issue of Columbia Magazine, published by the Knights of Columbus, Alton J. Pelowski offered a profile of Myles Connolly (1897 – 1964), a former editor of that publication. A graduate of Boston College, he would serve in the Navy during the end of World War I, work as a reporter for […]

Solomon’s Wisdom: On the Necessity of Reading the Old Testament
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Solomon’s Wisdom: On the Necessity of Reading the Old Testament

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Once I had dinner with another priest.  As we were eating we talked about the Bible.  “I preach the same homily every weekend,” he said. “Really?” I asked.  “And how are your collections?” While we were at it, he justified himself by declaring that it was no longer necessary to preach on the Old Testament. […]

Old vs. New in the Kingdom of God
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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 […]

Eyes Off The Road
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Eyes Off The Road

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I came upon my old Bible the other day, the one I read through from cover to cover twice, a TEV Protestant Bible, now incomplete to me, but still generating a holiness from within even when I touch its cover. I looked at the many scotch tape fixes, the numerous margin notes, the multiple dog […]

European Court: Gay Marriage is not a Human Right
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European Court: Gay Marriage is not a Human Right

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The highest human rights court in Europe shattered hopes that it would judicially impose same-sex marriage when it told a male to female transsexual and his wife that a civil union should be good enough for them. European human rights law does not require countries to “grant access to marriage to same-sex couples,” according to […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: The Eucharist and Renewing Our Hearts

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I do believe, help my unbelief! (Mark 9:24) Trembling and filled with anticipation I repeated this to myself as I walked down the aisle to receive, for the first time, the Eucharist. Pope Francis speaks to those gathered to receive his catechesis about the Eucharist (February 5, 2014) that “From this Sacrament of love, in […]

NCR Blogger's Memoir Breaks Mold
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NCR Blogger’s Memoir Breaks Mold

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National Catholic Register blogger Jennifer Fulwiler just published her long awaited memoir, Something Other Than God. The book is enjoying exposure and praise typically reserved for secular tales. When I saw the book profiled on Forbes.com, a real feat for a Catholic conversion story, I braced myself for something compelling. The memoir is written with […]

African Women Turning to NFP; Turning Down Contraceptives
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African Women Turning to NFP; Turning Down Contraceptives

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Anne Morse also contributed to this article. It seemed like your typical family planning conference: it was sponsored by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Health Organization’s Department of Reproductive Health and Research. It had the typical title: “Is access enough? Understanding and addressing unmet need for Family Planning.” It even […]

The Call to Humility
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The Call to Humility

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I like to play this little game now and then: I’ll pick a word – or as is the case more often, a certain word seems to choose me by rolling around unexpectedly in my mind for several days. At a certain point, feeling unable to ignore it any longer, I will sit down and answer […]

Wireless Birth Control is No Fantasy
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Wireless Birth Control is No Fantasy

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Recent reports announcing the era of remote-control contraception herald the very real but slightly horrifying prospects for the future for those who believe that man can literally transform himself into a machine. This phenomenon is known as the cult of transhumanism. One news report calls the remote dispensation of contraception “creepy.” Another explains how this […]

Reflections for Sunday, July 27, 2014
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Reflections for Sunday, July 27, 2014

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (1 Kings 3:5,7-12; Psalm 119:57,72,76-77,127-130; Romans 8:28-30; Matthew 13:44-52) Knowing We are Treasured by God Out of joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. (Matthew 13:44) Have you ever noticed how much effort some people put into identifying themselves with certain […]

Divergent Trilogy Tackles Genetic Engineering and Genetic Discrimination
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Divergent Trilogy Tackles Genetic Engineering and Genetic Discrimination

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Warning! Spoilers Ahead!! Divergent is the latest of the teen dystopian future trilogies to hit the big screen. I have read all three books, Divergent, Insurgent, and Allegiant. Is it not my favorite trilogy in this growing genre, but I know that teens everywhere love it. I do appreciate that Veronica Roth has tackled some […]

How to Forgive When I Can’t Forget
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How to Forgive When I Can’t Forget

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While many people believe forgetting an injury is part of forgiveness, Fr. Justin Waltz, pastor of St. Leo’s Church in Minot, ND, suggested just the opposite during a retreat he gave. In fact, he stated that forgetting is not even possible. “The only type of forgetting I have heard of is stuffing,” he said during a […]

Abortion Groups Battle to Stay Relevant in New Development Goals
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Abortion Groups Battle to Stay Relevant in New Development Goals

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Abortion groups are fighting to make headway at the United Nations despite recent failures. Delegates and U.N. officials have been crammed into a bustling conference room at U.N. headquarters all week during tense negotiations on a new development scheme. Abortion groups and their supporters have been campaigning for more than two years to have “reproductive […]

Father Rules
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Father Rules

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It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father.—Pope St. John XXIII I often feel completely lost and befuddled as a Catholic father in today’s world. How do I set the right example? How do I help my sons grow up with a strong Catholic faith? How […]

The Parable of the Wheat and Tares
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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.  […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: The Sacrament of Confirmation

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When I got assigned to write about Pope Francis’ general audience on Confirmation, I was filled with joy. I smiled thinking how beautiful God works in our lives. I go to different churches and talk about the importance of Confirmation to our young people and tell them my story, and how the Holy Spirit worked […]

All My Love, Mudder
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All My Love, Mudder

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I am affectionately referred to by my three sons as, mudder. I do not know whence it came from, but it works. As a self-proclaimed writer of thoughts and words I have a tendency to author notes when issues or behaviors need to be addressed. According to our daughters, they can tell by the opening […]

Babies by Remote Control
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Babies by Remote Control

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My long-time English friend, Ann Farmer, has just sent me an interesting article from The Telegraph (London), which tells how all of Scotland is rejoicing at the prospective pregnancy of a captive giant panda. Tests indicate that the female, named Tian Tian (“sweetie”), has conceived but that implantation—that next stage in her pregnancy—is still a […]

Targeted intimidation: First attack on Catholic nuns in Bangladesh
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Targeted intimidation: First attack on Catholic nuns in Bangladesh

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For the first time, Catholic nuns have been the target of a concerted, brutal attack in Bangladesh involving a late-night attack by dozens of men that lasted over an hour. “50 to 60 armed men attacked the Boldipukur mission on July 7 at 2 a.m., and specifically the presbytery, the convent and the hospital,” Bishop […]

Making Babies, Making Money
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Making Babies, Making Money

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IVF Worldwide is an expansive online community that prides itself on being “the largest and most comprehensive in-vitro fertilization (IVF)-focused website for doctors, embryologists, nurses, and social workers.” While it’s meant to serve as a resource for those within the industry—because make no mistake about it, that’s what it is, an industry—couples considering using IVF […]

The Most Important Thing to Do While You’re Single
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The Most Important Thing to Do While You’re Single

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A stack of save-the-dates and wedding invitations covers a corner of my desk at home. By March 2015, five more of my friends and their significant others will have wed, while I — now nearly 29 — will have not. That I might witness all their vows without a date doesn’t bother me at all as I write […]

Sacred Experiences of the Small and Weak
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Sacred Experiences of the Small and Weak

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A few years ago, I entered my room to discover my little grandson looking up at a large crucifix on the wall above my bed.  He turned and asked if that really happen?”  “Yes it did.” I replied. “Did Jesus die?” he asked, turning back to look at the crucifix. “Yes, he did. But that’s […]

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