A Gospel to Make You Squirm

When I was a kid, I got the distinct impression there existed atwo-track system in Catholicism.  Some really decided to go for it.  They became priests, nuns, and brothers because they “had a vocation.”  They “gave up” lots of things.  Like marriage, family, success in business, and lots of creature-comforts. The rest of us, however, […]

Pope: Be courageous, go to confession

During his Wednesday audience, Pope Francis encouraged the pilgrims filling St. Peter’s Square to receive the sacrament of reconciliation. “Everyone say to himself: ‘When was the last time I went to confession?’ And if it has been a long time, don’t lose another day! Go, the priest will be good. And Jesus, (will be) there, […]

The Power of Spiritual Fatherhood

In recent years, the hashtag #NotAllFathersWearTies has become increasingly popular. Its purpose is to honor priests, and their call to spiritual fatherhood of the Church. In a society that not only misunderstands fatherhood, but especially misunderstands the call to celibacy, this is a powerful message. Fecundity is not limited to biological fathers. In a very […]

Advent: A Preparation for Christmas

As each year draws to a close, and Christmas fast approaches, we tend to focus on what is obvious – putting up our decorations, trimming our tree, shopping for friends and family and eating every type of desert known to man. And before you know it, time has escaped us. Suddenly it’s Christmas Eve night […]

Epiphany Welcomes All to Worship

Up until now, all has been quite humble.  A donkey-ride to a dusty town south of Jerusalem.  Hotel rooms all booked up.  Giving birth in a stable and laying the baby in an animal’s feed trough instead of a cozy cradle. Into this scene of obscure poverty suddenly bursts an exotic entourage from a far-off […]

Worshipping Mammon

We think of greed as a fat cat banker who pays himself a million dollar bonus after already receiving a salary of three million for working a seventy hour week doing shady almost legal deals for people. Or we think greed is shown by a person who is a tightwad: pinching every penny and cutting […]

10 Meditations on How Christ Was Rejected

Being forgotten, snubbed, ridiculed and derided, pushed aside and discarded as an object, being the butt of a sarcastic joke, treated as a buffoon, forced into oblivion, treated as if valueless—all of the above have one thing in common: rejection! Strange and shocking as it may seem, the Son of the Eternal Father, the Wisdom […]

The Call of Lent: Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving

For many Eastern Christians, Lent is embraced as a time for the renewal of repentance, fervent seeking after God, and increased love and concern for our neighbor. After a few weeks of preparation for Lent (also known as the Great Fast) we begin this period of bright sorrow, a forty day period leading up to […]

The Myth of Our Arrogant Church

A few weeks back, my article entitled “Sorry, You’re Not Allowed To Do That”ran here at Catholic Exchange. In a nutshell, I stated that Christianity is a revealed religion, and that Jesus Christ entrusted His divine revelation to the Apostles and their successors under the protection of the Holy Spirit. Neither you nor I have the authority […]

The German Cardinal Who Spoke Out Against the Nazis

At the height of World War II, one German faith leader stood his moral ground and spoke out against Nazi Germany. Father Daniel Utrecht, a priest of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Toronto, Canada, tells the story of Cardinal Clemens August von Galen in his book “The Lion of Münster: The Bishop Who […]

God and the problem of Beauty

The beauty of nature must be an enigma to an atheist. Science can explain how a ballet dancer is able to move her body, how the planets circle the sun, why the ocean tides ebb and flow, and how the movement of the tectonic plates made mountains. But why is it all so beautiful? Surprised by […]

One Hundred Years of Fatima with Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle

We are celebrating the centennial anniversary of when Mary appeared to three children in Fatima and changed the world. Our Lady of Fatima has inspired conversions, devotions, and is believed to be behind many miracles. After so many years, why has Our Lady of Fatima been so inspirational and what does she have to still […]

To achieve a good marriage, God’s plan will give you good directions

One of my wife Terrie’s favorite travel stories took place well before GPS units and smartphones were around. We were visiting New York City with another couple and had rented a car. The ladies were sitting in the back seat and the men in the front, with me driving. We were headed to a meeting […]

Terrorism and the Exaltation of the Cross

September 11, 2001 is a day that never will be forgotten.  Most of us can remember exactly where we were when we heard the news. An airliner had crashed into one of New York’s twin towers.  When a second plane took out the second tower, we knew it was no accident.  We wondered about how many […]

General Audience

Dear Brothers and Sisters: When we profess the Creed, we affirm that the Church is catholic and apostolic. The word catholic signifies that she is universal. This means that the Church is found everywhere and teaches the whole truth regarding the heavens and the earth. The Church shows her catholicity by speaking all languages which […]

How to stop the craziness of Christmas from outshining the Christ child

Jingle bells, carolers, the hum of 200 strands of Christmas lights, toy commercials two whole decimals louder than the Christmas movie, your crazy uncle’s tacky sweater that plays “Grandpa Got Run Over By A Reindeer”—Christmas can be noisy, to say the least! By no means is it all bad though.  I mean who doesn’t love […]

The Eucharist: Corpus Christi?

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 […]

Third Sunday of Advent: Joy and the Baptist

On the third Sunday of Advent, the penitential purple of the season changes to rose and we celebrate “Gaudete” or “Rejoice!” Sunday. “Shout for joy, daughter of Sion” says Zephaniah. “Draw water joyfully from the font of salvation,” says Isaiah. “Rejoice in the Lord always,” says St. Paul. “Do penance for the judge is coming,” […]

The Real Reason for Being Catholic

The president-elect of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, condemned the Catholic Church last week, saying that it is the “most corrupt and hypocritical institution of the world,” that the bishops and priests are “sons of whores,” and that he was going to expose the Church and show that the “Church is irrelevant today.” My initial response […]

Pope Benedict XVI announces his retirement

Vatican City, Feb 11, 2013  –  Pope Benedict XVI announced today that he will resign from his duties as Pope on February 28th, 2013. The full text of the Pope’s announcement follows. Please revist this page for more details. A press conference will be held in minutes at the Vatican press office. Dear Brothers, I […]

Actions speak louder than words

A young Christian boy from Pakistan was recently kidnapped, his lips cut off, his stomach ripped out, and his body burned. When his remains were found, his relatives could only recognize him by a distinct mark on his forehead. The boy’s name was Samuel Yaqoob, and his story is not an isolated incident. Pakistan has become […]

Ten Ways to Win the Battle Against Porn

The most strenuous battles today is that against the ravenous wolf  that we call porn. We can safely say, with great sorrow and pain, that one of the most powerful and prevalent addictions today is that of porn. Because of the easy and all too prevalent availability and access to porn, more and more people—teens […]

Archangels and Guardian Angels

Last week, we began our discussion of angels, examining their role in sacred Scripture and even investigating the nine choirs of angels. This week, we focus our attention on the archangels and the guardian angels. Sacred Scripture identifies by name three angels, who are the great messengers of God — Sts. Michael, Raphael and Gabriel. […]

When God is Silent

We rarely hear God speaking to us, in the sense of audible words. But God nonetheless still often speaks to us—whether it be through a Scripture that set our hearts on fire, the words of a priest in the pulpit or confessional, a prayer or hymn that happens to address our deepest concerns and worries at […]

The patron saint of parish closings

Needless to say, there is no patron saint of parish closings. The closing of a parish is a tragedy. A parish church is more than just a building. It is a repository of memories: of the children baptized there, the happy couples married, the parents mourned and buried. It is a testimony to the faith […]

What Is It About Ash Wednesday?

Why is it that Ash Wednesday and Lent remain relatively popular even in highly secularized times like these? It’s a serious question that touches on matters deeper than might at first be supposed. The popularity I speak of can be seen year after year on Ash Wednesday, when people–some of them perhaps not all that […]

This Sunday’s Gospel: Feed My Lambs

On many occasions I’ve heard non-Catholics object to the papacy. Often, they say something like this: “I just can’t believe that one man on earth, the Pope, is holier than everyone else.” So who ever said that being sinless is either a prerequisite or a consequence of being named Pope? For the Pope, the bishop […]

'The Church needs your courage,' Pope tells new cardinals

During the Saturday morning consistory at which Pope Francis created 19 new Cardinals, he urged the prelates gathered in St. Peter’s Basilica to serve the Church fearlessly. “The Church needs your courage, to proclaim the Gospel at all times, both in season and out of season, and to bear witness to the truth,” emphasized the […]

The Pilgrimage of Growing Old

Some time ago, an elderly friend asked me to take her shopping at the mall. While we were in the mall corridor, she suddenly slipped and fell. I knelt down and tried to pick her up but was not strong enough, and while I pulled, she lay sprawled on the floor. Two teenage girls ran […]

Pope Francis: The Mass needs silence, not 'chit-chat'

On Wednesday Pope Francis called out the common habit of chatting with people around you before Mass, stressing that this is a time for silent prayer, when we prepare our hearts for an encounter with the Lord. “When we go to Mass, maybe we arrive five minutes before, and we start to chit-chat with those […]

This Sunday’s Gospel:Sons and Calves

Everyone knows the bible stories of the Prodigal Son and the Golden Calf.  But they don’t usually put the two together as this Sunday’s readings do.  So what do the two tales have in common? Answer: they both speak volumes about the nature of sin.  Think about it.  God sees an enslaved people in miserable bondage […]

Scripture Speaks: Palm Sunday

In our Lenten journey, have we discovered that we are studies in contrasts? Did we begin with great aspirations and are now feeling more than ever our fickleness? If so, we are truly ready for Palm Sunday. Gospel (Read Mark 14:1-15:47) Today, in the universal Catholic Church, we rise during Mass to hear a full […]

Why the Year of Mercy might fail

Truth be told, I sometimes feel a bit sorry for sin. All this fuss about mercy, what with its Year and Doors and oddly Zaphod Beeblebrox-like logo. But what about the thing that makes it all possible? In fact, the same goes for the entirety of the Christian message: repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation, redemption, salvation. None […]

Open letter from Cardinal Lacroix – “Assistance in Dying” : No Deadline for Dignity

OPEN LETTER FROM CARDINAL LACROIX “Assistance in Dying” : No Deadline for Dignity On June 6th, the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision concerning “medical assistance in dying” will take effect with or without a federal law to control it. The adoption of bill C-14 or the Carter decision’s coming into effect will certainly give place […]

Knights donate $2 million for Christians from Iraq, Syria

The Knights of Columbus, which helped lead the charge to persuade the U.S. State Department to officially recognize ISIS violence directed at religious minorities in Iraq and Syria as a “genocide,” is donating nearly $2 million to support Christian refugees from those two nations. The Knights of Columbus, which helped lead the charge to persuade […]

God Never Forgets Us

Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time Isaiah 49:14-15 http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/030214.cfm We like to doubt. Our first response to good news, especially great news, is often disbelief. Ancient Israel was no different. After the prophet Isaiah proclaims the coming of the servant of the Lord who will bring deliverance, joy and singing, Zion voices her doubt. This reading starts […]

Father's Day: To anybody who thinks an imperfect man can't be a great father

One of the saddest trends in American life is the demotion of fatherhood to secondary status. While a mother’s love is rightly acknowledged as one of the strongest and most mysterious forces in the world, a father’s love is often treated as weaker and less significant. While mothers are rightly praised for their virtues, fathers […]

Make Time for the Rosary

This is not a helpful essay on how to better pray the Rosary. This is not a fascinating essay on the history of the Rosary. This is not even really an essay about the great beauty and value of the Rosary. This is just an article to encourage you to pray the Rosary sometimes. Not […]

Lent and Temptation

It would be like telling the story of World War II and leaving out Hitler. That’s what telling the story told in the gospels would be like without taking account of the devil. He and his evil companions are a sinister presence throughout. The gospel narrative concerning what might be called the first Lent is […]

Praying With Our New Pope

I am writing to you this week from Rome! As I write you this, I have just returned from concelebrating a private Mass with our new Holy Father, Pope Francis, in his chapel at the Domus Sanctae Marthae (“St. Martha’s House”), where the Pope has decided to live for the time being. The Eucharist we […]

Pope Francis' remarks at the Festival of Families

Pope Francis put aside his prepared remarks for the World Meeting of Families’ “Festival of Families” Sept. 26, at the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. Here is the full text of the prepared remarks he did not give: Dear Brothers and Sisters, Dear Families, First of all, I want to thank the families who were […]

Rise of the radical Nuns

Wearing a traditional blue and white habit from head to toe, Sister John Mary is at once peaceful and intense. She warmly welcomes visitors into the quiet convent tucked between a church and a Catholic school in Toronto’s east end. She sings softly during a midday prayer, one of four she attends each day. “Glory […]

Pope says marriage can only be between a man and a woman and ‘we cannot change it’

Francis discusses Amoris Laetitia, money, just war and psychoanalysis in new book-length interview By virtue of its very definition, marriage can only be between a man and a woman, Pope Francis has said in a new book-length interview. “We cannot change it. This is the nature of things,” not just in the Church, but in […]

The Eucharist, Our Faith & Life

  And though a single thread of God’s sacramental grace has the instrumental power to incorporate a soul into the Body of Christ, it is lamentable to forego the orchestral truth conveyed by all the sacraments woven in concert throughout the fabric of a human life. The saints give witness to the holy beauty that […]

What you think you know about human trafficking is probably wrong

Human trafficking. It’s been called “modern-day slavery” and a “silent epidemic.” It affects tens of millions every year and yet remains largely in the shadows – even within the United States. Much remains to be done in fighting the scourge of human trafficking, say experts and survivors. And that starts with a better understanding of […]

Pope Francis: in suffering, life shines with more splendor

(Vatican Radio) Health professionals are the “true personification” of mercy, Pope Francis said Thursday in his address to the Medical Associations of Spain and Latin America in the Clementine Hall at the Vatican. And, he says, it fits with the Jubilee of Mercy to express gratitude for those who through dedication and professionalism help those […]

Benedict the Humble

Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation has taken the world by surprise. However, the abdication of a pope is not unprecedented. There have been six others. Albeit, the last Pope to resign was Gregory XII in 1415. The earliest pope to abdicate was Pontian, in 230. He had been sold into slavery and sent to Sardinia by the […]

Hearing the Shepherd’s Voice

What was the response to Jesus’ preaching, according to the New Testament?  Some who heard him were impressed; others wanted to push him over a cliff (Luke 4:29).  The same was true for Paul and Barnabas during their missionary journeys.  They were hailed by some and run out of town by others.  Jesus summed it up […]

A Catholic Response to Suffering and Euthanasia

I was born into a pro-life family. My maternal grandmother was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at the age of three in the late 1920′s – a time in which medical advancements and technology were not prevalent, and so her prognosis was grim. Upon marrying my grandfather, she was told that childbirth would significantly reduce her […]

Grounding Our Children in Gratitude

The holidays are a great time to begin instilling gratitude in your child. And if you want your young one to live a life of contentment, he or she must learn to be genuinely grateful. It might be hard to imagine your 13-year-old, who complains about every little thing, actually living a life of gratitude […]

Do We Know That Jesus Existed?

For most people today, Christian and non-Christian alike, the existence of Jesus of Nazareth as a real, historical figure is almost axiomatic. People often debate what he was really like and what he really taught, and many non-Christians even admire him for his character and his moral teachings. What they usually do not do, however, […]

Pope Francis: The world needs stable families, relationships

In a speech to diplomats on Monday, Pope Francis said that the stability of the family is integral for the future, and that such stability is created when founded upon the faithful and lasting relationship of a man and woman. “Today fleeting relationships are preferred to the stability of a definitive life project. But a […]

A Godly Man in an Ungodly Age

“To govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel,both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.” With those brave, wise, simple words, Benedict […]

Pope Francis praises Humanae Vitae, lauds Pope Benedict’s efforts against sexual abuse

In an interview with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Pope Francis praised Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical on contraception. Emphasizing that confessors should be merciful, Pope Francis said that his predecessor’s “genius proved prophetic: he had the courage to stand against the majority, to defend moral discipline, to exercise a cultural ‘brake,’ to oppose present and […]

Full text of joint declaration signed by Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill

In a historic first, Pope Francis on Friday met with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill. The Feb. 12 meeting took place in Havana, Cuba, a stop added at the start of the Holy Father’s Feb. 12-17 trip to Mexico. In addition to meeting privately, Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill signed a joint declaration. The full text […]

Be on your guard – the devil never rests, Pope Francis warns

In his homily on Friday Pope Francis encouraged faithful to guard their hearts by doing a daily examination of conscience, saying that we if we don’t, we risk letting the devil in rather than the Lord. “Guard the heart, as a house is guarded, with a key. And then watch the heart, like a sentinel: […]

Pope Francis: Let’s be clear – assisted suicide is 'false compassion'

Physician-assisted suicide is part of a “throwaway culture” that offers a “false compassion” and treats a human person as a problem, Pope Francis told medical leaders on Thursday. “True compassion does not marginalize anyone, nor does it humiliate and exclude – much less considers the disappearance of a person as a good thing,” the Pope […]

Want sexual misconduct by men to stop ?

Start by cracking down on boys’ easy access to internet porn In just the past few weeks, the news has been filled with reports of alleged sexual misconduct by well-known men. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn. Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama. Comedian Louis C.K. Actors Kevin Spacey and Sylvester Stallone. Journalists Mark Halperin and […]

Time for a tipping point on anti-Christian persecution

Coffins are carried out of the church after the funeral service for victims of a Sunday cathedral bombing, at the Virgin Mary Church, in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. Egyptians held prayers for 25 Christians killed the day before at a church next to the city’s main Coptic cathedral in what was one of […]

Strategies for returning to Church

Our world is a fallen world. The effects of sin seem to be suffocating us. The diabolical is running rampant, unleashed, playing with immortal souls as if puppets on a string. Pride continues to dominate; repentance for anything is deemed archaic, of little use to today’s enlightened thinking. Certainly this is not the positive language […]

G.K. Chesterton, genius

In a review quoted on the back cover of Ian Ker’s G.K. Chesterton: A Biography (Oxford), Susan Elkin suggests thatFather Ker’s book “has the potential to establish Chesterton in what Ker regards as his rightful place as a major English author.” That’s certainly true; but one does wonder about that “Ker regards…” business. Does Ms. Elkin not regard […]

The sacrifice of Chiara Corbella: 'Yes, Enrico, the Cross is very sweet'

In a testimony at the Vatican’s Jubilee for the sick and disabled, the husband of the late Chiara Corbella Petrillo – who died after rejecting medical treatment in order to save her unborn child – spoke about his wife’s joyful faith in the face of terminal illness. “Chiara was beautiful. She was bright. She was […]

The rosary continues to let ‘the dew of Divine grace’ fall from Heaven

We need to get beyond the idea that the rosary is just for extremely pious Catholics Pelting him with stones and calling him filthy names, the Albigensians strongly protested the arrival of St Dominic in the south of France. Poor St Dominic, having left his native Spain, discovered that the Albigensian heresy was seducing many […]

10 Reasons for Priestly Celibacy

To our sex-obsessed culture, priestly celibacy seems a hard teaching of the Church, a heavy burden that must be borne with ascetic grit and iron resolve. But that’s not how the popes of the twentieth century saw it. In their words, celibacy is the “choicest ornament of our priesthood” (Pius X), “one of the purest […]

For Pope Francis, Good Friday shrouded in grief over persecuted Christians

Both Pope Francis’ Good Friday service at the Vatican and the Stations of the Cross held at the Colosseum later in the day zeroed-in on the plight of persecuted Christians around the world. “In you, Divine Love, we see again today our persecuted brethren: beheaded, crucified, for their faith in you, beneath our eyes, or […]

Don't let the devil steal God's dream for you, Pope Francis says in Ecatepec

Lent is a time of conversion, and a time to guard against the devil, who tries to rob us of God’s dream that we become his sons and daughters. That is what Pope Francis said on Sunday when he visited the violent, crime-ridden Mexican suburb of Ecatepec. “Lent is a good time to recover the […]

Christian persecution continues to rise, more incidents against women in 2017

Nearly one in 12 Christians across the globe lives in an area where there is high-level persecution against members of the religion, according to an annual report by a top religious advocacy group. The recent World Watch List released Wednesday by Open Doors USA, tracks and monitors incidents of Christian persecution reported globally, and ranks […]

The Great Gift of the Sacraments

Seven sacraments—seven great gifts of love from God to his Holy Church.  Anyone aged 50 and over can easily recall from their Baltimore Catechism: “A sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ to impart grace”. Within the Christian family of believers only Roman Catholics and the various Eastern Orthodox churches have seven sacraments. Most […]

The Annunciation: Antithesis of Terrorism and Nihilism

It should be apparent to the world that Islamists like those in ISIS are at war with everyone who does not submit to their prescribed religious tenants. Terrorists are not nihilists. There was an article published about a year ago on how terrorists are nihilists. This is false. The only thing nihilists and terrorists have […]

Pope says persecution is the risk of being a missionary

Pope Francis once again spoke about anti-Christian persecution on Sunday, both active and passive, defining it as the risk of being missionaries. “We pray for our brothers and sisters who are persecuted, and praise God because, despite this, they continue to testify to their faith with their courage and fidelity,” Francis said to thousands who […]

Pope Francis: Ideological colonization a ‘blasphemy against God’

Pope Francis on Tuesday once again lambasted what he called “ideological colonization,” which he described as both cultural and spiritual, intolerant of differences, and capable of persecuting even those who believe in God. Francis has used the term “ideological colonization” to describe what he sees as a form of oppression of developing societies by affluent […]

BREAKING NEWS: 11 Syrian Missionaries Beheaded, Crucified For Faith In Christ

Eleven Syrian Christian missionaries have been killed by beheading and crucifixion near Syria’s war-torn city of Aleppo after they refused to deny their faith in Jesus Christ. The 12-year-old son of “a ministry team leader” was among those murdered last month by militants of the Islamic State group, missionaries confirmed. A mission director who trained […]

Canada: Groups fight policy that bases job grants on abortion support

Faith-based groups and pro-life organizations are mobilizing to fight a new federal government policy that allows summer job grants only for employers who endorse abortion. The Toronto Right to Life Association has sued the federal government over the policy, announced just before Christmas. The policy requires all applicants to the Canada Summer Jobs program to […]

Strangers in a strange land

It’s a commonplace to say that America, along with other Western countries, is currently experiencing a cultural—which is to say: moral—crisis. And, in some quarters at least, it’s hardly less common to say this presents the Church with both a challenge and an opportunity. The opportunity is to save America by presenting the faith as […]

Bishop Morlino: Pope Francis is a 'son of the Church'

  Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison has said the public should not accept media distortions of Pope Francis, but should recognize him as “a son of the Church” trying bring people to Christ. “The mass media are trying to create a spirit of Pope Francis, just as they created a spirit of Vatican II,” he […]

Why the Crusades were "Glorious"

The Crusades are one of the most misunderstand topics in Church history. Movies and TV present as established fact an outdated anti-Catholic narrative about them that stays alive by sheer repetition. Not only do secular critics of the Church use this narrative to attack Catholicism (and religion in general), but many Catholics uwittingly accept it […]

How Porn Turns Men Into Little Boys

Two hundred years ago in the U.K., if you said you were going to a “gentleman’s club,” it was understood you were going to a private upper-class establishment where you could relax, read, play parlor games, get a meal, and gossip with others of your class. Today, in the U.S., if you said you were […]

Three Biblical Arguments for the Authority of the Church

My friend Al Kresta (a Catholic radio talk-show host and author) once noted that in C. S. Lewis’s famous book Mere Christianity, which was an ecumenical effort to find things that all Christians shared in common, and the “nonnegotiables” of Christianity, a central, crucial doctrine of two of the three major divisions of Christianity was omitted. The […]

The Church and society need you, Pope Francis tells youth

On Tuesday Pope Francis released a video message to youth in advance of the next World Youth Day, to be held in Panama in 2019.  He said that like the Virgin Mary, they are needed, and they should not be afraid to leave their mark on the world. “Like the young woman of Nazareth, you […]

This Sunday’s Gospel: Trials and Unity

Often Christians act surprised when they try to do good and things don’t go according to plan.  Sometimes it’s small but irritating annoyances that get in the way, other times serious calamities. The Bible says that “He shall wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, crying out or […]

Origins of Lent

Q: What are the origins of Lent? Did the Church always have this time before Easter? Lent is a special time of prayer, penance, sacrifice and good works in preparation of the celebration of Easter. In the desire to renew the liturgical practices of the Church, TheConstitution on the Sacred Liturgy of Vatican Council II stated, […]

Apostle: One Who Is Sent

The word apostle has a dynamic quality. The Greek apostolos means “one who is sent.” It describes an agent or vicar, an emissary or ambassador. More than a messenger, an apostolos is a representative. Scholars believe the word is a direct translation of the Hebrew shaliah; and the ancient rabbis pronounced that “a man’s shaliah […]

Be A Man: Pray For Your Priest

I have openly admitted that the book Be A Man by Father Larry Richards changed my life. I am certain I am not the only one. A few weeks ago I was able to attend the Corpus Christi Men’s retreat at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmittsburg, MD. What a memorable weekend it turned out […]

Christ the King & Last Judgment

On the final Sunday in the liturgical year, it is time to remember things that we’d prefer to forget. For starters, we recall that there is an infinite qualitative difference between us and God. He is immortal and infinite. We are not. Each one of us will come to our individual end. But so will […]

Cardinal Nichols Calls For Prayer and Reflection on Themes of Synod

In a pastoral letter to his archdiocese this Sunday, Cardinal Nichols plays down reports of rancour in the synod hall or that the outcome was a “defeat for Pope Francis”. Rather it was an opportunity to reinvigorate and strengthen the pastoral practice of the Church, he says. He ends by calling on the faithful to […]

Catholics in America today need to find ways to engage the culture with truth, and avoid “beige Catholicism” that seeks to be dominated by the culture, Bishop Robert Barron said Thursday. “Beige Catholicism,” the bishop said, is the “dominance of the prevailing culture over Catholicism,” where Catholics are “too culturally accommodating” and “excessively apologetic.” Bishop […]

Christian Lives Matter

There were twenty-nine Christian college students gathered for worship that morning at Garissa University, Kenya. They were standing in a circle holding hands as they prayed when Al Shabab terrorists entered the back door of the building and immediately shot and killed the young woman leading the entire group. One by one, they proceeded to […]

Francis’s on God’s Mercy to Atheists: Nothing New But Still Refreshing

Good Pope Francis made some very ordinary comments on God’s mercyeven towards those who deny his existence… and the secular media went berserk. In a letter to the editor to La Repubblica, the anticlerical Italian newspaper, Francis wrote: “Given – and this is the fundamental thing – that God’s mercy has no limits, if He is approached […]

Tim Tebow Hosts “Night to Shine” Valentine Proms for Thousands of Disabled Kids

Almost every week, it seems LifeNews discovers another story about parents aborting their unborn child because of a disability or abortion activists targeting unborn babies who have physical defects. These stories are disheartening, frightening even. But then there also are many stories of hope – families who choose life because they refuse to see their […]

Combat Pride Through Confession

Confession is the quickening element of the soul’s restoration to the friendship of God. It is consequently an essential feature of true, practical repentance. Humiliating as it is, the sinner should remember that the best antidote for counteracting the pride necessarily associated with the commission of any sin is the abasement entailed by Confession. And the sinner is […]

What they don’t tell you about life in seminary

Seventy men from over 20 dioceses form one community. Seminary is unique, and so much more than I anticipated When I was discerning whether I was called to the priesthood, seminary life was one of the last things I thought about, despite the long six-year training period. My mind and heart were dreamily lost in […]

The Powerful Faith and Intercession of St. Jude

When I first moved to Texas, I was baffled by the religious candles for sale in the supermarkets. Somewhere between the paper towels and the batteries, every store had a small section of tall candles with pictures of Jesus or a saint pasted to the outside of the glass. Not yet Catholic, I found this […]

What's wrong with gossip

We hear it at the office, around the neighborhood, perhaps among friends and even our relatives. Entire reality TV series are based on it and tell-all books, talk shows and tabloids make millions from it. The misuse of social media has raised it to new levels – sometimes with astonishingly tragic results. In all of […]

Empowering Women Through Mary

It is startling to me that Catholics are perceived as having a negative view of women when Our Lady is so highly honored. In the Catholic faith, The Blessed Virgin Mary is the most exalted of all Christians, she is the first Christian. Worship is reserved for the Holy Trinity alone. But Catholics honor and venerate Our Lady above all […]

Why don't our leaders care? ISIS threatens to execute 250 Assyrian Christians

Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com A few days ago ISIS executed three Assyrian Christians, and I bet you haven’t heard a thing about it. This is because the world is becoming increasingly numb to a drastic escalation in the persecution of Christians – and other religious minorities — all over North Africa and the […]

No one is beyond God's mercy, Pope tells inmates in Juarez

On his last day in Mexico, Pope Francis traveled to a city notorious for its violence and drug activity, meeting with inmates at a prison to deliver the message that no matter what their regrets, it’s never too late to start again. “United to you and with you today, I want to reiterate once more […]

Holiness: Never Give Up the Fight

The other day I had a discussion with my soon-to-be 5-year-old daughter about the long path to holiness. She was having a difficult day. We had just spent three weeks visiting my family in my native state of Montana. We were on our way back to Virginia and had already spent three days in the […]

The Mercy That Breaks Through

Felix Carroll, author of Love, Lost, Found:17 Divine Mercy Conversions (Marian Press), is a wonderful Massachusetts-born Irish Catholic who admits to being so Irish that he doesn’t always have a good handle on his emotions and still pines for the ‘Motherland.’ After reading–no, devouring–his new book on Divine Mercy, I reached out to Felix to talk more about it and […]

The Saints Empower Women

So we’ve talked about how Marian doctrine taught me to celebrate my womanhood and how the Catholic idea of vocation honors women. But I want to share with you how learning about the saints and doctors of the Church taught me to love the diversity and strength of women in the communion of saints. On Wednesday I shared how before […]

Worldwide Christian persecution a growing trend, report shows

In a recently-released summary report called “Persecuted and Forgotten?” Aid to the Church in Need has revealed a worldwide growth in discrimination against Christians in scope and frequency. The persecution of Christians “has increased over the last 10 to 15 years,” said Ed Clancy, director of evangelization and outreach at Aid to the Church in […]

A look at world's 50 most anti-Christian countries

There are more than 215 million persecuted Christians worldwide according to the 2018 World Watch List, Open Doors USA’s annual ranking of the 50 worst countries for violence and persecution against Christians. The report found that one in twelve Christians worldwide are victims of violent persecution. Open Doors USA cites the spread of radical Islam […]

This Sunday’s Gospel :The Paraclete

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 hippie […]

The Rosary: A Prescription for Healing

In November of 2013, Catholic News Service published an article describing how Pope Francis gave away twenty thousand boxes, each containing a rosary, a Divine Mercy holy card, and what looked like instructions for taking a prescription, to a large gathering of pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square. At the conclusion of his Sunday Angelus address, […]

We are an Easter People

For many years, I kept a note card on my refrigerator that proclaimed the message: “We are an Easter people.” I received the note from a parishioner, a mother of 13, grandmother of more, who was living with an advanced stage breast cancer at the time the card was written. In the week after Easter, […]


Pope Francis returned to one of his favorite topics Friday morning, telling his hearers that the devil seeks above all to become master of their consciences, so they no longer can tell right from wrong. The Gospel reading at Mass spoke of Jesus casting out devils, and the Pharisees accusing him of driving out demons […]

Barbara Kay: Across North America, seeds of a religious rebound

My grandparents, immigrants from Poland and Romania, were Orthodox Jews and deeply observant. My parents, born here, joined a Conservative shul (mixed seating), and kept a traditionally Jewish home. My husband and I joined a Reconstructionist synagogue (liturgically traditional, theologically agnostic, anchored in Jewish “peoplehood”), and mainly express ourselves Jewishly through community volunteerism and Zionism. […]

We Can Find our Place in God’s World

One of the greatest tragedies of history is that He who carpentered the universe was carpentered to a Cross. There is tragic irony in the fact that He who spent most of His life in handling wood and nails and crossbeams met His end on a deathbed made of those very things. One of our own […]

The Empty Manger

During Advent, Christians gather around the Manger, as yet empty. “Come, Lord Jesus, do not delay,” the Church’s liturgy prays. Just as the Baby in the Manger represents for us the greatest Gift God brings, so the emptiness of the Manger represents the deep needs of the human heart — needs that not only we experience […]

'What is being proposed is not marriage' – Pope calls for defense of family

In an audience with members of an international Marian movement, Pope Francis warned that the sacrament of marriage has been reduced to a mere association, and urged participants to be witnesses in a secular world. “The family is being hit, the family is being struck and the family is being bastardized,” the Pope told those […]

Pope Francis and his growing litany of modern-day martyrs

Amid a torrent of recent news reports on persecuted Christians, Pope Francis reflected on those killed for their faith and said that these modern “Stephens” suffer as the Church’s first martyr did. “The Church today is a Church of martyrs: they suffer, they give their lives and we receive the blessing of God for their […]

Gentleman Saint: St. Damien of Molokai

I was sick and ye visited me.” – J. Damien de Veuster (Inscription of St. Damien in the Bible of a visitor to the island) “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” – Jesus Christ Imagine an island where people are sent to die of a […]

Defending your beliefs in an aggressive culture

For months, we’ve been watching it happen: good people we thought we knew having virtual smackdowns online as we sit ringside. In some cases, we’ve thrown ourselves in the ring and lived to regret its emotional toll. What once seemed like harmless banter over differing beliefs has hit fever pitch as of late — political […]

Is the Big Bang Church Teaching?

The universe is about 13.82 billion years old. Although it is well within the error range of earlier estimates, this new number means that the universe is slightly older than cosmologists previously thought. The new age comes as a result of data just released from the European Space Agency’s Planck space telescope, which for the past […]

Profile in Mercy: Eucharistic Witness

Providence ordained that Cardinal Francis Xavier Van Thuan exercise his priestly ministry as a Vietnam prisoner of war for thirteen years. He entered the school of the cross when he was captured in the midst of a terrifying war and put in a Vietnamese prison camp. He had to overcome himself, his plan, to give […]

Population control in Africa risks ‘new colonization,’ say church leaders

At the African theology summit in Rome, Catholic Church leaders from the African continent weighed in on the efforts made by NGO’s and Western governments to enact population control measures. Congolese Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo warns against the dangers, and Beninese Archbishop Berthelemy Adoukonou raises concerns of a “new colonization.” For years, alarms mostly coming from […]

A Novena to Saint Peregrine: Please Pray for Cancer Patients

Late last summer, my friend, Christy, told me that her three-year-old son, Paul, had been diagnosed with leukemia. My heart broke for their family. I wanted to do something to help them, but they were hundreds of miles away. Thankfully, the God of mercy allows us to help others from far away with one mighty […]

Is the Next Pope the One From John Bosco’s Dream?

For at least the next month, we will be bombarded with a myriad of theories, speculations, and predictions about who will be elected the next pope. One name you will hear a LOT about in the coming weeks is Cardinal Tarcisio Pietro Evasio Bertone, S.D.B., who currently holds two important and powerful positions in the Vatican, Secretary of […]

Mary’s Month

May is Mary’s Month. This has been a custom in the Church dating back many centuries. And it is beautiful to associate Mary with the coming of Spring and the new birth of flowers and plants and crops in the field. In this special month, in which we will celebrate Christ’s Ascension into Heaven and […]

Pope laments devaluation of ‘stable and generative covenant’ of marriage

Pope Francis spoke about the complementarity of the sexes and the covenant of marriage in his April 22 weekly general audience. “Man and woman are of the same substance and are complementary,” he said, but Satan sowed “suspicion, disbelief, and mistrust” in the Garden of Eden, leading to the first sin. “Sin generates distrust and […]

Women Have A Role in the Church

One of the things I love about the Catholic Church is that she is a loving mother, always nurturing her children.  I am quite active in the Church, working on my Master’s in Ministry for the Laity.  What will this allow me to do?  Many things: pastoral associate/minister, college/high school chaplain, hospital/prison chaplain (with additional […]

Signs of Hope

The increasing secularization of our society is reaching unprecedented depths. The highest courts in the land are trumpeting the call to radical individualism, a narcissism that signals the end of our civilization. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy made the tragic comment in 1992 that “at the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s […]

Archbishop Henryk Hoser's address to the Synod: Abortion and contraception are the greatest causes of the destruction of the family

The Catholic bishops of Poland have been distinguishing themselves at the Synod of the Family. Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki’s address was a doctrinal rebuttal of those in favour of giving Holy Communion to the divorced and civily “remarried” – to adulterers. Archbishop Henryk Hoser’s address given on Saturday October 10th, 2015 in the Synod aula focused […]

Why the Universe Can’t Be Merely a Brute Fact

Can the universe be a mere brute fact? Can we say, “The universe just exists and that’s that—it has no explanation at all”? Sean Carroll, a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology, thinks so. In a recent interview with Phil Torres at salon.com, Carroll says, “There’s certainly no reason to think that there […]

The Bishop of Rome as Christian Radical

It was a brief greeting to former colleagues. But if you read Pope Francis’ April 18 letter to the Argentine bishops’ conference closely, you get a glimpse of the man, his convictions and his vision. First, the man: Jorge Mario Bergoglio has remained very much himself, rather than adopting what some might deem the pontifical style. […]

Do You Thank Christ Enough?

Leprosy is a dreadful thing anywhere, anytime. But in the ancient Near East, it was a particularly heavy burden to bear since it meant complete social isolation. You could, of course, hang out with other lepers. But you were bound to stay far away from the healthy as possible lest they be contaminated with your […]

In China, a jealous state begins to clamp down on the lives of its faithful

For a while the world has been hearing ominous reports about China extending its military power over the South China Sea and threatening Taiwan. By comparison we hear little about life inside China. But this week Freedom House, an independent think tank in Washington, has published The Battle for China’s Spirit, an extensive and convincing […]

What my wife and I did when doctors told us our third son would die at birth

I remember the day like it was yesterday. We already had two boys, our first was three years old and the second was just one. When we found out we were having our third baby we were overjoyed.  It was definitely sooner than expected, but a totally welcomed gift. We could not wait to find […]

Nun describes simplicity of Pope's retirement monastery

One of the nuns that lived in the monastery where the Pope will retire says his choice shows his “great simplicity” because it “is not a work of art or comparable with other Vatican buildings.” “His decision to retire has surprised me, but he is very brave, although he is fragile and elderly,” said the […]

The Ascension: What’s In It For Me?

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 from […]

Holy Orders fosters a passionate love of the Church, Pope notes

In his weekly general audience Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the Sacraments, devoting today’s discourse to those who receive Holy Orders, referring to it as a vocation of “service.” “Those who are ordained are placed at the head of the community as servants, as Jesus did and taught,” the Pope observed in his March […]

Missing Mass for No Reason

Q: I was visiting relatives over Easter, and sadly they do not attend Mass. I went to Mass, and reminded them that missing Mass was a mortal sin. They said, “Oh, that was in the old days. Missing Mass is no longer a mortal sin.” What do you say? Please give me some ammunition. Rather […]

Hopeless In Connecticut

Of all the sick feelings after the shootings in Connecticut, the one plaguing me the most is hopelessness. I’ve had that lingering feeling for a while now, actually. I feel it toward my fellow Americans, the way a few or even many (Catholics included) think, decide, choose, vote, and act. Of course, few do anything […]

When Your Children Reject the Faith

I’ve been hearing from a lot of parents whose teens are rejecting their faith.  The stories are all terrifically painful but they tend to represent different variations on the following theme. The other day my son/daughter was refusing to go to Church.  S/he told me that s/he doesn’t believe ‘all that stuff’ anymore.  We had a […]

Pope denounces euthanasia as 'sin against God'

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis denounced the right to die movement Saturday, saying it’s a “false sense of compassion” to consider euthanasia as an act of dignity when in fact it’s a sin against God and creation. Francis made the comments to the Association of Italian Catholic Doctors. Earlier this month, the Vatican’s top bioethics […]

Remember the Copts ISIS martyred in Libya? This priest does.

“It is something they concretely feel, it is part of their Christian life,” Father Paolo Asolan, an Italian priest who recently visited Egypt, told CNA. “And for a mother and a father, the fact that one of their sons can become a martyr is always a great gift.” The Islamic State’s beheading of 20 Coptic […]

Canadian bishops: Abortion should not be ‘core’ of foreign policy

After Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland placed the right to abortion as “the core” of Canadian foreign policy in a speech, the president of the Canadian Bishops’ Conference questioned whether it was appropriate knowing that the subject is contentious “both within and beyond Canada’s borders.” The Canadian bishops’ conference has denounced a speech by […]

Thomas More: The Saint for the Synod

Just as some contemporary Northern European bishops are presently seeking to fudge similarly settled Church teaching, considerable efforts were made by bishops in 1533 to persuade More to be more flexible with Henry VIII’s demands. “To live together as brother and sister? Of course I have high respect for those who are doing this. But […]

Human life has to be protected at all stages, Pope Francis says

During an open-air Mass in the Colombian capital of Bogotá on Thursday, Pope Francis delivered a ringing call to defend human life in all its stages, especially when it’s most vulnerable. As examples of the point, the pontiff cited life “in a mother’s womb, in infancy, in old age, in conditions of incapacity and in […]

An Unchanging Church

There is a great deal of demand from the chattering classes in what passes forthe “news” industry that the Catholic Church should change Her moral teachings on issues such as contraception and marriage once a new Pope is elected. The election of a new Pope, they argue, surely heralds a changing Church; a new Pope […]

R.I.P., American Family

Liberalism is at it again. This time it’s teaming up with gay activists. With the assistance of emotionally charged slogans like tolerance and diversity—always applied selectively—liberals have set their sights on the American family. And it will never be the same. The culprit is same-sex marriage. The ruse is a combination of buzzwords: “equality,” “freedom,” “love,” […]

It's time for all of us to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians

  The world was shocked and heartbroken as we saw Christian refugees being thrown overboard from a rubber boat last month, because they were praying to Jesus and “would not pray to Allah” as the boat began to deflate. Sadly, this follows an all too familiar path for Christians who are facing brutal violence and […]

Canonization Doubleheader

I doubt that Pope Francis has heard of Ernie Banks, the Hall of Fame shortstop.But like “Mr. Cub,” whose love for baseball led him to exclaim “Let’s play two!” before Sunday doubleheaders in the 1950s, the pope from the end of the world seems to think that papal canonizations are better in tandem: hence the […]

Scholar recounts black Catholics' rich history

Black Catholics across the globe have dedicated their talents and their lives to their faith since earliest days of the Church, a Catholic author and scholar has said. “Black Catholicism is not something new. From the very first century, people of color have been involved in the universal Church,” Dr. Camille Brown, author of the […]

Doctor Death? A sinister one-stop-shop opens in California

You can’t put a price on most things in life. But you can, apparently, put a price on death – $2,000. That’s what Dr. Lonny Shavelson is charging patients at his brand-new physician-assisted suicide clinic in Berkeley, California. Last month, California became the fifth and most populous state to adopt a law legalizing physician-assisted suicide. […]

The Narrow Gate

I think we can all agree that today’s world is filled with a multitude of enticing distractions where everything is available to us in the form of megamalls, megaplexes, massive sports venues, super centers and endless cable TV channels that can easily occupy every moment of the day. The world is only as far away as […]

Heroic Moments When the Church Stood For Marriage

As the synod of bishops wraps up its work confronting the momentous challenges that face the institution of marriage and family life, it’s worth remembering that some of the most heroic moments in the history of the Church are when it took a stand for marriage. Here are three extraordinary moments and the saints they […]

Fr. Augustine Tolton: America’s First Black Priest

At night the river looked deeper than ever as the woman rowed across it with her three small children. That was dangerous enough but they were being pursued. They were being shot at. They were fleeing for their lives. The Civil War had just begun. The woman and her children were slaves. They had fled […]

10 Ways to Win the Battle for Purity

Flashy billboards, provocative dress and apparel, Hollywood fashions spread far and wide, suggestive innuendos, off-colored jokes, indecent movies, and the ever-present danger of the Internet to visit the numerous and poisonous websites—all of these and a plethora of other alluring and seductive temptations can trap even the best of us into falling into the sin […]

CCCB Statement On Regarding Gender Identity and Gender Expression

Bill C-16, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code, was recently passed by the Parliament of Canada and received royal assent on 19 June 2017. This Act adds gender identity and gender expression to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act, and also […]

Advent: Five Ways to Live Out This Holy Season

Advent is just around the corner, which means time to prepare for Christmas — the birth of Our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. The joy of Christmas depends on the intensity with which we live out the Season of Advent. Let us follow these concrete suggestions and live out this Season of Advent with great […]

'Political correctness is diluting Christmas': Sikh MP

Conservative MP Nina Grewal, a Sikh who represents a Vancouver-area riding, said the following in a statement made to the House of Commons: “Political correctness is diluting Christmas in a well-intentioned but necessary attempt to be inclusive.How can we as a society join together to celebrate Diwali, the Chinese New Year, Hanukkah and Vaisakhi but at […]

Why Is Lent Forty Days?

In the English language, the special season before Easter is called “Lent.”  The word comes from the “lengthening” of daylight hours as we progress from the darkness of winter to the new light of spring.  But other languages, such as Spanish, have a name for this season that is derived from the word for forty.  It is […]

Is Confession in Scripture?

The Lord declares in Isaiah 43:25: I, I am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins. Psalm 103:2-3 adds: Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases… Many will use these verses against […]

How to Respond When “Christian” Has Become a Bad Word – A Few Reminders from the Early Church to Today

On Tuesday, May 13, 2014, around eight-hundred attendees convened for the annual gathering organized as the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC. On this particular occasion, the audience heard the following from speaker Dr. Robert P. George, a professor of jurisprudence at Princeton University and the chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious […]

The Five Most Surprising Names for the Holy Spirit

In Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, we have two persons who appear to us in radically different forms, or so it often seems. Christ is God in the flesh nailed to the Cross. He is the God who wept and slept, who ate food, and who sweated in the Garden of Gethsemane. The images of […]

On martyr’s feast, Pope extols victims of anti-Christian persecution

Of today’s new Christian martyrs, Pope Francis said Monday: “Hardships and dangers notwithstanding, they offer courageous witness … and they live the Gospel committing themselves in favor of the least, of the most overlooked, doing good to all without distinction.” On the feast day of Christianity’s original martyr, Pope Francis issued a strong call not […]

Why We Need Christ the King

The Solemnity of Christ the King, properly understood, is one of those great gems of the Church’s liturgical calendar.  Unfortunately, it is often misunderstood, and as a result, little attention is paid to Christ the King as it passes by. The misunderstandings about this feast are numerous.  There are some who believe that since the […]

Surprised by bickering in the Church? You shouldn’t be, and here’s why

This Sunday’s Gospel comes out of this real experience of tension within the community. Jesus said to his disciples: “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.  If he listens to you, you have won over your brother.” —Matthew 18:15 It can be easy for us […]

The Apostles’ Witness

Jesus’ execution solved nothing for his opponents. Quite the contrary. As re­ports went abroad of the Master’s empty tomb, His popularity took an upturn. The followers would be opposed, in turn, as their Master had been opposed. Opposition was an unavoidable part of the life of Jesus’ disciples. Jesus had made it clear that such […]

Benedict XVI: Understanding Europe’s Tragedies

Details are still forthcoming regarding the latest chaos in France, and while this particular attack is certainly not to be undermined, what with the dozens dead, over a hundred injured, after a truck plowed into a crowd gathering for fireworks on Bastille Day, it joins the troubling litany of terror that has exploded in only […]

The Popes & Our Faith

Pope St. Pius X never had Twitter. Few knew how he made a point of calling forth children during his general audiences, how he would wander the streets at night, giving candy to homeless children and teaching them about the faith. Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum was probably the most important encyclical in the modern era […]

Four nuns were shot dead along with elderly residents of a care home in Aden Four Missionaries of Charity have been shot dead in Yemen during an attack by gunmen on a Church-run retirement home. The women religious, members of the congregation founded by Mother Teresa, were among 16 killed in an attack on a […]

The Power of the Divine Mercy Novena

It is available in abundance to everyone if only we would embrace it.  It is an endless and unfathomable gift that flows most profusely on the Sunday after Easter.  It is the devotion of the Divine Mercy and it offers each of us a wonderful chance to begin anew through the Divine Mercy Chaplet Novena.  […]

Woman with brain cancer who chose baby instead of chemotherapy has died

A Michigan woman who chose to forego cancer treatments that would have prolonged her life but ended her pregnancy died Saturday, three days after giving birth to her sixth child. “I’ll see you in Heaven,” Nick DeKlyen said to his wife just before she died. We stayed by her until she took her last breath,” […]

Healing and Deliverance Through the Rosary

In his 2002 Apostolic Letter, “On The Most Holy Rosary,” written to mark the inauguration of the Year of the Rosary, Pope John Paul II quotes Pope Leo XIII: “The rosary is an effective spiritual weapon against the evils affecting society.” In the tradition of the Church there are many stories of healing and deliverance […]

Pope Francis: Get ready to be martyrs – even in the little things

Pope Francis centered his homily for Monday’s daily Mass on the “scandal of the cross,” saying Christians should turn to the Holy Spirit in preparing for martyrdom – great or small. “A Christian who does not take the dimension of martyrdom seriously in life does not understand the road that Jesus has indicated,” the Pope […]

African calls West’s imposition of abortion ‘cultural supremacy’

The British government co-hosted an international Family Planning Summit in London with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.N. Population Fund. The U.K. Department for International Development said the July 11 summit aimed to boost global commitment to “ensuring women and girls have access to family planning services.” Many Africans accuse the conference […]

How to Pray When the Words Won’t Come

At some point in life each of us finds ourselves at a loss for what to say to God. It is usually at a time of intense trial.  The pain of disease, agony of loss, or sting of betrayal leave us overwhelmed.  Our sadness and anger are so acute that we fell abandoned, as if […]

My Last Ten Burials/Funerals with "Fr. Strangelove". . .

A stranger came into the sacristy after Sunday Mass. In an incriminating huff he said, “I have been away from the area for fifteen years; where are the people? And now you are tearing down the school? I went there as a kid.” I put my hands up to quiet him from further talking and […]

Beware of Satan

Do you believe in the Devil? It seems probable that a large number of modern Christians would be somewhat embarrassed if faced with the question. Many would like to see in Satan only a symbolic representation of the evil tendencies in human nature. Others, while giving a notional assent to his existence, could hardly be […]

The Secular West’s Impotence in the Face of Radical Islam

We are now aware that a martyrdom of a Catholic priest, Fr. Jacques Hamel, has taken place in France. It was only a matter of time before ISIS began its assault on Catholicism in Europe, and eventually, the United States. Other than in the Middle East and Asia, Christians have not been the primary target of […]

Those who've stayed – what now for Christians in Syria and Iraq?

War in Iraq and Syria have taken a heavy toll on the Chaldean Christians of the Middle East. Now Chaldean bishops like Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil, Iraq are asking what they can do to help Christian refugees survive and preserve their faith in times of trouble. “For me, my plan is how to help […]

Paul VI, Prophet

Does anyone doubt that, in the last fifty years, we have seen a profound attenuation of marital fidelity? Could anyone possibly contest that the last half century has witnessed a significant breakdown of the institution of marriage? This coming July, we will mark the 50th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s deeply controversial encyclical letter Humanae […]

Iraqi Christians have lost everything – except their faith, nun tells Congress

Having lost their homes, their heritage and their sense of dignity, Iraqi Christians victimized by the Islamic State feel abandoned by earthly powers, but their faith in God has only grown, an Iraqi nun told members of Congress May 13. The faith of homeless Iraqi Christians is “increasing more and more,” Sister Diana Momeka, O.P., […]

Learning to Forgive Through the Saints

It goes against our sinful human nature to renounce vengeance and to leave our malefactors unpunished, but this is what is expected of us. “‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” (Rom. 12:19).  This very difficult teaching was obeyed by the saints — although in some cases, not without much struggle — and […]

Mary Is Venerated in the Bible!

Don’t ever let a Protestant skeptic tell you veneration of Mary is unbiblical. Anyone who takes the truth of the Incarnation seriously must accept Mary as the Mother of God, a title which demands some degree of honor to the one bearing it. Thus, the ‘scandal’ of Marian veneration is really the ‘scandal’ of the Incarnation. […]

Saving Your Soul

You ask me to give you some advice about saving your soul: a demand most reasonable and worthy to be granted if only my ability were equal to my good will. When a man first has the use of his reason, he should begin so to regulate his life that when death comes, his days […]

When was the last time you said 'thank you' and 'I'm sorry?' Pope asks

In his general audience Pope Francis focused on the concrete challenges families face in daily life, and said that simply remembering to be grateful and to apologize can go a long way in avoiding conflict. “Dear brothers and sisters, today’s catechesis is the opening of the door to a series of reflections on family life, […]

The Pope’s Vision for the Future

A vision for the future of the Church set forth in 1969, 44 years ago, by the relatively young theologian Joseph Ratzinger, then 42 — so at almost the exact midpoint of his life from his birth in 1927 until now — was recalled today by Italian writer Marco Bardazzi on the Vatican Insider website. It was a vision of […]


The world looks to priests because it looks to Jesus.”- Pope John Paul II You are a Priest Forever Through the sacrament of Holy Orders, the seminarian is elevated to the ministerial priesthood of Jesus Christ. The man’s soul is permanently changed, marked with the indelible seal of the sacrament.  It’s a beautiful life, but certainly not […]

Unburden Yourself – The Gifts of Confession and Forgiveness

Many of our personal woes are driven by anxieties that seem to us to be inescapable or unmanageable. We deal with the boss that demands a project on a Friday night that is due on Monday morning, after he promised you the day off at that particular Monday; the co-worker that uses the idea that […]

For Pope Francis, unity of martyrdom is stronger than Christian divisions

Despite the numerous divisions among Christians today, the followers of Christ are powerfully united in the witness of martyrdom across the globe, Pope Francis said Wednesday. “In various parts of the world the witness to Christ, even to the shedding of blood, has become a shared experience of Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans, Protestants, Evangelicals and Pentecostals,” […]

Attack inside French church shocks West, but not Christians in Africa

The murder Tuesday of an elderly priest inside a church in France during Mass shocked and sickened the West, but Christians in Africa have long known there is no sanctuary from radical Islamic terrorism. In 2015, more than 2,000 Christian churches in Africa were attacked by terrorists, and more than 7,000 Christians were killed, according […]

Holiness Now

The primary purpose of man on earth is to know God, love God, and serve God in this short life so as to be happy with him forever in heaven. This is a clear and unequivocal truth taught in the Baltimore Catechism. St. Ignatius of Loyola in his Spiritual Exercisesexpresses the same truth but using slightly different […]

The Double Message of the Parable of the Sower and the Seed

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 seeds […]

The Dispatch: More from CWR Essay A “merciless assault on human dignity”

The archbishop of Toronto is given to deprecating himself as “just a simple country cardinal.” In my experience, though, Cardinal Thomas Collins is one of the premier leaders of the Catholic Church today. He’s a bishop of the New Evangelization who does a lot of his evangelical work retail: like treating potential seminarians to early […]

Pope Francis: Fear and joylessness are signs of bad spiritual health

In his daily homily on Friday Pope Francis said that Christian communities become “sick” when they live in fear and fail to be joyful – even when times are difficult. “When the Church is fearful and when the Church does not receive the joy of the Holy Spirit, the Church is sick, the communities are […]

Beheadings, imprisonment made 2015 worst year for Christian persecution

Beheadings, imprisonment and eviction from ancestral homelands made 2015 the worst year on record for persecution of Christians, with North Korea topping a list of 10 otherwise Muslim nations as the most dangerous places for followers of the Gospel, according to a new report. Islamic extremism and authoritarian governments combined to make last year the […]

Irma, Harvey and other disasters -- If God loves us, why does he allow this stuff?

Like many Americans during the past three weeks, I’ve been bombarded by news about the destructive power of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Irma in Florida. The stories are of misery, death and destruction. The misery, death and destruction are acutely difficult to accept because they have been visited upon innocents. I say that […]

Will there be Marriage in the Afterlife?

Given their history, it seems rather strange.  After all, for hundreds of years the Jews lived alongside a race that was totally preoccupied with life after death. The Egyptians built pyramids that were wonders of the ancient world.  But their sole purpose was to launch their leaders into the next world. Yet the Hebrews really had no concept […]

Pope Francis to pro-life activists: You are the world's Good Samaritans

Pope Francis praised pro-life activists as “Good Samaritans” to the most vulnerable, citing their commitment to defending life at all stages and their role in affirming the dignity of women. Meeting Nov. 6 with members of Italy’s pro-life movement, the Pope called on those present “to protect the most vulnerable people, who have the right […]

Mary Mother of God

The mother of the messiah has been called many things in the last 2000 years –the Virgin Mary, Our Lady, the Blessed Mother.  But call her “the Mother of God,” and you’ll see some Christians squirm. This is nothing new.  One day in the early fifth century, a priest preached a stirring sermon in the […]

The incredible story of the priest ordained amidst the horrors of Dachau

Bl Karl Leisner was ordained in secret by Bishop Gabriel Piguet of Clermont-Ferrand, a fellow prisoner Following on from my blog last Thursday on the book The Priest Barracks by Guillaume Zeller, it is worth recording one other extraordinary circumstance that took place in the concentration camp: the ordination of a young deacon, Karl Leisner. […]

If there’s no God, then there really is no humanity

What mainstream media, cultural elites just don’t get: If there’s no God, then there really is no humanity The song “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” was not written by Peter, Paul, and Mary, but no group sang it better. It became a popular political song in the 1960s, and in time was viewed as […]

Why Middle East Christians feel betrayed by the West

Religious freedom is for non-Muslims in the Middle East, too, a Syrian Catholic leader said in a strong warning about the future of the region’s Christians and about the “Machiavellian” nature of Western foreign policy. “My friends, the very existence of Eastern Churches, those churches that are from the apostolic time, is at stake. They […]

In this time of mission

On May 10, Archbishop Gomez received an honorary doctorate of Christian letters from Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. The University cited the Archbishop “for his fidelity to the Catholic Church, for being the voice of Hispanic Catholics in the United States, and for bringing the Gospel of Christ to people everywhere.” Archbishop Gomez celebrated the […]

On the brink: Christianity facing Middle East purge within decade, says group

The dwindling Christian population of the Middle East could vanish completely within a decade unless the global community intervenes, say alarmed aid groups who say followers of the Bible are being killed, driven from their land or forced to renounce their faith at an unprecedented pace. The world has largely stood by as a dangerous […]

The Rise of Evangelical Catholicism

For more than 30 years it’s been my privilege to explore the Catholic Church in all its extraordinary variety and diversity. I’ve traveled from inner-city parishes to the corridors of the Vatican; from the barrios of Bogota to the streets of Dublin; across the United States and throughout Europe, Latin America, Oceania and the Holy Land. […]

Who should care forourkids?

Seventy-six percent of Canadians believe it is best for children under six to be cared for at home by a parent, according to a poll released today by the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada. These results are consistent regardless of age, income, gender and working status. When parents are unable to be at home, Canadians choose […]

Building A Culture of Openness to God

Earlier this year, when I began writing about the “eclipse of God” in the modern world, I knew the problem would be hard to discuss. Our civilization is in a metaphysical and existential crisis, a crisis of meaning and purpose. Yet this is not easy to see or talk about, due to the problem’s immense scope. God, […]

From Babylon to Bethlehem

December 7, 2014 Second Sunday of Advent First Reading: Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11 http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/120714.cfm Consequences can be discouraging. We’ve all been there—after losing a game, after failing a test, after botching a job interview, after alienating a friend, after over-spending, after making an embarrassing mistake. How we respond to failure is a huge test of our […]

Pope Francis rails against idea of choosing gender: ‘They are teaching this to children!’

Pope Francis has lamented that children are being taught at school that gender can be a choice, adding that his predecessor, Benedict XVI has labeled current times “the epoch of sin against God the Creator.” Francis weighed in with his view on gender and what he said was that of the emeritus pontiff while meeting […]

Charity in Praying for the Dead

On Saturday, November 2, we celebrated the feast of All Souls, that special feast in the church calendar in which we commemorate and pray for all of the holy souls in Purgatory. This Catholic feast and the beliefs which undergird it can be repugnant to many non-Catholics, and even ignored or denied by modern day […]

Pope: when Christians lack difficulties, 'something is wrong'

Vatican City, May 28, 2013 – Faithful Christians will always face difficulties, said Pope Francis on Tuesday, warning that a worldly, career-based approach to faith avoids the suffering and persecution inherent in following Christ. “Many Christians, tempted by the spirit of the world, think that following Jesus is good because it can become a career, […]

Pentecost: Not Merely Observing

I feel like an observer for so many holidays. Christmas: observe the Holy Family in the stable. Observe the children opening presents. Observe the Magi bringing their own gifts. Even Holy Week- despite the hands on activities offered via the Holy Thursday foot washings and the readings of the Passion and the venerating the Cross-I […]

My unexpected and somewhat bizarre Papal audience

Angelo Stagnaro thought he was meeting the Holy Father. But all was not as it seemed As I was packing up after Pope Francis’ Youth Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Rangoon, Burma had ended, I cursed my bad luck at not being able to shake his hand. I came close to catching a glimpse […]

Human life sacred and inviolable, Pope Francis affirms

At a meeting Friday with Italy’s Pro-Life Movement, Pope Francis uphold them for their work to promote and defend the right to live and the dignity of all human beings, from conception to natural death. “Human life is sacred and inviolable. Every civil law is based on the recognition of the first and fundamental right, […]

Pope Francis decries persecution of Iraqi Christians in video message

In a video message delivered to the displaced Iraqi Christians on Saturday, Pope Francis decried the suffering experienced by those persecuted for their faith, while expressing his gratitude for their witness. “I thank you for the witness you give,” he said Dec. 6. “There is great suffering in your witness. Thank you!” Cardinal Philippe Barbarin […]

The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares

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. […]

Statement and Call to Action from Cardinal Thomas Collins Concerning Euthanasia/Assisted Suicide

​​“I will give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest any such counsel…” – The Hippocratic Oath ​“You shall not kill.” Exodus 20:13​ “Contemplating Suicide? We Can Help!” There was a time when such an advertisement pointed to a crisis line, where someone was standing by to counsel you and to offer hope […]

Assumption of Mary

Addressing a jubilant crowd of over 500,000 people packed into St. Peter’s Square, Pope Pius XII solemnly defined in Munificentissimus Deus on November 1, 1950, that “the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever-virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.” Although the solemn definition may […]

The Power of the Divine Mercy Novena

It is available in abundance to everyone if only we would embrace it.  It is an endless and unfathomable gift that flows most profusely on the Sunday after Easter.  It is the devotion of the Divine Mercy and it offers each of us a wonderful chance to begin anew through the Divine Mercy Chaplet Novena.  […]

Three essential things parents should share with their kids on New Year's Day

It’s beginning to look a lot like New Year’s everywhere we go, from the “Auld Lang Syne” music loop at the local coffee shop to the discounted post-Christmas merchandise at Kohl’s. We find ourselves preparing for New Year’s Eve dinners and parties, going to parades and city square celebrations, and looking forward to football games […]

The Second Vatican Council: What was it and why is it important today?

October 11, 2012, is the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. To commemorate this, the Episcopal Commission for Doctrine of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has published a pastoral letter titledThe Second Vatican Council: What was it and why is it important today? Its publication is part of the many celebrations surrounding the […]

Advent: Intentional Healing

In his homily for the Second Sunday of Advent, Pope Francis reminds us, “Isaiah addresses the people who have passed through a dark time, that have undergone a very hard trial; but now the time of consolation has come. Sadness and fear can make way for joy, because the Lord Himself will guide his people […]

Mary, Mother of the Persecuted

There is little doubt that the situation for Christians in Nigeria, Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, Kenya, and other countries is dire. The number of martyrs for this year alone has reached well into the thousands. In the West attacks on Christian conscience have left multiple business owners with no livelihood or exorbitant fines. To the person […]

The three times I saw God today

One evening, feeling a little worried and overwhelmed, I lay in bed and wondered what was wrong. What was I missing? Not seeing? Not doing? I asked the midnight darkness above my head: why hadn’t my morning prayers been answered? Hadn’t I been sincere? Grateful? Faithful? Discouraged, I did what any child with questions would […]

Pope: Jesus' plan for humanity requires Catholic Church

Pope Francis moves through the crowd at the April 3, 2013 general audience. Credit: Stephen Driscoll/CNA. Vatican City, May 29, 2013 – Pope Francis began a new series of reflections by saying that although some people want Jesus but not the Church, “it is the Church that brings us Christ” and reunites us to God. […]

The Advent of a Mother’s Heart

She watches and waits, a secret that is hers alone rests within. Someone is coming, that someone has already arrived. Her focus goes inward: to growth, to new life, to pain, yes, and to sadness, and above all to indescribable joy. The beauty lies in the blending of the good and the bad: loneliness and […]

Mother Teresa to be canonised on September 4

The canonisation Mass will conclude the Vatican Jubilee for ‘workers and volunteers of mercy’ Pope Francis will declare Blessed Teresa of Calcutta a saint at the Vatican on September 4, the conclusion of the Year of Mercy jubilee for those engaged in works of mercy. The date was announced on Tuesday during an “ordinary public […]

No apple pie, but lots on mom from Pope Francis on Mary’s feast

Jan. 1 for the Catholic Church is the great solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God, and on Sunday Pope Francis delivered a paean to moms everywhere that seemed only missing a reference to apple pie to be complete. As a technical matter, the Catholic Church doesn’t really celebrate New Year’s Day, since liturgically the […]

Does Being Catholic Matter?

Catholics claim Christ constituted his church as a visible society with a hierarchical structure. And as Dominus Iesus teaches, this society “subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him” (16). Catholics also claim membership in this visible and hierarchical society is necessary. And yet […]

Strange Gods

In one of his typically simple, direct, and forceful homilies, Pope Francis warned recently against idols and idolatry. “We have to empty ourselves of the many small or great idols that we have and in which we take refuge, on which we often seek to base our security,” he told a congregation in Rome. The chances […]

Scholar: 90,000 Christians were killed for their faith in 2016

January 02, 2017 Massimo Introvigne, a sociologist who directs the Center for Studies on New Religions, told Vatican Radio that he estimates that 90,000 Christians were killed in 2016 because of their faith. 70% of them, he said, were killed in African tribal conflicts, while the other 30% were victims of terrorism, government persecution, or […]

St. John of the Cross & The Dark Night

Winter has always been the season I dread most: the perpetual grey skies, the cold and drear, no song birds, no color or flowers in bloom. Peering outside the numerous windows in our early twentieth century home, one would assume that all is lost, pointless, and hopeless. Despondency seems to be a natural human inclination […]

Young men at ordination: 'I can't imagine a better way to live'

Transitional deacons ordained this week in St. Peter’s Basilica shared their experience of overwhelming joy in serving God, which stems from a life of sacrifice that’s worth giving everything to live. “I went to George Washington University in D.C. and met great priests, friends and mentors, and they taught me that priesthood is something joyful, […]

Your Friendship Can Bring Christ to Others

A friend stopped me during my daily walk with my dog for an unexpected conversation. As she momentarily halted her vigorous weeding, her approach seemed overly enthusiastic. “Jeannie, I have to tell you something!” she squealed with enthusiasm. I responded with equal gusto, “What is it?” Apparently a book I gave her over four years […]

The Wayward Child: When a Sword Pierces a Parent’s Heart

In a restaurant, a family of five shares a meal together. An older man and woman sitting in the booth across from them smile and wave at the children, and when the family gets up to leave, the older couple approaches the parents. “What nice, well-behaved children you have,” they say. “You are doing such […]

Pope Benedict in Financial Times: “No bowing to false gods…”

Editor’s Note: In case you missed it, Pope Benedict did something rather surprising a few days before Christmas. Dr. Robert Moynihan has the details. Benedict XVI has done it again: he has broken with past tradition by publishing an article in an ordinary newspaper, something no Pope before him has ever done. Clearly, Benedict is […]

For Pope Francis, the Eucharist satisfies our every hunger

For Pope Francis, the Eucharist is all that can satisfy humanity’s deepest hungers and longings, and is a source of hope, joy, and zeal in leading others to Christ. “Human beings all over the word today need nourishment. And this nourishment is not just to satisfy physical hunger,” the Pope said in his Nov. 10 […]

Matthew Fisher: What is Canada doing about ISIL’s genocide against Christians?

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is hell-bent on exterminating ancient Christian communities across the Middle East. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry finally confirmed this Thursday when he declared ISIL was guilty of genocide against Christians and other minority groups in Iraq and Syria. This follows a similar declaration by the European […]

Don't be held back: Pope calls Christians to be set ablaze by the Holy Spirit

The Church does not need “cold or lukewarm Christians” who are held back by fear, Pope Francis said Sunday; it needs Christians who are on fire with the Holy Spirit and committed to proclaiming the Gospel, even if it costs them their lives. The Church needs “passionate missionaries, consumed by zeal to bring the consoling […]

Benedict’s Personal Vocation

For the last several weeks I’ve been teaching an online course about the role of the Catholic laity. We’d just gotten to the subject of personal vocation when the startling news came through: Benedict XVI was stepping down as pope. Posting a question that Monday morning to get my students’ discussion rolling for the week, […]

abortion, euthanasia, abandonment of migrants are 'attacks against humanity'

A civilization whose technological advancements do not seek to protect the most vulnerable, from conception until natural death, fails to live up to its responsibility, Pope Francis said. In remarks made during an audience at the Vatican with members of the Italian Associazione Scienza & Vita (Science and Life Association), the pontiff decried victims of […]

Pope: Mary and Joseph exemplify mission, vocation of family life

Pope Francis spoke today about Jesus’ choice to be born into a family, saying that it shows the importance of the vocation, which Mary and Joseph epitomized through their everyday holiness. “We can learn so much from Mary and Joseph, and especially from their love for Jesus. They help us to rediscover the vocation and […]

Desperate Times Call for the Saint of Desperate Cases

There is perhaps no one among us, particularly at this point in our nation’s history, who is not facing a crisis on some level. Maybe yours is of a financial nature. Maybe your home is in foreclosure or you are facing a short sale. Perhaps your marriage needs healing or you are newly bereaved. Maybe […]

Live Out Divine Mercy

According to both Blessed John Paul II and Saint Faustina Maria Kowlasksa, the virtue of mercy is the greatest attribute in the Heart of Jesus. This being the case we should strive to understand this virtue and even more important try to live it out to the full.   Mercy could be defined as God […]

Paris archbishop: When the pain is too great, we cling to God

In a Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral, the archbishop of Paris said that despite the uncertainty and grief surrounding the terrorist attacks in the city last week, God is the source of strength and hope. “It’s an understatement to say that the savage killings of this black Friday have plunged entire families into deep distress,” […]

Boys, please don't leave my daughter waiting

My 4-year-old daughter has a crush on the next door neighbor’s 6-year-old son, Carson. The other day, she was playing in the front yard with him when I looked out the window and noticed that she was standing at the edge of the yard by herself. I didn’t think anything of it. About 10 minutes […]

The Anti-Christian Age

For two millennia, the birth of Christ has been seen as the greatest event in world history. The moment Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem, God became man, and eternal salvation became possible. This date has been the separation point of mankind’s time on earth, with B.C. designating the era before Christ, and […]

The Language of Life

Planned Parenthood has seen the polling data and is backing away from the term “pro-choice.” This is not surprising. You cannot claim to support a woman’s “right to choose” unless you fill in the blank and say what she can choose. In the case of abortion advocacy, the “right to choose” means the right of […]

Holy Husbands: A Heavenly Gift

“Be holy as your heavenly Father is holy.” These words of Jesus, taught in the context of the Sermon on the Mount, is a universal command! This must be carried out according to one’s specific vocation of life. What are some specific ways in which men who have chosen the married state can live out […]

What's so 'good' about Good Friday?

On a dark Friday two thousand years ago, Jesus of Nazareth was crucified. Powerful members of the religious, political, and military communities colluded to strip him naked, mock him publicly, and crucify him. Yet two millennia later, Christians—who believe that Jesus is the Son of God—celebrate that dark day by calling it Good Friday. Why […]

Pope emphasizes 'indissolubility of Christian matrimony'

Pope Francis on April 25 stressed the need for bishops and priests to give a “consistent witness” to Christian moral teaching, including the lifelong nature of Christian marriage, and to teach these truths “with great compassion.” “The holiness and indissolubility of Christian matrimony, often disintegrating under tremendous pressure from the secular world, must be deepened […]

Our Living Faith: Corpus Christi & the Streets

Growing up in a Catholic family, a Catholic school, and a Catholic neighborhood, I do not remember ever being told that the feast of Corpus Christi is a pretty big deal. No one need tell me; rather, it was shown to me, to the entire parish, through celebration. Every year after Mass we would have […]

Emphasize Confession, not structures, to counter ‘erosion’ of faith, Pope tells German bishops

Pope Francis received the bishops of Germany in audience on November 20 and praised them for their charitable initiatives and their assistance to refugees who are fleeing war and persecution. At the same time, he took note of the marked decline in the life of the Church in Germany. “Whereas in the 1960s the faithful […]

Yom Kippur should be welcomed by Jews and non-Jews as reminder that God is with us

This Friday evening and Saturday, everyday life will come to a halt for millions of Jews in Israel and around the world as they observe Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Yom Kippur is the holiest day on the Hebrew calendar, when God instructed Israel to atone for its sins. The Torah tells us: “This […]

The Meaning of Mercy

The Second Vatican Council taught us that the Eucharist is the “Source and Summit” of the Christian life.  Yet we must keep in mind that the same council makes clear that the Eucharist is not the sum total of the Christian life. Indeed the Eucharist, and all the sacraments, are memorials of a dramatic act of mercy […]

Welcoming “Easter-Only” Catholics

Many Catholics recognize Easter as one of the two times of the year when our pews are mysteriously overflowing. For Catholics who attend Mass every Sunday, this sudden reappearance of our absent fellow parishioners can be a little amusing. Some of us can even feel a little frustrated as we struggle to find a parking […]

Rejoice in the Lord At All Times

Saint Paul exhorts us with these uplifting words: “Rejoice in the Lord; I say it again: rejoice in the Lord.” (Phil. 4:4).   St. Ignatius of Loyola in the Spiritual Exercises in the fourth week, the week in which we contemplate the Risen Lord Jesus, insists that in contemplating the Risen Lord Jesus who came to […]

Men Are In Desperate Need of the Church

  Our culture launches a brutal assault against men. It comes from two different fronts with seemingly contradictory attacks. The first is the radical form of feminism that has grown in prominence over the course of the last 40-50 years. This radical feminism spreads the narrative that men are sexist, pigs, brutish, predatory, inferior, barbaric and […]

Enough ‘comfort Catholicism.’ The Church must prepare for persecution.

There is a growing consternation among some Catholics that the Church, at least in her leadership, is living in the past. It seems there is no awareness that we are at war and that Catholics need to be summoned to sobriety, increasing separation from the wider culture, courageous witness and increasing martyrdom. It is long […]

Keep Christ at the Center of Your Christmas

  Secularism, paganism, hedonism, materialism, agnosticism, atheism—words that describe the modern drift of society. That being the case, how easy it really is to forget the true meaning of Christmas?  Much more than a feast, characterized by buying and selling, eating and drinking, carousing and sinning, it is the celebration of a Person, the greatest […]

Easter: Why the resurrection is the most important truth in the world

  On Easter, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. That much is clear. What is not clear to many people, however, is what the resurrection means to Christians and why we would make such a big deal of it. The resurrection only makes sense if we first understand what the Christian “gospel” is. In […]

A Catholic Response Amid the Sex-Abuse Scandals

“Holiness Is the Key”, Says a Priest in Massachusetts The headlines this past week did not focus on the Patriots´ march to the Super Bowl, or on who would QB, Drew or Tom, or even on the president´s State of the Union address and his comment that there are many al-Qaida operatives in the U.S. […]

I’m That Girl Who Chose Life

Sooo . . . I’m 22, and I’m a single mom, and I used to be “that girl who got pregnant.” After my crazy conversion story of scheduling an abortion, choosing life, choosing God, and choosing healing, I thought some of you might like an update as well as some insight on being pro-life. So, here it goes: […]

Pope Francis: God is calling you. Don’t make excuses.

Do not wait to begin living out your vocation, Pope Francis said on Monday, encouraging people to stop making excuses for not answering God’s call to share in his mission in a particular way. “The joy of the Gospel, which makes us open to encountering God and our brothers and sisters, does not abide our […]

Christians the most persecuted group in world for second year

Christians continued to be the most persecuted group across the globe in 2016, according to a study. The upcoming report from Italian-based Center for Studies on New Religions, determined that 90,000 Christians were killed for their beliefs worldwide last year and nearly a third were at the hands of Islamic extremists like ISIS. Others were […]

Ten Greek Words Every Catholic Should Know

It’s hard to imagine Christianity without Greek. It’s the language of the New Testament and our earliest creeds and doctrines. The very terms we use to describe God—three persons, one in being—have their roots in ancient Greek words and concepts. Needless to say, the language of Homer and Plato has profoundly shaped our faith. Not all […]

The ordinary act of love: Mother Teresa and her life-changing message

Mother Teresa will be canonized a saint on Sunday, September 4 —  about 20 years after her passing. But Mother Teresa will achieve sainthood not just because of her powerful mysticism, her life of prayer, but because of this important, simple fact: Mother was compassion in action. Mother Teresa would routinely pick up a broom […]

Knights, Aid to the Church in Need step up for persecuted Christians

On Tuesday, both the Knights of Columbus and Aid to the Church in Need announced separate initiatives to aid the victims of anti-Christian persecution. The Knights pledged to raise $2 million to rebuild an Iraqi Christian town liberated from ISIS, while Aid to the Church in Need will give $82,000 to a Nigerian diocese to […]

Rex Murphy: Kneeling during anthem applauded when political, scorned when done in prayer

For many, politics has either taken the place of religion, or operates with the same intensity and dogmatism that used to characterize religion Despite the horror the thought may fertilize in the eggshell minds of the social justice warrior class and their campus snowflake offspring, on certain public issues maestro Don Cherry is Canada’s polar […]

We are 'sinners in a Holy Church,' preaches Pope

In his homily on Friday morning, Pope Francis reminded the congregation of the holiness of the Church that at the same time contains sinful members. “We are sinners, everyone, here. And the Church is holy! We are sinners, but she is holy,” he emphasized to the congregation at the daily Mass on May 9 in […]

The Catholic Dad: the Call, the Craft, the Cross

Forget the dads you see on Television: selfish, workaholic, lazy, absent, bullying, pushover dads. They do not deserve the name. Real dadness is bigger than that. It’s as big as Our Father who art in Heaven. The call to be a Catholic dad is a call to suffer—as a husband, as a father, as a […]

Liturgical Renewal: Going Back for the Future

This coming December marks the 50th anniversary of The Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium). In a  recent article in America Magazine (5-27-13, pp. 11-14) Massimo Faggioli, Assistant Professor of Theology, at Saint Thomas University, Minnesota, is quoted as saying “To reject the liturgy that resulted from the Vatican II Constitution is to reject the Council […]

Like the martyrs, witness to Jesus with your life, Pope tells Ugandans

Marking his first full day in Uganda with Mass to celebrate the nation’s martyrs, Pope Francis said the call to be missionary disciples falls on all of us, whether at home or abroad, with our families or among our enemies. “Like the Apostles and the Uganda martyrs before us, we have received the gift of […]

Beauty advice from Pope Francis: Be virtuous like Mary

On Friday’s Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Pope Francis offered his own ‘beauty secret’ – with Mary as model – saying beauty does not come from age or appearance, but from living a virtuous life rooted in scripture. The Blessed Virgin Mary, though a simple and humble person, “lived a beautiful life,” the Pope said […]

How to Win the Argument Without Losing the Soul

If you frequent websites such as YouTube or Facebook, you’ve read the exchanges that take place on these forums. Sometimes they are intelligent and substantive, but often they resemble two toddlers squabbling: “Did too.” “Did not.” “Did too.” If we are to heed the instruction of our first pope, which is to “always be ready […]

Think Big, Act Small: How You Can Change the World

“What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.” – St. Augustine of Hippo The […]

The Businesslike Death of Charlie Gard

For a moment he was businesslike. “Look acrost the river, Lennie, an’ I’ll tell you so you can almost see it.” Lennie turned his head and looked off across the pool and up the darkening slopes of the Gabilans. “We gonna get a little place,” George began. He reached in his side pocket and brought […]

Pastor Robert Jeffress: The horror of Las Vegas and the hope of heaven

Many people do not spend a lot of time thinking about heaven, and perhaps you haven’t either. That’s understandable. The responsibilities and worries of this world eclipse much thought about living in the next world. Most of us go through our days viewing death as a distant possibility. And heaven? Well, that’s a subject for […]

Pope Francis: Think 'being good' is enough? It’s not. Go to Mass

According to Pope Francis, a Christian can’t just be a good person and skip Mass on Sundays, because it is the Eucharist that provides the nourishment needed to truly live the Gospel well in our daily lives. “How can we respond to those who say that there is no need to go to Mass, not […]

This Year, Make a Plan of Life!

One of the concrete manifestations of good will towards God,a desire to grow in holiness through prayer and living out an attitude of magnanimity in the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises is by formulating and writing out in a clear, methodical and practical way a “Plan of Life”.  The variety of ways to hammer out a Plan of […]

How to Keep a Good Lent

The beauty of ritual is that it breaks up the monotony of change.  Every year it’s the same question: what are you giving up for Lent? Around Ash Wednesday, in pious circles at least, fasting ideas are traded like baseball cards.  A few days ago a couple of young men approached me after class asking what […]

Mother Teresa: The Saint of Mercy for our time

There is no mercy from a distance, because there is no friendship from a distance. It is fitting that Mother Teresa is being canonized in the Jubilee Year of Mercy declared by Pope Francis. It is hard not to believe that John Paul, in first beatifying her, and now Francis in canonizing her, aren’t very […]

This Sunday’s Gospel: The Messianic Secret

Jesus asks a simple question. “Who do the crowds say that I am?” (Luke 9:18) All volunteer an answer, because describing other people’s opinions requires no personal commitment whatsoever. But then Jesus asks them a tougher question: “Who do YOU say that I am?” Answering this one entails sticking your neck out a bit. The […]

Pope Francis attacks ‘gender ideology’

Differences between male and female are not just social convention, Francis says The differences between men and women must be recognised and valued, Pope Francis said yesterday. Efforts to convince people that the differences between male and female are simply social conventions, which limit individual freedom, ignore the fact that men and women need each […]

A 'most powerful woman' – National Geographic's major hat tip to the Virgin Mary

Our Lady. Blessed Mother. Virgin Mary. Queen of Peace. Theotokos. Handmaid of the Lord. Mother Mary. These are just some of the titles used to describe the young woman to whom an angel appeared some 2,000 years ago with the message that she would conceive and bear the Savior of the World. Mary has very […]

Pope's Way of the Cross remembers migrants, persecuted Christians

Following the yearly Good Friday tradition set by his predecessors, Pope Francis presided over the Stations of the Cross at Rome’s Colosseum, where such issues as migration and the persecution of Christians were remembered. “O Cross of Christ, today too we see you raised up in our sisters and brothers killed, burned alive, throats slit […]

It’s official: Pope Francis to canonize Fatima visionaries during May visit

Pope Francis on Thursday confirmed what has long been rumored, announcing his intention to canonize Francisco and Jacinta Marto, the shepherd children and visionaries of Fatima, when he visits the famed place in May to mark the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Mary on the site. They will become the youngest non-martyrs ever formally […]

God Bless You, B16!

Thank you, Holy Father! We know the papacy was the place “where you did not wish to go”, and yet you faithfully, lovingly fed the Lord’s lambs; you tended and fed His sheep–and they will miss you! God bless!

Large families are schools of solidarity and sharing, Francis affirms

In an address on Sunday to Italy’s National Numerous Family Association, Pope Francis thanked the members of large families for their cultivation of virtues that benefit society at large, as well as themselves. “The fact of having brothers and sisters is good for you,” he said Dec. 28 to the children among the some 7,000 […]

A few facts about Hanukkah, which begins this year on Our Lady of Guadalupe’s feast

As the “younger brothers and sisters” of the Jews, we should learn more about the traditions of our older siblings in the faith. The great feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12 coincides this year with the beginning of another great religious festival. We Catholics hardly notice this feast even though it is […]

Archbishop Chaput: Catholics should live their faith 'all in'

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia has called on Catholics to be “active witnesses” of their faith, taking inspiration from the 17th century missionary Blessed Junipero Serra. Rejecting the idea that the Christian faith is “a useful moral code” or “an exercise in nostalgia,” he stressed that the Christian faith is “a restlessness, a consuming […]

The Decline of Western Civilization and “He Who Must Not Be Named”

Secularists have convinced Western societies that Christianity was an impediment to humanism and liberal democracy, with the practical consequence being a privatization of faith, another way to describe an impotent faith. In J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter stories, Lord Voldemort is so frightening that he’s referred to as “He Who Must Not Be Named”. Those who […]

Scandals in Perspective

In the ensuing days before a Conclave gathers to elect a new pope the Church is being wracked with scandalous revelations. These pertain to the alleged misbehavior of Cardinal Keith O’Brien, of Scotland, a report of a highly placed homosexual cabal in the Vatican bureaucracy and the poor administrative judgment of Cardinal Roger Mahoney, former […]

Spiritual Powerhouse: Mary’s Rosary

    The Rosary is principally composed of the Prayer of Christ, the Our Father, and the Angelic Salutation, the Hail Mary. In his 2002 apostolic letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae (On the Most Holy Rosary), Pope John Paul II develops this dynamic further: The Rosary of the Virgin Mary, which gradually took form in the second millennium under the guidance […]

Encyclical 'Laudato Si': on the Care of our Common Home'

Download here: Pope Francis’ first encyclical is focused on the idea of ‘integral ecology’, connecting care of the natural world with justice for the poorest and most vulnerable people. Only by radically reshaping our relationships with God, with our neighbours and with the natural world, he says, can we hope to tackle the threats facing our planet today. Science, […]

Peace and Security

A few years ago, I toured northern England. There, stretching 73 miles from coast to coast, the Roman Emperor Hadrian built a massive wall. Constructed of stone, it was built to last, since it marked the northernmost boundary of the greatest empire the world had ever known. Soldiers from every corner of the world were […]

7 Papal encyclicals that changed the world

They are somewhere in length between a newspaper column and a book. But papal encyclicals wield an outsize influence. Papal encyclicals have inspired revolutions, changed cultures, and helped topple ideologies and empires. Sometimes they meet with universal acclaim. Some arouse widespread disdain and dissent. Either way, when a pope issues his thoughts on an important matter of […]

Urbi et orbi

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Happy Christmas! Jesus, the Son of God, the Saviour of the world, is born for us, born in Bethlehem of a Virgin, fulfilling the ancient prophecies. The Virgin’s name is Mary, the wife of Joseph. Humble people, full of hope in the goodness of God, are those who welcome Jesus and […]

Who May Receive Communion—and Why

Every so often, when I appear on Catholic Answers Live, a caller asks whether a non-Catholic may receive Communion at a Catholic parish or a Catholic take the “Lord’s Supper” at a non-Catholic church. My answer always begins with canon 844 of the Code of Canon Law. That canon has five sections. The first says […]

Shocker — A Good and Caring Millennial!

Maybe these young people aren’t all as entitled and self-absorbed as we thought by Fr. Michael Sliney, LC Narcissistic, entitled, lazy, and over-connected to social media — these are some of the common descriptions today about millennials. The pressure to “look good” and perform on social media is taking a lot of energy from these young […]

Divine Mercy

Several years ago, the Catholic Church designated the Sunday after Easter as “Divine Mercy Sunday.” That raises two very important questions — what exactly is “mercy” anyway, and what does it have to do with the Easter season? Mercy is not just pity. Neither is it simply sparing someone the punishment that they deserve. No, […]

Don't argue with the Devil - he's much more intelligent than us, says Pope Francis

The Devil is more intelligent than mere mortals and should never be argued with, Pope Francis has warned. Satan is not a metaphor or a nebulous concept but a real person armed with dark powers, the Pope said in forthright remarks made during a television interview. “He is evil, he’s not like mist. He’s not […]

Bl. Franz Jägerstätter: Martyr-Dad

“I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.” ~ Sigmund Freud Martyrdom is inimical to human fatherhood – or, at least, it seriously goes against the grain. When men of character sign up for marriage and children, they know they’re committing themselves to provide and protect, and to be […]

Sin is a rebellious act, not just a stain that needs cleaning

“I would say that it is our first name: Sinner,” Pope Francis said during his daily Mass on Friday. “Why are we sinners? We have disobeyed — always in relation with the Lord. He said one thing and we have done another. We did not listen to the voice of the Lord.” ROME – Sin […]

Pope Francis: 'to kill in the name of God is satanic

Pope Francis on Wednesday morning celebrated Mass for the French priest of Rouen, Fr. Jacques Hamel, whom he described, is part of the chain of Christian martyrs that runs throughout the history of the Church. Father Hamel was murdered while celebrating Mass in his Parish Church by two men swearing allegiance to the so-called Islamic […]

Pope says Advent is a time to listen to God

Vatican City, Dec 2, 2012 Pope Benedict XVI has said Advent is a time to extend God’s “kingdom of love” and to reflect on the coming of Jesus into the world. “Amid the turmoil of the world, or the deserts of indifference and materialism, Christians accept salvation from God and witness with a different way […]

The Ancient Christian Wisdom on Marriage

Have you ever heard comments like these? “People oppose gay marriage only for religious reasons, because there really aren’t any rational non-religious reasons to oppose gay marriage.” “You are fighting for a lost cause. Marriage was lost a long time ago.” And finally, how about this one, “It is time to throw in the towel, and […]

Francis, filtered

About a year ago, I suggested to one of the top editors of a major American newspaper that his journal’s coverage of things papal left something to be desired, as it seemed based on the assumption that Pope Francis was some kind of radical wild-man, eager to toss into the garbage bin of history all […]

The Fig Tree

Some think Lent is a time for fasting. I see it as a time of feasting. I come to this conclusion based on the story of the fig tree in Luke 13. Three years without bearing fruit. What could be the problem? The owner figures that it is simply a dud and wants to cut […]

Pope Francis hails motherhood as the 'antidote to individualism'

During his general audience Pope Francis lamented how mothers are often under-appreciated in their family role, and said they are key players in fighting against an individualistic, self-centered society. “To be a mother is a great treasure. Mothers, in their unconditional and sacrificial love for their children, are the antidote to individualism; they are the […]

Pope Francis blasts abortion, population control in new encyclical

In his new encyclical on the environment, Pope Francis slams attacks against human life such as abortion, embryonic experimentation and population control – saying that respect for creation and human dignity go hand in hand. The Pope explained that “a sense of deep communion with the rest of nature cannot be real if our hearts […]

In China, 20,000 baptized at Easter; government alarmed by Church growth

“An estimated 20,000 people were baptized on Easter night” in China, the AsiaNews service reports. Despite the disapproval of the Communist regime, converts continue to enter the Church at a surprising rate. AsiaNews points to the Immaculate Conception cathedral in Beijing, where 100 adults were baptized at the Easter vigil; and a little parish outside […]

If you're tempted to gossip, 'bite your tongue,' Pope Francis says

Pope Francis Sunday traveled to a parish on the outskirts of Rome where he visited a priest suffering from a severe form of ALS and celebrated Mass, warning parishioners, as he often does, of the harm gossiping does to a community. When we read the Gospels, we see that “we have a lot of sins,” […]

The Eucharist Calls to All of Us

I am a reluctant church-goer. Even now, after all I’ve learned and come to believe about the nature of God, it is sometimes still a massive act of will to drag myself out of bed Sunday morning, and get my sorry self to Mass. Add the daunting prospect of clothing six children and finding matching […]

The Ascension: To Be Continued

  A good story will typically end nicely, bringing everything to a neat conclusion—perhaps with the words “And they lived happily ever after.” So it would make sense for the Gospel — the greatest story ever told — to end the same way: Christ returns home to His Father and “They live happily ever after.” We find in the […]

Cardinal Schönborn warns of 'Islamic conquest' of Europe

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn has warned that Europe risks forfeiting its “Christian inheritance” and that an “Islamic conquest” could be in its future. Speaking in the Cathedral of Vienna on Sunday, Sept. 11, the Archbishop of Vienna referenced the feast day that commemorates the decisive victory of a Christian coalition over the Ottoman Empire in the […]

Christmas candles in windows

Q: Do you know where the custom of placing lit candles in windows started? Placing lit candles in the windows arises from the British persecution against the Catholic Church in Ireland. Since the time King Henry II invaded Ireland in 1171, persecution against the Irish has existed. This persecution increased tremendously in the wake of […]

The Flesh

Spirituality is really about the soul and the things of the soul. The body and its needs do not matter. In fact, the body is the soul’s prison. Salvation is really the liberation of the soul from the dead weight of the body. So in this life, physical desires are to be resisted, even extinguished, […]

Why I Remain a Catholic

“Something had given him leave to live in the present.”  ~ Walker Percy A friend of mine sent me an email with this subject line: “A challenge for your blogging….” She included Elizabeth Scalia’s invitation to Catholics everywhere in the internet cosmos to write about “Why Do YOU Remain a Catholic”—an invitation itself prompted by […]

The Widely Known Secret of Pornography

I have multiple friends whose marriages have been ruined because of sexual addiction. While heartbreaking for them, their spouses, and their children, it is no surprise that lust is wreaking such havoc on marriages and families. The number of men who admit to regularly lusting after women via pornography is staggeringly high, and it is […]

Does our fascination with Wonder Woman, superheroes and zombies mask our longings for God?

What’s the deal with the popularity of superhero movies and even—God help us!—zombies? These are shocking trends, especially since, in our increasingly secular society, talk of God or anything supernatural has been excluded from courtrooms to classrooms. Materialism has won the day and its spokespersons have clearly pronounced that there are no such things such […]

Pope urges Christians to watch out against worldliness

Only Christ crucified will save us from the demons that make us “slide slowly into worldliness”, saving us also from the “stupidity” that St. Paul talks about to the Galatians, and from seduction. This was central message of the homily of Pope Francis at his Mass, Friday morning, at the Santa Marta residence in the […]

Cardinals set date for meetings about next Pope

Vatican City, Mar 1, 2013 – On the first day that the Church is without a Pope, Cardinal Angelo Sodano announced that the first general congregation of cardinals will take place next Monday morning. Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Dean of the College of Cardinals, made the date public in an official letter sent to the […]

The Shootings in San Bernardino: Another View

The so-called “Muslim terrorists” do not think of themselves as “Muslim terrorists” but consider themselves to be the only real followers of Mohammed. After almost every shooting involving a Muslim perpetrator, from 9/11 to Fort Hood to San Bernardino, we hear, from the President on down, some version of the following on-going narrative: “We are […]

Christian living requires constant battle with devil

Moving closer to Christ means facing daily struggles against temptation and battling against evil, Pope Francis said. When Jesus approaches the people who have come to hear him and be healed, “the unclean spirits try to stop him, they wage war,” which is why those who seek to follow the Lord will face obstacles, too, […]

10 Simple Ways to Prepare for Christmas this Week

The secret for success of a party is the preparation that is done prior to the party itself. Poor preparation will most likely lead to a mediocre party. The most important birthday party celebrated annually for the last two millennia is that of Jesus the Lord, which we call Christmas. Our primary focus in our preparation […]

Desperate Times Call for the Saint of Desperate Cases

There is perhaps no one among us, particularly at this point in our nation’s history, who is not facing a crisis on some level.  Maybe yours is of a financial nature.  Maybe your home is in foreclosure or you are facing a short sale.  Perhaps your marriage needs healing or you are newly bereaved.  Maybe you lost […]

The Spanish Inquisition in context

It is difficult for us to understand the Spanish Inquisition because we are so used to the separation of church and state in modern times. During the time in which the Inquisition in Spain was most active (1480-1600s), however, heresy was considered a crime similar to political treason because the monarchies of Europe and the […]

Mother Teresa and Loving the Christ We Pass By

Saints are always getting started by either discovering Christ in some mysterious poor person who crosses their path or deciding they must imitate Christ by selling off their worldly possessions and becoming poor themselves. As Phyllis McGinley, the venerable Catholic poet and saint watcher, once wrote, “Just as regularly as folk tales begin, ‘Once upon […]

Our children need to hear about the teacher and the fireman who would not run from evil

The shrillness of this presidential campaign continues 24/7. If you’re like me, you worry about the impact of the cynical, bare-knuckled, in-your-face political season is having on our young people. Kids need heroes to look up to and emulate. They aren’t going to find them in Washington anytime soon. But I would like to suggest […]

St. Josemaría Escrivá: The Saint of Ordinary Life

June 26 is the Feast of St. Josemaría Escrivá. In his own life this saint was admired by Popes Pius XII, St. John XXIII, and Blessed Paul VI. Since his death, he has been admired by Popes John Paul I, St. John Paul II, Benedict XVI, as well as our current Holy Father, Pope Francis, […]

The Essential Role of the Father

Divorce rates skyrocketing; adultery rampant; non-married cohabitating couples; children abandoned by their fathers or mothers; “same-sex unions” adopting children and calling this the “modern family”; pornography invading homes, leading to powerful addictions and total alienation from other members of the family: all of this is a bird’s eye view of the family situation in the modern […]

Scripture Speaks : Reaping the Harvest

Jesus sends out 72 disciples on a missionary journey, granting them significant spiritual authority.  Wasn’t that risky? Gospel (Read Lk 10:1-12, 17-20) As Jesus traveled to Jerusalem from Galilee for the last time, St. Luke tells us He commissioned 72 disciples “whom He sent ahead of Him in pairs to every town and place He […]

Are We A Remnant Church?

  The Bible loves telling the story of the underdog.  From Abraham charging recklessly into battle to save Lot to the rise of “The Way” in a pagan society, the Bible could be one large story about the underdog overcoming adversity.  This story demonstrates God’s control over all affairs (Exodus 7:1-5, Jeremiah 18:6), a truth everyone […]

Why Catholicism? Because It Offers True Forgiveness

Like many people growing up, I believed in God but didn’t have a strong personal faith. I didn’t pray much outside of church, except before mealtimes and in special emergencies. I never read the Bible on my own. I didn’t know it was possible to have a relationship with God. For me, God was a […]

Keep hearts open, ready to hold Christ this Christmas

Countries with low birthrates suffer from that awful disease called “demographic winter,” Pope Francis said in a morning homily. They do not have children for fear of undermining their economic well-being or they try to justify it with other reasons, he said in his homily during morning Mass Dec. 19 at the Domus Sanctae Marthae. […]

Advent & Two Feasts of Mary

Two important feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary take place during the Season of Advent: the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (a holy day of obligation) on December 8th and the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of America and Star of the New Evangelization, on December 12th. Closely related to both feasts is the […]

Mexico: The world’s most dangerous place to be a priest

Dozens of priests have either died or vanished without trace in the country in the past 25 years Fr Gregorio López Gorostieta thought he had done enough to stay safe on the night of December 21, 2014. He had spent a long day celebrating Masses and overseeing a religious festival at the cathedral of Ciudad […]

Religious Life

A religious vocation is a gift from God. Accept it. “You did not choose me, no, I chose you; and I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit.” (Jn. 15:16) A religious vocation is a special grace that God gives to certain persons, calling them to a life of the evangelical counsels. There […]

Paul VI was right to warn against contraception, Pope Francis says

Pope Francis took the opportunity during an address to families in the Philippines to praise Blessed Pope Paul VI’s encyclical opposing contraception and affirming Church teaching on sexuality and human life. The Pope spoke Friday to families gathered at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila during his Jan. 15-19 visit to the Philippines. After […]

Mercy and Confession: 10 Tips on How to Confess Well

In the context of an Ignatian retreat it is always beneficial to prepare oneself to make an excellent Confession. To make a good confession demands prior preparation!  The better the prior preparation, the more abundant the graces and the more overflowing the river of peace in your soul! Following are ten short helps to make the […]

Pope Francis' risky Egypt trip

Amnesty International is sounding the alarm bells about the increasing and “terrifying wave of attacks” against Christians in Egypt, just as the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholic Christians, Pope Francis, is headed there in a display of solidarity with these persecuted brethren. He will meet this week with Egypt’s President el-Sisi and the […]

’Til Death Do Us Part?

When we diverge from God’s plan and will for our lives, the ramifications can last for generations. Considering the recent marriage within the Catholic Church of my youngest son, it is incredible to contemplate all that had to transpire for that to happen. I am sure it is ultimately due to divine providence, but it […]

Pope Benedict on Gay Marriage

“The Catholic Church,” wrote G. K. Chesterton, “is the one thing that saves a man from the degrading slavery of being a child of his age. That is so true. Whatever the latest fad or fashion, no matter how silly, how transitory, or how malicious, the Roman Catholic Church transcends it—a divine institution founded by Christ […]

Pope Defends Faith as Road to Truth

Pope Francis has written an encyclical on faith, Lumen Fidei, not only for those who struggle to believe in Christ, but for those who struggle to believe anything at all. The starting point for this encyclical is that contemporary men and women have painted themselves into a philosophical corner, too confident in their vision of truth to see […]

95-year-old Catholic couple died in each other's arms

Few love stories can say that they began at the age of eight. But for Jeanette and Alexander Toczko, they couldn’t have imagined life any other way. What began as a childhood crush later bloomed into a deep, committed love – a love that would last throughout a war, five children, and seventy-five years of […]

Pope says Mass is a ‘symphony’ in which every note counts

Continuing his exploration of the significance of the Mass in a series of weekly catechism lessons, Pope Francis on Wednesday said that it’s important to understand all the “holy signs” of Catholicism’s supreme act of worship in order to “savor all its beauty.” “Introduced by some preparatory rites and closed by others, the celebration is […]

Baptism by Fire

  June 8, 2014 Pentecost First Reading: Acts 2:1-11 http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/060814-day-mass.cfm When we hear Jesus encourage his disciples to go evangelize, often we get discouraged. We reflect on our weakness, our failures, our many unsuccessful attempts to proclaim the word. We fear being rejected, ignored, or persecuted. Sometimes our words fall on deaf ears. When we […]

Pope Francis's New Document on Marriage: 12 Things to Know and Share

Pope Francis’s much-anticipated document on the family has now been released. Here are 12 things to know and share. 1. What are the basic facts about the document? It is called Amoris Laetitia (Latin, “the joy of love”), and it is what is known as a “post-synodal apostolic exhortation.” An apostolic exhortation is a pastoral […]

Hollywood’s gospel of ‘do what feels right’ is not serving millennials well

By now, most celebrities have completed their perfunctory condemnation (albeit delayed) of Harvey Weinstein’s actions. The Motion Picture Academy ousted him. Politicians donated his campaign contributions to charity (well, some did). “Saturday Night Live” finally roasted him. Soon, business will return to normal in Hollywood. And that’s the unfortunate part. Hollywood elites will get back […]

Our Next Pope

Very soon, the Cardinals of the Catholic Church will begin their meetings to elect a Successor to St. Peter. It is an exciting time for the Universal Church and even many non-Catholics, secularists and atheists are interested in what is happening. Some people, mostly those who do not understand their Faith or the Church, compare […]

A growing coalition agrees: Christians are genocide victims too

Legal experts, religious leaders, and now an independent government commission are asking the U.S. State Department to include Christians among the victims of genocide perpetrated by ISIS. “We recently learned that a State Department finding is imminent that ISIS is committing genocide against the Yazidis. We would wholeheartedly endorse that finding, but we are deeply […]

What the Brangelina split tells us: A wife (even Mrs. Pitt) wants to be cherished

If reports about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are to be believed, a relationship that began with adultery ended with adultery, proving one timeless truth: It doesn’t matter how beautiful, rich, or famous the couple is. A wife still wants to be cherished by her husband. There is something innate within us that makes us […]

Church without martyrs is church without Jesus, pope says

“A church without martyrs, dare I say, is a church without Jesus,” Pope Francis said during Mass in the chapel of Domus Sanctae Marthae. There are more Christian martyrs today than in the first centuries of the church, but “the mass media doesn’t say so because it isn’t newsworthy,” he added. ROME – Martyrs and […]

Christmas: The Light in the Darkness

  During Advent every year I try to imagine what it was like for the people of Israel as they waited for the fulfillment of the promises to Abraham, David, and the prophets. We live in a time after the Paschal Mystery, but we do still wait for Christ in the Second Coming. We approach […]

5 Things You Don’t Know about the Our Father

It’s a prayer faithful Catholics say at least once a week at Mass, if not several times daily. The words are well-known and well-worn in our mind, but there is a lot more to the Our Father than at first meets the eye. Here are five things you did (or may) not know about this, the […]

A right to the Gospel

“Evangelization,” Pope Francis reminded us in The Joy of the Gospel (§15), “is first and foremost about preaching the Gospel to those who do not know Jesus Christ or who have always rejected him.” This is a teaching that cannot surprise us; what followed it, however, should prompt our reflection, for the Holy Father immediately […]

Pope Francis delivers shot in arm to Egypt’s persecuted Christians

  Though some thought Pope Francis might be a bit oblique about anti-Christian persecution during his two-day trip to Egypt, he waded directly into the realities on Friday, reminding political and civil leaders gathered at a hotel run by the country’s defense ministry, of attacks that Coptic Christians have suffered and telling local Christians that […]

Popeless but not Hopeless

As the Conclave meets this Lenten season to select a new pope, hope springs eternal. And I, as a Catholic convert, await their decision without fear and loathing. Let me explain. I converted to the Church in April 2005, at the death of Pope John Paul II, which was profound for me. I remember being very […]

Fulton J. Sheen’s Guide to Victory over Vice

Fulton Sheen’s Victory over Vice is a joy to read and a nightmare to review. Why? It is so quotable. The matter is made worse by the fact that it is a relatively short book. There is no padding, no excess, just thought provoking prose, judicious observation, and interesting anecdote. Is there anyone reading this […]

Every Child Left Behind: Teaching “Stupid” Faith

Catholic children as young as 10 years old are renouncing God and quitting Church, claims a new study by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown.  According to lead researcher, Dr. Mark Gray, children are finding that faith is “incompatible” with what they are learning in school, and the older the […]

The Pope Was Right All Along

The disruptive results for individuals and society spawned by the revolution in attitudes and behavior regarding sex, marriage, family, and childbearing that erupted a half-century ago have become too obvious to ignore. These things were predictable–in fact, some people actually predicted them from the start–but by now their impact has grown so painfully apparent that even […]

Being Lambs in the Midst of Wolves

“Behold I am sending you like lambs among wolves.” Jesus describes the life of His disciple in the world using a very striking phrase in last Sunday’s Gospel, “Behold I am sending you like lambs among wolves.” What does this phrase mean for us Christians in today’s world? On June 23rd 2013, a Catholic priest, Fr. Francois […]

A society without fathers is a society of orphans, Pope Francis says

In his general audience catechesis, Pope Francis turned to the role of fathers, saying that they play an irreplaceable role in family life, and their absence leaves children prey to false idols. “When children feel neglected by fathers who focus only on their problems, on their work or their own personal realization, this creates a […]


History is not always overly engaging but at certain key junctures becomes fascinating, such as right now, as cardinals convene to choose a Pontiff. The world — so quick to dismiss Catholicism (the Mother Church) — also can’t help watching. Is the Church in disarray? Permanent decline? Hardly — not in the context of history. […]

The Christmas Promise of Peace

One of my favorite Christmas movies is Joyeux Noel, a foreign film about the truce of 1914 on Christmas Eve in the midst of World War I. I find the juxtaposition of war and peace ironic and beautiful, powerful even, probably because all of us are icons of both war and peace at any given […]

What married couples badly need from you

I’ll be frank: when my mom first shared her zany idea for my wedding rehearsal dinner, I had my doubts. She had this idea that since I’m a lawyer, she would go with a courtroom theme. She would play the judge, and my fiancee and I would have to call “witnesses” to prove that we […]

"All Things Are Possible for God" -- Fr. Joshua Waltz Shares His Compelling Vocations Story

I would like to thank Matthew Kurtz, Director of Communications and Editor of the Dakota Catholic Action in the Diocese of Bismarck for sharing the following story and video about the amazing Vocations testimonial of Fr. Joshua Waltz. I think you’ll agree when you watch this video that these types of passionate stories of calling, delivered by a […]

La Conquistadora and the Unfinished Conquest of the Americas

A fascinating duo: I recently read, back to back, two firsthand accounts of the Spanish conquest of America. The first is from Bernal Diaz del Castillo, one of Cortez’s conquistadors. The other comes from another conquistador, then missionary, and later bishop, Bartolomé de Las Casas. The former emphasizes the amazing heroism of the conquistadors, overcoming overwhelming […]

The Dining Room Altar

Every parent well knows the family mayhem that oftentimes is the family meal. Laughter and disaster, barbarism and beauty, and of course joy can take the stage at any moment; and that is part of the reason why the family meal is, like a circus, so dynamic and so wonderful. The stage for this production is […]

Saints Are Still Being Made: Meet Chiara Corbella Petrillo

A few months ago I received an email from a friend of mine who had recently encountered the life of an extraordinary woman while in Rome. I was so moved by the story I shared it last week with the women at SEEK 2013 and now want to share it with you. It’s the story […]

Dr. Manny Alvarez: Down Syndrome children are different, so what?

When I went into the field of OBGYN, I thought long and hard as to why I wanted to choose that type of medicine. One of the primary reasons had to do with the field of OB itself. Pregnancy is such a complicated, intriguing, yet rewarding practice that it has been my professional life for […]

Want to preach the Gospel effectively? Be welcoming, Pope says

In the final homily of his trip to South America Pope Francis said that a key aspect of Christian spirituality and evangelization is to have a welcoming attitude toward others, especially those most in need. “How many times do we see evangelization as involving any number of strategies, tactics, maneuvers, techniques, as if we could […]

Year of Mercy, “…Time to Heal Wounds”: 8 Ways

On April 11, 2015, Pope Francis stood in front of the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica handing out copies of the Year of Mercy “Bull of Indiction” to the priests of the major basilicas of Rome and to Vatican officials. Inside St. Peter’s Basilica, portions of the 9,300-word proclamation were read aloud and then […]

Why Priests Are Called Father

This question refers to Jesus’s teaching found in the Gospel of St. Matthew, when He said, “Do not call anyone on earth your father. Only One is your Father, the One in heaven” (Mt 23:9). Taken literally, we would have to wonder why we do use this title “Father” when Jesus seems to forbid it. […]

The Good Samaritan

To this day, the road from Jericho to Jerusalem is long, winding, and desolate. The two travelers could have been heading back home after weeks on temple duty.  Or they could have been on their way to the Temple for their shift (Luke 1:8).  In either case, the priest and the Levite were in a hurry […]

Pope Francis: Jesus is the door, path, voice to heed

Pope Francis said Mass on Monday morning in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican. Following the Readings of the Day, the Holy Father offered some reflections on the theme of docility to Christ, who is the door through which we must pass if we would enter into eternal life, the way […]

Angels; God's servants and Messengers

Angels have always played prominent roles in biblical stories. Over the years, they have inspired art, literature, and films. Saints have spoken with them. St. Paul advised, “Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels” (Hebrews 13:2). Many books and articles have been devoted to them and angelic images are common. […]

The Pope We Need Now

“I hope we get a nice pope,” a good Catholic woman told me soon after Benedict XVI announced his resignation. “I don’t care whether he’s nice or not,” I replied. “I just hope he’s strong.” Actually, I’d be glad if the next pope were nice, with a winning smile and a friendly manner. But vastly […]

St Benedict and St Therese: The Father and The Child

    C.S. Lewis once observed, ‘How monotonously alike all the great tyrants and conquerors have been: how gloriously different are the saints.’ In his little biographies of Thomas Aquinas and Saint Francis of Assisi, G.K.Chesterton revelled in the sparkling individuality of both saints.  Aquinas was the greatest philosopher of his time while Francis was a […]

It’s official! Mother Teresa is going to be canonized

After months of anticipation, the miracle allowing for the canonization of Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta has officially been approved by the Vatican, though as of now no specific date for the event has been given. Rumors of the canonization have been building for months. However, the Vatican made it official in a Dec. 18 […]

Our Good Shepherd

The atheist philosopher of the 19th century, Friedrich Nietzsche, once said “If Christians want me to believe in their Redeemer, they need to look more redeemed.” He was drawing the wrong conclusion from a perceptive observation.  To Nietzsche most Christians looked just as burdened, clueless and lost as everybody else.  When he looked into their […]

Holy Week Schedule

 Holy Thursday : 6:30pm Good Friday :12 noon & 3:00 pm Holy Saturday : 7pm Easter Sunday: 9:00am & 11:00am

When it Hurts: How to Share the Catholic Faith with Non-Catholics

This is for the broken hearted, those men and women who have risked sharing the faith only to be psychoanalyzed, slighted, even shamed. God knows sometimes you just need a box of Kleenex and a few hours before the Blessed Sacrament. Or a cup of coffee with your parish priest. Or a big bear hug […]

Hush Your Mouth: The Mercy of Shutting Up

Holding your tongue is sometimes a “specific requirement of love” Amid the controversy surrounding Pope Francis’s recent apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), one extraordinary section has been all but overlooked. In chapter 4, “Love in Marriage,” the Holy Father offers a moving exegesis of that popular wedding reading, St. Paul’s ode to […]

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and the Brown Scapular

July 16th is the feast day of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. This is in remembrance of the day in 1251 when Mary appeared to St. Simon Stock, a monastic who was living in England. She appeared with the Brown Scapular in hand and uttered these words: “Take, beloved son this scapular of thy order as a […]

Modern martyrs are massacred by 'corrupt people who hate Jesus'

“I think of our martyrs, the martyrs of our times, men, women, children who are being persecuted, hated, driven out of their homes, tortured, massacred,” the Pope told attendees of his Feb. 6 Mass, held in the chapel of the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse. This martyrdom, he said, “is not a thing of the past: […]

Pope Francis: each life is sacred. Abandon no one

“Each life is sacred,” Pope Francis said to thousands gathered in St. Peter’s Square. “Let’s pray together for those children who are in danger of interruption of pregnancy and for those who are nearing the end of life,” he added on the day of the Italian observance of the Day for Life. ROME – On […]

Seven Ways that the Catholic Church is Catholic

Catholic is a term borrowed from an ancient Greek word meaning universal. This universality is one of the four marks of the true Church as expressed in the creed. But just how is the Catholic Church universal? One immediately thinks of the authority of the popes and ecumenical councils, which are global, whether recognized or […]

Fr. Jerzy Popieluszko: The Holy Man that You Should Get to Know

This video is a trailer for the forthcoming docu-film Jerzy: Messenger of Truth. Jerzy Popieluszko, a Polish priest, was murdered by the Communist authorities in 1984 at the age of 37. He was beatified in June of 2010. On this occasion, Pope Benedict XVI sent a message to the Church in Poland saying that Fr […]

The No. 1 Thing I’ve Learned From Talking With Fallen-Away Catholics

I’ve worked for Catholics Come Home, the international media apostolate working to invite fallen-away Catholics and others home to the Church, since its founding in 1997. This has afforded me, personally, the opportunity to dialogue with hundreds of fallen-away Catholics who contact the organization after seeing a Catholics Come Home TV commercial or stumbling upon […]

"Gender theory" is a "great enemy of marriage today"

“Today the whole world is at war trying to destroy marriage,” the Holy Father says in a speech during his Caucasus tour, noting that this war isn’t being fought with arms “but with ideas.” In a lengthy, off-the-cuff speech in Georgia, Pope Francis said the world today is at war with marriage, and urged couples […]

Eucharist the 'bread of love', Pope says on Corpus Christi

During Mass for the feast of Corpus Christi, Pope Francis exhorted the faithful to avoid the “false bread” of the world, and to remember that God’s food truly satisfies.“To live the experience of faith means to let the Lord nourish us and to build our existence not on material goods, but on the reality that […]

Canada Considering Proposal to Allow Euthanizing Mentally Ill Patients

We could have predicted this: Canada may extend the “right to die” to the mentally ill. It’s an evil idea. In 2015, Canada legalized physician-assisted suicide. We have talked about the Canadian decision several times on BreakPoint. In March, in fact, we talked about how many Canadian doctors who had originally indicated a willingness to […]

Every indication Medjugorje will be recognized, perhaps later this year

Archbishop Henryk Hoser, sent by Pope Francis to study the pastoral situation in Medjugorje, said ministry at the site of the apparition was proper and consistent with the doctrine and teaching of the Church; as well as being effective and well organized. A Polish archbishop appointed by Pope Francis to study the pastoral situation surrounding […]

Pro-life Canadians concerned by Trudeau's abortion ideology litmus test

A litmus test on abortion and recent comments from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have been slammed by Catholic and conservative critics, and raise new and troubling questions for pro-life Canadians about the state of religious freedom in their country. In a speech last week, Trudeau defended a policy requiring grant applicants to state their […]

Sorry, You’re Not Allowed to Do That

You are not the arbiter of Christian doctrine. You don’t get to decide the tenets of Christianity. You don’t have permission to reverse or negate Christian teaching. You don’t have the authority to define Christianity. Neither do I. If you are a Catholic, you don’t get to pick and choose which parts of the moral law and the Creed […]

Passages from Vatican II that Every Catholic Should Know

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the close of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). While all agree that the council was a milestone in the history of the Church, the meaning and application of Vatican II and its sixteen official documents has been a source of contention right down to the present day. Numerous […]

World needs women, not for what they do, but who they are, pope says

Men and women “are not the same, one is not superior to the other, no,” Pope Francis said at at his early morning Mass. “It’s just that men do not bring harmony. She is the one who brings that harmony that teaches us to caress, to love with tenderness and who makes the world something […]

Pope slams 'eugenic' mentality that seeks to eliminate disability

On Saturday, Pope Francis issued a harsh condemnation of the underlying eugenic mentality in society that leads many to abort children who are are disabled, saying the Church must be a place of acceptance and welcome for all who are vulnerable. While great strides have been made in recent years in terms of recognizing the […]

Why do Christians hesitate to rise up on anti-Christian persecution?

In general, when communities experience hatred or persecution, enlightened people want them to speak out, knowing we need them to hold our feet to the fire. So why do some Christians hesitate to do precisely that about the global pattern of anti-Christian persecution, documented again this week in a new State Department report?   On […]

Lauren Green: Why my faith is like a lighthouse

http://video.foxnews.com/v/5414276805001/?#sp=show-clips Editor’s note: The following column excerpted from Lauren Green’s new book, “Lighthouse Faith: God as a Living Reality in a World Immersed in Fog” (Thomas Nelson, 2017). I have no doubt that there are places on earth with spiritual powers. They are abodes of solace and security—places like churches, of course, but also bucolic […]

What happened when my daughter saw me kiss my wife

The day my oldest daughter was born, I held her in my arms in the hospital and made two promises: “First, I promise I will never leave your mother; and second, I’ll show up. I’ll do everything I can to be at your recitals and ball games and dinner around the table.” My baby laid […]

Trudeau is asking religious Canadians to betray their conscience for federal funding

Thousands of years ago, before Christians could practice their faith legally, they often faced persecution from the Roman government. If captured, however, a suspected Christian could avoid punishment by performing a simple sacrifice dedicated to the emperor. To stay on the authority’s good side, some Christians crossed their fingers (a concealed symbol of their true […]

Mercy and Confession: 10 Tips on How to Confess Well

In the context of an Ignatian retreat it is always beneficial to prepare oneself to make an excellent Confession. To make a good confession demands prior preparation!  The better the prior preparation, the more abundant the graces and the more overflowing the river of peace in your soul! Following are ten short helps to make the best […]

A Prophecy: The Vocations Crisis is Over

When I say this is a prophecy I don’t want to suggest that I have had some sort of supernatural vision. This is not a prophecy in that sense, but a prophecy because prophets not only sometimes have supernatural revelations, but they are people who are also able to see the big picture, understand the […]

A May for Mary

I always look forward to the month of May. For one, as a Wisconsinite, it finally means the snow might be gone for good! But most of all, because it is the month, that we as a Church, honor the Mother of God. To a certain degree, I treat the month of May as I […]

The Cana Connection

In the past two weeks, the Church has celebrated the Epiphany and the Lord’s baptism. This coming Sunday we remember the Wedding Feast at Cana. What’s the connection between the Jordan’s water, Cana’s wine, and the Magi’s gifts? Actually, the link is not hard to see. The Magi’s homage shows divinity of this child-king who […]

Christ and Marriage in a Time of War

I have been watching the plight of persecuted Christians in the Middle East and elsewhere for a while now. About a year ago, some friends and I organized a grassroots campaign to raise awareness for their plight, as well as raise money for the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA). We called the project Help […]

Death over Defection: How the Church is Holier than Ever

I often find myself wishing I were back in the time of the early Church. Imminent martyrdom aside, how wonderful it would have been to live among such a fervent and orthodox community! [wink wink] Truth is, the early Church was hardly a fervent community to live in and much less an orthodox one. Simply read […]

“Now all that is gone”: The vanishing Christian communities of Iraq and Syria

An interview with the filmmakers behind “Our Last Stand,” a new documentary about the on-going genocide perpetrated against Middle Eastern Christians A young boy, 10 years old or so, faces the camera. Like many young boys, he is happy to be interviewed. This is war-torn Iraq, however, so he tells of the day ISIS came […]

How Christian women suffer worse persecution than men

A recent global survey reveals that the rise of radical Islamic extremism is the primary reason for the persecution of Christians around the world – and many of the victims are women. “Unfortunately, more and more women are the target of terrorist groups,” Emily Fuentes, communications director for Open Doors, told CNA April 20. “There […]

Turn the Other Cheek?

“Love your enemies.” “Turn the other cheek.” (Mat 5:38-40). This sounds admirable to some, but preposterous to others. The 19th century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche thought such talk promotes a society of weaklings. Karl Marx thought these words keep the oppressed under the thumbs of the capitalists. Does Jesus want us to be doormats, suckers who […]

A modern horror: global persecution of Christians at historic peak, report says

Anti-Christian persecution is “worse than at any time in history” and in many cases genocide and other crimes against humanity “now mean that the Church in core countries and regions faces the possibility of imminent wipe-out,” says a new report from Aid to the Church in Need. The report, titled “Persecuted and Forgotten?”, covers the […]

Finding Happiness Where You Least Expect It

Ask someone where happiness may be found, and you’ll get a variety of answers. Many of them, however, are centered on attaining something currently out-of-reach. The thinking goes like this: “If only I could make more money, then I would be happy.” Or “If only I had a nice car,then I would be happy.” Or “If only I could […]


The Holy See “URBI ET ORBI” MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS CHRISTMAS 2015 Friday, 25 December 2015 Dear brothers and sisters, Happy Christmas! Christ is born for us, let us rejoice in the day of our salvation! Let us open our hearts to receive the grace of this day, which is Christ himself.  Jesus […]

A blessing, not a burden

“We like to think we live in the most tolerant society of all time,” Mike Michalak points out dryly. “But […] our answer in the 1950’s with my Uncle Ray [was to tell] my Grandma on the day he was born, You’re son’s never going to know who you are. Put him in an institution. […]

Canadians urged to use hands, hearts, heads to end abortion

  The theme of the 2017 March for Life in Canada was “Life We Stand on Guard for Thee,” the words drawn from the national anthem and intended to a tie into the 150th anniversary of Canada’s birth as a nation. People can use their hands, their hearts and their heads to fight for the […]

Laws limiting fundamental freedoms receive all-party support

  The totalitarian ethos is alive and well when opposition parties are reluctant to oppose, lest they be branded insufficiently ideologically pure All fundamentalisms have a totalitarian impulse, and secular fundamentalism is not immune. Canada has its share of secular fundamentalists infected with that impulse. Much attention has been given to the face-covering law passed […]

Ten Tips for the Best Lent

God gives in abundance, always, in all times and in all places! His goodness manifests itself most abundantly in His Mystical Body, the Church and concretely in the Church Liturgical Year. The two strong times of the year are Advent, which culminates in Christmas, and Lent which culminates in Holy Week and in the Risen […]

Pope Francis: welcome with compassion those who have remarried outside the Church

Following a month-long hiatus, Pope Francis resumed his Wednesday general audience on August 5 and called for a compassionate welcome to those who have remarried outside the Church. In doing so, he made no mention of the upcoming Synod of Bishops nor of the controversial proposal to admit those in such situations to Holy Communion. […]

Pope Francis & Martin Luther

At a time when sentimentality sometimes undermines ecumenical thinking, there are those who ask what difference doctrinal differences among Christians make—isn’t God pleased with all of us? At the end of October Pope Francis will travel to Sweden to join a Lutheran World Federation observance opening the 500th anniversary year of Martin Luther’s break with […]

Where’s the Humanae Vitae on Marriage?

It was 45 years ago, July 1968, that the Roman Catholic Church, and specifically Pope Paul VI, stunned the world with a beautifully bold document, Humanae Vitae. As the world—and especially the West—went full throttle in a hysterical push for birth control, abortion, and otherprogressive nostrums, the document stood athwart history yelling “stop!” Here, said the Church’s Magisterium, […]

Better Prepare Yourself for Communion

Sacramental Theology teaches a key principal that all Catholics should know so as to derive the most abundant graces that flow from the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Sacraments.  This key principal is called Dispositive Grace. What this term means, in clear and unequivocal terms, is that you receive graces from the Sacraments in direct proportion to your disposition […]

Married Life

Marriage is a vocation; it is the vocation to which the vast majority of people are called. It has two clear purposes or, as the Catechism says, a “twofold end…: the good of the spouses themselves and the transmission of life” (n. 2363). It is a call both to faithful love and to fruitful love. […]

Undoing Our Addictions During Lent

I weigh less now, at 29 years old, than I did in 7th grade, when my nickname was “Sarah the Whale”. My weight has been a battle for most of my life. I was a cute, chubby kid when I started school. By the time my mom died at age 7, I packed on the […]

Mercy, Mary & 10 Resolutions

“A good way to start the New Year is to ask how you can be different than you are now”— said Archbishop Fulton Sheen in a speech on December 31, 1944. His suggestion spiritualizes the essence of many New Year’s resolutions. In his talk, “Who Can Re-Make You?” he explains, “We were like a clock […]

Ignorance of Scripture is Ignorance of Christ

There is a myth that we must lay to rest, once and for all–Protestants are all about the Bible, while Catholics are all about the Sacraments.  While I can’t speak for my Protestant brethren, I can say this with certainty–the Catholic Church has never tolerated any such “either/or.”  Both Scripture and Sacraments are precious gifts from the […]

Pope: In Confession we encounter God's immense mercy

Delivering his weekly Angelus address in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, Pope Francis said that while everyone feels shame before going to Confession, this grace helps us to be open to God’s forgiveness. “There are people who are afraid of approaching Confession, forgetting that there, we do not encounter severe judgement, but the immensely merciful […]

The Catholic Spring: Old wine in New Wine Skin

The leaked email between Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta, and Voices for Progress’ Sandy Newman showed their intention to foment a revolution of the faithful from within the Catholic Church against the Church herself and her teachings. The suggested springboard for this “Catholic Spring” was the Catholic Church’s opposition to mandatory coverage of contraceptives […]

Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Q: What is the story behind the image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help? The icon (about 54 x 41.5 centimeters) depicts our Blessed Mother Mary under the title “Mother of God,” holding the Child Jesus. The Archangels Michael and Gabriel, hovering in the upper corners, hold the instruments of the Passion: St. Michael (in […]

The Story of Ash Wednesday

Q: A Protestant friend asked me why Catholics use ashes on Ash Wednesday. What are the origins of Ash Wednesday and the use of ashes? The liturgical use of ashes originates in Old Testament times. Ashes symbolized mourning, mortality and penance. For instance, in the Book of Esther, Mordecai put on sackcloth and ashes when […]

One in the Eucharist

Sacraments are rituals instituted by Christ, woven together with signs and symbols, (CCC 1145) that “make present efficaciously the grace that they signify.” (CCC 1084) St. Augustine described them as “an outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible grace.”  They are not just symbolic, but are “real symbols,” which actually make present that […]

Youth Minister

Please welcome our new Youth Minister Please join us in welcoming Craig Ferguson from our Parish as our new Youth Minister. Craig is a young man, a teacher by profession. Most importantly,Craig is a young man on fire with love and commitment to Our Lord and his Catholic Faith. He and his beautiful wife Stephanie have […]

Holiday Customs: A Blessing or a Curse?

“Actions speak louder than words.”  “One picture is worth a thousand words.”  “Talk is cheap.”  There are lots of different sayings in the English language that generally express the same thing–words alone don’t do the necessary job of communicating, especially in the case of a personal message.  Like “I love you,” for instance. So human beings […]

St. Francis de Sales: How to make the Sign of the Cross

“In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” These words roll off every Catholic’s tongue so frequently that we often forget the significance of what we are saying. Sometimes we make the Sign of the Cross at Mass so haphazardly that we look like a coach on the first […]

Pope Francis makes two children saints who saw Virgin Mary 100 years ago

FATIMA, Portugal –  Pope Francis added two Portuguese shepherd children to the roster of Catholic saints Saturday, honoring young siblings whose reported visions of the Virgin Mary 100 years ago turned the Portuguese farm town of Fatima into one of the world’s most important Catholic shrines. Francis proclaimed Francisco and Jacinta Marto saints at the […]

God’s given us our children. Let’s trust Him and let go of our anxiety

“The older my kids get, the more I realize how little control I have over them. My slipping sense of control produces so much anxiety in my life so I end up grasping for even more control. I don’t know what else to do but I’m afraid to surrender. Really afraid.”   That was a […]

Second Sunday of Advent: A Season of Hope

Faith, hope, and love.  St. Paul, in I Corinthians 13:13, say these three are the bottom line.  They are called the theological virtues, the qualities that make us most like God. We hear plenty about faith and love.  But when is the last time you heard a rousing homily on hope?  Why is hope important?  And what […]

Pope slams ‘false respect’ for non-Christians driving Jesus out of Christmas

After U.S. President Donald Trump made a point of wishing Americans “Merry Christmas,” saying he was irked by “politically correct” efforts to scrub references to Christmas from the holiday, Pope Francis on Wednesday warned the real danger is taking Christ out of Christmas, driven by a “false respect” for non-Christians that amounts to a desire […]

This Sunday’s Gospel : See, He Makes All Things New

It really looked like the end of the road for her.  Caught in the act of a capital crime, her fate lay in the hands of an angry mob.  Desiring to kill two birds with one stone, the rabble decided to use her as a political pawn, and so dragged her to Jesus But they badly […]

Reflections on Sin and Shame

Sexual scandal is always an attention grabber, so it’s not surprising to see the media frenzy that has accompanied the latest revelations about NYC-Mayor-hopeful Anthony Weiner. The details of Mr. Weiner’s bizarre behaviors are widely known or easily accessed elsewhere, so I won’t bother repeating them here.  Suffice it to say, Mr. Weiner engaged in some […]

Confirmation gives us the strength to defend the faith

In his Wednesday audience, Pope Francis reflected on the sacrament of confirmation, explaining that it is intrinsically linked to our baptism, and that through it our relationship with the Church is fortified. “It unites us more firmly to Christ,” the Pope said in his Jan. 29 general audience, referring to the Sacrament of Confirmation, “it […]

Iraqi bishop urges prayer as Christians expelled from Mosul

On the eve of an ultimatum issued by Islamists to Christians in the Iraqi city of Mosul, the Chaldean bishop of Erbil, in nearby Kurdistan, urged prayers for the nation’s remaining followers of Christ. “We have hope that things will get better,” Archbishop Bashar Matti Warda of the Chaldean Archeparchy of Erbil said in an […]

All Souls Day Mass Schedule

8:45 am – Convent Chapel   12:10pm  – HR Church   6:30pm – HR Church

Ten reasons to pray the Rosary

Jesus sent His Loving Mother, Mary most Holy, from heaven to the small town of Fatima, Portugal in the year 1917. The Queen of heaven and earth appeared to three little shepherd children, Lucia de los Santos, and Francisco and Jacinta Marto—brother and sister. Our Lady appeared six times and every time that she appeared […]

Who Are we to Judge?

It is curious how highly the secular media seems to approve of Pope Francis. Its praise breeds apprehension in some Catholics who tend to be wary of what the world applauds, and rightly so. Pope Francis was again made much of this week for a few candid words about homosexuals. The buzz was based on an […]

Why one bishop is putting tabernacles back in the center of churches

When Bishop Robert Morlino arrived as the new bishop for the Diocese of Madison, Wis. in 1993, he began quietly encouraging priests to promote more reverence towards the Blessed Sacrament – through more adoration, more reverent Masses, and moving tabernacles back to the center of churches. Now, he’s made it official. Bishop Morlino has asked […]

Lent and Aiming for Perfection

“During this Lent, let us all ask the Lord: Make our hearts like yours.” -Pope Francis Every year, God blesses us most abundantly with the Church and its liturgical cycle. Through this cycle, we follow the life of Christ through both Word and Sacrament. One season of this liturgical calendar is nearly upon us: Lent. […]

Giving in to temptation dulls us to harm of sin, Pope warns

In his daily Mass, Pope Francis cautioned against the danger of when falling into temptation becomes habitual, saying that it dulls our ability to recognize sin and affects others in a negative way. “This can happen to all of us. All of us are sinners and all are tempted and temptation is our daily bread,” […]

What Should Catholics Make of Eckhart Tolle?

Last year, Oprah Winfrey recommended to her world-wide audience a book written by the German-born spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle entitled A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. As expected, the book became a runaway bestseller, and an Internet program featuring Oprah and Tolle has attracted millions of participants. But then something happened that wasn’t […]

The Bad News/Good News Bible

The Bible is a book of bad news and good news. First the bad news:  Human beings are sinners.  Our sin separates us from a holy and righteous God, provokes his wrath, and causes us to ultimately suffer death and eternal separation from Him. (Rom. 3:23, Rom.1:18, Col.3:6).  More bad news:  We are without excuse. As […]


Each October we observe Respect Life Month in dioceses throughout the United States. Although ending abortion remains a priority of the utmost importance, threats to the disabled and those at the end of life deserve our attention as well. The legalization of medically assisted suicide in Canada in June should serve as a wake-up call […]

Religious freedom and Islamic terrorism

Blasphemy laws are used to persecute critics of Islam in many Muslim countries, whether moderate Muslims, Christians or Jews, and to attack so-called “non-believers,” thus forming an impenetrable barrier to any form of acceptance of other religious beliefs and contributing to the growth of Islamic extremism. Ending these laws could set the stage for free […]

Pope Francis: Against the West?

“The Faith is Europe. And Europe is the Faith,” wrote Hilaire Belloc after that bloodbath we call World War I. “Either Europe will return to the Faith or she will perish.” By 1938, Belloc concluded Christian Europe was done: “The bad work begun at the Reformation is bearing its final fruit in the dissolution of […]

Only Sex, No Intimacy of the Heart?

As you tell us, Jesus: “My food is to do the will of the one who sent me” (Jn 4:34). It is by living in the Divine Will that we find life and nourishment. Truly in the Most Holy Eucharist, your Kingdom has “come on earth as it is in Heaven” (Jn 6:10); and thus as […]

Pro-Woman. Pro-Life. Is there really a contradiction?

For many, the buzzwords surrounding the intersection of feminism and the pro-life movement call to mind a conflict between the two campaigns. However, for many of those involved in the pro-life movement, pro-life and feminist goals are aligned, not opposed. In popular society many people are “hearing a lot of messaging that that’s false in […]

UK religious freedom leaders speak out for Asia Bibi, persecuted Pakistani Christians

The archbishop of Pakistan’s largest Catholic diocese was embarking on a nationwide tour of England to draw attention to the persecution of Christians, just as news broke of yet another delay in the blasphemy appeal case of Asia Bibi which was due to be heard on Thursday 13th October. Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw OFM, of […]

UN versus Holy See on human sexuality, gender theory

More than an indictment of the Church’s handling of child sex abuse, the report of the U.N. child rights committee on the Holy See seems meant to pressure the Church to change its teaching on human sexuality. The U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child issues periodic reports on the implementation of the organization’s […]

Padre Pio, Purgatory, and Praying for Souls in the Cemetery

A frail old man lays on his deathbed. In a chair beside his bed, a priest sat with him and wiped away the tears that flowed quietly from the dying man’s eyes. The old man asked the priest to hear his confession. After receiving the sacrament, he said to the priest, “My son, if the […]

Forming a healthy conscience

Each one of us is born with and endowed with a singular conscience by which we are obliged to form, to cultivate, and to follow in order to live a richer and more moral life. However, this necessitates a properly formed conscience within the soul. If we do not properly form a conscience we will […]

Temptations of Jesus beckon an examination of conscience

The first Sunday of Lent recalls the temptations of Jesus, and thereby creates a time of evaluation for all Christians: Where have my own religious convictions been blurred or compromised by dark thoughts? Where have moments of fatigue or despair tempted me to want to turn Jesus into an idol, a “Mr. Fix-It” rather than […]

John Paul, Pray For Us

On Monday, January 14, 2013, I prayed for my newborn granddaughter in the chapel at Cardinal Glennon Hospital. I paused at the door to sign the guest register and write the name Eliana Noel in the prayer request space next to my name. A couple of days earlier, my son called to tell me that their […]

This Sunday’s Gospel: Not Peace but the Sword

One of the themes of Pope Francis at World Youth Day 2013 was to “shake things up.” This is quite different from the advice I was given as a child: “In polite conversation, never bring up politics or religion.”  This is quite good advice, if your aim is to be well-liked.  Politics and religion are risky […]

You are the Salt of the Earth

As a Catholic teen growing up in one of the most Catholic area of the US, I never would have considered abandoning my faith.  But neither would I ever have considered getting excited about it.  Why should I?  Nobody else in my parish seemed excited.  The teens in the parish went wild at the rock […]

Resolutions, Failures, and the New Year

“Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set out to remedying them. Every day begin the task anew.” -St. Francis de Sales If you’re anything like me, you have a love-hate relationship with New Year’s resolutions. Oh, you like the […]

Pope: No research justifies the destruction of human embryos

Meeting a group of people suffering from Huntington’s Disease, Pope Francis told them that despite their illness, they are “precious in the eyes of God” and in the eyes of the Church. Speaking to the scientists present in the room, he also said that the search for a cure must be done in a way […]

We, the Church, are the Maccabees of the 21st Century

This text was preached by Fr. Edward Looney on November 6, 2016.  To listen to the audio version of the homily, visit this link. We heard a startling account in our first reading today from the Second Book of Maccabees.  To better understand it, we need to place it in its proper context. The Old […]

Remembering All Souls Day

The Church has consistently encouraged the offering of prayers and Mass for the souls of the faithful departed in Purgatory. At the time of their death, these souls are not perfectly cleansed of venial sin or have not atoned for past transgressions, and thereby are deprived of the Beatific Vision. The faithful on earth can […]

Understanding the “Eclipse of God”

I am a man preoccupied by philosophy – but not in the typical, modern academic sense of the word. When I call myself an “incurable philosopher,” I mean that I am compelled to examine the world around me, and to ask insistently: “Does this make sense? Is it right? And then, what is to be done?” […]

Catholics need to be a people of life, from womb to tomb

Late this past week, multitudes of people from throughout the United States assembled in our nation’s capital to pray and peacefully protest against legalized abortion. It was the forty-fifth such March for Life, which has been held annually to mark the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The event raises questions about the approach of a […]

Single Life

Single life is just as much a vocation with a divine call as any of the other vocation choices such as marriage, priesthood or religious life. Some people may think of the single life as the “last resort” – the vocation where anyone ends up who doesn’t feel called to be a priest or religious […]

The secret of Mother Teresa's greatness

The following column is excerpted from Eric Metaxas’s new book, “7 WOMEN & The Secret of their Greatness” (Thomas Nelson, September 8, 2015). Last year I was in Skopje, the capital city of what is called by some the Republic of Macedonia and by others FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia). I was there under […]

'Don’t go there' – Belgians plead with Canada not to pass euthanasia law

The Parliament of Canada has until June 6 to consider Bill C-14, controversial legislation that, if passed, would legalize euthanasia in the country. But some citizens of Belgium, where euthanasia has been legal since 2002, have a message for Canada: Don’t do it. In a new series of videos, Belgian doctors, lawyers, and family members […]

What the Church Wants

During a pilgrimage to France, I had the opportunity to discuss the state of its Church with the proprietor of my bed and breakfast.  I knew that many French no longer practice the faith.  He explained that the French do not know what the Church is asking of them.  The answer may seem obvious.  The Church […]

ISIS' dark agenda

Terror group’s tweets show more destruction of sacred Christian sites Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com Chilling new images released Monday show ISIS thugs advancing the Islamist army’s dark agenda of eradicating Christianity from Iraq by smashing crosses, toppling statues and destroying sacred relics that have been in place for thousands of years. The latest […]

Scripture Speaks: Upon this Rock

In a conversation with Peter and the apostles, Jesus declares His intention to build His Church on a human being. Whatever was He thinking? Gospel (Read Mt 16:13-20) Today’s Gospel is so familiar to Catholics that the potential for missing the punch it packs is inordinately high. If ever we are challenged on our belief […]

His Sorrowful Passion

Catholics seem preoccupied with the sufferings of Christ–The Crucifix, the sorrowful Mysteries, the Stations of the Cross. As if all this were not enough, Catholics must stand at attention one Sunday each year as they listen to the entire passion narrative read aloud. Careful, repeated meditation on the Passion of Christ is important because the […]

The incredible night my Autistic son taught us all a lesson about faith

On September 15, 2012, a profound statement glowed from an iPad that changed my life in a moment. But perhaps more astounding than the message was the messenger: an unlikely little boy just shy of his seventh birthday. My Josiah couldn’t speak, he had a fleeting attention span, poor eye contact, and little body control. […]

Peter & the Keys

“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. Peters. 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 […]

Putting Misconceptions About Religion to Rest

When people learn that I am a priest, they often want to share their ideas about religion.  I know what to expect.  Although they seem to think that their ideas are somewhat unique, they are often strikingly similar to what I have heard before.  They tell me they firmly believe in God, but they are suspicious […]

Augustine & Monica’s Thirst for Heaven

Near the end of his famous work, Confessions, St. Augustine records the last days of his mother Monica’s life. By that time, Monica’s fervent prayers had been realized and her son was not only a Christian but a fervent defender of orthodox faith. Augustine recalls a moment standing with his mother at a window, “conversing […]

Christians Under Siege:

There’s no time to waste, we must act now  Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com Is it possible that this decade will see the virtual end of Christianity in the very region it was born? There were few images more sickening than the images of ISIS terrorists beheading 21 Egyptian Christians on a beach in […]

This man has been in a coma for 33 years – and his wife has stayed by his side

After sustaining a damaged leg tendon in 1982, 34-year old international footballer Jean-Pierre Adams thought that a routine knee surgery at a hospital in Lyon, France would relieve some of his discomfort. By the end of the day, the surgery had left Adams in a comatose state, unable to perform normal bodily functions like walking […]

You’d Be Surprised: What It’s Really Like to be a Priest in Training

The following video was produced by actual seminarians from the Archdiocese of Mobile for the Archdiocesan Catholic Youth Conference February 22-24, 2013.

What did Pope Francis actually say about the female diaconate?

Fr. Federico Lombardi stated May 13 that “one must be honest: The Pope did not say he intends to introduce the ordination of female deacons and even less did he talk about the ordination of women as priests. In actual fact, talking about preaching during the Eucharistic celebration, he let them know that he was […]

Steps to Prepare for a Happy & Holy Death

The great woman Doctor of the Church who lived with an invisible stigma,who was spiritual director to priests, Bishops, even the Pope, Saint Catherine of Siena made this powerful assertion: “The two most important moments in our life are: Now and at the hour of our death.”  Sound familiar?  Of course—the last part of the Hail […]

Humanity & Holiness with the Holy Family

The Passion of the Christ was the most intense movie I’ve ever seen.  But there was a moment of comic relief, a flashback to a young Jesus in the back yard, building a new invention.  It was the kind of table that is now a commonplace.  But in a society where people reclined to dine, this […]

The day we ran out of food

When I was only 5-years-old, our family hit hard times and we didn’t even have money for groceries. I wasn’t sure exactly what was going on – all I knew was that the cabinets were empty. On the day we ran out of food, a couple from Main Street Baptist Church in Hattiesburg, Miss., drove […]

The Angel of Dachau: Pope Francis declares concentration camp priest a martyr

Fr. Engelmar Unzeitig, a young priest with Czech roots serving in Germany and Austria, was arrested by the Nazis on April 21, 1941. His crime? Preaching against the Third Reich from his pulpit, particularly against their treatment of the Jewish people. He encouraged his congregation to be faithful to God and to resist the lies […]

Christmas is more than a party, Pope explains

Vatican City, Dec 9, 2012 .- The Pope asked Catholics to prepare for Christmas amid a consumerist society by listening to the voice of John the Baptist, who teaches us to celebrate Christmas as more than a party. “Our aim today is listening to that voice to give space and welcome to the heart of […]

Eucharistic Healing

I Thirst Among many Catholics there is a privation, a sense of absence and even estrangement from true communion with God. This is a paralyzing reality among some believers. How can this be when Jesus is always and truly present in the Eucharist, on the altars and in the tabernacles of the world? Jesus hasn’t […]

Now is a time of mercy: Pope issues new Apostolic Letter

Although the Extraordinary Jubilee Year has concluded, we are still living in a “time of mercy.” That was the message of Pope Francis in a lengthy Apostolic Letter, entitled Misericordia et misera, (“Mercy and Misery”), issued on Monday following the close of the Year of Mercy.   The title refers to the encounter between Jesus […]

Pope Francis calls Egypt attack on Christians, killing 28, “barbaric”

  Pope Francis has sent a message of condolences after a terrorist attack on Coptic Christians in Egypt. A message sent through Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State,  said the pope was “saddened to learn of the barbaric attack in central Egypt and of the tragic loss of life and injury caused by this […]

Ten Great Things About Catholicism

With its divine foundation, sanction, and mission, nothing could be more glorious than the Catholic Church. But, of course, many people — even many baptized Catholics — don’t see it that way. Yet when the sins of men — secular material progress, or our own self-centeredness — blind us to this, they blind us to everything. […]

Things To Love About the Mass

The Mass—from the Latin, Missa; in Greek, Leitourgos, meaning “the work of the people”.  It is the most sacred and solemn action whereby heaven and earth meet.  It is the place where Catholics find their weekly (even daily) sustenance before heading out anew to live and proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ in whichever […]

Yes, ISIS is guilty of genocide, says European human rights group

Europe’s leading human rights body passed a resolution on Wednesday calling ISIS atrocities a “genocide,” a week before the European Parliament will vote on a similar resolution. “States should act on the presumption that Da’ish commits genocide,” read a statement passed by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. “Da’ish” is another name for […]

The suffering of Syria's Christians taught him how to be a priest

Father Rodrigo Miranda is a priest from Chile. But it was in Syria, among the oppressed Christian community, that he learned what it really meant to be a priest. “They wake us up to the essential and important things in life,” he told the Spanish daily ABC. The witness of the persecuted Christians in Syria […]

A Call to Conscience

“Theological courage calls the inner-man to ignore his buckling knees and take theologically driven stances that, while potentially controversial, are righteous in nature.”  So writes Owen Strachen and Andrew Walker in a recent article discussing Hobby Lobby’s stance against Obamacare’s onerous trampling of religious liberty. The idea of martyrdom, be it physical, social, or financial, is a strange concept to […]

The Sin of Keeping Silent

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time First Reading: Ezekiel 33:7-9 http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/090714.cfm We have security guards for a reason. If an attacker shows up and the security guard flees to save his own skin instead of warning the people he is responsible for guarding, then what use is he? In the ancient world, watchmen would patrol the […]

Pope Francis Reforms Annulment Process: 9 things to know and share

On September 8, the Holy See released a pair of documents by Pope Francis which reform the way in which the Church handles annulments. Here are 9 things to know and share . . . 1) What is an annulment? Is it the same thing as a divorce? An annulment (formally known as a “declaration […]

Ten Steps to Win the Battle Against Porn

The most strenuous battles today is that against the ravenous wolf  that we call porn. We can safely say, with great sorrow and pain, that one of the most powerful and prevalent addictions today is that of porn. Because of the easy and all too prevalent availability and access to porn, more and more people—teens […]

How Pope Francis defies stereotypes when it comes to the family

Last weekend, Pope Francis delivered a keynote speech to a major conference on the future of the European Union. Although the Pope is often characterized as a staunch progressive, his Oct. 28 speech was a reminder that his views on life, marriage, and sexuality go beyond the stereotypes with which he is often characterized. During […]

Why Humility Opens Doors

My guess is that the Lord of creation knows best who really wins in the end. And he says in this Sunday’s gospel, “whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted” (Luke 14:11) To understand why the humble get ahead and why the meek shall inherit the earth, we need […]

A Higher Life Means Dying to a Lower Life

It is one of the curious anomalies of present-day civilization that when man achieves greatest control over nature, he has the least control over himself. The great boast of our age is our domination of the universe: we have harnessed the waterfalls, made the wind a slave to carry us on wing of steel, and […]

‘Judge Not’ Doesn’t Mean Don’t Make Judgments

If I had been the Holy Spirit’s editor when he was inspiring the Bible, I would have recommended that he not include that New Testament verse where Jesus says, “Judge not, that you be not judged” (Matt. 7:1). Better still, I would have recommended keeping the verse but adding a clarifying commentary so that it […]

Advent is a "Season of Mary"

Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles is describing Advent as “a season of Mary” and a time for Catholics to “turn to Mary in a new way.” “We have to take Mary into our homes. Into our lives. We need to love her and learn from her as our mother. She was a perfect […]

Revamped annulment process focuses on speed, role of local bishops

In a reformed marriage annulment process, Pope Francis has made significant changes, giving more of a role to the local bishop, dropping automatic appeals, and declaring the process free of charge. Announced Tuesday, the new process is aimed at streamlining the system for granting annulments out of concern “for the salvation of souls” while affirming […]

The Marriage Debate: the Nature of Things

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago is, arguably, the most intellectually accomplished bishop in the history of the American episcopate. Earlier this year, when the Illinois Legislature began to consider changing state law to “accommodate those of the same sex who wish to ‘marry’ one another” (as the cardinal put it), Professor Dr. George gave the readers […]

2015 Bulletins

December 27th 2015 Christmas 2015 December 20th 4th Sunday of Advent December 13th 3d Sunday of Advent December 6th 2nd Sunday of Advent Novenber 29th 1st Sunday of Advent Novenber 22nd Novenber 15th Novenber 8th Novenber 1st (All Saints) October 25th October 18th October 11th October 4th September 27th September 20th September 13th September 6th […]

Pope Francis: it makes me sad to see people using phones at Mass

‘Please, Mass is not a show. It is going to encounter the Passion, the resurrection of the Lord’ The Mass is not a show, but a beautiful, transformative encounter with the true loving presence of Christ, Pope Francis said. That is why people need to focus their hearts on God, not focus their smartphones for […]

When Your Child Turns Away, Dare to Hope

By the time you read this, my firstborn will be a wife. She entered the Sacrament of Matrimony on Monday. To say this is a milestone is an understatement. I was a pregnant teenager. I raised her as a on-and-off single mother. I put my career before her because I thought I had to prove […]

St. Joseph: Our Model for Fatherhood

Fatherlessness has become an epidemic in our society:  43% of our kids grow up without fathers (US Census), approaching a catastrophe rivaling the 1918 flu pandemic when an estimated 56% of the world was infected.  Fatherlessness is devastating—legally, morally, psychologically, and spiritually. A shocking snapshot of our fatherless youth shows they comprise 63% of youth […]

Pope affirms that Mass is more than a mere 'representation'

In his daily homily, Pope Francis reflected on the meaning of the Liturgy, highlighting how it is a real participation in Jesus’ presence, and encouraged all to enter more fully into the mystery of the Mass. “When we celebrate the Mass, we don’t accomplish a representation of the Last Supper: no, it is not a […]

2014 Bulletins

Christmas 2014 December 21st, 2014 – 4th Sunday of Advent December 14th, 2014 – 3rd Sunday of Advent December 7th, 2014 – 2nd Sunday of Advent November 30th, 2014 – 1st Sunday of Advent November 23rd, 2014 November 16th, 2014 November 9th, 2014 November 2nd, 2014 October 26th, 2014 October 19th, 2014 October 12th, 2014 […]

C.S. Lewis on ‘Xmas and Christmas’

Fifty years ago C.S. Lewis published an ironic little essay called, “Xmas and Christmas: A Lost Chapter from Herodotus.” In it, he reverses the letters of his home country, “Britain.” Then he writes about the strange winter customs of a barbarian nation called Niatirb. It’s worth reading, as we get deeper into Advent. I’ll share […]

2013 Bulletins

December 29, 2013 Christmas 2013 Sunday December 22, 2013 Sunday December 15, 2013 Sunday December 8, 2013 Sunday December 1, 2013 Sunday November 24, 2013 Sunday November 17, 2013 Sunday November 10, 2013 Sunday November 3, 2013 Sunday October 27, 2013 Sunday October 20, 2013 Sunday October 13, 2013 Sunday October 6, 2013 Sunday September […]

Catholics in America will - and do - suffer for 'swimming against the tide'

Faithful Catholics will face increasing difficulties in American society as public life becomes more dominated by another “religion” that marginalizes the Church and imposes its own morality, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago has written. “Swimming against the tide means limiting one’s access to positions of prestige and power in society,” Cardinal George wrote in his […]

Marriage – between a man and a woman – is under attack

Pope Francis told couples to defend God’s design for the family as the union of a man and woman for the procreation of children, and urged them to be merciful to those whose marriages have failed. Today “the family – as God wants it, composed of a man and a woman for the good of […]

Corporal Works of Mercy in the Home

When I witness the beautiful corporal works of mercy that religious sisters do, I am always inspired, but sometimes I feel like a slacker. I mean, those Missionaries of Charity are picking up dying men from gutters and bandaging lepers’ wounds, and here I am, sipping coffee on my comfortable couch. There is no doubt […]

Pope: Eternal damnation is not a torture chamber but distance from God

Pope Francis said eternal damnation is not a torture chamber but distance from God and warned Christians never to converse with the devil, calling him a seducer who ruins lives. His words came during his Mass celebrated on Friday morning in the chapel of the Santa Marta residence. Continuing his reflections on the end of […]

How to Help Others in Their Lenten Journey

For many, Lent means spiritual self-improvement through sacrifice. It’s often all about what to “give up” for Lent. But Jesus’ 40 day fast in the wilderness was not for his own sake. It was all to prepare for his ministry, a ministry that brought light to those in darkness and healing for the afflicted. The […]

2012 Bulletins

Tuesday December 25, 2012 Sunday December 23, 2012 Sunday December 16, 2012 Sunday December 9, 2012 Sunday December 2, 2012

Sympathy for the devil

Never forget, when you hear the progress of the Enlightenment being praised, that the devil’s cleverest ploy is to persuade you that he doesn’t exist.” — Charles Baudelaire Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. Leszek Kolakowski was an unusual man of letters. A fierce critic of the Church as a young man, he was a leading […]

Pope: Proclaim God's love with boldness

Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday asked Christians to proclaim God’s love with “boldness, humility and coherence” like Jesus. “Let us ask the Lord to give each of us a spirit of courage and wisdom, so that in our words and actions, we may proclaim the saving truth of God’s love with boldness, humility and coherence,” […]

Secrets to A Grace Filled Marriage: Humility and a Sense of Humour

My husband, Michael, and I will have been married for 39 years on Sept. 1, 2017. After a difficult life, we are happy and still in love. Surprisingly, we have become one in reality, deeply in tune with each other’s spirits even though we are still opposites in personality. Our tangible joy is inexplicable through […]

There’s No Hall Pass for Sin

We humans love to escape responsibility. When Mom runs to the room where sounds of a fight are coming from, she finds brothers pointing fingers at each other. When confronted with our trespasses, it is easy to blame someone else. Even in the Garden of Eden, Adam blames Eve and Eve blames the serpent. But […]

First Thoughts on "Amoris Laetitia"

On a spring day about five years ago, when I was rector of Mundelein Seminary, Francis Cardinal George spoke to the assembled student body. He congratulated those proudly orthodox seminarians for their devotion to the dogmatic and moral truths proposed by the Church, but he also offered some pointed pastoral advice. He said that it […]

Lenten Schedule

Lenten Weekday Mass Schedule: Our dvd movie for Tuesday March 21st is ‘St. Damien of Molokai – the Leper Priest Monday and Tuesday – 4pm at the Church Weds., Thurs., Fri., – 8:45am at the Convent Chapel   Sundays of Lent: 2:30pm – Stations of the Cross and Benediction   Tuesdays in Lent: 1:30pm – dvd […]

Pope Francis: Sin separates us from both God and neighbor

Vatican City, Jan 3, 2018 – On Wednesday, Pope Francis emphasized how sin breaks our relationship with God and with our community, which is why at the beginning of every Mass we pause to recognize our sinfulness and ask for forgiveness. “Sin severs: Severs the relationship with God and severs the relationship with our brothers, […]

The Man Who Made Christendom

Without St. Gregory the Great, it’s hard to imagine medieval Christendom as we know it. Such, at least, has been the judgment of historians. Gregory, whose feast day is this week, took office as pope in the late 500s, barely more than a century after the official fall of the Roman Empire. In a world marked […]

Demystifying the Pope Francis Enigma

  Every modern pope has had his own style. Paul VI was personally like a global student chaplain, intellectually sensitive and pained by the fact that so many were falling away from the Church. John Paul II was the international pastor, constantly on the move, proclaiming the truths of the faith and exhorting us to […]

Pope Francis’ Address to the US Congress

Here is the text of Pope Francis’ address to a Joint Session of the United States Congress at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. * * * Mr. Vice-President, Mr. Speaker, Honorable Members of Congress, Dear Friends, I am most grateful for your invitation to address this Joint Session of Congress in “the land of the […]

Scripture Speaks: Divine Mercy

Today’s [Sunday, April 7] Gospel records a post-Resurrection appearance of Jesus in which His mercy to sinners begins to flow. Watch out! There is no stopping it. Gospel (Read Jn 20:19-31) The celebration of our Lord’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday usually focuses on the sheer ecstasy of His victory over death. All during Holy Week, […]

Why We Love Mary

“Mary, Mary, quite contrary” is what some could call the one who is so misunderstood in her various titles: Mother of God; the Immaculate Conception, Mary Ever-Virgin and others.  Far from worshipping Mary the Church highly venerates Mary as the fairest among creatures. Let’s unpack these and see where it is that Mary fits in with […]

Do mercy and justice contradict each other? Pope Francis says no

When God is described in the Bible as being both merciful and just it can seem like an identity crisis, however Pope Francis said it’s the opposite: rather than contradicting each other, the two actually go hand in hand. “Sacred Scripture presents us with God as infinite mercy, but also as perfect justice. How are […]

The holy and uncorrupted arm of St. Francis Xavier is crossing Canada for a two-week tour

The holy and uncorrupted arm of an ancient saint is crossing the country in a two-week tour that began this week in Ottawa and Quebec City. The relic of St. Francis Xavier, whose body lies in Goa, India, will be viewed and venerated by tens of thousands of Catholics as it makes its way from […]

Trudeau policy ‘reprehensible example’ of imperialism, says Bishop Crosby

Cardinal Collins of Toronto said that while it was “commendable and necessary” to support the rights of women and young girls, the Canadian prime minister’s “public comments suggest that unless a woman has access to abortion or contraception, she is not empowered or able to realize her full potential.” In a biting letter to Prime […]

Mass returns to Mosul, after the Iraqi city is liberated from the Islamic State

  Mass has returned to the city of Mosul, after three years of occupation by the Islamic State. Father Luis Montes said the sight of so much desecration in the city was painful for him, but he added it is even more painful to think of the hatred for Christ that motivated the attacks. MOSUL, […]