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Without a doubt it's difficult to be a faithful Christian, a faithful Catholic in the world today. It's even more difficult to be a young Christian, a young Catholic. There are so many pressures and temptations; so many alternate voices that lead young people away from Christ and His Church. We need to pray for our youth, encourage them and support them in the practice of their faith. more
This is a story about Peter, Paul and Mary. No, not the great Apostles and beloved Mother of Jesus, but the other Peter, Paul and Mary - you know, the singing trio, the folk group. If you're under a certain age, let's say about thirty, you probably don't know much about Peter, Paul and Mary - known to their groupies as PP&M. But if I mention songs like Puff the Magic Dragon, Blowin in the Wind, If I Had a Hammer, Leaving on a Jet Plane and This Land is Your Land, perhaps you'll feel a little more comfortable! more
A long period of years must past before the liturgical edifice, which the mystical Spouse of Christ has formed in her zeal and understanding to proclaim her piety and faith, will again appear splendid with dignity and harmony, cleansed of the accumulations of age. more
No doubt you've heard or seen the initials, WWJD, representing the question, "What Would Jesus Do?" The phrase is so common now it's become somewhat of a cliché. It appears on clothing, jewelry and trinkets. Some aberrations have developed. I've heard that for irreverent high school students the initials mean, "We want Jack Daniels." The phrase has been used as an advertising slogan to pitch a particular beverage, "What would Jesus drink?" and as an environmental challenge to drivers of oversized, gas-guzzling SUVs, "What would Jesus drive?" more
Why is the Church so adamantly opposed to "gay marriages" and civil unions? Doesn't the Church's stance discriminate against homosexuals? What harm is done if homosexual activity is between consenting adults? How does it affect my marriage and family? Why does the Church care if in fact the Church won't be required to witness such unions? more
It's funny how various seasons of the year invoke such vivid memories. It's certainly true for Holy Week, at least for me. My memories of Holy Week are associated especially with places I've lived and worked as a priest. more
It's funny how various seasons of the year invoke such vivid memories. It's certainly true for Holy Week, at least for me. My memories of Holy Week are associated especially with places I've lived and worked as a priest. more
The Providence Visitor Thursday, March 23rd, 2006 "I was a stranger and you welcomed me." (Mt 25:35) In a time when both the community and the Church are trying to respond to a new … more
A number of years ago, a local pastor, a classmate of mine, asked me to give a Lenten talk at his parish on the topic of sin. In introducing me to the congregation, the priest explained that he had asked me to speak on sin because I was such an expert on the subject! It's a claim I can't deny. But in truth, we're all experts on sin. Sin is all around us; we can't avoid it. We live in sin and sin in us. "Sin is present in human history," The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains. "Any attempt to ignore it or to give this dark reality other names would be futile." (#386) more
Recently we observed the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, without a doubt, a good and noble cause. Recall that at the Last Supper Jesus prayed for His followers, "that they may all be one, as you Father, are in me and I in you." (Jn 17:21) And, in his encyclical on ecumenism Pope John Paul wrote: "All the faithful are asked by the Spirit of God to do everything possible to strengthen the bonds of communion between all Christians and to increase cooperation between Christ's followers." (#101) Along the same lines, however, it occurs to me that we should also have a "Week of Prayer for Catholic Unity," for even within our own Catholic family there are divisions and fractures. How often we see the sad spectacle: members of the faithful divided into special interest groups, separated from one another and lobbying for their own agendas; the laity disillusioned with their pastors, bishops and institutional Church in general; priests formed into cliques, estranged from their brothers, distant from their bishop, disdainful of Church teachings and disciplines; bishops with their own priorities, publicly divided over strategies and policies. more
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