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Author Archive: Paul Oakes

Paul is happily married. Both he and his wife, Marjorie, reside on the border between Pennsylvania and Maryland. They're eager first-time owners of a house. He is the Youth Ministry Leader for Fusion at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Abbottstown, PA, as well as an activities director at a nearby retirement community. Ever the creative type, Paul is an avid writer, actor, filmmaker, artist, and musician. He's also extremely passionate about his Catholic faith.

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Real Marriage is Tying the Knot God’s Way

November 23, AD2017 0 Comments
Real Marriage is Tying the Knot God’s Way

Saturday, November 4 began as a fairly typical, crisp fall morning in Pennsylvania. The leaves on the trees were changing into a brilliant array of orange, yellow, brown, and red. But it was a special day for me.  It was my wedding day. The morning started with my mother and me picking up 50 shiny, […]

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Leaving Behind A Legacy

October 21, AD2017 0 Comments
Leaving Behind A Legacy

Dying is not a popular topic for discussion. But considering that everyone who dies leaves some kind of legacy behind, maybe we should at least all think about death a little bit more. Have you ever stopped to consider that one day you will die? That you’ll no longer be in the land of the […]

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Ever this day God’s Angels are at our sides

September 23, AD2017 2 Comments
Ever this day God’s Angels are at our sides

  The Church has always recognized the important role that they play in our lives. “They” are God’s angels. “No evil shall befall you, nor shall affliction come near your tent, for to His Angels God has given command about you, that they guard you in all your ways. Upon their hands they will bear […]

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Unplug for God and Find Joy in Silence

August 20, AD2017 4 Comments
Unplug for God and Find Joy in Silence

An old proverb says silence is golden. Whoever came up with that proverb was on to something. Today, I went to a popular fast food sandwich chain restaurant for lunch. While waiting in line to be served, I couldn’t help but take notice of the man in front of me. During the entire time the […]

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Attending Mass with the Maronites

July 19, AD2017 2 Comments
Attending Mass with the Maronites

A road trip on a weekend and making sure you can still get to Mass can sometimes result in a very pleasant surprise and a holy experience. Quite recently Marjorie (my fiancée) and I were returning home over the weekend from a car trip to Ohio. Not wanting to miss Mass, we looked online at Mass […]

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Our Dynamic YOUths are Hungry for Christ

June 21, AD2017 1 Comment
Our Dynamic YOUths are Hungry for Christ

When I began my new job as a youth minister last year, I didn’t have a whole lot of experience with youth ministry. I did have the opportunity to teach several summer programs to teens in my previous job, as a librarian, But apart from that, I was flying somewhat blind. When it came to […]

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My and Marjorie’s Amazing Journey

April 19, AD2017 0 Comments
My and Marjorie’s Amazing Journey

This is a true story about love and love of God, how God really does work in mysterious ways, and Evangelization, all rolled into one! Some months ago, on August 21, 2016, a large group of young adults met at the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg, MD to participate in a Year […]

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Soften Our Hearts of Stone and Help Us Repent

March 19, AD2017 2 Comments
Soften Our Hearts of Stone and Help Us Repent

Most Christians know the story of Jonah being swallowed by the whale but I wonder how many recall just how and why it came about. Jonah got swallowed by the whale because he was a disobedient prophet who rejected his divine commission to tell the people of Nineveh to repent. Jonah was told by God […]

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Pride and Humility, Vice and Virtue

February 17, AD2017 0 Comments
Pride and Humility, Vice and Virtue

If you go to the website Brainy Quotes and do a search on “pride” you are apt to find more quotes lauding pride than those that disdain it. But the Bible is pretty clear about pride: “Pride goes before disaster, and a haughty spirit before a fall. It is better to be humble with the […]

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Knowing Your Enemy And Fighting Back

January 21, AD2017 2 Comments
Knowing Your Enemy And Fighting Back

  Satan, Lucifer, the Devil, the Father of Lies – many of us, we grew up hearing one or more of these names. But how much do we really know about this fallen angel? What image comes to mind when someone mentions the Devil or Beelzebub? Do you imagine a big red guy with horns, […]

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St. Joseph: Model of a Righteous Man

December 19, AD2016 3 Comments
St. Joseph: Model of a Righteous Man

Christmas is fast approaching, but even for good Catholics, it’s sometimes easy to lose sight of the real reason we celebrate. It also doesn’t help with the secular world’s ever-more insistent message of ‘buy this, buy that; you haven’t lived until you own one of these; she’ll REALLY love you if you get her this; […]

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Sent Out to Embrace the Awkward Journey

November 19, AD2016 0 Comments
Sent Out to Embrace the Awkward Journey

A while back, my friend Heather suggested a topic for a Catholic Stand article: “What it’s really like to be a youth leader.” The only problem with this suggestion was that I had no idea what it was like to be a youth leader. When Heather made her suggestion in late April, early May, the […]

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Forgiveness Is Stronger Than Hate

October 21, AD2016 3 Comments
Forgiveness Is Stronger Than Hate

  After He was nailed to the cross, Jesus asked for forgiveness for his executioners. Some 2,000 years later His message of forgiveness is every bit as important now as it was then. “It’s the hardest thing to give away, And the last thing on your mind today, it always goes to those who don’t […]

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Glowing in the Dark: Teens On Fire

September 25, AD2016 0 Comments
Glowing in the Dark: Teens On Fire

  Speaking to tens of thousands of teenagers and young pilgrims at a candlelight vigil in the city of Freiburg, at the end of his Sept. 22-25, 2011 state visit to Germany, Pope Benedict XVI challenged those present with these stirring and unforgettable words: “Dare to be glowing saints, in whose eyes and hearts the […]

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Mustard Seed Faith

August 25, AD2016 1 Comment
Mustard Seed Faith

Back in high school, my shop teacher had us recite the abbreviated version Reinhold Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer, the first sentence of the prayer popularized by Alcoholics Anonymous and other twelve-step programs. At the time, I had no idea why we recited it at the beginning of each class. God grant me the serenity to accept the things […]

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God’s Hands and Feet

June 26, AD2016 2 Comments
God’s Hands and Feet

“Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are […]

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New Life/ New Song

May 29, AD2016 2 Comments
New Life/ New Song

“Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth!” ~ Psalm 96:1 In 2012, if someone had said I’d one day be a musician, I probably would’ve politely turned the conversation around. It wasn’t that I was against the idea. (Who hasn’t dreamed of being a big rock star?) Or that […]

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Why Catholic, Why Not?

April 24, AD2016 2 Comments
Why Catholic, Why Not?

“So much of what I had learned as a Protestant was opinion, hearsay, and rumor. When I read the Early Church Fathers, I found that they were Catholic in their ecclesiology and theology, and this forced me to study what the Catholic Church said about itself. When I learned the truth, I then became accountable […]

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The Motion of Mercy, or Going Through the Motions?

April 3, AD2016 0 Comments
The Motion of Mercy, or Going Through the Motions?

Today is Divine Mercy Sunday in the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Pope Francis dedicated this entire year to the crucial role of mercy in the lives of Christians. Pope St. John Paul II articulated people’s desperate need for mercy on June 7, 1997 when he visited the tomb of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska in Lagiewniki, Poland. “There […]

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