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Church History

Fr. O’Connor: Absolution for Absolute Evil

December 12, AD2017 2 Comments
Fr. O’Connor: Absolution for Absolute Evil

At 36, Father Richard “Sixtus” O’Connor found himself assigned to the Nuremberg Trials to minister to twenty-one prisoners who had been charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity.  The Franciscan missionary had been recommended by General George Patton because of his fluency in German and his calming influence on German prisoners captured during the […]

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4th Century Wisdom for Today’s Problems

December 5, AD2017 2 Comments
4th Century Wisdom for Today’s Problems

A typical well to do middle-class family lives in a prosperous country. They are an intact family with a mother, father and three children. The father holds a prestigious position in the local town. The mother is a devout Christian. They have access to every material need they desire.  All seems well. However, the husband […]

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Mortification: An Ancient Part of the Christian Spiritual Life

November 24, AD2017 21 Comments
Mortification: An Ancient Part of the Christian Spiritual Life

 “Shaun, please come see me. Thanks.” An email from my boss popped up, so I went over immediately. Walking into her office she noticed my shoelace, “Oh! Your shoe is untied.”  Without thinking, I blurted out, “Oh, that’s a mortification.”  Pause. In the nanoseconds after I said this I realized, 1) she is going to be totally […]

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One Last Look at the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, From a Different Angle

November 22, AD2017 4 Comments
One Last Look at the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, From a Different Angle

The 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, on October 31, 2017, is finally over.  For many Catholics, the ‘celebration’ may have been a bit drawn out.  The plethora of articles both praising and criticizing Luther and the Reformation that lead up to the anniversary, although not entirely unexpected, was a tad much. Crux Editor John Allen […]

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Father Brady -The Fifth Marine’s Fighting Chaplain

November 19, AD2017 0 Comments
Father Brady -The Fifth Marine’s Fighting Chaplain

By all accounts, Father John J. Brady was a modest man.  The nation’s press had dubbed the Catholic priest “the fighting chaplain of the Fifth Marines.”[1]  When he returned to New York from France in 1919 he came home with a Distinguished Service Cross, a Navy Cross, and a Silver Star—all awarded him for his […]

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The Allure of the Catholic Church

November 17, AD2017 7 Comments
The Allure of the Catholic Church

As I was making my way into the Catholic Church about 5 years ago, my priest at the time said something that still echoes in my mind today- “The Catholic Church is a treasure chest of spiritual resources. You can skim the top and experience only the basics of Christianity, but there is so much […]

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A Dozen Simons, One Peter

November 5, AD2017 0 Comments
A Dozen Simons, One Peter

Some years ago I walked into a Christian bookstore and a fascinating poster caught my eye. From a distance, it looked like an image of the holy face of Jesus, but as I drew closer I could see that the face was actually a composite of tiny faces that made up the contours and complexion […]

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Supporting our Catholic Priests

November 2, AD2017 0 Comments
Supporting our Catholic Priests

When a country is at war, citizens stand behind their troops fighting the enemy. Communities organize to collect food, clothes and other essentials to make the soldier feel comfortable in the war zone. Schools direct their students to write cards with well wishes to the warriors. Parents and friends send care packages. The government that […]

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St. Michael the Archangel: Needed Now More Than Ever

October 25, AD2017 1 Comment
St. Michael the Archangel: Needed Now More Than Ever

In a previous essay, I recognized St. Thomas the Apostle and his feast day July 3rd. Last month had another saint’s feast day that has significance for me and that is St. Michael the Archangel’s on September 29th.   His feast day is also shared by two other archangels – St.Gabriel and St. Raphael. Prior […]

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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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This Present Darkness Cannot & Will Not Comprehend Christ Crucified

October 17, AD2017 2 Comments
This Present Darkness Cannot & Will Not  Comprehend Christ Crucified

Those in today’s present darkness cannot comprehend the crucified Savior. It is the same today as it was in the first century A.D., those who live in the darkness of evil cannot comprehend, they do not know, they do not “get” God on a cross; nor do they want to. Tenebrae Eam Non Comprehenderunt St. […]

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Understanding the Holy Spirit Through the Life of the Virgin Mary

October 15, AD2017 1 Comment
Understanding the Holy Spirit Through the Life of the Virgin Mary

As we look at Holy Spirit in the life of the Virgin Mary I want you to think about what our Catechism says at the start of its section on Mary “What the Catholic faith believes about Mary is based on what it believes about Christ, and what it teaches about Mary illumines, in turn, […]

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Ann Mattingly: Hard and Rough As a Nutmeg Grater

October 6, AD2017 0 Comments
Ann Mattingly: Hard and Rough As a Nutmeg Grater

“As hard and rough as a nutmeg grater” It took Ann Mattingly six agonizing minutes to swallow the Holy Eucharist given her by Father Stephen L. Dubuisson at her home in Washington, D C.  It was March 10, 1824, and Mattingly had been suffering from breast cancer for six years.  Her condition had steadily worsened […]

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Conciliar Reform in the 1960s: Politics Become Religion

September 15, AD2017 0 Comments
Conciliar Reform in the 1960s: Politics Become Religion

Why do many Roman Catholics put up so much resistance to reintroducing traditional liturgical elements to the Mass? In two recent articles, Catholic Stand writer Nicholas LaBanca interviewed two Eastern Catholic priests, Fr. Thomas Loya of the Byzantine Rite and Fr. Alexander Wroblicky of the Ukrainian-Greek Rite. Both men observed that Millennials take to elements […]

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Embracing Our Call as Christians: To Be Conspirators of Goodness

September 13, AD2017 0 Comments
Embracing Our Call as Christians: To Be Conspirators of Goodness

There is rising darkness, chaos and disorder all around us today. This is happening both outside of the Church as well as within. It is possible these trials could escalate and become the worst tribulations humanity has ever seen, but we cannot forget that since the beginning of mankind, there have been good times and […]

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A Byzantine Look at Worshipping Ad Orientem, Part II

September 12, AD2017 0 Comments
A Byzantine Look at Worshipping Ad Orientem, Part II

This is the second and final interview with a duo of Byzantine Rite Catholic priests on the benefits of traditional elements in worship; principally, the offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass ad orientem. The first interview with Fr. Thomas Loya can be found here. Today, we sit down with Fr. Alexander Wroblicky, a […]

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Being a Prophet: Learning From Elijah, Father of Carmelites

September 9, AD2017 2 Comments
Being a Prophet: Learning From Elijah, Father of Carmelites

Carmelites are rooted in a prophetic tradition which goes back to the time of the Prophet Elijah.  The original hermits of Carmel chose to reside at the Wadi Carith, Elijah’s well.  The choice of location for the Carmelite’s initial foundation placed them within the prophetic shadow of the Prophet Elijah, who is identified as the […]

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The Benedict Option Is Not For Me

September 9, AD2017 12 Comments
The Benedict Option Is Not For Me

Full disclosure: I did not actually read the book “The Benedict Option”. Spiritdaily and a NY Times article is where I gleaned information about this movement in the Church. I did, however, have limited exposure to the idea of Covenant Communities in my parish. About years ago, a very holy, sincere parish priest and several parish families were trying to form a […]

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The Five Ways of St. Thomas Aquinas, Part IV: The Fourth Way

September 8, AD2017 0 Comments
The Five Ways of St. Thomas Aquinas, Part IV: The Fourth Way

The Fourth Way — the Argument from Gradation or Degrees of a Quality The Fourth Way to demonstrate the existence of God is from the objective degrees of desirable qualities of things. In order for qualities to be objective rather than subjective, degrees of quality must be relative to a fixed point of reference that […]

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A Primer on The Psalms: Understanding a Masterpiece

September 3, AD2017 0 Comments
A Primer on The Psalms: Understanding a Masterpiece

While we often scavenge the world of literature for pertinent, practical self-help books to assist in restoring us to a state of physical, mental and spiritual health, one of the most overlooked but most profound of works on the topic is found in the Psalms. Our everyday familiarity with the Psalms should not let us […]

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A Byzantine Look at Worshipping Ad Orientem, Part I

August 29, AD2017 0 Comments
A Byzantine Look at Worshipping Ad Orientem, Part I

Last year, Robert Cardinal Sarah urged pastors the world over to “return as soon as possible to a common orientation, of priests and the faithful turned together in the same direction—Eastwards or at least towards the apse—to the Lord who comes, in those parts of the liturgical rites when we are addressing God.” To worship […]

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A Catholic Holy Roller: The Story of the St. Anthony Chapel Car

August 9, AD2017 1 Comment
A Catholic Holy Roller: The Story of the St. Anthony Chapel Car

Back in the early 1900s The St. Anthony of Padua chapel railroad car traversed North America bringing the Sacraments to folks in areas of the country where there were no Catholic Churches.  It was also responsible for more than few conversions during its 17 years of rollin’ along. In 1939, Oklahoma City’s Bishop Francis Kelley […]

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Pope Francis Visits Fatima: An Interview with Two Pilgrims

July 4, AD2017 0 Comments
Pope Francis Visits Fatima: An Interview with Two Pilgrims

Pope Francis came to Fatima, Portugal on May 12-13, 2017, which marked the 100th anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady to the three shepherd children. I live in Portugal, but unfortunately I was unable to be present. I did interview two of my friends who were there. Vanessa Machado is 34 years old, a […]

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The Catholic Pivotal Players Are an Antidote to Our Vitriol

June 29, AD2017 3 Comments
The Catholic Pivotal Players Are an Antidote to Our Vitriol

Watching Bishop Robert Barron’s new series Catholicism: The Pivotal Players which focuses on the Saints can be an antidote to the poison that is sometimes in our culture. The wise people at a local parish, St. Ann’s in Flushing, Queens, had the stroke of genius to show it recently. I and many of the other viewers […]

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