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Embrace sacrifice — but do not forget service and surrender

February 24th, 2018 Posted in Uncategorized

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Catholic News Service

Lent and Easter had come and gone, but the Christian call to sacrifice was very much on Pope Francis’ mind when he addressed 12,000 pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square last June 28 during his weekly general audience.

Christians, he told those assembled, are called to detach themselves from power, reject violence and sacrifice themselves for God and others out of love. Read more »

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Ash Wednesday: A point of re-entry?

February 12th, 2018 Posted in Uncategorized

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Catholic News Service

 Unlike Christmas, Easter and every Sunday of the year, Ash Wednesday is not a holy day of obligation. Maybe that’s part of the draw for some people, who fill their parish churches for Ash Wednesday liturgies as they rarely do at any other time.

 “Yes, we get big turnouts for Ash Wednesday,” says Father Dan Rupp, pastor of Mater Dei Church in Sioux City, Iowa. “It seems like many of these folks are people who also come for the blessing of the throats, or anytime there is something different going on than at most Sunday liturgies.” Read more »

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Anointing with holy oil: Consecration and promise, from Moses to Jesus

January 15th, 2018 Posted in Uncategorized

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Catholic News Service

In the Catholic tradition, to be confirmed is to be chosen — chosen by God to be a sign of God’s presence in the world.

“Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit,” declares the bishop (or, sometimes, a priest) who ministers the sacrament, as he traces the sign of the cross — a sign of consecration — with the sacred chrism oil — representing health and strength — on the recipient’s forehead. Read more »

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Surrender, and receive

December 15th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized

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Catholic News Service

      

As nearly any of their Christmas shopping lists would suggest, parents know all about surrendering wants and desires — primarily, their wants and desires — for the sake of their children. Going “without,” or with less, is part and parcel of “surrender.”

In the context of faith, we — as Catholic disciples — believe that we are called to surrender to God’s will, to sacrifice “for our good, and the good of all his holy church,” as we declare in the prayer over the gifts at Mass. Read more »

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Catholic-Lutheran dialogue: Progress, not perfection

October 13th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized

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Catholic News Service

           

As a Lutheran boy growing up in Virginia, Michael Root saw the faith-based fear and loathing that permeated the 1960 presidential election when some non-Catholics worried that the Vatican would run America should John F. Kennedy be elected.

As an ordained Lutheran pastor and professor of Lutheran history and theology, Kirsi Stjerna saw the trepidation some of her students felt when she took them to Mass at St. Peter’s in Rome. Read more »

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Lay ministry: ‘It’s part of evangelization’

July 31st, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized

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Catholic News Service

“There are different forms of service,” says St. Paul, “but the same Lord” (1 Cor 12:5).

“In the church there is diversity of ministry,” says the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “but unity of mission” (No. 873).

In other words, building the body of Christ on earth takes many people working together — recognizing and utilizing their God-given gifts in service of one another. Nowhere is that more necessary than at the parish level, where lay ministers are indispensable to the work of the church. Read more »

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Welcoming parishes help vacationers keep the faith

July 14th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized

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Catholic News Service

Visitors are hardly strangers in the three-blocks-from-the-Pacific parish of Mission San Buenaventura, founded in 1782 by St. Junipero Serra in what is now the city of Ventura, 70 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

At each of the mission’s six weekend Masses (two in Spanish), first-time visitors and vacationers — whether hailing from neighboring cities, any of the 50 states or from all over the world — are welcomed at the door by ushers bearing smiles and worship aids. Read more »

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Job: Faith amid calamity

June 30th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized

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Catholic News Service

Except for the Crucifixion itself, the saying “Bad things happen to good people” was never exemplified more than in dear old Job, whose trials and tribulations forever brought new meaning to “the suffering of the innocent.”

A “blameless and upright” man (Jb 1:1), Job was used by God (and the devil) as sort of a test case for faith. Without warning, his children die, his livelihood vanishes — and yet he refuses to blame God. Read more »

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Embracing (if not understanding) what mystics share with us

June 23rd, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized

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Catholic News Service

To the side of the altar at the church of Santa Maria della Vittoria in Rome, not far from the Termini train station, is one of the High Baroque era’s most famous sculptures: The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa.

Completed by Roman master Gian Lorenzo Bernini in 1652 (only 70 years after Teresa’s death and 30 after her canonization), the white marble sculpture depicts a vision of the 16th-century saint from Avila — the reformer of the Discalced Carmelites — in which she is pierced by an angel’s golden spear, a moment she said left her “all on fire with a great love of God.” Read more »

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Visiting, and living with, Our Lady of Fatima

April 24th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized

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Catholic News Service

“I get emotional very easily,” admits Marina Yap with a smile, “especially when I’m thinking about Our Lady of Fatima. Like right now.”

A native of the Philippines, Marina has adopted Our Lady of Fatima as her personal patron. In her home chapel in North Hollywood, California, she keeps a 42-inch, beautifully decorated statue of Our Lady of Fatima, alongside an image of the resurrected Christ. Read more »

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