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Living Our Faith: How can the Church be there for families in modern times?

November 6th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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(From the Faith Alive archives, Oct. 6, 2014)

 

It might be that Pope Francis had the art of family living in mind when he convoked a special assembly of the world Synod of Bishops to take place in

A father holds his daughter at the Festival of Families with Pope Francis during the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia Sept. 26, 2015. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

October 2014.

Underlying the synod’s stated topic — “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization” — is a question asking how the church can help couples, parents and children meet the unique demands of living together in these times.

 

 

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Living Our Faith: Catechetical Sunday, Missionary discipleship

September 11th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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“Living as Missionary Disciples” is the theme of this year’s Catechetical Sunday, celebrated on Sept.

Artwork depicting the Holy Spirit descending upon the apostles 50 days after Christ’s resurrection is displayed at Our Lady of Divine Providence Church in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, in this 2014 photo. All of the baptized must see themselves as “missionary disciples,” re-creating the missionary zeal of Jesus’ first disciples. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

17.

On that day, as catechists are commissioned for their ministry, all the faithful are reminded of their common vocation, by virtue of baptism, to know and live the faith and to witness to the Gospel in word and deed.

How will we put out into the deep today?

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Living Our Faith: The wisdom of our grandparents and elders

January 13th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags: , , ,

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Grandparents represent a family’s memory, while helping orient the family toward its future.

Al Bolt of Burke, Va., and his grandson, Marek Ferko, 6, look over a booklet during a Feb. 24, 2013, Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. In Scripture, we encounter many examples of the elderly being lifted up, venerated and respected. (CNS /Nancy Wiechec)

Al Bolt of Burke, Va., and his grandson, Marek Ferko, 6, look over a booklet during a Feb. 24, 2013, Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. In Scripture, we encounter many examples of the elderly being lifted up, venerated and respected. (CNS /Nancy Wiechec)

In a faith that treasures life from the womb to the tomb, it’s no surprise that we as Catholics are called to recognize the gift provided by our elders.

With their roots firmly planted, our older loved ones can offer the strength, support and understanding needed for us to grow and add to the branches of our Catholic faith.

In Scripture, we encounter many examples of the elderly being lifted up, venerated and respected. The Catechism of the Catholic Church emphasizes “honor, affection and gratitude toward elders and ancestors” (No. 2199).

 

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Living Our Faith — Create your own Christmas family traditions

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Catholic News Service

Sometimes I get stuck on how I think Christmas morning should be: namely, me well-rested and with a cup of coffee warming my hands as my children cheerfully take turns unwrapping beautifully wrapped presents from under the tree. Read more »

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Living Our Faith — How the Christmas story points beyond itself

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Catholic News Service

The Christmas story is vibrant and fast-moving, replete with vivid images of angels celebrating an infant’s birth and shepherds going “in haste” to find this newborn child, astonished to discover him “lying in the manger” (Luke 2:16).

Christians happily listen to this story every year. Can you imagine Christmas without it? Read more »

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Living Our Faith — Christmas

December 19th, 2016 Posted in Uncategorized Tags: , ,

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The utterly charming story of Christmas is treasured by Christians for much more than its charm. It stirs thoughts of the incarnation of the Son of God and stimulates a conversation about incarnate faith.

A Nativity scene and Christmas tree decorate the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican Dec. 15, 2014. The familiar scene of Jesus lying in a manger, tended by Mary and Joseph, points beyond itself to remind believers that this child is the Word of God, who "became flesh and made his dwelling among us" (Jn 1:14). (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

A Nativity scene and Christmas tree decorate the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican Dec. 15, 2014. The familiar scene of Jesus lying in a manger, tended by Mary and Joseph, points beyond itself to remind believers that this child is the Word of God, who “became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (Jn 1:14). (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Part of the charm of Christmas is family holiday traditions. These traditions remind us of God’s loving hand in our lives. Included in the package are examples of Christmas family traditions.

Christmas celebration centers around Mass. The first reading for the midnight Mass on Christmas Eve (Is 9:1-6) is one of the prophet Isaiah’s most beautiful and consoling.

Also included are capsule reviews of some holiday-themed films, a Christmas recipe for “plecionka” — polish potato braided bread — a reflection on the psalms, an explanation of the “The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ” from the Roman Martyrology and a reflection on St. Joseph.

 

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Living Our Faith — Look it up: Are we listening servants?

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Catholic News Service

“For nothing will be impossible for God.”

The words of the angel Gabriel, spoken to Mary in the Gospel of Luke (1:37), precede the most faith-filled response in all of Scripture: “May it be done to me according to your word.”

It is a response echoed by Jesus himself, praying in the garden of Gethsemane, the night before he was crucified: “Not my will but yours be done” (Lk 22:42). Read more »

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Living Our Faith: Mary’s pondering heart

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Catholic News Service

Long before there were cellphone cameras, sophisticated webcams and social media platforms, there was Mary, the mother of Jesus, and her singularly wonderful heart. Read more »

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Mary experienced God’s game-changing ways

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Catholic News Service

God is not reluctant to astonish people, it is said. That is a good thing, even when astonishing news briefly causes people to feel startled or confused — amazed by one of life’s unexpected developments. Read more »

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Living Our Faith — Advent week four: Grow closer to Mary

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God’s astonishing ways can change everything, which is what happened for Mary.

Pope Francis visits the Nativity scene in St. Peter's Square after vespers New Year's Eve 2015 in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. No one should know better than Mary, mother of the Lord, that God acts in astonishing ways. (CNS/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis visits the Nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square after vespers New Year’s Eve 2015 in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. No one should know better than Mary, mother of the Lord, that God acts in astonishing ways. (CNS/Paul Haring)

Throughout Scripture, we encounter numerous individuals who are addressed by God — Noah and Moses often top the list — and asked to do things that, at first glance, make little or no sense.
Mary willingly accepted what Gabriel told her. Such humility and obedience to the call of God is the model for us all, whether or not angels appear before us with proclamations of tidings and joy.
By pondering the miracles in her life, Mary allowed the treasures God brought her to dwell so deeply in her heart that her actions and words flowed directly from them.

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