The Pillars of Lent

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The purifying Season of Lent is quickly upon us. We human persons are enabled to do something that lower creatures cannot, and higher creatures need not: to sacrifice and thus to learn to delay partial gratifications for even greater … [Read more...]

Make Your Hearts Firm This Lent

The Temptation of ChristAry Scheffer, 1854

During Lent, the Church calls the faithful to conversion by calling to mind the image of Christ being drawn into the desert by the Spirit. There, for forty days and forty nights, Jesus prays, fasts, and is tempted by the devil. By … [Read more...]

The Prophetic Power and Practice of Jubilee

Art_for_The_Prophetic_Power_of_Jubilee_by_Dr._Marc_Tumeinski

Introduction: “Rich with Joy and Peace” St. Luke's description of Jesus' proclamation of His mission tells us that, on a sabbath day in a synagogue in Nazareth, the Lord stood up to read ... “He has sent me ... to proclaim the … [Read more...]

About The “Year of Mercy”

Logo for Holy Year of Mercy

Pope Francis has declared the period between the recent Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8, 2015) until the Feast of Christ the King (November 20, 2016), the "Year of Mercy."  Rooting the Church’s renewed focus on Divine … [Read more...]

Priests and Penance: Confession and Confessors

Art for Priests and Penance by Fr. Donncha

The Call to Confession “Let us place the Sacrament of Reconciliation at the center, once more, in such a way that it will enable people to touch the grandeur of God’s mercy with their own hands.”[1. Francis, Bull of Indiction of … [Read more...]

Mother of Mercy

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On March 13, 2015, His Holiness Pope Francis announced that on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary—December 8, 2015—the Universal Church would enter an Extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy. Why did his Holiness … [Read more...]

Integral Ecology and the Ecological Virtues in Pope Francis’s Laudato Si’

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Introduction Several weeks ago, I made a conscious decision to refrain from reading too much secondary literature on Pope Francis’s impending encyclical, Laudato Si’. And by noon on the day of its release, I was almost depressed. A … [Read more...]

The Synod’s End and an Advent Prayer Time for the Church

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Pope Francis During Extraordinary Synod of Bishops; Advent wreath.  The Synod on the Family, called by Pope Francis to address: “The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and the contemporary world,” has come to a close. … [Read more...]

Fall Reading for October 2015

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Rebuilding Your Message: Practical Tools to Strengthen Your Preaching and Teaching. Michael White and Tom Corcoran. (Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, Rebuilt Parish Book, 2015) 224 pages; $15.00. (Reviewed by Jon M. Ericson) Family and … [Read more...]

The Family as the Cultural Revolution

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A week before his pastoral visit to Cuba and the United States, and his visit to the White House, Pope Francis spoke of a civilizational shift that is occurring in our times—a pivotal moment in which the mission of Christian families will … [Read more...]

Did Reno Get It Right?

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I read with enthusiasm R.R. Reno’s First Things essay “The Return of Catholic Anti-Modernism” and, as always, appreciated his many insights. He helpfully pointed out some ways in which Pope Francis’s recent papal encyclical Laudato … [Read more...]

Pope Francis and the Just Third Way

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This article is now available in Spanish and Spanish-English PDFs. Pope Francis faces many challenges in his efforts to modernize the application of Catholic social doctrine to today’s problems, particularly the growing global wealth, … [Read more...]

On Understanding Priestly Celibacy: A Suggestion

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Discussion has recently arisen about priestly celibacy in the Catholic Church. Such discussion is not new. This time the discussion involves a pope, Pope Francis. The discussion springs from an interview with Eugenio Scalfari (published in … [Read more...]

Questions Answered

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Pope Francis seems to be placing a renewed emphasis on the teachings of the Church regarding the ethical pursuit of wealth and business. Are there practical norms for the correct use of economic power in a firm? Lumen Gentium was very … [Read more...]

St. Joseph: His Increasing Importance in Our Times

St. Joseph and the Infant Christ, Giovanni Battista Gaulli (1670-85).

In his Apostolic Letter Le Voci of March 19, 1961, the “Pope of St. Joseph,” St. John XXIII, invoked that saint as the Patron of the Second Vatican Council. Shortly after the beginning of that Council, he inserted the name of St. Joseph … [Read more...]

NeverWinter Astral Diamonds