When We Turn Fish Fries Into Feasts, We Miss the Point of Lent

03/03/2016 Comments (13)

(Image Credit: jeffreyw, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Do you eat fish on Fridays during Lent? I do. For me, it really is a fine tradition. Especially because during Lent it serves as a brilliant reminder of the life and teaching of Christ. Hardly can I even look at a fish, cooked or uncooked, Lent or Ordinary time, and not think about my Savior.

If you do eat fish during Lent, do you participate in the big fish fry meals? Perhaps you have a friend who hosts one annually, or you make it a point to make the annual pilgrimage to the different churches in your diocese that put on these meals.

Recently, I’ve given this idea of fish fries during Fridays of Lent a lot of thought and careful consideration. Why? Last week before Stations of the Cross...READ MORE

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How to Talk to Your Kids About Socialism

03/03/2016 Comments (32)

The "Goddess of Democracy" Statue in Washington, DC, also known as the "Victims of Communism Memorial" by Thomas Marsh. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

An open letter to my niece at college, with excerpts (in boldface) from the Manifesto of the Communist Party by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

Dear A.,

You recently shared with me that you are studying Karl Marx’s theories in one of your college classes and that you support Bernie Sanders for president. Something about socialism must appeal to you.

As you probably know, Sen. Sanders describes himself as a democratic socialist whose political “revolution” involves reducing income inequality, increasing the minimum wage, eliminating college tuition at public colleges and universities, and combating climate change.

Undoubtedly you’re learning about both socialism and communism. While Sen....READ MORE

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Vatican: No Plans Yet for Pope Francis to Visit Pakistan

Denial follows speculation that the Pope may travel to India to canonize Blessed Mother Teresa.

03/03/2016 Comments (1)

Contrary to media reports, Pope Francis has no plans to visit Pakistan — at least not yet.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told the Register March 3 there is “currently no travel program to Pakistan being studied” after it was reported that the Holy Father had accepted an invitation from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, extended to him by two ministers at yesterday’s weekly general audience.

Shipping minister Kamran Michael and religious affairs minister Sardar Muhammad Yousaf told reporters yesterday that they had come to Rome “to ask the Holy Father to come to Pakistan and he agreed.” The Pope was grateful for the invitation but neither accepted nor declined, according to Vatican...READ MORE

Filed under apostolic journeys, pakistan, persecution, pope francis, shahbaz bhatti

Little Sisters of the Poor: Why We Can’t “Just Sign the Form”; and Much More!

The Best in Catholic Blogging

03/03/2016 Comment

Click on Little Sisters of the Poor: Why We Can’t “Just Sign the Form” by Sister Constance Veit, L.S.P., via Catholic Review link to read.

Little Sisters of the Poor: Why We Can’t “Just Sign the Form” – Sister Constance Veit L.S.P., Catholic Review

A Year of Living Like Paul – Kevin Symonds, Catholic Stand

Zika Outbreak Raises Ethical Questions – Christopher Kaczor, O.S.V. Newsweekly

Don’t Give Up When You Fail – Abby Johnson, Epic Pew

“Of Course Religion Is First and Foremost a Duty” –  Navid Kermani and Martin Mosebach, First Things

Farmer Boy and the Value of Handing Down Stories – Maura Roan McKeegan, The Civilized Reader

I Still Don’t Understand My Vocation To Fatherhood – Cullen Herout, Catholic Stand

The Story of Kullervo and the Origins of Tolkien’s Legendarium – Bradley J. Birzer, The Catholic World Report


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What Exactly Is Social Justice?

Pope Pius XI Defined the New Virtue, Focusing on the Common Good, in 1931

03/03/2016 Comments (11)

Pope Pius XI introduced social justice as a new virtue in his landmark 1931 encyclical, “Quadragesimo Anno”.

Few would argue that the notion of social justice hasn’t stretched the limits of sanity in the public square: So-called “Social-Justice Warriors” at Brown University are complaining that they can’t get their homework done because of the demands of their activism; bakers are being forced to bake cakes for events they don’t condone; and a group of nuns currently awaits the judgment of the Supreme Court about paying for birth control.

And yet all of these are done in the name of social justice. Social justice is perhaps the most over-used phrase in our political lexicon, but what exactly is it?

Gratefully, in Social Justice Isn’t What You Think It Is (Encounter Books, 2015), Michael Novak,...READ MORE

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School Uniforms, Easter Eggs, and Abortion: What Were the Lands' End Execs Thinking?

03/02/2016 Comments (5)

What were they thinking?! Why did Lands' End, the clothing retailer that sells plaid uniforms for Catholic school girls and family-friendly apparel for middle America, feature an outspoken abortion advocate in their spring catalog?

Sue Ellen Browder understands the mindset of Lands' End executives, who elicited a firestorm of protests last week by featuring an interview with pro-abortion feminist Gloria Steinem. In 1967, before her conversion to the Catholic faith, Sue was a writer for Cosmopolitan magazine. During her tenure at Cosmo, she bought into the idea that there existed a link between “women's rights” and widespread abortion. 

Browder talked with the Register about a strategy...READ MORE

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13 Things To Be Happy About Today

03/02/2016 Comments (12)

(Image Credit: Infrogmation, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

I don't have to tell you why. 

1. The average price of ground beef is down slightly compared to last year, and you know what the means: The occasional meatloaf!  

2. Seventeen days until spring! 

3. Canada has a fairly open refugee policy. I'm not saying that you should pack your bags now to be ready for election day, but I am saying, Canada has a fairly open refugee policy.

4. It's a good year for zingers, anyway. My current favorite: "[Chris Christie's eyes] were the eyes of a man who has gazed into the abyss, and the abyss gazed back, and then he endorsed the abyss.. "

5. Reading this morning about Kanye West, I realized that I don't know what Kanye West sounds like, at all. It may...READ MORE

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An Eye-Opening Realization About an Unlikely Evangelist

03/02/2016 Comments (2)

Guercino (1591-1666), “Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well”

We’ve all experienced it, and it reminds us of the extraordinary wonder of Scripture.

We encounter a pericope from our Bibles—a passage that we’ve read countless times before—and we discover something completely new to us there, a hidden precious gem. Our gospel reading this past Sunday (the Third Sunday of Lent) was the story of the Samaritan woman at the well and our Savior’s unlikely interaction with her: the well, the curiosity of a Jewish man asking a Samaritan woman for water, His offer of living water, the revelation of her many husbands and her current live-in boyfriend. She perceives her well-mate as a prophet.

But it was this past Sunday, as our deacon read from the Gospel of...READ MORE

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