What Are You Doing for Catechism This Year?

09/16/2014 Comments (42)

The first few weeks of school are accomplished. We've picked up most of the important pieces of our shattered psyches, and are looking around for ways to move forward, rather than just survive. Top of the list: what to do about catechism for nine kids? Even though the summer was technically full of free time, somehow we never managed to get any regular catechesis in. Well, better now than never. On the principle that doing something second-rate consistently is better than doing something first-rate hardly at all, here is our sustainable plan:

The toddler, who two-and-a-half, is perfecting her sign of the cross CUTE!), shouting "SAY HAIW MARY!" when we hear a siren, and learning how to...READ MORE

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Don’t Forget Our Lady of Sorrows Until Next Year

Mary's help is more important than ever today.

09/15/2014 Comments (1)
Taylor Marshall

Seven swords pierce the heart of Our Lady of Sorrows symbolizing her seven sorrows

– Taylor Marshall

Every Sept. 15, we honor our Blessed Mother on the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. Honoring our Blessed Mother in this devotion began in the 13th century.

In some following centuries, it was celebrated twice a year, under different titles. But in 1913, Pope St. Pius X permanently set the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows in the Roman calendar on Sept. 15.

It is a most fitting day, because it immediately follows the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Surely, under the cross, Our Lady’s heart was bonded with her Son Jesus’ heart. Her heart was pierced by the sword of sorrow prophesied by Simeon.

St. Alphonsus Ligouri wrote: “Thus also did Mary suffer all those torments, scourges, thorns, nails and the...READ MORE

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Ted Cruz, Beltway Politics and Persecuted Christians in the Middle East

Ross Douthat weighs in on Sen.Ted Cruz's statements at "In Defense of Christians" conference.

09/15/2014 Comments (17)

It's been almost a week since Ted Cruz was booed off the stage at a Washington, D.C. dinner that was organized to raise awareness about the desperate  plight of Christians in the Middle East.

Cruz had been invited to give the keynote address at the Sept. 10 In Defense of Christians dinner -- the highlight of a historic conference that brought Patriarchs and other church leaders from across the Middle East to Washington, D.C., where they updated U.S. lawmakers on the humanitarian crisis that gravely threatens their people.  

In his opening remarks, Cruz asserted that Christians had no greater ally in the region than Israel, and as he pressed this point, and reportedly  appeared disinclined...READ MORE

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Between the Skeptic and the Fundamentalist

09/14/2014 Comments (28)

Reading Scripture as a modern Catholic is a perpetual balance between extremes; among them, the extremes of farfetched skepticism and equally farfetched supernaturalism. For, unlike these extremes, the Faith takes both the unseen realities of the Spirit and the ordinary life of human beings seriously. It believes in both accountants and angels. But many people, seeing only one of these truths clearly, then proceed to use that pet truth as a cudgel against the truth they don't see.

This came through to me loud and clear recently when a skeptical acquaintance (whom we shall call "Clarence") wrote on the Internet with news he seemed to think would devastate Christians into becoming atheists...READ MORE

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The Pope is Right. It's a Lot Like World War III Out There

09/13/2014 Comments (43)

Pope Francis said recently that the world is essentially involved in a piecemeal World War III. This is an illuminating statement.

There is no way to argue that the world is at war. There are no unified fronts but an anarchy of madness and violence fills the map of the world.

Reuters reports:

Pope Francis said on Saturday the spate of conflicts around the globe today were effectively a "piecemeal" Third World War, condemning the arms trade and "plotters of terrorism" sowing death and destruction. "Humanity needs to weep and this is the time to weep," Francis said in the homily of a Mass during a visit to Italy's largest war memorial, a large, Fascist-era monument where more than 100,000...READ MORE

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Register Radio - The US Response to ISIS and the Situation in Ukraine

09/12/2014 Comments (1)

This week on Register Radio Jeanette DeMelo talks with Register Washington DC staff writer Peter Smith about the heightened US and world response to ISIS. And in the second half of the show, Jeanette and Register foreign affairs correspondent Victor Gaetan discuss the role of the Church in the crisis in Ukraine.

The U.S. Response to ISIS

Peter Jesserer Smith is a staff writer with the National Catholic Register. Before coming on board the Register in July, Smith was a Catholic freelance journalist for both the Register and Our Sunday Visitor, as well as a 2011 graduate of the National Journalism Center. He’s here to discuss the growing threat of ISIS, and the response from the US and the...READ MORE

Filed under isis, peter jesserer smith, register radio, ukraine, victor gaetan, world affairs

Brother Darwin's Gospel Hour

09/11/2014 Comments (93)

One of the peculiar ironies I have noticed over the years has been the divergent ways in which the notions of evolution have, er, evolved in the minds of Catholics and some of the more anti-Catholic folks among our Fundamentalist brothers. One of the distinctions between Catholics and Bible Christians is that Catholic theology has never especially demanded a literalistic interpretation of Genesis 1 and 2 and is therefore not particularly shaken by evolutionary theory or the discovery of the immense age of the earth. As John Hardon, S.J. says in his Catholic Catechism, "Charles Darwin (1809-82) undoubtedly sparked a new era in anthropology and allied sciences, but Darwinism as such had only...READ MORE

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Sam Rocha Sings . . . Augustinian Soul?

09/11/2014 Comments (2)

Sam Rocha's new album, Late to Love (Wiseblood, 2014) took me by surprise. Frankly, I had my doubts about music billed as "Augustinian soul." It sounded a little too cute and a little too weird. And there's always that old problem of music that aims to be both popular and religious: to often, it's only musically and theologically mediocre at best. But we're supposed to "support" it anyway, because it's the right thing to do.

Late to Love is different. It sounds good. Good, I tell you! Rocha's voice is supple and velevty, the production value is top notch, the musicians are in the zone, and the tunes are catchy, with flashes of ingenuity to keep you on your toes. In short, it's fun to...READ MORE

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