Our Lady of New York: Why Gotham is Mary's City

07/06/2016 Comments (3)

(Photo credit: John Cunniff, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Many people, Catholic or not, are unaware that the city of Los Angeles is dedicated to and named after the Virgin Mary. On September 4, 1781, Spanish governor Felipe de Neve, with the assistance of two Franciscan priests, gave the village its official name, El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles del Río de Porciúncula which translates to mean "The Village of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels of the Porziuncola River." Porziuncola, is a small church in the village of Santa Maria degli Angeli, (Italian: St. Mary of the Angels…there's an obvious pattern here) located two miles north of Assisi, Umbria, Italy; the place where the Franciscan movement started. The word porziuncola is...READ MORE

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Dr. Jérôme Lejeune, Hero of the Pro-Life Movement

07/06/2016 Comments (1)

(Photo credit: Fondation Jérôme Lejeune)

Dr. Jérôme Lejeune was a French physician and genetics researcher who courageously defended the unborn lives of people with Down Syndrome.

He found the third little mark on the 21st chromosome, known as trisomy 21, in his Paris laboratory in 1959. He was hoping to find a cure for Down Syndrome. Instead his discovery led to a medical holocaust, with national health systems paying enormous sums of money to track down and eliminate these children before they could be born. The tragic fact that his discovery was used for the opposite purpose for which it was intended propelled him to the forefront of the beginning of the pro-life movement.

A new movie, Jérôme Lejeune: To the Least of These My...READ MORE

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A Crucifix Without the “INRI” Seems Incomplete

07/06/2016 Comments (1)

(Image credit: Marian Gladis, CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Some years ago while visiting my parent’s parish in Niagara Falls, the Vincentian priest, during his homily, pointed to the giant crucifix over the tabernacle and said, “…and that is why it reads ‘Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews’ above the dead body of Our Lord.”

Only problem was, this particular crucifix did not have the “I.N.R.I.” above the corpus.

That curious omission has stayed with me since. Over the years, I have discovered more and more parishes that have a prominently displayed crucifix (over the tabernacle, usually, but sometimes to one side) that lacks the “I.N.R.I.” signage over Jesus’ tilted head.


 Unquestionably all of the gospels mention the inscription (titulus)...READ MORE

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St. Maria Goretti, Young Saint of Mercy, Pray For Us

07/06/2016 Comments (1)

On July 6 we commemorate the Feast of St. Maria Goretti, one of the youngest canonized saints in the Catholic Church’s history.  She was eleven years old at the time of her death.

In March 2015, Pope Francis proclaimed a Holy Year of Mercy.  The sacred relics of St. Maria Goretti toured the U.S. as a sign of the true meaning of mercy.  From the moment she forgave her attacker she has been known as the patron saint of mercy.

“Pardoning offenses becomes the clearest expressions of merciful love, and for us Christians it is an imperative from which we cannot excuse ourselves.  At times how hard it seems to forgive! Yet pardon is the instrument placed into our fragile hands to attain...READ MORE

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Physics Explains the World but Faith Gives It Meaning

07/05/2016 Comments (6)

Fritz von Uhde, “The Ascension of Christ” (1897)

I recently got a note from a young man who is a physics major at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. His name is Nathaniel Strandquist, a self-described “burgeoning Catholic physicist.” Mr. Strandquist wanted to thank me for writing about faith and science from a personal perspective, but I was struck by a simple declaration he made in his note.

“I find that the most attractive parts of the faith to me have very little to do with rationality, and almost everything to do with those intangibles such as love, forgiveness, and human nature.”

How do you like that? The intangibles are the most appealing for him. Perhaps you wonder if Mr. Strandquist is saying that faith requires us to be...READ MORE

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A Sex Ed Success Story

07/05/2016 Comments (7)

In 2011 the state of Mississippi passed a law requiring all public schools to teach abstinence education.  This was done with good reason: Mississippi had a terrible track record when it came to teens having sex and teen birth rates.  Back in 1993, the first year the Centers for Disease Control kept track of such things, Mississippi was ranked highest in the country for the number of teens who were sexually active.  According to CDC findings, 69% of MS teens had engaged in sex and the state’s teen birth rates were ranked among the nation’s highest.

Since the law was passed, the percentage of students who had sex decreased more than during any other 6-year-period, based on CDC records.  The...READ MORE

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English Transcript of Archbishop Gänswein's EWTN Germany Interview

07/05/2016 Comments (3)

Archbishop Georg Gänswein, prefect of the Pontifical Household, speaking to Paul Badde of EWTN Germany.

– YouTube

In a recent wide-ranging interview on EWTN Germany, Archbishop Georg Gänswein discussed several key contemporary issues including his own controversial remark that, by resigning, Benedict XVI expanded the Petrine office.

During the candid conversation with German author Paul Badde (see full transcript below), the Pope Emeritus’ personal secretary stood by his comment, but also underlined that there are not two popes, and that Francis has full authority.

“There is no competition or rivalry,” Archbishop Gänswein argues. “When applying common sense, faith and a little theology, that should be clear.”

Archbishop Gänswein, who further serves under Pope Francis as prefect of the Pontifical...READ MORE

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10 Ways Listening to Gossip Can Hurt Your Soul

07/05/2016 Comments (10)

Eugen von Blaas, “Gossip”, 1903

Years ago, a couple who ran a group home for delinquent boys together in Kalispell, Montana were preparing to leave their job after three years.  Coincidentally, shortly before they had given notice, the grocery bill for the home had doubled.  The director suspected the couple were stocking up on groceries before leaving.  What other reason could there be for groceries to go from the usual $800 to $1,600 in one month?

“What should we do about it?” the home’s director asked the chairman of the board. 

“We aren’t going to be able to prove anything, and they are leaving soon, so just let it go,” he determined.

So, that is how it was handled.  The director and chairman must have been tempted...READ MORE

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