Can You Bear Up to This Lenten Challenge?

02/17/2016 Comments (5)
Pro-Life Action League

Eric Scheidler

– Pro-Life Action League

This won’t be easy for some people, but Pro-Life Action League’s 2016 Lenten Prayer Challenge is a real challenge. And it’s one that people can tackle right from their own home.

To find out what the challenge is about, and why it started, I had a conversation with Eric Scheidler, the executive director of the Pro-Life Action League based in Chicago.

“We’ve been asking people for many years to pray for abortion workers as a regular Lenten thing,” Scheidler began. First, he reminded that it’s especially appropriate because Lent is a season when each of us is called to recognizing our own sinfulness and attachment to the world and realize our deep need for grace. We pray, we fast, and we see...READ MORE

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Forget the Groundhog, Remember the Real Celebration

02/01/2016 Comments (1)

Alsace, Bas-Rhin, Hochfelden, Eglise Saints-Pierre et Paul, Tableau d'autel "Présentation de Jésus au Temple" (XIXe)

On Feb. 2 forget Groundhog Day. It’s yet another dumb secular intrusion into what is a triple celebration day in the Church. We don’t need weather prediction from a groundhog.

It’s a “triple” celebration day in the Church because the feast actually has three names — the Presentation of the Lord, Candlemas, and for centuries before 1970, the Purification of Mary.

We remember two of those names every time we pray the fourth joyful mystery of the Rosary.

Yet, “In everyday modern life we are hardly aware that on Feb. 2nd we celebrate an ancient feast,” Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI — then Cardinal Ratzinger — wrote in Seek That Which Is Above, (Ignatius 2007). He said that many historical...READ MORE

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Catholic Art in the Style of Norman Rockwell

Humor, sentiment, and sentimentality of everyday situations in Rockwell style touch our hearts with a Catholic point of view

01/25/2016 Comment

“Jimmy's Locksmith Shop” by Norman Rockwell apprentice Donald Winslow (Courtesy Knights of Columbus Museum)

Whether you’ve seen many or just a few of his scores of paintings and illustrations primarily for the cover of Saturday Event Post, you’ll easily remember and identify Norman Rockwell’s work.

He found the humor, lovable eccentricity, the sentiment and sentimentality in often idealized scenes from everyday life. Maybe it wasn’t the way life really was, but the way we pictured it to be.

Was there a Catholic art like Rockwell’s?

Surely there was. The Knights of Columbus Museum in New Haven, Conn., proves it with one current main exhibit called “The Art of Illustration: Columbia's Cover Story.”

Published by the Knights, Columbia is the largest circulation Catholic publication in North...READ MORE

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St. Maximilian Kolbe Relic Tour Begins in U.S.

01/19/2016 Comments (7)
Our Lady of the Angels Province, Franciscan Friars Conventual

St. Maximilian Kolbe, late 1930’s, with beard from which hairs were preserved to create his relics.

– Our Lady of the Angels Province, Franciscan Friars Conventual

The major relics of Maximilian Kolbe, who was canonized by St. John Paul II, began an 8-month tour Jan. 15-17 in Ellicott City, Md., at the Shrine of St. Anthony. The tour started with noon Mass at the shrine.

The tour sponsored by the Franciscan Friars Minor Conventual of the Our Lady of the Angels Province will continue until August 14, the date commemorating the 75th anniversary of Kolbe’s martyrdom in the World War II Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz, Poland.

The pilgrimage will be historic — the largest tour of his relics ever mounted in the United States. Traveling up and down the east coast and also into Canada, St. Maximilian's relics will visit 39 sites. At each site there...READ MORE

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“As Iron Sharpens Iron”: Bishop Orders Men Into Spiritual Combat

Men must courageously "Step into the Breach" to save their families, themselves, and ultimately Christian culture and society.

01/08/2016 Comments (28)

There is a crisis in our society — a crisis in masculinity. Men need to man-up and save their families and themselves from destruction of not just the physical but the spiritual kind — their very souls.

So emphasizes a wake-up call for men in a new short, challenging and inspiring film called “A Call to Battle — a short film on ‘Society’s Crisis in Masculinity.’” This film on YouTube is another clarion call, like a bugler signaling men to charge into the fray, from the Diocese of Phoenix.

It directly grows out of Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmsted’s apostolic exhortation to Catholic men released last Sept. 29. He gave it the perfect title: Into the Breach.

In a no-nonsense way, Bishop Olmsted...READ MORE

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Pick Up Your Weapon and Join the Battle

Two huge armies want you to enlist to defeat terrorism and the culture of death

12/26/2015 Comment

Lorenzo Lotto (1480–1556), "Madonna of the Rosary"

This is the season of peace, but peace is under attack around the globe. There are wars against peoples, Christians, family, the pre-born, marriage, the elderly.

We can’t forget we’re the Church Militant. It’s time to pick up our weapons to fight back. The weapon? Padre Pio told us “her Rosary is the weapon against the evils of the world today.”

Two great campaigns have just launched, urging us to pick up our rosaries and join the battle with the only sure weapon that will conquer evil and bring victory and peace — the Rosary.

One is called 1 Million Rosaries and the other is named Operation Storm Heaven.

Both have major Marian figures in leading positions. The first includes...READ MORE

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Yes, Virginia, there is an Advent

This is a wonderful way for children and parents to get ready for Christmas.

12/15/2015 Comments (1)
Theresa & Charles Pobee-Mensah

– Theresa & Charles Pobee-Mensah

Advent is not over despite what TV and radio says. Advent still has several days to go.

One way for parents to do something simple yet exceptional with their children for the rest of the days of Advent and prepare them to greet Jesus the Christ Child and his Mother Mary and Joseph on Christmas day is to read with them the Bible Characters for Advent.

Get this beautifully written and illustrated book in print form or download it for FREE! That’s right! No catches! More on this feature in a minute, but first a little about the book itself.

This is the kind of book for youngsters that only comes along now and then, like the annual delivery from Santa when he pulls a nice surprise from his...READ MORE

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Will St. Faustina Become the Newest Doctor of the Church?

12/04/2015 Comments (11)
courtesy the Marians of the Immaculate Conception

– courtesy the Marians of the Immaculate Conception

In 2,000 years of Christianity, only 36 saints have been honored as a “Doctor of the Church.” Among them are St. Augustine, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Francis de Sales, and St. Therese of Lisieux.

Right now the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception are leading a drive to petition the Holy See to increase that number by one more, adding St. Faustina Kowalska, the Apostle of Divine Mercy, as number 37.

The Marians are working earnestly on this drive, urging everyone to support naming St. Faustina a Doctor by signing the petition on their website and praying for its success. The results will be sent to the Holy See.

This Year of Mercy...READ MORE

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About Joseph Pronechen

Joseph Pronechen
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Joseph Pronechen is staff writer with the National Catholic Register since 2005. His articles have appeared regularly in a number of national publications including Columbia magazine, Faith and Family, Catholic Digest, and Marian Helper. His religion features have also appeared in Fairfield County Catholic and in one of Connecticut’s largest news dailies. He holds BS and MS degrees and formerly taught English and courses in film study that he developed at a Catholic high school in Connecticut. Joseph and his wife Mary reside in Connecticut.