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Books Celebrate True Gift (1346)

Christmas-themed stories welcome the Christ Child. From our Dec. 4 issue.

12/04/2011 Comments (1)

“O come, little children; O come, one and all. To Bethlehem haste, to the manger so small,” a beloved German priest, schoolmaster and storyteller wrote more than 200 years ago. Father Christoph von Schmid knew well the heart of Christmas and the hearts of the children he taught. His words — since translated from the original German into many languages and set to music — live on and remind us of the special bond between children and the Christ Child: “God’s Son for a gift has been sent you this day. To be your redeemer, your joy and delight.”

May the children in your life take delight in the stories of Christ’s birth and in the spirit of Christmas.



The Best Christmas Pageant Ever


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Give Generously Without Overspending (2144)

How to celebrate Christmas without going overboard — or over budget. From our Dec. 4 issue.

12/04/2011 Comment
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– Shutterstock

How can I celebrate Christmas without going overboard — or over budget?



Our society is especially good at focusing on the externals of Christmas. Some stores have their Christmas aisles all ready to go after Labor Day. You can hear Christmas music non-stop right after Thanksgiving. While no doubt these contribute to a “festive” atmosphere, it’s important for us to remember that the Advent season is a gift from the Church to help us prepare our interior for Christ’s coming.

As the Catechism says, “When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah; for by sharing in the long preparation for the Savior’s first coming, the...READ MORE

Filed under budget, christmas, generosity

Listen Up, People! (3003)

Saturday Book Pick: Father Mitch Pacwa’s treatise on prayer.

12/03/2011 Comments (2)

At the conclusion of his classic work on the spiritual life, The Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius Loyola encourages his Jesuits and all those who have made a good retreat to continue to live in close union with the Church by providing them with “rules for thinking, judging and feeling with the Church.” Rule Six tells them to “praise frequent attendance at Mass, also chants, Psalmody and long prayers inside and outside the church … the Divine Office and prayers of every kind.” St. Ignatius loved prayer and knew it was the lifeblood of a true disciple of Jesus.

Jesuit Father Mitch Pacwa, the beloved EWTN host and a son of St. Ignatius, has heeded his founder’s advice and provided a treatise...READ MORE

Filed under discernment of spirits, ignatius of loyola, mitch pacwa, prayer, retreats, spiritual exercises

Engaging the Public Square as a Catholic (3165)

6 Principles From Sacred Scripture: Dec. 4 issue column.

12/03/2011 Comments (8)
Register illustration

– Register illustration

The good news is that Catholics still live in a country where we can actively engage and influence our government through democratic processes. The bad news is that too many of us don’t know how to adopt the right disposition to effectively accomplish this task.

A quick tour of sacred Scripture provides six guidelines that should define and direct our participation in the public square:

1. Be prepared. St. Peter writes, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have” (1 Peter 3:15). In the original context, this is a specific reference to the trustworthiness of the Gospel. Yet, clearly, we are also called to think through our positions...READ MORE

Filed under catholicism, faith in the public square, scripture

D Is for Deacon (3737)

Teaching children about the cornucopia of roles in the Church: An interview with author Elizabeth Ficocelli.

12/03/2011 Comments (2)

I’ve been doing a lot of traveling lately, which means I have been to a lot of different Catholic churches lately. In Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a deacon at St. Jerome led what was, for me, a surprise Saturday-morning Holy Hour, complete with Morning Prayer and Benediction. Knowing I was not a parish regular, he went out of his way to make himself and his parish known to me, by way of welcome. In Arizona, the deacon at St. John Vianney in the Sedona Mountains, reviewed some of the responses in the new translation of the Mass with early arrivers.

Who are these men, and where do they come from? In a new book for children, Elizabeth Ficocelli answers these questions, in seeking to educate and...READ MORE

Filed under children's books, deacons, elizabeth ficocelli, vocations

How to Pray with your Spouse, JRR Tolkien on Conversion, Assent to Vatican II, and much more! (4178)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

12/03/2011 Comment

How To Pray With Your Spouse: Four Simple Steps. Click on the link by Christopher J. Stravitsch to learn more.

Revealing overlooked Roman Missal Changes - Barry Hudock, OSV Newsweekly

How To Pray With Your Spouse: Four Simple Steps - Christopher J. Stravitsch, HLI America/Truth & Charity Forum

Simple English Propers, 2nd Sunday of Advent - Jeffrey A. Tucker, New Liturgical Movement

“Advent is a Time for being deeply Shaken. . . “ - Carl Olson, Ignatius Insight Scoop

J.R.R. Tolkien on Conversion - Fishing in the Tiber

Two Difficulties - G.K. Chesterton, The Distributist Review

How’s this for “Diversity” and “Inclusion”? - The Motley Monk, The American Catholic

The Assent Owed to Vatican II and SSPX Obtuseness - Dr. Jeff Mirus, Catholic Culture

Covering Contraception, Protecting Conscience -...READ MORE

Filed under catholic blogosphere, conception, jrr tolkein, newt gingrich, sspx, vatican ii

House Investigates Politicization of Grant Process at HHS (2539)

GOP and USCCB Charges of anti-Catholic bias are refuted by director of the HHS anti-trafficking program.

12/02/2011 Comments (7)
CNA photo

George Sheldon, acting assistant secretary for the agency’s Administration for Children and Families, testifies before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

– CNA photo

WASHINGTON — Charges of anti-Catholic bias were leveled during a Dec. 1 congressional hearing that scrutinized the federal government’s decision to end its funding relationship with a Catholic agency that serves trafficking victims.

The three-hour hearing that examined charges of a politicized grant-review process at the Department of Health and Human Services featured heated rhetoric from GOP congressmen, who asserted that political interference had led the federal agency to reject a grant proposal from a top-rated Catholic agency. An HHS official defended the agency’s decision to award grants to two agencies that received lower scores in an independent review.

Congressman Darrell Issa,...READ MORE

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Vatican Calls for Universal Access to Treatment for AIDS Victims and Moral Sex Ed (1723)

Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers said educating people in a 'truly correct and responsible' approach to sexuality is a must on World AIDS Day.

12/02/2011 Comments (1)
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– Shutterstock

VATICAN CITY(EWTN News/CNA)—To mark World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers appealed for universal access to life-saving treatment for all AIDS victims and urged others to show solidarity with them.

“Although the international community began to work against this infection over 20 years ago, unfortunately it is estimated that 1.8 million people still die every year because of HIV. These are people who could lead normal lives if they only had access to suitable pharmacological therapies, those known as antiretroviral therapies,” the council’s president, Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, said Dec. 1.

The development of suitable treatments means that AIDS...READ MORE

Filed under aids, church, pontifical council for health care workers, sexual education, sexual morality

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