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Last weekend, while most of us Catholics were focused on Easter weekend and the three most holy days of the year, the movie “Furious 7” – the seventh movie in the “Fast and the Furious” series of action movies - was breaking records at the box office. While seemingly just an action film filled with two hours of mayhem involving fast cars, explosions and the race to control a microchip that could create the most powerful surveillance system on the planet, the movie resonates...

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April 09, 2015
From Cultural to Convicted Christian: Today’s Challenge
By Bishop Arthur Serratelli

When Pope Leo III placed a crown on the head of Charlemagne on Christmas day in 800 A.D., the Holy Roman Empire emerged as the first attempt to recreate a vast political entity espousing the Christian gospel. From an empty grave outside the walls of Jerusalem to the thrones of the monarchs of Europe, the Christian faith spread its influence over society. Christianity began as a persecuted religion with its adherents hidden in their homes. It gradually became the dominant influence on...

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April 09, 2015
The Mysterious Word: Mine
By Alice von Hildebrand

The word “mine” is so rich in meanings that inevitably, it is opened to equivocations. Ambiguity is one of the main sources of error, if not downright heresies. There is an inevitable discrepancy between the immense variety of objects and “subjects” in the cosmos that call for our attention, and our limited human vocabulary. As a result, we often use the same word for things that are vastly different: for example, we use the word “love” to refer to God and to chocolate! Any...

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April 09, 2015
Bl. Junipero Serra: Word reaches the homefront
By Msgr. Francis J. Weber

Editor's note: This is part 15 in a series on the life of Bl. Junipero Serra in anticipation of his canonization. To read other articles in the series, click here.

IN a little over a year, the Spanish realm along the shores of the Pacific had been extended over eight hundred miles, from San Fernando de Velicatá to Monterey, and three missions and two presidios had been established in the area. When news of the event reached Mexico City, everyone was jubilant. The church of the city...

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April 08, 2015
Putting on Christ
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

Etched in film memory of the 1940s is the scene in “Easter Parade” featuring Irving Berlin’s “In Your Easter Bonnet.” Wearing their new Easter outfits are the stars of the movie, Judy Garland and Fred Astaire. With others, they strut along Fifth Avenue singing the famous song. Even pet dogs, decked out in canine finery, prance along the Avenue with their owners.

In many cultures, Easter marks the time for special foods. Easter breads in different shapes and sizes are...

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April 06, 2015
Bl. Junipero Serra: On to Monterey
By Msgr. Francis J. Weber

Editor's note: This is part 14 of a series on the life of Bl. Junipero Serra in anticipation of his canonization. To read other articles in the series, click here.

NOW that San Diego had been reinforced by the arrival of the San Antonio, soldiers and missionaries began planning for further expansion. The initial step would be a sea and land trek to Monterey. Serra opted for the former. After a long and "somewhat uncomfortable voyage", Serra and the crew members of the San Antonio...

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There was a time in the 1930s through the ‘50s when Bible-based films were regularly released by Hollywood, as grand spectacles filled with moviedom’s biggest stars. Many of these became timeless classics, watched each year during the Easter and Christmas seasons.

Who doesn’t love watching “The Ten Commandments” every Easter, with an all-star cast of legends led by Charlton Heston bringing some of the most exciting stories ever recorded to life? It still plays today on ABC...

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April 02, 2015
The Devil is Real
By Russell Shaw

Is the devil real? Here is Msgr. Ronald Knox on that: “It is stupid of modern civilization to have given up believing in the devil, when he is the only explanation of it.”

Monsignor Knox, eminent British convert, author, retreat master and translator of the Bible, may have been indulging in irony.  But irony doesn’t change the fact that the devil and his demonic associates exist.

I came across the Knox quote in Manual for Spiritual Warfare, newly published by Tan Books and edited...

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Can you sum up the life of a great saint who changed the world?  Can you adequately convey the impact of a man who preached, wrote, and taught for most of his eighty-five years?  What can be said about a young man who became a priest, a bishop, and then a pope, that hasn’t already been said?  You cannot reduce this man to a book, but you can explore his life by looking at what he loved.  The man is Karol Wojtyla – now immortalized as St. John Paul II - and the author who presents a...

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April 02, 2015
Sign of Peace at Mass needs to maintain a public character
By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

The Catholic liturgical tradition regards the Sign of Peace at Mass as a disciplined and restrained public gesture, and not an affectionate gesture of intimacy and friendship. In fact, the peace sign is designed for people who, for the most part, do not even know each other’s names.

This derives from the fact that the liturgical assembly is not (and is not meant to be) a gathering of friends and intimates. In my view, it is a mistake to view those gathered in worship as friends and...

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