Latest columns
April 30, 2015
Lectionary-based catechesis for converts is inadequate
By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

Recently, I received a letter from a woman in Portland, Oregon, with the question,

“What do you think of lectionary-based catechesis for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults [RCIA]? I became a Catholic three years ago and I was amazed at how little I was taught using this approach. Surely there is a better way of preparing adults to become Catholics? What would you recommend that I might read to help deepen my knowledge of the faith?”

My answer to the woman’s letter was more...

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April 29, 2015
The Revolving Door
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

A few months ago, Jimmy Fallon, the late-night host at NBC, was reminiscing with his guest, Bill O’Reilly, about their common experience serving as altar boys at the Latin Mass.  Gleefully, they rattled off the prayers proud of their sure memories.  The host then asked his guest if he was still a practicing Catholic. Yes, Mr. O’Reilly nodded.  Then, eager to react, Mr. Fallon countered in his careless diction and in poor taste: “I don’t practice anymore.”

While many walk out or...

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April 28, 2015
'Peace be with you'
By Tony Magliano

“On the evening of that first day of the week,” according to the Gospel of John, “when the doors were locked, where the disciples were … Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ ”
To his closest followers, who feared that they too would suffer crucifixion, Jesus stood in their midst on Easter Sunday, and shared with them his peace.  

But the peace Jesus offered them, and us, is greatly different from the “peace” offered by the world....

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April 27, 2015
Deafeated by pleasure
By Alice von Hildebrand

That pleasure – that is physical satisfaction – plays an enormous role in our lives, is already strongly manifested in small children. Give a toddler – whose vocabulary is very limited – a delicious candy, he will utter the word: “More”. On the other hand, parents know but too well that if the child must be given a bitter medicine ordered by the doctor, they are heading for a fight: for he will refuse to take it; he is “shocked” and horrified that his “loving”...

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April 27, 2015
Papal Impressions
By Alan Sears

Last fall, while in Rome to take part in the extraordinary, multi-faith, Vatican-sponsored colloquium on the “Complementarity of Man and Woman in Marriage”, my wife and I had the privilege and wonderful opportunity of meeting briefly with His Holiness, Pope Francis. Later that same day we were even blessed to glimpse a little bit of his personal residence, lunching with some other guests in his dining room, and seeing the small chapel where he offers his private prayers and begins each...

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The idea of a little faith being able to change lives, and even the world, goes back as far as the parable of the mustard seed: that even faith as small as a mustard seed can move a mountain. The new movie “Little Boy,” out in theatres today, hinges on that parable but also is a prime example itself of that tale’s principles in action.

Starring the remarkable child actor Jakob Salvati as an 8 year old kid nicknamed “Little Boy” by everyone around him because he’s tiny for...

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April 23, 2015
What's broken in the Church's liturgy that needs fixing?
By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

I think that by now readers know that I am an unambiguous supporter of the liturgical reforms brought about by the Second Vatican Council. These reforms were sorely needed, and there is no going back, as some “conservatives” would wish.

The reform in the liturgy, particularly of the Mass, was undoubtedly the centerpiece of post-Vatican II developments. The liturgical changes impinged immediately on the life of worshipers. Practicing Catholic experienced the liturgical reforms first...

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April 22, 2015
'They did not believe'
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

The Gospels record at least seven instances of disbelief in the Lord’s Resurrection.  The words were spoken not by outsiders but by the disciples themselves.  They didn’t believe the women who, on returning from the empty tomb, couldn’t wait to announce the good news to them. Idle chatter they called it. 

On finding only linen cloths at the tomb, Peter went home wondering at what happened to the body.  The two disciples at Emmaus had just about given up on the Lord’s promise...

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April 20, 2015
Bl. Junipero Serra: Case for the Friars
By Msgr. Francis J. Weber

Editor's note: This is part 18 in a series on the life of Bl. Junipero Serra in anticipation of his canonization. To read other articles in the series, click here.

BY the time Fray Junípero Serra left San Diego, it had become evident in California, Mexico and even in Spain itself that the strained relations between the military and religious in that faraway province had resulted in an embarrassing and dangerous impasse.

Governor Pedro Fages was young, gruff, rigid and new to America. He...

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April 20, 2015
Thoughts on the Passing of Cardinal George
By Father Robert Barron

Cardinal Francis George, who died last week at the age of 78, was obviously a man of enormous accomplishment and influence. He was a Cardinal of the Roman Church, a past president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Archbishop of one of the largest and most complicated archdioceses in the world, and the intellectual leader of the American Church. A number of American bishops have told me that when Cardinal George spoke at the Bishops’ meetings, the entire room...

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