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March 23, 2015
It is time to end the death penalty
By Archbishop José H. Gomez

It is time for our country to put an end to the death penalty.

There is a case pending right now in the U.S. Supreme Court that is looking at the practical problems with the way capital punishment is administered through lethal injections. The justices will hear arguments on the issue next month.

The Supreme Court’s review comes at a time when many people are rethinking the issue of capital punishment.

Eighteen states have now banned the death penalty and the numbers of executions and...

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March 23, 2015
Bl. Junipero Serra: Glance at the Vineyard
By Msgr. Francis J. Weber

Editor's note: This is part 10 of a series on the life of Bl. Junipero Serra in anticipation of his canonization. To read other articles in the series, click here.

IN the mid 18th century, Baja California was described as a land fit for three types of people: missionaries who, for the love of God and charity toward their neighbor, left the cultural ties of their homeland and elected to live in isolation and discomfort on a cheerless frontier to accomplish some spiritual good; Spaniards...

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March 20, 2015
Kenneth Branagh's Very Christian Cinderella
By Father Robert Barron

Kenneth Branagh’s “Cinderella” is the most surprising Hollywood movie of the year so far. I say this because the director manages to tells the familiar fairy tale without irony, hyper-feminist sub-plots, Marxist insinuations, deconstructionist cynicism, or arch condescension. In so doing, he actually allows the spiritual, indeed specifically Christian, character of the tale to emerge. I realize that it probably strikes a contemporary audience as odd that Cinderella might be a...

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March 19, 2015
Is human society a covenant community or a marketplace?
By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

The United States was founded as a covenant society – a society held together by a covenant with God and between citizens. This notion was uppermost in the minds of the Founding Fathers. Social institutions were to be inspired and directed by the concept of covenant.

Recent social commentators have lamented the break-down of this conception of society and the general social malaise it has wrought.
One of the most problematic trends that kills the notion of covenant is the...

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March 19, 2015
Bl. Junipero Serra: Call to California
By Msgr. Francis J. Weber

Editor's note: This is part 9 of a series on the life of Bl. Junipero Serra in anticipation of his canonization. To read other articles in the series, click here.

ON February 27, 1767, King Charles III abruptly expelled the Society of Jesus from Spain and its colonies. The king's action was distinctly unpopular, but viceroys, governors, soldiers and missionaries had learned to be silent and obedient to their monarch.

Shortly after the announcement that the Society was to leave the...

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A new gravestone in front of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, Connecticut now reminds passersby that the pastor who completed the monumental building in 1874, Rev. Patrick A. Murphy, has for more than 130 years been buried there all along. Murphy came from the early generations of urban Irish Catholics in Connecticut whose hard work built the faith in a sometimes hostile environment and was himself an important formative influence on Venerable Servant of God Michael J. McGivney, who...

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March 18, 2015
Go to Joseph
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

St. Joseph’s role in salvation history celebrates the mystery of God’s dealing with a special man and his special vocation.  A unique grace was offered him, and he accepted God’s gracious gift.  It was entirely possible for him to turn away from it or reject. If, down through the ages, the beauty of Mary’s annunciation has inspired poetry, art, and music, the annunciation of Joseph merits similar artistry, for he stands with her, joint guardians of the Word-made-flesh.

Setting the...

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March 17, 2015
The way of the cross
By Tony Magliano

Writing a column on social justice and peace offers me plenty of timely issues to choose from. And I always truly sense from God the exact issue he desires that I write on.

I’m not claiming here any special revelation. God’s active, guiding presence is available to everyone. All we need to do is deeply trust, quietly listen and patiently wait.

Now in my case, God knows I’m on a deadline. And almost always his Spirit graciously gives me plenty of lead time. But regarding this...

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March 16, 2015
Bl. Junipero Serra: Priest Among the People
By Msgr. Francis J. Weber

Editor's note: This is part 8 of a series on the life of Bl. Junipero Serra in anticipation of his canonization. To read other articles in the series, click here.

AT Jalpan, Father Serra worked for economic betterment, realizing that the more progressive it was, the more stable and beneficent would be his religious ministrations. The harvests each year under his administration were not only sufficient, but sometimes abundant.

The Indians were given their own parcels of land to produce...

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March 15, 2015
Lying Selflessness
By Alice von Hildebrand

More than once in the course of my long life, I have come across women who, under the noble title of “motherly love”, hide a ruthless selfishness. They mendaciously label as “love” what is, in fact, plain possessiveness. They fall victims to an equivocation which today is highly favored by the devil: the ambiguity of the word “mine.”

Even though father and mother give their child an equal number of chromosomes, the role played by each of the conjoint is abysmally different. The...

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