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In a strange way, Liam Neeson might just be the most Catholic action hero we’ve ever seen in movies. He’s actually Catholic (despite bizarre rumors after “Taken 2” that he was going to embrace Islam, he never has) and spoken highly about it plenty of times including in a hilarious appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s talk show.

But what I’m referring to is the moral gravitas he brings to his action films. In the “Taken” trilogy,  he was a secret agent who would stop at literally...

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March 12, 2015
A new model of Catechumenal formation needs promotion
By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is one of the most successful features of post-Vatican II liturgical renewal. It replaced the old inquiry class model, in which the priest (generally a priest) taught the inquirer (or inquirers) on doctrine and morals. The place of formation was the classroom, the symbol was the blackboard, and the leader was a lecturer. This model continues in some parishes today.

With the near demise of the inquiry class model after Vatican II, there...

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March 12, 2015
Bl. Junipero Serra: Sierra Gorda Missions
By Msgr. Francis J. Weber

Editor's note: This is part 7 of a series on the life of Bl. Junipero Serra in anticipation of his canonization. To read other articles in the series, click here.

AFTER some months of intensive missionary preparation at San Fernando, Serra and a number of other friars were appointed to the Sierra Gorda region of Mexico, located in the heart of the Sierra Madre Oriental. In that vast mountainous area lived the half-wild Pames Indians. The valleys there are few and small and the arable...

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March 11, 2015
The Taste for God
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

Of the 21,000 restaurants in New York City, more than half specialize in Italian cuisine.  Whether the 12,000 serve Milanese, Venetian, Roman, Florentine, or Sicilian, Italian food reigns supreme.  People never lose their taste for ‘Italian,’ it seems.

Taste in Sacred Scripture

Hunger, thirst, taste, and tongue are words often used in Sacred Scripture.  When the Jews were trekking across the desert toward the Promised Land, they grumbled against God; ‘why did you bring us to this...

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March 10, 2015
So, your pastor is being transferred
By Bishop Thomas J. Tobin

So, you just learned that your pastor is being transferred. How do you react? For some Catholics, even regular church-going types, it doesn’t make a lot of difference. They don’t have a strong personal relationship with their pastor; their feelings about his performance are neutral; and they just presume that next week someone else will show up to say Mass.

Some Catholics are thrilled when they learn that their pastor is moving on. They never really liked their priest to begin with;...

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March 09, 2015
Hope in secularized times
By Russell Shaw

A man I know was walking his dog when a neighbor woman approached him and inquired about his wife. Not having seen her out and about in quite some time, the lady wondered: Was she well?

“Not really,” the man said, going on to explain what that meant.

“I’m sorry,” the woman said when he finished. “Is there anything I can do to help?”

“Not really,” the man said again. “Except—say a prayer.”

The woman hesitated a split second, and he could see she was calculating. Then...

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March 09, 2015
Beating swords into plowshares
By Tony Magliano

“In the days to come, the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest mountain and raised above the hills,” writes the prophet Isaiah.

“Many peoples shall come and say: Come, let us go up to the Lord’s mountain … that he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths. …

“They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; one nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war...

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March 09, 2015
Bl. Junipero Serra: Mexico City
By Msgr. Francis J. Weber

Editor's note: This is part 6 of a series on the life of Bl. Junipero Serra in anticipation of his canonization. To read other articles in the series, click here.

THE Camino Real which connected Vera Cruz with Mexico City stretched from sea level to an altitude of 7,382 feet, through tropical country, arid plains, high plateaus, across formidable sierras, in view of volcanoes and lakes, perennial snow and abundant sunshine.

Though horses were available for the journey, Fray Junípero...

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March 06, 2015
'Unfinished Business' stoops low for shock comedy
By Carl Kozlowski

From the moment I first saw it as a 16 year old back in 1987, “Planes, Trains & Automobiles” was one of my all-time favorite movies. I've probably seen it at least 50 times since then, with at least half of those occurring during the annual Thanksgiving week screenings that pop up on TV in order to remind us all of the funny yet bittersweet story of two traveling salesmen desperately trying to make it home for the holiday.

Not many movies have been able to pull that magic off since,...

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March 06, 2015
The Beauty of Catholic Education VI: The Delicate Sense of Touch
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

In his earthly ministry, Jesus healed those in need by touching them.  Today, educators are wary of broaching the topic of touch because of the highly charged and negative press focused on the Church.  In many cases, they are forbidden to touch their students. Nonetheless, this must not dissuade them from a positive treatment of it either directly through the scriptures and indirectly otherwise.  If we don’t speak about touch in the context of our faith, who will?  In approaching the...

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