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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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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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