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February 13, 2015
Movie Review: "Kingsman: The Secret Service"
By Carl Kozlowski

Due to the extreme hype, moviegoers might think that “Fifty Shades of Grey” is the only new film coming out this weekend. But there is an alternative to that twisted, overrated sex-driven flick, which any Catholic with common sense should know to avoid in the first place.
 
“Kingsman: The Secret Service,” a teenage James Bond-style escapade on steroids, is a British production that puts American action movies to shame. Packed with great gadgets, hilarious (but at times gruesome)...

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February 13, 2015
Banning altar girls: theologically unsound and pastorally imprudent?
By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

In a January 26 statement, Fr. Joseph Illo, pastor of Star of the Sea parish in San Francisco, announced a new policy whereby altar girls at Mass would be phased out and thenceforth only boys would serve at the altar.

Fr. Illo gives both practical and theological reasons for the move: “First, in a mixed altar-server program, boys usually end up losing interest, because girls generally do a better job.”

As a long-time parish priest, this has not been my experience. Altar servers--both...

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February 12, 2015
Bl. Junipero Serra: Serra joins the Franciscans
By Msgr. Francis J. Weber

Editor's note: This is parts 1 and 2 of a series on the life of Bl. Junipero Serra. More articles will be posted leading up to his canonization in September 2015.

Petra de Mallorca

The Island of Mallorca in the Balearic Isles, an independent kingdom since 1229, had been united to the Spanish crown in 1479. Christianized as early as the first century after Jesus, Mallorcans customarily greeted one another with the words "Amar a Dios I," a salutation subsequently made famous in faraway Alta...

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February 11, 2015
Classical intellectual pitfalls
By Alice von Hildebrand

Genesis informs us that God brought millions of creatures into existence by uttering a single word: “Be.” Having accomplished His creative work, He rested and saw that what He had created was “very good.”

There is an immense hierarchy among all the fruits of His Creation, and each one of them reflects, in its own imperfect way, the glory of God. This applies to the overwhelming beauty of the sun, the moon, the stars, planets, galaxies, but also to the tiniest little insect creeping...

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February 11, 2015
Lourdes and beyond
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

The town of Lourdes in southwestern France is one of the world’s most frequently-visited pilgrimage sites. Its tourist industry has fared well.  Every year, about five million people, of great or little faith, or of no faith, visit Lourdes.  Their reasons are varied.  Most seek physical healing, inner peace, conversion of heart, and if not for religious motives, then out of curiosity about the pilgrims who do make the arduous trek to the town nestled at the base of the Pyrenees...

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February 06, 2015
Double Review: 'Jupiter Ascending' and 'Project Almanac'
By Carl Kozlowski

Jupiter Ascending

Ever since unleashing the groundbreaking first “Matrix” movie on the world in 1999, Lana and Andy Wachowski have been two of the luckiest filmmakers alive. After all, since that smash hit, they have managed to crank out some of the biggest misfires of the past decade — two bad “Matrix” sequels, a live-action version of “Speed Racer” and the confusing 2012 anomaly “Cloud Atlas” — while still managing to draw an enormous budget for their latest travesty,...

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February 06, 2015
The problem of unserious politics
By Russell Shaw

I try to take American politics seriously, I really do. Serious issues are at stake, after all. But sometimes, entirely too often in fact, the realities of American political discourse  make taking it seriously awfully hard. Considering the seriousness of what’s at stake, this may be what hearing Beethoven’s Ninth performed on the harmonica would  be like.

A while back Jeb Bush, speaking to a group in San Francisco, promised that if he runs for president next year, he will offer the...

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February 06, 2015
The Beauty of Catholic Education Part V: Teaching Troubled Children
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

It is a little-known fact that Beethoven came from a dysfunctional family.  Even music historians skim over this fact to focus their attention on the many aspects of the composer’s musical genius.  Nonetheless, family life placed undue burdens on the young man with a large, illustrious, and consequential future ahead of him.    

Beethoven’s father Johann was a musician and a member of the electoral chapel choir until 1789 when he was dismissed from his position, presumably because of...

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February 05, 2015
Why Suffering?
By Bishop Arthur Serratelli

Nestled in the foothills of the Pyrenees in southwestern France is the small town of Lourdes. Its population of 15,000 swells every tourist season to more than 5,000,000. Lourdes has more hotels per square kilometer than any other city in France except Paris. Ever since the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Bernadette Soubirous on Feb. 11, 1858, there have been more than 200 million people who have come to pray at this shrine.

The crippled and the blind, the healthy and the sick, the...

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February 05, 2015
If God is good, why is there so much suffering in the world?
By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

Of all the agonized questions posed to me over the years, none is more difficult to answer than the problem of suffering. Here is my attempt at an answer.

According to the Book of Genesis, the world God created was the perfect world of paradise. But with the sin of Adam and Eve, the world fell from its original perfection, and the whole order which God created unraveled. Human history, both at the human and natural levels, has since then experienced suffering, evil, and tragedy.

In his...

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