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The Way of Beauty
December 18, 2013
Beautiful Christmas music
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

With the arrival of Gaudete Sunday, the Church’s liturgy now focuses with intense eagerness on Christmas Day itself.  The readings cannot contain themselves, such is their exuberant joy. Down through the centuries, the Advent-Christmas narratives have been told and re-told, yet we never tire of them.  Why not?  First, because the story is open-ended with its message of Emmanuel, God-with-us. The ancient narrative always inspires, always elevates; it again prompts us to live in God’s...

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December 11, 2013
Beauty – the Church’s Greatest Power
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

In this month’s issue of First Things, Dana Gioia’s superb article, “The Catholic Writer Today,” sums up the diminished state of the fine arts in the American Catholic Church. While the Church registers the largest religious and cultural group in the country, Gioia writes that, paradoxically we “currently enjoy almost no positive presence in the American fine arts—not in literature, music, sculpture, or painting.” 

Dana Gioia is well known to the literary world.  A poet...

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December 04, 2013
Advent beauty
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

There is no time quite like Advent. This liturgical season is rich in symbol and exalted in sacred poetry and music. Advent signals “a new journey of the People of God with Jesus, our Shepherd, who guides us through history toward the fulfillment of the Kingdom of God. Through Advent, we experience a profound sense of the meaning of history” (Pope Francis, Homily, First Sunday of Advent). 

The period from December 1st to December 16th recalls Christ’s historic coming at the...

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November 27, 2013
You can never say thank-you enough
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

On the eve of Thanksgiving Day and the season of Advent, a few thoughts ...

The Jews Say ‘Blessing’ and ‘Thank You.

The Jews learned from their Exodus experience that they could never thank God enough for their deliverance. The Passover meal, celebrated in a hurry, was filled with praise and thanksgiving for the wonders God did in rescuing them from slavery in Egypt.  The Jews pray psalms of blessing and thanksgiving every day, but in the Passover banquet, these psalms held a...

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November 20, 2013
Rose, Mother of John F. Kennedy
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

Toward the end of her memoir, Times to Remember, published in 1974, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, an octogenarian, reflects on the family’s grief at the time of President Kenney’s death in 1963.  It would be neither the first tragedy nor the last in the family. Years earlier, her oldest son, Joe, Jr., and a younger daughter, Kathleen had predeceased Jack at different times and in different circumstances—but both in plane crashes.  In 1968, the assassination of son, Robert.

“We in the...

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November 13, 2013
Out of darkness, light
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

On October 12, fifty years ago, a plane landed in the United States from the former USSR carrying the Jesuit priest, Walter Ciszek. It was a large media event because, for some twenty-four years, he had been imprisoned in the Soviet Union as a Vatican spy.

In 1929, as a novice, he had responded to Pius XI’s plea for priests to volunteer for the Russian mission, but religious formation awaited him. On that Columbus Day in 1963, he was being exchanged for two Soviet agents, a husband...

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November 06, 2013
The Invasion of Mobile Devices
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

In 1532, Thomas More resigned his position as Lord Chancellor of England because he refused to take the Oath of Supremacy acknowledging Henry VIII as the Supreme Head of the Church in England. In Robert Bolt’s play, “Man for All Seasons,” on hearing of her husband’s resignation, Alice scornfully asks:  “What will you do now – sit by the fire and make goslings in the ash?” 

To which More replies: “Not at all, Alice, I expect I’ll write a bit. I’ll read, I’ll think....

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October 30, 2013
Saints galore: a triduum of beauty
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

In the very first days of November, the Church celebrates a triduum of saints galore, a triduum of beauty. The liturgies of November 1 and 2 commemorate more saints and virtual saints than in the entire liturgical year. Both feasts are anticipated by a vigil, All Hallows Eve. The opening antiphon for November 1st exudes unbounded joy: “Oh, how glorious is the kingdom where all the saints rejoice with Christ!  Clothed in white robes, they follow the Lamb wherever he goes!”

In Medieval...

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October 23, 2013
A world of beauty
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

Lately, the words beauty and beautiful have been featured in essays among Catholic writers. Perhaps they have been prompted by the document, “The Way of Beauty,” issued by the Pontifical Council for Culture (2006), urging our church leaders to promote the ways of bringing beauty into the culture, thus evangelizing the culture. 

October is the month of beauty, of lovely fall colors spread across the landscape of our country. So, it is fitting to revisit the beautiful once again.
Beauty...

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October 16, 2013
Leadership in a leaderless world
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

Leadership styles affect us all. The Mideast conflict has raised questions about the inability of world leaders to resolve the crisis without violence. In this country, discussion of strong leadership has further expanded as it affects matters of debt, spending, and health care – all burning issues.

Leadership styles come in different guises. Tyrants wield power and make decisions without opposition. CEOs may delegate, while others micro-manage it. Weak helmsmen fear initiative and...

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Liturgical Calendar

July 30, 2014

Wednesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

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Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:44-46

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Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 15: 10, 16-21
Gospel:: Mt 13: 44-46

Saint of the Day

St. Peter Chrysologus »

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Homily of the Day

Mt 13:44-46

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