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August 28, 2014
The ongoing problem of liturgical clericalism
By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

Since I am considered something of an expert on the matter, I have occasionally been asked the question: What is the fundamental problem today with the Church’s liturgy? My answer is simple: clericalism.

By clericalism I do not mean the existence of a clerical order in the Church (I am after all a cleric myself). By clericalism, I mean an “ism,” a deformation of something good and necessary – in this case, of something essential to the life of the Church: the liturgical ministry...

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August 14, 2014
New Bible translation – The Message – is a notable achievement
By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

Recently, I completed a 30-day Ignatian retreat in Los Angeles (I hope you are all impressed!). The central feature of St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises is intensive reading of key scripture passages on Jesus’ life a number of times a day. I must say that I often found the exercise hard going for the reason that I already knew the scripture passages almost by heart and could not find much new material for reflection.

I told my retreat director about this, and he gave me a copy of a...

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July 31, 2014
A world-wide persecution of Christians is well underway
By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

Recently, I picked up in Barnes and Noble a book entitled The Global War on Christians. My split-second reaction was that this was probably a work of hysteria and exaggeration.

Until I saw the author’s name: John L. Allen Jr. Allen is one of the most respected religious journalists in the U.S., having worked for many years as the senior correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter, and now for The Boston Globe. Allen is no purveyor of hysteria and exaggeration, but a sober and...

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July 17, 2014
What is the defenition of a really active Catholic?
By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

When you think of an active Catholic, what comes to mind? Probably, someone who, at least, attends weekly Mass, maybe prays a little each day, and does some reading on spiritual matters now and then.

Yes, but what is a really active Catholic? Why, someone who also does one or another or a combination of the following: acts as a lector and/or an extraordinary minister of Communion, serves at Mass, sings in the choir, teaches Sunday School, works with the RCIA, belongs to the Knights of...

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July 14, 2014
Are Pope Francis’ achievements substantial or mere symbolism?
By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

More than one commentator has suggested recently that Pope Francis is all symbolism and little substance. I disagree. (For one thing, I think symbolism is  substance.)

Here are six areas in which Pope Francis has made real differences which are unlikely to be overturned by a future Pope.

1. The end of the imperial papacy. “Conservative” theologians never tire of saying that the Church is not a democracy. That’s true. But neither is it a monarchy, not mind an empire. It is, as...

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June 23, 2014
Corpus Christi and the ‘Blessed Sacrament of the Mass’
By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

Some time ago, I viewed with a small group a video by Fr. Robert Barron entitled, “The Blessed Sacrament of the Mass.” For a moment, I was taken aback by the title. Why would Fr. Barron refer to the Mass as “The Blessed Sacrament”? Surely, this terminology is used for devotions such as Benediction, Eucharistic exposition, processions, and congresses--but not for Mass.

I came to realize that Fr. Barron is, of course, quite correct in using the expression “The Blessed Sacrament...

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June 12, 2014
Need a key to the Trinity? Start with Jesus
By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

The Trinity is a mystery. (Popular translation: The Trinity is a complicated, inexplicable – and not particularly exciting or spiritually relevant – doctrine.)

The Trinity is indeed a mystery, but not in the sense of being a giant theological puzzle, but – according to the theological meaning of the word “mystery” – a reality so rich, bright, multifaceted, and all-encompassing that we can never fully take in.

There are many ways to begin to understand the Trinity. The...

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May 08, 2014
Multicultural ministry needs a new perspective
By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

One of the most pressing challenges facing the Catholic Church in the U.S. today is the necessity of more adequate ministry to the many ethnic communities growing within our national borders. Among the impediments said to be operative against effective incorporation of ethnic communities into the Church in the U.S. are that these communities are enormously diverse and, therefore, present huge challenges to mainstream Catholicism.

While these assertions are widely held among theorists of...

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May 01, 2014
Moral orthodoxy and pastoral orthodoxy are complementary
By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

Considerable tension in present-day Catholicism centers on the Church’s moral teachings. Many regard the Catholic moral system as heartless and cold. This judgment is often based on the concrete experiences of Catholics in dealing with clergy who preach and practice moral orthodoxy at the expense of compassion.

What I would call the orthodoxy-without-compassion approach sets out the moral demands of the Catholic tradition and insists that no one may call him or her self a Catholic who does...

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April 17, 2014
A patron saint for those suffering from alcoholism?
By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

The name of Matt Talbot is not well known outside of Ireland, but Talbot will likely be canonized in the not-too-distant future and become the patron saint of alcoholics. He was declared Venerable by Pope Paul VI in 1975.

Matt Talbot was born in humble circumstances in Dublin in May 1856. At that time, Ireland was recovering from the devastating famine of the mid-1840s. This was an era of grinding poverty and appalling living conditions, especially in the larger cities.

Heavy drinking...

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Sep
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Liturgical Calendar

September 1, 2014

Monday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time

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Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 4:16-30

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Daily Readings


First Reading:: 1 Cor 1 cor 2:1-5
Gospel:: Lk 4:16-30

Saint of the Day

St. Beatrice da Silva Meneses »

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Homily of the Day

Lk 4:16-30

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