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December 11, 2014
Celebrating the Three Comings of Christ in the Advent Season
By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

During Advent we celebrate what are sometimes referred to as the "three comings of Christ": the coming of Christ in Bethlehem, the coming of Christ in glory at the end of time, and the coming of Christ today in the sacraments and life of the Church.

The first coming of Christ remains the central event of human history.  All time is dated from the birth of Christ.  The centuries leading up to Christ's birth are numbered B.C.: before Christ.  This year is officially the 2014th year since the...

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December 06, 2014
Is the Catholic Church Ready for the Mega Church Movement?
By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

The Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California, originally affiliated with the Reformed Church in America, was probably the best-known megachurch in the U.S. Designed by renowned architect Philip Johnson, the church was founded and led for many years by its famed pastor, Robert H. Schuller. The largest glass building in the world, the church has a seating capacity of over 2,700 people.

In 2010, the Crystal Cathedral filed for bankruptcy, and the building, along with the surrounding...

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November 27, 2014
Is it ever acceptable to call a nun 'miss'?
By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

This question is the least profound – and most peculiar – that your columnist has had to deal with recently.  In a world in which proper etiquette and protocol are going you-know-where in a hand basket, one learns to take such questions in stride. (The answer to the question is, of course, no!).

As a firm believer that proper etiquette is one of society’s best defenses against rioting in the streets, I have selected from my imaginary mailbag the following ecclesiastical protocol...

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November 20, 2014
Christ the King celebrates the ultimate security of the world
By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

The solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, brings the liturgical year to a dramatic conclusion. This Solemnity is of relatively recent origin. In fact, it was not declared a feast until 1925, during the reign of Pope Pius XI.  We might wonder why a Pope would go to the trouble of instituting such a Solemnity in the twentieth century--at a time when kings and monarchies were rapidly collapsing. We could ask: Is the solemnity of Christ the King not anachronistic?

When...

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November 13, 2014
The key to 'good' liturgy is good pastoral ministry
By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

One of the mistakes made by clergy and pastoral ministers is thinking that all the keys to “good” liturgy are to be found within the liturgy itself. We think that if we improve liturgical presiding and homilizing, upgrade the music, have better-trained liturgical ministers, the liturgy will really be effective.

As a liturgist and sacramental theologian, I would be the last person to play down the importance of good priestly leadership and homilizing, better quality music and...

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November 05, 2014
Church needs new language in explaining its teaching on sexuality
By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

The recent Extraordinary Synod of Bishops convened at the Vatican to discuss the challenges facing the family today was, if the media be heeded, a gathering to discuss primarily sexual morality.

Yet, the issues of ministry to homosexuals, Communion for those in invalid marriages, and cohabitation kept coming to the fore not because the bishops planned for this, but because these are today hot-button issues that could not be avoided.

As I followed the Synod through the daily...

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September 18, 2014
Mother Teresa of Calcutta’s Dark Night of the Soul
By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

I have just finished reading a fascinating and engaging book that is both theologically profound and simple in style – a book I recommend highly to all readers. It contains previously unpublished letters of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and is entitled, Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light. The book is edited by Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, postulator of the cause of Mother Teresa’s canonization. The book made it to The New York Times best-seller list.

The book reveals a side of...

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September 04, 2014
What does it mean to say that Jesus 'descended into hell'?
By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

When the third edition of the Roman Missal was put into use in the U.S. in Advent 2011, Catholics were given the option of occasionally reciting at Mass the Apostles’ Creed instead of the more familiar Nicene Creed.
In the Apostles’ Creed, it is said of Jesus that, after his death, “he descended into hell.” Since then, I have been asked many times by worshippers what this affirmation means. Surely, Jesus cannot have literally gone down to hell, the place of the Devil and the...

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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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Dec
21

Liturgical Calendar

December 21, 2014

FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT

All readings:
Today »
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Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Gospel
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14

Daily Readings


Gospel:: Lk 1: 26-38

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
12/15/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Homily
Date
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