Mary Farrow

Mary Farrow

Mary Farrow worked as a staff writer for Catholic News Agency until 2020. She has a degree in journalism and English education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Articles by Mary Farrow

How Christians used to ‘pre-game’ their Lent

Feb 10, 2024 / 09:00 am

Sunday, Feb. 11, is the last Sunday before Shrovetide, which culminates in Shrove Tuesday — more popularly known as Mardi Gras.

Yes, you need to go to Mass twice this weekend — for Sunday and for Christmas

Dec 22, 2023 / 07:00 am

The fourth Sunday of Advent falls on Christmas Eve. That means the faithful must attend two Masses in a row to meet their Sunday and Christmas Day obligations.

Where do Ash Wednesday ashes come from?

Feb 21, 2023 / 04:00 am

“Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

'Mary on the Mantel'? Think 'Elf on the Shelf', but Catholic 

Dec 9, 2021 / 15:00 pm

Elf on the Shelf? How about helping kids live Advent with Mary on the Mantle?

Should Catholics talk to their dead loved ones? 

Nov 1, 2021 / 18:30 pm

Catholics should proceed with caution when “communicating” with the dead, two Catholic psychologists told CNA, and they should ground their communications in prayer.

What to do about Halloween? Catholic moms – and an exorcist – weigh in

Oct 30, 2021 / 15:00 pm

As some Catholics see darker elements of some Halloween celebrations, parents often face similar dilemmas; what to do about Halloween?

That time a priest was reprimanded by a saint

Oct 22, 2021 / 14:28 pm

When white smoke poured out of the chimney of the Sistine Chapel on October 16, 1978, Fr. Eamon Kelly, a seminarian studying in Rome at the time, couldn’t have known that he was witnessing the election of a future saint.

'The shenanigans' at Mother Angelica's first vows

Mar 27, 2021 / 03:03 am

If you picture a nun's first profession of vows, you probably picture a serene, peaceful affair with the sisters singing harmoniously and everything running joyfully and smoothly.

Mother Angelica: A female powerhouse in a supposedly sexist Church

Mar 27, 2021 / 01:01 am

It was September 1987, and Pope John Paul II had just arrived in Los Angeles after traveling around the United States. The Pope was greeted in the City of Angels by a closed-door meeting with a group of progressive bishops who had a bone to pick with several Church traditions.

Syracuse bishop revives Ember Days, calls for prayer and fasting for vocations

Dec 18, 2020 / 12:01 pm

In a revival of an historic custom of the Church, Bishop Douglas Lucia of Syracuse has invited Catholics of his diocese to participate in the Ember Days, traditional days of fasting and prayer, for the intention of an increase in vocations.

Is Christmas simply a re-imagining of ancient pagan celebrations?

Dec 13, 2020 / 04:58 am

‘Tis the season to be jolly, and, perhaps, to have one’s social media inundated with memes about Christmas being nothing more than a co-opted pagan holiday – maybe a winter solstice celebration – repurposed and baptized by Christianity.

Advent at Home: How Catholics are preparing for a season of joy - even in 2020 

Nov 28, 2020 / 16:35 pm

Wry jokes and memes about the decided awfulness of the year 2020 - with the pandemic, ensuing lockdowns and economic distress, as well as civil unrest in a turbulent election year - are well known to just about anyone on social media.

Abuse, racism and COVID-19: Advisory councils make recommendations to bishops 

Nov 16, 2020 / 19:14 pm

Clerical sex abuse, the COVID-19 pandemic and racial tensions were the focus of recommendations made by two councils that serve in advisory roles to the U.S. bishops at their fall general assembly.

‘I couldn’t fix myself’: Bishop Conley opens up about mental health recovery

Nov 14, 2020 / 03:45 am

In December 2019, Bishop James Conley of the Diocese of Lincoln announced he was going on a medical leave of absence.

Spirituality Year: How a break from academics helps prepare men for priesthood

Nov 8, 2020 / 16:18 pm

When Fr. Josh Mayer entered St. John Vianney’s Seminary in Denver, his first year looked a little more monk-like than what some might expect.

Why many Catholic dioceses offer free interment of cremated remains

Nov 3, 2020 / 15:49 pm

There are many ways - some more conventional than others - that cremated remains, kept in urns or in other containers, find their way to the Catholic cemetery overseen by Richard Peterson in Seattle, Washington.

‘Go fix those problems’: Why four Catholics are willing to serve in local public office 

Oct 30, 2020 / 03:00 am

Public office is often thankless and demanding. Here's why four Catholics think it's a noble calling.

Her abuse story was posted to her parish Facebook - and then taken down. Why it’s back, and why that matters

Oct 21, 2020 / 03:00 am

What happened in her parish after Gina Barthel shared her story of clerical sexual abuse, and why it matters.

‘A Cathedral in print’: Word on Fire Bible combines scripture, commentary, sacred art

Oct 15, 2020 / 02:25 am

Michael Stevens and Nicolas Fredrickson are good friends who meet weekly for Bible study.

Amid scandal, these Louisiana Catholics say priests ‘rock’

Oct 14, 2020 / 03:00 am

Like many Catholics in the Archdiocese of New Orleans these days, Theresa Truxillo said she was alarmed when she learned Fr. Travis Clark had filmed a pornographic video involving himself and two women atop an atlar in his parish.