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A Framework for the New Evangelization

August 28, AD2014 0 Comments
A Framework for the New Evangelization

In his 1990 encyclical, Redemptoris Missio, Pope Saint John Paul II writes: “God is opening before the Church the horizons of a humanity more fully prepared for the sowing of the Gospel. I sense that the moment has come to commit all of the Church’s energies to a new evangelization and to the mission ad gentes.”[i] We’ve […]

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Review of “Science was Born of Christianity”

August 27, AD2014 6 Comments
Review of “Science was Born of Christianity”

In 2002, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld tried in vain to explain to the Washington Press Corps that the most difficult stage of risk assessment is identifying the information you don’t know you don’t know, what he called “the unknown unknowns.” In every project plan, there are impediments we can’t identify because they don’t stand […]

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Conspiracies & Catholicism: The Inquisition

August 26, AD2014 4 Comments
Conspiracies & Catholicism: The Inquisition

Bouncing off of last month’s mention that the Spanish Inquisition didn’t burn witches, I decided I’d talk about what “The Inquisition” is and what they did. Mandatory reference: “I didn’t expect some kind of Spanish Inquisition!” “No-one expects The Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise, fear and surprise; two chief weapons, fear, surprise, and ruthless […]

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Who Is The Master Of Our Fate?

August 25, AD2014 2 Comments
Who Is The Master Of Our Fate?

I have just discovered that my high school freshman son loves music and listens to vast amounts of it, whenever he gets the chance. Believe it or not, I live in the same house as my son, and I even work from home. However, if you asked me yesterday, “Does your high school freshman son […]

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The Casual Catholic Men

August 25, AD2014 21 Comments
The Casual Catholic Men

What Are “Casual Catholic Men”? There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of Catholic men, while not rejecting the faith explicitly, have implicitly rejected the faith because of a lack of commitment.  They are like an empty suit; the clothes are there, but the man is not. These are Casual Catholic Men, men who are casual […]

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A Kindness to My Papi

August 25, AD2014 7 Comments
A Kindness to My Papi

We all thought Papi was being a big baby when he stopped leaving the house. In the past year, he had become needy, asking us to drive all the way to his house to buy his groceries at the supermarket that was literally across the street from his apartment. We were frustrated that he was […]

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Pro-Life Messages in Ten Popular Movies

August 24, AD2014 6 Comments
Pro-Life Messages in Ten Popular Movies

Often Christians lament the darkness in the world around us. War, abortion, euthanasia, and murder are regular occurrences even in our own communities. No wondering Saint Pope John Paul II labeled now as “the culture of death” in Evangelium Viate. Yet, hope remains. Sometimes when we focus so much on the evil, we fail to […]

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NYC Cabbie: Sharing Scripture in the Taxi Garage

August 22, AD2014 6 Comments
NYC Cabbie: Sharing Scripture in the Taxi Garage

I wish Catholics were as devoted to reading the Bible as frequently as some Protestants. Granted, many active Catholics do read the Bible regularly, or a daily devotional of Scripture. And to be fair, not all Protestants are pouring over the Holy Book all of their time. But recently, while walking through the taxi garage […]

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Throwing Cold Water on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

August 22, AD2014 7 Comments
Throwing Cold Water on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Trendy — it’s all the rage in today’s works of charity. Never mind that the theological virtue of Charity should be a staple in the lives of any Catholic worth his salt (or leaven). That’s a topic for another day. Our hyperactive culture has found more and more ways to call our fleeting attention to […]

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Just Show Up

August 21, AD2014 11 Comments
Just Show Up

This is hardly the most controversial topic of our time, but I have heard complaints on both sides of the fence on it. Jeans in Mass: yes or no? As a family, we have always had a sort of dress code for mass. The girls have to wear dresses or skirts of reasonable length. After […]

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Frustrations in Prayer

August 21, AD2014 46 Comments
Frustrations in Prayer

Fr. Ronald Knox, an English Catholic of the early 20th century and convert, gave retreats and talks to lay people to help them deepen and improve their spiritual life. In his Spiritual Guidance for Christian Living: A Retreat for Lay People, he gathers two dozen talks and homilies written for lay people and the troubles […]

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You Can Be With Him In Paradise

August 20, AD2014 5 Comments
You Can Be With Him In Paradise

Jesus said, “Not everyone who says Lord, Lord will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of my Father” (Mt 7:21); yet the Good Thief, whom tradition has named “Dismas,” says “Lord,” and Jesus promises him paradise that very day. “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in […]

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NFP: When Is It Permissible to Avoid Pregnancy?

August 20, AD2014 18 Comments
NFP: When Is It Permissible to Avoid Pregnancy?

On Facebook, I’m in several Natural Family Planning (NFP) groups, and the same question pops up on a regular basis:  “What reasons justify using NFP to avoid pregnancy, according to the teaching of the Church? Is there a list?” I’ve scoured encyclicals, papal letters and addresses, and several scholarly tomes on the subject, I’m confident […]

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Did Jesus Really Die and Rise?

August 19, AD2014 160 Comments
Did Jesus Really Die and Rise?

Christian belief boils down to one thing: The literal, bodily resurrection of a man named Jesus, who lived in first century Palestine. If Jesus of Nazareth did not die on a Roman cross, if he was not buried, and if he did not rise again on the third day, alive, then you have no reason […]

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Vietnam: A Franciscan Friar Tackles the Improbable – Part II

August 19, AD2014 3 Comments
Vietnam: A Franciscan Friar Tackles the Improbable – Part II

In yesterday’s column (Part I), I told you about a Franciscan Friar, Brother Anthony Pham Dinh Tuyen OFM Conv, beginnings and escape from Vietnam as a young person after the fall of Saigon in 1975, his new life in the U.S., eventual poor health, then news of imminent death. Today, I finish this inspiring story. Can I go […]

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Vietnam: A Franciscan Friar Tackles the Improbable – Part I

August 18, AD2014 4 Comments
Vietnam: A Franciscan Friar Tackles the Improbable – Part I

Imagine finding yourself in a hostile land. It has a history of being violently hostile to everything Christian -  person and property. What do you do if you are a Franciscian friar? If I proclaim the gospel, this gives me no ground for boasting, for an obligation is laid on me, and woe to me if […]

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We, The Church Militant

August 16, AD2014 180 Comments
We, The Church Militant

Well, here we are in the 21st century Catholic Church. We have survived all of the liturgical innovations brought to us by the “spirit of Vatican II,” including clown masses, balloon masses, puppet masses, homemade banners, horrible liturgical music (Sons of God, anyone?), and somewhat-less-than-awe-inspiring architecture for new churches.  For sure, Vatican II was a […]

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