Catholic News

Pope’s Gaudete Sunday Angelus: ‘Constant joy, persevering prayer, constant thanksgiving’...

Here is a ZENIT translation of the address Pope Francis gave today before and after praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

Our old, misused friend, “Ecclesia supplet”...

Ah, our old, frequently misused friend, Ecclesia supplet. Hauled out on a regular basis to cover up the faults and foibles of the all-too-human elements in the Church. Once again, used improperly. It’s probably better to get used to using the full phrase – ecclesia supplet facultatem. The Church supplies the faculty. The Church supplies jurisdiction...

Sweet, beautiful, soul-saving joy: A homily for the Third Sunday of Advent...

This Sunday is traditionally called Gaudete Sunday, based on the Introit for the day: Gaudete in Domino semper, iterum dico, Gaudete (Phil 4:4) (Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say, Rejoice). Today, this theme is developed most fully in the 2nd reading, which is from 1 Thessalonians. It also begins with the salutation and imperative...

Watch: Benedictine College put out a great Christmas video this year...

For its Christmas video (watch it above, or here), Benedictine College created an evocative presentation of the Christmas story starring familiar faces on campus. Joseph is played by Father Simon Baker OSB, the college’s chaplain, and Mary is played by Sister Joan Kolbe Kjerstad MS, a sophomore pursuing a nursing degree. The college chose consecrated people to play the roles of Joseph and Mary to highlight the special commitment of the Blessed Virgin Mary and “her most chaste spouse...

When your acts of mercy are rejected by the recipient, they can become even more spiritually powerful...

This article concerns working with the poor, the homeless, the mentally ill and addicts. If your experience of this kind of ministry is limited to the occasional conference talk on social justice in an air-conditioned building, bolstered by small group discussions followed by a tasty lunch, you won’t appreciate it. If you have hands-on experience with the above-mentioned population...

This is chilling: Watch “the Last Downer” hear how much money he “costs society”...

Recently Iceland boasted that it had all-but “eliminated” Down syndrome in that country, not through scientific research, but through death. As actress Patricia Heaton writes, “They’re just killing everyone who has it”. Exactly. Remember the words of Granny Weatherwax: Sin starts by treating people as things. In this case...

How to do the Advent Novena, and do it well...

Catholics who wish to celebrate Advent as a time to prepare spiritually for Christmas often find themselves at a loss about how to do it. After setting up an Advent wreath and singing a couple of stanzas from “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” what is one supposed to do? In order to help fill that void, during the past couple of years I’ve been making available to our readers the Advent novena that I grew up with as a child in Colombia...

I yelled, then repented. Here’s how my kids responded.....

In our home we repent. Every night. We ask God to enlighten our conscience, we pause, and then there’s a moment where someone can say, “I did such and such today to you, will you forgive me?” The answer is not, “its ok,” but, “I forgive you.” This daily act of humility doesn’t always go well, but by and large it does...

Why keep the holy days hidden?

You might well think the parish didn’t want anyone to come to Mass for the Immaculate Conception. I was looking for the Mass times on the parish’s website, because I was away from home and had to go to a parish not our own. I googled the nearest Catholic church. Its website’s front page included a prominent table with the Mass times for Christmas and New Year’s weekend...

Prompted perhaps by the Archbishop Sheen kerfuffle, Vatican updates rules for relics in the process of canonization...

The instructions explicitly rule out selling the hair strands, hands, teeth and other body parts of saints that often fetch high prices in online auctions. They also prohibit the use of relics in sacrilegious rituals and warn that the church may have to obtain consent from surviving family members before unearthing the remains of candidates for sainthood...

These two new books will help you swim in our culture’s troubled waters...

We’re navigating through a true rock and a hard place right now: moral relativism and the oversaturation of technology. In fact, they are related. Moral relativism leaves us without a compass to discern the proper use of technology. And technological oversaturation leads to a decreased ability to think clearly about what matters most and how to achieve it...

This is the season of prayer and witness...

Advent is a wonderful time of year. It’s that special season when families huddle together around the TV (or alone, on their various devices) to watch hundreds of greed-inspiring ads and listen to Xmas carols with rewritten lyrics that sell lottery tickets, and cars, and smartphones. That’s Option A. Option B is this: We can make Advent 2017 something much deeper and much better...

Listen to what Darth Vader sounded like on the Star Wars set (and be glad they found James Earl Jones)...

The voice of Darth Vader, provided by James Earl Jones, is one of the most iconic aspects of the original Star Wars movies. But James Earl Jones wasn't the actor wearing that outfit—it was British actor David Prowse, who was cast in part because he was huge (reportedly 6'5" and a former body-building champion).

In this ancient Iranian town, the roads are built on the rooftops...

Nestled into the steep slope of a mountain, this remarkable thousand-year-old village in northern Iran has evolved an unusual approach to open space: its rooftops double as public lanes and gathering places.

Inside China’s vast (and ominous) new experiment in social ranking...

In 2015, when Lazarus Liu moved home to China after studying logistics in the United Kingdom for three years, he quickly noticed that something had changed: Everyone paid for everything with their phones. At McDonald’s, the convenience store, even at mom-and-pop restaurants, his friends in Shanghai used mobile payments. Cash, Liu could see...

Our Lady of the New Advent, dawn of the New Jerusalem, pray for us...

In the Denver Archdiocese today, Dec. 16, is the feast of Our Lady of the New Advent. The icon was created 22 years ago by Jesuit Father William Hart McNichols for the archdiocese at the request of then-archbishop, now Cardinal J. Francis Stafford. Father McNichols, 64, is the son of former Colorado Gov. Stephen and Marjory McNichols...

What’s the thinnest crescent Moon you can possibly see?

When it comes to seeing a young lunar crescent, my personal best is a 21.5-hour-old Moon. That's a far cry from the record, but what a sight. The Moon was fine china, so fragile you might crack it with the slightest touch. Crater shadows took little bites out of the delicate lunar arc, adding to the exquisite view. This December and in the coming months...

How Advent music can prepare you for Christmas...

Until very recently, Christmas lasted not just one or 12 days. Instead, it stretched over a 40-day period called Christmastide, ending at Candlemas, Feb. 2. To correspond with this, in France, there was something called “St. Martin’s Lent.” It began on Nov. 11, the feast day of St. Martin of Tours, and the purpose was so the penitential season of Advent could itself stretch to 40 days...

There’s nothing less cool than a ‘cool dad’...

I know it's not cool. I know that a large majority of parenting experts posit that your child's self esteem is paramount. But may I suggest that “no” is the most important and powerful word a parent can say. May I suggest that trying to be the cool parent might give your child another friend when what they need is an uncool parent...

10 ways to stop gossip...

Have you ever really stopped to consider how ugly gossip is? Working in school, family and parish life you experience time and again how colossally stupid, destructive and therefore sinful gossip can be. The reason gossip is stupid is because it almost invariably deals in half-truths. A person gets one side of the story and one portion of the truth...
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