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NEW ADVENT: Home

The largest Catholic website in the world Besides hosting the Summa Theologica and the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, this site offers a Catholic FAQ, selected writings by the Fathers of the Church, and official Church documents, mostly papal, from approximately the last 250 years.



6 sermons I could do without hearing again...  

Priests baptize our children. They bury our dead. They forgive our sins. They anoint and bless and guide us. And they give us Christ. The least we can do in return is give them some wiggle room! And so, when we are at Mass, I expect only the bare minimum from these men who are only human, but freighted with a superhuman responsibility...

2017-03-28 08:44:54
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Was the Catholic Church historically an enemy of the Bible?  

We commonly hear accusations along these lines: such as that the Church for centuries provided only a few difficult-to-access "chained Bibles" and forbade Bible translations in the vernacular. This broad topic is one of the most cherished anti-Catholic myths, yet in point of fact it's an outrageous falsehood: easily overturned by fair-minded historical investigation...

2017-03-28 07:44:16
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'Love your neighbor' also means 'love your country'. But the government? That's a different matter.....  

Think of the law as the floor of our moral universe. You must not go below it because then you will wind up in the dirt and Caesar has the right and duty to punish you for breaking it (assuming the law is just). So even when your ruler is a swine like Nero, you should not speed, deal drugs, key your neighbour's car, commit murder...

2017-03-28 06:09:25
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The meaning of the strange birds hidden in Christian art around the world...  

So why have Christians been using pelicans so often in their art? It all goes back to a medieval misunderstanding. In Europe and Asia, there was a widespread belief that pelican mothers had a unique relationship to their young. In one version, pelicans would could kill their young and then bring them back to life with their blood...

2017-03-28 05:58:49
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How to save the soul of our Catholic schools...  

"How can we make our school more Catholic?" This is a real question schools ask, some with perplexity. Is it a new curriculum? Better religion classes? Having the kids come to Mass? The answer is vital for the future of Catholic education. The sociologist Christian Smith notes, from his extensive research on the life of young Catholics...

2017-03-28 03:54:02
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What James teaches us about early Christianity...  

The Gospels and Acts are our best sources about Jesus and the early history of Christianity. But suppose we didn't have them? What could we learn about early Christianity just by reading the other documents of the New Testament? More than you might think! The letter of James is one of the earliest books of the New Testament—perhaps the earliest...

2017-03-28 03:25:32
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Pope sends peace message to UN, says elimination of nuclear weapons is 'moral and humanitarian imperative'...  

Today's threats to global peace and security must be countered through dialogue and development, not nuclear weapons, Pope Francis told the United Nations. "How sustainable is a stability based on fear, when it actually increases fear and undermines relationships of trust between peoples," the Pope asked in a letter sent to a UN meeting on nuclear arms...

2017-03-28 02:08:19
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A series of clues points to June as a possible turning point in Pope Francis's pontificate...  

That the Pope wanted June to be a free month can be noticed by the fact that the trip to Egypt was - according to sources - initially scheduled June 11-12. Then suddenly, the Pope moved it up to April 28-29. He will leave right after the 18th meeting of the Council of Cardinals, scheduled for April 24-26, and before the trip to Fatima...

2017-03-27 08:36:25
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What marriage and family looked like at the time of Jesus...  

The word family had a wider meaning both in Aramaic and in Hebrew than it does in English. The Hebrew, ah, and the Aramaic, aha, could be used to refer to brothers, sisters, half-brothers, half-sisters, cousins, and even other near relations. Extended family networks were both insisted upon and essential for survival. It was every Jewish person's duty to maintain and depend upon these ties...

2017-03-27 08:32:02
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We live at a time when a great battle for life is being played out...  

To stand firm under fire, we need a good reason for the hope we have inside - a truth by which to live. We need help from Someone whose life is above our own if we are to learn to ponder how astonishing and un-repeatable the drama of our own lives actually are. To find this Someone, all that must be done is to cry out in prayer with faith...

2017-03-27 05:30:25
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“She offered hope”: Remembering Mother Angelica on the anniversary of her death...  

On March 27th, 2016 (one year ago today), Easter Sunday, the incredible Mother Angelica passed away into eternity. She was 92 years old. A nun of the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration and founder of the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), most people knew her as a spunky TV personality who knew how to lead people closer to Jesus...

2017-03-27 04:56:02
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Mother One year after her death, Mother Angelica's legacy lives on...  

Mother Angelica, the founder of a world-ranging media operation, EWTN, has been dead for a year. But she's still changing lives. Her biographer, Raymond Arroyo, can testify to it — as he witnesses to it with his own life. Mother Angelica, who died last year on Easter, which was March 27, was the founder of a cloistered community of women and a trailblazing nun who had no business starting a television network in Birmingham...

2017-03-27 04:27:19
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What happens if you accidentally break a piece of art in a museum?  

It's the nightmare of many who set foot in an art museum: You trip, lose your balance, and fall right into a priceless work of art. Crash. You don't have to look far to find some haunting examples. In late February 2017, for instance, the art world took a certain joy at shaking its collective head when just two days into Yayoi Kusama's major exhibition at the Hirshhorn...

2017-03-27 03:07:55
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I went, I washed, and now I can see...  

In today's Gospel, Jesus, the Light of the World, brings light to a man born blind. If you are prepared to accept it, you are the man born blind, for all of us were born blind and in darkness. It was our baptism and the faith it gave that rendered us able to see and to come gradually more fully into the light. The man in today's Gospel shows forth the stages of the Christian walk...

2017-03-26 07:26:32
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Pope's Sunday Angelus: Let go of 'false lights' that lead down the wrong path...  

On Sunday Pope Francis said Lent is a key time to open ourselves to the light of Christ and let go of all the "false lights" that lead us away from him, taking us instead down a path of darkness marked by our own selfishness. "If now I were to ask you, do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God? Do you believe that he can change your heart...

2017-03-26 02:24:45
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Meet Jan Tyranowski, the Polish mystic who mentored Pope St. John Paul II...  

In January, Pope Francis signed eight decrees. Seven of them recognized the heroic virtue of "Servants of God." Among the new "Venerables" of 2017 is Jan Tyranowski (1901-1947), a Polish mystic inspired by Carmelite spirituality who played an enormous role in Pope St. John Paul II's discovery of his vocation. One verified miracle attributed to Tyranowski's intercession is needed for his beatification...

2017-03-25 21:42:32
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The problem of evil and trusting in God...  

Our emotions are good in themselves, and even Lord Christ, the very Creator of the Sun, and Moon, and Stars is an emotional Being. He wept when Lazarus died, He was very angry when He saw how the Pharisees were treating His Father's house, etc. But we have to use our intellect and will to order our passions and to see things in perspective...

2017-03-25 19:30:55
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Wherein Fr. Z muses about Lady Day, 25 March...  

Sometimes in the history of our salvation the stars line up to portend amazing events. These stellar alignments are sometimes literally stellar, as in the case of the Star of Bethlehem. I, for one, buy the arguments for the Star made here, which also concerns what lined up with your planet's yellow star on that first Good Friday...

2017-03-25 13:57:56
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On Annunciation, Pope says God still seeks hearts like Mary...  

Pope Francis celebrated the Feast of the Annunciation in Milan, telling mass-goers that even today God is still searching for hearts like Mary's that are open to welcoming his invitation and providing hope, even when it's hard. As in the past, "God continues to look for allies, he continues to seek men and women capable of believing...

2017-03-25 13:46:03
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A woman wrapped in silence: A meditation for the Feast of the Annunciation...  

In preparation for today's Feast of the Annunciation I picked up Jesus of Nazareth, Vol. 3 (The Infancy Narratives), by Pope Emeritus Benedict. I was very moved by a brief reflection that he made on Mary as the Angel Gabriel left her. His remarks consider her faith in a very touching manner. I must say that I have always been moved—and intrigued—by the faith of the Blessed Mother...

2017-03-25 13:32:49
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The Annunciation: When angels held their breath...  

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux writes that when Saint Gabriel announced to Mary that she had been chosen to be the Mother of God, it was as though the angels in Heaven held their breath waiting for her reply. Prior to that moment, the angels in Heaven were well aware that the Incarnation was to occur. It is believed, however, that the angels did not know exactly how the Incarnation was to occur...

2017-03-25 13:17:41
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Is the four-hymn Mass what the Church really wants?  

What is Musicam Sacram? Published on March 5th, 1967, Musicam Sacram is the official Instruction on Music in the Liturgy issued by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. Musicam Sacram is the document that was most responsible for the sweeping changes in the liturgical music that ordinary Catholics have experienced over the last fifty years...

2017-03-25 11:33:12
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These are the 3 biggest financial scams in America: What to know and how to fight back...  

Considering that you spend most of your waking hours earning money, it only makes sense to keep the cash you worked so hard for safe from scammers. You probably know by now that identity theft is a biggie. But that's not the only scam you need to avoid.

2017-03-25 08:23:14
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Pope travels to Milan, prays Angelus at Duomo...  

Pope Francis on Saturday is making a one day pastoral visit to Milan. This morning he paid a call on Milan's Duomo and traveled to the peripheries of the city to meet with immigrant families.

2017-03-25 08:22:08
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A Chestertonian reflection on blasphemy and the Annunciation...  

Blasphemy is the silliest of the sins and only diminishes the blasphemer. It sure can't diminish God, because he already diminished himself as much as conceivably possible. You want to stage an 'abort Jesus" protest? Knock yourself out. The actual God has beaten you to your insults against Mary's gynecology by actually spending nine months in her womb and dodging an abortion at the hands of Herod...

2017-03-25 07:55:45
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Pope Francis sends message of “prayerful solidarity” with London victims...  

Pope Francis has sent a message of "prayerful solidarity" with the victims of the recent London attack. Sent as a telegram from the Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin to Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the message says Pope Francis is "deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and of the injuries caused by the attack in central London...

2017-03-24 21:04:23
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A 'wounded healer' offers guidance for wounded Catholics...  

Two things will strike readers of Fr. Thomas Berg's Hurting in the Church: first, that this book needed to be written at all, for who could have ever believed that so much hurt could have been inflicted so quickly on so many in the Church; second, that an effective response to such pain would not only help heal those hurting in the Church...

2017-03-24 20:27:26
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Here's what happens if you get too close to a neutron star...  

A neutron star is one of the most dangerous objects in the universe. Neutron stars are the densest things besides black holes. A stone sized piece of this star would weigh 100 million metric tons.

2017-03-24 19:53:46
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Fatima, marriage, and the Theology of the Body...  

It has been reported that Sister Lucia of Fatima wrote a letter to Cardinal Caffarra predicting that "the final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family." Not long after, Pope John Paul II was in the midst of his famous "Theology of the Body" talks on marriage and the family when a Turkish assassin attempted to kill him...

2017-03-24 18:52:57
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Of doves and serpents, and pro-choice magic...  

One of the doves who come to our window feeder seems to be missing the skin on the back of his head. I'm pretty sure we see his skull when he looks away from the house. It's a dangerous world out there when you're prey. They're pretty birds, our doves, but they don't look intelligent. They don't have that "Hello, lunch...

2017-03-24 17:37:44
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The Annunciation is a big deal...  

Easter, Christmas, then the Annunciation? Although it's not a holy day of obligation, the Annunciation is one of the central solemnities of the liturgical year. There are two main reasons why. First, the Incarnation is absolutely central to our faith and salvation. Even though we celebrate Christmas with great solemnity to mark Jesus' birth into the world...

2017-03-24 13:56:51
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Insides that didn't decompose – and other stunning facts about Oscar Romero...  

In his role as Vicar General, Monsignor Ricardo Urioste was one of the closest collaborators of Oscar Romero, the archbishop of San Salvador who was martyred for the faith in 1980 and beatified two years ago. And this monsignor has some stories to tell. Among the most fascinating involve details surrounding the day Romero was killed...

2017-03-24 13:04:25
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Is the buzz true? Did Pope Francis just condemn Communion for the remarried?  

For the last couple of days Catholic social media and the blogosphere have been preoccupied with some reported remarks by Pope Francis. The remarks carry weight because they come from an impeccable source - the president of the Chilean bishops' conference, Bishop Santiago Silva, and its secretary Bishop Fernando Ramos - and because they relate to the great ecclesial controversy of the moment: over Communion for the remarried...

2017-03-24 12:56:01
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Why 'the Marian Option' is not optional today...  

Dr. Carrie Gress' brand new book, The Marian Option: God's Solution to a Civilization in Crisis, ably proves why "the Marian Option" is not optional today. Gress' thesis consists in demonstrating that when the world and the Church teeter on the precipice of disaster, as they seem to be doing now, God wills to send needed aide through the Blessed Mother...

2017-03-24 11:49:42
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Christians in northern Iraq 'on verge of extinction', says aid worker...  

A senior aid worker within the Chaldean Catholic archdiocese in northern Iraq has described the Christian population there as "on the verge of extinction" and is appealing to the British and US governments for humanitarian assistance. Stephen Rasche, legal counsel and head of resettlement programmes for the diocese, addressed both Houses of UK Parliament yesterday on the need for humanitarian support for Iraqi Christians...

2017-03-24 11:06:58
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How did people tell time in Jesus' day?  

The modern person, especially in the West, thinks of time in a very mechanistic way. We watch the clock, which is in itself a mechanical device without intrinsic meaning. For shorter periods of time we look at the clock rather than the sun. For longer periods, we watch the crops, track our children's growth, or more broadly chart the rise and fall of nations...

2017-03-24 09:52:10
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How did people tell time in Jesus' day?  

The modern person, especially in the West, thinks of time in a very mechanistic way. We watch the clock, which is in itself a mechanical device without intrinsic meaning. For shorter periods of time we look at the clock rather than the sun. For longer periods, we watch the crops, track our children's growth, or more broadly chart the rise and fall of nations...

2017-03-24 09:43:36
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6 great websites for training young apologists...  

In a world that peddles atheism and agnosticism to our kids, we homeschooling parents need to train our children to defend the Catholic Faith. As our duty both to them and to the universal Church, we need to raise young apologists. If you're looking for a few ways to accomplish that, here are a few ideas to help you get started...

2017-03-24 08:55:53
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Neil Gorsuch is a proponent of natural law — which says a lot...  

Neil Gorsuch, the Trump administration's nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, is a proponent of natural law. What does that say about Gorsuch and about issues of high interest to faithful Catholics? It says a lot, and what it says is very good. First, what is natural law? Natural law affirms that we do what we ought to do according to nature...

2017-03-24 05:50:30
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6 great websites for training young apologists...  

In a world that peddles atheism and agnosticism to our kids, we homeschooling parents need to train our children to defend the Catholic Faith. As our duty both to them and to the universal Church, we need to raise young apologists. If you're looking for a few ways to accomplish that, here are a few ideas to help you get started...

2017-03-24 05:05:44
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A Lenten lesson on I-80 about blinkers and rash judgment...  

We were heading home to Indiana from Omaha after a funeral. We'd made a later start than we'd hoped, so I was banking on making it to the Quad Cities before nightfall so we could have a relatively relaxed drive the next day to South Bend. It had been pretty stormy in Nebraska as we started heading east on I-80 - pretty ominous...

2017-03-24 04:20:11
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How to make the most of your workday...  

Do you often find your workday spiraling out of control? You start each day with a plan to get so much done, but soon find yourself becoming distracted, focusing on low-priority tasks and, simply, procrastinating. So how can you regain control of your time? One-size-fits-all lists on how to be more productive don't work; we'll outline productivity techniques that can be adapted to your personality and working style...

2017-03-24 04:09:18
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To all those observing Lent: Remember your mortality and sinfulness, and suffer lovingly.....  

The first day of Lent is perhaps the busiest day of the year for Dahlgren Chapel. Far more Hoyas come to Mass on Ash Wednesday than attend weekly Sunday service, even though only the latter is morally obligated by the Catholic Church. There are two ways to view this discrepancy. The first is with cynicism. People on campus and around the world come to Ash Wednesday mass because they "get something...

2017-03-24 03:44:22
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“We just pulled it”: ACA remains in place after reform effort fails...  

House Republican leaders abruptly pulled a rewrite of the nation's health-care system from consideration on Friday, a dramatic acknowledgment that they are so far unable to repeal the Affordable Care Act. "We just pulled it," President Trump told The Washington Post in a telephone interview. In a news conference shortly after the decision...

2017-03-24 02:35:40
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St. Patrick, St. Joseph, and the conversion that makes all the difference...  

I am always pleased when the feasts of St. Patrick and St. Joseph roll around every year, the first on March 17th and the second on March 19th. Joseph is especially dear to the Italian people, who celebrate him with festive meals, and Patrick, of course, is specially reverenced by my own people, the Irish, who celebrate him with parades...

2017-03-24 02:21:36
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The beauty of women will save the world...  

There is a well-known Dostoevsky trope that says, "beauty will save the world." The famous Russian is usually taken to mean the beauty found in the material arts. Music, architecture, and sculpture are rightfully being plumbed for their world-saving abilities, particularly how they lead a soul back to God. But there is one stone that has yet to be unturned when considering the role beauty plays in saving the world: women...

2017-03-24 01:31:32
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An eyewitness account of the devastation left behind by ISIS...  

Rosaries and broken crucifixes strewn across the floor, upturned furniture and littered belongings greeted us as we entered the former rectory in Karemlash, an Iraqi Christian town liberated from the Islamic State (ISIS) last October. The two-story house, only completed in 2012, had all the hallmarks of a place possessed, as though a demon had been unleashed to run right through it...

2017-03-24 01:03:08
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The Holy Spirit option is no longer optional...  

On the fourth anniversary of his election, Pope Francis tweeted "May the Holy Spirit lead us on a true journey of conversion, so that we can rediscover the gift of God's word." Yes, I'm writing a column on a tweet — and one by someone who has a lot more power than his Twitter account — but such are our times. He tweets because he understands our attention spans and the distractions that weigh on our souls...

2017-03-23 21:45:51
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Watch this little girl steal Pope Francis' hat...  

A cute moment was captured on camera Wednesday, as a 3-year-old girl "stole" Pope Francis' zucchetto - or skull cap - at the papal general audience.

2017-03-23 21:38:11
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Italian layman who defied the Nazis deemed 'blessed'...  

Italian layman Joseph Mayr-Nusser — who refused to take the Hitler oath — was beatified March 18 in his hometown of Bolsano. In 1944, Mayr-Nusser, a Catholic husband and father, refused to take the oath of allegiance to Hitler, after being drafted into the German army. He died on the way to the Nazis' Dachau concentration camp...

2017-03-23 21:25:07
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Authentic Catholic feminists reject the lies of this present age...  

Women in our culture are angry - and rightfully so. Our bodies have become a different kind of currency, greasing the wheels in an economy that runs on sex and outrage. We are told that we are strong, capable, and equal in every way to men, and then simultaneously degraded in every way, our parts dissected to sell products and our hearts numbed with the lie that "what you do with your body has no consequences...

2017-03-23 21:24:02
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'Church Madness 2017': From Newark to Nampa, Idaho, 16 beautiful churches left in this year's bracket...  

Last round's voting finally gave us what I've been secretly wishing for since last year: a St. Mary vs. St. Joseph showdown! The only thing better would be a St. Jerome vs. St. Ambrose battle royale.

2017-03-23 21:21:46
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Theologian says 'Amoris' Communion debate is settled in Africa — in favor of Catholic tradition...  

A gathering in Rome this week aims to bring the voices of Africa to the world, and even before it begins the main organizer is doing just that, saying Monday that the debate over Communion for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics unleashed by Amoris Laetitia is already settled in Africa - and that the answer is "no." "If you go to the ordinary parishes in most of Africa...

2017-03-23 20:39:23
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Day three: Exasperation for Senate Democrats as Gorsuch defends judicial independence...  

Day three of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court brought a continuation of the marathon session of questions and answers that took place on day two. Gorsuch spent eleven hours on Tuesday being tested and interrogated, and then he spent another ten hours facing the same process on Wednesday...

2017-03-23 19:25:27
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Watch this astonishing time lapse video of cell division...  

This looks like CGI, but it's real. The video's creator says: it was done with a custom designed microscope based on the 'infinity optical design'. It is not available by any manufacturer. I built it. I used LEDs and relevant optics to light the egg. They too were custom designed by me. The whole microscope sits on anti-vibration table...

2017-03-23 18:55:06
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A Lenten lesson on I-80 about blinkers and rash judgment...  

We were heading home to Indiana from Omaha after a funeral. We'd made a later start than we'd hoped, so I was banking on making it to the Quad Cities before nightfall so we could have a relatively relaxed drive the next day to South Bend. It had been pretty stormy in Nebraska as we started heading east on I-80 - pretty ominous...

2017-03-23 18:13:32
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I'm a married Catholic priest who thinks priests shouldn't get married...  

My wife and I, we have four children, all younger than 7. Ours is not a quiet house. A house of screaming and a house of endless snot, it's also a house of love, grown and multiplied every few years. In a house of little sleep, my hobby these days is simply to sit down; fellow parents know what I mean. Just like that loud and beautiful Kelly family gone viral out of South Korea recently...

2017-03-23 16:11:35
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The horrific dream of the wife of Pontius Pilate (about the Nicene Creed)...  

Pontius Pilate's name is in the Creeds because it anchors the life of Christ into human history, specifically Roman history. There is a "tradition" that Pontius Pilate's wife Claudia Procula had a dream of billions of people chanting "sub Pontio Pilato" over and over and over. What she was hearing was the billions of Christians who recite "He was crucified under Pontius Pilate...

2017-03-23 16:03:01
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The Last Prince of Baltimore: William Cardinal Keeler dies at 86...  

In the annals of the Premier See of these United States, two figures form the center of a legend born alongside the Constitution. Yet even for all John Carroll and James Gibbons would bequeath to posterity, it'd fall to yet another to bring the Maryland Tradition of American Catholicism into the 21st century. And this morning...

2017-03-23 15:56:36
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Fr. Louis Bouyer and the gift of good teachers...  

All these years later, it is nearly impossible to imagine the excitement and enthusiasm of the period immediately after the council. The hope was that the teachings of Vatican II would spur a deeper renewal of the faith in the Church and strengthen Catholics in their witness in the modern world. Louis Bouyer's familiarity with some of the discussions of the council offered an insider's view of its teaching...

2017-03-23 15:23:51
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Neil Gorsuch is a proponent of natural law — which says a lot...  

Neil Gorsuch, the Trump administration's nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, is a proponent of natural law. What does that say about Gorsuch and about issues of high interest to faithful Catholics? It says a lot, and what it says is very good. First, what is natural law? Natural law affirms that we do what we ought to do according to nature...

2017-03-23 15:20:37
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Set during WWII, 'Foyle's War' is about the war against the encroaching doom of the modern world...  

From time to time I am asked, "Father, how do you get so much done? You write books and essays, maintain a blog, run a parish, build a church, lead pilgrimages, and go on speaking tours and have a wife and kids. How do you do it?" "I don't watch TV." It's true. We don't have television. In fact, not having a television was one of the greatest decisions my parents made while they brought up the five of us children in the countryside of Pennsylvania in the 1960s and 70s...

2017-03-23 15:12:52
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Prayers go out amid confusion, chaos following London attack...  

Church and government leaders offered prayers in the aftermath of an attack in London on Wednesday afternoon. "Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the incident in Westminster this afternoon," read a post on Twitter from the news page of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.

2017-03-23 14:01:06
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What if Jesus played basketball? Would He automatically be the best player ever?  

Would Jesus have been the all-time, all-history MVP if he played basketball? Did he have to learn his craft of carpentry? Did he have to learn table manners? There are all kinds of questions one can ask about the way Jesus' divine and human natures related in his earthly life, and we can't know the answers to all of them. But looking at the principles involved can be instructive...

2017-03-23 13:43:45
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10 delicious and simple Lenten dinners for Fridays...  

After eight and a half years straight of have a child dependant on me for nutrition through pregnancy and/or breastfeeding, I have window of time where I can practice a stricter form of fasting. I am learning firsthand how my soul is affected by my voluntary bodily Lenten practices so much so that I related to the collect in the Extraordinary Form Mass for Monday of the Third Week in Lent

2017-03-23 13:01:14
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An urgent plea: Pray for the people of Peru...  

Originally, I had planned this post to be a light-hearted reflection on stargazing in the southern hemisphere. The parish of which I am Pastor, St. Joseph Parish in Menomonie, Wisconsin, took a ten-day mission trip to our Diocesan Orphanage, Casa Hogar Juan Pablo II, in Lurin, Peru. In light of my past mission trips to Casa, I was already mapping out a post for the The Catholic Astronomer before departure...

2017-03-23 12:59:13
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Pope to canonize Fatima visionaries Francisco and Jacinta Marto...  

On Thursday Pope Francis approved the second and final miracle needed to canonize Blesseds Francisco and Jacinta Marto, two of the shepherd children who witnessed the Fatima Marian apparitions. The Pope approved the miracle in a March 23 audience with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, during which he advanced six other causes...

2017-03-23 11:26:42
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Day 2 of confirmation hearing: Dems balk with Bork 'softballs,' Gorsuch gains a base...  

The second day of the confirmation hearing for Judge Neil Gorsuch to become the next associate justice of the Supreme Court began with a question by Sen. Charles Grassley. The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee asked if he would be willing to rule against the president who appointed him to the Supreme Court. Gorsuch laughed...

2017-03-23 10:29:02
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Behold, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, the hidden gem of the Midwest...  

You've probably heard of St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City, NY, and maybe the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C. But perhaps the most beautiful (certainly one of the most beautiful) churches in the United States is one many people haven't even heard of - and it's located in Missouri (and yes...

2017-03-23 10:09:32
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6 

The 'Edicule', the shrine over Our Lord's tomb, is in danger of 'catastrophic' collapse...  

A shrine built over a cave that is revered as the tomb of Jesus is in danger of "catastrophic" collapse, according to a report by National Geographic. The shrine (or the "Edicule," as it is often called) is located within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. According to legend, Helena, the mother of emperor Constantine the Great (A...

2017-03-23 09:47:41
`
0 

Associated Press flunks Christianity 101 yet again...  

How important are the 40 days between Easter Sunday and Ascension Thursday? Crucially important. In fact, it would not be an exaggeration to say those 40 days are responsible for the Christian faith being what it is and not something completely different. The foundational Christian claim is that Jesus returned bodily to life after his dead by crucifixion...

2017-03-23 08:38:07
`
1 

Pope Francis sends message of “prayerful solidarity” with London victims...  

Pope Francis has sent a message of "prayerful solidarity" with the victims of the recent London attack. Sent as a telegram from the Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin to Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the message says Pope Francis is "deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and of the injuries caused by the attack in central London...

2017-03-23 08:24:57
`
1 

Ongoing messages at 'Medjugorje of Argentina' will be kept private, local bishop says...  

It has been called the Medjugorje of Argentina. A now widely popular apparition of Mary began in the early 1980s, when rosaries began to glow in multiple homes in the town of San Nicolas de los Arroyos, a city of 138,000 people about 150 miles from Buenos Aires. After seeing this phenomenon, local wife and mother Gladys Quiroga de Motta began praying to the Blessed Virgin Mary...

2017-03-23 07:13:08
`
1 

The Last Prince of Baltimore: William Cardinal Keeler dies at 86...  

In the annals of the Premier See of these United States, two figures form the center of a legend born alongside the Constitution. Yet even for all John Carroll and James Gibbons would bequeath to posterity, it'd fall to yet another to bring the Maryland Tradition of American Catholicism into the 21st century. And this morning...

2017-03-23 05:54:29
`
1 

What if Jesus played basketball? Would He automatically be the best player ever?  

Would Jesus have been the all-time, all-history MVP if he played basketball? Did he have to learn his craft of carpentry? Did he have to learn table manners? There are all kinds of questions one can ask about the way Jesus' divine and human natures related in his earthly life, and we can't know the answers to all of them. But looking at the principles involved can be instructive...

2017-03-23 05:52:33
`
12 

What was the climate like at the time of Jesus?  

The climate in Palestine, both today and at the time of Jesus, has two distinct seasons. The wet or rainy season runs from the mid-October to the mid-April while the dry season lasts from the mid-June to mid-September. During the dry season rainfall is rare. Although it can get very hot during summer, it often does not feel that way...

2017-03-23 05:45:12
`
1 

Pope Francis may shine a light on famine and genocide in South Sudan...  

Pope Francis is reportedly considering a trip to South Sudan, after ecumenical pleas from religious leaders who hope that his visit might draw attention to the plight of the people there, suffering famine and genocide. Melinda Henneberger, editorial writer and columnist for the Kansas City Star, recently went to South Sudan, on a trip sponsored by the Sudan Relief Fund...

2017-03-23 05:38:13
`
10 

Day three: Exasperation for Senate Democrats as Gorsuch defends judicial independence...  

Day three of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court brought a continuation of the marathon session of questions and answers that took place on day two. Gorsuch spent eleven hours on Tuesday being tested and interrogated, and then he spent another ten hours facing the same process on Wednesday...

2017-03-23 05:11:02
`
5 

The horrific dream of the wife of Pontius Pilate (about the Nicene Creed)...  

Pontius Pilate's name is in the Creeds because it anchors the life of Christ into human history, specifically Roman history. There is a "tradition" that Pontius Pilate's wife Claudia Procula had a dream of billions of people chanting "sub Pontio Pilato" over and over and over. What she was hearing was the billions of Christians who recite "He was crucified under Pontius Pilate...

2017-03-23 04:46:01
`
1 

Ongoing messages at 'Medjugorje of Argentina' will be kept private, local bishop says...  

It has been called the Medjugorje of Argentina. A now widely popular apparition of Mary began in the early 1980s, when rosaries began to glow in multiple homes in the town of San Nicolas de los Arroyos, a city of 138,000 people about 150 miles from Buenos Aires. After seeing this phenomenon, local wife and mother Gladys Quiroga de Motta began praying to the Blessed Virgin Mary...

2017-03-23 04:15:51
`
15 

Behold, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, the hidden gem of the Midwest...  

You've probably heard of St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City, NY, and maybe the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C. But perhaps the most beautiful (certainly one of the most beautiful) churches in the United States is one many people haven't even heard of - and it's located in Missouri (and yes...

2017-03-23 04:01:33
`
3 

St. Patrick, St. Joseph, and the conversion that makes all the difference...  

I am always pleased when the feasts of St. Patrick and St. Joseph roll around every year, the first on March 17th and the second on March 19th. Joseph is especially dear to the Italian people, who celebrate him with festive meals, and Patrick, of course, is specially reverenced by my own people, the Irish, who celebrate him with parades...

2017-03-23 03:58:27
`
1 

Pope Francis may shine a light on famine and genocide in South Sudan...  

Pope Francis is reportedly considering a trip to South Sudan, after ecumenical pleas from religious leaders who hope that his visit might draw attention to the plight of the people there, suffering famine and genocide. Melinda Henneberger, editorial writer and columnist for the Kansas City Star, recently went to South Sudan, on a trip sponsored by the Sudan Relief Fund...

2017-03-23 03:57:25
`
1 

Watch this little girl steal Pope Francis' hat...  

A cute moment was captured on camera Wednesday, as a 3-year-old girl "stole" Pope Francis' zucchetto - or skull cap - at the papal general audience.

2017-03-23 03:55:48
`
6 

An urgent plea: Pray for the people of Peru...  

Originally, I had planned this post to be a light-hearted reflection on stargazing in the southern hemisphere. The parish of which I am Pastor, St. Joseph Parish in Menomonie, Wisconsin, took a ten-day mission trip to our Diocesan Orphanage, Casa Hogar Juan Pablo II, in Lurin, Peru. In light of my past mission trips to Casa, I was already mapping out a post for the The Catholic Astronomer before departure...

2017-03-23 03:46:20
`
1 

What was the climate like at the time of Jesus?  

The climate in Palestine, both today and at the time of Jesus, has two distinct seasons. The wet or rainy season runs from the mid-October to the mid-April while the dry season lasts from the mid-June to mid-September. During the dry season rainfall is rare. Although it can get very hot during summer, it often does not feel that way...

2017-03-23 03:14:36
`
1 

The saints and sinners who shaped America...  

Over the centuries, people of faith have come to American shores in search of freedom, prosperity, and hope. At a time when religious liberty and conscience rights are under attack, Brian Burch, president of Catholic Vote, and author Emily Stimpson Chapman wanted to remind Americans of our heritage. Together they wrote The American Catholic Almanac: A Daily Reader of Patriots...

2017-03-23 03:07:55
`
1 

Italian layman who defied the Nazis deemed 'blessed'...  

Italian layman Joseph Mayr-Nusser — who refused to take the Hitler oath — was beatified March 18 in his hometown of Bolsano. In 1944, Mayr-Nusser, a Catholic husband and father, refused to take the oath of allegiance to Hitler, after being drafted into the German army. He died on the way to the Nazis' Dachau concentration camp...

2017-03-23 02:47:14
`
1 

Here's what happens if you get too close to a neutron star...  

A neutron star is one of the most dangerous objects in the universe. Neutron stars are the densest things besides black holes. A stone sized piece of this star would weigh 100 million metric tons.

2017-03-23 02:43:22
`
0 

Associated Press flunks Christianity 101 yet again...  

How important are the 40 days between Easter Sunday and Ascension Thursday? Crucially important. In fact, it would not be an exaggeration to say those 40 days are responsible for the Christian faith being what it is and not something completely different. The foundational Christian claim is that Jesus returned bodily to life after his dead by crucifixion...

2017-03-23 02:42:36
`
0 

The beauty of women will save the world...  

There is a well-known Dostoevsky trope that says, "beauty will save the world." The famous Russian is usually taken to mean the beauty found in the material arts. Music, architecture, and sculpture are rightfully being plumbed for their world-saving abilities, particularly how they lead a soul back to God. But there is one stone that has yet to be unturned when considering the role beauty plays in saving the world: women...

2017-03-23 02:35:40
`
1 

How can you invoke God in a proper way?  

Within the annals of secular expression "God" is often evoked in a disrespectful manner e.g. "Oh my God," or "damming God" and so on. Nevertheless, the Second Commandment clearly tells us not to pronounce the Lord's name in vain i.e. in an unholy way. Unfortunately, our demeanor tends to succumb to the temptation of sin opening the door to say the Lord's name in unholy ways...

2017-03-23 02:17:11
`
1 

Pope to canonize Fatima visionaries Francisco and Jacinta Marto...  

On Thursday Pope Francis approved the second and final miracle needed to canonize Blesseds Francisco and Jacinta Marto, two of the shepherd children who witnessed the Fatima Marian apparitions. The Pope approved the miracle in a March 23 audience with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, during which he advanced six other causes...

2017-03-23 02:10:40
`
1 

The saints and sinners who shaped America...  

Over the centuries, people of faith have come to American shores in search of freedom, prosperity, and hope. At a time when religious liberty and conscience rights are under attack, Brian Burch, president of Catholic Vote, and author Emily Stimpson Chapman wanted to remind Americans of our heritage. Together they wrote The American Catholic Almanac: A Daily Reader of Patriots...

2017-03-23 01:46:44
`
1 

Pregnancies, prayer intentions and Spanish water...  

Catholic pregnancy tip: well water from the Abbey of Santo Domingo in Spain where Blessed Jane of Aza prayed for another child—a prayer heard and answered in the person of Saint Dominic. I was told that someone in the parish usually had some, but warned to drink only a small amount. Had I noticed the number of twins running around after Mass...

2017-03-23 01:39:12
`
1 

Prayers go out amid confusion, chaos following London attack...  

Church and government leaders offered prayers in the aftermath of an attack in London on Wednesday afternoon. "Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the incident in Westminster this afternoon," read a post on Twitter from the news page of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.

2017-03-22 21:58:55
`
3 

The Holy Spirit option is no longer optional...  

On the fourth anniversary of his election, Pope Francis tweeted "May the Holy Spirit lead us on a true journey of conversion, so that we can rediscover the gift of God's word." Yes, I'm writing a column on a tweet — and one by someone who has a lot more power than his Twitter account — but such are our times. He tweets because he understands our attention spans and the distractions that weigh on our souls...

2017-03-22 21:28:23
`
2 

Authentic Catholic feminists reject the lies of this present age...  

Women in our culture are angry - and rightfully so. Our bodies have become a different kind of currency, greasing the wheels in an economy that runs on sex and outrage. We are told that we are strong, capable, and equal in every way to men, and then simultaneously degraded in every way, our parts dissected to sell products and our hearts numbed with the lie that "what you do with your body has no consequences...

2017-03-22 15:44:34
`
1 

The 'Edicule', the shrine over Our Lord's tomb, is in danger of 'catastrophic' collapse...  

A shrine built over a cave that is revered as the tomb of Jesus is in danger of "catastrophic" collapse, according to a report by National Geographic. The shrine (or the "Edicule," as it is often called) is located within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. According to legend, Helena, the mother of emperor Constantine the Great (A...

2017-03-22 15:34:52
`
1 

Theologian says 'Amoris' Communion debate is settled in Africa — in favor of Catholic tradition...  

A gathering in Rome this week aims to bring the voices of Africa to the world, and even before it begins the main organizer is doing just that, saying Monday that the debate over Communion for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics unleashed by Amoris Laetitia is already settled in Africa - and that the answer is "no." "If you go to the ordinary parishes in most of Africa...

2017-03-22 14:29:29
`
0 




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