National Catholic Schools Week is an annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. Now entering its 49th anniversary year, it is an opportunity for us to recognize the importance of Catholic education and formation and to celebrate our school that has instructed and formed our children for over 100 years. Our school has enjoyed a strong reputation as an outstanding Catholic elementary school ever since it opened in 1916. It was originally founded to ensure that the Catholic children in this area would receive both an excellent education […]
Every year since the fateful Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision in 1973 legalizing abortion in our country, we have been called to reflect on the Gospel mandate to protect human life from conception to natural death. Although Roe v. Wade has been finally overturned, the struggle to end abortion in our country continues. So many people – including those claiming to be practicing Catholics – have bought into the lie about a woman’s rights over the child in her womb and are working to overturn the effects of the […]
Have you ever glimpsed pure peace in another person? We see it as we gaze on a little baby while they are asleep. On rare occasions, we experience it in the presence of a particularly holy person. I have felt it on the occasions when I was privileged to be with Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II. Some people seem to exude peace. They are a blessing to be around. That must be what John the Baptist perceived in Jesus: a person whose very being manifested holiness and peace.
As Christmas comes to an end with the feast of the Baptism of the Lord – which we celebrated this past Monday – we begin what the Church calls Ordinary Time. It is called “ordinary” because the weeks are numbered in order – 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. It is time – usually 33 weeks – ordered by God’s grace in between the sacred seasons of Advent and Christmas, Lent and Easter. The priest wears green vestments. Our church’s Christmas decorations have come down and we all have returned to a […]
Last Sunday, we heard of the shepherds who visited the newborn son of Mary in the obscure village of Bethlehem. Today, we hear of the magi who come from afar to pay him homage. These familiar biblical Christmas stories that we hear during this holy season provide important lessons for us. They do so through the many unexpected events and characters. They hardly seem fit for a king, much less a god. It all begins with a poor young virgin who cannot possibly be with child, yet she indeed conceives […]
Isaiah 49:3, 5 – 6
As we return to Ordinary Time, this Sunday we will hear the second of the four “Servant-of-the-Lord” oracles (over the years, we have heard the First Song – 42:1-4; Second – 49:1-7; Third – 50:4-12; Fourth – 52:13-53:12). Since it is found in chapter 49 of the Book of Isaiah, we know that it is from Deutero-Isaiah which dates to the time of the Babylonian Captivity. As I have explained in the past, these servant songs never name the servant and, as we will see in […]