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‘Dear Lord, are you wanting me to step away?’

God seemingly stays silent after a prayer of the columnist on retiring from a career in schools By George Valadie Have you ever thought you were right but it turned out you weren’t? I mean not just a little off, but wrong, way wrong? The “I don’t even know how …

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Deacons of the Church of the past and present

 The columnist is ordained to the diaconate, experiencing ‘a great joy to be in formation with these men’ By Deacon Bob Hunt The sixth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles relates the choosing and the ordination of the first deacons of the Church. Complaints arose among the Christians that …

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Mystery of iniquity

We live in a time ‘marked by distress’ and a trial that does not spare the Church By Bishop Richard F. Stika “Why do the nations rage and the peoples utter folly? The kings of the earth rise up, and the princes conspire together against the Lord and his anointed: …

Sobering statistics on mental health

Even great saints experienced mental illness; the Church has resources to help those who suffer By Bob Hunt The statistics on mental health in the United States are sobering. According to the National Institute for Mental Health, 52.9 million adults, or 21 percent of the adult population, experience a mental …

No one Catholic school student is like another

Parents and school staffers are sometimes surprised—and relieved—on graduation day By George Valadie Since we’ve retired, the concept of time has taken on an odd sensation. Random days are crazy busy. But others—when there’s not as much to do—feel like they crawl by, hours barely creeping along if they move …

Easter healing

Even in the season of joy, we must still love those suffering By Claire Collins Easter, the Church’s great season of joy, is here. The Gloria has returned, our homes are decorated with plastic eggs, and bright floral colors decorate the pews of our churches. For my family, the joy …

A plea for mercy

God has given us through St. Faustina a most powerful weapon—the Chaplet of Divine Mercy By Bishop Richard F. Stika “O give thanks to the Lord for He is good, for His mercy endures forever.”  — Psalm 136:1 Twenty-two years ago, on April 30, 2000, St. John Paul II canonized …

Getting ready for ‘Tornado Season 2022’

Does God get a good laugh watching us prepare our lives for an eternity we know is coming? By George Valadie An-ni-ver-sa-ry plural: anniversaries—1. The annual recurrence of a date marking a notable event, e.g., a wedding anniversary. Happily, that’s most often the context in which we use the word, …

We have reason to sing our ‘Alleluias’

What an outrageous idea: that we, as Christians, should dare to have joy in this world By Bob Hunt “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope.”—1 Peter 3:15 “We are an Easter people, and ‘Alleluia’ is our song!”—St. Augustine …

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God’s ‘peace plan’

In a time of global crisis, our consecration to Our Lady of Fatima and St. Joseph are needed more than ever By Bishop Richard F. Stika “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not …

Who am I?

The question Jesus asks all of us is the key to knowing our true identity and purpose in life By Bishop Richard F. Stika “Today, I must stay at your house.” — Luke 19:5 Welcoming Christ. It is generally considered rude to invite oneself to another’s house. But in the …

‘What are you waiting for?’

FOCUS missionaries are changing lives by bringing the Catholic faith to university students By Claire Collins My sophomore year of college at the University of Tennessee, I was getting closer and closer to leaving the Catholic Church. While my Dominican Catholic education had convinced me of Jesus’ presence in the …