Living the readings: The Light has come

Jesus shines the light on himself as the giver of freedom Advent is over; Christmas has come; and, significantly, the Light that was promised is already shining upon us. The fact that the first day of the year is always the Octave Day of Christmas is not by accident. We …

Understanding the sacraments: Confirmation: a mystagogical catechesis

The baptized are more perfectly bound to the Church with the sacrament of Confirmation Liturgical catechesis has one purpose: “to initiate people into the mystery of Christ (It is ‘mystagogy’) by proceeding from the visible to the invisible, from the sign to the thing signified, from the ‘sacraments’ to the …

Once upon a time: In praise of improvements for celebrating Mass

Times have changed since ‘midnight Masses’ at 5 a.m., 100-degree choir lofts, long Eucharistic fasts I have served in several parishes by now, but in only one of them do I find the cavities cut in the pews for hinges to the wee doors that once were affixed to every …

He dwells among us: Cartoon lessons

Advent is a time to draw closer to Him; He is our true peace, but also a sign of contradiction Gone now are the Bob Hope Christmas specials as well as other Christmas shows, including my most memorable one in 1977 when David Bowie joined in a song with none …

Living the readings: A joyful feast for the soul

By praising God, we can develop Christmas joy By Father Joseph Brando December is not only the first month of the liturgical year; it’s also the busiest. There are seven Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation in the month. To boot, Christmas has four entirely distinct Masses each with its …

Marriage enrichment: Learning to let go is a difficult lesson

Mary set the example in loving her child with an open hand, allowing Jesus the freedom to grow By Marian Christiana Learning to let go can be a challenge for all of us, especially when it comes to our children. Years ago, when our children were young and starting school, …

Mystagogical catechesis: baptism

‘Baptism incorporates us into Christ and forms us into God’s people’ By Father Randy Stice In Sacrament of Charity, Pope Benedict reminds us that Christian formation centers “on a vital and convincing encounter with Christ” that “gains depth through catechesis and finds its source and summit in the celebration of …

Once upon a time: A special glory of its own

East Tennessee Catholics are invested in The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem By Monsignor Xavier Mankel The Holy Land is called Holy because so many, many holy things happened there. Abraham would have sacrificed his son, Isaac, there (Mount Moriah). Three temples were erected there (Solomon’s was …

Holiday togetherness occurs in many ways

By the time you read this my family will have already celebrated Thanksgiving dinner together. Our family couldn’t all be together on Thursday, Nov. 22, so we celebrated early. This might have seemed strange to me at an earlier time in my life but now it makes perfect sense. Thanksgiving …

Jesus goes ‘all in’

We put our life on the line but the good news is we can’t lose by Father Joseph Brando Going ‘all in’ is an expression that recently has become very popular. Its source is found in certain versions of poker in which one player decides he will close all the …

From sign to mystery–mystagogical catechesis

Pastors’ commitment to efforts in leading faithful into the mystery of the sacred liturgy emphasized by Father Randy Stice In its Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, the Second Vatican Council put special emphasis on “full, conscious and active participation in liturgical celebrations” by all the faithful (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 14). “In …

Holy year is a chance to grow in faith, hope, love

Year of Faith is a time to reflect on Church’s path to where we are, look ahead to where we are growing How many times do we think to ourselves or even say aloud, “Been there, done that,” to indicate our relative lack of interest in something? The Church kept …