Understanding the sacraments: Penance–a mystagogical catechesis

Mercy is stronger than sin for penitents who undergo conversion through the action of the Holy Spirit The purpose and effect of the sacrament of penance is to heal our relationship with God. “Indeed, the sacrament of reconciliation with God brings about a true ‘spiritual resurrection,’ restoration of the dignity …

Once upon a time: Holy Mother Church blessed with great popes

The best pontiffs have made significant contributions through teaching, acts of initiative, wisdom I love popes, especially holy and great ones with which Holy Mother Church, the body of Christ, has been blessed during the modern times of pontificates beginning with Blessed Pius IX (1846-1878) and continuing to the present: …

He dwells among us: Joy and ashes

Ashes should be a distinctive sign, not only of our Catholic faith but also of our joy in Christ and his cross It always amazes me how quickly we seem to transition from the joyful celebration of the Christmas season to the penitential season of Lent. But their close proximity, …

Living the readings: From strength to strength

God creates us and renews us in power For some reason many people fear the number 13. Those folks are facing a serious problem this year as we navigate the uncharted waters of the 13th year of the 21st century. One of the first problems it presents to the Christian …

Stewardship in love and marriage

February is an appropriate time to enhance the beauty, faith, sacrifice, and joy of marital relationships The January edition of The East Tennessee Catholic contained an insert describing the purpose and focus of the 2013 Bishop’s Appeal Campaign. The title of the campaign is “Love Never Fails,” and the idea …

Understanding the sacraments: The Eucharist–a mystagogical catechesis

Through the source and summit of Christian life, we enter into the mystery in every aspect of our lives According to Blessed John Paul II, a mystagogical catechesis of the liturgy helps the faithful to do three things: “to understand the meaning of the liturgy’s words and actions, to pass …

Once upon a time: Many people are ‘foundational to our story’

Popes, bishops, priests, deacons, brothers, sisters and laypeople all ‘give dimension to this Church of ours’ The month of January, traditionally our coldest month of the year, was the last month to have her calendar filled from New Year’s Day until the feast of St. John Bosco (the 31st). The …

He dwells among us: Better than expected

Faith reminds us that Christ is truly present and hope ever builds our trust in him as disciples It seemed like a good idea at the time, but it didn’t quite turn out the way I expected.” I was but a young boy at the time when my elderly neighbor, …

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 …

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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 …