Pope Francis' Year of Mercy Challenge

Posted by Jeremy Harrington, OFM on 5/26/16 7:18 AM

Image: Residents of South Sudan travel the road of independence and look forward to increased development, better living conditions and freedom of worship. (Steve Evans, Citizen of the World)
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Topics: Pope Francis, Year of Mercy

My Clumsy Confession

Posted by Guest Blogger on 5/25/16 7:24 AM

Clumsy ConfessionA little coffee spill shouldn’t be a problem for a Franciscan. Their robes are brown anyway. And I’ve seen Franciscans pull things out of hidden pockets, so each one probably holds a stash of napkins at the ready. Besides, I asked myself, what was the chance of my empty coffee cup having anything to do with a Franciscan prayer circle a floor below? 

One Saturday per year, I join 2,000 other enthusiastic “Catholic Men for Christ” to hear nationally renowned speakers in a posh, comfortable opera house. Various vendors of spiritual materials and refreshments are waiting for us during session breaks.

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Topics: Confession

Family Treasures: Helping and Celebrating Grandparents

Posted by Guest Blogger on 5/24/16 7:00 AM

Celebrating GrandparentsImage: flickr.
As a link between past and future, it is the grandparents who plant the seed, knowing full well they may not see the fruit of their harvest. They plant anyway. Sue and Marv Prins have grandchildren in Milwaukee—an eight-hour drive from home. Facebook and phone calls help shrink the distance, but Sue, who lives with a chronic illness, reasons, “I probably won’t live to see my grandchildren as adults.
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Topics: family, grandparents

Talking to God: Morning Prayers

Posted by Julie Cragon on 5/23/16 7:00 AM

prayer_LongThin.jpgImage: Long Thiên.
Throughout the day, we should be mindful that God wishes to continually hear from us. But how can we possibly speak to Him every minute when we are obviously busy?
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Topics: Prayer, God

Ask a Franciscan: Sacraments 101

Posted by Pat McCloskey, OFM on 5/20/16 7:00 AM


I receive many questions from curious, confused, or concerned Catholics about everything from the Mass to divorce to the saints. Sacraments are also of interest to people. Below are some recent ones.

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Topics: Sacraments

Pope Francis and Abraham Lincoln: Models of Faith

Posted by Guest Blogger on 5/18/16 10:22 PM

Pope Francis and Abraham Lincoln

Pope Francis mentioned four prominent Americans during his address to Congress on September 24, 2015. Three of these Americans— Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, and Martin Luther King Jr.—seemed to be obvious choices as all three were significant religious leaders. Why Francis selected the fourth person, Abraham Lincoln, is less clear.

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Topics: Pope Francis, abraham lincoln

True Beauty Comes from God

Posted by Lisa Mladinich on 5/18/16 7:00 AM

Image: Yanko Peyankov.

Standing next to my daughter in front of a mirror used to be a jarring experience for me. I gave birth to her when I was almost 40 years old after many years of infertility; so we have certainly never been mistaken for sisters. Still, her beautiful, young face unconsciously became my beauty standard, and my aging skin could not stand up to the comparison.

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Topics: God, beauty

Daily Prayers for Catholic Women

Posted by Julie Cragon on 5/17/16 7:00 AM


As women, we have so much work to do in our world. We are called to love, to serve, and to accept the responsibility of bringing others to Christ and Christ to one another. Our family, our spouses, our children, our co-workers, and all of the people in our lives need our love and attention. And they need good examples that they can follow in striving for holiness.

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Topics: Prayer, women

Our Quest for Happiness and Meaning

Posted by David Steindl-Rast on 5/16/16 7:00 AM

Woman on a Quest for HappinessImage: Eli Defaria.

Happiness and a meaningful life are inseparable. You may know people who appear to have whatever good fortune can give and are nevertheless desperately unhappy. And there are others who in the midst of raw misery are deeply at peace and—well, genuinely happy.

See if you can find where the difference lies. When we go deep enough, we find that the happy ones have found the one thing which the others are lacking: meaning in life. But we should not call meaning a “thing.” It is, in fact, the one reality in our life which is nothing.

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Topics: happiness

The Power of the Ascension

Posted by Nick Luken on 5/14/16 7:00 AM

Image: The Ascension of Christ, Gustave Doré.

As a graduating college student, I’ve got a lot to think about. On the one hand, I’m excited to finally be at a point where I don’t have to worry about taking exams, doing homework, or studying. But, on the other hand, I’m pretty nervous about taking on the responsibilities of the “real world.” It’s been a time of mixed emotions for me, and it’s specifically posed a challenge to my faith life.

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Topics: Ascension

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Saint Anthony Messenger
A Year of Mercy from Pope Francis
40 Days, 40 Ways by Marcellino D'Ambrosio