A Broken Supply Chain

A troubling national trend is the gradual loss of “international” priests and religious. “International” is the designation given in the United States to pastoral ministers who come from places like India, Nigeria, Colombia, and Brazil to bolster the pastoral workforce in this country. Priests and religious are permitted by the...

Listen Up!

Each new year begins with plenty of words of wisdom (or warning). We encounter change daily, yet for some reason when we shift into January, we feel the need to admonish ourselves…and others. Example: an online search for “New Year’s advice” produced 154 million results! We’re familiar with eat better,...

Deacon Ralph Torrelli: Focused on Evangelization

Q. How did you discover your vocation?  A. My parents were loving, caring, hard-working, and honest people who made sure my twin sisters and I were baptized and confirmed in the Church. But they were Catholic in name only, as they did not attend Mass or pray at home. So,...

The Meaning of “Yes”

“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” The words of Jesus in the Gospel of John 15:13 When we attend Mass, Christ lays down his life for us by way of the holy Eucharist. Christ mystically renews his death and sheds his...

Stay Connected to the Vine

Another year is here! I should be happy, but it sometimes feels like Jesus went away when I packed up the Nativity set. All the reminders of his birth are gone,  and now the day is dull and gray. I pray but feel nothing. Where is the Lord?  Do you...

Profiles in Service: Sr. Mary Patricia Quinn, CSJ

In all…things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. Romans 8:37 Q. How did you discover your vocation? A. Upon reflection, I realize that discovery is an ongoing process. Even at seventy-nine years of age and sixty-two years as a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet (CSJ), I am still...

Are You Listening?

By now you’ve heard about the Synod of Bishops that Pope Francis convoked on October 10 with a Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. If you haven’t done so already, it’s also likely that this Advent you will participate in a focus group, listening session, or online survey, wrestling...

A Gift of the Holy Trinity

Imagine being present during the visit between the Blessed Virgin and her cousin Elizabeth. When Mary’s greeting reached her cousin, the baby in her womb leapt with joy and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. At the visitation, Mary shares the greatest gift of God’s love. “For the first...

Fear Not!

During a “girls’ day” shopping trip—as we dug through trinkets and treasures—one of the women expressed her fear of gnomes. I could tell by her reaction to our curiosity that her distress was genuine. What disturbs me the most, she said, is “sometimes you can’t see their eyes!” I learned...

The Silent Call of Our Lady

Spectacular apparitions of Mary that occurred nearly a century apart had strikingly similar characteristics—primarily silence and light. They conveyed messages of great import for people at the time and for humanity today. Some readers may recall learning about the second appearances when they took place. They happened a little more...

Memories Old, Memories New

I’ve told my oldest daughter, Katelyn, many times, “your sister coming along so soon after you (eleven months) is the best thing that ever happened to you.” I say that because I was so enamored with my first bundle of joy that I dressed her up—even when we were staying...

Duty Calls

The Purple Heart is awarded to soldiers, wounded or killed, who have defended the United States against threats and attacks by an enemy in wartime. Originally known as the Badge of Military Merit, George Washington presented the first badges during the Revolutionary War. While never abolished, the awards didn’t officially...

Navigating Women’s Health Care

I wrote in September about Maria, a pregnant woman whose fetus was developing abnormally and whose doctors advised she get an abortion. After talking with me at the parish church and a mother I knew whose child had had complications, Maria put her life and that of her unborn baby...

Don’t Offend, Amend

Sometimes I think of our Blessed Mother’s plea to people to amend their lives. Then I think about the miracle of the sun that occurred in Fatima, Portugal, on October 13, 1917. Could the miracle have been greater? Yet, “a lack of faith can diminish God’s miraculous power,” warns Fr....

Committing to Integrity

At the end of my September column, I said I was “stepping down” from the soapbox from which I opposed vaccine incentives and people who shirk individual responsibility. But I’m back on that soapbox because of news that some states are offering COVID-19 vaccination incentives to help settle court fines....

Exercising Responsibility

All of us climb on our soapbox to express a viewpoint we feel passionate about. “Responsibility” in all forms—personal, moral, and social—to name a few—gets me on my soapbox. It’s a trait sorely lacking in society today, in my opinion. Case in point, COVID-19 vaccine incentives. I’m not talking about...

Miraculous Medals

The story of a necklace many Catholics wear begins with an apparition of our Blessed Mother to a young nun. Nearly 200 years ago, a young nun named Catherine Labouré experienced an apparition from our Blessed Mother resulting in the casting of medals that have enriched and benefited Catholics worldwide....

The Only Choice

Maria sat in the parish office, in tears and inconsolable. A third doctor had just told her that her best option was to abort her baby. Second and third opinions didn’t give her the answer she hoped for and desperately needed to hear. She wanted God’s help. She came to...

Sr. Joan Ridley, OSB

Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will...

Understanding Alcoholism

A Focus on the Erosion of Lives and Relationships Due to Alcohol Addiction First of a five-part series What would it be like to have an active volcano one hundred yards from your home? You never know when the volcano will erupt and destroy everything you own and everyone you...