Urban Plight

Over the past few decades, many dioceses have taken on the hard task of closing and merging parishes in urban areas. Too many buildings and not enough people have led to right-sizing, downsizing, renewal, planning, restructuring, or reimagining. As well-intentioned as efforts may be, they are often met with mistrust,...

Mary, Cause of Our Joy

In the Old Testament’s Second Book of Maccabees, there is an account of high priest Eleazar’s final words before his death. In his bold profession of faith, he reveals the mystery at work in the heart of every martyr: “I am not only enduring terrible pain in my body…but also...

Dinnertime, Prayer Time

With a wooden ladle in one hand and her plastic recipe card in the other, Mrs. J. made her way from the kitchen stove to the hall corridor. She elbowed open the door leading to their finished basement and shouted down the stairwell to ensure that her voice could be...

Deacons: Servants of Christ’s Love

In this final article of Liguorian’s yearlong series on permanent deacons, we wrap up with some common questions and history about this calling and how these men contribute to God’s people and his Church. Q. What are deacons? A. The diaconate, as a permanent state in life, had its origins...

Vow to Show the Way

Let’s make a pledge to pray for change in the hearts and minds of those who would willfully destroy the sanctity and dignity of human life. Our prayers may help lost souls living among us. Christ and the saints teach us that every soul is worth saving for the Kingdom...

Synodality in a Stable

A synod is an event that takes place for a period of time, in a designated place, and for a purpose. An example is the 2014–15 synod on the family and its mission and vocation in the Church. That synod experience helped produce the post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (“The...

More of Your Favorites

The Rest of 2021–22 Readers’ Choice Awards, Comments on Content Recently we asked you to name your favorite 2021–22 Liguorian articles for our Readers’ Choice Awards. We printed some comments in October; the rest follow. We thank all the readers who replied!  Series, First Place: “Alcoholism,” Fr. Ted Lawson’s comprehensive...

Your Favorites

Readers’ Choice Awards, Comments on 2021–22 Content We asked you in our May-June magazine to name your favorite recent Liguorian articles for our Readers’ Choice Awards, which we are announcing below with a few of your comments. Thanks to readers who wrote, including one who said, “I can’t choose a...

A True Halloween

The month of October is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the colors, cooler weather, and the hustle and bustle of fall festivals and chili cook-offs. Though I’ve never had much affinity for Halloween’s secular festivities—especially the gory décor that accompanies it—I do have an attic...

Deacon David Bernard Tobben

“Any success I have…is due to the Holy Spirit.” Q. How did you discover your vocation? A. My dad attended the Franciscan minor seminary for the first two years of high school. He and the friars discerned that the priesthood was not for him at the end of the second...

Bulletins Up in the Air

The parish council was having a heated discussion about the church bulletin. Should we print or not? Should we even continue it? What are the options? How will we reach people if we don’t have a bulletin? What about our advertisers? Our bulletin editor does such a great job, how...

A Perfect Prayer

One of my favorite memories is walking in the park with my mother. They were quite ordinary walks, but as the ninth child of ten it felt extraordinary to have my mother all to myself. What I recall is how my mother would look at me, listening to what I...

Cross and Sorrows

This month, we Catholics commemorate the Exaltation of the Holy Cross and Our Lady of Sorrows on back-to-back days, September 14 and 15. What can we glean from the feast and the memorial, respectively, while also enduring sufferings in our society and our world? Through Jesus and Mary, we see...

A Holy Year with Vatican II

Often more than a few steps ahead of us, Pope Francis has surprised us again. Still in the thick of the Synod on Synodality, which will conclude in 2023, in February he announced a Holy Year for 2025. Themed “Pilgrims of Hope,” it calls Catholics to prayer and penance, pilgrimages...

Deacon Hai B. Hoang

His Mother inspired him to serve Q. How did you discover your vocation? A. God called me to diaconal ministry via four persons placed in my path: My mother, Maria Nguyễn Thị Được, who raised my siblings and me as Catholics on her own after my father’s passing when she...

And Now, Come What May

I recently experienced one of the greatest joys of motherhood thus far: being present—completely and fully present— for my eldest daughter’s big day! Her husband is loyal, hard-working, and unfeigned; he loves her unreservedly. What more could a mother ask for? I knew he was committed when he readily accepted...

The Strength of Mary

The word mother can evoke many ideas and images. When we think of Mary, the Mother of God, we may picture a passive, quiet woman. Most artistic depictions of the annunciation illustrate her reflexively saying yes to God in accepting the angel’s invitation to be the mother of Jesus. When...

The Fruit Seniors Bear

The prospect of aging can cause feelings of fear and dread. In a society where the measure of a person’s value and worth fall heavily on the side of work and productivity, it’s no surprise that some elderly people feel irrelevant, useless, invisible, and unloved. If we go to the...

Stay Steadfast in Trials

Several months ago, my husband had both knees replaced. The after-surgery care and commitment were more challenging than either of us could have imagined. I likened it to bringing home a newborn from the hospital. Constant attention was required; the tiniest detail made a substantial difference. I quickly learned to...

Profiles in Service: Deacon Bruce Scott

“PRAYER IS OUR CONSENT TO GOD’S PRESENCE IN US.” Q. How did you discover your vocation? A. My pursuit of my vocation to the diaconate began in 2014 when I received a letter saying a deacon class was scheduled, and I was suggested as a possible candidate. I laughed and...