Archbishop Lucas on Conscience Formation & the Common Good

Sign outside St. Patrick Catholic Church near Omaha, Nebraska

Catholics are obligated to form consciences and cast responsible votes for candidates who will represent our shared values in the public square. Omaha Archbishop George Lucas shares thoughts on conscience formation and the common good. . . . → Read More: Archbishop Lucas on Conscience Formation & the Common Good

What’s the Deal with the Sign of Peace

Sign of peace at Mass

Joel shares a few thoughts about a part of the Mass that causes confusion for many: the sign of peace . . . → Read More: What’s the Deal with the Sign of Peace

6 Things I’ve Learned Since Dumping the Pill


Editor’s Note: In honor of Natural Family Planning Awareness Week, please welcome Renee McGuire to The Practicing Catholic. Renee and husband Kerry are parishioners at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in West Des Moines, Iowa, where they teach Natural Family Planning classes. This is Part 1 of Renee’s testimony. Part 2 is 5 Steps to Embracing Natural Family Planning.

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“This is just the rhythm method and everyone knows that doesn’t work.”

“Everyone who follows natural family planning has big families and we can’t afford that.”

“NFP is too hard to learn.”

“Catholics don’t really follow this anyway. It’s so . . . → Read More: 6 Things I’ve Learned Since Dumping the Pill

A Virtual Pilgrimage to Holy Hill

Holy Hill Steeples - up shot

Is a domestic pilgrimage in your future?

While visiting family in Wisconsin last week, we made a pilgrimage to Holy Hill, a national basilica and shrine that has welcomed pilgrims since the late 1800s. The site welcomes over 500,000 pilgrims a year, making it one of the most popular shrines in the United States. In fact, Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the former Archbishop of Milwaukee, celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving there in April.

Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s get this virtual pilgrimage started! Click on any picture to expand view. Once expanded, if viewing on a device with a keyboard, move through the slide show using the arrows on your keyboard.

. . . → Read More: A Virtual Pilgrimage to Holy Hill

Dot-catholic is cool, but what about .sex, .porn & .adult?

What will they stumble onto?

Moral and ethical questions abound in the creation of new real estate in cyberspace.

We sometimes struggle with our domain name. After all, who are we to own As if we’re the epitome of what practicing Catholics should be. Hardly. Still, it does convey a message, a sense of mission. It tells you something about who and what we aspire to be with our digital presence.

Internet branding has now gone to a whole new level. Stick with me for a moment here. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) just approved new top-level domains (TLDs). What does this mean? Essentially, .com will no longer be the gold . . . → Read More: Dot-catholic is cool, but what about .sex, .porn & .adult?

A Baptism — {Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} Style

Here’s a pictorial recap of Jude’s Baptism on Sunday, April 22, 2012.  As a friend said to me, there really are no words to describe this moment. So, I’ll allow the pictures to do the storytelling. Thanks to our dear friend Sue for snapping these photos. And Father Kautzky, we are blessed to call you friend and Father. Thank you for celebrating Jude’s first sacrament with us!


(click on any picture to expand view)

Call me pretty, call me boy. Just don’t call me pretty boy!


Happy Grandparents 

Happy Godparents

Happy Das Schmidt Haus!


Oil and water? On . . . → Read More: A Baptism — {Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} Style

Reconsidering the Seamless Garment

Well-intentioned axiom has out-lived its usefulness, should be retired.

We’ve all been there.

You’re way behind on laundry so you dig deep into your closet, rummaging through clothing you haven’t worn in years. Amid all the outmoded items you find what appears to be a gem, something you used to wear all the time. Okay, it is a bit outdated. “But that just makes it funky, retro hip,” you say to yourself. As you put it on, it feels kind of awkward, but you tell yourself that’s precisely how it’s supposed to fit. One look in the mirror and you’re convinced. “This is going to be awesome!” And with that final . . . → Read More: Reconsidering the Seamless Garment

President Obama: Let Us Be Catholic

“With all the problems in this world, with the economy, with terrorism, with our country being sold to China, with Iran possibly becoming a nuclear power, with all these things, why is [the Obama administration] so obsessed on reproductive services?

When did reproductive services become the national cry of our nation? When did it become more important than the Bill of Rights, more important than the Constitution?

We [the Catholic Church] are the one voice that speaks out clearly to this culture of death that abortion is wrong…and now we will be forced to actually pay for someone to have an abortion…We cannot and . . . → Read More: President Obama: Let Us Be Catholic

Ash Wednesday: Begin Again

Lent, a season particularly focused on renewal and conversion, begins today. 

Flip through the pages of most current home and garden magazines and you will easily find articles with tips for spring-cleaning. I recently found an article titled, “Spring Clean Your Finances.” The first paragraph read, “Spring is the season of renewal — the time to get out the gardening tools, begin a new exercise program, or tackle the dirt that’s accumulated in the house.”

Let’s focus on that first line: Spring is the season of renewal.

What a great reminder that the season of Lent is also a season of renewal for Christians. As we approach the Easter . . . → Read More: Ash Wednesday: Begin Again

Dominican Sisters: Say N-O to B-O. Novena Starts Today.

And we ain’t talkin’ body odor, folks

These Nashville Dominican Sisters have some spunk.

Have you seen their statement about President Obama’s health insurance mandate? Here’s a snippet.

Health Insurance Mandate: Religious Freedom and Conscience Rights in United States Seriously Threatened

The United States, from its very beginnings, has been an example of true human freedom and religious liberty for all. During its history, in fact, our nation has sheltered countless people who came here from countries where their basic freedoms were either in danger or being denied altogether. Sadly, Americans now face a similar threat. At this moment, which is strange and new to us, our own . . . → Read More: Dominican Sisters: Say N-O to B-O. Novena Starts Today.