Archbishop Lucas on Conscience Formation & the Common Good

Sign outside St. Patrick Catholic Church near Omaha, Nebraska

Election Day, USA, is one week away. Our votes, God willing, will be cast and counted. As an American, what a privilege it is to live in a democracy with the opportunity to vote. As an Iowan, while I yearn for some respite from the stream of negative political ads, what an honor it is to live in a swing state that often feels like the epicenter of this election. One vote certainly can make a difference here. And as a Catholic, what an obligation it is to form my conscience and cast a responsible … [Read more...]

What’s the Deal with the Sign of Peace

Sign of peace at Mass

There is probably no part of the Mass that causes more consternation than the sign of peace. From the glad-handers to the germophobes, there is no shortage in diversity of opinions on what to do during this time in the Mass. Traditionally, this ritual is ascribed to Matthew 5: 23 – 24. So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first and be reconciled to your brother, and then … [Read more...]

6 Things I’ve Learned Since Dumping the Pill

natural-family-planning-poster-2012

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. * * * "This is just the rhythm method and everyone knows that doesn’t work." "Everyone who follows natural family planning … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

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 ThePracticingCatholic.com? 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 … [Read more...]

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

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

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! {Pretty} (click on any picture to expand … [Read more...]

Reconsidering the Seamless Garment

You Look Fine

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 … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

Ash Wednesday: Begin Again

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: … [Read more...]

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

Nashville_Dominican_Nuns

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 … [Read more...]