Memorial Day and the Mass

Red poppies growing among the ruins in Ancient Ephesus

When we remember together, it takes on a different character. Rather than simply recalling the past, this communal remembrance brings the sacrifice of those who have given their lives for our freedom into the present day. Further, it somehow becomes eternally present whenever we gather to remember. Does any of this sound familiar? Substitute Jesus for the person(s) you remember today, and this is the essence of the sacred Eucharist. . . . → Read More: Memorial Day and the Mass

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

Reflections from the 2012 March for Life

For 39 years, thousands of people have made a pilgrimage to Washington, DC to bear witness to the sanctity of human life.  This year was no different. On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court handed down a decision (Roe v. Wade) that changed the United States of America in a way no other decision has done in the past. It ushered in the culture of death and a society and nation with little regard to the dignity of each human being. The March for Life is a time of mourning; a time of prayer, fellowship, renewal, and hope.

Iowans for LIFE organized 118 middle school, high school, college, young adult, . . . → Read More: Reflections from the 2012 March for Life

Invite Them Back — Invite Them In

Christmas is a great time to invite friends & family back to Mass

St. Henry Catholic Church – Marshalltown, IA

On November 27, the first Sunday of Advent and the start of a new liturgical year in the Church, Roman Catholics across the English-speaking world began using a new translation of the Roman Missal. The revisions provide a more literal English translation from the original Latin text of the prayers used during the celebration of the Mass.

Many of us have family members and friends who are not active Mass or church-goers, and Advent and Christmas present excellent opportunities to reach out and invite them back. This Advent however, . . . → Read More: Invite Them Back — Invite Them In

Animated Mass in 3D — Angels Included

The Greatest Miracle opens in theaters December 9

The Greatest Miracle — In theaters December 9

At Mass, we pray in the midst of thousands of angels. St. John Chrysostom states that “When Mass is being celebrated, the sanctuary is filled with countless angels who adore the Divine Victim immolated on the altar. Beside the guardian angels of the faithful who are present, thousands of heavenly spirits assist at Mass, reverently worshipping their Lord and God.”

How powerful and what a gift we have in the sacred Mass! Hard to imagine it could be the backdrop for a 3D-animated film . . . but it is now!

In The . . . → Read More: Animated Mass in 3D — Angels Included

Less Turkey, More Thanksgiving

The Catholic roots of the word Thanksgiving and it’s history in America. . . . → Read More: Less Turkey, More Thanksgiving

Clip Out, Photocopy & Pass-On Advent Guides

The National Catholic Register’s 2011 Advent Guides

I enjoy receiving our printed copy of the National Catholic Register this time of the year for the clip out, photocopy, and pass-on Advent guides. Previous years’ clip-outs still remain in my prayer journal, and I refer to them often (e.g., the How (and Why) of Daily Prayer and Praying the Rosary).

This Advent the National Catholic Register challenges each reader to invite someone back to Mass, and they have provided a helpful guide titled How (and Why) to Return to Sunday Mass to give to your invited guests. As stated on the guide, “All that is needed to save some souls is for someone to show courage and reach . . . → Read More: Clip Out, Photocopy & Pass-On Advent Guides

First Communion and Counting

This past Sunday, my son celebrated his fifth communion. I know because he told me. He’s been counting and says he plans to keep counting until he is an old man hobbling down the aisle. I hope he does. Personally, I love to envision him bent over a walker, shuffling down the aisle, murmuring, “three thousand nine hundred ninety-two.”

His first trip down the aisle was marked with youthful vigor and enthusiasm.  He shot out the side of the pew, clapped his hands together, marched with surgical precision, and bowed deeply before his Lord. And I cried a little. This was a big joyful day for us.

One after another, . . . → Read More: First Communion and Counting

What Kind of Theology is THAT?!

Kneeling and Praying

Clapping during and after Mass. Seems to strike a chord with many fine folks. Here’s an alterative to clapping. . . . → Read More: What Kind of Theology is THAT?!

Happily Ever After

November 7, 2010: 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

The “afterlife” is an interesting topic. Bring it up with enough people and you will get responses ranging from reincarnation to rapture and everything in between, including nothing at all. What do you believe? This was the subject of the past Sunday’s readings.

The coffin of a victim is carried past Our Lady of Salvation Church the morning after its congregation was taken hostage in Baghdad. Iraqi security forces stormed the Baghdad church where the militants had killed dozens of people, including a priest. (Hadi Mizban / . . . → Read More: Happily Ever After