My Not-Ready-for-Primetime Antiques Roadshow Investigation

Heirloom Rosary

Any Antiques Roadshow fans in das haus? While not a regular viewer, I’ve occasionally stumbled on the show and then find myself drawn into the fascinating stories and truths behind the heirloom on display. When the episode ends, I typically look around my house and think: Well, shoot. Look at all this junk. I sure don’t own anything worthy of an Antiques Roadshow spotlight. But maybe I just needed to look a little closer … . . . → Read More: My Not-Ready-for-Primetime Antiques Roadshow Investigation

7 Quick Takes: The Name Game, Camp Ujaama, First Fruits, Happy Marriages, Well-Read Moms & Cooking with 6 Ingredients

7 Quick Takes

Another round of 7 Quick Takes, courtesy Das Schmidt Haus. . . . → Read More: 7 Quick Takes: The Name Game, Camp Ujaama, First Fruits, Happy Marriages, Well-Read Moms & Cooking with 6 Ingredients

We Belong Neither to Darkness Nor to Night

Mourning the Loss of a Child

Walk into any darkened room, and all it takes is one small lit match to overpower its darkness and illuminate it. One. Small. Light. As The Christophers say, it’s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness. Today go be that light in this world that has been darkened and devastated by abortion. . . . → Read More: We Belong Neither to Darkness Nor to Night

Is This Jar Full?

Blessed Pope John Paul II

A wise, old Benedictine nun teaches a bunch of grumbling first-year seminarians about the necessity of keeping first things first. What can faithful Catholics take away from her lesson to fulfill the responsibilities of faithful citizenship on Election Day 2012? . . . → Read More: Is This Jar Full?

Pope Benedict XVI’s April Prayer Intentions

Unite with Christians throughout the world in praying for the pope’s monthly prayer intentions.

Since the nineteenth century, popes have asked the Apostleship of Prayer to pray for specific intentions. Two prayer intentions are requested each month from the Holy Father, a general intention and a mission intention. Let us join the Apostleship of Prayer’s dedication to pray for these intentions each day. Pope Benedict XVI’s April 2012 prayer intentions are:

General Intention – Vocations: That many young people may hear the call of Christ and follow him in the priesthood and religious life.

During the Second Vatican Council, Pope Paul VI initiated the World Day of Prayer for Vocations . . . → Read More: Pope Benedict XVI’s April Prayer Intentions

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

40 Days for Life

The 40 Days for Life campaign begins on Ash Wednesday, February 22, in 258 locations in the United States, Canada, England, Australia, and Spain. See the list of locations to get involved in the campaign nearest you!

Prayers for Women Approaching Labor

Prayers-for-Expectant-Mothers

Prayers for an expectant mother, for acceptance of the discomforts of pregnancy as she nears labor. . . . → Read More: Prayers for Women Approaching Labor

Learning to Discern God’s Will

Have you ever wondered how other people have learned to discern God’s will?

George Mueller, a nineteenth century English pastor who was known for his life of prayer and his close walk with God, once shared this simple method for determining God’s will through prayer and the Word:

I seek at the beginning to get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter. Having done this. I do not leave the result to feeling or simple impression. If so, I make myself liable to great delusions. I seek the Will of the Spirit of God through, or . . . → Read More: Learning to Discern God’s Will

An Open Letter to my Parish: Why I am Discerning the Diaconate

This letter appears in the June 19 & 26, 2011 bulletin of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in West Des Moines, IA.

My name is Joel Schmidt, and Fr. Hoefler asked me to write this column to introduce myself to you. Why? Because I am a parishioner here at St. Francis of Assisi and, God willing, I’ll be ordained a deacon in 3 years. That means I’m nearing the end of the first of four years of diaconate formation. I’m not surprised if you didn’t know that; I haven’t exactly advertised it. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if you don’t even know who I am. You might be . . . → Read More: An Open Letter to my Parish: Why I am Discerning the Diaconate