Showing posts with the label catholic traditions
Advent now comes and goes nearly unnoticed. The only thing worth of recognition between Halloween and Christmas is Thanksgiving, and even that has started to take a back seat as major stores start “decking the halls” and major TV stations start putting on Christmas movies in late October and early November. Advent, a delightful period of quiet waiting and anticipation for the coming of the child Jesus passes by largely forgotten. My husband is a Maronite Catholic. Any of you familiar with Eastern Catholicism may have heard that the Eastern Catholic rites follow a different liturgical calendar. Most major feasts, like Christmas and Easter, fall on the same dates, thereby emphasizing the unity of the Church, but other feasts and the general cycle of the liturgical seasons differs. Since we’re a mixed family (I’m Roman Catholic), I like to joke that we can opt for the longer Advent (Maronite calendar) and shorter Lent (Roman Catholic calendar). In all seriousness, though, I deeply appre…

The Crown

Nancy Bilyeau's debut novel The Crown takes readers on an odyssey through the England of Henry VIII during the bloody period of the dissolution of the monasteries as seen from the point of view of a young Dominican novice. There are many aspects of this extraordinary novel that contemporary Catholics will find that they can relate to, namely the confusion in the Church and the compromises of many of her members to political persecution and social expediency, as well as the heroic stand taken by those with the courage to speak truth to power. In Tudor England, speaking truth to power, or even silently trying to follow one's conscience, often meant dying a hideous death. Young Joanna Stafford finds that in those intense times there is no such thing as spiritual mediocrity; either she must take the high road or face perdition. Joanna is not one to settle for less than heroism anyway, having entered a strict Dominican monastery where she looked forward to an austere…

Inter Mirifica: Witnessing the Burial of the Old Sacramentaries, Via Facebook

Our parish priests are taking Pope Benedict XVI up on his invitation:

"I would like then to invite Christians, confidently and with an informed and responsible creativity, to join the network of relationships which the digital era has made possible. This is not simply to satisfy the desire to be present, but because this network is an integral part of human life. The web is contributing to the development of new and more complex intellectual and spiritual horizons, new forms of shared awareness."

A case in point: This morning I didn't go to daily Mass; instead my family walked over to the high school and watched alumni men and women play their annual soccer games. It's a glorious day. When I returned home, these photos were posted on my parish's facebook page with this note: "Stay tuned for the Blessing of the New Roman Missals, at all Sunday Masses this weekend."

Read more here...

Catholics and Halloween

A quote from this article on Halloween's Catholic Origins probably sums up what I have been thinking and "talking" about lately on social networks and with people I know, (and just yesterday on Radyo Veritas, when I was interviewed because of this article on CBCP News about our homeschool group's All Saints' Day celebration on November 4):

"Let's not focus on werewolves, witches, goblins or other evil characters but maybe other virtuous people or heroes," he said. "If not saints, then have them dress up as a fireman or football player or G.I. Joe. There are a lot of good figures in our secular culture worth emulating."

In fact, I highly recommend all Catholic parents to read the complete article here, along with the other thought-provoking, inspiring articles about Catholics and Halloween below:
Should Catholics celebrate Halloween?
Christians and Halloween: Should Christians celebrate Halloween?

At the end of the day, Jesus reminds us that we…

Reflections from a Family Wedding: Church is For Sinners

Our family just pulled into the driveway from a whirlwind weekend in upstate New York, where we helped to celebrate the wedding of one of my husband's cousins, a 28-year-old nurse, to a wonderful man. The wedding took place at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Ballston Lake. The bride's side of the church was filled with siblings, first cousins and second cousins who had flown in from as far as Idaho and California, a sprawling clan of Irish Americans that I was delighted to introduce our sons to. (We loved spending an hour and a half at a diner before the wedding meeting blogger Fran Rossi Szpylczyn, who lives and works nearby.)

On the drive home, my husband told me he was surprised to hear one of the newly married couple's friends refer to the bride as a nostalgic girl, as a girl who likes to do things the old-fashioned way, including marrying in the church. This led us to reflect on what draws people to the Church and what prompts them to leave.

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Activities for other special Catholic events in September, especially Mama Mary's birthday

Besides the Feast Day of Blessed Mother Teresa, there are a couple of other memorable events coming up this September, namely Mama Mary's birthday (or Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary) on September 8, The Exaltation of the Holy Cross on September 14 and The Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows on September 15. Exciting huh?! ;-) 

Let's take a look at what two of my favorite Catholic mommy bloggers have posted with regard to ideas and activities for celebrating these feast days:

First of all, may I just say that Lacy is really one of my favorite Catholic mommy bloggers?!! She is so blessed with creativity and resourcefulness, and I always refer to her blog for crafts and activities that highlight the beauty of the Catholic faith. Here is her compilation of ideas (from other amazing Catholic moms!) for celebrating Mama Mary's birthday:

So the most obvious idea for celebrating this feast day is to make a birthday cake for Mary. Anything blue is a great idea since that's Mary'…

How Do You Find A Spiritual Director?

I receive emails about this all the time. It is the eternal question and a great question. The very short answer is that you can go to your local retreat centre and ask, but there are other ways of locating a director.

At many Catholic Retreat Centres they have programs which provide formation for spiritual direction.  There are a few Catholic Colleges and Universities which give very formal training for spiritual direction, through one a candidate can earn a masters and doctorate in spiritual direction.  Any of these should be willing to give you names and references for a spiritual director.

Because spiritual direction is necessary during the formation of permanent deacons, priests, and lay ecclesiastical ministers, you can ask at those dioceses offices for their list of spiritual directors. If they do not have them for some reason, your parish priest could also be a resource for name of directors.

If you go to a parish mission, many parishes now are hiring spiritual directors to gi…

Catholic Traditions

At a recent funeral of the bother of a very dear family friend I was struck by how comforting all the rituals were to all of us. Almost everyone there was knowledgable about the funeral rites and it allowed us to relax, to be carried along by the rhythm of the liturgy and to be consoled by the comfort of familiar roles and responsibilities.
In Catholic funerals, the Church seeks to provide spiritual support for the deceased and honor their bodies, as well as to provide a measure of hope for the family and friends of the deceased.
I have been to funerals where the closest thing to ritual was a CD playing “I can’t give you anything but love, Baby,” as the crematorium doors opened. [I kid you not.]
Others might find such off-beat funerals meaningful and original, but, when I am deep in sorrow, I don’t want anything new – I want the comfort of the tried and true.
Do you feel the same way?