In typical Catholic fashion, the answer is both/and.
Where were you on April 15 when you first saw flames tear through the ancient wood roof of Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral? What thoughts and emotions gripped you as plumes of smoke rose from that sacred space? And, equally relevant, how did you react days later when protesters hit the streets of Paris waving placards that read “1 Billion for Notre-Dame! Zero for the Homeless!”?
The synod is a powerful lesson to spread filial love for all of creation.
On October 15, 2017 Pope Francis announced that the Pan-Amazonian Synod would be taking place in Rome. The goal of the synod is to seek out new paths for evangelization, particularly in the area known as Amazonia, and shape “a Church with an Amazonian face,” according to the preparatory document for the synod published by the Vatican. The synod documents follow Pope Francis’ urging that care for creation necessarily includes care for the poor.
At the Amazon synod, the church must stand with indigenous people to protect creation.
The Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region was controversial long before this fall. Self-described orthodox Catholics have worried over its potential impact far from the Amazon. One of the issues to be discussed at the synod is the acute shortage of priests in the nine countries that make up Amazonia.
It's time for Christians to consider how technology impacts our relationships with one another and with God, says ethicist Kate Ott.
Professor and Christian ethicist Kate Ott had never taken a course on technology or digital ethics when she began to teach a class on the subject. Instead, most of her research and teaching involved issues of gender, healthy relationships, and violence prevention, specifically for teens. But diving into these issues, she found, led to questions about the role of technology in people’s lives.
Don’t worry too much about being sacrilegious if your child wants to distribute communion with potato chips or baptize their dolls.
A joyful squeal erupts from the hallway outside of the kitchen as I prepare dinner.
“En garde!” shouts my son in the deepest, throatiest voice his 8 years can dig up.
“En garde!” volleys his 3-year-old sister in a voice far less successful at impersonating a pirate.
Family sing-a-longs can bring you closer to each other and to God—but they don’t have to be during Mass.
There are many ways my husband and I differ, but perhaps the most significant is that I come from a family prone to spontaneous outbursts of song while he comes from a family prone to subtle nods as they listen to the car radio together.
From Columbine, Red Lake, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, and Parkland?
A couple of years ago, I taught Dave Cullen’s book Columbine (Twelve) to college freshmen, most of whom weren’t even born when Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris gunned down 13 of their fellow high school students on April 20, 1999. My students were largely ignorant of the shooting with little understanding of how profoundly that day shaped their high school experience. They were surprised to learn that only 1 in 5 high schools had security cameras before 1999. Today, 3 in 5 do.
Why is nostalgia so painful?
I love nostalgia even though it’s painful. The word has Greek roots in both the words “homecoming” and “pain.” Every time I go home to my parents’ house, I am hit with shades of it when I open a musty closet, run my fingers along untouched bookshelves, or rummage through dresser drawers that still contain small Mass books and buttons from when my brothers, sister, and I were little. A lot of people spend New Year’s thinking about what they will do in the year to come. I spent it thinking about what we did in years past.
This year, take the focus off presents and put it on serving God’s family.
If your kids are anything like mine, Advent has less to do with preparing for the arrival of baby Jesus and more to do with the studied preparation of Christmas lists. In an effort to combat an increasingly present-hungry holiday focus, a few years ago we started a Jesse Tree. Every morning, we added a new ornament to our Jesse Tree and read that day’s Bible story, which took us from creation to the birth of Christ.
Professors should talk about their personal beliefs in the classroom—even if it makes students uneasy.
A few weeks ago I was standing in the back of a college classroom at the Catholic university where I teach while my students chatted with a guest speaker via Skype. The guest speaker was a deacon on his way to the priesthood and a graduate of the University of Saint Francis, where I teach. In the shadowy back aisle where I stood, I listened while Deacon Jay explained that he was not Catholic during his first three years at Saint Francis, but felt pulled toward the faith after a chance invite from a couple of girls to join them at Mass.