How to Become a Lapsed Catholic, and Come Back, in Several Easy Steps

lapsed catholic

by Justin Sengstock, Guest Contributor to Catholic Majority   I was flopping at a friend’s Brooklyn apartment for a few days. The Friday I arrived, we had dinner at a pub. Mine was Guinness and chipotle shrimp tacos. We chatted about a topic I no longer remember. Except that it caused him to observe: “We’re both practicing Catholics.” I froze. For the first time in our decade-long acquaintance, this wasn’t true. He wasn’t aware of it. We’d never talked about Continue reading How to Become a Lapsed Catholic, and Come Back, in Several Easy Steps

Saint Francis and Our Relationship With Animals

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Animals are an important part of my life, and I’ve been waiting for an appropriate occasion to write about this topic. Since today (October 4) is the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi, this is probably about as good an opportunity as I will get. Saint Francis is the patron saint of animals (among many other patronages), and most artwork and iconography we see of Saint Francis involves the presence of animals. I have something of a (very) soft Continue reading Saint Francis and Our Relationship With Animals

My Two (Peter’s) Pence: Thoughts on the Pope Francis Interview

pope francis

I should have known better than to get my information about the content and tenor of America Magazine‘s now famous interview with Pope Francis from the folks on Twitter. It’s surprising that I went so long without reading the full text of the interview, choosing instead to get my information in 140-character nuggets from the Twitterati. Considering that I have a great obsession with all things papal, and more than a mild distaste for Twitter, probably my best bet is Continue reading My Two (Peter’s) Pence: Thoughts on the Pope Francis Interview

Benedict’s Change to the Rite of Baptism

baptism

Shortly before Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI resigned, he implemented a small but significant change to the rite of Baptism in the Catholic Church. Currently, the priest or deacon at the rite of baptism closes with the words ‘the Christian Community welcomes you with great joy.’ The words were changed, effective March 31st of this year to: ‘the Church of God welcomes you with great joy.’ Practically speaking, this effect will be seen later at parish levels as the USCCB prepares Continue reading Benedict’s Change to the Rite of Baptism

Light: A Reflection on Lumen Fidei

light streaming through st. peter's basilica

Light is one of two key words in Pope Francis’s first encyclical, Lumen Fidei. (The other word, faith, is covered beautifully in Adam’s article here.) The encyclical itself is a beautiful, illuminating document, and I encourage anyone interested in learning more about faith to read it in its entirety. Although technically considered Pope Francis’s first encyclical, potential readers should make no mistake about it: This encyclical was written almost entirely by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Having just finished reading and A School of Continue reading Light: A Reflection on Lumen Fidei

Faith: A Reflection on Lumen Fidei

leap of faith

On the same day that Catholic Majority launched, Pope Francis gave to the world his first encyclical letter, Lumen Fidei, the Light of Faith.  On June 29th, the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul, we at Catholic Majority “committed to provide a voice for the diversity within the Mystical Body of Christ, with respect, for the betterment of the Church,” and Pope Francis reminded Catholics and the world that Christ came as light into the world to dispel darkness, Continue reading Faith: A Reflection on Lumen Fidei

A School of Prayer: Professor Benedict XVI

A School of Prayer

During my recent vacation to the North Carolina coast, I finished reading the Kindle edition of A School of Prayer, a collection of Wednesday audience talks given by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI beginning in May 2011 and concluding in May 2012, just nine months before his retirement and the fascinating conclusion of his pontificate. I will candidly admit that I had no strong feeling of attachment or admiration for Benedict when he was pope, other than a vague sense of disappointment in his papacy Continue reading A School of Prayer: Professor Benedict XVI