Gospel Reflection for Monday, First Week of Advent

by Gretchen Pacheco, Guest Contributor to Catholic Majority   When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.” He said to him, “I will come and cure him.” The centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man subject to authority, with soldiers Continue reading Gospel Reflection for Monday, First Week of Advent

Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord

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We close the Christmas season with Christ’s baptism in the river Jordan by John (i.e., the baptism of our Lord). This is the third Epiphany of the Christmas season and the last time we will hear ‘We Three Kings’ for 11 months. Christ’s birth The Visiting of the Magi Christ’s baptism in the river Jordan This completes the theophany. Scripturally, when Christ was baptized, the voice of the Father thundered and the Holy Spirit was present. This was the first Trinitarian Continue reading Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord

Saint Andrew, the Inspirational Apostle

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Today we celebrate the feast of Saint Andrew, the Apostle. Saint Andrew was the brother of Saint Peter, and the first called of all the disciples. It was Saint Andrew who convinced his brother, Peter, to leave behind their fishing business and to follow Christ. Saint Andrew appears in the Bible by name on twelve separate occasions and can be found in all four gospels and in the Acts of the Apostles. Saint Andrew in the Bible According to the Continue reading Saint Andrew, the Inspirational Apostle

Benedict’s Change to the Rite of 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

Confession Confusion & Conscience

Forgive me, y’all, for I have sinned. It has been 26 years since my last confession. (Except for a “communal confession” I attended 20 years ago; but, from what I can tell, that doesn’t “count.” Neither does my public confession of simony that I recently wrote about for Catholic Majority.) So why haven’t I been to confession? Well, I’d like to try to explain that here. But first, some background information: What is confession? Although the best, and most fleshed-out Continue reading Confession Confusion & Conscience

Indulge Me for a Moment: Rethinking Indulgences

purgatory indulgences

My initial thoughts on the topic of indulgences have been prayerfully thought out and represent my current feelings on the matter. But before I embark on sharing my thoughts, let me be clear that I do so with utmost respect for the Church and her teachings. This is an initial post, with the possibility of further meditation on this exhaustive topic. (We will not even touch upon the indulgences abuses of centuries past). First, let us begin with what the Catechism Continue reading Indulge Me for a Moment: Rethinking Indulgences

The Godfather

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Recently, I was asked by a family in my parish to be the godfather for their baby boy, Cole. In the same week, my youngest sister had a baby girl and asked me to be baby Ellie’s godfather. Having no kids myself, I felt honored to suddenly have two godchildren. On the surface, I always saw this role as an affirmation from the parents to the godparents, affirming that I was of importance in their lives and they wanted to Continue reading The Godfather