What’s Wrong with Age-Bracketed Sacramental Prep?

In a private conversation I found myself writing, "This is why I despise, and I do mean despise, age-bracketed sacramental prep."  I'm referring to the practice, nearly universal, of giving all the Catholic seven-year-olds First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion, and then setting another age -- could be seven, or nine, or fourteen, or seventeen -- when we round them up again and give out Confirmation.  RCIA is more of the same, if we count "age" in terms of "months spent attending our pr … [Read more...]

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About that Food Stamp Thing

Here's Simcha Fisher writing about her food stamp experience, and her experience should disturb you, but not the way combox losers huff and puff: And we followed this plan for many months. I salted away savings, and I strolled past the meat freezer in the supermarket, lusting after the trays of meat, scorning the shameless slobs who stopped and filled up their carts on the taxpayer’s dime. Freeloaders. Scum. Oh lord, look at that steak. Stop looking. Now go get some spaghetti. . . . I reme … [Read more...]

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Chronicle Ad Spawns Plethora of Open Letters: Fire My Bishop, Too!

Readers at this blog, inspired by the knowledge that Pope Francis is just as likely to read Patheos as he is to read The Chronicle, have been inquiring whether they can place advertisements addressed to the Holy Father concerning their bishops, too.  I'm not strictly sure whether my contract allows me to accept payment for such things, so I'm running a few for free.  As you can see, there are many, many bishops guilty of offenses along the same lines as Archbishop Cordileone. Dear Pope Fr … [Read more...]

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Are You Smarter than a “Prominent Catholic?” Archbishop Cordileone Rocks the Gospel.

The trouble with being Catholic is that there's not a quiz at the door.  One can thus rise to "prominent Catholic" status without knowing anything much at all about the Catholic faith, as readers of The Chronicle will have observed in the advertisement taken out by San Francisco citizens deeply concerned that Archbishop Cordileone is acting like a Catholic.It's not a particular surprise that the signatories are confused about their faith, since they also seem to think Pope Francis reads th … [Read more...]

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The Best Catholic Speaker You’ve Never Seen or Heard

Follow-up to my previous post, here's Christian LeBlanc teaching the Catholic faith in a grainy video recorded without an audience in a first-take, just-spit-it-out presentation:Lovely example of how he integrates Theology of the Body into Bible history.While you wait for someone to break down and give this man a proper camera crew, here's the book you want: … [Read more...]

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Three Great Ways to Help Parents Teach Their Children the Faith

In a follow-up on the topic of getting the parent-Church relationship right, here are three best practices to add to your arsenal: 1. Peanut Butter and Grace Susan Windley-Daoust writes: Jen, thanks for the Patheos article on what's wrong with parishes doing religious ed as first responders. A number of people have forwarded it to me, saying, PB and Grace is addressing this!Well, we hope so. If you want to take a look, its a new small Catholic press dedicated to making family faith … [Read more...]

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The Kissable God

The feasts of the liturgical year intertwine.  At Christmas we adore the baby Jesus, cuddly, but it's on Good Friday that the liturgy invites us to come forward and give that grown-up baby a kiss.  God become man, a man we can hold, and touch, and thank.  And then on Easter, Mary Magdalene, apostle to the Apostles, mistress of tenderness, embraces that Man and is told to let go: There is more still coming.There is still more coming.  From the God who can be kissed.Happy Eas … [Read more...]

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