The Holy Innocents, St. Augustine, and the Coventry Carol

Holy Innocents by Giotto

Today, during this octave of Christmas, the Church celebrates the memory of the Holy Innocents—the male children of the village of Bethlehem who were brutally murdered by the wicked king Herod in his quest to eliminate the Christ Child.I offer you three reflections on these innocent children:First, the Scriptural account of the massacre, as recounted in the Gospel of Matthew; Second, a homily by St. Augustine, who remembered the young martyrs and spoke of  heaven’s blessings streaming … [Read more...]

When the President Died

Cabrini - when Kennedy was shot

Fifty years ago—on November 22, 1963—our parish hired a photographer to come and take a group photo of all of us:  the priests, the sisters, the high school students, the elementary school students, the teachers, the maintenance crew…. All of us, girls and boys, the wise and the still-learning, the young and the oh-so-restless.I was there.  So was my future husband (although we wouldn’t meet until three months later).  And my four sisters.  And (I think) my baby brother.  And my six future si … [Read more...]

“Grow a Beard, Mr. Lincoln, for Your Face Is So Thin”

Abraham Lincoln 1

“All the ladies like whiskers and they would tease their husbands to vote for you and then you would be President”.One hundred fifty-three years ago, on October 15, 1860, an eleven-year-old girl from Westfield, New York wrote a letter to presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln.  It was only a few weeks before the presidential election, and young Grace Bedell hoped that Lincoln would win.  She worried, though, that he was too thin, and that his gaunt appearance would cost him votes.  “I have … [Read more...]