Why Attend Church? Five Pretty Good Reasons, But There’s Another One…


"5 reasons to attend church."  The headline in The Examiner caught my eye: After all, the recent PEW study demonstrated that Catholics and Christians are dropping out of the church-attending group, as society grows increasingly secular. "People can pray anywhere," they reason; and of course that's true, but aren't there real reasons for showing up in the pew on Sunday morning, for staying connected with a church community?Jessica McFarlane, reporter for the Philadelphia Catholic Examiner, o … [Read more...]

MASS MESS: If the Priest Screws Up, Have I Satisfied My Sunday Obligation?


We've been traveling, and that means... Different Churches!I absolutely love the opportunity to attend Mass at different churches around the country: One day there's a real sense of community, another day a solemn high Mass emphasizes the sacred, and then there's an exuberant children's liturgy that enkindles the Faith in young hearts. I love them all.But THIS?!Last Sunday at a church in a city I shall not name, the priest stood before his gathered congregation and said, "Well, the … [Read more...]

Stand, Sit, Kneel, Repeat… Why Catholics Do the Things They Do

By Rembrandt (http://sammlungenonline.albertina.at/) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

If you're a non-Catholic attending the Catholic Mass for the first time, chances are you notice this:  On cue, people stand up; they sit back down; they kneel; then they stand.... The curious onlooker might wonder what is the Secret Code that Catholics flash to one another, to achieve such uniformity in such complex circumstances.My Irish aunt used to joke about it, her irreverent but good-natured banter extracting humor from our Sunday ritual. "They learned precision in the marching ba … [Read more...]