Living the Faith in My Corner of California


In the comments below, Manny invited me to say a few words about living as a faithful Catholic in the state of California. I'll state up front that I'm not a political blogger, nor am I qualified to making sweeping defenses of every issue on the plate. But I can respond -- at least from one mom's perspective -- to Manny's question, "Is California as anti Catholic (or anti religious in general) as it seems?"California is a big, diverse and beautiful melting pot of a state, just as in many … [Read more...]

Catholic First

St. Margaret Clitherow

In the comments below, my good friend Lisa Schmidt (of the wonderful blog The Practicing Catholic) posed the following query: Archbishop Chaput recently issued (in part) the following statement: “We should see ourselves as Catholic first — not white or black, or young or old, or Democrat or Republican, or labor militant or business owner, but Catholic first as the main way we identify ourselves. Our faith should shape our lives, including our political choices.” One of the many things I admire a … [Read more...]

Quantum Levitation and Faith Levitation


In our foyer is a small, beautiful icon of Our Lady of Good Counsel, and the icon has an interesting story behind it:Each year on April 25, the feast day of St. Mark Genazzano’s patron Saint, a fair took place near the church of the Mother of Good Counsel. On that day in 1467 towards the evening as the fair was beginning to end a white luminous cloud appeared over the village. The cloud descended on the church of the Mother of Good Counsel. The bells of the old tower began to ring by t … [Read more...]

St Francis of Assisi and Authenticity – UPDATED

He's one of the biggies, so he gets a lot of coverage on his feastday. The Internets have been hopping and bopping on St. Francis all day.I've always thought of Francsicans as jolly folk; my cousin is a Capuchin, and he's a very joyful priest, and my Secular Franciscan friends are all joyful, too!For some fun and fantastic Franciscan lore check out Fr. James Martin at America, who celebrates the release of his latest book, Between Heaven and Mirth with some jolly stuff:This notion of the … [Read more...]

Steve Jobs, Death Penalty and St. Therese

I'm totally tied up this weekend, but do check out these couple of things.Deacon Greg: Did you know Steve Jobs was adopted?. A homily for Respect Life Sunday. It's one of his best, so don't miss it.And think about the question: "what has happened to us?"Catholic Moral Theologians: seek to abolish the death penalty. The Church's position is ever-evolvingA couple of St. Therese links on her Feastday: St. Therese Getting Scientific; Being Little; and moreThat's Catholicism! A world wide … [Read more...]

Charity Heroes: St. Vincent de Paul and Vogt

(Illustration by Pat McNamara)Tomorrow is the feast day of St. Vincent de Paul, and if you're not familiar with his story or why he matters, you'll want to avail yourself of Doctor-now-Professor Pat McNamara's excellent and informative profile of this enterprising and surprising saint, who started on his path for all the wrong reasons:"An intelligent child from a poor family, he initially saw the priesthood as an escape from poverty. Once he acquired a wealthy parish, he planned to use his … [Read more...]


Over at First Things, a terrific feature on Hidegard of Bingen:Many have made Hildegard in their own image. She became a mystic to later medievals who saw her through the lens of her popular disciple Elisabeth of Schönau, although she was more properly a visionary and prophet. To humanists like Jacob Faber Stapulensis she became a woman of letters, to Reformers like Andreas Osiander a Protestant, and (in our own day) to the feminists like filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta a proto-feminist. She … [Read more...]

Misunderstanding Dorothy Day Misunderstands Mercy

Kathryn Jean Lopez has written a thoughtful and terrific piece addressing Stephen Prothero's puzzling or deliberately provocative notion that Dorothy Day's abortion could interfere with her cause for sainthood.Prothero wrote: “Can Catholics abide a saint who had an abortion?"Possibly reconsidering the question as a bit aggressive, he rephrased it: "Can you be a saint if you have committed the original sin of contemporary Catholicism?"Lopez writes:It’s probably fair to say that Day is mo … [Read more...]

Saints Preserved; An Encyclopedia of Relics

Well, this is fun!The body of Saint Catherine Laboure is displayed in a glass case beneath a side altar in the Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, at 140 Rue de Bac in Paris -- the place where she experienced visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. When the saint's body was exhumed in 1933, it was found with its eyes open, and they remain open to this day. Pilgrims often comment on the intense shade of blue in Catherine's eyes. -- excerpted from Saints Preserved; pg 51 Thomas J. … [Read more...]

Dear St. Clare and her Daughters

Chiara Offreduccio (July 16, 1194 – August 11, 1253)When you have loved Jesus, You are chaste; when you have touched [Him], You become more pure; When you have accepted [Him], You are a virgin. Whose power is stronger, Whose generosity more abundant, Whose appearance more beautiful, Whose love more tender, Whose courtesy more gracious. In Whose embrace You are already caught up; Who has adorned Your breast with precious stones and has placed priceless pearls on Your ears and has surrounded You … [Read more...]