To Send Letters to the Christians of Baghdad

This morning, Maria Teresa Landi, friend of a friend, came up with an extraordinary  idea: send letters of encouragement to the Christians of Baghdad, who are suffering horrible persecution and killings. They are the Church’s modern-day martyrs. By day’s end, the Nuncio at the United Nations was offering his diplomatic pouch (direct mail). He proposed to have all letters and messages sent to him by Tuesday night in a package and he will send the package to the Nunciature in… Read more

To Ask Mary to Pray For Us— in Arabic

Feast of St. Josaphat Asking for the intercession of Our Lady may be the best course of action each one of us can take to help bring about peace in the Middle East for our persecuted Christian brothers and sisters. Our Lady is held in high esteem in the Islamic world, as well she should be, and our prayer requests to her are effective.I spent some time in the Middle East and a friend of mine tipped me off to the… Read more

Because Vincent de Paul was Once a Muslim’s Slave

Life got you down? Things perhaps haven’t turned out as you planned? Do you think everyone else has got it so easy? Your neighbors, for example, or those fortunate people who come into a considerable sum of money?And how about those saintly types? They are simply walking on air, those guys, living lives of complete and blessed beatitude, right? Hold up! While in Heaven the saints enjoy the beatific vision, but while they were here on earth? They were slogging… Read more

Because My Pope says “Read the Bible!”

—Feast of St. Martin of Tours  I can remember the days when I just knew that Catholics were clueless about the Bible. My wife was, for example. Of course, that was before I bumped into Blaise Pascal, and Thomas à Kempis, St. Francis de Sales, et al.But those guys are all high-powered super Catholics, you may be saying to yourself. Well my Pope just published Verbum Domini, and a lot of converts like me are turning cartwheels over it. What… Read more

To Pray for the Christians of Iraq

Post by Allison Salerno,I drive New Jersey highways to work each morning, one uninspiring state road after another. Lately, I have found a scenic side road, right before I pull up to the large public high school where I work. The subdivision has large yards and ranch homes festooned for the season. Pumpkins, bales of hay and scarecrows dot the lawns. Some folks even have started to display Christmas wreaths even. As I was navigating these hilly pretty suburban streets,… Read more

A Statement and a Prayer (A Few Words for Wednesday)

Feast of Pope St. Leo the Great Today is a High Holy Day for Marines like me. On this day in 1775, the Continental Congress agreed to form two battalions of Marines. The committee that decided this met at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, over beers of course, and the Continental Marines were born.So those of us who have earned the title Marine, have two birthdays, the second of which we all celebrate today. I’m thankful that I was blessed to be… Read more

From the Time Capsule: The Making of a Chinese Nun, circa 1917.

Here is something I stumbled upon recently. It’s from the year 1917, when even in the United States women didn’t have the right to vote yet. I have been to many places in the world, and although as a culture we Americans like to think we have really come “a long way” and solved all the major problems, many of the women of the world still live in the way this young Chinese Catholic nun describes. Tell us a story… Read more

What to Teach the RCIA Class about the Saints?

—Blessed John Duns Scotus This coming Sunday, (and the Monday evening following) I’ve been asked to teach the RCIA Catechumens and Candidates from my parish a class on the Communion of Saints. What should I tell them? What questions should I be prepared for? What do you think they want to know? What would you like to know if you were them?Aside from the dry, formulaic, and dare I say it, boring (!) presentations on the saints that many have endured,… Read more

Thanks to Cat Stevens (Music for Mondays)

One of my old “friends” from my teenage years was British singer-songwriter Cat Stevens. I spent hour upon hour listening to his music on my stereo. I loved his acoustic guitar and his hopeful, spirit-infused lyrics. His dark good looks didn’t hurt either. Now Cat Stevens is 62 years old. He famously converted to Islam in 1977 after he nearly died in a swimming accident off the California coast. He goes by the name Yusuf Islam and until 2006 largely… Read more

YIMC Bookclub: Wise Blood

—Feast of St. Leonard of Noblac I’ve been having a rollicking good time reading Flannery O’Conner’s Wise Blood. I’ve finished the first seven chapters and the cast of characters is setting us up for the the main event. Did you know director John Huston, the voice of Gandalf the Grey in the animated The Hobbit, adapted this novel to film?. So far we’ve met our “hero” Hazel, of Eastrod Tennessee (for sound effects, read this as Tannersee), and everyone he meets… Read more