Lenten sacrifice an act of ‘living for others’

The beautiful and familiar “Peace Prayer” attributed to St. Francis of Assisi concludes, “It is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.” This prayer, although timeless, offers all of us a directive for Lent. It touches on the […]

What are you going to give up this Lent?

The Lenten rules about fasting from food and abstaining from meat have been considerably reduced in the last forty years, but reminders of them remain in the fast days on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and in the abstinence from meat on all the Fridays of Lent. Beyond these common sacrifices that unite us spiritually […]

Lent should be time of grace, defeating temptation, Pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The 40 days of Lent are a time of spiritual renewal in preparation for Easter, but they also are a time to recognize that evil is at work in the world and even the Catholic Church faces temptations, Pope Benedict XVI said. The Pope explained the meaning of Lent during his […]

Nickels, dimes and family size

A few years ago, I spoke with a young man preparing to get married. His aunt told him that she thought he and his fiancée were too financially-strapped to have a child, and that it wouldn’t be fair to bring up a baby in poverty. Keenly aware of his joblessness and his minuscule bank account, […]

Six more things everyone should know about the HHS mandate

This first appeared in the USCCBlog, Feb. 13. 1. The rule that created the uproar has not changed at all, but was finalized as is. Friday evening, after a day of touting meaningful changes in the mandate, HHS issued a regulation finalizing the rule first issued in August 2011, “without change.” So religious employers dedicated […]

Free exercise no longer free or exercisable

By now you’ve heard of the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) religious liberty-violating mandate that employers must cover sterilization, abortion-causing drugs and contraception. The directive includes no real regard for religious beliefs or dictates of conscience, and will be applied to nearly all employers, including Catholic schools, hospitals and charities.

Never stop telling the stories

Many years ago, I was listening to a homily, where the priest urged the congregation: “Never stop telling the stories.” He was reminding us that it was our responsibility, some as the elders, and some as someday to be elders, to tell the story of our history; to tell the story of our heritage. We […]

School choice: If not now, when?

The recent announcements of the Blue Ribbon Commission in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia have motivated many people to action on the issue of school choice. The need for major restructuring in Catholic schools is a vivid example of why school choice is necessary: Current parents are struggling to choose the best school for their child. […]

The Need for Scholarships in Philadelphia County

If you have been reading about Senate Bill 1: The Opportunity Scholarship Act (SB1) that is making its way through the state legislature, you may question whether or not children in your community need scholarship aid, or could use a voucher-based school choice program like the one proposed in the bill. Based on my experience […]

Chance for school choice might not come again

The Catholic community across Pennsylvania rose up to demand that their state legislators support school choice. Catholics with school-age children and those without sent letters, made phone calls and personal visits in the thousands with one message: we’re your constituents, and we want you to pass school choice legislation, especially in the form of vouchers. […]