Were there ever women deacons in the church?

Father Kenneth Doyle describes the unique roles played by some female believers in the early church. In response to another reader's question, he clarifies concerns about the Alpha evangelization program used by many parishes worldwide.

Hospitality is an important ecumenical virtue, pope says

Welcoming others counters the denominational divisions that "prevent us from being fully the sign of God's love for the world," said Pope Francis while reflecting on the Jan. 18-25 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Gift of understanding helps us to see as God does

Understanding moves us beyond merely agreeing with what God has revealed to taking seriously what his revelation means for our everyday decisions.

Trouble understanding? Spirit helps us listen

Our lack of understanding often leads not to a productive conversation but to a refusal to listen. Be it in our families, our politics or global issues, the Spirit's gift of understanding asks us to go deeper.

Readings of the Holy Mass: Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Read or listen to the readings before Mass with these resources from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, using the New American Bible, Revised Edition.

Making someone smile can witness to Gospel’s joy

Commenting on this Sunday's Mass, Msgr. Joseph Prior tells of how an old woman in a nursing home made a priest laugh, showing a witness to Jesus that would make St. John the Baptist proud.

Preaching to the choir can create harmony

Scripture teaches that sharing our beliefs and convictions with like-minded others gives us energy to pursue good works, writes Gina Christian. In the process, we write a song that all are called to sing.

God’s word can never be ‘enchained,’ pope says at audience

In a Jan. 15 address, Pope Francis said that the church, like St. Paul, continues to proclaim the love of God in Christ despite misunderstanding, rejection and persecution.

A taxi ride with the Holy Spirit

While sharing a cab with friends, writer Shemaiah Gonzalez learned a life-changing lesson about inviting the third Person of the Trinity more deeply into her daily life.

Even in the 21st century, there’s room for wisdom

More than ever, this gift of the Holy Spirit -- freely given to young and old -- is needed to renew the faithful and inspire them to take right action.