Good Friday – A Reminder for Catholics that the Crucifixion is Triumph Over Satan
Mar30

Good Friday – A Reminder for Catholics that the Crucifixion is Triumph Over Satan

For those born Catholic, images of Christ’s crucifixion and death are not pleasant to look at or to think about. Many adults and young people alike find the fact that Jesus’ death and suffering was actually a victory over Satan. How can being scourged and dying in such a horrifying manner be considered a victory?

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What is Holy Thursday? The Meaning of Being a Good Christian
Mar29

What is Holy Thursday? The Meaning of Being a Good Christian

When people talk about Holy Week, the days that come to most people’s minds is Good Friday, Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. However, Catholics should be aware that it comprises of more days than that. This day, Maundy Thursday, is an excellent example.

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How Catholics Prepare for Easter Around the World
Mar26

How Catholics Prepare for Easter Around the World

Catholics from all corners of the globe each have their own unique customs and places of worship as they celebrate Christ’s Passion, Death and Resurrection. Today, let us explore their cultural traditions and see how our brothers and sisters in different countries share our faith.

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What Are the Holy Days of Obligation?
Jan14

What Are the Holy Days of Obligation?

In the Catholic Faith, holy days of obligation are days that require us to attend Mass. Sunday is described as the “primordial holy day of obligation,” according to the Code of Canon Law, hence we are expected to go to church on this day but there are other special days as well.

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Revisiting the Christmas Story
Dec25

Revisiting the Christmas Story

The Christmas story is referred to many times throughout the Bible. It captures the beautiful gift that God gave to humankind which is the gift of His only son, Jesus Christ. Christmas reminds us of how Jesus became human in order to save us but it is not just the account of his birth. The Christmas story also lets us see how Christ’s arrival transformed the lives of the people surrounding Him.

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The History of Christmas Day
Dec23

The History of Christmas Day

To many of us, Christmas Day and December have become irrevocably intertwined but did you know that during the first 300 years of Christianity, the birth of Jesus Christ wasn’t observed in December? In fact, sometimes Christmas Day wasn’t observed on a particular date at all.

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5 Christmas Day Traditions for Catholic Families
Dec16

5 Christmas Day Traditions for Catholic Families

As members of the Catholic Faith, we should all be excited for Christmas Day not because of the parties, delicious food and merrymaking but because of the spiritual meaning behind this holiday. This once-a-year occasion reminds us of Jesus Christ’s birth, an extraordinary event that shows us just how much God loves us. Many families gather together on Christmas day to celebrate and spend time with one another. Here are 5 ideas on how you and your family can make your get-together more meaningful.

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The True Meaning of the Advent Season
Dec09

The True Meaning of the Advent Season

The Advent Season starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day or the Sunday that is closest to November 30 and it ends on Christmas Eve or December 24th. If Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday, it is considered the fourth Sunday of Advent and the time after sundown is considered to be Christmas Eve. To prepare for the beautiful celebration of Advent, let’s look into its meaning and reflect its importance in our lives as Christians.

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Tapping into the Spirit of Thanksgiving, Catholic Traditions
Nov21

Tapping into the Spirit of Thanksgiving, Catholic Traditions

We all look forward to having a delicious dinner with the family on Thanksgiving but there’s more to this occasion than just eating roast turkey and stuffing. Meaningful thanksgiving traditions help us remember the true essence of this wonderful holiday which is gratitude.

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Should Catholics Celebrate Halloween?
Oct12

Should Catholics Celebrate Halloween?

The topic of Catholics and Halloween is a controversial one. Many people around the world celebrate Halloween with costume parties, scary decorations and trick-or-treating from one house to the next. Should Catholics participate in these traditions? Should we celebrate Halloween?

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The Meaning of Easter Sunday for Catholics
Apr13

The Meaning of Easter Sunday for Catholics

Easter is a beautiful celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In the Gospels, Jesus Christ died for the sins of humankind. He rose three days after his crucifixion which is a miraculous and meaningful event for Christians.

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What are the Stations of the Cross?
Mar24

What are the Stations of the Cross?

The Stations of the Cross, also known as the Way of the Cross, Via Crucis, and Via Dolorosa (Latin for Way of Sorrows), is a devotion that reflects on Jesus’ final days on Earth—from being condemned to death to dying on the cross and being placed in the tomb.

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Ash Wednesday — Our Faith Marked on Our Faces
Feb08

Ash Wednesday — Our Faith Marked on Our Faces

What’s one way you can spot a Catholic? As the saying goes, “It’s written on their face.” Each year on Ash Wednesday, Catholics (and other Christian denominations) around the world profess their faith by going to work, school, or going about their daily lives with the symbol of the cross displayed on their foreheads.

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Catholic Weddings: The Dos and Don’ts
Jun24

Catholic Weddings: The Dos and Don’ts

As one of the seven sacraments in the Catholic Church, marriage is more than a legal contract; according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “The sacrament of matrimony signifies the union of Christ and the Church. It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his Church.” A marriage is sealed and strengthened by God’s love and is rooted in the divine plan of creation— the procreation and education of children in the faith.

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Saint Brendan Boat Plaque
Jun02

Saint Brendan Boat Plaque

We love our boats and the feeling of being on the open water! Keep safe on sailing adventures with this beautiful St. Brendan Boat Plaque.

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Get Out and Pray: How to Create a Prayer Garden
Apr24

Get Out and Pray: How to Create a Prayer Garden

From an early age, we’re taught the importance of praying. As children, we proudly recited a few short prayers we were taught at home or at Catholic school.

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Weatherproofing Your Catholic Garden Statue
Apr21

Weatherproofing Your Catholic Garden Statue

With 3 simple steps, you can preserve and protect your beautiful sculptures for years to come.

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Did Your Faith Make it on Your New Year’s Resolution List?
Dec31

Did Your Faith Make it on Your New Year’s Resolution List?

Happy New Year! Making resolutions is the norm this time of year, as we come up with a mental list of areas we want to improve or things we want to accomplish. While losing those stubborn pounds, exercising regularly, and getting to work on time are great resolutions, there’s one more important resolution that belongs on all of our lists: being more Christ-like. If you’ve fallen off the proverbial wagon in regards to praying,...

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Fourth Week of Advent – The Angel’s Candle
Dec19

Fourth Week of Advent – The Angel’s Candle

The fourth candle is also called the “Angel’s candle” as we are reminded of the angel of the Lord appearing before a group of shepherds, proclaiming, “Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” As the final purple candle is lit on this Fourth Week of Advent, let us pray:
 Pour forth, we beseech you, O Lord,...

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Third Week of Advent – Pink Candle
Dec14

Third Week of Advent – Pink Candle

The third week of Advent, also known as “Gaudete Sunday,” means we have passed the half-way point and Christmas is drawing near. The word gaudete means “rejoice,” and at this point in our Advent journey our hearts should be filled with joy as we ponder the magnitude of Christ’s birth. We mark this joyful time by lighting the one and only pink candle on the wreath. Throughout Advent, priests wear purple vestments, except on Gaudete...

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Second Week of Advent – Advent Prayer Series
Dec07

Second Week of Advent – Advent Prayer Series

This candle is also called the “Bethlehem candle” and reminds us of Blessed Mary and St. Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem to give birth to our Savior. We recall with awe the words of the Virgin Mary when she learned she would carry the Son of the Most High, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” We honor Blessed Mary as the mother of our Lord. We also remember St. Joseph. As Mary’s spouse and the guardian...

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Yes, Virginia There Is a St. Nicholas
Dec06

Yes, Virginia There Is a St. Nicholas

The feast of St. Nicholas is celebrated on December 6 each year and marks the anniversary of the death of the saint known as the generous gift-giver. Born in the 3rd century, there is not a lot of documented history about St. Nicholas’ life, but after extensive research, historians have been able to amass ample information about this popular saint. St. Nicholas was born in Patara, Lycia, a province of Asia Minor (now Turkey), to...

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Advent — How will you spend these four weeks?
Nov29

Advent — How will you spend these four weeks?

What are you doing this November 30 to December 24? Will you be shopping, wrapping, decorating, baking, and trying to squeeze in some time sitting by a crackling fire? Like many, you probably have a long list of what needs to get done in time for Christmas Day. The race is on and every minute matters. During this busy time, how many times will you think about Jesus, Blessed Mary, and St. Joseph? How many times will you remember to...

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Where Does The Nativity Come From Anyway?
Nov19

Where Does The Nativity Come From Anyway?

Whether it’s a small nativity consisting of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Joseph, and the Christ child, or an elaborate scene complete with a stable, animals, and the three kings, displaying the nativity scene, or crèche, has long been a Christmas tradition in the Catholic Church.

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All Saints’ Day — Celebrating Our Spiritual “Tour Guides”
Nov01

All Saints’ Day — Celebrating Our Spiritual “Tour Guides”

True or False: All Saints’ Day is a Holy Day of Obligation in the Catholic Church? If you guessed true, you’re right! In the United States, the Church celebrates six Holy Days of Obligation—feast days when Catholics are mandated to attend mass. The other five Holy Days of Obligation are: Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God; The Ascension of Our Lord; The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary; The Solemnity of the Immaculate...

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Summer Gardens Trust in God

God, as gardens reach their fullness in the long summer, I trust that you are slowly transforming me,...

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Leprechauns Know Where the Real Treasure is Located!
Mar15

Leprechauns Know Where the Real Treasure is Located!

My mom is 87 years old and she’s a “leprechaun!” The story starts many years ago… When she had six little kids at home, Mary Costello pulled out a “Wearin’ Green” box every year during this week preceding St. Patrick’s Day. Whether we liked it or not, each of her children wore wide green belts, green hats, green buttons and green necklaces to school. And St. Patrick’s Day had a certain kind of “magic” to it! After all her wee ones...

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Forty Days and Forty Thoughts, Part 2 of 2
Mar07

Forty Days and Forty Thoughts, Part 2 of 2

In my Sunday School class there’s a little girl who doesn’t say much…ever. When I ran into her at the grocery store after Ash Wednesday, I asked what she was giving up for Lent. She whispered, “All sweets and all desserts.” That’s a tough commitment in the modern world—and she’s only eight years old! Then in class this last Sunday, my daughter handed out freshly baked, homemade cookies to the students. This girl shook her head to...

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Forty Days and Forty Thoughts on the Beauty and Mystery of Lent
Feb22

Forty Days and Forty Thoughts on the Beauty and Mystery of Lent

Part 1 of 2 of the Mysteries of Lent My son will be confirmed in April. In writing a letter to the bishop to apply for this sacrament he wrote, “I’m proud to be Catholic because the Church speaks up for Truth. We Catholics know why we were made. God made us to know Him, love Him and serve Him. It’s reassuring to understand this.” What he wrote reminded me that Lent is the season to re-align ourselves with Truth…we were made for...

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Lent is the Power Season
Feb13

Lent is the Power Season

The Power Season Lent is the Power Season. It’s the time to rein in all those straying practices…the “pig out” tendency, the munchies tendency, the “grouchy ‘til 4 cups of coffee” tendency, the “I’ll pray later” tendency. It’s our time to feel the power of true Love. When my daughter was learning to ride horses, the first lesson from her teacher was “How to Stop: Use your Reins.” When you’re a little girl on a big, powerful animal,...

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Are you Ready for a New Year Challenge?
Jan02

Are you Ready for a New Year Challenge?

Although the liturgical calendar doesn’t celebrate New Year’s Day per se, we are often exhorted to “put on the new man.” In Ephesians 4:24, St. Paul tells us to assume a new nature as Christians.  This is not a trifling change we are called to make. The Apostle doesn’t say “put on a new garment” or “wear new shoes”….instead we are called to a whole new life! It makes sense to take up this renewal and regeneration once a year. In the...

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Christmas Tales, Father Larry’s Cat
Dec25

Christmas Tales, Father Larry’s Cat

Father Larry’s Cat This is our babies’ First Christmas. “How sweet,” you say.  Well, not really… That’s because one “baby” is a cat named Freckle. The fat cat fights with baby #2, an overgrown puppy. Between the two of them we have Christmas troubles. Freckle came to us on the fourth of July. Independence Day is quite appropriate as the new beginning for a stray kitten. Back then, Freckle was tiny and cuddly  and interested in...

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Why is Advent Special?
Nov13

Why is Advent Special?

To me, Advent is a time of Love, Joy, Family, Friends, and Jesus.  It is more than just purple candles and flip-open paper calendars.  This Catholic celebration is more than 2000 years old and is filled with tradition and spiritual meaning for all of us to partake in.  But why is it so special? The Meaning of Advent Let’s start with the basics, what does Advent mean?  Its literal Latin translation is “coming” or “arrival”.   The more...

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November is Gratitude Month
Nov07

November is Gratitude Month

The month of November is a great time to focus on gratitude. I teach my Sunday School students to learn this phrasing from Psalm 136: “We give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever!” It’s good to remind kids every day about how much we have to be grateful for. Here’s our list of Gratitude We are grateful for a cat who keeps us on our toes! The big, fat cat, will sleep close to your face purring. But the proximity...

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Celebrating Saints: October is a good month to begin!
Oct18

Celebrating Saints: October is a good month to begin!

In my Religious Formation classes we spend most of October talking about saints. The saints lived out the Gospel message of love and devotion in different ways. They weren’t perfect people. Many, like St. Augustine, didn’t turn away from a sinful lifestyle until later in their lives. What the saints all have in common is a deep longing to be closer to God. There are pilgrims who set out on a certain path for Home. Christian...

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Holy Week – Embracing Change

Palm Sunday—King or Servant? He is the Glorious Servant King! Change is a challenge isn’t it? Let me tell you about our donkey and horse by way of example. Three weeks ago, we changed the morning routine in our barnyard asking the horse and donkey to exit their stalls from the other side of the barn to go out to the pasture for food. Yet every morning, they continue to stand at the old gate, resisting the new routine. So I carry a...

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