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Why Devote a Year to the Consecrated Life?

Why Devote a Year to the Consecrated Life?

A sister in my community and I recently went to a special dinner hosted by the Archdiocese of San Antonio for young women considering consecrated life. I am often reminded at functions like this of the vital importance of Saint Peter's encouragement, "always be ready to offer a reason for your hope." I take it to mean, "be ready to use simple language to tell people why you are so happy." When conversing at any length with people (even "practicing Catholics") about religious life, we are almost ...
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Heart to Heart with Pope Francis

I have always loved the readings of the Liturgy in the last couple weeks of November and the end of the liturgical year, particularly the book of Revelation. Just yesterday we began proclaiming the prophetic messages to the seven Churches. Those who are victorious I will feed from the tree of life!  We too want to stand one day robed in white, singing the song of the Lamb. In today's Strength for the Week, Pope Francis offers us some personal spiritual guidance on our journey. In the digital ma...
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"It's Going To Be Okay"

"Then I looked, and there was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion! And with him were one hundred forty-four thousand who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads" (Revelation 14:1).The one hundred forty-four thousand standing on Mount Zion... A new song only they could sing... The wedding of the Lamb. The heavenly Jerusalem...To be honest, these are not my "everyday" thoughts. Yet this is who I am, who we are. Politics, problems, and plans seem more real, more in the moment, mo...
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In Good Times and Bad…Sharing the Joy of the Gospel in Our Families

In Good Times and Bad…Sharing the Joy of the Gospel in Our Families

As a sister, I find that when it comes to sharing the Gospel with family and friends, I often feel like I’m either a lightning rod for religious discussions (friendly or hostile in tone) or I am ignored as irrelevant to everyday life. I suspect that any practicing Catholic whose family members “aren’t religious” goes through this as well. How do we share the joy of the unconditional love of God with all of these expectations swirling around us? There are two fundamental choices or attitudes ...
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The Evangelization of Attraction

The Evangelization of Attraction

No matter what your background, evangelizing friends and family is not an easy task. When engaging with loved ones who have fallen away from the Church, it is easy for us to focus on what they’re doing wrong or on what we’re doing wrong when we try to witness to them. But the more important thing is to concentrate on God’s desire for all of us to become saints. When we allow God to purify our inconsistencies that keep us from clearly communicating Jesus to our loved ones, then we will be able...
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Message of the III Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops

             We, Synod Fathers, gathered in Rome together with Pope Francis in the Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, greet all families of the different continents and in particular all who follow Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We admire and are grateful for the daily witness which you offer us and the world with your fidelity, faith, hope, and love.Each of us, pastors of the Church, grew up in a family, and we come from a great variety of backgrounds and experie...
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Families as Sowers of Seeds of Faith

Families as Sowers of Seeds of Faith

 In preparation for the Synod on the Family, Pope Francis made it clear that the Synod Fathers do not have to “fix” the family. Rather, he is concerned that the family, rather than being an object for concern and study, be the subject of evangelization.It took me awhile to get to the meaning of the phrase “subject of evangelization.” My memories of diagramming English sentences in school helped me. A subject, Sister taught us, is who or what is doing the acting and an object is who or what i...
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Do Not Forget the Works of the Lord

Do Not Forget the Works of the Lord

Two phone calls from members of my family are etched into my heart. They were spouses and parents whose hearts were breaking. I’m sure you’ve received similar calls: perhaps it was a brother whose wife is divorcing him, or a friend whose child is marrying outside of the Church, a mother whose son is caught up in gang violence, or a young adult who can’t find a job and a place to belong. Family is the place we should be able to find a shelter for our hurting hearts, and sometimes it is family ...
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The Body's Language of Love

The Body's Language of Love

Man and woman are two different ways of “being a body” in the image of God. Man and woman live their full masculine and feminine identity in relation to the “other,” complementary but not interchangeable, equal but not equivalent. We take up the daily task of overcoming selfishness in order to live for others. We hope that that gift will be received, treasured, respected, and honored for life.
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3 Things to Pack for Vacation

3 Things to Pack for Vacation

Summer months are here. Kids are out of school. Some of the pressures that fill our lives from September to May are not as heavy. We have the chance to steal away for vacation, even if it's for just a week-end. I often think of all the vacations we went on as children…. They were great fun…for us kids. While I’m sure my parents enjoyed them also, they were still the parents even on vacation, still doing the driving, the disciplining, the listening, the teaching, the ...
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