Focus

  • Food for thought

    Mar 23, 2017

    This year, St. Patrick's feast day, March 17, falls on a Friday during Lent. When this occurs, some diocesan bishops grant dispensations from observing the norm for abstinence from meat on Fridays in Lent. Instead, bishops often recommend another form of penance or charitable work to continue the spirit of Lent for the day.

  • Saints with feast days this Lent

    Mar 23, 2017

    The lives of the saints are presented to us by the church as exemplars of a Christian life. We look to their example for instruction on how to live our faith, how to guide ourselves into a life in Christ. During the season of Lent, there are a number of saints' feast days that can be particularly instructive.

  • Three pillars, three saints

    Mar 23, 2017

    The three pillars of Lent -- prayer, fasting, almsgiving -- enrich our spiritual life during this penitential season. But they can also be challenging

  • What Rod Dreher gets right in The Benedict Option is just as important as what he gets wrong

    Mar 23, 2017

    The signal gift in Rod Dreher’s work, the one our legitimate dissatisfactions may allow us to too-quickly overlook, is his steady insistence that in order to be Christians today — to bear the name of Christ in truth as well as in title — we must relearn two things: practices and disciplines.

  • The Benedict Option at the dawn of a new ‘Dark Age’

    Mar 23, 2017

    Rod Dreher is convinced that America, indeed the whole project of modernity, is doomed, and he thought this long before Donald Trump took up tweeting or occasional residence in the White House.

  • Why does the Catholic Church require its priests to be celibate, and is this going to change?

    Mar 17, 2017

    Pope Francis has given a wide-ranging interview to the German publication Die Zeit, where his comments on the issue of married clergy are generating conversation and questions about the Catholic practice of requiring priests to refrain from marriage.

  • Pope Francis’ ‘toughness’ will see the Catholic Church through reforms

    Mar 16, 2017

    “The biggest challenge in political leadership is not to play to people’s fear but to genuinely appeal to what is best in them and to lead from what is best, not from what is worst,” the cardinal told America.

  • Pope Francis discusses ordination of married men in response to priest shortage

    Mar 16, 2017

    In a wide-ranging interview with the German weekly Die Zeit published on March 9, Pope Francis briefly discussed the idea of allowing the ordination o

  • Almsgiving: Give in a way 'that is pleasing to God'

    Mar 16, 2017

    "Giving alms to the poor is one of the chief witnesses to fraternal charity," says the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

  • Almsgiving as an act of mercy

    Mar 16, 2017

    We all recognize Lent as a time of sacrifice, a time to prepare ourselves for the commemoration of Jesus Christ's passion, death and resurrection.