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Showing posts from April, 2017

The Rise of English Catholicism

In the April 12, 2017 edition of the National Catholic Register (EWTN's official newspaper), Peter Jesserer Smith published an outstanding article outlining the inside story on the creation of the Personal Ordinariates for former Anglicans. He writes...
Benedict XVI gave a tremendous gift to the English-speaking world in 2009, when he finally realized a dream centuries in the making, and established a permanent canonical home for groups from the Anglican tradition seeking to enter the Catholic Church with the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus.  Today, the Catholic Church has three Personal Ordinariates — informally known as the “Anglican Ordinariates” — that preserve the Anglican patrimony in their Catholic parishes, communities, and religious orders. These Personal Ordinariates have the only English form of the Roman Missal, promulgated by Pope Francis, called Divine Worship — an actual English form, not an English translation of the Latin Mass — written in traditiona…

The Benedict Option for Catholics -- Part I

There has been a lot of talk about the best-selling book: The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation. Catholic Answers Focus recently did an interview with the author, Rod Dreher, which you can listen to the podcast here. It's really quite good, and it's really NOT what a lot of people think it is.

Admittedly, when I first head of the Benedict Option, I was a sceptic. I still am a sceptic of the popular interpretation of it. However, after listening to Dreher on Catholic Answers, my opinion has changed a bit.

What if I were to tell you the following...
Contrary to popular opinion, we are NOT living through the Last Days of humanity. The coming of Antichrist is still likely centuries away. Everyone reading this will likely live to a ripe, old age (Lord willing), as will their children and grandchildren. So we need to start dealing with that reality again. Radical apocalypticism has only contributed to the problems of our Western civilisation, by c…

Is Easter a Pagan Celebration?

There is a thread of radical Protestant Fundamentalism that likes to attack traditional Christian celebrations -- particularly Christmas and Easter. We see this primarily among the Jehovah's Witnesses (which aren't technically Protestant or Fundamentalist but rather a separate religion entirely more akin to Arianism). The Protestants include, but are not limited to: Quakers, Churches of Christ, Anabaptists, Congregationalists and some Presbyterians. Other Fundamentalist groups come in too. In addition, a growing number of Judaic Evangelicals (Messianic and Sabbath-keeping groups) do not celebrate Christmas and Easter, and often attack them as "Pagan in origin." While I'm not going to criticise these groups for their own religious practises, I will say their criticism of traditional Easter celebrations is out of line and poppycock. Most of the time, whenever they attempt to "reveal the true origins of Easter" the only thing they really reveal is their l…

Help for Mothers of Young Children During Mass

So last week I had to go to confession. Yes, in case you were wondering, I am a big fat sinner. I usually go a minimum of once per month anyway, but I was intentionally trying to avoid the weeks leading up to Easter, because I knew the lines to the confessional would be especially crowded. Then, it happened. I sinned, and it was a sin big enough to need confession. So like a good and faithful Catholic, that's what I did.

I remember walking into the church after work, thinking to myself: "it's the Saturday before Holy Week, I'm going to be waiting a while." I walked into the chapel and there it was. A confessional line stretching around half the chapel. This wasn't the prayer chapel mind you. This was the main chapel. Dear Lord! It was the longest line I had ever sin. "Why? Oh why did I have to sin just before Holy Week?" I took my place at the back of the line, figuring this is my penance. The priest must have thought the same, because my official …

So You're No Longer Christian?

"You're no longer a Christian!" These were the words I heard multiple times in the fall of 1999 through the Spring and Summer of 2000. This was the time just before, during and after my conversion to the Catholic Church. I heard words like this from most of my friends, and yes, even some of my family.

You see, I was an Evangelical Christian, and for many years I had been a member of an Evangelical-Fundamental Protestant affiliation called Calvary Chapel. Now I had left that affiliation in 1997 and began attending a local Episcopal Church. I remember the disapproval I received from friends and family just switching from Evangelical to Episcopalian (Anglican). I remember how confused they seemed, and how they looked down at our local Episcopal Church. Still, it was technically Protestant, and I suppose tolerable. I have one sister who joined us for Christmas Eve mass, and she seemed to enjoy it. For the most part, however, most of the people I knew were displeased.

Then it…

Keeping Your Children Catholic

It's the nightmare every Catholic parent dreads. The thought of their adult child, coming home from college, and telling his/her parents that he's left the Catholic Church, has been 'born again', and that the Catholic Church is a 'false religious system' that is taking his/her parents to Hell. It's happened millions of times in the United States, and in other nations with a heavy Evangelical presence. Actually, it's been going on for a long time -- five centuries to be exact.

Even worse, suppose your child comes from from college and tells you he's left the Church to become a Wiccan, a Muslim, or an Atheist! Or how about the ever popular "I've become spiritual but not religious" manta. All of these are what every good Catholic parent fears and dreads.

The purpose of this essay is to help Catholic parents keep their kids Catholic. I have a little experience in this area, not only because I'm a Catholic father, but because I am a co…