Category Archives: CNS columns

Sunday Scripture readings, Feb. 25: To see with the eyes of faith

Lent is a time of spiritual regeneration and renewal. “The Transfiguration ‘is the sacrament of the second regeneration’: our own resurrection,” notes the Catechism of the Catholic Church (No. 556). And the Gospel account of the Lord’s transfiguration invites us to ponder this event in Jesus’ earthly life and our participation in this mystery of faith. Continue reading

Posted in "Speak to Me Lord", CNS columns

In light of faith: Investing in young women in the church

In a 1965 speech to the National Union of Townswomen’s Guild Conference, Margaret Thatcher quipped, “If you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman.” Though she was speaking about politics, it’s safe to say that many pastors across the country can sympathize, since women have traditionally taken the lead in the work of parish ministries and religious education.

      But this might not be the case in the future. In a recent survey conducted by America Media in collaboration with the Center for the Applied Research in the Apostolate, more than 67 percent of all the Catholic women who were surveyed reported that they have never participated in parish ministry. Continue reading

Posted in CNS columns, focus on millennials

Sunday Scripture readings, Feb. 18: Is there anything here for me?

Previewing today’s readings, I knew right away the grooves my mind would fall into when they are read at Mass.

      First we will hear about God promising Noah not to send any more floods and setting the rainbow in the sky as a reminder to himself. Funny, I think, how there weren’t any rainbows before that. Continue reading

Posted in "Speak to Me Lord", CNS columns

Sunday Scripture readings, Feb. 11, 2018: ‘Make me clean’

Chances are most of us struggle to keep up with New Year’s resolutions. I don’t know about you, but I’ve fallen behind on my spiritual resolutions already! 

      Thanks be to God we have the fast approaching Lenten season when the church invites us to return to the Lord with our whole heart, mind and soul. We have yet another chance to renew our resolve to be disciples of Jesus.

      In today’s Gospel, Jesus heals a leper who approaches him with a confident plea. We know well that in Jesus’ day, lepers were ostracized from the social order. They lived outside cities and towns and were separated from normal activities of life. Continue reading

Posted in "Speak to Me Lord", CNS columns

In light of faith: Reaching young people who have left the church

In a study released last month surveying young people who have left the church, its authors posed two important questions about the individuals behind the data: “Do we know who they are — the depth of their life stories — do we know them by name?” and “Do we miss these individuals now that they are gone?”

      The study, “Going, Going, Gone: The Dynamics of Disaffiliation in Young Catholics,” released by St. Mary’s Press of Minnesota, in collaboration with the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, categorizes its respondents into three major groups: the injured, the drifters and the dissenters. Continue reading

Posted in CNS columns, focus on millennials

Sunday Scripture readings, Feb. 4, 2018: Readings for dark times

Today we hear from Job, who lost all his children in a disaster and contracted a painful disease. I picture him as a character in a play, seated on a dimly lit stage, with other members of the cast standing around in him in darkness. Continue reading

Posted in "Speak to Me Lord", CNS columns

Sunday Scripture readings, Jan. 28, 2018: Accepting the authority of Jesus

Think of the last time you heard or read something of interest. Perhaps it was the headline news, a radio program, an online article, the daily newspaper or the most recent message in your email inbox.

Chances are you were listening or reading at a good, even rapid, pace to cover as much ground as possible. We listen and read for information, knowledge and comprehension. Continue reading

Posted in "Speak to Me Lord", CNS columns