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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

U.S. CATHOLIC - November 11, 2014

November 11, 2014

Why isn't there a patron saint
of veterans?
The ranks of the saints are filled with men and women who risked their lives in battle. So why don't military veterans have a patron of their own?

In the parish church of my youth, my family often sat under a stained glass window that depicted a poor man lying on the ground with his hand out to the Roman officer towering over him. Oddly, the soldier was cutting his own cloak in two. It was a long time before I learned that the Roman was St. Martin of Tours, a patron saint of soldiers. My dad was a World War II veteran for whom veterans were a lifelong cause. He joined a veterans' organization soon after he got out of the service. Besides just seeking camaraderie, he had a genuine interest in veteran affairs, and he rose through the ranks until he became the organization's national leader in the late 1960s. This involvement continued for another three decades, into his retirement. Dad was also a devout Catholic, but I'm not sure how much his two convictions--faith and veterans--mixed. Read more.

Remembering those who have gone before us
Nothing can compel us to practice hope, that most fragile of virtues. We can only be inspired.

A table in my living room has become a kind of shrine. On it rest photos of people special to me: my grandmother, my parents, my best friend.  All have passed away. My grandmother passed away after 84 full years of life. The others died far too soon in my reckoning: my mother at age 64, my dear friend at only 59. Their deaths leave an emptiness that fits this season of longer nights and colder days. And yet their images bear a fullness as well. The memories they trigger also contain a yearning expressed in the hope that their absence is not the final word. The shrine is an act of hope that my loved ones are not gone forever. Read more

Is it OK to be a cafeteria Catholic?
Evangelization requires real dialogue in the
church--as well as an open door to those on imperfect journeys of faith.

Today, the accusation of being a "cafeteria Catholic" is flung around with the same zealousness as the term "heretic" was at one time. Passionate traditionalists troll online discussion boards and blogs seeking to attack women and men who do not give their full assent to each and every teaching of the Catholic Church. These gatekeepers of orthodoxy believe it is for the glory of God and the good of the church that all questioners and doubters be denounced and told in no uncertain terms that if they don't like it they can--and should--leave. I have no desire to be part of the smaller, purer church envisioned by these doctrinal police. The church must keep its doors open for all of us who are on an imperfect, bumpy and often messy journey toward holiness. Read more

What do you think about cafeteria Catholics? Take our survey. Don't miss this opportunity to voice your opinion!

Better Know A Parish: Immaculate Conception Parish, Malden, Massachusetts
We know that every parish is unique. Whether it's an engaging pastor, thriving ministries, or unique architecture, we want to give you the chance to share what makes your parish special.

Immaculate Conception is the friendliest parish around. The staff and clergy make efforts to meet and greet everyone and make all feel like VIPs. The music at IC offers everything from High Mass choral music and chant to kid- and youth-friendly choirs, with the gifts of the parishioners being put to use in leading musical prayer. The parish has a charism for teaching and learning, and faith formation for the entire parish is at the forefront. Read more.

Want to have your parish featured as part of our Better Know A Parish series? Click here for more details. To see a list of our previously featured parishes, click here.

Pope Francis suggests no-cost annulments in
divorce cases
The Synod on the Family has opened dialogue on annulments. Will the pontiff keep the ball rolling?

Pope Francis raised the prospect of no-cost marriage annulments on November 5 after revealing he had dismissed a church official for selling annulments for thousands of dollars, which he called a "public scandal." The pontiff made the shocking disclosure as he was addressing canon lawyers at the Vatican for a course on marriage dissolution conducted by the Roman Rota, the church's highest court. "We have to be careful that the procedure does not become some kind of business," the pope said. "I had to dismiss a person from a tribunal some time ago who said: 'Give me $10,000 and I'll take care of both the civil and ecclesiastical procedures.' Please, not this!"
Read more

Tweedy's father/son pairing delivers powerful debut with 'Sukierae'
Tweedy (dBpm Records, 2014)

Sukierae is an exciting and intriguing album for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the composition of the band. The band name "Tweedy," which might initially conjure the notion of a solo album, instead cleverly identifies a familial reality. Tweedy is that most rare entity, a father and son rock band: Jeff Tweedy takes his usual position as lead singer and guitar player while his son Spencer plays the drums. Even the most dedicated Jeff Tweedy fan may have to admit that young Spencer's drumming steals the show at times. Read more.

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November 2014

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