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Let go of 'childish' ways of contemplating heaven

Let go of 'childish' ways of contemplating heaven   As a child, thinking about heaven as going on “forever and ever” – and all we would do is sing “Alleluia!” – scared me to death!    Now, my understanding of heaven has changed.  St. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 13:11, writes, “When I was a c...
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Monday, October 28, 2013

So what is heaven really like?

So what is heaven really like? Someone approached St. Paul one day with a question, “Paul, what will heaven be like?”  Paul replied, “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it so much dawned upon the human mind what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Cor 2:9).  Paul answered it, y...
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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Celebrate the bride and groom: Sing at the wedding

Celebrate the bride and groom: Sing at the wedding For some reason, when Catholics gather to celebrate a wedding, they do not seem to know what to do.  Their verbal responses to the prayers are barely audible, and they rarely join in singing the principal parts of the mass (if the wedding is between two Catholics) such as the “Holy, Holy...
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Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Exploring ideas for new marriage traditions

Exploring ideas for new marriage traditions As a newly ordained priest, I purchased a 25-page magazine-like formatted booklet entitled “Alternate Ideas for Weddings.”  Being very green, I shared some ideas with couples coming for marriage preparation.  Over the years, the booklet must have landed up in the hands of a co...
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Monday, September 16, 2013

More on old and new wedding traditions

More on old and new wedding traditions   In my last article several months ago, I presented the idea that both parents could walk their son and daughter down the aisle on their wedding day as a sign of their support for them, similar to their presentation for baptism and First Communion.  Couples who have chosen this option ha...
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Monday, September 02, 2013

Why a bride isn't seen by her groom before the wedding

Why a bride isn't seen by her groom before the wedding Planning a wedding ceremony can be a very stressful time in an engaged couple’s relationship.  Many of you have probably experienced this because you are dealing with two families with different ideas of what should take place during the ceremony, as well as the reception, often times ov...
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Monday, June 10, 2013

The Risen Christ makes himself known in times of tragedy

The Risen Christ makes himself known in times of tragedy On the same Sunday that Deacon Tom Evans preached about the Boston Marathon bombings at St. Matthew Church in Mount Vernon, the beautiful Gospel of the Good Shepherd was proclaimed. Deacon Tom very inspiringly connected the events of Boston with the Good Shepherd, which we may also apply to our per...
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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Learning to find the risen Christ, even in the midst of evil and despair

Learning to find the risen Christ, even in the midst of evil and despair                     Our human minds can never fully grasp the full meaning of Jesus’ Resurrection. For the Jewish people, Jesus was executed as a “common criminal” outside Jerusalem. Thus, Je...
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Monday, May 20, 2013

Christ's death and resurrection both convey essential truths

Christ's death and resurrection both convey essential truths   Catholics of my generation and older remember the days when funeral Masses were celebrated with the priest wearing black vestments, the casket surrounded by six “orange” candles, and the “Dies Irae” (“Day of Wrath”) was chanted as the sequence before the G...
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Monday, May 06, 2013

Reflections on Dolores Walker and others who have touched my life

Reflections on Dolores Walker and others who have touched my life     Upon hearing the news that Dolores Walker, the mother of Judicial Vicar Father Ken Walker, had passed away last week, the following quote by an anonymous author immediately came to mind: “Our lives are shaped by those who love us and by those who refuse to love us.” I had...
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Sunday, April 14, 2013