Center

Father Leo Heinrichs, Denver priest shot at Mass in 1908, could be declared a saint…

When Joseph Heinrichs fled Otto von Bismarck’s Kulturkampf in Germany, he thought he was escaping persecution. He didn’t know that shortly after being ordained a Franciscan priest and taking the religious name Leo, he would be shot because of one man’s hatred for the Catholic faith. Fr. Leo Heinrichs initially served at various places in New York and New Jersey, but in 1907 he was assigned to St. Elizabeth’s parish in Denver, Colorado. According to the parish website, “When Fr. Leo Heinrichs, O.F.M., became pastor of St. Elizabeth’s on September 23rd, 1907, Denver’s poor learned they had a friend in the pastor of St. Elizabeth’s, and every morning a line formed at the friary gate.” He was a holy priest, a shepherd who cared deeply about the people he served, especially the poor and working...

Canon law and Catholic common sense…

A small but intense drama unfolded last week in the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, Virginia. Thanks largely to the graciousness of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia, the matter was resolved in the least painful way possible. Even so, it warrants a few words of reflection. The Episcopal diocese was seeking a large, convenient venue for the upcoming consecration of Rev. Susan Haynes as bishop. The diocese asked for permission to use the spacious parish of St. Bede Catholic Church in Williamsburg for the rites. The parish pastor and the Catholic bishop of Richmond, Barry Knestout, granted permission. This sparked a backlash from many lay Catholics, who were distraught by the news that a Catholic parish planned to host the consecration of an Episcopalian bishop (a woman, as it happened...

State of contradiction: Despite its liberal politics, family life in California is more stable than in the country as a whole…..

California has been at the vanguard of family change in America. Culturally and legally—from the Human Potential Movement to the passage of no-fault divorce under then-Gov. Ronald Reagan, from Hollywood movies and shows like “The Graduate” and “Friends”—the Golden State has played a central role in pioneering and representing the cultural attitudes that have transformed marriage and family life across the nation. Indeed, because of Hollywood’s, and now Silicon Valley’s, outsized influence on the global stage, California has amplified values and virtues like expressive individualism, personal fulfillment, and tolerance across the world. These liberal values and virtues can be valuable in the public square, yet they often stand in tension with stable, married family life. In fact, scholars h...

On Friday, President Donald Trump to become first president in history to attend March for Life…

Washington D.C., Jan 22, 2020 / 04:53 pm (CNA).- U.S. President Donald Trump will address the national March for Life in person on Friday, making him the first president in the event’s 47-year history to do so, organizers announced. “See you on Friday…Big Crowd!” the president said Wednesday in a retweet of a video from last year’s march, posted by the national March for Life account. Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life, said in a statement that the organizers of the Washington, D.C., event are “deeply honored” to welcome Trump to the march. “He will be the first president in history to attend and we are so excited for him to experience in person how passionate our marchers are about life and protecting the unborn,” she said. She also praised the efforts Trump and his adminis...

A pilgrimage to the world’s oldest house church — which is in Connecticut…..

My family spent Christmas back in my hometown, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Some of us took a pilgrimage of sorts to visit ancient and medieval art in New York City and Yale University’s Art Gallery in New Haven. Connecticut may seem an odd location, but a team from Yale helped to excavate the Roman colony of Dura-Europos in Syria in the 1930s. They discovered the oldest extant church in the world, including frescoes that date back to around the 230s AD. At the Dura-Europos exhibit at Yale We know the location of other ancient house churches, but many of them gave way for larger construction after the legalization of the Church. Dura-Europos, however, was abandoned in 256 during a siege from the Persians. The house church, near a tower along the city walls, was back filled to bolster the fort...

This is a war we’re in. Get used to it…..

During my recent bout with the flu I had the chance to re-read Evelyn Waugh’s Sword of Honor trilogy. One of the criticisms of the books is that they are uneven, dull at times, confusing and disjointed. On re-reading I realize much of that was intentional. Waugh was showing the reality of war. I’ve also been reading more church history–both George Weigel’s’ recent book The Irony of Modern Catholic History and Tom Holland’s Dominion-How the Christian Revolution Changed the World. Both books on church history are a reminder of one of my main punching points–that crisis in the church is what church history is all about. From the beginning the church has been engaged in a knock down, knuckle to chin battle. That’s the default setting. From the start and in every a...

We must stop running from reality. But how to begin?

By Dr. Jeff Mirus ( bio – articles – email ) | Jan 17, 2020 When my children were young and played games together, my younger daughter sometimes infuriated the others when, after she had lost a game, she would declare: “In my mind, I won.” She wasn’t completely serious, but she certainly frustrated the winners. But wait: We live in a society in which a great many people do the same thing and believe it. This frustrates me, too. I am referring not to games but to life. We live in an era in which people seem to think that reality is whatever the make up in their own heads, and that they are really winning when they make extraordinarily bad choices. Willfulness—even if it often arises from a herd mentality—is rampant. It seems that we may believe whatever we want (at least as long...

Make sure the voice of Jesus is the first one you seek in the morning, and that His word informs your every decision…

Sometimes I decide what I’m going to write about. And sometimes God does. I just came back from the FOCUS conference in Phoenix. It was awesome, incidentally, and I highly recommend that you all look into it for next year. Yes, it is sponsored by the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. And yes, there are a lot of college kids there. But there is also a marvelous adult track, with wonderful speakers and fabulous activities.  But I digress. The very first speaker was Father Mike Schmitz, and the theme of his talk was that Jesus is not “optional.” It was a wonderful talk and gave me so much spiritual food for thought. I wrote “Jesus is not optional” in my little column ideas list. Then I came home and went to a movie. The movie, A Hidden Life, was about Franz Jagerstatter, the Au...

The Pope’s point man on migrants, who was made a cardinal in October, takes over his titular parish…

ROME – Canadian Jesuit Michael Czerny, made a cardinal by Pope Francis last October, became the titular pastor of a parish in the outskirts of Rome on Sunday. During his homily, he spoke to the thousands gathered – many of whom were migrants – about his own family fleeing war and finding refuge in North America. “My family of four fled from post-war Czechoslovakia,” Czerny said. “We arrived in Canada by ship in the year 1948. This life experience of ours was immortalized in advance in the Flight into Egypt painted on glass by my maternal grandmother, Anna Hayek Löw.” Long after his grandmother created that work of art, the life experience has continued to shape Czerny’s ministry and work, to the point that his new coat of arms depicts a boat with a family of four. This image, he said, repr...

How do parents make travel easier for children with hidden disabilities?

You’ve seen them at the airport, at the beach or in a restaurant. A child is thrashing or kicking or on the ground while a desperate parent hovers nearby, trying to ignore angry glances from passersby. I know because I’ve been that anguished parent. On display are “cognitive disabilities,” invisible handicaps related to how children’s brains work. For many kids with cognitive disabilities or developmental disorders, a car can be a prison, a plane or a new hotel room can be sheer terror. In the past, families were stuck, barely venturing outside the county, certainly not on an overnight trip. Travel meant potential trauma minefields, and unfortunately, we live in a world where bystanders are more apt to call the police or Child Protective Services than offer help to the parents. “You’re in ...

“The Fairness for All Act creates all the problems The Equality Act creates, then exempts a few people from those problems, then calls it religious liberty”…

“The Fairness for All Act essentially creates all the problems that The Equality Act creates, and then exempts a handful of people from those problems, and then they call that a victory for religious liberty,” said Greg Baylor,  “The Fairness for All Act essentially creates all the problems that The Equality Act creates, and then exempts a handful of people from those problems, and then they call that a victory for religious liberty,” said Greg Baylor, senior counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom. “I would say it’s a victory for religious liberty not to create the problems in the first place.” Baylor is a previous guest on Respect Life Radio, where he discussed The Equality Act , which passed the U.S. House of Representatives in May ...

Catholic parish will not host consecration for Episcopalians after all…

Richmond, Va., Jan 17, 2020 / 11:30 am (CNA).- The Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia will no longer hold a bishops’s consecration at a Catholic parish in Williamsburg, after an internet petition objecting to the event drew national attention.  “It is with great sadness that I have received a letter from Bishop-Elect Susan Haynes stating that, due to the controversy of the proposed use of St. Bede Catholic Church for her consecration of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia, she has decided to find another location for the ceremony to take place,” Bishop Barry Knestout of the Catholic Richmond diocese said in a Jan. 17 statement. St. Bede Catholic Church is located within the Diocese of Richmond.  A statement from the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia said tha...

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