10 February 2016

On Celebrities Who Are Catholic

"The Lenten season is upon us, as the world's Catholics are observing Ash Wednesday and giving up one or two (or three...) vices for the proceeding 40 days. . . .

"Among them are celebrities who you might not have known grew up in -- and, for some, even still practice -- the faith."

As the Church observes Ash Wednesday, the Stamford, CT, Advocate is offering a photo article (in the "Entertainment" section) highlighting a number of actors, politicians, musicians, sports figures and other celebrities who are or have been Roman Catholic.

To access the complete article, please visit:

Stamford Advocate: Celebrities who you might not have known are Catholic (10 FEB 16)

Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the holy season of Lent. The assigned readings are Joel 2:12-18; 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2; and Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18. The Responsorial Psalm is Psalm 51 (Psalm 51: 3-6, 12-14, 17).

The Gospel reading is as follows:

Jesus said to his disciples: “Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”

Reflections on today's observance:

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales: Sundays Salesian: Ash Wednesday (February 10, 2016)

Community in Mission: How Real Are Your Ashes? Five Meanings of the Ashes We Receive Today (9 FEB 16)

Deacon Greg Kandra: "Fixer Upper": Homily for February 10, 2016, Ash Wednesday (9 FEB 16)

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the many opportunities to encounter You as we live each day.

Bishop Tobin on Listening to God

"'If we knew how to listen to God, we would hear him speaking to us. For God does speak. He speaks in his Gospels. He also speaks through life - that new gospel to which we ourselves add a page each day.'

"When I was in the minor seminary in the 1960s, my spiritual director gave me a neat little book called 'Prayers,' written by French priest and theologian Michel Quoist. The quote listed above is taken from this well-known book which I've had on my bookshelf for well over fifty years now."

In a recent commentary, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, of the Diocese of Providence (RI), reflected on the importance of trying to find God in the people and events we encounter each day.

To access Bishop Tobin's complete essay, please visit:

Without A Doubt: If We Knew How to Listen to God (21 JAN 16)

Reflection Starter from Thomas à Kempis

"Nothing, how little so ever it be, if it is suffered for God's sake, can pass without merit in the sight of God." - Thomas à Kempis

09 February 2016

Holy Father's Prayer Intentions for February

The Holy Father's prayer intentions for February are:

Universal Intention (Care for Creation): “That we may take good care of creation - a gift freely given - cultivating and protecting it for future generations.”

Evangelization Intention (Asia): “That opportunities may increase for dialogue and encounter between the Christian faith and the peoples of Asia.”

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the graces You have planned for us in the upcoming holy season of Lent.

Randy Hain on Fighting Our Indifference

"One only has to watch the news or follow the events of the day online to feel completely overwhelmed. Some of the challenges facing the world include ever-increasing threats to our Catholic faith. The Church is being accosted on all sides and the culture wars are raging. Christians are being persecuted and even murdered around the world, especially in the Middle East. We are locked in an ongoing series of ongoing battles over abortion, euthanasia, marriage and immigration. The Church has battled the evil of satanic 'black masses' in Boston and Oklahoma City the last few years and there is a satanic monument recently erected in Detroit. There is a crisis in vocations to the priesthood and in some areas of our country, parishes are nearly empty. These are real issues which demand a response."

In a recent commentary, writer Randy Hain, Senior Editor for The Integrated Catholic Life, reflected on we can respond when facing challenges that seem overwhelming.

To access Mr. Hain's complete post, please visit:

Integrated Catholic Life: Fighting Our Own Indifference (4 FEB 16)