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Advice From School, Updated

September is upon us, the kids are heading back to school, and I’ve been thinking. It’s been a long time … more

The Power of the Mass

I should have known that something was wrong a few Sundays ago when I arrived at my parish church just before noon and saw yellow tape stretched across the side street. It was unusually quiet in … more

Reflections on Tragedy

The recent suicides of fashion designer Kate Spade and chef and author Anthony Bourdain shocked many of us and made us ponder why they chose to end their lives. Of course, suicide is always troubling … more

Go Ahead and Laugh, It’s Good for You

I love to laugh, and it’s no wonder. I grew up in a family that had an unwritten rule: Don’t say anything straight if you can say it funny. My father was the ringleader when it came to humor, and … more

Light Those Candles

I always welcome the month of April with joy and watch it depart with regret, for several reasons. It’s the month when Easter usually occurs, and I love the Easter season. It’s also when spring … more

Example of St. Patrick Cited as Guide for Spreading Gospel

St. Patrick’s Day in New York began, as always, on Fifth Avenue, but not with a parade. That came later, and it was as heart-stirring as ever. The celebration opened early in the morning with the … more

John Paul II Biographer Hopes Latest Book Will Help Readers Know the Saint Better

George Weigel, best-selling author and biographer of Pope John Paul II, has written another book about the pope, but this one is different. His two-volume biography contains the extensive bibliographical data and endnotes that accompany a work of scholarship. The more

Trees in Winter

One recent night, there was a light snowfall, and in the morning, the trees wore a graceful covering of white. The tall trunks were dark against the gray-white light of early day, but the … more

Bringing the Sacred Into Everyday Life

A couple of weeks ago, as I was gathering my Christmas decorations to put them away, I came upon a booklet called “Christmas to Candlemas in a Catholic Home.” It was published in 1955 as part of … more

The News, and the Good News

Innocence is one of the qualities most associated with Christmas. We take joy in the innocence of children young enough to watch, wide-eyed and believing, for Santa Claus and his sleigh. Standing … more

Sisters of Charity of New York Close Their Bicentennial at ‘Day of the Heart’ in Basilica Near Where Their Service Began

Two hundred years ago, three sisters from a very young congregation—the Sisters of Charity in Emmitsburg, Md., founded by St. Elizabeth Ann Seton—came to New York City to care for orphans. They … more

What Matters in Advent

If Thanksgiving is here, then Christmas, as everyone knows, is just around the corner. It’s time to prepare for it—not just by getting the house ready and buying or making gifts, but also in the … more

Put the ‘Hallow’ Back in Halloween

Here comes Halloween, with its legions of ghosts, ghouls, witches, bats, spider webs, flickering candles and haunted houses. With all the spooky hoopla, it’s easy to forget that the day originally … more

A Defeat for Death, a Call to Hope

October is Respect Life Month, and we’re starting it with good news: the decision of the New York State Court of Appeals rejecting physician-assisted suicide. As many in the medical field and … more

Jesus’ Teaching on Resolving Conflicts a Lesson At Seminary Mass for New Academic Year

A spirit of joy and vitality pervaded the Mass of the Holy Spirit at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie, Sept. 10 … more

Remembering Uncle Larry

When I was young, one of my favorite uncles was not even related to me. I didn’t see him often, and he died when I was in my early 20s, but I loved him and I learned a lot from him, not just from … more

Maria Goretti, Model of Courage

Earlier this month, the Church celebrated the feast of St. Maria Goretti, a young Italian girl whose story has particular significance for our time. She has rightly been described as a model for … more

For New Priests: A View From the Pew

Last month, 11 priests were ordained by Cardinal Dolan at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Five are priests of the New York Archdiocese, and six are Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. Catholic New York … more

She Shall Have Music

Ursuline Sister Beth Dowd loves music. As a teacher many years ago, she brought it into her classroom at the former New Rochelle Catholic Elementary School; in 1977, she founded a choir there. But … more

Out of the Dust

I absolutely love the Easter season. We are celebrating the most important feast in the Christian calendar, the Resurrection. It’s the sign of our redemption by the Risen Lord, the promise of … more
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