Windows’ witness

Photo: Psalter of Queen Melisende/Flickr Commons

This November, as we remember our departed in a particular way, it is a good time to remember also that the church offers comfort for the men and women left behind when a beloved spouse dies. Widows and widowers have a life full of dignity, purpose and mission. As Vatican II declared, “Widowhood, accepted bravely as a continuation of the marriage vocation, should be esteemed by all.”

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Pray the Rosary for Stronger Marriages and Families

Photo: Shutterstock

This Oct. 13 marks the 100th anniversary of the final apparition of Our Lady of Fátima. At Fátima, Portugal, Our Lady urged the shepherd children to pray the rosary daily to obtain peace for the world. In this time of crisis in marriage and family life, a daily family rosary — a daily rosary from all Catholics — for the strengthening of marriage and family is a powerful means of building peace in the world.

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Introduction to Morality Online Course

Do you want to form your mind in the truth, beauty, and goodness of the Catholic moral tradition? My seven-hour online Introduction to Morality course is available now, so you can delve into the first few lessons while I continue to record and add materials.

REGISTER HERE!

The whole course will be complete by the end of May, when I finish teaching my live Intro to Morality course for the Archdiocese of Seattle’s deacon formation program. As of today, half the videos have been recorded, and about a quarter of them have been uploaded and are ready for you to watch.  Lesson 1 is totally complete with a quiz and a handout; quizzes and handouts will soon be uploaded to accompany the rest of the videos available.

Here’s the course description and syllabus:

Introduction to Morality Syllabus Online Class

I hope you can join me as we delve into the riches of the Catholic moral tradition together. This is a great way to gain clarity and confidence in understanding the foundational principles behind specific moral teachings. This will help you understand and articulate what we believe as Catholics as you discuss moral issues with the people in your life. It’s great for committed Catholic adults looking to deepen their formation, parents, precocious high-schoolers (including homeschooled high school students), teachers, pastoral associates and parish volunteers. I’m thinking youth ministers in particular may want to check this out, too.

Your registration gives you access to the course for a full year, so you can move through the lessons at your own pace from anywhere you have internet.

REGISTER HERE!

Remember, listeners to Dr. Tom Curran’s “Sound Insight” program on Sacred Heart Radio have a discount code which reduces the price to $400, or $100 a month for four months, plus, 10% of the registration goes back to support Sacred Heart Radio.  If you forgot the code we gave on-air, you can contact me through the button for the code. Just include the call number of your Catholic radio station and a few details about what you heard on air, and I’ll email you the code.

(You can also get the code from listening to the show recording online, once it’s posted.)

A Pervasive Toxin is Attacking Our Kids

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Parents, as your teens head back to school, you should know that this year they are at a greater risk than ever for encountering a toxic substance proven to traumatize the brain, impair concentration, decrease cognitive functioning, induce depression and anxiety, and reduce pleasure in everyday life. Rising in use each year, this substance is attacking our kids’ ability to learn, thrive and be happy. And you are the most powerful force in their lives to protect them from it.  Continue reading “A Pervasive Toxin is Attacking Our Kids”

Awesome Discipleship Program Based on St. Ignatius

Happy Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola! He’s touched my life in many ways through the years. I attended a Jesuit high school for a year and a half, and had my intellect opened to the connections between art, literature, religion, and history during my collegio classes at Seattle Prep. When I moved to Anacortes part-way through high school, a wonderful old Jesuit serving in the San Juan Islands, Fr. Steckler, gave Catechism lectures at my parish. Blew my mind! I had no idea there was such depth and richness, such a coherent, logical system, such beauty, truth, and goodness illuminating the truths of the faith. May he rest in peace. What a great man. At that time, Fr. Spitzer also gave a talk at my parish about Marian devotion. (Before he made it big.) Later, Fr. Spitzer would be the president of Gonzaga University while I was there. Continue reading “Awesome Discipleship Program Based on St. Ignatius”

NFP Awareness Week – Hormonal Contraception Linked With Depression

July 23-July 29 is the USCCB National NFP Awareness Week. This is a great time to raise awareness about NFP in your ministry or parish.

The Pill has been correlated with higher risks of certain forms of cancer, blood clotting, and lower libido. This new study from Denmark finds its correlates with increases rates of depression, especially among teen girls. Shouldn’t they develop a way for couples to manage their fertility in a way that respects womens’ bodies and doesn’t harm their health and wellbeing? They did! It’s called NFP.

 

Mary Magdalene: Telling the Story

                                    Saint Mary Magdalene,
                                    who by conversion become the beloved of Jesus,
                                    thank you for your witness that Jesus forgives
                                    through the miracle of love.
 
                                    You, who already possess eternal happiness
                                    in His glorious presence,
                                    please intercede for me
                                    so that someday I may share in the same
                                    everlasting joy.
                                                                                              Amen.
 
For years, I have been captivated by the person of Mary of Magdala. I’ve dreamed of writing a picture book to tell her story to a new generation. This dream was conceived several years ago when I attended St. Mary Magdalen parish in Everett, where I was, for a time, the “Troop Shepherd” for my daughters’ American Heritage Girls scouting troop.  I spoke to the girls about this incredible woman, and was amazed at what I found as I researched my little talk for them. Mary Magdalen was a wealthy, independent single woman living in first-century Palestine–a woman of influence. A woman broken, and healed, and made new. A woman of whole-hearted passion, energetic and practical, but full of longing, like the Bride in the Song of Songs. A woman to whom Jesus revealed the heart of the mystery of his mission: to offer us a share in his Sonship of His Father. She was a woman of dignity sent on mission. She is woman who shows us how to live the new evangelization and the feminine genius.

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Grandparents are a Treasure

“Tell me about your grandmother,” the director of vocations for an East Coast diocese asks the young man sitting on the other side of his desk for his initial interview at the chancery. He leans back in his chair to enjoy the response, knowing already what it will be.

“Oh, she is the most incredible woman,” the young man instantly lights up. “My grandmother is really special to me, and she is so strong in her Catholic faith. In fact, I think I owe my vocation to the priesthood to her,” he reflects. The vocations director nods knowingly. Every candidate for the priesthood that has come into his office has said the same thing.

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Wine Out of Water

Photo: Courtesy Carrie Anderson

“We had been craving community at St. Monica [Parish on Mercer Island], just wanting some kind of couple’s group,” Bill recounted. “Father Freitag was talking about the dissolution of marriages. … Divorce after divorce. It was on his heart that we need prayers for these marriages, and they need help. So it was something that was on our heart,” he told me.

Inspired during eucharistic adoration together, Bill and Carrie Anderson gathered a group of six couples from the parish to meet regularly for dinner about two years ago. They share wine, laughter and fellowship. After dinner, they pray a rosary. They meet in the spirit of the wedding at Cana, as indicated by their name, WOW: Wine Out of Water. (see John 2:1-11)

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