Viewing 1 - 10 of 557
Mary Stachyra Lopez | Catholic Herald | Posted 3/7/14 09:07 AM | Comments (0)
The daily sports pages used to be filled with outstanding accomplishments of professional and amateur athletes: Hank Aaron breaking Babe Ruth’s homerun record; Pete Rose breaking Ty Cobb’s record for most career hits; Cal Ripken breaking Lou Gehrig’s streak of consecutive games played.
At some point in recent years the focus started to shift away from the court and field. Players are now more well-known for their off-the-field transgressions. Not a day goes by without a report of an athlete who used performance enhancing drugs, was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, physically abused his girlfriend or attacked a fan during a college basketball game.
The latest trend is for athletes to admit they are gay. When they “come out,” they are called heroic and courageous by the media. Olympic gold medal winners aren’t from Germany or Norway, but rather are labeled as “gay” in newspaper headlines.
With little or no fanfare, Catholic University in Washington announced the other day that its 2014 commencement speaker will be Pro Bowl quarterback Philip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers.
A devout Catholic, Rivers combines a tough training and playing schedule with the practice of his faith and his family life. He attended North Carolina State University, where he started 51 straight games and completed a conference record 1,147 passes, with 95 touchdowns. In each of his four years, he led his team to a postseason bowl game, and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player each time. The university retired his number when he graduated in 2003.
Rivers came to the Chargers in 2004 and has been the starting quarterback since 2006. He holds numerous team franchise records and has taken the Chargers to the playoffs five times. An all-out competitor, he played the entire 2007 AFC Championship game with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, which later required surgery.
Rivers is the antithesis of today’s modern athlete. He attends …
Mary Stachyra Lopez | Catholic Herald | Posted 2/4/14 04:04 PM | Comments (2)
And the Grammy goes to…Satan.
Sister Clare Hunter walks through the Grammy performances on the Arlington Diocese’s “Encourage and Teach” blog.
On the Lord’s Day, Sunday, January 26th, America had the opportunity to view:
Popular artist Katy Perry dressed as a witch with a red Cross on her bosom as she used a broom as a strippers pole, cast a spell and was then “burned at the stake.”
A married couple and parents of a 3-year-old girl express their martial love through a rap duet dressed as a stripper and a pimp.
Remembering Ralph McInery
On the fourth anniversary of Ralph McInerny’s death, The National Catholic Register interviews the brother of the well-known philosopher and author of the “Father Dowling” novels.
How does an angel get it wrong?
It’s a question that has puzzled theologians for years. Why did the angels fall from grace?
Obama, don’t harass nuns about birth control
Writer Kirsten Powers is the latest to weigh in on the Little Sisters of the Poor’s lawsuit against the HHS contraceptive mandate.
Catholic Herald Staff Report | Posted 1/31/14 01:31 PM | Comments (0)
Catholic Herald Staff Report | Posted 1/29/14 01:29 PM | Comments (0)
Frigid temperatures and relentless snowfall couldn’t dampen the spirits of youths from the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, La., who are participating in the 41st March for Life in Washington today.
Last night the youths, who had never seen snow before, delighted in the chilly flakes prior to the pre-march Life is Very Good rally at the Patriot Center in Fairfax. After a long bus ride from Louisiana, the group stretched their legs in fluffy snow. Even as the mercury descended to 14 degrees, the young pro-lifers made snow angels, built a snowman and started a friendly snowball fight.
Posted 1/22/14 01:22 PM | Comments (0)
Mary Stachyra Lopez and Stacy Rausch | Catholic Herald | Posted 1/6/14 02:06 PM | Comments (1)
When I was a boy many years ago in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., there was one time of the year that all altar boys at Polish parishes waited for. It was called Koleda, and it happened around the Epiphany.
The parish priest would make his rounds of all parish families and bless their homes. At a big parish, like Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, this could take weeks. He would bring along an altar boy or two to help with this mysterious ceremony.
The priest would enter the home with the altar boy carrying holy water, incense and blessed chalk. The priest would take the chalk and mark each doorway of the house with numbers and letters, for example, 20 + C + M+ B + 14. This signifies that 2,014 years ago Jesus was born. The letters are the initials of the three Wise Men who followed the star to the Christ Child— C for Caspar, M for Melchior and B for Balthasar.
Each room would be sprinkled with holy water and incensed as the family walked with the priest and altar boys to each room. Polish Christmas carols were sung by all.
Why did altar boys love this ceremony so much? Because at each home, a small feast was prepared for the visitors and gifts were shared. It was mostly Polish pastry, and it was delicious. There may have been traditional polish dishes like pierogi and kielbasa too. I remember some homes giving money to both priest and altar boy. With the food, you had to pace yourself or you’d burn out before the day’s Koleda visits were done. No pacing was needed for the money.
We had a lot of altar boys and all got an opportunity to go on the koleda visits. Some even got to go more than once.
Besides the blessing, the priest would leave the parish calendar, written in Polish of course, for the family to use to mark the important liturgical days of the coming year.
Poles love Christmas. Polish Christmas celebrations lasted until the beginning of February, ending on Candlemas Day.
I still can remember the sights and sounds, and smell the …
When it comes to the holidays, I am often amazed at the family traditions I hear from my friends. One of them has an elaborate Christmas brunch with her family before opening gifts. At my roommate’s house, opening gifts is a slow affair with family members unwrapping presents one at a time, oohing and aahing over each sweater and pair of socks. And one family I know gathers annually with relatives and neighbors to sing Christmas carols around a piano. Literally. A piano.
At my house, Christmas never has been that peaceful and, likely never will be. I’m the youngest of four, with three older brothers, who are all married with children — mostly sons — of their own. Where other families might be caroling and making gingerbread cookies, my family is more likely to be engaged in an all-out wrestling showdown or an in-basement soccer game, complete with a broken lightbulb or two.
When I was a kid, it really bothered me that my family’s traditions didn’t live up to the poinsettia-framed scenes I would see in Christmas movies and TV specials. I wanted to be part of the family that sipped hot cocoa together on Christmas Eve, but instead I was getting smothered by blankets as I tried to wake my teenage brothers up to open gifts.
I can remember clearly one year convincing my family to sing carols after Mass on Christmas Eve. The experiment was over almost as soon as it began and let’s just say, “Silent Night” did not end so silently for us.
Now that I’m a grown-up, I really appreciate the honesty with which my family celebrates Christmas. Our holiday is a hurricane of chaos and thrown wrapping paper, a pre-lit tree overflowing with decades of ornaments, and more than a dozen mismatched stockings crammed together above the fireplace downstairs — one for each family member and each grandchild, as well as any friends, roommates or significant others who have joined the craziness for the day.
Instead of heartfelt toasts before dinner, …
With all the frenzy of the season – the office Advent Day of Prayer, the Christmas cards that need to get out, the gifts waiting to be wrapped and mailed, the cookies that haven’t been baked, and the quiet time for prayer that I promised myself – I struggle to find a quiet minute at home or at work to reflect on Christmases past and how things change as the years go by.
One of my earliest Christmas memories was when my parents surprised us with a puppy when I was 4 years old. A little handful of white fur came bounding down the hall and begged to be loved. Puff was both loved and loving for the next 14 years. I remember the year Santa brought me a bicycle with red and blue tassels hanging from the handlebars.
But more than gifts, I recall many a Christmas when my Mom would take out her fine china and her freshly polished silver and set a beautiful table. Then she’d make her stuffing from scratch, the way her mother did. I paid close attention to every detail. With the turkey ceremoniously placed in the oven, and breakfast done, we’d move to the living room for the day’s festivities, including opening gifts, taking photos and making phone calls to distant relatives.
Dad’s neatly stacked wood would crackle in the fireplace as the large front windows would steam up from the cold outside. Music played softly in the background as my two brothers and I would take turns opening our gifts.
The day was filled with laughter, new gadgets being tried out, and all of us urging our parents to hurry up and open the next gift they had waiting under the tree.
Relatives arrived and eventually the dining room table was surrounded by the people I loved, all in one room — my parents, my two brothers, often our cousin from Georgetown, some close friends, and my aunt and uncle. Over the years, some of the players went missing.
In later years, things shifted and I was Santa’s main helper, getting up before my parents to arrange gifts below the tree and …