Metanoia and the Spiritual Experience of Pilgrimage: Part I

Climbing Croagh Patrick in Ireland before dawn.  Attending Midnight Mass in Bethlehem under the stars.  Standing in the arena under the Mediterranean sun where the martyrs perished in Carthage.  Fortunate is the Catholic who can experience pilgrimage, embarking on an extraordinary journey of faith and the personal transformation that comes from penitence and conversion, a…

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Spiritual Realities of the Papacy & the Priesthood

When two of her sons told her they were being called by God to the priesthood my Grandma Schmidt went back to work at nights as a licensed nurse to help pay for their seminary formation.  My Uncles Carl and Anthony were ordained priests on the same day in 1950.  When asked who, out of…

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Saint Monica: Christian Woman Married to a Pagan

Although there were many Christians in Roman Africa, pagan manners and customs still survived in many of her cities. The people clung to their games in the circus, the cruel and bloody combats of the arena, which, though forbidden by Constantine, were still winked at by provincial governors. They scarcely pretended to believe in their…

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Freedom as a Divine Gift and Duty

Freedom is indisputably one of the paradigmatic and quintessential values of our Western culture, so much so that we may be led to conclude that it is a value which springs out of our human nature itself. To a certain extent, this is true. But if we examine the history of humanity in its broadest…

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