20 results
February 27, 2013
The family of St. Therese of Lisieux

As an unrepentant history geek, I've often wondered about the less than saintly descendants of saints. Sometimes we don't have to wonder, because the saints' relationships with their immediate families are part of what demanded their heroic virtue.

Venerable Cornelia Connelly (1809-1879) was the wife of a Protestant minister who decided to convert to Catholicism and become a Catholic priest....

February 26, 2013

By nature I tend to be a rather contrary person. Or, as my father sometimes put it, I tend to end up "crosswise in the door" when told that a particular direction is one in which I must go. Perhaps then it is no surprise that I kind of liked wearing a veil to Mass . . . until I was told I had to do it. Ever since then the subject makes me bristle.

The first time I wore a headcovering to Mass was soon after my conversion in 1996. A friend invited me to a diocesan-approved Tridentine...

February 25, 2013
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (San Diego County, CA)

On the first Sunday of Lent I attended Mass at the local Carmelite monastery rather than at my parish church, so this past Sunday was the first time I had seen my parish church transformed for Lent. As I looked about the sanctuary, I sighed.

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal states:

During Lent it is forbidden for the...

February 22, 2013

Around the time Pope Benedict XVI released Summorum Pontificum, which expanded the use of the extraordinary form of the Roman rite of the Mass, I attended a Catholic conference at the Old St. Ferdinand Shrine in Florissant, Missouri. The shrine boasted a lovely pre-Vatican II altar that inspired a...

February 21, 2013

Unlike most converts from various strains of Protestantism, I never had much of a problem with the Blessed Virgin Mary. Perhaps it was because my Christian background was more or less nominal and lacking a good deal of Christian catechesis. In that void, in which there were no misapprehensions about Christianity to be overcome, I readily accepted the Blessed Virgin's role in the Christian life. Or perhaps it was because I had a natural attraction to the idea of saintly intercession and the...