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February 14, 2013

I sometimes wonder what the real St. Valentine, probably a third-century Roman martyr but no one knows for certain, would think of what's become of his feast day. Not only is the tradition of celebrating romantic love tenuously connected to what is told about this saint, but the day's name is often stripped of its sanctity. We never refer to March 17 as "Patrick's Day," but somehow February 14 became...

February 13, 2013

Well, not "all," but something, since Lent begins today and confession is good for the soul.

Like Tim Staples, I love my job. It is a privilege to be trusted with the responsibility to find information for Catholics and non-Catholics on the Catholic Faith. Whenever I learn that I in some way helped someone to better understand what Catholics believe and why, I am grateful once again to be...

February 12, 2013

It was about six o'clock in the morning, Pacific Time. I was jolted awake by a chime from my phone indicating an incoming text message. Since to be awakened first thing in the morning by your phone never means good news, I stumbled from bed and stared blearily at my phone. Once my mind started processing, shock seeped in:

Just heard on the news that the pope is stepping down at the end of the month for health reasons.

The colleague who had sent the...

February 11, 2013

A colleague told me not long ago of a priest he knows who attended the installation of a new bishop in the diocese in which the priest resided. This was a diocese in which the incoming bishop might have been expected to have a difficult row to hoe in cleaning up some of the liturgical funny business his predecessor chose, for whatever reason, not to crack down on. As I understand it, the priest walked out of the bishop's installation Mass during the consecration, when the large amount of...

February 9, 2013

For years a friend of mine has hosted an annual Shakespeare party. It used to be held around William Shakespeare's birthday (April 23), but usually it is now held just before Lent, when the weather is more amenable to wearing heavy costumes. It also serves as a final farewell to the Christmas partying season. The party includes music and skits prepared by the guests, either from Shakespeare or evocative of his time.

This year's Shakespeare party will be tonight. It's not often that...