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February 18, 2013

I love reading conversion stories. I've read so many of them that I sometimes don't remember exactly what a convert said about his journey, only that he entered the Church. That's the case with a story I remember reading years ago, probably in an anthology of conversion stories. I don't remember a lot of the details, only an extraordinary tale of answered prayer.

This convert had attended a famous Protestant seminary in the U.S., one which had been seeing a surprising number of its...

February 15, 2013

While discussing the exclusivity of salvation through Jesus Christ in her helpful book titled The Misunderstood Jew, Jewish New Testament scholar Amy-Jill Levine sketches an amusing scene of her anticipated future arrival at the Pearly Gates. Levine imagines herself immediately peppering St. Peter with all her unanswered academic questions, only to be told to take up her...

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...