8 results
July 16, 2014

Soon after becoming a Catholic, I started collecting "Catholicana" to hang about my neck. Eventually I was wearing a brown scapular, a crucifix, and a "dog tag" chain with twenty or more holy medals. No joke, people could always tell when I was approaching by the clinking of my medals. I liked to think of that necklace as my "cloud of witnesses." One day the chain broke, and I never replaced it. The only sacramental I continued to wear was my brown scapular.

Why was the brown scapular...

June 18, 2014

Whenever I go to eucharistic adoration, I have a little ritual that I follow, something I consider to be a good deed before settling into adoration. I sift through the free devotional literature set out for adorers to use in the adoration chapel while praying, looking for any problematic materials that need to be removed. If I find them, I stuff them in my purse for disposal later.

(Nota bene: I limit this practice to tracts, pamphlets, and other cheap leaflets that the...

November 25, 2013

Once upon a time, a long time ago by journalistic standards, a little girl wrote a letter to The Sun, a New York City newspaper. Little Virginia O'Hanlon, eight years old, had a very important question to ask:

Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, "If you see it in ...

August 2, 2013

The first funeral Mass I attended as a Catholic was for a young woman named Laura who died after a long illness. She was a kind person but was lapsed from her Catholic faith. She didn't hate the Church; she was simply indifferent. Most of those who knew her and prayed for her were confident that had she lived a while longer she would have come back to the Church.

Laura's funeral Mass was beautiful—that is, up until the homily. It was then that things took a turn for the weird. After...

April 11, 2013

One fairly regular question the apologists receive at Catholic Answers is "Who is the patron saint of [insert need or desire]?" While the answer to many such questions can be found at sites like the Patron Saints Index, more than a few are not readily answerable. I remember one person who wanted to know the patron saint of skateboarders. Not exactly a patronage that the Congregation for the Causes of Saints is going to...