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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

Have you ever wondered how the process of becoming pope works?

Here's a five minute video that explains it quite well.

It's actually a pretty good summary of how the process works (with some humor thrown in), though there are a few missteps (see below).

Incidentally, the odds of any particular person becoming pope are rather long.

There are more than a billion Catholics in the world, but there is only one pope at a time, so the odds are literally a billion to one...

February 26, 2013

A recent study out of Georgia State University shows that in some cases sharing the Christian faith with prisoners might cause them to commit more crimes. According to the study’s abstract, 

Through purposeful distortion or genuine ignorance, the hardcore offenders we interviewed are able to exploit the absolvitory tenets of religious doctrine, neutralizing their fear of death to not only...

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

The First Epistle of St. Peter is one of those books of the New Testament whose authorship is disputed.

Since the time of the early Church there has been a strong consensus that it was written by the apostle Peter.

There was less consensus in the early Church about 2 Peter, but the consensus about 1 Peter was strong, and it remained so until the rise of modern biblical criticism.

Modern critics, using a methodology of systematic doubt, have viewed the traditional...