Let No Man Put Asunder

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This past weekend (February 6/7/8), those of us in formation for the permanent diaconate in the Diocese of Knoxville had perhaps the most important weekend of class that we have yet had, or may have, for it was this weekend that representatives of the Marriage Tribunal of Nashville and Knoxville came to instruct us in how to serve properly as …

Pope Francis defends the family as God intended it

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While visiting Sri Lanka and the Philippines recently, Pope Francis turned more than a few heads by explaining in detail, and some three times in four days, just how right Blessed Pope Paul VI had been when he wrote Humanae Vitae. He issued what can only be described as some of the harshest criticism of abortion and contraception of his pontificate …

Awesome Responsibility, Incredible Gift

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With the feast of the Baptism of the Lord yesterday, the Church officially ended the Christmas season and enters Ordinary Time. As it happens, I spent the last weekend of the Christmas season with my brother candidates for the permanent diaconate in the Diocese of Knoxville in formation. This weekend’s topic was Canon Law. Those of you who read Life At …

The Needle’s Eye

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As the old year of 2014 ended and 2015 was about to begin, the Holy See issued its annual report, which showed that the number of Catholics world-wide continues to grow, and that growth is evident across all continents. However, within the numbers there appears another notable trend, and that is that a vast majority of the growth in the …

Keep the Mass in Christmas

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Today is the Vigil of the Nativity of the Lord, popularly known as Christmas Eve. Tonight when those of us who do so celebrate Vespers, or Evening Prayer, the Church says that the solemnity of Christmas officially begins. Advent comes to an end as we enter into our celebration of the Nativity of the Lord. Some parishes will celebrate Masses …

It’s “O” Time

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Those of us who daily celebrate the Liturgy of the Hours could probably tell that it is getting close to Christmas even if we couldn’t get a look at the calendar, because beginning last Wednesday and continuing through Tuesday evening, December 23rd, before reciting the Magnificat (i.e. “my soul magnifies the Lord”) from Luke 1:46-55, we recite a series of …

Long Ago Prophets Knew…

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On this third Sunday of Advent, we reflect in the first reading from the book of the Prophet Isaiah (61:1-2, 10-11) in the readings for Mass today. This is a passage seen by both scholars and theologians to be distinctly messianic in nature. In other words, the Jewish people of Jesus’ time would have seen this passage as referring to …

Reflection for Vespers

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This past Friday evening (December 5th) was my turn to lead Evening Prayer for our diaconate formation class. For some time now, we’ve been including a reflection by the candidate leading Morning or Evening Prayer. In sharing one of my reflections before on Life At 25, I said that it was rather like “practice preaching” to prepare us for the …

A Black Friday Reflection

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Last year on this day, I did what seems to have become an annual “tradition” for me, rendering my generally not-so-hot opinion of what is otherwise known as “Black Friday,” but which I think is a kind of “national holiday to materialism.” Indeed, a couple of years ago I wrote on my personal blog that “Black Friday” has simply become …

Cardinal Rigali’s Preaching Podcast

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Many wonderful things are happening here in the Diocese of Knoxville, and have been happening ever since our current shepherd, Bishop Richard Stika, arrived in the Diocese of Knoxville in March of 2009. Our number of seminarians and priests being ordained continues to grow. New diaconate candidates are in formation. While other dioceses are closing or consolidating parishes, we are …

Are We Profitable Servants?

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It is that time of year when we begin to see readings in daily Masses that are clearly eschatological and, some would say, apocalyptic in the Scriptures read at Mass every day. We see this in today’s readings, for example, when John has a vision of the Heavenly Liturgy, and Jesus tells what the headers in the Revised Standard Version …

Want To Keep Churches Open? Hand On Faith to Children

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On All Souls Day New York Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan announced a list of parishes in his diocese which will “merge” with other parishes. At some of the parishes which will now have two or more churches in their parish, there will be sacraments celebrated at both churches. At a great many of these parish churches, the sacraments won’t be …

Pope Francis Says Lukewarm Faith is Dangerous to the Church

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Pope Francis earlier this week discussed a topic in one of his homilies that may have made a whole lot of people squirm had the secular media picked up on it. The Holy Father warned on Monday that some of the greatest harm to the Church today is being caused by Christians whose faith is what sacred Scripture termed as …

A New Life (At 25)

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We’re hours into our new format at Life At 25 and we are fully integrated into the Diocese of Knoxville website, but we’ve already gotten some questions about the new format, and regular readers will see that something is new here. Why are you publishing on the main diocesan site, I’ve seen some old Life At 25 posts there?  Regular readers are …