New Catholics Need Our Friendship and Example

David Oatney Diocese of Knoxville, New Evangelization, Prayer

Those of you who celebrated Morning Lauds this morning sang or chanted the 42nd Psalm as the first chant, a psalm which has opening words in verses one and two that may be familiar to many Catholics, and certainly set me in a Holy Week mindset. The Grail translation, which is generally what is used in the English-speaking world for …

A Reflection for Ash Wednesday and Lent

David Oatney Catechism, Prayer

Today is Ash Wednesday. Most observant Catholics know that today is a day of fast and abstinence in the Universal Church, that means that we are to abstain from flesh meat today, and according to the present norms of the Church, our fast is to mean that we are allowed up to three small meals today, with two of them …

He Comes To Bring Good Tidings

David Oatney Prayer

With the sun going down on the shortest day of the year, it is now the Vigil of the Fourth Sunday of Advent. The celebration of Our Lord’s Nativity is three days away. Many of us are engaged in those last-minute Christmas preparations. In our home, we are finishing up the candy and cookies, and there are still some gifts …

Slow Down and Have a Holy Advent

David Oatney Pope Francis, Prayer

This past weekend (the vigil and the Sunday proper) heralded the beginning of Advent. In the Church’s year, it is a new beginning, marking a new Year of Grace, 2014. The Church begins the liturgical cycle by reflecting for four weeks in the daily scripture readings, the text of the Mass, and the antiphons of the Liturgy of the Hours …

Remembering God On the Day of Plenty

David Oatney Diocese of Knoxville, New Evangelization, Prayer, Year of Faith

Since Catholics celebrated the feast of Christ the King this past Sunday, the liturgical year is about to come to a close this Saturday, on the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle (which so happens to be one of my patronal feast days, since St. Andrew is my confirmation saint), but not before another “feast day” intervenes, the feast of …

The Importance of Retreat

David Oatney Diocese of Knoxville, Prayer, Priesthood, Vocations

The priests of the Diocese of Knoxville are on retreat as I write these lines at Lake Junaluska in North Carolina. The Church asks all of her clergy who are physically able to do so to make a retreat at least once a year, something that their diocese or religious order will often facilitate (here you see Bishop Stika celebrating …

Our Lady of the Rosary

David Oatney Diocese of Knoxville, New Evangelization, Prayer, Priesthood, Vocations

Today, October 7th, is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. On this day in 1571, a small and heavily-outnumbered allied Catholic naval force under the command of Don John of Austria defeated a Turk Muhammedian fleet of over 300 ships. This naval battle kept the Western Mediterranean from falling into Muslim hands and preserved the place of Christianity …

The Final Countdown

David Oatney Prayer, Year of Faith

The countdown to the Diocese of Knoxville’s first ever Eucharistic Congress has begun in earnest, because by the time this post is published, we will be speaking of the Congress as something that will be upon us not in a matter of months, weeks, or days. The biggest event in the 25-year history of the Diocese of Knoxville is now …

The Pope Who Leads By Example

David Oatney Catechism, New Evangelization, Prayer, Year of Faith

Pope Francis not only called for a vigil of prayer and fasting this past weekend, but the Holy Father has continued a recurring theme of rejecting what he likes to call “false religiosity,” telling people not to keep certain devotions merely for the sake of those devotions, but to engage in devotional practices and works of charity that draw them …

Queen of Peace, Pray for Us

David Oatney Prayer, Year of Faith

If my memory serves me correctly, it was Father Meinrad Brune, OSB, who is the Oblate Director at St. Meinrad Archabbey and School of Theology, who once shared with me and other oblates during a meeting many years ago a story that when he was a boy growing up in Indiana during the Second World War, he would often see …

Pontiff Emeritus Says Holy Spirit Led Him Out (updated)

David Oatney Prayer, Priesthood

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI reportedly told a visitor to his residence at Mater Ecclesiae Monastery last week that his abdication from the Chair of St. Peter came about not because he was unwilling to stay on the job, but because he had a mystical experience in prayer wherein the Holy Spirit planted a strong desire to remain alone with the …