In Defense of Using Skulls as Christian Symbols

The Catholic liturgical year has a rhythm that keeps our lives tied to the seasons, and those seasons tied to the eternal. As the leaves fall, the weather turns colder, and the day shortens, we naturally think of the shortness of our own “day” on this earth. The Church feasts that come around this time … Continued

How to Understand the Cycle of Readings at Mass

Looking over my latest Pinterest picks, it occurred to me that I have a genuine fascination with stained glass windows. I love them! In medieval churches, for a populace that couldn’t read, they often beautifully communicated biblical truths essential to the Catholic Faith.   Sources of Illumination While literacy is no longer rare, we sometimes remain like the … Continued

A Catholic Response to Our Colonial History

My local newspaper recently published an invitation to a demonstration for the removal of a monument on our city plaza in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The monument, erected after the Civil and American-Indian wars, once referred to Native people as “savages.” A brave individual chiseled away that horrific language long ago, to great celebration by the community. … Continued

Mourning No Eucharist

Like most millennials, I’ve received a lot of heartbreaking news via email.  I’ve gotten notice of disasters, of deployments, of deaths, and, yes, even of devastating romantic break-ups. I thought I had seen the worst of anything a screen could show me, but I was wrong. None of that prepared me for the email I received … Continued

What Should Catholics Do and Say about the Coronavirus?

This morning, I had an interesting interaction over social media.  I forwarded this post from Padre Peregrino, in which a Pakistani court upheld the right of a Muslim man to hold in captivity a young Catholic girl he had kidnapped for the explicit purpose of sexual slavery.  The heroic girl remains without rescue and in … Continued

What the Best-Selling Novels of the 2010s Reveal about Our Culture

The last decade will undoubtedly be remembered for its fascination with fantasy fiction, and in a world facing the turmoil ours saw in the 2010s, this does not seem in the least bit surprising. The beauty contained in well-written fantasy gives us so much of what our souls crave. A careful Catholic, however, might meet this … Continued

A Service to the Sacred: How to Start a Parish Choir

Catholics can’t sing. That’s the charge lately leveled against us, but I don’t think it’s true. I suspect that you can sing beautifully. I suspect that you can sing as meaningfully and movingly as you pray if your song is as grounded in your faith as your prayer.   If your song is grounded in our Catholic faith regarding … Continued

Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Tlaxcalans

On this feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, like many Hispanic Catholics, I am especially proud to celebrate my cultural heritage and its special place in our faith history! Here in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where I am an eighteenth-generation native, batches of the bizcochitos and empanaditas we are perfecting for Christmas come out of … Continued

Advent Reflection: The Annunciation through Mary’s Eyes

Santa Fe is blanketed in snow, and the smell of piñon fires has begun to fill the air in the early darkness of the evenings. Nothing reminds the senses more surely that Advent has arrived than such simple things. There is a warmth and a peace that at no other time seems to surround them, and … Continued

17 Authentic Catholic Christmas Gift Ideas for Men

He’s that cool, countercultural Catholic. He’s a stalwart soldier in the Church Militant. And it’s time to get him a Christmas gift. Here’s a guide to some fantastic Catholic Christmas gifts for men in 2019! Knock Their Socks Off Before you dismiss socks as the Christmas gift no one wanted as a kid, you absolutely must see … Continued