St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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Gnosticism Is All Around Us

I once gave a lecture in a Northwestern diocese—up in the morning, back to San Diego in the afternoon, the entire trip taking only ten hours—and came away with a renewed sense that things were turning around. I had been invited by the diocese to participate in a series on Catholic apologetics. Talks were geared toward CCD instructors, parish evangelization leaders, and those engaged in adult education. …

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The Doritos Commercial and the Revival of Voluntarism

I’m sure by now you’ve heard about the absurd reaction of the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) to the lighthearted Super Bowl commercial produced to advertise Doritos. In the 30-second clip, a pregnant mother, undergoing an ultra-sound, is annoyed by her husband who is absent-mindedly munching Doritos while their baby’s image is displayed on the screen. But as the father moves the corn chip, the baby in the womb moves with it; and when the mother throws the bag across the room, the child reacts so keenly and purposively that he decides this is the moment to be born.
Cute, funny, harmless, right? …

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He Only Lived for 4 Hours After Birth But Had a Million Followers on Facebook

Although he lived outside the womb for just four hours, baby Shane Haley gained almost one million followers on Facebook and garnered the attention of the world’s media due the innovative “bucket list” of fun activities or significant locations his parents took him to while he was still in the womb.  Baby Shane had been prenatally diagnosed with anencephaly, a diagnosis his parents described as “devastating”. …

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In Lenten Message, Pope Tells Young People God Gives Joy More Than World Ever Can

“Living in the presence of the Father gives us a much deeper joy than worldly glory can give us.” …

In Lenten Message, Pope Tells Young People God Gives Joy More Than World Ever Can

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Scripture Is Begging Us to Reconcile With God, Says Pope

As the Church today marks the beginning of Lent, Pope Francis noted that St. Paul does not merely advise or suggest being reconciled with God. Rather, he pleas for it. …

Scripture Is Begging Us to Reconcile With God, Says Pope

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Is There a Queen in the Kingdom of Heaven? Pt. II

As I wrote in an earlier blog post, Pope Pius XII summarized the core reasons Christians ought to honor Mary with the title of Queen of Heaven and Earth in Ad Caeli Reginam, 34:

According to ancient tradition and the sacred liturgy, the main principle on which the royal dignity of Mary rests is without doubt her divine motherhood. In holy writ, concerning the son…

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Ash Wednesday

In the Western Church, Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, the 40-day period of fasting before Easter. On Ash Wednesday, ashes are blessed, mixed with either holy oil or water, and placed upon the head with the sign of the cross, or sprinkled on the forehead. The ashes are made from burning palm branches blessed the previous year on Palm Sunday. When the priest imposes the ashes he says either “remember man you are dust, and to dust you will return” (see Genesis 3:19), or “turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel” (Mark 1:15).


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