Millions of Catholics ‘uncounted’ in the U.S. Report: Church population is 51 percent larger than estimates show due to unregistered parishioners
By Brian Fraga
So many people have moved to Mount Olive, N.C., in recent years that the local Catholic parish, St. Mary of the Angels, had to move from an 85-person church building to a new facility that accommodates 700 Catholics who attend four Sunday Masses.
However, the official parish registry would never tell you this church in rural North Carolina is bursting at the seams. Several of the area’s new Catholics, many of them Latinos from south of the border, have not registered at St. Mary of the Angels.
Mass Readings: Exodus 12:1–8,11–14/1 Corinthians 11:23–26/John 13:1–15
It’s the custom in my parish to have the washing of the feet as part of the Holy Thursday liturgy. Since I have ugly, old-man feet, I wear socks with my sandals not to make a fashion statement, but to hide my naked feet. So, I usually pass on the washing in church.
Happiness or suffering? A reflection for Holy Week
By Jennifer Rey
We were not made for suffering. We were not made for “conventional” happiness either.
David Brooks, an op-ed columnist for The New York Times, wrote on the redeeming nature of suffering. It went online more than a week ago, but reading it in the midst of Holy Week was intriguing. His points are insightful, but they make even more sense in light of Christ’s suffering.
The ‘new’ argument against contraception Instead of pretending this argument doesn’t exist, people need to come to grips with it
By Russell Shaw
One of the disappointments of the continuing debate over contraception is the failure of Catholics who don’t accept the Church’s teaching to acknowledge the existence of a serious and persuasive rational argument that the Church is right.
Either these people don’t know of the argument’s existence — although it has been around nearly half a century — or else they don’t feel up to replying to it. Neither explanation is greatly to their credit.
Jerusalem is filled with holy sites. One I was drawn to is the Upper Room, or Cenacle, located on Mount Zion above a room that purportedly houses the sarcophagus of King David. I visited the Cenacle in 2000 and, not to put too fine a point on it, was disappointed. With its Gothic architecture, it cannot be the simple room that Jesus in today’s Gospel tells His disciples to prepare for the Passover meal.
Shrine of Christ’s Passion is monumental Tourists flock to Indiana site that boasts Way of the Cross featuring 40 life-size bronze statues
By Michelle Martin
The town of St. John in northwest Indiana isn’t so far off the beaten path. Less than an hour from downtown Chicago, not far from Interstate Highway 90 that crosses the United States from east to west, it is located in the heartland of America.
But one part of it — the Shrine of Christ’s Passion, along Route 41 — feels very far away.
Our altar boys practically fight for the honor of being the thurifer.
That’s the name for the server who carries the thurible — the censer — in the procession at Mass. They like being thurifer because they get to wear the more ornate lace surplice, and they know thurifer is the most complicated job and is reserved for the older, more experienced boys.