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2018

“Peace on Earth to People of Goodwill:” The Experience of Faith and the Joy of Christmas

by Tabi Arrey

 

I love the holiday season: the music, the pomp, the cheer, the new Hallmark movies, and even the sweaters and the eggnog. The holiday season might be as cold as anything can be, but hearts are warm as people celebrate one another in ways that are special and particular. We are reminded of the things that matter the most to us; we think of our friends and family, of the people who have influenced our lives in one way or another, of that rather short and obscure action of solicitude and concern that make life worth living. As these memories overload our collective imagination, we see in them the necessity to give back, to give thanks. 

 

We buy and exchange gifts, we go to concerts, and we reorganize our playlists to feature holiday hits, for ‘tis the season to be jolly as the old carol suggests. I love the holiday season, but even more particularly, I love the Christmas Season.

 

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Wed

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2018

Consecrations to Mary on the Rise Throughout U.S.

by Mary Rose Corkery

 

The Church has confirmed that in 1917, the Virgin Mary appeared at Fatima, Portugal, and revealed her divine wishes and promises to three local shepherd children. Among other messages, Mary announced, “God wishes to establish devotion in the word to my Immaculate Heart.” Many Americans are paying renewed attention to these instructions, as a number of dioceses throughout the nation are being consecrated to the Blessed Mother.

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Wed

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Dec

2018

A Thank-You to Our Chief

by The Editorial Board and Staff

 

The staff of The Torch would like to express its deep gratitude to its Editor-in-Chief, Gjergji Evangjeli, for all of his hard work. He is preparing to move on to greater things, but we would be remiss to let him go without reminding him of our appreciation. Gjergji has been with The Torch since its earliest days, contributing dozens of articles, working as the World News editor, and taking the reins as Executive Editor and Editor-in-Chief. Journalism can be a bumpy field—especially for new publications—and with Gjergji’s guidance, The Torch has forged ahead.

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Wed

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Dec

2018

Lessons on Christmas Eve

by Amanda Judah

 

For the past five years, my mom and I have attended the same Christmas Eve service in Boston. Our friends from our home church are always surprised to hear of this tradition, since it means “church hopping” for a single night. Even more surprisingly, we attend a pageant service for small children, despite not knowing any of these children ourselves. However, I have found that this tradition reminds me of the larger body of Christ, as well as our collective humanity.

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Wed

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Dec

2018

A Christmas Thought Experiment

by Adriana Watkins

            

A popular method of meditating on the Scriptures is to imagine ourselves as characters in the passage we’re reading. We’ve all been the blind man, or Martha, or Zacchaeus—this exercise reminds us of the reality that Jesus still speaks to us, visits us, and heals us. The Nativity scene, too, has many wonderful perspectives in it, including those of the shepherds and the Magi. Yet, I know plenty of college students who aren’t feeling quite as collected as the shepherds this time of year, or quite as regal as the Magi, and they’re not willing just yet to identify themselves with the cows in the stable.

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Wed

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Dec

2018

Extreme Humility

Adoration of the Shepherds by Gerard van Honthorst (1622)
Adoration of the Shepherds by Gerard van Honthorst (1622)

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

Imagine that you wake up tomorrow and cannot recognize where you are. You look around frantically and try to scream out, but all you can manage is a feeble cry. A nurse comes to check on you and—with a shock—you finally recognize where you are: a maternity ward. “There’s been a mistake,” you try to say, “I’m not supposed to be here! What-” She picks you up and tries to calm you down. Only then do you realize that your soul has somehow been transported into the body of a newborn child.

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Wed

12

Dec

2018

Keeping Christmas in a Troubled World

by Ejuma Adoga

 

The holidays are a time for giving, receiving, laughter, family and friends. As a child, it was always my favorite time of year—I loved to go to Midnight Mass in my best dress and shiny shoes to celebrate the ritual of the Mass with my family. It almost seemed mystical and powerful, and being with my family on Christmas Eve is one of my favorite places in the world. My mother had always instilled in my siblings and I the value of a relationship with God, and to have a connection with my faith and that has always been something that I’ve carried with me.

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Wed

12

Dec

2018

The Advent of Advent

by Justin Schnebelen

 

Christ’s awe-inspiring and apocalyptic depictions of His Second Coming which dot the beginning of our Advent readings often leave the Faithful with more questions than answers. In the same way, an inquiry into the history of Advent leaves one largely bereft of solid evidence and overrun by a heap of unanswered questions.

 

Nonetheless, this feast which marks the beginning of the Church year has roots in a fascinating number of locations, and their underlying purposes speak volumes to the significance of the season, as we know it.

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Wed

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Dec

2018

“Behold, a New and Wondrous Mystery”

The Nativity by Duccio di Buoninsegna
The Nativity by Duccio di Buoninsegna

by Patrick Stallwood

 

Christmas is almost upon us, and with it, the most popular Mass of the year. Priests will be preparing for their homilies like an NFL coach prepares for the Superbowl. One bishop has set the gold standard for concise, yet inspiring sermons to a congregation of thousands­­—St. John Chrysostom. He was the archbishop of Constantinople in the late 4th century and is now a Doctor of the Church. Known for his empowering homilies and exceptional rhetoric, he was given the nickname “Chrysostom,” meaning golden mouth. 

 

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Wed

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Dec

2018

“The Real Sister Act,” Daughters of St. Paul Christmas Concert Comes to Boston

by Olivia Colombo

 

On the weekend of December 1, the Daughters of St. Paul choir made a stop in Boston for two nearly sold-out concerts, kicking off their annual tour where the “singing nuns” shared Christmas joy through lively song, dance, and prayer. 

 

A family tradition for many, the concert put on by the “Media Nuns” is in its twenty-fourth year and has been to sixteen cities. This Christmas season their show, Glorious Night, will take the traveling sisters to seven cities with ten shows. 

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Wed

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Dec

2018

Bishop Robert Morlino, Advocate of Catholic Teaching, Dies

by Alex Wasilkoff

 

On November 24, Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison, Wisconsin, passed away following a "cardiac event."

 

The widely-respected Bishop of Madison was initially a Jesuit. He was ordained in 1974 and taught philosophy at several universities, including here at Boston College, as well as at Notre Dame. In 1981, he left the Society of Jesus and was incardinated as a priest of the Diocese of Kalamazoo, Michigan. After almost two decades in Kalamazoo, Morlino was consecrated a bishop in 1999. Pope St. John Paul II appointed him to Helena, Montana. Then in 2003, he was moved to the episcopate of Madison.

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Wed

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Dec

2018

At Agape Latte, Kelly Hughes asks "What Are You Waiting For?"

by Amanda Judah 

 

On December 4, Appa director Kelly Hughes entertained a group of finals-avoidant students and faculty in Hillside. Her energy and enthusiasm brought engagement to her topic, “What Are You Waiting For?”. Heading into the advent season, she encouraged her audience to wonder, “What am I waiting for? What am I willing to wait for? Who waits with me? Do I make room for God as I wait?” Although Hughes could not offer individual answers to these questions, she provided fodder for further pondering.

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Wed

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Dec

2018

Who Will Be the Bishop of Mars?

Photo of the surface of Mars taken by Opportunity Rover | NASA
Photo of the surface of Mars taken by Opportunity Rover | NASA

by Olivia Colombo

 

On November 26, NASA’s InSight Mars rover plunged through the thin Martian atmosphere and landed on the rocky, red surface in order to study the inner qualities of the planet, gathering information for the mission to send humans to Mars in the next 15 years.

 

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Wed

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Dec

2018

Fibs and Father Christmas

by Gerard DeAngelis

 

Every year the Christmas season provokes many critiques about the secularized nature of one of Christianity’s most important feasts. Among many insights provided by the Common Doctor of the Church, St. Thomas Aquinas, one critique—although admittedly not the most important—he might bring to the table is this: Isn’t it wrong to be lying to our kids about Santa Claus?

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Dec

2018

Religiosity of Starbucks Holiday Cups

Starbucks Holiday Cup Designs for 2018 | Starbucks
Starbucks Holiday Cup Designs for 2018 | Starbucks

by Ethan Starr

 

The American holiday season maintains a certain number of constant features throughout our nation’s annual staging of its dueling secular and religious interpretations of winter holidays. Each of these respective celebratory methods would be rendered unrecognizable without their trademarks, including recognizable inclusions of daily life in the winter season, from nativity scenes to inflatable reindeer, attending a parish’s midnight mass to visiting the local mall Santa. 

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Wed

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Dec

2018

Panelists Discuss Why They’ve Stayed Catholic

by Jonathan Gaworski

 

On Tuesday, November 27, the Church in the 21st Century Center of Boston College hosted a discussion panel entitled “Why I Remain a Catholic: Belief in a Time of Turmoil.”  This event sought to respond to the latest wave of the Catholic sexual abuse crisis which broke this past summer.  

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Wed

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Dec

2018

The Christmas Truce and the Power of Peace

An artist's illustration of the Christmas Truce for the Illustrated London News (published January 9, 1915)
An artist's illustration of the Christmas Truce for the Illustrated London News (published January 9, 1915)

by Gerardo Martinez-Cordeiro

 

The year is 1914. The Great War is just beginning. Soldiers on both sides of the Western front hurry to dig trenches, search for advantages over the enemy, or simply take a moment of quiet in order to rest up for the next skirmish. No one knows how long the war will last. No one knows if they will survive long enough to make it back home—or what back home would look like if they did.

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