Catholicism 101

Wed

22

Feb

2017

Saint Blaise and the Role of the Corporeal

 

by Adriana Watkins

 

Here’s an experiment: stop a pedestrian walking down Commonwealth Avenue and inform them that, on a recent Friday, several million people worldwide lined up to have candles pressed on their necks. You may receive some comical responses. As strange as the statement sounds, however, it describes the feast of St. Blaise, celebrated on February 3rd and accompanied by a “blessing of the throats.” Though many of us are happy enough to accept the blessing as an obscure tradition, what do we know about its origins? How much do we know about St. Blaise himself? Asking ourselves these questions can help us explain the cherished custom to that bewildered pedestrian.

 

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Wed

22

Feb

2017

SEEK Conference Gathers Thousands of Young Catholics

 

by Laura McLaughlin

 

SEEK is a biannual conference that draws thousands of college students from all over the country to explore their faith and hear from others about what it means to be Catholic. SEEK is a FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) initiative that is part of their evangelization mission. FOCUS began as a response to Saint Pope John Paul II’s call for a new evangelization in Denver at the 1993 World Youth Day event. Since then, FOCUS has placed recent college graduates at over 100 college campuses to foster Catholic communities, help Catholic student grow in their faith, and introduce non Catholics to the Church.

 

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Wed

22

Feb

2017

Preparing for Ash Wednesday and Lent

 

by Jeffrey Lindholm

 

“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” This is yet another joyful Catholic phrase reminding us of our own mortality. But Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent goes deeper than this. Ash Wednesday is the beginning of the liturgical season of Lent, a forty-day preparation for Holy Week, culminating in Easter Sunday, when Catholics gather to bear witness to the Resurrection of Christ.

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Wed

22

Feb

2017

St. Valentine

 

by Brian Grab

 

St. Valentine's Day can be a polarizing holiday. Some love it, some find it silly or unnecessary, but few on either side know what exactly it commemorates. In this regard, it bears a slight resemblance to St. Patrick's Day, a Boston favorite. Just as there's something holy and a bit mysterious behind the green-tinted beer, there's something similarly holy behind the hearts and flowers of St. Valentine's Day. Like any good Christian feast, this one is about love, love of God for humanity and love of humanity to God. Like any good saint’s day, it involves some heroic holiness.

 

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Tue

06

Dec

2016

The Simplicity of Taizé Prayer

by Jeffrey Lindholm

 

Imagine walking into a church. Electric lights illuminate the altar, people are talking quietly, and the congregation worships through a form of the Eucharistic Prayer. Is this the case in Taizé? Quite the opposite. The scene is a dark church, with candles as the only source of light. Students, adults, and clergy members surround an altar formed by lit candles and a San Damiano crucifix. Prayer is quite simple, with one- or two-line chants. Participation is optional; one can take in the beauty of Taizé or join in on the simple refrains.

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Tue

06

Dec

2016

The Hope of the Epiphanies

by Dante Keeler

 

As we prepare for finals over the next few weeks, there is a light down the road that brightens our paths, the same light that lit the way for the Magi to approach Bethlehem. This light is the light of Christ as he comes into the world; we know the familiar images of shepherds, kings, and angels that come to worship him. Celebrated on January 6, the feast of the Epiphany commemorates different things, depending on which branch of Christianity you belong to. It’s one of the oldest feasts celebrated in the Christian tradition, and predates the celebration of Christmas. Originally (and still today, in some Eastern Catholic and Orthodox traditions), the feast of the Epiphany celebrated four different events: the Nativity, the adoration of the Magi, the Baptism of Jesus, and the first miracle at the wedding in Cana. Most Catholics think of the Epiphany as referring to the second event, the arrival of the Magi. All four of these events are revelations of God to man; I like to think of them as each revealing a different part about Jesus’ character as fully human and fully divine. That’s what Epiphany means, after all: a revelation.  

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Tue

15

Nov

2016

Faith in Action: St. Joseph’s Project

by Katie Daniels

 

It was 3 p.m. on a Friday afternoon and the guys—two scruffy college seniors in flannels—were making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Standing in the cramped, sunny kitchen of Manresa House, they searched through the fridge for supplies they had bought with their own money—white bread, apples, fruit snacks. Sometimes they switched it up and made turkey and cheese sandwiches instead. The people they’d be giving the sandwiches to liked to have options, the boys explained.  

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Tue

15

Nov

2016

“Your Brother is Such a Saint”: Meet Your Holy Family

by Adriana Watkins

 

Almost anyone who is a younger child knows the struggle of measuring up to their older siblings. You may roll your eyes a little bit when a friend tells you how wonderful your sister is, or how polite your brother is growing up to be. And if you haven’t had that problem, don’t worry—Catholics have 10,000 older siblings, and they’re all perfect.

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