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The Word Is Life

FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT

One of the most commonly depicted images in Christian art is that of the disciples at Pentecost. Around the world, there have been countless versions of the men and women gathered in a locked room in Jerusalem, each with a “tongue of flame” above their heads. The passage from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts…

REWORDING SAINT RITA

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Rita, the patron saint of abused wives. We need her help. Whether labelled the “perfect storm,” a “pandemic within a pandemic,” a “shadow pandemic,” “intimate partner violence,” or just “domestic abuse,” violence against women during the pandemic has increased dramatically. This increase in violence against women is scandalous…

OUR LADY OF FATIMA

Every age has its own moments of meaning. Imagine a rural village, Cova da Iria,  in Fatima,  Portugal, in 1917. The world was changing rapidly. Portugal was becoming increasingly more secular. The world was at war. Three shepherd children; Lucia do Santos and her cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, reported seeing apparitions of Mother Mary…

ST. CATHERINE OF SIENA: A SAINT FOR OUR TROUBLED TIME

If there was a saint for our current moment in history, St. Catherine of Siena should be the one. Consider the context she lived in. It was late medieval Europe, during the years of the bubonic plague. Close to a third of the population of Europe died. In 1348, the year after St. Catherine’s birth,…

VOCATION: WHERE GREAT JOY MEETS GREAT NEED

Sr. Mary Hennessey was the coordinator of Field Placements at Harvard Divinity School when my husband and I were studying there. She was well known for saying, “A hobby is something you love to do but the world does not particularly need. A job is something the world needs but which you have no particular…