Our Lady of La Leche

This article was originally published in The Catholic News Herald of the diocese of Charlotte. When one thinks of making a pilgrimage, it’s easy to think of such far off places as the Holy Land, Rome or Fatima. When you think of going to see great sites of religious history, it’s not surprising if the mind first ventures to the Middle East or to Europe, where great dramas of history have played out for so many centuries and in so many ways.…

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The Litany of St. Joseph

This article was originally published in The Catholic News Herald of the diocese of Charlotte. I love to meditate on the many titles of St. Joseph. As I have grown in awareness and devotion to him over the last several years, his litany has become one of my favorite prayers. Different titles will resonate with me at different times and in different circumstances of life. I’ve also discovered that the litany can make for a good examination of conscious, drawing to the…

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Purgatory and Praying for the Dead

This article was originally published in The Catholic News Herald of the diocese of Charlotte. This past year, I’ve been working my way through a reading of Dante Alighieri’s epic poem “The Divine Comedy,” in which the poet narrator travels first through the circles of hell, then climbs the mountain of purgatory, and ultimately reaches the paradise of heaven. As we enter into the month of November, a time the Church has designated especially for praying for the souls of the dead,…

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Women Who Dared Speak Truth

This article was originally published in The Catholic News Herald of the diocese of Charlotte. “And who knows if you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” These are the words spoken to Queen Esther in the Old Testament, when she is being asked to risk the wrath of her husband the king in order to save the lives of the Israelites. Esther is asked to endanger her own comfort and security, even her life, for the…

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Mary Magdalene, The Perfect Repentant

This article was originally published in The Catholic News Herald of the diocese of Charlotte. Mary Magdalene has been a complex character in Christian thought throughout Church history. She has been variously identified as Mary of Magdala; the “sinful woman” of Luke 7:36-50 who anoints Christ’s feet and dries them with her hair; and Mary of Bethany, the sister of Martha and Lazarus. What we know from Scripture is that Mary of Magdala was one of the women who followed Jesus during…

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Caryll Houselander’s “The Reed of God”

This article was originally published in The Catholic News Herald of the diocese of Charlotte. One of my favorite books for meditating on Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary is Caryll Houselander’s “The Reed of God.” I was introduced to this book just a few years ago and it has since become one that I return to quite often for contemplation. Houselander’s prose writing is as lyrical as her poetry, which is also sprinkled throughout the book, and makes for a beautifully…

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St. Joseph and What We Need Most

This article was originally published in The Catholic News Herald of the diocese of Charlotte. Every time we pray the Our Father, the prayer Jesus Himself gave to us, we ask God to “give us our daily bread.” As Moses and the Israelites were given manna in the desert for just one day at a time, we also are called to trust God to provide for our needs one day, one moment, at a time. This can be a difficult act of…

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St. Catherine Labouré and the Miraculous Medal

This article was originally published in The Catholic News Herald of the diocese of Charlotte. There are many amazing saints named Catherine recognized by the Catholic Church; but I am not named after any of them. I was named after one of my mother’s aunts, and my spelling of Kathryn is more typical among Protestants than it is among Catholics. Spelling variations aside though, it is still inspiring to look at some of the amazing women throughout history whose name I share.…

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Common Men and Women

This article was originally published in The Catholic News Herald of the diocese of Charlotte I love to read about the lives of different saints and to see the great variety of people that God has loved and called to serve Him – from the battle-tested St. Joan of Arc to the “Little Way” of St. Therese of Lisieux to the humble yet famous St. Teresa of Calcutta, and from the vibrant St. Francis of Assisi to the studious St. Thomas Aquinas…

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The Flight Into Egypt

This article was originally published in The Catholic News Herald of the diocese of Charlotte. I recently visited Washington, D.C., and was able to attend Holy Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. With more than 80 chapels and oratories honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary, there is a great deal to see at the basilica. Behind every pillar, around every corner, and every time you look to the ceiling, there is some of the most…

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