Catholic News & Perspective

December 2020

Dec 30

Religious educators use the pandemic as an opportunity to innovate

By: William Cone The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on how Catholics express and teach the Faith. Amid concerns about meeting in person, directors of religious education and youth ministers have had to get creative and gain technological skills that they never thought they would need. Speaking with religious educators and youth...
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Dec 28

Pope’s pandemic year in review: Prayer, online meetings, hopes for change

By: Cindy Wooden VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Like everyone else, Pope Francis’ 2020 was dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdowns, livestreamed Masses, video messages and even something akin to Zoom meetings became a regular part of his life, just like for millions of people around the world. But when he walked alone into St....
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Dec 25

Opening the Word: The mystery of family life

By: Timothy P. O'Malley The feast of the Holy Family, celebrated during the Christmas octave, is rarely an occasion for homiletic genius on the part of parish priests. Perhaps, it is the exhaustion of the Christmas season. But the homily tends to follow a tired series of tropes that leave families hopeless. We hear, every year, that we...
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Dec 23

It’s time for a checkup on your mental and emotional health

By: Dr. Sue Baars It is now a cliché that 2020 has been quite a year: the cost of lockdowns on family and finances, loss of loved ones, isolation, fear of contracting illness, anxiety, depression, the election — the list goes on. Everyone is ready for 2020 to be over, with much hope that 2021 will bode better things. After such a...
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Dec 21

Miami archbishop gets COVID-19 vaccine to show it’s safe, morally ethical

By: Tom Tracy FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (CNS) — Admittedly not a big fan of needles and injections, Miami Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski winced as he became among the first South Floridians and possibly the first U.S. bishop to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Florida public health officials administered COVID-19 vaccinations Dec. 16 at St....
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Dec 18

Opening the Word: The poverty of God

By: Timothy P. O'Malley A theophany — that is, a visible manifestation of divine power — should be glorious. It should reveal the height, depth and wisdom of a God who is beyond all human telling. And yet, on this Fourth Sunday of Advent, the Church turns her attention to the poverty of a God who became flesh in the womb of the...
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Dec 16

After a spiritual winter, let’s claim Christmas

By: Ava Lalor “Always winter, but never Christmas.” This phrase has been reverberating through my mind over the last few weeks — for more than one reason. One of the biggest blessings throughout the pandemic has been the consistency of my women’s group. Since COVID hit in March, my group transitioned from in-person...
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Dec 14

The Christmas redbird: A symbol of the life and death of Christ

By: Msgr. Owen F. Campion We will see Christmas come soon, life will continue. So will its tensions, beginning with the anxiety, stress, fear and even sickness and death associated, at this moment, with the COVID-19 pandemic. Where do we go from here? Even for the burdened and afflicted, Christmas is special. People will celebrate at home...
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Dec 11

Opening the Word: Lessons from John the Baptist: ‘I am not’

By: Timothy P. O'Malley The words of the Baptist in the Gospel of John come like a lightning bolt from the heavens: “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘make straight the way of the Lord'” (Jn 1:23). The Baptist is under examination by the priests and the Levites. They want to know who this prophet in the desert...
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Dec 9

A year later, still no answers on the delay of Fulton Sheen’s beatification

By: Michael R. Heinlein Great attention has been given to the need for transparency at all levels of the Church in recent years. Urgent calls for honesty and transparency from ecclesial leadership — and even the need for overarching reforms — understandably have increased in the wake of the seemingly never-ending scourge of clergy...
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Dec 7

Detroit ‘families of parishes’ plan moves ahead; Pittsburgh announces mergers

By: Michael Stechschulte DETROIT (CNS) — Heroic trust in the Holy Spirit and a firm resolve to move forward “on mission” are at the heart of the Archdiocese of Detroit’s transition to “families of parishes,” Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron said Nov. 22 in a new pastoral note. Released on the feast of Christ the...
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Dec 4

Opening the Word: Awaiting redemption

By: Timothy P. O'Malley These days, with instant delivery from Amazon or our local supermarket, we are not used to waiting. Even the smallest delay in the loading of a website is an occasion of near sin. And yet, over the last nine months, we have been forced to wait. We waited for an end to the first lockdown related to COVID-19. We waited for...
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Dec 2

How parishes expect to manage Christmas Masses

By: Paul Senz Easter of 2020 was like no other in living memory. Churches across the nation, and across the world, were practically empty as the great throngs of people that typically crowd places of worship on that holiest day of the year were forced to stay at home. Most viewed Mass online, participating as best they could from a distance. In...
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