The gradual decent into Christmas incoherence is not merely the fault of the unchurched masses. Practicing Christians, too, have failed to pass on many of the rich traditions that celebrate and teach the spiritual heart and meaning of Christmas. Reasons vary, but our once Christian-saturated culture has grown increasingly secular, and that affects us all, including how we celebrate Christmas. The answer to this malady doesn’t lie in pressuring Starbucks to baptize its red-washed holiday cups. Those are only the final fruits of a long chain of events. A “Merry Christmas” cup isn’t going to turn the tide. The renewal of Christmas will begin elsewhere…
For three weeks, Cardinals, archbishops, priests from around the world gathered in Rome to grapple with how Catholics can better reach out to families — inviting them to a fuller encounter with Christ and his church. While much of the global press focused on hot-button debates about whether to let divorced and civilly remarried couples return to Communion, or how the church can use different language in reference to gays and lesbians and those living together outside of marriage, the expressed purpose of the synod was to find ways to support the first cell of the church — the family.
The videos don’t lie. They are released in both shorter, eight to nine minute clips, as well as in full length, unedited versions. Additionally, the videos are accompanied by full transcripts. Any claims that they are “heavily edited” fall flat in light of this extensive effort for full transparency. So we are left with hard facts and a decision to make. Do we as a nation, as Alaskans, as local towns and communities across our state want our public money to go toward funding a company which commits acts so grisly they are difficult even to speak of?
No pain is more pronounced than the sudden loss of a loved one. Faith in God is tested — sometimes shattered — when we receive the unbearable call that one of our own has been ripped from the world. The agony and disbelief is beyond comprehension, beyond reason. No explanation stands under the weight of losing a close one.
Given that the mission of the Catholic Church is to inspire and invite people into a deeper love of God in all his beauty and splendor, perhaps even frontier churches should reconsider ways to foster the vital role that sacred art has played since the earliest days of Christianity.
CatholicAnchor.org Across much of our country, women suffer from high rates of sexual abuse and rape. The problem is nowhere more dire than Alaska, where nearly 40 percent of women report being victims of sexual violence at some point in their life. In recent months, we have also learned of high levels of rape on…
What has occurred at Holy Family Cathedral in Anchorage over the past several months is deeply disturbing for both believers and unbelievers alike. It gives one pause that vandals would attempt to burn down an outdoor shrine to the Blessed Virgin, smash the windows of the Dominican priests’ vehicle, barge into the sanctuary and throw down statues of Mary, Joseph and Jesus, while stripping the holy altar and overturning the archbishop’s chair and other furnishings. Add to this that at least one Dominican friar has also been punched in the face and attempts have been made to break into the priests’ residence. Regardless of one’s beliefs attacks on a sacred house of worship and the oldest church in Anchorage leaves one feeling less secure about our community and what we can expect from it.
Not all marriages start on equal footing. Many husbands and wives begin their union after having grown up in broken homes or with one or both parents largely absent from their childhood. Failure to grow up in a home where family meals, prayer and recreation are staples of life makes it that much harder to establish these practices in one’s own family. Never seeing your mom and dad work out differences means you have less to draw from when your own conflicts arise. Never experiencing consistent, loving discipline leaves one at a disadvantage when attempting to teach children to lead virtuous and disciplined lives.