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Browsing News Entries

Word to Life — Sunday Scripture readings, June 18, 2017

  June 18, Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi)       Cycle A. Readings:       1) Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14b-16a       Psalm 147:12-15, 19-20       2) 1 Corinthians 10:16-17       Gospel: John 6:51-58   By Jeff Hedglen Catholic … Continue reading

Break your technology addiction this summer

In the early ’80s, when home computers were first widely available, my family plugged in early. My dad took a corner in the large room my brothers shared and made an office where we all took turns playing 2-bit graphic games or writing code in DOS that translated into a noisily printed image on our dot matrix printer. After that it was Atari, then Nintendo NES, and annual computer upgrades as we shot from the floppy disc era into the present era of all-consuming internet access and digital cloud storage. I came of age in a simpler time but not one without a reliance on technology.

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Do Catholics have to name their babies after saints?

When our first son was born, my husband and I, both writers, labored over the choice of what to name him. It had to be right. It had to be original. It was, my poet husband declared with much gravity, “naming a life.” The burden of that weighed heavily on us. We scoured bookstores and online lists of baby names. We wanted something our son could live up to, something that was different, but not weird. After months of combing through thousands of names, we finally landed on Atticus Levi, a nod to both Atticus Finch and my husband’s favorite poet, Larry Levis.

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The Chicago Cubs and the mystery of faith

I often joke that I came out of the womb wearing a Cubs hat. I was born in New Hampshire into a family of Chicago Cubs fans on November 9, 1992. Three months later, I was baptized.

I chose neither of these things. But before I could walk, talk, or seek a rational alternative, both were part of my temporal and eternal destiny. Cradle Catholic. Cradle Cubs fan. My ancestral birthrights. 

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Eight gift ideas for first communion

Last fall, our son and the rest of his second grade class at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Fort Wayne, Indiana started preparing for their first communion. First communion prep began with a meeting where he and his friends created prayer dice. The two cardboard die have prayers printed on each side. At night, we rolled the dice on his bed and said whichever prayers landed face up. It was a fun way to get him started on the road toward deeper initiation into the church.

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How shall I pray?

How do you pray? The way I pray changes often. Sometimes it’s intentional, quiet, in front of a candle even. At other times, it’s simply sitting quietly on my commute to work, purposefully avoiding my email and social media while I mindfully observe my surroundings. For a while there in the summer, after putting my son to bed, I would sit on my back porch and attempt watercolor paintings of the scenery around me.

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I am pro-woman and pro-life

These are the times that try women’s souls, or at least, this woman’s soul. A few weeks back on an unseasonably warm Saturday, women across the country met in Chicago, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and hundreds of other locations to support women’s rights and protest what many of us recognize as reprehensible behavior and forthcoming policies from our new President.

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Just the facts

Remember FOCA cards? Catholic officialdom greeted President Obama’s 2009 inauguration by printing cards to be distributed in every pew across the country, warning Mass goers against a purported Obama intention to pass the radically pro-choice Freedom of Choice Act. (In fact President Obama never sought to initiate such legislation and it never progressed on Capitol Hill.)

The idea of the church putting cards in our pews is an interesting one to revisit as Trump assumes the presidency and the GOP has control of both houses of Congress.  What might these Trump cards warn about?

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Fidelity and forgiveness in pop culture

The year 2016 gets no love. The close of last year brought cheers from a diverse cross-section of American society, and yet, some great things happened during this ominous year of a difficult presidential election and an onslaught of celebrity deaths. And no, I’m not referring to Pokemon Go. I’m talking about the emergence of Forgiveness with a capital F, particularly after infidelity in marriage.

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Seasons of defeat: Lent and March Madness

For most Catholics, the month of March signifies the liturgical season of Lent, the 40 days of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving where we take the time to reflect on and renew our relationship with God. While I engage in Lent during the month of March, there’s another ritual that I practice during this same time each year: March Madness (not to be confused with Lent Madness).

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