Jolly Old St. Nicholas evokes a cheerful image of an elderly, bearded man, kindly handing out gifts to children. This St. Nick, or Santa Claus, is a model of generosity for those who see the celebration of our Savior’s birth at Christmas as a time for performing acts of charity and goodwill. While the original Saint Nicholas was known and honored for his concern for the poor, the Church also remembers him as a fierce defender of the faith against the Arian heresy at the first Church council in Nicaea.
Dear Father Joe: My kids don’t always agree with the Church on some moral issues. How can I explain why some things are sinful if they don’t accept the Church’s definition of sin?
Our concern for our kids’ faith is a gift we give them. Too many of us are voluntarily bogged down with that which doesn’t matter and we neglect the things that are eternal. Here you are, wondering how to show your child the wonder and beauty of what we believe and why – bless you. I’m going to present a plan based on you talking to an older high school student up to college.
A man of peace. A pastoral pope and a preacher. A staunch defender of doctrine. Pope St. Leo the Great managed to fill these disparate roles ably and with unshakeable faith.
In the fifth century, Italy was besieged by waves of barbarian invasions, imperial rulers were losing power, and arguments were erupting between bishops in the Eastern and Western Churches. The times called for a strong leader in Rome – and the Church got one in Pope Leo I, who was pope from 440-461 A.D.
Mercy Friday visit to neuro-rehab center in Rome
Pope Francis continued his custom of “mercy Friday” encounters by visiting the Santa Lucia Foundation rehabilitation center in Rome on Sept. 22. During the surprise outing, he visited with children who are suffering from neurological illnesses, as well as with young adult and older patients with spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis. Begun during the Year of Mercy in 2016, the visits continue on the pope’s schedule to allow him to keep practicing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
Q: Every Catholic is invited to a pretty special event next year. Tell us about the third assembly – Made for Happiness.
A: The third Diocesan Assembly is the signature event of Bishop Earl Boyea’s six-year initiative to introduce the diocese to the mission of the New Evangelization.
On Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018 at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Bishop Boyea invites every church-going Catholic to gather with him and 10,000 others from around our diocese for the largest Catholic gathering in the history of the Diocese of Lansing.