From the Editor

Our mothers - the wellspring of human life

What is marriage? What is a fetus? What does it mean to be a woman? These questions swirl around us in today’s so-called “culture wars.” There is another question to which we should give our attention, namely: What does it mean to be a mother?

God could have come to us as a great warrior king, or a renowned philosopher king, or as a social revolutionary, coming down to us from heaven above in awesome splendor. Instead, he came to us as a baby born of a loving mother. In doing so, Jesus gave being a mother an unsurpassed dignity that we should never overlook.

Welcoming the stranger

During my second year in seminary in Chicago, my class welcomed two new seminarians who joined us shortly after the academic year began. Their names were Peter and Joseph, and they were among the first seminarians from China to be welcomed to study at a seminary in the United States. This is not as simple as it sounds, since the reality of the Church in China is challenging. Peter and Joseph came to the United States as part of the Catholic Church that is in union with the Church in Rome, rather than the portion of the Church which is essentially overseen by the Chinese government.

Be an ambassador of Jesus

Are you being confirmed this spring? If you think that being confirmed isn’t a big deal, you are quite mistaken. Being confirmed makes you an ambassador – an ambassador of Jesus Christ – a person who is sent with a commission, a mission to make Jesus and the Church present in your part of the world. Being confirmed makes you an important person, one who is deployed by God for the life of the world around you.

How you can become more engaged with the Mass

From time to time, I hear it said that Sunday Mass can be a little boring. After all, it follows more or less the same outline week after week and not much changes. The music at Mass, it is said, can be repetitive and does not really change all that often. The readings at Mass can also be so familiar to the ear that perhaps one might not be as fully engaged as possible. Is there anything one might do to make Sunday Mass more interesting? I think there is, but it is going to require some time on the part of each of us.

Human rights come from God

Have you ever wondered why the Catholic Church is so strongly associated with the concept of “social justice”? One reason is that the social and political movements of the late 19th and early 20th century, such as socialism, communism, the Industrial Revolution and the rise of materialism, have in one way or another neglected respect for the individual human life, and the Catholic Church felt called to respond. Catholic social teaching emerged in 1891 with Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical Rerum Novarum (“On the Condition of the Working Classes”).


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