Archdiocese of Washington
El Pregonero
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Your Catholic Online News Magazine
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Wednesday, February 10, 2016
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  • Mercy in Our Lenten Journeys
    It feels as if we just got the Christmas decorations put away, and here we are in Lent already. Easter is about as early as it can get (March 27), so Ash Wednesday came six-and-a-half weeks after Christmas Day and only a month after the end of the Christmas liturgical season.
  • There is a special torment experienced by those who watch a loved-one suffer. To see disease rack their bodies, and souls, increases the sum total of suffering ... because I suffer too. I believe it is harder to watch degenerative disability torture and break my loved-one, than to actually suffer the disease.


  • Five lessons from losing
    I never liked the poem Casey at the Bat.  [Spoiler Alert! Casey strikes out.] I hate losing.   So when the Redskins lost in the first playoff game after a standout season, I joined the rest of the town in our collective sad sigh.  The deflation that comes from loss hurts, but it’s at times like these that we can remember there are true blessings to be found from the disappointments in our lives. Here are my five lessons from losing. 
  • Living the Works of Mercy
    At the beginning of a brand new calendar year and church year, I like to look back over the past 12 months to examine how I’ve done and what I can do better. A lot of us do this, and I think it’s a healthy exercise. This year, because of the Year of Mercy and our ongoing efforts to walk with Pope Francis, I decided to do this self-evaluation in the context of Matthew 25: 31-46, the famous passage of the Gospel where Jesus talks about meeting him in the hungry, thirsty, naked, and the imprisoned, as well as the Corporal Works of Mercy.
  • Doorway to a new year
    Every third Sunday, I serve with a team of ushers at my home parish, St. Rose of Lima in Gaithersburg, Maryland. One of my favorite duties is opening the inner door to the church for latecomers, in between readings so they don’t distract people from hearing the word of God.
  • One of My Favorite Christmas Stories
    I’ve collected a lot of wonderful Christmas stories through the years. They come in handy preparing those Christmas homilies! One of my very favorites is not well-known, but it has always moved me, and I’ve been thinking about it again this year because the message is so important to our world today.
  • Five things to remember when Christmas is hard
    Christmas has some pretty high expectations to live up to. The secular vision of Christmas always has a happy ending. Whether it is Rudolph getting his big break to lead the reindeer team, or the elusive dream of a white Christmas, the stories and songs promise a good time. But for many, this is not always true.
  • Cutting Christmas trees at a farm can become a family tradition
    Retail experts call the growing popularity of cut-your-own Christmas trees “consumer engagement,” but Michael Ryan, owner and operator of Clemsonville Christmas tree farm in Union Bridge, Maryland, calls it “part of a fun-filled memorable experience.”
  • Celebrate mercy this Advent, to start the Year of Mercy
    This Advent marks the start of a special year in the life of our Church: the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Pope Francis has called for a Holy Year “dedicated to living out in our daily lives the mercy which the father constantly extends to all of us” (Misericordiae Vultus, 25). Advent is a beautiful time to start this Year of Mercy together because it is a season of reflection and preparation.
  • 5 Ideas for Thanksgiving Grace
    One special way our Lord prayed was Scripture. Of all Hebrew scripture, the Church honors the Psalms in a special way--not just because these verses are part of the Bible, but, most importantly, because they are the prayer book of the Jewish people. So, if you are looking for a unique way of offering grace this Thanksgiving, why not use Jesus’ prayer. Below are excerpts from the Psalms to pray, as my five ideas for Thanksgiving Grace.
  • Catholic actress says ‘Cinderella’ is tale of love and generosity
    In her first entrance on stage in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella,” Lauren Sprague wears a bug costume. “People think acting is all glamorous, then I realize I am in a bug costume,” the singer-dancer joked.
  • Cubby LaHood opened her home, and her heart, to caring for children and families
    Annalise “Cubby” LaHood died at her Silver Spring home on Sept. 21, just six days shy of her 59th birthday. A Washington native, she gained the nickname of “Cubby” as a child, after one of the Mickey Mouse Club’s mouseketeers. Later she studied social work, and after the birth of her son Joe, she opened up a day care center in her home, and began caring for children with disabilities.
  • ‘Mutts’ comic strip features a week’s worth of quotes from Pope Francis
    Patrick McDonnell, creator of the “Mutts” comic strip that appears in 700 newspapers, used the week of Sept. 21 – the week of the papal visit – to feature seven quotations from Pope Francis’ encyclical on ecology, “Laudato Si’.”
  • Five ways to be a great explorer
    Moving out of our comfort zones is never easy, but imagine the amazing things we could discover if we let ourselves be explorers. In the spirit of Christopher Columbus, I offer you five ways to be a great explorer.
  • Walking the ‘Walk with Francis’
    I know we all have busy lives, so the goal here is to do something simple and yet powerful, much like Francis himself. I encourage you to consider a pledge that is: 1) simple – it’s easy to do; 2) measurable – you can do it every day, or between now and the Pope’s arrival, etc.; and 3) flexible – you can do whatever speaks to you.
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