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  • If you are one of the millions planning this weekend to see “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”—a.k.a. “Let’s watch Disney take one line of the opening scrawl of a 40-year-old movie and weave it into gold”—here is something to consider as you take your seat. It is as likely as not that the guy next to you (sitting with three kids wearing the coolest homemade stormtrooper helmets ever), or the middle-aged couple behind you in the vintage Star Wars T-shirts or the sweet-looking elderly Asian couple...

  • Moving quickly to strengthen the “Section for Refugees and Migrants” in the new Vatican department for the Promotion of Integral Human Development, Pope Francis has appointed as under-secretaries the well-known Canadian Jesuit Michael Czerny, S.J., and an Italian Scalabrini, Fr. Fabio Baggio.

    In choosing them, Francis has opted for men with broad experience and deep commitment in the social-justice field, thereby ensuring that this office “will have teeth” in an...

  • John summoned two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?” ~ Lk 7:18

    Sometimes we are brought to a complete standstill in our prayer life by the roadblock of doubt. It can be hard to admit to this. Ashamed by our lack of faith, we may prefer to erect a shiny facade and keep the truth from friends or family. Even when we retreat to the most interior places of our hearts in prayer, we try to hide our spasms of...

  • Cambridge, Ma. I am the kind of person who remembers anniversaries, and 2016 and 2017 offer a few worth remembering. This academic year marks the 200th anniversary of Harvard Divinity School. And, in 2017, it is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, culminating on Oct. 31, 2017, the date when by tradition Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the door of All Saints’ Church in Germany. And one even greater number is...

  • “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.” ~ Ps 34:19

    What leaves us more brokenhearted than losing someone we love? In the face of such loss we are disoriented, speechless, wounded by a million shards of pain. Death changes life, changes it utterly; when the beloved is gone, things are never the same again. We may feel that God has walked out on us; we may be angry, insisting that if He had really loved us this awful thing would not have...

  • On Thursday, Dec. 8, Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The New York Times, lamented the dearth of good religion journalism in an NPR interview with Terry Gross. “We have a fabulous religion writer [at The New York Times], but she’s all alone,” said Mr. Baquet. “We don’t get the role of religion...

  • In a searing analysis of a society that is developing across the American continent, Pope Francis, in his homily for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, denounced the signs of mistrust, division, fragmentation that mark so many countries today, and the exclusion of so many people “from the train of life.”

    He prayed that Our Lady of Guadalupe may show the people of this continent the path to “reconciliation” and help them build a society “that says ‘yes’ to life and ‘no’ to every type...

  • Pope Francis has called for a “politics of nonviolence” in his World Day of Peace Message for 2017 . “Violence is not the cure for our broken world,” he writes. On the contrary, “To be true followers of Jesus today,” he argues, “also includes embracing his teaching about nonviolence.”

    In the message, dated Dec. 8 and...

  • Mexicans will tell you that 90 percent of them are Catholic but 100 percent are Guadalupan.

    While the proportion of Catholics in Mexico isn't accurate anymore, the Virgin of Guadalupe remains a cherished part of Mexican national identity, reflected in the fact that millions of women and men are named Guadalupe, many going by the nickname "Lupe."

    As a specialist in Latin American religion, I've always been fascinated by the number of devotees to Our Lady of Guadalupe.

    ...

  • During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. ~ Lk 1:39-40

    In the morning, we snatch five minutes to pray for the day that will be. At noon, we whisper a hurried prayer of thanks or petition for the day that is. Nearing bedtime, we drowsily and prayerfully reflect on the day that has been. Both these passing moments of prayer and our more spacious times of reflection are...