Category Archives: Alienation & Belonging

The alienation of elderly Catholics

“Growing old is not for sissies,” my grandmother used to quip.  She would know as she lived to be just 2 days shy of her 100th birthday. As people age, they tend to suffer a series of losses: loss of … Continue reading

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Does being a public figure make you a public target? Pity the poor bishops.

My family is one of those expansive, Irish Catholic clans which has been richly enhanced by the presence of priests, nuns, brothers, and in far larger supplies, devout (but down to earth, not syrupy sweet) lay folks.  Spanning several categories, … Continue reading

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The Pact of the Catacombs, and understanding Pope Francis better

Pope Francis seems to be the spirit of Vatican II personified.  In the couple of months in which he’s been our pontiff, we have experienced one new breath of fresh air after the next. Can you boil down his message, … Continue reading

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Holy Thursday

Today is Holy Thursday, the day we celebrate The Last Supper and also the sacrament of ordination and the priesthood.  Pope Francis gave a beautiful homily this morning on anointing, and that priests are to go out and find the … Continue reading

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Feeling like you belong at Church

In Silicon Valley, there are so many opportunities to attend Mass that it’s very easy to drift from Mass to Mass and yet never feel a sense of belonging to the particular group with whom you are worshiping. This is … Continue reading

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Introduction of new liturgical changes

Although the changes to prayers and songs at Mass aren’t officially required until the beginning of Advent this year, many parishes and other Catholic communities (such as at Mission Santa Clara) in the Diocese of San Jose have already begun … Continue reading

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When Bad Homilies Happen (to Good Catholics)

Everyone’s a critic.  When it comes to preaching and to homilies, it has got to be tough to get up in front of the community and be inspiring and insightful if you’re under-slept, overworked, rushed or maybe even going through … Continue reading

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We All Want & Need Heroes

Growing up Catholic, in an intensely Irish-Catholic family, I had no shortage of extraordinary role models right within my big, extended family. Two amazing Catholic women My Great Aunt Ria (Sr. Marie Aimee of Jesus), my maternal grandmother’s sister, was … Continue reading

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Disaffected Catholics, Former Catholics, Lapsed Catholics

Sometimes people who were baptized Roman Catholic find themselves not too engaged with their faith or with the Church community.  Some say they are no longer Catholic, others say they are but aren’t too involved in terms of their time … Continue reading

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Silicon Valley Catholic – reflections from the trenches

For a year or two, I have considered starting a blog about being Catholic in Silicon Valley.  We have a rich and diverse Catholic community here, some interesting local church history, a few challenges that aren’t found everywhere else and … Continue reading

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