Faith Alive

By: Megan Philip (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9912-6/6/19

A few years ago my sister graduated from college and was quickly introduced to the brave new world of “Catholic adulting.” Life after college brought her to a new city, parish, job and far away from the comfort of her close-knit Catholic campus ministry community.


After a few months, she called me in hopes that her “working for the hurch” big sister could offer advice on how to make the transition less painful. “Meg, I knew leaving college would mean a lot of changes in my faith, but I had no idea it would be this hard,” she said.


By: Father Rick Malloy, SJ (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9911-5/23/19

Mimi is a senior at Holy Cross High School. Several of her friends seem so sure about their college choice. Mimi is having a hard time choosing between her top three schools. How come her friends seem so sure when she’s so uncertain?


Bruce is really struggling his senior year at the University of Scranton. After graduation, two of his friends are going to spend a year in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. Bruce feels some pull to a year of service, but he’s not sure if he should get a job or maybe go to grad school.


By: Nancy Usselmann, FSP
Originally Appeared in : 9910-5/9/19

Sometimes it becomes awkward in church on Mother’s Day when at the end of Mass the priest asks mothers to stand for a blessing. As a religious sister I’ve been in the position of half-standing, half-sitting, unsure of what to do, or even if “spiritual mothers” are included in that prayer.


If I stand, would people think I actually have children? Do they really see me as a spiritual mother? Ugh. It becomes complicated, so I slip into a noncommitted sit-kneel position.


By: Mike Nelson (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9909-4/25/19

Near the end of “Jesus of Nazareth,” the acclaimed 1977 miniseries, those who put Jesus to death are alarmed, to say the least, at the news his tomb has been emptied — and that maybe, just maybe, Jesus has done what he said he would do: rise from the dead.


“And now,” murmurs one of the alarmed, “it begins.”


Such is Easter: a beginning. But of what?


By: Maureen Pratt (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9909-4/25/19

The family reunion was wonderful — reconnecting with beloved relatives and meeting new ones, too. I settled into my airplane aisle seat to return to Los Angeles, completely content about my summer vacation and ready to tackle the second year of graduate school at UCLA, which promised to be as exciting as the first.


Then came a jumble of people in the aisle, a frantic exclamation, and a hardcover suitcase tumbled out of the overhead and cracked into my head and shoulder.


By: Mary Marrocco (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9908-4/11/19

Not far from where I live is a donkey farm. It’s highly popular because of the donkeys’ beauty. Donkeys, the most mistreated of animals, have a gentleness that draws and heals people. It’s a sanctuary for the donkeys but also for the people.


When the Gospels were written, no therapeutic donkey sanctuaries existed, but the donkey was a common animal of service, humble and ordinary. The donkey appears in every Gospel. All four evangelists show Jesus entering Jerusalem to a great welcome — riding, not a majestic horse that a king or warrior might ride, but a donkey.

By: Shemaiah Gonzalez (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9908-4/11/19

Holy Week invites us to walk through the sufferings of Christ. Christ said very little when he was betrayed. He did not attempt to defend himself, but “humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:8).


With so little said, Christ’s last seven words hold weight. A Jesuit priest in the 17th century is said to have started this devotion and it has become a well-loved tradition since. We contemplate not on a single word but these last seven statements said. During Holy Week, set some time aside to meditate on his precious words.


By: Sister Constance Veit (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9907-3/28/19

As a child I was an overachiever with a strong competitive streak. I couldn’t stand to lose at anything, not even Candy Land. By the time I entered religious life I had learned to curb the drive to be first in everything, at least outwardly, but I was still a diehard perfectionist — until trying to reach perfection through my own efforts led me to the brink of despair.


By: Deacon Robert Vigil (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9907-3/28/19

On this Fourth Sunday of Lent, we hear the parable of the prodigal son. When I was a kid, my father spoke to me in Dichos, also known as proverbs. He used to tell me, “Di me con quien andas y te digo quien eres.” Tell me who you run with and I will tell you who you are.


By: Stephanie Clary (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9906-3/14/19

I used to think that fasting was worthless. I would find reasons to excuse myself from the obligatory Lenten practice: low blood sugar, anemia, etc. While true, these weren’t the reasons I wasn’t fasting. I couldn’t understand how depriving myself of food made any difference in the world.


Yes, the Lenten fast is coupled with prayer and almsgiving, but I knew my prayers were heard and my donations effective regardless of how many calories I consumed. Since I didn’t think fasting mattered, for years I didn’t do it.



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