Chatter in the Vestibule

The Burdens and Surrender of Daily Battles by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle

The Burdens and Surrender of Daily Battles by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle

“Patience in adversity gives power to the soul.” — Diary, 607    Each day, we fight a battle. It might be with the challenges we face in our vocation, state of life, or employment. It might be in the fact that every day, a spiritual battle is waged over our souls. The devil, who never sleeps, is constantly seeking to snatch souls to hell. Not a happy thought, but nonetheless, this is the reality of our life on earth. We need to be battle ready. We are to pray and stay in the state of grace, striving to be a...

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My love/hate relationship with relics by Bonnie Rodgers

My love/hate relationship with relics by Bonnie Rodgers

I admit it, I have an actual love/hate relationship with relics. We Catholics are body people: by virtue of the incarnation and the consecration of the bread and wine, by the priest through the Holy Spirit, we respond "Amen" (I believe) to " Body of Christ". Our sacraments and rituals involve tactile and sensory action. Body stuff . It's what we Catholics do. Seriously. Jesus spit into dirt and made a paste to smear on a blind man. The dignity of the human body is essential , Our spiritual works of mercy have a complimentary corporal work of mercy, It's no small wonder then, that from...

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Lent by Christine Westhoff

Lent by Christine Westhoff

As a musician Lent and Holy Week are among my favorite times. The Church teaches us that Lent is a period of self-denial and penitence. We don’t sing Alleluia and the Gloria is omitted. As a singer, however, Lent is a time when there is an abundance of wonderful music which I look forward to with great anticipation. Composers have always expressed deep emotion through their music. Every period of music history has produced music of love and grief in the secular world. Renaissance madrigals, Romantic lieder and opera all rely on these themes. Sacred music is the same in...

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King Cake & Mardi Gras in New Orleans by Jeff Young

King Cake & Mardi Gras in New Orleans by Jeff Young

We are rapidly nearing the finale of Carnival season down here in New Orleans, and this weekend the festivities will be in high gear as we approach Mardi Gras on March 5th.  You may have never been to Mardi Gras. You may not even have pleasant thoughts when you think of Mardi Gras… Maybe the only thing you know about Mardi Gras is what you have seen on MTV and the news channels. For those folks, bad news is good news, so they like to portray the seedier side of things. But that’s not what Mardi Gras is all about....

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