Distinctly Catholic

Christmas in Connecticut & Everywhere


When you tell someone you will be spending Christmas in Connecticut, images of Barbara Stanwyck and Dennis Morgan leap to mind. For me, of course, Connecticut is still home in a way that Washington never will be, a place where houses are still identified by the family who lived there years ago – “You know, the old Pearl place on Eleventh Section Road” – and where I am known simply, and in a sense most accurately, not as a Catholic journalist or author but as “Claire and Felix’s son.”

Comfort & Consolation


“Comfort ye, comfort ye my people.” We know these words from the Book of Isaiah. We recognize them as the words with which Handel’s Messiah” opens. We know the Advent tune that takes them as the chorus. The promise God articulates through Isaiah is, we Christians believe, redeemed in the birth of Jesus Christ.

Pope Francis' Address to the Curia


Pope Francis, in his annual Christmas address to the Curia, set forth fifteen – count ‘em, fifteen - spiritual maladies that he believes have invaded the upper echelons of the Vatican’s leadership. The speech illustrates again how differently Pope Francis conceives of his role as pope and how differently he grasps the problems facing the Church from the way his two immediate predecessors viewed these matters.

"Migrants leave behind everything but their faith"


Over at Vatican Insider, a story about a documentary filmmaker giving Pope Francis two of his documentaries about the lives of immigrants to the U.S. Let's hope the pope watches them and, even more, let's hope that when he comes to the U.S. Papa Francesco makes a stop at the border and says Mass there for all those who have tried to cross it seeking a better life, only to encounter death or exploitation. 


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In This Issue

February 24-March 9, 2017