Posts Tagged: church


Should girls be allowed to serve at the altar?

Altar serving is a key tool in hooking children’s interest and getting them involved in the Mass. The way to get kids and teens to take ownership of their faith is to give them responsibility, and altar serving does just that. But there’s a move now in some quarters to restrict altar serving, as was once the case, to boys only. Not an issue at your parish? Be on the lookout.

Mary Kathleen Cahill, who was a server for nine years at Our Lady of Mercy Church in Chicago and is currently a sophomore at Boston College, argues that when girls are barred from being altar servers, they miss out on an important part of faith-formation—and the church does, too.

What do you think? Weigh in here.


We asked and you voted: Save the wails!

Everyone can use a good cry now and then, especially children in church. Let’s make sure they have a place to let it out.

What you said to keep cry rooms around to save parents’ sanity.

Thanks for taking our survey!

Image: ©Fotolia/Monkey Business


"The diaconate is far more diverse than the priesthood is, but it’s not good enough. Very often, we’re seen as a largely middle-aged group of white guys. Our formation processes have to find a way to reach out to various cultures within the diocese. We need to make this effort, but in doing so, those cultures need to help design what works best so we can better serve the needs of all of our people in the years ahead."

- Deacon William T. Ditewig, director of the diaconate office in the Diocese of Monterey, California and the former head of the U.S. bishops’ office for deacons, in a sidebar of an interview with the editors of U.S. Catholic, Do we need to recruit more Hispanic deacons?


The only thing liturgically that the deacon is required to do is proclaim the gospel. There are other actions he might do during the liturgy that could also be performed by other ministers.

But there’s a logic to the deacon doing them, especially the general intercessions. Why? Because it ought to be the deacon who really knows the needs of the community and knows the needs of the people. …

If the deacon is already perceived as the servant to the community in every sense of that word, when you see that servant in action liturgically, it cements that. People see the deacon and think, “That’s also the guy who does that prison stuff,” or, “This is the guy who goes out and works the soup kitchen, and now he’s challenging the rest of us, in his homily, to join him.” It all comes together.

It’s significant that the deacon gets the last word at Mass. “Ite, missa est” does not mean “Go, the Mass has ended.” “Ite” is a Latin word that a Roman commander would use to address his troops. It means “march.” And “missa est” means the church is being sent. He’s saying, “We’ve got to link this Eucharist with mission. Let’s go do that.”



William T. Ditewig, in an interview with the editors of U.S. Catholic.

Read more about the history of the diaconate and why deacons are important in and out of the church walls from “A call of their own: The role of deacons in the church" which appeared in the June 2014 issue of U.S. Catholic (Vol. 79, No. 6, pages 24-28).


Image: Photograph of Assisi, Italy, by Caitlyn Schmid

Pilgrimages prove that in order to move your soul, you usually need to move your feet as well.

Catch the travel bug and read “Get on the road: The case for taking a pilgrimage 


Debunking five myths about nuns

Not all women religious are the same—and not everything people believe about them is the truth. Here are some popular beliefs about sisters that need a closer look.

Read more.


Image: Sisters of the Holy Family in New Orleans, 1899, public domain via Wikimedia Commons

As Black History Month draws to a close, here’s a guest blog post celebrating unsung black Catholic women in U.S. history.

Read more.


The baptism of Jesus was more than just a symbolic swim.

Why did he need to be baptized?

We’re glad you asked!

Read more.

Image: Flickr photo cc by Art History Images (Holly Hayes)


"Opportunities for spiritual growth—even contemplation—can occur almost anywhere, at any time. St. Ignatius of Loyola speaks about finding God in all things. The 17th-century spiritual writer Brother Lawrence found the “presence of God” even as he ordered provisions for his monastery. I was surprised to find such an opportunity in the simple task of washing dishes. For me, doing the nightly dishes, like praying the liturgy of the hours or spiritual reading, has become—in Ignatius’ words—a spiritual exercise, a spiritual practice."


What do the parishioners love most about St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Ruston, Louisiana?

Come see for yourself!

Better Know A Parish: St. Thomas Aquinas, Ruston, Louisiana