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Bishop Robert Barron

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The Mysterious Church On The Edge Of The World

Even though I lived in France for three years while doing my doctoral studies, I never managed a visit to Mont Saint-Michel, the mysterious, mystical, and hauntingly photogenic abbey situated on a promontory just off the Normandy coast between Caen and St. Malo. But last week, in connection with...

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A Bride And Groom; The Bride And Groom

Two weeks ago, I had the great good pleasure of presiding at the wedding of my niece, Bryna. She has been, all her life, a lovely girl, full of joy and good cheer—and eager to give herself in service to others. Her husband, Nelson, is also a fine person, and he took the courageous step of...

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Musing On The Teeth Of St. Ambrose

I write these words from Milan, Italy, where I am with my Word on Fire team filming new episodes for our Pivotal Players series. I’ve seen lots of marvelous things on this trip, including the ruins of the ancient baptistery under the Milan Cathedral where, in the spring of 387, St. Augustine was...

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Why It Matters Who Jesus Is

I have been reading, with both profit and delight, Thomas Joseph White’s latest book, The Incarnate Lord: A Thomistic Study in Christology. Fr. White, one of the brightest of a new generation of Thomas interpreters, explores a range of topics in this text—the relationship between Jesus’ human and...

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Go In Haste! Be Amazed! Treasure!

By now most of you are probably aware of the depressing statistics regarding the "nones," that is to say, those in this country who claim no religious affiliation. The most recent survey showed that now fully one fourth of Americans belong to no religion at all—that's approximately 80,000,000...

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Scorsese's "Silence" And The Seaside Martyrs

I have long been an ardent fan of Martin Scorsese’s films. Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, The Aviator, Gangs of New York, The Last Waltz, Casino, etc. are among the defining movies of the last forty years. And The Departed, Scorsese’s 2007 crime drama, was the subject matter of the first...

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Why We Should Address Jesus As Thou

On the final morning of the November meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, we were treated to a fine sermon by Archbishop J. Peter Sartain. The leader of the church in Seattle spent a good deal of time discussing Pier Giorgio Frassati, a saint from the early twentieth...

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Why Christmas Should Bother Everybody

Just a few weeks ago, at a ceremony for the lighting of the national Christmas tree, President Obama remarked on the meaning of the season. Here are some of the things he said: “Over these next few weeks, as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, as we retell the story of weary travelers, a...

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"Arrival" And The Unique Manner Of God's Speech

Like E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Starman, Independence Day, and a host of similar films over the past thirty years, Arrival explores the theme of an alien visitation to earth. In this iteration, Louise Banks (played by Amy Adams) is a linguistic expert, who is called upon by the...

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“Doctor Strange,” Scientism, And The Gnostic Way Station

Scott Derickson’s new film, Doctor Strange, has received rave reviews for its special-effects, its compelling story-telling, and the quality of its actors, but I would like to focus on the spirituality implicit in it. Doctor Strange is far from a satisfying presentation of the spiritual order,...

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3 Lessons For Young Catholics

Last week, I had the privilege of speaking to around nine thousand middle school and high school students from the Catholic schools of the Los Angeles Archdiocese. They were gathered in the cavernous Galen Center at the University of Southern California, and the atmosphere in the room was...

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Satellites, The Internet And The Communion Of Saints

Recently, while working at my computer in Santa Barbara, I encountered a confounding problem and decided to call Brandon Vogt, who is not only the excellent content director at Word on Fire, but also a trained engineer and tech whiz. After trying in vain to talk me through the problem, Brandon...

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The Trouble With The “You Go Girl” Culture

Two recent films, Deepwater Horizon with Mark Wahlberg and Sully starring Tom Hanks, represent something of a breath of fresh air, for both movies feature men who are intelligent, virtuous, and quietly heroic. If this strikes you as a banal observation, that just means you haven’t been following...

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Knowing Who We Are; Knowing What We Are Supposed To Do

This fall I am giving presentations to all of the high school teachers, staff and administrators in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. These talks take place on an annual basis, and they are dedicated to a regular cycle of topics. This year, the theme is morality. Lucky me! My guess is that...

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A Report From Baby Bishop School

For the past week, I have been sequestered at the Ateneo Pontificio Regina Apostolorum in Rome, an institution about five miles west of St. Peter’s Basilica. I’m here for the Formation for New Bishops’ program, more colloquially known as “Baby Bishop School.” My colleagues are about 150 other...