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Msgr. Francis J. Weber​

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The Davidic Psalter

One of the most important and meaningful parts of the Old Testament is the Psalter with its 150 psalms which priests and others in the Catholic Church recite or chant in their entirety in the course of each calendar year. Mostly attributed to King David, the psalms touch every area of human...

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Champion Of Catholic Education

“One man soweth, another repeath” is an appropriate scriptural adage for the educational accomplishments of Msgr. Bernard J. Dolan (1890-1968), one of the most influential clerics ever to serve the Catholic Church in California. Born in Ireland’s County Roscommon, young Bernard immigrated to...

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Virtue By Association?

During their lives of service priests meet people from all stratas of society, many of whom would qualify for inclusion in that select company known as “saints on earth.” I have personally met three people who officially acquired that status while still here on planet earth.  Chronologically,...

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Artist Isabel Piczek ‘Prayed Her Way’ Through Long, Productive Life

Before reflecting on Isabel’s singular contributions on our lives here in Southern California, may I speak about the combined Piczek imprint on Old Planet Earth? I say that because these two artists are almost inseparable, both in time and talent.  As I look back on my priestly ministrations...

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Catechism Of The Catholic Church

With the exception of the Bible, which reportedly adorns more of the world’s bookshelves than any other printed volume, the most widely circulated book is the “owners manual” that people acquire when they purchase an automobile. Though every car is mandated to have such a book, few of those...

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Divina Pastora Novena

Through the kindness of the late Sir Harry Downie, famed restorer and curator of Mission San Carlos Borromeo, the Archival Center for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles possesses an exceedingly rare imprint bearing the name of Fray Francisco Garcia Diego (1785-1846) who later became the proto-Bishop...

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Serra Nomenclature

The great literary writer, Carl Sandberg, once observed: “Show me the way that America esteems its pioneers and I will show you the persons most widely remembered for their lives and accomplishments on behalf of the commonwealth.” The Atlantic seaboard has its Plymouth Rock with its memory of...

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Psalter Of Mary

It used to be the practice of Pope Pius IX to wander off by himself through the endless corridors of the Vatican Museum and Art Gallery. One day he came upon a group of tourists looking intently at some paintings by Murillo. “Do you like them,” the pontiff asked. Everyone nodded, but no one...

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The Skeleton Key To Heaven

In earlier times, before the invention of modern pin locks, most residential doors were secured by a 4 inch or so metallic key that kept family members in and unwelcome intruders out.  Eventually some ingenious person invented what became known as a “skeleton” key which allowed unauthorized...

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Mother Teresa In Los Angeles

Amidst all of the celebrations connected with Mother Teresa’s recent canonization, there emerges this recollection of her initial visit to Los Angeles. In 1983 I was asked to give the keynote address at a luncheon commemorating the 350th anniversary of the founding of the Daughters of Charity....

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Catholic Heroes In The Southland

In one of his exhortations, Pope John Paul II asked Catholics to celebrate the great Jubilee Year of 2000 by honoring their heroes, especially those many brave believers who have given their lives for the faith during the 20th century. And, while extolling the memory of those who have actually...