Sacrament of Baptism

The Cross, the Crescent, or the Swastika?

If the past month has been chaotic in America, it has seen some bloody scenes here in Europe. On the morning of October 29, a 21-year old Tunisian national entered the Basilica of Notre Dame in Nice, France began knifing the three people he found there. He virtually severed the head of an elderly lady, [...]

Rethinking Baptismal Preparation

Baptism is often relegated to the back of our thoughts. For most Catholics, it occurred in infancy and is, therefore, not a personal memory. For still too many parishes, baptism remains a quasi-private event sequestered someplace after Mass on the occasional Sunday, rather than an integral part of the regular Sunday Mass. The truth is [...]

A Call to Restore Prayers of Exorcism

In 1886, Pope Leo XIII added the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel to the prayers he had already ordered to be said after the Low Mass in 1884. The origin of the prayer is subject to much speculation, particularly about whether or not Leo received a locution with the voices of Jesus and the [...]

We Are Not All Children of God

This last Sunday, we were treated to the Gospel reading in which Christ is baptized by St. John the Baptist. It’s a compelling passage, especially because it focuses our attention on the purpose and meaning of baptism. The rambling, confused homily that we received on this topic (from an earnest-seeming seminarian whom I don’t know [...]

Anglicans Set to Remove Satan from Baptismal Rite

Declaring that the devil has departed from the Church of England’s baptism service, the Guardian reported on June 20 that “a simplified baptism which omits mention of the devil” is now favored by the clergy who have test-marketed it throughout the United Kingdom. Claiming that the traditional rejection of the devil and all rebellion against [...]

And All Shall Say: Alleluia, Alleluia

Throughout the world, in the Easter Sunday liturgy, Catholics sing the ancient Sequence, Victimae Paschali Laudes, or as it is known in English, “Christians, to the Paschal Victim.” The sequence offers praise to Christ, the Victor over sin and death, beginning with the verse Christians, to the Paschal Victim Offer your thankful praises! A Lamb [...]

The Urgency of Infant Baptism

I recently wrote of one of my newborn son’s namesakes, Bl. Columba Marmion. My son, Colum, was baptized five days after birth (it would have been three except for the priest’s sickness), which is fast these days. In the old days it would have happened sooner. Pope Benedict XVI, for instance, was baptized on the [...]

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