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Justice and Mercy Meet in Tribunal Ministry

February 22nd, 2016posted by Sean

I am a Sister of Mercy whose primary ministry is working to do Justice for those who come to the Tribunal seeking decisions about their marriage situations. Sometimes friends ask me if that feels like a contradiction. For me it is not. Twenty years ago Bishop Moeddel and I offered evenings with the Bishop for those separated from the Church over marriage issues. One man told me about his situation which turned out to be a simple case (Catholic married without required canonical form) handled in a few weeks. That man later called sounding very …

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You Can’t Give What You Don’t Have

February 18th, 2016posted by Sean

                  “Day after day, touched by his compassion, we also can become compassionate to others.” – Pope Francis As a father of three young children, I feel like I spend an inordinate amount of time disciplining. I always try to be just when dealing out appropriate punishments for misbehavior. At the same time I always try to over emphasize my love and forgiveness for my children despite their shortcomings. I learned this practice from my own parents who always made sure to tell me how much they …

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Pilgrimage in the Year of Mercy

January 6th, 2016posted by farloffice

A pilgrimage is both a journey with a set goal and a mystery of openness to the Spirit. Whether pilgrims have a set route or not, embarking on the journey is exploring the mystery of God in places, historical events, and the presence of God within one’s own being. In this wonderful Jubilee Year, the journey is one seeking mercy and of being open to accepting and then giving mercy. It is therefore significant that throughout the Year of Mercy, designated pilgrimage sites are ready to open their Holy Doors of Mercy for all pilgrims. …

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The Power of Mercy

January 6th, 2016posted by Lew Krehnbrink

        Amidst the waves of unaccompanied migrant children desperately lunging towards our borders last year were the three Escalante children and their cousin.  They were making an unfathomable 2,500 mile journey between their Guatemalan town and Greater Cincinnati to be reunited with family members already here. Only fear for their lives would push this small group to make such a trek.  They had received no mercy from the violence overrunning their home; no mercy from our broken immigration system that provides no legal path to come here; and no mercy from the …

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Merciful Resolve by Josh Danis

December 2nd, 2015posted by farloffice

So we have now slid our way into the season of advent.  Maybe you are lighting a wreath, doing some Christmas shopping, and getting ready to see some extended family.  If you are anything me though, you are also starting to think about New Year’s Resolutions.  I love this tradition.  It’s an opportunity to say, “I want to shake off a bad habit I have gotten into.  I want to make a change this year that will let me be a little more pleased with who I am becoming.  I want this to be the …

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Chalking the Door: A Blessing on your Home at Epiphany

December 1st, 2015posted by farloffice

The Feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ is one of the oldest Christian feasts, though, throughout the centuries, it has celebrated a variety of things. Epiphany comes from a Greek verb meaning “to reveal,” and all of the various events celebrated by the Feast of the Epiphany are revelations of Christ to man. On Epiphany, January 6th, 2016 family and friends gather to ask God’s blessing on their homes and those who live in or visit the home. It is an invitation for Jesus to be a daily guest in our home, …

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December has been designated Spiritual Literacy Month. What is “Spiritual Literacy”? A general definition for spiritual literacy states that it is a time for “promoting respect for and among the world’s religions and spiritual traditions by encouraging people to ‘read the book of the world’ for sacred meaning.” Literacy is defined as the quality or state of being literate, especially the ability to read and write. It is the “possession of education” and a person’s knowledge of a “particular” subject or field; such as to be computer literate. A more inclusive definition is “the ability …

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Las Posadas

December 1st, 2015posted by farloffice

Las Posadas is a nine-day Christmas celebration celebrated primarily in Mexico, Guatemala and parts of the Southwestern United States.   The word posada means “inn” or “shelter” in Spanish, and these celebrations recreate Mary and Joseph’s cold and difficult journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of shelter.  Posadas are held on each of the nine nights leading up to Christmas, from December 16 to 24th.  The last posada, held on December 24, is often followed by midnight mass. Traditionally, the celebration consists of a procession with children dressed as shepherds, angels and sometimes, Mary and …

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I am still processing the fruits of the World Meeting of Families Congress, Festival of Families and Papal Mass in Philadelphia. I wanted to share with you some of my highlights. Suzy Ismail, a Marriage Therapist who is Muslim shared wisdom on marriage and family. In marriage, the couples are garments for each other giving warmth and protection. In building a family, we must first build faith in ourselves and  in interfaith and interchurch relationships we must focus on common beliefs remembering that families are important and exists to bring us closer to God.  In …

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Synod on the Family – by Joshua Danis

October 30th, 2015posted by farloffice

So what is a Synod? A Synod is a gathering of bishops to gather and discuss spirituality and church experience around a specific are of concern.  An ordinary synod typically happens every three to four years and includes representative bishops from countries all over the world.  Extraordinary Synods can be called at any time and often involve leaders of just one region of the world.  These special events have been going on since they were called for in Vatican II, back in the 1960’s.  Though they represent the universal church, they are not the same …

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