Unfortunately, for many of us Catholics, First Holy Communion has become simply a right of passage. The essence of the celebration is lost among the parties and gifts. “Parties and gifts are fine,” says one priest, “as long as the focus never strays from what the celebration is truly about.”
The Christmas Posadas tradition begins! Las Posadas is a wonderful 400+ year old Advent celebration in many Latin countries. This Catholic Christmas tradition was brought to Mexico in the 16th century by Spanish Augustinian friars as they evangelized the New World. Today the Las Posadas continues to be a wonderful way share and celebrate our Christian faith and heritage.
The blessing of baby Jesus figurines is an event that takes place at the Vatican each year. Children observe this annual tradition by bringing the baby Jesus figure from their family nativity scene to St. Peter’s Square for a special papal blessing.
Each year the Church venerates the memory of Saints Anne & Joachim on July 26th. An ancient story dating to the first centuries of the Church’s life recalls how Saints Anne & Joachim, like Abraham and Sarah, were scorned by their neighbors because they had no children.
How are we as Catholic Christians and Americans supposed to celebrate this great day? John Adams, one of the Founding Fathers of our country, wrote this about how to celebrate the fourth of July:
If you are invited to a Quinceañera celebration, a very special gift for the young lady is expected from guests. Godparents (padrinos) are usually the sponsors for the bouquet, the “last doll,” sometimes for the limousine, and even the gown—so thank God for padrinos! And boys don’t get to have such a party, so it’s good to be a girl, don’t you think?
Even if you are not Latin American, you’ve probably heard the word Quinceanera before. You may even have witnessed such a ceremony for a teen girl at a church. A Quinceanera is the beginning of a celebration called Fiesta Rosa (Pink Party), where a fifteen-year-old girl celebrates her coming-of-age. Quinceañera means “fifteen years old,” which explains the name of the celebration.
Graduation, a wonderful time, opens the door for a different kind of life to begin. I graduated from college only a few years ago; not long enough for me to forget the mixed emotions that came along with throwing my cap into the air. Remember that this is the beginning. Be proud of your degree, but if you have regrets about whether you reached your true potential in undergrad (we all do—mine are longer than the treaty of Versailles) remember that future opportunities are still ahead. The curtain has dropped on act one, but it will open for many more acts, on many other stages. So, congratulations, graduates. And here are some quotes to remember as you venture out into the world “and let down your nets for a catch” (Luke 5:4).
First Holy Communion is a rite of passage in a young Catholic’s life that usually happens around the age of seven or eight. It is one of the three of the Sacraments of Initiation into the Catholic Church along with Baptism and Confirmation.
At this major event a child will, for the first time, receive Jesus—Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity—in the Blessed Sacrament, usually along with many other children their age. And parents have a lot to think about and prepare to celebrate this sacred occasion in their child’s life: the outfit, the ceremony, the food, and the festivities.
We’ve compiled some best practices regarding invitations, guests, and gifts for First Communion Day. These are not hard and fast rules but rather guidelines to help make the start of First Communion season easier to handle.
Funeral Masses are an ideal time to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, when many are faced squarely with the reality of the transitory nature of our present life, and the weight of eternity in the life to come. Funerals are the time when we ask ourselves hard questions, such as, “Is my relationship with God where it should be?”, and “Am I ready to die?”, often without a satisfying answer.
Many are calling this the homily by Rev. Paul Scalia at the funeral of his father, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the best they have ever heard. It is well worth reading carefully and watching (even again) because this was a special moment in American history, as well as in Catholic evangelization, that was broadcasted across the country.
Below is the full text of Rev. Scalia’s homily at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on Saturday, February 20, 2016, accompanied by the video.