On September 29th of each year, the Church celebrates the feast of the Archangels.  Although angels have been theologically out of fashion in recent years, they continue to play in important part in popular piety and spirituality.   So what is an angel?  There is so much misinformation and fanciful speculation about angels that a look at the Catholic understanding of these creatures might be … Continue reading Angels

Feast of St. Januarius

One of the things critical to understanding Catholicism is that ours is an embodied and sacramental faith.  Our Christianity isn’t just a head trip, or some intellectual construct; it permeates our physical reality, our world, and our own bodies.  In our best moments, this challenges us to integrate body, mind, and spirit, and to put all of those in God’s service. But over 2000 years … Continue reading Feast of St. Januarius

Unicorns in the Bible?

Usually, in these Facts of Faith, I talk about something that’s real, factual, and a part of our Catholic life and culture.  But sometimes it’s instructive to look not just at the facts, but at our legends and cultural heritage.  Take, for example, the unicorn. For most of our history, unicorns weren’t considered mythological.  In fact, the most ancient references we have to the aren’t … Continue reading Unicorns in the Bible?

Roman Collars

There’s an old aphorism that “clothes make the man.”  I’m not sure that’s really true, but clothes often make it easier to identify who the man is.  That’s certainly true for Catholic clergy, who are often identifiable by their distinctive collars.  With some variations, roman collars are of basically three types:  the most-popular “tab” collar with it’s white plastic insert, the neck-band white collar, and … Continue reading Roman Collars