Franciscan Spirit Blog

Litany of human faces

Celebrating Black History Month

February is Black History Month in the United States. As such, it’s a great time to recognize the contributions of Black Americans in the Catholic Church.

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Anointing of the Sick: Sacrament of Healing

Sickness, accidents, age—all things we have faced or will face as human beings. It’s just part of life. Life isn’t perfect and things happen. And sometimes they happen very unexpectedly.

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The Sacrament of Confirmation: Stage Two of Our Faith Journey

It has been said that Confirmation is a sacrament looking for a theology. The implication is that we don’t have a clear understanding of what it is about, especially since it has been separated from Baptism and often received after first Communion. But that isn’t entirely accurate. There are issues, I admit, but we still have a pretty good idea of what the sacrament is about.

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A Ministry of Comfort: A Follower of Saint Francis Story

A member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia since 1960, Sister Margaret Xavier Romans, OSF, has ministered to God’s people in many varied capacities, but perhaps none has touched the lives of others so personally and profoundly as her very own pillow ministry.A native of Maryland, Sister Margaret is a teacher at the Catholic High School of Baltimore for Girls, a sponsored ministry of her community.

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Minding What Matters: A Look at Justice in the United States

The US Department of Justice reports that one in three black American men can expect to go to prison in his lifetime. One in three: the same proportion as suffer hair loss or weight gain.

The same ratio as those who have insomnia or develop diabetes. One in three. It’s hard to imagine that this stark fact is a fluke rather than a symptom of a larger problem. How can we begin to address the inequalities at the root of this issue? Some have taken the divide-and-conquer approach, and are rallying against one aspect of the racism still endemic in our society.

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Preparing the Upper Room

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples approached Jesus and said, “Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?” he said, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The teacher says, “My appointed time draws near; in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples.”’” The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered, and prepared the Passover. —Matthew 26:17–19

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Pope Francis Said What?

You may recall Pope Francis’ statement a couple of years ago concerning God’s love. First, the pope said: “The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! Even the atheists. Everyone!” That statement shook a lot of people up. And it is true: the Church has always taught that Jesus died and redeemed all of God’s children. But a lot of people drew several incorrect conclusions: “Well, if atheists are redeemed, it really doesn’t matter what we do, right? We’re home free.”

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