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On the Baptism of Our Second Granddaughter

“And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him.” –Gospel of Mark 1: 10 (NRSV) “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” –Gospel of Matthew 28: 20b (NRSV) To see you, child, to gaze into your . . . . Continue Reading »

Non Possumus

Kidnapped by the Vatican? The Unpublished Memoirs of Edgardo Mortaraby vittorio messoriignatius, 190 pages, $17.95 At nightfall on Wednesday, June 23, 1858, a knock came on the door of Salomone and Marianna Mortara, Jewish residents of Bologna. Only the wife was at home with the children. It . . . . Continue Reading »

The Right to Be Yourself?

If authentic naming or identifying is a strictly private, self-governed enterprise, what is there that is truly public? If my public persona is entirely under my control, and if I can die to my old self and rise to my new self any time I choose and in whatever manner I choose, and if indeed I am not to be burdened by my old “dead” name, as the Dean of Law says, in what sense is my persona public? Continue Reading »

The Most Important Day of Your Life

During talks around the country in recent years, I’ve been asking Catholic audiences how many of those present know the date of their baptism. The high-end response is a little under 10 percent. The average is about 2 to 3 percent. This, brethren, is a problem. You know your birthday. You know (or . . . . Continue Reading »

The Merciful Grace of the Truth

At the Easter Vigil a few weeks ago, tens of thousands of men and women, mature adults, were baptized or entered into full communion with the Catholic Church. Each of them walked a unique itinerary of conversion; each of these “newborn babes” (1 Peter 2.2) is a singular work of the Holy Spirit. . . . . Continue Reading »

Mary at Baptism?

On an escarpment high above the Euphrates River in eastern Syria sit the ruins of Dura-Europos, one of the most important archeological finds of the twentieth century. Founded in 303 BC by the Seleucid successors of Alexander the Great, this ancient caravan city of some 8,000 to 10,000 people was . . . . Continue Reading »

Briefly Noted

Faith, Fiction and Force in Medieval Baptismal Debates by marcia colish cua, 384 pages, $69.95 B aptism seems so simple: water and the formula “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” But like so many religious practices, it can be celebrated in different ways, with . . . . Continue Reading »

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