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Sacraments

Meet the Sisters of Life

In November 1998, Cardinal O’Connor wrote a column for Catholic New York entitled “Help Wanted: Sisters of Life.” After hundreds of letters in response, in 1991 eight women entered what became the Sisters of Life. Inspired by Cardinal…

Little Sisters of the Poor

The Little Sisters of the Poor live a hidden life of service to the elderly poor. They have houses in 31 countries, and their foundress, Jeanne Jugan, was canonized by Pope Benedict in 2009. Sister Mary Bernard, lSP, was a superior in…

Confession

For those of us who want to become saints, the Church tells us to “frequent the sacraments.” What does this really mean, though? There are, after all, seven. Should we become regular “wedding crashers”? No. “Frequent the…

Praying with the Jesuits

In the mid 1960s, a French Jesuit named Joseph de Guibert offered a charming analogy about spirituality, first made in the Middle Ages. A spirituality is like a bridge, he said. Every bridge does pretty much the same thing: It gets you from…

Mysteries of the Eucharist (part 2)

Why do we call this eucharistic presence “real”? The word real comes from a Latin word, res, which means thing. So to identify this presence as real — or “thinglike” — is meant to convey the sense that it is the presence of one “thing” to…

Mysteries of the Eucharist (part 1)

What do we mean by “presence”? In its most general sense, presence means being with another. We all experience presence in several familiar ways. It might be local, when we are in the same physical place as another. It can also be…