Long before twinkling lights or gingerbread houses dot the scene, the Christmas Wish List appears. Traditionally it's filled-to-the-brim and stretching long, holding possibilities certain to bring joy.
But for one family this holiday season, the list was surprisingly short.
"When I asked our boys, 'What do you want for Christmas?' the first ...Read more
LOS ANGELES -- The parishioners at Holy Family Catholic Church in Artesia walked out into the chilly morning darkness to gawk at the puddle on the sidewalk.
Just minutes before, they had witnessed the spectacle that is the mananitas Mass: plumed Aztec dancers and traditional hymns to celebrate the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico's ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- In 2014, Kristen Biel told her principal at St. James Catholic School in Torrance that she had breast cancer and would need time off for chemotherapy.
The school dismissed her two months later, citing concerns for "classroom management." Biel sued.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court announced it would hear an appeal by the school ...Read more
My local supermarket, which never has enough open checkout lines, has gone Big Time into self-checkout stations and people seem to love them. I choose to stand in the regular checkout line.
I'm not anti-technology, but I love casual contact with people, and the checkout line is a great place for that.
The woman buying 50 cans of cat food, the ...Read more
Over decades, my dad collected and collated data that related to our family history.
In a letter dated August 31, 1962, he reached out to "Dear Kinfolks -- near & far," seeking assistance in adding to the records he had already accumulated, including "some forty old letters, telegrams, newspaper clippings, etc., and the Davis Family Bible, ...Read more
Controversial legislation that could do away with New Jersey's religious exemption for vaccinating children is scheduled for a state Senate vote Monday.
In a hearing that drew hundreds of parents opposed to the bill as well as public health advocates who support it, the New Jersey Senate's Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee ...Read more
LOS ANGELES -- California prosecutors plan to issue subpoenas to half of the state's Catholic dioceses as part of a growing investigation into the church's handling of sex abuse cases, according to several dioceses and the California Catholic Conference.
The move marks another escalation of the California attorney general's investigation of the...Read more
How did you get your name? Most of us know the answer. Most are proud of their given name and of the story behind it.
For reasons beyond the scope of this article, in many cultures one marriage partner may adopt the surname of the other. In other situations, one may move the family name to a middle name, or may hyphenate both last names, or ...Read more
I ran into Ted, a longtime campus minister I served with in the 1980s. I asked him what has changed with students over the past 30 years.
He responded immediately with matter-of-fact lament, "Oh, they don't know who they are!" He walked among those facing an identity crisis.
Who am I?
Nowadays, that shows up as a popular, and quite personal, ...Read more
BALTIMORE -- The U.S. Department of Justice intervened to support a Howard County Christian academy in a lawsuit that pits religious freedom against Maryland's right to prohibit discrimination in a tax-funded school voucher program.
In the motion filed in federal court Tuesday, the Justice Department said the state is discriminating against ...Read more
Do you ever find yourself challenged to see the blessings in life?
Sometimes, what I call "First World" problems can send a great day south. It can happen when our internet connection is less than a nanosecond or the barista steams our latte lukewarm, all trivial to be sure.
But it's easy to let those minor irritations start to fill our glass ...Read more
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Four more claims of sexual misconduct against a former top official of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte have been found "credible," Bishop Peter Jugis said Tuesday night.
Monsignor Mauricio West stepped down as vicar general and chancellor of the diocese -- second in command -- in March after an initial claim of sexual...Read more
Evangelical groups are turning to artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to help their members fight addiction to online pornography in a budding industry that one scholar calls an emerging "purity-industrial complex."
As pornography has exploded beyond just websites to apps and social media platforms such as Instagram, ...Read more
On a recent Sunday at the Queen Anne Lutheran Church basement, parishioners sat transfixed as the Rev. Dr. Ted Peters discussed an unusual topic for an afternoon assembly: "Can technology enhance the image of God?"
Peters' discussion focused on a relatively new philosophical movement. Its followers believe humans will transcend their physical ...Read more
"Herding cats" describes the futility of trying to control little house cats. Anyone who's ever lived with one understands the situation.
What about controlling big cats? A true story, that I've shared previously, comes from a young Irish priest working in Africa. He knew people who rehabilitate captive lions and release them into the wild. One...Read more
The Bible has literally shaped my life, and I have loved it from my earliest days as a Christ follower. To this day I read its pages, ponder its insights, dig into its depths, and wrestle with applying its truths through the ups and downs of life. The teaching never stops.
But God uses other teachers, too.
In my love of the outdoors and ...Read more
CANBERRA, Australia -- The Australian High Court has agreed to hear an appeal bid by Cardinal George Pell, a convicted pedophile who is serving a six-year jail sentence for child sex abuse.
Pell's lawyers had filed a 12-page application for leave to appeal in September to the highest court in the Australian judicial system in an effort to ...Read more
Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez, the highest-ranking Latino in the U.S. Catholic Church, was elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on Tuesday, marking the first time that a Latino bishop has held the position.
Gomez's election, which kicked off the second day of the bishops' fall meeting in Baltimore, was regarded by ...Read more
SAN DIEGO -- With a name like Robert Blessing, he seemed destined to become a preacher.
But the decision to join the U.S. Army as a chaplain? That was all his doing.
And his undoing.
Like thousands of others, the 61-year-old San Diegan struggles with memories of what he saw while he was away at war, struggles with what was lost.
Eighteen men...Read more
MINNEAPOLIS -- They arrive with a crucifix, a book of prayers, holy water and a conviction that the Holy Spirit is at their side.
Infrequently summoned for decades, Catholic exorcists say they are now being beckoned across Minnesota and the nation, as pleas from the faithful to "cast out the devil" are on the rise.
"Sometimes they hear voices ...Read more
- Light Notes: Quiet please! God would like to speak
- Cleveland Bishop Nelson Perez is named Philly's next archbishop
- Nelson Perez greets Philadelphia faithful day after being named the next archbishop
- Bill would replace Bible courses in Ky. schools with 'variety of religious texts'
- Trump courts religious groups with rules that worry LGBTQ groups