On Wednesday, December 8, 2010, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Bishop David Ricken of the diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin, officially approved Marian apparitions at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help, Champion, Wisconsin. The three appearances by the Blessed Virgin Mary in October 1859 constitute the first approved Marian apparition anywhere in the United States.
Perhaps it's been going on my entire life, but I first noticed the phenomenon a couple years ago. Starting on December 13 or 14, depending on how mathematically/calendrically challenged the particular blogger or business is, the countdown to Christmas begins: "On the First Day of Christmas [we put this on sale | I recapped the top stories of January | etc.]."
- The Season of Advent in the Catholic Church
- Ash Wednesday in the Catholic Church
- Palm Sunday
- Good Friday
- Easter in the Catholic Church
- When Should You Take Down Your Christmas Tree?
- The Future of Advent
- Celebrate All Twelve Days of Christmas
- How to Light the Advent Wreath
- Saint Andrew Christmas Novena
- Scripture Readings for the First Week of Advent
- Winning the War on Advent
Is Richard Dawkins a "Christian double agent"? That's the claim a friend of mine made on Facebook after reading the latest story of the English celebrity atheist's "bad arguments and silly antics." I hasten to assure you that my friend's tongue was firmly planted in his cheek—although, to be frank, his humorous explanation for Dawkins' actions is perhaps the most charitable one that can be made.
Many Catholics in the United States are surprised when I tell them that, in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church (the rite to which most of us belong), there are ten Holy Days of Obligation every year. But it's true: You can find all ten listed in Canon 1246 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law .
Christmas Eve found us, as it usually does, at Saint Michael's Byzantine Catholic Church in Flushing, Michigan. We always arrive early for the half-hour of caroling before the Divine Liturgy, and I never fail to be struck by a certain contrast between the Eastern European koledy and the Anglo-American carols that Saint Michael's cantors intersperse between them.