Meatless variety

Meals for Fridays in Lent don’t have to be dreary and repetitive

By Michelle Sessions DiFranco

It seems there are many Catholics who groan during Lenten Fridays. Is it really that hard to go a whole day without meat? I find that it isn’t the absence of meat that people lament, but the absence of alternatives. It seems folks go blank when pondering what to prepare that does not include meat. The usual go-tos, such as grilled cheese, fish sticks or pizza, can only carry one so far. The good news? There is a source that can help.

Our kids left the church. What do we do?

By Dr. Cathleen McGreal

It is not uncommon to find parents worrying about a child who has strayed from the church. Sons and daughters failing to recognize the importance of God in their lives can be a major source of anxiety for parents. When parents desire the greatest good for their children, namely eternal salvation, they naturally ask, “What can we do to bring our child back to the church?”

Twisted Wisdom: What I learned from a pretzel

Tasty ‘little reward’ has religious 
history, significance

By Michelle Sessions DiFranco

I will never forget the afternoon God spoke to me through Google. It was one of those chaotic days with three deadlines, a house turned upside down and a 5-year-old relentlessly chattering on about the dinosaurs she learned of at school. Amid this frenzy, 
I did what many women do when they are stressed: I ate something.

Confirmation: Who makes the decision?

By Dr. Cathleen McGreal

Q: My son has decided he doesn’t want to be confirmed. Is there something I can do to convince him? Should I force him to go through with it?


Shoes for St. Nick

This children's craft reminds us all of the real-life saint behind Santa Claus

By Patricia Majher

It's easy amid the commercialization of the Christmas season to forget that Santa Claus has his origins in a third-century bishop of our faith named St. Nicholas.

Their teenage daughter is pregnant

What should they do? Sheila says “Our 15-year-old is pregnant — we need to help her raise the baby.” John says “We need to encourage her to give the baby up for adoption.”

By Deacon Tom and JoAnne Fogle

Is Christmas making you crazy?

How to be a more peaceful parent

By Dr. Cathleen McGreal

As we pray for international peace during the Advent season, parents often have immediate concerns for preparing a tranquil family Christmas. I’ve found Advent challenging because it coincides with deadlines for exams and grades. When my four children were young, I began spreading Christmas shopping over months, searching for bargains. Now that they make purchases on their own as Christmas nears, I wonder if I’ve done a “good job.”