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Essays in Theology

Our Lady of the Rosary

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Friday of this week, Oct. 7, is the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. It provides an opportunity to review the origins and purpose of one of the most popular private devotions of the 20th century, and indeed ever since the reported apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary, with rosary in hand, to St. Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes in 1858.

Hoping for church support of workers this Labor Day

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For the past several years this column has observed Labor Day weekend in the United States and Canada by focusing on justice in the church.

Last year I expressed the hope that the U.S. Catholic bishops would issue an annual Labor Day statement that focused on this aspect of Catholic social teaching. Unfortunately, they failed to do so -- again.

Vatican II themes: The church is ecumenical

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Every year in January we celebrate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. And every year we seem to be not an inch closer to outright reunion -- at least on the official level.

At the unofficial level, however, Christians are worshipping and receiving Communion in one another's liturgies. And many Catholics, especially younger Catholics, do not even think along denominational lines when referring, for example, to weddings and funerals.

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