It has always been difficult, at least for me, to imagine Advent as a season of penitence. In our tradition, the days leading up to Christmas are second only to the days leading up to Easter as an opportunity to practice abstinence, consider our sins and prepare the way of the Lord. Where do the candy, the tree trimming, the lessons and carols, the teas and the sleigh rides fit into all of that?
Young Voices: We are led to believe in extremes, that we are either Red or Blue. But this Advent season, we should remind ourselves that we are all shades of Purple.
Young Voices: April Gutierrez started running because she didn't want to fail. What she also gained was a valuable insight into spirituality and life.
Young Voices: The ability to get married is not just a matter of rights, but of the chance to take a courageous step. That courage may even be a prerequisite to faith.
Young Voices: One woman's journey led her to a stop she didn't plan for, causing her to reflect on the nomadic life of young people of faith today.
Young Voices: While I was not yet born at the time of the council, I think of the miracle it must have seemed to those affected by that historic moment.
One of my most cherished memories from college is of a guest lecture by the late Fr. Jim Edmiston, hosted by my friends and me at The Catholic University of America's chapter of Pax Christi. Fr. Jim, a Franciscan friar and an entomologist, and gave us a small window into the joy and awe he witnessed in the study of fly DNA. His message that day: Get St. Francis' love of nature "out of the birdbath" and into the metaphysical meditations of Christian faith.
Last week, news broke in Minnesota that its state campaign finance agency decided a contributor to a marriage equality campaign could remain anonymous.
Like millions of Catholic college students, Ryan Fecteau is excited to return to campus this week. His junior year at the The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., is filled with promise. Fecteau is a political science major whose focus on politics extends past the classroom. An aspiring policymaker, he was recently elected to the position of city commissioner in his hometown of Biddleford, Maine. On campus, he is speaker of the university's Student Association, communications director of CUA College Democrats and executive director of CUAllies.
My home state of Wisconsin cannot stay out of the electoral politics headlines. The latest is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney naming Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate. Ryan hails from Janesville and currently serves in the U.S. Congress for Wisconsin's 1st District.