What can you do to promote vocations?

The U.S. Catholic Church celebrates National Vocation Awareness Week Nov. 5–11. It sounds like an event the church is putting on for us, but it is really a call to action for members of the church. A vocation is a calling, and we are all called to serve Jesus. But Vocation Awareness Week highlights those special vocations of service for the church: priesthood, diaconate and consecrated life. This week reminds us of the need for holy and dedicated persons to fulfill these vocations.

Can Catholics believe in evolution?

Q: I saw a poll that said 57 percent of evangelical Christians reject the theory of evolution, and it got me wondering: What does the Catholic Church teach about it? Can Catholics believe in evolution?

A: This is a question I look forward to answering! As you may know, my undergraduate studies were in the natural sciences and I have a Bachelor of Science in geology. So I’m excited to discuss evolution from both a theological and a scientific perspective.

November 2017 - St. Andrew

St. Andrew

Jesus’ first apostle followed him to martyrdom

First century
Feast: November 30

According to the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, Jesus saw Andrew and his brother Simon Peter casting their fishing nets in the Sea of Galilee and said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” John’s Gospel says Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist who followed Jesus when he heard John call him “the Lamb of God.” After spending the day with Jesus, Andrew told his brother, “We have found the Messiah.” According to tradition, St. Andrew was crucified in Greece on an X-shaped cross, which is now his distinctive symbol and the symbol of Scotland, of which he is the patron. Some of St. Andrew’s remains were brought to Scotland in the fourth century; other parts of his skeleton lie in the crypt of the cathedral in Amalfi, Italy, where they produce a clear, water-like substance called “manna.” 

-Catholic News Agency

Read the Spanish version of this column.

Northwest Catholic - November 2017

Want to know God's will more deeply? Take a retreat - or a sabbatical!

After 11 years as a priest and six as the vocation director for the Archdiocese of Seattle, I can assure you of one thing: If you want to know God’s will more deeply, spend more time with the Risen Jesus Christ! While ongoing engagement with the sacraments, Scripture, community, catechesis and ministry all fundamentally deepen our relationship with the Lord, spending extra time in a retreat always bears fruit. A retreat helps fill our souls with “rich soil” that can produce fruit “a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.” (Matthew 13:8)

October 2017 - St. Maria Bertilla Boscardin

St. Maria Bertilla Boscardin

Peasant girl became brave and beloved nurse

Feast: October 20

Anna Francesca Boscardin was born in Brendola, Italy, to a poor peasant family with a violently abusive alcoholic father. She had little education and worked as a servant. Her family nicknamed her “the goose” due to her apparent lack of intelligence. She entered the Sisters of St. Dorothy, Daughters of the Sacred Heart, in 1904, taking the name Bertilla. After working in the convent’s kitchen and laundry for three years, she trained as a nurse. She quickly became a favorite in the children’s ward due to her simple and gentle way. She cared for wounded Italian soldiers during World War I, staying with patients while the area was bombed. She was canonized in 1961 by Pope John XXIII before a crowd that included many of her former patients, and many miracles have been reported at her tomb.

-Catholic News Agency

Read the Spanish version of this column.

Northwest Catholic - October 2017