San Jose Christmas tree display mired in controversy

This year, there's a tree erected by the Satanic Temple, one that celebrates Colin Kaepernick kneeling on the football field, and a section set aside for LGBT activists

Catholic League president Bill Donohue discusses a controversy over this year's San Jose Christmas tree display: Every year since the 1950s, San Jose has had a proud record of honoring Christmas with a grand display of Christmas trees. This year, however, a controversy has arisen over some trees. San Jose's Plaza de Cesar Chavez is the site of approximately 500 Christmas … [Read more...]

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No ‘two-for-one” Mass to satisfy Christmas Day obligation

U.S. bishops: In the case of two consecutive days of obligation, as at Christmas this year, each obligation must be fulfilled with a separate Mass

In a newsletter issued earlier this year, the U.S. Catholic bishops addressed questions regarding whether Sunday and Holy Day Mass obligations can be fulfilled with a “two-for-one” Mass attendance at Christmas this year. In a “relatively rare” situation which last occurred in 2006, Christmas Day this year falls on a Monday. Because Catholics are obliged to attend Mass for … [Read more...]

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The feast of humanity

Christmas message from Archbishop José Gomez

The following comes from a December 21 Angelus article by Archbishop José H. Gomez: St. John Paul II said at the beginning of his first Christmas message as pope: “Christmas is the feast of humanity.” It is a beautiful expression and it brings us to the heart of the joyful mystery we celebrate. Jesus Christ was one of many children born in the world on that first … [Read more...]

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History of Christmas still celebrated at California missions

A 'miracle' has been ocurring at Mission San Juan Bautista for 200 years

The following comes from a December 1 Chicago Tribune article by Jay Jones: On the winter solstice, as the sun rises in the dip between two hills, the amazing accomplishment of some 18th-century priests becomes crystal clear. Through an open window at Mission San Juan Bautista, a brilliant beam of light enters, bathing the altar in gold before traveling directly up the … [Read more...]

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What ever became of Advent fasting and penance?

Msgr. Charles Pope: Contradicting tradition, "Advent has become almost devoid of any real penitential practices. Neither fasting nor abstinence is required; they are not really even mentioned."

The following comes from a December 13 Community in Mission article by Msgr. Charles Pope: I was explaining to a new Catholic recently that the reason the color purple (violet) is used during Advent is that Advent, like Lent, is considered a penitential season. During these times we are to give special attention to our sins and our need for salvation. Traditionally, Advent … [Read more...]

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Christmas melancholy

December 21 will mark the fourth year for Saint Thomas of Canterbury Parish’s 'Longest Night Prayer Service,' sponsored by the parish’s Bereavement Support Ministry

The following comes from a December 12 Valley Catholic article: December comes with conflicting feelings for many people. Shopping malls, workplaces, and our homes can be filled with Christmas songs that presume the season to be a joyful time for all. However, for those who have lost a loved one, the season often heightens the sense of emptiness brought on by that loss. … [Read more...]

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Can you have a humble and holy Christmas and still have fun?

If 17th Century Europe was on the road to perdition over Christmas extravagance, do we have a prayer?

The following comes from a December 1 OC Catholic article by Meg Waters: One of the main reasons the Puritans separated from their Protestant churches and set sail for the New World was their objection to the materialism and general debauchery of the Christmas season. If 17th Century Europe was on the road to perdition over Christmas extravagance, do we have a prayer? Is … [Read more...]

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Christmas in prison

Archbishop Gomez celebrates mass for inmates and deputies at Men’s Central Jail

The following comes from a January 6 Angelus article by R.W. Dellinger: “Hey, what’s going on down there?” came from above on Christmas morning. The query rose above shouts, whistles and catcalls: “The (vulgarity) pope is here!” Then Archbishop José H. Gomez started walking down narrow cellblock 3100B. “Merry Christmas. Here’s a little gift,” the archbishop said, … [Read more...]

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No Christmas for kindergarteners

School cancels visit with Santa Claus after one parent complains

The following comes from a December 18 EAG News article by Victor Skinner: SAN JOSE, Calif. – Kindergarten parents in San Jose threatened to pull their kids out of school today after the school board canceled a Santa field trip over a single complaint from a Jewish mother. For at least a decade, kindergarten students at Sartorette Elementary School have participated in a … [Read more...]

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The man came down crying

News from the trenches

The following comes from a Dec. 14 email sent by Helpers of God’s Precious Infants. Planned Parenthood, First & Grape, San Diego, Saturday, December 13 A couple arrived, and as the man was parking the car around back, the woman, in her 20's, came up and said "No English" but said in Spanish to please give information to her boyfriend. When the boyfriend came up, two … [Read more...]

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