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The cupola of St. Peter's Basilica and the top of the Vatican Christmas tree are seen following a lighting ceremony in St. Peter's Square Dec. 13. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) (Dec. 13, 2013) See POPE-TREE Dec. 13, 2013.

These days of our lives

‘Tis the season!  The countdown to Christmas has begun, with a string of consecutive days to which we’ve given new names – and hashtags!  All except the middle one. #Thanksgiving – it needs no reference to the day of the week.  It’s always the fourth Thursday of November.  Legally, that designation comes by way of […]

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Digital signs of devotion

Yesterday, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced an innovative way to bring devotion into the digital world – the Religious Signs for Families app.  Touted as “a delightful and engaging way to learn ASL (American Sign Language),” the mobile tool offers everything “from signs for religious words and actions to everyday words and prayers.” The app […]

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IDK as a communications strategy

In text-lingo, the caps mean “I don’t know” – which doesn’t sound like much of a communications strategy!  For most leaders, an admission of ignorance suggests a deficiency.  When Pope Francis says it, though, it seems to bolster his image and discloses his appeal as a communicator. At least that’s the claim made by Fr. […]

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Social communications in today’s captivity

This month marks the 500th anniversary of the ceremonial start of the Protestant Reformation, when Martin Luther nailed a list of 95 theses against the Catholic Church onto the door of a chapel in Wittenberg, Germany.  Luther would later pen a stinging treatise – “On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church” – against the errors […]

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Angelic aid to counter “fake news”

As is customary, the theme for the next World Day of Social Communications is made known on today’s feast of the three archangels (September 29).  With the mighty ministrations of heavenly messengers, the theme appears to have a celestial character while it focuses on a profound human need. That theme – “’The truth will set […]

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Taking a stand on language

Weighing in on the controversy du jour, this post isn’t about racism or patriotism, about athletes or presidents, or even about Francis Scott Key’s song.  In all the hullabaloo about the Star-Spangled Banner, there seems to be a more basic disconnect — over the language we use. President Trump has thrown down another proverbial gauntlet […]