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Catechetical Corner November 20, 2019


A Thought for Thanksgiving How much money is enough? And can you ever have too much? So, what is the right amount? For John D. Rockefeller the answer was “just a little bit more.” At the peak of his wealth, Rockefeller had a net worth of about 1% of the entire US economy. He owned 90% of all the oil & gas industry of his time. Compared to today’s rich guys, Rockefeller makes Bill Gates and Warren Buffett look like paupers. And yet he still wanted “just a little bit more.”  “Enough” isn’t just an amount. It is also an attitude. [...]

Catechetical Corner November 20, 20192019-11-20T16:48:02-05:00

Catechetical Corner November 17


St.  Cecilia In the coming week (Friday, November 22) we will celebrate the memorial of St. Cecilia, virgin martyr, and patroness of church musicians. The story goes that she "sang in her heart to the Lord". In fact, we know very few authentic historical facts about the life of this Roman lady. But, like other saints about whom we have little documentation  (e.g., St. Nicholas, St. George), the stories that have come down to us about her give us some hint that there must have been something special about her that made her so popular. So, I’d like to use this [...]

Catechetical Corner November 172019-10-15T11:45:05-05:00

Catechetical Corner November 10


Daylesford Founders’ Day On November 13, 354, Augustine of Hippo was born in Tagaste, North Africa. The significance of that date has caused it to be set aside as the day on which the Catholic communities of consecrated life who follow his Rule (the Dominicans, the Augustinians, the Norbertines, other orders of canons regular, and many communities of sisters) celebrate the day in grateful memory of the Saints of their communities who strove to live the apostolic life of the early Jerusalem community according to the Rule of Augustine. It happened that on November 13, 1893, three Dutch Norbertines from the [...]

Catechetical Corner November 102019-11-12T13:17:48-05:00

Catechetical Corner November 3


Abbey Cemetery Sculpture Yesterday we celebrated the annual November All Souls Abbey Cemetery Service in which we remember all those buried there and also by name all of our deceased Associates. The visual focus of our cemetery and of the annual service is Anthony Visco’s bronze sculpture “Norbert Presenting His Follower to the Risen Christ,” or more exactly “Norbert Presenting Hugh of Fosse to the Risen Christ.” Hugh was Norbert’s closest associate, and when Norbert left Prémontré (1126) to take up his new ministry as Archbishop of Magdeburg (Germany) the community at Prémontré asked Norbert for permission to elect a superior [...]

Catechetical Corner November 32019-11-12T13:15:42-05:00

Father John Zagarella


The Tower Theater and Elton John. Aerosmith, David Bowie, Freddie Mercury and Queen, Led Zeppelin at the Spectrum. Eclectic. Diverse. Unexpected. These rock-n-roll icons, along with some lesser known performers were highlights of our interview with Fr. John Zegaralla, O. Praem.  Fr. John is a Norbertine priest, a Catholic educator, counselor, rock fan, collector of vinyl records and he loves Philadelphia’s iconic Dante and Luigi’s (which happens to be owned by his cousin).   As a teenager, John Zagarella didn’t imagine himself growing up to enter the priesthood. Born and raised in South Philadelphia, he grew up Catholic, a member of the [...]

Father John Zagarella2019-10-30T09:57:57-05:00

Catechetical Corner October 27


Communio Sanctorum (Communion of Saints) Whenever we recite the Apostles’ Creed we profess that we believe in the communion of saints. The approaching month of November is a good opportunity for us to be clear about whom we claim to be connected with one in mind and heart on the way to God. Certainly canonized saints, those heroes and heroines of faith and holiness of life who serve as models for us on our ongoing journey to God are likely the first names to come to mind. We celebrate their memory and presence to us every day but especially on November [...]

Catechetical Corner October 272019-10-28T11:19:32-05:00

Catechetical Corner October 20


Corkscrew Time Halloween is soon upon us and, not surprisingly, the malls are already decked with holly. It seems to me that it’s challenging to enter into the November and Advent if we’re already occupied (perhaps even anxious) about whom we may have forgotten on last year’s Christmas card list. Rowan Williams, a retired Archbishop of Canterbury, in a recent little book Being Human. Bodies, Minds, Persons, writes that necessary for Faith and human flourishing is “taking time” is the way we are formed from day to day, week to week, season to season by returning to and unhurriedly celebrating our [...]

Catechetical Corner October 202019-10-15T11:42:06-05:00

Catechetical Corner October 13


The Rosary as Christ Centered Prayer Last Monday, October 7, was the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, formerly titled Our Lady of Victory. This annual celebration harkens back to the 1571 victory of Christian forces over the Ottoman navy.  Dominican tradition claims that the rosary was given to Saint Dominic by the Blessed Virgin Mary; but some form of praying the beads had already been in use among Catholics for centuries. In fact praying the beads in different ways is practiced by various religious traditions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity (The Jesus Prayer), Islam, Sikhism and the Bahá'í Faith. The practice [...]

Catechetical Corner October 132019-10-15T11:37:47-05:00

Catechetical Corner October 6, 2019


Synodality at Work Synod from the Greek synodos meaning gathering or meeting. The Latin equivalent is consilium as in Second Vatican Council. From today until Sunday October 27, Pope Francis will be meeting in Rome for the Amazon Synod, a collegial gathering of the bishops of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Venezuela and Suriname. The priority topics for this gathering are: the environment, the plight of indigenous peoples, and the pastoral care of local churches of the region. Synodality is another word for collegiality, the governance of the church by the pope in collaboration with national bishops’ conferences. Collegiality [...]

Catechetical Corner October 6, 20192019-10-04T10:39:23-05:00

Healing And Reconciliation With Father Carl


Born to a family of five children, often moving around and parents sometimes at odds with each other, Father Carl Braschoss has dedicated his religious life to healing and reconciliation, not only himself, but others and helping people to find the tools within themselves to begin the process of coming together, and to find forgiveness within the Lord.  Father Carl gravitated to the Norbertine community about 21 years ago, but found his calling in religious life around 30 years ago. Prior to this, he moved around often in his young life, and wasn’t sure of his life’s path.. As a child, [...]

Healing And Reconciliation With Father Carl2019-10-02T14:43:31-05:00