No matter how bad your sins, or how long you’ve been away, don’t be afraid — go to Confession!…

Disneyland might claim to be “the happiest place on Earth,” but for my money, nothing beats a Catholic Church that is holding a Penance service just before Christmas. They are attended by those who regularly go to Confession as well as those who haven’t been to Confession in many years. Either way, there is a palpable and profound sense of joy among those who receive absolution in the Sacrament of Penance…

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5 ways Christmas is countercultural…

The lessons of Christmas are like a miracle. They are well known to us — but still have the power to come as a shock each year, as if we had never heard them before. Christmas is counter-cultural in significant ways, and by meditating on Jesus and the creche we can heal places in our heart where we have allowed the ways of the world to make us callous…

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For the rest of Advent, try screen-free evenings…

Every year, I threaten it. Some years we actually try it. This year, we’re doing it! We’re screen free from seven to nine o’clock during Advent. It may not sound like a big deal, but in our house there are . . . a lot of screens. Phones, tablets, laptops, game systems. It’s really hard to moderate how much time we spend on them…

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Stone walls, iron bars, paper and pens: A look at writers and prisons…

For two years in the early 1990s, I taught adult basic education twice a week in a prison in Hazelwood, North Carolina. My students and I met for classes in a trailer, where, depending on their capabilities, they worked on everything from learning to read to preparing for the GED. Most of them were serving time for selling or possessing drugs…

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Why does GetReligion want to keep doing that journalism thing that we do?

I have never really enjoyed listening to infomercials, to tell you the truth. But, like it or not, creating one of those was a small part of the agenda in this week’s “Crossroads” podcast (click here to tune that in). Yes, host Todd Wilken and I talked about GetReligion’s upcoming move to the Overby Center at the University of Mississippi…

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Do you think about Iraq? We owe it to the people there to do so…..

Impeachment is on the brain and, it would seem, not much else. Our limited attention spans don’t seem to allow it. But we had better make room for the Iraqi people. At the start of the month, Chaldean archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil visited New York and spoke at the United Nations Security Council about the situation in his native Iraq…

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