St. Patrick’s Day: Joy during Lent

It sticks out like a sore, green thumb in the middle of a sober liturgical period. As a lifelong Catholic — and a lifelong Irishman — I struggle with squaring my prayer, repentance, almsgiving and self-denial with a holiday (one of my favorites) whose excesses include dying an entire river green. When I’m supposed to be fasting and giving things up and attending penance services, along comes this holiday — this feast day — that contradicts the whole Lenten vibe with its parades and corned beef. Find more about Saint Patrick online.

8 ways parents can get the most out of their Catholic school investment

Approximately 2 million young people, from preschool to high school, currently are being educated in Catholic schools in the United States. The cost of this education is not insignificant, with the average elementary school tuition just under $4,000 and the average freshman tuition for secondary school just under $10,000, according to 2015 statistics from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. So how can parents be sure that their hard-earned money is being put to the best use? Online you’ll find some strategies for how parents can make the most of their family’s investment in Catholic schools.

It’s not that easy being (ever)green

There’s something about a Christmas tree that draws one to it. Even though your tree is probably bone dry and headed to the curb (or to its box in the storage space if your tree is artificial), who among us doesn’t take heart in a living thing that thrives and grows year-round and maintains its color even in the harshest of conditions? Evergreens are an important symbol during the Christmas season in the Church. But why? What is it about the evergreen that it has become such an enduring symbol of our Catholic faith? Find out online.

Jesus: Master of the universe • Breaking open the word

Ever since the Solemnity of Christ the King became Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe; I can’t help but thing of He-Man, Master of the Universe whenever I hear it. But, Jesus is more powerful than any superhero and his authority is perfect. We are reminded of this as we close out the liturgical year, and prepare ourselves for Jesus’ coming throughout the season of Advent. Find much more reflection, questions and ideas online for this week’s readings.