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The Priority of Prayer

If then my people, upon whom my name has been pronounced, humble themselves and pray, I will hear them from heaven and heal the land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 Last week, I began our new message series for the new year by highlighting the value in differentiating between our circle of concern and our sphere of […]

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Where Do We Start?

We can all warmly welcome 2021, even as we agree we are happy to see 2020 go. For all of us, each in our own way, it was a difficult year. We had the rapid shut down of our lives, constantly unsure of what else would be taken away, daily navigating work and school, family […]

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A Christmas Like No Other

Back in October, when it still seemed like an open question, we made the difficult decision to not host our usual Christmas Eve celebration at the Maryland State Fairgrounds. It was a decision we didn’t take lightly. Christmas Eve at the Fairgrounds has become a defining part of who we are as a parish. But […]

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The Parish of the Future

In July, the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy issued an instruction on the “pastoral conversion” of the parish community in the service of the evangelizing mission of the Church. While the focus of the document was clearly on evangelization, it also made a number of important points regarding the reality of parish life moving forward. Here […]

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The Indispensability of In-Person Worship

This week, a couple of large and successful churches across the country took a step which I found unexpected. They announced that, in view of the pandemic, they would stay closed to in-person worship services through the end of the year. Some of this decision is explained by their large size (making it harder to […]

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How One Parish is Approaching ‘Online Church’

When our parish first closed its doors three months ago in observance of COVID-19 guidelines, everything we did in response seemed like a temporary solution to a temporary problem.  We anticipated that our experimental forays into Zoom staff meetings, Masses said to a camera and empty pews, online small groups, and new social media channels […]

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The Coming War Against Online Church

Everyone is excited about the prospect of getting back to church. Here at Nativity, we are reintroducing live streaming this weekend and inviting our staff to join us physically for Mass. If all goes well, we can begin welcoming back parishioners after a few more weeks of testing of our safety measures. But we do […]

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Pause in the Pain of Another

Towards the end of his life Jesus friend Lazarus died. Jesus, as we know, raised Lazarus from the dead, his last and greatest miracle. But, that’s not the first thing he did when he arrived. The first thing he did was…nothing. Nothing at all. Scripture tells us he paused and wept.  Jesus wept. John 11:35 […]

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Love in Action Through Difficult Days

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,so that everyone who believes in himmight not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 This weekend is marked, ecclesially, by the celebration of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. The Trinity, which is revealed throughout Scripture, tells us that God is a […]

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