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  • Mary Week at St. Agatha
    St. Agatha School in Sellwood celebrated its first “Mary Week” from Dec. 9 to Dec. 13 in honor of the Blessed Mother.
  • Pilgrimages of the mind with the Women Doctors of the Church
    The ancient, battered landscapes of the Holy Land and the magnificent basilicas of Rome are places that first come to mind for Catholics considering a pilgrimage.
  • Local movement aiming to change the church via small groups
    Western Oregon Catholics are learning a different way to be the church. At parishes from Astoria to Ashland, a movement is underway to augment the rows Catholics sit in on Sundays with weekday circles of small communities.
  • Serra Club a key in vocations
    Fostering vocations to priesthood and religious life is not the job of bishops, priests and nuns alone. Serra Club proves that laity have a crucial role.

  • Holy League Northwest conference for men focuses on courage, sacrifice
    It was standing room only Dec. 7 at St. Stephen Church in Southeast Portland as the parish hosted the fourth annual men’s Holy League Northwest conference.
  • Domes of the Archdiocese

    Walking down Northwest Savier Street in Portland, local architect John Czarnecki points to the dome at nearby St. Patrick Church.

    “What becomes really obvious is the presence that the dome has in relationship to the building and in relationship to the neighborhood,” he said, strolling closer to the historic church. “It had a real place in the community.”

  • Pope Francis encourages it. Any Catholic may offer up a Mass for any good intention — for the repose of the soul of a deceased person, in gratitude, for a birthday or anniversary, for instance. 
  • The Corporal Works of Mercy are found in the teachings of Jesus and give us a model for how we should treat all others, as if they were Christ in disguise. “In helping the sick we have the opportunity to serve Jesus.”
  • What makes a good prayer?
    For some, praying can be a difficult task. There may be a fear of doing it wrong or a fear of getting distracted. But it need not be a scary event.
  • ‘Time to stop work and think about God’
    A secular definition of a monastery is “a building or buildings occupied by a community of monks living under religious vows,” but a Catholic definition might be “a place where monks or sisters pray.” 
  • Prayer for Servants of the Church is a ministry of the Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women. A day each month is set aside to pray for a priest — along with a deacon, woman religious, seminarian or brother — serving in the Archdiocese of Portland. Please remember them, and all who serve the church, in your daily prayers.
  • Epiphany Mass, faith formation offered
    The Sisters of Reparation of the Sacred Wounds of Jesus invite the public to adoration at 2 p.m. and Mass at 3 p.m. for the Feast of the Epiphany. Celebrant is Father Paul Jeyamani, pastor of All Saints Parish in Northeast Portland. A potluck meal will follow.
  • Winter clothing drive through year’s end
    SPRINGFIELD — Through Dec. 31, Catholic Community Services of Lane County is accepting donations of warm clothing. As temperatures drop, people need new or good coats, scarves, gloves, sweaters, blankets, backpacks, rain wear, ponchos and hats.
  • Vatican’s former head of doctrine will speak in Northwest
    The man who was Vatican doctrinal chief from 2012-17 will visit the Northwest next year.

  • The mutual influence of faith and science
    Back-to-back talks in the Portland area this month took up the relationship between faith and science. It turns out that faith is enriched by scientific truths and science would do well to keep asking questions, even if the inquiries lead toward a divine presence.
  • During December, the Sisters of Reparation of the Sacred Wounds of Jesus and their Donnes, or lay associates, have been offering days of fasting, abstinence and prayer for local priests and seminarians. The days were to take place Dec. 14 and 19 and all were invited to join.
  • Grotto blessed at Mater Dei
    The Portland area has a new little site for Marian prayer. On a patio behind Mater Dei Radio’s new offices on Sylvan Hill, a small grotto shelters a colorful statue of the Virgin Mary, patroness of the station.
Go ahead, ask tough questions
    A handful of western Oregon parishes are creating time and space for hospitality, friendship and candid investigation of life and Christianity.
  • Grand hopes for Guadalupe
    María Del Carmen Tapia remembers Dec. 11 during her childhood in Veracruz, Mexico. Late on the eve of the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, she and her family would go to church and stay into the wee hours praying and singing enthusiastically to their beloved virgin.
  • What is consecrated virginity?
    “I am espoused to him whom the angels serve; sun and moon stand in wonder at his glory.” So sings a consecrated virgin during the solemn, elaborate rite of consecration.
WATCH: Friday night at the monastery
    ST. BENEDICT — During gray-orange twilight, several dozen 20-somethings stroll quietly to the doors of the church at Mount Angel Abbey. Bells begin pealing, echoing over towns and farms.
  • The spiritual works of mercy guide us as we help our neighbors with their spiritual needs. Prayer is one of the most powerful ways we can support others. When we embarrassedly offer, “the least we can do is pray,” we are minimizing the impact that prayer has. It is the mortar of our faith.

Seminary Tea Committee hears from new deacon, adds new members for April 29 event
    “Do everything with style” was the motto of Gladys Dunn, foundress of the Seminary Tea Committee. The group was instituted nearly 85 years ago in the Archdiocese of Portland to give spiritual and financial support to seminarians.
  • A Mass for World Day for Consecrated Life is set for Sunday, Feb. 2, 11 a.m. at St. Mary Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Northwest Portland.
  • Is it weird that Catholics venerate relics? Here's why we do

     “We are many parts, but we are all one body,” says the refrain of a popular '80s Church hymn, based on the words of 1 Cor. 12:12. While we are one body in Christ, if you happen to be a Catholic saint, the many parts of your own body might be spread out all over the world. 

  • Holy Names Sisters celebrate jubilarians
    MARYLHURST — This fall the Sisters of Holy Names of Jesus and Mary celebrated anniversaries of 12 women as members of the Holy Names Community in Oregon.
  • Priest: ‘Nones’ take longer path to Christ
    A Paulist priest who once served in Portland says that to reach the “nones,” those who have no religious affiliation, it’s necessary to start with a cause and use that as a path to community and then to Jesus Christ.
  • Catholic deacons connect church and world
    One foot in workaday life, the other in ordained church service — that is the stance of the deacon.

  • Friar: ‘We are all survivors’
    European empires no longer have full control over nations in the global south. But a damaging colonial mindset remains, even in some parts of Christianity, a Mexican Dominican theologian told a Portland audience Oct. 16.
  • Prayer for Servants of the Church is a ministry of the Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women. A day each month is set aside to pray for a priest — along with a deacon, woman religious, seminarian or brother — serving in the Archdiocese of Portland. Please remember them, and all who serve the church, in your daily prayers.
  • Remembering Fr. Frank Kennard
    He came from a broken family, and after his mother died of cancer when he was 8, he went to live at St. Mary’s Home for Boys in Beaverton.
  • Nine seminarians take next step on way to holy orders
    ST. BENEDICT — At a Mass Oct. 23 at Mount Angel Abbey, nine seminarians of Mount Angel Seminary were admitted to candidacy for holy orders by Archbishop Alexander Sample.
  • WATCH : Archbishop Sample ordains three men to the diaconate

    As he collects his young family, David Mayer smiles and reflects on having just witnessed his brother-in-law being ordained a permanent deacon.

    “I view James as a role model,” he says, recounting how the now Deacon James Thurman began his vocational journey as a monk before getting married.

  • The corporal works of mercy are how Jesus teaches us to put faith into action; they give us a model for how we must treat everyone, as if they were Christ in disguise. When we welcome the stranger,  we are giving welcome to Christ just as Abraham extended welcome, water and food to three men standing near his tent.
  • The funeral of a Holy Names Sister
    MARYLHURST — On a table next to the cremated remains of Holy Names Sister Ellie Kratz sat the following objects: a vase of cheery sunflowers, the 8-inch-tall crucifix she had received at profession of vows 63 years before, a copy of those vows, a Bible, a quilt her mother had made from scraps of her father’s shirts, and a multi-colored cloth butterfly symbolizing Sister Ellie’s belief in new beginnings.
  • Church prays for its dead on All Souls’ Day
    HAPPY VALLEY — Hundreds gathered at the Portland area’s Catholic cemeteries on All Souls’ Day to remember their dead.

    It was more than a pious exercise.

  • Portland seminarian ordained deacon at Vatican
    VATICAN CITY — More than 30 men from dioceses across the United States were ordained deacons Oct. 3 in St. Peter’s Basilica. Among them was Randy Hoang, an Archdiocese of Portland seminarian from Our Lady of La Vang Parish in Northeast Portland.
  • A monk for life
    ST. BENEDICT — His day starts at 3:30 a.m. with an hour of prayer, the Bible in one hand, a stout cup of coffee in the other. En route to the coffee pot, he meets kindred souls who also praise God before dawn; they do not speak but nod in warm greeting.
  • Eulogies
    So often when a funeral is portrayed in the media, the eulogy is the focus of the entire ceremony. That’s not the case with Catholics.
  • Relationships, relevancy and caring the best antidotes to abusive spiritual groups
    In its 1986 report “Sects or New Religious Movements: Pastoral Challenge,” the Vatican criticized Western culture for the spread of abusive religious movements. 
  • Many aspects of the Mother of God are held up at Rosary Bowl
    SALEM — What began as a cold foggy morning transitioned into a glorious sun-filled day as the Rosary Bowl convened at the Oregon State Fairgrounds Pavilion here. The name of the city, Salem, is rooted in shalom, the Hebrew word for peace and harmony.
  • WATCH: Padre Pio venerated for closeness to Christ
    Asked what the message of St. Padre Pio is for believers today, Ed Andolino of Christ the King Parish in Milwaukie did not pause. “That we should believe in Christ, that he is for real.”
Meet the three men recently ordained permanent deacons
    Three local Catholics were ordained permanent deacons Saturday, Oct. 26, at St. Mary Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
  • Early November is when Catholics remember those who have gone before
    It’s one of the church’s oldest traditions: Catholics take their obligation to pray for the dead seriously.
  • Prayer for Servants of the Church is a ministry of the Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women. A day each month is set aside to pray for a priest — along with a deacon, woman religious, seminarian or brother — serving in the Archdiocese of Portland. Please remember them, and all who serve the church, in your daily prayers.
  • WATCH: Serra Club’s annual luncheon convenes women religious for camaraderie, gratitude
    Dick Safranski of the Portland Serra Club and Holy Names Sister Jane Hibbard acted like old pals during the vocations support club’s Sept. 29 luncheon for women religious. They’ve know each other since 1981, and Safranski even got Sister Jane to take a turn on the dance floor with him once at a Holy Redeemer School benefit.
  • Marian center closes in on 20 years
    MILWAUKIE — The Marian Prayer Center opened almost 20 years ago on the feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in March 2000.
Going in depth on Eucharist
    BRIDAL VEIL — The Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist are inviting the public to a deeper understanding of and love for the Eucharist. The sisters, who live in a large house in the scenic Columbia River Gorge, have devised a course based on Brant Pitre’s book, “Eucharist: Discovering the Mass in the Bible.”
  • Rome program deepens spirituality of seminarians
    Two seminarians from Mount Angel were chosen to participate in The Rome Experience last summer and found it to be a life-changing journey.
  • Abusive churches seek best and brightest
    When recruiting new members, manipulative religious movements seek the best and brightest, said Marcia Rudin, former director of the New York-based International Cult Education Program. Rudin, one of the founders of the anti-cult movement, researches fringe churches and mind abuse and seeks to spread the word.
Conference on spiritual motherhood
    The Grotto in Northeast Portland will host a women’s conference Saturday, Nov. 9, focusing on spiritual motherhood.
  • Making family time
    With four kids spreading the educational spectrum and two working parents, carving out time for each other can be difficult for the Burgher family.
  • Parishes have a way to appreciate priests
    CORVALLIS — Jack and Jo Rich wish everyone could see the looks on the faces of priests who receive a basket brimming with appreciation cards on annual World Priest Day. The couple, members of St. Mary Parish in Corvallis, try to marshal Oregon Catholics to take part in the day, set this year for Oct. 27.
  • Portland seminarians describe high points along their vocation journeys
    ST. BENEDICT — There currently are 13 seminarians for the Archdiocese of Portland studying and seeking God’s will at Mount Angel Seminary. They range in age from their late teens to early 60s and hail from across Oregon and as far away as Vietnam.
  • Real or symbol? For Catholics, it’s both
    ST. BENEDICT — Theological and pastoral minds at Mount Angel Seminary say an August Pew poll on what Catholics believe about the Eucharist conjured up a false dichotomy.
  • Ripple effect conversions
    Little did Father Francisco Flores know the ripple effect of a suggestion to a young man — a non-Catholic — that he consider the priesthood.