Get Through the Bible Today! (Video: John Bergsma, “Bible Basics for Catholics”)

Are you a member of the Perpetual Bible in a Year Club? I am. I know several people who have read through the entire Bible. Some have even managed it in a year. About ten years ago now, I set out to join them… and like many others, I fell behind. I promised I wouldn’t give up, though, and I didn’t restart, so I am technically still trying to read the Bible in a year.

Along the way to Revelation, however, I realized that I could learn about the whole Bible without necessarily reading cover-to-cover. Thanks to a variety of excellent Bible teachers and writers, I discovered that salvation history is laid out in the Bible quite nicely, and you can get through it much more quickly than you might think. If you’re ambitious, you can do it in an hour.

Thus, I present for your edification a recording of an Ave Maria Press webinar presented by Dr. John Bergsma, author of Bible Basics for Catholics. You can read my review of Bible Basics very quickly, or take some time to read the whole book, but if you’re aiming for the middle ground and short on time, give this video a try:

And if you don’t even have that much time, my highlights follow.

Read the rest at ATX Catholic.

Sunday Style: January, So Far

After yesterday’s Sunday Style catch-up, here is the rest of my backlog. Rest assured that, even though I wasn’t posting, life was pretty good.

January 1

Sunday Style for January 1

Top, skirt, and shoes: Old Navy
Necklace and earrings: Charming Charlie

Yes, that is bare skin you see. I don’t remember it ever being this warm in the winter. Also note that there were a couple of days in December that were the coldest it has been in Texas since before I moved here seven and a half years ago. I will never understand this place.

Church was much less fun without Mr. Man. Our guest priest reminded us that we’re still celebrating the Incarnation (a.k.a. Christmas) despite the title of today’s solemnity. I suppose that was easier to wrap our heads around since it was Sunday rather than a special weekday Holy Day of Obligation. It might also be a more obvious connection if we celebrated the day as the Lord’s circumcision, but I’m sure plenty of people smarter than I am thought of that when they changed the observance in the first place.

He went on to say that Mary demonstrated three qualities we should imitate in particular: humility, obedience, and prayerfulness.

She demonstrated humility in her relative silence in Scripture: she speaks on only two occasions; three if you count the Magnificat. I had never noticed that before! St. Joseph gets all kinds of cheers and jeers for not having a single recorded word, but Mary is not far ahead of him!

She demonstrated obedience in many instances, including the flight to Egypt. The National Shrine, one of my favorite places in the world, has a lovely statue of the Holy Family depicted in the middle of their journey. Even after all the miracles they had experienced to that point, I can imagine being terrified at going so far away from home. Especially in terms of salvation history, going to Egypt is moving in the wrong direction. But they did it anyway.

She demonstrated prayerfulness in pondering Gabriel’s message and Simeon’s prophecy in her heart. I can get behind that. My preferred response to sudden bad news, a fright, or surprise is to take a second (or more) to think about it. I’m never comfortable when I have to act immediately. Similarly, when I do spring into action, that usually means something is wrong.

That might have been the most impactful Marian homily I’ve ever heard.

January 8

Sunday Style for January 8

Dress and undershirt: Target
Scarf: gift from my brother
Tights: Target
Shoes: Old Navy
Earrings: gift from my mom

Yes, that is a toasty warm winter outfit worn just seven days after my previously unseasonably warm outfit. And as I’m drafting this post, I am wearing a skirt that does not even reach my ankles. It seemed silly to wear tights when it is over 60 degrees out, but I couldn’t bring myself to go bare-legged, either.

To be honest, I was super tired during Mass. I stayed up way too late thawing my toes and managed to hit my exhaustion wall during the readings. I was very glad for my habit of pre-reading for Sunday Mass.

Through the fog, I managed to pay attention to at least part of the homily. We had the same guest priest, who started off by mentioning all three epiphanies and explaining each one very well. I love that aspect of Epiphany: we celebrate his appearance to the Magi, his first acknowledgement as part of the Holy Trinity at his baptism, and his first miracle at the wedding feast at Cana. The Liturgy of the Hours has beautiful antiphons identifying all three epiphanies. I prayed exactly none of them this go-round, but I did glance at them before I started Night Prayer.

Fr. Guest Priest also mentioned that, this year, the gospels for the preceding day and the next day feature the other two epiphanies. Wow! He went on to relate all three gifts of the wise men to gifts offered to a king and to God. You’ve probably heard that part before.

I couldn’t have asked for more in an Epiphany homily. I wish I had been more alert! I hope this visiting priest visits often; I like his style.


For more Mass fashion and commentary, visit Rosie at A Blog for My Mom for My Sunday Best.

My Sunday Best, hosted at A Blog for My Mom

Sunday Style: The Rest of December

I have not posted a Mass recap in over a month, so if you are on a metered data connection, turn back now!

If you’re sticking around, hi! Despite not posting any of these outfits and homily recaps for so very long, I did take all the right photos and notes. My recurring character makes an appearance towards the end. I’ll share January tomorrow.

December 11

Sunday Style for December 11

Polo, skirt, and shoes: Old Navy
Tights: Target
Necklace: gift
Earrings: super old, barely visible, and also a gift; so it works out

It was Gaudete Sunday, so pink was a necessity. Although I call this one “raspberry,” it still worked. It was actually kind of cold (weather-wise, not outfit-wise).

One of our deacons preached this week. He proposed that John sent his messengers to ask if Jesus was the Messiah because their styles and messages were so different. All the talk of love and mercy apparently didn’t make sense to John, who spoke more about repentance and conversion.

I call shenanigans. Both repentance and mercy are essential parts of our relationship with Christ. There’s nothing to be merciful about if you didn’t do anything wrong. There is no justice if nothing is unjust. There’s no healing if you’re never sick.

He did, however, highlight both advents: the coming of Christ in flesh at Christmas, and the Second Coming at the end of time. I appreciated that. But neither he nor Msgr. Old Pastor said anything about Gaudete Sunday getting its name from the liturgy’s beginning with “rejoice.” Yes, it’s the halfway mark to Christmas, and that is a reason to rejoice, but that felt like a missed opportunity.

We did have the Communion antiphon, though, a cappella this time, which was hauntingly beautiful. And I learned to sing “O Come, Divine Messiah,” which reminded me how much I enjoy French songs. This parish has excellent music.

December 18

Sunday Style for December 18

Sunday Style for December 18, full length

Sweater and… I think those are thigh highs: Target
Blouse: actually a work shirt, but I only ever wear it like this
Skirt: Old Navy
Shoes: Payless
Earrings: handmade, gift from Mr. Man
Ring: handmade, from a craft fair

Back to Advent; back to purple. I’m not sure I like these shoes. The heels are not staying on my foot properly, but I can’t wear heel grips with any leg-covering hosiery (I’ve tried), so they might get donated. I got them as the second “O” during BOGO at Payless, though, so that wouldn’t be a total wash.

I wore these earrings because they match and I like them but also because Mr. Man likes to see me wear them. He knows, however, that they are very heavy, so I can’t keep them on for long. We compromise.

Mass, however, sought to challenge my attempt to wear these earrings just long enough for church. We were instructed to stand at the end of the pre-Mass announcements, as usual, and then we had to wait for at least sixty seconds. Silent. Books open, as ready to sing as we were going to be, waiting for our excellent organist to give us the intro. It felt very long, but I resisted the urge to look at my watch. The organist and cantor were waiting, too, very obviously, so I knew they were waiting for something as opposed to just forgetting when and how Mass usually starts.

Suddenly, our musicians sprung into action, we sang, and all went as usual. Fr. Pastor apologized for making us wait, “but,” he said, “that is part of Advent.” I’m still not sure whether he planned it that way, but it was funny. And it unexpectedly gave the latecomers time to get in.

In his homily, Fr. Pastor noted that the Jews knew the Messiah was coming when Isaiah made his prophecy, but they had to wait seven centuries for the prophecy’s fulfillment. How many times have we prayed fervently for something only to be frustrated when God’s response seems to be a long time coming?

December 25

Sunday Style for December 25

Click for full size and full sweetness.

Blouse, sweater, and skirt: Old Navy
Belt and tights: Target
Boots that you can’t actually see in any of these photos: Lauren Conrad
Cause for smiling (besides Jesus): Mr. Man!

His tie: JC Penney; he chose this tie “specifically because I knew you liked patterns”
His shirt: probably also from JC Penney, “with no buttons on the collar (because those are the worst)”
His pants: khakis (“because they’re the best”), from “probably Kohl’s”
His shoes: he doesn’t know where they’re from, but they’re black (yes, with khakis and a red shirt; yes, I have been trying to work on that)

I didn’t ask what color his belt was. If it was black, then it matched the shoes, which is ideal. But the shoes don’t match the rest of the outfit, so I’m not sure which of those battlefronts I should be starting on. I do like the tie.

I usually prefer to dress for liturgical Christmas versus cultural Christmas, i.e. in white and gold instead of red or green. I’m running out of Christmastime neutrals, though, so I aimed for the middle here.

As you can see, Mr. Man joined me for Christmas! Our matching is completely coincidental. It was the most amazing gift to not only be not-alone at Christmas Mass but also to have him beside me. My usual twinge of sadness was replaced with the most delightful burst of joy.

My family had an early surprise birthday party for my brother on Christmas Eve, so we went to Mass on Christmas Day. Fr. Home Pastor always gives great homilies, even when it is not Christmas. If you’ve ever been to Mass on Christmas Day, you’ll know that the gospel reading is from the beginning of John. Based on the lack of shepherds and newborns and such in that opening, Fr. Pastor surmised that St. John would probably prefer that we celebrate the Incarnation of Christ at the Annunciation rather than at Christmas. He was just as much Word-made-flesh in the womb, after all.

He also shared a Christian fact I’d known: in the Bible translation produced by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, John’s gospel proclaims that the Word was “a god” versus just “God.” That’s not a typo, and it’s not the same thing.

We Catholics (and basically all other Christians) believe that Jesus was the fullness of God. As St. Paul writes to the Philippians, “Jesus did not deem equality with God something to be grasped.” It was part of the gift he received from the Father: to be both God and man. Even an angel could not have brought the fullness of God to Earth.

The Incarnation of Christ is a beautiful thing. Mass was especially incarnational for me this year having Mr. Man there. I hope your Christmas brought you just as much joy.


For more Mass fashion and commentary, visit Rosie at A Blog for My Mom for My Sunday Best.

My Sunday Best, hosted at A Blog for My Mom

Currently: January 2017

Currently at Lindsay Loves

Whew! That was kind of a long time to go without posting properly. Back to it now.

Here’s what I am currently…

Gathering: My hair around my head at bedtime. My hairstylist gave me a Christmas goodie bag with a hair wrap in it, so I’ve been wrapping my hair. Forgetting to pack the wrap when I was home over Christmas was a setback, but I’m back on the wagon now. It took some experimenting to figure out how my hair responds, and I had to buy a boar bristle brush to make it work, but I’m getting much better at the whole process. My hair stays way straighter now. I might have also spent too many minutes gathering tips from the Glamtwinz’s other hair videos. I don’t know any other black women with hair as long as mine, relaxed or natural, so I’m always looking for advice.

Making: A legit Christmas card display. I do not come from a Christmas Card Family, but I have been a Christmas Card Person since high school. My grandma was also a Christmas Card Person. This was the first Christmas since she died, so I felt a little extra joy knowing that someone in our family still has still got it. Oh, and the secret to displaying flat cards like this? Binder clips!

On the twelfth day of Christmas, I admire my Christmas card #haul. Grandma would be proud.

A post shared by Lindsay Wilcox (@whatlindsayloves) on

Sipping: Pure Cane Sugar Dr. B ( a Dr Pepper imitation) from HEB; they had a coupon kind of a long time ago. Maybe a year ago? I forgot to drink them because I almost never drink sodas that have both sugar and caffeine. And I put them on the top of the wall cabinets in our kitchen, which is my extended storage space because I’m the only roommate tall enough to reach (without a chair, I guess). During my last grocery run of the year, I forgot to get my usual case of Coke Zero, so I drank those instead. They were tasty, but the extra sugar threw me off balance for a while.

Following:-slash-stalking Yahoo View for new episodes of my TV shows. Grey’s Anatomy had a most excellent cliffhanger, and Bones has started back up after its amazing finale. At least Black-ish has been back online already. I don’t watch a lot of TV, but cutting the cord and hand-picking what I watch has given me an almost fanatical devotion to the few shows I do watch.

Resolving: To write “2017” instead of “2016.” That’s the closest thing to a resolution you’re getting from me!

Recapping: December

  • I have morphea. I sat on that post for a long time before finally publishing. It was on my Epiphany cards, so it was time to just come out and talk about it.
  • Mr. Man went home with me for Christmas. We survived meeting my family, some classic tourist confusion about the DC area, and shoe shopping. It was delightful.
  • I got a filling. It was literally painless. My dentist is great.
  • I rang in the new year with a friend. We had a lovely hotel dinner with her mom and went to a great local brewery party.
  • I took myself on a date to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I liked it!

So what’s new with you? What are you gathering currently?


Currently is hosted on the first Wednesday of each month by Anne of In Residence. This month’s guest co-host is Jessica of An Immeasurable Joy. Won’t you join us?

Taboos and Resolutions (A Response to Archbishop Chaput’s Tocqueville Lecture)

They say you shouldn’t talk about sex, politics, or religion in public. As an evangelization-minded Catholic, I live a little differently, but I do tend to stay away from politics. I just don’t like it.

These days, however, there’s no getting away from politics, even when we’d rather talk about some of those other uncomfortable things. We’re seeing shifts in worldwide political power that have worried many, from both sides of the aisle and every form of government. If there was ever a time to talk politics, it’s now. I like my politics as a side to religion, though, so that’s what catches my attention.

That mindset drew me towards a speech given by one of my favorite speakers, writers, and bishops, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia. He was invited to speak at the 2016 Tocqueville lecture at the University of Notre Dame, where I attended graduate school several years ago. If I will listen to anyone talk about politics, it’ll be him. The venue and occasion are just gravy.

"The Gospel of John reminds us that the truth, and only the truth, makes us free. We're fully human and free only when we live under the authority of the truth." —Archbishop Charles J. Chaput

Read the rest at ATX Catholic.

I Have Morphea

I have a secret.

I have morphea.

Morphea is a rare and incurable autoimmune skin disorder, and it’s something I have been living with for the last two years. It’s pronounced MOR-fee-uh, like “metamorphosis” or the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.

Morphea is rare in the sense that less than 200,000 people in the U.S. have it. I’d never even heard of it until my dermatologist mentioned it. It appears to be slightly more common among black people and women, so I won that terrible lottery.

It’s incurable in that, well, there’s no cure. There are treatments that can help with various effects, but it’s not like a cold or rash or even something that can be managed with medication. No one knows how it begins. Once it begins, it can spread quickly or slowly. It can worsen over a lifetime or stop spreading altogether. It can suddenly get worse after years of stagnation. It might be exacerbated by skin injury, some attempts at treatment (nice, huh?), or even pregnancy. It is possible to have all of one’s morphea patches disappear completely without any treatment at all.

It’s autoimmune, which means that I didn’t catch it, and you can’t catch it from me. Autoimmune disorders of all kinds are particularly hard to treat because they vary as much as individual humans do.

Autoimmune disease: because the only thing tough enough to kick my *** is me.

My Story

About two years ago now, I noticed some weird bruises on the front of my calves. I didn’t think much of it. I am tall, and I got tall fast when I hit puberty. I’m still a little bit clumsy, so it’s not entirely uncommon for me to, say, bump into a door frame and forget about it until a bruise turns up later. These spots didn’t hurt, which was weird; bruises tend to hurt at least a little. I mostly ignored whatever was happening, choosing to wear maxi skirts, pants, and leggings to cover up.

I don’t remember exactly when the not-really-bruises first appeared, but I do remember that the cold weather came fairly quickly after I noticed, because I was relieved. It’s not so obvious and not so much work to cover up my legs when it’s cold. That detail places the onset of my morphea at roughly summer 2014.

When spring 2015 came, I resumed my careful wardrobe selections. That lasted for the rest of the year. I’m good at hiding, remember? As I scroll through my What I Wore Sunday photos, I’m still surprised that you can’t really see anything.

Yet the weird discolorations remained. They still didn’t hurt, but they’d spread to the area just above my knees. I knew enough about skin to realize that the spreading was not a good sign. But I didn’t have a good enough reason to want to go through the trouble of figuring out what was wrong.

Early in 2016 is when things started to change. I found myself scheduling the first in-person visit with my long-distance boyfriend, and I realized that I couldn’t just keep hiding. He deserved to know.

When we were finally together, I decided to stop hiding. Obviously, he was concerned. I was, too. A little bit more. Finally. I made an appointment with a family practice doctor, who sent me on to my dermatologist. I was still dragging my feet, so I didn’t make it there until Memorial Day. Better late than never?

My Diagnosis

The dermatologist first suspected granuloma annulare (GA). She took two punch biopsies to send to a pathologist, hoping that if one wasn’t clear, the other would be. I left with two band-aids and one stitch.

Unfortunately, she had to take the punch biopsies from the back of my calf, so the scars are very noticeable. She did help by pointing out that the backs of my calves have much darker and more widespread patches. I hadn’t noticed. Think about it: how often do you look at the back of your calves?

In retrospect, GA might have been worse than morphea, because “granuloma annulare” is kind of a fancy medical term for “we don’t know how this happened to your skin, and we don’t know how to fix it, but it might go away.” It’s like Bell’s palsy, but for skin conditions instead of muscles.

In reality, the results came back inconclusive for GA but possibly indicative of “early morphea.” The pathologist had not examined my skin, so he couldn’t have known that, clearly, I did not have “early” anything.

So I went back to my dermatologist for another, more extensive biopsy. This was when I finally got scared. There are 3 levels of skin biopsy: shave, punch, and excisional. The punches hadn’t been clear enough for a firm diagnosis, so we needed to dig a little deeper. Literally.

I tolerate physical pain and discomfort pretty well; most women do. So I was okay as the nurse numbed two new spots on my leg (the same leg as before). I was even okay with the actual pressure and pulling I felt during the procedure. She only needed one spot. But this time, my doctor was wearing scrubs. She’d laid out sterile blankets to isolate the surgical field. It was really cold in the exam room. It felt real, and I was scared, and I was alone.

This biopsy required more stitches, and it hurt a lot more after the anesthesia wore off. I hobbled my way through work, back to hiding my legs under long skirts. I felt defeated, and I hoped desperately that this one, this time would work.

A few weeks later, the pathologist’s diagnosis came back. It was morphea; no question. I had scars, and I still had all my patches, but at least my weird skin discoloration had a name.

Treatment, and a Brief Detour

My dermatologist prescribed a topical corticosteroid and a vitamin D cream, in addition to a follow-up appointment to check their progress. I used both faithfully, although I did accidentally leave them in the trunk of my car during a hot, hot afternoon in Houston.

A few weeks after I started treatment, I noticed some red bumps all over the front of my left leg. (Same leg.) I also wondered if my mostly-healed excision was supposed to be quite that pink, and if that bump on the edge was okay. You might think that I would be more cautious about weird things on my legs post-diagnosis. You would be wrong. After one very painful leg-shaving and a couple of days of calf selfies to verify that I wasn’t seeing things when I thought the bumps were multiplying, I went to my previously-scheduled appointment.

“How’s everything going?” asked my nurse as we walked back to the exam room.

“Well, the morphea patches are basically the same, but I’ve got some new problems I was hoping you could check out for me,” I replied.

This diagnosis was much easier, although I was getting a little tired of getting things cut off my legs every time I saw my dermatologist. I had a bacterial infection called folliculitis (on both legs at that point) and a staph infection in my incision scar. So I stopped using the morphea creams and switched to antibiotics and antibacterial lotion.

I have never had so many prescriptions in such a short time.

Just over a week later, I was back to patchy business as usual. I am not currently pursuing any treatment plan. This condition is so mysterious that the basic course of treatment is not specific enough. My morphea is not nearly as bad as some of the photos I’ve seen and descriptions I’ve read, so I’m satisfied with watching and waiting. And I should probably not get a tattoo.

Life with Morphea

Once I had my diagnosis, my confidence started to return. Except for a brief detour through folliculitis and staph, I haven’t let me morphea hold me back. I spent almost two months keeping my excision scar covered with a Band-Aid whenever it would otherwise be visible, because I was not about to let it get infected again. That goal is how I discovered that you can buy a whole box of standard-sized Band-Aids.

Now, I wear whatever I want. I think people notice my morphea patches, but most of them are too polite to say anything. Or they are strangers. In over two years since onset, only one person has actually asked, and I can tell she asked because she was concerned about me. “I don’t know what’s up with my legs” was a really unsatisfying answer. This isn’t great, but it’s much better.

I also belong to a closed Facebook Group for people who have morphea, and we suspect that it might be more common than the medical definitions suggest. Mild cases are easy to mistake for birthmarks or stray skin discolorations. But no one’s really researching it, so it’s tough to tell beyond anecdotes.

This is just my life. Morphea is a part of who I am now. It’s just one of the many things that make up my crazy, beautiful life.

Additional Resources

If you Google “morphea,” you’ll notice a distinct lack of results. It doesn’t even get the special medical information box. The first reference I turned to is from the Mayo Clinic, and that’s where I would point you first. The Mayo Clinic has a great, brief, detailed overview of what morphea is and how it’s diagnosed and treated.

The Wikipedia article on morphea is pretty informative, as its articles tend to be. Notice how it is also brief. That’s the rare part shining through.

The National Institutes of Health classifies morphea as a rare disease and also as a kind of scleroderma. (Morphea is sometimes called “morphea scleroderma.”) Most forms of scleroderma are much worse than mine and can damage internal organs, though, so I’ve been reluctant to take that label.

Some scleroderma-focused resources also have information about morphea, particularly the International Scleroderma Network and this archived Scleroderma Care Foundation page.

The Journal of the American Medical Association for Dermatology (JAMA Dermatology) offers some useful and not gross illustrations of several kinds of morphea.

Michelle Liane Gerovac is a professional photographer in Canada. She also has morphea. Hers is the kind called “en coup de sabre,” which is a French term describing skin discoloration or malformation that looks like one has been hit in the head with a sword, but it’s essentially the same thing I have.

Vitiligo is kind of the opposite of morphea. Morphea tends to darken skin pigmentation in its mildest form (like mine); vitiligo removes skin pigmentation, lightening it. Michael Jackson is said to have had vitiligo. The Catholic women’s online magazine Aleteia For Her shares a story and photos of a model who has vitiligo. I can relate to her attempts to mask the reality of an incurable skin condition.

Catholic Calendar 2017

Whoa, hey there, December! It’s high calendar season, which means it’s time for my annual Catholic calendar post.

minicalendar

Photo by Joe Lanman at Flickr.

If you’ve already subscribed to my Catholic Calendar, you are already all set! I added the 2017 dates a little while ago. A site visitor asked. (I really do read every comment and contact form message I get, and since I’m a small-time blogger, I almost always respond.)

If you’re new or not a subscriber, then these steps are for you:

Subscribe Using Google Calendar

  1. Copy this link (don’t click on it; you don’t need to download anything): https://www.google.com/calendar/ical/mmc0sisckm9lduf8722ihsn3us%40group.calendar.google.com/public/basic.ics
  2. Log in to Google Calendar.
  3. On the left-hand side of the screen, click the small arrow to the right of “Other calendars” and choose “Add by URL.” Paste in the URL you copied in Step #1.
  4. All the U.S. Catholic holidays since 2011 should be visible now as all-day events. If you open the event, you can see the liturgical color and the rank (from the Table of Liturgical Days) in the description/notes.

Subscribe Using an iCal-friendly Calendar Application

I use Google Calendar, so that’s what I’m most familiar with. Check your calendar’s support or help feature for information about how to add an online calendar. You will need the same link from #1 above.

The data for my Google Calendar is provided as-is and without warranty by Romcal.

Import the Calendar

Just kidding; I don’t actually recommend this method. If you want to take the risk, I will let you figure it out on your own.

Print the Calendar

  1. Open the single-page, fullscreen, online version in a new tab or window.
  2. Select your preferred view. Month View is the default; this looks like a basic wall calendar that comes with preprinted holidays. Some days won’t show the whole event title because the title is just too long. There are a lot of letters in “Saturday of the Thirty-Third Week of Ordinary Time”! Agenda View gives you a text-only list.
  3. Print to PDF or actual paper, as you prefer.
  4. Alternative: Print the USCCB’s official Catholic calendar PDF. It has much more detail than my Google Calendar does, which could be better or worse for you.

This year’s liturgical notes are as follows:

  • There is no Sunday between Christmas Day and Mary, Mother of God; so the Feast of the Holy Family is the Friday after Christmas.
  • There is also no Sunday between Mary, Mother of God, and Epiphany; so the Baptism of the Lord is the first available weekday after that.
  • The Solemnity of St. Joseph is on March 20 since nothing trumps a Sunday of Lent.
  • The Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary will not observed this year. The Nativity of St. John the Baptist is in the way, and solemnities outrank memorials.
  • I display the Ascension on a Sunday, since most of the U.S. celebrates it on a Sunday. If your diocese doesn’t, you probably already knew that.

This is technically for next liturgical year, but it’s noteworthy: Christmas Day is on a Monday in 2017. That means you have two Mass obligations to fulfill between Saturday evening and Monday midday. (Saturday Vigils must be in the evening, and the last Christmas Day Mass is customarily just before lunchtime.) That’s not even 3 full days; it’s about 44 hours. The last time this happened was in 2006. So that will be interesting.

Update: Fr. Mike Schmitz posted this excellent video from Ascension Presents explaining a bit about the different kinds of feasts.

If you have any questions, leave a comment or send me an email. I’ll do my best to help.

Enjoy!

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