Catholic Fire Blog

Twelve Tips for a Holier Advent Season

The liturgical season of Advent begins on the first Sunday in Advent, opening a new year in our Church’s Calendar. Advent is from the Latin adventus, which means “coming” and is associated with the four weeks of preparation for Christmas. Advent blends together a penitential spirit, very similar to Lent, a liturgical theme of preparation for the Second and Final Coming of the Lord, called...

7 Quick Takes: An EWTN Adventure

On November 27, I flew to EWTN in Irondale, Alabama, where I was a guest on two shows — Doug Keck’s EWTN Bookmark and At Home with Jim and Joy. It was an interesting and educational experience for me. While I have done numerous podcast and radio interviews, this was my first time on TV. Also, this was my first trip to Alabama. Here are seven...

Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle

On November 30, the Church celebrates the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, who was the first of the twelve apostles to be called by Christ. He is the patron saint of: Scotland, Russia, Barbados, Ukraine, Sicily, Greece, Cyprus, and Romania. In addition, he is the patron of: fishermen, gout, sore throats, unmarried women, and women who wish to become mothers. The symbol for St....

St. Andrew’s Christmas Novena begins November 30

Image: Adoration of the Child – Gerard van Honthorst During Advent, one Catholic tradition is to pray the St. Andrew Christmas novena. The feast of St. Andrew, which takes places on November 30, marks the end of the liturgical year and the beginning of a new year with the start of Advent. In fact, the Sunday that falls nearest to St. Andrew’s feast day is always...

St. Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions, Martyrs

Today the Church celebrates the memorial of St. Andrew Dung-Lac, priest and martyr, and companions. This group of 117 Vietnamese martyrs were canonized on June 19, 1988 by Pope John Paul II. St. Andrew Dung-Lac, whose name was originally Dung An Trân,was born about 1795 in a poor and pagan family in Bac-Ninh in North Vietnam. When he was twelve the family moved to Hà-Nôi...

A Simple Prayer for Thanksgiving

Dear Lord, today we thank You for Your many blessings and gifts to us. We thank You for the precious gift of family and friends — for all those who are here with us today and those who are far away. Let us never take them for granted, but help us to show our love and for them daily through our words and actions. Thank...

Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

November 21 is the Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary celebrates the fact that the parents of Our Lady brought her to the Temple and handed her over to live there for a long period as a virgin consecrated to the Temple, contemplating God exclusively. Also known as the Dedication of the Blessed Virgin Mary,...

Miraculous Medal Novena begins

The novena to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal begins on November 19 and continues through November 27. The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to St. Catherine Laboure, who was then a 24-year-old novice, three times. On July 18, 1830, the first apparition occurred in the community’s motherhouse. St. Catherine saw a lady seated on the right side of the sanctuary. When St. Catherine approached her,...

7 Quick Takes: Music, Movies, Books, Saints, and More

1. What I am singing now: We are learning this hymn in choir for Advent and Christmas.   © 2017 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved. **ALL IMAGES ARE PROPERTY OF SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT INC. FOR PROMOTIONAL USE ONLY. SALE, DUPLICATION OR TRANSFER OF THIS MATERIAL IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED. 2. What I am watching now: The Star: A Must-See Christmas Movie  The Star is a delightful,...

The Star: A Must-See Christmas Movie

Image courtesy of Sony Pictures Animation. All rights reserved. Used with permission. Film Description In AFFIRM Films and Sony Pictures Animation’s The Star, a small but brave donkey named Bo yearns for a life beyond his daily grind at the village mill. One day Bo finds the courage to break free and ends up befriending newlyweds Joseph and Mary. Mary’s kindness soon sets Bo on...