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Fr. Terry on Christmas--"Potty"

Potty It took a little three year old to remind Christians what Christmas is all about. God really did become human, with the limitations of humans. Here is the story. A mom brings her three year old daughter up to the manger scene a few days before Christmas in church. The manger is empty. The three year old says, "Look Mommy, the manger is empty. Jesus is not there!" The mom then proceeds to explain all about how Jesus does not come until Christmas Day. It is a bit too theological for the child and misses the point of awe. The three year ignores her mother's explanation and says," Oh, I know. Jesus had to go potty." She got it. The gospels are all about what goes on between pot

Servant of God Isaac Hecker

19th-Century Missionary for the 21st-Century Church On this date in 1819 Isaac Hecker (who eventually went on to found the Paulist Fathers in 1858) was born to immigrant parents in New York City. From an early age, he already expressed a belief in God’s special providence – that God had a providential plan for his life. Even as a boy working in the family bakery, Hecker was already asking himself: “What does God desire from me? How shall I attain unto Him? What is it He has sent me into the world to do? These were,” he said, “the ceaseless questions of my heart, that rested, meanwhile, in an unshaken confidence that time would bring the answer.” Hecker’s family was active in New York Democ

St. Nicholas

Saint Nicholas (a.k.a.,"Santa Claus") For several years, while I was parochial vicar at the Paulist Mother Church in NYC, I had the joy of playing "Saint Nicholas" (a.k.a. "Santa Claus") at the annual Winter's Eve celebration coinciding with Lincoln Center's Tree Lighting on the Monday after Thanksgiving. That's a picture of me in my "Saint Nicholas" costume - a kind of generic Bishop outfit, plus a big white beard. I doubt too many people really thought I was Saint Nicholas. And I can remember at least one kid making a point of telling me, "I know who you are." But it was all good fun, and it created an opportunity to tell the story of the real Saint Nicholas, whose feast the Church celebr