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top PARABLE Cover HungerPains

Hunger Pains

Bedord Siblings Tackle Childhood Hunger

By Caitlin Sica | Photography by Matthew Lomanno

Though most of us are more removed from farming than the people of Jesus’ time, it is easy to see why so many of his teachings regarding our faith and the Kingdom of Heaven involved images of this agrarian life. It is a simple truth that to reap the benefits of a bountiful harvest, you must first be willing to sow seeds, nurture the soil and tend the plants. As disciples of Christ, this is our task – to allow God’s word to take root in our heart, to live as witnesses to the fruit of that word and to generously sow seeds wherever we may go. The frustration, of course, is that so often, we don’t necessarily see the seeds we’ve planted, nor the fruits of our labor. Yet those who are lucky enough to reap the gifts of the harvest are given a foretaste of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Want to learn more about how these siblings are tackling childhood hunger? Please click here to learn how you and your parish can receive Parable.

top PARABLE FaithAndScience

Faith and Science

Sister Esther Marie continues the legacy of healing by women religious at Catholic Medical Center

By Paul McAvoy | Photography by Tom Roy

Before the sun is up, in the still of the early morning, Sister Esther Marie Massad is awake. Before she joins the others for the community morning prayer, she will say the dressing prayer. From the veil that she puts on, to the scapular, the belt and the tunic, each part of her distinctive sky-blue and white habit is put on with a special prayer for the day ahead. The clothing is just one outward sign of her interior commitment to a woman religious’ consecrated life of chastity, obedience and poverty.

Want to read more about how women religious have continued to serve at Catholic Medical Center? Please click here to learn how you and your parish can receive Parable.

top PARABLE Kerper

Dear Father Kerper

Dear Father Kerper: I have three adult children. All three have left the Church. One says he is still a Catholic but doesn’t “get anything out of Mass,” so he hasn’t gone in 20 years. One says religion is obsolete and tags herself as agnostic. The third one is “too busy.” A friend of mine scolded me for worrying about them and said, “Don’t you know about deathbed conversions? Tell them to make an act of contrition and they’ll be just fine.” This sounds too good to be true and even unjust. Do we believe in deathbed conversions?

Many Catholics today suffer great anguish as they ponder what appears to be a complete loss of faith among their children and grandchildren. If you have a living faith, you also have hope. And the existence of “deathbed conversions” supports our hope.

But your friend’s description of such conversions as requiring nothing more than a hasty — and precise — recitation of the act of contrition is very misleading. It replaces the beautiful mystery of God’s mercy with a magical formula, which in turn makes the whole thing seem “too good to be true” and “even unjust.”

Want to read more of Father Kerper's response?  Please click here to learn how you and your parish can receive Parable.

top PARABLE Fisher

What the Special Needs Parent in the Next Pew Would Like You to Know 

For many parents of special needs kids, it's hard to be at Mass. Just being there is hard. It is the one place they ought to be welcome and feel at home, but instead, it's often stressful and exhausting. And they may feel judged and misunderstood, burdensome or just plain forgotten. 

Want to read more of Simcha Fisher's article on families with special needs kids?  Please click here to learn how you and your parish can receive Parable.

Other Columns in the Current Issue

Bishop's MessageLet Us Come to the Lord as One
Dear Father Kerper - 'Jesus, Remember Me' - Deathbed Conversions Reveal God's Infinite Mercy
Journeying with the Saints - Blessed Carlo Acutis: Italian Teen on Track to be First Millennial Saint
Marriage and Family Life - What the Special Needs Parent in the Next Pew Would Like You to Know
Always Faithful - Many Reasons to Give Thanks!
Faith on Fire: Profiles of NH Youth - Cader Coleman: This is What God's Love Looks Like
Catholic Charities Report - New Generation Flourishes Under Catholic Charities Umbrella
Catholic Quiz
Cover Story
 - Hunger Pains: Bedford Siblings Tackle Childhood Hunger
Feature - Faith and Science: Sister Esther Marie Continues the Legacy of Healing by Women Religious at Catholic Medical Center
Your Faith - What are We Praying for this Advent?
Catholic Schools - 2021 Teacher of the Year Tara Henley
Local News
Calendar of Events
7 Days a Pastor: Reflections From Father Andrew Nelson - The Great Christmas Surprise
Mission Moment - Health Care Ethics Consultations: Our Continuing Commitment to Mission