“What Happened at Vatican II?”

by Melannie Svoboda SND on February 22, 2021

I recently plowed through Fr. John O’Malley’s large book What Happened at Vatican II? The word plowed is the operative word. The 380 page tome is a serious, scholarly, systematic overview of the Council, “the biggest meeting in the history of the world.” It took me three months of “off-and-on-again reading” to finish the book. […]

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Why Does Everyone Want Ashes?

by Melannie Svoboda SND on February 15, 2021

Everyone seems to show up for ashes on Ash Wednesday (before Covid, that is). Some priests say there are twice as many people at daily Mass on Ash Wednesday than any other day. One priest, serving on a college campus, said that four times as many students came to Mass on Ash Wednesday than any […]

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Love Wins: A Reflection for Valentine’s Day

by Melannie Svoboda SND on February 8, 2021

Someone once asked a scripture scholar if he could summarize the Bible in one sentence. The scholar replied, “I can summarize it in two words: “Life Wins.” I love that! I think of those two words every time I see a green shoot coming up through the muddy earth. Or a flower coming up in […]

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Quotations under M

by Melannie Svoboda SND on February 1, 2021

It’s time to visit my quotation collection again. If you are familiar with my blog, you know I collect quotes—thousands of them. I jot them on 3 X 5 index cards and file them alphabetically. Currently I have seven drawers of quotes. Today, I’ll flip through the M’s and see what I come up with: […]

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2021: The Year of St. Joseph

by Melannie Svoboda SND on January 25, 2021

On December 8, 2020, Pope Francis published an Apostolic Letter called Patris Corde, in English With a Father’s Heart. In it he recalls the 150th anniversary of the declaration of St. Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. He also proclaims the year of St. Joseph, from Dec. 8, 2020 to Dec. 8, 2021. What […]

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“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”

by Melannie Svoboda SND on January 18, 2021

I just finished reading a very riveting book entitled The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. The book , published in 2010, is written by Rebecca Skloot, a science writer. Though it was her first book, it won dozens of awards and remained on the New York Times bestseller list for six years. It was even […]

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A Lamentation for Today

by Melannie Svoboda SND on January 11, 2021

The Book of Lamentations was written after the destruction of Jerusalem in 587 B.C. Its author, who remains nameless, laments the terrible destruction of the Temple, the city, and God’s Chosen People. The book’s tone is bleak, its descriptions vivid. The depictions of overwhelming suffering are coupled with an admission of the people’s sinfulness, that […]

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Tales of the Weird and Wonderful

by Melannie Svoboda SND on January 4, 2021

I spotted a book on display as I was passing through our library here the other day: Tales of the Weird by David Braun, editor in chief of National Geographic Daily News. Now, before I entered the library, I had told myself, “Don’t take out any more books, Melannie! You have two books already lined […]

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Prayer for 2020 and 2021

by Melannie Svoboda SND on December 28, 2020

Let us give thanks to our Good God for all the blessings of this past year, 2020. Wait a second. Blessings? for 2020? The year that will go down in history as the year of the raging COVID-19 pandemic? The year that saw over 80 million cases of the coronavirus worldwide–and over 1.76 million deaths–and […]

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I Was a Princess…A Christmas Reflection

by Melannie Svoboda SND on December 21, 2020

Introduction: Christmas puts me in a pensive mood. As we continue to live during the dark days of this pandemic, I took some time to ponder some of the unearned blessings, the taken-for-granted gifts I received in my early life. I concluded that in many ways, I was a princess—although I didn’t know it. In […]

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