Happy birthday, Blessed Mother!

From the Sept. 7-8, 2013, bulletin of St. Martin of Tours parish, Gaithersburg, Md.

Nine months have passed since Dec. 8, when we celebrated the immaculate conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (immaculate:  free of the “macula”/stain of original sin).  And so on Sept. 8 we celebrate the feast of her nativity or birth.  (This year, since Sept. 8 falls on a Sunday, the Sunday takes precedence in our liturgical calendar.)

The Church in both east and west has celebrated this feast since the 6th and 7th centuries.  We celebrate only three births liturgically:  (more…)

Published in: on September 8, 2013 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Work, work, work!

From the Aug. 31–Sept. 1, 2013, bulletin of St. Martin of Tours parish, Gaithersburg, Md.

Labor Day has been a federal holiday since 1894, to celebrate the economic and social contributions of workers.  But our Catholic faith has valued work and workers for much longer than that! (more…)

Learn the faith

From the Aug. 24-25, 2013, bulletin of St. Martin of Tours parish, Gaithersburg, Md.

It’s that time of year again!  For the last few weeks, they’ve been getting ready:  buying new clothes, new backpacks, notebooks and pencils and other supplies.  And very soon—even this Monday morning—these students will be headed back to school, to new teachers, new classmates, new things to learn and do.


Published in: on August 25, 2013 at 10:31 am  Leave a Comment  
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Completely natural

From the July 20-21, 2013, bulletin of St. Martin of Tours parish, Gaithersburg, Md.

Many in our society today are careful about the food that they eat and provide to their family—seeking to ensure that it is free from hormones, chemicals, pesticides, or other substances that might harm their bodies or their loved ones.  Yet how many of these same careful people use or approve of contraceptive methods that fill a woman’s body with hormones or chemicals—quite unaware that there is a method of family planning that does not require pills, patches, implants, or injections, but instead is as all-natural as the food they eat? (more…)

Published in: on July 21, 2013 at 10:25 am  Leave a Comment  
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Article: If it causes you to sin, cut it off!

My article appears in the Sept 24, 2009, print edition of the Catholic Standard, the weekly newspaper of the Archdiocese of Washington– though not on its web site. It is one of a series in which different priests reflect on the Scripture readings for the upcoming Sunday. (link to readings) In this version, I use my original headline and text, without the edits found in the printed version.

Do you find yourself confessing the same sins again and again?

If you have been baptized into Christ, then you have undertaken serious combat against sin in your own life. And it doesn’t take long to discover that it will be a protracted struggle against a strong, entrenched enemy.

For two millennia, Christian spiritual writers have mapped out our lifelong journey of spiritual growth in three broad stages. (more…)

Published in: on September 24, 2009 at 7:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Article: ‘Winding conversion story’ led son of Evangelical missionaries to the Catholic priesthood

Published in the Catholic Standard, June 18, 2009
By Richard Szczepanowski, Catholic Standard staff

Deacon Daniel Gallaugher calls his spiritual journey from son of Evangelical Christian missionaries to Catholic priest “a winding conversion story” with an ending “that surprised me.”

Baptized a Methodist, raised as an Evangelical Christian and spending some time as a member of the Episcopal Church, Deacon Gallaugher will be ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Washington on Saturday, June 20.

Born in Santa Barbara, Calif., Deacon Gallaugher’s parents, David and Penny Gallaugher, were Catholic before they converted to the Methodist faith.

“My father was a cradle Catholic and a diocesan seminarian for seven and a half years in the 1960s. My mother was a teen-age convert to Catholicism and spent three years right after high school as a Franciscan postulant and novice,” he explained. (more…)

Published in: on June 18, 2009 at 12:49 pm  Leave a Comment