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Current Issue

top Parable SacredArtThe Art of the Divine

Sacred art and architecture evangelize wordlessly, drawing us into prayer and making us more aware of the awesome presence of God and the angels all around us. Their beauty inspires and becomes part of our history and culture, whether they be country churches in New Hampshire or the magnificent Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris.

Keri Wiederspahn has been on a 12-year journey to put her skills as an artist to work in the service of the Lord. Under the guidance of master Byzantine iconographers, she learned the artistic techniques and spiritual practices by which icons open “a window to the divine.”

Working in egg tempera paint crafted from egg yolks and raw pigment, Wiederspahn creates icons of angels and saints, Mary and the Trinity in her brightly-lit Nelson studio. A convert to Catholicism, she says she wants to bring icons “more into the forefront of the daily Catholic and Christian sacramental life.”

Seven-foot banners, made by hand of rich fabrics and acrylic paint, hang in Cunis’s studio awaiting church installation, where they will tell the stories of the liturgical year.
Cunis works on pieces of sacred art in her studio. “Beauty draws us to Christ, which is where we need to be," she says.

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top PARABLE Kerper

Dear Father Kerper

Dear Father Kerper: I have tried to deepen my prayer life during the last few years and sought direction from friends who seem to know about spiritual matters. Now I’m completely confused. Some push me toward specific devotions, like the Five First Saturdays, Nine First Fridays, Chaplet of the Divine Mercy, the Christmas Novena, Brown Scapular, Miraculous Medal and the rosary. I am told that these are truly traditional and are superior to other devotions. How do I decide which to do?

Bull’s eye!

You have identified an experience rightly called “spiritual clutter,” or “devotional overload.” Here’s what happens. In their sincere effort to enhance their spiritual lives, some people latch on to a variety of personal devotions. There is nothing wrong with private devotions. However, they can endlessly accumulate and, in extreme cases, actually destroy the person’s life of prayer. For example, some people say to me, “I don’t have time anymore to say my prayers.” This usually means that “spiritual clutter” has won the day.

Jesus warned against this harmful tendency. He once said: “In your prayers do not babble as the gentiles do, for they think that by using many prayers they will make themselves heard. Do not be like them.” (Mt 6:7-8)

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top Parable ordinationsA Joyous Moment for the Catholic Church in New Hampshire

By Paul McAvoy | Photography by Jeff Dachowski

Brother priests, family and friends of the ordinands, and well-wishers filled St. Joseph Cathedral June 1 to celebrate and welcome two new priests to the diocese.

Bishop Libasci called it a “joyous moment for the Catholic Church in New Hampshire.”

“These fine young men are witnesses to the prayerful devotion and commitment required of one aspiring to the priesthood,” he said.

The bishop particularly thanked those who fostered the vocations of Father Frackowiak and Father Wong throughout their lives.

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top PARABLE FisherWhen Your Son Says He Wants to be a Priest

One day, your son tells you he wants to be a priest.

What a shock! Or maybe it’s not a shock at all. Maybe he's been talking about it for years, and it's finally time to act; or maybe you’ve always thought he would make a great priest, and he finally agrees. Or maybe he’s not sure. Maybe you’re not sure. Maybe you feel intense pride and joy; or maybe overwhelming grief and fear. Maybe some combination. Maybe you think the priesthood is wonderful ... for other people’s sons. Maybe you just wanted grandchildren, and now you might not get them.

But what about making teen faith formation emotionally fulfilling? It does work ... for a while. Then it stops working; and then we're in real trouble.

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Other Columns in the Current Issue

Bishop's Message - Congratulations to Our New Priests, Deacons
Catholic Quiz
Dear Father Kerper - Freeing Oneself of "Spiritual Clutter"
On Call With Dr. Pepe - CMC Expands to Meet Demand for Catholic Health Care
Marriage and Family Life - Your Son Says He Wants to be a Priest
Feature - Bishop Libasci Ordains New Priests, Deacons
Catholic Charities Report - New Warde Independent Living Center Will Provide Residents a Continuum of Care
Cover Story - The Art of the Divine
Catholic Life - Looking for Love in All the Right Places
School Profile - Saint Patrick Academy, Portsmouth
Local News
Your Faith: Dicipleship 101 - Called to be Apostles
Have You Ever Thought of Being a Priest? - Meet Father Gary Belliveau
Calendar of Events
7 Days a Pastor: Reflections from Father Andrew Nelson - Walking to Calvary Together
Mission Moment - Mr. Gerard Foley, Esq, FACHE, Takes Helm as President/CEO of Covenant Health Systems