Relics: Vessels of Grace and Mercy

One encounter with relics felt reminiscent of my “dinosaur bones” days, squinting through the glass at untouchable reliquaries with indecipherable names and Latin classifications. But what did strike me was the multitude whose remains must have been so fervently and painstakingly gathered and preserved to not only honor the blessed and holy individual, but to propagate the faith.

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Carrie Gress
Wonder and the Sea at Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Isla Mujeres, about an eight mile ferry ride away from Cancun, manages to have a robust tourist industry while still retaining a feeling of the wildness. At only 5 miles long and 400 yards at its widest point, the island is tiny; the feeling of being at the sea is everywhere you go.

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Sofia Infante
Getting Hungry with "Chef's Table"

Season 4 of Chef's Table was just released. My husband and I discovered this documentary series at Netflix about a year ago when a friend recommended it. Created by David Gelb, we were immediately taken in by the story telling, the force of human creativity, the striking visuals and, of course, the food.

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Carrie Gress
The Loveliness of Letters

Just one glance at a letter in a museum could take your breath away; the handwriting, the stationery, a beautiful stamp, the lengthiness akin to a handwritten novella—all of these aspects put our modern forms of communication to shame.

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Carrie Gress
Making More of the Mass for Small Children

Like most mothers, it is my wish that my sons can join us at Mass and have a positive association with holidays and Sundays. Even with repeated efforts explaining what happens at Mass, I nearly always resort to some offer of donuts or a restaurant breakfast as the ultimate incentive for good behavior.

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Carrie Gress
Philosophy and Art: The Tail Wags the Dog

Very few people realize that they function intellectually with ideas from the likes of Descartes, Hobbes, Kant, Marx, Hegel, Nietzsche and so on. By and large, these men have all added to the intellectual soup of our contemporary world and it is their "ideas that have consequences." So consequential that we think their thoughts without thinking.

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Carrie Gress
Holy Week at Vienna's Oldest Church

During Holy Week, Vienna's oldest church puts up the Lenten equivalent of the Nativity scene on a grand scale. Attracting the young and old alike, these Fastenkrippen capture the attention of all in preparation for the Lord's Passion, Death, and Resurrection.

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Carrie Gress
Poland's Wooden Gothic Churches

Nestled in the Carpathian Mountains of southern Poland near the Slovak border is a cluster of nine unique Gothic churches that are little known beyond Polish borders, but a great source of pride for those who live in Southern Małopolska, or "Little Poland."

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Carrie Gress