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Pass It On! is a free hand-out of short reflections on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, written for ordinary people. It is a compilation of the thoughts of Catherine Doherty, foundress of the Madonna House Apostolate. Catherine’s reflections are drawn from her lifetime of prayer and service to the poor.

Busy people can read Pass It On! in just a few minutes to give their relationship with Christ a boost. Christians in every walk of life will be instructed, inspired, comforted and challenged by these words as they go about their daily lives.

Catherine makes the Gospel understandable to ordinary people, often using little, humble ways to do it. Pass It On! is one such way.

This new effort comes from Catherine’s tradition of simple hand-out sheets covering every subject under the sun from a Catholic, Christian perspective, using ordinary layman’s language and printed on inexpensive paper in order to make the Gospel available to more people. She dubbed her early hand-outs “Penny-A-Copy,” to give poor people dignity in buying them and to help defray costs. “Pass it on!” was one of her favourite sayings to refer to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Some Pass It On! hand-outs also include the writings of some of Catherine Doherty’s friends and members of the Madonna House Apostolate she founded.

We encourage you to make copies of our Pass It On! issues, and pass them on to anyone: perhaps in your parish bulletin, in your correspondence — share it with friends, family, school or business associates. Pass It On! is seed to be scattered, ready to sprout and take root where God wills. May he bless you as you read it. You are free to copy and republish them (even in a commercial publication), but you may not alter or edit the text, and you need to attribute the author (e.g. “by Catherine Doherty”) and specify Madonna House Publications as the source.

God, tear open the heavens and come down!

Pass It On — by Fr. Robert Wild

While praying and reflecting on the prophet Isaiah I came across this passage, which spoke powerfully to me about hope and what hope really is: “Oh, that you would tear open the heavens and come down to make your name known, working unexpected miracles such as no one has ever heard of before” (Is 64:1). Read More…

Living ‘Gospel poverty’

Pass It On — by Catherine Doherty

“How I would like a Church which is poor and for the poor!” 
— Pope Francis, Press Conference, March 16, 2013

“If you want a rich Church, then it has no life.”
— Pope Francis, Homily at Mass, 11 June 2013 Read More…

Families as ‘domestic churches’ and the heart of evangelization

Pass It On — by David Douthwright

Our Catholic families are vitally important in building “a civilization of love”. Since our faith is caught more than taught—caught by way of the simple and ordinary things of life—where can we better be in touch with the ordinary than in the family home? A committed Catholic home is a source of evangelization for all who live or visit there; it radiates truths of the faith for all who walk through its doors. Read More…

Suffering has Meaning — “The Usefulness of Uselessness”

Pass It On — by Catherine Doherty

Sometimes, due to sickness or an accident, we find ourselves unable to participate in the normal activities of every day. Then we are greatly tempted to say things like: “Oh, I’m not doing anything! I’ve been sick for two weeks, a burden on my family, on my community; a burden, period.” You can be sure the devil is nearby, rubbing his hands together and saying, “Here I come!” We have left ourselves wide open to him since we do not understand the usefulness of uselessness. Read More…

The Mighty Deeds of God—Cloaked in the Ordinary

Pass It On — by Fr. David May

In the Pentecost account in The Acts of the Apostles (ch 2, vs 1-11) we read, “We hear them [the Apostles] preaching in our own language about the marvels of God.” Or, some translations say, “the mighty deeds of God”. It’s one of those ‘mega’ words in Greek. The ‘mega’ deeds of God. In the New Testament when something big happens, you can bet you’ll find a ‘mega’ word in there. Read More…

A Life and Death Struggle

Pass It On — by Fr. David May

Reading from the Gospel according to Mark: (ch.1, vs 21-28):

As soon as the sabbath came [Jesus] went to the synagogue and began to teach. And his teaching made a deep impression on them because, unlike the scribes, he taught them with authority.

In their synagogue just then there was a man possessed by an unclean spirit, and it shouted, ‘What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: the Holy One of God.’ But Jesus said sharply, ‘Be quiet! Come out of him!’ And the unclean spirit threw the man into convulsions and with a loud cry went out of him. The people were so astonished that they started asking each other what it all meant. ‘Here is a teaching that is new’ they said ‘and with authority behind it: he gives orders even to unclean spirits and they obey him.’ Read More…

Do I Believe in Christ’s Love?

Pass It On — by Fr. Émile Brière

Christ has come. He has suffered and died for us. He has resurrected. We have been forgiven and redeemed. We have been chosen to bring to others the Good News of God’s love for all men. Do we believe in his love? Do we live this message? Do we bring it to others? Read More…

St. Joseph: man with a mission, enlightened obedience, and vigilant energy

Pass It On #75 — by Fr. David May

Synopsis of the Gospel reading:

Following the virginal conception and birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem, some wise men came to Jerusalem from the east. ‘Where is the infant king of the Jews?’ they asked. ‘We saw his star as it rose and have come to do him homage.’ When King Herod heard this he was perturbed, and sent the wise men on to Bethlehem and told them to let him know where they found the child. They did find him with his mother Mary; they fell on their knees, and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. But they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod and returned home by a different route.

Then the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother with you, and escape into Egypt, because Herod intends to search for the child and kill him.’ So, Joseph got up and, taking the child and his mother with him, left that night for Egypt. Read More…

Lent: Re-configuring our relationship with the Father

Pass It On #74 — by Fr. Denis Lemieux

On the first Sunday of Lent in 2010, the gospel reading was from Luke’s gospel, (ch 4, vs 1-13). It is the account of Jesus in the desert, fasting (“he ate nothing”) for 40 days, and then being tempted three times by Satan. This gospel is cosmic in its scope. This gospel speaks directly to the heart of reality, the heart of who we are—you, me, humanity. But even more, of what creation is. Read More…

Changing the World Begins with Me

Pass It On #73 — by Fr. Émile Brière

Christianity remains sterile until it is practiced. To be effective, the tremendous truths Christ taught must guide, direct, and impregnate the daily actions of his followers. His words are not only to be learned, but to be lived. “Whoever does the will of my heavenly Father, is brother and sister and mother to me,” Christ says in the Gospel of Matthew (ch 12, vs 50). To do the will of God right now—that’s what matters, that’s what makes Christianity a living thing, that’s what makes all the difference in the world. Read More…