This blog is no longer being actively updated. Please feel free to browse the archives or: Read our most popular inspiration blog See our most popular inspirational video Take our most popular quiz
This blog is no longer being actively updated. Please feel free to browse the archives or: Read our most popular inspiration blog See our most popular inspirational video Take our most popular quiz
A reminder: “The Deacon’s Bench” is closed! Please enjoy the archives!
Earlier this week, I posted an item about Montana getting its first married priest. Now a local TV station has hopped on the bandwagon. Take a look, below.
Deacon Mike Talbot has the scoop: 10 men today were ordained as Permanent Deacons for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. This group of men was formally selected on the day the evacuation of New Orleans began as Hurricane Katrina approached. […]
“Gesu Bambino,” anyone? This is one of my favorites, and nobody does it better than these gals: Kathleen Battle and Frederica von Staade. Enjoy.
What have you planted this Advent? Check out this Sunday’s homily right here.
Seems the familiar tunes chiming from one university’s clock tower weren’t “inclusive” enough. Details: The clock tower at Southern Illinois University has played Christmas carols for nearly 15 years. But this year, someone complained, leading university officials to briefly silence […]
That’s evidently another little bombshell contained in the documents, according to the Guardian: The British ambassador to the Vatican warned that Pope Benedict XVI’s invitation to Anglican opponents of female priests to convert en masse to Catholicism was so inflammatory […]
It happened last weekend, and The Tidings has the scoop: Despite threatening skies, groups of parishioners, students and religious had already arrived by 8:30 a.m. at the corner of Ford Street and Cesar Chavez Avenue in East Los Angeles, to […]
“There is not a flower that opens, not a seed that falls into the ground, and not an ear of wheat that nods on the end of its stalk in the wind that does not preach and proclaim the greatness […]
Who is Adele Brise, the visionary who is responsible for the first approved Marian apparition in the United States? The Compass has the answer: Adele Joseph Brise’s story began when she arrived from Belgium with her parents, Lambert and Marie […]
Just in time for the holidays, a chef in Washington has created an extraordinary gingerbread house — er, church — of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. From the Georgetown Patch:(with a H/T to CNS) Crafting gingerbread […]
He’s a judge in Canada — and he’s talking about how his faith intersects with his job, following a controversial sentencing in a high-profile case. From the B.C. Catholic in Vancouver: Ontario Superior Court Judge Alf Stong is not particularly […]
Starting Monday, December 13th, you’ll find it at Patheos.com. Check out the new site here. Come by for a visit. And remember to change your bookmarks!
Another married Episcopalian is swimming the Tiber — and is about to be ordained a priest. From the Billings Gazette: When the Rev. Bart Stevens is ordained a Catholic priest in Billings on Thursday, he will share the moment with […]
An unusual project in Switzerland reported some news this week: An unwanted baby has been left at a hospital in Einsiedeln. The foundling is the sixth in the nearly ten-year history of the baby window, which is unique in Switzerland. […]
Leave it to the innovative media wizards in the Archdiocese of Boston to come up with a church-finder app for your iPhone. From the Boston Globe: In the latest example of an ancient institution deploying the latest technology, the Archdiocese […]
For the first time ever, a Marian apparition in the United States has received formal approval. Details: Bishop David Ricken announced today that he officially approves the Marian apparitions at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help at Champion. […]
Things are moving along — ha! — over at my new home. When you have a minute, stop by and check it out. A reminder: “The Deacon’s Bench” will be relocated over there on Monday, December 13th. Reset your bookmarks! […]
Last Sunday, I had the great privilege of celebrating the sacrament of baptism here in the church – baptizing 12 babies. Before the service, I was chatting with a couple of women. They were friends of one of the families […]
Those are the words of a man, now in France, who survived the massacre at Our Lady of Salvation Church. Details, from the Christian Post: Iraqi Christians who were given indefinite political asylum in France say they don’t want to […]
Listen to one of the modern era’s greatest preachers. H/T New Advent
If you missed the news yesterday, “The Deacon’s Bench” is relocating. Beginning Monday, December 13th, you can find it right here. Feel free to drop by and look around. Meantime, I’ll still be here, rounding up the cattle.
Some intriguing news from across the pond, courtesy the BBC: A distant relative of Princes William and Harry has moved a step closer to becoming a saint. A Vatican investigation has declared that Father Ignatius Spencer, who is buried in […]
The remarkable story of Dr. Rich Meehan and his work among the poor in Los Angles deserves to be heard by a wider audience — especially now that he is hanging up his latex gloves and devoting his time to […]
It’s not Catholics under attack, but it’s a pretty low blow that manages to trivialize — and demean — something meaningful. UPDATE: Can’t see the video? Visit this link.
“As I read Light of the World, I was continually struck by the way in which abandonment of the self to God’s will underlies so much of what Pope Benedict says. I think those puzzled by him, who try to […]
After 15 happy months here at Beliefnet, and several weeks of hand-wringing and finger-drumming while I make up my mind, I’ve decided to pull up stakes and relocate “The Deacon’s Bench” to another site. Beginning next Monday, December 13th, you’ll […]
That’s the name of an ambitious, surprisingly powerful project undertaken by photographer Steven Golder. He’s been taking photographs of hands — some of them breathtaking in their simplicity and beauty — but not just any hands. They are the hands […]
Here’s a local TV report with more on the blessing of New York’s new basilica, with Archbishop Dolan as winning as ever.
Good question, and it’s something every deacon should ponder. But Deacon Bill Ditewig has an anecdote that speaks volumes: One day, as I was leaving the building, I encountered one of our bishops waiting for a taxi. He had been […]
Below, a little reminder of what it’s all about. Take time. And take your time…to remember what matters.
And if you need a gentle reminder of the ground rules and guidelines, they’re right here. Happy Advent!
The venerable church in lower Manhattan — where America’s first cardinal received his red hat — today becomes the Archdiocese of New York’s very first basilica. (Incredibly, the fabled St. Pat’s on Fifth Avenue isn’t one.). Congratulations to our neighbors […]
Incredible, but true. From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Chase Bank told a businessman to remove the Christmas tree he donated to a local branch because it could offend people. Antonio Morales, owner of Bellagio Day Spa in Southlake, had assembled […]
So claims a Wisconsin newspaper: After a two-year investigation, the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay is set to release its findings about apparitions at an area shrine. If the apparitions are decreed true, it would be an extremely rare occurrence. […]
This is causing quite a sensation around the internets … take a look. And, of course, Happy Hanukkah, y’all!
From a friend’s Facebook page. Oy to the world…
[Saturday night, my parish will celebrate the Rite of Welcome for the new class of RCIA candidates. This is the homily for that occasion.] Anyone who’s been coming to Our Lady Queen of Martyrs for a while knows the memorable […]
I wonder what people think of bloggers. Details: What do nurses, soldiers, pharmacists, elementary school teachers, doctors, and police officers have in common? Americans say they are all more ethical and honest than members of the clergy, according to a […]
But, interestingly, the two parties have about the same number. From CNS, via U.S. Catholic: With more than three dozen Catholic Democrats voted out of office or choosing not to run in the November election, a decline in the number […]
An amazing story, and a stunning video, below. My one question: what’s wrong with her? They never explain.
Not only that, it was delivered by a White House speechwriter. From Politico: Sparked by an impeccable impersonation of Arianna Huffington, White House speechwriter Jon Lovett took home the top honors at Washington’s annual “Funniest Celebrity” competition Thursday night. “Sarah […]
You won’t find a more meaningful or moving reflection today than this beautiful post by Marcel LeJeune, written in tribute to his sister. A snip: My sister, Simone LeJeune, died on November 16. She knew what it was like to […]
The proposed repeal of DADT is sparking a lot of debate — especially among chaplains. Details: A long-awaited report on the possible repeal of the military’s ban on openly gay members says the chaplains corps has “some of the most […]
The former priest who caused a scandal last year is back in the news. From the Miami Herald: Ruhama Buni Cutié, wife of Miami celebrity priest Alberto Cutié, gave birth to Camila Victoria Cutie on Tuesday. “We…take this opportunity to […]
Need something to wake you up? Click on this, and turn up the volume. VH1 TV Shows | Music Videos | Celebrity Photos | News & Gossip
No, you aren’t seeing things. That is, indeed, an illuminated cross inside a very patriotic Christmas tree. Want one? Read about it here.
Try fasting, says one British bishop. From the Guardian: The Right Rev Kieran Conry, of Arundel and Brighton, said the traditional Friday Fast Day was a “source of pride” and something that marked Catholics out as different. In his pastoral […]
Don’t pack your bags yet, but some biblically-minded entrepreneurs are planning a Noah-themed tourist attraction: The same group behind the Creation Museum is partnering with another group to build a full-scale version of Noah’s Ark that will anchor a family […]
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord… To learn more, check out this link or this one.
Details, from Catholic News Agency: Illinois’ legislature passed a bill on Dec. 1 that will establish same-sex civil unions in state law. While the state’s Catholic governor Pat Quinn said his faith prompted him to support the bill, his bishop […]
Hanukkah began last night — and this morning after, the Church is reflecting on four lights that were extinguished 30 years ago in El Salvador. So, a reminder from the troubadours below, to all of us people of faith: don’t […]
A new order of sisters is having an impact on campus ministry in California — and what they’re managing to do is impressive. Details, San Francisco Catholic: It’s easy to get lost among the 30,000 students at San Francisco State […]
That was God’s promise to Abraham about the number of his descendants. And – it turns out – that number may be even bigger than previously thought. From the New York Times: Scientists said Wednesday that the number of stars […]
… to those who are wondering why the “comment” feature has disappeared, I wrote about it here. Basically, I decided to close down comments for the first week of Advent, to give everyone (especially me) a breather. This is similar […]
The sad details, from ANSA: An aspiring priest has killed himself after the Vatican cancelled his ordination, his bishop said Wednesday. Luca Seidita, 29, threw himself from a rocky outcrop in this central Italian hilltown Tuesday, shortly after learning that […]
This time, from Canada. From The Vancouver Sun: An Anglican parish in Calgary is taking a leap of faith by becoming the first church in Canada to accept an offer from the Vatican to join the Roman Catholic Church. Parishioners […]
He’s Bishop Kevin W. Vann, of Fort Worth, and this week he launched his very own weblog, aptly called “Shepherd of Fort Worth.” The good shepherd, of course, joins a number of other merry bishop bloggers, including most notably Boston’s […]
It was fired by the Catholic League, responding to this billboard put up outside of Manhattan by a group of atheists. Details, from the New York Times: The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights has responded to a Christmas-debunking […]
Well, according to this item, yes. (Is anyone surprised?) From the New York Times: There you are, peacefully reading an article or watching a video on the Internet. You finish, find it thought-provoking, and scroll down to the comments section […]
O glorious St. Andrew, you were the first to recognize and follow the Lamb of God. With your friend, St. John, you remained with Jesus for that first day, for your entire life, and now throughout eternity. As you led […]
From the folks behind the Advent Conspiracy, another powerful and provocative challenge to the world.
I preached on this topic last Sunday, and it seems I wasn’t the only one having this idea. From the Salt Lake Tribune: Utah’s Catholic bishop is putting the brakes on Christmas. In his first pastoral letter to Utah’s 300,000 […]
From Rhode Island comes this compelling vocation story of a guy who worked in a drug store, but who decided he was called to dispense another kind of medicine: Among the prayers that the Rev. Marcel Taillon offers during his […]
In what has become an annual near-Thanksgiving event, thousands convened in a southern California stadium to pray for, celebrate, and remember the martyrs who were canonized by Pope John Paul. Details: The ceremony at Cal State Long Beach’s Pyramid mixed […]
From the poetic pen of the Concord Pastor comes this beautiful prayer for this first Monday of Advent. I can’t think of a better way to begin a new year, and a new week: With Advent begins a new year […]
Well, how is YOUR Advent going so far? I woke up Thanksgiving morning with a sore throat, which quickly turned into a cough, and I’ve been sniffling and wheezing ever since. (And for this, I got a flu shot?) I’m […]
Another icon leaves us. But thank God for YouTube. Who can ever forget this?
The Rt Rev Andrew Burnham, Bishop of Ebbsfleet in England gave his last sermon as an Anglican yesterday, and, as one report described it,”laid aside his crozier and mitre at the feet of Our Lady.” The final words from his […]
Maybe. Get a load of this striking ad for Silestone kitchen countertops, and read all about it.
A classic Advent scene, from out of a time capsule: the opening moments of the movie “Godspell,” from 1973, featuring a very young Victor Garber, long before he was on the Titanic.
That would be Philip Johnson, a seminarian from Raleigh, North Carolina, whose battle with brain cancer has sparked headlines: The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge is requesting prayers for one of our seminarians, Philip Johnson. Philip just completed his first […]
The video below has been circulating for a while — YouTube says it was first posted three years ago — but I hadn’t seen it until now. It’s comedian Steve Harvey’s “Introduction to Jesus,” (a man, as he notes, who […]
From the In My Backyard Desk…an inspiring story of evangelization: What I found while teaching a Called & Gifted workshop in Brooklyn last week is absolutely unique. I’ve worked in hundreds of Catholic parishes in 100 dioceses on 5 continents […]
Anyone looking for interesting holiday recipes may have stumbled on a new word that has entered the American lexicon: “Cherpumple.” It’s a desert, created last year by Los Angeles writer Charles Phoenix – a diet-destroying, gut-busting feat of cooking that […]
The answer to that may depend on whom you ask — though an informal poll afterward evidently found Hitchens to be more persuasive. The BBC was there and offers some highlights: It felt like the event of the season. Organisers […]
Seminarians spend part of their formation practicing just how to do the sacraments — everything from consecrating the eucharist to reconciliation. Recently, Long Island Catholic dropped in on one unusual rehearsal that actually involved a large number of parishioners: It […]
It’s something most of us aren’t even aware of, but it is done in countless churches around the world this time of year — and the Concord Pastor reflects on its meaning: This weekend I will observe a little ritual […]
Details: On Friday Pope Benedict XVI urged Catholic journalists to “courageously serve the truth, presenting the reasons for faith beyond ideological visions”. He was speaking to a group of editors and reporters from the Italian Federation Catholic Weeklies. In his […]
Those who thought the “cherpumple” was horrifying should get a load of this: Details, along with the recipe, can be found at Chow.com: Whether this Thanksgiving centerpiece incites horror, amazement, or confusion when it’s served, it’s certain to evoke some […]
The Catholic and the atheist are about to square off in Canada in a debate that will address that very question: In advance of the debate, the two men sat down with The Globe and Mail to discuss their views. […]
“To be grateful is ultimately a gift to be be received from God. We ought to humbly ask for it. …Ultimately gratitude comes from a humble, contrite and transformed heart. Saying thank you is not a moralism. True gratitude is […]
Ladies and gentlemen, behold, the “cherpumple”: three layers of pie baked together (cherry, pumpkin, apple). Wash it all down with a tall, frothy glass of Pepto. Details.
Sometimes thankfulness can be hard to express. Most of us know someone who is having a difficult time this Thanksgiving. The woman who is spending her first holiday as a widow. The father who lost his job and is worried […]
Details: The husband behind the BirthOrNot web site that caused an international controversy over a vote on an abortion has now admitted the web site was a hoax. Pete and Alisha Arnold put up the web site under the claim […]
The Archbishop and his deacons. Read more about Dolan here. And there’s this stellar quote, from Deacon Bill Ditewig: I often tell the true story of a bishop who, while literally standing in the middle of his deacons, said, “When […]
An interesting observation from author Bruce Feiler, to ponder as you’re preparing for tomorrow’s big feast: The real story of Thanksgiving has deep biblical roots. A few years ago, I set out on a 10,000-mile journey through the hidden symbols […]
“In the book’s German and English editions, the text cited the example of a male prostitute, implying homosexual sex, in which a condom would not be a form of contraception. The church opposes contraception on the grounds that every sexual […]
Flash mob strikes again! This time, in a shopping mall food court. Hallelujah! H/T Fr. Steve
Those are the words of a 16-year-old aspirant arriving for her first day at the convent in Michigan. This young gal was among several — including our own Mary Anne Marks! – featured on today’s episode of Oprah in a […]
U.S. Catholic has a nice, long look at the diaconate in its December issue — and a few familiar names pop up: Beverly Hills, California deacon and author Eric Stoltz often finds himself uttering the phrase, “Please don’t call me […]
It’s happening on the sci-fi series “V” — and the character in question is portrayed by an actor who admits Catholic priests played a big role in his own life: The sci-fi series “V” — which returns in early January […]
Some people are asking that question — and Catholic News Agency has some answers: CNA spoke about the movement with Dr. Steven Schneck, Director of the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at the Catholic University of America, and […]
The clarification has been clarified even further: The Pope’s landmark acknowledgement that the use of condoms is sometimes morally justifiable to stop Aids is valid not only for gay male prostitutes, but also for heterosexuals, according to the Vatican. The […]
…and the busy travel season, comes this elegantly crafted ode to one of the ugliest places on earth, New York’s Pennsylvania Station: Don’t stop to contemplate, if you’re there — you’ll be trampled. This holiday season, the quicker you shove […]
“Love is at the heart of the Good News. Love is the gospel we proclaim, but must live that love, not merely pronounce it correctly. And we are to love as Jesus loved — without limit, without exception, being willing […]
The American Church’s most prominent prelate has given his first extended news media interview since his election as President of the U.S. bishops: In an expansive interview in the front parlor of his residence on Madison Avenue — the only […]
Details: “We ask that the martyrs of Iraq be canonized, because the example of their lives and their sacrifice is an inspiration to us all as Christians, Arabs and non alike, living in the Middle East.” These are words taken […]
That’s one reaction to the weekend’s headline-grabbing news. From the Christian Science Monitor: Vatican officials are insisting that Pope Benedict’s new remarks on condoms are not a change in church teaching on contraception. But initial reaction in Europe and among […]
Amazing. This isn’t something you can fit on your dashboard. Details here. Video, below.
“Do you think frequently of your father, Thomas D’Alesandro Jr., the former mayor of Baltimore? My father died the year I was elected to Congress, 1987. I think about my parents all the time, especially on Sunday when I’m at […]
Another nugget from the new book of interviews with Benedict: Pope Benedict has said in a new book that he is not opposed to the practice of receiving Communion in the hand. However he goes on to explain that he […]
… from Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi, about the whole condom thingy: Pope Benedict states that AIDs cannot be solved only by the distribution of condoms, and, in fact, concentrating on condoms just trivializes sexuality, which loses its meaning as […]
“The Church does not consider at all illicit the use of those therapeutic means necessary to cure bodily diseases, even if a foreseeable impediment to procreation should result there from–provided such impediment is not directly intended for any motive whatsoever.” […]
Some sad news from the monks at New Melleray: The Trappist monks of New Melleray Abbey have always worked the land to provide for themselves. All that will end today, as their cherished farming equipment is hauled away by new […]
Over at America magazine’s blog, Austin Iverleigh has some intriguing background and analysis about the pope/condom story: The point argued by moral theologians was always this. The Church is opposed to artificial contraception, not condoms per se. Just as, in […]
Get a load of this wonderful story from ESPN, about Middlebury College’s biggest fan, and the team players who love him. (Tip: keep a tissue handy for this one!) H/T Concord Pastor.
Seems AP buried the lead. Here’s the really interesting stuff. From AP’s report on the new book about the pope, you’ll find this in the last two paragraphs: In the book, Benedict also offers insights into his private life, saying […]
Don’t be surprised if the Vatican begins “clarifying” these remarks soon. But here’s what’s being reported at this hour: Pope Benedict XVI says that condom use is acceptable “in certain cases”, notably “to reduce the risk of infection” with HIV, […]
How cool is this? From the ever-observant Deacon Bill: I was doing a little surfing about the events and came across the liturgical aid used at this morning’s ceremony… …To my great surprise, of all the artwork available to the […]
“You choose happiness, and you can choose happiness almost wherever you go.” – Fr. Bill Pruett, of Oklahoma City, OK, speaking of his new assignment. Read more here.
A new window in Orlando’s renovated cathedral is raising eyebrows: When the renovated St. James Catholic Cathedral is dedicated here Saturday, the new stained-glass windows will feature a few familiar faces: Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary — and Archbishop Thomas […]
Ever wonder what it’s like to work in prison ministry? Here are some answers, from a few of those involved — and a growing number are deacons: Father Ernie Gauthier has kept going back to the jails, prisons and halfway […]
The following e-mail landed in my in-box late this afternoon: Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio regrets to inform you of the death of Deacon Charles A. Postler. Deacon Postler died on Thursday, November 18, 2010 at Calvary Hospital. He was the first […]
“‘You’ve never had hotcakes like these!’” says Bob Evans’ menu. “We take two stuffed hotcakes, stack them with vanilla cream cheese, add more delicious toppings, then finish with whipped topping and a sprinkling of powdered sugar.’” — Nearly 1400 calories […]
H/T Jesus Creed
This fellow needs a retreat. Or something. Details: A suspended Roman Catholic priest once accused of stalking late night TV personality Conan O’Brien has now been charged with harassing a Boston TV journalist. Cohasset police say the Rev. David Ajemian […]
By now you may have heard about this couple inviting people to vote online whether or not they should have an abortion. Blogger Jill Stanek smells something fishy: A pregnant married couple is taking votes whether to abort their baby […]
Kentucky National Guard Chaplain (Col.) Patrick J. Dolan celebrates mass. Read more about him and his work.
It was one of the most horrific stories of the 20th century — a century that didn’t lack for horrors — and now plans are underway to erect a permanent memorial to the victims of the mass suicide at Jonestown: […]
The institution we know and love — and love to know — appears to be losing ground, according to a new poll: Is marriage becoming obsolete? As families gather for Thanksgiving this year, nearly one in three American children is […]
If you’re new to these parts and haven’t seen them, please take a moment to read the guidelines for comments. I don’t mind disagreement, or debate. But please do it with respect and charity. Stay on topic, and be brief. […]
It’ll happen next week, according to this email posted at Aggie Catholics: The Dominican Sisters of Mary will be featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show on Tuesday, November 23rd. This is a new show that includes interviews with Mother Assumpta, […]
This may raise a few eyebrows. Details: Pope Benedict XVI and other church leaders said it was the moral responsibility of nations to guarantee access to health care for all of their citizens, regardless of social and economic status or […]
“Preaching is about saving before it is about consoling, and God makes this clear to Ezekiel and to every preacher. I think a lot of people think that preaching is supposed to merely please and encourage them. There is a […]
A board game based on a pope? Yep: Poles have a new way to remember the late Pope John Paul II: a board game that celebrates the Polish-born pontiff’s extensive travels. Marek Oczkowski, head of the Polish Board Games publisher, […]
Men’s Health magazine has compiled a list of America’s holiest cities — and it has a few surprises: Our list of America’s Most Religious Cities shows there’s a lot of praying going on in the Bible Belt. No shocker there. […]
What’s behind it? Take a look: A total of 56 men began training for the priesthood in September this year, the National Office of Vocation said. That was up on the 49 who started the process to become priests in […]
John Allen offers his two cents: In Dolan, the bishops have turned to their most gifted natural communicator, a leader with a demonstrated capacity to project a positive image for Catholicism in the public square. Rather than electing a behind-the-scenes […]
…”Star Wars.” This video is something every parent needs to see!
From the people who brought you that delightful dance in a Liverpool train station comes this exuberant and joyful medley at Heathrow airport. (If you’re keeping track, the most famous of these “flash mob” encounters is undoubtedly the “Do Re […]
“You might interpret this as the bishops are tired of short and skinny presidents.” – The new president of the USCCB, New York’s Timothy Dolan, analyzing his upset election as only he can.
This is certainly, um, different — though, with the unfurling ribbon of condoms smack in the middle, it’s hardly advocating abstinence. I’d call the message, at best, mixed. And unpersuasive. Details: The video is part of the Candie’s […]
… on the topic of wearing the collar, after this post veered off the rails and became a debating exercise for deacons. Snip: Should deacons wear clericals? In my opinion, this is a decision best left to the deacon in […]
A surprise, and an upset: For the first time in the history of the US bishops, a vice-president standing for the presidency has been denied the top post, losing a stunning election to the archbishop of New York. By a […]
The City of Churches will soon have fewer of them. From the In My Backyard Desk, another sign of the times: Facing a drop in attendance and a shortage of priests, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn plans to close […]
That’s just one of the messages to emerge from the fall gathering of the USCCB in Baltimore: Roman Catholic bishops in the United States should go forth and blog, tweet and preach on the “new digital continent” of social media, […]
There’s been much debate around these parts about deacons wearing collars (and even about priests wearing them). Now a seminarian from Long Island has added his voice: In the past decades seminarians were discouraged away from the collar in order […]
This has echoes of the story I posted recently from Chicago. From the Atlanta Journal Constitution: Diane Dougherty lives in a neat, white house that she shares with her cats, Pete and Gypsy Rose. She teaches second grade in Fayetteville. […]
Andrew Sullivan has posted this letter from a Catholic mother: My husband and I are raising our sons in the Catholic Church. We are active in my church, I teach religious education, we perform corporeal works of mercy with our […]
From Pittsburgh comes this very comprehensive look at a man who will soon be called Cardinal: When Cardinal-designate Donald Wuerl receives a red hat Saturday, he will also receive the opportunity to advise the highest levels of the Catholic Church. […]
The always-resourceful Frank Weathers over at Why I Am Catholic just posted a couple great videos, dedicated to the martyrs in Iraq. Here’s Bono and U2: One love, one blood, one life, you got to do what you should.One life […]
“I really only love God as much as I love the person I love the least.” – Dorothy Day. Read more wonderful insights from her, and about her.
After news that some bishops are lining up to swim the Tiber, now it seems some priests are putting on their water wings, too: The Catholic Church will announce this week that 50 Anglican clergy are defecting to Rome following […]
“Priesthood is not, first and foremost, something we do, but someone we are. It is not an earned trophy. It is about an intimate relationship to the vine who is Christ. The Character of Christ the High Priest is branded […]
Read this and weep.
A legendary priest from Madison, Wisconsin has died — and he’s left behind a remarkable legacy: For 43 years, Msgr. Thomas Campion was the face of the Catholic Church for thousands of shut-ins. His televised Mass, broadcast Sundays at 7 […]
Exactly two weeks ago, late on a Sunday afternoon, a young woman named Raghada al-Wafi ran to her local church, with some wonderful news to share with the priest who had married her: she was going to have a baby. […]
Exorcism is getting renewed attention by the Church — and even the New York Times is taking notice: The rite of exorcism, rendered gory by Hollywood and ridiculed by many modern believers, has largely fallen out of favor in the […]
A newly ordained deacon at the North American College in Rome is sharing his reflections on his vocation, and the experience of receiving Holy Orders. He begins by mentioning his pre-ordination retreat. Snip: I brought a copy of the ordination […]
Details: A gay educator lost her job at a Downstate Catholic university after she posted a wedding announcement for herself and her lesbian partner in the local paper. Laine Tadlock, 60, says bosses at Benedictine University in Springfield knew she […]
The prolific pontiff has unexpectedly issued a lengthy, major document on scripture, which biblical scholars will certainly be poring over: Pope Benedict XVI has issued a lofty and impassioned plea for everyone in the Church to rediscover the Bible and […]
A little more news, following last week’s post. The e-mail below, sent to Florida writer Eric Giunta, comes from the senator-elect’s campaign. Giunta wrote to the campaign, looking for an explanation. Below is part of what they wrote back. (But […]
This popped up on someone’s Facebook page today, and it’s irresistible. A blast from the past that shows what happens when a Japanese baby is born.
Get a load of this exuberant interview, from the website One Billion Stories. These kids are full of life, and full of faith. Bless ‘em. St. Mary’s – College Station, TX from OneBillionStories.com on Vimeo.
A great ad, with a beautiful and simple message.
Just in time for the holidays, atheists and humanists are out to spread their message of non-belief: Four separate and competing national organizations representing various streams of atheists, humanists and freethinkers will soon be spreading their gospel through advertisements on […]
God of peace, we pray for those who have served our nation and have laid down their lives to protect and defend our freedom. We pray for those who have fought, whose spirits and bodies are scarred by war, whose […]
And the ordinations keep on comin’. These happened last weekend: Thomas Dewhirst recommitted himself to his Catholic faith in 1998, after years outside the church. About a year later, he felt God was calling him to become a deacon. He […]
“Shocker” is how Rocco tweeted it, and that about sums it up: Nearly a year after Fulton Sheen was celebrated anew across the globe on the 30th anniversary of his death, the iconic prelate’s boyhood diocese has suddenly pulled out […]
Who can forget the haunting ballad by Gordon Lightfoot? The Edmund Fitzgerald went down on November 10, 1975. Years later, the tragedy formed part of the first homily I ever delivered in homiletics class (and which I preached again […]
That would be the back of the priest, actually. Fr. Richard Simon writes of his experience recently saying mass “ad orientem,” facing away from the congregation for a small portion of of the liturgy. The reaction from the people in […]
Details, from the British paper the Telegraph: A Christian woman has been sentenced to hang in Pakistan after being convicted of defaming the Prophet Mohammed. Asia Bibi, a 45-year-old mother-of-five, denies blasphemy and told investigators that she was being persecuted […]
This ad for American Express is clever, artful, lavish — and hilarious. I can’t believe he did this.
How is this for a testament of faith? From UPI: A California priest accused of sex crimes against a 12-year-old boy has been freed on bail with money raised by parishioners who say they believe he’s innocent. The Rev. Alejandro […]
That’s the eyebrow-raising comment made by a Melkite Archbishop, interviewed recently by Catholic News Service: Heading a southern Lebanese diocese that goes from the sea then east two-thirds of the way along the border with Israel, the one problem Melkite […]
The former president is back in the public eye again, with a new book and a headline-making interview with Matt Lauer that includes, among other things, some personal insight into his political beliefs: The most startling anecdote he shared was […]
Leave it to Msgr. Charles Pope, in the Archdiocese of Washington, to frame the ongoing story of parish closings in a way we rarely consider it: One of my own frustrations with the closing of large numbers of parishes is […]
November is National Black Catholic History Month and, as part of our coverage, “Currents” attended a conference on Long Island focusing on the issue of blacks and abortion. A phenomenal number of black pregnancies end in abortion — as many […]
And they will have lots to talk about when they gather in Rome later this month: On the eve of the consistory to create 24 new cardinals, the princes of the Church will examine the entry of Anglicans into full […]
Portland welcomed a quartet of new deacons last weekend — and they come from a variety of backgrounds: New permanent deacons ordained Saturday at St. Mary Cathedral in Portland are a young father of two, a man who escaped Vietnam’s […]
Meet a man who knows — and whose story is about to become a major motion picture, starring Anthony Hopkins: Rare is the priest in the United States who holds the title of diocesan exorcist. Rarer still is the priest […]
That’s the gist of an ad the Capuchins have placed in Switzerland: Wanted: Bankers, traders or lawyers for full-time, lifelong position. No pay. An order of Roman Catholic monks in Switzerland has started an unconventional recruitment drive by advertising in […]
A Syriac Orthodox archbishop is urging Christians in Iraq to get out now — while they still can. From CNN: Archbishop Athanasios Dawood slammed the Iraqi government for not doing enough to protect the rights of minorities and urged Christians […]
The other day, I posted on the new Christmas album by Susan Boyle. Now comes the release of what’s billed as her first video, an ethereal choral interpretation of Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day”. (For comparison, check out the original. Very […]
The diocese is preparing to ordain its first class of permanent deacons. Take a look: Come next spring, at least a few Southern Nevada Catholics may be a bit confused about some of the new faces they’ll be seeing around […]
And it’s much earlier than expected. Details: Bishop V. Gene Robinson, whose consecration as the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church set off a historic rift in the global Anglican Communion, announced to his New Hampshire diocese on […]
Amazing video below (h/t Rocco) of the famous giant thurible at Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Top speed: a reported 42 mph. You gotta see this to believe it.
Leave it to Deacon Bill Ditewig to unearth this incredible tale of Dachau’s deacon and his secret ordination to the priesthood. He’s also found this rare and remarkable video (in Italian, but with subtitles). Watch it and be in awe.
There are a lot of awful ones out there, but I have to say that the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills may have one of the most appealing, attractive, informative and user-friendly sites anywhere. (Is it mere […]
Incredible, but true: That is one giant Jesus. Workers in a small town in Poland have completed what they say is the world’s biggest statue of Jesus Christ. At 167 feet tall, the one in Swiebodzin soars even higher than […]
A recently released promotional video for her upcoming Christmas album, due out next week.
Check out this great vocation story, from Alaska: It’s easy to imagine a six-foot, tanned, 32-year-old Peter Hannah on the golf greens of Monterey, California, in textbook form, languidly driving balls 300 yards. But instead of an Izod shirt and […]
If you remember only one thing from this homily, I’m going to ask that you remember the name Willie Downs. Willie Downs is a young man in his early 20s from Whitehouse, Texas who absolutely loves animation. His greatest dream […]
You probably remember this story from last month, about a woman seeking a Christian roommate. Now, an update: An American woman who placed an advert in her church for a Christian roommate has had a complaint against her dismissed. The […]
Further proof that God is a baseball fan: School Sister of Notre Dame Virginia Muller grew up rooting for the Dodgers at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, N.Y. Ministering in Baltimore, she has more recently adopted the Orioles as her hometown […]
A soldier in Afghanistan offers some glimpses of military life today — and, to his dismay, there seems to be a distressing lack of faith: “There are no atheists in foxholes,” the cliché goes. It’s hard to imagine a soldier […]
Some interesting developments in Wisconsin are leading to a conflict between parishioners and their bishop — and it’s having a financial impact: St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Platteville, stung by a plunge in donations following the arrival of three controversial […]
Deacon Bill Ditewig poses some challenging ideas today about how to “do the diaconate right.” He picks five hallmarks of good formation: 1) Select only those applicants who have the gifts and abilities to be servant-leaders across the whole range […]
Not anymore, but there’s some confusion about it. From Damien Thompson: I came across this curious article from Politics Daily which (without apparently realising that it is doing so) reveals that he has abandoned the faith of his Cuban parents: […]
Only 5th? Details: Pope Benedict XVI won the No. 5 spot in a list of the world’s most powerful people, one of only two religious leaders in Forbes magazine’s list of 68 influential men and women. Benedict was sandwiched between […]
The baseball world is mourning the passing of legendary manager Sparky Anderson, who died today at age 76. But as much as his heart belonged to baseball, it also belonged to his Catholic faith, which he embraced as an adult: […]
“Hollywood is … a scary place. There’s a lot going on, there’s a lot of bad things, but there’s also a lot of good things. I’m able to live my dream, I’m able to do a lot of good things. […]
…and suddenly everybody did THIS (see below)? It happened at Macy’s last weekend, when 600 members of the Opera Company of Philadelphia, mingling with the other shoppers, unexpectedly burst into the “Hallelujah!” chorus. Just watch and try not to smile. […]
A friend posted this on her Facebook page. It struck me as particularly apt for November, the month of falling leaves and darkening skies, when we remember in a special way those who have gone before us, and pray that […]
Religious voters — especially Catholics — may well have been the ones who turned the tide, according to analysts: As Democrats conduct a grim postmortem on Tuesday’s elections, some liberal leaders say one diagnosis is already clear: the party’s outreach […]
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posted 10:42:40pm Dec. 12, 2010 | read full post »
One day more
posted 11:26:20pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »
Meet Montana's married priest
posted 10:29:55pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »
Big day in the Big Easy: 10 new deacons
posted 6:55:42pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »
Gaudete! And let's break out a carol or two...
posted 1:04:10pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »