…very often is a woman. From National Catholic Reporter’s John Allen: When talk turns to “women in the church,” the normal association in the public mind is with debates over the ordination of women to the priesthood. Because there’s been […]
…very often is a woman. From National Catholic Reporter’s John Allen: When talk turns to “women in the church,” the normal association in the public mind is with debates over the ordination of women to the priesthood. Because there’s been […]
If you haven’t encountered this yet, pop over to Roger Ebert’s blog and read his harrowing, heartfelt, mystical reflections on what life has been like since he lost the ability to eat or drink. He probably doesn’t realize it, but […]
Disappearing and dying off, according to this assessment from the Wall Street Journal. And the author suggests that this isn’t actually a good thing: Where is the second generation of brilliant progressive Catholic theologians? There are plenty of liberal lay […]
I had the privilege of seeing this video early this morning at the USCCB in Washington. The Archbishop of New York is in Rome, celebrating the anniversary of the North American College. Catholic News Service tracked him down late yesterday […]
That is, of course, the grown male’s deep but unfulfilled desire for cool stuff that makes a lot of noise. Especially farm equipment. This video says it all. Enjoy.
“No sudden flash of insight led my return to God. It was the children who ultimately brought me back–the same group of suffering individuals who had caused me to doubt God’s existence. They buffeted me with questions: Why would God […]
“‘The sign’ has to be, and may indeed be, the most splendid weapon of the ‘seers’ of Medjugorje and of the propagandists of the ‘apparitions’. The same ‘seers’, from the beginning, have asked the lady that appeared to them for […]
From Afghanistan comes this remarkable story of a Catholic soldier who has become the lay spiritual leader for many in his battalion: Like all Marines, Cpl. Matthew Munoz is there for his buddies, but the 23-year-old also has stepped forward […]
“Maybe the most worrying trend the past 10 years can be found in this phrase: ‘They forgot the mission.’ So many great American institutions–institutions that every day help hold us together–acted as if they had forgotten their mission, forgotten what […]
On the last day of the year, what have you left unspoken, unwritten, unshared? From the NY Times: Last month, Illegal Art, the New York-based public-art collective, placed installations around the city and invited passers-by to offer a few last […]
The New York Times has a blog called Motherlode, about various parenting issues, and earlier this year the blog’s author Lisa Belkin posted about a couple of unexpected pregnancies. One young woman, after some consideration, opted for abortion; the other […]
“If I were not a Catholic, and were looking for the true Church in the world today, I would look for the one Church which did not get along well with the world; in other words, I would look for […]
The brilliant humorist’s annual look back at the Year That Was remains one of the highlights of the holiday season — almost edging out my mother-in-law’s incredible chocolate mousse — and he doesn’t disappoint this year, either: It was a […]
With a huge h/t to American Papist, who touts this as an exclusive. Take a look. It happens at about the :48 mark.
My blog neighbor Rod Dreher points me to the unusual video below, and a lot of other links with other curious information, and quotes from a blog in the Los Angeles Times: Hundreds, if not thousands, have been lining up […]
That seems to be the conclusion of at least one scholar, based on an exhibition now on display in Rome: Three mysterious signatures on pages of parchment bound in leather and kept under lock and key may prove the theory […]
“I’d like to see a poll on this. Yes or no: Have we become a more vulgar country? Are we coarser than, say, 50 years ago? Do we talk more about sensitivity and treat others less sensitively? Do you think […]
“By 2025, almost three-quarters of Catholics will live in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and that figure does not even count people of the global South living in the North–for instance, the 60 or 70 million U.S. residents who will […]
If you’re new to the concept of the Advent Conspiracy, drop by their website and learn all about it. There’s some welcome food for thought here. But first, check out their sensational video, below.
From the National Caholic Register comes this inspiring story of our educational system in action: According to WCBV-TV, a Catholic second-grade student at Maxham Elementary School in Taunton, Mass., was sent home from school and required to undergo a psychological […]
I had almost forgotten about this, until the Concord Pastor brought it up. It’s worth noting, once again: the oft-repeated lore about the true meaning of “The 12 Days of Christmas” isn’t true. From Snopes.com: Two very large red flags […]
That’s one of the fundamental messages contained in the funeral homily below, from Msgr. Charles Pope, of the Archdiocese of Washington. He writes about his approach here, and explains: I will admit that some of the things I say are […]
Evidently, it’s managed to carve out a niche for itself. From the Washington Post: Every Wednesday morning, 150 officials at Catholic University receive an e-mail about a gay student’s struggles on campus. There’s a graduate student who doesn’t mention her […]
That’s how the Christian Science Monitor is describing things, as it looks at different angles of health care reform: The healthcare reform debate could soon bring many Roman Catholics to a wrenching moral dilemma: Should they support a bill that […]
That seems to be the conclusion of a new survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Among other things, it finds that nearly six in 10 Americans from all religions blend their faith with New Age and […]
I got the impression that Patrick Kennedy wanted to put his clash with Bishop Tobin behind him and move on, but some commentators just won’t let it rest. The latest to add his two cents is Timothy Egan from the […]
Time magazine’s Amy Sullivan has proposed her own list. Notre Dame is on the list — if you need to ask why, you haven’t been paying attention — and so are the Anglicans and Fr. Cutie. Check it out. It’s […]
It’s great to give a deacon some props — so I’m pleased to give a shout-out to a deacon in Atlanta who is doing some remarkable work with immigrants there: As metro Atlanta continues to grow and expand culturally, the […]
And beg for mercy. This is just…I mean, it’s…I, er… Words fail. Just watch for yourself.
The tee shirts should start rolling into stores any day now, after a new study found that when people ask “WWJD?”, they’re really asking a different question: For many religious people, the popular question “What would Jesus do?” is essentially […]
How does a woman with no faith raise a child to have faith? This writer is struggling with that question: I had been potential prey for a religious organization, in part, because I had no faith of my own. As […]
“Where is our Holy Mountain of the Lord? Is it the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, City of Peace? Perhaps. Perhaps it is also wherever we plant our flag and declare, ‘as for me and my house, we will follow […]
Writer James Carroll takes a quick scan through the latest headlines involving the Catholic Church and politics and concludes, with no small amount of distaste, that the episcopal deck is stacked with (you can almost hear him shudder) conservatives: The […]
With a little free time to explore today (!), I wandered over to For Your Marriage, the website on the sacrament set up a couple years ago by the USCCB. I visited there a few times when it first debuted, […]
What’s really wrong with living together? I stumbled on this provocative take on the subject over at New Advent. The author, a sociologist, ticks off a few of the problems some of the co-habitating poor encounter, and then concludes that […]
John Allen has a few interesting thoughts about the Patrick Kennedy-Bishop Thomas Tobin communion clash: I have no insider scoop to offer, but I can summarize here what I’ve been saying on-air: the most interesting question about the story isn’t […]
I saw this item over at the America magazine blog “In All Things,” and thought it offered some interesting food for thought — particularly since it comes from my friend Sr. Camille D’Arienzo, RSM, who works with inmates on death […]
If this doesn’t give you pause, nothing will: a video game supposedly based on the mass. Judging from this article, some skeptics think it’s a joke. (Well, whether intended or not, it is a scream…) Personally, I have my doubts, but […]
My gang at “Currents” got to chat with the legendary Rocco “Whispers in the Loggia” Palmo on Monday, to hear his take on the bishop’s confab that was then just starting in Baltimore. You can see and hear what he […]
It turns out the U.S. bishops may soon be deciding the answer to that question. From David Gibson at Politics Daily: In remarks at the opening of the hierarchy’s annual meeting in Baltimore, Chicago Cardinal Francis George made it clear […]
The Washington Post’s often-interesting On Faith section is looking at the subject of interfaith marriage. As authors Sally Quinn and Ellen McCarthy note: The holidays can be a minefield for interfaith couples, unearthing disparities that lay mercifully buried throughout the […]
“The growth of the Internet, blogs in particular, is aggressively democratizing Catholic conversation – providing an outlet for alternative points of view, and in some cases becoming the meeting place for what are virtually “cyber-parishes,” or at least small Christian […]
Last Sunday, I preached in my homily about a little girl named Elena Desserich, and the book her parents have put together called “Notes Left Behind.” The publishers have produced a brief video about Elena and the book. Take a […]
Tongue firmly planted in cheek (I think,) the mischievous Anglican Bosco Peters offers some helpful tips: You can offer whiskey instead of Gin – some Anglican clergy find that slightly irksome. You can deny the validity of Anglican sacraments – […]
This day, All Souls, we pray for all the faithful departed, remembering all those who have gone before us “marked with the sign of faith.” Last year, in my homily for All Souls Day, I offered these thoughts: This time […]
Anyone who has planned, witnessed, catered, photographed, presided over or rehearsed a modern wedding ceremony needs to read this on-target assessment of the modern American wedding. This gives a good sense of why so many priests I know hate weddings. […]
So says Vatican Radio, denying previous reports that the problem was all about the celibacy issue: “There has been widespread speculation, based on supposedly knowledgeable remarks by an Italian correspondent Andrea Tornielli, that the delay in publication of the Apostolic […]
As we near the end of Respect Life month, this story jumps out as especially timely: My son is not a hugger. He’s almost 2 years old, and I can count on one hand the times he’s squeezed his chubby […]
Personally, I’d love to hear this for myself: There was some Catholic toe tapping to the strains of banjo and fiddle as the first ever “Bluegrass Mass” was celebrated in September exactly where it belonged: the “birthplace of country music,” […]
Judging from the e-mails I receive on this topic, this is a subject that never seems to grow old. The question: should deacons wear the collar? Last year, I posted a lengthy look at the question, with some sage insight […]
An Irish bishop is throwing cold water on those who are anticipating another Marian apparition in his country: A Catholic archbishop in the west of Ireland has told pilgrims to Knock they should not look for apparitions at its shrine […]
Actually, it’s more of a footnote. This is regarding my post last week about Sr. Donna Quinn. The canon lawyer Dr. Edward Peters is offering his own thoughts on the matter at his blog. There are a couple “canonical options” […]
The cartoon below, from Steve Breen at the San Diego Tribune, says it all. H/T to my Beliefnet blog neighbor Tony Jones.
This is what our media-besotted culture has come to: The episode that transfixed the nation last week — a spaceshiplike balloon floating through the Colorado skies with a 6-year-old boy named Falcon believed to be inside — was declared a […]
That’s what the “T” of the cross really means, doesn’t it? Check out this priceless Stephen Colbert take-down of Justice Antonin Scalia. And a grateful h/t to my new blog neighbor Michelle McGinty. (For those who are new to my […]
A comedian’s suggestion to sell the Vatican isn’t going over well with at least one archbishop: Sell the Vatican to help the poor? U.S. comedian Sarah Silverman might think it’s a great idea, but a Nigerian archbishop called the suggestion […]
Well, here’s something different. It turns out that one of the top search terms on Google yesterday was “Virgin Maria Auxiliatrix.” I’m not sure why, or what sparked this sudden Marian curiosity. But my blog neighbor here at Beliefnet Mark […]
Those who are looking for “The Deacon’s Bench” can now find it at Beliefnet, the large (and growing) spiritual website. Change your bookmarks! My new URL: http://blog.beliefnet.com/deaconsbench/ Come by and visit!
We’re moving right along … Head over to my new address, and there’s a button on the upper right corner for an RSS feed, so you can easily keep up with The Bench.
Forget “Praise to the Lord” or even “Gather Us In.” You know the song I’m talking about. Crank up the volume and join in.
Can you believe it’s been 30 years since Pope John Paul celebrated mass in that cornfield in Iowa? (How’s that for a “Field of Dreams”?) People who were there are still talking about it. Read more here.
Last year, Indianapolis ordained its very first class of deacons. And you can find out how they’re doing right here.
I did a house blessing this morning, and it seemed like an opportune time to offer a blessing for my own new home, too. Take a look.
This weekend, I will start blogging at my new address. You’ll find me at this link. The URL: http://blog.beliefnet.com/deaconsbench/ I expect Beliefnet will forward people automatically, but it might be a good idea to change your bookmarks. So…come by and […]
That’s the stirring advice of a leading catechist in Washington, who took his message to the Sunshine State last week: At the 14th annual diocesan Faith Formation Day Sept. 19, keynote speaker Msgr. Ray East addressed about 900 catechists on […]
It turns out the man taking over Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat is himself part of a Massachusetts Catholic dynasty, according to Michael Paulson of the Boston Globe: A dispatch from the Boston-is-a-really-small-town department: Paul G. Kirk Jr., who was named […]
Up in Boston, a man who once studied for the priesthood is now playing a priest onstage — and the Boston Globe’s Michael Paulson turns a spotlight on this intriguing melodrama: The weary priest, seated on a deep couch with […]
A leading bishop in Wisconsin is voicing his support for a tradition-minded group of priests who are now running a cluster of parishes — and sparking some controversy: At a recent Mass at St. Aloysius Catholic Church, the Rev. John […]
The New York Times magazine last weekend offered a long look at how people of various faiths and orthodoxies pray. It was written by a self-professed agnostic, so his point of view is clearly skeptical. But much of the article […]
You think it can’t be done? Check out how this family did it: Five years ago, the Hildebrandt family of New Richmond, Wis., was juggling more than $100,000 in credit card and personal debt. Through frugality, determination and hard work, […]
Here’s something I’ve never heard about: a program run by Catholic Charities designed to help prostitutes get off the street. From CNS: When Aimee was 13 years old, her mother kicked her out of the house. Not knowing what to […]
Photographer Michael Belk, of the Journeys Project, was interviewed the other day on CNN. (TiVo alert: he’ll be appearing on my show, “Currents”, Monday night.) Take a look. Embedded video from CNN Video
A Vatican official has some interesting thoughts on aliens — not the undocumented kind, but the outer space kind: Father Jose Gabriel Funes, director of the Vatican Observatory, said this week there is no opposition between belief in the existence […]
When was the last time you saw someone on a top-rated TV show praying before the Blessed Mother? Check out the clip below, from the finale of “America’s Got Talent.”
The Washington Post the other day posted a lengthy interview with Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Catholic. A pertinent excerpt: MS. ROMANO: You are also a pro-choice Catholic, and I was reading some stories out of […]
A writer and professor of theology from the University of Scranton, Eric Plumer, is looking at the Dan Brown phenomenon, and thinks there is a reason the best-selling author strikes a chord with Catholic readers: Women cannot be official leaders […]
You’re looking at it. It’s the web, stupid. John Allen has an intriguing interview up with Holy Cross Br. Paul Bednarczyk, executive director of the National Religious Vocations Conference. He finds glimmers of hope on the vocation horizon, and he […]
A priest friend dropped a line to let me know an interesting detail about this feast, Our Lady of Sorrows. It was on this feast (actually September 19, in 1846 when it was a movable feast) that the Blessed Mother […]
Well, here it is. The first cut from Susan Boyle’s debut album, “I Dreamed A Dream.” It’s a cover of the Rolling Stones’ 1971 ballad “Wild Horses.” The good people at Wikipedia inform us that it’s been recorded previously by […]
Light the candles: the Catholic online dating service Catholic Match is marking its 10-year anniversary. Rhode Island Catholic takes a look at the impact of this internet phenomenon: Brian Barcaro, co-founder of Catholic Match.com, could be considered partly responsible for […]
The photos below are from the stunning Journeys Project, which I mentioned yesterday. You can click on the image for a larger view. But visit the link and see the whole gallery. You’ll find yourself moved, uplifted, startled and challenged.
These pictures are provocative in all the right ways. (Check out Jesus with the Nazi!). As the article explains: A veteran fashion photographer who is used to having his works featured in Vogue, GQ and Elle, will release his most […]
How’s this for a Rocky Mountain high: In tribute to the late, great Larry Gelbart, I offer this classic moment from “Oh, God!,” wherein store manager John Denver meets the Almighty, played by George Burns.
“Contrary to popular belief, it’s not the legs that go first; it’s remembering the word for legs.” — The brilliant comedy writer Larry Gelbart,who gave the world “Tootsie,” “Oh, God,” and the TV series “M*A*S*H.”He died yesterday at 81.
…something good, courtesy Rod Dreher, who remembers poignant acts of kindness in the days following 9/11: I remember going to a fire station in Brooklyn Heights, not far from where we lived at the time, to pay our respects to […]
I don’t imagine you’ll find many toga parties at this fraternity — but you may find something else: Phi Kappa Theta, a Catholic fraternity that opened a chapter at the University of Nebraska in 2005, is working to become a […]
One of the nicest guys around is departing. Friend and blogging colleague Mike Hayes — he, of the Googling God franchise and the Busted Halo online magazine — dropped this little bombshell this morning: It is with mixed emotions that […]
This has to make you smile. H/T The A.
On the feast of Mary’s birth — which the apparition in Medjugorje claims actually occurred in August, not September — a writer at First Things offers his thoughts: At Medjugorje, for almost thirty years, many have seen a demonstration of […]
The people behind that catch-phrase are involved in a pro-life credit card. Really. H/T The Papist.
Every time I see this picture, of Karol Wojtyla, I’m struck by the family resemblance. My father looked like that. And his father before him — a man who worked in the coal mines of Pennsylvania along with countless other […]
A reader saw this post on cell phones and sent this my way: one Protestant congregation’s witty way of dealing with an all-too-common problem.
Parishes have been registering people the same way since, well, forever. But the people over at Aggie Catholic have stumbled on a 21st century solution to a 1st century problem: how to keep track of everyone. Take a look: As […]
Like many dioceses today, Detroit is feeling the pinch of hard times — and the squeeze is now affecting huge numbers of archdiocesan staff. About a third of those on the payroll are being given their walking papers: It will […]
An alert reader sent this my way: a thoughtful take on the Kennedy funeral — and on God’s mercy — from Bishop Robert C. Morlino, of Madison, Wisconsin: I’m afraid that for not a few Catholics, the funeral rites for […]
One of the most controversial Catholic supporters of Barack Obama was officially sworn in as an ambassador this week, and U.S. News & World Report’s Dan Gilgoff has the scroop: Imagine a Washington event that opens with Martin Sheen—aka The […]
A few people are starting to think so. And that, at least, is the assessment of this commentary over at Catholic Culture: No intelligent observer can credit the official explanation: that Bishop Martino retired because of health problems. The outgoing […]
Over at U.S. News & World Report, Dan Gilgoff (with a big nod to David Gibson) takes note of an interesting demographic point: Ted Kennedy’s death is an end to several different eras, but Politics Daily’s David Gibson warns against […]
The excellent diocesan paper Florida Catholic is touting an upcoming vigil for life by recalling one inspiring success story from last year’s vigil: The prayers of hundreds of participants in the 2008 “40 Days for Life” campaign at Planned Parenthood […]
If you’re interested in comparing funerals, you can pay your respects at Your Funeral Guy — yes, that’s the name of the site — for an overview of the funeral of Ted Kennedy’s sister, Eunice Shriver, held two weeks ago. […]
Below is the video of the one moment in Kennedy’s funeral mass where we heard from Boston’s Cardinal Archbishop, Sean O’Malley: the commendation at the end. Over at GetReligion, there’s an interesting discussion on the liturgy — and some questions […]
Canon lawyer Ed Peters shares his views on the Kennedy funeral: The homily, which started well enough but steadily deteriorated, fell into various holes like (I’m quoting from memory): “the fruits of [Kennedy’s] work in politics well-prepared him for God’s […]
Here’s a little bombshell that may have larger implications. One of America’s most outspoken and controversial bishops is stepping down: Bishop Joseph F. Martino will resign as head of the Diocese of Scranton, Pa., as early as next week, according […]
Triple D — Deacon Dr. William Ditewig — posted a fascinating personal remembrance of Ted Kennedy on his Facebook page last night. He told me he wrote it for his family. But with his permission, I post it below: I […]
Peggy Noonan recalls a very different era, and two strikingly different men. She also offers us a reminder why she was, and remains, one of the great speechwriters.
Rod Dreher has taken note of the surprising way in which Kennedy’s political career survived Chappequiddick (and a number of other follies) — and suggests that such survival today would be impossible. I agree. The media (on the air and […]
“Today we mourn the passing of Senator Edward M. Kennedy and we extend our heartfelt prayers and sincere condolences to his wife Victoria and their children, Kara, Edward, Patrick, Curran and Caroline. Senator Kennedy was blessed with a dedicated and […]
In an unusual move, the bishops of an entire state have launched a campaign against same-sex marriage: Catholic bishops in New Jersey have begun a campaign against same-sex marriage in anticipation of a possible vote on the issue by state […]
“Some will focus on his personal sins -the assumed repentance or lack of same (of which they will likely have no real knowledge, just hunches) and some will presume to know the state of his soul, but those will be […]
One of the more colorful — and controversial — stories of the modern Church is being made into a movie. It’s the story of the founder of Opus Dei — which figured prominently, of course, in that little movie made […]
Then this little blog is for you. Further proof — if any were needed — that there is a blog out there for everyone. I stumbled on it last night and was charmed to find this lovely prayer by Albert […]
By now, you have probably seen this video, explaining the authentic, monkey-inspired way to open a banana: But wait. There’s more. Check out how gorillas do it (at least, at Busch Gardens):
Bored? Glancing at the news, I come to this conclusion: it’s a Monday in late August and it seems like the world is either on vacation or just insane. (That doesn’t include people with names like Gosselin, or Jackson, who […]
Most of us remember her as Ike Godsy’s prim spouse up on Walton’s Mountain. But the actress Ronnie Claire Edwards is also something of a character herself, and she recently bought a Dallas Catholic Church and converted it into a […]
In the middle of marking two feasts of the Blessed Mother — the Assumption and the Queenship of Mary — Zenit has published a report on one of the great unsolved mysteries of the Virgin: Juan Diego’s tilma. Take a […]
One of the leading critics of the alleged apparitions has given an interview that has appeared in several Serbian newspapers. In it, he puts the Medjugorge phenomenon in a cultural and political context — and describes the apparently differing opinions […]
What many predicted would happen has, in fact, come to pass. From the New York Times: After an emotional debate over the authority of Scripture and the limits of biblical inclusiveness, leaders of the country’s largest Lutheran denomination voted Friday […]
That’s one small, but significant, change in the new translation of the mass that will directly impact the deacon. You can find more at this helpful link, provided by the USCCB, with comparisons of the old version of the mass, […]
A recent statement by U.S. bishops is causing controversy among some Jewish groups, according to this report: Major Jewish groups and rabbis from the three largest branches of American Judaism said Thursday that their relationship with Roman Catholic leaders is […]
Here’s something you don’t hear about very often: a Catholic psychiatrist who has, in effect, made the mind his ministry: Dr. Tom Welch, keen of mind yet mild-mannered, has emerged as a champion of compassion. The 44-year-old Catholic psychiatrist — […]
It’s summer and more of us are letting our minds wander. Over at The Anchoress, her mind is meandering through the hills of valleys of interior contemplation, and she stumbled upon this beautiful reflection, from a lady pursuing a religious […]
I popped over to visit Happy Catholic today and discovered The Zimmers. I’m now smitten. Who, you may ask, are The Zimmers? Just some rowdy senior citizen rockers who have caused a sensation across The Pond. Check out this delightful […]
Those words begin this stark, frank, and — unfortunately — utterly necessary column by the very fine writer Leonard Pitts, Jr.. The subject is Nazis, who seem to be everywhere these days. Read on: I hope this column makes you […]
That’s the way they’ll be doing things in Tulsa — at least, when Bishop Edward Slattery celebrates mass at the cathedral. The bishop’s statement, in part: In the last 40 years…this shared orientation was lost; now the priest and the […]
That seems to be the charge Alan Dershowitz is hurling here, and picked up by the America blog In All Things: I never thought I would live to see the day when a justice of the Supreme Court would publish […]
From The Anchoress comes this astonishing example of “sand animation,” from the Ukraine. The explanation: The video tells the story of life during World War II or The Great Patriotic War, as it’s known in the Ukraine. It is no […]
Our long national nightmare is almost over. “Mad Men” returns tonight at 10. What started for me as a guilty pleasure two summers ago has become as addictive as nicotine and as intoxicating as a Bloody Mary. It also happens […]
I thought Weird Al might get to it first, but no! This delightful take-down of that great wedding video (which some say was crap, but I loved it anyway) nails it. Enjoy. See more funny videos and funny pictures at […]
From the Anglican Desk (Communion Division) comes this bit of news: An Anglican cathedral is trying to accommodate those of its faithful who do not accept female clergy by allowing parishioners to decide whether to accept communion bread blessed by […]
This has been widely circulated, but it’s well worth reading and pondering: a modern story of pilgrimage and pure, undiluted trust: They’ve been mistaken for Jedi-wannabes headed to a Star Wars convention. They’ve been investigated by police, approached by strangers, […]
Here’s something the pope should definitely mention in his next encyclical: Ghulam Nabi Azad, the Health and Family Welfare Minister, has called for the country to redouble its efforts to bring electricity to all of its huge rural population. The […]
“The primary function of the MSM is not to inform but to sell beer and shampoo. Informing and enlightening are entirely secondary to that overriding capitalist value. So given the choice between understanding and ratings-grabbing sensationalism, the MSM will choose […]
An alert reader sent this my way: some intriguing thoughts from FOB Meredith Gould: And what’s up with calling Roman Catholics to pray for “spiritual perfection in priests”? Rather ambitious, don’t you think? I think we should start with more […]
This may seem like an improbable casting choice, but there’s word from Hollywood that Quentin Tarantino’s muse will soon be donning the habit to play a nun. From CNA: An upcoming movie will portray the real life story of Ugandan […]
That seems to be what the Archbishop of Canterbury is mulling for his fractured, increasingly splintered church — an idea that sounds, frankly, schizophrenic. From the New York Times: Confronting rifts among his followers over gay clergy and same-sex unions, […]
Well, the responses to these articles on the diaconate in America have started to trickle in, and my personal favorite just might be this one, from Ron Hansen: The adjective “busy” seems to be increasingly attached to “deacon” because while […]
Here’s a fascinating nugget from McNamara’s Blog. He notes that today marks the anniversary of the death of Bob Hope, a late-in-life convert who funded a chapel at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington: The name of […]
My Anglican e-pal Bosco Peters, in New Zealand, noting the kerfuffle over that wedding march, has pointed me to this intriguing video of an Episcopal parish in San Francisco which regularly uses dance as part of its liturgy. Below is […]
Okay. Confession time: I don’t follow college sports. So the name “Tim Tebow” doesn’t ring any bells with me. But this guy is on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and evidently a very big deal. So it was an even […]
I can’t believe I missed this story a couple weeks ago. But with a cheerful wave of the deacon’s stole to Charm City blogger Fr. Austin Murphy (who saw it first), I happily post this account, from the Baltimore Sun, […]
My cousins in the diocesan television industry, CatholicTV in Boston, are wading into the sometimes murky waters of reality TV. But this sounds like a plunge worth taking: CatholicTV, a television ministry of the Boston Archdiocese, is venturing into the […]
Well, the couple who launched this terrific wedding video are speaking out about their exuberant nuptial boogie. They popped up a couple days ago on TODAY: Most couples wait until the reception before breaking out into the Funky Chicken on […]
Good Dr. Pat notes a not-insignificant anniversary today. July 25, 1968. The date that Humanae Vitae was issued. You may have heard of it.
There’s a certain mad brilliance to this kind of artistry. Check out the picture below: A website explains: 35-year-old Liu Bolin, from Shandong, China, manages to camouflage himself in any surroundings, no matter how difficult they might be. Liu works […]
Amy Welborn paid a visit to her husband’s grave, and came back with this stunning memory: Sitting there, nothing was revealed to me that I did not already know. Not really. I did not feel closer, and in fact I […]
With the passing of celebrated storyteller Frank McCourt this week, the world lost more than just a gifted writer. It also lost someone with a deep and complicated connection to the Catholic faith. Peter Duffy notes in the Wall Street […]
Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel is many things to many people – a study project to an atheist student, a dream (or nightmare) assignment to a photographer, an illustrated Bible to the believer. It is also a kind of evolutionary marker in […]
As promised yesterday, here’s the link to the story showing the Little Sisters of the Poor taking their first profession. It’s also available for viewing on our YouTube channel.
To save money, more Americans are evidently choosing to skip the funeral parlor and bury their loved ones from home. Besides cutting costs, this is transforming the experience of death for some families. From the NY Times: When Nathaniel Roe, […]
The Georgia Bulletin has picked up on a growing phenomenon: priests who blog. The paper has turned the spotlight on a couple local clergy — including one FOB (Friend of the Bench)— who are staying connected with the faithful through […]
Another sign of the times. You can’t make this stuff up: A novice nun is suing her ex-boyfriend in Italy after he uploaded pictures of her naked on Facebook. The 31-year-old woman who lives in Turin said she was devastated […]
The good people at America magazine have devoted much of this current issue to the ministry of the diaconate. (I mentioned something about that earlier.) Now they’re asking for some response. When you have a moment, check out this link […]
The culinary world has a new star — and it’s not someone on the Food Network. Take a look: Emerging from the quiet of her convent, Sister Anastazja Pustelnik was confronted by a jarring image — her smiling face on […]
A fascinating glimpse at Walter Cronkite’s very first edition of the “CBS Evening News,” as replayed on the CBS late night program “Up to the Minute” in 1992. Rest in peace, Walter.
From the “Duh” Desk, old news made to sound new: Couples living together before marrying have a higher chance of getting divorced than those who wait until they were engaged or married, according to research out Tuesday in the Journal […]
Where did the woman who is in line to be the next Supreme Court justice come from? The New York Times visits Blessed Sacrament School in the Bronx: Judge Sonia Sotomayor, 55, was a student at Blessed Sacrament in the […]
And especially timely. Just watch. You can see more of their handiwork here and here. You can also visit the CatholicVote.org website. If memory serves, this was produced by the remarkable guys at Brooklyn’s own Grassroots Films (the same team […]
You might find an answer here, with a story we aired last night on “Currents.” And right here we have a profile of the #1 capo. Ah, Brooklyn! You can also find a write-up in the local paper. Enjoy.
For your summer beach reading… The Catholic newsweekly America has just published a special issue on the diaconate, which features a thought or two from Your Humble Blogger, along with much saner and smarter people like William Ditewig and Scott […]
The New York Times’ conservative columnist Ross Douthat has offered his thoughts this morning on the pope’s new encylical. What he has to say strikes me as both sensible, and necessary: When a pope criticizes legalized abortion, liberal Catholics nod […]
I’m not a big fan of Joel Osteen — I once told someone “He’s all crown and no cross” — and there’s a lot I find accurate and troubling in this dissection of the “Prosperity Gospel” from Slate. But I […]
Exhibit A in how not to practice the New Evangelization.
Well, here’s another of those “I-Had-No-Idea” moments. I had no idea that President Obama’s press secretary, Robert Gibbs, is Catholic. From U.S. News & World Report: White House press secretary Robert Gibbs is not predisposed to showing his personal side. […]
From the Marian Oddities Desk, a report that some of the faithful in Ireland are seeing the Blessed Mother in a tree stump: Thousands of Irish Catholics have flocked this week to a County Limerick church to pray at the […]
“In television interviews she was out of her depth in a shallow pool.” — Peggy Noonan, eviscerating Sarah Palin. Read the whole thing. She knows whereof she speaks.
While the world was obsessing about the Michael Jackson funeral, Evian unveiled this amazing — and amazingly freakish — ad that has apparently taken the internet by storm. How’d they do that? See below. Watch CBS Videos Online
Q: Are you talking about the distances women have to travel because in parts of the country, abortion is essentially unavailable, because there are so few doctors and clinics that do the procedure? And also, the lack of Medicaid for […]
Did he think he was getting a pocketful of miracles? You have to see this to believe it. Canada’s Prime Minister (who is not Catholic) receives communion. And then decides to hold onto it for…safekeeping? A souvenir? Good luck? H/T […]
… from Brooklyn author and journalist (and FOB) David Gibson, on last night’s edition of “Currents.” Take a look.
Don’t have time to read the whole thing? Take a look at what Catholic News Service graphic artist Emily Thompson came up with, below:
The commentaries and analysis of the new encyclical are starting to pour in. One of the first, from Drew Christiansen, S.J., editor of America: Social activists and ethicists who still honor the memory of Paul VI will be glad to […]
A Catholic foundation in Ohio is finding a new use for an old building. It’s taking over the very first Wendy’s hamburger restaurant: The original Wendy’s restaurant Downtown soon will reopen its doors, and though the new tenant won’t be […]
“When a society moves towards the denial or suppression of life, it ends up no longer finding the necessary motivation and energy to strive for man’s true good. If personal and social sensitivity towards the acceptance of a new life […]
From a far-flung corner of the British Empire comes this sweet tale of an old priest who is remarkably self-sufficient: ‘I’m an old man of 85. I live on fish and potatoes – we grow the loveliest potatoes in the […]
This post on one priest’s busy day off generated some comments and e-mails, including the one below, from Fr. Austin Murphy, an FOB who runs the always-engaging blog Jesus Goes to Disney World. (He has posted the e-mail there, along […]
A regular reader and FOB (Friend of The Bench), Msgr. Thomas Welbers from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles offers a few thoughts on the subject in this week’s issue of LA’s The Tidings: There is no law, either ecclesiastical or […]
Leave it to James Martin to unearth this intriguing bit of Jesuit trivia, tied to the sad news that Karl Malden has gone to the great Actors Studio in the sky: News today that Karl Malden died at the age […]
That sound you hear is me, slapping the desk and laughing hysterically. Honestly. How can anyone take seriously something like this: Researchers at the University of Michigan have concluded that the love stories told in classic Disney and other G-rated […]
Conventional wisdom holds that the South is where Mother Church is growing and thriving — and these figures out of Atlanta seem to bear that out: The fruit is considerable — in the heart of the Bible Belt, the North […]
In what may be a first, a New Jersey diocese has decided to carve out its own corner of cyberspace: The Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton recently launched a video-sharing Web site, www.dottube.org, to post video and audio produced by […]
A writer in this weekend’s New York Times recounts her journey back to the church of her youth. I’m not quite sure what it is that captivates her about the Church since, as you read on, you discover that she […]
That’s the question posed by this item in the New York Times. It’s elicited over 1,000 responses so far. Care to weigh in?
“I loved his music. His young voice was almost a miracle, his poise in retrospect eery, his joy, tempered by pain, often unbearably uplifting. He made the greatest music video of all time; and he made some of the greatest […]
Susan Boyle may have competition for Most Inspiring YouTube Performance. This comes from America’s Got Talent (the Yankee offshoot of the show that launched Boyle). Just watch and listen and feel the tears welling in your eyes. Consider this an […]
This is truly stupefying. A woman who is an Episcopal priest has taken objection to a proposed rite for women who have undergone abortion. The Rev. Nina Churchman writes: I found the text for Rachel’s Tears online and was sickened […]
“The speeches of the pope were of enormous importance to everybody, not only to us, but to everybody. What he contributed at Yad Vashem was a completely different approach which was an enrichment to the culture of memory, and it […]
While the U.S. bishops are meeting in San Antonio this week, the subject of President Obama’s visit to Notre Dame came up. And as John Allen reports, it doesn’t appear the bishops are in any mood right now to take […]
An interesting development out of the bishops’ meeting in Texas: a special new mass liturgy may be heading our way before long. Take a look: Nearly 20 years after Cardinal John O’Connor of New York suggested it, the U.S. bishops […]
Me, I was finishing the second grade at St. Peter’s School in Olney, Maryland. I could never have imagined what was transpiring in Rome that day, or how it would change my life. But leave it to Doc Mac to […]
A great video that just may open eyes — and hearts. I won’t tell you what it’s about. Just take a minute and watch. H/T Happy Catholic. Into the Oneby mavocation
Seems the pope has a new doctor, according to CNS: Pope Benedict XVI has chosen as his new personal physician a cardiologist with strong ties to the Vatican. Dr. Patrizio Polisca, a professor of cardiothoracic surgery at Rome’s Tor Vergata […]
Who’d a thunk? An interesting sociological trend, from The Tidings, the archdiocesan paper for Los Angeles: If you have driven north on highway 101 anytime during the past five years, you have certainly noticed the proliferation of vineyards – and […]
For those who missed it, get a load of this: Lino Rulli, working out with the founder of the Hard As Nails youth ministry, Justin Fatica. From the daily Catholic news show “Currents.” Enjoy.
This guy. From yesterday’s installation of Robert Carlson as the new Archbishop of St. Louis.
I still remember when wedding videos were a novelty. But now, it seems, more and more people are getting into the business of birth videos — and sharing them with anyone and everyone, via YouTube. The New York Times reports: […]
A couple weeks ago, I posted the item about Boston’s new deaf priest. And recently the Religion News Service caught up with Fr. Shawn Carey to ask him a few questions about his singular vocation. They exchanged some Q&A emails […]
Can’t wait for the Year for Priests to get started? The USCCB is one step ahead of you: The U.S. bishops’ Secretariat for Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations has set up a Web site to mark the Year for Priests, […]
For those who have been clamoring for it, relax. Complete episodes of “Currents” are now archived at our YouTube channel. They go up the day after they air. Monday’s show is below. (You can also find other episodes of other […]
More and more, people are learning to get by with less and less, and writer Pico Iyer has shared some of his thoughts on his own self-imposed austerity in this week’s New York Times: Though I knew that poverty certainly […]
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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 »