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The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

Vocations Archives

Meet Montana’s married priest

posted by jmcgee

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.

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Big day in the Big Easy: 10 new deacons

posted by jmcgee

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. […]

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Quote of the day

posted by jmcgee

“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 […]

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A deacon ON the bench

posted by jmcgee

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 […]

Great Falls-Billings welcomes its first married priest

posted by jmcgee

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 […]

“These Hands Bring Me Jesus”

posted by jmcgee

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 […]

Survey: half of Americans think clergy are highly ethical

posted by jmcgee

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 […]

Sister act: young order of nuns a hit on campus

posted by jmcgee

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 […]

From behind the counter, to behind the altar

posted by jmcgee

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 […]

Praying for Philip — UPDATED

posted by jmcgee

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 rite stuff: “Why am I driving 20 minutes to go to a fake wedding?”

posted by jmcgee

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 […]

“When God calls you, you go!”

posted by jmcgee

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 […]

Iowa Trappists giving up the farm

posted by jmcgee

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 […]

Quote of the day

posted by jmcgee

“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.

Christ behind bars: inside prison ministry

posted by jmcgee

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 […]

Worth a thousand words

posted by jmcgee

Kentucky National Guard Chaplain (Col.) Patrick J. Dolan celebrates mass. Read more about him and his work.

They’re back: Dominican Sisters appearing on Oprah again

posted by jmcgee

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, […]

Surprise: vocations climbing in Britain

posted by jmcgee

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 […]

Collared: a seminarian reflects

posted by jmcgee

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 […]

What is the priesthood?

posted by jmcgee

“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 […]

Wisconsin remembers a champion named Campion

posted by jmcgee

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 […]

San Bernardino ordains three new deacons

posted by jmcgee

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 […]

“Christianity survived in the Middle East because of married priests”

posted by jmcgee

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 […]

So, how do you become an exorcist, anyway?

posted by jmcgee

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 […]

Help wanted: no pay, great benefits

posted by jmcgee

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 […]

The deacon ordained in Dachau

posted by jmcgee

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.

Fore! Golfer headed to the priesthood

posted by jmcgee

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 […]

Cuba opens first seminary in 50 years

posted by jmcgee

It’s a dramatic move for the Communist island nation — and a sign, perhaps, that the country is turning a corner: With Cuban President Raúl Castro and several high-profile church leaders from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Italy and the Bahamas present, […]

Bernardino boom: record number of seminarians

posted by jmcgee

What’s behind it? Some answers: A record number of 13 seminarians have begun formation for the Diocese of San Bernardino at Bl. Junipero Serra House of Formation in Grand Terrace, Calif. The men range in age from 18 to 40. […]

Is this the American Church’s most powerful woman?

posted by jmcgee

A tweet from a certain blogger suggested as much. Check out this profile of the woman who is, the COO of the Miami Church: Doing one thing at a time does not seem to be part of God’s plan for […]

Chicago pastor pushes for women deacons

posted by jmcgee

It will be interesting to see how far this discussion goes. From the Chicago Sun-Times: The Roman Catholic Church is pretty clear on who may join the priesthood: men only. And the way church leaders see it, there’s no room […]

A beautiful and uplifting tribute to priests

posted by jmcgee

Just in time for the observance of World Priest Day this weekend, a reader from Milwaukee sent me the video below, of this year’s ordinations of priests. It’s artfully produced, and carries a beautiful message. Take four minutes to watch […]

Brother Carty’s way: “I ask the parents to raise them in their faith…”

posted by jmcgee

After dissing sisters, the New York Times has embraced brothers — or at least, one colorful Christian Brother at a unique school that caters to the city’s poor: It is 8:30 a.m. at De La Salle Academy, a private school […]

Empty altars: Baltimore may cut masses

posted by jmcgee

America’s first diocese may soon begin reducing masses as a result of the priest shortage. From the Baltimore Sun: With Father Patrick Carrion away, a nun led a morning service last week at St. Mary Star of the Sea, directing […]

Pastor keeps promise to dying priest, enters rehab

posted by jmcgee

A priest in Massachusetts made an unusual announcement to his parishioners — and it happened under unusual circumstances: Members of St. Lucy Parish received some surprising news in the bulletin this weekend. In his weekly letter to parishioners, the Rev. […]

“How he wished to go”: priest dies while celebrating mass

posted by jmcgee

From the AP in Florida: A Catholic priest reportedly died during morning Mass at a church near Tampa. The website for the St. Stephen Catholic Church in Valrico says Monsignor John Scully died Friday while consecrating a holy ceremony. Scully […]

“The successful priest or deacon is the one who is in love with Christ”

posted by jmcgee

Hundreds of clergy gathered earlier this week for the first-ever joint convocation of priests and deacons in the Brooklyn Diocese. Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley delivered the keynote (which contained the sterling quote in the headline).  The story, from “Currents,” below.

Cheers: priest opens bar in a Roman crypt

posted by jmcgee

Not only that, but it’s named for a beloved pope. From AFP: The beer is cheap, the waiters are talkative and the music is 1960s Motown — but the new pub that opened its doors this week in a historic […]

Habit-forming

posted by jmcgee

“We human beings need symbols to remind us that we are not made for this world but, as St. Elizabeth Seton used to say, we are ‘children of eternity.’ Each piece of the habit reminds the person wearing it that […]

The priest in the Hawaiian shirt

posted by jmcgee

Earlier, I posted on a priest developing a reality TV series. In a time-honored fashion, someone at a local TV station saw the story, and has tracked down the priest for a profile. See below. View more news videos at: […]

Poland’s popular sex guru: a Catholic priest

posted by jmcgee

Believe it or not. Details: Father Ksawery Knotz doesn’t see himself as a sexpert. Dressed in a brown habit of the Capuchin friars, he certainly doesn’t look like one. Yet, since the celibate Catholic priest started publishing his online sex […]

Could the next big reality TV star be a priest?

posted by jmcgee

Check this out, from (of course) California: Kardashian. The Situation. Father Steve? With a little help from on high – and the green light from a high-ranking TV executive – that third name soon might fit just fine among pop […]

10 Lessons from 25 years in ministry

posted by jmcgee

These come from the Rev. Bill Shuler, at the Capital Life Church in Arlington, Virginia: 1. The goal is not to win a debate but to redeem the heart. 2. One’s public witness is only as authentic as one’s private […]

On the collaboration of priests and deacons

posted by jmcgee

This week, my own bishop, Nicholas DiMarzio, offered some thoughts on the collaboration between priests and deacons in his weekly newspaper column: On the day of ordination, the ordaining bishop asks the deacon candidate the following question: “Are you resolved […]

Why wear the habit?

posted by jmcgee

I can think of no more compelling answer than this one. Take and read. It speaks volumes.

A parish’s biggest loser just might be a priest

posted by jmcgee

A Virginia priest has come up with a novel way to raise money for kids to attend World Youth Day in Madrid: New Year’s Day has come early for Father Steve Schultz, parochial vicar of St. Timothy Parish in Chantilly. […]

Saint of steel?

posted by jmcgee

A Pittsburgh priest (who was actually born in Massachusetts) is on the path to sainthood. From Ann Rodgers in the Post-Gazette: A Pittsburgh priest who heard the confessions of beggars and of the pope, and who was a voice of […]

Just call him Father Father

posted by jmcgee

A paper in Alabama profiles a deacon who became a priest, and explains the background: The Rev. James Macey was ordained as a priest three years ago, after the death of his wife of 37 years. Before her death, Macey […]

Priest cleared of sex abuse charges for second time

posted by jmcgee

It happened in the Archdiocese of Boston:   Parishioners and priests at St. Francis Xavier Church say they’re happy to have the Rev. Charles Murphy back after he was cleared of sexual-abuse allegations for the second time in less than five […]

“Powerful and moving”: a priest recalls celebrating mass in a Muslim home

posted by jmcgee

Here’s something inspiring for you. A priest visiting friends in a far-removed Nigerian village last year found himself unexpectedly celebrating Mass in a Muslim home. He writes: Within a short time of my arrival, news went around the community that […]

A Belgian waffle on celibacy?

posted by jmcgee

Two Belgian bishops are openly questioning whether celibacy should be mandatory for priests: The bishop of Hasselt, Patrick Hoogmartens, and his counterpart in Bruges, Jozef De Kesel, said in separate comments that married men should not automatically be excluded from […]

Booming: Dominican nuns still drawing lots of vocations

posted by jmcgee

Anybody wonder what they’re doing right? This won’t be news to most Catholics who have been paying attention. But the AP is sitting up and taking notice: A handful of Roman Catholic convents are contradicting the decades-long slide in the […]

40,000 masses: Tennessee’s oldest priest dies at 97

posted by jmcgee

An amazing life, to be sure. Details: The oldest Catholic priest in Tennessee passed away on Monday. Monsignor George Rohling died at the age of 97. Rohling was a priest for 71 years in the Diocese of Nashville, ministered at […]

The next Fulton Sheen?

posted by jmcgee

The esteemed Fr. Robert Barron is about to stake his claim on that title, doing what no priest has done since Sheen: he’ll launch his own national TV show on a commercial network. From the press release: In a bold […]

A growing ministry: nuns get back to the earth

posted by jmcgee

From Pennsylvania comes this story of a group of nuns who have made a thriving ministry from the good earth: Standing in a field of cherry-red maize and ripening pumpkins, John Moreira spotted a large insect flying amid the cornstalks. […]

A deacon, his wife, and their journey of faith

posted by jmcgee

Des Moines welcomed 13 new deacons last month — and the Des Moines Register offers a profile of one of them: For years, Steve Udelhofen felt a calling into ministry. Steve and his wife, Myrna, started a journey nearly five […]

The odd couple: the chaplain and the atheist

posted by jmcgee

From the Wall Street Journal comes this intriguing feature about a chaplain and the non-believer charged with protecting him: They say there are no atheists in foxholes. There’s one on the front lines here, though, and the chaplain isn’t thrilled […]

Enrollments surge at seminary for older men

posted by jmcgee

That seminary would be Sacred Heart in Wisconsin. Details: Sacred Heart School of Theology, the nation’s largest Catholic seminary geared toward older men, posted its biggest enrollment gain in 20 years this month, seminary officials said. Forty-two new students are […]

Bishop blasts attempted ordination of a woman

posted by jmcgee

It happened in Phoenix: The Catholic Bishop of Phoenix responded Wednesday to a priest’s reported participation in an attempted priestly ordination of a woman. Urging prayers for all involved, he said such actions are “divisive” and have “profoundly harmful consequences.” […]

Holy water: nuns on board for surf contest

posted by jmcgee

Summer may be drawing to a close, but that doesn’t mean surfing season is over. Just ask the sisters who are stoked for some gnarly waves off the coast of New Jersey: Surf’s up, Sister! Sister James Dolores, 73, gives […]

“Do not leave our priests alone at the altar”

posted by jmcgee

A priest friend in Ireland alerted me to this — and it’s worth reading and praying over, for it reveals a side of the priesthood many of us never hear about. From the Irish Times: The Italian alpine village of […]

“My brother, the priest”

posted by jmcgee

From Denver comes this lovely tribute to one newly ordained man in particular — and to the Catholic priesthood in general. The author concludes: David left a medical career and a beautiful girlfriend behind to pursue a life of a […]

“I feel privileged to represent the Catholic Church in a visible way…”

posted by jmcgee

“I feel privileged to represent the Catholic Church in a visible way, because it is an organization of sinners and sinners-turned-saints, emphatically alive, expanding, and responsive to the needs of the time, an organization that has been enormously effective in […]

A priest boomlet in Milwaukee?

posted by jmcgee

Local press reports sure make it sound that way: Church officials are hoping an increase in the number of priests graduating from the Milwaukee Archdiocese’s St. Francis de Sales Seminary will help slow Milwaukee’s growing priest shortage. But it might […]

DJ priest: “Jesus is #1!”

posted by jmcgee

And now, for something completely different: a priest who puts a new spin on the gospels. Take a look: “Jesus Is Number One!” shouts deejay priest Don Roberto Fiscer as he lines up the latest number by Lady Gaga for […]

Of vocations — and vacations

posted by jmcgee

Your Humble Blogger is about to take a little down time — blogging will be light for a couple weeks — but before I go, here’s a nice picker-upper from The Anchoress: It’s that time of year again, when postulants […]

Glen Coffee leaves football for Christ

posted by jmcgee

Friday, many in the sports world were stunned when 49ers running back Glen Coffee announced he was hanging up his cleats and quitting football. Now he’s explaining why, to reporter Matt Barrows: I called Glen Coffee at his Los Gatos […]

Totally cool: priest teaches skateboarding to kids

posted by jmcgee

From Hungary comes this great video of a priest being, well, very priestly. Curious about how to get young people interested in the faith? Take a look at this. Enjoy.

“I have always enjoyed the company of women…”

posted by jmcgee

Over in London, Damien Thompson has posted a lengthy e-mail from Bishop John Jukes, explaining some of his thoughts about living over eight decades of celibacy. The bishop begins: I have always enjoyed the company of women. Their way of […]

From the New York Post…to the priesthood?

posted by jmcgee

Well, here’s something you don’t hear about every day. Your Humble Blogger is sending along prayers and good wishes to another journo taking a leap of faith, and also preparing to join the Catholic clergy: John Wilson, a columnist and […]

“Just promise me you’re not going to become a nun”

posted by jmcgee

An Evangelical Protestant attorney couldn’t make that promise to her mother when she announced that she was studying to become a Catholic. And now, she could end up spending her life in a cloister. Her amazing story, from the Catholic […]

A vocations boom?

posted by jmcgee

It may be too soon to tell, but there are some encouraging signs around the country, beginning in California: From a young age, Juan Alejo has aspired to live a priest’s life. “Since I was a kid, I heard this […]

Clergy need a vacation, too

posted by jmcgee

Can I hear an “Amen!”? The New York Times looks at some worrisome trends involving people who do the work of the Lord — and need a break: The findings have surfaced with ominous regularity over the last few years, […]

The vanishing nuns

posted by jmcgee

In Britain, it’s a crisis that could lead to extinction, according to the BBC: The future of four Catholic orders in Cambridge is in doubt, because no new nuns have joined since the 1980s. Sister Gemma Simmonds is a lecturer […]

A priest continues his ministry, despite Alzheimer’s

posted by jmcgee

From Baltimore comes this moving story of a priest who is continuing his ministry, despite the onset of a deadly disease. George Matysek has the story in the Catholic Review: After attempting suicide several years ago at a Cumberland penitentiary, […]

How a deacon inspired one man to the priesthood

posted by jmcgee

Here’s a heartening vocation story that should serve as a reminder to us all that every life can bear witness: When Father Michael Silloway was a young man, the epitome of the Catholic faith was his grandfather, a permanent deacon […]

Why a priest should wear the collar

posted by jmcgee

How often do you see priests without collars? (Can you even tell?) Why should they wear them?  I stumbled on this compelling explanation. (Full disclosure: It was written by two priests. I know one of them, Fr. Gerald Murray, who’s […]

Pittsburgh mourns death of a “living saint”

posted by jmcgee

Sad news, from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: The Rev. Patrick Rager, 50, a Catholic priest widely regarded as a living saint for ministering to others as a fatal disease slowly paralyzed him, died Tuesday at home in West Homestead. “He really […]

Have some pasta, become a priest

posted by jmcgee

That seems to be the winning formula in Albany, which just ordained its largest number of priests in decades: In this era when vocations to the priesthood are as sluggish as the economy, the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese is celebrating […]

Mary Anne Marks: the interview

posted by jmcgee

If you saw this memorable video of Mary Anne Marks (Harvard ’10), you couldn’t fail to be impressed.  Not only did she give that speech in Latin (it’s actually an annual custom at Harvard), but she is also  joining the […]

“Broken hearts can forgive”: the reconciliation of Fr. Rob

posted by jmcgee

How do you forgive the unforgivable? Take a few moments, take a deep breath, and read this astonishing, beautiful, heartbreaking account of one man’s journey to the priesthood: No street lights illuminate this winding, narrow road, but Rob Spaulding can […]

Worth a thousand words: a priest’s first mass

posted by jmcgee

Fr. Alonzo Cox, Sunday June 27, 2010, at Queen of All Saints Church, in Brooklyn. 

The men who would be priests

posted by jmcgee

Take a moment to be moved, and inspired. From the heart of Brooklyn, via “Currents,” profiles of the three men ordained this weekend.

New deacons for Worcester and Washington

posted by jmcgee

It’s a busy time in the country’s cathedrals and basilicas. Worcester just ordained three new permanent deacons, and the Catholic Free Press has a lovely look at their calling: He wrote letters to his former girlfriend. But then he destroyed […]

A great day in Brooklyn: three new priests

posted by jmcgee

Below, the first published snapshots (forgive the miserable quality — deacon photographer at work!) of the new priests for the Diocese of Brooklyn, ordained Saturday June 26, 2010 at the Basilica Cathedral of St. James. Below, Fr. Nixon Jean-Francois, Fr. […]

Priestly people

posted by jmcgee

Busy weekend here at The Bench: I’ll be attending the ordinations of three new priests for the Diocese of Brooklyn Saturday morning, then on Sunday, serving as deacon at the Mass of Thanksgiving for one of them, Fr. Alonzo Cox. […]

What hath Queens wrought?!

posted by jmcgee

This popped up over at The Anchoress this morning, and I was flabbergasted. I know this gal! Mary Anne Marks is in my parish! Now, a degree from Harvard under her belt, she’s about to enter religious life, joining the […]

Meet the office chaplain

posted by jmcgee

Corporations may be downsizing in other departments, but some are beefing up in one unexpected area: spiritual counseling. From the Wall Street Journal: Marisol Corrales, an operations manager for a Dallas housecleaning service, doesn’t attend church regularly or see herself […]

When Father’s Day came early: a new priest says “Thank you”

posted by jmcgee

A little while back, I blogged about Deacon Greg Rapisarda, the father of a Father, becoming a Father. This widowed dad of a priest was ordained a priest himself on June 12 — making history, by giving Baltimore its first […]

Many clergy unprepared for retirement

posted by jmcgee

Some advice to all those young priests being ordained this year: save your stipends. From the AP: Clergy seem an unlikely group to be facing a retirement security crisis. They generally are looked up to by their parishioners as wise […]

“I overcame these trials because God is calling me”

posted by jmcgee

You never can be sure what God has up His sleeve. Consider, for example, the remarkable stories of the two men who were recently ordained priests for Salt Lake City. The saga of Fr. Tai Nguyen really is something: Nguyen, […]

When a priest retires

posted by jmcgee

From the Times this morning comes this touching profile of a priest who did so much — and still has more to do: On a recent overcast morning, the Rev. John C. Flynn, an 80-year-old Roman Catholic priest with bright […]

On the menu: the priesthood

posted by jmcgee

Here’s a great story from a city with great food, about a chef who has decided to feed a very different sort of hunger: There are myriad possibilities as to why a meal at the Upperline could leave a person […]

The new guy

posted by jmcgee

Malaysia got its first new permanent deacon in 30 years yesterday. As previously noted, he’s one of two in the country, and only 34 years old. The local paper has a complete write up, with the happy news that six […]

Shedding the collar for cleats

posted by jmcgee

The World Cup isn’t the only soccer tournament in the world, you know. The New York Times has this look at one in the shadow of the Vatican: On a recent weekend morning, a crowd gathered on a field behind […]

A priest’s murder sparks his nephew’s vocation

posted by jmcgee

From suburban Maryland comes this story of how the murder of a priest inspired his nephew to pursue his own vocation: Monsignor Thomas Wells will not be in the crowd Saturday at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the […]

Scouting for future priests in Albany

posted by jmcgee

How can you encourage vocations? Someone had a great idea in Albany, and posted about the experience at the blog for Our Sunday Visitor: For the past nine months I’ve been working with eight Boy Scouts from my parish, including […]

History in Baltimore, as a father to a Father becomes a Father

posted by jmcgee

Happy Father’s Day, one week early. I posted last month on the man who is a father to a priest in Baltimore, and was about to be ordained a priest himself. Well, yesterday, it happened: This is history in process […]

Pope: celibacy stays

posted by jmcgee

The pontiff endorsed the discipline during the final hours of the Year for Priests. From Rome: Standing before more than 10,000 Roman Catholic priests, Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday strongly reaffirmed the Vatican’s commitment to priestly vows of celibacy, cutting […]

Diocese removes school chaplains due to priest shortage

posted by jmcgee

Another sad sign of the times. This news comes from the Diocese of Fall River, in Massachusetts: The Rev. Jay Mello sat on a metal dugout bleacher, a baseball bat in hand. He laughed and joked with several members of […]

From Jewish boy to Protestant minister…to Catholic priest

posted by jmcgee

What a journey!  It’s the first Catholic ordination in one Pennsylvania community — and it’s one for the history books: St. Joseph’s Church in York will be the setting on Saturday for an event sure to go down in local […]

After 27 years, a deacon becomes a priest

posted by jmcgee

Stories like this one in Kentucky are rare, but not unheard of. But it’s big enough that is made the local paper: James Reinhart is accustomed to being called dad, grandpa or deacon, but he’s still getting accustomed to his […]

The priest — and his Mrs.

posted by jmcgee

These cases seem to be coming more common. Another Protestant converts and becomes a priest — and makes a little news in the process: After 19 years as a Lutheran pastor, the Rev. Philip Johnson had grown disenchanted with Protestantism. […]

Our web-savvy priesthood

posted by jmcgee

More priests are using the Internet to do their job, according to Zenit: A new study about the use of digital technology by priests worldwide shows that the Internet has become a frequently utilized tool in homily preparation, evangelization and […]

Father Cutie becomes an Episcopal priest

posted by jmcgee

The Catholic priest who made headlines last year is ministering again — and expecting his first child with his new wife. From the Miami Herald: As he stood in front of dozens of reporters a year ago to say he […]

“God is the only treasure people desire in a priest”

posted by jmcgee

That’s the gist of a typically powerful and provocative address by New York’s Archbishop Timothy Dolan: The archbishop of New York is urging priests to remember that their vocation is an identity, not simply a career, and thus it must […]

Screening seminarians: “When was the last time you had sex?” — UPDATED

posted by jmcgee

That’s just one of the cringe-inducing questions that potential seminarians now have to answer, as part of the vetting process. And the New York Times takes a look at what that process entails in 2010: Every job interview has its […]

Brazil’s best-selling recording star? A priest

posted by jmcgee

Yep. According to Billboard, priests are boffo in Brazil: According to year-end data reported by Brazil’s Association of Record Producers, Father Fabio de Melo’s 2009 “Iluminar” was the country’s top-selling album of 2009. It was an encore performance; de Melo’s […]

“Holiness is possible”

posted by jmcgee

That’s the idea that kicks off this compelling look at priests serving as high school chaplains in Arizona. It’s a message more and more young people need to hear. Take a look: Holiness is possible. That’s the message Jesuit Father […]

Married father of six to become a deacon — and then, a priest

posted by jmcgee

It will happen in upstate New York, as another former minister takes advantage of the “Pastoral Provision.” From CNA: As former Protestant minister Scott Caton prepares for his ordination as a Catholic priest in 2011, his wife and six children […]

Stereotyping celibacy

posted by jmcgee

The other day, in the Boston Globe, former priest and current author James Carroll had this to say about celibacy: The Catholic scandal has laid bare an essential pathology that is unique to the culture of clericalism, and mandatory celibacy […]

“The spiritual gateway” of Georgia looks to the future

posted by jmcgee

Some months back, I posted on the capital campaign underway at the Trappist Monastery of the Holy Spirit down in Georgia. Now this development has made the local news. Take a look: Father Methodius Telnack has lived on the grounds […]

Priest’s father will be a Father — UPDATED

posted by jmcgee

This item, out of Baltimore, has to be one of the more unusual vocation stories of this ordination season: This year, about 440 men will be ordained into the priesthood, including 62-year-old Deacon Greg Rapisarda. Deacon Rapisarda currently conducts Mass […]

Becoming a priest in time of scandal

posted by jmcgee

It isn’t easy to tell people these days you’re going to be a priest. But that doesn’t seem to have dampened the zeal of men at a seminary in Rome, according to the BBC: It seems, despite a scandal that […]

Fr. Robert Barron: “How to build a better priest”

posted by jmcgee

“For too long we’ve had a preferential option for mediocrity in the priesthood. We almost embrace mediocrity as the norm. What’s the difference between a doctor and a priest? As someone once answered long ago, there really is no comparison: […]

Lights, camera…priests!

posted by jmcgee

Whether we realize it or not, the figure of a Catholic priest has long played a starring role in the movies. CNS’s David DiCerta explains: In 1915, D.W. Griffith followed up his controversial silent classic “Birth of a Nation” with […]

The Sioux Six: new deacons for Iowa

posted by jmcgee

A reader sent this my way: behold, the newest deacons from Sioux City, ordained Saturday, the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker. (Boy, do they have their work cut out for them!) The men are: Richard Port, Bruce Chartier, Kenny […]

What’s wrong with Jean Vianney?

posted by jmcgee

In certain quarters, some are arguing that the holy French priest selected as the ideal for the Year for Priests isn’t necessarily the best model for the vocation in the 21st century. From the Christian Science Monitor: “Vianney is thought […]

Deacon, will you bless me?

posted by jmcgee

I get that question a lot — as do many deacons, I’m sure. (Actually, more often, they ask me, “Father, will you give me a blessing?”  That ranks up there with “Father, can you hear my confession?” as one of […]

Cardinal Bertone: celibacy vow “not untouchable”

posted by jmcgee

At a time when more people are defending the discipline, someone close to the pope is suggesting the vow of celibacy might be changed: The vow of celibacy by the clergy may be open to review, the Vatican’s second highest […]

Smithsonian hosts exhibit on nuns in America

posted by jmcgee

The prominent Washington museum is hosting an unusual exhibition that will be hitting the road later this year — and it sounds like something every Catholic should try to see. From Catholic San Francisco: A gallery at the Smithsonian Institution […]

For priests: “God’s great works are accomplished in darkness”

posted by jmcgee

That is just one part of a remarkable and inspiring address delivered recently by Archbishop Emeritus John R. Quinn from San Francisco. You can read the whole thing at America magazine, but here’s one nugget among many: I was a […]

Our Fathers…?

posted by jmcgee

My blog neighbor Rod Dreher this morning posted a reflection on the idea of a priest/pastor being a “spiritual father” — a concept, he concedes, that is increasingly elusive: Catholics and Orthodox (at least) have a different relationship with their […]

A priest’s last mass

posted by jmcgee

Here’s something out of the ordinary: a priest who is choosing to step away from priesthood, and being remarkably candid about it: The Rev. Tom Farley looked at packed pews Sunday morning and made a promise. “There is an elephant […]

“With all the power of my heart…”

posted by jmcgee

Like a lot of people, I get inundated with pleas for money from various religious orders. But I claim a soft spot in my heart for a hearty band of Trappists who live in the homeland of my grandparents: they […]

Nuns on the run

posted by jmcgee

This is really delightful — and on a local news station, no less. Enjoy. H/T The A.

A day in the life of a priest

posted by jmcgee

This nifty video was done entirely with an iPhone and a Mac, and it’s an intriguing little glimpse inside the clerical life. Meet Father Nels Gjengdahl, a priest of the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul. H/T CNS.

Dominicans enjoy The Oprah Effect

posted by jmcgee

It seems their appearance on the hit talk show did wonders for them and their vocations: Since the show aired, the sisters have received positive feedback from all sides. Sister Maria Guadalupe reported that while traveling by plane, a flight […]

God is his co-pilot

posted by jmcgee

What’s it like to be a priest in the remote reaches of Alaska? Meet one of them: a man whose commute from parish to parish involves something uplifting — air travel: Father William Hanrahan was ordained a priest at the […]

“A good priest is hard to find”

posted by jmcgee

That’s the title of a stem-winder of a rant that is must reading for anyone involved in parish life. It was prompted by this post, wherein the blogger notes a sad state of affairs: Lately I’ve taken to reading the […]

Gentlemen, start your rosaries

posted by jmcgee

And now for something completely different: a story about a priest who has a truly moving ministry: For many parishioners on a Sunday morning, once the closing hymn hits the second refrain, the race is on to get out the […]

“Keep it rolling, baby”: meet a Catholic chaplain in Afghanistan

posted by jmcgee

What is it like to be a Catholic chaplain in Afghanistan, serving at the front lines? This gives a vivid picture: The U.S. Army brigade’s Catholic priest spits, smokes, cracks jokes and has come under fire like so many other […]

Spark of the divine: the seminarian who carried the Olympic torch

posted by jmcgee

With the Olympics now underway, I finally caught up with this remarkable story of one of the Canadians who carried the torch earlier this month: The Olympic spark has been ignited within the soul of Vancouver seminarian Noel Oco, one […]

Nashville to get its first married priest

posted by jmcgee

Continuing a quiet trend in this country, another diocese is about to get its first married Catholic priest: Prentice Dean will be ordained as a Catholic priest on Monday — while his wife watches. The former Episcopal priest and father […]

From “next top model” to role model

posted by jmcgee

That aptly describes the remarkable journey of a young woman named Leah Darrow — who is now traveling the country to tell her story: “For years my faith took a back seat until it all came to a soulful boiling […]

Are nuns really not complying with the visitation?

posted by jmcgee

Last year, the National Catholic Reporter published this little bombshell about the apostolic visitation to American nuns: The vast majority of U.S. women religious are not complying with a Vatican request to answer questions in a document of inquiry that […]

Sister Catherine, Olympic speedskater

posted by jmcgee

Further proof that God calls everyone — and will use anyone, if we will only listen: Twelve years ago at the Winter Olympics in Nagano, a 17-year-old speedskating prodigy named Kirstin Holum was tapped for future greatness. When Holum placed […]

No business like snow business

posted by jmcgee

The ghastly weather seems to have brought out the inner Michelangelo in some people — and these creations below are two clever examples. Even snowmen (and women) can have a vocation! The first one, a friar, comes from the Facebook […]

Mother O and her sisters

posted by jmcgee

I missed Oprah and her Dominicans sisters — I was otherwise engaged at that hour — but The Anchoress was impressed: Really good show. Winfrey teased but was never disrespectful, and the whole discussion -from leaving parents, to leaving relationships, […]

Oprah’s sisters

posted by jmcgee

Thomas Peters broke the story yesterday, with the snapshot above: Oprah ( no last name necessary) is interviewing a group of sisters, the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, for her TV show next week.   The Anchoress ( […]

“Shattering the stained glass ceiling” in California

posted by jmcgee

To promote the cause for women priests, the controversial Ray Bourgeois is taking his act on the road, and his latest stop was Sacramento. Details, from the The Bee: To parishioners in her small Sacramento congregation, Elizabeth English is their […]

How is baseball like the priesthood?

posted by jmcgee

Minor-league star-turned-future-seminarian Grant Desme should know.  We were able to get a quick phone interview with him the other day. He’s sort of quiet, probably a little shy, but he has some reflections on his vocation — and peoples’ reaction […]

“A warm wind of love showed up at my ordination”

posted by jmcgee

I stumbled on this tonight, and thought: “Must post.” I think there’s more than a little Merton in this gorgeous reflection by a new Episcopal deacon, describing his ordination: One by one they came forward and one by one I […]

Who will anoint the sick?

posted by jmcgee

Well, I’m sure some deacons would gladly raise their hands and volunteer for this sacramental duty — but we can’t. Neither can lay people. And that’s beginning to cause problems, as the AP reports: It was John B. Baus’s 82nd […]

A lost art: habit-making

posted by jmcgee

Behold: something sweet and sacred, a lovely portrait of a woman who does something very few do anymore.  She makes habits for nuns.    H/T The A.

Ain’t talkin’ ’bout love: one man’s road to the priesthood

posted by jmcgee

How’s this for the start of an amazing story: Winter 1989, downtown South Bend, Indiana. The night is snowy and crisp. Inside the bar, already humid and smoky, the guitarist lights his cigarette, takes a long, patient drag and wedges […]

Grant Desme: he’d rather play for the Padres

posted by jmcgee

The rising star of the Oakland A’s announced yesterday that he’s quitting baseball to begin studies for the priesthood: The A’s prized prospect exited the season with a head-turning presence, accompanied by a bat that produced 31 home runs and […]

A Trappist monastery plans to reinvent itself

posted by jmcgee

Longtime readers know of my affection for and devotion to the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, the Trappist house outside Atlanta. Flannery O’Connor was a frequent visitor, and Dorothy Day was known to drop by when she was in the […]

The best man for an important job in the church…

posted by jmcgee

…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 […]

A priest’s best friend

posted by jmcgee

From St. Louis, Missouri comes this unusual story of a priest and his pooch: Our Lady of the Holy Cross Catholic Church got a new priest last summer, the Rev. Don Buhr. With Buhr came Elijah, also known in this […]

A Lutheran who became a Byzantine priest: “It was like a perfect marriage”

posted by jmcgee

And now for something a little different: a former Lutheran minister who is now a Catholic priest — in the Eastern Rite. From the Catholic Anchor: A former Lutheran pastor from Northern Michigan now heads St. Nicholas of Myra Byzantine […]

Go Steelers! Go God!

posted by jmcgee

A friend alerted me to a snazzy new website in Pittsburgh, devoted to vocations. It’s PGHPriest.com — and it’s tagline, aimed squarely at local football fans, says it all: “In a city that bleeds black and gold, we need champions […]

Do you think he knows Sarah Palin?

posted by jmcgee

A Catholic paper in Alaska has this interesting profile of a priest who serves as a chaplain to state troopers in Palin’s hometown of Wasilla — and whose wardrobe includes not only a white collar, but also a bullet-proof vest. […]

A deacon on duty

posted by jmcgee

More and more deacons are finding themselves serving as police chaplains — and an Illinois newspaper has a case in point: When police respond to a serious accident or a terrible crime, who responds to the resulting grief? Often, that […]

Angels in the snow

posted by jmcgee

That would be this group of sledding sisters. Enjoy. H/T to Big A.

Picture this: a priest finds God in the abstract

posted by jmcgee

A California priest is expressing his faith in a surprising and creative way: There’s no steeple out front, no rows of pews inside, not even so much as a crucifix on display. Still, this cramped little art studio in the […]

Something cool in Hot Springs: a convert moves to the priesthood

posted by jmcgee

Another former Protestant clergyman (who also happens to be married) is taking his final steps toward the priesthood, this time in Arkansas. Details: The goal is in sight. Hours of seminary study are winding down. Very soon, George W. Sanders […]

Spike: seminary reports jump in enrollment

posted by jmcgee

Is the tide turning? The numbers from at least one archdiocese are very encouraging: The nation’s sixth-largest Catholic seminary is reporting its highest enrollment in two decades as more men flock to the southern Indiana campus to pursue the priesthood. […]

A soldier’s death moves priest to become a chaplain

posted by jmcgee

What makes a man want to become a military chaplain? A Wisconsin paper has one moving answer: Capt. Matt Foley hasn’t presided over any weddings or christenings since he arrived here in April – not much call for those services […]

A touch of grace

posted by jmcgee

The above photo is from the event I attended this morning: the ordination of five new transitional deacons at the Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington, Long Island.  The gentleman in the picture, Alonzo Cox, is scheduled to be ordained a […]

From Episcopal bishop to Catholic priest

posted by jmcgee

And a little piece of history is made in Florida: The former Episcopalian bishop of Southwest Florida, Rev. John Lipscomb, was ordained a priest of the Catholic Church on December 2 at the Bethany Center spiritual retreat in Lutz, Florida. […]

Meet the 90-year-old scuba diving, speedboating, skiing priest

posted by jmcgee

In this Year for Priests, few stories could be more surprising, or inspiring, than this one, about a priest named Msgr. Leon Dobosiewicz, from Florida Catholic: At 90, the monsignor, who is parochial vicar at Holy Spirit Parish in Lake […]

Judge, mayor, veterinarian…and deacon

posted by jmcgee

The resume of this Oklahoma deacon is nothing less than staggering: It’s hard for Oklahoma State Veterinary Professor Dr. James Breazile, 74, to go anywhere because once he does, those who get to know him don’t want to see him […]

A “lost boy” may find the priesthood

posted by jmcgee

One of the ongoing horrors of our day is the plight of Sudan’s “Lost Boys.” One of those boys, now grown into a man, is in the middle of an arduous journey that may, God willing, take him to the […]

“We have to do something, because we need priests”

posted by jmcgee

The recent overture to the Anglicans has gotten more people to look at the question of a married priesthood. And that’s sent some reporters scurrying to talk to priests who left ministry to marry: One of the hardest things Ed […]

The deer hunter priest

posted by jmcgee

A lot of priests have a hobby. But here’s one that’s a little out of the ordinary: When Christopher Wenthe was an electrical engineer and single, living in the Twin Cities, he had lots of time to hunt and fish. […]

The sister at the abortion clinic: “Her actions are in violation of her profession…”

posted by jmcgee

There have been some developments in a story I posted last month, about a Dominican sister working as a volunteer escort at a Chicago abortion clinic. From American Papist: Public Statement of the Sinsinawa Dominican Congregation  “Several months ago the […]

His life with the saints — and the Jesuits

posted by jmcgee

Many of us have read and enjoyed and passed on to others Fr. James Martin’s wonderful memoir “My Life with the Saints.” We interviewed him for “Currents” last week, and got a glimpse at the writer behind the book. Take […]

When a priest is diagnosed with cancer

posted by jmcgee

Out in Los Angeles, there’s this remarkable story of a priest’s own struggle with cancer — and how he’s using that to spread the gospel message: In his flowing, cream-colored chasuble, Msgr. Marc Trudeau ambled back and forth in front […]

Two deacons in the family

posted by jmcgee

Some things run in the family — like religious vocations:  For Deacon Mark Gallagher, the ordination of his son, Charles, as a transitional deacon Oct. 8 in Rome was almost like father, like son. Mark Gallagher has been a permanent […]

Nuns make construction work habit-forming

posted by jmcgee

Jesus, of course, was a carpenter, and these inspiring women are clearly following his lead:  Dressed in T-shirts emblazoned with the phrase “Volunteer, Make it a Habit,” about 80 nuns from congregations nationwide worked side by side in New Orleans Oct. […]

Know when to hold ‘em: meet the poker-playing priest

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Just when you thought you’d seen it all…along comes this: A South Carolina priest made headlines this week when he starred in a new poker competition on US television this week. Father Andrew Trapp, an assistant pastor at Garden City […]

October 24: Lay Fast for Priests

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

With World Priest Day approaching on October 25, a number of people will be joining an international fast for the world’s priests:   Anna Rae-Kelly saw the Catholic priesthood becoming embattled as a result of the clergy abuse scandal that […]

Mickey Rourke on the priest who saved his life

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

In the Year for Priests, here’s a story that reminds us the impact a priest can have on just one life: Mickey Rourke has revealed that he was on the verge of suicide before he turned to the Catholic Church […]

“Vocations come from being open”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

This story from the Catholic Standard in Washington caught my eye, because the young priest now serves at the parish (and school) where I grew up.  He has some sound insight into vocations:      In second grade, right around […]

A tale of two weddings

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A missionary priest offers this beautiful glimpse at one part of the priestly life — and bearing witness to a precious sacrament, in two very different settings:   I had been away from Tanzania for one month enjoying a vacation […]

Be it resolved: sisters matter

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

When was the last time the United States government paid tribute to a group of Catholic religious?  It happened last week.  Take a look.   

Checking up on some pioneers: Indy’s first deacons, one year later

posted by deacon greg kandra

Last year, Indianapolis ordained its very first class of deacons. And you can find out how they’re doing right here.

Just one word: wow

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Get a load of this:  The image above comes courtesy American Papist and shows, incredibly, over 800 men being ordained at once in Spain in the 1950’s.    Visit this link for more details and pictures that will make your jaw […]

Welcome to “The Deacon’s Bench”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Well, here we are. To those of you who have been following “The Deacon’s Bench” at my previous address, welcome back! Good to have you here. Please excuse the boxes and bubble wrap. I hope to have the place tidied […]

A monastery is born: Vietnamese monks establish “heavenly heart” in Texas

posted by deacon greg kandra

Further proof that the Church is alive and thriving in the South: word that a new Benedictine monastery is being established in the Lone Star State. From the Dallas Morning News: Here in cow country about 70 miles southeast of […]

May the force of Jesus be with you

posted by deacon greg kandra

Another reminder, from the Georgia Bulletin, that priests aren’t that different from the rest of us. They can be geeks, too: Among people costumed as Star Wars storm troopers, bare-chested Spartan warriors and Superman, there stood Father Bryan Small in […]

Speechless

posted by deacon greg kandra

That’s what this fellow says we are, and he makes a very good, and very funny, point. Click and enjoy. H/T Brutally Honest by way of The Anchoress.

Boom!

posted by deacon greg kandra

Here’s a nifty new website devoted to vocations called — joyfully — Vocation Boom! And one of their videos is below. Check it out, along with others at the site. H/T Happy Catholic.

Inside America’s last high school seminary: “A place where God is powerfully working”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Speaking of vocations… A producer for “Currents” recently visited the last high school prep seminary in America: Cathedral Prep, in the Diocese of Brooklyn. For a brief glimpse inside, take a look.

Psst…want to hear a secret about vocations?

posted by deacon greg kandra

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 […]

Forgive us our debts: when you can’t afford a religious vocation

posted by deacon greg kandra

One of the often-unreported stumbling blocks to a religious vocation isn’t spiritual. It’s financial. And this Sunday’s Los Angeles Times looks at this problem, and those who are trying to help: Alicia Torres must raise $94,000 in order to take […]

“Animal House”? Hardly.

posted by deacon greg kandra

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 […]

The numbers don’t lie

posted by deacon greg kandra

While I was scanning this story about the Nashville Dominicans, this graph jumped out at me: There are 23 postulants this year at the Motherhouse of Nashville’s Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia. It’s the largest group of new nuns in […]

There goes the neighborhood

posted by deacon greg kandra

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 […]

The U.S. Army gets its first Buddhist chaplain

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Armed Forces are more diverse than ever — and that includes a diversity of religious beliefs and practices. For evidence, look no further than this item from USA TODAY: When Thomas Dyer heads to Afghanistan in December, the former […]

The Catonsville Eleven make history

posted by deacon greg kandra

That would be the 10 Anglican nuns and their chaplain, who were just received into the Catholic Church and confirmed by Baltimore’s Archbishop. From the Baltimore Sun: In a move that religious scholars say is unprecedented, 10 of the 12 […]

Signs of hope: a priest’s ministry to the deaf

posted by deacon greg kandra

This Sunday’s gospel focuses on Jesus’ healing of a deaf man — and Catholic News Service has just posted a wonderful companion piece about ministering to the deaf: The silence of the hallways is only interrupted by intermittent laughter and […]

“There were no good old days in the Church”

posted by deacon greg kandra

New York’s Archbishop found himself far from the Big Apple recently, but had some valuable thoughts on the subject of vocations — ideas that go beyond boundaries. From Tim Drake at the National Catholic Register: Over the weekend, 530 Serra […]

Havana to open a new seminary next year

posted by deacon greg kandra

Here’s a fitting touchstone — or cornerstone? — for the Year for Priests: The Archdiocese of Havana announced this week that it will open a new seminary in 2010, the first such building project the Church has undertaken in Cuba […]

“Molded into the likeness of Christ”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Those words, from the Rite for Ordination for the Order of Priests, seem to sum it all up for the picture below. H/T to The Crescat via New Advent for bringing this to my attention. As noted: 4 June 1962. […]

Feel the goosebumps: stunning ordination video

posted by deacon greg kandra

From, of course, the amazing wizards at Brooklyn’s beloved Grassroots Films. Want to see what New Evangelization looks like? This is it. Big time. God bless GF founder Joe Campo and his amazing crew.

Handmaids of the Lord: An African-American order in Harlem

posted by deacon greg kandra

Here’s something unusual, and surprising: a profile of an order of nuns in the United States that is one of the few set up specifically for African-Americans: When Sister Georginah Githinji arrived in the U.S. from Kenya she thought of […]

Here they come: Anglican nuns joining Catholic Church in Baltimore

posted by deacon greg kandra

Some big news out of Baltimore (go Terps!), where a tiny tidal wave of conversions is about to happen: After seven years of prayer and discernment, a community of Episcopal nuns and their chaplain will be received into the Roman […]

Answering the call in Columbus: an extraordinary series unfolds

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Columbus Dispatch has done something quite remarkable — and possibly, unprecedented — for a secular paper, devoting a lot of ink and newsprint to a series following a year in the life of seminarian. The entire series (so far), […]

Previous Posts

This blog is no longer active
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 ...

posted 10:42:40pm Dec. 12, 2010 | read full post »

One day more
A reminder: "The Deacon's Bench" is closed! Please enjoy the archives! ...

posted 11:26:20pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Meet Montana's married priest
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. ...

posted 10:29:55pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Big day in the Big Easy: 10 new deacons
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. The ...

posted 6:55:42pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Gaudete! And let's break out a carol or two...
"Gesu Bambino," anyone? This is one of my favorites, and nobody does it better than these gals: Kathleen Battle and Frederica von Staade. Enjoy. ...

posted 1:04:10pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

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