The DNA of the Roman Rite


The Mass of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, far and away, is the most celebrated Christian worship service in the world today. There is much to recommend it! It has some of the deepest roots of any liturgy, it contains the beauty, simplicity and balance of the Roman imagination, and with the reforms of Vatican II it has also allowed for the wisdom and theology of other ancient liturgical traditions to impact its life and enrich its worship. It is the liturgical life and heritage of a … [Read more...]

The Early Seeds of the Liturgy

Early Seeds

The life of the Christian church is weaved from a rich tapestry of threads.  Some threads were added by singular brilliant minds that were able to see beyond what was offered to them and were empowered to craft something new. Other threads were forged in councils of leaders who gathered to confront the challenges of their time and to fortify the ground upon which they stood so that the life of the faith might be preserved. A third, less exalted, group of fibers are the gift of the worshiping … [Read more...]

4 Reasons You Need to Pay Attention to the “Francis Factor”

Pope Francis meets President Barack Obama at the Vatican on Thursday, March 27. (Getty)

 As you probably are aware, last week President Obama met with Pope Francis. Here are a few of my reflections on the event. This post was originally published at Bread for the World.For President Obama, leader of the one of the wealthiest nations in the world, and Pope Francis, leader of the Catholic Church, to come together to discuss the need to address poverty and income inequality is historic. But what exactly does last Thursday’s meeting at the Vatican mean for hungry and po … [Read more...]

#Reviewsday Tuesday: 6 Takeaways from Young Catholic America

Young Catholic America

Last month I read through Young Catholic America. It's a new study that looks at the faith lives of young emerging adults in the United States. Overall it's a fascinating work, which I think everyone that has a vested interest in the Church should read. It looks at the exodus of young people from the Catholic Church and identifies the sorts of things that contribute to why people stay, what sorts of situations make it likely young people will leave, and the kinds of situation in which young peopl … [Read more...]

Watch the #Bordermass now!


The US bishops are offering a #Bordermass today for the 6,000 migrants who have died in the U.S. desert since 1998.From USCCB: The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Migration, joined by bishops on the border, will travel to Nogales, Arizona, March 30-April 1, 2014, to tour the U.S.-Mexico border and celebrate Mass on behalf of the close to 6,000 migrants who have died in the U.S. desert since 1998. You can watch it live in just a few moments here:The f … [Read more...]

It’s April 1: My favorite day on the internet!

no veggies

Well it's April 1. The day when the internet has fun. I've only been online for a half hour and I've already found1. An article declaring that Kathleen Sebelius  will be the new Arch-bishop of Chicago.2. A report that we will have a new ecumenical missal 3. A friendly reminder that today we are to refrain from veggiesIt's going to be a good day! Have you found any great April Fools Day gags yet? Let me know in the comments below. … [Read more...]

The Origins of Lent

mark chart

There is arguably no season in the Church calendar with more diverse scholarship surrounding it than the exploration of the origins of Lent. The opinions for its origins range widely, pointing to its beginnings emerging as early as pre-Christian Judaism and as late as the council of Nicaea, and from nearly every area on the map of the ancient Roman Empire. One of the most fascinating and influential theories in the last few decades has been the theory that Lent emerged from a post-Epiphany fast … [Read more...]

Live: Dialog with ‘Friendly Atheist’ Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta Billy Kangas Small

 Hemant Mehta (aka the Friendly Atheist) and I will be hanging out tomorrow Monday 3/31/13 at 4 pm EST. We will be talking about how faith and religion impact the world we live in. Tune in to watch live. Post questions and comments here and we will try to get to as many as we can! I look forward to hearing from you!  Find Hemant Mehta here:   … [Read more...]

Noah’s Remarkably Faithful Adaptation of the Bible


Last night I went and saw Noah, and I have to admit I was more than a little skeptical. The Story of Noah is one of the Bible stories that has fascinated, and dare I say, haunted me for my entire life. It is an incredible story that raises all the big questions about evil, God's justice, violence, ecology, mercy and sacramentality. I was skeptical because I have never seen the story adapted well by anyone.Generally people adapt the story in one of two ways:1) They white wash it and/or ma … [Read more...]