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: http://friendlyatheist.com https://twitter.com/hemantmehta   … [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...]

10 Things That Should Shock You More Than World Vision’s Recent Announcement (revised)


 UPDATE: Apparently World Vision has reversed their decision. I have made a few edit's below to reflect that change. Edits in bold! So this morning I logged onto twitter and saw this:Shocked to see World Vision hiring employees in same-sex marriages. My dear friend Bob Pierce would be heartbroken.— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) March 24, 2014 It turns out World Vision is letting gay people join their staff has reversed their position allowing Married Gay people … [Read more...]

Remembering Oscar Romero – 34 years later


The following prayer was composed by Bishop Ken Untener of Saginaw, drafted for a homily by Card. John Dearden in Nov. 1979 for a celebration of departed priests. As a reflection on the anniversary of the martyrdom of Bishop Romero, Bishop Untener included in a reflection book a passage titled "The mystery of the Romero Prayer." The mystery is that the words of the prayer are attributed to Oscar Romero, but they were never spoken by him.Since yesterday was the anniversary of Oscar Romero's … [Read more...]