Here’s something you don’t read every day, from Word on Fire:  As a recently ordained priest serving in the Great Northwest, I have found that one thing for which seminary did not prepare me was the cultural fallout from the legalization of marijuana. The growing phenomenon has made its way into parochial schools, youth groups, and even parish staff. When I recently set Google Maps to drive to St. Paul’s Cathedral in downtown Yakima, where I was to teach a… Read more

From Ireland:  Irish Catholicism today is “foreign” to young people and needs to wake up to the situation, according to Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin. “Change is painful; there is, however, no alternative,” he said. “Irish religious culture is changing. The main body of the membership of Irish Catholicism and its leadership belong to an age and cultural group that is in many ways foreign to the culture of young people. The Irish church needs to waken itself to the… Read more

Details:  A sculpture of the Virgin Mary that appeared to be crying at a church in New Mexico is being investigated after it was determined her tears were olive oil. The statue, which is located at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Hobbs, underwent a chemical analysis that was determined to be “a scented olive oil.” “Some of the witnesses claimed it smelled of roses,” Bishop Oscar Cantu, of the diocese, told the Las Cruces Sun News. “So something… Read more

Seeking solace this afternoon, I found these stirring words of faith and hope from 31 summers ago, delivered the St. John Paul II at Dodger Stadium during his pastoral visit to the United States:  I wish at this time to turn my thoughts once more to the Woman of faith and of all salvation history: Mary, the Mother of Jesus and Mother of his Church; Mary, the Patroness of the United States under the title of her Immaculate Conception. I entrust… Read more

My friend Fr. Matthew Schneider opines:  I want to go a little deeper than matters such as the “effectiveness” or “process” of preaching to focus on the arguments around the homily as a liturgical act. Preaching can be anything from street preaching, to homilies, to a bioethics course for clergy. The situation in such cases is so different that we can’t really come to a universal rule regarding technology. Maybe on the street corner, showing a 3-D holographic version of… Read more

Some of us already do. But here’s an extraordinary opportunity for the upcoming World Meeting of Families: With just six weeks to go to the World Meeting of Families 2018 in Dublin from 21 – 26 August, we are opening up a new opportunity for those who have availability to volunteer for one day for WMOF2018. We are asking for Volunteer Papal Mass Stewards  and Holy Communion Team volunteers for the Closing Mass of WMOF2018 which will take place in… Read more

Details from the Journal Times in Racine, Wisconsin: Paul Schumacher’s life was cut short on Sunday [July 8], exactly two months shy of the date set for his ordination as a deacon in the Catholic Church. Schumacher, 58, of Mount Pleasant, was driving home from a visit with his father, who lives in the dementia ward of a nursing home in the Green Bay area, when his vehicle was struck by a motorcyclist in the Town of Morrison in Brown… Read more

Last Saturday morning, my brother-in-law, Gary Wenzel, died suddenly after suffering a heart attack. He was 67. Gary was not Catholic, but he and my sister were married in a small country Catholic church—St. Michael’s, in Poplar Springs, Maryland — 29 years ago. My sister has been a parishioner there for many years, and so she asked the pastor, Father Mike Ruane—the same priest who had married them—to offer the funeral, a simple Catholic prayer service outside of a Mass…. Read more

Details:  Amidst the chaos of the confirmation fight, Kavanaugh took a moment to do something incredibly human. A passerby spotted the new Supreme Court nominee on her way home from work Wednesday night, and sent these pictures to The Daily Caller News Foundation. Kavanaugh was serving meals to the homeless outside Catholic Charities in downtown Washington, less than 48 hours after he was tapped to succeed Justice Anthony Kennedy. According to his D.C. Circuit biography, the judge is a volunteer with… Read more

Here’s some deacon news from our siblings in the East. My friend Father Deacon Daniel Dozier alerted me to this a few days back — and I was delighted to receive an email announcement about this event this afternoon. Details:  This three-day Congress on the Diaconate in the Eastern Catholic Churches will be an opportunity for those serving in, preparing for and supporting diaconal ministry in our churches to come together for a time of fellowship and formation across the… Read more

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