I’m about to head out the door for the 2018 National Diaconal Congress in New Orleans, marking the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the diaconate as a permanent order in the United States. I’m looking forward to seeing some old friends—I’m looking at you, Bill Ditewig, Daniel Dozier and James Keating!—and meeting some new ones. And I’m hoping to connect names with faces and finally meet some old acquaintances from Facebook and this blog. I’ll be giving a talk… Read more

This great old Protestant hymn has found a welcome home in many Catholic parishes. It’s a soothing, gently-rendered interpretation of the 23rd Psalm, written by Henry Williams Baker. Some background:  “The King of Love my Shepherd Is,” a metrical paraphrase of Psalm 23, was written by Baker for the Second Edition of Hymns Ancient & Modern in 1868, and included in the appendix. His friend John Bacchus Dykes (1823-1876), a musical editor on the committee, wrote the tune DOMINUS REGIT ME specifically… Read more

This hasn’t gotten nearly the attention it deserves. But attention must be paid. From Crux: As violent oppression continues to rise in Nicaragua, with at least 10 people killed on Sunday, Catholic bishops have called for a day of prayer and fasting for July 20 “as an act of atonement for the profanation carried out in recent months against God.” On that day, the bishops said, “We will pray the prayer of exorcism to St. Michael Archangel.” Recent developments that… Read more

Seriously:  Now you can bring Francis anywhere you please. Bless your home or workplace with an action figure that is sure to make everyone say, “Laudato si’!” Six inches tall. The Pope Francis Action Figure is a perfect size for all uses; whether you want to keep him on your desk for all to see or bring him out on adventures! Picture perfect. You are going to want to shoot pictures of him, so we designed the Pope Francis Action Figure with that in mind. He has a picture… Read more

Deacons, take note: the intrepid editorial staff at the Catholic Herald—newspaper for the Diocese of Arlington, in Virginia—has undertaken an extraordinary project, with a regular series in the paper this year devoted to the diaconate. It’s all pegged to the 50th anniversary of the diaconate’s restoration as a permanent order. The Herald’s social media coordinator, Mary Stachyra Lopez, dropped me a note the other day to alert me to the series: The articles explain the origin and ministry of a deacon,… Read more

Details:  The complexion of America’s private school sector has undergone massive changes over the past half-century, driven mostly by a decline in Catholic school enrollment, according to a major new report published in the journal Education Next. The authors find that middle-class families in particular have been leaning away from private schools for several decades. Written by renowned researchers Sean Reardon of Stanford and Richard Murnane of Harvard, the report uses census data, longitudinal studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Education, and family surveys… Read more

Here’s the letter he sent (h/t Steve Ray at Defenders of the Catholic Faith and the great Frank Weathers!): Earlier this week, there was this news about the streaming service, which should tell them something: Netflix stock took an unaccustomed dip on Monday when it revealed that its forecast of new subscribers fell short: The streaming video site added just 5.2 million, as opposed to the 1 million more it expected. The shares lost 14% Monday and continued to fall Tuesday,… Read more

And it’s a little piece of diaconate history, too: History was made in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend on Saturday, June 23, with the ordination of 11 Hispanic deacons at St. Matthew Cathedral, South Bend. The newly ordained deacons and their home parishes are Juan Manuel Campos, St. Patrick, Ligonier; Marco Castillo Gómez, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Warsaw; Frederick W. Everett, Corpus Christi, South Bend; Alejandro M. García García, Our Lady of Hungary, South Bend; Ricardo García Ramos, St…. Read more

After Pope Francis dropped by the wedding of a Swiss Guard the other day, he took a casual stroll home alone. An eagle-eyed observer with a cell phone caught this moment of solitude. Just the pontiff. An ordinary guy. Walking along. Vicar of Christ. Bishop of Rome. Just, you know, shuffling home, cap in hand, maybe wondering what’s for dinner. God love him. O Papa faz um casamento no Vaticano e volta sozinho para casa….Posted by Dom Joaquim Wladimir Lopes… Read more

You can check out the video above. Details:  A Catholic parish in Lansing is the latest church in Michigan to designate itself as a “sanctuary church” for unauthorized immigrants facing deportation. During a Monday afternoon press conference, Fr. Fred Thelen of Cristo Rey Church, congregants and supportive community members gathered to announce that after two years of “prayerful consideration, discussion and education, testimonies and dialogue,” the pastoral council of the church unanimously voted to become a sanctuary church. That means the… Read more

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