Entire county clerk’s staff resigns rather than issue same-sex marriage licenses

From The Jackson Sun:  The three officers in the Decatur County Clerk's Office have resigned from their positions because of their opposition to the Supreme Court's decision on same-sex marriage, a county official said today.According to Decatur County Commissioner David Boroughs, County Clerk Gwen Pope and employees Sharon Bell and Mickey Butler have all resigned because of religious opposition to the ruling.Boroughs said he confirmed the resignations after speaking with County Mayor … [Read More...]

Greg Kandra 1

“If anyone is discerning a calling, my advice is simple: Give the keys to God and see where he wants to take you.”

Some months back, my old friend Sister Camille D'Arienzo got in touch and asked me if I'd take part in her interview series for The National Catholic Reporter. I said sure. This week, they published the results. I'd more or less forgotten about it until a friend tonight sent me the link. Snip: What have you learned from being a deacon? I never cease to be amazed, awed, humbled and challenged. God uses us in ways we may never have imagined. And the grace of Holy Orders continues to make th … [Read More...]

Praying with the boss at work

View image | gettyimages.comAn interesting spotlight on a topic rarely discussed, via the BBC:   Saying prayers with colleagues would feel a bit uncomfortable, too intimate an activity in the workplace for many people. Yet at Chinese real estate giant Tiantai Group, known as Tentimes Group in … [Read More...]

Pope Francis: “We evangelize not with grand words, but with the ‘joy of the Gospel’”

From his homily today in Ecuador:We evangelize not with grand words, or complicated concepts, but with “the joy of the Gospel”, which “fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. For those who ac­cept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneli … [Read More...]

Franciscan abducted in Syria

Details: This morning, two Catholic priests from Homs told me of the abduction of the Rev. Dhiya Aziz, who belongs to the Franciscan missionaries serving in the Holy Land. The kidnapping took place on Saturday 4 July, while he was in his parish of Yacubiyeh, a village in Syria’s Idlib province, m … [Read More...]

“Christ can take what seems impure, scandalous or threatening, and turn it into a miracle”

From Catholic News Service: Even if a pastoral proposal for helping a Catholic family with problems seems scandalous at first, it is possible God could use that proposal to bring healing and holiness, Pope Francis said.Encouraging and celebrating family life during a Mass July 6 in Guayaquil, Pope … [Read More...]

“A proper and permanent rank of the hierarchy”

I bumped into a deacon today who told me about a conversation he had in the sacristy last weekend. A young priest was insisting that deacons are not sacramentally ordained.  It reminded me of a talk I heard a few years back, wherein a bishop openly suggested the same thing.To clear up any confu … [Read More...]

“Confessions of a Minister’s Wife”

How many women married to deacons (or priests?) could relate to this?From Huffington Post, writer Rita Davis unloads:  Being married to a minister was not something I had on my to-do list. I just happened to fall in love with a guy who also carried the title, "Reverend." According to my mother, … [Read More...]

Boom: Madison ordains largest class of priests in over 40 years

From The Wisconsin State Journal: A couple of hours before Chris Gernetzke was to become a priest, he could be found in a room at St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church in Madison laying out the vestments he would wear at that evening’s ordination Mass. Gernetzke may be familiar to readers. Earlier t … [Read More...]

Rhode Island church vandalized

Details from the Providence Journal:  When the Rev. Joseph Escobar found what vandals had done to his historical and popular church, Our Lady of the Rosary, he decided to leave the desecration exactly as he found it.So when parishioners arrived for Mass in English and Portuguese on Saturday … [Read More...]

Dr. Ratzinger?

From Associated Press: Benedict XVI, emeritus pope and theologian, reflected on Saturday on classical music as an "encounter with the divine," saying listening to Mozart helps him experience "very deeply the Lord's presence." Benedict's reflections came at a ceremony where he received honourary … [Read More...]

Homily for July 5, 2015: 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

The gospel we’re encountering right now is sending a message that's both powerful and timely.It all comes down to one little word: faith. What happens when you have it, what happens when you don’t.Last Sunday, Mark’s gospel told us about a faith so powerful it could work miracles. This week, … [Read More...]

Pope: “When they kill a Christian, they don’t ask ‘Are you Catholic?””

Details: Pope Francis appealed on Friday to faithful from all Christian churches to put divisions aside and concentrate on what unites them amid the persecution and slaying of Christians in parts of the world. "The blood of today's martyrs makes us one," Francis told some 30,000 people in St. … [Read More...]

Study: most Americans no longer consider the U.S. a Christian nation

Happy Fourth of July:  According to a new PRRI/RNS report, nearly six in ten Americans think America was a Christian nation in the past but is not one now (45 percent) or have never thought the U.S. was a Christian nation (14 percent). Only about one-third (35 percent) of Americans still believe Am … [Read More...]

Oregon silences, fines couple who refused to bake cake for lesbians

Details: Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian finalized a preliminary ruling today ordering Aaron and Melissa Klein, the bakers who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, to pay $135,000 in emotional damages to the couple they denied service. “This case is not about a wedding cake or a … [Read More...]

Chairman of Fordham’s theology department marries another man — UPDATED

Somehow, I missed this little item in last Sunday's New York Times. A reader sent it my way:Patrick Anthony Bergquist and J. Patrick Hornbeck II were married Saturday in Manhattan. The Rev. Matthew J. Moretz performed the ceremony at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, where he is an associate r … [Read More...]

“Team ministry” launched in Pittsburgh

Hot on the heels of the announcement that some deacons will serve as parish administrators, the the Diocese of Pittsburgh has rolled out its pilot program in the experiment:  Bishop David Zubik has announced a “team ministry” pilot program that includes a deacon administrator for five parishes in Gr … [Read More...]

When being a permanent deacon isn’t permanent: one man’s road to the priesthood

From Trenton comes this story of a former permanent deacon recently ordained a priest:  Father Jim Grogan Sr. is gregarious and warm. He laughs easily and often.He is also a man completely at peace with his life and where it’s headed.When he lost his wife to ovarian cancer eight years ago, t … [Read More...]