The secret to surviving holiday stress

It's actually tied to the very sentiment that began this festive season back in late November: giving thanks.From PBS comes this wisdom from a family caregiver specialist:   The other day I was talking with Mark, a brain tumor survivor and former archaeologist. Once a world traveler and recognized expert in his field, he now lives with debilitating seizures, and with anxiety-producing word-finding difficulties. He told me, with a sigh, that his doctor said he should feel grateful to be a … [Read More...]

Lest we forget: journalists in jail around the world

From the Committee to Protect Journalists:  The Committee to Protect Journalists identified 220 journalists in jail around the world in 2014, an increase of nine from 2013. The tally marks the second-highest number of journalists in jail since CPJ began taking an annual census of imprisoned journalists in 1990, and highlights a resurgence of authoritarian governments in countries such as China, Ethiopia, Burma, and Egypt.China’s use of anti-state charges and Iran’s revolving door policy in i … [Read More...]

The story behind the world’s most bizarre Christmas tradition

That would be this fellow, who is perched on my desk at work — a gift from a priest colleague with a wicked sense of humor. I won't show you the backside, but he's doing just what you might imagine.The good people at TIME magazine wrote about this little Christmas treat a few years b … [Read More...]

Want to keep Christ in Christmas? Try this.

A priest friend send me this image this morning:I was curious to learn more about Steve Maraboli, and found this 2011 story about him from Long Island Catholic: “Pretend God is deaf” and more interested in actions than words, motivational speaker Steve Maraboli advised parishioners at St. Pe … [Read More...]

Pope Francis: “Sports are at home in the Church”

He spoke of sports and the Olympics today, according to Vatican Radio: “Sports are at home in the Church” – that’s what Pope Francis told managers and athletes of Italy’s National Olympic Committee Friday.  In a meeting in the Vatican, the Pope congratulated them on Rome’s candidacy as a possible … [Read More...]

The disappearing Midnight Mass — UPDATED

My pastor, Bishop Paul Sanchez, at Midnight Mass at our parish, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs in Forest Hills, NY in 2013. (photo: Rosalind Chan) It's happening in the United States—I know of more and more places that are offering "Midnight Mass" a few hours earlier—and it's a phenomenon that has taken … [Read More...]

NY Times: “Bolder vision” of Vatican diplomacy under Francis

From Friday's paper:Perhaps the timing was purely coincidental. But a day after he was credited with helping to broker thehistoric diplomatic breakthrough betweenCuba and the United States, Pope Francisbegan his Thursday morning by greeting a new crop of envoys to the Vatican, and offering some a … [Read More...]

Stephen Colbert’s Top Catholic Moments — UPDATED

As MCPF (My Close Personal Friend) Stephen bids farewell to his show at Comedy Central tonight, Busted Halo has a nifty roundup of top Colbert Catholic moments.This one below, however, remains, my all time favorite. The Colbert Report Get More: Colbert Report Full … [Read More...]

Cancer patient gets her wish granted, meets Pope Francis

From CBS News: Since birth, they've called her "one tough cookie." Now, Gracie West is living up to that nickname as she fights cancer. She's had nine rounds of chemotherapy, and when asked if she could have one wish, she said she wanted to meet the pope, CBS News' Allen Pizzey reports. "My … [Read More...]

Resurrection: After tornado, parish rebuilds, consecrates new church

Some good news, just in time for Christmas, from The Joplin Globe in Missouri: It wasn't wrapped in red and green paper, and it certainly wasn't sitting underneath a tree, but the new St. Mary's Catholic Church was the best holiday gift that parishioners said they could have received this time of … [Read More...]

How Pope Francis helped make history with Cuba

From The Boston Globe: The restoration of full diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba, as well as a prisoner exchange that secured the release of American Alan Gross, was brokered, in part, by the Holy See.A high-ranking Vatican official confirmed Wednesday that the Obama … [Read More...]

Serving at table: the deacon who used to be the chef for Cèline Dion

I love this story, from The Catholic Review in Baltimore: If you’re looking for a unique, Maryland-related gift for Christmas, perhaps the place to start is at a parish gift shop, such as the one nestled into the Sexton’s Lodge at America’s first cathedral.Next to the Basilica of the National Sh … [Read More...]

Do Catholics support torture?

Is the pope Argentinian?From The Washington Post:  According to a new poll released Tuesday by The Washington Post and ABC News, a majority of Americans believe that torture of suspected terrorists can be justified — even in the wake of graphic revelations by a Senate Intelligence Committee repo … [Read More...]

14-year-old boy executed for 1944 murder is exonerated

From CBS News: A 14-year-old South Carolina boy who was quickly convicted of murder and then executed in 1944 has been posthumously exonerated. Judge Carmen Tevis Mullen vacated George Stinney, Jr.'s conviction on Wednesday, stating that the boy's prosecution was marked by "fundamental, … [Read More...]

“We can do anything. We could be heroes…”

This is guaranteed to make you gasp, squeal, swoon, and maybe even feel a lump in your throat.People are awesome.And a little bit nuts.But mostly awesome.Crank up the volume and enjoy! … [Read More...]

Vatican diplomacy and release of Alan Gross: “Pope Francis personally issued an appeal in a letter to Obama and Castro…”

From The Washington Post:   Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) received a phone call on Tuesday night from White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice that "just knocked me off my feet."After more than five years of captivity, Alan Gross was coming home. Durbin was in the midst of wrapping up … [Read More...]

Thousands celebrate pope’s birthday at Vatican with flash mob tango

Well, how else would you celebrate?See for yourself below.Details from Carol Glatz at CNS:   Pope Francis always asks for prayers, especially for his birthday, but this year he also got some tango.Thousands of tango dancers, mostly from Italy, flocked to St. Peter’s Square to wave th … [Read More...]

Church of England names first female bishop

From the BBC:  Reverend Libby Lane has been announced as the first female bishop for the Church of England, just a month after a historic change to canon law.She will become the new Bishop of Stockport, a post that has been vacant since May.Mrs Lane has been the vicar at St Peter's … [Read More...]


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