Amazing. Check out the video below. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you…” — Jeremiah 1:5 Details:  Embryo 3D, headquartered in Russia, allows waiting parents to get a close-up look at their future progeny, and hold the results in their hands. After medical professionals are able to obtain a full scan of an embryo, it is converted into a 3D print. And thanks to… Read more

A priest posed that question to a friend several weeks ago, at the start of the Easter season. My friend wasn’t sure, so  he asked me. I said, “Sure. I do it every year.” The celebrant does the initial sprinkling, and I then fan out into the congregation with him or other priests to spread holy water throughout the church. Some background, from Pray Tell:  The Roman Missal allows for the substitution of the sprinkling rite for the Penitential Act on… Read more

The image here comes from St. James Cathedral in Orlando. I took it last year during my vacation. It depicts the Virgin Mary as the Mother of the Church—the very feast we are marking for the first time today — and shows her gathering her children under her protective, motherly mantel. My colleague at CNEWA, the Rev. Elias Mallon, wrote about this feast last week and helped put this day in context:  The number of titles given to Mary in… Read more

Some surprising news out of Ireland regarding a prominent politician. It amazes me that something like this is even an issue, or that it got this far. His support for abortion rights is problematic enough. But being an atheist is the real deal-breaker. Details: Waterford TD John Halligan claims he was banned from standing as sponsor at his godson’s confirmation due to his stance on repealing the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution. Halligan is advocating a Yes vote this Friday,… Read more

From CNS:  Pope Francis announced he would make 14 new cardinals June 29, giving the red cardinal’s hat to the papal almoner, the Iraq-based patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church and the archbishop of Karachi, Pakistan, among others. Announcing his choices May 20, the pope said that coming from 11 nations, the new cardinals “express the universality of the church, which continues to proclaim the merciful love of God to all people of the earth.” Pope Francis’ list included three… Read more

What a story, via The Catholic Register in Canada: For Mark Neugebauer, his journey to the permanent diaconate is something he says he just “fell into.” A look at his story would beg to differ. It’s been a long, winding journey for Neugebauer, as you might expect for someone who was born and raised a Jew, the son of Holocaust survivors. His spiritual path eventually led to his conversion to Catholicism in 2009. Now, Neugebauer, along with his wife Sue,… Read more

So I’m here in Bay Shore, New York, some 40 miles east of Queens and JFK Airport, leading a retreat for deacon candidates who will be ordained next year for the Diocese of Brooklyn. The retreat is being held at the Montfort Spiritual Center—at one time, a minor seminary for young men studying to be priests for the order founded by St. Louis de Montfort. The building itself is nondescript and uninviting, especially on a cold and drizzly Saturday. But… Read more

From the sensational sermon by the Most Rev. Michael Curry, the first African American to preside over the Episcopal Church, who focused his sermon at the royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Saturday on “the redemptive power of love”:  French Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was arguably one of the great minds, great spirits of the 20th century. Jesuit, Roman Catholic priest, scientist, a scholar, a true mystic. Some of his writings from his scientific background as well as… Read more

Details:  Every Chilean bishop offered to resign Friday over a sex abuse and cover-up scandal, in the biggest shakeup ever in the Catholic Church’s long-running abuse saga. The bishops announced at the end of an emergency summit with Pope Francis that all 31 active bishops and three retired ones in Rome had signed a document offering to resign and putting their fate in the hands of the pope. Francis can accept the resignations one by one, reject them or delay… Read more

Details:  Police have made an arrest after a historic statue of the Virgin Mary outside an East Side church was smashed. Buffalo resident Kalil Colbert, 18 was charged with criminal mischief, aggravated harassment, and hate crime/aggravated harassment. Buffalo Police received a call just after 11 p.m. Tuesday after remains of the statue were found in the parking lot at St. John Kanty. The statue had been found by a maintenance man standing on the foundation on the corner of Broadway… Read more

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