Happy Easter

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Alleluia: Washington area welcomes record number of converts at Easter Vigil

From, of all places, The Washington Post:  For Austin Russell, Easter used to mean dyeing eggs and finding candy. “It was the Easter Bunny — it was fun,” said Russell, 19, who grew up in a home that wasn’t very religious. But this year, Easter carries a weightier meaning for the University of Maryland sophomore. When he started dating a Catholic woman and befriended other practicing Catholics, he became interested in the church’s teachings. He enrolled in a class to learn … [Read More...]

An Easter message from a dying priest: “My faith in the Resurrection is the reason for my hope”

This email was forwarded to me last night. It comes from Father Tom Wehinger in the Diocese of Toledo, who sent it around to clergy in the diocese on Monday: After five weeks of illness, I have been diagnosed with liver cancer - stage four. The cancer is too advanced for having any kind of … [Read More...]

Homily for April 20, 2014: Easter

Just yesterday, I got an email from a friend who is a priest in South Carolina. He had some wonderful news to share. Effective today, Easter, the Catholic Church has one more parish in the United States of America.  The country’s newest parish is St. Claire of Assisi in Daniel Island, South … [Read More...]

Rejoice: America’s newest parish will be launched tomorrow

Some wonderful news about my friend Father Gregory West and his growing flock in South Carolina: In a modest two-room office tucked away in a Daniel Island shopping plaza lie the makings of something tremendous. No ornate decorations or grandeur, just the buzz and bang of construction work in … [Read More...]

Holy Saturday: Easter Vigil rehearsal

My Holy Saturday always begins with coffee and bagels with the RCIA folks in the rectory basement, followed by a two-hour rehearsal in the church of the Vigil, led by Deacon Bill McNamara (my ordination classmate and my parish's DRE) and Father Frank Passenant, our administrator.  Also on hand is … [Read More...]

Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” rewritten for Easter

This has been making the round again this season: the ubiquitous "Hallelujah" (lately made famous, once again, by Fr. Ray Kelly), reworked around an Easter theme. Give a listen. … [Read More...]

Good Friday homily: “Who can say what transpired in Judas’s soul during his final moments?”

From the Good Friday homily this year, here's Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, the preacher of the papal household, preaching in St. Peter's today on idols, money, mercy, Judas—and the simple (but often forgotten) church teaching that we cannot say for certain that there is any particular person is in … [Read More...]


A stunning image by Rosalind Chan-Ghazi, ace photographer for our parish bulletin. She was in the vestibule of our church, shooting through glass to capture people in prayer around the Repository, and noticed that an icon of Mary from the rear wall was reflected in the glass.  This was the result. … [Read More...]


  After reading my Good Friday homily, describing a visit to Calvary, a deacon reader sent the above picture, showing the chapel containing the spot where Christ was crucified. Below, a shot of pilgrims lining up to touch the site. … [Read More...]

Deacon Francis

The must-see video from Holy Thursday. Beautiful. Once again, he teaches by doing. Are we taking notes?     … [Read More...]

“I have to admit, seeing the pope go to confession was a pretty powerful thing”

That singular and historic moment—no pope had ever been seen going to confession before—may be having an impact this Lent. We offer the sacrament every day at my parish, and people report longer lines. Tonight, we're bringing in extra priests to help handle the expected crowds after our 7:30 … [Read More...]

Zero tolerance: New York students expelled from Catholic school for wearing blackface, Confederate flag

Details: Four Long Island teenagers have been expelled from their Catholic high school, two for wearing a Confederate flag at a sporting event and two for posting a photo of themselves in blackface on a social media site. The incidents took place last week and involved students at St. … [Read More...]

Atlanta deacon to proclaim Exsultet in Rome

From the Atlanta Vocations Facebook page: Atlanta seminarian Rev. Mr. Brian Baker will be serving at the Easter Vigil Mass with the Holy Father this coming Saturday! He will be chanting the Exsultet (the Proclamation which is sung at the beginning of the Vigil). Please say a prayer for him as he … [Read More...]

Homily for April 18, 2014: Good Friday

About 15 years ago, my wife and I made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. There, in the Old City of Jerusalem, we walked the Via Dolorosa, the Way of the Cross, passing shops and souvenir vendors selling cards and olive wood crosses.  We prayed at the stations, and we encountered many of the sites … [Read More...]

Our servant pope: wearing a deacon stole to wash feet

An alert reader sent these my way: snapshots from Pope Francis this afternoon. A report from Associated Press:  Pope Francis washed the feet of 12 elderly and disabled people Thursday - women and non-Catholics among them - in a pre-Easter ritual designed to show his willingness to … [Read More...]

She’s back! Sister Christina performs again on “The Voice”

This time, a duet: "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." Check out the video below. CNS provides a translation of the conversation after, where one of the judges notes: Great stuff! It’s fabulous because it reminded me of the movie Sister Act where there’s this renewal, this move toward people … [Read More...]

Report: Jews ordered to register in Ukraine

From USA TODAY:  Jews in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk where pro-Russian militants have taken over government buildings were told they have to "register" with the Ukrainians who are trying to make the city become part of Russia, according to Israeli media. Jews emerging from a synagogue … [Read More...]