Fr. Richard McBrien dies

From NCR: Fr. Richard McBrien, who as a scholar brought distinction to a university theology department and who as an author and often-interviewed popular expert explained the Catholic church to the wider world, died early Sunday morning. He was 78. McBrien had been seriously ill for several years and had moved recently from South Bend, Ind., to his native Connecticut. It would be difficult to find a figure comparable in making understandable to a broad public the basic beliefs and … [Read More...]


An amazing rendition of “Amazing Grace”

Someone sent this to me this afternoon, and it's too good not to share.From Carnegie Hall a few years ago. Just watch. You may never hear this particular hymn the same way again.Image from … [Read More...]

NY Times: “Many divorced Catholics long for acceptance”

From Sunday's paper: Facing millions of divorced Catholics around the world, many of whom express frustration over their status in the church, the Vatican has begun a remarkable re-examination of the church’s treatment of worshipers whose marriages have broken apart. Pope Francis, who plans to m … [Read More...]

Sainthood cause begins for Chiara Lubich

Chiara Lubich via Wikipedia  Details: Bishop Raffaello Martinelli will officially open the process of beatification of Chiara Lubich, founder of the Focolare Movement (or Work of Mary), on 27 January, in the cathedral of the Frascati. Chiara spent most of her life in this diocese and it is here … [Read More...]

Meet Fr. Joshua Johnson, Baton Rouge’s youngest priest—and a rapper

Joshua Johnson speaks to a group of young people at an archdiocesan revival meeting in 2014. From The Archdiocese of New Orleans Clarion Herald Following in the footsteps of Fr. Stan Fortuna?Details from The Baton Rouge Advocate: A young Catholic priest who enjoys rap music had a few … [Read More...]

Remembering Ann O’Connor and her “elegant soup kitchen” in Syracuse

Ann O'Connor and Peter King by Michael Greenlar /  The CNS blog notes: The Catholic Worker community in Syracuse, New York, lost one of its stalwarts with the death of Ann O’Connor, 81, Jan. 17.In 1971 she became involved with Unity Kitchen Community in Syracuse, where she met her … [Read More...]

Homily for January 25, 2015: 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

El Capitan by Mike Murphy / Wikipedia  People must have thought they were crazy.Seven years ago, when rock climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgenson began planning to scale Yosemite’s El Capitan, people said it couldn’t be done. Caldwell and Jorgenson proposed climbing the sheer wall, or Dawn … [Read More...]

Vermont’s “Cyber-Bishop” Coyne: “We are now a missionary church. We have to give people a reason to stay.”

Bishop Christopher Coyne via Diocese of Burlington A Burlington TV station aired this brief profile of its new bishop, Christopher Coyne, last night: Coyne described himself as primarily a pastor, adding he embraces direct and charitable conversations with parishioners and community … [Read More...]

Altar girls, again: what happened when a SF parish banned girl altar servers—UPDATED

It must have been a slow news day in San Francisco, since it appears this led the local news last night: A Bay Area church is now under fire over a controversial new policy saying only boys can be altar servers.The new practice is making waves at the century old church Star of the Sea. Since t … [Read More...]

The pope’s liturgical “abuse”

Over at the blog Pray Tell, Anthony Ruff notes a recent letter regarding the Sign of Peace during Mass: One of the last acts of Cardinal Llovera as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship was to sign, along with secretary Arthur Roche, the circular letter on the Sign of Peace of June 8, … [Read More...]

American priest who died from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) moves closer to sainthood

From CNA/EWTN: Servant of God Aloysius Schwartz is one of the 11 causes for canonization that Pope Francis advanced yesterday, and will be granted the title “Venerable” with the pontiff’s recognition of his heroic virtue. Pope Francis approved the advancement of the causes for canonization durin … [Read More...]

Pope Francis reminds Roman Rota that sacraments are free—and annulments should be, too

From Vatican Radio:  Pope Francis received the judges and advocates of the Roman Rota on Friday, to inaugurate the tribunal’s 2015 judicial term. The Roman Rota is the highest ordinary appellate court in the Church’s judicial system. The bulk of the work of the Rota involves deciding cases of mari … [Read More...]

St. Augustine appoints deacon as chancellor

I received this email this morning: As of a week ago the new Chancellor & Diocesan Ecumenical Officer for the Diocese of St. Augustine is Deacon David Williams. And his assistant is also a deacon.His first appearance on the ecumenical scene was on Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015 as seen in this … [Read More...]

Stunning pro-life witness: “In choosing life, we chose sorrow. But we also chose joy.”

Treasa and George Matysek rest their hands on their unborn baby, Georgie, when he was still in his mother’s womb. (Courtesy Matysek family / Catholic Review)This comes from my friend George Matysek in the Catholic Review of Baltimore. If you read only one pro-life story this day, this should be i … [Read More...]

Pope Francis: “God forgives everything”

“There is no sin which He won’t pardon. He forgives everything.  ‘But father, I don’t go to confession because I have committed so many really bad sins, so many that I can’t be forgiven….’  No, this is not true.  He forgives everything.  If you go (to confession) repentant, He will forgive everything … [Read More...]

Pope releases message for World Day of Social Communications on “Communicating the Family”

Photo from Vatican Radio From Vatican Radio: The Vatican has issued Pope Francis’ Message for the 49TH World Day of Social Communications, the only worldwide celebration called for by the Second Vatican Council (Inter mirifica, 1963).  The theme of this year’s message: “Communicating the Famil … [Read More...]

Pro-life feminism: “Taking feminism back from those who corrupted it”

View image | From Huffington Post:  While Republican lawmakers squabbled over a single bill banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, the anti-abortion movement's leadership found common ground Wednesday discussing long-term strategy at a summit in the nation's cap … [Read More...]

Ordination update: 11 new deacons for Arlington

Photo by Ashleigh Buyers | Catholic Herald Following up on the beautiful photo from last weekend, here's a fuller report from The Arlington Catholic Herald: Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde ordained 11 men to the permanent diaconate Jan. 17 at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More. The 11 new de … [Read More...]