Details:  Lack of sleep is one of the most critical health issues for the homeless. An average of 225 homeless people seek safety and rest on the pews in the sanctuary of St. Boniface church in San Francisco every day, thanks to The Gubbio Project. The Gubbio Project was co-founded in 2004 by community activists Shelly Roder and Father Louis Vitale as a non-denominational project of St. Boniface Neighborhood Center located in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood in response to the… Read more

As most of you know, last week marked the one-month anniversary of the massacre at the high school in Parkland, Florida—and thousands of teenagers around the country staged a walkout to commemorate that tragedy and honor those who had been killed. Different schools marked the day in different ways. Some schools placed 17 empty desks outside, to honor the 17 killed. Others observed 17 minutes of silence. Several Catholic schools around the country offered prayers, Benediction or Mass. But one… Read more

This is going to be a great event—and a chance to take part in a significant piece of history. The congress is happening in July in New Orleans, and is expected to draw hundreds (if not thousands) of deacons (and their families) from around the United States. It celebrates the 50th anniversary of the restoration and renewal of the diaconate in this country—and I can’t think of a better event to celebrate. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out… Read more

This is our recessional this weekend—a fitting segue into next week and Palm Sunday, and an appropriate coda to the scripture readings this 5th Sunday of Lent. From Wikipedia:  George Kitchin wrote “Lift High the Cross” in 1887, while he was the Church of England Dean of Winchester, for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. It has been suggested that the hymn was inspired by the story of Constantine the Great’s conversion to Christianity after seeing a cross with “In hoc signo… Read more

A fascinating read for this day—with this intriguing bit of history:  A slightly ironic twist to the St. Patrick’s Day connection is that Guinness was not traditionally a Catholic company. St. Patrick was a Catholic and the patron saint of Ireland, and the colors of the day are drenched in the symbols of the Protestant-Catholic struggles of Ireland. Orange is traditionally recognized as the color of the Protestants, while Green is the color of the Catholics. You can still find… Read more

An analysis from The Washington Post: There are endless reasons a big-box toy store would collapse during a retail apocalypse — and Toys R Us acknowledged a number of them in its most recent annual filing: the teetering tower of debt incurred by its private-equity owners, competition from Amazon, Walmart and Target. They even wrung their hands about app stores, labor costs and potential tariffs raising the costs of the imported goods they sell. But one risk stood out. Toys… Read more

From The Columbus Dispatch: In Columbus and across the Midwest, Hispanics are changing and, some say, saving Roman Catholicism. Their population has been flowing into Midwestern and Northeastern Catholic churches since the turn of the century, said Hosffman Ospino, director of Hispanic ministries at Boston College, and Hispanics’ presence there is reshaping Catholicism and revitalizing churches with otherwise dwindling memberships. At St. Stephen the Martyr Catholic Church on Columbus’ West Side, membership was down to about 30 parishioners nearly two… Read more

Department of Shameless Plugs: If you find yourself in the Boston area on Friday, April 6, come on by!  That day, I’ll be the keynote speaker at the annual Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord conference in Watertown, Massachusetts. My topic: “Living Our Faith in the Modern World.” I’ll be talking about my vocation journey, my work at CBS News, and how we can all fulfill our call to evangelize. This event, sponsored by the Theological Institute for the… Read more

Elizabeth Scalia—now writing and editing with Bishop Robert Barron’s team over at Word on Fire—offers this gorgeous tribute to the great unsung heroines of the Church, the religious sisters, to close National Catholic Sisters Week.  Check this out: Largely unregulated by governments, and often funded with the pennies and spare dollars of those they served, Catholic religious women addressed every social need they saw and were extraordinarily efficacious. As handmaids to the sons and daughters of their King, they enriched,… Read more

A deacon friend forwarded me this tweet, from Father Jeff Walker in the Diocese of Toledo. Like so many places around the country, his high school, Sandusky Central Catholic, honored the 17 students killed by a young gunman in Parkland, Florida, last month. They lit candles and gathered before the Blessed Sacrament to pray. But this observance was different from others I’ve read about: Read more

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