Homily for April 26, 2015: 4th Sunday of Easter

What does it take to be a good shepherd? I just got back from a 10-day trip to Jordan, and you see shepherds everywhere. They are part of the life in that corner of the world. The Bedouins who tend the sheep slumber on hillsides under tents; they stand watch in large empty fields while [Read More...]

When non-Catholics receive communion

  View image | gettyimages.com < At Cardinal Francis George’s funeral Thursday, the governor of Illinois, Bruce Rauner, evidently received communion. There’s just one problem: Rauner is not Catholic. That is notable. But so is this fact: non-Catholics are permitted to receive the sacrament under certain limited circumstances. And some prominent non-Catholics have done just that in [Read More...]

New Yorkers, take note: an upcoming event to raise awareness and support for persecuted Christians

Mark your calendar: Msgr. John E. Kozar, present of CNEWA (Catholic Near East Welfare Association) will be making a pastoral visit to Iraq and Egypt next month to see first-hand some of the challenges facing Christians fleeing persecution in that troubled part of the world. Just days after his return, Msgr. Kozar will share his insights [Read More...]

Officials say terror suspects may have targeted Vatican in 2010

From The New York Times: An investigation into a terrorist cell in Sardinia may have thwarted a possible attack on the Vatican in 2010, an Italian prosecutor and police officials said on Friday. Prosecutor Mauro Mura said at a news conference in Cagliari, Sardinia, that investigations into suspected support for Al Qaeda revealed that a [Read More...]

Just another typical Catholic wedding—complete with gunshots

My traveling companion and blog neighbor Marge Fenelon captured on video a particularly lively part of the Greek Catholic Melkite wedding in Jordan I wrote about last week: the entrance of the bride and groom. You have to see this. And listen for the gunshots. That moment almost gave me a coronary. A Melkite deacon reader, after [Read More...]

Archbishop Cupich’s homily at wake for Cardinal George

  View image | gettyimages.com   This was delivered Tuesday, for priests and seminarians gathered at the wake of Cardinal George. It’s beautiful. I think it may have particular resonance for clergy. It’s been published multiple places online. Here it is from Zenit:  “Stay with us Lord, for evening draws near.” These words echo in [Read More...]

Parish cancels pig wrestling competition after backlash

In Wisconsin:  St. Patrick Parish in Stephensville has called off its decades-old annual pig wrestling event following animal cruelty accusations. It is instead planning a new competitive game, a “human foosball tournament in the mud,” the Outagamie County Catholic parish said Tuesday. “After much prayer and many hours of discussion, we realize that what we [Read More...]

Bliss: 102-year-old woman watches film of herself as jazz dancer in the 1930s

This is working its way around social media. It’s irresistible—and beautiful. People are amazing. You cannot not smile. Keep a Kleenex handy. [Read more...]

Boom: number of women becoming nuns in UK reaches 25-year high

Details:  The number of women becoming nuns in Britain has reached a 25-year high. Some 45 took holy vows last year – tripled from just 15 in 2009 and the most in one year since the 1980s. Just seven signed up in 2004 but that has now changed as more women are drawn to the [Read More...]

My brother-in-law, my hero

From The Department of Diaconal Nepotism: a great story about a great guy doing a great thing. The guy in question just happens to be the brother of the woman I’m married to. From the University of Notre Dame: At 6 a.m. on May 3, Michael Meyer will start off on a 30-mile trek that [Read More...]