Must-read: why the deacon chants the Exsultet

A thorough and compelling answer from Deacon Bill Ditewig:  Recently, a good friend and a priest whom I respect very much, asked me just WHY the deacon should be the person who chants the Exsultet at the Easter Vigil.  “The rubrics permit someone other than the deacon to sing it, so why not just get [Read More...]

Pope Francis declares a new doctor of the Church

From Vatican Radio:  Pope Francis has declared Armenian poet and monk, Saint Gregory of Narek, a Doctor of the Universal Church.  Meeting with Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Cause of Saints on Saturday ahead of his departure for Aricca on Lenten retreat, the Pope confirmed the proposal put forward by the [Read More...]

So, how does the secular media cover the pope going on retreat?

With headlines like this: Pope Gets Away from Vatican to Work on Correcting “Defects”  AP’s lede: Pope Francis is getting away from the Vatican for a few days and taking his advisers along, to work, as he put it, on fixing the ” many defects we all have.” Francis told tens of thousands of Romans, [Read More...]

Deacons witness execution of Catholic inmate in Georgia

From The Georgia Bulletin:  The State of Georgia executed Warren Lee Hill, who had received the sacraments of the Catholic Church while on death row, the evening of Jan. 27. Hill, sentenced to death for the 1991 murder of a fellow inmate, died by lethal injection. The U.S. Supreme Court denied his application for a [Read More...]

Coptic church formally recognizes martyrdom of 21 slain by ISIS

The stunning icon here depicts the martyrs and was created by Egyptian American artist Tony Rezk. It appears on the website for the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Los Angeles.  From Vatican Radio:  The Coptic Orthodox Church has announced that the murder of the 21 Egyptian Christians killed by the so-called Islamic State in Libya will be [Read More...]

Restaurant chain invites the pope to try its Lent menu

How’s this for an unusual marketing gimmick: Red Robin is hoping to lure Catholics who are abstaining from meat during Lent by presenting its latest seafood menu — even inviting Pope Francis to lunch. And other fast food restaurants are jumping on the Lent wagon as well. Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc., based in Greenwood Village, Colorado, extended an invitation [Read More...]

Hello, Florida!

I’m flying south Saturday morning: headed to sunny St. Petersburg, Florida, to give a parish mission at Blessed Trinity Catholic Church.  I’ll be speaking Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night at 7 pm so if you’re in the neighborhood, stop by and say hello. I’ll be easy to spot: just look for the pasty-faced northerner blinking [Read More...]

How a supporter of women’s ordination left the Anglicans and became Catholic

From The Catholic Herald in the UK:   It is always interesting to read the various ways that converts stumble onto the path to Rome. Surely one of the strangest accounts in modern times is that of Dr Una Kroll, whose autobiography, Bread Not Stones, has recently been published by Christian Alternative. Dr Kroll received quite a [Read More...]

Ordination update: 12 new permanent deacons for Atlanta

From The Georgia Bulletin:  During the Mass of ordination to the diaconate Saturday, Feb. 7, Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory reminded the 2015 class of men ordained that the meaning of the word deacon is “one who serves.” Twelve men were ordained to the permanent diaconate in the Archdiocese of Atlanta at the Cathedral of Christ [Read More...]

Muslims observe Lent in show of solidarity with Christians

From The Independent: In a show of solidarity, Muslims are standing with Christians and giving up guilty pleasures for lent. For Christians, Lent is a period of self-restraint, marked by fasting, repentance, prayer and self-control. Luxury or rich foods, such as meat and dairy are often avoided by those taking part. Abstention from personal “bad habits” [Read More...]