“The Motherhood”: a rap for moms

After this, I guess a rap for mommies was inevitable. But it’s pretty funny — and the British accent just adds a little, I dunno, class. This is an ad for a new car by Fiat. [Read more...]

Has fiction lost its faith?

That’s the provocative and sobering question that headlines this essay by Paul Elie in the New York Times Book Review this weekend: If any patch of our culture can be said to be post-Christian, it is literature. Half a century after Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, Reynolds Price and John Updike presented themselves as novelists with [Read More...]

Bishops favor “reasonable restrictions” on guns—UPDATED

From Catholic News Service:  As momentum builds to implement new limits on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips, the Catholic bishops of the United States remain focused on seeking “reasonable restrictions” on gun ownership without infringing upon Second Amendment rights. “The bishops continue to support measures that control the sale and use of firearms and [Read More...]

Haiti’s hope: two years after quake, plans for new cathedral

Details: The winner of the design competition for the new Cathédrale Notre Dame de l’Assomption in Port-au-Prince, Haiti was unveiled today. The winning design was selected from among 134 entrants who submitted proposals for the replacement the former cathedral, which was destroyed in the 2012 Haiti earthquake. Segundo Cardona and a team of six other architects [Read More...]

Shared grief: the Amish and the parents of Newtown

The horrific story of the Amish shooting in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania in 2006 was on my mind this week.  The people of Nickel Mines understand, perhaps better than anyone, what the families are facing in Newtown.  I remembered that the Amish responded to their grief with astonishing grace and mercy—reaching out to forgive what would [Read More...]

Pray for this priest…

You’ve seen his picture, the young man in the middle shown here, next to Newtown’s Msgr. Weiss.  Now, hear his story: (H/T Mark Shea and Tom Crowe) The following comes from the priest’s sister: My friends, All of you, I am sure, have heard so much about the tragedy in Newtown, CT. Many of you [Read More...]

How Charles Dickens saved Christmas

The story behind the most famous Christmas story since the Nativity, from the Capitol Hill Times: When Charles Dickens wrote “A Christmas Carol” in 1842, the holiday was nearly dead in modern England. Christmas was celebrated by the rural and poor, but frowned upon by employers. It took an American, Washington Irving, to praise Christmas [Read More...]

Catholics take over America

Trivia buffs, take note: If Senator John Kerry is nominated and confirmed to be Secretary of State, the four offices in line of succession to the presidency will all be held by Catholics: Vice President Joe Biden, House Speaker John Boehner, Senator Leahy, and Secretary Kerry. Dave Gibson has more context, too, at dotCommonweal. [Read more...]

Shock: Arkansas seminarian killed in car accident

This is heartbreaking news, just before Christmas, from the Arkansas Catholic: First-year seminarian Daniel Phillips was killed in a car wreck Dec. 18 near Danville. Son of John and Catherine Phillips, he graduated from high school in May and entered Holy Trinity Seminary near Dallas in August. He was 19. He attended Our Lady of [Read More...]

How many deacons can say they’re married to a Supreme Court judge?

Next year, God willing, there will be at least one who can. An Indiana deacon dropped me the following e-mail: I thought you might be interested to know that on Friday the 28th, the wife of a deacon in formation in the Lafayette-in-Indiana diocese will be formally elevated to the Indiana Supreme Court. (She actually took the oath of office in November [Read More...]